Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too. This Regional Briefing focuses on Africa, courtesy of AfricaPundit. TOP TOPICS
- In Liberia, a new transitional government has finally assumed power. The new president is Gyude Bryant, a Monrovia businessman. Liberia's road to peace will be long and difficult, but putting Charles Taylor on trial might be a good start.
- The Anglican church creeps closer toward schism with the recent appointment of Gene Robinson, the American Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.
- "DD" comments on this briefing, and talks about a recent trip to Kenya. Want to know why the continent is an economic basket case? Listen to his story.
* With the recent appointment of Gene Robinson, the issue of homosexuality has taken on new significance among African Christians. CS Monitor has an interesting story about the Ugandan church's debate over homosexuality. * JK: As reader TT rightly points out, for a deeper background on why this matters and the seismic shifts it foreshadows, see the Oct 2002 Atlantic Magazine article by Philip Jenkins, entitled "The Next Christianity". * AfricaBlog reports that the French are sinking deeper into the Ivory Coast quagmire as the peace agreement signed last year in Paris looks weaker than ever. Where's the UN when you need them? * Yet another round of peace talks aimed at ending the Sudanese war have been completed. Typical of peace negotiations, these talks had an ambiguous conclusion with both sides agreeing to reach an agreement by the end of the year - maybe. * Sam Nujoma, "president" of Namibia, has apparently joined the ever-growing number of African heads of state seeking president-for-life status. It's unlikely that this arrangement will lead to Namibian peace and prosperity--except possibly for Nujoma and his cronies. War on Terror * The Washington Post reports that Islamic terrorists continue to find safe havens throughout Africa, aided, in part, by the steady growth of extremist Islam on the continent. Unfortunately, the article doesn't say which countries are funding this "missionary" work. * Instapundit has more and Dan Darling also notes that Africa has taken on new importance to a reorganized al Qaeda. * This should come as no surprise, but a new UN report has warned that Somalia is being used to plan terrorist attacks against neighboring countries, notably Kenya. * In fact, this article makes clear that Somalia was used as a staging base for last year's attacks in Mombasa. (Via Best of the Web.) Somalia's chronic lawlessness and instability should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks it would be a good idea to cut and run from Iraq. * In addition to being a threat to Kenya, Somalia is also being used as a base for attacks against foreign humanitarian workers in neighboring Somaliland (the breakaway republic on the Horn of Africa). A Taste of Africa reports. Somaliland has responded to the attacks by calling for the deportation of all illegal immigrants, most of whom are Somali. * Kenya is about to deport foreigners, too, but they're not after terrorists or even illegal immigrants--nope, they're targeting the expatriate workforce, many of whom are British. The reason for the decision isn't really clear, but it seems eerily similar to Idi Amin's decision to deport Uganda's Indian population...and the economic effects might be just as disastrous. Zimbabwe * More reports that Mugabe is again using food (or rather lack of it) as a weapon against his political opponents. * JK: And that's not the worst of it. Some of his thugs have fled to South Africa, and have begun telling the awful truth about what they've been doing. * JK: Other Zimbabwean refugees are proving very productive and helpful - to neighbouring Zambia. An African success in the making? * Head Heeb notes that Mugabe continues his war against the newspapers -- a rather brash attempt to silence criticism of his own misrule. * Despite Mugabe's blatant disregard for democracy and the rule of law, he remains widely respected in Africa as a leader who's unafraid to stand up to the West. Aidan Hartley explains why. (Via AfricaBlog) Finally * Abiola notes that some Muslims in Nigeria are rejecting polio vaccines, saying that the shots are part of an American plot to spread HIV. Seems a shame. One suspects that if Americans built day care centers, they'd be accused of trying to brainwash Muslim children.