TranscriptCNN International interview with Nigeria'sPresident Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues

 

Lift Sanctions on Zimbabwe, Africanleaders from SADC say....
By Innocent Gore in Dar Es Salaam (The Herald of Harare,Zimbabwe)

Special to USAfricaonline.com,CLASSmagazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
TheBlack Business Journal  and the globale-list/blog IgboEvents

The Southern Africa Development Council (SADC) has stood firmlybehind the Government (of Zimbabwe) and called for the lifting ofsanctions imposed on the country by theWest.In a communiqué released (on March 29, 2007) at the end of aone-day extraordinary summit attended by 10 heads of state andgovernment here, Sadc also appealed to the British government tohonour its obligations and release funds to compensate formercommercial farmers whose land was acquired for resettlement.

The summit "noted and appreciated the briefing by President RobertMugabe on the current political developments in Zimbabwe". "TheExtraordinary Summit recalled that free, fair and democraticpresidential elections were held in 2002 in Zimbabwe. TheExtraordinary Summit reaffirmed its solidarity with the Governmentand people of Zimbabwe.

"The Extraordinary Summit reiterated the appeal to Britain tohonour its compensation obligations with regard to land reform madeat Lancaster House.

"The Extraordinary Summit appealed for the lifting of all forms ofsanctions against Zimbabwe," read the communiqué. (reportcontinues for this related news report, below).


Call for Africa to deal with Zimbabwe's Mugabe.Harare: Western powers sought to persuade Africa toconfront Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe mid-March 2007 and oneAfrican leader said quiet diplomacy had failed in a country helikened to a "sinking Titanic".

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Mugabe's regime was"appalling, disgraceful and utterly tragic for the people ofZimbabwe" and damaging the whole region's reputation. "Let's be veryclear: the solution to Zimbabwe ultimately will not come simplythrough the pressure applied by Britain. That pressure has got to beapplied within Africa, in particular within the African Union," Blairtold legislators. "We will continue to do all we can to make surethat Africa realises this is the responsibility of Africa as well asthe Zimbabwean government." Zimbabwe is a former Britishcolony.

Few African governments have joined the criticism of Mugabealthough leaders meet in Tanzania next week to discuss Zimbabwe whereinflation has soared to 1,700 per cent, unemployment jumped to 80 percent and there are frequent shortages of food, fuel and foreignexchange.


The SADC heads mandated Sadc executive secretary Mr Tomaz Salamaoto undertake a study on the economic situation in Zimbabwe andpropose measures on how the regional bloc can assist the country torecover economically.

This is the first time that Sadc has collectively called for thelifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe and come up with a proposal on howthe effects of those sanctions on the country can be countered.

The sanctions against Zimbabwe by Britain and her allies follow abilateral dispute between Harare and London after the countryembarked on land reforms in 2000.

The British government of Mrs Margaret Thatcher promised torelease funds for land reforms at the Lancaster House constitutionalconference that culminated in Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 after aprotracted armed struggle.

However, the Labour government of Mr Tony Blair has refused tohonour that obligation and has instead mobilised its allies -- theUnited States and some countries in the European Union -- to imposesanctions on Zimbabwe.

Sadc has previously made it clear that the problems in Zimbabweare a result of a bilateral dispute with Britain, mainly arising fromthe land reform programme, but had not pronounced itself explicitlyon the need to have the sanctions lifted.

The Government has said it will not compensate the formercommercial farmers for the land because it does not have the money todo so, but that it will pay for the improvements on the land such asdams and other infrastructure.

On the political situation in the country, the summit mandatedPresident Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to continue to facilitatedialogue between the MDC and the Government and report back to thetroika on Defence, Politics and Security on progress.

"The Extraordinary Summit also encouraged enhanced diplomaticcontacts which will assist the resolution of the situation inZimbabwe," read the communique.

The summit was held in the wake of a protracted media onslaught onZimbabwe by the West, with the international media, particularly theBBC and CNN, speculating that President Mugabe had been "summoned" bySadc leaders to be "dressed down" or "shown the exit".

But sources who attended the meeting's closed-door session saidPresident Mugabe briefed the leaders on the political situation inthe country and the MDC terror campaign that has seen the oppositionparty petrol-bombing police stations in Harare, Chitungwiza, Gweruand Mutare.

Suspected MDC supporters also petrol-bombed a Bulawayo-boundpassenger train and a supermarket in Warren Park.

Speaking to reporters on arrival at Harare International Airport,the President said the summit had also urged the MDC to desist fromviolence and to recognise him and his Government as he waslegitimately re-elected by the people of Zimbabwe in 2002.

He said President Mbeki would talk to the opposition and seewhether there is need for dialogue with them, but warned them againstengaging in violence.

The summit also got briefings on the political situation in theDemocratic Republic of the Congo and Lesotho by the leaders of thosecountries, President Joseph Kabila and Prime Minister PakalithaMosisili respectively.

The leaders resolved to render unconditional support to MrKabila's government in its quest to restore law and order,maintaining peace and stability and spearheading nationalreconstruction.

It reaffirmed the sovereign right of the DRC to have a singlenational army and urged former Vice President Jean Pierre Bemba tointegrate his remaining armed elements into the national army or tobe demobilised. They also appealed to other armed groups in the DRCto do the same.

The summit reiterated that the rule of law in the DRC must beobserved and respected by all parties in conformity with acceptedinternational conventions. It expressed concern on the loss of livesand urged all parties to respect the sanctity of human life and theprinciples of human rights.

The summit also expressed support to the ongoing efforts for theeconomic reconstruction of the DRC.

On Lesotho, the summit agreed to send a Sadc delegation atministerial level to assess the situation as requested by theopposition political parties who want the regional bloc to help indealing with post-election tensions.

The other leaders who attended the summit were host PresidentJakaya Kikwete, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, PresidentArmando Guebuza of Mozambique, President Hifikepunye Pohamba ofNamibia, Prime Minister Themba Dlamini of Swaziland and PresidentLevy Mwanawasa of Zambia. Botswana was represented by its VicePresident, Mr Ian Khama, while Angola was represented by its Ministerof External Affairs, Mr Joao Bernardo Miranda. Madagascar andMauritius were represented by their ambassadors.

President Mugabe returned home last night and was met at HarareInternational Airport by Vice President Joice Mujuru, the Minister ofState Security, Land Reform and Resettlement, Cde Didymus Mutasa, theMinister of Information and Publicity, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, servicechiefs and senior Government officials.


 Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on theIroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu.Summary: Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of theEnglish Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in theworld, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions,cultural custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwillambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, theEagleon the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor Chinua Achebe,has recently been selected by a distinguished jury of scholars andcritics (from 13 countries of African life and literature) as thewriter of the Best book (Things Fall Apart, 1958) written in thetwentieth century regarding Africa. Reasonably, Achebe's message hasbeen neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He's ourpathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans andlovers of the fineart of good writing. Achebe's cultural contexts are, at once,pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literarycontextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igboor Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of thetrue 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! Therehas never been one like you!

APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."


INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. Certain facts and the continuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to why the U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events in Africa's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square miles in size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for a red line to be drawn against the rag-tag army of Arab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops of religio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon the southern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen. Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace; but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans must respect and love each other. Continued here....
TRIBUTE
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.




DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria (USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu with Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)
DEMOCRACY'S WARRIOR
Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.
ARINZE: Will he be the FIRST BLACK AFRICAN POPE?

Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
INTERVIEW: 'Nigeria needs a democratic system guided by the truth....' Senator Francis J. Ellah, the Eze Nwadei Ogbuehi of Ogba in Rivers state of Nigeria. He is a highly regarded elder statesman with outstanding political credentials and a former Second Republic Senator and a delegate to Nigeria's ongoing national political reforms conference in Abuja.
Bola Ige's murder another danger signal for Nigeria's nascent democracy.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are Keys to prosperity in Africa


Steve Jobs extends digital magic

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam

Lifestyle Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe

Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.


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.'

AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
CONTINENTAL AGENDA
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.'
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president.
By Al Johnson


POLICY INSIGHT: Africa, Blair and United Kingdom's commendable push for development assistance. By Chinua Akukwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
Why Bush should focus on
dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide
NIGERIA: The day Yar'Adua, PDP Presidential candidate declared he's not "dead"; in Germany hospital, dismissed reports, rumors.... March 7, 2007: Umar Yar'Adua, 56, the presidential candidate of Nigeria's ruling party (People's Democratic Party), who has been battling kidney problems and its related complications has spoken from Germany where he was rushed to a hospital (in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt) on Tuesday. Rumors and speculations about his health and demise added another layer to the intrigues ahead of the April 2007 presidential. He asserts that he's better and plans to return soon from Germany, where he was flown for medical treatment. Asked about news reports in Nigeria saying he had died, Gov. Yar'Adua on Wednesday March 7, 2007 told VOA's Hausa service: "I am talking to you now, do you think I am dead?"

His failing health has contin raised questions about his fitness to be president. He left Nigeria six weeks before the country's presidential elections in April 2007 He reportedly fainted in Abuja earlier and was rushed out of the country. The PDP has tried to give it a smooth face by claiming he's merely took a "break " for a "regular check up..." He is the handpicked favorite of Nigeria's soon-to-go-president retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. He's a muslim and the incumbent governor of Nigeria's northern state, Katsina.


COUNTDOWN...NIGERIA ELECTIONS 2007: Reclusive Muslim governor of Katsina picked by Obasanjo handed Nigeria's ruling party 2007 presidential ticket... In continuing many observers and Nigerians describe as a charade of a selection, Nigeria's ruling party, PDP, on Sunday December 17, 2007, followed the overbearing script and instruction of retired General Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria's president) to affirm the party's "consensus choice" to succeed him, possibly in May 2007. The largely reclusive Muslim state governor, Umaru Yar'Adua, is a family friend of Obasanjo's.

The Governor's late brother, Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'Adua was Obasanjo's deputy between 1976-1979, during Obasanjo's rule as a military dictator. Obasanjo also secured a special clause for himself as the influential chairman of the board of trustees of the PDP.

Yar'Adua, the 55-year-old governor of Katsina state, easily defeated 11 other "contestants" after all the PDP Governors running for the presidential slot were "encouraged" to step down for General Obasanjo's"consensus choice", Yar'Adua. The Governor will carry the mantle of the party during the April 2007 elections. Obasanjo has already annointed him as "my brother who will be my worthy successor." The PDP, like most parties in Nigeria, is especially notorious for rigging and violence. Special report by Chido Nwangwu, USAfricaonline.com


USAfricaonline.com VIEWPOINT. By Prof. Niyi Osundare: "Obasanjo has ruined this country...." An open letter to Nigeria's President Obasanjo.


AADD:
Africa Attention Deficit Disorder. A U.S. disorder that hurts Africa. By David Sarasohn of Newhouse News Service: Today's pictures are from Niger, but they could be from lots of places in Africa, and from lots of times during recent decades. These children with the matchstick legs, and the eyes bigger than their fists, could have been from Biafra, a runaway province of Nigeria, in the 1970s, or from Ethiopia in the 1980s, or the Congo in the 1990s. The hideous massacre stories, this time from Darfur, could be from Liberia, or Sierra Leone, or -- most bloodily -- Rwanda. The AIDS stories come steadily from the same places. Full commentary here


'Live 8' global concerts put focus on Africa, poverty.... Singers from U2's Bono to billionaire Bill Gates called for the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations to relieve African poverty at ``Live 8'' concerts in London and nine other cities. About 200,000 people jammed into London's Hyde Park on July 2 at the start of a week of music and demonstrations to pressure heads of G-8 nations meeting July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland, to increase aid and debt relief to Africa and also rewrite trade rules.

"This is our moment to stand up for what's right,'' U2 lead singer Bono told the audience in London. ``We can't fix every problem, but those we can, we must,'' he said, mentioning malaria, AIDS and deaths caused by dirty water. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, host of the G-8 summit, is making African poverty reduction a focus of the meeting. Performers at "Live 8'' -- including Paul McCartney, Cold Play, Madonna and REM -- want to raise popular awareness of the continent's economic deprivation.

The concerts will reach a potential global audience of 5.5 billion people through television, Internet and other media, organizer Bob Geldof said. They occur 20 years after the Live Aid concerts that Geldof also arranged to combat African poverty. Africa is the only continent to have become poorer in the last 25 years, according to the United Nations. More than 300 million Africans live on less than $1 a day, and less than half of children on the continent complete primary school. In the last 50 years, there have been 186 coups and 26 wars in Africa, with more than 7 million people killed, the UN says.



WEB SITES SOLUTIONS, PHOTO IMAGING....

TECHNOLOGY: "
Apple's Switch to Intel: The Ultimate Power Move? Steve Jobs' decision to build Macs with Intel chips may finally give the company a shot at challenging Microsoft's Windows." By David Kirkpatrick
June 16 and South Africa's treble historic events. By Nkem Ekeopara
"Our ordeal with KLM"
"They bumped me and my daughter from a confirmed flight; then flies out with 5 pieces of our luggage...." TONY IGWE in exclusive interview tells USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu of 5 hours of anguish and disappointments at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, on Friday March 26, 2004
DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.


Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
NEWS INSIGHT
CNN, Obasanjo and Nigeria's struggles with
democracy.
Why Obasanjo's government should respect
CNN and Freedom of the press in Nigeria.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS


Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (above) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting