Alexis Okeowo
Guest Author
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/ 23 February 2008

AU boss pushes for deal in Kenya

African Union Commission chief Jean Ping pushed on Friday for a quick resolution of Kenya’s political crisis, but there was no sign that a power-sharing deal was imminent. Opposition leader Raila Odinga, however, insisted he was Kenya’s rightful leader and refused to rule out further mass protests planned for next week.

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/ 19 February 2008

SMSs used as a tool of hate in Kenya

When Joyce Mandela’s cellphone beeped to signal she had a SMS, the 27-year old Kenyan expected a note from a friend. Instead, she found a message of hate. ”If your neighbour is a Kikuyu, just kick him or her out of that house. No one is going to ask you anything,” the SMS read.

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/ 13 January 2008

Surgery restores face, and soul, for war victim

The first time a knife was put to Anna Alwoch’s face, her lips were hacked off by rebels. The next two times, sharp blades were used by surgeons to rebuild her mouth. Alwoch is on a list of candidates for plastic surgery to repair her face, along with other victims who were mutilated by members of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.

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/ 14 December 2007

Ugandan refugees question rebels’ mea culpa

The rebels whirred up a cloud of orange dust in the stifling heat when they came to meet their victims at Koch Goma Camp in northern Uganda. They had come to plead for forgiveness. But now the dust has settled, and the 17 500-member camp is questioning the sincerity of November’s visit by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

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/ 11 November 2007

‘In Uganda, oil will be not be a curse’

Uganda hopes that recent oil discoveries will lift it out of poverty, but the conflict-scarred east African country is taking a cautious approach towards its new status as an oil-producing nation. Oil found in the west on the banks of Lake Albert is propelling the country into a new phase of its economic history.

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/ 9 July 2007

Traditional justice for Lord’s Resistance Army

Rebels responsible for waging a brutal 20-year battle in northern Uganda might be spared punishment by the International Criminal Court, according to a new agreement signed last Friday. In terms of the deal the Ugandan government has agreed to handle the war crimes of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) under an ”alternative justice mechanism”.

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/ 10 May 2007

Against the current

Moses Owidi’s real-estate agency sits in the middle of a bustling suburb in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. But Owidi’s business has been losing customers for more than a year because of increasingly frequent power cuts. Simple electronic tasks take longer because they have to be done manually. Owidi’s clients have become impatient, and unforeseen costs are regularly incurred.

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/ 30 April 2007

Illegal arms surge in East Africa

The trafficking of illegal small arms along the Kenyan, Ugandan and Sudanese borders has increased to the point that an AK-47 rifle will sell for 100 000 Ugandan shillings ($50). A pistol will sell for 50 000 shillings ($30) and a bullet for 200 shillings, or a few American cents. Inside Sudan, an AK-47 can go for as little as a few chickens.

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/ 5 March 2007

Screw the forest, let’s make money

Deep in the dense, green Mabira Forest Reserve, 40km outside of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, an environmental controversy has been building for months. The 30 000ha that make up Mabira, which was established as a nature reserve in 1932, are equivalent to about 60 000 football fields. The tropical forest is home to countless rare species of plant and animal life.