archives : September 2010


Egyptian real estate tycoon Hisham Talaat Mustafa’s lawyers have vowed to appeal a Cairo court decision to reduce a death sentence against their client to 15 years in prison. The court had initially decided to send Hisham Talaat Mustafa to the gallows for ordering the killing of his former mistress, Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in Dubai in July 2008. - Thursday 30 September 2010

Morocco - Western Sahara
Four human rights defenders were injured, one seriously, by Moroccan police in Western Sahara after returning home from an international conference in Algiers yesterday. One international observer also suffered a broken finger when police confronted the activists as they came out of the airport in Layoune, the main city in the former Spanish colony now occupied by Morocco. - Thursday 30 September 2010

Religious events in Egypt have lately taken a new direction. It is an open secret that the minority Copt Christians in the northern African country feel persecuted. Recently, a Copt bishop’s wife, Kamilia Shehata, it appears, decided to convert to Islam. Shortly afterwards, she changed her mind and left Islam for Christianity. A decision that stirred the ire of the Muslim majority with some calling for her death. But, Kamilia’s story is far from being the first of its kind. In 2004, another woman, Wafaa Costantine, who converted to Islam is said to have been forced to reconvert to Christianity. These cases might be overlooked as banal everyday occurrences in a country that has the Islamic Sharia law taking precedence in parts of its constitution. But whilst death threats may seem justifiable by religious precepts, the question is whether the Egyptian constitution protects all citizens. - Thursday 30 September 2010

Panafrica - Zimbabwe
Built by the Shona (1100-1500 AD), the empire of Great Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s greatest civilizations like Egypt and Meroe, stood between present-day Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and south-east Mozambique. The empire’s highly developed architecture overwhelmed discoverers. And much in the same manner as German anthropologist Doctor Frobenius ignorantly mistook the Kingdom of Ife in Nigeria for the lost kingdom of Atlantis in 1911, some Europeans blatantly refused to believe that Great Zimbabwe was built by Africans. Dawson Munjeri, former director of Great Zimbabwe, a World Heritage site, discusses the history of the exceptional Zimbabwe empire. - Thursday 30 September 2010

Zimbabwe - China
For the second year running, Zimbabwean Premier Morgan Tsvangirai has been tipped to win the Nobel Peace Prize after bookmakers listed him among hopefuls to land the 2010 award. Tsvangirai was in 2009 among the top contenders to win the peace Nobel but it controversially went to US President Barack Obama. - Thursday 30 September 2010

Sierra Leone - International
The United Nations has ended an arms embargo and travel ban on Sierra Leone rebels who engineered the decade long conflict in the West African country that left more than 50,000 people dead and many more mutilated and raped. - Thursday 30 September 2010

Heads of state from across the developing world arrived in New York last week for the annual United Nations meetings. Heading up the agenda this year was a summit examining the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These leaders – generally clad in expensive suits and heading enormous entourages – again shamelessly moaned and complained over the lack of adequate progress on the MDGs as if they and their governments were helpless bystanders in whether or not the MDGs are met. - Thursday 30 September 2010

Panafrica - South africa - Ghana
Africa is the “last frontier of international investment,” and Africans need to be ready to make choices and take action to take advantage of this situation, according to Christopher Gardner, founder and chief executive of the Chicago-based brokerage company Gardner Rich LLC. - Wednesday 29 September 2010

Despite his criticism of Nigerian politics, Wole Soyinka, 1986 Nobel Laureate in Literature, has taken a decisive step by launching his own party, Democratic Front for a People’s Federation (DFPF), a few months ahead of the West African country’s presidential elections. - Wednesday 29 September 2010

Algeria - France
Paris wants to organize a conference of heads of state of a group of Sahel countries that have joined forces to fight against terrorist networks in the region. But Algeria opposes the French move as it fights to keep its leading role in the region’s initiatives due to its experience and military power. An intelligence agency on terrorism, shared by four countries of the Sahel, will begin operation Wednesday in the Algerian capital. - Tuesday 28 September 2010

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