CNNInternational: Interview with Nigeria'sPresident Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues





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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.


INSIGHT:Why America should halt thegenocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu,Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. Certain facts and thecontinuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to whythe U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events inAfrica's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square milesin size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for ared line to be drawn against the rag-tag army ofArab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops ofreligio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon thesouthern 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 mustrespect and love each other. Continuedhere....

USAfricaonline.com News File: Africa Action Releases NewReport On International Failure To Protect Darfur. Africa Actionhas released its March 2007 report detailing six months ofinternational inaction to protect Darfur since the passage of UnitedNations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1706 last August. Despitethat resolution's authorization of a robust UN peacekeeping force forDarfur, the new Africa Action report describes the failure of theU.S. and the international community to achieve the deployment ofthis peacekeeping force, and the concurrent escalation in violence onthe ground.

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."


Stop aid to Nigeria until fresh, credibleelections are held, says European Parliament
Special to USAfricaonline.com,CLASSmagazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston andTheBlack Business Journal

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.


AlhajiYar'Adua pushed to victory as Nigeria's president by Obasanjo'sruling party; local and international monitors, opposition rejectNigeria's 2007 presidential elections vote as marred byrigging, fraud....
HowObasanjo rewarded Nigerians with a farce called elections.By Muhammad Al-Ghazali
Meanwhile, Nigeria's Senate leader Ken Nnamani, thethird most senior state official and a member of the PDP, saidNigeria had abdicated its role as an example to the rest of Africa."There will be a legacy of hatred. People will hate the newadministration and they will have acrisis of legitimacy," he told Reuters by telephone.In another chat with Nigerian media/reporters , he said "Somepeople may like to deceive themselves that it is free and fair, but Idon't think so."
MONITORS SAY NO CREDIBILITY:
"Thesystem failed the Nigerian people and suffers from a lack ofcredibility...the Nigerian people were failed by their leaders,"said Pierre Richard Prosper of the International RepublicanInstitute ( IRI, a U.S.-based pro-democracy group), which monitoredthe vote. The biggest local monitoring group, which had 10,000observers across Africa's most populous nation, said voting waseither delayed for hours or did not occur at all in many areas. "Weare going to call for a rerun of elections. You cannot use the resultfrom half of the country to announce a new president," said InnocentChukwuma, chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group.
Click here forFull report
FLASHBACK WhyBush should focus on dangersfacing Nigeria's return todemocracyand Obasanjo's slippery slide.


USAfrica VIEWPOINT: PresidentObasanjo, Nigeria is dying in your hands. Another OpenLetter to Nigeria's President by Prof.Niyi Osundare
USAfrica VIEWPOINT: Nigeria'sflawed 2007 elections and avoiding a tragedy.Nigerians not ready to be governed once again by those they did notgive the consent had began to protest and to call for new elections.Clickhere for an exclusive commentary for USAfricaonline.com by our NewYork columnist Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo. He is the author of a newbook, Children of a retired God.

USAfrica INSIGHT: PresidentialSuccession and National Stability following 2007Nigeria. By andlarge then, Nigeria's 2007 presidential election is, to my mind,first a search for a strong leader who has both the experience andproven capacity to take charge of Nigeria and permanently put to restthe fears and schisms that constantly threaten the survival of thenation. Put simply, the priority issue that ought to inform thesearch for and choice of the next president is national security andstability in their fullest meaning. By Dr. Chidi Amuta, ExecutiveEditor of USAfrica. Clickhere for full commentary.


OBASANJO'S FAILED 3RD TERM POWER-PLAY IS GOOD NEWS TO NIGERIANS,ABROAD AND HOME....USAfricaonline.com and its correspondents in Nigeriaand across the major cities of the U.S are reporting an increasingtally of anti-3rd term phone calls and e-mails from our readers. By amargin of almost 7-2, USAfricaonline.com data show that anoverwhelming majority of the politically active citizenry are happythat Nigeria's Senate halted retiredGen. Olusegun Obasanjo's stealthy, unpopular, behind-the-scenes-winkand nod power plays to secure an "unrequested" 3rd term as presidentof Nigeria (a total of 12 consecutive years).

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)
VIEWPOINT: Obasanjo,Go! Just go! Prof. Wole Soyinka
DEBATE: HowBlack intellectuals let Africa down, and westernstereoptypes complicate therest.By Cedrick Ngalande at the USC, LosAngeles

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle onthe Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu(First written on March 1, 2002, for USAfrica, updated forProf. Achebe's 74th Birthday tribute on November 16, 2004, andpublished in CLASS magazinesame month): 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 custodianand elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man ofprogressive rock-ribbed principles, the Eagleon the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor ChinuaAchebe, has recently been selected by adistinguished jury of scholars and critics (from 13 countries ofAfrican life and literature) as the writer of the Best book (ThingsFall Apart, 1958) written in the twentieth century regarding Africa.Reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled bytime and clime. He's our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather ofmillions of Africans and lovers 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 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.


InvestigatingMarcRich and his deals with Nigeria'sOil
Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks anda willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians,controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally andpractically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banksfrom crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and falsedeclarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeriafor almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria'soil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in SouthAfrica. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT forPetroGasWorks.com

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
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.

The Economics of Elections in Nigeria
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.

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!
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
. Chido Nwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), is Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet), USAfrica The Newspaper, CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal. He has served as an adviser to the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa) and appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC news affiliates.


This USAfricaonline.com commentary is copyrighted. Archiving on any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with a Written Approval by USAfricaonline.com Founder.


DEBATE: How Black intellectuals let Africa down, and western stereoptypes complicate the rest. By Cedrick Ngalande at the USC, Los Angeles

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

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.
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


Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No

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


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.