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Mar-14-2011 23:15printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

New weekly update on the breaking stories in the African nations.

Faces of Namibia
Faces of Namibia. Courtesy:

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Unseen, unheard; no one should be the bearer of these two words. Unfortunately, Africa is often in the forefront of this association.

Our common humanity should change this; we should never look away because it is too distant. Our commitment to one another, to human rights, and the ability to learn should always keep us connected no matter the severity and complexity of problems.

Important insights from last week, not to be missed:

Obama Weak on the Rapidly Escalating Crisis in Abyei, Sudan - Military tensions continue to escalate in the contested border region of Abyei in Sudan; reports from the ground indicate a large presence of troops from both Khartoum’s regular Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and a responding force from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). SAF low-bed trailers and tank transport vehicles have been identified, and satellite imagery from the Satellite Sentinel Project confirms a growing presence of heavy military equipment and armor. Some of the SAF elements of the “Joint Integrated Units” (JIUs), comprising both SAF and SPLA troops, are now redeploying in the region.

Botswana Parliament’s Speaker a well-loved Women - It would have been hard for a teenaged Margaret Nnananyana Nasha to imagine that she would grow up to become one of the most powerful figures in Botswana's government.

Nigeria: Children are Defiled: Out of Neglect or Privation? - It is astonishing to read that one in two children in Nigeria is maltreated. Sexual abuse of child mostly occurred to the innocent children who have to work for their living at small ages of 10-15 yrs and greedy take the advantage of these innocent leading them to claustrophobia….But more or less our administration and police is also responsible for these….It takes long time for justice in Nigeria and have to spent a lot of money for police and lawyer and great publicity by media.

Cholera Outbreak kills 20 in Somalia capital - Doctors say a cholera outbreak in Somalia's war-ravaged capital has killed more than 20 people. Dr. Lul Mohamed said Saturday that Banadir maternity hospital has seen more than 150 cholera patients in the past week. She says the hospital is low on supplies and cash to pay health workers.

Mauritius: Women Dreaming of Active Politics - "We have had enough of the training given to us in cooking, sewing and household works... We now have another dream: of participating actively in the development of our island at decision-making level," says Marie-Anne Laganne, a political trainer at Women In Politics.

Journalist gets one-year jail term, media harassed and censored - Reporters Without Borders is shocked by the growing problems that Angola’s journalists are experiencing and the mistrust and hostility that the authorities are showing towards some media. A reporter has been sentenced to a year in prison and several media and journalists have been threatened, roughed up or censored in the past two weeks. Reporters Without Borders is shocked by the growing problems that Angola’s journalists are experiencing and the mistrust and hostility that the authorities are showing towards some media. A reporter has been sentenced to a year in prison and several media and journalists have been threatened, roughed up or censored in the past two weeks.,39732.html

Namibia: Floods Shut School in North - A number of communities in the Ohangwena and Oshana regions have been cut off from main towns, especially Oshakati, which serves as their supply route for essentials, because of the rising levels of oshanas and rivers in the two north-central regions.

Insecurity halts School exams for 800 Darfui Students - More than 800 boys and girls schools in the East Jebel Marra part of South Darfur are unable to sit for the school exams this year due to security conditions.

Burundi: Returning to a Normal Life after War - On some days Espérance Nibigira, who is 35 years old, wonders how she is going to find the energy to begin the day. A combatant in the north-west of Burundi during the civil war that raged between 1993 and 2005 and resulted in 300,000 victims, she suffered an accident on the battlefield that left her disabled and suffering from amnesia.

Video Corroborates Satellite images of burned Abyei villages - Last week, as militants torched three villages in the contested region of Abyei, Satellite Sentinel Project captured the first images confirming reports that the villages were deliberately burned. Now the Enough Project has obtained video footage taken from the razed villages of Maker Abior and Todach soon after the attack. The video shows huts still smoldering and dead bodies of southern police being loaded into the back of a pickup truck.


Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at:

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