Acting is best way to show solidarity with suffering people

bheki-dlamini2Introduce sanctions and boycotts against the repressive Swazi regime and help the democratic movement with everything from  legal assistance to torture counselling, organizational skills and information dissemination, says young Swazi activist.

Stories of incredible hardship, suffering and lack of democratic rights often overflow our social media feeds and are ever-present in our newspapers and on radio and TV. Read more of this post

The democratisation of Swaziland: inside or outside job?

swaziland-pudemo-2013-194The small absolute monarchy of Swaziland is best known for its tourism, “unique” culture tied to its monarchy, and the cultural and spending exploits of playboy-king Mswati III, not for its repressive regime and ongoing struggle for democracy.

Swaziland is nominally a middle income country that is seldom condemned by world leaders and rarely mentioned in the international media, even though it is one of the most unequal, poverty-stricken and unfree countries in the world, and even though King Mswati spends millions of dollars on prestige projects and personal jets while his subjects starve. Read more of this post

EU-handelsaftaler gælder ikke for Vestsahara

ws-blogTo handelsaftaler, indgået mellem EU og Marokko, gælder ikke for produkter fra Vestsahara. Afrikas sidste koloni er ikke en del af Marokko. Det vurderede EU-Domstolen i dag.

Dommen betyder, efter al sandsynlighed, at danske firmaer skal stoppe med at importere fisk, tomater, vejsalt og andre produkter fra den marokkanske koloni, og at det i hvert fald ikke længere vil være muligt at importere varerne til EU som værende marokkanske. Read more of this post

Stjernestøv og guitarpedaler i Mørkhøj

muzzbombHvad har kultstjerner som Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Jeff Scroeder fra Smashing Pumpkins og Alexander Hacke fra Einstürzende Neubauten til fælles? At de alle er kunder i Anders Marcuslund-Reuss’ guitarpedalbutik, Reuss Musical Instruments, i Mørkhøj.

I sommer, udviklede Anders Marcuslund-Reuss en pedal i samarbejde med Nick Caves højre hånd, Warren Ellis, til Nick Caves nye anmelderroste album, Skeleton Tree, der toppede de danske albumhitlister i september. Read more of this post

Skal danske vindmøller i besat land levere energi til EU?

siemens_blogUnder COP22 i november, underskrev Marokko en aftale med EU, der skal sikre unionen bæredygtig energi. Men en stigende del af Marokkos energi kommer fra det besatte Vestsahara, blandt andet fra vindmøller bygget af dansk-tyske Siemens Wind Power.

I energiaftalen, deklarerer Tyskland, Frankrig, Spanien og Portugal og Marokko deres ”intentioner om at muliggøre handel med bæredygtig elektricitet mellem Marokko og EU’s interne energimarked.” Målet er, at aftalen skal implementeres før COP23 næste år. Read more of this post

Swaziland can learn from The Gambia

bheki_blogAfter a coup and 22 years of authoritarian rule, The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh conceded power in elections on December 1. Swaziland, another of Africa’s small authoritarian nations, can learn from The Gambia that there is strength in unity, says Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

Swaziland and The Gambia are two of Africa’s smallest nations, both less than 20.000 km2 and with populations below 2 million. Both got their independence from Great Britain in the sixties, and both are more or less engulfed by, and to a large degree dependent on, a much larger and more powerful neighbour. Read more of this post

Do Swazis want democracy?

bheki_New Afrobarometer-report shows that Africans still cautiously embrace democracy. In the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland, support for democracy is low but rising. In many other countries it is falling.

‘Do Africans still want democracy,’ independent research network Afrobarometer asks Africans in a new report? The answer seems to be a cautious and qualified ‘yes’. In Swaziland, a small absolute monarchy where parties are banned and the king appoints the government and controls everything from the economy to the judiciary, numbers are very low but rising. Read more of this post