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From Darfur to Avian Flu: Views from the Horn of Africa and Sudan

The Darfur crisis continues to dominate the English-speaking Sudanese blogosphere. The blog Coalition for Darfur quotes a World Food Program (WFP) report, which tells of rations of pulses, sugar and salt being cut from March 2006 in Darfur. This is as a result of “slow donor response to WFP’s Emergency Operation in Sudan.” Furthermore, situation still looks tense going by the report:

“The security situation remained tense during the month with continued reports of the build-up of troops, artillery and vehicles in West Darfur by both government and rebel groups. Humanitarian access to the north of El Geneina [the capital of West Darfur province] remains closed with continued reports of attacks targeting commercial trucks.”

Sudan Watch presents series of write-ups on the situation in Darfur. These include coordinated efforts between the Arab League and the African Union (AU) to bring an end to the conflict as well as a quest by a former Sudanese slave and a Sudanese NBA basketballer to walk from New York to Washington DC as a call for action on the situation in Darfur. The handing over of the AU mandate in the Darfur to a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force has generated much debate especially in Sudan. The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan is reported as saying that the support of the Sudanese government is needed for such the handover to proceed.

Part of the Ethiopian blogosphere continues to rumble with thought-provoking political discussions as ever. ethiopundit lashes out on the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, for his high-handedness. In reference to the last Ethiopian election, it states:

“Pressured to treat his people decently for a change by the West, or at least to spill a little less blood in public – the Prime Minister has been totally defiant.”

And even though the government of Mr. Zenawi recently made some progress on the border dispute with Eritrea, ethiopundit appears unimpressed. In its words:

“Take the recent negotiations with Eritrea where there has been a ‘breakthrough’ which can only mean that Meles is finally going to go along with the results of the arbitration that he rejected then accepted then rejected then accepted then rejected over the past six years…Ethiopia is in these negotiations now simply to make Westerners happy and possibly Eritrea's government too.”

Ethiopian Politics reports that the former Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, (who is currently in exile in Zimbabwe) has been interfering in Zimbabwean politics. It tells of a Zimbabwean news service report, which states that there is evidence to prove that “Mengistu was the brain behind a recent controversial ‘clean-up’ campaign that left millions homeless.”

Meskel Square tells of an investment that gives a higher return than Google—chickens in Ethiopia. The advent of avian flu has seen the price of chickens in Addis Ababa plummet:

“Come to Addis and buy every chicken you can get your hands on. Chickens cost as much as 35 birr [US$ 4] before the scare. Anyone who buys low and sells high could be talking about a 438% return in their initial investment.”

Food Crisis in Somalia continues to draw attention to the plight of millions in Somalia and the Horn/East of Africa who are caught up in a drought and are currently short on food and water. Despite the fact that rains have come to some drought stricken regions of Somalia and Ethiopia, there is sign for little hope, according to Meskel Square. The reason for this is that:

“…the short unseasonal shower [experienced] is actually being seen as a sign of more dry months to come and a failed April rainy season.”

Harowo tells of a new ocean that is being formed as a result of the splitting of the Afar Triangle near the Horn of Africa. It states that the ocean is being formed at a “staggering speed — at least by geological standards. Africa will eventually lose its horn.”

  • learner

    “Ending Human Bankruptcy”an idea whose time has come.Panexist.

  • http://www.globalvoicesonline.org James Pethigal

    I am a student at the University of Connecticut and I am writing a paper on voices are not being herd loud egnough for more support in Darfur and is this becoming a waste of time? There is to much mental awarness and not egnough physical action, is this due to are involment with Iraq? Iraq why not Darfur? any comments?

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