Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Peace & hope for Africa

With 7000 young Africans in Nairobi
Taizé creates a sign of peace

Nairobi, November 30, 2008

A new youth meeting organized by the Community of Taizé, an African stage of the “Pilgrimage of Trust”, has gathered 7000 participants from the 26th – 30th of November. The youth were welcomed in more than 2500 families from the Greater Nairobi area.Nairobi youth groups from 80 parishes of different Christian churches prepared the morning program on the theme “Together seeking paths of hope.”

All common activities took place in the afternoons on the Queen of Apostles Minor Seminary compound in Kasarani. Multiple workshops took place each afternoon and the youth contributed in very significant numbers. Hundreds of residents from Nairobi joined the meeting for the common prayers and workshops.

For the majority of youth, this meeting was their first trip. Many undertook a long journey by bus: up to two days and two nights for those from Burundi. Mechanical problems and long waits at the border did not discourage anyone. The ability to adapt, to live each moment with joy, and to help one another enabled everyone to face the challenges of the journey.

In the diversity of the “Africas” represented, thirty young Masai wearing their traditional red blankets and carrying their customary clubs attracted attention. They are the first Christians in their families. Ecumenical groups came from South Africa, Zambia and Madagascar. A number of youth came from Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique and Sudan.

The many provinces of Kenya were also well represented: from Mombassa, on the Indian Ocean all the way to Lake Victoria, from the foothills of Kilimanjaro to the arid plains of Turkana in the north… 130 youth from Europe, North America and Asia (China, Korea, India…) contributed to the diversity of people represented.Twenty participants from Kivu (Goma and Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo), crossed three borders with a simple ‘pass’.

Their presence clearly reflected the desire and the capacity of young people to overcome barriers and meet to contribute to brotherly relations in a region overwhelmed by tension and division. The capability to meet and exchange with simplicity and ease was a sign of peace.

Local solutions were applied to all logistical challenges (transportation, food, security…). A camp kitchen was constructed on site with a team working day and night. More than 120 buses worked morning and evening to transport the participants from the parishes to the central venue.

During the common prayers, the crowd moved from the exuberant songs of rhythm and dance to the meditative refrains of Taizé and long moments of silence. Pastor Njoroge, Assistant Secretary General of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, participated in the prayer on Thursday. Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi, participated on Friday alongside Mgr Lebeaupin, Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya. In his address to the youth, the cardinal encouraged the participants to “be inspired by the central message of the bible: love your neighbour as yourself. We are all sons and daughters of God, you are all precious.”

Brother Alois, prior of Taizé, gave an icon of Jesus and his friend to a representative from each of the 15 African countries present (copies of an Egyptian icon of the sixth century) during the last common prayer. The icon will accompany these young people on their local pilgrimages to places of suffering and hope. It will remind them that Christ always remains at their side.The meeting ended on Sunday 30 November with a celebration in the host parishes and meals in the families.

Taizé brothers lived in Kenya (in Mathare and Kangemi) from 1978 until 1989. Brother Roger (founder of Taize) first visited Kenya in November and December 1978 and a second time in December, 1987.

- Silence and personal prayer: bible meditation followed by time for personal reflection.
- Discovering God’s call, receiving his gift and his trust. What way is God opening up for me in my life?
- How to read the Bible? How to live it out? Reflection followed by a time of sharing in small groups.
- What is faith? What are the challenges and the opportunities for believers today?- Young people seek autonomy in life: examples of self reliance projects.
- What responsibilities can I take up as a young person today (at home, in our communities, in our churches)?
- Healing our wounds, finding peace of heart: reconciliation in ourselves and around us. Sharing of experiences.
- Refusing violence, building peace: sharing of experiences from different countries.
- What can we do and share with Muslim believers? Testimonies and sharing.
- Making city life more beautiful: reflection and sharing with people working in United Nations Habitat.
- Maintaining hope in the midst of life’s difficulties (refugee, ex-prisoner…)
- Meeting Christ in others. What importance does service have in our life? How can we help others whether near or far?
- “We who are many are one body in Christ.” What is the Church? What can we do in order to contribute to reconciliation and unity in our Christian communities? Reflection and sharing.
- How can we help others to discover faith: testimonies and sharing of experiences in small groups.
- Who am I? How does Christ help us to discover our identity? How does faith help us build our life?
- Small Christian communities: testimonies from different countries.
- Sharing hope: presentations by theatre groups from different countries.
- Celebrating the diversity of cultures: international forum with contributions from different countries and provinces of Kenya (dance, song, music…)

For more information:
Brothers of Taizé
Mji wa Furaha
ph: +254 720 132 017
> Click here for email

Last updated: 1 December 2008

> More coverage of the pilgrimage of trust meeting in Nairobi, Nov 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Child soldiers in Congo fighting - UN update - Wed 11/12/2008

DRC: Recruitment of child soldiers rising

KINSHASA, 11 November (IRIN) - As fighting continues in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), child recruitment by rebels in the combat zones has been reported, UN and human rights activists have said.

"Thirty-seven children were recruited in Rutshuru [north of Goma] two weeks ago," Jaya Murthy, spokesman for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), told IRIN.

Children separated from their families were more at risk, he said. The boys were forced to fight while the girls became "wives" to the soldiers.

"There has been an upsurge in the number of children being recruited since the latest violence began," Ishbel Matheson, spokeswoman for Save the Children, said. The NGO was taking care of several children who had escaped recently from the armed groups.

An estimated 3,000 children were being held by the armed groups before the recent violence broke out, she said, but numbers were expected to soar.

In the past year, the charity, which runs one of the largest programmes to reintegrate child soldiers into their communities in the DRC, had helped 2,200 children out of the armed groups and reunited most of them with their families.

School closures
Hundreds of schools were closed due to insecurity while children recruited numerous times had had their studies interrupted.

"UNICEF will build emergency classrooms and distribute school supplies when schools reopen," Murthy said.

"For these children it is a recurring nightmare," Matheson told IRIN. "Children who are forced into armed conflict suffer terrible physical and emotional damage. They are traumatised by being separated from their families and may witness executions, beatings and torture. Many young girls now have babies."

Attacks on schools by the armed groups were also common.

On 10 October, seven children and three teachers were abducted when they were ambushed outside their school in Masisi, northwest of Goma, capital of North Kivu. They were held for two days before they escaped. Two weeks later, an armed group attacked a secondary school in Shasha, 7km outside Sake near Lake Kivu. Twelve children escaped but one was killed.

"One child told me that they are scared to go back to school for fear of being attacked," Matheson said. "For these children, getting an education is their only hope for the future. If they can't go to school they lose that hope."

The NGO has been working with the affected children to reunite them with their families or place them in foster families. So far 250 unaccompanied children have been found since the latest fighting began.

Fighting resumed late August in North Kivu between forces from rebel group Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP), led by former general, Laurent Nkunda, and the regular Congolese army allied with militias.

Meanwhile, UNICEF is providing truckloads of clean water daily to Kibati and Mugunga, in addition to water purification posts and latrines to curb the risk of cholera spreading, Murthy said in a 11 November communiqué.

In the displacement areas, cases of measles continue to be reported. Previous measles vaccinations interrupted by the fighting would resume soon. "UNICEF will vaccinate up to 66,000 more children in the coming days/weeks," he said, adding that the spread could be exacerbated by the large population movement.

Three aid planes from the UK and USA left Goma on 11 November to distribute aid to thousands of displaced persons.

"Plastic sheets for shelter and blankets will help ward off respiratory infections," he said.

UNICEF is also planning to reinforce the dozens of feeding centres in North Kivu to curb malnutrition.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama transition news - Tues 11/11/2008

Google News Alert for: OBAMA TRANSITION

Transition: Bailing out the auto industry
MSNBC - USA"Obama's transition aides have approached Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's former campaign manager about taking a senior White House post," the AP reports. ...See all stories on this topic

Barack and Michelle Obama visit the White House
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
"President-elect Obama thanked President Bush for his commitment to a smooth transition, and for his and First Lady Laura Bush's gracious hospitality in ...See all stories on this topic

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
U.S. News & World Report - Washington,DC,USA
Most stories continue to reflect positively on the Obama transition effort, with President Bush also getting high marks for his "gracious" treatment of the ...See all stories on this topic

Top Transition Stories - 11/11
National Journal - Washington,DC,USA
"Sunday, John Podesta, who is helping to lead Mr. Obama's transition team, singled out the Utah leases as one decision the Obama administration might try to ...See all stories on this topic

Politics aside at White House
Chicago Tribune - United States
The time-honored political ritual took place as Obama's transition team moved forward with the selection of its top economic officials, and as speculation ...See all stories on this topic

Bush and Obama put differences aside to secure smooth transition
Times Online - UK
The Obama transition team said the two leaders had discussed “the importance of working together throughout the transition of government in light of the ...See all stories on this topic

No final dramas for Bush in Middle East
Jewish Telegraphic Agency - New York,NY,USA
(Matty Stern / BPH Images) WASHINGTON (JTA)—When it comes to the Middle East and the Bush-Obama transition, the most dramatic element might be the lack of ...See all stories on this topic

Obama transition signals new policies in the offing - Oklahoma City,OK,USA
Without question, elections have consequences. As the Obama transition begins gathering steam, the shape of those consequences is becoming more clear.See all stories on this topic

Obama welcomes Bush's commitment to smooth transition of power
Press Trust of India - New Delhi,India
Obama's transition team said he and his wife Michelle were "very warmly" welcomed at the White House by President Bush and First Lady Laura. PTI.See all stories on this topic

This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

Note: links did not transfer from email update to blog. To get full story, go to Google, click on News in upper left screen, search Obama or Obama Transition to get these stories and many more.

Obama updates - Tues 11/11/2008

Google News Alert for: OBAMA

Obama at the White House
Edmonton Sun - Alberta, Canada
By THE CANADIAN PRESS WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama and US President George W. Bush sat down together yesterday at the White House after crowds lined the ...See all stories on this topic

Allergist offers advice on Obama dog debate
Chicago Tribune - United States
Malia, however, has declared the goldendoodle—a golden retriever-poodle mix—the "optimal dog," President-elect Barack Obama said while campaigning in Iowa ...See all stories on this topic

Obama says will confront economic woes head-on
Reuters - USA
By Deborah Charles and Caren Bohan
CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama said on Friday the United States was facing one of its greatest economic ...See all stories on this topic

Obama meets Bush at White House
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation - Nairobi,Kenya
US President-elect Barack Obama has held his first meeting with incumbent George W Bush since his last week's significant election victory. ...See all stories on this topic

From my rooftop:What Obama victory means to Africa
Joy Online - Accra,Ghana
That was what the Barrack Obama victory for him to become the 44th President of the United States of America (USA) has done to a people still struggling for ...See all stories on this topic

Whole world celebrates Obama’s win
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
By MARY SANCHEZ President-elect Barack Obama waved Monday to a reporter on his plane flying from Chicago to Washington. Green with envy I was, ...See all stories on this topic

Barack and Michelle Obama herald a new wave at the White House - United Kingdom
The picture- perfect scene of Family Obama gathered around the White House tree – two pretty little girls wide-eyed with excitement, their elegant parents ...See all stories on this topic

Obama’s start will be tough
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
All those difficulties created an opportunity for Obama to sweep to power, bringing with him an almost overwhelming Democratic majority in Congress. ...See all stories on this topic

From slavery to Obama
Jamaica Observer - Kingston,Jamaica
A few hours later, Senator Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected president of the USA, creating history. Obama is not a descendant of ...See all stories on this topic

Michelle Obama as First Lady
AsiaOne - Singapore
Michelle Obama, soon to become America's first African-American first lady, is not expected to directly emulate her predecessors. ...See all stories on this topic

This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obamas visit White House - Mon 11/10/2008

BBC News
White House previews Obama visit
USA Today - 3 hours agoWe expect that the conversation will include topics such as raising a family in the White House and the support of the executive residence staff, ...
Video: Obama's White House WelcomeVideo: Obama's White House Welcome CBS

Obama makes historic White House visit Swissinfo
Obama makes historic White House visit Reuters -
all 1,765 news articles »

Obama's African Family Plan to Visit White House
Daily Squib (satire), UK - 29 minutes agoThe Obama family are all off to visit their famous relative, Barack Hussein Obama and they plan on getting to the White House in good time. ...
Doo the right thing, Obama, forget the dog Chicago Tribune
Rise of the Non-Threatening Black Man
The new president's awesome burden Toledo Blade
Charleston Gazette - Washington Post
all 1,157 news articles »

Voice of America
Obama to make first visit to Oval Office
CNN - 7 hours agoTop Obama aides said Sunday that Obama already is examining ways to make a quick impact upon taking office. Obama's designated White House chief of staff, ...
Video: Bush Seeks Seamless Transition to ObamaVideo: Bush Seeks Seamless Transition to Obama AssociatedPress
Bush, Obama To Meet At White House NPR
Obama to Visit White House WTVY
The Australian - Voice of America
all 3,029 news articles »

Washington Post
Michelle views White House with new eye, MI - 5 hours agoMichelle Obama has been to the White House before, but she will no doubt approach this visit with a different eye. She will get a look at the private family ...
Greene: As the Obamas get ready to move. . . . CNN Political Ticker
A Family Expected to Balance State Dinners With Sleepovers New York Times
A move looms for the Obama family Detroit Free Press
The Associated Press - The Sun
all 933 news articles »

ABC News
Obama Visits The White House Today
WFMY News 2, NC - 11 hours ago
Washington, DC -- President-elect Obama meets today with the man he will be replacing as primary resident of the White House. During their meeting today, ...
Barack Obama puppy should be a mutt who can hit high notes
A golden gift offer Melbourne Herald Sun
Morning File: Mr. President, walking the dog Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Chillicothe Gazette - BBC News
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Obama Visit Draws Crowd Outside White House
Washington Post, United States - 2 hours ago
By Pamela Constable President-elect Barack Obama's first visit to the White House this afternoon since winning the election drew a crowd of several hundred ...

Obamas visit White House
eTaiwan News, Taiwan - 8 minutes ago
By STEVEN R. HURST AP President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived at the White House on Monday for a visit, their first since last week's ...

Miriam Makeba dies at 76 - Mon 11/10/2008

Miriam Makeba, in her album Sangoma, was perhaps one of my first connections to contemporary African culture. A great reflection on her musical career below:

Miriam Makeba—South African Singer, Composer and Activist—Died Sunday at the age of 76
Afropop Asks You to Share Your Reflections With the Afropop Community

We are sad to report that Miriam Makeba, one of Africa’s all-time great artists and ambassador for the continent, died of a heart attack while performing in Italy on Sunday, November 9, 2008.

There are dozens of career summaries and press reports published (just google “Miriam Makeba Dies at 76”). Our bio of Miriam is below but we’d like to start with something more personal. We are asking the Afropop community to send in your own reflections or memories or photos of Miriam. We will publish them later in the week and send them to the Makeba family. For the story of her life in her own words, we highly recommend her autobiography “Makeba, My Story.” Two of our favorite albums from the latter part of her career are “Sangoma” and “Homeland.”

Sean Barlow, Executive Producer, Afropop Worldwide:
“The last time I saw Miriam perform was in Soweto on Easter Monday 2004. I was in South Africa reporting on the tenth anniversary of the end of apartheid and the beginning of the new non-racial democracy spotlighted by the inauguration of Nelson Mandela. The theme of the concert in Soweto that day was “South African Divas” and featured the greats of South African women singers. The crowd was almost entirely black and we felt very much welcomed. I felt so lucky to be there. One by one the ladies took the stage and gave stellar performances—Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Dorothy Masuka & Dolly Rathebe, (who along with Miriam were the fabulously successful Skylarks in the 1950’s), the Mahotella Queens, Brenda Fassie (her last performance), Thandiswa, and to cap the evening, Miriam. The audience up front pressing against the fence were mostly teenage girls. Despite their two generation age gap, these girls were transfixed, their faces glowing. To bridge a 50 something age difference is no small feat. I wondered what was going through their heads—enjoyment of the songs, an electric feeling of being close to an icon who meant so much for the anti-apartheid struggle internationally and nationally, a role model of how a woman could rise to the top of her field. Probably all the above. For the girls in Soweto that day and for everyone whose music and life she touched, thank you Mama Africa!!" (Please add your own memories and reflections.)

Afropop’s Account of Miriam Makeba’s Career

Miriam Makeba--"Mama Africa" to many around the world--ranks as South Africa's greatest musical ambassador. Born in 1932, Makeba had already weathered the death of her father, a bout with breast cancer, childbirth and the first of five marriages before she turned twenty.

From her start in a church choir, Makeba went on to sing professionally under the strong influence of her American idols, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Makeba left the popular Manhattan Brothers to join the traveling show African Jazz and Variety, which toured southern Africa for 18 months. She also formed a hugely successful trio with Dorothy Masuka and Dolly Rathebe. Makeba's superior voice then earned her the lead in the ground-breaking show King Kong, and a film part in Come Back Africa.

Suddenly an international star, Makeba then played at President Kennedy's birthday and worked with Harry Belafonte in New York to create African classics including "The Click Song," and "Pata Pata." After the South African government canceled her passport in 1960, Makeba spent decades in exile living mostly in the US, and then in Guinea, where she retreated for nine years after her marriage to black power activist Stokely Carmichael soured her reputation with mainstream American media and the music industry.

Makeba returned to the world stage in 1986 when she joined Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. She writes in her autobiography, “Makeba, My Story,” that music helped her wrestle the dangerous amadlozi spirits her mother passed on to her. She dedicates her exquisite 1988 album “Sangoma,” rich in tradition, to her mother. After turmoil, tragedy and controversy, Makeba returned to a free South Africa as a favorite daughter. Her work included a tour and recording session with jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, who died in 1993, as well as a critically acclaimed comeback album, "Homeland," released in 2000, and nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001.

--Banning Eyre, Senior Editor,

More information:

Miriam Makeba, South African songstress, dies at 76
International Herald Tribune - 4 hours ago
By Alan Cowell LONDON: Miriam Makeba, a South African singer whose voice stirred hopes of freedom among millions in her own country though her music was formally banned by the apartheid authorities she struggled against, died early Monday after ...
Video: South African legend Miriam Makeba dies - 10 Nov 2008
Video: South African legend Miriam Makeba dies - 10 Nov 2008 AlJazeeraEnglish
South Africa mourns Makeba, nation's musical 'mother' AFP
GMA - Los Angeles Times - Hindu - United Press International
all 1,124 news articles »

Friday, November 7, 2008

Historic headlines from Nov 5 - Fri 11/7/2008

NY Times Nov 5 Obama wins!

USA Today Nov 5 It's Obama!

National Public Radio: Obama Wins, the World Responds

Kenyan photo essay "Obamamania" on

Post-Election Newspaper Sales: So I Guess Print Isn't Dead!Editor & Publisher - 58 minutes agoMany of us who have been reporting for years on the declining demand for the daily miracle -- in newsprint anyway -- were both pleased and a bit perplexed ...
Print is dying -- except when history happensComputerworld, MA - 1 hour agoJust when you thought that print was dead entirely: Newspapers are reporting that demand for their Wednesday morning editions -- the ones reporting the ...
Historic front pages are hot on eBayThe Miami Herald, FL - 8 hours agoPost-Election Day newspapers became a hot commodity Thursday on eBay -- with at least one optimistic seller asking $1200 for a copy of The Washington Post. ...

Obama newspaper editions show power of printSydney Morning Herald, Australia - 14 hours agoPeople buy copies of The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press in front of the newspaper's headquarters. Photo: AP Move over iPhone - in a digital age in ...
Obama win was great news for newspaper, Canada - 18 hours agoTuesday was a great day for Barack Obama. Wednesday was a great day for newspapers - the best day for sales since 9/11. The historic election of Sen. ...
Extra copiesIndianapolis Star, United States - 18 hours agoIn the digital age, some critics of newspapers have pronounced that delivery medium to be on life support, but look what happened in the hours immediately ...

Where can I get a Nov. 5 Seattle PI?Seattle Post Intelligencer - 22 hours agoNewspapers aren't exactly hot commodities in the digital age, but Wednesday was different. Copies sold out fast all over the city, leading dozens of ...
Post to Print 350000 More Copies of Election EditionWashington Post, United States - 22 hours agoBy Petula Dvorak The Washington Post fired up its presses today for yet another printing of a commemorative edition of the Nov. ...
On the Day After the Day After: Obama Newspaper Rush Continues ...Editor & Publisher - Nov 6, 2008AP 'Uncalls' Franken Loss in Minnesota By Joe Strupp NEW YORK Calls to The Washington Post this morning are not being met with the usual voice-mail greeting ...

Newspapers sell out as America marks historic dayTimes Online, UK - Nov 6, 2008Obamamania has left newsstands across the US empty and newspapers rushing to print thousands of extra copies as Americans hurried to buy souvenir editions ...
Barack Obama election victory drives US newspaper sales, UK - Nov 6, 2008Barack Obama's historic victory in Tuesday night's US presidential election gave a brief shot in the arm to the beleaguered American newspaper industry, ...
Hear All About It: Newspaper ComebackNPR - Nov 6, 2008Morning Edition, November 6, 2008 · For one rare day, newspapers made a comeback. Across the country, people flocked to newsstands to buy a written record ...

Extra! Extra! Barack Obama's election win sends newspaper sales ...Los Angeles Times, CA - Nov 6, 2008Kimberly Huie of Echo Park buys the Los Angeles Times at a newsstand in Hollywood. Readers across the nation snapped up copies of newspapers documenting a ...
Papers proclaiming Obama's win sell for $600Indian Express, India - Nov 6, 2008Melbourne, November 6: : American newspapers carrying banner headlines about Barack Obama’s historic White House victory were sold out as soon as they ...
Newspapers sell out early, restart pressesSan Francisco Chronicle, USA - Nov 6, 2008(11-05) 19:24 PST -- At a time when the industry is struggling to hold onto readers, newspapers around the country sold like hotcakes Wednesday as people ...

US newspapers rush out new copies to meet demandAFP - Nov 5, 2008WASHINGTON (AFP) — Leading US newspapers said Wednesday they had been forced to fire up their printing presses again to keep pace with demand as consumers ...
Papers leave mark on historic electionChicago Tribune, United States - Nov 5, 2008Consistent with the notion that journalism is the first draft of history, President-elect Barack Obama's victory had people Wednesday eager to grab the ...

Newspapers grabbed up after Obama's historic winReuters - Nov 5, 2008WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It was a good day to be in the newspaper business. The historic November 5 editions proclaiming Barack Obama's White House victory ...
Obama's historic election is red-hot off the pressUSA Today - Nov 5, 2008By Maria Puente, USA TODAY The election of Barack Obama kept millions of Americans glued to their TVs on Tuesday night — then had them scrambling on ...
Newspapers a Hot Commodity After Obama’s WinNew York Times, United States - Nov 5, 2008By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA Cool enough for people to try a dozen places in hopes of finding one, and then line up around the block for it. ...
Papers sell out as readers seek Obama keepsakesInternational Herald Tribune, France - Nov 5, 2008AP NEW YORK: Newsstands from Seattle to New York quickly sold out of Wednesday's papers declaring Barack Obama the nation's first black president as some ...

Obama win makes a big day for dead treesNational Post, Canada - Nov 5, 2008Karen Bleir/AFP/Getty ImagesFront pages of newspapers announcing Democrat Barack Obama's victory in the US presidential election are displayed on November 5 ...
Extra, extra ...Los Angeles Times, CA - Nov 5, 2008Dozens of e-mails like this started coming in to the readers' representative office early this morning, and are still coming in: "HELP! ...
Tribune Sees Huge Demand for Post-Election NewspapersMarketWatch - Nov 5, 2008CHICAGO, Nov 05, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- On the day following Barack Obama's election as the next president of the United States, Tribune Company ...
Extra, extra! Barack Obama's historic win causes a run on newspapersLos Angeles Times, CA - Nov 5, 2008Across the nation, people have been snapping up newspapers bearing Obama-related headlines at record rates. The Los Angeles Times, which printed 30000-40000 ...

Long queues again for US voters as Obama takes over the frontpagesSydney Morning Herald, Australia - Nov 5, 2008A day after queuing hours to cast their vote in the US election, Americans again found themselves in lengthy lines as they tried to secure themselves a copy ...
Chicago Papers Fly From Racks After Obama VictoryEditor & Publisher - Nov 5, 2008AP Admits Flub: 'Uncalls' Franken Loss in Minnesota By Mark Fitzgerald CHICAGO Readers seeking a piece of history snapped up copies of the Chicago Tribune ...
Newspaper stands sell out after Obama winChicago Tribune, United States - Nov 5, 2008AP CHICAGO - Finding a copy of a newspaper to mark Chicagoan Barack Obama's presidential victory has become a difficult task. Newsstands across the city and ...
Obama: Good for newspapers — todayReuters UK, UK - Nov 5, 2008NEW YORK - In the same way that the Philadelphia Phillies’ World Series win boosted Inquirer and Daily News sales last week, US President-Elect Barack Obama ...
Where to buy a copy of the Sun-TimesChicago Sun-Times, United States - Nov 5, 2008Barack Obama's overwhelming victory in Tuesday's election also led to an overwhelming demand for copies of the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday morning. ...

Yes we did! - Fri 11/7/2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's all about Obama - Wed 11/5/2008

Our friends in Kenya tell us nobody slept last night, as the world awaited the election results...

> Read the cover of today's Daily Nation newspaper

In Kenya, a holiday, song and dance for Obama

U.S. President-elect Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) arrives to speak to supporters with his wife Michelle (R) and their children Malia (2nd R) and Sasha during his election night rally after being declared the winner of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign in Chicago November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

By ANTHONY KARIUKIPosted Wednesday, November 5 2008 at 07:33

In Summary
Government declares a public holiday on Thursday to celebrate the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the US.

Kenyans celebrate Obama's victory with song and dance breaking out in Kibera, Nairobi and Kogelo, the US President-elect ancestral home.

Kenyans are celebrating Barack Obama's triumph the best way they know how - with song and dance - the Government has weighed in with a public holiday on Thursday as a country salutes an emphatic win.

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Obama victory speech

Shortly after CNN declared Obama the winner just before 7am (Kenya time) on Wednesday, President Kibaki announced that Kenyans will on Thursday take a day off to mark the historic election of Obama to the most powerful office on earth.

Even as the President made the declaration, Kenyans were already deep in celebration. From the sprawling Kibera slums in Nairobi to the senator's ancestral home 400 kilometres west in Kogelo, Siaya, jubilant Kenyans sung and danced in honour of a victorious son.

Scenes of wild celebrations were also seen at the Kenyatta International Conference, Nairobi where Kenyans kept vigil all night following the US election in giant screens.

Said President Kibaki: “This is a momentous day not only in the history of the United States of America, but also for us in Kenya. The victory of Senator Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya. As a country, we are full of pride for his success.”

He said that Obama’s unassailable victory was a clear testimony of the confidence the American people have not only in his leadership and vision for his country but for the world at large.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Kenya, and on my own behalf, I join the rest of the world in celebrating and congratulating you on your election as the 44th President of the United States of America.”

“I am confident that your Presidency shall herald a new chapter of dialogue between the American people and the world at large.”

The President also expressed readiness of his government to work with the new American administration to further promote and strengthen relations that exist between the two countries.

“We the Kenyan people are immensely proud of your Kenyan roots. Your victory is not only an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, but it has special resonance with us her in Kenya.”

Prime Minister Raila Odinga, away on an official trip in China, led the Government delegation in celebrations when Obama's win was projected by CNN and Time magazine.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said Obama's victory heralds a new dawn in history of America and in relations between America and other nations of the world.

"It is exciting for Kenya not only because of continental attachment to President-elect because of his roots in Kenya but because Obama victory is a harbinger of good tidings especially for our tourism sector."

The VP said many Americans would now wish to visit country of the father of their new President.

He said never before has a candidate of a superpower been widely supported across the world.

"This means Obama's leadership of US is likely to bring world nations closer and bridge polarisation that currently exist," he said.

> Full story with photo


Africa Stays Up All Night to Hear US Election Results

By Peter Heinlein Addis Ababa05 November 2008
Heinlein report - Download (MP3) Heinlein report - Listen (MP3)

Millions of Africans are exhausted after staying up all night watching expectantly to see whether a man of African descent will elected to the America's highest office.

VOA's Peter Heinlein attended an all-night party of journalists and political enthusiasts in Addis Ababa where everybody was talking about being American for a day to share in this historic election.

It's a long night here in front of the television at this upscale Ethiopian home.

Half a dozen anxious viewers drift in and out, trying to control the nervous energy. It's well after midnight, but the TV screen shows long lines of voters standing in the rain waiting for their turn in the voting booth. TV commentators kill time until the first polls close.

"There is a good deal of confidence in the Obama campaign that he's going to win this evening," they said. "So far, there's also the unknown. As one strategist put it, 'I'm a nervous wreck."

That comment sends a thrill through this audience. This is Africa and there are no McCain supporters in the room.

Deresse Kassa, a professor at Addis Ababa University, says he has never stayed up late for any elections results. But this is a moment he says he doesn't want to miss.

"America has history whereby the African-American community has to struggle to be considered citizens themselves and be a franchise in order to cast their votes," said Kassa. "Coming from this segregation and inequality, to be able to see Democratic candidates running for the presidency, the highest office, by itself is big achievement."

The televisions are on as the first results come in during the wee hours of the morning. The news is encouraging for viewers here.

Journalist Lulit Amdamariam says she is energized by the possibility of witnessing, what she calls, a great moment. "We're going to be here all night," she said. "Thirty-two hours, if we have to."Lulit is not an American, but she lived in the States for several years and attended Howard University in Washington.

"I attended a black college, so I understand what this means to the black community in the United States," said Lulit. "This is a candidate the entire world can relate to."

Lulit's colleague Tamrat Negera, editor of at the Amharic-language newspaper Addis Neger, has not been to the United States, but he says he can understand what this election must mean to African-Americans.

"Africa shared the pain of being black, or the pain of status, or colonization, which you understand there was a limitation for a black in this world," he said. "But Obama is breaking that through."Journalist Lulit Amdamariam calls it an American moment.

"I think this is the only time the entire world wishes they were American," she said. "So they could vote. Seriously, I think the entire world would go out and vote if they had the opportunity tonight."

This is a moment to remember. Although some Africans may have a hangover on Wednesday, the prospect of the first black U.S. president has enthralled a continent.

> Full story


Not just Africa! Even in Asia...

Asia Welcomes US Election Results

By Kate Pound Dawson Bangkok05 November 2008
Dawson report - Download (MP3) Dawson report - Listen (MP3)

People across Asia gathered to see the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. At election-watch events in dozens of cities, people cheered as Democrat Barack Obama won a historical victory. VOA's Kate Pound Dawson in Bangkok brings us the reaction in Asia to the race.

Bob Watson helps a group of Bangkok, Thailand, high school students as they attend a U.S. embassy-sponsored election watch party, 05 Nov 2008

Hundreds of Thais and Americans cheer as it becomes clear that Senator Barack Obama has won the election.

This election has drawn heavy interest around the world. Thai businessman Apinan Tungsianugul says that is partly because of Mr. Obama, the first African-American to be elected president.

"This election is a new thing. [It] could change the [politics] in the world. Just like Obama. Obama is not a white people," he said.

In Asia, polls have shown Mr. Obama is a clear favorite. For some people, it is because, as a Democrat, he represents a change from the policies of President Bush, a Republican, who has not been popular in Asia. Others were attracted by Mr. Obama's positions on the economy and the Iraq War. And, for some, it was his association with Asia.

Mr. Obama's step-father was from Indonesia and he spent several years in Jakarta as a child. At the Indonesian school he attended, his campaign has been closely watched.

Children cheer at Menteng One school, which Mr. Obama attended as a child.Eddy Gucando, is a teacher at the school. "I'm very happy because today I think, today is the day that can change the world if Barak Obama be [is] president," he said. "Because I think now in America there is a new president and that can change the world."

Many people expressed hope that Mr. Obama would maintain strong relationships with their countries.

Wang Dian is a student at China Communications University in Beijing. She says she hopes Mr. Obama's policy will be friendly to China. She says she thinks he knows the importance of friendly relations and trade with China.

Some in Asia hope that Mr. Obama's victory will help other countries learn more about ethnic diversity and become more tolerant. Choi Su-kyung is a professor at Chongnam National University in South Korea.

"This will help Koreans to understand the reality of the American politics, because Koreans are still prejudiced against the minorities," Choi said. "They are actually more prejudiced against minorities than Americans are, toward different racial groups. Americans are much more tolerant of diversity."

Most countries in Asia are closely tied to the United States. Several are military allies, such as South Korea, Japan and Australia. And, almost all Asian nations have close economic links with the United States. With the global economy weakening and with the war in Iraq dragging on, people all over the region say they just hope for change in American politics.

> Full story

Jabulani Africa! - Wed 11/5/2008

Jesus, life and hope to heal our land,
Saviour, reaching out with your mighty hand.
Sing for joy, O Africa;
The Lord your God is risen upon you.
Sing for joy, O Africa;
The Lord your God is risen upon you now.

Jabulani, jabulani Africa!

Jabulani, jabulani Africa!

Jesus, River of life to our thirsty land;
Saviour, meeting our needs from your mighty hand.
Sing for joy, O Africa;
The Lord your God is risen upon you.
Sing for joy, O Africa;
The Lord your God is risen upon you now.

Jabulani, jabulani Africa!
Jabulani, jabulani Africa!


Marafiki wote,

Today, we cannot help but give praise
to God above for safe, fair, and free elections,
for the hopes of millions of people,
and for a leader who promises to listen
and to consider the needs of all.
A leader for all the nations!
A wonderful example of what it means
to be a man, a father, a husband, a leader
for all people, everywhere.

We have been blessed

in Ohio
to come together
with all kinds of people
from all corners of the country,
to work on the campaign,
a smart, well-organized and efficient

Day by day, the tedious, hard work
of calling voters, knocking on doors,
leaving flyers at homes,
talking to our friends and neighbors,
it has all paid off!

Even after a long day of work, or school,
millions of Americans came together
to do the hard work of registering new voters,
persuading undecided voters,
getting out the vote!

Today goes down in history
as a great day for all people,

a great day for America,
and especially a great day for Africa
African Americans.

We share your pride!

We thank God for the faith of Barack Obama

which makes him a man of integrity, kindness,
generosity, courage, and action.

We thank God for the way he seeks to live
the teachings of Jesus Christ in his daily life,
and to share a message of hope
with the entire world,

while respecting the faith of each person!

And we thank God

for the faith and hope of his ancestors,
their hard work and perseverance
who made it possible for him to see this day
with his beautiful family.

May God watch over and protect them all.

May there be more tolerance,
more respect, more listening,
more reconciliation, and
more lasting peace in our world.

Thank you to Kenya,
for sending Barack Obama
through his father
to the United States of America.

May you share the joy and
spirit of celebration
with America today!

We remember you in Kenya,
with prayer
and thanksgiving, that
we may seek peace and prosperity
for our great world
across oceans and continents.

Tumeshukuru! Barikiwe sana.

--Mary Kay Rehard
Cincinnati, Ohio

Friday, October 31, 2008

Congo crisis - contact your elected officials - 10/31/2008


Dear Friends,

The situation in Congo is deteriorating dramatically
, and it seems that all the US media can focus on is the election. While this is an important, historic election, we must not lose perspective of the global imperatives facing us today. I invite you to join me in raising awareness about the crisis in Congo and urge you to contact your elected officials.

A BBC article today provides a good summary of what is being done, internationally, and I drafted a short letter to accompany an edited version of that story.

FCNL (Friends Committe on National Legislation) has a convenient website for submitting letters to the President and Congress:

You can enter your zip code, and your elected officials will appear. You can write all of them with one click (link is above their pictures). Below is the text I submitted to my elected officials for this issue: Crisis in Congo (Foreign Policy).

Along with the UN's IRIN news service briefings, I've posted two emails from Quaker field staff based in Kenya, Anna Crumley-Effinger (AFSC staff) and David Zarembka (AGLI staff), with updates from their contacts in the region.

BBC has an excellent overview of the long and terrible history of the civil war in Congo, in case you need more background:

They also provide a concise timeline of Congolese history:

Doctors without Borders also has a good press release on the conflict in Congo:

Congo is Kenya's neighbor, and there is a very desperate community of Quakers in eastern Congo, who need our prayers, attention, and assistance.

Please do what you can to:
  • take action by contacting your elected officials
  • to pray for the displaced and traumatized
  • and give support to relief efforts there.
Be blessed,
Mary Kay


Dear Elected Official:

Please urge the President and US State Department to take stronger action on the situation in Congo (BBC story below). The US should continue talks and join the EU in reinforcing UN Peacekeeping troops to end this humanitarian disaster promptly. We do not want to witness another genocide like Rwanda's. My particular concern is for the safety of women and children, as gang rape is now widespread in Eastern Congo. It is my sincere hope that US will be instrumental in protecting innocent citizens there. Instability in Congo affects all countries in Eastern and Central Africa. I look forward to your reply regarding your plans to help resolve this enormous crisis.


'Human catastrophe' grips Congo

BBC - Fierce fighting between government and rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo is causing a humanitarian catastrophe, the Red Cross has said.

It said the number of displaced people was growing by the hour and that the precarious security situation was making it difficult to deliver aid.

Intense diplomatic efforts are under way to end the crisis, which has displaced a total of 250,000 people.

A tense ceasefire is holding in and around the eastern city of Goma.

A spokesman for the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, told the BBC that the situation was "extremely critical".

A Congolese aid-worker based in Goma, Godefroid Marhenge, told the BBC's Network Africa programme that some displaced people were without water or shelter, and "in desperate need of humanitarian assistance".

Overstretched peacekeepers
After several days of fighting, Gen Nkunda declared the ceasefire late on Wednesday, and his Tutsi forces are positioned some 15km (nine miles) from Goma - the provincial capital of North Kivu.

However, Gen Nkunda has threatened to take the city unless UN peacekeepers guarantee the ceasefire and security in Goma.

Looting, killings and rapes were reported in the city on Thursday, much of it blamed on retreating Congolese troops.

Meanwhile, intense international diplomatic efforts are going in a bid to maintain the ceasefire and bring an end to the fighting:

• The parliament in DR Congo has called on government to negotiate with Gen Nkunda, although President Joseph Kabila has previously refused to do so
• UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is "deeply concerned" about the situation, and has called on regional leaders to take concrete measures to broker a peace deal
>>> EU are diplomats meeting in Brussels to discuss whether to send troops to back up UN peacekeepers, after EU envoy Louis Michel met Mr Kabila and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame
>>> The EU is also to discuss sending troops to the area to aid the humanitarian effort
• An African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council is to hold crisis talks at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa
• US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer has held talks with Mr Kabila in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Congo crisis - IRIN report

From: IRIN
Date: Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 10:09 AM
Subject: CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN-CEA Weekly Round-up 454 for 25-31 October 2008
To: Patrick Nugent

CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN-CEA Weekly Round-up 454 for 25-31 October 2008

NAIROBI, 31 October 2008 (IRIN) - CONTENTS:

DRC-UGANDA: Facilities overwhelmed as refugees stream to bor
DRC: Many aid agencies quit Goma
DRC: Government troops "on the rampage"
DRC: Instability increasing in Orientale province
UGANDA: Displaced first by war, now by elephants
KENYA: Child deaths on the rise
KENYA: Aid workers under siege


RWANDA: Ex-militia struggle with civilian life
[Full report:]

DRC: Eric - "There's real panic in town"
[Full report:]

CONGO: Bibouti - "I work non-stop but never see my salary"
[Full report:]

UGANDA: Post-traumatic stress rife in the north
[Full report:]

KENYA: Isolation wards vital in TB fight
[Full report]

GLOBAL: Climate change may drown cities
[Full report:]

DRC-UGANDA: Facilities overwhelmed as refugees stream to bor

Food, water, health and sanitation facilities at several villages on the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border are overstretched as civilians continue to pour into Uganda, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said on 31 October.

The agency said the facilities were inadequate for the more than 6,500 people scattered in 12 villages along the border who are being hosted by the local communities.

"It is very difficult for us to provide assistance to the refugees at the border, where the security situation is unstable and people are scattered in various villages," Stefano Severe, UNHCR representative in Uganda, said.
[Full report: ]

DRC: Many aid agencies quit Goma

Several aid agencies have evacuated their staff from the eastern town of Goma, where an uneasy calm prevailed on 30 October after days of fierce fighting between government troops and those loyal to renegade army commander Laurent Nkunda. On 29 October, UN civilian staff were moved from Goma to a compound on the shores of Lake Kivu.

"We heard some shooting in town last night and heard reports of looting ... we have pulled out all expatriate staff to Gisenyi [a town just across the Rwandan border] but have tried to maintain minimum activities in Goma," an official with Save the Children told IRIN.

"This morning MONUC were saying the situation is calm in town. They said NGOs can carry out operations but should return to the safety of the UN compounds before 5pm," he added.
[Full report:]

DRC: Government troops "on the rampage"

Government troops went on the rampage overnight in Goma, according to witnesses in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) town, which renegade general Laurent Nkunda has threatened to overrun.

"Last night I was in my home with my family," Stuart, a resident who fled to Gisenyi in Rwanda, told IRIN. "Government troops were shooting outside, in the street, all over the neighbourhood. They were shooting heavy guns and breaking into people's houses, and killing people, and looting; I saw them. It felt like anarchy, there was no law," he said.
[Full report:]

DRC: Instability increasing in Orientale province

Airplanes may be needed to help some 6,000 people displaced during attacks by Ugandan rebels in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo who are not accessible by humanitarian agencies, officials said.

"The idea is to send food and non-food items in by plane, given that it is difficult now to send a road convoy because of logistical and security reasons," said Jean-Charles Dupin of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Orientale Province.

The civilians fled attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army in September along the main north-south road in the province's Dungu territory. [Full report:]

UGANDA: Displaced first by war, now by elephants

Marauding elephants in northern Uganda have added to the challenges faced by civilians trying to rebuild their lives in the wake of 20 years of civil war, destroying their crops and prompting some to return to displaced people's camps they had only recently left.

"The villagers are scared of the elephants; some of them have sought refuge in huts they had left in the camps," John Bosco Okullo, a local leader in Amuru District told IRIN.

Most affected are hundreds of returnees from six IDP camps - Goma, Anaka, Purongo, Ongako, Corner Nwoya, and Aler, all in Amuru District - whose crops have also been eaten by wildebeest roaming the villages in search of water and pasture.
[Full report:]

KENYA: Child deaths on the rise

The number of children dying before their fifth birthday in Kenya has risen in the past 10 years, according to health specialists.

One in nine children dies before the age of five. "For every 1,000 children born, 121 die, compared with 97 in 1990," Shahnaz Sharif, the senior deputy director of medical services in Kenya's health ministry, told IRIN.

"A shortage of skilled health workers and a lack of access to referral facilities are partly to blame for the increasing deaths," Sharif said. [Full report:]

KENYA: Aid workers under siege

The Kenya Red Cross Society has appealed for respect for aid workers providing assistance to thousands after its staff were attacked by bandits and accosted by security personnel in Mandera, in the northeast.

"Bandits attacked the Kenya Red Cross personnel who were returning from their work in Garissa [a neighbouring town], robbing them of their personal effects such as money and mobile phones," the agency said in a statement.
[Full report:]


© IRIN. All rights reserved. More humanitarian news and analysis:

Congo crisis - AFSC staff update

Yesterday I was planning to send a regularly scheduled update to you all. Instead I found myself reading e-mails from friends in the eastern DRC whose families or they themselves were fleeing the violence, pulling together news reports for our staff inside Bukavu, and planning for a statement from AFSC. At the same time, two bombings in Puntland and Somaliland of greater Somali also forced many NGOs to begin pulling out staffs in the regions that were formerly seen as the most safe areas in which to work. We have many colleagues affected by these attacks not to mention the implications on millions of people in Somalia.

So, instead of sending you a long update today I will just ask you to please think and pray for the people in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions. There is war to a greater scale then there has been in many years in the eastern DRC. The UN with limited troops in its peacekeeping force is working to protect civilians at the same time as many civilians are so upset it is not doing more and blocking its convoys and in some cases attacking its bases. The national army FARDC which has a terrible human rights record to begin with has been seen looting houses and retreating, causing even more fear among the population. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing in all directions and violence is continuing to a great extent. I obviously can not get into all the details of who is arming whom and which foriegn governments are behind the hostilities, but let's just say that the continued of arming of rebels and government forces is creating major problems and the civilian population continues to suffer to unprecedented scales. World Food Program convoys have been halted and are unable to deliver enormous quantities of food. internally displaced people are fleeing from one camp to another or sleeping on the sides of roads or in wooded areas.

Please be thinking of and praying for the population in which there are many Quakers, peaceworkers, friends of mine and friends of friends. For the aid workers, the people caught in the senseless killing, the government leaders, the UN envoys, the governments of the world who arm, and the corporations who pillage.

I hate to be spreading the perception of Africa as a war zone or starving babies. This is a beautiful place with wonderful people who are searching and working for peace. But right now many in the region I know best are fleeing or stuck in their homes. And they need your prayers.

To all those whose stories are untold but who are witnessing to peace!

Anna Crumley-Effinger
Earlham grad and
AFSC Field Staff – Nairobi, Kenya

I am attaching an update from the coordinator of the African Great Lakes Initiative with which I volunteer. I have lots I could say on this subject as well, but I want to highlight the section: "When you see all those pictures of people fleeing with goods on their heads, where will the women sleep tonight?"

Congo crisis - AGLI staff update

----- Original Message -----
From: David Zarembka
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10:54 AM
Subject: AGLI--Report from Kenya--"Rape"--Oct 29, 2008

Dear All,

I received this sentence in an email from Theoneste Bizimana from Rwanda: "Hold in your payers the region of North Kivu [Congo]. I talked with Zawadi this morning. She said that the situation is very bad now and nobody [in Goma] was able to get out and go to work!!" I just received an email from Zawadi who is now in Kigali saying, "Right now things are bad, just spoken to my Dad [in Goma]--Goma might be captured tonight."

The rebel Tutsi warlord, Laurent Nkunda, is within striking distance of taking Goma even though it is "protected" by Congolese troops and the United Nations troops, called MONUC. You can even find items on this in the international news if you click on Africa. There are pictures of people fleeing the fighting which is usual whenever there is an attack in the region.

While a certain amount of attention has been devoted to the use of rape as a weapon of war I have not seen many explanations of why this is done. Here are my observations.

In this area of Africa there are rarely "battles" between the armies. Rather one side terrorizes people in an area, these people then flee and the terrorizing side moves in thereby "conquering" the territory.

One of the most effective methods of terrorizing a population is "rape"-- particularly gang rape. I submit that it is more effective than killing someone because the raped person is traumatized and he/she then affects his/her family, neighbors, and community. A killed person’s body would just lie there and, if no one saw it, it would not "terrorize" anyone. Reports of the mutilation of bodies have this same affect -- the mutilation terrorizes people who then flee.

Note that above I did not use only the female gender. When we conducted a survey of seventy-nine people in Burundi nine reported being raped; two were men. As everywhere in the world, rape is under reported and I expect rape of males is even more under reported than that of females. The rape of a male would be even more "terrorizing" than the rape of a female.

Here is the testimony of an anonymous North Kivu workshop participant who was raped during the First Congo World War in 1996.

"I was raped and contracted HIV/AIDS. So is my daughter of 12 years. We all lost hope--no one to comfort the other. We just saw death as the next thing happening to us anytime. But God has been gracious. People have stood by us and those [HROC] teachings have really helped me to live positively. I am always bitter about the rapists [i.e., she was gang raped] but that had not changed me. Instead it worsens the situation because whenever I think about it everything comes back fresh in my mind. I have understood the meaning of forgiveness. Many are times we wait for offenders to ask for forgiveness. In my case where will I meet them; and I wouldn't like to meet them anyway. I have decided to forgive them. I am going to share with my daughter what we learnt. I believe it will help her so that we may begin this journey together."

This kind of rape is, to me, only the most obvious, what I would call "violent rape." When you see all those pictures of people fleeing with goods on their heads, where will the women sleep tonight? Many will have to find a man, perhaps a soldier or policeman, to protect them for the night. The cost is "consensual rape"; the agreement to have sex with the protector. This "relationship" might last a night or two, or a week, or a month, but in the end it is temporary and the woman is turned out and has to find another "protector". The result is unwanted pregnancies and HIV. Many of the women at the Kamenge Clinic in Bujumbura were infected by this "consensual rape."

The solution is, of course, to stop the fighting. But as the Congolese Government and the international community (including the UN peacekeepers) seek a "military solution" which continues to elude them, the fighting will continue. Rape will continue to be used as a "weapon of war".


David Zarembka, Coordinator
African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams
P. O. Box 189, Kipkarren River 50241 Kenya 254 (0)726 590 783
1001 Park Avenue, St Louis, MO 63104 USA 314/621-7262

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Job opening in Kenya - Friends Theological College Kaimosi

Friends United Meeting

Global Ministries: Faith in Action Opportunity

  • Do you want to do your part to "take away the occasion for war?"
  • Are you an active member of a Quaker Meeting or Friends Church?
  • Do you have skills, experience or knowledge to share?
  • Are you prepared to change your perspective on life and accept challenges?

Then perhaps God is calling you to serve among Friends in East Africa:

Principal, Friends Theological College - Kaimosi, Kenya

Chief Administrative Executive at Quaker college for training pastoral leaders in East Africa, located in historic Kaimosi Friends Mission of western Kenya. Appointed as missionary Field Staff by Friends United Meeting, reports to college Board of Governors and FUM General Secretary. Responsible for managing all academic, financial and personnel matters at the college. Includes academic and non-academic operations; admissions, bursar and registrar functions; maintenance and development of physical plant and farm. Major goals will include securing full accreditation and construction of new administration building and library. Requirements include minimum master's degree in theology or related field, minimum five years of administrative experience, and excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills. Prefer doctorate in theology or related field. Pastoral ministry, cross-cultural and fundraising experience helpful. Quaker applicants encouraged.

For more information or to express interest, call or email Terri Johns at FUM.
Deadline for applications: December 15, 2008.
Targeted appointment by February 2009.

> Learn more about Friends Theological College - Kaimosi

> Learn more about Friends United Meeting's Global Ministries

> Download FUM's Personal Information Form and/or Application for Employment form

Friends United Meeting
101 Quaker Hill Drive
Richmond IN
Phone (765) 962-7573
Fax (765) 966-1293

> General resources for those considering cross-cultural ministry or missionary work.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Today's headlines - Fri 10/24/2008

GTV launches prepaid subscription scratch cards in Kenya, MA - 18 hours ago
The G-UP scratch card is available to all GTV subscribers and is expected to challenge DSTv's position in the Kenyan market. GTV scratch card are available ...

Kenya shilling slides vs dollar, central bank cites global markets
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 3 hours ago
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's shilling dipped to a fresh four-year low on dollar demand by oil importers and manufacturing firms on Friday, dealers said, ...
Shilling weakens further against surging dollar Business Daily Africa
Shock as shilling drops below key ceiling Standard
CBK explains weakening Kenya shilling Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
Reuters South Africa - Reuters South Africa
all 16 news articles »

Kenya plans to set up fertilizer plant by 2012
Xinhua, China - 19 minutes ago
NAIROBI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government said on Friday it plans to partner with private sector to set up a fertilizer manufacturing plant in the ...

Kenya's second brewery opens
Xinhua, China - 15 minutes ago
NAIROBI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's newest brewery, Keroche Industries, launched its operations on Friday to challenge the might of East African Breweries ...

In this technology era, Kenya needs ‘BlackBerry’ president
Daily Nation, Kenya - 51 minutes agoIf Obama becomes the president, Kenya’s next one and prime minister as well as the Government must be BlackBerry-savvy. Obama is known to be on his ...
Safaricom CEO sees improved Kenya business climate
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 6 hours agoBy Helen Nyambura-Mwaura NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's business environment is much improved since its leaders agreed to a coalition government to end the ...
Kenya deports US author of anti-Obama book
Unraveling evidence in questions over citizenship WorldNetDaily
Obama's violent pal in Africa
all 5 news articles »

Kenya plans to import $144 million worth of fertiliser
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 2 hours ago
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya plans to import fertiliser worth 11.5 billion shillings to help farmers hurt by high prices, a government official said on Friday. ...

Kenya dismisses Somali Islamists attack threat
Xinhua, China - 18 hours agoNAIROBI, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government on Thursday dismissed threats by a Somali Islamist group that it would attack Kenya if the east African ...
Govt dismisses Somali Islamists attack threat Daily Nation
Talks for release of Ukrainian ship continue Xinhua
all 12 news articles »

BBC News
Kenya set to get truth commission
BBC News, UK - 4 hours agoKenya's parliament has approved a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to probe human rights violations and historical injustices. ... [ see full story in previous blog posting, below ]

UN honors Kenyan soldier for efforts on post-election crisis
Xinhua, China - 19 minutes ago
NAIROBI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Friday honored a Kenyan police officer who was captured in the media pleading with protesters to stop ...

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