“You are our martyr Mohamed Abd al-Rahman,” is what activists have been writing on facebook after rumors that student Mohammed Abd al-Rahman was killed after clashing with Sudanese police. The demonstrations were sparked by economic issues desire for more political freedoms. However, the police have said they have no reported deaths from any of the protests. Who can be trusted? Clearly the Kent-State shootings from the 1960’s comes to mind but can it be assumed that Omdurman police are the same as American? Clearly more investigation needs to be done immediately to decide whether this issue is being blown out of proportion, or if it needs much more attention than what it’s being paid now.
Their has been much talk of the south becoming independent from the north. The two regions are deeply divided on ethnic, economic, religious and linguistic issues. Clearly there is a lack of reasoning going on between the two regions.
While obviously not all of the issues can be resolved, it seems certain ones could if both parties were more open-minded. In this day and age with the amount of technology and translation material available, language should not be a barrier between people, particularly of the same country. As far as the religious issues, a quote from the great Albert Einstein comes to mind, “If the believers of present-day religions would earnestly try to think and act in the spirit of the founders of these religions then no hostility on the basis of religion would exist among the followers of the different faiths. Even the conflicts in the realm of religion would be exposed as insignificant.”
Many of the harassed papers back Gbagbo’s rival, Alassane Ouattara. Though Gbagbo has not given up his presidency, Mr. Ouattara is generally viewed as the rightful new president by election results. Clashes between supporters of the two men have prompted the UN to warn the country of the risk of civil war.
“Our journalists are constantly at risk of death,” newspaper joint spokesman Dembele Al Seni was quoted as saying. Mr. Gbagbo has not publicly commented on the allegations.
The international media rights organization Reporters Without Borders said that its “concern for press freedom in Ivory Coast is mounting by the day.”
It is hard to imagine something like this taking place in America, much more a president refusing to step-down. Clearly the constitutional laws of the Ivory Coast are not as solid as in America, or at least are not as strongly acknowledged. It is fortunate that organizations like Reporters Without Borders exist to help the press in times of great turmoil in this region. Perhaps the Reporters Without Borders could attempt to organize negotiations between the supporters of the opposing candidates or some sort of organized debate.
March 1, 2011
Mohammed Ghannouchi, the prime minister of Tunisia stepped down from his post over the weekend, while civil unrest and demonstrations continue to take place in the capital city streets. “I am not running away from responsibility.” He announced on Sunday over Tunisia state television; “This is to open the way for a new prime minister.” Ghannouchi has been the prime minister and leader of the Tunisia government since January 14th, after the outbreak of violent protests which caused president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country. Hours after Ghannouchi’s announcement, former minister Al-Baji Ca’ed al-Sebsi was named the new prime minister of Tunisia. Al Sebsi was foreign minister under Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first president after gaining independence. Despite the presence of a new prime minister however, there are some that believe that Al Sebsi will bring very little change. “I think Tunisian people are clever enough to know that this [al-Sebsi's premiership] was not a real change – they changed the head, but not the regime.” says Ziad Cherni, a Tunisian lawyer and human rights activist. The change of course was all in response to renewed street protests which have been the cause of at least five deaths since Friday.
Independence in South Sudan is important not merely for the sake of independence, but for the improved life of its citizens. A country that is economically crippled is limited in how “independent” it can actually be. A volatile political atmosphere has made life hard on the South Sudanese in the last few years. Alarming statistics on malnutrition and infant mortality still exist and only five percent of births in the country are attended by professionals. Even with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, peace clearly has not had as much of an impact on the people’s livelihood as expected.
However, the presence of the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, as well as other militias, as well as a lack of farming equipment, have led to severe decreases in food supply. A small amount of money could allow demonstrative farms to be set up in the region, which would allow the other farms to produce more food. The citizens have grown so dependent on relief food that many no longer have basic farming skills. A small amount of money from the UN could be spent to help get farming started in the region and teach the citizens to sustain their crops.
Still, there have been tons of improvements in the country during the time of peace, even if it is not as much as had been hoped for. If political instability can be avoided, there is a good chance conditions will continue to improve even more.