Tracking the DRC conflict

following site provided by Kofucius...

help spread the word about : http://drc.ushahidi.com/


- An estimated 4 million people have died in the DRC since fighting broke out in 1998, mainly over the country's immense mineral wealth (of which foreign multi-nationals have much interest in, thus largely influencing the conflict)- It has been the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II

- The five year war (termed "Africa's World War) involved Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda. It ended officially in 2003 although violence and unrest have continued since, especially in the Eastern part of the country

- General Nkunda's rebel forces began fighting again this past August (his rebel group did not join the ceasefire and integrate in to the congolose army). Nkunda has stated that he is fighting to protect the Tutsi community from Rwandan Hutu rebels in the DRC (many also claim he is fighting for political power that would also give him power over the DRC's mineral wealth)

- THe UN has its largest mission of 17,000 peacekeeping forces in the region. Their mandate is to help pacify the region, improve border security, and monitor an arms embargo. Some advocate for a more forceful UN mandate while many countries have failed to send more if any troops to the region.

- Although many have returned home as violence has slightly decreased, there are still some 1.5 million internally displaced or refugees

- As with most conflicts in Africa, the current situation has much to do with the legacy of colonialism ( From the violent 1885 Belgian imposition of colonial rule by King Leopold II to US and European support for their Cold War ally, Mobutu Sese Soko)


- 3rd largest country in Africa

- fertile land

- 74% of the country is covered in rainforest (2nd largest in the world)

- rivers with abundant hydroelectric potential

- coltan (used to make mobile phones)

- Cobalt


- cadmium

- petroleum

- industrial and gem diamonds

- gold

- silver

- zinc

- manganese

- tin,

- germanium

- uranium

- radium,

- bauxite

- iron ore

- coal

........... and much much more


Hamilton Naki

Sometimes one comes across extremely interesting pieces of information that completely alter one's perception of a certain historic moment in time- for the better. Christiaan Barnard was the cool cat who performed the very first heart transplant on December 3, 1967 in Cape Town, South Africa. As SA lived under the apartheid regime at the time, of course there were no black doctors.
Hamilton Naki worked as a gardener at the University of Capetown during that time. He became interested in medicine so he would sneak into the labs after work and during the night to read the textbooks on medicine as well as observe doctors while they were performing surgeries. He became a self-taught lab technician who gained much appraise from the doctors who worked on campus for his surgical research and performance. Despite his lack of education, formal medical training, or official credentials, doctors there began letting him assist in medical operations. He was such an acute learner that he was considered one of the best"doctors" at the university among those who kept Naki's practice covert. So much so that Christian Barnard requested that Naki secretly assist him in performing the first ever heart transplant (secretly because at the time it was illegal for a black person to touch a white patient). His contribution was kept secret for 3 decades. Naki retired in 1991 on a gardener’s pension, but in 2002 was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe for his contributions to medical science. In 2003 he received an honorary master’s degree in medicine from the University of Cape Town.

"It is not the existence of a race and ethnic group or anything of the kind that define the behaviours of a human aggregate. No, it is the social environment and the problems arising from the reactions to this environment and the reactions of the human beings in question. All this defines the behaviour of the human aggregate " - Amilcar Cabral


Hope and Progress :)

Hey friends,

first and foremost, congratualtions America :)

I'm kinda really sick at the moment so I cannot go to work or be online much. I snuck on however, to post this so everybody can know that I am not avoiding your emails and i have definitely not forgotten about anyone, im just not really able to maneuver much. Ive been having these hella painful heachaches that basically take over my whole body...and fever, so i have to get all these tests done and take some meds that make me highly unproductive...

but i'm ok, so worry not ... and how could i not be all smiles about knowing that Bush is soon to be out of the White House and that he will be replaced with a Democrat (who is hot, by the way) who at least gives us a reason to have HOPE that things are gonna change for the better.

peace+balance :)


Me trying to find meaning in my current job occupation

Ill-Literacy's Natural Electricity Tour

My people,

so its been years since I last posted. Between my trip to S.Tomé, work. flowers and the elections (even though I am not in the states), life's been crazy. Believe it or not, many debates, lectures and information sesssions have been held here in Cape Verde about the 2008 U.S presidential elections. I do not think a presidential election has ever been so important to the world.

To kick off my return to blogging, I would like to bring to your attention spoken word collective Ill-Literacy and their fall NATURAL ELECTRICTY tour. I performed with Ill-Literacy in 2006 for an AIDS conference that a group of us had organized in Paris. They are an interesting bunch of artists whose hard work and efforts deserve the exposure. Being where I am, I cannot attend their gigs but I know some of you are within driving distance and/or are alums of some of the colleges they will be performing at.

Dahlak, a member of the ill-lit crew, just released a mixtape tribute to Kanye. Although I am not Kany'es biggest fan (but i do like him, kiiiinda), I am a fan of Nico, who features on Dahlak's first single off of the mixtape. Nico is oh so witty when he spits...you can get a free download of You Never Know here!


Oh No She DIDN'T (finger snap snap)

No, you were definitely not imagining it. Sarah Palin DID say that she would consider going to war with Russia over Georgia. She DID NOT know what the Bush Doctrine referred to. She DID indeed say that the United States should not second guess anything Israel feels it needs to do to secure its nation. And YES, she does support oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska (GASP!!!)