Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Here's more on the situation in northern Uganda:
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels have killed dozens of civilians, including children, in attacks in several villages of northern Uganda’s Lira district, sources reached in the region said on Tuesday. Lieutenant Chris Magezi told AFP by telephone from Lira that about 30 LRA rebels killed 10 civilians, including children, in Lira and that "preliminary information" suggested the killings took place a short distance north of the town on Monday night.

Apparently this occurred in an area where the Ugandan military were already deployed to protect the population. Unfortunately, the soldiers apparently weren't in the right place at the right time.

I get kind of depressed posting these stories. The situation in northern Uganda is very bad, where twenty years of terrorist attacks and civil war have definitely taken their toll. Worse, with no hope of a lasting ceasefire and the Ugandan army's inability to achieve a military victory, there's no end in sight.

The Nigerian Anglican Church severs ties with its US counterpart:
THE decision of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to severe [sic] relationship with its American counterpart to protest the recent consecration of Canon Gene Robinson, a confessed homosexual, as bishop of New Hampshire, is irrevocable as it has received the official stamp of the House of Bishops.

The primate of the Nigerian Church, the Most Reverend Peter Jasper Akinola, who is the arrowhead of worldwide condemnation of the consecration had announced the decision to severe [sic] relationship, saying the modalities will be worked out in due course.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if others follow.

African Solidarity alert: You may have noticed that Robert Mugabe, whose government has been suspended ever since last year's rigged elections, is trying to get himself invited to next month's Commonwealth summit. Obasanjo is apparently wavering on whether there should be an invitation, but Mugabe is already receiving strong support from other Commonwealth members, notably Zambia and Uganda.

This looks like appeasement in its most disgusting form. This is blind devotion to "African Solidarity" of the worst type -- A willingness to ignore the suffering and destruction of an entire people out of respect for the tyrant's status as an "elder statesman" and "freedom fighter."

Particularly disturbing in all of this is that two of the prime movers behind this whitewash are Obasanjo and Mbeki, two leaders who also complained loudly over this spring's removal of a tyrant in some Middle Eastern country. Now they are going out of their way to ensure that Mugabe is given his proper respect. (Nobody's mentioned removing Mugabe by force, but I'm sure they wouldn't like that either.) Also recently, Obasanjo has become the chief protector of Charles Taylor, once tormenter of Liberia. So I have to ask myself: Is there a dictator in the world that these guys won't defend?

Sometimes I think that the people of Africa are quite ready for democracy--is just their leaders who aren't.

UPDATE: And here's more about Mugabe's fine record of governance.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
The presidents of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are set to sign a new customs agreement that will, essentially, create a "freer" trade zone among the three countries.

This seems like a positive development. Particularly after the fiasco of this fall's WTO talks, it's good to see that some people have their act together.

Abiola is blogging about free trade and Africa. Go read it.

The situation in Ivory Coast deteriorates further with the MCPI declaring a state of emergency in the north of the country. Head Heeb has the skinny.

In the case of a return to civil war, there's no clear indication of what the French will do, but I'd say they won't go out of their way to support Gbagbo's government.

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