Press Statement on The Gambia elections        
Press Statement on The Gambia elections The members of the Security Council commended the people of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia for the peaceful and transparent holding of elections on 1 December 2016. In this regard the members of the Security Council strongly condemned the statement by the outgoing President of the Islamic Republic [...]
          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. 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          Italy: Italy: Unaccompanied And Separated Children (UASC) Dashboard, July 2017        
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Between 1 January and 31 July 2017, 12,656 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Italy by sea, representing 13% of all sea arrivals in this period. This proportion is comparable to the first seven months of 2016, when 15% of those arriving by sea were UASC. UASC numbers have slightly decreased compared to last year, when 13,705 UASC arrived in the first seven months of the year.


          Italy: Italy Sea Arrivals Dashboard (January - July 2017)        
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Overview

Between 1 January and 31 July 2017, 95,213 persons arrived in Italy by sea. This is a 2% increase compared to sea arrivals in the same period last year (93,774).

Trends in sea arrivals should be assessed over time, as fluctuations on a monthly basis may be linked to various factors, including weather and sea conditions or the situation in the countries of departure and origin. Geopolitical developments and the capacity of smugglers to organize departures may also affect sea arrivals.


          NewYork Times Bestselling Author Zane         
Zane is NY Times Bestselling Author of Nine Solo Titles Editor/Contributor to more than a dozen more books. Zane cruises by The Sy Effect Radio Show to speak with Sy about her future books and film projects and more. Have you ever wonder which character from Zane's SIZZLING books she is more relatable too? Do you want to become an author like Zane? YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS SHOW!  Featured Columnist and Contributor, Essence Magazine One of Essence Magazine's Hollywood Power Players-2009 The 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Audra Lorde "Gambia Adisa" Distinctive Voice Writer and Publisher" Award 2007 Publisher of Note Award, African American Pavilion, Book Expo America 2006 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Fiction "Breaking the Cycle" 2006 Black Expressions Book of the Year Winner for "Afterburn" 2005 Black Expressions Book of the Year Winner for "Nervous" 2004 Black Expressions Book of the Year Winner for "Addicted" 2005 Blackboard Erotic Book of the Year Winner for "Skyscraper" 2004 Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Winner for "Nervous"   Follow Zane on twitter @PlanetZane   Featured Artist Ms. Toni Hill Follow The Sy Effect Radio Show on Twitter @IAMSY
          Senarai Rasmi Pemain Pahang FA 2017 Tok Gajah        
Senarai Rasmi Pemain Pahang FA 2017 Tok Gajah .Berikut adalah senarai pemain Pahang FA Musim 2017 yang akan di kemaskini dari masa kesemasa. Untuk makluman, Pahang FA telah menukar semula logo mereka kepada yang sebelum ini. 

Pemain Pahang FA 2017 Tok Gajah

Senarai Rasmi Pemain Pahang FA 2017 Tok Gajah

Jurulatih : Dollah Saleh


PosisiNamaNo JersiNegara
GKWan Azraei Wan Teh1Malaysia
GKSaufie Mohamad22Malaysia
GKHelmi Eliza25Malaysia
RB,RWB,LBMatthew Davies (Captain)2Malaysia
CB,RB,LBSaiful Nizam Miswan3Malaysia
CBAfif Amirudin4Malaysia
CBMuslim Ahmad20Malaysia
LB,LWBFaisal Rosli14Malaysia
LB,LM,CMZubir Azmi21Malaysia
LB,LWBR.Dinesh24Malaysia
CB,RBAshar Al-Aafiz30Malaysia
AM,CM,LMWan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria8Malaysia
CMNor Azam Abdul Azih11Malaysia
CM, RM, RWAhmad Syamim Yahya12Malaysia
AM,CM,LM,LWD. Saarvindran6Malaysia
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CMSalamon Raj15Malaysia
CMNurridzuan Abu Hassan23Malaysia
ST,RW,LWMohd Faisal Abdul Halim7Malaysia
AM,STKogileswaran Raj16Malaysia
RM,ST, RWAshari Samsudin26Malaysia
AM,ST, RWMohamadou Sumareh10The Gambia

Pemain Pahang FA 2017 Tok Gajah


          Hány ország van a földön?        
Elég gyakran felmerülő földrajzi kérdés, hogy tulajdonképpen hány ország van a földön, másként hány ország van a világon? Természetesen ezt nehéz pontosan megállapítani, hiszen ahogyan a történelmet figyelemmel kísérjük, rengeteg állam jött és jön is létre az évszázadok, olykor évtizedek alatt, éppen úgy, ahogyan egyesek megszűnnek vagy integrálódnak más országokba.

A legelfogadottabb és legmegbízhatóbb adatok szerint a világ jelenleg 196 országot különböztet meg bolygónkon.

Ezt az adatot, más megbízható adatok is alátámasztják, melyek jól feltérképezik a világ országait és ezzel együtt arra is rámutat, hogy mely országokat nem ismer el az adott szervezet, tehát kvázi mely országokat hagyja ki a számításából.

Ilyen például az Egyesült Nemzetek Szervezete (ENSZ), angol nevén United Nations, melynek 193 tagja van. Ellentétben a gyakori tévhittel, ez a szám nem reprezentálja a földön található összes országot. Nyilván való, hogy vannak az ENSZ-től elkülönülő független országok, ilyen például a Vatikán és Koszovó.

Az Egyesült Államok külügyminisztériuma 195 országot különböztet meg a világon. Ez a lista viszont politikai okokból nem ismeri el különálló országként Taiwant, mely 1971-ig az ENSZ-nek is tagja volt.

Érdemes megemlíteni a témával kapcsolatban, hogy vannak olyan tartományok, régiók, melyek bár a köztudatban gyakran országként jelennek meg, valójában nem rendelkeznek a független állam címével, illetve bizonyos irányítási szerepet más ország gyakorolja felettük. Erre kiváló példa Észak-Írország, Skócia, Wales, Anglia.

Biztosak vagyunk benne, hogy néhány olvasónkat egészen konkrétan érdekli, hogy mely országok tartoznak a nagy 196-os listába, ezért elkészítettük a listát az országokhoz tartozó fővárosokkal. Ne tévesszen meg senkit, hogy egy országhoz adott esetben több főváros is tartozik. Bizonyos országok több főváros kijelölésével oldják meg közigazgatási ügyintézésüket.

Afganisztán - Kabul
Albánia - Tirane
Algéria - Algiers
Andorra - Andorra la Vella
Angola - Luanda
Antigua és Barbuda - Saint John's
Argentína - Buenos Aires
Örményország - Yerevan
Ausztrália - Canberra
Ausztria - Vienna
Azerbajdzsán - Baku
Bahamák - Nassau
Bahrein - Manama
Banglades - Dhaka
Barbados - Bridgetown
Fehéroroszország - Minsk
Belgium - Brussels
Belize - Belmopan
Benin - Porto-Novo
Bhután - Thimphu
Bolívia - La Paz (közigazgatási); Sucre (bírói)
Bosznia és Hercegovina - Sarajevo
Botswana - Gaborone
Brazília - Brasilia
Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan
Bulgária - Sofia
Burkina Faso - Ouagadougou
Burundi - Bujumbura
Kambodzsa - Phnom Penh
Kamerun - Yaounde
Kanada - Ottawa
Zöld-foki-szigetek - Praia
Közép-afrikai Köztársaság - Bangui
Csád - N'Djamena
Chile - Santiago
Kína - Beijing
Kolumbia - Bogota
Comore-szigetek - Moroni
Kongói Köztársaság - Brazzaville
Kongói Demokratikus Köztársaság - Kinshasa
Costa Rica - San Jose
Cote d'Ivoire - Yamoussoukro (hivatalos); Abidjan (tényleges)
Horvátország - Zagreb
Kuba - Havana
Ciprus - Nicosia
Cseh Köztársaság - Prague
Dánia - Copenhagen
Dzsibuti - Djibouti
Dominika - Roseau
Dominikai Köztársaság - Santo Domingo
Kelet-Timor (Timor-Leste) - Dili
Ecuador - Quito
Egyiptom - Cairo
El Salvador - San Salvador
Egyenlítői Guinea - Malabo
Eritrea - Asmara
Észtország - Tallinn
Etiópia - Addis Ababa
Fidzsi - Suva
Finnország - Helsinki
Franciaország - Paris
Gabon - Libreville
Gambia - Banjul
Grúzia - Tbilisi
Németország - Berlin
Ghána - Accra
Görögország - Athens
Grenada - Saint George's
Guatemala - Guatemala City
Guinea - Conakry
Bissau-Guinea - Bissau
Guyana - Georgetown
Haiti - Port-au-Prince
Honduras - Tegucigalpa
Magyarország - Budapest
Izland - Reykjavik
India - New Delhi
Indonézia - Jakarta
Irán - Tehran
Irak - Baghdad
Írország - Dublin
Izrael - Jerusalem
Olaszország - Rome
Jamaica - Kingston
Japán - Tokyo
Jordánia - Amman
Kazahsztán - Astana
Kenya - Nairobi
Kiribati - Tarawa Atoll
Észak-Korea - Pyongyang
Dél-Korea - Seoul
Koszovó - Pristina
Kuvait - Kuwait City
Kirgizisztán - Bishkek
Laosz - Vientiane
Lettország - Riga
Libanon - Beirut
Lesotho - Maseru
Libéria - Monrovia
Líbia - Tripoli
Liechtenstein - Vaduz
Litvánia - Vilnius
Luxemburg - Luxembourg
Macedónia - Skopje
Madagaszkár - Antananarivo
Malawi - Lilongwe
Malajzia - Kuala Lumpur
Maldív-szigetek - Male
Mali - Bamako
Málta - Valletta
Marshall-szigetek - Majuro
Mauritánia - Nouakchott
Mauritius - Port Louis
Mexikó - Mexico City
Mikronéziai Szövetségi Államok - Palikir
Moldova - Chisinau
Monaco - Monaco
Mongólia - Ulaanbaatar
Montenegró - Podgorica
Marokkó - Rabat
Mozambik - Maputo
Mianmar (Burma) - Rangoon (Yangon); Naypyidaw or Nay Pyi Taw (közigazgatási)
Namíbia - Windhoek
Nauru - Nincs hivatalos főváros; A kormányzat Yaren tartományban található
Nepál - Kathmandu
Hollandia - Amsterdam; The Hague (a kormányzat helye)
Új-Zéland - Wellington
Nicaragua - Managua
Niger - Niamey
Nigéria - Abuja
Norvégia - Oslo
Omán - Muscat
Pakisztán - Islamabad
Palau - Melekeok
Panama - Panama City
Pápua Új-Guinea - Port Moresby
Paraguay - Asuncion
Peru - Lima
Fülöp-szigetek - Manila
Lengyelország - Warsaw
Portugália - Lisbon
Katar - Doha
Románia - Bucharest
Oroszország - Moscow
Ruanda - Kigali
Saint Kitts és Nevis - Basseterre
Santa Lucia - Castries
Saint Vincent és és a Grenadine-szigetek - Kingstown
Szamoa - Apia
San Marino - San Marino
São Tomé és Príncipe - Sao Tome
Szaúd-Arábia - Riyadh
Szenegál - Dakar
Szerbia - Belgrade
Seychelle-szigetek - Victoria
Sierra Leone - Freetown
Szingapúr - Singapore
Szlovákia - Bratislava
Szlovénia - Ljubljana
Salamon-szigetek - Honiara
Szomália - Mogadishu
Dél-Afrika - Pretoria (közigazgatási); Cape Town (törvényhozói); Bloemfontein (bírósági)
Dél-Szudán - Juba (Áthelyezve Ramciel-be)
Spanyolország - Madrid
Srí Lanka - Colombo; Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (törvényhozói)
Szudán - Khartoum
Suriname - Paramaribo
Szváziföld - Mbabane
Svédország - Stockholm
Svájc - Bern
Szíria - Damascus
Tajvan - Taipei
Tádzsikisztán - Dushanbe
Tanzánia - Dar es Salaam; Dodoma (törvényhozói)
Thaiföld - Bangkok
Togo - Lome
Tonga - Nuku'alofa
Trinidad és Tobago - Port-of-Spain
Tunézia - Tunis
Törökország - Ankara
Türkmenisztán - Ashgabat
Tuvalu - Vaiaku village, Funafuti province
Uganda - Kampala
Ukrajna - Kyiv
Egyesült Arab Emírségek - Abu Dhabi
Egyesült Királyság - London
Egyesült Államok - Washington D.C.
Uruguay - Montevideo
Üzbegisztán - Tashkent
Vanuatu - Port-Vila
Vatikán (Vatikánváros) (Holy See) - Vatican City
Venezuela - Caracas
Vietnam - Hanoi
Jemen - Sanaa
Zambia - Lusaka
Zimbabwe - Harare

          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

 

WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

gh/ha/bp

*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
 

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          PENGENDALIAN GENANGAN DI KAWASAN MONAS DENGAN SISTEM DRAINASE TERINTEGRASI        
Abstrak

Kota Administrasi Jakarta Pusat merupakan pusat dari Ibukota Negara dan sebagai kota Metropolitan, yang secara geografis 40% berada pada dataran rendah dengan elevasi di bawah  muka air laut sehingga sering terjadi genangan/ banjir. Ada beberapa titik lokasi yang telah diidentifikasi sebagai daerah yang rawan genangan, salah satunya adalah  kawasan Lapangan Monas. Untuk meniadakan/mengurangi genangan air di kawasan Monas, maka dilakukan kajian pengembangan sistem drainase dengan konservasi air tanah di kawasan tersebut.
Kajian pengembangan sistem drainase kawasan Monas dimulai dengan melakukan pengumpulan data pendukung analisis, yang meliputi data topografi, permeabilitas tanah, peta lay-out drainase eksisting, serta data hidrologi. Dari data-data tersebut dilakukan analisis hidrologi untuk memperkirakan hujan rencana, dan besarnya debit puncak, sebagai dasar untuk membuat desain saluran drainasi dan mengetahui kapasitas saluran di Kawasan Monas dalam mendrainase debit air banjir. Juga dilakukan analisis hidraulika untuk mengetahui keadaan aliran di saluran mikro, dan saluran penghubung, dan analisis kapasitas tampang saluran untuk menggambarkan lokasi di sistem drainase yang kurang mampu melewatkan air banjir.
Berdasarkan analisis data, dilakukan kajian pengembangan sistem drainase, di Kawasan Taman Monas meliputi desain saluran tambahan, pembuatan kolam tampungan air bawah tanah, dan penambahan/perbaikan tali air pada saluran eksisting. Saluran drainase yang dikembangkan dikoneksikan dengan saluran penghubung di sekitar Kawasan Monas, dan terkoneksi dengan sistem tampungan bawah tanah. Tandon air bawah tanah direncanakan dibuat dari struktur beton bertulang atau dengan alternatif penggunaan Harvesting-Tank yang didesain porus sehingga dapat memperbaiki infiltrasi air hujan masuk ke dalam tanah. Saluran drainase yang baru serta kolam tandon air ditempatkan di bawah tanah, ditutup dengan penutup berpori, dan ditimbun dengan tanah timbunan porous, sekaligus sebagai media tumbuh tanaman rumput.
Kata kunci: sistem drainase terintegrasi, tandon air, Harvesting-tank

1.      Pendahuluan
Permasalahan yang dihadapi Jakarta sebagai ibukota negara semakin berat dikarenakan adanya perluasan kota atau  proses urban sprawl  yang  merupakan bentuk bertambah luasnya kota secara fisik. Perluasan kota disebabkan oleh   perkembangnya penduduk dan semakin tingginya arus urbanisasi. Semakin bertambahnya penduduk kota menyebabkan semakin bertambahnya kebutuhan masyarakat terhadap perumahan, perkantoran, dan fasilitas sosial ekonomi lain. Urban sprawl terjadi dengan ditandai adanya alih fungsi lahan yang ada di sekitar kota (urban periphery) mengingat terbatasnya lahan yang ada di pusat kota. Urban sprawl merupakan salah satu bentuk perkembangan kota yang dilihat dari segi fisik seperti bertambahnya gedung secara vertikal maupun horisontal, bertambahnya jalan, tempat parkir, maupun saluran drainase kota. Dampak dari pemekaran kota adalah semakin berkurangnya lahan subur produktif pertanian sehingga mengancam swasembada pangan karena terjadi perubahan peruntukan lahan pertanian menjadi lahan terbangun. Disamping itu pemekaran kota yang tidak terkendali (unmanaged growth) menyebabkan morfologi kota yang tidak teratur, kekumuhan (slum), dan permukiman liar (squatter settlement) dan kini Jakarta dikenal sebagai kota Megapolitan secara berkelanjutan, dikhawatirkan dalam lima tahun ke depan Jakarta akan mengalami stagnasi, sehingga tidak ada lagi lahan yang bisa dibangun dan penduduk Jakarta akan sangat sulit bergerak. 
Dalam rangka menanggulangi permasalahan banjir, pada tahun 2007 Pemerintah Provinsi DKI Jakarta merumuskan fokus kerja pengelolaan tata guna air permukaan dan tata guna air tanah Provinsi DKI Jakarta yang tertuang dalam Rancangan Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Daerah (RPJMD) DKI Jakarta 2007-2012; Terdapat sepuluh fokus kerja pengelolaan tata air yang menjadi arahan kebijakan umum pembangunan daerah (Herawati S. 2010) :
(1).         Memperlambat aliran air dari hulu melalui pembangunan waduk ciawi, beberapa pintu air di Depok, dan sodetan Ciliwung-Cisadane.
(2).         Membangun sistem polder dan drainase.
(3).         Memperbaiki dan membangun tanggul untuk mengantisipasi kenaikan pasang laut.
(4).         Meninjau-ulang (review) masterplan pengendalian banjir.
(5).         Menertibkan dan menata sempadan kali, danau dan situ.
(6).         Menyelesaikan Banjir Kanal Timur dan normalisasi Banjir Kanal Barat.
(7).         Melakukan pengerukan muara, badan sungai, dan saluran yang menjadi tanggungjawab Provinsi DKI Jakarta.
(8).         Memelihara, meningkatkan dan membangun sarana pengendali banjir.
(9).         Menjalin kerjasama pengendalian banjir dengan Pemda Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, Cianjur (Bodetabekjur), & Pemerintah Pusat.
(10).      Mengefektifkan sistem peringatan dini.

Salah satu upaya yang menjadi cita-cita perbaikan sistem drainase tersebut adalah dengan memperbesar Ruang Terbuka Hijau dan Ruang Terbuka Biru. Kawasan Monas sebagai salah satu areal Ruang Terbuka Hijau tidak lepas dari permasalahan genangan. Kondisi saluran drainasi di sekeliling Taman Monas tidak dapat berfungsi maksimal, hal ini ditandai dengan adanya genangan/ banjir sering terjadi dan mengganggu, terutama pada daerah vital dan penting, seperti Lapangan Monas baik dari sisi Utara, Selatan, Barat, Atau Timur. Kawasan Taman Monas tidak mampu menampung limpasan air akibat curah hujan deras. Ketersediaan ruas taman yang sedianya dimaksudkan sebagai lahan resapan air tidak dapat berfungsi maksimal karena terjadinya pengerasan/sementasi tanah. Genangan air di kawasan ring satu atau seputar Istana Presiden saat hujan deras juga terjadi sebagai akibat dari hal tersebut. Gambar 1 menunjukkan kerapatan daerah tangkapan di Kawasan Monas, dan kondisi Kawasan Monas saat banjir.

Gambar 1 Kerapatan daerah tangkapan air dan Kejadian Banjir di Kawasan Monas.
Perencanaan teknis saluran membutuhkan aplikasi dari beberapa bidang ilmu yang harus saling melengkapi, baik dari bidang drainase, bangunan air, hidrolika, mekanika tanah, geodesi, maupun mekanikal dan elektrikal. Semua bidang tersebut harus mampu saling mendukung perencanaan teknis saluran, sehingga nantinya dapat tercipta suatu perencanaan yang sinkron dan sistematis sehingga mudah dalam pelaksanaan di lapangan.
Kota Jakarta yang semakin berkembang memiliki dampak positif dan negatif, dampak positif yang terjadi diantaranya adalah semakin berkembangnya laju perekonomian, namun disamping itu perkembangan Kota Jakarta juga memiliki dampak negatif, diantaranya adalah adanya keterbatasan lahan kosong sehingga lahan untuk tata air juga akan semakin berkurang. Untuk itu dibutuhkan suatu program kerja yang terpadu untuk mengatasi banjir/genangan dan membuat suatu perencanaan teknis saluran.

2.      Permasalahan Drainase di Kawasan Monas
Permasalahan genangan di Kawasan Monas menjadi sorotan dari berbagai pihak, mengingat daerah tersebut berada di jantung kota dan di pusat pemerintahan.Beberapa penyebab genangan/ banjir tersebut di Kawasan Monas teridentifikasi sebagai berikut :
·         Kapasitas saluran yang tidak memadai untuk mengalirkan air hujan terutama pada saat intensitas hujan tinggi. Disamping itu juga pemeliharaan saluran yang kurang baik, dimana banyak dijumpai sampah dalam saluran
·         Drainase yang tidak berwawasan lingkungan, ditambah dengan kondisi tanah yang tidak mampu meresapkan air.
·         Kurangnya tali-tali air yang berfungsi memaskkan air hujan ke dalam saluran
·         Terdapatnya endapan lumpur (sedimentasi) pada saluran-saluran mikro, penghubung, sub makro maupun makro.
·         Pengaruh pasang air laut yang berdampak pada efek pembendungan sehingga muka air di saluran primer relative tinggi.
·         Penurunan muka tanah dan adanya kenaikan muka air laut akibat “Global Warming”, dan sebagainya

3.      Perencanaan Teknis Sistem Drainase
Kondisi fisik Kawasan Monas
Beberapa penelitian tentang kondisi fisik di kawasan Monas untuk mendukung upaya perbaikan sistem drainase, diantaranya diuraikan sebagai berikut ini.
Jenis Tanah
Kondisi tanah di kawasan Monas dapat dikaji dari data hasil pemeriksaan laboratorium untuk sampel tanah yang diambil secara undisturbed, serta data permabilitas tanah dari hasil pengujian permeabilitas di laboratorium. Data kondisi tanah tersebut disajikan sebagai berikut ini.
Tabel 1 Data hasil Pengujian Laboratorium Mekanika Tanah

Sedangkan nilai permeabilitas tanah diberikan sebagai berikut ini.
Tabel 2 Data Permeabilitas Tanah
Diperlihatkan pada data tanah tersebut, jenis tanah di kawasan Monas berupa tanah lempung coklat dan abu-abu dengan nilai kohesi c antara 0,192 – 0,298 kg/cm2, dengan permeabilitas tanah antara (4,6 – 8,7) 10-7 cm/dt yang mengindikasikan juga jenis tanah lempung.  Dengan jenis tanah lempung tersebut, kemampuan tanah untuk meresapkan air sangat kecil sehingga fungsi Taman Monas sebagai kawasan resapan air tidak cukup optimal.
Penurunan muka air tanah dan Land Subsidence
Menurut data dari BPLHD, terjadi penurunan muka air tanah yang cukup signifikan, mencapai 10 – 40 m selama 45 tahun, atau sekitar 0,2 – 0,9 m/tahun. Untuk Kota Administrasi Jakarta Pusat, penurunan air tanah yang terjadi rata-rata sekitar 0,2-0,5 m/tahun. Penurunan muka air tanah diantaranya disebabkan oleh pengambilan air tanah oleh industri dan perkantoran yang melebihi imbuhan air ke dalam tampungan air tanah. Pengambialan air tanah di DKI saat ini mencapai 253 juta m3/th, defisit sekitar 67 juta m3/th terhadap ambang batas sebesar 186 juta m3/th. Imbuhan air tanah berasal dari air hujan, dimana per tahun rerata air hujan yang jatuh di DKI sekitar 2000 juta m3, 26% nya meresap mengisi air tanah dangkal. Dari 532 juta m3/th yang masuk ke tampungan air tanah dangkal tersebut, hanya 30 jt m3 yang mengisi tampungan air tanah dalam. Defisit air tanah tersebut berdampak pada terjadinya penurunan muka air tanah dan intrusi air asin.
Dengan penurunan muka air tanah tersebut, berdampak terjadinya land subsidence, yang menurut data dari JICA (1997), mencapai 5- 10 cm/tahun di DKI. Sedangkan intrusi air asin sudah masuk ke daratan sejauh 3 km di air tanah dangkal dan mencapai 10 km di air tanah dalam.

Analisis Hidrologi dan Hidraulika
Analisis hidrologi dimaksudkan untuk memperkirakan hujan rencana, dan besarnya debit puncak, sebagai dasar untuk perencanaan / desain saluran drainasi dan mengetahui kapasitas di saluran Kawasan Monas dalam mendrainase debit air banjir.
Di Provinsi DKI Jakarta terdapat 12 stasiun yang dikelola oleh Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisika, Jakarta. Data intensitas hujan dikumpulkan dari Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisika, Jakarta. Menurut studi sebelumnya oleh NEDECO (1973, 2005) dan JICA (1991), stasiun hujan No 27 di BMG Kemayoran, yang berada di tengah-tengah kota Jakarta dianggap dapat mewakili kondisi hujan di pusat Kota Jakarta, termasuk kawasan di wilayah studi yaitu Kawasan Monas. Dengan berdasarkan data hujan di stasiun No 27, dapat disusun Kurva intensitas-Frekuensi-Durasi (The Intensity-Duration-Frequency curve), IDF, yang digunakan untuk estimasi desain aliran pada saluran mikro, dan sub makro di wilayah DKI
Mengacu pada standar yang ada, untuk menghitung dimensi saluran digunakan periode kala ulang banjir 2 - 5 tahun untuk saluran mikro, 5 - 10 tahun saluran penghubung, dan untuk saluran sub makro, 10 - 25 tahun. Untuk saluran makro, didesain berdasarkan debit banjir kala ulang 50 tahun.
Intensitas Hujan
Intensitas hujan rancangan didapatkan dari lengkung IDF (Intensity Duration Frekuency), yang berupa grafik hubungan antara durasi hujan (t : menit) vs intensitas hujan ( I : mm/jam). Analisis IDF memerlukan analisis frekuensi dengan menggunakan seri data yang diperoleh dari rekaman data hujan Intensitas hujan rancangan merupakan intensitas hujan pada saat waktu puncak (tp) Intensitas hujan (mm/jam) dapat diturunkan dari data curah hujan harian (mm) secara empirik menggunakan metode mononobe.
Koefisien Limpasan (Run Off)
Koefisien runoff ditentukan berdasarkan tipe tata guna lahan pada daerah Catchment Area tersebut, dengan anggapan bahwa daerah tersebut sudah berkembang sepenuhnya sesuai rencana tata ruang wilayah kecamatan dari Dinas Tata Kota DKI Jakarta. Nilai koefisien limpasan pada lahan-lahan di Jakarta Pusat (termasuk Kawasan Monas) adalah merupakan daerah pemukiman padat dengan tingkat kerapatan bangunan sangat rapat, akan tetapi karena di Kawasan Monas tanah yang ada berupa lempung maka diambil nilai Cy = 0,60.  
 Daerah Tangkapan Air Saluran Drainase (Catchment)
Untuk mendapatkan daerah tangkapan air yang mewakili kenyataan di lapangan, maka digunakan data/informasi sebagai berikut ini
a.       Peta GIS yang terdiri atas layer kontur, jalan, sungai/saluran, bangunan, dan daerah genangan,
b.       File image hasil foto udara,
c.        Informasi lapangan,
d.       Hasil topografi survei saluran,
e.        Hasil studi yang ada
Perhitungan Debit Puncak Untuk Desain Saluran Drainase
Sesuai Acuan Desain, debit puncak untuk desain saluran drainase dihitung menggunakan formula rasional, yang banyak digunakan dalam rekayasa hidrologi, yang diberikan sebagai berikut:
Qy = 0.00278 Cy  Itc,y A
Analisis Hidraulika
Pada umumnya di saluran drainase pada saat kedalaman air normal maka profil aliran di saluran sangat menyerupai aliran seragam. Akan tetapi hal ini akan segera berubah akibat adanya ketidakteraturan setempat dari saluran akibat adanya gangguan (sedimentasi, vegetasi, sampah dll). Analisis kapasitas tampang merupakan salah satu bagian dari analisis hidraulika. Informasi yang diperoleh dari analisis kapasitas tampang menggambarkan tempat-tempat penting di sepanjang saluran yang kurang mampu melewatkan air. Informasi-informasi yang digunakan untuk analisis kapasitas tampang antara lain adalah luas tampang melintang saluran, kondisi dasar dan tebing saluran, dll.
Tabel 3 berikut ini memberikan hasil analisa hidraulika kapasitas saluran, yang disajikan bersama-sama dengan hasil hitungan debit 5 tahunan yang didrainase lewat saluran.

Tabel 3 Hasil kajian Debit banjir 5 Tahunan dan Desain Ukuran Saluran Drainase.

Sistem drainase kawasan Monas
Drainase yang sudah ada di Kawasan Taman Monas hanya di sekitar sisi Jalan Silang Monas dan acap kali tak mampu menampung limpahan air hujan dari berbagai tempat di taman. Pengembangan sistem drainase di Kawasan Taman Monas meliputi desain saluran tambahan, yang difungsikan untuk mendrainasi air hujan yang turun di taman untuk disalurkan ke saluran penghubung di sisi jalan silang dan saluran di sisi jalan di keliling luar Taman Monas (Jalan Merdeka Timur, Barat Utara dan Selatan). Disamping itu sistem saluran juga di kombinasikan dengan pembuatan kolam tampungan air bawah tanah, yang diharapkan dapat difungsikan sebagai tampungan retensi.

Pada Silang Monas Utara, sudah ada saluran eksisting di sisi jalan Silang Barat Laut dan Jalan Silang Timur Laut. Untuk pengembangan saluran drainase ini didesain beberapa saluran tambahan, seperti disajikan pada Tabel 1. Saluran drainase tambahan tersebut dikoneksikan dengan saluran eksisiting yang ada serta Saluran Penghubung yang mengelilingi Kawasan Monas. Disamping itu sistem saluran drainase tersebut dihubungkan dengan kolam retensi yang dibangun di bawah tanah. Lay-out sistem saluran serta penempatan kolam tandon air bawah tanah diberikan pada Gambar 2.
Struktur saluran didesain menggunakan U-Ditch dengan tutup berlubang, yang diharapkan air hujan disamping masuk saluran lewat tali-tali air, juga terinfiltrasi dan masuk saluran lewat tutup U-ditch. Pada Gambar 3 ditunjukkan Potongan Melintang Saluran A, dimana seluruh badan saluran ditempatkan di bawah muka tanah. Saluran U-ditch 0,80 x 0,80 ditutup dengan penutup berpori, dan ditimbun dengan tanah timbunan porous, sekaligus sebagai media tumbuh tanaman rumput. Diantara tutup U-ditch dan tanah timbunan dipasang lembaran geotextile. Untuk memasukkan air hujan ke saluran, pada tiap jarak 4,8 m (4 U-Ditch) dipasang tali air, dimana permukaan tali air dibuat di permukaan tanah. Saluran drainase di Kawasan Monas tersebut, disamping dikoneksikan dengan kolam bawah tanah, juga terhubung dengan saluran penghubung di sekitarnya, yaitu saluran penghubung di Jalan Merdeka Utara, Selatan, Barat dan Timur, untuk selanjutnya dialirkan ke saluran drainase Primer di Kali Cideng.
Dari kajian kondisi lapangan, teridentifikasi 10 lokasi yang memungkinkan untuk dibuat tandon air bawah tanah. Lokasi-lokasi tersebut dipilih dengan pertimbangan tidak ada tanaman besar yang ditebang untuk pembangunan kolam tersebut. Mengingat bagian selatan Tugu Monas dalam Masterplan Penataan Kawasan Monas direncanakan dibangun ruangan bawah tanah, maka dipilih 7 lokasi kolam saja yang direkomendasikan untuk dibuat, dimana dimensi kolam serta kapasitasnya diberikan pada Tabel 4. Pada tabel tersebut, disajikan juga volume air hujan yang turun di kawasan Taman Monas, dimana diperlihatkan bahwa tidak semua kolam di masing-masing bagian dapat mencukupi menampung air hujan yang turun, sehingga dalam desain koneksi antara saluran dan kolam perlu dilengkapi dengan pipa outlet yang dikoneksikan dengan sistem saluran drainase eksisting.

Tabel 4 Volume Air Hujan dan Kapasitas Kolam


        
Gambar 2. Lay-out penempatan Rencana Saluran dan Kolam Bawah Tanah




Gambar 3 Tipikal Saluran: U-Ditch (kiri), dengan Bak Kontrol (kanan) 



Gambar 4 Tipikal Kolam Bawah Tanah sebagai Badan Air di Bawah RTH, Struktur Beton
Tampak Lay-out (atas), Potongan (bawah)

Struktur kolam bawah tanah dapat juga digunakan bahan non-beton, sebagai alternatif, yaitu dengan menggunakan Versi-Tank. Contoh penggunaan Versi-Tank  untuk kolam retensi diberikan pada Gambar 5. Versi-Tank  ini terbuat dari recycled polypropylene, dengan kemampuan pembebanan lebih dari 11 t/m2.
Mengingat kondisi tanah di kawasan Monas yang berupa tanah lempung, kolam bawah tanah tersebut tidak efektif jika difungsikan sebagai kolam infiltrasi, akan tetapi berfungsi sebagai kolam retensi. Dari 7 kolam tersebut diperlukan dana konstruksi sebesar sekitar 16,3 Milyar Rupiah. Saat ini Ruang Terbuka Biru yang ada di DKI baru sekitar 2,8% dari kondisi ideal mencapai 10 %. Dengan adanya 7 kolam bawah tanah tersebut dapat menambah jumlah badan air yang ada di DKI, sekaligus memperbaiki Ruang Terbuka Hijau yang di Kawasan Monas tidak dapat berfungsi optimal sebagai areal resapan karena kondisi tanahnya yang tidak permeabel. Kolam awah tanah yang dibuat, disamping dimanfaatkan sebagai kolam retensi untuk mengurangi genangan, air yang tersimpan di kolam dapat dimanfaatkan untuk menyiram tanaman.
Gambar 5 Tipikal Kolam Bawah Tanah sebagai Badan Air di Bawah RTH, Alternatif dengan Versi-Tank
(sumber: PT. Trisigma Indonusa)

4.      Kesimpulan
 Dari kajian di atas, disimpulkan beberapa hal berikut ini:
1.       Genangan di Kawasan Taman Monas sering terjadi dikarenakan kemampuan sistem drainase eksising tidak mampu mendrainasi air hujan yang turun.
2.       Kondisi tanah yang berupa tanah lempung dengan nilai permeabilitas rendah, menyebabkan fungsi resapan kawasan Monas sebagai Ruang Terbuka Hijau tidak optimal.
3.       Dari Kajian data, untuk mengurangi dan mengendalikan genangan, diperlukan perbaikan sistem drainase eksisting, penambahan saluran drainase, serta pembuatan kolam bawah tanah
4.       Dua alternatif kolam bawah tanah diusulkan, yaitu kolam beton dan kolam dengan Versi-Tank. Keduanya diharapkan dapat berfungsi sebagai kolam retensi sehingga membantu mengurangi genangan dan memperbaiki fungsi Taman Monas sebagai Ruang Terbuka Hijau yang mampu meresapkan air.

DAFTAR PUSTAKA
Bapekota Jakarta Pusat,  2006.  Perencanaan Sistem Jaringan Drainase Perkotaan Berwawasan Lingkungan, Badan Perencanaan Kota Jakarta Pusat
Bataviase. co. Id, DPRD Minta Drainase Monas Diperbesar

Beritabatavia.com, 5 Okt 2010,  Drainase Monas Perlu Diperbaiki

Hermawati S. (2010), Evaluasi Kebijakan Ketertiban Umum dalam Pengelolaan Sungai dan Saluran untuk Penanggulangan Banjir, Disertasi, Program Pasca Sajana UNJ.
Indo Pos, 4 Maret 2010, Drainase Ring I Buruk Genangan di Kawasan Istana Presiden RI
Nursula Jaya Utama, PT. (2010),  Laporan Akhir, Perencanaan Teknis Sistem Drainase dan Konservasi di Kawasan Monas Sisi Barat, Timur, Selatan, dan Utara.
Pos Kota, 5 Maret 2010, DKI Bangun Penampungan Air Bawah Tanah di Monas
          Horror Headlines: Monday March 23rd, 2009        
On this day in history: 

1989: A 1000-foot diameter asteroid misses the Earth by only 500,000 miles. (Astronomers did not see it until it passed.)

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News Bullet: 

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This is a teaser for "Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash: The Nightmare Warriors #1 and it's pretty kick ass. Just think, instead of the remakes we could be seeing this action on the big screen. Such a shame.

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Variety reports on why the original poster for Park Chan-Wook's "Thirst" was banned in his native Korea. You can take a look at the comparison at the link. The original is a little sexier, but the revamped version actually turned out visually more interesting. Go figure?

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          Roots: The Story of Kunta Kinte        

So why is Kunta Kinte important you may ask?

The search to learn more about his family’s history led Alex Hayley to write a book and produce a movie known as Roots. The story of Kunta Kinte, begins with Kinte's birth in 1750 in Juffure, Gambia. Captured as a teenager by slave traders he journeys to the United States via the middle passage. This is basically the Atlantic Slave Trade route.





Along the way, many of his companions die of sickness and mistreatment and poor treatment.





After he arrives in the United States, he is bought as a worker for a plantation in Virginia, and is given the name Toby.

Kunta is repeatedly punished for not responding to Toby, and tried to escape several times. When he is caught for the fourth time, his foot is chopped off so that he can no longer run. Kunta is eventually sold off to another owner where he is married to a woman named Kizzy.

When Kizzy is sold, she has a son, named George, by her new master. George becomes "Chicken George, because of his cockfighting skills. He eventually buys his freedom, which paves the way for the rest of the family to live out of slavery.

It's is this lineage that leads up to Alex Haley writing the now famous story of   "Roots".


Sources: http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/slvtrade.htm


          The Slave Trade        
Around twelve million Africans were transported across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Western Hemisphere from 1450 to 1850...around 400 years. This was known as the Atlantic Slave Trade.




Alex Hayley's research identified one ship in particular Lord Ligionier  which sailed from the Gambia River with 140 Gambians. When the boat arrived in North America there were only 98 survivors left. Hayley believed one of these survivors to be 17-year old Kunta Kinte. Kinte along with the other 97 survivors were sold into slavery on October 7 according to the Maryland Gazette newspaper:


Sources:http://www.kintehaley.org/rootskintebio.html
                  
Who is Kunta Kinte?


According to kintehaley.org Kunta Kinte was an African from the Gambian town of Juferee. According to Haley he was sold into slavery in a town called "Naplis."

Through his research Haley identified a slave ship the Lord Ligonier. This ship sailed from the Gambia River, July 5, 1767. 140 captured Gambians were on this ship however, when it arrived in Annapolis, Maryland on September 29, 1767 only 98 slaves had survived the trip

Hayley believed one of those 98 survivors to be 17 year-old Kunta Kinte. Kinte, along with the other survivors were sold into slavery on October 7, according to an advertisement in the Maryland Gazette newspaper.







(image courtesy of: http://www.kintehaley.org/rootskintebio.html)




The transport of Africans from Africa to North America was known as the Atlantic Slave Trade.
During this era around twelve million Africans were transported across the Atlantic to the Western Hemisphere in the 400 years from 1450 to 1850.






 Slaves went through what was known as the horrors of the "Middle Passage" — the Atlantic crossing in which Africans were packed into the holds of ships for months, many dying along the way.










          Inteligência        
Saiba o que define a inteligência de uma pessoa:

O que faz uma pessoa se mais inteligente que outra? Quais são os limites do cérebro? Dá para aumentar o oder da sua mente? Você vai ver as respostas para essas e outras questões nas próximas 20 páginas. E a viagem começa com a pergunta fundamental: o que é a inteligência?

Ganhar uma partida de xadrez, escrever um romance, compor uma sinfonia, convencer uma multidão, contar a piada perfeita. São coisas que vêm tão rápido à mente quando se fala de inteligência quanto a imagem de um relógio se movendo ao pensarmos no tempo. Mas experimente gastar um ou dois minutos refletindo sobre o que há de comum entre essas habilidades. De uma hora para outra, a idéia clara que se tem da inteligência começa a se dissipar. Quanto mais se pensa, mais parece não haver ligação direta entre raciocínio matemático, criação de personagens e melodias ou talento para persuasão e comédia. Refletir sobre a inteligência desse ponto de vista gera uma sensação semelhante à que temos ao ouvir a pergunta “O que é o tempo?” Antes da pergunta, sabemos exatamente o que é. Depois dela, não sabemos mais. Se quisermos entender o que é a inteligência, é preciso contornar esse tipo dificuldade. E uma boa estratégia para isso é ir direto à fonte: entender o cérebro.

Agora mesmo uma tempestade elétrica se alastra pelo 1,4 quilo de massa gelatinosa aí atrás da sua testa. É esse movimento caótico de sinais por uma rede de 100 bilhões de neurônios que produz seus pensamentos. Das profundezas desse órgão, surge o que chamamos de inteligência. Mas, se você pensa que o processador de informações mais avançado do Universo foi projetado de um jeito elegante, está enganado. O cérebro humano é uma obra feita nas coxas.

Uma obra que começou em vermes microscópicos, quando um punhado de células especializadas em enxergar se juntou numa das extremidades do bicho. Foi assim que surgiu o ancestral daquilo a que chamamos cabeça: um mero receptáculo de células nervosas responsáveis por captar luz e mover o animal. Com o tempo, essa massa de neurônios, e a complexidade com a qual eles se conectam, cresceu. E aconteceu um milagre. Animais que reagiam automaticamente a estímulos exteriores passaram a se comportar de um jeito mais complexo e imprevisível. Em vez de responder cegamente a qualquer estímulo, começaram a repetir apenas os movimentos mais eficazes na luta pela sobrevivência – por exemplo: em vez de caçar qualquer coisa que se mexesse, passaram a selecionar suas presas entre as mais nutritivas e fáceis de abater. Esse talento para identificar acertos é a origem daquilo que chamamos aprendizagem.

As vantagens que ela trouxe lançaram os seres vivos numa corrida em busca do maior e mais versátil cérebro. Mas os organismos que entraram na disputa enfrentaram um sério problema. Na evolução biológica, é impossível traçar um plano novo de construção de órgão do zero, pois herdamos as instruções básicas para a obra que estão nos genes dos nossos pais. O resultado disso é que o cérebro foi crescendo meio no improviso, com “puxadinhos” se amontoando a partir de uma estrutura básica. Essa é a verdadeira história do cérebro: uma sucessão de gambiarras bem-feitas. E nem precisamos ir longe para entender isso. Quem tenta se concentrar em fazer uma prova, mas ao mesmo tempo não consegue tirar os olhos da(o) mocinha(o) ao lado experimenta sentimentos e pensamentos tão pouco relacionados que aparentam ter sido juntados aleatoriamente uns com os outros. Foram mesmo. “Existe uma série imperfeita de conexões entre os sistemas cognitivos e emocionais”, afirma o neurocientista Joseph Le Doux. “Essa situação é parte do preço que pagamos por termos capacidades que ainda não foram plenamente integradas ao nosso cérebro.”

Quantas são essas capacidades e como elas se relacionam são questões centrais para definir o que é a inteligência, mas ninguém ainda tem uma resposta exata para elas. Se você está em busca de um meio objetivo de medir a inteligência, será obrigado a deixar o cérebro de lado e estudar uma área com mais de um século de tradição: a psicometria.

O tamanho da inteligência:

Paris, começo do século 20. O psicólogo Alfred Binet recebe uma tarefa do ministro da Educação da França: encontrar um meio de prever quais crianças vindas do interior do país teriam mais possibilidade de enfrentar dificuldades na escola – o governo queria oferecer educação especial a elas. Em 1905, ele publica um teste de raciocínio verbal e matemático, com questões que testam a memória e o potencial de resolver problemas de lógica. O objetivo de Binet era medir a capacidade de compreensão pura e simples, não o conhecimento prévio, colocando em pé de igualdade crianças que só sabiam capinar mato com as que recitavam Shakespeare. Pouco depois, o alemão Wilhelm Stern criou um sistema de pontuação-padrão para o teste e lhe deu o nome de Intelligenz-Quotient. Nascia o método mais-bem sucedido da história para medir a inteligência: o famoso teste de QI. E ele revolucionaria o que entendemos como inteligência. Até então a maior parte dos estudiosos entendia o nosso intelecto a partir do conceito da tabula rasa, – a idéia do filósofo John Locke de que a mente humana é uma folha em branco que vai sendo preenchida durante a vida. Com a adoção dos testes de QI, esse ponto de vista perdeu terreno – afinal, se uma criança semi-analfabeta podia apresentar um QI maior que uma instruída, essa história de folha em branco era uma furada. E a inteligência passou a ser considerada cada vez mais como algo inato, como um mero produto do que está escrito nos genes. “O fato de que a maior questão atual sobre inteligência é se o QI depende 50% ou 80% dos genes mostra o quanto o debate mudou”, afirma o geneticista Marc McGull.

Mas, afinal, como uma característica que parece depender tanto do aprendizado pode estar definida ainda antes do nascimento? Na verdade, logo ao nascer a relação entre o QI e nossos genes não é assim tão evidente. Apenas 20% da inteligência dos bebês pode ser prevista a partir de fatores genéticos (é o que mostra estudos com pais e filhos). Só que, quanto mais passa o tempo, mais aumenta o poder de previsão deles. Na infância, ele sobe para 40%. Na fase adulta, decola para 60%. E após a meia-idade pode chegar a 80%. Esses dados mostram que os genes responsáveis pela inteligência podem ser vistos como uma espécie de balde, e o aprendizado durante a vida como a água que enche o balde. Ter mais educação vai levar você mais rápido a encher o balde de água. Mas, caso ele seja muito raso, não vai adiantar jogar muita água lá. Ou seja: nem toda a educação do mundo poderá tornar realmente brilhante alguém que nasceu com a inteligência apagada. Só que esse efeito tem um lado positivo: se você tiver vocação genética para ser um físico quântico ou coisa que o valha, tem como conseguir isso mesmo sem ter tido uma instrução boa na infância. Mas até que ponto o QI pode mesmo determinar a capacidade da mente?

Mil e uma habilidades:

Alguns psicólogos acham que não, os testes de QI não dizem grande coisa. Uma importante ruptura veio com o livro Inteligência Emocional, do psicólogo Daniel Goleman. Ele ressaltou que habilidades como regular os próprios sentimentos, compreender emoções alheias, ser capaz de trabalhar em grupo e sentir empatia pelos outros eram completamente ignoradas nos testes de QI. O que não fazia sentido, já que essas habilidades deveriam fazer parte daquilo que chamamos de inteligência. Outra ofensiva veio do psicólogo Howard Gardner, autor da Teoria das Inteligências Múltiplas. Ele inspirou-se no modo como a neurociência vê o cérebro hoje: um conjunto de vários módulos distintos, ou “puxadinhos”, que evoluíram separadamente e hoje funcionam como processadores para funções específicas. Com isso em mente, Gardner concluiu que a inteligência não é um conceito único, indivisível, mas uma soma de várias habilidades – como raciocínio lógico-matemático, lingüístico, espacial, musical, intrapessoal, interpessoal, motor e naturalista (veja nas páginas anteriores o que é o quê).

Assim, a idéia de colocar um Stephen Hawking, um Ronaldinho Gaúcho e uma Hebe Camargo em pé de igualdade no quesito inteligência deixou de soar estranha. Pela teoria de Gardner, cada um deles pode ser considerado especialista em um tipo de habilidade (respectivamente, a lógico-matemática, a motora e a interpessoal). E por isso não daria para considerar qualquer um deles menos genial que o outro.

Talvez por parecer mais democrática que os testes de QI, a idéia de Gardner se tornou extremamente popular desde que foi publicada, em 1983. Tanto que hoje é senso comum achar que ela está certa, e que o quociente de inteligência tradicional ficou ultrapassado. Mas no meio acadêmico é diferente: a Teoria das Inteligências Múltiplas ainda é vista como um patinho feio e enfrenta muitas críticas. Principalmente porque nem Gardner nem ninguém sabe ao certo como medir cada uma dessas habilidades que formariam a inteligência. “Não fica claro se o conceito de inteligência de Gardner mede mais traços de personalidade e habilidades motoras que faculdades mentais de fato”, afirma Linda S. Gottfredson, professora de estudos educacionais da Universidade de Delaware.

Ela é um dos muitos entusiastas do fator “g” (de “inteligência geral”). Segundo essa teoria, baseada em estatísticas, a idéia de que várias habilidades cognitivas estejam disseminadas uniformemente pela população é falsa. Ou seja, não existem muitas pessoas excelentes em cálculo e ao mesmo tempo péssimas em redigir textos, ou com bom ouvido musical e pouca inteligência interpessoal. Se uma pessoa for boa em qualquer dessas habilidades, tende a ser boa também nas outras.

Essa essência da teoria do fator g, porém, não é nova. Ela está por trás da própria idéia do QI . Tudo bem que os testes não medem coisas como coordenação motora, mas é verdade que eles avaliam tipos diferentes de raciocínio (para entender melhor, faça um teste parecido a partir da página 76). E a pontuação final vai levar em conta o seu desempenho em todos eles. Além disso, dá para comparar milhares de resultados de épocas e lugares diferentes, o que dá uma bela base estatística se o ponto é saber qual é o tamanho da sua inteligência em relação à dos outros. Então, mesmo com suas limitações, os testes tradicionais continuam sendo quase unanimidade no meio científico. “Ninguém duvida de que eles não avaliam todos os aspectos importantes das funções mentais – não medem a criatividade ou a sabedoria, por exemplo. Mas o ponto é que isso não é o mesmo que afirmar que eles não servem para nada”, afirma o psicólogo Ian J. Deary.

Mesmo assim, a necessidade de expandir o conceito de inteligência para além das fronteiras dos testes de QI continua. Afinal, pouca gente duvida de que a criatividade, algo muito difícil de medir objetivamente, é um inegável sinal de inteligência. Diante dessa espécie de tilt dos testes mentais, o que dá para fazer? Com a palavra Howard Gardner: “Nós, psicólogos, não somos mais os donos da inteligência, se é que algum dia já fomos. O que significa ser inteligente é uma questão filosófica profunda, que exige base em biologia, física e matemática”. Ou seja, exige que voltemos ao lugar onde começamos essa história: para dentro do cérebro.

Inteligência = demência?

Para muitos neurologistas, a inteligência é só um sinal de que você tem um cérebro com a “fiação” bem conectada. Quanto mais saudável ele for, mais coisas extraordinárias vai fazer. Mas espere aí. Às vezes o que acontece é justamente o contrário. É o que mostra um experimento sem paralelo que acontece na Austrália: pesquisadores lançam pulsos eletromagnéticos no crânio de pessoas para desligar partes do cérebro e observar o que acontece com as capacidades cognitivas. E o resultado é espantoso: as cobaias humanas começam a desenhar melhor, ter memória mais rápida, mais habilidade musical ou um raciocínio numérico mais apurado. A questão é: se partes do cérebro estão sendo desligadas, por que a mente parece funcionar melhor, e não pior? Se está interessado em saber a resposta, basta virar esta página. Vai conhecer os cérebros mais fascinantes do planeta, verdadeiros telescópios para decifrar o que é a inteligência.

Manual do QI:

O quociente de inteligência é relativo: se você tira 100 num teste, significa que o seu está na média de todas as pessoas que fizeram a mesma prova. Mas cada teste usa uma escala diferente, então um QI de 142 em um pode significar 132 pontos em outro. A Mensa, uma “sociedade de gênios” em que só pode entrar quem tiver QI superior ao de 98% da população, costuma estipular 150 como QI de corte. Se você quiser entrar para um grupo desses e tiver bala na agulha, tem uma solução: viajar no tempo. A média nos testes aumenta 25 pontos a cada geração – o psicólogo americano James R. Flynn, que detectou o fenômeno, credita isso a melhorias na alimentação e na infra-estrutura básica nos últimos 100 anos. Isso significa que um sujeito normal de hoje teria QI de gênio nos anos 50. Tire o DeLorean da garagem!

[Fonte: Super Arquivo - por Texto Rodrigo Rezende]

A mente multiplicada:

A Teoria das Inteligências Múltiplas é um desafio à idéia de que o QI representa uma medida direta da inteligência. Segundo o psicólogo Howard Gardner, a nossa inteligência é o resultado de 8 processadores mentais diferentes dentro do cérebro, cada um deles responsável por uma habilidade:

Lógico-matemática:

É a habilidade de resolver problemas a partir da lógica, realizar operações matemáticas e investigar questões científicas. Bastante desenvolvida em cientistas.

Lingüística:

Sensibilidade para língua falada e escrita, capacidade para aprender línguas e de usar a lábia para alcançar os próprios objetivos. Encontrada em escritores, locutores e advogados.

Musical:

Semelhante à inteligência lingüística, só que relacionada a sons. É a habilidade de compor e apreciar padrões musicais. Bastante rica em compositores, cantores, dançarinos e maestros.

Espacial:

Habilidade de reconhecer e manipular padrões no espaço. É útil para quem trabalha com a coordenação motora e tem de compreender o mundo visual. Bem desenvolvida em arquitetos.

Físico-cinestésica:

É o tipo de inteligência usada para resolver problemas e executar movimentos complexos com o próprio corpo. Você a encontra em dançarinos, mímicos e esportistas.

Interpessoal:

É a capacidade de entender as intenções dos outros. Bastante necessária a quem coordena e executa trabalhos em grupo. É encontrada em vendedores, políticos, professores, clínicos e atores.

Intrapessoal:

É a habilidade de olhar para dentro de si mesmo e entender as próprias intenções, objetivos e emoções. Necessária para encontrar erros no próprio raciocínio. Presente em psicólogos, filósofos e cientistas.

Naturalista:

É a sensibilidade para perceber e organizar fenômenos e padrões da natureza, como a diferença entre plantas quase idênticas. Costuma ser encontrada em biólogos e membros de tribos indígenas.

Para saber mais:

A Inteligência – Um Conceito Reformulado - Howard Gardner, Objetiva, 1999.


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           Clustering of haemagglutinin gene sequences of measles viruses isolated in the Gambia         
UNSPECIFIED. (1997) Clustering of haemagglutinin gene sequences of measles viruses isolated in the Gambia. VIRUS RESEARCH, 48 (2). pp. 125-131. ISSN 0168-1702
          Gambia: la Timeline delle elezioni        
La situazione in Gambia sembra stia facendo precipitare in queste ore il paese in una guerra, frutto della, per ora, insistenza del Presidente Yahja Jammeh a non voler lasciare il proprio posto di potere nonostante le elezioni perse a Dicembre. L’1 Dicembre 2016 si sono tenute infatti nello stato le elezioni presidenziali, di cui vi […]
          ANEXOS        
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Constitución

Constitución (ciencia política), ley fundamental, escrita o no, de un Estado soberano, establecida o aceptada como guía para su gobernación. La constitución fija los límites y define las relaciones entre los poderes legislativo, ejecutivo y judicial del Estado, estableciendo así las bases para su gobierno. También garantiza al pueblo determinados derechos. La mayoría de los países tienen una constitución escrita. La de Gran Bretaña, encarnada en numerosos documentos (por ejemplo, la Carta Magna) y el derecho consuetudinario que definen las relaciones de los ciudadanos con la Corona, el Parlamento y los tribunales, no está escrita, pese a que, en muchas ocasiones, se ha postulado su redacción para que Gran Bretaña disponga de un texto análogo al de la gran mayoría de estados.


Las constituciones pueden clasificarse mediante varios criterios: si están protegidas contra enmiendas (constituciones blindadas), si presentan una clara separación de poderes, si las disposiciones pueden ponerse en vigor mediante revisión de la actuación del ejecutivo o del legislativo, si establecen un Estado unitario o federado, etc. Las constituciones escritas están asociadas históricamente al liberalismo político y a la Ilustración. Tal es el caso de la historia del constitucionalismo español. Muchos estados autoritarios y totalitarios poseen unas elaboradas constituciones, pero, en la práctica, no tienen vigor para ser respetadas por el gobierno en el poder, que siempre puede no acatarlas, suspenderlas o invalidarlas.


Constituciones en el mundo
Constituciones vigentes en el mundo





1. Afganistán: 1987 .suspendía tras el golpe fundamentalista al gobierno marxista en 1992
2. Albania : 39 de abril de 1991
3. Alemania: ley fundamental. promulgada en 1949
4. Andorra : 1983
5. Angola: noviembre de 1975. modifica en 1976,1980,1991
6. antigua y barbuda: noviembre de 1981
7. Arabia saudita: desde el 1 de marzo de 1992 , el gobierno monárquico absolutista se rige por intermedio del sistema básico gubernamental
8. Argelia : febrero de 1989
9. argentina : 1853. modificada en 1860,1866,1898y 1994
10. Armenia: en 1993 entro en vigencia una nueva constitución
11. Australia : 1 de enero de 1901
12. Austria:1920 .enmendada en 1929
13. Azerbaiján: se prepara una constitución dentro del sistema autoritario que impera en el es país islámico
Bahamas : 10 de julio de 1973.
14. Bahrein : 1973, bajo la monarquía absolutista
15. Bangla Desh: es enmendada e 1973,74,75,77,79,81.88.89 y 91
16. barbados : 30 de noviembre de 1966
17. belarus: se redacta una nueva constitución
18. Bélgica: 1831.enmendada varias veces y revisadas en 1949 y 1971
19. Belice: 21 de septiembre de 1981
20. Benín: el dictador Kereskou al abandonar el marxismo establece una constitución el 2 de diciembre de 1990 .propiciando el multipartidismo por primera vez
21. bhutan : 1953
22. Bolivia 1967
23. bophuthatswana : se rige por la constitución de Sudáfrica
24. Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1974.Modifica en 1989,90,91
25. Botswana: 30 de septiembre de 1966.En una de las pocas democracias del África
26. brasil: 5 de octubre de 1988.la primera constitución , en un gobierno civil en 24 años
27. Brunei darussalam :1959. algunos preceptos fueron suspendidos en 1962 , por el reino absolutista mas rico del mundo
28. Bulgaria :13 de junio de 1991 , ante la caída del viejo régimen marxista pro soviético y la instauración del pluripartidismo
29. burkina faso: con el establecimiento del multipartidismo se consolida una nueva constitución el 11 de junio de 1991
30. Burundi : 13 de marzo de 1992.suspendida por el golpe militar de 1993 que derroco al primer presidente civil .Melchior Ndadaye en plena vigencia
31. cabo verde : 7 de septiembre de 1980 modificada en septiembre de 1990
32. Camboya : 27 de junio de 1981. modificada por el régimen pro soviético de Samrin en 1989
33. Camerún : aprobada en 1996
34. canada : acta constitucional de 1982
35. ciskei : suspendida por el nuevo régimen militar en 1990
36. Colombia : 6 de julio de 1991
37. congo: al establecerse e nuevo sistema multipartidista , se redacto una nueva constitución en 1992
38. corea del norte : la constitución del 27 de diciembre de 1972
39. corea del sur: 25 de febrero de 1988
40. costa rica : 7 de noviembre 1949
41. cote d” Ivoire: (antes costa de marfil ) 31 de octubre de 1960. modificada por el presidente vitalicio Houphoner
43.Croacia: Diciembre de 1990
44. Cuba: 1976
45. Chad: Aprobada en 1996
46. Chile: 1980, Enmendada en 1989
47. Chipre Septentrional: 5 de mayo de 1985, aprobada por referéndum
48. Chipre, 16 de Agosto de 1960
49. Dinamarca, 5 de junio de 1953
50. Djibouti, 1991 y 1984. Leyes constitucionales realizadas pro la dictadura de Aptidón.
51. Dominica: 3 de noviembre de 1978
52. Ecuador: 10 de Agosto de 1978
53. Egipto: 11 de Septiembre de 1971
54. El Salvador: 20 de Diciembre de 1983, modificada en 1991.
55. Emiratos Árabes unidos: Siembre de 1971, en provisional establecido por la monarquía absolutista.
56. Eritrea: El país más joven de la tierra esta redactando su primera constitución bajo el gobierno provisional de Osaías Afwerki, Ex líder de la guerrilla del Frente de Liberación popular de la Eritrea (FLPE).
57. Eslovaquia: El país más joven de Europa se rige bajo la misma constitución de la Republica Checa creada el primero de enero de 1993, ambos estados pertenecían a la antigua Checoslovaquia
58. Eslovenia, Diciembre de 1991
59. España, 29 de diciembre de 1978
60. Estado Vaticano, no hay constitución,(Ley fundamental) 2001
61. Estados unidos, 1787, tiene 26 enmiendas
62. Estonia, una nueva constitución fue sometida a referéndum el 28 de junio de 1992, el país Báltico fue uno de los primeros en independizarse y establecer el sistema multipartidista.
63. Etiopía, promulgada en 1994
64. Fiji: 25 de julio de 1990
65. filipinas: El régimen democrática Corazón Aquino estableció una nueva constitución el 2 de febrero de 1987, que fue sometida a referéndum.
66. Finlandia: 17 de Julio de 1979
67. Francia: 6 de octubre de 1958
68. Gabón: 21 de febrero de 1961, modificada por Omar Gongo, uno de los dictadores mas antiguos del mundo en 1967-1975-1981-1986-1990.
69. Gambia: 24 de abril de 1990 , enmendada en 1982 por el régimen democrático de Dawda K. Jawara.
70. Georgia: Aprobada en 1995
71. Ghana: Marzo de 1992, el nuevo régimen democrático somete a referéndum la nueva constitución.
72. Granada: 1974 fue suspendida por el golpe marxista de 1979 y reestablecida en 1984, luego de la invasión norteamericana.
73. Grecia: Válida desde 1986
74.Guatemala: 14 de enero de 1985
75. Guinea Bissau: 16 de mayo de 1984, bajo la dictadura izquierdista de Luis Cabral y modificada en 1991 por su seguidor Joao Vieira.
76. Guinea Ecuatorial: Obiang Nguema establece una nueva constitución en noviembre de 1991 y es sometida a consulta popular.
77. Guinea: 23 de diciembre de 1991
78. Guyana: El régimen izquierdista de Forbes Burham establece una nueva constitución el 6 de octubre de 1980 y modificada en 1988 por sucesor Desmond Hoyte
79. Haiti. 1987
80. Honduras: Noviembre de 1982,
81. Hungría: 18 de Agosto de 1989. Modificada en 1972, 1983, 1989.
82. India: 26 de Enero de 1950, Modificada en 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1992 en la democracia más grande del mundo.
83. Indonesia, agosto de 1945, modificada en 1969 por régimen autoritario más antiguo del mundo del dictador Suharto.
84. Irak: 22 de septiembre de 1968, enmendada en 1969,1970, 1973, y 1974 de manera provisional.
85. Iran: Creada por el gobierno fundamentalista islámico del desaparecido Ayatollah Khomeini en diciembre de 1979, enmendada en 1989.
86. Irlanda del Sur: 29 de Diciembre de 1937
87. Islandia: 17 de junio de 1944
88. Islas Camoras: 7 de junio 1992
89. Islas Marianas del norte: 1986
90. Islas Marshall: 1 de mayo de 1979
91. Islas Micronesia: 10 de mayo de 1979
92. Islas Palau: 1 de enero de 1981
93. Islas Salomón: 7 de julio de 1978
94. Israel: No existe constitución política como tal sino un conjunto de leyes; desde 1950 se han incorporado durante un periodo no específico.
95. Italia: 1 de enero de 1948
96. Jamaica: 6 de Agosto de 1962, conjuntamente con la independencia nacional
97. Japón: 3 de noviembre de 1946. En vigor en mayo de 1947.
98. Jordania: 1 de enero de 1952, enmendada en 1974, 1976 y 1984.
99. Katar: 2 de abril de 1970, creada por la monarquía Absolutista con carácter provisional.
100. Kazajstán: Aprobada en 1995
101. Kenya : 12 de diciembre de 1963, enmendada en 1982, 1986, 1991 durante los gobiernos autoritarios de Jommo Kenyata y Danieal Arap Moi.





Las 10 Constituciones mas jóvenes del mundo

1) Chad: 1996
2) Camerún: 1996
3) Sudáfrica: 1996
4) Georgia: 1995
5) Armenia: 1995
6) Kazajstan:1995
7) Malwi:1994
8) Bielorusia:1994
9) Lusemburgo: 1994
10) Rusia: 1993








No Existen constituciones en los siguientes países

1) Israel
2) Nueva Zelanda
3) Reino Unido (Escocia, Inglaterra, Gales, Irlanda del Norte)
4) San Marino
5) Vaticano
6) Bhutan
7) Omán
8) Somalia




Se han suspendido las funciones de la Constitución en los siguientes países

1) Afganistán: Tras el derrumbe del gobierno marxista en 1992.
2) Togo: El régimen autoritario de Eyadema la suspendió en 1991, tras los disturbios políticos que reclaman mayor para el multipartidismo al igual que otros países africanos.
3) Sudán: El nuevo régimen fundamentalista, que llegó vía golpe militar en 1989, suspendió la constitución de 1985 y ahora se rige a base de leyes coránicas.
4) Venda: El nuevo régimen castrense de 1990 con apoyo de Sudáfrica suspendieron la constitución.
5) Ciskei: Los golpistas militares que asumieron el gobierno en 1990 con apoyo de Sudáfrica suspendieron la Constitución.
6) Myanmar: El régimen castrense que asumió el poder en 1998 prohibió la constitución de 1974.
7) Burundi: Los golpistas que llegaron al poder a finales de 1993 y derrocaron la primera democracia del país, suspendieron la constitución de marzo de 1992
8) Transkei: Los golpistas encabezados por el general Bantu Holomisa suspendieron la constitución de 1987.
          African Players with 10+ Goals in European Leagues - 2013/2014        
African players that scored 10 or more goals in top division European leagues in the 2013/2014 season.

Algeria
16 - El Arbi Hillel Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb: Croatia)

Angola
13 - Igor Vetokele (København: Denmark)

Cameroon
16 - Vincent Aboubakar (Lorient: France)
13 - Leandre Tawamba Kana (MFK Ružomberok: Slovakia)
11 - Mbilla Etame (Khazar Lankaran FK: Azerbaijan)
11 - Leonard Kweuke (Rizespor: Turkey)
10 - Maxim Choupo-Moting (Mainz: Germany)

Cape Verde Islands
11 - Garry Rodrigues (Levski Sofia: Bulgaria)
10 - Héldon (Sporting CP: Portugal)

Central African Republic
13 - Mouhamadou Habibou (KAA Gent: Belgium)

Comoros
15 - El Fardou Ben Nabouhane (Veria: Greece)

Congo
14 - Francis Litsingi (FK Teplice: Czech Republic)
10 - Prince Oniangué (Reims: France)

Côte d'Ivoire
20 - Yaya Touré (Manchester City: England)
18 - Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow: Russia)
17 - Wilfried Bony (Swansea City: England)
16 - Salomon Kalou (Lille: France)
15 - Serge Deblé (FC Shirak: Armenia)
12 - Yannick Boli (Zorya Luhansk: Ukraine)
10 - Didier Drogba (Galatasaray: Turkey)

DR Congo
13 - Dieumerci Mbokani (Dynamo Kyiv: Ukraine)

Gabon
13 - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund: Germany)

Gambia
11 - Demba Savage (HJK: Finland)

Ghana
10 - David Accam (Helsingborg: Sweden)

Madagascar
10 - Anicet Andrianantenaina (FK Botev Plovdiv: Bulgaria)

Mali
12 - Cheick Diabaté (Bordeaux: France)
11 - Mustapha Yatabaré (Guingamp: France)

Morocco
17 - Aatif Chahechouhe (Sivasspor: Turkey)
15 - Abderrazak Hamdallah (Aalesund: Norway)
13 - Omar Er Rafik (Differdange: Luxembourg)
12 - Youssef El-Arabi (Granada: Morocco)

Nigeria
15 - Stanley Ohawuchi (Sliema: Malta)
14 - Ikechukwu Uche (Villarreal: Spain)
14 - Kennedy Igboananike (AIK: Sweden)
13 - Marco Tagbajumi (Ermis FC: Cyprus)
12 - Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahçe: Turkey)
11 - Alfred Effiong (Qormi: Malta)
11 - Obinna Obiefule (Hibernians: Malta)
11 - Abiola Dauda (Crvena Zvezda: Serbia)
10 - Imoh Ezekiel (Standard Liege: Belgium)
10 - Sylvester Igboun (Midtjylland: Denmark)
10 - Adeshina Lawal (B36 Tórshavn: Faroe Islands)
10 - Shola Shodiya (Birkirkara: Malta)
10 - Leke James (Aalesund: Norway)

Senegal
15 - Moussa Sow (Fenerbahçe: Turkey)
13 - Sadio Mané (FC Red Bull Salzburg: Austria)
13 - Dame N'Doye (Lokomotiv Moscow: Russia)
12 - Baye Omar Niasse (Akhisar Belediyespor: Turkey)
10 - Ibrahim Sidibé (Debrecen: Hungary)
10 - Malek Mane (Sogndal: Norway)
10 - Lamine Diarra (Antalyaspor: Turkey)

Togo
11 - Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur: England)

Tunisia
17 - Hamdi Harbaoui (KSC Lokeren: Belgium)


Stats from European 'Summer' leagues in Scandinavia and elsewhere are from the completed 2013 season.

          'Turkse landskampioen klopt aan bij Genk in zoektocht naar verdediger'        

Besiktas heeft het plan opgevat om Omar Colley weg te plukken bij KRC Genk. De Turkse landskampioen is op zoek naar een linksvoetige verdediger en het oog van trainer Senol Günes is daarbij gevallen op de 24-jarige Gambiaan.


          Two of the Six Missing Members of Burundi’s Robotics Team Spotted Crossing Into Canada        

The FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition is making headlines again after six teens from the team representing Burundi disappeared. The mentor and chaperone for the team, Canesius Bindaba, informed FIRST organizers on Tuesday evening that he could not find the two girls and four boys, whose ages range from 16 to 18. They were last seen at 5 p.m. Tuesday, right before the competition’s closing ceremony. FIRST President Joe Sestak subsequently called Washington police, who began searching and tweeted out missing persons notices.

Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said Thursday morning that two of the teens, 16-year-old Don Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi, have been sighted crossing the border into Canada. Police do not suspect foul play. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is struggling to recover from a 12-year civil war between ethnic factions. In its 2017 report, Freedom House labeled Burundi “not free” and warned that the country is experiencing “a shift toward authoritarian politics and ongoing repression of and violence against the opposition.”

This is FIRST’s inaugural Olympics-inspired international competition, which is meant to promote STEM among high school teens from more than 100 countries through games involving robots. The tournament received considerable media attention when a team of six girls from Afghanistan were twice denied the U.S. visas needed to attend. Upon learning of their predicament, President Trump reportedly intervened with the State Department to let the girls into the country. The team from Gambia’s applications for visas were also initially denied, but the department reversed its decision in the weeks leading up to the competition.


          Netizen Report: Venezuela’s Conflict Moves From the Streets to the Internet        

The Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in internet rights around the world. It originally appears each week on Global Voices Advocacy. Afef Abrougui, Ellery Roberts Biddle, Marianne Diaz, Don Le, Elizabeth Rivera, Laura Vidal, and Sarah Myers West contributed to this report.

On the night of June 28, internet users across Venezuela reported that multiple major web and social media sites had gone dark. According to the digital rights organization Venezuela Inteligente:

DNS servers of the State’s Internet Service Provider CANTV were not responding to the DNS requests on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Periscope, preventing users to access these platforms.

An hour later, users were able to access those sites again. This wave of censorship comes in a moment when Venezuela’s government is facing record levels of public opposition and unrest, and a rapidly escalating economic crisis that has led to widespread hunger and threats to public health countrywide. Internet access has significantly deteriorated since May 2016, when the government declared a (still ongoing) state of emergency and officially authorized online content filtering. In May 2017, the Index on Censorship published evidence of 41 websites being blocked in the country.

While authorities may see social media censorship as a useful short-term mechanism for limiting speech that sparks public unrest, they too rely on internet access to communicate with their citizens.

Just last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered officials to investigate Twitter employees in Venezuela for suspending the accounts of 180 government employees and chavistas, as supporters of former president Hugo Chávez are known. Maduro vowed to “unmask” the identities of the Twitter officials responsible and to create thousands of new accounts to continue the “battle on social media.”

One Vietnamese blogger jailed, another forced into exile
On June 29, well-known Vietnamese human rights blogger and community leader Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (who blogged under the name Mother Mushroom) was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a Khanh Hoa district court convicted her of distorting government policies and defaming the Communist regime both on Facebook and in interviews with foreign media outlets.

Vietnamese authorities also forced professor Pham Minh Hoang into exile on June 24. Hoang was stripped of his nationality in May and forcibly removed from his house on June 23. He said he was detained for 24 hours before authorities forced him onto a plane to Paris. He is now separated from his wife and young daughter and unable to take care of his disabled older brother. A blogger and member of Viet Tan, the Vietnamese democratic political movement, Hoang was detained for 17 months beginning in 2010. He has conducted trainings on cybersecurity, human rights, and leadership skills since his release. “I still have a little hope, one day, to come back to live and die in Vietnam,” he told Associated Press.

Independent Cuban journalist arrested, accused of spreading “false news”
Cuban journalist Manuel Alejandro León Velázquez was arrested by Cuban state security officers in Guantánamo province and detained for two days. Police also confiscated electronic equipment; mobile phone; several hundred dollars worth of U.S., EU, and Cuban currency; and his passport and press card. León Velázquez is a reporter for the independent news website Diario de Cuba and has covered hurricane relief efforts and infrastructure challenges in eastern Cuba. He has been summoned for a meeting with police on July 3, who charge that he has been distributing “false news.”

Moroccan web editor detained, awaiting trial
A video journalist and the director of the news website Rif24 was arrested on June 6 in the Rif region of Morocco, where protests focused on the declining economy, poor infrastructure, and government corruption have been taking place since October 2016. Mohamed al-Asrihi is currently in pre-trial detention on charges including practicing journalism without official accreditation and receiving foreign funding from “separatists” abroad. He is reportedly being held in solitary confinement in Casablanca’s Oukacha Prison.

At Thailand’s behest, YouTube censors Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator
A video clip of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator has been blocked on YouTube at the behest of the military-backed government of Thailand. Internet users reported on June 24 that the video clip with Thai subtitles was inaccessible on YouTube. The page for the video instead displayed the standard message: “This content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government.”

The 1940 film The Great Dictator parodied the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. June 24 is the day when Thailand commemorates the 1932 revolution, which ended the country’s absolute monarchy.

Chinese netizens’ days using VPNs may be numbered
Internet users are anticipating that the majority of virtual private network apps for individual use will be inaccessible in mainland China by July 1. Whisperings of a state ban on unauthorized VPNs spread widely on Twitter and Weibo after the popular VPN service provider Green announced that the company would cease operations by July 1. That date is sensitive because it marks the 20th anniversary of the transfer of Hong Kong from British to Chinese power. However, there is not yet conclusive evidence that there is a direct connection. The move may also indicate a forthcoming ban has been expedited. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had announced that it will ban “illegal services,” including unauthorized VPNs, in March 2018.

Kenyan officials promise not to shut down the internet on election day
After Gabon and the Gambia shut down networks during recent elections, inquiring minds want to know whether Kenya will follow in their footsteps during upcoming elections on Aug. 8. In a press statement, Kenyan Information and Communications Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru affirmed, “We are a digital country and that is not our intention. It is not even a remote fall back position.”

Netizen activism
The U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women is soliciting input for a report on online violence against women and girls. Submissions should be sent by Sept. 30, 2017.


          After Several Months, UK Doctors Fail Detect President Buhari's Actual Ailment Despite Multiple Tests - Presidency Source        
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Despite several months of medication and intensive care in the United Kingdom (UK), President Muhammadu Buhari’s doctors are yet to diagnose what the president’s illness is all about, INDEPENDENT has learnt.

According to credible source in the presidency, despite series of tests and treatments from renowned medical practitioners both within and outside the UK, nobody has been able to pinpoint what ails the president except that he has completely lost his appetite for food.

The failure of the presidency to tell Nigerians the actual state of health of the president has fueled speculations in the country with many alleging that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is guilty of what it accused the then ruling party,  the People’s Democratic  Party (PDP) when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua held sway.

But according to our source, “Those accusing the presidency of being economical with the truth on the actual state of health of the president are missing the point because you can only disclose what you know.
“As at today, nobody knows the kind of ailment battling Mr. President. Even his doctors in the UK don’t know what is wrong with him. Lots of tests have been done; in fact, they have done everything humanly possible but they still can’t detect what is wrong with him. That is why the doctors have decided to place him under long observation to see if they can diagnose what is wrong with him on the long run.

“For those of us who are close to President Buhari, he can’t stay for a long time without food. He doesn’t have the endurance for long fasting and that is why those referring to him as a religious fanatic are wrong. Here is a man who doesn’t joke with his food but suddenly once he takes a spoon, he throws up. And you know if you don’t eat for a long time, you become weak and emaciated.

“When the condition became critical, they have to devise other means of feeding him, but we’re happy at the level of significant progress he has made in the last couple of weeks”, he said.


He also debunked the claim by some online news media that the president is being treated for acute prostate cancer or battling with Crohn’s disease, a medical condition that could have affected his digestive system.

“From the information we have, every organ of the president is working perfectly. The only problem is his inability to eat well due to loss of appetite. That is why some people are alleging that the president may have been poisoned or under some kind of spiritual attack”, he noted.

Although President Muhammadu Buhari’s first active year in office which was from May 29, 2015 to 2016 was frost with some minor challenges, especially delays associated with appointing his cabinet members, the frustrations and criticism that greeted it left much to be desired.

No sooner had he sorted out some of these issues to settle down to the business of governance came his health challenges.

The first time he took a vacation to undergo medical check-up in London, the United Kingdom was in February 2016.

He left the shores of Nigeria for the United Kingdom for a six-day vacation from


February 5 to February 10, 2016. After a formal letter was written to the National Assembly leadership he transferred powers to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had explained that the letter to the National Assembly was in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution.

The spokesperson had assured Nigerians of the well-being of the president and the need not to panic over the state of his health.


He had hinged the vacation on the need for the president to take a break from work as he had worked non-stop for eight months and could break down like every other person.

On January 19, 2017, shortly after resolving the leadership crisis in The Gambia, where Yahaya Jammeh was recalcitrant to hand over power to his successor, President Buhari fell ill again and had to leave the country on another vacation.

As usual, he wrote Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, before bidding Nigeria goodbye to examine his health on January 23, 2017 to be precise.

Nigerians were sympathetic and in fact showed understanding that the president needs to take care of his health issues so that he could function maximally as the nation’s leader.

However, when the 10-day medical leave began to extend to several weeks, rumours began to fly over the actual date of his return, deepening suspicions that his health was far worse than officials were publicly admitting.

Finally, on March 9, 2017, the president returned to wild jubilations in some parts of the country and to the relief of Nigerians.

Despite attempts by his spokesmen to conceal his health challenges, Buhari revealed to Nigerians when he came back that he had never felt “so sick” in his entire life.

Upon returning, his absence in public functions, including skipping the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings gave room for more speculations, prompting concerned Nigerians to suggest he take another leave to rest more and recover fully.

Upon return, he said, “I deliberately came back towards the weekend, so that the Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo) will continue and I will continue to rest. All I will need is to do further follow ups within some weeks.”

Having weighed options available to him and sensed that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was doing well in the governance of the country, Buhari jetted out again, shortly after he took inventory of 82 school girls abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State in April 2014.

He left on Sunday, May 7, 2017, and has spent about 94 days undergoing medical care also in the UK.

Despite the fact that the acting president, some caucus members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), including the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and selected governors who have gone to pay him solidarity visit and came back with assurances that he would soon return, the date for his eventual return is still unknown.
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          Esteri di lun 23/01        
..1-Crisi siriana. Al via i colloqui di pace ad Astana voluti da Putin. Dopo la caduta di Aleppo il regime di Assad tratta in posizione di forza. ..2-Francia. Lo scontro delle due sinistre. Il primo turno delle primarie ha evidenziate le profonde spaccature dentro il partito socialista. ..3-Turchia: l'odissea dei docenti licenziati da Erdogan. Il Reportage di Esteri.(Serena Tarabini) ..4-Caso Regeni. Alla vigilia del primo anniversario spunta un video sull'ultimo incontro del giovane ricercatore con l'ambulante che lo aveva denunciato.(Laura Cappon) ..5-l'esilio dorato di un ex dittatore. Dalla Gambia un monito per ..per l'Africa.( Raffaele Masto) ..6- ” l' integrazione dei rifugiati nel mercato del lavoro" spiegata alla cittadinanza. L'iniziativa dell'europarlamento. ..( intervista a l' Europarlamentare Brando Benifei)
          Esteri di mer 18/01        
1-Francia. Il dilemma dei socialisti. A una settimana dalle primarie cresce la tentazione di unirsi attorno al candidato indipendente Emanuele Macron per non sparire. ..2-La svolta di Obama, graziando il soldato Manning, la gola profonda di Wikileaks, il presidente uscente ha rinunciato alla linea dura contro i lanciatore di allerta. ( Roberto Festa) ..3-Geopolitica. il braccio di ferro Russia – Stati uniti nel mediterraneo ha ridimensionato il ruolo dell'unione europea nella crisi libica. ( Intervista a Alberto Negri Sole 24 ore) ..4-Gambia, una storia africana. Il presidente uscente Yaya Jammeh battuto alle elezioni non vuole lasciare il potere. ( Raffaele Masto) ..5-Progetti sostenibili. Roubaix studia da città rifiuti zero...( Fabio Fimiani) ..6-Romanzo a fumetti: oggi la graphic novell l'alleato azero...( Maurizio Principato )
          Esteri di lun 07/11        
1-Stati Uniti: ultime ore di campagna elettorale. ..Domani la sfida Hillary Clinton – Donald Trump...( Roberto Festa)..2-” La voracità delle multinazionali ha risvegliato la destra ..reazionaria”. Ai nostri microfoni l'ex presidente dell'Uruguay Pepe Mujica spiega il declino delle sinistre nel mondo. ..( Intervista di Alfredo Somoza) ..3-Guerra all'Isis: al via la campagna per liberare la città di Raqqa, la capitale del “Califato “in Siria. ( Emanuele Valenti)..4-Nicaragua: c'era una volta la rivoluzione sandinista. ..Al suo quarto mandato l'ex capo della guerriglia Daniel Ortega ..nomina la moglie vice presidente. ..5-Pedofilia. Riuniti a Lourdes i vescovi francesi chiedono scusa per il silenzio della chiesa di fronte agli abusi sessuali commessi dai preti sui minori. ( Francesco Giorgini) ..6-” il calcio era la cosa che la rendeva più felice”. Parla Mamadou il fratello di Fatima Jawara il portiere della nazionale femminile del Gambia morta in mare. ( Dario Falcini)
          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries



Country Codes List




CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
Afghanistan+93
Albania+355
Algeria+213
American Samoa+1 684
Andorra+376
Angola+244
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Argentina+54
Armenia+374
Aruba+297
Ascension Island+247
Australia+61
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Austria+43
Azerbaijan+994
Bahamas+1 242
Bahrain+973
Bangladesh+880
Barbados+1 246
Belarus+375
Belgium+32
Belize+501
Benin+229
Bermuda+1 441
Bhutan+975
Bolivia+591
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
Botswana+267
Brazil+55
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Brunei+673
Bulgaria+359
Burkina Faso+226
Burundi+257
Cambodia+855
Cameroon+237
Canada+1
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Chad+235
Chile+56
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Colombia+57
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Croatia+385
Cuba+53
Curacao+599 9
Cyprus+357
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Denmark+45
Djibouti+253
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
Ecuador+593
Egypt+20
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Eritrea+291
Estonia+372
Ethiopia+251
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
Fiji+679
Finland+358
France+33
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Gabon+241
Gambia+220
Georgia+995
Germany+49
Ghana+233
Gibraltar+350
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Greece+30
Greenland+299
Grenada+1 473
Guadeloupe+590
Guam+1 671
Guatemala+502
Guernsey+44 1481
Guinea+224
Guinea-Bissau+245
Guyana+592
Haiti+509
Honduras+504
Hong Kong+852
Hungary+36
Iceland+354
India+91
Indonesia+62
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Iran+98
Iraq+964
Ireland+353
Isle of Man+44 1624
Israel+972
Italy+39
Jamaica+1 876
Japan+81
Jersey+44 1534
Jordan+962
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kenya+254
Kiribati+686
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Kuwait+965
Kyrgyzstan+996
Laos+856
Latvia+371
Lebanon+961
Lesotho+266
Liberia+231
Libya+218
Liechtenstein+423
Lithuania+370
Luxembourg+352
Macau+853
Macedonia+389
Madagascar+261
Mainland China+86
Malawi+265
Malaysia+60
Maldives+960
Mali+223
Malta+356
Marshall Islands+692
Martinique+596
Mauritania+222
Mauritius+230
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Mexico+52
Moldova+373
Monaco+377
Mongolia+976
Montenegro+382
Montserrat+1 664
Morocco+212
Mozambique+258
Myanmar+95
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
Namibia+264
Nauru+674
Nepal+977
Netherlands+31
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Nicaragua+505
Niger+227
Nigeria+234
Niue+683
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Norway+47
Oman+968
Pakistan+92
Palau+680
Palestinian territories+970
Panama+507
Papua New Guinea+675
Paraguay+595
Peru+51
Philippines+63
Poland+48
Portugal+351
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Qatar+974
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Réunion+262
Romania+40
Russia+7
Rwanda+250
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
Samoa+685
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Senegal+221
Serbia+381
Seychelles+248
Sierra Leone+232
Singapore+65
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Slovakia+421
Slovenia+386
Solomon Islands+677
Somalia+252
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Spain+34
Sri Lanka+94
Sudan+249
Suriname+597
Swaziland+268
Sweden+46
Switzerland+41
Syria+963
Tajikistan+992
Tanzania+255
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
Thailand+66
Togo+228
TokelauList of Currencies of the World and their Currency Symbols

There are 179 currencies in the world.
List of Currencies of the World
Currencies of the World

Currency Symbols

CurrencySymbol
Afghan afghani؋
Albanian lekL
Alderney pound£
Algerian dinarد.ج
Angolan kwanzaKz
Argentine peso$
Armenian dramդր.
Aruban florinƒ
Ascension pound£
Australian dollar$
Bahamian dollar$
Bahraini dinar.د.ب
Bangladeshi taka৳
Barbadian dollar$
Belarusian rubleBr
Belize dollar$
Bermudian dollar$
Bhutanese ngultrumNu.
Bolivian bolivianoBs.
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible markKM or КМ
Botswana pulaP
Brazilian realR$
British pound£
British Virgin Islands dollar$
Brunei dollar$
Bulgarian levлв
Burundian francFr
Cambodian riel៛
Canadian dollar$
Cape Verdean escudoEsc or $
Cayman Islands dollar$
Central African CFA francFr
CFP francFr
Chilean peso$
Chinese yuan¥ or 元
Cocos (Keeling) Islands dollar$
Colombian peso$
Comorian francFr
Congolese francFr
Cook Islands dollar$
Costa Rican colón₡
Croatian kunakn
Cuban convertible peso$
Cuban peso$
Czech korunaKč
Danish kronekr
Djiboutian francFr
Dominican peso$
East Caribbean dollar$
Egyptian pound£ or ج.م
Eritrean nakfaNfk
Ethiopian birrBr
Euro€
Falkland Islands pound£
Faroese krónakr
Fijian dollar$
Gambian dalasiD
Georgian lariლ
Ghanaian cedi₵
Gibraltar pound£
Guatemalan quetzalQ
Guernsey pound£
Guinean francFr
Guyanese dollar$
Haitian gourdeG
Honduran lempiraL
Hong Kong dollar$
Hungarian forintFt
Icelandic krónakr
Indian rupee₹
Indonesian rupiahRp
Iranian rialï·¼
Iraqi dinarع.د
Israeli new shekel₪
Jamaican dollar$
Japanese yen¥
Jersey pound£
Jordanian dinarد.ا
Kazakhstani tenge₸
Kenyan shillingSh
Kiribati dollar$
Kuwaiti dinarد.ك
Kyrgyzstani somлв
Lao kip₭
Latvian latsLs
Lebanese poundل.ل
Lesotho lotiL
Liberian dollar$
Libyan dinarل.د
Lithuanian litasLt
Macanese patacaP
Macedonian denarден
Malagasy ariaryAr
Malawian kwachaMK
Malaysian ringgitRM
Maldivian rufiyaaރ.
Manx pound£
Mauritanian ouguiyaUM
Mauritian rupee₨
Mexican peso$
Micronesian dollar$
Moldovan leuL
Mongolian tögrög₮
Moroccan dirhamد.م.
Mozambican meticalMTn
Myanma kyatK
Nagorno-Karabakh dramդր.
Namibian dollar$
Nauruan dollar$
Nepalese rupee₨
Netherlands Antillean guilderƒ
New Taiwan dollar$
New Zealand dollar$
Nicaraguan córdoba
          Countries in Africa        
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world.Here is the list of 55 countries in Africa and their capitals.
Africa
Africa






S.no.
Countries
Capitals
1.
Algeria
Algiers
2.
Angola
Luanda
3.
Benin
Porto-Novo
4.
Botswana
Gaborone
5.
Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou
6.
Burundi
Bujumbura
7.
Cameroon
Yaoundé
8.
Cape Verde
Praia
9.
The Central African Republic
Bangui
10.
The Comoros
Moroni
11.
Cote d'Ivoire
Yamoussoukro
12.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kinshasa
13.
Djibouti
Djibouti
14.
Egypt
Cairo
16.
Equatorial Guinea
Malabo
17.
Eritrea
Asmara
18.
Ethiopia
Addis Ababa
19.
Gabon
Libreville
20.
The Gambia
Banjul
21.
Ghana
Accra
22.
Guinea
Conakry
23.
Guinea-Bissau
Bissau
24.
Chad
N'Djamena
25.
Kenya
Nairobi
26.
Lesotho
Maseru
27.
Liberia
Monrovia
28.
Libya
Tripoli
29.
Madagascar
Antananarivo
30.
Malawi
Lilongwe

31.
Mali
Bamako
32.
Mauritania
Nouakchott
33.
Mauritius
Port Louis
34.
Morocco
Rabat
35.
Mozambique
Maputo
36.
Namibia
Windhoek
37.
Niger
Niamey
38.
Nigeria
Abuja
39.
The Republic of the Congo
Brazzaville
40.
Rwanda
Kigali
41.
Sao Tome and Principe
São Tomé


42.
Senegal
Dakar
43.
The Seychelles
Victoria
44.
Sierra Leone
Freetown
45.
Somalia
Mogadishu
46.
South Africa
Pretoria
47.
Sudan
Khartoum
48.
Swaziland
Mbabane
49.
Tanzania
Dodoma
50.
Togo
Lomé
51.
Tunisia
Tunis
52.
Uganda
Kampala
53.
Western Sahara
Laayoune
54.
Zambia
Lusaka
55.
Zimbabwe
Harare

          A COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF MY BOOKS        

My first 25 books - click picture to enlarge (© Dr Karl Shuker)

Today is the fourth anniversary of my mother Mary Shuker's passing. I owe my lifelong love of reading, writing, and nature to Mom - her love for all wildlife nurtured my own from my earliest days, and her impeccable command of the English language tutored and guided my own throughout my life. Consequently, to commemorate and celebrate her kindly, positive, and truly immeasurable influence upon my entire existence and career, the present ShukerNature blog article is dedicated to my mother, and consists of a frequently-requested, currently-complete listing of all of the books that I have written, have acted as consultant for, have contributed to, or to which I have written a foreword. It will be updated whenever new books need to be added here.

Without you, Mom, none of my writings would have existed - God bless you, and thank you for the inestimable love, joy, happiness, and blessings that you gave to me and bestowed upon me by being in my life as my mother.

Mom and my Jack Russell terrier Patch during the mid-late 1970s (© Dr Karl Shuker)



Extraordinary Animals Worldwide (Robert Hale: London, 1991)


Dragons: A Natural History (Aurum Press: London/Simon & Schuster: New York, 1995)



From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings: From the Pages of FATE Magazine (Llewellyn Publications: St Paul, Minnesota,1997)


The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature (Reader's Digest: Pleasantville/Marshall Editions: London, 2001)

The New Zoo: New and Rediscovered Animals of the Twentieth Century [fully-updated, greatly-expanded, new edition of The Lost Ark] (House of Stratus Ltd: Thirsk, UK/House of Stratus Inc: Poughkeepsie, USA, 2002)










Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture (Coachwhip Publications: Greenville, 2013)





Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot? (Coachwhip Publications: Darke County, 2016)

Some alternative-cover editions of various of my books (© Dr Karl Shuker)

NB - Several of my books have also been published in editions sporting various alternative covers and/or titles, and/or also in various foreign-language editions, as demonstrated via the selections of examples depicted directly above and directly below this present paragraph, but for reasons of conciseness I have not itemised these editions separately here.

A selection of the many foreign-language editions of my book Dragons: A Natural History currently published - click picture to enlarge (those shown here are as follows - From left to right, top row: English, Czech, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese; bottom row: Estonian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, and French. There are others, but I don't have copies of them so far - publishers are not always good at sending complimentary copies to the authors!) (© Dr Karl Shuker) 

Consultant and also Contributor

Man and Beast (Reader's Digest: Pleasantville, New York, 1993)

Secrets of the Natural World (Reader's Digest: Pleasantville, New York, 1993)

Almanac of the Uncanny (Reader's Digest: Surry Hills, Australia, 1995)



Consultant

Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001)


Contributor

Fortean Times Weird Year 1996 (Fortean Times/John Brown Publishing Ltd: London, 1996)

Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998)

Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999) 

The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000) 

Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: Edinburgh, 2007) 

Chambers Myths and Mysteries (Chambers: Edinburgh, 2008) 

The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook (Dennis Publishing: London, 2009) 


Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies (Wyrd Harvest Press/Lulu, 2015) 

Tales of the Damned: An Anthology of Fortean Horror (Fortean Fiction: Bideford, 2016)

Plus numerous contributions to the Centre for Fortean Zoology's Animals and Men Yearbooks, Fortean Studies volumes, and various other annual publications.


Contributor (CD ROM Format)

Of Monsters and Miracles (Croydon Museum Services & Interactive Designs Ltd: Oxton, 1995)


Editor

Journal of Cryptozoology [currently the world's only peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to cryptozoology] (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2012-present day)


Contributor of Foreword to Other Authors' Books

DOWNES, Jonathan, The Smaller Mystery Carnivores of the Westcountry (CFZ Publications: Exwick, 1996) 

SCREETON, Paul, Whisht Lads and Haad Yor Gobs: The Lambton Worm and Other Northumbrian Dragon Legends (Northeast Press Ltd: Pennywell, 1998) 

BEER, Trevor, Trevor Beer's Nature Watch (Halsgrove: Tiverton, 1998) 

BEER, Endymion, Down Ferny Lane (Edward Gaskell: Bideford, 2005) 

JAMES, Corinna, and DOWNES, Jonathan (eds) CFZ Expedition Report 2006 Gambia (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2006) 

ARNOLD, Neil, Monster! The A-Z of Zooform Phenomena (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2007) 

DOWNES, Jonathan, and DOWNES, Corinna (eds), CFZ Expedition Report 2007 Guyana (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2007)

WOODLEY, Michael A., In the Wake of Bernard Heuvelmans: An Introduction to the History and Future of Sea Serpent Classification (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2008) 

DOWNES, Jonathan (ed.), CFZ Expedition Report 2008 Russia (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2008) 

MOLLOY, Nick, Predator Deathmatch (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) 

FREEMAN, Richard, CFZ Expedition Report 2010 India (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2010) 

PACIOREK, Andrew L., Strange Lands: A Field-Guide to the Celtic Otherworld (Andrew L. Paciorek: Howden-le-Wear, 2011) 

GERHARD, Ken, Encounters With Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles and Other Winged Beasts (Llewellyn Publications: St Paul, Minnesota, 2013) 

LANG, Rebecca (ed.) The Tasmanian Tiger: Extinct or Extant? (Strange Nation Publishing: Sydney, 2014) 

MUIRHEAD, Richard, Muirhead's Mysteries (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2016)

Something different - how various of my books' front covers would look if viewed as negatives (© Dr Karl Shuker)






          Martinets, migrants, and militants: The drawn-out saga of Libya and the ICC        

When International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addressed the UN Security Council in May, she assured the assembled nations that Libya was a priority in 2017. Halfway into the year, there’s little sign of progress or justice.

Speaking in May, Bensouda urged Libya to swiftly hand over Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, so he could be prosecuted for crimes against humanity in The Hague. She also said she was considering launching an investigation into crimes against migrants in the country, a situation she called “dire and unacceptable”.

Neither the Gaddafi case nor any future charges relating to the migrants are likely to be easy wins for the court, which has had little impact on the rampant impunity in Libya, where civilians bear the brunt of ongoing violence.

Elham Saudi, director of the NGO Lawyers for Justice in Libya, which advocates for human rights in the country, is pessimistic about the court’s accomplishments since it began investigations in the wake of Gaddafi’s 2011 ouster: “Has [the ICC] promoted peace and security in Libya? No. Has it promoted the rule of law? No. Has it promoted due process or fair trials? No.”

The sins of the son

The ICC charged Gaddafi with murder and persecution – both crimes against humanity – in 2011, and he was last seen in 2014 by video link during a domestic trial in Tripoli for crimes committed during the revolution that led to his father’s overthrow.

He and 32 other Gaddafi-era officials, including former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, were convicted of various offenses committed during the 2011 uprising, in a trial that international human rights groups said was undermined by serious due process violations, including the defendants’ lack of access to lawyers.

Gaddafi was tried in absentia, as he was then being held by the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Brigade, a militia based in northwest Libya’s Zintan.

This June, the brigade posted a statement online saying it had released Gaddafi following an amnesty law passed by one of Libya’s competing authorities, the Tobruk-based parliament. A UN-backed Government of National Accord sits in the capital Tripoli, as does a third would-be government, the National Salvation Government.

Gaddafi’s ICC lawyer Karim Khan confirmed to IRIN that his client is still in Libya, although he would not elaborate on his exact whereabouts or if he has in fact been released.

“He’s well, and I’ve spoken to him in the last few days,” Khan told IRIN, adding he met with Gaddafi in Libya last summer.

Khan said he plans to challenge the admissibility of the ICC’s case against his client. One argument open to the defence, Khan said, is double jeopardy – that the case against Gaddafi has already been “tried and determined” in the courts of Libya.

Khan is also likely to raise the case of al-Senussi, who the ICC also charged with crimes against humanity. ICC judges declared his case inadmissible, in a controversial ruling that he could receive a fair trial in Libya (the ICC is a court of last resort and only steps in when countries are unwilling or unable to prosecute).

Despite the al-Senussi ruling, Libya was unsuccessful in challenging the ICC’s case against Gaddafi, and the judges decided he should be tried in The Hague.

But that doesn’t mean he will ever set foot in an international courtroom. Kevin Jon Heller, an academic at the University of Amsterdam, doubts that Libya will ever hand Gaddafi over to the ICC, in the absence of its own police force relies on member countries to make arrests. “It’s sort of performance art,” he told IRIN. “The ICC reminds Libya of its obligations, and Libya doesn’t do much but knows that until Gaddafi shows up nothing has to happen,” he said.

If Gadaffi did ever make it to the ICC, Heller doubts the double jeopardy strategy would hold water.

“I would be surprised if there was nothing the ICC could still try him for,” Heller continued. “There’s a universe of criminality they could level at Gaddafi. If Libya did one part [and prosecuted some charges], the ICC could do another part and make it admissible again.”

For now, the ICC is playing a waiting game with a fractured Libya.                                                                                                      

“I don’t feel confident one way or the other,” Julian Nicholls, senior trial lawyer with the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor, told IRIN of Gaddafi’s case. “I don’t know exactly what will happen. [The GNA in] Libya has stressed its willingness to cooperate with the court, but we will have to wait and see.”

Migrant investigation?

A recent addition to Nicholls’ plate is the possible investigation, mooted by Bensouda, into migrant-related crimes, including identifying those most responsible for the smuggling and human trafficking of men, women, and children passing through Libya to Europe, and related atrocities.

The ICC lawyer describes it as a “big, complex situation” that the court is forced to look into from outside Libya due to the current insecurity on the ground.

“It is more difficult to carry out investigations without being present in the country, but we do have ways of getting the evidence we need without physically setting foot in Libya,” Nicholls said. “It’s harder and it takes longer, but we can do it.”

The LRCS team retrieve a body from the water

Analysts like Yvonne McDermott Rees, a senior lecturer in law at Bangor Law School in Wales, are sceptical. She points out that prosecutors will have the tricky task of showing that there was a widespread or systematic attack that was part of a state or organisational policy – essential for proving crimes against humanity under the ICC’s Rome Statute.

The ICC is also short of money to pay for its ever-growing roster of cases, and some countries that back the court financially have grown impatient with the lack of results and the number of cases that aren’t trial-ready due to problems with investigations and witnesses.

McDermott Rees wonders if the migrant case isn’t simply an attempt by Bensouda to bolster her credibility by choosing a politically popular investigation.

There have been calls and pledges (with questionable impact) both to stop the flow of migration from Libya to Europe and to halt the horrific death toll: More than 2,200 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy this year alone – this includes 348 men, women, and children who have washed up on Libya’s shores.  

“You see the prosecutor struggling against this perception problem that the court isn’t effective,” said McDermott Rees. “There is definitely a desire… to try and keep those states who might be in position to give the court more money happy.”

Prosecuting people traffickers could also be a way of silencing the ICC’s sub-Saharan critics who claim it is overly focused on prosecuting African wrongdoers, namely The Gambia, which threatened to withdraw from the court in 2016.

McDermott Rees pointed out that the year before The Gambia announced its plans to withdraw, then-President Yahya Jammeh called on the the court to look into the deaths of African migrants attempting to reach Europe.

It isn’t likely to be a coincidence, McDermott Rees said, that “here we have the ICC prosecutor a short time later saying that she is going to examine crimes against migrants.”

Lawyers for Justice in Libya’s Saudi welcomed the news of a possible migrant case, which she thinks would help improve the ICC’s image among Libyans who see it as out of date and too focused on crimes of the past.

“That they look like they are pursuing current issues is refreshing, and we hope a good sign of promoting genuine accountability,” said Saudi.

Pushing it further?

Still, others are encouraging the ICC to go even further if it truly wants to chip away at impunity in Libya, where the judiciary is weak and militias hold major sway in much of the country.

Human Rights Watch says any future prosecutions should include various fighting groups – last week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern for prisoners of the Libyan National Army, after reports emerged of torture and summary execution.

“We’ve documented groups attacking civilians and property with some violations amounting to war crimes [in Libya],” Balkees Jarrah, senior counsel for Human Rights Watch’s international justice programme, told IRIN.

“We’ve documented serious violations of international law including arbitrary detentions, torture, forced displacement, unlawful killings,” she said. “Many of those violations are sufficiently organised and widespread to amount to crimes against humanity.”

McDermott Rees wondered if expanding the scope of its investigations could affect the ICC’s already tenuous relationship with Libya. Digging into crimes that could implicate the country’s current rulers – or those jostling for power – is sure to be less than popular.

“At the moment, the prosecutor has a pretty good relationship with the Libyan authorities, including the prosecutor-general's office [from the UN-backed GNA]. If the ICC looks at crimes outside the scope of the Gaddafi era, that could change the relationship completely and might lead to even more difficulties in carrying out investigations,” she said.

Regardless of its next steps, Saudi encouraged the court to be more open with Libyans about its work.                                                                                            

A strong relationship with locals is important, as the court relies on people on the ground for information about Gaddafi and fellow fugitive from international justice Mohamed Khaled al-Tuhamy, the former head of Libya’s internal security agency under Muammar Gaddafi. Al-Tuhamy is believed to still be in Libya.

“If people aren’t sympathetic to you and engaged with you, they aren’t likely to tell you the whereabouts of the people you are looking for,” Saudi said.

If Libyans lose (or have already lost) faith in the ICC as a solution to the current chaos, analysts worry they may yet turn again to strongmen like Saif al-Islam Gaddafi for a sense of security.

“There is an argument along the lines of ‘he was bad, but we've done just as bad if not worse since then’,” said Libya analyst Tarek Megerisi. “The prevailing sentiment is that he [should be] jailed and tried in a Libyan court. There has never been a strong endorsement from Libyans to have him tried in The Hague. They always wanted to deal with him domestically.”

Megerisi told IRIN that in some parts of the country there may already be a softening in attitudes towards the younger Gaddafi – who is due for a local retrial because he was originally tried in absentia -- with some believing he could unite warring factions and tribes.

This nostalgia is bad news for the ICC.

(TOP PHOTO: Migrants in Libya's people-smuggling hub of Sabha. Tom Westcott/IRIN)

lc/as/ag

Martinets, migrants, and militants migrants_stranded_in__desert_waiting_for_the_toyota_they_travelled_to_libya_in_broke_down_2.jpg Lisa Clifford Analysis Migration Conflict Human Rights IRIN Gambia Middle East and North Africa Libya
          Meet the Gambian migrants under pressure to leave Europe        

The Gambia’s leader of 22 years, Yahya Jammeh, used to give Gambians good cause for claiming asylum, even if the majority were fleeing poverty rather than persecution.

But with the autocratic president’s exit in January, Gambians’ grounds for international protection have suddenly become shakier, making them prime EU targets for rapid return, although they are not the only ones.

Gambians are one of the top nationalities among the 93,000 mainly West African and Asian migrants who have arrived in Italy already this year. The majority, as in preceding years, are unlikely to qualify for asylum. And yet Italy, like most EU states, has had little success in forcibly returning them home or persuading them to leave voluntarily.

Italy’s threat to close its ports to foreign rescue vessels at the end of June prompted the EU to come up with an action plan promising more support, not only in deterring migrants from crossing the Mediterranean, but also in stepping up returns of those already on Italian soil.

Left to fester

Ebrima Gaye was 17 when he disembarked a rescue boat in Pozzallo, Sicily in July 2016. He spent seven months in a centre for minors near Syracuse. After turning 18 in March, he was shunted around several times before being sent to the Frasca Centre in Rosolini.

Jason Florio/IRIN
Ebrima Gaye in his room at the Frasca Centre in Rosolini

Like many of the 2,000 extraordinary reception centres (CAS) scattered across Italy, Frasca was once a hotel. A white behemoth of a building, it sits on top of a scrubby hillside on the outskirts of town.

Residents congregate in a large living area with a pool table, where young men sit slumped on chairs, staring at their phones while daytime television babbles in the background. Others lie on their beds in dorms that sleep up to 30, immobilised by the stultifying heat and boredom.

The centre is meant to be an “emergency” short-term facility, but the overwhelming demand on Italy’s reception system means camps like this one have become holding pens, while migrants’ asylum claims move through the glacial legal system. Some residents have been there for a year.

Under Italian law, asylum seekers who have a residence permit can seek work, but residents reported that they had been forbidden from working while living in this centre.

Gaye’s asylum application was rejected in May and he is waiting to appeal the decision. Almost a year after arriving, the reed-thin boy glumly admits he regrets making the journey.

Before leaving, Gaye worked as a barber in his home village on the banks of the River Gambia. “I am the firstborn son, so I contributed to my family, but the money I was saving was very small. Many of my friends had taken ‘the back way’ [the irregular route to Europe via the Sahel and Libya], so I decided to go,” he said.

But Gaye’s savings only got him as far as Agadez in Niger, then he had to beg his family to send him $2,400 to complete his journey.

Prisoners of hope in Italy migrant camps

Jason Florio
Prisoners of hope in Italy migrant camps

Prisoners of hope

Gambia’s new government has received unprecedented amounts of development aid from the EU to tackle its “back way” exodus with youth training and job creation programmes. But none of the young Gambians IRIN spoke to were persuaded by the promise of what has been dubbed “New Gambia”.

“I spent a lot coming here,” Gaye said. “I could have had a good business in Gambia, but now I’ve been here a year and I have gained nothing. So it is better I stay here and try to find something for my future first.”

Jason Florio/IRIN
Boredom can be the most frustrating aspect of camp life for the migrants

In a camp for minors in Messina, IRIN found another Gambian, Yahya Damfa*, much of the same opinion. “I’m not thinking about returning anyway,” said the 17-year-old. “I haven’t heard of any improvement yet (in The Gambia), I think it will take some time. I tell myself, ‘if I have made it to Europe I’d rather manage here’.”

Once migrants like Gaye and Damfa have crossed the Mediterranean, the financial and psychological costs of the often-harrowing journey make the prospect of returning home empty-handed too much to bear. They become prisoners of hope.

That hope, however futile, combined with the EU’s poor record on returns are the fundamental factors perpetuating Europe’s migration crisis, believes Gerald Knaus, chair of the European Stability Initiative, a Berlin-based think tank.

“Anybody from West Africa who makes it to Libya [and] survives the boat trip is in Europe forever, irrespective of whether they get refugee status or not. Unless this changes, the flow will continue,” he told IRIN.

Low return rates

Last year, 12,000 Gambians arrived in Italy, but just 15 were forcibly returned, according to Eurostat figures.

There is currently no readmission agreement with The Gambia. The Italian government attempted to negotiate one with Jammeh’s government in early 2016, but was unsuccessful. The Ministry of the Interior did not respond to IRIN’s request for information on whether new negotiations have started.

Knaus is hopeful that the Italian government will seriously consider ESI’s policy proposal, which is being released this week. The so-called Rome Plan is based on a premise of “return realism”, explained Knaus, who was involved in drawing up the controversial EU-Turkey Agreement.

Knaus’ new initiative urges the EU and member states to accept that poor countries that rely heavily on remittances currently have nothing to gain from taking back their citizens. According to the Rome Plan, member states should offer migrant-sending countries a certain amount of legal access in the form of scholarships or work visas in return for taking back their nationals who do not qualify for protection.

“Legal access has never before been linked to controlling irregular access,” Knaus said. “With this [plan] you have less suffering, it benefits the development of the country of origin and it’s in line with the Refugee Convention.”

For now, Italy’s response to its clogged up asylum and migrant reception system has been a series of immigration reforms introduced by interior minister Marco Minniti in April. They include the creation of 16 new repatriation centres. But without more readmission agreements with countries of origin, detaining more irregular migrants in the new centres will be pointless, believes Flavio di Giacomo, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Italy.

“By law, migrants will only be able to stay [at the repatriation centres] for 60 days,” he told IRIN. “If they cannot be repatriated, they will get an order to leave by themselves. It will only increase Italy’s irregularity problem.”

The bottom line is that most Gambian migrants, who are unlikely to qualify for international protection or be deported, face a future of trying to survive in Italy’s informal economy.

Hustling to get by

In Catania and other Sicilian cities, each migrant nationality has a speciality: Bangladeshis clean car windscreens, young Nigerian women, most trafficked from Edo State, sell themselves, and Gambians push drugs. 

They loiter in alleyways in Catania’s red-light district of San Berillo, sleep in derelict squats, and wheel their worldly possessions along the streets in shopping trolleys. One Gambian teenager, holding a can of beer, staggers over to slur a greeting to staff from Oxfam’s Open Europe programme, which supports irregularised migrants in Sicily. Back in Muslim-majority Gambia, such behaviour would be taboo.

Jason Florio/IRIN
Migrants rejected for asylum but unable to return home often end up homeless and dependent on charities

Migrants like Mouhag Nyang, a 29-year-old Gambian, are completely reliant on charities to support their needs.

Nyang, who arrived in Italy in 2014, has been living in a homeless shelter in Catania for the past two years since failing to qualify for protection. Nevertheless, he would rather stay in Italy than return home. “For me, I see Italy is better; here they give us a place to sleep. I would have nothing to go back to in Gambia. My uncle sold my family compound to travel [the backway].”

Di Giacomo believes that helping more of these migrants to return home with at least a small amount of cash could go some way towards addressing the shame issue.

“Nobody wants to return empty-handed,” he explained. “AVR [Assisted Voluntary Return] is trying to solve this through reintegration packages worth 1,600 euros, plus they are given 400 euros in cash at the airport in Italy, so that there is a possibility to start again when they return.”

The EU’s action plan urges Italy to partner with IOM to increase the use of AVR and reintegration procedures. However, only one Gambian has opted to return via the programme so far this year.

IOM is working with the Italian Ministry of the Interior to raise awareness with migrants about the opportunity to leave voluntarily with financial support, but di Giacomo is worried about a surge in demand. “We can only assist a maximum of 2,500 AVRs,” he said, adding that funding for AVR still represents only a small portion of the overall EU budget for returns.

For Gaye, such an opportunity could go some way towards addressing a difficult homecoming. “We are all praying to go back to our homeland, but to go back without achieving nothing is going to be so hard for me,” he said.

“My family would not agree to that, it would hurt them so much. Nobody wants to go back a loser.”

*name changed

(TOP PHOTO: Ebrima Gaye onboard the MOAS rescue ship 'Phoenix' as he waited to disembark at the port of Pozzallo in July 2016. Jason Florio/IRIN)

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The production of this article has received funding from the Migration Media Award, funded by the EU. The information and views set out in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Gambians in crosshairs of EU migrant return drive jasonflorioirinmoas.jpg Louise Hunt Feature Migration CATANIA IRIN Gambia Europe Italy European Union
          â€œThe right side of history” – Gambians seek justice after Jammeh’s fall        

A year ago, opposition activist Solo Sandeng led the first march in over decade to call for free elections in Gambia. Although the demonstration was a catalyst for the ouster of autocrat Yahya Jammeh, it cost Sandeng his life.

The court case into his death has now become the first prosecution trial under Gambia’s new elected government for the human rights violations perpetrated during Jammeh’s 22-year reign.

“The Sandeng case is not only politically the match that lit the fire, it really brought home the injustices of the regime,” said Aziz Bensouda of the Gambia Bar Association. “It’s one of the cases where we have a lot more detail than in the past, and it will really set the tone [of future human rights cases].”

A key prosecution witness, Nogoi Njie, a member of Sandeng’s United Democratic Party, told IRIN how she and other UDP activists were arrested on 14 April as they marched at Westfield Junction, a busy roundabout in the centre of the sprawling market town Serrekunda.

In her living room, Njie, a matronly woman in her early 50s, said she was interrogated at the National Intelligence Agency headquarters in Banjul over her political allegiance and repeatedly beaten by masked men known as the Jungulars – Jammeh’s personal squad of soldiers who tortured and killed on his orders.

In one room, she recalled seeing a noose hanging from the ceiling, before she was ordered to undress to her underwear, her head covered in a nylon bag. “They told me if I don’t lie down they can hang me by the neck and nobody will know. They started to beat me. The blood was coming out all over my body. I almost lost my life,” she said.

Later she found herself in the same room as Sandeng. The 57-year-old was naked, his body already swollen and bleeding.

He was beaten again and fell to the floor. She recounted what she believes were his last moments alive: “He called my name ‘Nogoi, Nogoi’.” While lying on the ground, Njie said she heard him make a sound, which she re-enacted as a faint, strangled breath.

“I called his name so many times and he didn’t answer me. And I cried because I’m very sorry for that man, he’s a family man. And he’s a very strong man, and they killed him like this.”

Nogoi Njie
Jason Florio/IRIN
Nogoi Njie - the last person to see Solo Sandeng before he died

The demand for justice

Change in Gambia began when Jammeh spectacularly lost an election in December to now President Adama Barrow. But he refused to accept the result, and only stepped down after West African leaders sent in troops to force him into exile.

There is now a powerful demand for justice as the country transitions from dictatorship to democracy.

In February, Interior Minister Mai Fatty instigated the arrests of former NIA chief Yankuba Badjie, ex-operations director Saikou Omar Jeng, along with seven other NIA operatives, charging them with Sandeng’s murder.

But the trial is raising some difficult questions over the direction Gambia’s quest for justice should take, and the implications for its new-found democracy.

Opinion is divided over whether criminal prosecutions should proceed before the government’s promised truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) is established. The commission’s goal is to encourage people to confess the crimes they committed, and for victims to air the injustices they suffered.

Last month, Justice Minister Ba Tambadou announced that the commission will begin hearings in September. For some critics, waiting until the TRC process begins would mean delaying the day of reckoning for those responsible for the worst abuses.

They, like journalist Alhagie Jobe, who was tortured at the NIA and imprisoned for 18 months, want to see justice delivered swiftly through the courts.

“These people are the enablers of Jammeh and contributed to the killing of not only Solo Sandeng, but many other innocent people and today their families are crying. There was no justice for the last two decades.”

But some legal experts are concerned the Sandeng case is being rushed to court without adequate planning and investigation. The risk is that defendants could be acquitted or prosecuted on a lesser charge, with implications for future human rights cases.

Voices of caution

Sandeng’s remains have been exhumed from a hidden grave near the fishing village of Tanji. But the prosecution has requested more time to gather the evidence, while new indictments have been filed that include conspiracy. The defendants’ bail applications were refused at the last hearing and the trial continues.

“There is the urgent need to be seen to do the right thing, but urgency shouldn’t compromise standards,” said Gaye Sowe, executive director of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights in Africa (IDHRA), based in Banjul.

“We have to be cautious. We shouldn’t allow emotions to get the better of us, because if matters aren’t handled well, the so-called perpetrators could end up becoming so-called victims,” he said.

A further concern for Sowe and other human rights experts is that a trial may not serve all victims equally. Torture, for example, is not currently criminalised under Gambian law. This could have implications for Nogoi Njie and other 14 April protesters who were tortured, and in some cases allegedly raped, Sowe noted. 

Torture victim Mariama Saine, whose mother was a UDP activist, wants to see her abusers punished. She was arrested on the eve of the 1 December election and interrogated at the NIA detention site known as Bulldozer.

“They were beating me while I could hear the election results being announced on a television,” said Saine. “When Jammeh was ahead in the polls, the meanest one kicked me and said ‘Tomorrow, your head will be on a plate’. I was really scared.”

When Jammeh (temporarily) conceded defeat, she was grudgingly allowed to leave the next day. But Saine is still angry at her treatment.

“Of course, I want to see them prosecuted,” she said. “Not only for my case. I want to see all those people who have committed these atrocities prosecuted, all of them.”

Mariama Saine
Jason Florio/IRIN
Mariama Saine - "I want to see them prosecuted"

Can the system cope?

Gambia is fast becoming a live crime scene, with more evidence of atrocities committed under the regime coming to light on a weekly basis.

But carrying out prosecutions in a piecemeal fashion through an already under-resourced criminal justice system is unsustainable, say legal and human rights experts.

“It is key that the government sells the idea of the truth and reconciliation commission to people so that they understand it is not possible for all cases to be prosecuted,” said Sowe of the IDHRA. “There may be need for reconciliation in some instances.”

Ousman Bojang, a former NIA operative who turned anti-Jammeh activist when he fled into exile in 2012, believes it is important to take into account how Jammeh’s system of abuse took place.   

“Jammeh used the security services as a cover for the president’s bad activities. People were arrested, then the Jungulars would be invited to do his bidding – torturing, killing, whatever he told them.”

He claimed that even though torturing prisoners went against the NIA’s code of conduct, agents could not intervene without facing Jammeh’s wrath

Options

The TRC process could offer a broader scope for redress, with punishments ranging from prosecution to reparations to a public apology. But the details of how it will operate have yet to be divulged. 

“We don’t yet know the terms of reference – how far this process will go,” said Jeggan Grey-Johnson, a Gambian who works for the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa.

“Most of the victims we know of are high profile cases. There may be many people who have disappeared, who have been forgotten about. And will it include violations such as land-grabbing?”

The 14 April will be a difficult day for Fatoumatta Sandeng and her family. She told IRIN that her father wanted to be “part of those people on the right side of history.”

So, on the day of the march “I didn’t stop him. I just wished him good luck and he went.”

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“The right side of history” – Gambians seek justice after Jammeh’s fall gambia_jubilate.jpg Louise Hunt Feature Human Rights Politics and Economics BANJUL IRIN Africa West Africa Gambia
          New Gambia, new migration?        

“I am very happy to be home,” said 18-year-old Mohammed Nyabally, sitting on the steps of his uncle’s house in Serekunda, a town near The Gambia’s coast.

Just two weeks earlier, he was languishing in a prison near Tripoli; his third spell in detention during the nine months he spent in Libya trying to board a boat to cross the Mediterranean.

Nyabally’s parents sold the family’s land to send him the $5,600 he needed to pay his way out of his first and second stints in detention and the smuggling fee for him and another relative to take a boat to Italy. But after being robbed by a street gang, he landed up back in one of the squalid and brutal detention camps that have sprung up all over lawless Libya and are used to extort ever greater sums from young migrants trying to reach Europe.

“Prison is very difficult,” the shy teenager told IRIN, speaking with a slight stutter. “I was beaten; many people were killed in that prison. I saw my friend shot dead because he tried to escape. Another Gambian boy I knew died too.”

When the International Organization for Migration visited the detention centre where he was being kept and gave him the choice of staying there or going back to Gambia, he opted for freedom.

“I didn’t want to stay in Libya,” he said. “The treatment of black people is very bad. I came back because it was too dangerous.”

Nyabally was one of 140 Gambians aboard IOM’s first chartered flight from Libya to Banjul on 10 March. A second flight from Libya carrying 170 stranded Gambians is due to arrive on 4 April, while another 290 have signed up for IOM’s EU-funded voluntary return programme.

Winds of change

The Gambia is one of Africa’s smallest nations, with a population of just under two million. And yet its citizens have consistently ranked among the top five nationalities taking the Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy. Until recently, the potential for convincing Gambians not to risk the “back way” to Europe was limited. That changed in January, when the country’s first democratically elected president Adama Barrow took office and former president Yahya Jammeh was exiled after a six-week political impasse.

Jammeh, who held onto power for 22 years, had viewed migration as unpatriotic and refused to accept that young people were leaving the country to escape poverty and his autocratic rule. Even those migrants who didn’t find what they were looking for in Europe were reluctant to return home. 

By contrast, the new coalition government has made tackling irregular migration a priority. It plans to focus on creating jobs and training opportunities to reduce the 40 percent unemployment rate among young people, the main push factor behind The Gambia’s exodus.

“The improved political situation and stability in The Gambia is one of the factors that’s helping migrants to take this decision [to return from Libya],” said Michele Bombassei, IOM regional migrant assistance specialist.

For the government, creating an environment that positively reduces migration is a matter of urgency. According to UNICEF, which analysed Italian immigration data, nearly 0.5 percent of The Gambia’s population migrate every year – the highest rate in Africa.

The Gambia also ranks highest among sub-Saharan African countries in terms of the numbers of its migrants who are unaccompanied minors. In 2016, 13 percent of unaccompanied children arriving in Italy were Gambian, according to UNICEF. In total, nearly 12,000 Gambians arrived in Italy via the Mediterranean in 2016, a 36 percent increase from 2015.

“The back-way trend is only going to be addressed if there are policies to attract the young people to come back and fulfil their dreams,” Employment Minister Isatou Touray told IRIN.

Rebuilding bridges

With an estimated inherited debt of more than $1 billion, the new government has been shoring up international donor support to kick-start development stalled for decades by Jammeh’s isolationist policies.

This has included restoring cooperation with the EU. Jammeh expelled the EU’s charge d’affaires in 2015 just as tentative talks were under way to restore aid frozen over human rights concerns.

“It made it impossible to roll out programmes,” explained Attila Lajos, the EU’s ambassador to The Gambia.

“Jammeh’s government ignored the existence of migration… now we have absolute engagement across the government. They are open to exploring avenues on how to address the root causes of migration.”

Brussels has seized the opportunity to work with the new government on reducing the number of Gambians heading for Europe. It has already pledged a total aid package of 225 million euros, some of which will go towards projects aimed at encouraging economic growth and employment opportunities.

Neven Mimica, EU commissioner for international cooperation and development, made his first diplomatic visit to The Gambia in February, and on 16 March President Barrow met Mimica and foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels to discuss the aid package and cooperation on migration.

Getting started

With 11 million euros in funding from the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, a four-year project to deter migration through vocational skills training has already been launched.

While jobs and skills creation programmes may only yield results after many years, Lajos suggested that work on increasing voluntary returns and re-admissions of Gambian migrants stuck in transit could have “an immediate impact on reducing migration to Europe”.

Convincing migrants already en route to Europe to return home will be the focus of a regional project covering 14 countries expected to begin in May, also with funding from the Emergency Trust Fund. It will be the first of its kind run by IOM and will include a 3.9-million-euro programme targeting Gambian migrants.

But, if this approach is to succeed, much more needs to be done to support returnees, said Lamin Darboe, executive director of the National Youth Council.

The NYC runs an IOM-funded livelihoods programme for returnees that focuses on developing livelihoods from selling ocean-caught fish to communities inland where demand is high. But Darboe said, so far at least, its impact has been limited.

Ebrima Sisoho, 35, has been part of the programme since returning from Libya last September, after two failed attempts to reach Europe. He received a start-up grant to buy fish stocks and shares a refrigerated vehicle with nine other returnees. But after divvying up their weekly profits, what he earns amounts to little more than the price of a bag of rice.

“It’s a nice project, but at the moment it’s not really benefitting me,” said Sisoho, whose main living is still selling second-hand clothes from a wheelbarrow. “It’s given me ideas for making a business. If I could, I would buy a motorbike and do this on my own.”

Jason Florio/IRIN
Ebrima Sisoho participates in an IOM-funded livelihoods programme for returned migrants but still earns his main living from selling second-hand clothing from a wheelbarrow

Short window

Effective reintegration needs to go deeper than start-up funds, said Darboe. Many returnees face stigma and blame from their communities for coming back empty-handed, often after having sunk their families into debt. Some are also suffering psychological trauma from their experiences in Libya and elsewhere along the route.

“The degree of reintegration support will go a long way in determining whether the returnees will stay here or plan to return,” said Darboe, who noted that past initiatives have merely enabled some returnees to attempt the back way again.

He added that if the harrowing experiences of the recent repatriates from Libya could be shared with their communities, perceptions of the risks that accompany irregular migration might change.

Nyabally’s uncle, Alieu, agreed: “I think experiences like Mohammed’s will discourage others from taking the back way because the rate of failure is much higher than the success.”

Time will tell whether becoming a democracy will reverse Gambia’s back way trend or only temporarily reduce Europe’s appeal. 

“There is an overall feeling of ‘let’s stay here and do our bit for Gambia’,” said Bombassei of IOM. “How long this will last will depend on how quickly the economic situation improves.”

(Additional reporting by Jason Florio)

(TOP PHOTO: Mohammed Nyabally, 18, is one of 140 Gambians who recently abandoned their dreams of reaching Europe and accepted voluntary return from Libya. Jason Florio/IRIN)

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New Gambia, new migration? img_5309.jpg Louise Hunt Feature Migration BANJUL IRIN West Africa Gambia Europe European Union
          Can Barrow deliver on the promise of a “New Gambia”?        

The Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow, received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Banjul after his makeshift inauguration in neighbouring Senegal at the end of January.

Tens of thousands of well-wishers came out to rejoice at the democratic victory that ended more than two decades of rule by autocrat Yahya Jammeh.

Barrow and his coalition government are riding high on a wave of popularity. But they have major challenges ahead in reforming a country that effectively has to be rebuilt from scratch within a self-imposed three-year term.

If the honeymoon period is to last, their first test is to prove to the nation that “New Gambia” really is a different country.

Great expectations

“We have got to start on the right footing,” said Sait Matty Jaw, a Gambian PhD student who went into exile in Norway after being arrested and imprisoned in 2014 for his human rights work. “Everything under Jammeh’s regime was tailor-made to suit his interests, so for us to move forward, the government has to show it is different from the former regime.”

After 22 years of not being allowed to criticise the government, Gambians – especially the younger generation of educated professionals that played a major role in pushing for political change – are already scrutinising the new administration.

For some, Barrow’s cabinet announcements last week carried disappointing echoes of the old ways of appointing: entitlement over merit.

Out of the 11 filled posts (there are seven remaining), each of the seven parties that form the coalition got a major post, while Barrow’s United Democratic Party got three. One blog suggested he had chosen a “cabinet that attempts to reward and preserve the coalition that brought him to power”.

“The potential for patronage is still there,” noted Jeggan Grey-Johnson, a Gambian who works for the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa and hopes to play an active role in the reform process.

“Barrow doesn’t (yet) have the experience and gravitas as a politician, and those surrounding him have 10 times the amount of authority, so he will have to defer to their competing interests.”

The cabinet is old (the average age is above 60) and predominantly male, and that demographic has also come in for criticism.

“They may have the wisdom, but they lack the dynamism required to deal with the modern challenges of the Gambian youth population,” argued Salieu Taal, a lawyer and founder of the #GambiaHasDecided opposition umbrella movement.

New Gambian President Adama Barrow
Jason Florio/IRIN

Youth power

It is the younger generation that has been the driving force behind political change, voting in unprecedented numbers in the 2016 election. It is no surprise they want to make sure their voices are heard and represented in government after decades of repression.

Last week, youth groups staged the country’s first peaceful demonstration without worry of harassment by the authorities. Around 1,000 youths protested outside the National Assembly, calling for all members of parliament that supported Jammeh’s motion for a state of emergency to resign.

The National Youth Council is also launching the Not2Young2Run campaign to encourage and support young people in contesting for parliament in the National Assembly elections in April.

The coalition government has already made clear it is a transitional administration with the primary goal of righting the wrongs perpetrated under Jammeh.

Speaking before he was appointed as foreign minister, Ousainou Darboe, a former opposition leader, acknowledged that three years was too short a time to repair all the damage, but said “the foundations will have been laid”.

So far, the government has not shared any kind of roadmap for what it specifically aims to achieve, and it runs the risk of failing to manage expectations.

“The government needs to identify the magnitude of the challenge and where to prioritise its interventions,” said Grey-Johnson. “People need to be reassured that the coalition understands the challenges and to communicate there is a plan in place and how they’re going to go about it.”

Economic crisis

The economy is in dire straits. The Gambia’s poverty rate is 50 percent and its debt repayment rate is 100 percent of GDP, according to Grey-Johnson. “So, whatever we make goes straight out of the country,” he said. “Gambia is insolvent. We are broke.”

Add to this the thousands of tourists during the December election crisis that went home in the middle of the season, the hotels that are only half booked, and the reality is “unemployment is about to shoot up”, Grey-Thompson added.

New Gambia
Jason Florio/IRIN

It is unlikely the rate of youth unemployment can be tackled anytime soon. And this is the most urgent employment problem the government faces, with thousands of youths attempting the illegal “backway” Mediterranean route to Europe.

“The backway trend is only going to be addressed if there are policies to attract the young people to come back and fulfil their dreams,” Employment Minister Isatou Touray told IRIN.

That means “finding jobs and addressing the human rights situation, and having freedom of movement so that they can help themselves under this regime”.

Donors on board

The coalition is already making good on its promise of improving international relations and encouraging long-term business investment, development, and, ultimately, job creation.

In its first weeks, ministers have met with officials from several donor countries, including China. There have been talks with the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, as well as the signing of the first World Bank-funded project to promote child and maternal health.

A decision by the European Union to reinstate its 33-million-euro development fund, frozen from 2015/16 over human rights concerns, is also a welcome move.

Abdul Aziz Bensouda, secretary general of the Gambia Bar Association, believes that establishing a truth and reconciliation commission will also be an important part of the reform process – a step towards healing after decades of human rights abuses and embezzlement under Jammeh.

“We need a commission of inquiry to investigate the crimes over the years, to allow civil society to decide what to do with them,” he said.

Momodou Sabally, a former minister who was imprisoned twice by Jammeh, agrees on the need for a truth and reconciliation process, but sounds a note of caution.

“I know there’s a lot of anger and zeal for vengeance, but we should be careful,” he said. “So many people have served in Jammeh’s regime; some of the victims now have been villains too in this long stretch of time.”

If not handled properly, “the government won’t be able to do any work,” said Sabally. “They’ll be having to deal with these things piecemeal until their time is up. So, it’s important to address this in as mature a manner as possible.”

The young, in particular, are in a rush to create New Gambia, but how much real change can be achieved in just three years under a coalition government? For Bensouda, simply “righting the wrongs and democratising the country” would be a start.

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Can Barrow deliver on the promise of a “New Gambia”? new_gambia_barrow_2.jpg Louise Hunt Analysis Human Rights Politics and Economics BANJUL IRIN Africa Gambia
          Bye bye Jammeh: Hope and challenges in The Gambia        

Only disgraced ex-president Yahya Jammeh’s most hardcore supporters turned up to watch as he boarded a private jet at the weekend for exile in Equatorial Guinea. Some soldiers and members of his political party cried and shouted: “Daddy, Daddy”. Others aggressively jeered at supporters of The Gambia’s new coalition government.

But once he took to the skies, most of the nation breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“This day is amazing. We didn’t see it coming. We didn’t believe that he would leave, and the fact that this has happened democratically is the greatest achievement,” said 24-year-old Aminata, part of a youth group helping Gambian refugees as they arrived back at the ferry terminal in Banjul.

“A year ago, we thought this would be impossible. But now we are hopeful that things will change. Now, we feel that destiny is in our hands, because leaders will have to be more accountable. Now, we know the power of our vote.”

The moment was all the more remarkable because of what was at stake if the situation had unravelled. “We are in disbelief that we have come out of this in peace. We are glad that Jammeh has gone, but in a solemn way, because we came so close to war,” added Aminata’s friend, Khadija.

Adama Barrow, The Gambia’s new president, was sworn in last week. For his safety, the ceremony had to take place in Dakar, Senegal, and he was not planning to return home until a West African military intervention force had secured the country.

They were poised across the border the night Barrow was sworn in, and the threat of force was crucial in buttressing mediation efforts by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS that eventually succeeded in pressuring Jammeh to accept his electoral defeat and step down.

ECOWAS troops and military vehicles now patrol the streets of Banjul, cheered as they pass. Gambian soldiers are meanwhile being disarmed because of a concern that rogue elements, still loyal to Jammeh, could cause trouble.

Adama Barrow - the man of the moment
Jason Florio/IRIN
Adama Barrow - the man of the moment

From total power to ignominy

Jammeh, along with a group of other young officers, came to power in a coup in 1994. After 22 years of oppressive rule, in which arbitrary detention, torture, and disappearances were common, he suffered a shock electoral defeat in a 1 December ballot that most analysts assumed he would rig.

At first, Jammeh magnanimously accepted the result, only to change tack a week later and declare the poll void. He petitioned the Supreme Court for a fresh election, but as he had sacked most of the judges 18 months previously the court could not hear the challenge before May.  

He then declared a state of emergency that technically would have allowed him to stay in power for another three months. This desperate, last-ditch attempt to cling to power was ignored by the West African leaders who were working to resolve the crisis.

By then, Jammeh’s grip on power was already slipping. Most of his cabinet had deserted him and his army chief, General Ousman Badjie, had conceded that his soldiers would not resist the ECOWAS intervention force.

Barrow’s inauguration speech embraced the history-making moment. “This is a day no Gambian will ever forget,” he said. “The capacity to effect change through the ballot box has proven that power belongs to the people in The Gambia. Violent change is banished forever from the political life of our country. All Gambians are therefore winners.”

But the fact that Barrow’s much-anticipated swearing-in couldn’t take place on Gambian soil is a bitter reminder of the regime’s far-reaching net of oppression.   

Jammeh had ordered there to be no inauguration celebrations. In the event, nothing could stop at least several thousand young Gambians defiantly taking to the streets.

At Westfield Junction – the symbolic location just outside Banjul where opposition activist Solo Sandeng was arrested in April last year after calling for electoral reform (he was subsequently tortured to death) – the crowd grew and grew. Above the throng was one united cry: “Gambia has decided”.

Throughout the political impasse, activists had been peacefully campaigning to ensure Gambians’ democratic choice was upheld. #GambiaHasDecided became a social media phenomenon, also appearing on billboards and T-shirts, defying Jammeh’s attempts to silence dissent.

Gambians that fled come home
Jason Florio/IRIN
Gambians that fled come home

What now?

Having put themselves on the line, young Gambians who voted for change are determined to see a new Gambia achieved.

“The day the coalition was formed – that was the day the whole country smiled,” said Momodou Jallow, 28.

But Jallow also offered a sobering reminder to the coalition not to lose sight of how they came to power. “I voted for Adama Barrow not because I liked him but because I didn’t want to vote for Jammeh,” he told IRIN.

Jallow, who was recently arrested for posting views critical of Jammeh’s government on social media, wants to see a change in the constitution, in particular the introduction of a two-term presidential limit.

And there are plenty of other challenges facing the new administration. After more than 22 years of Jammeh’s autocratic rule, it must start pretty much from scratch: having to install a cabinet, institute a proper rule of law, and launch much-needed military and political reforms amid a climate of both uncertainty and expectation.

Barrow began announcing his cabinet on Monday. A notable pick was Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang, a former minister and United Nations Development Programme staffer credited as the main force in galvanising the previously fractious opposition parties.

One of the new administration’s first tasks will be to support the return of the 46,000 refugees estimated by the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to have fled to Senegal and Guinea over the past weeks, fearing impending conflict.

An estimated 25,000 have also been internally displaced, according to the Gambian Red Cross Society. Almost everyone in the capital sent family members – mainly women, children, and the elderly – away to the sanctuary of relatives in other parts of the country.

Extra pressure is being placed on already stretched food supplies and sanitation in the some of The Gambia’s poorest communities, according to a rapid assessment survey by United Purpose, an NGO.

Jammeh’s stubbornness also hurt Gambia’s already ailing economy by dealing a blow to its main revenue earner – tourism. As the crisis deepened, Western governments sent charter planes to pick up holidaymakers, right in the middle of peak season.

Watching the inauguration
Jason Florio/IRIN
The revolution is televised - watching the inauguration

Tackling impunity

But uppermost in many Gambians’ minds is how Jammeh and his accomplices will be made to pay for the wide-ranging crimes and abuses perpetrated under his regime.

Jammeh is free to return to The Gambia in the future under the exile terms set out in a joint statement by the UN, the Afrcian Union, and ECOWAS. These state that he, his family, and his senior aides should have the same rights to dignity and safety as any former president.

The unsigned communique implies that he will have impunity from prosecution but it doesn’t impose any legal obligations on the new Gambian administration. Barrow has since referred to it as a “resolution, not an agreement”.

Barrow’s administration intends to establish a truth and reconciliation committee, which will gather evidence. But some people do not think this process will go far enough.

The new government’s spokesman, Halifa Sallah, has already hinted that it may not be in the national interest to delve too deeply into the past.

But Fatou Jagne, West Africa director of human rights NGO, Article 19, has welcomed a homegrown reconciliation process, saying: “We need to give Gambians a chance to set up a mechanism that will work for them to get to the justice and the truth.”

New Gambia has begun. It’s a place where people can now speak freely and have hope for the future, but the new administration will need to carefully manage the soaring expectations of its people, according to Abdul Aziz Bensouda, secretary-general of the Gambian Bar Association.

“People have expectations for rapid development, but [this will be difficult] with a budget that’s just enough to pay the bills,” he said. “It is a case of trying to right the wrongs under Jammeh’s regime, and move us [forward].”

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TOP PHOTO: Gambians welcome West African ECOMIG troops to Banjul. CREDIT: Jason Florio

Bye bye Jammeh: Hope and challenges in The Gambia West African ECOMIG troops welcomed in Banjul.jpg Louise Hunt Feature Conflict Human Rights Politics and Economics BANJUL IRIN Africa West Africa Gambia
          Ten humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017        

While 2016 taught us to expect the unexpected, IRIN’s eyes and ears on the ground have given us an idea of what to look out for in the new year. We can’t promise everyone else will be covering these stories, but here are ten we’ll be watching:

The impact of Trump

Since Donald Trump’s election, speculation has been rife about what his presidency will mean for the wider world. His many statements and tweets on the campaign trail suggest that he intends to prioritise domestic and security interests over foreign aid spending and will roll back efforts made during the Obama administration to combat climate change.

But many in the humanitarian sector have been adopting a glass half full attitude, publicly at least, by pointing out that foreign aid has bipartisan support and Republicans in Congress will oppose any major cuts to foreign assistance. Others are predicting that even if the Trump administration doesn’t significantly cut overall aid spending, it will favour channelling aid through partnerships with the private sector and results-oriented initiatives like the Millennium Challenge Corporation, rather than through traditional recipients like the UN and international NGOs.

A Trump administration seems likely to allocate less aid to reproductive health and family planning programmes, and funding for initiatives relating to climate change will almost certainly be on the chopping block too. Trump has appointed a number of climate change sceptics to his cabinet, including Rick Perry, who will head the Department of Energy and Scott Pruitt, who will lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Venezuela undone

The oil-rich nation has been unravelling in almost every conceivable way in 2016 – from runaway inflation and empty supermarket shelves to the virtual collapse of the public health sector with the resurgence of previously eradicated diseases like malaria and diphtheria. The government closely guards data on what appear to be steep rises in maternal and infant mortality rates, poverty and malnutrition, but doctors and civil society groups have been monitoring the worrying trajectory.

With the government of President Nicolas Maduro still in complete denial about the growing humanitarian crisis (let alone accepting some responsibility for it), the downward spiral will only continue in 2017. Vatican-mediated talks between the government and the opposition that started in October have so far failed to yield an agreement to lift the country’s ban on international aid, a change that could alleviate critical medicine shortages.

Maduro successfully stalled a recall vote that would likely have unseated him in October 2016. Under Venezuela’s constitutional rules, should Maduro lose a referendum in 2017, he will still be able to hand over power to his vice president and keep the United Socialist Party in power. With a political solution virtually off the table, more social unrest seems inevitable in 2017. Increasingly, Venezuelans will be forced to cross borders in search of livelihoods, healthcare and affordable food. Look to Brazil and Colombia, who will likely bear the brunt of this growing forced migration.

Yemen’s downward spiral

A small sliver of the world is finally paying attention to Yemen. That’s in part due to activist campaigns pushing the United States and Britain to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, not to mention the Saudis’ grudging admission they had used British cluster bombs in the war (followed by Britain’s statement of the same).

But the war and humanitarian catastrophe marches on. Despite assurances by the Saudi-led coalition that they take great care to avoid collateral damage – to IRIN no less – there have been attacks on markets and funerals, and now more than 4,300 civilian deaths since the war began last March. And that’s only what the decimated health system can count.

family and tent
Mohammed Yaseen Ahmed Ibrahim/IRIN
3.3 million people are displaced in Yemen

Peace talks don’t offer much hope. The UN-backed peace process – already a set of negotiations between elites that didn’t take into account the reality on the ground – is going nowhere, and Houthi rebels have set up their own government.

And now, Yemen is at serious risk of sliding into famine. Before the war, the country relied on imports for 90 percent of its food. With the economy in tatters, importers are finding it hard to bring in what the country needs, and families simply don’t have the cash to buy food.

The post-Aleppo future of Syria

The final fall of the last pocket of resistance in east Aleppo, with fighters and civilians evacuated outside the city, was major victory for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. But it does not signal the end of the war or the suffering. Rebels still control the province of Idlib and much of Deraa, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have Afrin in the north, while Turkey appears to have territorial ambitions. Plus there’s so-called Islamic State, resurgent in Palmyra and still in control of Raqqa.

Aleppo also marks yet another failure for diplomacy. The last round of Geneva talks seems a distant memory, and while a new ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey appears to be holding in some parts of the country, the truce doesn’t include all rebel groups. If this deal doesn’t pave the way for planned peace talks in Kazakhstan and full-scale violence begins again, it’s not clear where al-Assad will take the fight next. But it seems likely that the siege tactics that have typified the war will lead to more local truces and evacuations.

Once again, this year looks bleak for Syria’s civilians – those bussed from Aleppo are headed into warzones in the middle of winter, joining the 6.3 million civilians already displaced into their own country.

Myanmar’s Rohingya – a long-running crisis and a new insurgency

There are few groups as persecuted as the Rohingya. During decades of military rule, Myanmar’s generals gradually stripped away most of their rights, including citizenship, and imposed the apartheid system they live under today.

About half a million Rohingya have fled across the border during attacks on their communities over the past decades, but Bangladesh doesn’t want them either and refuses to even register them as refugees. The last few months of 2016 saw a new wave of migration over the border as Myanmar’s military allegedly carried out widespread abuses of civilians in the wake of attacks by a new insurgent group.

Myanmar’s heavy-handed approach is unlikely to crush the group, known as Harakah al-Yakin [“Faith Movement” in Arabic]. In fact, there is a good chance that by targeting the civilian population, the military will drive more youth to join the insurgency. So far, the insurgents have targeted only Myanmar security forces and their motivation seems purely local – to push the government to grant the Rohingya citizenship. But there is a danger that international Islamist groups, including IS, could capitalise on the movement, which could threaten regional stability.

Genocide and famine warnings in South Sudan

South Sudan’s descent continues, and it’s likely to only get worse in 2017. The civil war drove 400,000 people across the border into Uganda since a peace deal broke down in July, and there are now more than 1.8 million people internally displaced.

Ongoing fighting has disrupted farming and made it impossible to provide humanitarian relief in many areas. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization warns: “All available indicators point to an unprecedented deterioration of the food security situation across South Sudan in 2017. The risk of famine is real for thousands of people.”

The war and competition for scarce resources have also led to the “extreme polarization of some ethnic groups,” warned Adama Dieng, the UN’s special advisor on the prevention of genocide, in November. If that process continues, he said, “there is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines, with the potential for genocide.”

Unfortunately, efforts to pressure the government and rebels to return to peace talks have failed. South Sudan enters 2017 under the shadow of looming famine and possible genocide, and the international community seems unable or unwilling to force leaders to stop fighting before they drive their country into an even deeper crisis.

Iraq’s displacement crisis

All eyes are on Mosul – the battle that could finally finish off IS in Iraq. Aid groups warn that as many as one million civilians are trapped inside, and more than 110,000 people have already fled the surrounding areas. But there’s another, related problem, brewing in Iraq. Overall 3 million people are displaced across the country, many from areas controlled or already liberated from IS.

For Sunnis from Anbar province – from cities like Fallujah and Ramadi – going home is far from a sure thing. Those thought to have ties to IS can’t go home, and are stuck in camps, makeshift shelters, or elsewhere. Ignoring this problem risks radicalisation of a population that already feels scapegoated and has in the past been controlled by both al-Qaeda and IS.

It’s not just Sunnis at risk here. Some Christians say they are too afraid to go home to liberated villages near Mosul. The Iraqi government can hardly keep the lights on and has focused its limited resources on the fighting. But this shortsightedness comes at the country’s future peril.

In Afghanistan, more than a million people “on the move”

It’s been a while since Afghanistan had a good year, but the last one has been especially tough – and it’s set the scene for a disastrous 2017.

After a decade and a half of “boots on the ground” style warfare, the United States withdrew almost all of its troops. This triggered a surprisingly unexpected economic collapse that the country is still struggling to bounce back from. The past year also saw the emergence a migration crisis that will further complicate any economic recovery.

Two of Afghanistan’s neighbours, Pakistan and Iran, have been pushing Afghan refugees back over the border in massive numbers, while the European Union signed a deal that made aid contingent upon the Afghan government’s agreement to accept rejected asylum seekers. The first plane carrying Afghans deported from Germany arrived in mid-December. In addition, record numbers of people were internally displaced by conflict in 2016.                  

Going into the new year, Afghanistan is struggling to support 583,174 people displaced by conflict over the past year, as well as 616,620 people who returned from other countries.

Andrew Quilty/IRIN
Outside the UN’s intake centre between the Pakistan border and the city of Jalalabad, in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province

There’s no sign that the Taliban insurgency will ease up, and efforts at convincing them to talk peace with the government have so far been spectacularly unsuccessful. Afghanistan’s military is also battling other insurgent groups, notably IS, which has emerged as a brutal force to be reckoned with in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Meanwhile, Iran continues to push Afghans back home, Europe is likely to return more, and Pakistan says it will begin forced deportations of all Afghans who have not left the country by March.

Kabila stays on in Congo

The political false dawn of 2016, Hillary Clinton apart, was the electoral concession that wasn’t by the autocrat running Gambia. The announcement turned out to be just a ploy by President Yahya Jammeh to buy himself more time to work out how he might extend his 22-and-a-half years in power. But we're also shifting our attention from Africa’s smallest mainland country to its second largest – the Democratic Republic of Congo, where President Joseph Kabila appears to be engaged in similar manoeuvring that has already cost dozens of lives and led to hundreds of arrests.

Although violent unrest in the Gambia shouldn’t be discounted, the consequences of Kabila clinging to power could be even more disastrous. At the moment, an uneasy truce of sorts seems to be holding. Opposition parties have agreed, in principle at least, to allow Kabila to remain as president until the end of next year, but discussions ahead on a transitional government and delayed elections could quickly unravel. Kabila might also try to amend the constitution again to delay elections into 2018 and beyond. With neighbouring Burundi already in extended turmoil over term limits and memories still fresh of the 1998-2003 Second Congo War that dragged in nine African nations and led to an estimated six million deaths, events in Kinshasa are worth keeping a close eye on in 2017.

The opposition is weak and, in Kinshasa at least, unarmed, so with little international pressure being brought to bear and the media spotlight elsewhere, the received wisdom is that Kabila will quietly cement his hold on power. But if 2016 taught us anything, it’s to be ready for the unexpected.

Famine in the Lake Chad Basin region

In terms of sheer numbers and need, one humanitarian crisis that could overshadow all of the above next year lies in the vast Lake Chad Basin. It has had little coverage by journalists; perhaps more under-reported than any other humanitarian emergency of a similar scale. Despite military progress against Boko Haram extremists, 2016 saw conditions deteriorate fast in this troubled region, where Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria meet.

Mausi Segun, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, told IRIN that such appalling scenes, including the faces of thousands of starving children, haven’t been seen here since the 1967-70 war with secessionist Biafra. Early warning network FEWS NET says 4.7 million people need emergency food assistance in northeastern Nigeria alone and warned on 13 December that a famine is already likely to have occurred and to be ongoing in remote pockets of the region. Across the border in Chad, conditions are little better – more than 130,000 people displaced by the Boko Haram conflict are scattered around camps, competing for slender resources with vulnerable host communities.

And it’s not just Boko Haram that is the problem: a combination of human water use and climate change has shrunk the lake itself to a 20th of its original size since the 1960s. The crisis is already enormous and only likely to deepen in 2017.

People at a food distribution site on Lake Chad
Ashley Hamer/IRIN
The majority of people at this food distribution site on Lake Chad hail from the Buduma ethnic group

(TOP PHOTO: Approaching the militarised “red zone” towards the border with Niger, displaced families in the Lake Chad Basin gather for another distribution of cash handouts. Ashley Hamer/IRIN)

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img_4665.jpg Analysis Aid and Policy Migration Environment and Disasters Climate change Conflict Human Rights Politics and Economics Ten humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017 IRIN Africa Burundi Congo, Republic of South Sudan Cameroon Chad Gambia Niger Nigeria Americas Venezuela Asia Afghanistan Myanmar Global Middle East and North Africa Iraq Saudi Arabia Syria Yemen
          The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts        

Across much of the world, the festive season is a time of indulgence. But what if you’re too busy fleeing violence and upheaval, or stuck in a refugee camp on reduced rations?

It’s been a hard year for the most vulnerable among us. This is partly due to tightening aid budgets, but it’s also the result of there simply being so many more people in crisis who need help.

“It's not just a question of falling donor funding; most donors have continued to be generous, providing funds at relatively consistent levels for years,” World Food Programme spokeswoman Challiss McDonough told IRIN.  “But the number of [those in need] is much larger.”

A prime example is Uganda, where 602,000 South Sudanese refugees are sheltering. As a result of the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan, “we are now supporting nearly twice as many refugees as we were just six months ago”, explained McDonough.

WFP, as the global emergency food responder, is feeling the strain. “I'd say there are probably very few countries where we have not had to make some kind of adjustment to our assistance plans because of a lack of funding,” said McDonough.

The following is a not-so-festive guide to where WFP has been forced to make cuts to already minimal food rations in Africa. It includes some non-refugee national programmes, which have also been impacted by funding shortfalls.

Burkina Faso

Rations have been reduced and cash assistance suspended for the 31,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso. As a result, about a quarter of refugees do not have enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs.

“Most refugees in the camps depend solely on humanitarian assistance to survive,” said WFP country director Jean-Charles Dei. “When assistance is interrupted or insufficient, the food security and nutrition situation dramatically deteriorate, especially for women, children, and elderly people.”

Burundi

Lack of funding has impacted a range of activities targeting vulnerable communities. Food-for-training for Congolese refugees and Burundian migrants expelled from Tanzania and Rwanda has been suspended. The number of children reached through an anti-stunting campaign has been reduced by 70 percent, with the programme halted entirely in Ruramvya and Rutana provinces.

Cameroon

Monthly food rations for Central African Republic refugees in Cameroon was cut by 50 percent in November and December. The 150,000 refugees are entirely dependent on international aid.

In May, WFP also halted its meals programme to 16 primary schools in northern Cameroon due to a lack of funding.

Central African Republic

WFP has been unable to assist more than 500,000 people in urgent need of aid and has been forced to halve the amount of food it has provided to those it can reach. Emergency school meals have been suspended in the capital, Bangui, and rations to displaced people in the violence-hit central town of Kaga Bandoro have been slashed by 75 percent. “WFP needs to urgently mobilise flexible contributions to cover for distributions from January onwards,” the agency has warned.

Chad

For the past two years, refugees in Chad have survived on monthly rations well below the minimum requirement. For some, the cuts have been by as much as 60 percent. A joint assessment released in November by WFP and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, found more than 40 percent of the 400,000 refugees in Chad are malnourished and the majority of children are anaemic.

Ethiopia

Since November 2015, ration cuts have affected more than 760,000 refugees, the bulk of them from South Sudan and Somalia. Although there was an improvement in general food rations from June this year, UNHCR has warned that households still face difficulties. The cuts have, in particular, affected children aged under the age of five, with global acute malnutrition above the 15 percent emergency threshold in 10 out of 22 assessed refugee camps.

Gambia

All nutrition and livelihood related activities have been suspended due to a lack of funding.

Kenya

In December, WFP cut monthly rations by half for the 400,000 refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps. It warned that unless urgent new funding is received, it will completely run out of food by February. Most refugees in Dadaab have already had their rations cut down to 70 percent of June 2015 levels, and UNHCR has warned of a likely increase in malnutrition as a result of the new squeeze.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement: “Given Kenya’s threat to deport Somalis has already triggered illegal forced refugee return, the UN ([World] Food Programme’s decision to further reduce refugee food rations could not have come at a worse time.”

Malawi

Ration cuts to 27,000 refugees meant that at the beginning of 2016 they were only receiving 40 percent of the recommended minimum number of daily kilocalories. Those shortages began six months earlier. By March, only three out of seven food items – maize, beans, and cooking oil – were being supplied. The Dzaleka camp hosts people mainly from the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions, with new arrivals escaping unrest across the border in Mozambique.

Mauritania

In November, WFP halved food rations to 42,500 Malian refugees. Without fresh funding, it says it will be forced to suspend general food distributions, including cash transfers, from next month. A school meals programme for vulnerable Mauritanian children has also been put on hold and will only partially resume in January.

Rwanda

A nationwide prevention of stunting programme for children aged six-23 months, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers has been discontinued due to limited funding.

Somalia

WFP will “significantly scale down” its livelihoods programmes in December 2016. If no additional resources are confirmed, it will only be able to continue with minimal programmes (mainly nutrition) from February 2017. WFP is targeting 1.4 million vulnerable Somalis in food-insecure areas.

Uganda

Rations have been cut by 50 percent for some 200,000 refugees who arrived in Uganda prior to July 2015. Low levels of funding, together with the large numbers of new arrivals fleeing fighting in South Sudan has left WFP workers “with no choice but to re-prioritise their focus on those refugees in greatest need.” The humanitarian response to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda was already severely underfunded even before the latest outbreak of violence in Juba in July.

(TOP PHOTO: Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo receive food rations distributed by WFP. WFP)

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Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu receive food rations distributed by WFP News Aid and Policy Food The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts Obi Anyadike IRIN NAIROBI Africa Burundi Central African Republic Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Uganda Malawi Burkina Faso Cameroon Chad Gambia Mauritania
          The challenge of building “New Gambia”        

Last Friday, the unbelievable happened in Gambia: after 22 years of autocratic rule, Yahya Jammeh peacefully conceded defeat in a historic presidential election. By Monday, 19 political prisoners, including former opposition leader Ousainou Darboe, had been released from jail.

It has been a head-spinning few days for the nation as it breaks free from oppression to rebuild what the incoming coalition government, headed by Adama Barrow, has branded “New Gambia”.

The challenges ahead are daunting. Ensuring a safe transfer of power and reassuring the country that the new government has a strong reform plan are the immediate tasks.

But after more than two decades of misrule, Gambians are also impatient for change and the list of problems is long: a prostrate and undiversified economy, a high rate of outmigration, heavily politicised state institutions – including a military and a criminal justice system used to operating by fear.

Expectations are sky-high as so much already seems to have happened so quickly.

Coalition 2016, officially formed only one month before the election, swept to victory on Friday with 46 percent of the vote, to Jammeh’s 37 percent. Independent candidate Mama Kandeh trailed on 18 percent.

Soon after the announcement that Jammeh was to stand down, delivered by the reportedly trembling chair of the Independent Electoral Commission, Gambians began pouring onto the streets, shouting for joy and dancing as car horns wailed.

Jubilation

The jubilant scenes shared through social media were a collective release. “It was like we had been under a magician’s spell and the spell had just broken,” said Alieu Bah, a 24-year-old activist and writer.

“Twenty four hours earlier we were in the polar opposite situation. It was like a dream. No one saw this coming, even the most optimistic of people.”

Gambia celebrates
Steve Cockburn/Amnesty International
Gambia celebrates

The coalition’s popularity was no surprise. Its two weeks of electoral campaigning had culminated in youthful and energised crowds packing streets for several kilometres in the rallies held in the urban coastal areas. But nobody expected Jammeh, who had vowed that only God could remove him from power, to accept defeat without a fight.

“People were ready for change, but knowing the type of person Jammeh is, they did not believe that he would concede defeat without contesting the results,” said exiled journalist Alhagie Jobe, reporting from Dakar, Senegal. “Hopes were not high for a peaceful transfer of power.”

Gambians were bracing for the worst after Jammeh, without warning, imposed a total internet and telecommunications ban at 8pm on the eve of the election. “We thought there would be Ivory Coast-style electoral violence,” said Jobe, referring to a 2010-11 crisis that led to civilian massacres.

But the communications blackout ultimately failed to intimidate voters, and activists and journalists within the country published rolling results via SMS and on satellite phones, in a victory for transparency.

“Jammeh was not happy,” said Jobe, who had been tortured and imprisoned for 18 months by the regime. “He fought behind the scenes. He did all he could to hold on to power, but because there was such a strong atmosphere for change he knew he couldn’t stop it: the people had spoken.”

What next?

There are now great hopes – and pressures – on the coalition to deliver their promise of a New Gambia, especially among youths who voted for change in unprecedented numbers.

“Youths came out and voted in this election and their voices have been heard,” said Dakar-based rapper Jerreh Badjie (stage name Retsam).

Youth activist Mariama Saine said she hoped that once the new government took back all the industries owned by Jammeh, including farms and factories, there would be more employment opportunities that would provide an alternative to high-risk migration.

“Jammeh has monopolised any sector youths could fit into, now these will be areas the new government can develop for youths.”

For Bah, a new referendum should be held on the constitution to guarantee the secular nature of the country, introduce term limits, and guarantee human rights, and freedom of movement.

“Jammeh also needs to be held to account,” he said. “He should face justice through a fair trial."

Jammeh concedes
Steve Cockburn/Amnesty International
Jammeh concedes in a phone call to Adama Barrow

Bintou Kamara, a Paris-based Gambian who founded an organisation to disseminate information about migration, said: “Now, there is a new window of hope for the entire population.

“Some migrants I have spoken to who are in a deplorable situation in Europe are thinking of going home. They will be empty-handed but they will be coming back to hope. There will be lots of returnees.”

Freedom of speech

The most immediate change for Gambians is the ability to speak freely. Over the weekend, the scenes from former businessman Barrow’s victory parade showed partying crowds and people tearing down and stamping on Jammeh’s paternally smiling election banners.

Bah, one of the few activists to criticise the government through social media while living in Gambia, told IRIN that before the election he could have been arrested at any time. “People really feared for my life, but I survived. This is what it means to triumph over a dictatorship. Gambia has become a beacon of hope. This is what we want to be remembered for.”

Photojournalist Alhagie Manka also needs no reminder of the brutal regime the country has just broken free from.

He was one of three journalists detained by the security forces at the start of the electoral campaign in a bid to intimidate the press and the electorate. “I was held for seven days, but they did not tell me why. They just kept asking me who I work for in the diaspora.”

Commenting on what the outcome means for him, Manka said: “I am overjoyed, knowing that I have witnessed history. We have been living in hell under Yahya Jammeh, and we thank God he is leaving now, and I hope he will leave in peace.”

Who’s in charge?

Behind the grins, people are understandably nervous about the transfer of power.

With Barrow’s inauguration not taking place until mid-January and a large military presence remaining on the streets, it’s clearly a highly sensitive security matter.

Human rights organisations Amnesty International and Article 19 have called for a “safe transfer of power”, but said they cannot comment further.  

Sheriff Bojang, a Gambian journalist at West Africa Democracy Radio in Dakar, said there was still uncertainty about who is in charge of the military.

“It worries many people that the military hasn’t said anything so far to assure the population that there is no need for concern and that the country is safe and that the will of the people will continue to prevail,” he said.

President-elect Barrow is due to meet outgoing Jammeh at State House soon, and address the nation. In the meantime, the release on bail of Darboe and the 18 other political prisoners arrested during protests in April is a “positive step”, according to Amnesty International.

Fatoumatta Sandeng, whose father Solo Sandeng was allegedly tortured to death by the regime for protesting in April, told IRIN the new government is “a dream come true. It means freedom for the Sandeng family. It means justice.

“We are glad that my father didn’t die in vain, and his efforts – and that of all those who have contributed their part in making sure the Jammeh regime ends – have paid [off].”

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TOP PHOTO: Celebrating a historic election victory CREDIT: Steve Cockburn/Amnesty International

The challenge of building “New Gambia” gambia_2.jpg Louise Hunt Feature Human Rights Politics and Economics DAKAR IRIN Africa West Africa Gambia
          Will a united opposition finally unseat Gambia’s strongman?        

There has been unprecedented popular protest this year against the regime of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh. But as the country heads to elections this week, hope for change is giving way to trepidation he will win and extend his 22-year stay in power.

Human rights organisations have warned that the conditions leading up to Thursday’s vote are not conducive to a free and fair election. There has been a spate of arrests of journalists and opposition activists in a country in which disappearances, arbitrary detention, and torture is commonplace.

The Sandeng family is all too aware of those dangers. In April, they were forced to flee, crossing the border with Senegal at night, at a point they hoped would be unguarded.

A week before, on 14 April, the head of the family, opposition activist Solo Sandeng, had allegedly been tortured to death by Gambia’s security forces for leading a peaceful protest near the capital, Banjul.

Escape

The family, five adults and five children, spent a week in hiding, knowing their home was under constant surveillance. Then, realising they had no choice but to leave, they sought refuge in Senegal.

It is a well-trodden escape route for the many Gambians who find themselves on the run from political persecution. “I was told to walk across the border and not look back,” said 22-year-old Fatoumatta Sandeng.

In their new home in exile, the Sandeng family crammed onto sponge mattresses on the floor as Fatoumatta related how her father, a leading member of the opposition United Democratic Party, had been marching with youth activists against new rules introduced by Jammeh to scupper his opponents’ chances in this election.

It was the first opposition demonstration since 14 students were gunned down by the army in 2000.

“People were protesting for electoral reforms so that there could be a change of government. Because if the elections were free and fair, which is very rare in the Gambia, people would be at least hopeful that it could bring a better Gambia for its citizens,” Fatoumatta explained.

Exiled Gambians pin hope of return on a new president-elect

Jason Florio and Louise Hunt/IRIN
Exiled Gambians pin hope of return on a new president-elect

Change

Jammeh’s regime has a long history of hounding dissenters, but due to the government’s tight control over the media Gambians are often unaware of the scale of human rights violations. The very public nature of Sandeng’s arrest was a wake-up call.

“In Gambia, we know there wouldn’t be any protests without the government trying to stop them,” said Fatoumatta. “But to the extent of arresting, torturing and killing someone: that was shocking to the Gambian people.”

Over April and May, Sandeng’s death ignited an unprecedented public outcry against the government’s brutality.

“Before, you didn’t see people protesting on the streets. People didn’t dare hold a banner that insults the president. Now, it’s happening,” noted Alhagie Jobe, a journalist who was tortured by the secret police and spent 18 months in prison before being acquitted of sedition charges. He now lives in exile in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

“It’s changing gradually. He [Jammeh] himself knows he is coming to the end of his administration. What people weren’t doing before for the past 20 years; it’s happening now. So that’s the signal that he’s losing power, gradually.”

Opposition re-set

Jammeh, who came to power in a military coup, responded to the bout of protests by arresting most of the UDP hierarchy, including party leader Ousainou Darboe. They were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for unlawful assembly, destabilising the party in the lead-up to the election.

Out of this adversity, the previously fractious opposition parties realised their only chance was to unite and form Gambia’s first opposition coalition. But one leader, Mamma Kandeh, refused to join, and there is concern he may split the opposition vote.

The “Coalition for Change 2016”, headed by the relatively unknown Adama Barrow, is nevertheless giving some Gambians hope that this time around there could be an upset at the ballot box, after four straight electoral wins by Jammeh.

“Gambians need big changes,” said 31-year-old Abdoulie Touray*, speaking quietly over Skype from his home near Banjul.

Touray left his rural village to study for a qualification in IT but could only find low-paid work as a watchman in a residential compound.

“In the early years, Jammeh did good work in developing the country, but now he is overstaying,” Touray told IRIN. “We need a new president who will move the country forward. A lot of people are not working and the economy is falling down.”

Gambia’s failure

The Gambia is one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 175 out of 188 in the Human Development Index. Children and young people under 30 make up the majority of the population and youth unemployment stands at 38 percent.

Gambia police station
D. Piris/Flickr
The opposition rarely gets such a welcome

In recent years, Jammeh’s autocratic decisions have increasingly isolated the country. In 2013, he withdrew Gambia from the Commonwealth; last year, he changed the title of the moderate Muslim-majority country to the Islamic Republic; and, in October, he opted to exit the International Criminal Court, on the grounds that it was biased against African countries.

Touray hopes that if the new seven-party opposition coalition wins on Thursday, it will have a better relationship with the outside world.

“We need people who can stabilise the country and bring in foreign investors. If people have jobs, they won’t go the backway,” he said, a reference to the illegal migration route to Europe.

Last year, Touray’s two brothers undertook the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean. The Gambia, with a population of two million, is currently the fifth largest contributor of migrants arriving by sea in Italy.

Exiles rally

In Dakar, political activist rappers Jerreh Badjie (stage name Retsam) and Ali Cham (Killa Ace) both have a strong following among Gambian youths. They are part of a tight circle of recently exiled young Gambians driving a social media movement to inform and motivate their peers back home to push for change.

“People are starting to see that if they don’t express themselves now, their lives and their children’s lives are at risk. They have to face the situation and talk now,” said Badjie, 27.

Cham believes the lack of freedom of expression is inhibiting young people’s potential and contributes to the “backway” mentality.

“It’s not that the backway is the only option, but to them it’s the easiest route [to improving their lives],” he told IRIN from his home recording studio, which is decorated with posters of revolutionaries and the Gambian flag.

Combatting apathy

Cham and Badjie accept that a lot of young people feel apathetic towards politics and want to boycott the election as a stand against what happened to the protesters in April and May.

But Cham insists inaction won’t help: “The only thing youths can do is vote against the system, even if they’re disgruntled. There’s not much else they can do.”

Meanwhile, in Gambia, locals report an edgy calm as the election approaches. “Everything is normal right now, but we are scared of what will happen if Jammeh gets voted out but refuses to leave,” said Touray. “We think there could be a lot of violence.”

Lamin Manneh*, a young writer, is taking a philosophical view: “My gut feeling is that the guy [Jammeh] will triumph. But the coalition is really unsettling the whole system; people are not as gullible as before. For me, this is bigger than politics. It’s about creating a mass movement for democracy.

“Even if it all ends as the year that something could have happened, but didn’t, I believe the seeds for democracy have been sown and are starting to take root.”

lh/oa/ag

* Not their real names

TOP PHOTO: President Yahya Jammeh, by Erin Siegal

Yahya Jammeh looks to extend his 22 years in power in elections this week Will a united opposition finally unseat Gambia’s strongman? jammeh.jpg Louise Hunt Feature Migration Human Rights Politics and Economics DAKAR IRIN Africa Gambia Senegal
          The US Military's Bloody "Successes": Training Foreign Militaries to Start Coups        

Winning! It's the White House watchword when it comes to the U.S. armed forces. "We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing -- you know what that is? Win! Win!" President Donald Trump exclaimed earlier this year while standing aboard the new aircraft carrier U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford.

Since World War II, however, neither preventing nor winning wars have been among America's strong suits.  The nation has instead been embroiled in serial conflicts and interventions in which victories have been remarkably scarce, a trend that has only accelerated in the post-9/11 era. From Afghanistan to Iraq, Somalia to the Philippines, Libya to Yemen, military investments -- in lives and tax dollars -- have been costly and enduring victories essentially nonexistent. 

But Amadou Sanogo is something of a rare all-American military success story, even if he isn't American and his success was fleeting.  Sanogo learned English in Texas, received instruction from U.S. Marines in Virginia, took his intelligence training in Arizona, and underwent Army infantry officer basic training in Georgia.  Back home in his native Mali, the young army officer was reportedly much admired for his sojourn, studies, and training in the United States.

In March 2012, Sanogo put his popularity and skills to use when he led a coup that overthrew Mali's elected government. "America is [a] great country with a fantastic army. I tried to put all the things I learned there into practice here," he told Der Spiegel during his tenure as Mali's military strongman. (He eventually lost his grip on power, was arrested, and in 2016 went on trial for "complicity in kidnapping and assassination.")

Since 9/11, the United States has spent more than $250 billion training foreign military and police personnel like Sanogo.  Year after year, a sprawling network of U.S. programs provides 200,000 of these soldiers and security officers with assistance and support.  In 2015, almost 80,000 of them, hailing from 154 countries, received what's formally known as Foreign Military Training (FMT). 

The stated goals of two key FMT programs -- International Military Education and Training (IMET) and the Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) -- include promoting "international peace and security" and increasing the awareness among foreign military personnel of "internationally recognized human rights."  In reality, these programs focus on strengthening U.S. partner and proxy forces globally, though there's scant evidence that they actually succeed in that goal. A study published in July, analyzing data from 1970 to 2009, finds that FMT programs are, however, effective at imparting skills integral to at least one specific type of armed undertaking. "We find a robust relationship between U.S. training of foreign militaries and military-backed coup attempts," wrote Jonathan Caverley of the U.S. Naval War College and Jesse Savage of Trinity College Dublin in the Journal of Peace Research.  

Bad Actors

Through nearly 200 separate programs, the State Department and the Department of Defense (DoD) engage in what's called "security cooperation," "building partner capacity," and other assistance to foreign forces.  In 2001, the DoD administered about 17% of security assistance funding. By 2015, that figure had jumped to approximately 60%. The Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program, a post-9/11 creation indicative of this growth, is mostly run through the DoD and focuses on training mid- and senior-level defense officials from allied militaries in the tenets of counterterrorism. The State Department, by contrast, is the driving force behind the older and larger IMET program, though the Defense Department implements the training.

Under IMET, foreign personnel -- like Sanogo -- travel to the U.S. to take classes and undergo instruction at military schools and bases. "IMET is designed to help foreign militaries bolster their relationships with the United States, learn about U.S. military equipment, improve military professionalism, and instill democratic values in their members," wrote Joshua Kurlantzick in a 2016 Council on Foreign Relations memorandum aimed at reforming the program.

However, in an investigation published earlier this year, Lauren Chadwick of the Center for Public Integrity found that, according to official U.S. government documents, at least 17 high-ranking foreigners -- including five generals -- trained through IMET between 1985 and 2010 were later accused and in some cases convicted of criminal and human rights abuses. An open-source study by the non-profit Center for International Policy found another 33 U.S.-trained foreign military officers who later committed human rights abuses. And experts suggest that the total number of criminal U.S. trainees is likely to be far higher, since IMET is the only one of a sprawling collection of security assistance programs that requires official reports on human rights abusers.

In their Journal of Peace Research study, Caverley and Savage kept the spotlight on IMET because the program "explicitly focuses on promoting norms of civilian control" of the military.  Indeed, it's a truism of U.S. military assistance programs that they instill democratic values and respect for international norms. Yet the list of U.S.-trained coup-makers -- from Isaac Zida of Burkina Faso, Haiti's Philippe Biamby, and Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia to Egypt's Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan, and the IMET-educated leaders of the 2009 coup in Honduras, not to mention Mali's Amadou Sanogo -- suggests an embrace of something other than democratic values and good governance. "We didn't spend, probably, the requisite time focusing on values, ethics, and military ethos," then chief of U.S. Africa Command, Carter Ham, said of Sanogo following his coup. "I believe that we focused exclusively on tactical and technical [training]."

In 2014, two generations of U.S.-educated officers faced off in The Gambia as a group of American-trained would-be coup-makers attempted (but failed) to overthrow the U.S.-trained coup-maker Yahya Jammeh who had seized power back in 1994. The unsuccessful rebellion claimed the life of Lamin Sanneh, the purported ringleader, who had earned a master's degree at National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C. (Two other coup plotters had apparently even served in the U.S. military.) "I can't shake the feeling that his education in the United States somehow influenced his actions," wrote Sanneh's former NDU mentor Jeffrey Meiser. "I can't help but wonder if simply imprinting our foreign students with the 'American program' is counterproductive and unethical."

Caverly warns that Washington should also be cautious about exporting its own foreign and domestic policy imperatives, given that recent administrations have left the Defense Department flush with funding and the State Department's coffers so bare that generals are forced to beg on its behalf.   "Put more succinctly," he explained, "you need to build up multiple groups within civil society to complement and sometimes counterbalance an empowered military." 

Caverley and Savage identified 275 military-backed coups that occurred worldwide between 1970 and 2009.  In 165 of them, members of that country's armed forces had received some IMET or CTFP training the year before the coup. If you add up all the years of such instruction for all those countries, it tops out at 3,274 "country years."  In 165 instances, a takeover attempt was carried out the next year. "That's 5%, which is very high, since coups happen rarely," Caverley told TomDispatch. "The ratio for country-years with no U.S. training is 110 out of 4101, or 2.7%."

While U.S. training didn't carry the day in The Gambia in 2014 (as it had in 1994 when U.S. military-police-training alumnus Yahya Jammeh seized power), it is nonetheless linked with victorious juntas. "Successful coups are strongly associated with IMET training and spending," Caverley and Savage noted.  According to their findings, American trainees succeeded in overthrowing their governments in 72 of the 165 coup attempts.

Train Wreck

There is significant evidence that the sprawling patchwork of America's military training programs for foreign forces is hopelessly broken.  In 2013, a State Department advisory board found that American security aid had no coherent means of evaluation and no cohesive strategy. It compared the "baffling" array of programs to "a philanthropic grant-making process by an assemblage of different foundations with different agendas." 

A 2014 RAND analysis of U.S. security cooperation (SC) found "no statistically significant correlation between SC and change in countries' fragility in Africa or the Middle East." A 2015 report from U.S. Special Operations Command's Joint Special Operations University noted that efforts at building partner capacity have "in the past consumed vast resources for little return." That same year, an analysis by the Congressional Research Service concluded that "despite the increasing emphasis on, and centrality of, [building partner capacity] in national security strategy and military operations, the assumption that building foreign security forces will have tangible U.S. national security benefits remains a relatively untested proposition." 

"There are no standard guidelines for determining the goals of [counter-terrorism] security assistance programs, particularly partner capacity-building training programs, or for assessing how these programs fit into broader U.S. foreign policy objectives," reads a 2016 Center for a New American Security report. "And there are few metrics for measuring the effectiveness of these programs once they are being implemented." And in his 2016 report on IMET for the Council on Foreign Relations, Kurlantzick noted that the effort is deeply in need of reform. "The program," he wrote, "contains no system for tracking which foreign military officers attended IMET… [a]dditionally, the program is not effectively promoting democracy and respect for civilian command of armed forces."

Studies aside, the failures of U.S. training efforts across the Greater Middle East have been obvious for years. From the collapse of the U.S.-built Iraqi army in the face of small numbers of Islamic State militants to a stillborn effort to create a new armed force for Libya, a $500 million failed effort to train and equip Syrian rebels, and an often incompetent, ghost-soldier-filled, desertion-prone army in Afghanistan, large-scale American initiatives to build and bolster foreign forces have crashed and burned repeatedly. 

One thing stateside U.S. training does seem to do, according to Caverley and Savage, is increase "human capital" -- that is, foreign trainees' professional skills like small unit tactics and strategic planning as well as intangibles like increased prestige in their home countries. And unlike other forms of American aid that allow regimes to shuttle state resources toward insulating the government from coups by doing anything from bribing potential rivals to fostering parallel security forces (like presidential guards), FMT affords no such outlet. "If you give assets to a group with guns and a strong corporate identity within a country lacking well-developed institutions and norms, you create the potential for political imbalance," Caverley told TomDispatch. "An extreme example of that imbalance is an attempt to take over the entire government."

Strength and Numbers

The United States has a troubled past when it comes to working with foreign militaries. From Latin America to Southeast Asia, Washington has a long history of protecting, backing, and fostering forces implicated in atrocities. Within the last several months alone, reports have surfaced about U.S.-trained or -aided forces from the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Cameroon, and Iraq torturing or executing prisoners. 

Some U.S.-trained figures like Isaac Zida in Burkina Faso and Amadou Sanogo in Mali have experienced only short-term successes in overthrowing their country's governments.  Others like The Gambia's Yahya Jammeh (who went into exile in January after 22 years in power) and Egypt's president -- and former U.S. Army War College student -- Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have had far more lasting tenures as strongmen in their homelands.

Any foreign military training provided by the U.S., write Caverley and Savage, "corresponds to a doubling of the probability of a military-backed coup attempt in the recipient country." And the more money the U.S. spends or the more soldiers it trains via IMET, the higher the risk of a coup d'état.

In 2014, the U.S. resumed IMET support for Mali -- it had been suspended for a year following the insurrection -- and even increased that funding by a modest $30,000.  That West African nation has, however, never recovered from the coup crisis of 2012 and, half a decade later, remains wracked by an insurgency that Sanogo, his successors, and a French- and U.S.-backed military campaign have been unable to defeat. As the militant groups in Mali have grown and metastasized, the U.S. has continued to pour money into training local military personnel. In 2012, the year Amadou Sanogo seized power, the U.S. spent $69,000 in IMET funds on training Malian officers in the United States.  Last year, the figure reached $738,000.

For the better part of two decades from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen to Pakistan, Somalia to Syria, U.S. drone strikes, commando raids, large-scale occupations and other military interventions have led to small-scale tactical triumphs and long-term stalemates (not to mention death and destruction). Training efforts in and military aid to those and other nations -- from Mali to South Sudan, Libya to the Philippines -- have been plagued by setbacks, fiascos, and failures.

President Trump has promised the military "tools" necessary to "prevent" and "win" wars.  By that he means "resources, personnel training and equipment... the finest equipment in the world."  Caverley and Savage's research suggests that the Pentagon could benefit far more from analytical tools to shed light on programs that cost hundreds of billions of dollars and deliver counterproductive results -- programs, that is, where the only "wins" are achieved by the likes of Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia and Egypt's Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. 

"Warfighters focus on training other warfighters. Full stop. Any second order effects, like coups, are not the primary consideration for the training," Caverley explains. "That's why security cooperation work by the U.S. military, like its more violent operations, needs to be put in a strategic context that is largely lacking in this current administration, but was not much in evidence in other administrations either."


          Mass Migrations: How to know who's being impacted by a the surge in "refugees"        
Ripped from the headlines - UN urges Europe to help Italy with refugee 'tragedy'
The UN refugee agency is putting pressure on Europe to help Italy defuse the "unfolding tragedy" of tens of thousands of migrants and refugees flooding its shores.

The move comes as interior ministers of France, Germany and Italy prepare to meet in Paris on Sunday to discuss a "coordinated approach" to help Rome.

Italy needs more international support to cope with a growing number of people who have braved a perilous Mediterranean crossing to reach Europe this year, Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, said on Saturday in a statement.

"What is happening in front of our eyes in Italy is an unfolding tragedy.

"In the course of last weekend, 12,600 migrants and refugees arrived on its shores, and an estimated 2,030 have lost their lives in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year."

Italy, he said, was "playing its part" in taking in those rescued and offering protection to those in need.

"These efforts must be continued and strengthened. But this cannot be an Italian problem alone."

Last week, Italy threatened to close its doors to people arriving on boats that were not flying Italian flags.
But the EU says "no" to opening more European ports to migrants:
EU interior ministers have refused to support an Italian proposal to open up European ports to ships carrying migrants.

But governments did agree to help the Libyan coastguards do more and step up deportations of failed asylum-seekers.

“Returns in this case are being backed up by a common visa policy. That means that those countries, which don’t comply with returns will have to face visa restrictions, by single EU countries, said Marco Minitti, Italian interior minister.

Italy plans to draw up a code of conduct for NGOs as some EU officials believe sea rescue services are a pull factor for would-be migrants.

“We abide by Humanitarian principles, by the principle of Humanitarian action, by Medical Ethics, by International Refugee Law and by International Maritime Law, because we operate at sea. So, we are quite clear about the frame in which we operate, and we doubt that a Code of Conduct will complement that,” said Aurélie Ponthieu of Doctors Without Borders.

Italy had sought help, even at one point, threatening to close their ports to foreign humanitarian ships

Escaping wars and poverty, more than 360,000 refugees and migrants arrived on European shores across the Mediterranean last year. More than 85,000 have reached Italy so far this year.
So, Italy mulls sending navy into Libyan waters to stop migrants:
Italy is considering a plan to send its navy into Libyan waters to stop migrants and send them back. Approval for the mission could go before parliament as early as next week.

taly's center-left government will brief lawmakers about a plan to deploy Italian navy vessels along Libya's shores to stop traffickers sending migrants to Italy, Premier Paolo Gentiloni said Thursday.
A Libyan request to send Italian navy ships to patrol its waters was "a possible turning point" in the migration crisis, said Gentiloni, who convened military chiefs and ministers on Thursday to discuss immigration, security, and Libya.
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, who leads the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, made the request for Italian naval help while in Rome on Wednesday. His visit came after Serraj and the rival government of General Khalifa Hifter met in France and agreed on a ceasefire and possible national elections in the unstable North African country.
Nearly 600,000 boat migrants have arrived in Italy since 2014 after making the dangerous cross-Mediterranean journey in boats.
Which generates a response from another Libyan group Libya's eastern commander vows to destroy Italian warships if sailed to Libyan water:
The Libyan eastern commander of Dignity Operation forces, Khalifa Haftar, has ordered to bombard any warships sailing into the Libyan waters, in a U-turn that could see escalations between eastern Libya and the UN-proposed government's bodies in western Libya get tense.
The call of Haftar came just hours after the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), which backs Haftar's Dignity Operation forces, announced in a statement the rejection of any agreements made by the Head of the UN-proposed government's Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sirraj, and any requests he made to Italy.
"We reject Al-Sirraj request to Italy which can vividly violate the sovereignty of Libya under the pretext of fighting illegal immigration." The spokesman of the HoR Abdullah Belheeq said.
He also said that agreements with other countries come from legislative bodies like the HoR, not by executive ones like the UN-proposed government, which has not been given the confidence vote by the HoR yet, he added.
The HoR statement warned that Italy - by its deal with Al-Sirraj - is trying to export the crisis of illegal immigration to Libya by returning scores of migrants to Libya, making a new security, social and economic dilemma for the country.
The HoR also urged the UN to help thwart the current violation of Libya's sovereignty as it is a member of the UN just like Italy, which means that the latter should commit to the international laws and conventions by respecting Libya's sovereignty.
Meanwhile, Wednesday afternoon, the Italian parliament voted for sending a naval mission to Libya's waters to help stem the current migrants flow right from the inside, knowing that Amnesty International called the step earlier this week a shameful attempt by the Italian authorities to circumvent their duty to rescue refugees and migrants at sea and to offer protection to those who need it.
For those who follow such things, Amnesty International is an NGO which offers up the EU as a resettlement area for migrants and refugees because . . . Central Mediterranean: Death toll soars as EU turns its back on refugees and migrants:
The soaring death toll in the central Mediterranean and the horrific abuses faced by thousands of refugees and migrants in Libyan detention centres are clearly linked to failing EU policies, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

A perfect storm: The failure of European policies in the Central Mediterranean finds that by ceding the lion’s share of responsibility for search and rescue to NGOs and by increasing cooperation with the Libyan coastguard, European governments are failing to prevent drownings and turning a blind eye to abuse, including torture and rape.
***
“Rather than acting to save lives and offer protection, European Ministers meeting today are shamelessly prioritizing reckless deals with Libya in a desperate bid to prevent refugees and migrants from reaching Italy,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe Director.

“European states have progressively turned their backs on a search and rescue strategy that was reducing mortality at sea in favour of one that has seen thousands drown and left desperate men, women and children trapped in Libya, exposed to horrific abuses.”

Measures implemented by EU leaders to strengthen search and rescue capacity in the central Mediterranean in April 2015 dramatically decreased deaths at sea. But this priority, which saw several countries provide more rescue boats closer to Libyan territorial waters, was short-lived. Instead, EU governments have shifted their focus to disrupting smugglers and preventing departures of boats from Libya: a failing strategy that has led to ever more dangerous crossings and a threefold increase in the death-rate from 0.89% in the second half of 2015 to 2.7% in 2017.

Changes to smugglers’ practices and an increasing use of unseaworthy boats with a complete lack of safety equipment on board have made the sea crossing even more unsafe. But despite a spike in deaths - more than 2,000 since January – the EU is failing to deploy an adequately resourced and dedicated humanitarian operation near Libyan territorial waters. Instead it is focusing on strengthening the abilities of the Libyan coastguard to better prevent departures and perform interceptions.
So, what prompted this mass movement again? The EU or the miserable states these people are fleeing? What's AI saying about that? Not much, as the AI piece from which I just quoted quotes a man from Bangladesh and one from Gambia.

Here we get to the nut of the issue. Given that EU governments are paid for by the taxes of their citizenry and those taxes are being used to sustain tens of thousands of migrants many of whom are not "refugees" at all, at what point can a government tell migrants "No vacancy?"

An excellent post by Claude Berube and Chris Rawley at War on the Rocks, DUELING NGOS ON THE SEAS: ‘WHAT SHIPS ARE FOR’ covers what happens when nation states don't react as non-state actors may wish and the Non-state actors start taking matters into their own hands and perhaps into confrontation with other non-state actors with a different view of matters:
Today’s ideological battles are not simply confined to land or cyberspace. Nor is conflict at sea reserved for state-sponsored navies. The high seas are increasingly a battlespace for non-government organizations (NGOs). Although organizations such as Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have been conducting maritime operations in support of their environmental missions for four decades, in recent years other maritime NGOs have emerged for a variety of causes.

The recent wave of migration from Africa and the Middle East into Europe – often by boat – has encouraged both state and non-state navies to begin rescue and interdiction operations in the Mediterranean. The thousands of people fleeing growing instability in North Africa and the Near East have set the stage for competing political positions.

Search-and-rescue organizations seeking to help migrants have found themselves in conflict not with the government, but with a competing NGO, Defend Europe. The dispute highlights that future maritime battles may not be restricted to governments or to militant groups on the seas, especially as government resources shrink and NGOs see increasing political incentives to enter this space.
This could get interesting.

It seems some NGOs are "more equal than others" and are getting local law enforement to reject other NGOs. As in Far-Right Anti-Migrant Ship Told It’s Not Welcome In Crete:
The Djibouti-flagged C-Star is part of an operation by the far-right Generation Identity movement called Defend Europe, aimed at stopping nongovernmental organizations and national coast guards from rescuing refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean.
Defend Europe set out its mission:
Every week, every day, every hour – ships packed with illegal Immigrants are flooding into European waters. An invasion is taking place. This massive immigration is changing the face of our continent. We are losing our safety and our way of life and there is a danger we Europeans will become a minority in our own European homelands.

We want to start an identitarian search-and-rescue (SAR) mission in July on the Libyan coast. Our goal is to document the doings of the NGOs, expose their collaboration with the human smugglers, and intervene if they do something illegal.

We will reach out to the Libyan Coast Guard and offer them our help as a recon ship. Our goal is to step in where our politicians are failing and to do what is necessary to stop the deadly illegal migration into Europe.

If we get an SOS signal, we will of course save the people in distress — and hand them over to the Libyan Coast Guard to make sure that they are brought to the closest harbour, according to international law. We will not enter territorial waters without their permission!

Defend Europe will make the Mediterrenean Sea more safe. An additional ship is able to answer SOS calls and our “No Way” policy for illegal immigration will discourage human traffickers and NGOs to lure people into the sea.

The closing of the Mediterranean route is the only way to Defend Europe and save lives.
Stay tuned.
          Gambia Gov’t Reiterates Confidence in Accused Corrupt Vice Chancellor        
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          World Bank Gives Outstanding Public Service Award to Gambian Education Official        
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          SPRAR: nel 2016 accolti oltre 34mila richiedenti e titolari di protezione internazionale        
Nel 2016 in Italia i posti destinati all’accoglienza di richiedenti e titolari di protezione internazionale sono stati oltre 26mila. Lo scorso anno oltre 34mila persone hanno beneficiato dell’accoglienza nella rete SPRAR, per la maggior parte provenienti da: Nigeria, Gambia e Pakistan. Questi alcuni dati emersi dal rapporto annuale SPRAR – Sistema di protezione per richiedenti […]
          NerdCast 440 - Making of Podcasts        
Lambda lambda lambda NERDS! Hoje Jovem Nerd, Leo Lopes, Jurandir Filho, Carlos Merigo e Azaghal plugam seus headsets, apertam rec e falam sobre como fazer um PODCAST! Neste podcast: Conheça as origens dessa mídia Doctor Who, as gambiarras para fazer uma gravação, aprenda como começar o seu próprio podcast e descubra o que inspirou esses malucos a continuar com isso! Duração:  112 minutos ARTE DA VITRINE: Ciro Sollero Dell - Aprenda Fazendo Visite o site: http://www.dellaprendafazendo.com/ Dell Venue7: http://dell.to/11mpPQf Dell Inspiron 14 Serie 5000: http://dell.to/1wuUeDL Dell Cast: http://bit.ly/1EB3VVy Monitor Touch-Screen: ​http://bit.ly/1EB40bF Unigranrio Promoção Curso de Extensão: https://www.facebook.com/eadunigranrio Site do EAD Unigranrio: http://www2.unigranrio.br/ead/ Novidades Nerdstore Assassin's Creed Rogue para XBOX 360 e PS3 Camiseta Ruff Ghanor Citado na leitura de e-mails O treinador: http://imgur.com/Z2wgIIi O mímico: http://imgur.com/ay2UCJ5 Aquaman Forever Alone: http://youtu.be/NCwWfxynN74 Jaqueta Amarela: http://imgur.com/vgiasNZ Citado no programa Alô Ténica #21: Review Gravador Zoom H4N http://bit.ly/1xhdOsu Artigo sobre Podcasts do The Guardian http://bit.ly/1149izr Podpesquisa http://www.podpesquisa.com.br/ Nerds na Caceta da Agulha Ivan Zeferino e Sabrina Koguta Adriana Meyer Belém Titans 1º time de futebol americano de Belém do Pará Fábio Aparecido Licindio Fabio Cesar Zanardo Gabriel Maycol Jhonata Visela Abreu Julia Schirmer Júnior Carvalho Kellyne de Castro Leon Pedro Arouxa Pedro Henrique, Marília Hamada, Otavio Dornelas e Leonel Marigliani Peterson Rodrigues Rafael Fereira Thiago Blend Vitória Gallas Yuri Andrade Nerds na Tosa do Amor Amanda Stein Arlene Kita Martins Eulalia Candido Jéssica Quadros Folk Luiza Bastos Mariana Pereira Santos Miriam Akiko Soraya Arbex Vitória Gallas E-MAILS Mande suas críticas, elogios, sugestões e caneladas para nerdcast@jovemnerd.com.br EDIÇÃO COMPLETA POR RADIOFOBIA PODCAST E MULTIMÍDIA http://radiofobia.com.br
          NerdCast 381 - Tecnologias do Futuro        
Lambda lambda lambda! Hoje Alottoni, Atila, Rafael, Caio Gomes, Bluehand e Azaghal  conversam sobre o que falta para tornar realidade hoje as TECNOLOGIAS DO FUTURO! Neste podcast: Ouça porque o teletransporte nunca vai funcionar, torça pela volta dos Mamutes, entenda como um colírio vai te fazer emagrecer e descubra se você está grávida fazendo compras. Tempo de duração: 95 min ARTE DA VITRINE: Ciro Sollero Breve na Nerdstore: CRÔNICAS DE GHANOR! Guia ilustrado oficial da primeira trilogia do Nerdcast Especial de RPG! Submarino Ofertas direto do futuro para a sua casa! Cozinha dos Nerds Costela a la ADAM'S FALLING! por Matheus Costa Bexiga de chocolate (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12) por Fabio Oliveira Matias Pavê de Copo Gambiarra por Fabrício Vaz Nerds na Caceta da Agulha Rodrigo Barionovo Daniel Rosa Victor Eliziario Vídeo enviados WikiLeaks/Mastercards Trailer O Quinto Poder OUÇA TAMBÉM Playlist Tecnologias do Futuro: https://goo.gl/92O7vW E-MAILS Mande suas críticas, elogios, sugestões e caneladas para nerdcast@jovemnerd.com.br EDIÇÃO COMPLETA POR RADIOFOBIA PODCAST E MULTIMÍDIA http://radiofobia.com.br
          Vector Resume        

ONLY VECTORS!!!

ANOPHELINE MOSQUITOES

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Anopheles gambiae complex (gambiae and arabiensis mainly)

malaria

Wide range – ricefields, sunlit pools, puddles, hoofprints, borrow pits

IRS, treated bednets (ITNs or LLINs)

Anopheles barbirostris

(25 species vectors of bancroftian fil.)

Brugia malayi / timori nocturnally periodic

As above

As above

Anopheles sp.

O’nyong nyong arbovirus (Africa)

As above

As above

Nearly 25 species

W. bancrofti nocturnally periodic

As above

As above

CULICINE MOSQUITOES

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Aedes aegypti

Yellow fever (urban)

Dengue

Mainly containers: tree holes, leaf axils, artificial containers (car tyres, buckets, tins, jars)

Source reduction (larval sites: biological or insecticidal)

Aedes africanus and bromeliae

Yellow fever (forest and rural in Africa)

tree holes, leaf axils

--

Haemagogus and Sabethes

Yellow fever (forest and rural in America)

tree holes, leaf axils

--

Aedes albopictus

Dengue

--

--

Aedes polynesiensis

W. bancrofti diurnally subperiodic in Pacific

Natural containers like coconut shells and crab holes

As aegypti but more difficult!

(Aedes togoi)

(Brugia malayi nocturnally periodic in Far East)

--

--

Culex tritaeniorynchus

(other Culex sp also West Nile Virus)

Japanese encephalitis

Ricefields and open flooded fields mainly

Flooding for larvae + as for malaria vectors

Culex quinquefasciatus

W. bancrofti nocturnally periodic (except in W Africa)

Highly polluted waters (septic tanks, pit latrines, drains and ditches)

Source reduction (improved latrines, better sewage, expanded polysterene beads) + as for malaria vectors

Mansonia sp.

Brugia malayi nocturnally periodic/subperiodic

Swamps and ponds with aquatic vegetation (Pistia)

Removal of aquatic vegetation

TSETSE FLIES

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Glossina fuscipes complex, palpalis and tachinoides

T.b.gambiense

Riverine forested habitats

Insecticides (vegetation/cattle/aerial) – odour baits – SIT only for small isolated pops

Glossina morsitans and pallidipes

T.b. rhodesiense

Woodland savannas

Insecticides (vegetation/cattle/aerial) – odour baits SIT only for small isolated pops

(G.brevipalpis – fusca group)

(Animal tryps)

-

-

BLACK FLIES

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Simulium damnosum complex

Onchocerciasis (Africa)

Clean and fast flowing waters

Larvicidal control

Simulium ochraceum/metallicum

Onchocerciasis (America)

id

id

(S. neavei)

Onchocerciasis (Central Africa)

Phoretic (larvae and pupae attached to aquatic animals like crabs)

id

PHLEBOTOMINE SAND FLIES

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Phlebotomus

Leishmaniasis and papataci fever (Old World)

Poorly known (more arid zones)

Insecticides (indoor or outdoor), ITNs, reservoir hosts control (dog collars – rodent elimination)

Lutzomyia

Leishmaniasis and bartonellosis (New World)

Poorly known (more forested and humid)

Insecticides (indoor or outdoor), ITNs, reservoir hosts control (dog collars - rodent elimination)

CULICOIDES (biting midges)

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Several

Mansonella worms (3 species: ozzardi, streptocerca and perstans) (Old and New World)

+ Oropuche virus (S America)

+ blue tongue and equine viruses

Wide range – both freshwater or saltwater marshes or decaying leaf litter, tree holes and semi-rotting vegetation (banana stumps)

Difficult! (ULV temporaneous or ITNs)

TABANIDS (horse flies)

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Chrysops sp

Loa loa (C and W Africa)

Larvae in muddy and semiaquatic environments

Difficult! Baited traps

All

Anthrax or tularaemia (mechanical)

--

Difficult! Baited traps

FLEAS

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Xenopsylla cheopis

(tropical rat flea)

Plague

Murine or endemic typhus

Rodent burrows

Insecticides (houses-rodent burrows)

Pulex irritans

Occasionally plague

--

-

Ctenocephalides sp

Dipylidium and Hymenolepis cestodes

Cat and dog places

Insecticides, impregnated collars

LICE

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Pediculus humanus

(body lice)

Epidemic typhus (faeces)

Trench fever (faeces/crushing)

Louse-borne relapsing fever

In clothes

Insecticidal dusts, impregnation of clothes, ivermectin

TICKS

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Ixodidae (hard)

Arboviruses like Kyasanur forest disease (Asia)

vegetation

Repellent (DEET), rapid removal, cattle spraying or dipping

Argasidae (soft)

Ornithodoros moubata

Tick-borne relapsing fever (Africa)

In houses (floors, cracks)

IRS, ITNs

MITES

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Leptotrombidium sp

(scrub mite)

Scrub typhus (Asia)

Mite islands (fringe habitats between fields and woods)

Destroy islands with clearing, fire or ULV

TRIATOMINE BUGS

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Triatoma infestans / dimidiata / brasiliensis

Rhodnius prolixus

Panstrongylus megistus

Chagas disease

Houses or peridomestic habitats

IRS, ITNs, house improving

FLIES

Species/group

disease

Breeding in

Main control

Musca domestica/sorbens

(Fannia sp)

A lot of (bacteria, cestodes, viruses, protozoa cysts, trachoma)

Excreta, decaying organic matter

Correct excreta/rubbish disposal – screenings at windows


          Vector Habitats        
Hi, this is not exhaustive, but hopefully it is helpful. A few may carry other infections not listed.

Partially blocked drains, polluted waters, high organic content: Culex quinquefasciatus (Bancroftian filariasis)

Tree holes, bamboo stumps in South America: Sabethes chloropterus (Yellow Fever)

Larvae on aquatic plants in Asia: Mansonia (Brugia malayi, no transmission by Mansonia of W. bancrofti in Africa)

Tree holes in Africa: Aedes africanus (Yellow Fever)

Leaf axils in Africa: Aedes bromeliae (Yellow Fever)

Car tyres, pots in Africa or South America: Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever, Dengue)

Ricefields in Africa: Anopheles gambiae (Malaria, Bancroftian filariasis, o'nyong nyong virus)

Crab holes: Aedes polynesiensis (Brugian filariasis)

Ricefields with herons and egrets in Asia: Culex tritaeniorhynchus (Japanese encephalitis)

Water pots in SE Asia: Aedes albopictus (Dengue, also exported globally with tyre trade)


          Sustainable, Organic, Fair-Trade: A Conversation with Nigel Melican [ii]        
by CINNABAR

EDITOR'S NOTE: At the 2010 World Tea Expo, Cinnabar of gongfugirl.com spoke at length with Nigel Melican of Teacraft Ltd on the topics of sustainable, organic, and fair-trade tea. What follows here is Part II of a three-part transcript of that conversation. Part I can be read by clicking here.

~~~~~ · ~~~~~

Cinnabar: When a farm changes over from chemical fertilizer to organic fertilizer, does that decrease the yield enormously?

Nigel Melican: A lot depends on conditions. I warn people to expect at least a 30% drop in yield. If you've got access (and you shouldn't go into it if you haven't got access) to farm-animal manure, or suitable green sources of fertilizer like compost, then gradually you build it up again. It will never build back up to the level that you get with intensive chemical fertilizer, though. The world average for made tea is about 1000-1200 kilos a hectare. When I went into tea first 30 years ago, the people I was working with -- the good ones -- were getting 2.5 tons a hectare. Now they're getting 4.5-5 tons a hectare.

C: Mostly because of the improvements in fertilizer?

NM: No, improvements in management. The improvements in fertilizer came in around about the ‘80s or ‘90s, but all the way along, people were improving different things. First they brought in herbicides. What they'd been doing was weeding by hoeing, which destroys roots. As soon as you stop hoeing and put herbicides onto weeds, you get a huge jump in your yield. Now the herbicides are banned and you've got to use husbandry practices like planting more densely. All the time they're improving, research and development is improving practices, and the yield responds, productivity responds. With good clones, good practice, good fertilizer, intensive farming, you can get 11 tons a hectare ... it's been done. It’s not the world averages, though, and on an organic farm you'd never do that.

C: An organic farm would never reach that yield?

NM: Never say never, but it's unlikely. It would be theoretically possible. I would like the challenge ... but I don't think anyone's going to pay me to do it. There's an awful lot of bunk talked about organic. The purists say, “yes, it must be absolutely organic, and the phase of the moon has got to be right.” But to the plant, an organic nitrogen molecule or atom is totally similar to an inorganic one. The plant can't tell the difference.

C: I guess there are really two focuses of organic farming. I wasn't even thinking about how it affects the end product, because it seems like that's not the same conversation. The impact on the land is quantifiable and obvious, but the land doesn't know the difference between a molecule of nitrogen, whether it’s certified organic or not, right?

NM: No the land won't, but -- and this is why there's the argument -- people say that organic meat tastes better than inorganic meat, and often it does, because the guy who grows organic takes better care of his animals, is a better animal husband, and that shows up, and it's the same with plants.

C: And that's clearly the case with tea. If you're using practices that end up contaminating the end product with dangerous toxic chemicals, the end product is going to taste bad, so that's not going to fly.

NM: Ultimately you're right, but if you had -- God forbid -- tea contaminated with mercury you wouldn't taste it, and similarly, many of the ways that you fertilize don't have an effect on taste. Where you do have an effect with organic on tea is that you're putting on less nitrogen. Nitrogen leads to fast growth, and fast growth tends to be more about kilograms than it is about quality ... so slow growth, as in the spring flush. Everyone says, go for the spring flush. That's because it's growing slowly, and the quality is definitely better. So organic should come out with slower growth.

C: But in reality, the quality of a lot of product that's labeled as organic tea is terrible.

NM: Yes.

C: I've had some organic tea that was awful, nearly undrinkable. I don't know why that was, but I suspect that it's coming from sources that aren't terribly knowledgeable about tea production.

NM: People are struggling because they're not doing organic very well. There are some good ones, and there are a lot of people struggling. The example I gave of the company that cut out fertilizer to cut cost and got organic certification, they're not doing the best job in the world.

C: Is it that they don't know the best way to grow tea?

NM: I think they know the best way, but they're not doing it. I've had some of their tea and it was not so good. I've also had some of their tea and it's been excellent.

C: My understanding, gained through what I’ve been told in a number of places, is that some of the small estates and small individual tea farms in China, as one example, are growing their tea organically partly because they can't afford expensive chemical fertilizers, so they're using traditional agriculture, which is, by definition organic, but they won’t ever be able to say that their tea is organically produced even though it is.

NM: Yes, well they certainly won't be certified, so they can't be officially organic. And yet, for thousands and thousands of years they've been organic ... and balanced organic. They're sustainable and organic, because they recycle everything back to the land.

C: Traditionally, sustainable agriculture is what works. If you're a small farmer you need to create a system of growing that you can keep going and recycling.

NM: As a small farmer you need to, because you have no choice. Unilever has done it, but they don't have to do it.

C: What are Unilever plantations in India like today?

NM: Unilever doesn't own any farms in India anymore, not one single one.

C: All of their tea farms are in Africa now?

NM: Yes, the ones they have, and they've sold a lot of the ones in Africa too. They've gotten out of vertical production. The second biggest tea company in the world, Tata, has done exactly the same. They've gotten rid of their tea farms in India -- and they're an Indian company! What happened in India was that all tea plantations laid down by the British 150 years ago ... after independence the government saw them as being exploitative and they created all sorts of rules about how the workers on the estate had to be looked after. The plantation owners had to give them subsidized food, and decent housing, and community hospitals and schooling, and what they call the social cost of growing tea under those conditions got out of hand. The responsibility of maintaining an estate that might have a couple thousand workers, with a family structure of 30 thousand or so becomes really high. I worked with an ex-Assam planter in Papua New Guinea, and he had been like the mayor of a city. He had 30,000 people under his control!

C: That's workers, and worker's families?

NM: That's right, and he was the magistrate, he was the mayor, he was the employer. He had all these responsibilities. Companies like Unilever and Tata said it was okay when everyone was in the same boat, but then what happened was that people started growing tea without the factory and selling tea to factories that didn't have any estate of their own. They were called “bought-leaf factories,” and they had no social costs. People want to grow tea on their own, that's their choice ... no subsidy. So they were selling tea to the bought-leaf factory at about half the cost that Unilever could make tea cost, so Unilever said, “how about we offer the plantations to the workers, and we'll buy the tea, and we'll help with the transition to owning their own factory and plantation.” So, all these huge tea gardens are now owned by Indian smallholders.

C: They're still selling the tea to Unilever, but Unilever doesn't own the factories or the plantations.

NM: And the price of tea has come down effectively to the bought tea factory level.

C: Then in the meantime has Unilever started new plantations in Africa that they run?

NM: No they haven't started any new ones. I don't think they're ever going to start any new ones.

C: They're mostly just buying from plantations that are owned by other people?

NM: That's right, and where they have plantations they maintain them. There's not a great deal of interest in being a huge plantation owner anymore for all the social reasons I've just gone through. But where they've got them and can't sell them, like in Kenya, they keep them on. I wouldn't be too surprised to find them selling them eventually, because there is a lot of interest in buying plantations in Africa, there are Indian interests. An Indian company, McLeod Russel, which is now the biggest tea-plantation-owning company in the world, has just bought four plantations in Uganda from Finlays. Finlays traditionally was a plantation company, only now ... I think they have a few left in Darjeeling, but very few.

C: That's a big shift in the whole industry in terms of who owns the base level tea production. Was the majority of that shift in the past ten or twenty years?

NM: Within the last ten. The Indians have been coming over to Africa and buying up the tea estates in Uganda, Rwanda and anywhere else they can find. The Chinese are also coming in, but not buying tea estates. They're building a huge tea-extract factory in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and also, one of the deals that the Chinese bring to the table is that they build parliament buildings for all these little countries. Malawi's parliament building was built by the Chinese, or at least heavily funded by the Chinese, and they throw in universities.

C: Speaking of China and tea in Africa, I've read in a number of places that the greatest importer of Chinese tea is Africa because the traditional forms of tea drinking in Africa use Chinese green teas.

NM: But that's mostly north of the Sahara.

C: Yes, but it's interesting because the tea drinking in Africa and the tea growing in Africa have nothing to do with each other, even though they’re on the same continent.

NM: Well, most of the North Africans don't consider themselves African at all. They have a different heritage.

C: But even in Senegal and Gambia there's the Ataya tea drinking tradition which uses Chinese green tea, and those countries have little to no cultural or ethnic connection with North Africa.

NM: Yes, but that's not a tea-growing area either.

C: No, but I can imagine a gradual shift in production of the southern African tea production to start producing more green tea and to sell to this huge market that's closer at hand.

NM: Yes, and 20 years hence it may well happen. The Chinese are drinking more of their own tea, and the rise in the middle class means you get more of the local market. India has gone from drinking none of the tea grown there 100 years ago to 80% of its tea now.

C: I remember those figures from your talk during the Expo. Do you know what current Chinese consumption of its own tea is?

NM: I could look up figures for you, but it's probably about 60-70% [actually 83% in 2009]. That’s traditionally, not as retail packed tea, but the retail packers are coming in. Unilever is big in China, selling packed tea.

C: Are Unilever and the other big companies selling packaged tea that they're buying from Chinese production factories?

NM: Some of them. I did a project in the ‘80s in China looking for a factory for Unilever to acquire to do tea growing and packing in China for sale. They didn't go ahead with actually buying the factory, but they certainly went ahead with the packing factory in the ‘90s. They're even selling slimming tea now in China.

C: What would you say the difference is between sustainable farming versus organic and fair-trade? I mean, I understand what the difference is as expressed in the marketing language, but more specifically ...

NM: Well, sustainable really means that you're not using things up. Just as with organics, there are sustainability purists who say you should never use anything that can't be replaced. And there are the sustainable realists who say we should at least eke out the non-renewable resources where we can, and wherever we can we'll use renewable fuels, and if it's not renewable we'll go very carefully how we use it and how much of it we use. You have to draw that distinction. My camp is the realistic sustainability one.

C: You can't set up restrictions that are so harsh that it makes it impossible to produce anything.

NM: People do.

C: I know they do, but they shouldn't because ultimately it won't work.

NM: I'll give you an example of the dilemma that you might get into. I was working with a new tea grower in Hawaii -- not one of the small guys that we've seen at the Expo, but someone who wanted to do it on a hundred-acre scale, 200-acre scale. He wanted to be organic, said the production must be organic. He was a berry farmer on the mainland, and he always had an organic farm, and he wanted to have an organic tea farm. So we started off and sourced his tea and his raw materials from Africa and got it planted, and his soil was not acid enough, which is unusual for Hawaii, but this was an old sugar-cane plantation and they'd put down a lot of chalk, to benefit the sugar cane. This was 20 years ago, but it was still there. The normal way that you'd acidify soil for tea is to put sulfur on it. Sulfur is recognized by the organic people; they're happy with it. So he goes off to his supplier and when he sees the sulfur that he's offered, he says, "where does it come from?" and they say it's a by-product of the petrochemical industry, and he throws his hands up in horror! So we look and see what else we can get. It's possible to get sulfur which is rock sulfur, mined sulfur. The dilemma is, would you rape the countryside with big holes, ripping out rock sulfur, or would you use a by-product of the petrochemical industry that has to go somewhere, and is at least greening the petrochemical industry at least a little bit?

C: Why would the organic regulations say that you couldn't use petro-chemical by-products?

NM: the regulations don't say that you shouldn't, but they would prefer that you use the natural sulfur.

C: "Organic" meaning that you take it from the earth regardless of consequences? That makes no sense.

NM: No it doesn't make a lot of sense. That's why I say that sustainability and organic should be done with some degree of realism.

C: None of the national or international organizations that are promoting organic farming are really thinking in terms of sustainability, are they? I prefer not to make such a broad statement, but it seems like the focus is on something that's almost more conceptual than practical.

NM: Absolutely, yeah that is the focus, because it's all mediated in glass palaces in Europe or America and the people there don't get out in the field a lot, and don't see the issues directly and they have a set of ethics that they want to plant.

C: I could tell that, just listening to the people in the panel discussion talk about it. They haven't all stood in a tea field. The way some of them were talking about the agriculture, they didn't really understand how it worked. That distance from agriculture and the people directly involved in it also manifests into a somewhat condescending tone among some of the organizations promoting the organic, fair-trade and sustainability agendas. Even the representative from Utz was talking about teaching the farmers like they were five-year-olds and their organization was going to come in and teach them the right way to do things.

NM: Absolutely right. David Walker, President of Walker Tea, LLC, was telling someone a couple of days ago about how he represents a couple of coffee growers in Kenya and helps them get product to market. He was saying that some of these USAID people will come over and say to the Kenyans, “we're going to teach you how to grow coffee the way the Americans like it.” [laughs] He took one of these coffee industry advisors aside, put his hand on his shoulder and said "these people have been growing coffee for three or four hundred years. They know how to grow coffee. You tell them how you want it. They can do it, but don't go telling them that you're going to teach them, because you are not.” So there's a lot of that element of “experts who know best.”

C: Yes, it can be really preachy. The attitude about it is very removed from the reality of actual workers and actual plantation owners and actual growers, and for that matter, from the science of it, how things work. Although, I will say that the Rainforest Alliance was a little less like that because they seem like they're a little bit more direct about how they get things done.

NM: Of all the [certification] bodies, they're the one I have the most time for. The one that started up in the UK, the “Ethical Tea Partnership,” or ETP, has almost collapsed because the Rainforest Alliance has a much more sensible view of things. Unilever used to be in the Ethical Tea Partnership and I think they pulled away, because they were being targeted, which they didn’t really care for. They had done so much of their own sustainability work that they went in with the Rainforest Alliance and that has bolstered the Rainforest Alliance so much; it's given them so much of a head start.

C: Obviously, the Rainforest Alliance is concerned with forests, and the land around forests, and that pretty much covers the whole tea industry worldwide, doesn't it?

NM: Well, in that Unilever is one of the big people getting certification and they buy from all countries, virtually, yeah, they’re in all countries. And yes, there are people certifying in Indonesia, certifying in Tanzania, in Kenya, and Rwanda and India. I think it’s been a very good strategic alliance, for the Rainforest Alliance to go with Unilever.

[[to be continued]]
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          Commentaires sur Occlusions veineuses rétiniennes par MichaelNex        
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          Nowitzki: "Schröder Zukunft des deutschen Basketballs"         

Dirk Nowitzki hat in den höchsten Tönen von Dennis Schröder geschwärmt.

Am Rande des NBA Africa Games in Johannesburg, bei dem die beiden Deutschen gegeneinander spielten, bezeichnete der Würzburger den 23-Jährigen bei der dpa als "Zukunft des deutschen Basketballs. Er hat sich super entwickelt und wird sehr, sehr wichtig für den deutschen Basketball sein."

Schröder, dessen Mutter aus Gambia stammt, hat bei dem Showspiel gegen das internationale Team um Kapitän Nowitzki mit 97:108 verloren.

Schröder, auf den bei der Basketball-EM die deutschen Hoffnungen ruhen, erklärte, dass er nun zurück nach Atlanta fliegen werde. Anderthalb Wochen vor der EM will er dann beim Supercup zum deutschen Team stoßen. Zu den EM-Zielen sagte der Braunschweiger: "Wir sind jung, wir haben viele gute Spieler. Wir können vieles erreichen."


          DBB oder NBA? Schröder droht Terminkollision         

Nationalspieler Dennis Schröder ist von der NBA für das "Africa Game" am 5. August in Johannesburg nominiert worden. Zeitgleich ist ein Länderspiel der deutschen Nationalmannschaft in Erfurt gegen Belgien angesetzt, für das der 23-Jährige ebenfalls eingeplant ist. 

DBB-Pressesprecher Christoph Büker geht davon aus, dass der Point Guard der Atlanta Hawks wie geplant für Deutschland spielen wird: "Eine Nominierung ist ja nicht mit einer Teilnahme gleichzusetzen. Uns ist davon jedenfalls nichts bekannt", sagte Büker.

In der offiziellen NBA-Pressemitteilung ist Schröder, dessen Mutter aus Gambia stammt, für den Kader des Team Afrika gelistet. Gegner ist eine Weltauswahl, die von Kapitän Dirk Nowitzki angeführt wird. 

Das "NBA Africa Game" wird zum zweiten Mal ausgetragen. Bei der Erstauflage 2015 gewann die Weltauswahl mit 101:97.


          Meet the Gambian migrants under pressure to leave Europe        
Publisher: IRIN - Document type: Country News
          Cruceros en Buenos Aires y donde Alquilar departamentos        
Empresas de cruceros se sigue para agregar a los buques a sus flotas y que también se están convirtiendo en mucho más imaginativas con itinerarios de los cruceros que están proporcionando. El Caribe y el Mediterráneo siguen siendo los más populares destinos de crucero, pero ahora hay una gran variedad de salida de cruceros que se encuentran disponibles en todo el Mundo.





Este artículo intenta dar algunas inspiración en donde usted debe pensar en su próximo crucero de vacaciones.





América del Sur pueden ofrecer una amplia gama de diversos cruceros que van desde un viaje hasta el Amazonas a la palpitante ciudad de Río de Janeiro y Buenos Aires, así como que ofrece maravillas naturales como las Islas Galápagos, de los fiordos chilenos y las montañas de los Andes.





Muchos de estos cruceros de EE.UU. comenzará a partir de los puertos y otherssail de las principales ciudades de América del Sur. La mayoría de los cruceros a la Antártida desde Ushuaia inicio en el sur de Argentina. Varias empresas de cruceros incluyendo viajes de descubrimiento y Hurtigruten ofrecer expedición Antártida estilo de cruceros.





Dubai, así como un destino de vacaciones de lujo está empezando a convertirse en un puerto de cruceros establecidos. Costa Cruceros es la vela siete itinerarios de cruceros en 2009 que hagan escala en Abu Dhabi, Omán y Bahrein.





Dubai y otros puertos del Golfo característica a menudo en el mundo o reposicionamiento de cruceros, lo que significa que puede levantar un crucero de la negociación por la elección de uno de estos cruceros.





Norte de África está bien servido por muchos cruceros que también incluyen el Mediterráneo, pero ¿qué pasa con el resto de África? Algunos mundo de vela de cruceros en la costa occidental de África a Ciudad del Cabo, como una alternativa a la de crucero a través del Canal de Suez en Egipto.





Crucero de la costa occidental significa que usted puede visitar países como Senegal, Gambia y Namibia, así como las Islas de Cabo Verde y Santa Elena. En el sur de África oriental y algunas líneas de cruceros ofrecen salidas desde Ciudad del Cabo y también la de Kenya turística de Mombasa.





Crucero Silversea ofrece varios viajes de estos puertos que hagan escala en destinos como Zanzíbar, Madagascar y la isla de Asunción. Hebridean Internacional de Cruceros y viajes de descubrimiento son también ofrece cruceros alrededor de esta región.





Crucero a Alaska son aún tan popular como nunca. Estos cruisese comenzará a partir de Seattle o Vancouver y hacer su camino hasta el interior de Pasaje, teniendo en algunos de los mundos más espectaculares paisajes. NCL, Princess y Royal Caribbean son sólo algunas de las líneas de cruceros ofrecen cruceros de Alaska, que también pueden combinarse con una tierra gira.





El Báltico es el segundo crucero más populares en la región Europea temporada de verano. Un crucero Báltico se visita la impresionante ciudad de San Petersburgo, Estocolmo y Tallinn, mientras que Noruega, por supuesto, ofrece la increíble Fiordos, el sol de medianoche y la aurora boreal. Hurtigruten es famosa por sus viajes alrededor de la costa de Noruega.





El Extremo Oriente y, en particular, China ha experimentado un gran crecimiento en los clientes de crucero. Muchos cruceros parten de Hong Kong y de crucero al norte de China y el Japón. Otros cruceros hacia el sur, donde se los cruceros de Vietnam, Camboya, Tailandia, Malasia y Singapur.





Australia y Nueva Zelandia característica en la mayoría de los cruceros mundo de cruceros por empresas como P & O, Holland America, Princess y Royal Caribbean.





Entonces, ¿qué estás esperando? Crucero nunca ha sido más popular y con la cada vez mayor elección de exploración exóticos y cruceros disponible nunca ha habido un mejor momento para reservar un crucero.
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          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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          African Roots 10-10-2015 with Dj Addis        
Playlist:

Mulatu Astatke The Heliocentrics- Esketa Dance - Inspiration Information 3
Mulatu Astatke The Heliocentrics- Blue Nile - Inspiration Information 3
Gash Abera Mola- Yameral Agere - Yamral Agere
Kenya Mu Africa- Mu Africa - Kenya Mu Africa
Classical- Classical - Ethiopia
Abonsam- Abonsam - Ghana Abonsam
- voicebreak -
Aster Kebeda- Aster Ethiopia - Aster Kebeda Ethiopia
- voicebreak -
Rishan Kassa- Tigrigna - Rishan Kassa Ethiopia
Various Artists- Senegal - African Underground Vol 1 Hip Hop Senegal
- voicebreak -
Abubaker- Farxiya Fiska Iyo - Somali Music
Corrado Giuffredi Rino Vernizzi Trio- Serra Leone - Italian Swing Corrado Giuffredi Rino Vernizzi Trio
Tony Allen- Road Safety - Road Safety Lagos
- voicebreak -
Gbra Case- Gbra Case - Sierra Leone
Bobby Benson His Combo- Lagos - Highlife On The Move Selected Nigerian Ghanaian Recordings From London Lagos 195466
- voicebreak -
Tunji Oyelana- Nigeria - A Nigerian Retrospective 196679
Mali Bafoulabe- Bafoulabe - Mali Bafoulabe
Ephrem Tamiru And Gosaye Tesfaye- Balageru Ethiopia - Gosaye Tesfaye
Dimba Nyima- Dimba - Gambia Dimba
- voicebreak -
Pygmy- Pygmy Love Song - Cameroon
Congo DJUmbula- DJUmbula - Congo DJUmbula


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/83/playlistDate/2015-10-10
          Bandeja do sistema no Ubuntu sob demanda com o Indicator Systemtray Unity        
Bandeja do sistema no Ubuntu sob demanda com o Indicator Systemtray Unity

Se você precisa de uma bandeja do sistema no Ubuntu com Unity e não quer fazer gambiarra, experimente instalar o Indicator Systemtray Unity.

Leia o restante do texto "System tray sob demanda com o Indicator Systemtray Unity"

          Ciao Manu Chao...        
Jose-Manuel Thomas Arthur (Manu) Chao (Parijs, 21 juni 1961) zingt in het Frans, Spaans, Arabisch, Portugees, Wolof (taal die gesproken wordt in Senegal, Gambia, en Mauritanië) en Engels. Doordat hij Spaanse ouders had werd hij tweetalig opgevoed.

Als tiener speelde hij in diverse bandjes, waaronder Les Hot Pants. Hoewel dit punkbandje enkele onderscheidingen kreeg, slaagden ze er niet in om door te breken. Dat lukte wel met de band Mano Negra. Hun eerste single, Mala Vida, werd opgenomen op een klein Frans label, maar dankzij het succes ervan kreeg Mano Negra een contract bij Virgin. Vooral in Europa en Zuid-Amerika was Mano Negra populair. Albums als Puta’s Fever, Patchanka en Casa Babylon stonden begin jaren negentig in veel landen in de albumcharts. Ook de single King Kong 5 was een wereldwijde hit. De band slaagde er echter niet in om in de Verenigde Staten door te breken.

In 1992 had Chao met enkele leden van Mano Negra de nieuwe band Radio Bemba Sound System opgericht. Dit leidde tot ruzies binnen Mano Negra, waarna de band uit elkaar viel...
Op Clandestino (1998), het solo-debuut werd de Spaanse taal afwisseld met Frans en Engels. De verkoopcijfers waren aanvankelijk laag, maar na een jaar werd het album in veel landen toch een succes.
Chao maakt muziek in een genre dat eind jaren '90, mede onder zijn invloed, ontstaan is: "Mestizo". Chao's teksten hebben vaak een politieke, linkse inslag. Zo samplede hij zapatista-woordvoerder Marcos op het album Radio Bemba Sound System.

Zijn live-optredens zitten ergens tussen het laidback-geluid van zijn soloplaten en de gekte van zijn vroegere band Mano Negra in. Chao tourt het liefst in de derde wereld, en hij doet dat met veel plezier gratis. Europa tourt hij even af voor het geld... Een alternatieve vorm van ontwikkelingssamenwerking?

Manu Chao - Clandestino [1998]
1. "Clandestino" – 2:28
2. "Desaparecido" – 3:47
3. "Bongo Bong" – 2:38
4. "Je Ne T'Aime Plus" – 2:03
5. "Mentira ..." – 4:37
6. "Lagrimas De Oro" – 2:58
7. "Mama Call" – 2:21
8. "Luna Y Sol" – 3:07
9. "Por El Suelo" – 2:21
10. "Welcome To Tijuana" – 4:04
11. "Dia Luna ... Dia Pena" – 1:30
12. "Malegria" – 2:55
13. "La Vie A 2" – 3:01
14. "Minha Galera" – 2:22
15. "La Despedida" – 3:10
16. "El Viento" – 2:26
h**p://team.fatal1ty.free.fr/Damn%20That%20Music%20Made%20my%20Way/Manu%20Chao/clandestino/

Manu Chao - Proxima Estacion Esperanza
1. Merry Blues
2. Bixo
3. Eldorado 1997
4. Promiscuity
5. La Primavera
6. Me Gustas Tu
7. Denia
8. Mi Vida
9. Trapped By Love
10. Le Rendez-vous
11. Mr Bobby
12. Papito
13. La Chinita
14. La Marea
15. Homens
16. La Vacaloca
17. Infinita Tristeza
h**p://team.fatal1ty.free.fr/Damn%20That%20Music%20Made%20my%20Way/Manu%20Chao/Esperanza/

Manu Chao - La Radiolina (2007)
1. 13 Días (2:36)
2. Tristeza maleza (2:54)
3. Politik Kills (3:09)
4. Rainin in Paradize (Scheps version) (3:41)
5. Besoin de la lune (1:54)
6. El kitapena (1:55)
7. Me llaman Calle (3:14)
8. A cosa (2:14)
9. The Bleedin Clown (Scheps version) (1:54)
10. Mundorévès (1:48)
11. El hoyo (3:22)
12. La vida tómbola (3:16)
13. Mala fama (4:07)
14. Panik Panik (1:46)
15. Otro mundo (3:09)
16. Piccola radiolina (1:08)
17. Y ahora qué ? (Bonus Track) (1:46)
18. Mama cuchara (Bonus Track) (1:43)
19. Siberia (Bonus Track) (2:04)
20. Soñe otro mundo (Bonus Track) (1:23)
21. Amalucada vida (Bonus Track) (2:23)
h**p://team.fatal1ty.free.fr/Damn%20That%20Music%20Made%20my%20Way/Manu%20Chao/La%20radiolina/

          Tres setmanes en gelly-gelly per Gàmbia        
"Li diuen la petita Jamaica i no en va. El reggae i la passió pel món rastafari s’ensuma a hores lluny, així com també un deix caribeny en el dia a dia. “Gambia no pasa nada”, criden orgullosos cada cop que interactuen amb un turista, presumint de la seguretat del país i amabilitat de la seva gent. I això és Gàmbia, la seva gent, un poble acollidor i xerraire de mena, amb moltes ganes de conèixer el màxim detall de tots aquells que decidim visitar aquest país de “la costa del somriure”.

Fa pocs dies us parlava de la Txell i el Genis del bloc Areveuret.cat  a La Catosfera Viatgera i avui volia compartir les seves recomanacions i experiències de Tres setmanes en gelly-gelly per Gàmbia

I si voleu trobar un bon allotjament arreu us recomano el cercador d'hotels i B&B de Booking, hi ha des de senzills albergs i hostals a hotels amb encant...

          Comment on BREAKING NEWS: Peace at Last as Jammeh Agrees to Quit  and Leave Gambia by Edi        
Very good one for democracy in Africa. Nice way to prevent crises - one too many! Aluta continua, democracy acerta!
          Guatemala Quetzal(GTQ)/Gambian Dalasi(GMD)        
1 Guatemala Quetzal = 6.10481 Gambian Dalasi
          WEST AFRICA - 1990s ex-pat life with a twist        
The Cloths of Heaven by Sue Eckstein set in West Africa

Our review now appears on the new TripFiction site here



          African Union-International Criminal Court-Stand-Off: Justice and Peace Paradigms        
A Speech by Dr Gorden Moyo made at the Bulawayo Agenda Dialogue Series-23 June 2015

The current stand-off between the African Union (AU) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) requires us to reflect on a number of epistemic questions from the side of subalterns and victims of impunity in Africa whose voices have been silenced and invisibilized by their own leaders in the name of juridical sovereignty, jaundiced nationalism, and African solidarity. Over the last few years, AU has been accusing the ICC for bias, skewed, and selective prosecution of African leaders. Thus, the crucial question before us today is whether or not the ICC is indeed a neocolonial court or the accusation is a guise deployed by some African leaders to evade the wrath of the law? Or it’s the Imperial East versus Imperial West but both abusing the AU and ICC? These questions are screaming for answers. To be sure, this presentation seeks to expose the hypocrisies and posturings of some disfiguring African leaders who are responsible for genocide and mass atrocities against their own people and yet cry foul against the ICC.

Dr. Gorden Moyo revealed what might read as 'the real reason'
 behind  agitation for AU pull out of ICC.
To begin with, both AU and ICC were political products of the post cold war politics of the 1990s. Of course, each had its own complex gestation period. For instance, the ICC’s biography is traceable to the Nuremberg trials of the end of World War II in 1945 while the AU’s zygote is connected to the end of Apartheidism in South Africa in 1994 though its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was conceived in 1963.

In many ways the 1990s was a lost decade in Africa. Its ugliest historical markers include among others; the internecine conflicts in Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda which collectively claimed millions of innocent lives, civilians, women and children. Most of these conflicts are still lingering on to this day. Clearly, the OAU was at the time inadequate to protect the victims of violence, arson and murder perpetrated by both state actors and non-state actors. No wonder why the signing of the AU Constitutive Act in Lome (2000) which transformed the OAU to AU was greeted with celebrations across Africa. The transformation was celebrated because it promised the end of an era of impunity in Africa. The provisions on promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights, and the right of AU to intervene in member states in respect of grave circumstances of gross violation of human rights gave hope to the long suffering victims of impunity.

Like the OAU, the United Nations Security Council failed , at critical times in history, to act decisively to protect the vulnerable against human rights and violent abuses not just in Africa but also in countries across the globe such as East Timor, Chechnya, Yugoslavia, Poland, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Lebanon, Bosnia and Israel/Palestine. It was within this backdrop that the ICC was established at the tail end of the 1990s to address the issues of impunity at international level. Thus, the ICC came into force in July 2002 four years after the signing of the Rome Statute in 1998. Currently 123 countries are State Parties to the Rome Statute. Out of them 34 are African States, 19 are Asia-Pacific States, 18 are from Eastern Europe, 27 are from Latin American and Caribbean States, and 25 are from Western European and other States. These figures demonstrate the popularity of the ICC in African, Latin American and Caribbean States a region which constitutes the bulk of the Global South.

 The key objective of the ICC is very specific. It is to prosecute executive leadership comprising of presidents, prime ministers, senior military officials, senior government officials and other top ranking officials charged for gross violation of human rights. Specifically, in terms of the Rome Statute, Article 5, ICC has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and aggression. The Rome statute article 26 reserves no immunity even for the seating Heads of States and Governments. Prior to ICC, these serious crimes were prosecuted through ad hoc International Criminal Tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). ICC was not therefore meant to substitute the then existing international criminal justice system but to compliment it. To date, ICC has managed to prosecute, try and sentence two former heads of states that is, Liberia’s Charles Taylor and the late Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic.

Currently, there are 32 cases before the ICC, all from eight African countries that is, DRC, Uganda, Cote d’voire, Sudan, Kenya, Libya, Central Africa Republic and Mali. This scenario has given reason to some members of the AU to claim that ICC is a neocolonial court or an ‘imperial master exercising imperial power over African subjects’. Subsequently, AU has passed a raft of resolutions from March 2009 to date which call upon all member states not to cooperate with the ICC regarding the arrest of the President of Sudan, Omar al Bashir who is accused of genocide and mass atrocities against his own people in the Darfur region.

 Furthermore, AU has in the past also called for the suspension of the ICC proceedings against the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto who, along with five others were charged for crimes against humanity including murder, forceful removal of populations, mass rape and other sexual crimes in the aftermath of the 2007 general elections in Kenya. Besides calling for non-cooperation with ICC, AU has stopped the setting up of the ICC Liaison Office in Addis Ababa. Moreover, some leaders like the current chairman of the AU Mugabe and the African National Congress (ANC) leadership are now calling for the complete pull-out of all African States Parties (ASP) from Rome Statute. It should be noted that along with countries such as Sudan and Libya, Zimbabwe is not a State Part of the ICC.

There is no doubt that the ICC should concern itself with the gross violation of human rights in countries such as Israel/Palestine, Syria, Ukraine, and Iraq and others where there are gross violations of human rights. We argue that it is crucially important that all cases of impunity are stopped, be it in Africa, Asia or Europe. In that context, ICC should always remind itself that it was founded with the conviction that there should be no impunity for anybody anywhere in the world. We also believe that the fight against impunity and concern for well-being of the most vulnerable are values central to humanity irrespective of geography, history, race and position in global hierarchies of power. The failure to deal with cases outside Africa has given the blood thirsty African despots scapegoat to rationalise and justify their vampirical desires and negative escapades against their own people.

It cannot be doubted that ICC has many shortcomings but its characterisation as unfairly targeting Africans is not backed by facts. For instance, of the eight cases before ICC four were referred by Africa itself i.e. DRC, Uganda, Central Africa Republic and Mali. On the other hand, Sudan and Libya were referred by the United Nations Security Council in terms of the United Nations Charter, Chapter VII read together with Rome Statute, Article 16, while Kenya and Cote d’voire were referred in terms of the Rome Statute, Article 15 which stipulate that the prosecutor may initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
Discussant, Irene Petras of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights raised the need for Civil Society to push for people
centred regional bodies
Not surprisingly, only those governments which stood to benefit from referring their cases to ICC did so. In fact  they referred their political opponents for prosecution by ICC. On the other hand, where the seating government was the perpetrator no cases have been referred to ICC to date. It would be unrealistic to expect the perpetrating government to refer cases of impunity to ICC. In this regard, if the ICC was to rely on government referrals, then the ICC would degenerate into the justice of the powerful, hence the justification of referrals by the Security Council and the chief prosecutor’s own initiative.  For the record, the current ICC chief prosecutor is a Gambian woman Fatou Bensouda who took over from Luis Moreno Ocampo from Agentina -both from the Global South and not from the imperial West.

While the ICC has not prosecuted cases in the Global North, it is clear that those that have been charged in Africa have a case to answer. Therefore the accusation that ICC is a selective, skewed, biased and even condescending court does not pass the evidence test. The truth of the matter is that some African presidents who are in the forefront of vilifying the ICC are themselves guilty of impunity, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and they are looking for political and ideological sanctuaries to hide, prevent and escape justice. Oddly enough, in all the resolutions and decisions of the AU Assembly on ICC since the al Bashir indictment in 2009 there has not been a single mention of the rights of victims of impunity.

 Instead, all the decisions of the AU Assembly are couched around the issue of immunity of the seating Heads of States and Governments. In fact, the AU decisions are inscripted in what Enrique Dussell terms the ‘nationality of power’ wedded with ‘coloniality of power’ a situation where the ordinary masses are subalternised and peripherised into zones of non-being.  In the eyes of some leaders such as Sudan’s al Bashir, Gambia’s Yaya Jameh, Eritrea’s Afwerki and Zimbabwe’s Mugabe, killability and dispensability of human life are part of pan-Africanism. This abysmal thinking suggests that the rights of the victims of impunity must be silenced and disciplined in the name of faked stability and negative peace. Hence the people who complain about bias of the ICC are African dictators-the perpetrators and not the victims, who are relieved that at least ‘somebody in the ICC is paying attention to their plight’.

Evidently, the AU pull-out campaign headed by Mugabe seeks to disable the ICC from indicting more fraudsters running the African states. It is also meant to completely relegate the epistemic and ontological wounds inflicted on African people by their leaders to archival dustbins. More cynically, the perpetrators expect to be deified and iconised as heroes and victors against neocolonialism and neoimperialism. Mugabe is actually experienced in this art of political deception. After presiding over the Gukurahundi mass killings of approximately 20 000 innocent civilians of Ndebele ethnic group in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces in the 1980s, Mugabe preached unity and peace as substitutes for justice and thought he had got away with it.

However, three decades after the scourge of Gukurahundi together with Murambatsvina crimes against humanity, the stubborn facts about Mugabe’s impunity continue to haunt him and his lieutenants up to this day. No wonder why Mugabe gets livid about the idea of arresting seating presidents by the ICC. Chinua Achebe was right when he remarked that ‘an old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb’. To avoid the possibilities if not reality of his own indictment, Mugabe has had to specifically assign one of his deputies Mr Report Phelekezela Mphoko to traverse the breadth and width of the country denying the truth of Gukurahundi. Sadly, Report Mphoko is not doing a very good job for Mugabe. Instead, he has angered the victims, survivors and the communities where mass atrocities actually took place. He has actually rekindled the memories of the torture survivors who are now exploring various ways of redress. Report Mphoko is better advised to read the recently declassified South African Foreign Affairs documents which reveal how some ‘high ranking’ ZANU PF officials negotiated with Apartheid South African Defence Forces in 1983 to cooperate in their efforts to keep ZAPU from supporting the African National Congress (ANC) operatives in Zimbabwe. Never mind Mugabe’s pretentions of pan-Africanism, he was an Apartheidist in nationalist aprons.

While the AU’s idea that cases of gross violation of human rights in Africa should be prosecuted, tried and sentenced in Africa by either national criminal justice system or by the African Court of Justice (ACJ) in conjunction with the African Human and Peoples’ Rights Court (AHPRC) may sound plausible, logical and pan-African, as mentioned earlier, it should never escape our minds that the perpetrators of these crimes are  almost invariably the seating Heads of States and Governments who enjoy immunity in their countries and have a tendency of long distance rulership. For this reason, it is near impossible that the victims will ever see justice if all serious cases were to be referred to internal or regional justice systems.

 Moreover, issues of solidarity between and among African governments also impede on justice. The case of the former president of Chad, Hissene Habre who is accused of the killings and torture of approximately 40 000 innocent citizens of that country is a classical one. To be sure, the victims of Habre’s brutal killings have been fighting for more than two decades to bring him to justice but the Senegalese government which gave Habre asylum in 1990 protected him from internal criminal justice and from extradition. Until the new president of Senegal, Macky Sall elected in 2012 arrested Habre, the man was living a largely untroubled life in Dakar until then.

 Similarly, the former president of Ethiopia, Mengistu Haile Marrime who is in asylum in Zimbabwe for over two decades now is accused of Operation ‘Red Terror’ which left thousands of people dead in his country. His victims are unlikely to find justice as the perpetrator is well protected by his comrade in blood. We should therefore excuse those who view the AU as a ‘Dictators Club’ that is interested in protecting its own interests as opposed to protecting the interests of the vulnerable, the victims and the subalterns.

While the imperial claims by AU may invoke pan-African spirit and liberation struggle memories in Africa, it should be noted that the Security Council which referred both Libya and Sudan to the ICC consists of five permanent members that is, UK, France (signatories of the Rome Statute), Russia, China and USA (are not). Each of these countries has veto powers on all issues brought to the attention of the Security Council. In the African liberation lexicon and paradigm both China and Russia are not imperialists since they supported the liberation movements to decolonise Africa from the Western imperialists. Assuming China and Russia are anti-imperialists as Mugabe and company suggest, then this claim begs the question why either of the two countries did not veto the Security Council Resolution 1593 which compelled Sudan to cooperate with the ICC?

We submit here that both Russia and China are new economic imperialists. For instance, China like all imperialist powers imports cheap raw materials from Africa; exports finished products to Africa; exploits its own and other countries cheap labour; it invests and seeks to control infrastructure in Africa such as highways, airports, ports, and telecommunications; it is a creditor; and it uses its political clout to bribe political leaders to protect its economic interests. Just like the Western imperialists which pampered the Mobutus, Idi Aminis and Bokassas of this world, China has a weird reputation of protecting despots and perpetrators of gross violation of human rights. In Zimbabwe they have constructed a personal residence for Mugabe, a military defence college and a conference centre for the ruining party ZANU PF. Moreover, the Chinese have also invested heavily in the First Family businesses such as the Gushungo Dairy Estate and the Mazowe Business Hub but nothing for the ordinary citizens except the looting of their natural resources, destruction of the their textile and clothing industry leaving them unemployed and impoverished.

While the Chinese did not oppose the Security Council resolution, they have been working behind the scenes with some African leaders to undermine and defy the resolution to arrest al Bashir. For record, at the time of al Bashir’s formal indictment by ICC in March 2009, Sudan was the third largest recipient of Chinese investment behind Angola and South Africa. China’s business interests in Sudan include among others: dam construction (Merowe Dam where China’s Exim- Bank is providing USD$530 million); power generation (El Galil Power Station); Railways (Railway connecting Port Sudan to Khartoum); and petroleum industry. Moreover, Sudan was one of the few countries to be visited by the then Chinese President Hu Jintau in February 2007. All this indicates the strategic value that Sudan is to China. While there is nothing inherently wrong with the above investments, it is worth noting that they are the very reasons why China is protecting al Bashir from ICC.  A good number of African Heads of States and Governments have been bribed to support the Sudanese president. In this context, the lives of the Darfurans do not matter as long as al Bashir continues to be the conveyor belt of African resources to feed the over a billion Chinese.

To this extent, the Mugabe-led faction of the AU should be thoroughly analysed and its pretentions and guises exposed. It is this component of the AU which is screaming about the neocolonial exigencies of the West while shielding the new imperialists from the East with impunity. The new economic imperialists of the East dine and wine with dictators to protect their excesses, and as a quid pro quo the imperialists loot African resources with impunity. They are no less worse than their Western counterparts.

In this regard, the 25thAU Summit in South Africa in June 2015 will be remembered in the annals of history as full of contradictions, ambiguities, dichotomies, and frictions. South Africa which for years was on the frontline fighting Apartheidism will have to extricate itself before the bar of history, the bar of public opinion and the bar of its own conscience how it found itself in defence of despotism and impunity if it hopes to regain its confidence from the victims of impunity; regain its former venerated place on matters of moral leadership; and African conscience inaugurated by its founding icon the late Mandela. That evil triumphed in the AU when a South African national was the chairperson of the AU Commission in a Summit hosted by South Africa flies on the face of South Africa’s proud history against impunity. It should be known that the only benefactors of South Africa’s inaction regarding the arrest of al Bashir when he was present on its territory is al Bashir himself along with all other African despots who have albatrosses of crimes hanging on their necks. Sadly, justice once again lost on the altar of impunity masquerading as peace project.

In concluding, we would like to call upon all peoples of conscience in Zimbabwe, Africa and Diaspora to denounce the Mugabe-led pull out campaign.  We also call upon all progressive African leaders to distance themselves from Mugabe-AU’s paradigms of violence; neo-populism guised as pan-Africanism; and despotism disguised as Afro-radicalism. There is no need for countries and leaders without skeletons in their cupboards to be banded together with dictatorships by default. It is in this context, that we applaud Malawi, Botswana and others for resisting the posturings of dictatorships who ganged up against the victims of impunity by embracing the non-cooperation axiom of the Mugabe faction of the AU. Africa and the World should listen to the clarion call of the victims of gross violation of human rights who want both peace and justice in equal measures.

I thank you


          The danger of a single story on the contested transition in The Gambia        

The current crisis in The Gambia has a simple story. On 1 December 2016 presidential elections were held in the country with the incumbent Yahya Jammeh and the opposition leader Mr Adama Barrow as frontrunners. The following day, the Independent Electoral Commission of the Gambia announced a surprising result, Jammeh lost the election by 39.6 [...]

          meet the apprentice | mariam barry        
It's time to introduce our final apprentice to you! This team of emerging artists have completed their training in theatre and are ready to bridge into the professional world of theatre. While they are with us, they will run our box office and front of house, as well as create and produce their own work and get involved in our mainstage season. Last but not least, we have the third apprentice to introduce: Mariam Barry.


About Mariam: 

I was born in New York City into a family that holds an unparalleled love for travel; and so my parents' immense wanderlust gave my siblings and I the incomparable experience of a diverse childhood abroad. This, in turn, gave way to the multiplicity of landscapes and languages that shape my identity. I grew up internationally; in Germany, Norway, Switzerland and The Netherlands before packing up, yet again, four years ago to move to unceded Coast Salish territories in B.C., Canada, where I now live as a guest. In essence, this rich history of relocation makes me a textbook Third Culture Kid, which is to say, I am a person who has spent a significant part of my developmental years outside of my parent's passport country. The effect is that I habit a third culture which is a unique blend of the cultures of all my host countries and parental ones. This, coupled with my larger identity as a mixed race woman with a Norwegian mother and Gambian father, frames my intimate connection to stories of home, belonging, and diaspora.

What were you doing before the apprenticeship?

I'm so grateful to say that I have been immersed in the theatre community in Vancouver since I graduated from the BFA Acting program at UBC in May of 2016. Hence before the apprenticeship, I have been cultivating my craft by working full time as a theatre artist by performing in plays as an actor and creating new works with various ensembles through the year. My latest performances were being staged as part of Ensemble Theatre Company's 2017 Season where I played in A Prayer For Owen Meany by Simon Bent in repertory with In The Next Room by Sarah Ruhl.

Meanwhile, I was also working on The Cultch's latest Indigenous Youth Initiative called "UnSettled: A Journey of Our Homes on Native Land". This was one of the most profound pieces of theatre I have ever worked on. Part rehabilitation and part research, we plunged into creating content that explores what means to tell stories on Coast Salish territory through an ensemble composed mainly of Indigenous artists and artists of colour. It was a raw and empowering experience where we, as a collective, reclaimed our narratives through art.

For this, I thank our brilliant project facilitator, Kim Harvey, who is not only the Youth Coordinator at The Cultch but a compelling artist and advocate in her own right and an instrumental mentor to all of us.


What are your favourite shows that you’ve worked on so far?

I must say that "UnSettled" with Kim Harvery, "Eurydice" by Sarah Rhul as directed by Keltie Forsyth and "Arabian Nights" by Mary Zimmerman as directed by Evan Frayne are at the top of my list.

Yet with that being said, there is no doubt in my mind that "Ruined" by Lynn Nottage, which will be playing as part of Pacific Theatre's 2017-2018 season, is shaping up to be an incomparable experience. I can't wait to work on this show as an apprentice!

What is your non-theatrical specialty?

black girl magic + vegan recipes + the art of claiming space


What is the number one thing you are excited about doing during your apprenticeship?

I can't wait for all the learning that will take place (re: to keep on glowing & growing)! As I am absolutely floored by the abundance of opportunities that the apprenticeship provides as a means to deepen one's artistic practice. This is extremely exciting to me, as a theatre maker, in that I strive to attain a holistic skill set in my practice. Exposing myself to new areas of the theatre is both enriching and invaluable, which is why - believe it or not - I am very much looking forward to being mentored in grant writing.


What is your favourite thing about theatre? 

To me, the theatre is a sacred space: a rare setting where we intentionally gather as a community to witness wondrously imperfect people muddle their way through the universe. It is the oldest form of knowledge sharing. To take on the role a storyteller is to engage in an ancient oral tradition. It is how I honour my ancestors.

What would your top three categories in Trivial Pursuit be? (invented or real)

The collected works of August Wilson, the evolution of Beyoncé's rhythm & sound, and the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

If you received $1 million dollars that you couldn’t keep for yourself, what would you do with it?

This is an easy answer. I would build youth programs, community centres and state-of-the art hospitals in my family's village in The Gambia. I would also establish a federal scholarship fund for bright students who wish to pursue a post-secondary education.

In other words, I would give back to my ancestral community. With my passion project being the creation of our country's first national theatre; a safe space dedicated to reclaiming our vast histories and envisioning a bold future.
          Fortune Of Africa Air Flight Status        
Africa is gifted by nature offering plenty of opportunities to tourists. Africa has rich cultural heritage and natural beauty as indicated below in the following country tourism profiles: Algeria Egypt Malawi Sierra Leone Angola Equatorial Guinea Mali Somalia Benin Eritrea Mauritania South Africa Botswana Ethiopia Mauritius South Sudan Burkina Faso Gabon Morocco Sudan Burundi Gambia ...
          List of African Countries by region        
List of countries of East Africa Burundi Comoros Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Rwanda Seychelles Somalia South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe List of countries of West Africa Benin Burkina Faso Cape Verde Gambia Ghana Nigeria Guinea Guinea Bissau Ivory Coast Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Senegal Sierra Leone Togo List of countries of ...
          Richard Scarry        
Richard Scarry es un ilustrador de libros infantiles, inglés, y pasado de moda. Sus grandes obras datan de las décadas de los 60 y los 70 de lo que se viene dando en llamar "el pasado siglo" y que no es otra cosa que la época en que habéis nacido todos y cada uno de vosotros, intangibles lectores. En casa tenemos varios libros de Richard Scarry precisamente de esa época y comprados en el Reino Unido, en los 60, y me he dedicado a buscar y escanear unas cuantas imágenes de un par de ellos, por el tema de lo mío, lo de la imagen social del bibliotecario.

Inglaterra es, para quien no haya viajado, que haberlos haylos, un país con bibliotecas. Y esta es una cosa en la que viene destacando desde hace cosa de 250 años para empezar a hablar, según tengo entendido. 250 años teniendo bibliotecas (no depósitos de libros, me refiero a bibliotecas) dan para mucho, y han conseguido que la gente lea, por ejemplo, o cosas como que desde hace más de 30 años cuando un ciudadano británico de un pueblo necesita una información (la programación de la tele, la previsión del tiempo, el teléfono de una tintorería, el PIB de Gambia, las farmacias de guardia, lo que dijo Shakespeare que le dijo Hamlet a Horacio mirando pasar las nubes por el cielo, las mil maneras de decir lo mismo en las novelas de Barbara Cartland, cómo se debe podar un rododendro, dónde alojarse en Moscú, cómo se conjugan los verbos franceses, o la esencia del ente en sí frente a la entidad del ser en sí mismo en Kierkegaard, por ejemplo) cuando un ciudadano necesita algo de esto, digo, va a la biblioteca y lo encuentra. A la biblioteca pública, a la que canto.

Esto ha provocado que los niños británicos posean una imagen social del bibliotecario, y a continuación que los ilustradores de libros infantiles plasmen esa imagen de la forma que aquí os cuento, con Richard Scarry como ejemplo. Saquemos algunas conclusiones:
  1. Entre los bibliotecarios abundan los conejos, aunque también hay perros, gatos, gallinas, cerdos, cabras...
  2. El sexo femenino es mayoritario, pero no único
  3. Las bibliotecarias, en general, sonríen
  4. Las bibliotecarias, en general, van descalzas
  5. Las bibliotecarias tienen tendencia a vestir de tonos azules o malvas, sean gatas, gallinas, cerdas o conejas; entre los bibliotecarios macho no hay uniformidad
  6. Las bibliotecarias atienden público infantil (conejitos, gatitos, ratoncitos) y adulto (tigres, tejones)
Que vengan los sociólogos de la Biblioteconomía y hagan unos gráficos. Yo, por mi parte, creo que las conclusiones hablan por sí solas y por ello no digo nada más.

Expongo imágenes:

En una página sobre tipos de edificios, entre una catedral, una fábrica, una iglesia y una mezquita figura una moderna biblioteca, sin duda el más acogedor de todos los edificios. Véanlo más de cerca:
Veamos ahora a la bibliotecaria en acción:

Recomendando lecturas...


Prestando un libro...

Leyendo un cuento...

Tirando el papel al reciclaje...

Escondiéndose de los usuarios...

Mandando callar...


Colocando los libros en las estanterías...

Adorando a sus encantadores usuarios...

Ordenando las colecciones de revistas y periódicos...

Leyendo...

Leyendo más cuentos a los niños...

Terminando de leer cuentos a los niños...


¡Hala, a disfrutar!


¡Y a comprar más libros!







          7. Hohenlohe Harley Run in Künzelsau - Review        

7. Hohenlohe Harley Run in Künzelsau

Zum 7. Mal wurden in Künzelsau in der Location Biergarten am Kocher die BigTwin Motoren angeworfen. Getreu dem Motto „Harley rides for Gambia“ fuhren am Samstag, den 30.07.2016, 538 Harley Davidson Fahrer/innen und Motorradfreunde durch die Region Hohenlohe.
Aber mal von Anfang an. Der Event begann mit einer Warmup Party am Freitagabend, die Bands Grand Malheur und Steffen Hrubesch & base unit № 1 gingen hier an den Start und sorgten bei den Fahrer/innen und vielen Hunderten von Besuchern für die richtige Stimmung, das Wetter war dieses Jahr auf der Seite der Veranstalter. Viele Biker nutzten die Gelegenheit und sind schon am Freitagnachmittag nach Künzelsau angereist, aus allen möglichen Regionen wie z.B. München, Augsburg, Nürnberg, Ingolstadt, Freiburg, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg um nur einige zu nennen.

Der weiteste Trupp kam aus dem schönen Salzburger Land. Einige der Teilnehmer übernachteten am Campground der direkt neben dem Eventgelände am Kocherfreibad liegt, andere bevorzugten die Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten in Hotels oder Pensionen.


          Hohenlohe Harley Run 2014 in Künzelsau.        

Der Hohenlohe Harley Run feiert sein erstes Jubiläum.

HOHENLOHE HARLEY_RUNZum 5. Mal findet der Hohenlohe Harley Run in Künzelsau statt, dieses Mal wieder am Biergarten am Kocher. Unter dem Motto Harley rides for Gambia fahren auch dieses Jahr Harley Fahrer/innen für einen guten Zweck. Erneut wird das soziale Projekt von Ingo Roth, Christliche Humanitäre Hilfe in Gambia e.V. , unterstützt. Letztes Jahr sind wir auch schon für Gambia gefahren und wir konnten dem Verein ca. 4000.- Euro Bargeld und ca. 1000 Euro Füllmaterial für Zähne überreichen. Beides wurde nach Gambia gebracht, mit dem Geld wurde eine Schülertagesstätte unterstützt und das Füllmaterial für Zähne wurde von einem Zahnarzt bei Patienten eingesetzt.
Inzwischen hat die Veranstaltung einen festen Termin im Veranstaltungskalender in Hohenlohe. Harley Fahrer/innen aus der Region und aus Deutschland finden den Weg zu uns. Besonders freuen sich die Veranstalter auch über Besucher aus dem Ausland, so waren schon Gäste aus der Schweiz, Österreich und Frankreich bei diesem Event und wie sagt man so schön, die Besucher machen einen guten Event aus. Der Hohenlohe Harley Run ist aber nicht nur unter den Bikern beliebt, auch Familien, Harley Davidson Fans, Fotografen und Biergartenfreunde, alle schauen bei diesem tollen Event vorbei und feiern mit den Hohenlohe Harley Run Freunden. Übrigens der Eintritt ist frei und man freut sich über eine kleine Spende für den guten Zweck.

Übernachten kann man auf dem Campground der direkt neben dem Eventgelände liegt (Freibad mit Zeltplätze oder auch Stellplätze für Wohnmobile) oder für alle die es ein wenig komfortabler haben wollen stehen Gästehäuser oder Hotels unmittelbar in der Nähe vom Eventgelände zur Verfügung. Nähere Informationen findet man auch im Internet unter www.hohenlohe-harley-run.com .
Startschuss für den tollen Event fällt am Freitagabend mit der Band „Die Drei von der Tankstelle". Die Cover-Rockband aus dem Hohenlohekreis wurde1985 gegründet und rockt noch heute in fast unveränderter Besetzung und wird die Besucher bei der „warm up" Party einheizen.


          Documento de posición de Nigeria en relación al Africa        
Revista de Relaciones Internacionales Nro. 2
La dimensión económica de la política exterior de Nigeria
Prof. Dr. Okon Edetuya (Embajador de Nigeria)
Introducción
Permítanme comenzar agradeciendo a las autoridades de esta institución por la oportunidad de encontrarme nuevamente aquí para interactuar en este magnífico medio académico. Esto es testimonio de las crecientes y confiablemente beneficiosas relaciones entre su institución y la Embajada, en primer término, y la Argentina y Nigeria, en segundo lugar.
Les felicito, en particular, por la decisión de inaugurar un programa de Estudios Africanos, a nivel de postgrado en vuestra institución. Como probablemente sabrán, postulo firmemente que las emergentes y crecientes relaciones entre Africa y América Latina en los campos político, diplomático y económico deben aclararse sólidamente en conocimientos concretos, intelectualmente convalidados y firmes acerca de las mutuas condiciones actuales. Es mi firme convicción que relaciones perdurables y significativas solo pueden conformarse superando la ignorancia mutua, que lamentablemente, aún caracteriza ampliamente nuestro enfoque recíproco.
Al embarcarse en la tarea de estudiar a Africa. permítanme solicitarles tener en cuenta lo siguiente:
I. Que los estudios africanos han madurado enormemente en los últimos 30 años y que, por lo tanto, no pueden ser ya considerados como un área de curiosidad de turismo intelectual, sino como un asunto digno de rigurosa y seria atención académica.
II. Que, ampliamente, si bien europeos y norteamericanos continúan realizando excelentes investigaciones acerca de Africa, los africanos, tanto en el continente como fuera de el, han surgido como los intérpretes más confiables de su realidad ante el mundo exterior, mediante la investigación rigurosa. Es, entonces, importante que los puntos de vista de estos investigadores africanos sean considerados ante asuntos importantes que se refieran al continente.
III. Que se ha producido una gran revolución en las perspectivas y enfoques metodológicos aplicados al estudio de Africa, debida al creciente reconocimiento de que la naturaleza de sus sociedades, incluyendo las perspectivas culturales y las cosmologías, debe influir significativamente en la selección de las perspectivas y los métodos para el estudio del continente. En realidad, se acepta actualmente en general que nadie puede llamarse investigador de la realidad africana, sin incorporar deliberadamente una perspectiva afrocéntrica y una metodología multidisciplinaria.
Espero que tengan presente los comentarios generales precedentes al estructurar los programas de enseñanza e investigación de los estudios africanos. De todos modos, pueden siempre contar con el apoyo intelectual y la cooperación de la Embajada de Nigeria y la Comunidad Académica Nigeriana en esta digna empresa.
Sobre la base de lo antedicho, permitanme compartir con ustedes algunos de mis pensamientos acerca de un importante aspecto de la política exterior de Nigeria; tal es, la dimensión económica en su concepción, articulación y práctica. En primer término, hare un breve comentario acerca de los parámetros generales de la diplomacia nigeriana, dentro de los cuales puede apreciarse mejor el componente económico.
PARAMETROS GENERALES
A pesar de haberse producido variantes en estilo de una administración a otra y a pesar de los frecuentes cambios de liderazgo y la alternancia entre regimenes civiles y militares en el país, los intereses de la política exterior de Nigeria han mantenido suficiente consistencia, si bien algunos aspectos han recibido mayor énfasis en determinadas circunstancias, reflejando las necesidades del momento, los intereses y las cambiantes alianzas a nivel nacional, regional y global. Las preocupaciones que han dominado las relaciones de Nigeria, tanto en el plano bilateral como multilateral, fueron así identificadas: protección de la soberanía e integridad territorial del Estado Nigeriano, principalmente mediante la promocion del bienestar socio-económico y político de los nigerianos, respeto por la integridad territorial y la soberania de otros estados africanos; promoción de la unidad y solidaridad de los estados africanos; incluyendo la total emancipación política, económica, social y cultural y el rejuvenecimiento de Africa; el apoyo a la autodeterminación de todos los pueblos, incluyendo el compromiso inquebrantable con la eliminacion del colonialismo, el apartheid y el racismo en todo el mundo; la promoción de la cooperación y la comprensión internacionales en los campos económico, social y político, conducentes a la consolidación de la paz y la seguridad esenciales para el rápido desarrollo de nuestra aldea global; garantizar la dignidad y la promoción del bienestar de los africanos y los pueblos de ascendencia africana en todo el mundo; y finalmente, compensar los desequilibrios en las estructuras de poder internacionales que han tendido a frustrar e invalidar el desarrollo adecuado y ordenado y la maduración de los pueblos del mundo en desarrollo.
Los teorizadores de la política exterior de Nigeria han postulado que esta puede representarse cabalmente como operando dentro de tres círculos concéntricos. El núcleo interior corresponde a las actividades de Nigeria dentro de la sub-región del Africa Occidental, principalmente a traves de la ECOWAS (Comunidad Económica de Estados del Africa Occidental). El círculo medio representa la preocupación de Nigeria por, y sus actividades dentro de Africa, frecuentemente descriptas como la pieza central de su política exterior. El círculo exterior corresponde a las relaciones de Nigeria con el mundo no Africano. En años recientes, especialmente en vista de que la política exterior de Nigeria ha sido identificada como el principal instrumento para el desarrollo económico del pais, se ha volcado un esfuerzo conciente para dividir al mundo no africano en dos categorías mayores, a saber, los paises recientemente industrializados de Asia y América latina, especialmente Argentina, Brasil, Malasia, las dos Coreas, Indonesia e India, que son vistos actualmente como zonas preferenciales para la adquisición de nuevas tecnologías; y las naciones de más larga historia industrial, aún consideradas como fuente importante de capital para el desarrollo.
Se considera actualmente, en general, que aún durante las dos primeras décadas de vida independiente, cuando el multilateralismo era visto como un refugio para las naciones débiles, con el objeto de encarar con efectividad a los fuertes y poderosos, la política exterior de Nigeria siempre fue una saludable combinación de bi- y multilateralismo, especialmente en materia económica. Un cuidadoso análisis de las actividades de Nigeria en organismos multilaterales tales como la ECOWAS, la OAU (Organización de la Unidad Africana), el Commmonwealth británico de naciones y las Naciones Unidas y sus varias Agencias, confirma que, dada su envergadura y su enorme base de recursos naturales, minerales y humanos, Nigeria ha surgido como líder en Africa y como miembro de equipo respecto de temas fundamentales en la escena mundial. Esto es particularmente así en asuntos relativos a la descolonización, la lucha contra el apartheid, y, quizás lo más importante dentro de este contexto, los problemas de atraso social y económico y la continuada y expansiva disparidad económica entre las naciones ricas y las pobres del mundo.
Naturalmente, los temas relativos a la descolonización, el apartheid y el racismo y la necesidad de sensibilizar a la comunidad internacional respecto de su recurrencia en el mundo, especialmente en Africa, dominaron la diplomacia nigeriana de los primeros años. En realidad, el país asumió la carga de un liderazgo autoimpuesto en esta materia, especialmente respecto de la lucha para terminar con el apartheid en sus variadas manifestaciones en Africa del Sur, con la sincera convicción de que la independencia de Nigeria no habría de tener sentido hasta tanto Africa se liberara del flagelo del colonialismo y el racismo.
En 1963, a pesar del continuado énfasis puesto sobre los asuntos políticos, el compromiso de Nigeria de aplicar la diplomacia como importante instrumento para el desarrollo económico del continente africano, había pasado al frente. En el contexto africano, esto tomó forma mediante el apoyo a la incorporación de un componente económico a la doctrina, y posteriormente, a la Carta de la naciente Organización de la Unidad Africana. Así, en una presentación ante la Conferencia Cumbre Africana de Mayo, 1963, el Primer Ministro de Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa insistía en que, mientras algunos líderes africanos compartían el punto de vista acerca de que la unidad africana debería alcanzarse mediante la fusión política de los diferentes Estados africanos, la posición de Nigeria era que "la unidad africana podría alcanzarse tomando algunas medidas prácticas de cooperación económica, educativa, científica y cultural". Más aún, mientras Nigeria apoyaba la idea de un Mercado Común Africano, mantenía el punto de vista que era de aplicación práctica entonces, "un Mercado Común Africano basado sobre ciertos agrupamientos tales como el de Africa del Norte, el de Africa Occidental y el de Africa Oriental" Nigeria se constituyó en un de los principales promotores del enfoque práctico y progresivo para la cooperación e integración en Africa, que ha pasado a ser el modus operandi de la Organización de la Unidad Africana para asuntos económicos. En realidad, Nigeria ha continuado insistiendo en que una integración exitosa del continente africano sólo podrá tener lugar mediante agrupamientos sub-regionales o regionales basados sobre la cooperación entre los Estados miembros en áreas específicas tales como comercio, transporte, comunicación, y recursos naturales. La carta de la OAU, aprobada en mayo de 1963, específicamente obliga a los estados africanos a "coordinar e intensificar su cooperación y esfuerzos para alcanzar un mejor nivel de vida para los pueblos de Africa, armonizando sus políticas generales en el campo de la cooperación económica, incluyendo transporte y comunicaciones".
En 1976 se hizo cada vez más obvio que la recientemente ganada independencia de los países africanos no tenía sentido sin el concomitante desarrollo económico y la autosuficiencia. Nigeria fue uno de los países que insistió en realizar una Sesión Extraordinaria del Consejo de Ministros de la Organización de la Unidad Africana dedicada exclusivamente a asuntos económicos. El foro multilateral, que tuvo lugar en Kinshasha, Zaire, recomendó la formación de una política energética común para el continente; la promoción de la Cooperación Inter-Africana para completar el emergente nuevo Orden Económico Internacional y el establecimiento de un Banco de Datos Económico, por la Comisión Económica para Africa (ECA), y la OAU. Nigeria también desempeñó un activo rol en varios symposios destinados a analizar y desarrollar una perspectiva más panafricanista y afrocéntrica del desarrollo africano, durante las décadas de 1970 y 1980. El symposiun de Monrovia de 1979, uno de los más exitosos, reclamó una nueva pedagogía orientada hacia la unidad africana; la necesida de apoyar el desarrollo africano sobre valores científicos, culturales y sociales; el control de los instrumentos vitales técnicos y financieros para alcanzar tal desarrollo, y un nuevo enfoque de la cooperación internacional destacando los lazos entre los países en desarrollo. En 1973, los Jefes de Estado africanos suscribieron la Declaración Africana de Cooperación, Desarrollo e Independencia Económica que compromete explícitamente a las naciones africanas a actuar para redimensionar el compromiso económico del continente y prestar especial atención a los temas económicos en reuniones subsiguientes. En una de las sesiones, Nigeria insistió en que "en la búsqueda de soluciones a los actuales problemas económicos mundiales, nosotros, como africanos, debemos realizar nuestra contribución positiva reorganizando nuestras prioridades económicas y promoviendo el contacto y la cooperación". Era la firme convicción de Nigeria que "la cooperación económica africana no es simplemente un ideal excelso. Es una realidad de la vida, es una necesidad de nuestro tiempo". Estas variadas actividades culminaron en la cumbre de la OAU en Lagos, Nigeria, en 1980, que fue testigo de la adopción del Plan de Acción de Lagos (LPA), para el Desarrollo Económico de Africa, así como del Acta Final de Lagos, considerada como el anteproyecto del desarrollo económico de Africa.
El plan de Acción de Lagos, por ejemplo, preveía el establecimiento de un Mercado Común Africano para el año 2.000 sobre la base de una economía continental autosustentada y autoregulada, fundada sobre agrupamientos económicos sub-regionales. El desarrollo de la alimentación y la agricultura, la industria, la ciencia y la tecnología, el transporte y las comunicaciones, el comercio y las finanzas y los recursos humanos y naturales fueron identificados como las principales áreas de interés. No es necesario decir que el optimismo con que se recibió la adopción de estos documentos fundamentales no se materializó debido a la mala administración interna, el medio económico internacional desfavorable, la corrupción nacional, la caída en los ingresos por exportaciones, el colapso de los precios del mercado internacional para los productos primarios, el declinante flujo de recursos y el proteccionismo de las economías desarrolladas, y, quizás, lo más importante, el peso de la deuda. Estos serían algunos de los temas fundamentales que ocuparían a la diplomacia nigeriana en las décadas de 1980 y 1990.
Indeclinablemente, Nigeria ha continuado defendiendo y articulando nuevos enfoques para abordar los problemas económicos. Por ejemplo, en 1984, Nigeria convocó a una cumbre de la OAU para revisar los progresos realizados en la implementación del Plan de Acción de Lagos y el Acta Final de Lagos, así como formular una programa de emergencia ante la crisis económica africana. Se estableció un Comité de Conducción Permanente, conformado por Argelia, Côte D'Ivoire, Senegal, Tanzania, Zimbabwe y Nigeria. También se constituyó un Fondo Especial de Asistencia de Emergencia (SEAF) para Sequías y Hambrunas en Africa, al que Nigeria contribuyó con U$S 3 millones. Finalmente, la 21a. Cumbre convocada subsiguientemente, dedicada exclusivamente a temas económicos, adoptó el Programa Prioritario Africano para la Recuperación Económica (APPER), para 1985-1990, el que, entre otras cosas, reclamaba la convocatoria de una conferencia internacional sobre la deuda externa africana, bajo los auspicios de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas que tuviera lugar en New York, desde el 27 de mayo al 1º de junio de 1986. La conferencia adoptó el Programa de Acción de Naciones Unidas para la recuperación Económica y el Desarrollo, que comprometía a los gobiernos africanos a implementar reformas políticas y a reunir U$S 82.5 mil millones para la ejecución del proyecto y la provisión por parte de la comunidad internacional de U$S 46.1 mil millones para financiar el proyecto. Los focos principales eran alimentación y agricultura, desarrollo de recursos humanos, industrialización y temas afines, el medio económico internacional y sequías y desertificación. Nigeria, que jugó un rol catalítico en los pasos conducentes a la convocatoria de la conferencia, encabezó la discusiones sobre los temas relativos a alimentación y agricultura.
Como es sabido, en gran parte debido a la incapacidad de la comunidad internacional para cumplir con su compromiso con el programa, a pesar de los programas de ajuste estructural en los que se embarcaron muchos países africanos, la crisis económica africana ha continuado siendo una de las mayores preocupaciones de todos los Estados africanos, Nigeria incluída, ante numerosos foros multilaterales tales como la OAU, las N.U., el Grupo de los Quince, y otros. Como miembro activo de tales grupos, Nigeria continua aplicando su músculo diplomático para llamar la atención sobre, y articular soluciones para la crisis económica africana, que es realmente la crisis económica africana, que es realmente la crisis de los paises en desarrollo vis-a-vis el mundo desarrollado, particularmente el problema de la deuda externa. En realidad, Nigeria participó activamente en la Sesión Extraordinaria de la Asamblea de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la OAU realizada en Addis Abeba en diciembre de 1987, que adoptó una Posición Africana Común sobre la Deuda Externa de Africa, la que, en 1986 se estimaba en U$S 200 mil millones alcanzando el 45% del Producto Bruto interno combinado del continente. Entre las propuestas se contaba con el mejoramiento del medio económico internacional, un incremento en el flujo de recursos, un tope en los pagos del servicio de la deuda pendiente. Nigeria se mantiene como miembro del Grupo de Contacto Permanente establecido por la conferencia para controlar el desarrollo de tales temas.
Las iniciativas diplomáticas de Nigeria y su apoyo a la aplicación de las relaciones exteriores entre los países de Africa para promover el desarrollo económico rápido y la integración del continente culminó en la 27a. Cumbre de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la OAU, concluida recientemente en Abuja, nueva Capital Federal de Nigeria, en junio de 1991, que finalmente aprobó el acuerdo de constitucion de una Comunidad Economica Africana. Los objetivos de la comunidad incluyen:
I. promoción del desarrollo económico, social y cultural e integración de las economías africanas, a fin de incrementar la autoregulación y un desarrollo endógeno autosuficiente.
II. establecimiento, a escala continental, de una estructura para el desarrollo, la movilización y el aprovechamiento de los recursos humanos y materiales de Africa con el objeto de alcanzar un desarrollo autoregulado.
III. promoción de la cooperación en todos los campos del quehacer humano con el objeto de elevar el nivel de vida y mantener y garantizar la estabilidad económica, promover relaciones estrechas y pacíficas entre los estados miembros y contribuir al progreso, al desarrollo y la integración económica de Africa.
IV. coordinar y armonizar políticas entre las comunidades existentes y las futuras con el objeto de promover el gradual afianzamiento de la Comunidad Economica Africana.
Sin pecar de inmodestia, la adopción del tratado y su pendiente ratificación por los Estados miembros marca un hito importante en la búsqueda de la integración económica de Africa. Es aún más importante, en cuanto no podemos olvidar que las expotencias coloniales han probado todo recurso posible para mantener sus reductos de influencia, especialmente económica, en Africa y han manipulado frecuentemente tales influencias para frustrar la aspiraciones africanas de unidad e integración, superando el elegado separatista linguístico y cultural del colonialismo. A pesar de los obvios problemas de implementación, el tratado puede considerarse como el comienzo de una nueva alborada en la cooperacion e integración económica de Africa. Dentro de este contexto, el tratado convalida la correción del enfoque gradual, práctico y concreto para la integración de Africa promovido por Nigeria desde 1963. En este sentido, se lo puede considerar un triunfo de la diplomacia nigeriana en Africa.
En las Naciones Unidas, la principal organización multilateral del mundo, la voz de Nigeria en apoyo de los temas referidos al desarrollo económico, especialmente respecto del mundo en desarrollo, no ha sido menos sonora y efectiva. Cuando Nigeria se constituyó en el 99 miembro de la Organización en 1960, existía un creciente reconocimiento de la necesidad internacional de prestar especial atención a la transformación económica, social y política de las emergentes nuevas naciones en desarrollo de Africa y Asia. De particular importancia fue el reconocimiento del rol de las Naciones Unidas para encarar problemas de seguridad económica, la reestructuración del orden económico internacional, la autoregulación y la cooperación entre los países en desarrollo. Nigeria, que ha destacado en forma consistente los logros de Naciones Unidas y sus organismos especializados en áreas tales como educación, alfabetización, alimentación, agricultura y asistencia técnica para el desarrollo, se ha sentido igualmente perturbada por lo que percibe como "el peligro de la paz y estabilidad mundiales ante un orden económico caracterizado por la existencia en un mismo mundo de pequeñas islas de abundancia en medio de un océano de pobreza y privaciones". Desde el punto de vista de Nigeria, la independencia política de las nuevas naciones no tiene sentido sin una adecuada seguridad económica, dado que su continuada dependencia económica las hace vulnerables ante ideologías y otras formas de presión externas.
Con una firme convicción e independencia nacional; y no alineamiento positivo, Nigeria apoyó activamente la adopción de la Primera Década de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (1961- 1970), propuesta para acelerar la evolución de las naciones en desarrollo, reduciendo así la brecha entre el mundo desarrollado y el mundo en desarrollo. Es así que Nigeria participó activamente en las actividades conducentes a la convocatoria de la primera Conferencia de Naciones Unidas sobre Comercio y Desarrollo (UNCTAD) realizada en Ginebra en 1964. El grupo de los 77, que se constituyó en foro de coordinación de puntos de vista de los países en desarrollo, preparatorios de la reunión de Ginebra, fue aceptado por Nigeria como importante plataforma y fuerza vital para armonizar las posiciones de estos paises ante cuestiones de economia internacional. Del mismo modo, Nigeria participó efectivamente en el desarrollo de los aspectos doctrinarios de la Segunda Década para el Desarrollo, especialmente en cuanto a la adopción de la Estrategia Internacional para el Desarrollo, que definió metas específicas de crecimiento en educación, comercio, empleo, finanzas, salud, vivienda, y producto nacional en 1980. Estas metas, como es sabido, no fueron alcanzadas, especialmente con posterioridad a la caída de las instituciones de Bretton Woods en 1971 y el abandono del patrón oro como medida de intercambio por los EE.UU. Nigeria denunció cambios unilaterales en el sistema monetario, insistiendo en que tales "medidas financieras, tomadas por países avanzados y poderosos, con economías altamente desarrolladas, han causado incertidumbre que provocara graves efectos sobre los países cuyas economías no son tan avanzadas". Nigeria reclamó consultas entre las naciones desarrolladas y en desarrollo para examinar la situación y participó en la reafirmación de la posición de la Cumbre de No Alineados que tuvo lugar en Argelia en 1973, sobre el mismo tema. A posteriori, en la primavera de 1974, la Sesión de la Asamblea General sobre Materias Primas y Desarrollo adoptó la Declaración y Programa de Acción para el establecimiento de un Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional (NOEI), que entre otras cosas, proclamó la determinación de los Estados miembros de Naciones Unidas de trabajar mancomunadamente por la evolucion de un nuevo orden que eliminara desigualdades, redujera injusticias y, finalmente, eliminara la brecha de desarrollo entre las naciones desarrolladas y las en desarrollo. El programa contempla las relaciones entre los precios de los productos básicos exportados desde los países en desarrollo y los de las manufacturas que importan, la reforma del sistema monetario internacional, involucrando a los países en desarrollo en los procesos de toma de decisiones por parte de las instituciones financieras internacionales, el mejoramiento de los términos de intercambio de los países en desarrollo y el incremento en la producción y exportación de alimentos desde estos países.
Si bien Nigeria recibió con beneplacito estos avances, continuo reclamando mayores medidas para encarar estos asuntos, tales como el derecho de los Estados a controlar sus propios recursos, y la regulación y supervisión de las corporaciones transnacionales. Esta posición fue compartida por la mayoría de los Estados miembros, los que, en diciembre de 1974, aprobaron la Carta de Naciones Unidas sobre Derechos y Deberes Económicos de los Estados. La Carta, entre otras cosas afirma los derechos de los Estados al control soberano de sus recursos naturales y a establecer procedimientos para la regulación, nacionalización, expropiación y transferencia de la titularidad de empresas extranjeras en tales países. Este interés en la interdependencia entre las naciones desarrolladas y las en desarrollo, basada sobre el respeto a las respectivas soberanías y la necesidad de modificar las estructuras económicas existentes y las disposiciones para facilitar el desarrollo de las naciones de Africa, Asia y America Latina, ha continuado siendo un importante elemento de la política exterior nigeriana. En realidad, en los ccomienzos de la crisis de las economías de la mayoría de las naciones africanas en la década de 1980, caracterizada por el colapso de los precios de la mayoría de los productos básicos, incluído el petróleo; declinantes ingresos nacionales, escasez de alimentos, hambrunas, sequías, reducción en el flujo de recursos; términos de intercambio comercial en deterioro, resultando una pérdida de alrededor de U$S 50 mil millones entre 1986 y 1990; y el enorme peso de la deuda, estimada actualmente en U$S 272 mil millones o el 109% de su Producto Bruto Interno; estas preocupaciones han adquirido mayor significatividad y prominencia.
Como señalara anteriormente, Nigeria jugo un rol importante al sensibilizar a la comunidad mundial ante estos problemas y al buscar y articular soluciones para ellos dentro de la OUA y las NU y sus organismos especializados. La posición de Nigeria continua sosteniendo que, a pesar de los valerosos profundos ajustes estructurales, que acarrean considerable riesgo político y costo social a partir de los sacrificios que se pide de los pueblos africanos, la fortuna económica del continente continúa siendo abismalmente descorazonadora dado que " las contribuciones de la comunidad internacional para la implementación del Programa han quedado muy por detrás de las expectativas de los paises africanos". Queda en claro que esta preocupación por el desarrollo económico de Africa se mantendrá como plataforma fundamental de la política exterior de Nigeria durante varios años por venir. En realidad, se cuenta con que sea el tema dominante de la contribución de Nigeria a las deliberaciones de la próxima Conferencia del Grupo de los 15 a realizarse en Caracas, Venezuela.
Mientras Nigeria ha enfocado correctamente su accionar en foros internacionales para la articulación y promoción de la dimensión económica de su política exterior afrocéntrica, no ha ignorado los foros bilaterales. Nigeria cuenta actualmente con convenios de cooperación económica bilateral con muchos países africanos y no africanos. Los ejemplos mejor conocidos de ellos son la Comisión Conjunta con Niger y los acuerdos de joint-venture con las Repúblicas de Guinea y Benin para la explotación de uranio, producción de cemento, refinado de azucar y construcción vial. A ellos podemos agregar la Comisión de la Cuenca de Lake Chad que reune a Camerun, Chad, Niger y Nigeria para la exploración y desarrollo conjunto de los recursos de Lake Chad y la Comunidad Económica de los Estados de Africa Occidental (ECOWAS) que agrupa a 16 países de la sub-región del Africa Occidental. Muchos países de Africa, incluídos Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Côte D'Ivoire, Etiopía, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauricio, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania y Togo se han beneficiado con el Fondo Fiduciario de Nigeria administrado por el Banco Africano de Desarrollo para la ejecución de proyectos específicos de desarrollo.
Mas recientemente, en 1986, la Administración Babangida organizó el Esquema de Cuerpos de Asistencia Tecnica (TAC) cuyo objetivo es abordar las cruciales necesidades técnicas de los países receptores, así como "promover la cooperación y el entendimiento, de importancia crítica en las relaciones internacionales contemporáneas". El esquema también ha sido diseñado para facilitar "contactos significativos entre grupos de jovenes nigerianos dinámicos y otros africanos, así como con poblaciones de ascendencia africana en las regiones del Pacífico y el Caribe, con el objeto de establecer un punto de apoyo, a partir del cual forjar relaciones interpersonales entre Nigeria y otros pueblos africanos". Como explicara el Presidente, Comandante en Jefe de las FF.AA. de Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida, en ocasión del lanzamiento formal del Esquema, el 7 de octubre de 1987:
El esquema de Cuerpos de Asistencia Técnica forma parte de nuestro compromiso con nuestra política exterior que coloca a Africa como pieza central. Esta administración considera que, por ser parte del interés nacional de Nigeria, debe considerarse como un deber sagrado, el dignificar el status de toda persona negra en el mundo. Intentamos alcanzar este objetivo sin interferir en los asuntos de otros pueblos, ni haciendo el papel de Papa Noel, sino incorporando mayor realismo a nuestra política, brindando asistencia sobre la base de las necesidades de sus beneficiarios en tanto son percibidas y evaluadas, sin descuidar nuestro interés nacional.
El objetivo del Esquema es compartir know-how tecnológico disponible y experiencia en areas claramente identificadas, con las naciones menos afortunadas de Africa, el Pacífico y el Caribe. El gobierno de Nigeria se hace cargo de los gastos y pasajes de voluntarios cuidadosamente seleccionados asignados a estos países por dos años. Desde 1991, los siguientes países se han beneficiado con este Esquema: Cabo Verde, Guinea Ecuatorial, Fiji, Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya, el Reino de Lesotho, Mozambique, las Seychelles, Sierra Leona, Tanzania y Zambia. Las áreas de especialización de los participantes incluyen Medicina, Ingeniería, Contaduría, Investigación, Enseñanza de las Ciencias, Leyes, Historia y Enfermería. El Esquema de Cuerpos de Asistencia Técnica ha sido recibido calurosamente por los países beneficiarios "como una demostración práctica de la Cooperación Sur-Sur dentro del contexto de la Cooperación Económica Universal entre los Países en Desarrollo (ECDC)".
Diplomacia Económica
Como señalara al principio de esta presentación, una de las principales preocupaciones de la política exterior de Nigeria ha sido el aplicarla como instrumento fundamental para promover el bienestar de los nigerianos, que es considerado esencial para la protección de la soberanía y la integridad territorial del Estado nigeriano. Si bien esta preocupacion de la soberania y la integridad territorial del estado nigeriano, siempre estuvo presente, fue la Administración actual del General Babangida que la bautizó como "Diplomacia Económica" en 1987. En este sentido amplio, la Administración Babangida considera a la diplomacia económica significativa en la circunstancia actual, sólo si contribuye a resolver los acuciantes problemas económicos que agobiaron al país desde principios de la década de 1980. Así, ademas de los intereses tradicionales panafricanistas y los temas relativos a la paz y la seguridad, desde 1987 en adelante se tomó la decisión deliberada de enfatizar la dimensión económica de las relaciones de Nigeria con otros países. En realidad, la designación de los Jefes de Misión ha estado determinada ampliamente por una evaluación de su capacidad para contribuir a este proceso. La medida en que se logre atraer la participación externa a las actividades económicas de Nigeria es criterio fundamental para evaluar su desempeño.
La Diplomacia Económica implica el reconocimiento explícito por parte de Nigeria de que la diplomacia sin el componente económico no es más que la retórica vacía. Además, involucra la decisión de abrir la economía nigeriana, hasta entonces ampliamente controlada por el Estado, a la empresa privada, incluyendo empresas extranjeras. En realidad, el proyecto integra deliberadamente al sector privado en el plano de la política exterior. Tercero, la diplomacia económica incluye el deseo expreso de redimensionar los desequilibrios en los sistemas económico y monetario internacionales, que fueron identificados como parte responsable de las contínuas dificultades económicas de las naciones en desarrollo. Finalmente, especialmente en cuanto a la adquisición de tecnologías de producción apropiadas, se tomó la decisión de otorgar mayor prominencia a las naciones de potencia intermedia, recientemente industrializadas de Asia y América Latina, con la convicción de que tales naciones estarían mejor dispuestas a compartir su know-how tecnológico en el espíritu de la cooperación Sur-Sur.
Para apreciar plenamente este postulado de la política exterior de Nigeria, es importante tener en cuenta que, a pesar de sus ampliamente conocidos vastos recursos naturales, minerales y humanos, capaces de transformar a Nigeria en una nación altamente industrializada, el país no ha logrado aún desarrollarse plenamente en toda su potencialidad. Como la nación negra más populosa del mundo, con una población estimada en 110 millones de personas, núcleo del mercado de la ECOWAS que abarca una población superior a los 200 millones de personas, 6º productor mundial de petróleo, con reservas estimadas en 17.1 mil millones de barriles, contando al mismo tiempo con reservas de gas natural, oro, piedra caliza, manganeso, estaño y uranio, con su inmenso espacio geográfico, tanto físico como humano, capaz de generar una razonable demanda interna, indispensable para un crecimiento autocentrado y autosuficiente, Nigeria no ha logrado aún satisfacer las expectativas de su ciudadanía y de la comunidad internacional. La diplomacia económica fue concebida como un importante paso para revertir esta situación inaceptable.
La intención fue instaurar políticas e incentivos que atrajeran el know-how tecnológico y capital necesarios para la rápida transformación del país en una economía vibrante y garantizar la autosuficiencia en el área crítica de la alimentación.
En el terreno de la industrialización, el énfasis actualmente está puesto sobre la creación de un clima apropiado, que sea propicio a la incorporación de capital y tecnología extranjeros para la industrialización del estado nigeriano. Se ha dispuesto un paquete de incentivos, incorporados a un documento titulado Nueva Política Industrial de Nigeria. Estos incluyen: la creación de un departamento de coordinación del desarrollo industrial, como agente de diligenciamiento en un sólo paso de solicitudes y aprobaciones, eliminando así los cuellos de botella burocráticos; la eliminación de licencias de importación, otra de las trabas fundamentales de nuestro comercio; privatización y comercialización de las empresas públicas; libre acceso a la divisa extranjera, a través del Mercado de Cambios; garantías para la libre repatriación de beneficios, dividendos, honorarios de consultoría, derechos y por servicios técnicos y de administración, revisión del Decreto de Promoción de Empresas para permitir al capital extranjero ser titular de hasta el 80% de participación en empresas que requieran gran inversión de capital y/o tecnología sofisticada; el establecimiento de una zona de opción libre donde los extranjeros pueden participar hasta con el 100% de la titularidad; así como generosos incentivos impositivos, incluyendo la exención para inversiones en sectores pioneros de la economía.
Los principales objetivos de la política industrial son la expansión de oportunidades laborales, incremento de exportaciones del sector no petrolero, dispersión de industrias a las áreas rurales del país, perfeccionamiento de la capacidad tecnológica, creciente uso de materias primas locales, atracción de capital extranjero y el incremento de la participación del sector privado, tanto nativo como extranjero.
Las áreas industriales pioneras, donde los incentivos son particularmente atractivos y generosos son las siguientes: cultivo y procesamiento de alimentos, vegetales y frutas; manufactura de productos sobre la base de cacao; procesamiento de oleaginosas para la producción de aceites vegetales; producción láctea integral; cría de ganado en general; triturado de huesos; pesca, ya sea de altura, costera o en aguas interiores; procesamiento de sal; explotación de plomo y zinc; manufactura de hierro y acero a partir de mineral de hierro; fundición y refinado de metales no ferrosos y manufacturas en sus aleaciones; explotación de minerales varios; manufactura de materiales para perforación petrolera; cemento; vidrio y artículos de vidrio; cal a partir de piedra caliza, mármoles; manufactura de productos cerámicos, productos químicos industriales básicos; productos farmacéuticos, instrumental quirúrgico; almidón vegetal; producción de levaduras; alcohol y derivados; alimentos para animales; producción de papel; curtidos de cuero y manufacturas en cuero; fibras textiles naturales y sintéticas ; artículos de metal; maquinaria; productos total o parcialmente de caucho; redes de pesca con materia prima local; cultivo y procesamiento de trigo local; cultivo y procesado de aceite de palma; cultivo y procesado de caucho; de goma arábiga; producción integral de madera; producción de fertilizantes y fabricación de vehículos comerciales. Otros sectores que reclaman la inversión extranjera son el petróleo y la explotación de las enormes reservas de gas natural. La política exterior de Nigeria actualmente, y en los años por venir, continuará orientando sus esfuerzos a la mejor aplicación de la diplomacia para atraer capitales y know-how tecnológico necesarios para la rápida transformación del Estado Nigeriano. La diplomacia económica es, por lo tanto, considerada como importante componente de nuestro proyecto de recuperación económica.
Aludí anteriormente al hecho que, buscando las fuentes de tecnología de producción adecuadas, Nigeria ha enfocado su interés sobre las naciones recientemente industrializadas del mundo, especialmente en América Latina, especialmente con Argentina y Brasil.
Nigeria cree firmemente que los lazos económicos fuertes y la interacción económica entre Africa y América latina redundarán en el beneficio mutuo de ambas regiones, especialmente dentro del contexto de la problemática del intercambio y el comercio internacionales durante el período posterior a 1992. Lo que es más importante aún, es que las tecnologías de producción existentes en países como la Argentina en áreas tales como alimentos, fármacos, maquinaria industrial, servicios y mantenimiento, transporte y energía nuclear para fines pacíficos, son más adecuadas a nuestra circunstancia presente que aquellas tecnologías más sofisticadas que ofrecen las naciones altamente industrializadas. Uno de los objetivos más importantes en nuestras relaciones con este país es el atraer e involucrar a estas tecnologías en el desarrollo económico de Nigeria.
Para tal fin, el 17 de agosto de 1988, Nigeria y Argentina firmaron un Acuerdo de Cooperación Económica, Científica y Técnica, ya ratificado por parte de la Argentina. Este acuerdo de resguardo, entendido como para insuflar vida y confianza a la cooperación económica, establece claramente las áreas específicas de cooperación económica y científica, tal como indique antes y, quizás lo más importante, estipula las modalidades para la incorporación de los sectores privados de ambos países para la implementación del acuerdo. El mismo facilitara el incremento de las actividades de joint-venture, a las que se están incorporando en forma creciente empresas privadas argentinas y nigerianas. Sea como fuere, Nigeria cree firmemente que se impone una mayor cooperación económica entre nuestros países, por el hecho de ser vecinos y por la complementaridad existente entre la tecnolgía argentina y las necesidades de Nigeria. Creemos también que los empresarios aún no han sacado el máximo provecho de las oportunidades que ofrece Nigeria para la inversión de su experiencia y capital, si bien hay indicios de que el ritmo se ha acelerado en los últimos dos o tres años.
Conclusión
En esta reseña he intentado destacar la dimensión económica de la política exterior de Nigeria, tanto en el plano bilateral como el multilateral. De ello surge que, aún cuando los temas relativos a la descolonización, el racismo y la lucha contra el apartheid han dominado las relaciones de Nigeria con el resto del mundo, el componente económico ha sido persistente y contínuo. Es así que, durante la gestión del actual Presidente Ibrahim Babangida y su actual Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, General I.O.S. Nwachukwu, que esta dimensión económica de la política exterior ha sido manifestada explícita y expresamente como el componente más importante de nuestra política exterior, que ha sido bautizado como "la diplomacia económica". En tanto persistan los actuales dilemas económicos de Africa y otras naciones en desarrollo este énfasis continuará dominando la diplomacia nigeriana en los tiempos por venir. En este aspecto recae el peso del contenido del mensaje dirigido por el Presidente Ibrahim Babangida en ocasión del sexto aniversario de su administración, el 27 de agosto de 1991. Decía el Presidente:
"Deseo aprovechar la ocasión de este aniversario para destacar los fuertes lazos que unen a nuestras políticas interna y exterior dentro del programa de transición. Estamos conformando un nuevo orden socio-político según el cual el país no se mantendrá aislado de Africa ni del resto del mundo. Al mismo tiempo, deseamos garantizar que Nigeria se encuentre mejor equipada que en el pasado para interactuar con otros países. El objetivo es continuar promoviendo el bienestar y la amplitud de horizontes para nuestro pueblo como así también, contribuir a la paz y seguridad internacionales. Nuestro punto de partida es una economía nacional sólida y una situación política democrática estable sobre la base de la justicia social y la autorregulación, que sustente una política exterior dinámica.


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          Bacterias vs Vampiros        
 Imagen Vía Polyvore.com

Una nota del popular sitio de internet io9 avisa el descubrimiento de una bacteria capaz de matar al mosquito transmisor de la malaria. El autor sigue la línea editorial de la revista, dirigida hacia la ciencia ficción y fantasía, y saca sus  propias conclusiones: si la bacteria afecta a un insecto ‘chupa-sangre’, entonces también será efectiva contra un ‘vampiro’. Así, el título de la nota es A new discovery about mosquitoes reveals why vampires will never exist (!) Esta generalización, aunque cuestionable, es sin embargo bastante efectiva para atraer lectores en línea. A su favor puedo mencionar que al final de la misma incluye dos ligas de interés, una hacia la página de la OMS dedicada a la malaria, y la otra, quizá la más importante, hacia el ensayo científico que dio origen a la nota, elementos que la gran mayoría de los sitios de noticias científicas –profesionales y aficionados– pasan por alto. De manera irónica esto último les brinda credibilidad.
¿Qué sucedería de no haber incluido las ligas antes mencionadas? Pensemos en la posibilidad de que el ensayo no hubiese estado publicado en su totalidad, salvo el título, nombre de los autores y el resumen. Al revisar el encabezado del paper Wolbachia Infections Are Virulent and Inhibit the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum in Anopheles Gambiae, de la PLoS Pathogens, nos enteramos que el científico que encabeza la investigación, Grant L. Hughes, labora para el Instituto de Investigación de la Malaria de la Universidad John Hopkins; una búsqueda inmediata del sitio nos llevará al comunicado de prensa oficial, cuyo título luce menos sensacionalista, Bacterium Found to Kill Malaria in Mosquitoes. Con ello tendremos suficiente material para enriquecer la nota que nos asignen, y de acuerdo a nuestra línea editorial podremos hacer de ella lo que queramos, solicitar una entrevista por correo electrónico o imágenes en alta resolución para enriquecerla.
Triste el caso de quienes no acuden a la fuente principal y se dedican a ‘replicar’ la nota de io9. Una búsqueda en Google con las palabras ‘vampiros malaria’ da como primer resultado una ‘página geek’, que sólo se dedicó a traducir: Descubrimiento sobre mosquitos revela que vampiros no existen. Lo único a su favor, nuevamente, es que se toman la molestia de citar a io9 como su fuente. Son las 10:23 am del viernes 20 de mayo, quiero ver cuántos medios reproducen la nota literalmente al final del día, como experimento puede ser revelador.
          Still on Burma Boy        
ANOTHER MAN’S WAR: THE STORY OF A BURMA BOY IN BRITAIN’S FORGOTTEN ARMY
by Barnaby Phillips
Oneworld, 336pp. 9781780747118




Isaac Fadoyebo was sixteen in 1943 when he signed up with the British Army to fight in Burma. Not that he knew where he was going at the time, or that such a country even existed. He was just a village boy in colonial Nigeria enticed by the promise of money and adventure when his father refused to send him to secondary school. A shilling a day – and all found - was twice what he could earn as a ‘pupil teacher’, which was the highest his elementary education could aspire to in his rural backwater where subsistence farming was the only alternative. There was also the promise of preferential treatment for services rendered the King of England should he survive, which turned out to be true in his case, although the story of his survival was itself improbable.
 
There were many Fadoyebos in Britain’s African possessions, and the imperial power was in dire needed of their services. Although things were looking up on the other fronts - Germany bogged down in the Soviet Union, the invasion of Italy underway and Monty triumphant in North Africa – the Japanese were wreaking havoc in South-East Asia. They had overrun Singapore, the Malaysian Peninsula and now Burma, leaving an already fractious India – the jewel in the crown – vulnerable. Moreover, Burma was a vital supply route for the Chinese, Japan’s longstanding enemy, who were receiving American weapons from India. Expendable manpower was required for the work of the world and Africa proved fertile recruiting ground, Nigeria alone providing about 120,000 of them.
 
They sailed first to the jewel itself, where Fadoyebo and his fellows were holed up for three frustrating months before they crossed over in December. Among the reasons for choosing them was their supposed familiarity with the topography they now faced - ‘The jungle is so thick that, when you are in the middle of it, you need a torch to see, although the sun may be high in the sky,’ to quote Fadoyebo himself – but in fact they had experienced nothing like it. Worse was to come with the onset of the monsoon in May when, for the next five months, three times as much rain would fall as ‘the steamy coast of Nigeria receives in an entire year’. But Fadoyebo was perhaps fortunate in this respect. Most of his contingent weren’t even from the steamy south but from the open savannah of the north bordering the Sahel.
 
It was tough going. With only picks, shovels, machetes and explosives, they were ordered to build a jeep track 75 miles long ‘through the wild jungle hills and ravines... In some sections, the track had to be cut into a cliff with a sheer drop of hundreds of feet.’ They completed the task in three months and named it ‘West African Way’ but it cost many lives, including 44 Gambians who died from cholera after drinking water from an apparently clear stream. In all of this, they received fulsome praise from their officers, who considered them alone of all the nationalities who fought in this campaign ‘capable of operating for months on end in the worst country in the world, without vehicles and without mules, and was alone able to carry all his warlike stores with him’. Another admired ‘men who tolerated so much so patiently, and...with such good humour and so little grumbling’.
 
Fadoyebo’s own conventional war was to be relatively short-lived. Barely two months into the crossing his unit was surprised by a Japanese patrol.  All except Fadoyebo and a man called David Kargbo from Sierra Leone were killed. Both had been shot in the initial exchange but for some reason their assailants spared them:
 
They spoke so quickly he couldn’t understand. But they repeated a phrase again and again. ‘English people. English people,’ they seemed to be saying. Were they asking him whether there were any other officers? Did they want to know where the survivors were hiding? Now they were gesturing for him to stand up. One of them pointed a rifle at his head. They were saying something else, it must have been. ‘Get up, get up,’ but Isaac could not even sit. He wondered at the idiocy of it all. Did they think that, if he could get up, he would still be lying here?
    He knew what was coming. The Japanese, take prisoner? A white  man...perhaps, but a black man? No chance. That was not how they did things. He closed his eyes and waited to be shot.
 
The shot never came. Of the two, Fadoyebo had sustained the more serious injuries and was later to lose his right kneecap, leaving him with a limp for the rest of what would prove to be a long, fruitful life.
 
And so began his and Kargbo’s personal war. Wounded, surrounded by the enemy and in the midst of a native population whose language they couldn’t understand and whose allegiance they couldn’t fathom, they only survived by what Fadoyebo himself termed ‘a stroke of unbelievable luck’, the title of the 60-page memoir he was to write many years later. Their luck was that they were near a Moslem village whose inhabitants were sympathetic to the British cause, which alone protected them from oppression by the Buddhist majority. For erratic days over the next few weeks, villagers visited their hideout with rice and water. They were fearful of taking them into the village proper at the risk of being discovered by a Japanese patrol, which wouldn’t have hesitated to do what they had recently done to a chief in a neighbouring village:
 
They stripped him. They laid him down in the sun and then pinioned him to the ground with bayonets through his hands and feet, and then carefully, and with skill, they stripped the skin from his back and rubbed rock salt into the tortured flesh. His village was forced to watch his execution, and stay watching until he was dead, which, though he was over sixty, did not come to him until six hours later.
 
However, after a harrowing few weeks in the open, and later under a makeshift shelter at the onset of the monsoon, an apparition by the name of Shuyiman appeared before them; in Fadoyebo’s recounting:
 
After twelve days hunger lying down hidden in the jungle, we saw an Indian Mohammedan coming towards us. On his arrival in this jungle the man said to us, ‘Oh African brothers, have you had a chop?’
    We said, ‘Oh, our father, for twelve days we have had no chop.’
    Tears ran down his eyes, and he said to us, ‘I will sacrifice my life to be feeding you from today till the troops come, no matter what will be the cost to Japanese wickedness.’
 
For the next seven months, he hid them in the only bedroom of his bamboo house which he shared with his wife and daughter (and, before long, a son). As it turned out, there was only one scare when a Japanese patrol undertook a house-to-house search and Shuyiman helped them into the bush behind. For the rest, Fadoyebo never detected any anxiety on the part of his saviour or his wife.
 
Phillips first came cross this remarkable story of the ‘unlikely’ and ‘beautiful’ bond between ‘two Africans and a Burmese in the Arakan jungle’ in 2009 when he stumbled upon Fadoyebo’s manuscript in London’s Imperial War Museum while researching a documentary for Al Jazeera. He tracked down the academic who had worked on the manuscript some years earlier and obtained an address. Wondering whether Fadoyebo was still alive, he asked a friend in Lagos, where he had once worked as a BBC reporter to see if he could track him down. Some weeks passed without any response and then he had his own stroke of unbelievable luck when the friend confirmed that Fadoyebo was indeed alive and well and anxious to speak with him. So began another unlikely – and beautiful - friendship.
 
Meeting with Fadoyebo and listening to his story, Phillips is perturbed by his own country’s refusal to acknowledge the services of men like Fadoyebo during the Empire’s darkest hour. He is especially incensed that they were excluded from Burma Victory, the official documentary commissioned by Lord Mountbatten, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in South East Asia, even though British army cameramen had gone out of their way to capture them on film. All Fadoyebo himself received was a certificate thanking him for his ‘Loyal Service’ and, under the column for medals, ‘Not Yet Decided’. It was still undecided when he died, despite Phillips’s own attempt to elicit a reason from the relevant authorities.
 
Perhaps Phillips’s book will go some way to rectify this anomaly and it would be fitting if it did so, albeit posthumously, but at least he has publicised their case. But what have we here in Nigeria done? Where are our own accounts of how our gallant men saved the empire from itself? Come to that, why did Phillips have to discover Fadoyebo’s manuscript in London and not Lagos, the author having tried and failed to get it published locally but for our broken-down system? At one point, Phillips himself wonders at what he calls ‘Nigeria’s sometimes baffling indifference to its own history’ but that hardly goes far enough. History as a subject, as an ongoing interrogation of who we are and where we are headed, has never been encouraged by the cabal which took over from the British in 1960, so much so that it was recently expunged from the school curriculum on the grounds that students shun it, and that History graduates have difficulty securing jobs. And if Burma – another man’s war, after all - seems too remote, especially in such a demographically young country, what are we to say about the civil war in the late 1960s when the breakaway state of Biafra attempted to secede and was crushed by the federal might on the grounds that, ‘To keep Nigeria one/Is a task that must be done’? There is still no official history of the central defining event of our post-colonial experiment in ruling ourselves, which in any case only merited a single page in the secondary school textbook I once came across in the days when History did feature in the syllabus.
 
In fact, there is no mystery about this ‘baffling indifference’, which is summed up in the meaningless slogan that justified slaughtering over one million people who merely wanted out of this polyglot colonial creation they never agreed to in the first place. Tellingly, even the document which finally amalgamated all the disparate parts in 1914 remains hidden, as if it might finally reveal the country to be a fiction after all, what one early nationalist called ‘a mere geographical expression’, which might also explain why it has been left to the writers to chart its trajectory. Burma itself was the subject of Biyi Bandele’s well received 2007 novel, Burma Boy, based on the tales his father, also a veteran, had told him, as well as Rotimi Babatunde’s short story, ‘Bombay’s Republic’, which won the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing. Unsurprisingly, many more novels have tackled the civil war, the latest of which, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), was recently made into a film (directed, appropriately enough, by the same Biyi Bandele.)
 
*
 
Fadoyebo himself didn’t seem to have been particularly bitter about his hitherto invisibility but then he had made a success of his life, partly because his military service got him a good government position, partly because he belonged to a generation which enjoyed ‘the fruits of independence’, and partly because he finally got the ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels his father had denied him. But those were the long-ago days when the salary of a civil servant could buy a car, a house and raise six children, all of them now graduates with their own cars, houses and children. But he was bitter about what his country had become. As he recounts to Phillips, what had once been the serene, middle-class neighbourhood he had moved into with his young family had become a treeless, congested slum of high walls, colonised public spaces and the endless roar of generators fouling up the air because a country drowning in oil and flaring gas cannot provide constant electricity. On one of Phillips’s many visits to a man who he warmed to for his ‘modesty, integrity and gentle humour’, and who reminded him of his grandparents’ generation – ‘their emotional restraint, and how they would talk about the war when I was a small boy. Or, in fact, not talk about it very much, unless prompted’ – he waxed eloquent on the need for a revolution. Phillips, having himself endured life in the country, found it difficult to disagree with him, but is nevertheless seduced by the people’s fabled energy and optimism.
 
Medals aside, Fadoyebo’s greatest regret was that he never got to properly thank Shuyiman and his wife for saving his life. The occasion of their rescue was a matter of great fanfare in the village and then he and Kargbo were whisked away, although many years later, in London in 1969, he had a strange encounter which filled in a gap. He was attending a training course for Commonwealth civil servants, itself evidence of his ‘arrival,’ and was sitting alone in a restaurant near Victoria Station when he noticed an older white man openly staring at him. The man eventually came over, greeted him in Hausa and remarked that he had noticed him limping when he entered. As Fadoyebo started to explain, the man’s face ‘lit up in recognition’. It turned out that he was a retired Major who knew all about his and Kargbo’s ‘improbable survival’; and added: ‘By the way, that chap who hid you and looked after you. We gave him piles of rupees, and some cows as well. He became a rich man.’
 
It was only after the Major had left that it occurred to him that he might have asked for more information; and now, equally improbably, another Englishman had mysteriously turned up with the promise of closure. Both knew at once that Fadoyebo was too ill to undertake what would prove to be a gruelling journey, and Shuyiman, who was already in his forties when he rescued his African brothers in the bush, would have long since died, but Phillips was determined to go to Burma and deliver a letter to his surviving relatives:
 
 On my last morning in Lagos, I went to Isaac’s house in Surulere to say goodbye. He had not heard me enter the compound. I found him in the yard, hunched over a table, half-dressed in shorts and an old vest, but writing intently. For the first time, I saw Isaac’s misshapen right leg. He had no right knee as such, just a long dark scar underneath where his kneecap had once been. He was absorbed in composing the letter that he wanted me to deliver to Shuyiman’s family.
 
Phillips arrived in Burma during the monsoon. He had to pretend to be a tourist because journalists weren’t welcome. He did indeed manage to trace the village – an improbable event all by itself - and delivered the letter, as you can see from the documentary on YouTube. But what the documentary doesn’t convey is the wretched state they and their people were living in as unwanted minorities under a paranoid military regime: ‘Rangoon was a city of strange, stilted conversations. People seemed to talk to me in riddles, hinting at fears and frustrations rather than explicitly spelling it out, only to abruptly shut up whenever a stranger approached. The regime’s spies, I was warned, were everywhere, and wearing plain clothes.'
 
Nigeria also laboured under military rule but they never embedded themselves in this way. Phillips wonders whether this was because they just didn’t have the stomach for it or were simply not organised enough, but then Nigeria, unlike Burma, doesn’t have a dominant ethnic group under one religion with an idea of a past greatness. Moreover, Phillips himself is struck by the different responses to British subjugation when he contrasts the respective fates of the old colonial clubs. Those in Rangoon are all but closed down; those in Lagos are bubbling: 
 
The difference with Nigeria is striking. The clubs of colonial Lagos were just as important to the British, but most of them are still thriving today. Once the likes of Aduke Alakija [currently ‘the richest black woman in the world’] had forced their way into the Ikoyi Club they never looked back... In Nigeria, British snobbishness met its match in the local elite’s own sense of entitlement. Nigerians cheerfully adapted colonial traditions they admired and discarded the rest.
 
Perhaps it wasn’t so much that the Burmese didn’t feel entitled as that Nigerians have no lingering resentment about the colonial period, or even any quarrel over the name they were given and the language they were bequeathed. On the contrary, as the country’s first Prime Minister put on the eve of independence (and which Phillips quotes), Nigerians knew the British ‘first as masters, and then as leaders, and finally as partners, but always as friends’. It was a gracious thing to say, no doubt, but it was also true. However, it was also true that Nigeria didn’t have to endure foreign troops rampaging through it. The chapter on Burma makes for dismal reading. Even the sainted Aung San Suu Kyi comes off badly with her refusal to speak out on the plight of Shuyiman’s people.
 
And then there was David Kargbo, the man who had shared his fate in that faraway bush, and who Fadoyebo credits with electing to remain with him when he could have taken his chances in that same bush. They parted at Freetown on the ship that delivered Fadoyebo back home and never met or even corresponded again. Phillips, who is nothing if not as intrepid as his empire-building forebears, managed to track down his widow. She was in her late eighties, ‘a striking woman, with a fierce and proud stare’. She told him that her husband had died many years before in his early forties ‘because of the mysterious things that had happened to him in the war’. She had nothing to remember him by: the civil war in her own country had destroyed his photos and war records when their house was burnt down by marauding ‘rebels’ who specialised in disembowelling pregnant women and hacking off limbs.
 
It’s tempting to see Another Man’s War as the kind of gift every writer craves, a ready-made story of the hapless individual pitted against world historical forces and living to tell the tale - or having it told for him - by a stroke of ‘unbelievable luck’, but then it would never have been told but for the passion of the author. Phillips is a proud Englishman, hence his outrage over the matter of Fadoyebo’s medal; would that we were proud Nigerians, outraged by our neglect of those who have done us proud.
 
 
Adewale Maja-Pearce's latest book is The House My Father Built (Kachifo, 2014)

 

          After a Chinese factory opened here, the water turned red        

Gambia is courting Beijing's attention after re-establishing diplomatic relations last year, but villagers and activists say Chinese investment is a double-edged sword as they fight a firm accused of dumping waste. Chinese firms in Africa are frequently accused of polluting the environment to produce materials ready to export back home, in incidents recorded by experts across the mines of Guinea, oil fields of Chad and forests of the Congo basin.


          Oxfam: Europe is failing refugee and migrant children        
English

With latest UNICEF figures showing ever more children globally are uprooted, the number of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children arriving to Europe through Italy has doubled this year and Europe is failing to properly support them, a new Oxfam report reveals.

Each day 28 unaccompanied children fall out of Italy’s weak reception system. The children who remain in the system experience extended stays in de-facto detention centers, live in unsafe and inadequate accommodation, and receive little to no information about their rights. They are running away from these centers in order to escape these conditions, choosing to live on the streets and so are exposed to even greater risks. Oxfam says this is yet another example of how Europe’s current approach to migration isn’t fit for purpose.

Since governments decided to close the Western Balkans route and the European Union entered into its deal with Turkey, Italy is once again the principal arrival point for refugees and migrants to Europe. According to the latest UNHCR data, the number of unaccompanied children arriving in Italy has risen significantly in 2016, and is now 15% of all arrivals. By the end of July, 13,705 unaccompanied minors had landed in Italy - more than during all of 2015 (12,360 children).

Italy is failing to cope with the increased arrivals. Despite efforts in many Italian cities, regions and by civil society, the country’s reception system is far from adequate for protecting unaccompanied migrant children and their rights. Hotspot centers, for instance, set up by the EU and Italian authorities to register new arrivals and execute swifter returns of those rejected, are chronically overcrowded and do not even have adequate sanitation. While the maximum stay in these hotspots is meant to be 48-72 hours, many children end up being stuck there for as long as 5 weeks with minimal provisions, meaning they can never change their clothes, not even their underwear, and are not being able to call their family back home or relatives in Europe.

Oxfam is calling on the Italian government and its European partners to take immediate action to systematically provide unaccompanied children with safe and adequate accommodation and the support they need, so they can live a life in safety and dignity.

Natalia Alonso, Oxfam International’s Deputy Director for Campaigns and Advocacy said: “The appalling experience of children in Italy is a harsh indicator of the failure of European governments and the Italian authorities to protect children coming in search of safety and dignity. It also exposes once again the failure of Europe’s wider policy approach to place the responsibilities of managing a common border upon only a few European countries. Europe must stand together to welcome the people arriving here, who are fleeing from conflict, persecution and other unbearable situations.”

Most of the children arriving on boats are from Egypt, Gambia, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Somalia and travel alone to Europe.

Galo, 16 years old, from Gambia, said: “I left Gambia a year and a half ago with my brother. It wasn’t safe there anymore, the police threatened us. Some of our neighbors had been killed in gunfights. (…) We left on an inflatable boat with 118 other people. After a few hours there was something like an explosion, a fire, and in the confusion my brother slid into the sea. I never saw him again. He’d given me his lifejacket.”

The situation in centers of first and second reception, where children are transferred to after registration, is in many cases no better than at the hotspots. Some of them have become de-facto detention centers where children cannot leave. Oxfam has also collected testimonies of cases where there have been allegations of abuse and violence, which have not been dealt with by the management.

Shewit, 17 years old, from Eritrea, said: “Together with us in the Pozzallo center [in Sicily] there is also a group of adults from Somalia who treat us Eritreans badly, they beat us up and insult us. Despite the fact that we have repeatedly reported them to the police and to the staff at the center, (…) nobody does anything about it.”

“EU governments must support Italy in improving the national reception system for unaccompanied children with high standards and well-trained staff. In addition, all EU member states must eliminate and prevent every form of detainment of minors. There is no circumstance in which detention of minors is acceptable – it is always a violation of a child’s rights,” said Oxfam’s Alonso.

Oxfam and local partner organizations have regularly been meeting children who say they have not been informed of the possibility to present a request for international protection, or of the right to have a legal guardian - someone to act in their best interests and protect their rights. The appointment of a legal guardian can take up to eight months, depriving children of guidance on their rights and how to secure these through Italian law – thereby jeopardizing any real chance of a successful future for these children.

During the first six months of 2016, 5,222 unaccompanied minors were reported missing, having run away from reception centers continuing their journeys to mainland Italy and on to Europe. They become invisible and live under the legal radar, consequently becoming even more vulnerable to violence and exploitation.

If the situation of these children is extremely critical, that of those who turn 18 is no less so. On their birthdays, many of them are simply thrown out of the centers where they have been staying, and they, too, end up on the streets.

Parent page: 
Refugee and migrant crisis
Notes to editors: 
  • Spokespeople are available for further information regarding the situation on the ground and to comment on the EU context. Please contact Oxfam’s press office to arrange interviews.
  • Oxfam's Stand as One campaign calls for global action to welcome more refugees, prevent families from being separated and keep people fleeing their homes safe from harm. Already more than 212,000 people have taken actions with Oxfam, calling on world leaders to guarantee migrants and refugees safety, protection and a dignified future: oxf.am/standasone.
  • Download the full media brief in English or Oxfam Italy’s full report (in Italian).
  • High-resolution pictures of refugee and migrant children in Italy can be downloaded for free use.
  • Latest data on arrivals of refugees and migrants to Europe can be found on the UNHCR website. The full data set shows that 93,774 people arrived from January to July 2016, with 16.2% being children, and 14.6% of all arrivals being unaccompanied children.
  • According to the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, 5222 refugee and migrant children have run away from reception centres in Italy in the first six months if this year. That are on average 28 children per day.
  • Oxfam’s briefing paper “EU ‘hotspots’ spread fear and doubt” questions the legal basis for these facilities and it concludes that EU member states have collectively failed to find a solution to managing migration that puts human lives first.
Contact information: 

Florian Oel | Brussels | florian.oel@oxfaminternational.org | office +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60

For updates, please follow @Oxfam and @OxfamEU

Space only: 
OI Office: 

          In a new Gambia, the prison doors begin to swing open        
BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — Gambian soldiers picked up Tijan Barrow, beat him with their guns and threw him into a cell at the notorious National Intelligence Agency prison. His alleged crime: Creating and selling T-shirts for the opposition. In the final days of his crumbling rule, defeated leader Yahya Jammeh turned again to the tactics […]
          NTC ... Nos Topamos Con … No. 382. FEBRERO 1 al 20, 2015         

NTC ... 

Nos Topamos Con â€¦  Año 15



Nos Topamos Con â€¦ 






 + ...+agradecer+compartir+colaborar+difundir+celebrar+acercar+
fortalecer afinidades+valorar diferencias+volver a agradecer+… + (De RAE)
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De navegaciones-e en nuestro "potrillo a vela" ( 1 ),
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EL NúMERO ANTERIOR
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*** Eventos a partir de marzo 1, 2015:  NTC ... AGENDA, http://ntc-agenda.blogspot.com/ . Allí: más detalles, información, enlaces, otros eventos, ... . Se actualiza periódicamente. Nuestra NTC ... Agenda es mucho más ... 
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*** Estanislao Zuleta. Homenaje y MemoriaUniversidad del Quindío. Armenia, Febrero 27, 2015. NTC ... CUBRIMIENTO. Videos (intervenciones completas), Fotografías, textos, ...  
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Intervinieron:
 José Zuleta Ortiz (Escritor), Ãlvaro Bautista Cabrera (Dr. Literaturay  Jairo Urrea Henao (Mg. Filosofía)
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*** Adelaida Fernández Ochoa. Premio de novela casa de las américas 2015.  Un canto al amor y a la libertad.  Por Darío Henao Restrepo, Director La Palabra. La Palabra, Marzo 2015, impresa y virtual 
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      Una visión estremecedora y libertaria, en la voz de los esclavizados Nay y Sundiata de Gambia, madre e hijo, anima la bella urdimbre poética de La hoguera lame mi piel con cariño de perro de Adelaida Fernández Ochoa, novela  ganadora del premio Casa de las Américas 2015. Egresada de la licenciatura en Lenguas Modernas de la Facultad de Humanidades de la Universidad del Valle. Sobre la génesis de la novela y el proceso de creación concedió este reportaje especial para La Palabra. Sigue en: http://lapalabra.univalle.edu.co/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=360:tema-central-edicion-257&catid=8:tema-central o en https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7_ooF8EIcK8bUhnek02b1JxaUE/view
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*** La Palabra, edición 257 de marzo de 2015. Impresa y digital. Periódico Cultural de la Universidad del Valle.
Contenido:  Adelaida Fernández Ochoa, Premio de novela Casa de las Américas 2015 / En el concierto de la literatura latinoamericana, La Voz audaz de Óscar Collazos / Ciclovida dominical de Cali, Espacio de encuentro social y cultural / El faraón de la salsa en el museo, La música un espacio de encuentro / El arte novedoso del teatro musical, Un sueño que reúne danza, la actuación y el canto al estilo Broadway /  Estanislao Zuleta, Sus conferencias / El Exorcista, Crónica de un hombre del submundo / Los Cantores del cóndor, Cabildo indígena universitario / Vamos despacito, Un perfil de Marta Gómez / Paranormal Colombia / Al filo de lo real de Mario Mendoza / … // ACCEDER y NAVEGAR: Web,  http://lapalabra.univalle.edu.co/  o PDF,  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7_ooF8EIcK8bUhnek02b1JxaUE/view
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*** Estanislao Zuleta,  80-25.  Medellín, 3 de febrero de 1935 â€” Cali, 17 de febrero de 1990.  Memoria y Homenaje a los 80 AÑOS DE NACIMIENTO y a los 25 años de su muerte … 
 
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LA INSACIABILIDAD. Marco Tulio AGUILERA GARRAMUÑO. SU NUEVA NOVELA, 2015. 
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*** CUENTO CONTIGO. Carlos Alberto Villegas Uribe. Relatos, 2014. NTC ... edición digital virtual de la versión impresa del Centro de Publicaciones de la Universidad del Quindío, Armenia, Colombia, 2014
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ACCEDER y NAVEGAR: http://ntc-narrativa.blogspot.com/2014_08_31_archive.html
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... CONTINUARÁ ... 
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          Desk Cleaning: Year-End World Music Reviews, Part 2        
Wahoo! The desk is looking cleaner already. So continuing the year-end everything-must-go review frenzy (I know -- we're well into the new year), here are the final 10. Then on to 2016 release, of which there are already many! Enjoy your audio explorations, and let me know what jumps out at you.

The Undercover Hippy - Monkey Suit
This album actually came out in 2014, but I just got a copy, and it’s quickly become a favorite. Billy Rowan spent years as a drum and bass DJ before recording this album backed by a wonderfully rich band with great horns and rhythms. Social commentary married to great melodies makes “Coming to the Gambia” and
“Borders” quick favorites, even above the clever why-can’t-I-get-lucky anthem “Boyfriend.”  This may not be the first sound that comes to mind under the label “world music,” but I think a lot of you will like it, so check it out.



RiservaMoac - Babilonia
To understand the music of this high-energy troupe, start with their name: Moac is an acronym for Molise (the band’s hometown in Italy) Oriente Africa Cuba. Babilonia, their third album, bristles with energy, blending Balkan brass with splashes of rock, rap, Caribbean, and other international colors. Their lyrics may be tough to translate (Google renders the end of the refrain as “Mud, favela, guns, gang: my poison you!”) but RiservaMoac’s infectious spirit is impossible to miss. Very fun indeed.



Kora Jazz Band - Live au New Morning
This may not sound like the jazz you’ve heard before, but this CD + DVD set certainly delivers with virtuosic performances from Abdoulaye Diabaté (piano), Yakouba Sissokho (kora), Moussa Sissokho (percussion), Andy Narell (steel pan) and others. For radio airplay, I prefer the shorter tracks on their early 2015 CD Back to Africa, but this live recording is a wonderful addition for extended listening (three of the six tracks top 10 minutes). Wonderful African-flavored jazz from outstanding performers.



Trad.Attack! - AH!
Is this Estonian group attacking with tradition, or simply attacking tradition? Some of their songs are based on archival recordings from as far back as 1930 (“Tuna-Tuna”), and the music sounds folky, but also has driving beats and walls of rhythm. If you like jaw-harp paired with dance beats (“Must Madu / Black Snake”), or Inuit throat-singing with what sounds like indie-rock (“Peale päeva / After the day”), Trad.Attack is the modern Estonian group for you.



Black Masala - I Love You Madly
I’m trying to figure out whether Black Masala is best described as “Gogol Bordello playing a jazz club” or “Delhi 2 Dublin infiltrated by a New Orleans brass band.” The latest album from this Washington DC-based group doesn’t fit easily into any categories, borrowing bits from India, the Balkans, jazz, funk, and swing. The lyrics aren’t a particular highlight, but if you’re catching Black Masala live — which I’m guessing is where they really shine — you’ll clearly be too busy dancing to care.



Bixiga  70 - III
I suppose it isn’t tough to achieve a big sound when you have a 10-member band. But Brazil’s Bixiga 70 isn’t just big, it’s tight, disciplined, and exploratory. The nine songs on the group’s newest album III (yep, it’s their third release) are peppered with Afrobeat, funk, Moroccan, and of course Brazlian influences.  True Afro-Brazilian sounds, from the simmering opener “Ventania” to the insistent horn lines of “Martelo.” Afrobeat fans and horn-section lovers will hear sounds that seem familiar, but with enticing new twists and turns. One of my favorite recent releases, it’s not leaving my stereo anytime soon.



Gangbe Brass Band - Go Slow to Lagos
Benin doesn’t seem to produce a lot of music that makes it to the USA, but then… when who’d want to be in competition with the jaw-dropping sounds of Gangbe Brass Band? The group has been honing their sound for more than 20 years, and it shows better than ever on their new album. In the mix you’ll hear New Orleans (“Miziki”), Afrobeat (Yoruba featuring Femi Kuti), jazz (all over), and styles all their own. All with some of the tightest, most inventive, freshest horn lines anywhere in the world. A must-have album for, well, anyone who loves music.



FolkBeat - In Mixt
A fascinating vocal project, Moscow-based FolkBeat is four women blending traditional Russian harmonies and polyphonies with beatboxing. It’s not all a capella by any means — there are club-heavy beats on”Nut-Tree” and “Stallion” and lighter instrumentation on some other tracks — but the voices dominate, and what voices they are! If you love groups like Varttina and Burlakat (or the Indian/beatboxing music of Nisthra Raj), you’ll want to check this out.



Wesli - Ayiti, Étoile Nouvelle
If certain xenophobic politicians had their way, human migration would be a thing of the past. And that would mean we wouldn’t have artists like Wesli, who was born in Haiti before living in west Africa before settling in Canada, and whose music reflects his travels through different cultures. The album opens with “Rara,” a traditional-sounding drum and chant song. The breezy “Latibonit” sounds like something from Cabo Verde; “Mama Africa” (the only English-language tune) is an Afropop plea for unification highlighting Wesli’s nimble voice. While listeners may not understand all the words, the music conveys Wesli’s hopeful spirit. “You want to say something useful to society, not just entertain people,” he says. “I connect the frustrations I felt in Haiti, the political and cultural issues, to express my hope, a better situation for Haitians and for all African diasporic people. That’s what I want to share.”



Čači Vorba - Satrika
I recently fell into a rabbit hole of Polish music. Before I emerged, one of the gems I discovered was the group Čači Vorba. Led by singer Maria Natanson, the group is rooted in traditional folk, but you can tell they’re willing to explore farther afield by the instruments they use: rebab, bouzouki, sarangi, kemanche. Oh, and throat singing, too. Gorgeous vocal harmonies lead the way into this new realm of Polish (and Romani and Balkan) folk. My favorite track so far is the swinging “Boli me moja praznina,” which Google translates as “It Hurts My Emptiness.”








          What Really Happened At That Robotics Competition You've Heard So Much About        
This week, the First Global Challenge, a highly anticipated robotics competition for 15- to 18-year-olds from 157 countries, ended the way it began — with controversy. On Wednesday, members of the team from the violence-torn east African country of Burundi went missing. And well before the competition even began, the teams from Gambia and Afghanistan made headlines after the U.S. State Department denied the members visas. Eventually, they were allowed to compete. The drama marred an otherwise upbeat event focused on kids and robots. Every team arrived with a robot in tow, each built with the exact same components, but designed, engineered and programmed differently. The goal: to gobble up and sort blue and orange plastic balls representing clean water and contaminated water. For three days, teenagers — rich and poor, male and female — competed on a level playing field. But there were reminders that in some parts of the world, there is no such thing as a level playing field. And no team
          Hallado un ejemplar de rata gigante de Gambia en el Delta del Ebro        
La especie, de compartamiento invasor según los Agentes Rurales, puede superar el metro de largo y los dos kilos. Aún no se sabe cuántas hay en la zona
          Militärintervention in Gambia unterbrochen        
Gambias abgewählter Präsident Jammeh weigert sich weiter, das Amt zu übergeben. Senegalesische Truppen sind bereits in das westafrikanische Land einmarschiert, doch nun gibt es einen letzten Vermittlungsversuch.
          Westafrikanische Staaten ringen um Lösung        
Gambias abgewählter Präsident Jammeh klammert sich weiter an die Macht. Ein Ultimatum des Senegal ließ er verstreichen. Ein letzter Vermittlungsversuch blieb offenbar erfolglos. Nun droht ein militärisches Eingreifen.
          Senegal und Nigeria bereiten Einmarsch in Gambia vor        
Senegal stellt ein Ultimatum: Sollte Gambias Präsident Jammeh bis Mitternacht nicht weichen, werden Truppen einmarschieren. Seit Wochen wehrt sich das abgewählte Staatsoberhaupt, sein Amt aufzugeben.
          El aula de acogida y las clases de lengua en la mezquita: comparando estrategias académicas e identitarias en cataluña        

A pesar del incremento de las dos últimas décadas de alumnado extranjero en la etapa obligatoria escolar, no se han alcanzado los mismos niveles de incorporación en los estudios postobligatorios. Los análisis de dispositivos pensados para la escolarización de parte del alumnado de nacionalidad extranjera han concluido que, en gran medida, los recursos y dispositivos para conseguir trayectorias de éxito escolar, han contribuido a procesos de segregación que determinan las posibilidades educativas. Sin embargo, el espacio escolar no es el único entorno de aprendizaje al que accede este alumnado, como es el caso de la mezquita, constituyendo dos experiencias clave de estos chicos y chicas que no ha sido abordada de forma suficiente ni comparativamente en la investigación.

El trabajo que aquí se presenta añade una perspectiva comunitaria de las posibilidades de aprendizaje del alumnado extranjero no investigada en profundidad en el ámbito nacional, siguiendo las perspectivas de autores como Moll y González (2005), Gregory (2008, 2012), Kenner (2004). En concreto, se presenta una investigación etnográfica que se ha llevado a cabo en dos espacios formativos diferenciados, el aula de acogida en la escuela catalana y la mezquita. Este enfoque comparativo ha mostrado algunas de las estrategias que el alumnado de familias de origen marroquí y senegambiano, unos de los colectivos menos representados en la educación postobligatoria, desarrolla en su proceso de aprendizaje, transfiriendo conocimientos desde el ámbito comunitario al ámbito escolar y viceversa, y su impacto en las estrategias identitarias.

A través del contraste entre las formas de aprendizaje, la participación o la agencia del alumnado en uno y otro espacio se quiere también avanzar en la reflexión sobre las limitaciones de la estructura escolar tal y como está pensada en la actualidad, y las posibilidades de mejora a través de una incorporación del saber comunitario.


           "Singing on the wing" as a mechanism for species recognition in the malarial mosquito Anopheles gambiae         
Pennetier, Cédric, Warren, Ben, Dabiré, K. Roch, Russell, Ian J. and Gibson, Gabriella (2009) "Singing on the wing" as a mechanism for species recognition in the malarial mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Current Biology, 20 (2). pp. 131-136. ISSN 0960-9822 (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.040 )
                  

          While We Live        
The comedy While We Live tells the story of a Gambian woman who, after living in Sweden for 30 years, decides to move back to her home country with her son, a promising hip-hop artist. However, Gambia has changed a lot over the years and the move causes the pair to question their sense of identity...

Read more

          What Really Happened At That Robotics Competition You've Heard So Much About        
This week, the First Global Challenge, a highly anticipated robotics competition for 15- to 18-year-olds from 157 countries, ended the way it began — with controversy. On Wednesday, members of the team from the violence-torn east African country of Burundi went missing. And well before the competition even began, the teams from Gambia and Afghanistan made headlines after the U.S. State Department denied the members visas. Eventually, they were allowed to compete. The drama marred an otherwise upbeat event focused on kids and robots. Every team arrived with a robot in tow, each built with the exact same components, but designed, engineered and programmed differently. The goal: to gobble up and sort blue and orange plastic balls representing clean water and contaminated water. For two days, teenagers — rich and poor, male and female — competed on a level playing field. But there were reminders that in some parts of the world, there is no such thing as a level playing field. And no team
          The Gambia Has Decided: But……….        
 By:- Abdulai Mansaray The euphoria that coursed through the veins of the Gambian people, following the delayed but eventual departure of former President Yahyah Jammeh is a well-earned respite for many in the country. The decision of the Gambian people to exercise their democratic rights, without a blood bath would be seen by many as […]
          Muslim Aid Malaysia Humanitarian Foundation        

Khatan (Circumcision) for children of Rohingya refugees, Selayang, KL.  

Apologies are due for my apparent neglect of Kata Kama. It has been almost three weeks since the last entry and I really have to get back into the groove of things.

I don't usually leave the blog unattended for long periods but there have been much work lately (no complaints there, though), besides a few other 'must see-to' commitments.