BBC news online has a poll out currently surveying the attitude of their readers. Recently South African Government has started allowing HIV-positive members of society to be “recruited and deployed on military operations” to which must controversy has been stirred.
According to the poll, “Critics say the government has misjudged the extreme conditions that soldiers have to work under and recruiting HIV-positive people will weaken the country’s defence force.” The degree to which HIV-postive soldiers would weaken the defense force, depends on the toll the disease has taken on their health in the physical capacity to which they are need to fight for their country. If these men and women are not able to work as other men and women work than they should not in that respect, not because of the fact they are HIV-positive, be recruited. If they are HIV-positive and not allowed to work physical capabilities allowing, yes, I do feel it is discriminatory.
Understandably, some nations may not want this liability, especially because of the possible spread of HIV-positive blood other soldiers may be in contact with on the battle front; however, South Africa can not afford to not recruit HIV-positive members to its army. According to Avert, a national AIDS charity (http://www.avert.org/safricastats.htm) over 10.9% of all South Africans over the age of 2 were living with HIV in 2008. If because of the deteriorated immune system caused by the loss of T-cells in AIDS patients the soldiers catch an illness they can not fight then they can be dismissed, and obviously intensive, and careful precautionary efforts in sanitation must be made prior to the recruitment and on the war front. If these efforts were taken I don’t see why AIDS patients should not be allowed to fight in war and die for their country and their passions rather than from a disease that recruited them unwillingly to its cause.
Albinos in Africa definitely have a reason to be fearful when alone in public. Throughout parts of Tanzania, murderers lurk for the purpose of kidnapping the Albinos, killing them, and then selling their body parts on the black market. Withing the past two years, there has been an estimated 58 Albinos murdered in the East African Region. Since the acknowledgment of the organized killings was made, it is thought that approximately 10,000 East African albinos have gone into hiding, with many more enduring an extreme amount of discomfort.
The Albino condition causes skin to have no pigment, meaning there is no skin color, and hair and skin are somewhat translucent. It is these special body parts that are being sold as good luck charms in the African region, much like rabbits feet that we have in the U.S.
In the region, there is much fear towards albinos, as the people of the region are not knowledgeable on the condition. The oppression that these people face force them to live a life that is counterproductive of their condition, and leaves the individuals less likely to further themselves as individuals.
During a bilateral meeting with French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, President South African President Jacob Zuma called for world leaders to commit to legally binding emission reduction targets. Zuma wants these targets set at the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen.
President Zuma met with Sarkozy on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago. He emphasized South Africa’s position on the need for an agreement on carbon emission reduction.
He recognizes the responsibilities of developing countries and their important place in the fight against climate change, “Developed countries need to commit to ambitious, legally binding emission reduction targets in accordance with the requirements of science. Developing countries need to undertake emission reduction action that is measurable, reportable and verifiable,” said Zuma.
He said future multilateral climate change regimes needed to resolve the current challenge and potential future crisis of the devastating impact of climate change on the African continent. It must also support the building of future sustainable economic development, competitiveness, and growth in a manner that avoids emissions and enhances social and environmental development in South Africa and in the African continent. They are working hard to find sufficient standards that will protect the environment, while maintaining strong developmental growth.
It is important for the South African government to work with other nations in reducing emissions, and to keep up with standards of developed countries around the world to show it is a strong developing nation.
The climate change conference, which will take place in December, is expected to be a landmark event as a new set of climate change targets are negotiated, as The Kyoto Protocol will end in 2012.
A team of South African mediators arrived in Zimbabwe on Sunday to facilitate talks in the country’s power-sharing agreement. The team is being led by former Defence Minister and current advisor to President Jacob Zuma Charles Nqakula and includes Mac Maharaj and international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu.
According to Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Thembela Ngculu, President Zuma is likely to join the delegation on Tuesday. He is the chief mediator as appointed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The unity government is responsible for helping the nation begin to thrive, prosper, and gain some semblance of stability. As such, it is imperative that government officials work out any issues that may be threatening the survival of the unity government. A government source said the negotiators have made some progress, but were not close to agreeing on all issues.
South Africa, under former President Thabo Mbeki, assisted in getting Zimbabwe’s political parties to reach the power-sharing agreement in September last year. However, the agreement has stalled over the appointment of several people and disagreements on how the government should be constituted.
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are expected to participate in the talks. Zuma said on Sunday during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago that it was imperative that the agreement was fully implemented.