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Sep-13-2010 16:56printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

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

Faces in Liberia

(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:

Kenya: Journalist’s Wife Picked up in Terror Probe - A Mombasa-based FM radio presenter's wife has been picked up by police hours after her husband was arrested over the Kampala terrorist bombings on July 11. Police went to Mr. Habib Suleiman's house in Majengo, Mombasa, and seized his wife, Hawa Ibrahim. Journalist’s Wife Picked up in Terror Probe -

Waves wipe out 40 homes - Liberians began picking up the debris from their collapsed homes on Tuesday after massive waves left 300 people homeless and destroyed over 40 dwellings in a shantytown near the shore in Monrovia. 40 Homes Wiped Out by Massive Waves -

IFJ Condemns Attacks against Journalists in Uganda - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the unwarranted assault of New Vision Photographer, Arthur Kintu, by a businessman and prominent religious leader, Hassan Basajjabalaba which occurred on September, 6th at Namboole while he was covering the elections in Kampala, Uganda. “It is necessary to investigate this incident and hold this businessman accountable given his track record of attacking journalists,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office. “It is unacceptable and no one is above the law. We support our UJU colleagues’ pursuit for justice to our colleague.” IFJ Condemns Attacks against Journalists

Cameroon: Anti-Cholera Drive Targets Schoolchildren - As school resumes in Cameroon, some 1.6 million students in the north are receiving cholera-prevention messages via SMS, flyers, stickers and special textbooks, in a public-private effort to stem the country's worst outbreak in 20 years. Anti-Cholera Drive Targets Schoolchildren in Cameroon -

Homeless, hungry and waiting - James Mangu lost more than his home in the Bududa landslides on March 1, 2010. Seated amongst hovering houseflies and half-naked children running wildly through the parade of tents that dot Bulucheke Internally Displaced Camp (IDP), Mangu, 48, and a father of ten, explains that he has also lost his pride. Homeless, hungry and waiting -

UNHCR alarmed as a fortnight of fighting leaves 230 dead in Mogadishu - UNHCR said Tuesday it was alarmed by the further deterioration in the security situation in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, where fighting between government forces and the Al-Shabaab militia has left more than 230 civilians dead and at least 400 wounded in the past fortnight. UNHCR's chief spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, added that 23,000 people were displaced by the conflict during the same period. "So far this year over 200,000 civilians are estimated to have fled their homes," she told journalists in Geneva. 230 dead in Mogadishu -

Giant rats put noses to work on Africa’s land mine epidemic - Niko Mushi hated rats, as did most people in his village near Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro -- until he learned the critters had a nose for land mines.

Mushi, 32, has been working with giant African pouched rats for almost seven years. He now enjoys their company -- "They're just like my friend," he says -- but he concedes he was skeptical when the man who conceived the idea for HeroRats first told him they could sniff out live ordnance. Giant African Rats

Angola: UN Health Agency Reports on Spread of Polio Outbreak in Angola and DR Congo - The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) reported today that the recent outbreak of polio in Angola is spreading into other, previously polio-free parts of the country and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The wild poliovirus 1 (WPV1) outbreak that began in April 2007 has now been recorded in the DRC's Kasai province, which borders Angola.

World’s Largest Refugee Camp Continues to Grow in Kenya - The Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya is the world's largest refugee settlement, home to almost 300,000 people who have fled the war in neighboring Somalia. The camp is located in an area of Kenya where pastureland, water and other resources are at a premium, and many Kenyans in the surrounding community resent the refugees and their use of local resources. Conflicts between the two groups erupt periodically, and to ease tensions, aid agencies have sponsored income-generating projects in the town of Dadaab. UN Health Agency Reports on Spread of Polio Outbreak -

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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