Australian troops remember Kibeho massacre in Rwanda

“The killing just went on and on right in front of us. None were spared, not even the babies on their mother’s backs.” It’s been 20 years since Terry Pickard witnessed the Kibeho massacre in Rwanda. It is, to this day, something that affects his life. “At least twice a week I have nightmares which wake me up,” he writes in his book Combat Medic. “I get the occasional flashback but try and remove myself from anything that might cause them. I don’t go to the butcher or the dump…

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South Africa arrests hundreds over xenophobic violence

Police arrest more than 300 for crimes against migrants, after violence kills eight and displaces more than 1,000. South Africa’s government has vowed to crack down on xenophobic violence, after arresting more than 300 people for a range of crimes against migrants. Authorities said on Sunday in Johannesburg that 307 suspects had been arrested for a range of xenophobic-related crimes. Security agencies have also increased the police presence on the ground after at least eight deaths in anti-immigrant violence in the past week. “They have actually pushed other people to…

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U.S. Deeply Concerned About Rising Tensions in Burundi

Press Statement The United States is deeply concerned by the rising tensions in Burundi in advance of general elections beginning in May that, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, have led over 8,000 Burundians to flee to neighboring countries to escape intimidation and violence, including by the youth militias of the ruling party. The United States calls on all parties in Burundi to play a constructive and peaceful role in this electoral process and to refrain from any acts, including hate speech, violence, or other…

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Congo delays vote on electoral law, West urges revisions

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Senate has delayed until Friday a vote on changes to the electoral law after calls from Western powers to withdraw or alter the proposed bill, which has sparked days of violent protests. The new legislation calls for a census before elections due next year. President Joseph Kabila’s allies say the move is necessary to update voter lists, but critics say it is a ploy to allow him to remain in office beyond the period of his final term. The capital was largely quiet on Thursday but…

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DR Congo unrest: Catholic church backs protests

The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has thrown its weight behind protests against President Joseph Kabila extending his rule. It called on people to peacefully oppose his move to delay presidential elections until a census is held. At least 11 people have so far been been killed in the protests. It is the worst unrest in the capital, Kinshasa, since the riots which broke out after Mr Kabila won a second term in disputed elections in 2011. Mr Kabila, who first took power in 2001 following the…

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“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people”

By Jennifer Fierberg In a recent four day trip to Washington DC, meetings and interviews filled my schedule during the US African Leader Summit. Fifty heads of state from Africa descended upon DC to discuss topics of growth, infrastructure, food security, trade and various other political topics. President Obama made it clear that there would be no private meetings between himself and any of these dignitaries. President Obama did make the following statement in regards to the event: “I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a…

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Women journalists harassed and abused, often by colleagues – survey

A member of the local media records a fire at the Comayaguela market in Tegucigalpa February 18, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez   LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It’s not news that women journalists are groped and threatened while covering protests and conflict, but often they face this abuse at work, and when they complain, they are told to “grow up”. So says an international survey on women in the news media, which found that nearly two-thirds of respondents said they had experienced intimidation, abuse and even death threats because of…

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22 dead in Congo capital shootout

  BRAZZAVILLE: At least 22 people died as a result of Monday’s firefight in Congo’s capital between soldiers and the bodyguard of a wanted high-ranking army officer, a source in the city morgue told reporters. “Twenty-two bodies … have been brought here from the scene of the clashes,” the source said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. On Monday a gun battle erupted around a colonel’s residence in Brazzaville, sowing panic in the streets of the capital of the Republic of Congo. A media reporter saw six bodies inside the residence…

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Central African Republic: Tragedy At the Imam’s House

Photo: Voxcom/IRIN Some of the LRA soldiers sit outside, Sudan, April 2007. On Thursday morning, the photographer Marcus Bleasdale and I went to see the imam of Bossangoa, Central African Republic (CAR), at his home in the Muslim Boro district of the town. The situation in Bossangoa was tense as word spread of heavy fighting in the capital, Bangui, between the mostly Muslim ex-Seleka forces that now rule the country, and the Christian anti-balaka militias backed by defecting soldiers still loyal to the president ousted in March, Francois Bozizé. At the…

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Egypt explained: 6 key questions

A month after mass protests led to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsy, Egypt is still in turmoil. Morsy’s removal, carried out by the military on July 3, has angered his supporters and created deep division in the country. In some cases, the tension has led to violence. Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been injured in recent weeks, either in clashes between opposing protesters or in clashes between protesters and Egyptian security forces. As the military worked Wednesday to clear two massive makeshift Morsy camps, fires burned and tear…

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