Pointe-Noire, Congo: The Prefect’s residence in Pointe-Noire is a modern palace with lots of bay windows in a spacious, well-kept park, shaded with palm trees and colored with flower-beds. Nobody lives there. The Prefect, like so many high-ranking civil-servants, managed to amass enough wealth to build himself his own private palace outside of town.
In the back left-side corner is a small walled-in compound which looks very much like the police station it once must have been, with its holding cells, but is now Radio-Congo’s Pointe-Noire station. It is a throwback to the early days of broadcasting. Continue reading “Congo: Somebody Give These People a Medal”
Brazzaville, May 30, 2015. An estimated 100 thousand people in Congo-Brazzaville infected with the AIDS virus are at risk because they are not getting their medications, according to western diplomats and Congolese activists. Continue reading “Corruption May Condemn Congolese AIDs Victims to Death”
BRAZZAVILLE: Boris Iloy Ibara, the News Director of Télé Congo, the state run TV, has a spacious office in the heavily guarded and half empty five-story structure built by the Chinese and inaugurated just six years ago. Boris says if the opposition is absent from his programs, it is because they don’t have the money to pay for the slot. He admits his reporters will take anywhere from $100 to $2000 dollars from the politicians they cover to do the story. However, he denies he has orders to censor the opposition. Continue reading “Congo’s Press in Tatters”
The United Nations denies it tried to cover up the sexual abuse of minors by French troops in the Central African Republic. The world body calls the allegations “highly offensive.” I can testify from my own personal experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo that the UN does hide the abuse of its blue helmets and others. Continue reading “I saw the UN cover up sexual abuse”
The debate in France this week centers on Islamophobia and is sparked by the publishing of two books. The first by Charb (1), one of the artists killed in the January 7 Charlie Hebdo attack and the second by a Journalist, Caroline Fourest(2).
Both reject attempts to stifle debate on Islam by labeling any who criticize the religion of Mohammed as “Islamophobes.” They write that in reality, the crusade against Islamaphobia is an attempt to weaken secularism; to put religion above the laws of the land. Continue reading “Is disliking Islam a form of racism?”
France wants to cajole its radical muslim youth, offer them special high school and technical education in free housing centers with case workers constantly at their sides as Denmark is trying to do. In a country with over five million unemployed, a growing poverty rate and an income tax burden which weighs very heavily on the middle class, this is fodder for the National Front canons. Continue reading “Babying the Butchers”
The man who got on a Parisian bus with me Wednesday was an Arab who had not shaven in four days. He had dark olive skin and kinky black hair and was visibly unbalanced: drugs? He sang to a popular tune “I’m going on Jihad. Won’t you come on Jihad with me too?” He risks five years in prison and a 75 thousand euro fine.
In the first six days after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, 54 people were charged with “apology for terrorism” under a tough law voted in the French parliament last November which can jail someone, if they express their “support for terrorism” on the electronic media: FaceBook, Twitter etc., to up to seven years and fine them 100 thousand euros .
France’s “war on terrorism” has begun. The new law allows the “apologists” to be brought before a judge as soon as they are arrested in a process called “comparution immediate”; that is without time to prepare a defense. It is a law for a time of war. Continue reading “France’s war on terrorism and collateral damage”