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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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April 27, 2016 Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 2
"It has been two years since the world's deadliest terrorist organization – Boko Haram – abducted 271 girls from their high school in the town of Chibok – a tragedy that would shine much needed international attention on conflict in northeastern Nigeria. Sadly, the Chibok girls are only one part of a much larger story of violence against women and girls in the northeast. ... the needs of all those whom the Chibok girls symbolize – thousands upon thousands who have suffered gender-based violence at Boko Haram's hands – are being unaddressed." - Refugees International
April 27, 2016 Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 1
The realities of violence, whether in Nigeria, other African countries, or indeed in rich countries such as the United States as well, are often far more complicated than the stereotypes that often prevail among those observing them from a distance. Thus, violence in Nigeria is often simplistically characterized as "religious conflict" between Muslims and Christians. A new collection of empirical studies released this year by Nigeria Watch, based in Ibadan, Nigeria, provides a more complex perspective, documenting, for instance, that intra-Muslim conflict is more common that conflicts between Muslims and Christians, and that much of the conflict involving both Muslims and Christians is based on secular rather than religious motives.
April 11, 2016 Africa/Global: Panama Papers Tip of Iceberg
"In other words, the leaks reveal just how the planet's wealthiest and most powerful citizens hide their money - trillions of it - in offshore tax shelters like the British Virgin Islands or the Seychelles with the help of law firms in swampy backwaters like Panama. Over 11-million horribly incriminating documents, and this is just one - if one of the more prominent - of the many law firms specialising in this line of work." - Daily Maverick, South Africa
Apr 5, 2016 USA/Global: When Elephants Fight
"Watching the Trump phenomenon from outside the United States is a strange spectacle. I am often asked to explain by puzzled observers how such a bombastic, obnoxious, moronic, misogynistic, chauvinistic, racist, and hustler businessman with a record of serial bankruptcies could ever be a serious candidate. ... Trump articulates and represents with frightening clarity the Republican underbelly that same establishment has nurtured for generations, the party's enduring values—the incurable racism, bigotry, and intolerance, the reflexive jingoism, nativism, and imperial aggression. In Trump, therefore, the chickens of age-old white supremacy and modern neo-conservatism are coming home to roost." - Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
March 23, 2016 Namibia: Meeting Expectations?
"During his first year as President," according to a new report from Namibia's Institute for Public Policy Research," Geingob has been saying all the right things – from declaring an all-out war on poverty and declaring his assets as a means of promoting transparency and accountability, to providing tangible action [on other issues]." The actual record is mixed, however, and the president himself has stressed that "it is time to turn words into reality."
March 16, 2016 Africa: Tolerance and Intolerance in Perspective
In results published on Zero Discrimination Day (1 March), Afrobarometer reports that survey respondents in 33 countries exhibit largely tolerant attitudes toward social differences, with the major exception of homosexuality. Even so, homophobia is not a universal phenomenon in Africa: At least half of all citizens in four African countries say they would not mind or would welcome having homosexual neighbours. Tolerance scores vary widely by country/region, and analysis points to education, media consumption, and exposure to a diverse population as major drivers of increasing tolerance on the African continent." - Afrobarometer