Springtime for Western Sahara?

In many North African and Arab countries, the demands for democracy and economic redistribution of the so-called “Arab Spring“, have sounded the loudest from the region’s youth. The press has covered the protests in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia closely. But further from the limelight, Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara has experienced its own “spring”.

Especially young Saharawis (the indigenous population of Western Sahara) demand that the Western Saharan liberation front, Polisario, adopts a more confrontational line against Morocco. They also demand that young people should have more influence on Western Sahara’s exile government, that has operated from a refugee camp in the desert in neighboring Algeria for over 30 years. Some youths even talk about the possibility of a military solution to the conflict because they do not believe that the peaceful UN-mediated approach, that has been pursued since the 1991 ceasefire between Morocco and the Saharawis, has yielded any results. Read more of this post

Hvis vi gi’r en hånd til Afrika…

Den 3. februar afsluttes Danmarks nok mest prominente velgørenhedskampagne, Danmarks Indsamling, en kampagne der støttes af 12 af landets største humanitære organisationer og kulminerer i et TV-show der vises direkte på DR1. Kampagnen er en af mange lignende velgørenhedskampagner der blev til i kølevandet på den meget omtalte og indbringende Band Aid-kampagne.

Alle over 35 husker Bob Geldoffs og det stjernespækkede Band Aids sang ”Do they know it’s Christmas” fra 1984, Michael Jacksons ”We are the world”, og den danske modstykke, Nannas ”Afrika” fra 1985. Alle sange var til støtte for de hungersramte i Etiopien.

Disse kampagners omtalemæssige og finansielle succes, gjorde at de skabte præcedens for de mange lignende velgørenhedskampagner der fulgte efter, der ofte trivialiserede de problemstillinger de hævdede at de søgte at løse. Read more of this post

Maxwell Dlamini nominated for Irish human rights award

President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS), Maxwell Dlamini, has been nominated for the 2012 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk. The award is presented by Front Line, an Irish-based human rights organisation founded by former director of the Irish Section of Amnesty International, Mary Lawlor, and is given to “human rights defenders who, through non-violent work, are courageously making an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves.” Read more of this post

Swazi student leader’s trial begins with prosecution witness lies

The trial of Swazi student leader and political prisoner, Maxwell Dlamini, finally started last week after having been postponed and delayed since last April, where Maxwell Dlamini was apprehended by police and allegedly tortured and forced to sign a confession to being in possession of explosives.

At the trial, Maxwell Dlamini and his co-accused, Musa Ngubeni, pleaded not guilty to the charges of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives Act 4 of 1961. Several representatives of Swaziland’s democratic movement have referred to the charges as ludicrous and the long delay of the trial as a deliberate act by Swaziland’s absolute monarchy to discourage any opposition to its undemocratic and brutal rule. Read more of this post

Coca-Cola styrer Swaziland, boykot firmaet siger Afrika Kontakt

”Boykot Coca-Cola og fortæl dem hvorfor! – det er den eneste måde at stoppe firmaets reelle støtte til diktaturer og udnyttelse af fattiges arbejdskraft”, siger den danske solidaritetsorganisation Afrika Kontakt.

Coca-Cola er en af verdens absolut mest kendte brands og største firmaer. Over en milliard dåser eller flasker Coca-Cola drikkes om dagen i alt fra downtown New York til små landsbyer i Afrika. At firmaet samtidig udnytter lande og befolkninger i u-landes desperate situation til yderligere at berige sig selv er derimod mindre kendt. Read more of this post

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