Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mugabe leaves summit under pressure

At the end of our class session, we left on a defeating note that Mugabe has essentially won the one-man race in the election. However, it may be the case that Mugabe may be forced to leave; great distaste internationally has been expressed towards Mugabe's actions. This may be a hopeful and optimistic approach to the matter, but it seems that the people of Zimbabwe need just that.

The article summed up the actions of the AU meeting in Egypt. You can also see by the attached photo to the article, that Mugabe is clearly disturbed. This is a great contrast to the arrogance displayed when he won the election. Perhaps this could be a catalyst to ousting Mugabe and hopefully it is.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Franklin & Marshall team member uncovers missing link for elephants in Eritrea!

Here was that article I discussed earlier in class. It seems that Robert Walter of the Earth & Environment department here at Franklin & Marshall was very influential in the archaeological dig that uncovered the missing link between ancient and modern elephants. The animal is around the size of a modern day pig and provides substantial assistance to archaeologists in determining what route each species took as well as the evolutionary paths each animal took. It is also wonderful to see that Franklin & Marshall is making headlines, especially in such a young country as Eritrea.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Little Hope for Zimbabwe

So Mugabe did it. He intimidated the opposition so much that they pulled out of the run-off election citing fear of violence against their supporters.
So now what?
Mugabe has been in power since 1980 -- if my math is right, that is 28 years. When is enough, enough?
It seems that Mugabe will soon be following the same steps as Mobut Sese Seko, the former dictator of Zaire -- now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
When does the "Big Man" rule end? How does it end? Is bloodshed always necessary? Outside intervention? What kind? The U.N.?
To say that I was surprised that Mugabe was able to retain power would be to lie.
What will surprise me, is if the rest of the world finally takes heed of what is going on in Zimbabwe and acts. Sanctions? The International Criminal Court? C.I.A., anyone?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Zimbawe Voters Threatened with Violence

This article very much builds on the last one posted, as it also deals with the June 27th election in Zimbabwe between incumbent President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but his one deals with alleged acts of violence rather than just limits on food or attempts at starvation. Human Rights Watch, a New York based activism group has learned that President Mugabe and his party, Zanu-PF have been running torture camps for supporters of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. The Human Rights Watch report lists many attacks, including 36 deaths at the hands of Mugabe's men.

Clearly this article continues to outline a recurring problem in Africa -- corrupt, bad governing and leadership. While almost universally considered to be largely responsible for Zimbabwe's economic crisis, including rampant inflation, unemployment, and the collapse of the agricultural sector, Mugabe has proved he will do absolutely anything to remain in power. He has illegally impeded his oppositions election, attempted to starve out his enemies, and now, even allegedly killed those who stood in his way as he continues to blame Zimbabwe's colonial history and the West for problems that he has perpetuated at best and caused at worst.

The problematic question becomes at what point does an outside agency take action? Revolutions seem to have to come from within to be successful, and outside forces can only do so much before the country has to run and remain functional on its own. The rights of Zimbabwe's citizens are being violated, but there is no obvious answer for how established nations should respond to this crisis, which makes it very difficult and very interesting.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Police stop Zimbabwe opposition leader's campaign

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Police briefly detained Zimbabwe's opposition presidential candidate Friday for the second time this week and told him the party's rallies had been banned indefinitely three weeks before the runoff election, an aide said.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Rwanda angry over Munyakazi being kept by ICTR

This article talks about the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s, and how the ICTR (The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) in Tanzania has refused to hand over possible war crimes and human rights violator Yussuf Munyakazi due to fear of him not being able to have a fair trial. Rwanda leader Tharcisse Karugarama has assured the media that the tribunal has made a mistake and that the trial would have been fair, and that Rwanda has a right to try criminals like Munyakazi for the crimes they committed in Rwanda. Estimates suggest 800,000 Tutsis and many moderate Hutus were killed during the genocide in 1994.

Questions about the fairness of Rwanda's judiciary system led Amnesty International to call on all governments not to extradite prisoners to Rwanda, where unfair pressure on the judiciary would prevent a fair trial. Karugarama assures that this isn't the case, and in recent years the Rwandan government has taken steps to allow more prisoners to be extradited to them, specifically abolishing the death penalty which has prevented many prisoners from being turned over to them.

I find this case to be very interesting because it features Amnesty International standing up for the rights of someone accused of genocide. It's taken for granted that you have the right to a fair trial in America, but it's still interesting to see a case where concern for the rights of someone most likely guilty is taken so seriously -- you'd think people wouldn't make much of a fuss about a guy like this. Regardless it seems like Rwanda is attempting to take the necessary steps to improve their government and judicial system, which is definitely positive and could help them try their own criminals like this in the future.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Franklin & Marshall College in South Africa

Hi Folks,
I just wanted to bring your attention to some incredible work that the F&M soccer team is doing in South Africa. The students are involved in Grassroots Soccer to help bring attention to HIV/AIDS in Khayelitsha, South Africa.