Dansk ambassaderåd underminerer igen regeringens officielle Vestsahara-politik

Ambassaderåd fra Danmarks ambassade i Marokko, Michael Bennett Jensen, har endnu engang udtalt sig positivt om Marokko og mulighederne for at handle med det Nordafrikanske land, og dermed reelt i modstrid med Danmarks officielle holdning til Vestsahara-konflikten.

Bennett Jensen udtalte forleden til Eksport Kredit Fonden, en fond der efter eget udsagn ”hjælper danske virksomheder med at gøre det muligt og attraktivt for andre at købe varer fra Danmark”, at ”Marokkos regering har lagt en reformvenlig linje” der gør at der er ”et uudnyttet potentiale for danske virksomheder” i Marokko. ”Den udvikling gør det marokkanske marked interessant”. Read more of this post

Norwegian MP to be “good ambassador” for Swaziland

“My three day trip in the country has given me a very strong impression of the Swazi people. The trip has been full of laughter, which is a result of the friendliness of the people. I am going to be a good ambassador for Swaziland in the Norwegian Parliament,” Norwegian MP, Arne Haugen, said after his visit to Swaziland to “observe the beef production sector and assist on how to help Swazi farmers improve their production” as the Swazi Observer, a newspaper owned by Swaziland’s absolute monarch King Mswati, put it. According to the paper, “he has visited a number of feedlots with assistance from minister of Agriculture Clement Dlamini.” Read more of this post

Western Sahara is not a forgotten conflict

“I don’t like this phrase ‘forgotten conflict’,” Konstantina Isidoros tells me. “The primary concern here is that the Western Sahara conflict is very simple to solve but no one is solving it. It simply perpetuates its ‘forgotten-ness’ and major newswires miss the point that the Western Sahara is actually a ‘hot’ geopolitical potato that has the US and France fighting over regional superiority and valuable untapped natural resources, with Spain squirming between the two.”

Konstantina Isidoros is a doctoral researcher at Oxford University, but lives most of the year in the Sahara desert where she does anthropological and political science research, with special focus on the Western Sahara region. Read more of this post

Danish NGO protests against Norwegian MP’s message of support for Swaziland

“We at Africa Contact in Denmark wish to protest against the support for the Swazi regime that a Norwegian MP’s recent comments and dealings with Swaziland Meat Industries imply,” said a strongly worded protest to the Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria from Danish organisation Africa Contact. The organisation has worked in Swaziland, an absolute monarchy where two thirds of the population lives below the poverty line, and where all political parties are banned, for six years.

The reason for the protest was Norwegian MP Arne Haugen’s apparent declarations of support for the Swazi regime in the Swazi Observer yesterday. “I hope that my visit here can lead to more knowledge about your country among Norwegian authorities and collaboration on social issues. I am very grateful for the hospitality I have received which is unlike any other I have seen,” he was quoted of having said. Read more of this post

Udvikling og demokratisering starter på græsrodsniveau

Hvorfor har Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice (FSEJ), en organisation fra det brutale enevældige monarki Swaziland, så stor succes med at øge landets borgeres demokratiske bevidsthed gennem borgeruddannelse?

Og hvorfor har så mange andre forsøg på demokratisering slået fejl?

Pointen her er, at udvikling og demokratisering tager tid, hvis man skal have græsrødder og befolkningen med – og dette er vel grundlæggende hvad demokrati betyder, med mindre man sidestiller demokrati med selve valghandlingen og ikke andet. Read more of this post

Vestsahara er ikke en glemt konflikt

”Jeg kan ikke lide at Vestsahara kaldes ’en glemt konflikt’”, fortæller Konstantina Isidoros mig. ”Hovedpointen er, at Vestsahara-konflikten er meget nem at løse, men at ingen løser den. Begrebet er bare med til at forlænge konfliktens ’glemthed’, og nyhedsmedierne glemmer dermed at Vestsahara faktisk er en varm geopolitisk kartoffel, hvor USA og Frankrig slås om at opnå regionalt overherredømme og at få adgang til landets naturresurser, med Spanien sprællende midt imellem”.

Konstantina Isidoros er Ph.d. studerende på Oxford University, men bor det meste af tiden i Sahara-ørkenen, hvor hun laver antropologisk og politologisk research om Vestsahara.

Marokko har holdt de mest resurserige og frugtbare tre-fjerdedele af Vestsahara besat i 35 år, og har brutalt holdt landets oprindelige befolkning, Saharawierne, nede. Mange af Saharawierne der ikke bor her, bor derfor i de lejre i den Algierske del af Sahara, som de flygtede til under den Marokkanske invasion i 1975. Read more of this post

Vestsahara: 35 års kolonisering og eksil er nok

Som delegeret ved 35 års jubilæet for Vestsaharas eksilregering, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), oplevede jeg alt fra en seks timer lang tur gennem ørkenen, kulturelle og politiske events, at drikke og spise under stjernerne og akacietræerne mens solen gik ned, at tale med ministre i SADR-regeringen, og at få et personligt politisk indblik i en konflikt som har varet i over 35 år, selvom løsningen ligger lige for. Read more of this post

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