Archive | Africa RSS for this section

On this day March 17, 2011

United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 on the situation in Libya, proposed by France, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom.

Ten Security Council members voted in the affirmative (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, and permanent members France, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Five (Brazil, Germany, and India, and permanent members China and Russia) abstained, with none opposed.

The resolution formed the legal basis for military intervention in the Libyan civil war, demanding “an immediate ceasefire” and authorizing the international community to establish a no-fly zone and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians.

On 18 March, Muammar Gaddafi’s government announced that they would comply with the resolution and implement a ceasefire. However, it quickly became clear that no ceasefire had in fact been implemented.

Libyan opposition forces in Benghazi cheered and fired guns and fireworks into the air as the resolution was adopted. A few hours before issuing the resolution, Gaddafi warned the opposition with a speech saying, “We are coming tonight, and there will be no mercy”.

Advertisements

On this day July 24, 1977

The Libyan–Egyptian War, a short border war between Libya and Egypt over political conflicts, ended after the combatants agreed to a ceasefire organized by Algeria.

Mediation by Algeria and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yassir Arafat finally led to a ceasefire. Egyptian President Sadat gave his forces instructions to stop all attacks on 24 July 1977 and agreed upon an armistice.

Even after the fighting ended, the rift between Arab states remained, however. Many conservative Arab countries had sympathy for Egypt and Sadat, while the so-called social revolutionary–progressive Arab states endorsed Libya and Gaddafi. An editorial in The New York Times summed up an American perspective of the war by quoting a Palestinian: “If the Arabs haven’t got Israel to fight, they will be fighting each other.” Read More…

On this day July 7, 2005

Influenced by Live 8, the G8 leaders pledge to double 2004 levels of aid to Africa from US$25 to US$50 billion by the year 2010.Live8

Live 8 was a string of benefit concerts that took place on 2 July 2005, in the G8 states and in South Africa.

They were timed to precede the G8 Conference and summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland from 6-8 July 2005; they also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid.

Run in support of the aims of the UK’s Make Poverty History campaign and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty, the shows planned to pressure world leaders to drop the debt of the world’s poorest nations, increase and improve aid, and negotiate fair trade rules in the interest of poorer countries. Ten simultaneous concerts were held on 2 July and one on 6 July.

On 7 July the G8 leaders pledged to double 2008 levels of aid to poor nations from US$25 to US$50 pounds by the year 2010. Half of the money was to go to Africa.

More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks.

On this day July 6, 1966

Hastings Banda became the first president of Malawi, exactly two years after the country was granted independence from the United Kingdom.

Malawi adopted a new constitution on July 6, 1966, in which the country was declared a republic. Banda was elected the country’s first president for a five-year term; he was the only candidate. The new document granted Banda wide executive and legislative powers, and also formally made the MCP the only legal party.

However, the country had been a de facto one-party state since independence. In 1970, a congress of the MCP declared Banda its president for life. In 1971, the legislature declared Banda President for Life of Malawi as well.

His official title was His Excellency the Life President of the Republic of Malaŵi, Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. The title Ngwazi means “chief of chiefs” (more literally, “great lion”, or, some would say, “conqueror”) in Chicheŵa.

On this day June 14, 1830

34,000 French soldiers land 27 kilometers west of Algiers, at Sidi Ferruch starting the French colonization of Algeria

To face the French, the dey sent 7,000 janissaries, 19,000 troops from the beys of Constantine and Oran, and about 17,000 Kabyles. The French established a strong beachhead and pushed toward Algiers, thanks in part to superior artillery and better organization.

The French troops took the advantage on 19 June during the battle of Staouéli, and entered in Algiers on 5 July 1830, after a three-week campaign. The Dey Hussein accepted capitulation in exchange of his freedom and the offer to retain possession of his personal wealth. Read More…

Lead contaminated water kills children in Nigeria

Lead poisoning has taken the lives of at least 163 individuals in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara in recent weeks. Sometime during March residents of remote villages began illegally mining gold in areas of high lead concentration. There have been a total of 355 reported cases, setting the fatality rate at 46%.

According to Henry Akpan, chief epidemiologist at Nigeria’s Ministry of Health, 111 of the 163 recorded deaths have been children, many only several years old. Akpan further said that officials had seen young children playing in contaminated water located near the mining sites.

The government had found through their yearly immunization program that there were almost no children living in the villages of Zamfara. Adults from the area reported that the children had died of malaria. However, after an investigation, health officials concluded that there was an abnormally large amount of lead circulating in the villagers’ bodies. Read More…

Sudanese president sworn in to another term

Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, has been sworn in to another term after winning the country’s recent polls, which were largely boycotted by the opposition.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by multiple African leaders and two diplomats from the United Nations, was held earlier today. A reporter for the Al Jazeera news agency described the event as being primarily “a gathering of African leaders”.

In his inauguration speech, al-Bashir said that there would be “no return to war” with southern Sudan, and said a referendum on southern independence would be held on time. Southern Sudan is to hold a ballot in January of next year on whether to secede from the rest of the country. The referendum is a key part of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s north-south civil war. Read More…