USAfricaonline.com,first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be publishedon the internet, is listed among the world's hot sites by theinternational newspaper, USAToday. USAfrica has been cited by the NewYork Times as America's largest African-owned multimedia company.8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074.Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct:832-45-CHIDO (24436)
On the Prof. Chinua Achebe project, log on to www.Achebebooks.comCLASSmagazine'the Ebonymagazine for Africans in north America'
www.PhotoWorks.Tv: Our community's digital domain for your pictures and specialevents
Critics say Bush's handling of Darfur genocidefalls short
By DEB RIECHMANN
May 31, 2007: It has taken President Bush nearly three years tomatch his impassioned rhetoric about what he decries as genocide inDarfurwith tougher U.S. action against some of those blamed for thesuffering.When Bush announced sanctions Tuesday, May 29, 2007,advocacy groups and lawmakers wished the president had been harsherand wondered whether it was a case of too little, too late forDarfur. The violence has killed 200,000 people and forced 2.5 millionmore from their homes since it began in February 2003.
The sanctions target three people with suspected links to theviolence, as well as about 30 companies in Sudan. "Three people?After four years? And not one of them the real ringleader of thepolicy to divide and destroy Darfur?" asked John Prendergast, policyadviser to ENOUGH Project, an advocacy group to prevent genocide andmass atrocities. "This will not build multilateral pressure, and thiswill not end the crisis in Darfur."
Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign AffairsCommittee, also faulted Bush. "They could have sent a strongermessage months ago and saved many lives from being disrupted orlost," he said.
It's not as if the Bush administration has been unaware of thebloodshed in Darfur, The United States has been working on the issueat the U.N. Security Council, and Bush has appointed special envoysto the region. The United States is the world's largest single donorto the people of Darfur, providing more than $1.7 billion inhumanitarian and peacekeeping assistance. Still, the administration'ssteps have not been sufficient to halt the violence in Darfur, anarid region in eastern Africa about the size of Texas.
The conflict erupted when members of Darfur's ethnic Africantribes rebelled against what they considered decades of neglect bythe Arab-dominated Khartoum government. Sudanese leaders are accusedof retaliating by unleashing the janjaweed militia to put down therebels using a campaign of murder, rape, mutilation and plunder - acharge theydeny. "The Bush administration has acted more vigorously than perhapsany other nation, but has seriously underestimated what it will taketo end thegenocide," said David Rubenstein, director of Save DarfurCoalition. "These steps should have been taken earlier and shouldhave been stronger."
Bush's sanctions, focused on financial transactions, are notoverly ambitious. Bush also directed Secretary of State CondoleezzaRice to draft a U.N. resolution aimed at placing multinationalpressure on Khartoum. "The president is right to expand U.S.sanctions against the Sudanese government and propose new steps atthe United Nations, but it's not enough," said Sen. Joseph Biden,D-Del., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who hasadvocated committing U.S. troops to Darfur.
Strapped by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administrationhas no plan to send U.S. forces to Sudan. It's not the first time theUnited States has been accused of dragging its heels on an Africanhumanitarian crisis.
President Clinton said one of his administration's biggestmistakes was being slow to act to halt the 1994 genocide in Rwandathat left more than 500,000 dead. Bush sees a possible opening on thediplomatic front. The president is headed to Europe next week whereDarfur will be on the agenda of the annual summit of industrializednations. And at the United Nations, China, which has veto power onthe Security Council, may no longer be in the mood to block U.N.sanctions against the Sudanese government.
China, the biggest buyer of Sudanese oil and a major investor inSudan's economy, has been pilloried for not doing enough to pressureKhartoum to end the violence. Worried that Darfur activist groupswill call for boycotts of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China recentlyappointed a new envoy to the region. It's unclear whether the newU.S. sanctions will help or hinder efforts to pass a U.N.resolution.
When the U.S. and Britain threatened sanctions against Sudan inmid-April, three Security Council members - China, Russia and SouthAfrica - said it was the wrong time.
The time's up for Sudan's hard-line President Omar al-Bashir, saidDeputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. "President Bashir hasfailed on all counts," Negroponte said, reeling off a list ofunfulfilled commitments by the government, including ongoing supportfor the janjaweed, air raids and ground attacks and the obstructionof relief supplies.
"The Bashir government must see that its actions will choke offinternational investments that are very important to Sudan," he said."There is no good argument for giving the Sudanese more time."
The Bush administration has said this before.
After signing an accord to end a long-running civil war in Sudan'ssouth in January 2005, former Secretary of State Colin Powell saidthe atrocities in Darfur must end immediately "not next month . . .but right away, starting today." That was nearly 2 1/2 years ago.
Deb Riechmann covers the White House for The Associated Press.
Africa Action's report, "Six Months Since 1706: The InternationalFailure to Protect Darfur" is available athttp://www.africaaction.org
Nii Akuetteh, Executive Director of Africa Action, said today,"The failure of the international community to follow through onResolution 1706 has left the people of Darfur without protection andwith little hope. A robust UN force is needed immediately to stop theviolence and enforce a cease-fire, to protect civilians andhumanitarian operations, and to create conditions conducive to acomprehensive peace process. This is an essential first step towardsstabilizing the situation on the ground and protecting the vulnerablein the immediate term, and the failure to aggressively pursue thisgoal is unacceptable."
Africa Action's new report notes that, while the Government ofSudan continues to refuse the implementation of Resolution 1706,subsequent discussions of a "hybrid" AU/UN force have not finalizedagreement on the force's size, mandate and command and control, or ona timeline for deployment. The organization emphasizes that athree-phased UN support package for the African Union (AU), currentlyin its early stages, must quickly proceed to the deployment of a20,000-strong UN peacekeeping force with a robust protection mandate.Ann-Louise Colgan, Director of Policy Analysis & Communicationsat Africa Action, said today, "Six months ago, the UN SecurityCouncil declared its intent to protect Darfur, yet it has allowed theSudanese government to continue the genocide and to block theinternational response. Rather than following Resolution 1706 withresolute action to implement it, the U.S. and other internationalpowers have permitted it to be debated and delayed, even as theviolence has escalated on the ground."
The European Parliament on Thursday (May 24, 2007) urged the EU towithhold all financial aid to the Nigerian government until theAfrican country holds new elections. "EU aid to Nigeria should not begiven to federal or state structures until new, credible electionshave been held," the European Parliament said in a non-bindingresolution. Such resolutions are often issued to pressure EU memberstates and the executive Commission in Brussels.
The EU said last month's state and federal elections in Nigeria,won by the governing party, fell short of basic standards and couldnot be considered credible, free and fair. The EU has earmarkednearly 500-million euro (about R4,7-billion) over the last five yearsfor different projects in Nigeria, most of them focused on goodgovernance, health and water supply and sanitation. Meanwhile, acoalition of Opposition Presidential Candidates asked SenatePresident Ken Nnamani to assume executive powers on May 29, whenObasanjo's term is up, and to disband the national electioncommission.
Many Nigerians still feel disappointed that a man (Obasanjo)who had gained so much from Nigeria would cling so tightly to power,even against the popular will of the people, moreso with age, energyand fresh ideas for a new era not on his side.
Also, USAfricaonline.com review of Nigeria's recent history show thatPresident Obasanjo seems to be moving rapidly into the zone ofill-repute of his former military colleagues who, like him, refusedto leave office when it was time to go. Gen. yakubu Gowon in 1975;Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in 1993; Gen. Sani Abacha in1995, 1996, 1997,1998. More baffling many Nigerians we interviewed recall is thelessons of the excesses of the late Gen. Abach who jailed Obasanjowhile the former schemed to remain in power. For the specialreport by USAfrica multimedia networks' Publisher Chido Nwangwu,click on 3rdterm.
DEMOCRACYWATCH: What Bush Should TellObasanjo.... By ChidoNwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com)
His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective ofthe true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing anddisposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures)this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce,juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of thevitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality ofChi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... itis a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude whiletaking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, therigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed inmost of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, becauseI share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a briefsentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here,folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle onthe Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one likeyou!
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!. ChidoNwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), isFounder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-ownedU.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet),USAfrica The Newspaper,CLASS magazine and TheBlack Business Journal. He has served as an adviser to theMayor of Houston on international business (Africa) and appears as ananalyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC news affiliates.
This USAfricaonline.com commentary is copyrighted. Archivingon any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with aWritten Approval by USAfricaonline.comFounder. CLASSis the social events, heritage excellence and style magazine forAfricans in north America, described by The New York Times as themagazine for affluent Africansin America. It is published byprofessional journalists and leading mulitmedia leaders andpioneers.
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.
Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu(First written on March 1, 2002, for USAfrica, updated for Prof. Achebe's 74th Birthday tribute on November 16, 2004, and published in CLASS magazine same month): Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of the English Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in the world, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions, cultural custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, the Eagle on the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor Chinua Achebe, has recently been selected by a distinguished jury of scholars and critics (from 13 countries of African life and literature) as the writer of the Best book (Things Fall Apart, 1958) written in the twentieth century regarding Africa. Reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He's our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing. Achebe's cultural contexts are, at once, pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literary contextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igbo or Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.
His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of the true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing and disposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures) this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce, juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of the vitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... it is a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude while taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community. I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle on the Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one like you!
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting
In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination, USAfricaonline.com Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'
Powell named Secretary State by G.W. Bush; bipartisan commendations follow.
AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."
These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
Apple announces Titanium, "killer apps" and other ground-breaking products for 2001. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
Steve Jobs extends digital magic
CLASS is the social events, heritage excellence and style magazine for Africans in north America, described by The New York Times as the magazine for affluent Africans in America. It is published by professional journalists and leading mulitmedia leaders and pioneers.