As you may have heard Sudan has accepted a ‘hybrid’ UN peacekeeping force to help in the conflict torn Darfur region. Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, is awaiting a letter from Sudan and his top aide is warning of an ‘abyss’ of suffering if something doesn’t happen soon. Currently there is a mini-summit of African leaders happening in Libya to discuss Darfur. Also in the Eastern/ Central region, Uganda has taken great steps closer to peace. More is needed to make this peace successful. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has signed an agreement with the Ugandan Government to cease hostilities and release non-combatants, but more is needed to encourage regular face to face talks because the rebel leadership is still cautious. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) the election has been finished and Joseph Kabila, son of Laurent Kabila, has been declared winner with a majority of votes coming from the Eastern region of the DRC. The opposition party has not taken the lose very well and there has been rioting and clashes with police in the DRC capitol of Kinshasa. Kabila has set an ultimatum for when UN peacekeeping forces can remove the rival soldiers from Kinshasa. The droughts in the Horn of Africa (namely Somalia, Ethiopia) and Kenya have ended, but now there has been flooding. It is estimated over 100 have died in the flooding. In France, arrest warrants were issued for nine aides to Rwandan President Kagame. They are accused of involvement in shooting down the plane of the former Rwandan president, one of the events leading to the genocide. Illegal immigration into Europe is worrying many EU leaders as the issue grows with the numbers of Africans seeking a better life in Europe. The HIV/ AIDS epidemic “is getting worse” and African baby deaths are “preventable.”
I know all this news may be a lot to take all at once, but this is what some people live with everyday, every single day of their lives is full of turmoil and strife. However, it is imperative to note that even as crisises grow and troubles spark – Africans love life and enjoying sharing their love with everyone. I can tell you first hand from my experience in Africa never had I seen such poverty and pain, never had I seen such joy and happiness. This news may seem all ‘bad’ news, but what I see is progress. African organizations are working to build stronger relationships, peace is closer than ever in many areas, drought is ending, and people are being held accountable for terrible pasts. I encourage you all to read the news from around the world from many sources and develop a global perspective.