Reflect & Repair

Reflect & Repair

Should people, governments, companies pay large amounts of “reparations” for slavery and similar centuries-old torture? Does it matter if a government “apologizes” for long-forgotten atrocity? We can’t change the past.

Just in the last month, France, Germany and Angola have each separately announced either large restitution payments or policies of deep apology for atrocities, some of which were nearly as old as slavery in America. Why?

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Starlight

Starlight

It had been a dismal reign for the Mwene, Nkanga a Mvika, ruler of the Great Kingdom of The Kongo. He lived day-in and day-out with the shame his father had brought on his people by making peace with the Portuguese. His father had even been forced to accept a European name, Pedro.

The unimaginable wealth flaunted by his subjects who now wore European clothing and enjoyed great new herds of cattle because of Portuguese guns had forgotten that the slaves they always enjoyed were no longer treated well when slammed into the bosom of the Portuguese naus at the burgeoning port of Moçâmedes. Their great families of elephant were many fewer than before. Yes, they were rich, but few knew as The Mwene did of the debauchery behind this mischief.

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Dangerous Divides

Dangerous Divides

I stood in front of the Congolese Army tank, its giant shooting nozzle arched far above my head into a meaningless wilderness. It probably couldn’t shoot, anyway: It was there simply to stop us from crossing the border.

The Rwanda genocide was forming, but I had eight clients leaving Kigali, Rwanda, that night. The thousand-year divide between the Hutus and Tutsis had finally touched me. It’s nothing compared to the divide in America today.

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Versus Mankind

Versus Mankind

Everyone is focused on the Covid19 pandemic, but what about the unprecedented continuing outbreak of Ebola in central Africa and Lassa in Nigeria, and why all this now?

The ebola outbreak began in August, 2018, and of 3,340 confirmed cases 2,249 have died, a two-thirds mortality rate. And it continues. In Nigeria the chronic Lassa virus has mushroomed with over 600 cases and 170 deaths annually since 2018.

What’s going on?

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Compassion Collapses

Compassion Collapses

The saddest thing to watch as the world’s political systems deteriorate is the barbaric resurgence of child labor in Africa.

There are many causes, but the single-most critical one is that America no longer regulates how multinational corporations get the precious rare earths mined in the eastern DRC.

Recent reports by both Foreign Policy Magazine and the New York Times reveal that like a lightning-fast barracuda who waits patiently in its cave until just the right time, Erik Prince of Blackwater has begun the strike.

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Jungle Jamble

Jungle Jamble

The initial outcome of the Congo (DRC) election is no surprise. The possibility of civil war has increased. But there was a tragic surprise and it’s with CNN and the Washington Post grossly misreporting what happened.

Take note, progressives. Two major news media that you love reported out a positive story of an actually miserably negative one. They missed easy and essential elements that have been fully reported by British and European news outlets, and pretty well by the New York Times and NPR. Here’s what’s happened and what was so badly reported:

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Gorilla Game

Gorilla Game

There are three countries in the world where you can sit down with a mountain gorilla (gorilla beringei beringei) for an hour of very unique animal viewing: Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. This is because this gorilla’s single habitat area overlays the point where these countries border one another.

But Rwanda is the only one that most travelers should consider visiting and tomorrow I’ll explain why. First, a primer on gorillas.

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Christmas in The Congo

Christmas in The Congo

Another major war begins soon in Africa. It will begin shortly after the democratic mockery scheduled for December 23, when the powers in Kinshasa are “re-elected” and the heavily armed militias particularly in Kivu in the east try to secede.

Who cares? Well I know it’s been difficult to muster your attention for Yemen, but let me put it this way. Use a smartphone? Have an xBox? Then you’re directly responsible for this looming human calamity.

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Congo Cover

Congo Cover

There are other reasons than “the threat of terror” that prompted America to close its embassy in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) yesterday.

I know really good, young people who have recently left the African service of the State Department as the Trump administration systematically hammers down our foreign service. There’s always been terror in the DRC. There’s just now fewer, lower paid, less capable Americans to deal with it.

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Vicious Valentine

Vicious Valentine

ValentinesboyminerRolex, Pandora, Cartier … Valentine’s approaches. This year, if you’re basically a moral and just person, you might want to stick with chocolates.

Those are just some of the companies that Human Rights Watch (HRW) says may be obtaining their gold and diamonds from the use of more than a million child workers, most abused in Africa.

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Reality Wreck

Reality Wreck

LintonRwandaJokes and derision poked at Americans limited understandings of far-away places like Africa seemed to diminish over the last few years. I guess not.

I couldn’t have told you who Louise Linton was until yesterday, when her juvenile, unethical behavior while accompanying our treasury secretary on an official event set off a firestorm.

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How To Start a War

How To Start a War

congo_peacekeepersCourts may have socked him, Congress may have dumped him, but the Trump administration is hardly down and out. This week it signaled its intention to blow up the fragile peace in one of the most beautiful and precious areas of the world, the eastern Congo.

Friday, the UN’s peacekeeping mandate in The Congo expires, and the Trump administration has signaled it has no intention of continuing it at is.

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Better Not Pout!

Better Not Pout!

betterwatchoutAfrica’s a bit unsettled. Europe’s more unsettled than ever.

The world is connected by a million strings. They’re best seen from afar, because up close they’re indistinguishable from the humdrum of everyday life. The ones I watch are in Africa:

Growing protests turn really violent in the DR-Congo. The Gambian president who conceded defeat in an election now says only God can tell him to step down. The Ugandan military is flexing its arms like it did under Amin.

What’s happening and is it coming to America?

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A Horrible Choice

A Horrible Choice

congotravailsThroughout most of the continent today, Africans confront a horrible choice: Peace & Prosperity… or Freedom & Democracy. Seventeen demonstrators dead overnight in the DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, is today’s best example.

Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC are located in the Lake Victoria area, and each one sits on lots of precious natural materials like rare earths and gold amounting to enormous wealth. But only Rwanda has fully exploited this. Why?

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