I am immensely drawn to the continent of Africa. Our world has ignored the tragedies that have been occurring there year after year. It tears at my heart, because the people do not deserve this way of life. They are people like you and me. They have a sense of community, and of family. They cry and they laugh. They have dreams. More importantly, they feel. The stories that have been coming out of Africa are horrifying. And I ask, what are we doing about it? Also, when we finally do something to help, why is it long after the atrocities have occurred? I think we need to take a preventive stance. Read some of the headlines and excerpts of stories about violent activities that are occurring in Africa:
Mass graves discovered in Ivory Coast as Laurent Gbagbo conceals human rights atrocities; News Time Africa, Ahmed M Kamara, January 1, 2011. … enforced or involuntary disappearances, arbitrary detentions and extra-judicial or arbitrary executions and sexual violence occurring and may still be occurring in Ivory Coast, this is according to UN human rights experts who have fear of gross human rights violations being committed in Ivory Coast by the Gbabgo regime that could amount to crimes against humanity.
Ivory Coast Unrest: Gbagbo under pressure as UN hears of mass atrocities; Times of Malta.com; Dave Clark, AFP, 24th December 2010. The United Nations demanded a halt Thursday to the “atrocities” triggered by Ivory Coast’s political crisis that have left 173 dead, and accused Laurent Gbagbo’s troops of harassing its peacekeepers.
Genocide: Military needs response plan to genocide; CNN Opinion, By Chris Taylor and Anthony Zinni, January 04, 2011. A number of countries in Africa and Asia are at significant risk for a new outbreak of mass killing.
Amnesty calls on Sudan to tackle human rights abuses ahead of referendum, Sudan Tribune, January 8, 2011. According to Amnesty, more than 20,000 people were displaced in December last year by a spate of largely unreported attacks by government forces in several areas in Darfur region
Gunmen carry out New Year gang-rape in Congo, AlertNet, George Fominyen, January 7, 2011. Armed men raped 33 women on New Year’s Day in a coordinated attack in eastern Congo
Central Africa: Abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army, allAfrica.com, December 13, 2010. … a new report on the growing threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army, central Africa’s most brutal and longest running rebel movement. Countless youth and children have been killed or abducted.
30 killed in Nigerian bomb blast: State-TV, Insidethestar.com, December 31, 2010. A bomb blast tore through a beer garden at a Nigerian army barracks where revellers had gathered to celebrate New Year’s Eve, witnesses said, and state-run television reported Friday that 30 people died,
Egypt: Abuse of Asylum-Seekers in Sinai Must Stop, Say Activists, allAfrica.com, January 6, 2011. Rights groups say around 200 of these asylum-seekers – mostly from Eritrea – are held in the Sinai desert and face torture and rape, with their captors demanding money before they are allowed into Israel.
War in Darfur, Wikipedia. In Darfur, over 5 million people have been affected by the genocide.
How people were affected after the Rwandan genocide, Helium, Barbara Guess. The Rwandan genocide left 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead and a figure of two million refugees that had fled to the neighbouring countries for safety… How do the people of a country recover after a genocide takes place in which 800,000 people are butchered?
The Use of Children as Soldiers in Africa. the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers believes that more than 120,000 children under 18 years of age are currently participating in armed conflicts across Africa. Some of these children are no more than 7 or 8 years of age. The countries most affected by this problem are: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda.
Machete-wielding rioters kill 200 in Nigeria: Suspicion falls on Muslim group after three Christian villages attacked. The killers showed no mercy: They didn’t spare women and children, or even a 4-day-old baby, from their machetes. On Monday, women wailed in the streets as a dump truck carried dozens of bodies past burned-out homes toward a mass grave… Those that resist abduction face mutilation where their noses and lips are amputated to mark them . . . Children in war-torn areas sustain bullet, machete and shrapnel wounds.
South Africa’s shame: the rise of child rape, The Independent, Rachel Shields, Sunday, 16 May 2010. Cases of child rape are on the increase, courtesy of the myth that having sex with a virgin cures AIDS… in South Africa it is also commonplace. The country has the world’s highest incidence of rape; a girl born there today has a one in three chance of finishing school, and a one in two chance of being raped.
Tribal Violence in Africa: A History, One Africa Now.com. We have all read the newspaper reports depicting violence between one African tribe and another. Images of gun-toting young children flood out television screens, supplying evidence of a reality in a number of African countries where thousands upon thousands die, and even more are forced to flee their homes. At some point one has to ask oneself just how long this has been going on and, perhaps more apt, why is it still continuing today?
I don’t understand how it is possible for thousands of people to be murdered and the rest of the world stands by just watching. Is the reason we do not immediately assist because there is some value to leaving these countries in an unrest state. Or is it we just don’t recognize any value there that we can exploit for our own benefit?
It always amazes me how the media reports on the countries in Africa. Typically they reference the continent of Africa rather than the specific countries. It almost an act of subjugation, or implying that the specific countries have not individual importance. If we give each country a specific identity perhaps more attention would be given to that country versus just references to the nebulous continent as Africa.
Africa is not one governmental body. Africa is not one type of people. Africa isn’t even one type of terrain. Each country has its distinct features. Why do we lessen it importance by diluting the richness of each of the individual countries? I have always suspected that the way we treat Africa has some strategic implication. If the world believes it is insignificant and has no value, then they will not pursue commerce, industry, or basic day-to-day interactions. It is as if the bounties of the African nations are purposely being hidden for the purpose of being tapped into at a future date.
It is not right how we are treating the people of Africa. They deserve the same rights as you and I. They deserve the right to be recognized by humanity. Think about it. More importantly lift your voice and be a part of the change. Respect each country in Africa, and praise the bounty it brings into this world.
These are the countries of Africa. Know them. Remember them. Don’t turn your back on them. Allow them to have their pride. Give them the respect they are due.
|Republic of Algeria)||Malawi (Republic of Malawi)|
|Angola (Republic of Angola)||Mali (Republic of Mali)|
|Benin (Republic of Benin)||Mauritania (Islamic Republic of Mauritania)|
|Botswana (Republic of Botswana)||Mauritius (Republic of Mauritius)|
|Burkina Faso||Morocco (Kingdom of Morocco)|
|Burundi (Republic of Burundi)||Mozambique (Republic of Mozambique)|
|Cameroon (Republic of Cameroon)||Namibia (Republic of Namibia)|
|Cape Verde (Republic of Cape Verde)||Niger (Republic of Niger)|
|Central African Republic (Central African Republic)||Nigeria (Federal Republic of Nigeria)|
|Chad (Republic of Chad)||Republic of the Congo (Republic of the Congo)|
|Comoros (Union of the Comoros)||Rwanda (Republic of Rwanda)|
|Côte d’Ivoire (Republic of Côte d’Ivoire)||Sao Tome and Principe|
|Djibouti (Republic of Djibouti)||Senegal (Republic of Senegal)|
|Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt)||Seychelles (Republic of Seychelles)|
|Equatorial Guinea (Republic of Equatorial Guinea)||Sierra Leone (Republic of Sierra Leone)|
|Eritrea (State of Eritrea)||Somalia (Somali Republic)|
|Ethiopia (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia)||South Africa (Republic of South Africa)|
|Gabon (Gabonese Republic)||Sudan (Republic of Sudan)|
|Gambia (Republic of The Gambia)||Swaziland (Kingdom of Swaziland)|
|Ghana (Republic of Ghana)||Tanzania (United Republic of Tanzania)|
|Guinea (Republic of Guinea)||Togo (Togolese Republic)|
|Guinea-Bissau (Republic of Guinea-Bissau)||Tunisia (Tunisian Republic)|
|Kenya (Republic of Kenya)||Uganda (Republic of Uganda)|
|Lesotho (Kingdom of Lesotho)||Western Sahara (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic)|
|Liberia (Republic of Liberia)||Zambia (Republic of Zambia)|
|Libya (Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)||Zimbabwe (Republic of Zimbabwe)|
|Madagascar (Republic of Madagascar)|