África, berço da Humanidade

As for Africa, scientists have formerly concluded that it is the birthplace of mankind, as large numbers of human-like fossils (discovered no where else) were found on the continent, some dating back 3.5 million years. About 1.75 million years ago, early man spread throughout parts of Africa. They became aggressive hunters, lived in caves and used fire and their ability to create stone tools just to survive. The Neanderthals arose some 200,000 years ago and inhabited regions in northern Africa and across parts of southern Europe. There is also clear evidence that they had control of fire, lived in caves, as well as open-air structures of stone and vegetation. One of the most important developments of primitive man was the creation of stone tools. By 5000 BC farming was somewhat common in the northern areas of Africa, as people were growing crops and herding livestock. During that time the Sahara Desert was a fertile area. In 3200 BC the Egyptian culture emerged along the lower reaches of the Nile River; it was among the earliest civilizations and their tools and weapons were made of bronze. They also pioneered the building of massive pyramids and temples. Egyptians also developed mathematics, an innovative system of medicine, irrigation and agricultural production techniques, writing and the first ships. In short, the Egyptians left a lasting legacy upon the world. Around 600 BC the use of metal tools spread across small population bases and farming groups in North Africa, and their use gradually spread south into what is now called South Africa. The Phoenicians were an enterprising maritime trading culture from Lebanon who spread across the Mediterranean from 1550 BC to 300 BC. In 814 BC, they founded the city of Carthage in what is now Tunisia in north Africa; only to be destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. Meanwhile, the Egyptians continued to spread their culture across Northern Africa, and kingdoms were created in Ethiopia and Sudan. The then-growing Roman Empire continued to expand its influence, and in 30 BC Egypt became a province of Rome; Morocco the same in 42 AD. Before the Middle Ages began, the Roman Empire collapsed and the Arabs quickly took their place on the continent. In 698-700 they invaded Tunis and Carthage and soon controlled all of coastal North Africa. The Arabs were Muslims, and most of North Africa converted to Islam; Ethiopia was the exception. Soon kingdoms emerged in Africa; they traded with the Arabs using gold plus a valuable commodity - slaves. One of the first kingdoms was Ghana, located in what is now southeastern Mauritania and western Mali. The empire grew rich from the trans-Saharan trade in gold and salt, but then lost its power in the 11th century. Additional kingdoms developed across the continent, including those in Benin and Mali. Both became rich by trading in gold, horse salt, and of course, slaves. And like most kingdoms before them on any continent, they were invaded and in the end destroyed. Mogadishu, the now largest city in Somalia, was settled by Arabs who traveled and traded on the east coast of Africa. The Arabs' reach extended to Zanzibar, which was used as a base for voyages between the Middle East and India. As other organized kingdoms were formed in central and southern Africa, the Portuguese began to explore the western coast of Africa. By 1445 they reached the Cape Verde Islands and the coast of Senegal, and the mouth of the River Congo in 1482. They even sailed around the Cape of Good Hope. africa The continent-changing 16th Century began with Europeans transporting African slaves to the Americas for profit. A slave purchased on the African coast for the equivalent of 14 English pounds in bartered goods could sell for 45 pounds in the American market. The best-known method of commerce at the time was called the Triangular Trading System. It involved British and other European countries' manufactured goods which were shipped to Africa, then slaves from there to the West Indies and then sugar and other products back to Europe. At the same time, Barbary pirates along the North African coast captured thousands of ships. From the 16th to 19th century, an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people were taken captive as slaves. The pirates' impact on the continent, however, peaked in the early to mid-17th century. As tales of African riches spread north, the Europeans founded their first real colonies in the early 16th century, when the Portuguese settled in what is now Angola. Later, the Dutch founded a colony in what is now South Africa. Strong movements to end slavery began in the late 18th century. France became one of the first countries to abolish slavery in 1794. Britain banned slave trade in 1807, but it was not officially abolished for good until 1848. In some parts of Africa, slave-like practices continue to this day and have proven difficult to eliminate. Wholesale colonization of Africa by European countries began in 1814 when the British snatched the Dutch Colony of South Africa. Carved up like a large pie, the Brits, Dutch, French, Germans and Portuguese grabbed all of the available pieces. By the end of the 19th century, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, and from Botswana to Niger, the continent was now all but controlled by European powers. In the early 20th century the land grab continued as the British took control of Egypt. By 1920, the forced occupation of African lands began to sour in Europe, and change was in the wind. Africans were also driven by their passionate desire for independence and the movement for same became unstoppable. By mid-century most of the continent was independent, with Angola finally free in 1975. Self-government brought more than its share of civil wars, coup d'états and ethnic conflicts to the newly emerged countries. Add to that mix some horrible genocides, along with famines and out-of-control disease (HIV/AIDS), and Africa was teetering on the edge, and in many areas still does today. Although Africa remains the world's poorest inhabited continent, there are many bright spots in this land of over one billion people and its 2,000 + languages. Significant economic and social gains have taken place over the last few years, with South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt leading the way. The largest segments of modern Africa's economies are agriculture and mining, with tourism growing in some areas. Manufacturing industries have grown large enough to ship products across the planet, and the oil export revenues of Angola, Libya and Nigeria have the potential to change the lives of millions. Today the 54 countries of Africa have great potential, but this question must be asked: "Can it change soon enough to meet the needs of its people?" We can only hope so. WorldAtlas.com

Bissau: Impunidade e violação dos direitos humanos

Guiné Equatorial vive sem liberdade e sob a ameaça de homicídios arbitrários, tortura e uso de força praticados pelas autoridades, sem que haja punições, diz o relatório anual do Departamento de Estado dos EUA sobre direitos humanos. A Guiné-Bissau também não é poupada pelo relatório de 2013 do 'MNE' americano, que denuncia atos de violação dos direitos humanos pelas forças de segurança no país, praticados impunemente. A agência Lusa refere - citando o relatório do Departamento de Estado - que, na Guiné-Bissau, as "mais graves violações de direitos humanos incluíram detenções arbitrárias, corrupção agravada pela impunidade dos funcionários do governo e pelas suspeitas de envolvimento no tráfico de drogas e uma falta de respeito para com o direito dos cidadãos de eleger o seu governo". As autoridades de Bissau "não conseguiram ter controlo efetivo sobre as forças de segurança" e estas "cometeram abusos", refere o documento ciatado pela Lusa. Recorde-se que houve eleições gerais marcadas para 24 de novembro, que não se realizaram. Governos acusados de laxismo O relatório diz que o Governo de Bissau "não tomou medidas para processar ou punir os oficiais ou outros indivíduos que cometeram abusos, seja nas forças de segurança ou em outras estruturas governamentais". O relatório faz acusações semelhantes ao governantes da Guiné-Equatorial: "o governo não tomou medidas para processar ou punir quem cometeu abusos, seja nas forças de segurança ou noutras estruturas governamentais". Na Guiné-Bissau, os casos de violação de direitos humanos passam pela falta de condições nas prisões, falta de independência e capacidade de funcionamento da justiça, trabalho forçado, discriminação e violência contra as mulheres, bem como a prática da mutilação genital feminina e tráfico de crianças. No caso da Guiné-Equatorial o relatório do departamento de Estado dos EUA diz são negadas liberdades básicas: liberdade de expressão, de imprensa, de reunião, de atividade política. Há restrições à privacidade, movimentação de pessoas e aos direitos dos trabalhadores impostas pelas autoridades de Malabo. Até mesmo as organizações não-governamentais, sejam do país ou estrangeiras, têm restrições à atividade, acrescenta o documento. Recorde-se que a CPLP já aprovou a candidatura da Guiné Equatorial a membro da Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa, e que a União Europeia não convidou a Guiné-Bissau, Madagáscar e a República Centro-Africana para participarem na Cimeira União Europeia - África, que se realiza em Bruxelas, a 2 e 3 de abril, porque estes países estão suspensos pela União Africana. Bruxelas não reconhece" os Governos que atualmente estão no poder, disse ao Expresso fonte da União Europeia . Ler mais: http://expresso.sapo.pt/washington-acusa-guine-bissau-e-equatorial-de-desrespeitar-direitos-humanos=f858437#ixzz2ucIMR6vh

Argélia: Quase morto, Bouteflika candidata-se à reeleição

L'annonce de la candidature d'Abdelaziz Bouteflika à la présidentielle algérienne a choqué l'Algérie. À l'étranger, elle a surtout suscité des commentaires consternés et un brin moqueurs… Revue de presse. "Un président muet", écrit Le Monde. "Bouteflika, le fantôme d'Alger", ironise le quotidien Le Parisien. Hors des frontières algériennes, la candidature du président algérien à sa propre succession n'a pas laissé indifférent. "Il est candidat à la présidentielle. Mais le sait-il vraiment ?", écrit ainsi Le Canard Enchaîné qui titre en une, dans son édition de mercredi 26 février : "En Algérie, le jeune, c'est seulement durant le ramadan". "Comment envisager une campagne quand un homme ne peut prononcer deux phrases ni se déplacer dans le pays?", se questionne pour sa part Libération dans son édition du 24 février. Le quotidien de gauche cite en fin d'article un politologue, également repris dans le Canard Enchaîné : "Tout ce que l'on voit aujourd'hui en Algérie ressemble à la fin d'Eltsine en Russie. Le pouvoir à Alger s'est mis en tête de rechercher son Poutine, mais ne l'a pas trouvé. Il faut que Bouteflika-Eltsine tienne encore un peu." Quitte à frôler le ridicule, résumé en un tweet par un Algérien, cité dans le quotidien Le Monde : "Avant, on faisait voter les morts, maintenant, c'est eux qui nous demandent de voter". "C'est rarement le peuple qui décide mais le système" "Il semble bien que l'armée, immuable faiseur de rois, n'a pas trouvé de remplaçant, pour l'instant, à l'actuel président", renchérit Le Nouvel Observateur, qui rejoint ainsi The Guardian, décrivant les militaires comme, c'est un euphémisme, "des acteurs-clés" du futur scrutin. Le Monde cite pour sa part un cadre de la DRS, l'ex-Sécurité militaire : "En Algérie, depuis Massinissa, le premier roi numide, c'est rarement le peuple qui décide mais le système". Objectif réel, selon le quotidien de centre-droit : "la survie des clans au pouvoir et le partage de la rente". "Rien n'est en mesure d'affecter l'accord négocié au cœur du système, qui produit, depuis l'indépendance, des présidents à la place du vote populaire", ajoute Le Figaro. "La fracture entre le président, usé par le pouvoir et la maladie, et une population jeune, ne fait que s'aggraver", explique Le Monde, décrivant une population désabusée, qui espérait, sans trop d'espoir, le changement promis en 2012 lors du discours de Sétif, où le président avait évoqué sa génération comme "arrivée à son terme". Espoirs déçus "Jusqu'au bout, certains ont voulu croire à une alternative", note encore le quotidien. "Pourtant, le président avait montré de la ténacité pendant sa convalescence", explique de son côté le New York Times, décryptant une candidature finalement sans grande surprise. "Il a construit sa campagne (…) en remplaçant de nombreux membres de cabinets ministériels, des cadres régionaux ou des pontes des puissants services de renseignements", rappelle le quotidien américain. "La peur et le fatalisme figent pour l'instant le paysage", s'indigne Le Canard Enchaîné. "Mais la censure, la police (…) peuvent-ils longtemps maintenir le couvercle sur un pays tiraillé par les divisions régionales et l'islamisme, et où la moitié de la population a moins de 28 ans ?", s'interroge encore l'hebdomadaire satirique, qui conclut malicieusement : "Le printemps commence dans un mois". Aux Algériens de contredire, ou non, les anticipations du palmipède. _________________ Par Mathieu OLIVIER Lire l'article sur Jeuneafrique.com


Guiné Equatorial: Noves fora, nada (de respeito pela democracia)

Com a entrada efectiva da Guiné Equatorial para membro de pleno direito da Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP), ficamos a ser nove. Isto assim dito, até parece que é bom, que ficamos a ganhar. Só que, pelo meio, sacrificam-se a decência e os mais elementares princípios humanitários. Jorge Heitor A Guiné Equatorial alcançou a sua independência no ano de 1968, depois de 190 anos de colonização espanhola, que se seguiu a alguma presença portuguesa, bastante associada à que se verificava em São Tomé e Príncipe. O pequeno país, composto por uma parte continental e por cinco ilhas habitadas, é um dos mais pequenos da África; e um dos mais polémicos, devido à sua gritante falta de democracia. O Presidente Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo dirige-o desde 1979, ano em que derrubou o tio, Francisco Macías, que já de si era um conhecido ditador. Se bem que no papel se apresente como uma democracia constitucional, as eleições têm sido uma completa farsa, tanto as presidenciais como as legislativas. O chefe do Estado exerce um controlo quase total sobre tudo o que ali se passa, sendo o Presidente africano há mais anos no poder; alguns meses mais do que o angolano José Eduardo dos Santos. A Guiné Equatorial tem conhecido um rápido crescimento económico, devido à descoberta de grandes reservas de petróleo no seu offshore, tendo-se tornado mesmo o terceiro exportador de petróleo na África Sub-Sariana, depois da Nigéria e de Angola. Mas a melhoria do nível de vida da população tem sido muito lenta. A pena de morte ainda nem sequer foi abolida, mas apenas suspensa, para que a CPLP aceitasse por fim, como membro pleno, um país que de há muito goza nela do estatuto de observador; e que formalmente adoptou o português como a sua terceira língua oficial, depois do castelhano e do francês. Ter assim, entre nós, um regime autocrático, onde nem sequer 10 por cento da população está em condições de se expressar em português, é claramente uma anomalia e uma vergonha, que em nada enobrece a nossa Comunidade. Portugal estava muito renitente, ainda há dois ou três anos, a que a Guiné Equatorial passasse de observador a membro de pleno direito da família lusófona; mas acabou por se vergar à vontade dos Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa (PALOP), de Timor-Leste e do Brasil. Ao contrário do que acontece com a Francofonia, por exemplo, onde Paris tem um papel determinante, sobrepondo-se a todos os países onde, em maior ou menor escala, se fala francês, na CPLP as autoridades de Lisboa acabam por ir a reboque das de Luanda e de outras capitais associadas. Vamos ser Nove, sim. Mas se tirarmos a prova a estes nove, em termos de democraticidade e de decência, fica praticamente nada. É esta a triste realidade. (Apontamento escrito a pedido do site LusoMonitor)

Timor-Leste: Ameaçada a liberdade de expressão

East Timor journalists and human rights groups are opposing a government-proposed media law which they believe would lead to possible media censorship and repression in the country. The draft legislation was approved by the Council of Ministers last August, but was introduced in the Parliament just two weeks ago. The Council of Ministers claims that the law is necessary since it seeks to guarantee the rights of media practitioners as well as encourage the media to do its job “objectively and impartially”: The Press Law aims to ensure the freedom of the press while at the same time promoting the necessary balance between the exercise of that freedom and other fundamental rights and values contained in the Constitution. Its purpose is primarily to regulate the activity of professionals adequately prepared and ethically responsible, so that they can inform the public objectively and impartially and encourage active and enlightened citizenship by the population, thus contributing to a democratic society. But several media groups have pointed out that the proposed law contains several provisions that directly undermine free speech. They highlighted Article 7 of the measure which mandates the registration of journalists to be supervised by a Press Council. Activist group La'o Hamutuk argued that the creation of a press council is unnecessary: As freedom of expression is already guaranteed by the Constitution, no Press Council is needed to regulate it. A Council of commercial media organizations and paid journalists can self-regulate their business, including with their Code of Ethics, but their processes cannot be imposed on everyone and should not involve the state, either through financial support or legal enforcement. Furthermore, no journalist should be required to join an organization in order to practice his or her Constitutional rights. The group also questioned a provision which would narrow the definition of journalists to those working for corporate media. It insisted that the media landscape has changed and that citizen journalists must also be recognized by the government: This law should respect every person’s right to free expression, including students, bloggers, web-posters, civil society organizations, free-lancers, part-time reporters, discussion groups, churches, political parties, columnists, researchers, community groups and ordinary people. It should not be monopolized or controlled by for-profit media. La'o Hamutuk concluded by asserting that the proposed law is not crucial in promoting the right to information, and worse, that it violates the constitution: Timor-Leste has already gone for more than a decade without a Media Law, and we have not had problems with media and information. During this time, Timorese people enjoyed their right to information and freedom of expression through various media, after nearly five hundred years of repression and censorship. Therefore, we conclude that this Media Law violates Timor-Leste Constitution Articles 40 and 41 about people’s rights and freedom to seek, collect, choose, analyze and disseminate information, as words and/or images, to everyone. Meanwhile, the Journalists Association of Timor-Leste thinks that the bill, if passed into law, would mean more regulation and not protection of the media: We want the law to reflect the realities of the modern media and to obey international standards. What we see in these laws is gives an impression that they intend to regulate the press rather than protect the rights of East Timorese journalists. Blogger David Robie concerns about transparency around the act, asking why the content of the document was only made public a few weeks ago: The proposed Timor-Leste media law is a draconian mixed bag. And it is ironical that such a document with lofty claims of protecting the freedom of the press should be shrouded in secrecy for the past six months. Alarming is the attempt to lock in the status and definition of journalists, effectively barring independent and freelance journalism and leaving the registration of journalists entirely to the whim of commercial media organisations. It would not have worked in any kind of democracy in the days of low-tech newspapers and media publishing. But in these days of digital media, citizen journalism and diversity of critical information online it is tantamount to censorship – the very thing the draft law states opposition to. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) supports East Timor journalists in calling for the review and even overhaul of the proposed legislation: Any legislation that would limit the capacity of local and international journalists reporting on East Timor, also limits the public’s right to know and is of great concern to the IFJ. We urge the government to ensure those reservations and perspectives are taken seriously and incorporated into the draft media law. In response, the government vowed to consider all comments of media organizations before further deliberating on the draft proposal. Written byMong Palatino/ Global Voices Advocacy

Bissau: Uma atmosfera de medo e de intimidação

26 February 2014 – The United Nations Security Council urged Guinea-Bissau and the international community to redouble efforts aimed at preparing for the long delayed elections which have been postponed yet again, and reiterated that they are willing to use targeted sanctions against civilian and military individuals who undermine efforts to restore the constitutional order. In a statement to the press after its discussions, the 15-member Council expressed concern at the continuing delays in the legislative and presidential elections, which have recently been postponed to 13 April from 16 March, according to a decree signed by interim President Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo. “Such delays have a negative impact on the country’s social and economic well-being, and on the already fragile security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Guinea-Bissau,” the Council said. Members also urged authorities in charge of the transitional period to create a conducive environment for the “safe, full and equal” participation of all actors, including women. In today’s statement, the Council condemned violence in Guinea-Bissau, which has “contributed to atmosphere of fear and intimidation among the population.” and reiterated its concern about the prevailing culture of impunity and lack of accountability in the country. They also called on all stakeholders, including political parties, defense and security forces, and civil society organizations and traditional leaders “to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process, to facilitate the conduct of peaceful and credible elections, and to respect the election results as an expression of the will of the people.” Specifically, the Council called on the military to respect the constitutional order, including the electoral process, and “to submit themselves fully to civilian control.” Constitutional order has still not been restored in Guinea-Bissau, which is recovering from an April 2012 coup in which soldiers loyal to General Antonio Injai, toppled the Government ahead of the days before a runoff election that was expected to go to then Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior. During the Security Council meeting earlier in the day, Jose Ramos-Horta, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau, urged the defense and security forces from interfering in the forthcoming elections and to protect the candidates. In a videoconference, Mr. Ramos-Horta, who is also head of the UN political mission in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), called for intensive international support for the country after the elections. Also briefing the Council, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, the Chairperson of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, noted that the impact of the political instability on the country’s economy is “devastating”. He noted that there was “a widespread sense of weariness in the country” and that “people wanted to move on.” He echoed Mr. Ramos-Horta’s call for international support after the polls close, and also detailed a three-prong approach that includes modernizing the security sector. In his briefing, the Ambassador also warned that international crime and drug trafficking remain major concerns, with the emerging threat caused by irregular fishing and logging licenses. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Identificados mais de 1.000 planetas, em volta de 305 estrelas da Via Láctea

The science team sifting data from the US space agency's (Nasa) Kepler telescope says it has identified 715 new planets beyond our Solar System. This is a huge new haul. In the nearly two decades since the first so-called exoplanet was discovered, researchers had claimed the detection of just over 1,000 new worlds. Kepler's latest bounty orbit only 305 stars, meaning they are all in multi-planet systems. The vast majority, 95%, are smaller than our Neptune, which is four times the radius of the Earth. Four of the new planets are less than 2.5 times the radius of Earth, and they orbit their host suns in the "habitable zone" - the region around a star where water can keep a liquid state. Whether that is the case on these planets cannot be known for sure - Kepler's targets are hundreds of light-years in the distance, and this is too far away for very detailed investigation. The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009 on a $600m (£360m) mission to assess the likely population of Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way Galaxy. Faulty pointing mechanisms eventually blunted its abilities last year, but not before it had identified thousands of possible, or "candidate", worlds in a patch of sky in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra. It did this by looking for transits - the periodic dips in light that occur when planets move across the faces of stars.
Before Wednesday, the Kepler spacecraft had confirmed the existence of 246 exoplanets. It has now pushed this number up to 961. That is more than half of all the discoveries made in the field over the past 20 years. "This is the largest windfall of planets that's ever been announced at one time," said Douglas Hudgins from Nasa's astrophysics division. "Second, these results establish that planetary systems with multiple planets around one star, like our own Solar System, are in fact common. "Third, we know that small planets - planets ranging from the size of Neptune down to the size of the Earth - make up the majority of planets in our galaxy." When Kepler first started its work, the number of confirmed planets came at a trickle. Scientists had to be sure that the variations in brightness being observed were indeed caused by transiting planets and not by a couple of stars orbiting and eclipsing each other. The follow-up work required to make this distinction - between candidate and confirmation - was laborious. But the sudden dump of new planets announced on Wednesday has exploited a new statistical approach referred to as "verification by multiplicity". This rests on the recognition that if a star displays multiple dips in light, it must be planets that are responsible because it is very difficult for several stars to orbit each other in a similar way and maintain a stable configuration. "This technique that we've introduced for wholesale planet validation will be productive in the future. These results are based on the first two years of Kepler observations and with each additional year, we'll be able to bring in a few hundred more planets," explained Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist at Nasa's Ames Research Center. Sara Seager is a professor of planetary science and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is not involved in the Kepler mission. She commented: "With hundreds of new validated planets, Kepler reinforces its major finding that small planets are extremely common in our galaxy. And I'm super-excited about this, being one of the people working on the next generation of space telescopes - we hope to put up direct imaging missions, and we need to be reassured that small planets are common." BBC ----- À espera do dia em que possamos localizar planetas habitáveis, com formas de vida equiparáveis às da Terra. Um velho sonho da Humanidade, que espera não se encontrar só no meio do Cosmos.

Ucrânia: O incerto futuro

Markets this week have been fixated by Ukraine, where long-simmering economic problems have turned into a political crisis. There is a real risk of a disorderly devaluation of the currency, with a resulting spiral driven by the subsequent increase in the foreign-currency denominated debts of local banks and companies. Ukraine's weak external position has been a concern for some time now, but the collapse of the government has increased outflows of already scarce foreign capital. The sequence of events highlights the tight nexus between politics and economics, and why it is important for investors to understand both. Fundamentally, Ukraine's political divisions are driven by unresolved questions about national identity - east or west - and institutional location of power - parliament or presidency. Ukraine is not the only country with such divisions, with Thailand and Nigeria other obvious examples, both with a rich south chafing against supporting a poorer north. The Economist

Sudão do Sul: Situação verdadeiramente explosiva

Envoyé spécial Les cuillerées de sucre n’y font rien: le thé est si amer qu’il arrache une grimace. L’eau, sans doute. Cette eau traitée à grand renfort de produits chimiques pour éviter que n’éclate une épidémie parmi les 25000 occupants qui pataugent dans la fange du camp de Tongping des Nations Unies, à Juba. Au Soudan du Sud, prés de 100000 personnes sont venues se réfugier dans les enceintes onusiennes, avec de bonnes raisons de craindre pour leur vie. Des casques bleus ont été tués (à Nasir), des employés locaux se sont entretués (à Malakal). La situation est explosive, alors que le conflit entre rebelles et loyalistes ne prend pas fin, en dépit denégociationsentredélégationsenEthiopie voisine. A Malakal, à 500 kilomètres au nord de Juba, plus de 20000 personnes se trouvent désormais dans l’enceinte précaire de l’ONU,alors que des combats ont eu lieu en ville, accompagnés d’atrocités. La capitale del’Etat du Haut Nil a été reprise, mardi ou mercredi 19février,par les rebelles,à la suite d’une percée des troupes se réclamant de Riek Machar, l’ancien vice-président, désormais chef d’un mouvement armé regroupant ex-rebelles, ex-soldats mutinés( la majoritédel’arméesud-soudanaise enfaitpartie),et lesredoutablesmilicesvillageoises de «l’armée blanche». L’armée affirmeengageruneoffensivepourreprendrela ville pillée etengrandepartie détruite. Achaquechangementdecamp,desvengeancesàcaractère ethnique ont lieu. ATongping,lesoccupantsducampsont enmajoritédesNuers,rescapésdesvagues de massacres commis par les forces de sécurité ayant suivi l’éclatement, le 15décembre,d’une dispute politiqueentre le président Salva Kiir et tous ceux qui, au seindupartiaupouvoir,leMouvementde libération des peuples du Soudan (SPLM), s’opposaientàcequ’ilsqualifiaientdedérive «dictatoriale». AJuba, la dispute s’estmuéeen mutinerie, puis en rébellion, tout en s’étendant à une partie du pays, principalement dans quatre Etats avec une forte population Nuer(ledeuxièmegroupedupaysderrière les Dinka). On ignore encore combien de civils ont été tués par chaquegroupe, mais les atrocités commises ne cessent pas. DansMalakal, des patientes ontété violées puis tuées à l’hôpital; la distinction entre civils et militaires s’est estompée; nul n’échappeauxmassacresdesdeuxcamps; des victimes jonchent encore les rues. A Juba, dans le camp, règne une forte tension. Malgré l’inconfort extrême, la promiscuité,ses occupantsneveulentpas rentrerchezeux.«Onnepeutpas.Onnous tuerait», affirmeunétudiant arrachéàses études et à sa maison dans la nuit du 15 décembre, lorsque les soldats dinka tuaient dans sa rue les membres de son groupe ethnique. Avec deux autres étudiant, il scrute le ciel, s’inquiétant des nuages qui annoncent la saison des pluies. L’air est saturé de miasmes. Il n’y a plus assez de place pour de nouvelles latrines. Dans quelques semaines,lecloaque,installéenzoneinondable sera unebombe sanitaire. Danstoutlepays,devasteszonesseront aussisouslabouependantles pluies,entre avril et novembre. Pendant cette période, tout s’arrête. Les camions ne passent plus. Dans un pays où l’ensemble des services sociauxestprisenchargepardesorganisations internationales ou des ONG, les Nationsuniesestimentqued’ici lemoisde juin, 3,2 millions de personnes devront recevoir de l’assistance alimentaire. C’est presque le tiers de la population du pays. 865000 personnes ont été déplacées par le conflit. Pour les rebelles comme les loyalistes, cela signifiera aussi l’arrêt des combats. A Malakal et Bentiu, on s’est battu pour le contrôle des zones d’exploitation pétrolière. Les loyalistes ont fait appelà des groupes armés du Soudan, notamment le JEM (Mouvement pour la justice et l’égalité), visibles à Bentiu. Le président Kiir a aussi appelé l’armée ougandaise à la rescousse. Lespositionsexactesdeces forcesétrangères demeurent floues, mais leur présence menacela région d’une extensionde la crise. Le Soudan, vieil ennemi de l’Ouganda, est hostile à cette présence militaire à ses frontières. Dans le même temps, Khartouma lancé une offensive contre ses propres rebelles, dans les Etats du Sud Kordofan et du Nil Bleu. L’aide humanitaireyest interdite. Tout en massacrant ses propres populations, le pouvoir de Khartoum ménage Juba, dans l’espoir de permettre au brut sud-soudanais de couler à travers l’oléoduc qui traverse le Soudan. L’Ethiopie ne cache pas non plus son hostilitéàlaprésencechezleurvoisincommundetroupesougandaises. Ladésagrégation qui menace le Soudan du Sud risque de ne pas épargner ses voisins. Le plus jeune Etat du mondeest aussi une éponge pétrolière, et cela alimente le conflit. (350000 barils/j avant la crise, 150 à 200 000barils aujourd’hui). A Malakal, les forces loyalistes de la SPLA (Armée de Libération des peuples du Soudan) devaient tenir coûte que coûte pour protéger les zones pétrolières. Elles ont été chassées par les forces de la SPLA passées dans le camp de Riek Machar, qui occupent des zones rurales à cheval sur trois Etats. C’est aussi dans cet ovale de la guerre civile que se combinent les facteurs d’un désastrehumanitairequi pourrait affecter plus d’un million de personnes. L’accès humanitaireyserauncauchemar.Chaque année, les Nations unies et les ONG prépositionnent des vivres et du matériel en prévision de cette période. Une partie de ces dépôts a été pillée. Comment reconstituerdes stocks avant les pluies et éviter les pillages? Une course contre la montre est donc engagée, avant que des populations coupées de tout ne soient exposées à lamenacedemourirdefaim. TobyLantzer,le coordinateur humanitaire des Nations unies au Soudan du Sud, se débat pour obtenir 1,27milliards de dollars, et éviter le pire. L’exemple de plus de 100000 personnes éparpillées en brousse prés de Leer, dans l’Etat d’Unité, illustre cette catastrophe en cours. Faceàune avancée des troupes loyalistes, de nombreux civils se sont enfuis vers la brousse. Une famille jointe au téléphone déclarait, après plus de dix jours dans la nature, ne se nourrir que«de baies et de fleurs de nénuphar». Jean-PhilippeRémy/Le Monde


Sudão do Sul: Hospitais estão a ser destruídos, doentes abatidos a tiro

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Weak and elderly patients sat and watched helplessly as soldiers rampaged through Malakal Teaching Hospital in South Sudan's main oil-producing region, shooting those who had no money or mobile phones to hand over, survivors recalled. Malakal, a town on the fringe of Upper Nile state’s oil fields, was attacked by rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar on Feb. 18, triggering three days of fighting – the heaviest since the government and rebels signed a Jan. 23 ceasefire deal. Since fighting erupted in December, killing thousands and displacing more than 880,000 people across South Sudan, vital medical facilities have been destroyed. When aid workers from the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) ventured into the hospital in Malakal on Feb. 22, they found much of it had been looted and many of the wards burned. “MSF teams discovered at least 14 dead bodies throughout the Malakal Teaching Hospital compound, scattered among 50 to 75 patients who remained in the facility, too weak or elderly to flee,” MSF said in a statement on Wednesday. KILLED IN THEIR BEDS Seventeen patients were transferred to a hospital on the overcrowded United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base, where more than 20,000 people have been sheltering for weeks, the U.N. said in its latest update. MSF said 13 of those rescued from Malakal hospital were treated for gunshot wounds. “Armed groups entered the hospital on Feb. 19 and shot dead people who had no money or mobile phones to hand over,” evacuated survivors told MSF. “Later that afternoon, armed men returned and killed patients in their beds and others who had fled to the operating theatre for safety… They also reportedly raped women and young girls.” UNMISS described Malakal as “tense” with signs of looting and burning, and more than 100 bodies strewn in the streets. “I can find no words to describe the brutality in Malakal, which has left in its wake a ransacked city and a thoroughly traumatised people,” said Carlos Francisco, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Malakal. The U.N. said aid workers are seeking to transfer 1,700 civilians sheltering in a church to the U.N. base. Other organisations, such as SOS Children’s Village, a charity hosting orphans in Malakal, are also negotiating for space in the crowded camp. “In previous weeks, we have avoided moving children to UNMISS due to overcrowding. Given the current danger, this now appears to be the safest option,” the charity said. Agencies are trying to set up another safe location for displaced civilians in Malakal, the U.N. said, but it will only be able to accommodate 5,800 people. More than 80 aid workers were flown out of Malakal after the firefight subsided, leaving only critical staff on the ground. On Feb. 24, World Vision reported that fighting had moved to Rom, some 80km north of Malakal, further hindering efforts to reach displaced people hiding along riverbanks and behind shrubs. DECOMPOSED CORPSES It is not the first time that hospital patients have been killed, with similar scenes reported in Bor, capital of Jonglei state. “In early February, MSF staff visited the hospital and discovered the decomposed corpses of a mother and child dumped in the facility’s water tank,” it said. Probably worst affected is Unity state’s Leer Hospital, which was destroyed in late January. Not a single bed remains in the facility, which was the only secondary healthcare centre for 300,000 people in the area. MSF’s 240 local staff have fled into the bush with their patients and the town’s population. “Staff report they are reusing wound dressings and trying desperately to assist the displaced who have grown more ill from drinking dirty river water and from eating water lilies for lack of food,” MSF said. It said that “countless people” will suffer and likely die for want of medical care.


Líbia: prisões piores do que no tempo de Kadhafi

Extremist militias are undermining Libya's efforts to improve prison conditions, the top human rights figure in the country says. According to Nasser Houari, president of the Human Rights Victims Organisation and founder of the Libyan Observatory for Human Rights, inmates face torture if they fall into the hands of these unregulated armed groups. Magharebia met with Houari in Benghazi to hear the disturbing story of what happens to Libyan prisoners in these illegal detention centres. Magharebia: Are rumours of secret prisons true? Nasser Houari: Prisoners in Libya are facing very tough detention conditions. Prisons don't meet the international standards, and the reason for that is militias' control… Militias have used torture as an ideal, quick way to extract confessions from prisoners, and scores have already died of torture, malnutrition and harsh treatment. Magharebia: Can't the government and General National Congress do anything to stop these abuses? Houari: Some prisons were supposedly placed under the administration of the justice ministry, but actual control is by prison directors and military councils of cities where the prisons are located. The current justice minister, Salah al-Marghani, has made many efforts and attempts, but the rejection and evasiveness of militia commanders and prison directors prevents him from doing what he wants to do. Magharebia: So what is life like for inmates? Houari: It is very bad, as I've said. Many have already died, while others have suffered disabilities. As to trials, most of them lack fair trial representation. Families of defendants can't appoint lawyers to defend their detained relatives… Magharebia: In your capacity as head of the Human Rights Victims Organisation, what have you seen? Houari: Things that words can't describe. Many of those now running these prisons were once prisoners themselves at the time of Kadhafi, and therefore, they're settling their scores with the leaders and soldiers of the Kadhafi regime. Any fair, brave rights activist must admit that what's happening now at Libyan prisoners is way worse than what was happening at the time of Kadhafi. Magharebia: How do these prisons respond to your organisation? Houari: There is no co-operation at all. On the contrary, we're being chased by militias and some prison directors who are threatening to kill us because we've exposed and published violations. Magharebia: What are your goals? Houari: All prisons must be placed under the justice ministry's control so international standards for running prisons may be met. Local and international rights groups must be allowed to routinely visit prisoners to check on their conditions and listen to their complaints. Supervisors of these prisons must also attend courses to psychologically prepare them to deal with prisoners humanely. In this way we can prevent, or at least reduce, the violations. Magharebia: Who's in charge of these detention sites? Houari: Militias, especially extremist Islamist, are running prisons. Tribal militias, like in Zawiya, Misrata and Zliten, also run prisons. Magharebia: In the eight months since your organisation was founded, what have you done to bring attention to this issue? Houari: We've already documented scores of cases, issued three reports and conducted a roundtable on torture at Libyan prisons. There is still much work ahead of us to improve and promote human rights in Libya.

Guiné Equatorial: A oposição está indignada

S.E. Pedro PASSOS COELHO Primer Ministro y Jefe de Gobierno de Portugal Excelencia, Según informaciones de fuentes concordantes, mi país Guinea Ecuatorial con el aval de Su Gobierno ha sido admitido en la Comunidad de los Países de habla portuguesa en anagrama (CPLP). Los guineo-ecuatorianos hemos recibido esta noticia con indignación, repulsa y consternación al constatar que el Gobierno que V.E. preside se ha claudicado ante los intereses económicos que sin duda han jugado el papel decisivo para que nuestro país sea aceptado como miembro de derecho en esa organización. Aunque ya no nos sorprende la hipocresía de los Estados que se dicen democráticos como es el caso de Portugal, la aceptación de la dictadura de Obiang Nguema por la comunidad de los países de habla luxófona no hace que confirmar la doble moral de estos Estados. Sorprende que cuando casi medio mundo condena la sistemática y flagrante violación de los derechos humanos en Guinea Ecuatorial, un país como Portugal que en su día sufrió en su propia carne los impactos de una dictadura militar y que recibió el apoyo y solidaridad de otros Estados, sea hoy el garante de una cruel dictadura que secuestra, asesina, encarcela, tortura, y que no atiende a los llamados de la Comunidad Internacional a poner fin a las hostilidades contra su propio pueblo. Excelencia, Nuestro pueblo ya está acostumbrado a que Obiang a golpe de talonario compre voluntades y su aceptación a la CPLP no ha sido ninguna excepción. Lo que hay que recordar es que esos dineros que os hacen reír las gracias del déspota son robados al pueblo de Guinea Ecuatorial que según sabrá V.E., sigue languideciendo en la miseria y pobreza más absolutas a pesar del petróleo, gas y madera. Esta es la cruda realidad de Guinea Ecuatorial en el momento en que Su Gobierno le abre las puertas para ser miembro de derecho en vuestra comunidad. Excelencia, Nuestro sufrido pueblo que durante casi 45 años no ha conocido que regímenes dictatoriales sólo puede tomar buena nota de este tipo de decisiones y como un imperio no dura cien años, algún se lo recordaremos porque lo que ahora interesa a los “demócratas” del occidente son nuestras riquezas que los sátrapas que arruinan nuestros países les ofrecen en bandeja dando espalda a los sufrimientos de un pueblo que exige la libertad de opinión, de manifestación, de expresión, de movimiento, elecciones libres y transparentes en total, un Estado basado en el respeto de los derechos humanos y la justicia social. En estos momentos que le escribo esta carta, la pena de muerte sigue en vigor en la República de Guinea Ecuatorial y alguno que otro asesinato se acaba de cometer en la siniestra cárcel de Malabo. Alta consideración y estima personal, Dr. MBA MOMBE Samuel Médico en activo y Activista Político

Guiné Equatorial: Os Obiang e o carnaval brasileiro

Dimanche dernier, 16 février 2014, le président de la Guinée équatoriale, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, était à São Paulo (Brésil), en compagnie de son épouse, de son gendre, Juan Antonio Bibang Nchuchuma Esomoyo, ministre délégué de la Présidence chargé de la Sécurité extérieure, de sa belle-sœur, Victoriana Nchama Nsue Okomo, vice-ministre des Affaires étrangères et de la Coopération, et de Pedro Benigno Matute Tang, ambassadeur de Guinée équatoriale au Brésil. La raison officielle de ce déplacement est notamment la rencontre qui s’est déroulée à l’hôtel Hyatt avec des responsables de l’entreprise aéronautique Embraer pour une commande d’avions de transport. La flotte gouvernementale comprend déjà un Embraer ERJ-145-EP), tandis que trois autres avions ERJ145 sont arrivés l’an dernier en Guinée équatoriale, loués par ECC Leasing Company Ltd, une filiale de Embraer, et exploités au nom de Punto Azul par la compagnie sud-africaine Airways Corporation national (CCN) sur des lignes intérieures reliant des villes comme Bata et Mongomeyen, et avec des destinations en Afrique centrale et de l’ouest. Le président Obiang a eu également un entretien avec Abel Domingos, le président de la Chambre de commerce afro-brésilienne (AFROCHAMBER), afin d’inviter les entreprises brésilienne à investir dans son pays. On peut également supposer que d’autres affaires ont motivé ce court séjour comme le récent rejet par la justice brésilienne de la demande d’habeas corpus préventif déposée par le fils du Chef de l’État, par ailleurs 2e Vice-président de la Guinée équatoriale. Une telle décision l’empêchera probablement d’assister au carnaval de Rio ou à celui de Salvador de Bahia, comme il en avait l’habitude. Un autre sujet de discussion avec les Autorités brésiliennes est, bien entendu, l’adhésion comme membre de plein droit à la Communauté des Pays de langue portugaise (CPLP) qui doit se décider en juillet prochain au Sommet de Dili (Timor oriental). Une intégration qui s’annonce sous de bons auspices depuis que le Conseil des ministres a donné son avis favorable, il y a quelque jours, et que le président Obiang a donné son accord pour un moratoire sur la peine de mort en Guinée équatoriale… - (publicado no site de uma associação França-Guiné Equatorial)


Guiné Equatorial: A vergonha da CPLP

O especialista em assuntos africanos Gerhard Seibert alertou hoje para o risco de a CPLP perder prestígio a nível internacional com a adesão da Guiné Equatorial, recomendada na quinta-feira pelos ministros dos Negócios Estrangeiros da organização. "A organização corre esse risco, mas os responsáveis, incluindo os responsáveis portugueses, sempre souberam isso e tomaram uma decisão neste sentido. Eles são responsáveis perante este risco", disse Gerhard Seibert, do Centro de Estudos Africanos (CEA) do ISCTE. Em declarações à Lusa sobre a decisão dos chefes da diplomacia dos oito Estados-membros da CPLP, anunciada na quinta-feira, de recomendar a adesão da Guiné Equatorial à comunidade Lusófona, o especialista disse tratar-se de "uma decisão polémica, contestável, mas por outro lado esperada". Pessoalmente, afirmou considerá-la "uma má decisão" que, embora a curto prazo possa satisfazer "fortes interesses económicos e políticos, a longo prazo pode trazer prejuízos à organização". "A longo prazo não pode aumentar o prestígio de uma pequena organização como a CPLP a nível internacional", reiterou. Argumentou que já a adesão da Guiné Equatorial como membro observador, em 2006, violara os estatutos da CPLP, pelo que uma adesão como membro de pleno direito também viola as regras da própria organização, tanto do ponto de vista dos direitos humanos como em termos da língua portuguesa, "que é um princípio grande" da comunidade. "É um absurdo, é ridículo tornar um país de língua espanhola e de língua oficial francesa num país de língua oficial portuguesa", afirmou, sublinhando que não é por um "regime despótico" introduzir a língua portuguesa no ensino secundário ou um programa de rádio em português que um país se torna de língua portuguesa. Sobre a intenção da Guiné Equatorial ao aderir à CPLP, Seibert disse tratar-se de uma questão de reconhecimento internacional. "Já tinha havido a tentativa anterior de tornar-se membro da francofonia, que possivelmente não deu os resultados esperados pelo país, e agora há uma tentativa de ganhar algum prestígio e reconhecimento através da adesão como Estado de pleno direito", afirmou. A Guiné Equatorial é um dos 77 Estados-membros da Organização Internacional da Francofonia desde 1989. "Fez essa tentativa para sair do isolamento político, mas nesse caso possivelmente os resultados para o regime não foram satisfatórios", pelo que a partir de 2004 iniciou a aproximação à CPLP, argumentou. O país liderado por Teodoro Obiang é observador da CPLP desde 2006, mas a adesão como membro pleno foi condicionada nas cimeiras de Luanda e de Maputo por se considerar que o país não cumpria os requisitos necessários. A reunião extraordinária dos ministros dos Negócios Estrangeiros da Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP) recomendou na quinta-feira em Maputo a adesão da Guiné Equatorial à organização. A adesão, como membro de pleno direito, foi aprovada como uma recomendação para a cimeira de chefes de Estado da organização que se realiza em Díli este ano, disse à Lusa o ministro de Estado e dos Negócios Estrangeiros, Rui Machete. Lusa/SOL


França: UMP e FN à frente para as europeias

Quel message les électeurs enverront-ils le 25 mai à l'occasion des européennes? Selon l'étude OpinionWay réalisée pour LCI et Le Figaro, c'est une France en proie au doute qui s'apprête à élire ses 74 représentants au Parlement européen. L'adhésion au projet européen recule nettement à travers toutes les questions posées: 42 % des personnes interrogées considèrent que le fait que la France fasse partie de l'Union est une bonne chose. C'est 6 points de moins qu'en avril 2012. L'explication tient dans le sentiment que les Français ressentent à l'égard de la construction européenne: pour 45 %, le premier mot qui vient à l'esprit est déception, très loin devant les 18 % qui pensent d'abord à espoir. La défiance à l'égard de la monnaie unique augmente Symbole le plus concret du projet européen pour les Français, l'adhésion à la monnaie unique souffre également. En 2012, près de deux Français sur trois (62 %) se déclaraient opposés à la disparition de l'euro. Deux ans plus tard, ils ne sont plus que 53 % quand un Français sur quatre (26 % et 6 points de plus qu'en 2012) sont favorables au retour du franc et 20 % indifférents. Selon le directeur des études politiques d'OpinionWay Bruno Jeanbart, ces indicateurs d'une poussée de l'euroscepticisme sont à nuancer. «Il s'agit davantage d'une déception envers une idée à laquelle une large majorité de Français adhère qu'un rejet, estime-t-il. Malgré les critiques continuelles contre l'euro depuis sa création et même dans le contexte économique et social très difficile, une majorité de Français reste attachée à la monnaie commune.» À peine un électeur sur deux (54 %) de Marine Le Pen en 2012 se déclare d'ailleurs favorable à la disparition de l'euro, même si elle en a fait l'un de ses premiers arguments de campagne. Alors que la défiance à l'égard de la monnaie unique a globalement augmenté depuis deux ans, elle est relativement stable dans son électorat. La poussée eurosceptique est en fait principalement le fait d'un désamour grandissant entre l'électorat de l'UMP et la construction européenne. Parmi les électeurs de Nicolas Sarkozy au premier tour en 2012, l'idée que l'appartenance à l'Union est positive pour la France est en recul de 21 points en deux ans. La défiance à l'égard de la monnaie unique monte également en flèche chez ces électeurs puisque 19 % d'entre eux souhaitent un retour au franc contre 8 % en 2012. C'est l'une des difficultés à laquelle l'UMP devra répondre: quand une majorité des électeurs de François Hollande (63 %) considèrent que l'Union européenne ne menace pas l'identité de la France, ceux de Nicolas Sarkozy se montrent plus divisés avec 49 % qui pensent le contraire. Le FN talonne l'UMP La traduction de ce contexte dans les intentions de vote, à trois mois du scrutin, donne quelques grandes lignes directrices. De prime abord, le Front national est potentiellement le grand vainqueur pressenti de l'élection. Les listes du parti d'extrême droite sont créditées de 20 %, trois fois son score en 2009. Le FN talonne une UMP créditée de 22 points qui lui permettent de se hisser en tête. Mais cette position rappelle les résultats en trompe l'œil de 2009, quand les listes de la majorité étaient arrivées en tête avec seulement 27,9 % des suffrages. La droite et le centre UDI-MoDem sont d'ailleurs crédités de 34 % au total, alors que ce même bloc avait recueilli 36,3 % des suffrages en 2009. «L'UMP ne semble pas parvenir à agréger le vote de mécontentement très dispersé», estime Jeanbart. Autre effet trompe-l'œil avec des intentions de vote en faveur du PS à 16 %, comparables aux 16,5 % de 2009. Mais la gauche dans son ensemble accuse un net recul, notamment en raison du repli des Verts qui sont crédités de 9 % quand ils avaient créé la surprise il y a cinq ans avec 16,3 %. Quant à la participation, OpinionWay la mesure à 41 % pour la France métropolitaine, une estimation très proche de la participation au scrutin de 2009.

França: Muita gente simpatiza com a Frente Nacional

Près de trois Français sur dix seraient prêts à voter pour une liste Front national aux élections municipales de mars, selon un sondage de l'institut LH2 pour Le Nouvel Observateur, qui ne constitue pas une intention de vote. À la question "Seriez-vous prêt à voter pour une liste présentée par le Front national aux prochaines élections municipales ?" 29 % des sondés répondent "oui", dont 17 % "certainement" et 12 % "probablement". Au contraire, une majorité de Français (56 %) exclut de donner sa voix au FN, et 14 % ne l'envisagent "probablement pas". Le Front national ne sera présent aux élections municipales que dans 500 environ des 3 000 communes françaises de plus de 3 500 habitants, qui ont toutes un même mode de scrutin, le scrutin de liste. Chez les seuls sympathisants UMP, le résultat du sondage est proche de la moyenne nationale : 30 % "oui", 70 % "non". En revanche, le FN n'a presque pas de potentiel de voix à gauche, 5 % seulement déclarant pouvoir voter pour lui. Les ouvriers plus enclins au vote FN Les "65 ans et plus" (18 %), les Franciliens (17 %) et les cadres (20 %) sont les catégories de populations les moins enclines au vote FN aux prochaines municipales, contrairement aux ouvriers (54 %), aux indépendants (45 %) et aux personnes ayant arrêté leurs études avant le baccalauréat (45 %). Ces données sont toutefois entachées d'une marge d'erreur importante en raison de la petite taille de ces sous-échantillons. Le baromètre annuel TNS Sofres sur l'image du FN publié le 12 février pour Le Monde, France Info et Canal+ indiquait déjà que 34 % des sondés affirmaient "adhérer aux idées du Front national". Le sondage LH2 a été réalisé les 20 et 21 février par Internet auprès d'un échantillon de 994 personnes, représentatif de la population française âgée de 18 ans et plus, selon la méthode des quotas.

Birmânia: A limpeza étnica da minoria muçulmana

The ethnic cleansing in Burma's northwest has followed a jerky rhythm, coming in fits and starts since the first Buddhist-on-Muslim attacks in the middle of 2012. I visited the area for an article in the current issue of the magazine, and found it in a dangerous lull, with many Burmese Buddhists thrilled by the prospect of driving out the remaining Muslims and killing those who resisted. The lull has broken over the last two weeks, according to reports gathered by a Bangkok-based human-rights group. On January 9, eight Muslims were kidnapped, and soon after, others "discovered a fresh grave with visible body parts." In subsequent attacks, forty Muslims were killed and many more forced from their homes. The Burmese government has responded in part by ignoring the issue: The lead story in a state-run newspaper today is an urgent report about advances in organic farming. When asked directly, government spokesmen are propagating the story that Buddhists are blameless but Muslims murdered a Buddhist policeman on January 14. The implication is that even if the Muslims were attacked, they kinda had it coming. In the past, the central government of Burma has intermittently played a stabilizing role, for example by averting the 2012 mass burning of Muslim residents of Myebon township after they were rounded up and (the displaced residents told me) sprayed with gasoline. But now, according to the report by Fortify Rights, the state and national government are dealing with the problem in ways that all but ensure more attacks. Police have rounded up Muslim men over the age of ten, prevented Muslims from returning to their homes, and done nothing to stop the anti-Muslim violence they deny happened in the first place. That means the Muslims of Arakan are weaker and more isolated than before, and Buddhists more confident they can sack Muslim villages and murder their inhabitants with impunity. New Republic

Birmânia: Dezenas de muçulmanos chacinados por budistas

CBS NEWS YANGON, Burma – The United Nations has confirmed that at least 48 Muslims appear to have been killed when Buddhist mobs attacked a village in an isolated corner of western Burma, a massacre that has been the vehemently denied by the government since it was first reported by The Associated Press just over a week ago. Presidential spokesman Ye Htut said he “strongly objects” to the U.N. claims and that the facts and figures were “totally wrong.” Burma, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million people which is also known as Myanmar, has been grappling with sectarian violence since June 2012. The incident in Du Chee Yar Tan, a village in northern Rakhine state, appears to be the deadliest in a year, and would bring the total number of mostly Muslims killed in violence nationwide to more than 280. Another 250,000 people have fled their homes. Northern Rakhine – home to 80 percent of the country’s 1 million long-persecuted Muslim Rohingya population – is off-limits to foreign journalists and humanitarian aid workers have limited access, adding to the difficulties of confirming details about the violence. Attacks began Jan. 9 and peaked in the early hours of Jan. 14, according to residents.Buddhist Rakhine mobs, seeking retaliation for the abduction and killing of a police officer by Rohingya villagers, entered under the cloak of darkness with knives, sticks and guns and went on a killing spree, residents in the area told the AP on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals. Many of the victims were women and children, hacked to death by the mobs, they said. The humanitarian aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, said it has treated 22 patients, some with wounds It appealed to the government for safe access to the affected populations, many of whom are still in hiding. Though the village has been sealed off by security forces, Matthew Smith of Fortify Rights, an independent human rights group, said some residents have been able to return during the day and, as of Wednesday, reported that some bodies were seen in abandoned homes. He called for an end to mass arrests, saying that in the hours that followed the killings, riot police started rounding up all male Rohingya, including children over the age of 10, in surrounding areas. An investigation by the United Nations confirmed that a massacre had taken place. The U.N. released a statement late Thursday saying there were credible reports that at least 48 people had been killed in two separate bouts of violence. The U.N. based its findings on interviews with a cross-section of witnesses, victims and local officials on the ground. But rights workers stressed that the full truth will only come out if the government authorizes a full investigation, preferably to be carried out with outside assistance. “I deplore the loss of life in Du Chee Yar Tan and call on the authorities to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation and ensure that victims and their families receive justice,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. “By responding to these incidents quickly and decisively, the government has an opportunity to show transparency and accountability, which will strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar,” she said. The first reports about the massacre occurred as Burma was hosting foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations as chair of the regional bloc. It was supposed to be an event showing how far the country had come since ending a half-century of military dictatorship two years ago and handing over power to a nominally civilian government. The government of President Thein Sein, himself a former army general, has won international praise for implementing political and economic reforms, but it has also been criticized for failing to investigate and prosecute those responsible for killings linked to sectarian violence. In many cases security forces have either stood by and watched as Buddhist mobs went after Muslims with machetes and clubs. Other times they have been accused of actively taking part. Presidential spokesman Ye Htut denied the AP report during the ASEAN meeting, insisting Du Chee Yar Tan was calm, with no killings, aside from that of the police sergeant. Almost daily articles denying that the massacre took place appeared in state-run newspapers in the days that followed. A statement on the Ministry of Information website on Thursday said that Chief Minister of Rakhine state Hla Maung Tin visited the area earlier the week, together with a U.N. team, and told people about “false news published and aired by foreign media that children and women were killed in the violence.” The only mob attack that took place, he said, was by Rohingya villagers on the police sergeant. There are around 1 million Rohingya in Burma. The United Nations has called them one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Some of the Rohingya are descended from families that have been there for generations. Others arrived more recently from neighboring Bangladesh. All have been denied citizenship, rendering them stateless. For decades, they have been unable to travel freely, practice their religion, or work as teachers or doctors. They need special approval to marry and are the only people in the country barred from having more than two children. © 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


Argélia: Mais uma candidatura de Bouteflika

Le chef de l'État sortant, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, sera candidat à la prochaine élection présidentielle, prévue le 17 avril, en Algérie.
C'est à Oran que le Premier ministre, Abdelmalek Sellal, a annoncé samedi 22 février la candidature d'Abdelaziz Bouteflika à l'élection présidentielle du 17 avril prochain. "Je vous annonce aujourd’hui la candidature du président de la République, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, à l’élection présidentielle du 17 avril prochain", a-t-il déclaré au cours d’une conférence de presse tenue, à Oran, en marge de la cérémonie d’ouverture de la Conférence africaine sur l’économie verte. Bouteflika est président depuis avril 1999 et se porte donc candidat à un quatrième mandat. Il devrait faire l'annonce officielle de sa candidature dans les heures qui viennent. Agé de 76 ans, le président algérien été victime d'un accident vasculaire cérébral le 23 avril dernier et n'a pu reprendre ses fonctions qu'à l'issue d'une longue hospitalisation en France. Il a poursuivi sa convalescence en Algérie et n'est que rarement apparu en public depuis, sans prendre la parole. (Avec agences)

Bissau: A desfaçatez de António Indjai

O Chefe do Estado-Maior das Forças Armadas da Guiné-Bissau, António Indjai, prometeu "tolerância zero" à fraude nas próximas eleições gerais. O general falava aos jornalistas momentos após o encerramento de uma reunião de chefes militares de 14 países da África Ocidental, reunidos em Bissau desde segunda-feira. "A fraude não poderá ter lugar. A segurança das próximas eleições será total. Serão eleições transparentes. Seremos duros contra a fraude. Vamos vedar todos os locais para que não haja fraude", declarou Indjai. Segundo referiu, os militares estarão vigilantes em relação a quem perturbe a ordem pública. O líder militar guineense foi saudado pelos seus pares da Comunidade Económica dos Estados da África Ocidental (CEDEAO), que lhe recomendarem medidas de segurança em relação às próximas eleições. O chefe das Forças Armadas guineenses afirmou que vai tomar medidas em colaboração com os soldados da ECOMIB (contingente militar da CEDEAO instalado na Guiné-Bissau depois do golpe de Estado de 2012) no sentido de tranquilizar o país. António Indjai prometeu ainda garantir segurança a todos os candidatos concorrentes às eleições, marcadas para 16 de março, mas que os partidos políticos e o presidente de transição, Serifo Nhamadjo, admitem sejam adiadas Entretanto, o presidente do comité de chefes de Estado-Maior de Forças Armadas da CEDEAO, o general Soumaila Bakayoko, da Costa do Marfim, afirmou no discurso de encerramento da 33.ª reunião que tudo indica que as eleições serão realizadas no dia 13 de abril. Analisando a situação política na Guiné-Bissau, os chefes militares da CEDEAO concluíram que "o ambiente é calmo" e que as eleições estão a ser preparadas "com serenidade" para que venham a ter lugar a 13 de abril, disse Soumaila Bakayoko. Os responsáveis militares da CEDEAO enalteceram igualmente o nível de cooperação existente entre as Forças Armadas da Guiné-Bissau e o contingente da ECOMIB (cerca de 750 militares e polícias), destacando as disposições elaboradas para assegurar o bom desenrolar das eleições. Enfatizaram também as ações em curso no âmbito da reforma das forças armadas guineenses, nomeadamente as obras de reparação das casernas levadas a cabo por soldados do Senegal integrados no contingente do ECOMIB.

Bissau: A maioria dos deputados é analfabeta

A "Plataforma Guiné Mindjor (Guiné Melhor" reivindica a erradicação do analfabetismo nos dirigentes da Guiné-Bissau. Os ativistas querem que a próxima legislatura tenha outro perfil. A plataforma de jovens pretende que depois das próximas eleições gerais o país tenha um Parlamento com nível mínimo de "preparo académico e político". Segundo os ativistas, a eleição de deputados que não sabem ler nem escrever é uma tradição. Para o presidente do Conselho Nacional da Juventude, Dito Max, tal fenómeno tem condicionado o nível dos debates na Assembleia Nacional Popular. "Nós temos, neste momento, um Parlamento em que a maioria dos representantes do povo é analfabeta ou semi-analfabeta. Nós entendemos que é importante que pessoas mais preparadas estejam na próxima legislatura. Como é possível uma pessoa analfabeta interpretar o programa do Governo ou o orçamento do Estado – que é o trabalho básico do Parlamento?" Na opinião do deputado Octávio Lopes, advogado de profissão, ao excluir os analfabetos do Parlamento, o Estado guineense estará a fazer discriminação total e grave violação dos seus direitos fundamentais. "Temos uma Assembleia diferente e temos que trabalhar para ter um país diferente. Aqueles que a própria lei e o Estado não possibilitam que tenham acesso à informação não podem ser discriminados [novamente]. Agora [viria] este mesmo Estado dizer que [estas pessoas] não podem estar disponíveis num órgão representativo", defende Lopes. Octávio Lopes diz que, se o grau académico fosse o motor de desenvolvimento na Guiné-Bissau, o país teria um melhor sistema Judiciário - já que dispõe de 95% dos magistrados formados na Faculdade de Direito de Bissau. No entanto, trata-se, segundo o parlamentar, de "um dos piores sectores" da vida pública do país: "Não é pelo fato de um tribunal ter só licenciados que faz com que o desempenho do tribunal seja diferente daquele que nós conhecemos. Se fosse uma questão de licenciatura, teríamos o melhor Sistema Judiciário da Costa Ocidental [da África]", opina Lopes. Em reação, Júlio Vieira Inssumbu, do Ministério Público, insiste que se deve escolher deputados com base na sua formação acadêmica, como se faz noutros ramos da função pública: "Para se entrar para a função pública, exige-se o mínimo de escolaridade. Para ser magistrado, exige-se o mínimo de escolaridade. Por que não se exige este mínimo em relação aos candidatos ao Parlamento. E quando se está ao ponto de se exigir, eles veem com a idéia de se estar a discriminar. Não há nada de discriminatório porque a constituição garante acesso gratuito às escolas", rebate Inssumbu. Assinaturas através de carimbos No debate realizado em Bissau para definir o perfil das lideranças políticas face ao desafio da reconstrução nacional, muitos participantes defenderam que os analfabetos sempre mandaram no país. Foram citados exemplos de ministros que assinam com carimbo e deputados que aprovam leis. Todos não teriam sequer passado pelos bancos escolares. Através de seus versos, o poeta Atchó Express tenta transmitir uma mensagem de reconciliação. "Problema: se não queres problema, evite o problema para não teres problema. Porque, se vieres a ter o problema, não irás resolver o problema. Aí vais criar problema em cada problema", recita Express. Segundo dados divulgados em 2013 pelas Nações Unidas, o nível de analfabetismo na Guiné-Bissau é de 56%. Fonte : DW

Bissau: Presidenciais e legislativas dia 13 de Abril de 2014

O Presidente de transição da Guiné-Bissau, Serifo Nhamadjo, marcou para o dia 13 de abril a realização das eleições gerais, dando sem efeito a anterior data de 16 de março. Através de um decreto presidencial divulgado pelo gabinete de Serifo Nhamadjo a que a Lusa teve acesso, o chefe de Estado guineense anunciou que, ouvido o Governo de transição, os partidos políticos com ou sem assento parlamentar e as organizações da sociedade civil, é fixada a data de 13 de abril para a ida às urnas. O Presidente considerou estarem reunidas todas as condições necessárias, nomeadamente após a realização "com sucesso" do recenseamento de raiz dos potenciais eleitores, um processo que atingiu 93 por cento. Serifo Nhamadjo assinalou, no decreto presidencial, que o país se viu obrigado a mudar a data da realização das eleições de 16 de março para 13 de abril, tendo em conta os atrasos no fim do recenseamento tanto na Guiné-Bissau como na diáspora. No dia 13 de abril, os guineenses vão escolher os deputados ao parlamento e um novo Presidente da República, acabando o processo de transição iniciado em abril de 2012, na sequência de um golpe de Estado militar que destituiu os órgãos eleitos.

Sudão do Sul: Malakal é uma cidade dividida

JUBA: The capital of South Sudan’s main oil-producing region was divided between the army and rebels Thursday after the worst fighting since a January cease-fire stoked jitters in global oil markets. The Juba government said it remained committed to peace talks but that it had to react after rebels allied to former Vice President Riek Machar Tuesday attacked Malakal, which lies on the edge of Upper Nile state’s oil fields. An Oil Ministry official told Reuters production had fallen to about 170,000 barrels per day even before the rebel strike on Malakal, a fall of around a third. “The reduction has nothing to do with the fighting but more [to do with] technical issues,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We have had to rely on river transport for technical equipment for the last two months and you cannot guarantee safety on that channel.” Even so, the attack on Malakal raises concerns over the security of South Sudan’s northern oil wells – an economic lifeline for Juba and neighboring Sudan, which earns vital hard currency from fees received for use of its oil pipeline. International pressure is mounting on the warring factions to return to negotiations, although Western diplomats say in private that mutual recriminations over cease-fire violations raise questions about each side’s commitment to talks. “Malakal is not yet fully calm ... There are pockets of resistance within the town. It is split between the two sides,” South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei told Reuters in Ethiopia, where East African states are trying to broker a second round of peace talks. Upper Nile is the only state pumping oil after production in neighboring Unity state was halted earlier in the conflict, a suspension which had already forced the government to cut output by about a fifth to around 200,000 bpd. The petroleum official told Reuters 167,367 barrels were pumped Monday and 168,403 Tuesday, the day rebels struck Malakal. Those levels could fall further if fighting extends into Upper Nile’s oil fields, oil industry observers warn. Malakal, a dusty market town on the banks of the White Nile, lies about 140 km from an oil complex where a key crude processing facility is situated. Global oil prices have been supported in the past two days in part because of the conflict in South Sudan. Thousands of people have been killed and more than 800,000 have fled their homes since fighting began two months ago, triggered by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and Machar, his former deputy whom he sacked in July. Minister Makuei told Reuters the government still sought a peaceful resolution to the crisis and would “continue talking despite the aggressive and intolerable [ceasefire] violations.” Diplomats say the latest violence has cast doubts over the peace talks which have already been delayed by rebel demands for the release of four remaining political detainees and the withdrawal of Ugandan troops. The Juba government says it is frustrated that the international community has not been harder in its criticism of the rebels following the assault on Malakal. “How long will these rebels continue to act as the spoilt child of the international community?” presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said. The U.S. said Wednesday it was deeply concerned by the fighting in and around Malakal, which it called a blatant violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement. The government has accused the rebels of receiving support from outside, but has not publicly identified the source it believes has assisted the rebel forces. A rebel spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the allegation. A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star (Lebanon) on February 21, 2014, on page 10.

Sudão: Rapariga condenada por ter sido violada

A pregnant teenager who was gang-raped and ignored when she tried to report the crime has been convicted of "indecent acts" by a court in Sudan. The victim, an Ethiopian migrant, was sentenced to one month in prison, which has been suspended, and fined 5,000 Sudanese pounds (£528). The verdict was condemned by activists who said it would discourage rape victims from speaking out and entrench "a culture of impunity" for perpetrators. The 18-year-old victim was searching for a new home when she was lured to an empty property in the capital, Khartoum, attacked by seven men and gang-raped. The incident was filmed by the perpetrators and distributed through social media six months later, triggering the arrests of everyone involved. The woman, who is nine months pregnant, was initially charged with adultery and faced a possible sentence of death by stoning. This was dropped when the court accepted she is divorced. Since her arrest she has been detained in police cells and her requests for a transfer to medical facilities have been refused, the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) network said. Of the seven men on trial, three were convicted of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes and two were convicted of indecent acts and sentenced to 40 lashes and fines. One convicted of distributing indecent material was sentenced to 40 lashes and fined. A seventh man was freed owing to insufficient evidence against him. The SIHA said those subject to lashings had their sentences carried out immediately in a closed court setting. The woman has been threatened by the court with further punishment for entering the country illegally, it added. The SIHA condemned Thursday's verdict. Hala Elkarib, its regional director, said: "This verdict reflects the substantial challenges in enabling victims of sexual violence to pursue justice. It will also serve to prevent future victims from speaking out and seeking assistance and entrenches a culture of impunity for perpetrators. "Women migrants and IDPs [internally displaced persons] are some of the most marginalised people in Sudan and most vulnerable to violence, abuse and persecution. The Sudanese judiciary today has demonstrated its incapacity to protect the most vulnerable in society and instead attempt to delegitimise those that experience abuse at the hands of its citizens." She added: "The levelling of immigration charges against the victim further denies her protection by the state and protracts the punishment and emotional stress against her whilst she has been subjected to the most brutal of crimes." Although rarely carried out, the sentence of stoning for adultery has been handed down twice in recent years, against two women, Intisar Sharif and Laila Jamool, in 2012. Following appeals in both cases, the sentences were overturned. Last year a Somali woman who alleged she was raped was sentenced to a year behind bars. She was eventually acquitted after international protests. The Guardian


Guiné Equatorial: Corrupção, pobreza e repressão

Corruption, poverty, and repression continue to plague Equatorial Guinea under President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has been in power since 1979. Vast oil revenues fund lavish lifestyles for the small elite surrounding the president, while most of the population lives in poverty. Those who question this disparity are branded “enemies.” Despite some areas of relative progress, human rights conditions remain very poor. Arbitrary detention and unfair trials continue to take place, mistreatment of detainees remains commonplace, sometimes rising to the level of torture. While access to Equatorial Guinea improved somewhat for international journalists attending major events in the country, several reported being harassed or intimidated. Government repression of local journalists, civil society groups, and members of the political opposition continues. President Obiang seeks to enhance his international standing and reputation. To that end, Equatorial Guinea hosted the Africa Cup of Nations and other prominent events in 2012 to present a new image of both the president and the country. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued a long-stalled prize sponsored by the president after earlier dropping his name from the controversial award. Obiang also continues to defend the reputation of Teodorín, his eldest son and presumed successor, whom he elevated to be the country’s second vice president—a position not contemplated in the new constitution. The government strongly objected when France seized Teodorín’s Paris mansion and issued an international arrest warrant against him on money-laundering charges, claiming the son’s post granted him immunity from prosecution abroad. The government also asked the International Court of Justice to order France to halt the case. Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment of key socio-economic rights, such as the right to education and basic healthcare, remains poor, despite significant oil revenues and the country's small population, which make Equatorial Guinea's per capita gross domestic product—at approximately US$30,000 according to UN figures—among the highest in Africa and the world. Government social spending has increased relative to prior years since the adoption of the Horizon 2020 development plan in 2007, and was supplemented by projects financed largely by foreign oil companies. However, such spending remains low in relation to need and available resources. The country has reduced alarmingly high maternal mortality rates by 81 percent over 20 years, and the child mortality rate also fell from 1990 to 2010. Much of the population lacks access to adequate sanitation, potable water, and reliable electricity. The government continued a massive building spree, financed by oil revenues, which raises questions about its spending priorities. Beyond infrastructure such as roads and power plants, much of the construction is for the enjoyment of the country’s tiny elite and foreign guests. Projects include a new city being built in a remote rainforest and a planned $77 million presidential guesthouse. Foreign investigations into high levels of corruption involving President Obiang and his close associates gathered further momentum in France, Spain, and the United States. In June, a legal filing in the US government’s asset seizure case alleged extortion and embezzlement of public funds by Teodorín on a grand scale. The complaint details more than $300 million in spending from 2000 to 2011, including on art by master painters and mansions on four continents, allegedly with the use of illicitly obtained funds. In July, after a French judge issued an arrest warrant against Teodorín, French authorities also seized his luxurious Paris mansion, whose contents they had earlier claimed. Freedom of Expression and Association Equatorial Guinea remains notorious for its lack of press freedom. Journalists from state-owned media outlets remain unable to criticize the government without risk of censorship or reprisal. The few private media outlets that exist are generally owned by persons close to President Obiang; self-censorship is common. El Lector, a private, infrequently-published newspaper whose editor is simultaneously a Ministry of Information official, has at times run articles featuring members of the opposition. The government remains intolerant of critical views from abroad. A greater number of foreign journalists were permitted to travel to cover events in the country, but several who attended the Cup of Nations in early 2012 reported being subjected to surveillance and harassment while they worked. Human Rights Defenders The country has no legally registered independent human rights groups. The few local activists who seek to address human rights related issues are vulnerable to intimidation, harassment, and reprisals. Fabián Nsue Nguema, a lawyer who has handled sensitive cases involving political prisoners and those accused of coup plots, “disappeared” after visiting a client in prison. He was illegally arrested and kept in secret and incommunicado detention for several days before being allowed to see his family. He was released without charge after eight days, following international pressure. In another case, Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo Alo, a human rights defender and opposition figure, was jailed in February and convicted in May for professional negligence in a trial widely regarded as unjust. He was harassed in detention, and there were restrictions on his visitors, contrary to a court order. Mansogo and 21 other prisoners were pardoned on the president’s birthday in June. He filed an appeal against court orders to close his private health clinic, pay $13,000 in fines, and cease practicing medicine for five years. The government inhibited the careers of other human rights defenders throughout the year. In April, Ponciano Mbomio Nvó, one of Mansogo’s lawyers and a frequent defender of jailed political opponents, was suspended from legal practice for two years for arguing in Mansogo’s trial that the case was politically motivated. In January, government officials allegedly pressured a private company to rescind a job offer made to Alfredo Okenve, the head of a local NGO who was sacked in 2010 by the National University after criticizing the government. Political Parties and Opposition The ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) maintains a monopoly over the country’s political life. It orchestrated a constitutional referendum that was approved in November 2011 with 97.7 percent approval in a vote marred by irregularities. The opposition was deterred from observing the voting and protested efforts to prevent some opposition members from monitoring the polling places and from speaking out against voting fraud. A year later, none of the “independent” oversight bodies created under the new constitution had been established and the president declared that new presidential term limits would not apply retroactively. Most political parties are aligned with PDGE, which benefits from a virtual monopoly on power, funding, and access to national media. Political opponents are pressured through various means, including arbitrary arrest and harassment, as well as inducements—such as employment opportunities—if they join the PDGE. Breakaway factions of the two political parties that maintain independence—the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) and the People's Union (UP)—joined the ruling party. Torture, Arbitrary Detention, and Unfair Trials Due process rights continue to be flouted in Equatorial Guinea and prisoner mistreatment remains common. Lawyers and others who have visited prisons and jails indicate that serious abuses continue, including beatings in detention that amount to torture. Fabián Nsue Nguema reported that the client he sought to visit when he was himself arrested in October, Agustín Esono Nsogo, was tortured. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited some detention centers but did not have full access to others in 2012. President Obiang exercises inordinate control over the judiciary, which lacks independence. Lawyers have reported that judges say they need to consult with the office of the president regarding their decisions in sensitive cases. The president is designated as the country’s “chief magistrate.” Among other powers, he chairs the body that oversees judges and appoints the body’s remaining members. Florentino Manguire, who spent over two years in prison on unsubstantiated theft charges filed by his former business associate, Obiang’s son Teodorín, received a presidential pardon in June. In August, he was again arbitrarily arrested and held for 10 days, until his release without charge after receiving a stern warning not to reveal information about Teodorín. Key International Actors Following a contentious split vote in May 2012, UNESCO’s governing board reinstated a prize established in 2008 at Obiang’s request after renaming it the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea prize. It did not resolve continued questions surrounding the source of the funding that was provided by Obiang. Neither UNESCO’s director-general nor Obiang attended the award ceremony in July, which coincided with French judicial actions against Teodorín. The Obiang government filed a case against France at the International Court of Justice in the Hague over its pursuit of Teodorín. Teodorín has railed against foreigners in speeches broadcast on state media. He filed a defamation case against the head of Transparency International (TI) France in March. The government of Equatorial Guinea then filed a domestic criminal defamation complaint against the head of TI France in September and requested that Interpol issue an international arrest warrant against him. Spain, the former colonial power, applied some pressure on Equatorial Guinea to improve its human rights record. The Spanish government publicly opposed the UNESCO prize and criticized the imprisonment of Dr. Mansogo. The US is Equatorial Guinea’s main trading partner and source of investment in the oil sector. The US government credited the Obiang government for making some improvements in its human rights record, but expressed deep concern over the prosecution of Mansogo and strongly opposed the Obiang prize at UNESCO. It also co-organized an off-the-record June meeting between representatives of civil society, including Human Rights Watch, and President Obiang. The meeting was not followed by any decisive action to address the groups’ calls for meaningful reform. Human Rights Watch


Tunísia: Eleições talvez só em 2015

En Tunisie, les élections législatives et présidentielle, prévues pour 2014, pourraient bien être reportée à l'année prochaine. Explications. Des élections législatives et présidentielle devaient avoir lieu cette année en Tunisie, de manière à clore la période de transition. À l'Assemblée nationale constituante (ANC), des débats concernant le futur code électoral se sont engagés. Pourtant, les Tunisiens vont sans doute devoir attendre encore un peu. Des sources concordantes proches du gouvernement et des partis membres de l'ex-troïka au pouvoir estiment en effet que les scrutins ne pourront avoir lieu avant, dans le meilleur des cas, le premier trimestre de 2015. Parce que les partis ne sont pas prêts et que la sécurité est encore loin d'avoir été rétablie. Pour faire passer la pilule de ce report, une date symbolique pourrait être retenue, comme le 14 janvier, jour anniversaire du déclenchement de la révolution, ou le 20 mars, pour la fête de l'indépendance. Ennahdha n'envisage pas de présenter à la présidentielle un candidat issu de ses rangs, mais ne verrait pas d'un mauvais oeil la candidature de Mustapha Ben Jaafar (foto), président de l'ANC et membre du Forum démocratique pour le travail et les libertés (Ettakatol) Lire l'article sur Jeuneafrique.com : Élections en Tunisie | Tunisie : vers un report des élections législatives et présidentielle en 2015 | Jeuneafrique.com - le premier site d'information et d'actualité sur l'Afrique Follow us: @jeune_afrique on Twitter | jeuneafrique1 on Facebook

Zimbabwe: Como funciona a hipocrisia da União Europeia

The European Union has lifted almost all its sanctions against Zimbabwe’s political and business elite. With one rather significant exception: Mugabe is still on the blacklist (no pun intended, although it might just be appropriate), and he would be well within his rights to wonder what he’s done to deserve this special attention. Sure, he’s a brutal, oppressive autocrat, but he’s not the only one. By SIMON ALLISON. There was a time, not so long ago, when 203 Zimbabwean people and companies were blacklisted by the European Union, caught up in the ‘targeted sanctions’ designed to punish the Zimbabwean government’s human rights violations and encourage regime change. Those on the list were, in theory, prevented from travelling to the European Union, or doing business there, and their assets were frozen. As of Monday, there are now just three names left on that list: Comrade-in-Chief Robert Gabriel Mugabe; his wife, Grace; and Zimbabwe Defence Suppliers, an arms dealer. As the political situation in Zimbabwe has stabilised, so the European Union has quietly rewarded Zimbabwe’s top businessmen and ruling elite by lifting the restrictions against most of them. As sanctions go, these were always mostly symbolic, and their targets didn’t seem to mind all that much. Switzerland and its secret banks aren’t part of the EU anyway, and why shop in London when Dubai stocks the same ranges, and doesn’t ask any awkward questions? Mugabe himself seems to prefer Singapore, anyway – he’s there now seeking medical attention, while Grace does her thing on Orchard Road. In fact, being on the sanctions list was something of a point of pride for members of Zimbabwe’s ruling party; a shout-out from the hated European colonialists didn’t hurt anyone’s popularity with the Zimbabwean electorate. Nor did the sanctions achieve any kind of broader purpose. As Joe Devanny argues in Think Africa Press, the sanctions “ultimately showcased EU foreign policy at its most ineffective and increasingly unjustifiable” and were “never part of carefully-calibrated, coordinated, multilateral efforts to either change the behaviour of the Mugabe government or precipitate regime change”. In addition, the sanctions are porous, and remain so. In March last year, Mugabe attended the inauguration of Pope Francis in the Vatican City. The Vatican City is not an EU member, but to get there, he had to land at Rome’s Leonardo Do Vinci Airport and transit through the Italian capital. Italy most definitely is part of the EU, but opted not to prevent Mugabe’s travel. This year, Mugabe has been given the green light to attend the EU-Africa summit. The sanctions will be temporarily lifted to allow the president to travel to Brussels. In fairness to the EU, it was given little choice in the matter: African countries took a joint position that they would all boycott the summit if Mugabe was not allowed to attend this year. Mugabe’s presence is important because he was elected in January to one of the top jobs in the African Union, as first deputy chair of the AU executive council. This effectively puts him in line to take over as AU Chairperson next year. Whether Europe likes it or not, Mugabe is taking on more and more of an African statesman role – and, in all likelihood, those sanctions will have to be bent even further next year to accommodate his presence at significant conferences and events. For the EU, it is an unenviable position to be in. On the one hand, the EU is trying to send a firm message to Zimbabwe’s leader that his leadership is not acceptable. On the other, African heads of state have chosen him as a role model – completely undermining the EU position. Complicating things further is that the EU funds 50% of the AU’s budget. In effect, the EU is now sponsoring Mugabe’s elevation to continental statesmanship. The situation is particularly fraught for UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who is under strong domestic pressure to boycott the summit because of Mugabe’s presence. “If he [Mr Mugabe] now is to be there, then I would call on our Prime Minister to follow the principled lead of his predecessor Gordon Brown,” said Kate Hoey, a Labour MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on Zimbabwe. In 2007, then-Prime Minister Brown refused to attend the 2007 EU-Africa summit in Lisbon because Mugabe was also attending. Various civil society groups have echoed Hoey’s call. The evident discomfort of EU politicians may also have something to do with the uncomfortable hypocrisy of their position on Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwean academic and journalist Miles Tendi-Blessing explains, in a Guardian column urging Cameron to attend the summit regardless of Mugabe: “It would be hypocritical to boycott because of Mugabe’s presence and yet say nothing about the participation of Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta, who is accused by the International Criminal Court of orchestrating post-election violence in 2007-8 in which more than 1,000 people were killed. Other likely attendees, such as Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, Equatorial Guinea leader Teodoro Obiang, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh and Swaziland’s King Mwati III, to mention a few, are hardly paragons of human rights protection either. The more the UK unevenly interferes in the affairs of African states in the name of advancing human rights, the more it undermines the advance of the human rights doctrine in Africa.” For some reason, though, both the UK and the EU have singled out Zimbabwe for special attention. And even as the EU relaxes sanctions against the country, the fixation on Mugabe remains. Sure, he is a deeply flawed leader, but then, he’s not the only one. Where are the sanctions against Obiang? Why is Chad’s Idriss Deby feted in Paris? Why is David Cameron happy to shakes hands and smile for the cameras with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah? Perhaps it’s that Europe can afford to alienate Zimbabwe, which is of little economic significance. Or perhaps it’s more insidious than that: unlike any other African leader, some (but certainly not all) of Mugabe’s crimes were committed against white people, which makes him that much more dangerous to the jaundiced eyes of European electorates. Does Mugabe deserve to be sanctioned? Absolutely. As every human rights report from the last decade will tell you, he’s a nasty piece of work. But he’s not the only one. And as long as Europe singles him out for special attention, while embracing others of his ilk, the sanctions actually work in his favour. With justification, Mugabe can claim he is a victim, while Europe’s moral standing (dubious at the best of time) is eroded by its hypocrisy. All we’re asking for is a little consistency – and if that’s too much, then it is might be time to forget this whole charade. DM Daily Maverick, South Africa