Tuesday, October 14, 2003
A new day in Liberia:
Gyude Bryant, a relatively unknown businessman, has been sworn in as the head of a new power-sharing government. Mr Bryant took the oath on the Bible at a ceremony attended by several West African leaders, heavily guarded rebels and officials of the former government.

I'd say that Mr. Bryant has a pretty thankless job ahead of him. It wouldn't be easy under the best of cicumstances...but one suspects that there are a variety of thieves and bandits still hanging around Liberia that are doing everything they can to undermine the new government. Charles Taylor's thugs won't give up easily. The question is: Do the UN and ECOWAS have enough conviction to support the new government even when things become difficult. I certainly hope so.

This is pretty interesting:
Two weeks ago, Ugandan intelligence sources said they had evidence that the Allied Democratic Forces - a rebel group led by Tabliq Islamist rebels that terrorised Uganda in the 1990s - were regrouping in their former bases in DRC.

That's bad news, if true. I'd also like to know if those guys are still being supported by the Sudanese.

Dan Darling on al Qaeda's reorganization:
Africa is going to take on an increased role in terms of the war on terrorism. Both Burkina Faso and the former government of Charles Taylor in Liberia had documented ties to al-Qaeda that remained strong even after September 11. Al-Qaeda operatives began arriving in Somalia almost as soon as the Taliban fell in Afghanistan and the organization reputedly established bases in Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Nigeria in June 2002.

Hope someone is paying attention to this.

African churches continue to grow in size and influence, but are doctrinally out of step with the mainline western churches, particularly on the issue of homosexuality:
Africa is now home to more than half the world's Anglicans. Uganda, a country about the size of Oregon, has 8 million believers. Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola heads the largest Anglican province in the world with some 17 million parishioners. By contrast, the Episcopal Church, the US branch of the Anglican Communion, which has lost half its membership in recent decades, has just over 2 million members.

As in much of Africa, in Uganda homosexuality remains illegal and taboo. In 1999, public outcry over a rumor that a gay couple had been allowed to marry prompted President Yoweri Museveni to order police to arrest homosexuals. Several local activists were beaten and tortured, according to Amnesty International.

To speak of a schism at this point seems premature...then again, if this sentiment is widespread, the Anglican Church may split sooner than most people think:
Speaking from Argentina, Archbishop Greg Venables - who is Primate of the Southern Cone - told the Breakfast With Frost programme that the church was like "two ships going in different directions".

He said Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams was right not to be too optimistic of avoiding a split in the Church.

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