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MAIL & GUARDIAN: Africa

Where rape is a weapon

After raping teenaged Marie, three uniformed soldiers left her in a forest in Democratic Republic of Congo's South Kivu province, where sexual violence is widespread. ''With the war, it was impossible to get to a hospital,'' recalled the 17-year-old, between sobs brought on by the memory.

Zim land grab turns sour

The ''fast-track'' land grab and resettlement the Zimbabwean government claims to have completed ''successfully'' has been described as one huge national scandal. Reports say senior government officials and Zanu-PF politicians are displacing ex-combatants of Zimbabwe's liberation war resettled during the controversial exercise.

Perilous times for journalists in Africa

These are perilous times for journalists working in Africa. ''Hardly a week goes by without a journalist being deported here ... or threatened elsewhere,'' said Herve Bourges, president of the International Union of the Francophone Press, in the Gabonese capital.

Mugabe swallows his pride

The opposition call for President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to hand over power has been echoed worldwide, but less anxiously than the unpublished demand from within the ruling Zanu-PF. A former army colonel, who refused to be named, said he foresaw a dramatic change after the forthcoming annual congress of the party.

‘Zimbabweans are criminalised’

On Saturday October 25 Zimbawe's The Daily News was back in business. The 50 000 copies of that day's edition circulated in the capital were sold out within two hours. By lunchtime on October 25 18 employees of the company were detained in a Harare police station. They had been forcefully removed from their offices while working on the newspaper's Sunday edition.

Idi’s son returns

After 14 years in exile since the fall of his father's regime, Taban Amin -- the eldest son of Uganda's infamous former dictator Idi Amin -- returned home on Monday to a remarkably warm reception from the Ugandan government. For years Taban Amin had been living in Kinshasa.

Angola’s former granary still depends on food aid

Angola's central province of Huambo used to be the country's breadbasket, but 18 months after the end of the country's 27-year civil war the majority of its one million people still depend on foreign aid.

Massacre of Congo’s endangered wildlife continues

In the eco-rich forests and savannas of western Congo poachers slaughter endangered wildlife with continued impunity from local authorities. ''The situation in the Conkouati park is unlawful,'' said Paul Elkan of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Congo.

Police shut down Daily News — again

Police in Zimbabwe on Saturday arrested at least 18 Daily News workers and shut down the embattled paper only hours after it reappeared on the streets after a month-long government ban. The paper resumed publishing a day after a court ruled it be issued with an operating licence.
  • Daily News must be given a licence
  • Daily News must be given a licence, orders court

    A court in Zimbabwe said on Friday the country's only independent daily newspaper, The Daily News, which was shut down last month by the government, must be given a licence to operate. The court ruled that the controversial government media commission had been ''improperly constituted''.

    Tuition centres ‘the rage’ in Zambia

    Martin Mubanga's parents have changed his schools twice this year, because his class got too large, 15 pupils. ''What's the point of sending your child to an expensive school if it's going to be crowded,'' says his mother Elizabeth.

    Impossible dream for African students

    Radical solutions are being sought for the crisis in African universities, including new sources of funding to supplement government efforts. Representatives of sub-Saharan African countries, who met recently in Ghana, said state funding no longer responds to Africa's needs to train professionals, especially in science and technical subjects.

    Swaziland to release results of parliamentary vote

    Swaziland was poised on Monday to release the results of parliamentary elections held at the weekend, which pro-democracy groups had urged voters in the tiny southern African country, the continent's last absolute monarchy, to boycott. ''All the results are in and voting is officially over for now,'' said election information officer John Mkhonta.

    Zanu-PF infighting stifles talks

    Dialogue between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF and opposition the MDC has been bogged down by succession battles in the ruling party, says MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube. No ''formal negotiations'' are taking place between the MDC and Zanu-PF as no consensus on the issues for discussion had been reached, explains Ncube.

    Commonwealth urges national dialogue in Zimbabwe

    If Zimbabwe wants to end its exclusion from the Commonwealth nations' decision-making councils, it must start by engaging in dialogue with political opponents, the group's secretary-general said on Wednesday. Zimbabwe was suspended from the councils after President Robert Mugabe's government was accused of intimidation and vote rigging in the March 2002 presidential elections.

    Meltdown of liberty in Zimbabwe

    ''Demonstrations here never last more than 10 minutes before the police move in,'' photojournalist Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi remarks casually. It is another misleadingly tranquil day in Zimbabwe's capital city, Harare, where Mukwazhi and two colleagues are keeping tabs on a group advocating for a new constitution, the National Constitutional Assembly.

    DRC diamonds dent SA efforts

    A scandal over an exclusive contract for the sale of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) diamonds has exposed a rift in that country's unity government and cast a pall over the implementation of the Kimberley Process, designed to stem the trade in conflict diamonds.

    Arrow Boys a thorn in LRA’s side

    A new militia in eastern Uganda's Teso region -- recently the target of civilian attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) -- is having more success fighting the insurgents than the country's conventional armed forces have had in the past 17 years. The so-called ''Arrow Boys'' have apparently restored a semblance of order.

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