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Latest in the Francophone African Blogosphere

PAN-AFRICAN

For the United States of Africa
Le Pangolin is fervently advocating for the dissolution of the current borders that separate African countries and that, he believes, weaken each individual African country:

Je suis pour des Etats-Unis d’Afrique par zone géographique ou linguistique, car cela va permettre d’impliquer l’ensemble des Africains dans la résolution de nombreux problèmes actuels (…). Pensez-vous sincèrement qu’un pays africain est capable de faire la guerre à un petit pays européen ? (…) Croyez-vous que des pays comme par exemple le Cameroun ou le Congo possédant beaucoup des richesses naturelles qui suscitent la convoitise de plusieurs pays occidentaux et des USA sont-ils capables de se développer individuellement ? De protéger leur territoire ? La réponse est un NON catégorique, car ni le Cameroun, ni le Congo de façon séparée n’ont pas les moyens de constituer des armées capables de défendre leurs richesses en mer (…) et sur terre (…) et s’opposer à la France.

I am for the United States of Africa broken down by geographic or linguistic zones because that would allow the involvement of the whole of Africans in resolving many existing problems (…). Do you really think an African country can go to war with a small European one? (…) Do you really think that countries like Cameroon or the Congo that own natural ressources sought after by many Western countries and the USA are able to develop individually? The answer is a categoric NObecause neither Cameroon nor the Congo have the means to erect armies capable of defending their riches on land (…) or on ground (…) and to oppose France.

Selon moi les avantages sont colossaux. Et les Africains feraient mieux de réfléchir à comment aboutir dans la décennie qui vient à ces grands ensembles, le plus rapidement possible. Il y va de la survie de l’Afrique d’ici 2025. Le développement fulgurant de la Chine et de l’Inde contraint l’Afrique à se diriger vers cette voie. A vouloir rester dans nos frontières et souverainetés actuelles est une attitude hautement suicidaire car la pression sur les ressources naturelles devient de plus forte presque impossible à tenir. Dans cette configuration l'Afrique detient à elle seule plus de trois-quarts de toutes les resources encore disponibles sur terre et mer.Tout le monde le sait aucun pays d’Afrique dans la configuration actuelle en dehors peut-être de l’Afrique du Sud, Nigeria (et même ?) ne pourra opposer une résistance à sa destruction ou spoliation par l'Occident.

I think the benefits would be colossal. And Africans had better think through how to arrive in the coming decade at those wider groupings [of countries] and as fast as possible. Africa's survival to the year 2025 depends on it. The tremendous development of China and India forces Africa to head in that direction. To choose to remain in our current borders and sovereignties is a highly suicidal attitude because the pressure on our natural resources is becoming stronger and impossible to uphold. In this configuration Africa becomes on its own more than three quarters of of all available ressources on land and sea. Everyone knows that in the current configuration, no African country except maybe South Africa and Nigeria (and then again?) will be able to resist its destruction or spoiling by the West.

COTE D'IVOIRE


Preparing for the Soccer World Cup

An article posted by Rewmi Abidjan says Cote d'Ivoire is preparing for the Soccer World Cup. The team will be recouping from the African Cup during its first week of training, says its trainer Henri Michel. The team will then prepare for a friendly match against Switzerland to take place on May 27 which its trainer calls a “test”.

Several Senegalese and Ivoirians posted words of encouragement to the Ivoirian team, stating that Africans as a whole believed it was the best African team in this year's cup and that the team had what it takes to make it to the second round:

tout ce que je repproche aux ivoiriens,c'est qu'ils négligent qu'ils sont malgré leur équipe jeune sont parmi les favoris de cette haute compétition.
j'ai peur qu'il ne soit trop tard au moment où ils vont s'en rendre compte.le match qu'ils ont livré contre l'italie l'a prouvé.il faut y croire et se dire qu'on a reçu la même formation, on joue dans les mêmes championnats.la cote d'ivoire a eu plus de cinq joueurs en ligue des champions européenne et deux joueurs en finale.je ne peux imaginer une élimination au premier tour.je vois les ivoiriens au pire des cas en demi-finale et si kalou accepte de faire un peu d'effort en attaque,on prend la coupe.

My only gripe with Ivoirians is that they neglect that despite the youth of their team they are among the favorites in this competition. I am afraid that by the time they realize this, it will be too late. The match they played against Italy proved that. They need to believe and tell themselves that they have the same training, they play the same championships. Cote d'Ivoire had more than 5 players among European championship leagues and two players in the finals. I can't imagine them being eliminated in the first round. Worst case scenario, I see them in semifinals and if Kalou agrees to step up his offense, we win the Cup.

Deputies Cannot Question Parliament's Legitimacy
Newsfeed Rewmi Abidjan posts an article that states:

Dans un nouveau pied-de-nez à la communauté internationale, les députés ivoiriens pro-régime ont “adopté” jeudi un texte permettant l'exclusion de tous les parlementaires de l'opposition qui refusent de prendre part aux “sessions” controversées de l'Assemblée.

In a new slap to the international community, Ivoirian deputies “adopted” Thursday a bill allowing the exclusion of all opposition parliamentaries who refuse to take part in “controversial” sessions of the Assembly.

The UN has stopped deeming the Assembly legitimate since mid-December when the deputies’ terms expired, explains the article. Opposition deputies who question the Assembly's legitimacy will not be allowed to resume their deputy functions according to the new bill.

New Senegalese Contingent of the UN Mission
Rewmi Abdjan also announces the official arrival in Cote D'Ivoire of the Senegalese contingent of the MUNICI UN mission that will be in charge of peacekeeping during the upcoming Presidential election. Also, a Senegalese, Antiou Pierre Ndiaye, will replace another Senegalese as head of the UN troops in Cote D'Ivoire.

DR OF CONGO

Western Press Changes its Tack
A recent article by Le Monde “finally looks at the Congo with sincere eyes,” says blogger Tony Katombe. The article states that the DRC government includes “former war criminals, known incompetents and unscrupulous business-types.” The blogger credits [opposition party] UDPS, Bishop Laurent Monsengwo and his own efforts for this turnaround in western media perception. The blogger thinks back on the hard work it took to get where he is:

Il était plus que tant ! Pendant qu'avec nos moyens de bord, nous peignions la réalité de la situtation politique congolaise et l'évolution d'un processus électoral cahoteux, nous étions sans cesse contredits par des articles “angélicistes” de journeaux européens à gros tirage.
Le combat était bien déséquilibré, et de temps en temps, la tentation était forte de laisser tomber les bras, car ces média réussissaient à déformer même la perception de certains congolais. C'est donc mû par l'énergie du désespoir que nous avons tenu bon, avec des moyens de fortune, à présenter au monde, la vérité sur l'arnaque actuellement en préparation au Congo.

It was more than time! While with our meager means, we painted the reality of the congolese political situation and the evolution of a limping electoral process, we were consistently contradicted by “angelicist” articles by mass-produced European papers.
The fight was lopsided and from time to time, it was quite tempting to give up because the media was succesfully changing the perception of even some among the Congolese. It is therefore moved by the energy of despair that we held on, with little means, to presenting to the world the truth on the scam being prepared currently in the Congo.

UDPS Campaign in Europe
UDPS Liege published an interview by La Libre Belgique of UDPS spokesman Remy Massamba with Belgian journalist Marie-France Cros in which he asked for “a dialogue between congolese political forces with the support of the international community and denied that UDPS wanted to restart the electoral process from scratch. When asked what it would take for UDPS to join the electoral process, he said:

L'essentiel est qu'un signal montre que ces élections seront inclusives. Nous avons un cahier des charges mais nous savons que nous ne pouvons obtenir satisfaction à 100 pc. Il a fallu un an pour qu'on accède à notre exigence de mettre fin à la confusion possible sur l'identité de l'UDPS (NdlR: trois partis se réclamant de ce nom se présentaient; un accord différencie désormais les sigles) mais cela ne s'est fait qu'à la veille de la clôture du dépôt des candidatures; l'UDPS n'était donc pas prête.

We just want a sign that the elections will be inclusive. We have a balance sheet but we know that we cannot be satisfied 100%. It has taken a year for them to end the possible confusion on UDPS’ identity [three parties with that name presented themselves but an agreement now distinguishes the acronyms]. But that only happened on the eve of the closing of candidate registration; UDPS was therefore not ready.

On many governments’ perception that UDPS excluded itself from the electoral process:

C'est une lecture qu'elles ont eue à un moment. Mais toutes les ambassades à Kinshasa se sont impliquées dans le problème d'identification des partis -utilisé comme arme politique par le gouvernement- et ont réussi à faire fléchir celui-ci.

That is how they felt at some point. But all the embassies in Kinshasa got involved in the problem of the many UDPS’ – a political weapon used by the government – and they succeeded in pressuring the government to budge on this issue.

On UDPS's claim in press releases that there is an international plot against it:

Cela doit être le discours de l'UDPS. Tous les acteurs nationaux avaient accepté en décembre 2005, sous égide internationale, d'aborder les problèmes posés par l'UDPS au sujet du processus électoral; or, il n'y a eu aucune suite. Si on laisse les choses en l'état, cela relèverait d'un complot.

That has to be UDPS’ discourse. All the national actors had accepted in December 2005, under the international community's eye, to tackle the problems posited by UDPS about the electoral process. Yet, nothing came of it. If things stay as they are, they would have been caused by a plot.

Papa Wemba and Kabila
Le Renouveau Congolais may have at one time been a fan of DRC Rhumba Rock star Papa Wemba but he is no more. This week, he called the crooner a Kabilist, i.e. a partisan of current president Joseph Kabila of which Renouveau is not a fan.

BENIN

President Seeks Key Sectors’ Input
See more here.

REUNION

Photos of Volcano
Reunion Passion posts a scenic slideshow of La Reunion‘s Piton de la Fournaise volcano.

Chikungunya Virus and Tourism
A chikungunya virus epidemic has been plaguing La Reunion and blogger Jean-Paul of Dijoux.Re posted the latest news, including that several hotels have closed due to the epidemic's effect on tourism:

Malgré les températures plus fraîches l’épidémie de chikungunya ne baisse pas et reste à un niveau de 1200 cas par semaine. (…) Le Comité de Tourisme cherche par tous les moyens de relancer le tourisme avec entre autre la venue dans notre île de Miss Univers 2004 qui est australienne.

Despite milder temperatures, the chikungunya epidemic has not subsided and remains at a level of 1200 cases a week. (…) The Tourism Committee is trying by all means to relaunch tourism and among other initiatives they are bringing Miss Universe 2004 who is from Australia to our island.


Indian and Moslem Issues in La Reunion

Zarabes, a blog dedicated to the issues of moslems of Indian descent in La Reunion, posts about the newly formed CSHR, a local committee for the monitoring of Halal food (Comite de Surveillance du Halal a La Reunion) and about a symposium on India held on the island on Saturday.

SENEGAL

For a North-South Dialogue on Migration
Reflecting on Senegal's drowned migrant crisis and migrations towards the West in general, Robert Sagna, the Mayor of Ziguinchor, Senegal blogs:

En somme la globalisation en cours, qui a tendance à uniformiser les pratiques économiques, bute sur des questions fondamentales liées à la relation humaine à l’Autre. … Or depuis la nuit des temps, les hommes et les femmes se sont toujours déplacés … Les pays développés … des murailles presque infranchissables sont construites à travers les « visas ». Le visa est une création des temps modernes et ne me paraît pas être la bonne solution. … La jeunesse du Sud a choisi l’émigration. Faisons en sorte que cela ne soit pas le seul choix, cela est de notre responsabilité. Ensuite faisons en sorte que les migrations ne soient pas « choisies », mais « organisées » dans le cadre d’un dialogue Nord-Sud pour une coopération active en la matière….La répression ne peut jamais être une bonne solution durable, c’est un pis aller.”

Globalization, which tends to make economic practices uniform, hits a wall when it comes to fundamental issues linked to human rapport with the Other (…) However since time immemorial, men and women have always gone from one part of the world to the other (…) Developed countries (…) build quasi-impenetrable walls through “visas”. Visas, a creation of modern times, are not the right solution (…) The youth from the South has chosen emigration. It is our responsibility to make sure that is not the only choice. Then let's make sure that migrations are not “chosen” but “organized” through a North-South dialogue for active cooperation on the topic (…) Repression can never be a good durable solution, it makes things worse.”

TOGO

Jazz and Literature
Kangni Alem directs us to novels recently released by his friends Sara Vidal, Amba Till and Adelaide Fassinou on topics such as love and the border between Benin and Togo. He also treats us to his response to a swooning fan letter and to reflections on the relationship between music and literature.

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