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African revolt?

Andrew Harding | 19:14 UK time, Thursday, 17 February 2011

How far will the ideals and convulsions sweeping through Arab states penetrate into sub-Saharan Africa? Khartoum has already felt a few ripples. So who's next - if anyone?

Despite this incident, I think we can rule out Somalia. Mogadishu, in its eccentric way, may be more plugged into cyberspace that most cities on the continent. But how do you rebel against violent anarchy?

Uganda looks like more fertile ground as it grapples with elections. But the army seem unlikely to change sides, and there's no obvious groundswell of Facebook revolutionaries poised to march on Kampala.

Further south, Zimbabwe's ever-embattled prime minister has once again drawn hopeful parallels between his country and Egypt. But the police and army - still loyal to President Robert Mugabe - seem fully capable of preventing any awkward gatherings in Harare. As one political analyst here put it to me - "people in Zim know the police will shoot them".

Which brings us - with plenty of omissions - to the far end of the continent. South Africa is nothing like Egypt, but the Arab flu has given local commentators here plenty to sneeze about. Political commentator Moeletsi Mbeki gives the governing African National Congress (ANC) another nine years before the revolution comes. Another commentator, Jacob Dlamini, warns that apathy rather than protest will be the governing party's undoing. But this handy website offers a different, statistics-based, and sometimes more optimistic perspective. One of its authors, Robert Mattes, cites the "safety valve of elections", both here and across much of the continent, as a key inoculating factor against Arab-style unrest. South Africa is often gripped by violent protests linked to poverty and service delivery failures, but "people don't question the legitimacy of the government here. It's just that the government isn't listening," says Professor Mattes.

By the way - if you haven't already, do read this excellent analysis by a colleague of the social dynamics behind what's going on in Egypt and elsewhere. Of the 20 points listed, how many are now widespread in sub-Saharan Africa? Not enough, I reckon.

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  • 1. At 8:17pm on 17 Feb 2011, Molecular wrote:

    It must be accepted that the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt were too long overdue. And while some African countries are ripe for this sort of resurgence/insurgence to reclaim their country (Zimbabwe, Equitorial Guines, etc.), many are not, because of improved governance.
    It is an oft-repeated mistake to lump Africa into one basket.

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  • 2. At 9:26pm on 17 Feb 2011, URmama wrote:

    Well, remember, many of Mubarak's and Ben Ali's allies never saw that coming. in 2005, Ethiopians, came out in great numbers to protest the stollen election that was clearly won by CUD, the major political party at the time that ran against the ruling government party. at the time, many were killed either point blank or by snipers and many western nations' goverments gave a blind eye to that brutality for the sake of keeping their interest safe. btw, they tried to do that again during Egypt's and Tunisia's public uprisie and revolt but it was too much to ignore it anymore since their own people are watching the situation 24/7 on cnn, aljazeera, and bbc alike. as far as i saw Egypt's revolt, 200,000 people brought Mubarak down but the rest stayed home and revolted silently. this also could be related with other sub-saharan nations whose authocrat leaders' continued to get western supports but their demise will be inevitable when a once-a-day meal becomes no meal to the majority of these nation's citizens. Ethiopia comes in mind and i say this, you dont need face-book or social media to rise up when your humanity and means of existence is completelly ripped off and lost reason to live. yes they are brutal and will attempt to kill hundreds and even thousands of their own people to silence them, but again, see above sentence.

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  • 3. At 10:21pm on 17 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    Back to few weeks ago here on this Blog, Andrew Harding Predicted that after Tunisia it could be Sudan. And now few days later, we have one tyrant and western ally puppet in Egypt had been forced out, Bahrain and Yemen seems the next, while Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Morocco all are in the list.

    So what Andrew thinks on the domino falling and what should be done? Because to me it appears that people are been trick on the word independence, these countries and whole of Africa, are not independent, and it never be since the Andrew dynasty had arrived there. People are been told that they are independent but in reality they been ruled by the same colonials via proxies known as autocratic eunuch-bouncers.

    You don’t have to just look at the number of American, UK and French army base in these lands to guarantee the security of those agents but known as western allies, but looking at the world economic control engineered by the bretton woods institutions it will make you understand the worst than colonisation systems going on right now, It will also help you to understand the very impotent job of people like Andrew Harding, not just they can play like economic speculators but they can also embarking on corners where the above mentions tools of colonisation cannot go.

    So now where we face? To me the picture is really gleam but one thing is certain, “you can fool some people sometimes but can’t fool the whole people the whole time”. I just finish watching program calls “The G-zero”. The British Empire went down though seems like there are many who still would like to keep dreaming it.

    America is going down and busy looking for some soft landing, and now they created the new EU but questions are in all over the house. While the new China and the BRICS club seems determine to fight until then end so we just have to wait and see. On BBC TV in the middle of last year, before every presentation of the economic news they had advert which used to say: “are we going to remain the same or will change forever”?

    In Iran when the Puppet shah was topple and the west could not to impose one of their own or manoeuvre the ones came after shah then the west just got mad and turn against those newcomers so probably that is what going to happen now. I am expecting a big war, it will be very stupid decision but seems like that is the only or probably option they have.

    Concern to the question Andrew asked here today, I am not sure that the revolts like the ones in Tunisia and Egypt is the only thing needed. Myself I am very worry that those brave people who took these wars on the streets, their sacrifice will end in vain, the bretton woods institutions are not going to change, and surely they are going to kidnap anyone who will become leader in these countries. So the revolt I would like to see is a real revolution against the UN, IMF and WB. We need change in these places and without that we can remove or even kill million leaders but nothing will change.

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  • 4. At 09:07am on 18 Feb 2011, Andrew Harding BBC wrote:

    some interesting articles on this theme in this week's Mail and Guardian newspaper: one on zimbabwe http://mg.co.za/article/2011-02-18-we-are-our-own-liberators/ then there's bono banging on about corruption http://mg.co.za/article/2011-02-18-corruption-is-the-biggest-killer/
    molecular - i was trying to avoid the basket! egypt - like the orange revolutions - clearly offers different lessons to different countries.
    mze-djimba - "autocratic eunuch-bouncers" - well-coined!

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  • 5. At 11:00am on 18 Feb 2011, sagat4 wrote:

    I don't think there will be a serious domino effect in the rest of the continent. It will only affect arab speaking parts as we have seen/are seeing in Libya, Algeria etc. Sure the other countries with despots will be looking over their shoulders but like you said people are scared that the polics and army will shoot at them resulting in injury and death. It will take elements in such governments to effect changes

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  • 6. At 1:39pm on 18 Feb 2011, Anthony wrote:

    I do hope South Africa continues on its fairly democratic road to peace! The biggest problem for the ANC is to resist calls for nationalisation because they know that would cause major disinvestment. Currently there is a strong growing black middle class in SA and the stronger that class becomes the threat from the large poor black class will become less and less.

    The ANC could do more to tackle corruption. Take julius malema for instance, he is a very wealthy person and continues to get richer. The ANC have to look at this growing culture, but in retro spect look at the rich leaders in Britian before and after their political careers!

    SA has huge to become and remain a very powerful country and i hope the ANC continue with their open and fair trade policy. The longer they continue like that and resist the calls for nationalisation the better.

    I grew in the apartheid era and left in 3 and again in 98 so i am not too sure if the ANC ever made promises like Mugabe did!

    In hindsight South Africa can look up along Africa and look at the things NOT to do as a goverment, as the affects of all these stupid decisions by other African countries ended in african holocaust!

    Godbless South AFrica!!

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  • 7. At 2:29pm on 18 Feb 2011, Ghost rider wrote:

    I don't think so. because if you see the list of longest serving presidents in africa are the majority are from sub-sahara Africa. if they're not more becuase of coup d'etat. http://mycontinent.co/Ditactors.php

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  • 8. At 7:03pm on 18 Feb 2011, Molecular wrote:

    Thanks, Andrew. The key point is that the chicken have finally come home to roost for the West. The Mubaraks, Ben-Alis, late Shah of Iran, late Somoza of Panama, Pinochet of Chile, apartheid South Africa, and countless of despotic regimes the world over lasted as long as they did because of overt and covert Western support.
    In Egypt and Tunisia, when the youth finally managed to break out of the chains of oppression, guess, what? The west issues proclamations as if they have been supporting these people all these years.
    The West has always chosen stability over democracy, and their support for the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt does not indicate a fundamental shift in policy in this regard. Such is my thought.

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  • 9. At 7:43pm on 18 Feb 2011, Rich_N wrote:

    I cant believe that Nigeria isn't getting more of a mention here. The similarities to Egypt are striking - an elite which has maintained power for years, widespread corruption and increasing disenfranchisement and poverty. With an election coming up which will almost certainly return the ruling PDP's Jonathan Goodluck through a mixture of bribery, ballot rigging and phantom voters, there is a realistic possibility of popular dissent after the result.

    Another similarity to Egypt is the powerful and relatively well respected military which would probably have to make the same choices as Egypt's to either put down the protest by force or stand by and let the political regime stand on its own. It would be very interesting to see what would choices the military would make if a popular uprising did occur.

    If elections were condemned by international observers it would also make America's position exceptionally difficult, support an "allied" but corrupt government or support individual freedoms and risk the oil tap being turned off.

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  • 10. At 7:50pm on 18 Feb 2011, Back 2 Blighty wrote:

    I still think it will be Britain next. British revolt, Andrew?

    The writing's on the wall (and I don't mean any graffiti).

    Look for example at this report:

    http://yankophobe.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/after-tunisia-egypt-is-the-anglo-saxon-world-next/

    or this one:
    http://yankophobe.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/how-to-use-people-power-to-bring-down-the-government/


    Also I happen to know that demonstrations are planned in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 19 (that's tomorrow) and on Saturday 26.

    I am not saying it will happen tomorrow or the following week but we'll see, we'll see...

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  • 11. At 8:52pm on 18 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    Mail & guardian!!! We know who is the mail & guardian, and I don’t value or pay any attention on most of what they say, and I believe that he will be an idiot the one who will trust that journal on some particular corners. But what makes me laugh is the smartness of one of the writers of one of the articles who said “South Africa, Britain and other countries have provided a safety valve.........”Since when Britain start protecting Zimbabwe?

    And concern to the push of Mugabe to be in the list with those Arab tyrants; I use to say that the only benefit the west can try to benefit on this present domino falling, is if they can try to squeeze Libya & Iran in the list. And since Iraq is known with over 60% Shia and vote will be the Nome and Bahrain is joining Tehran after Bagdad then I think Muslims should pray that a big setup war of Shia-Sunni is not on progress. Remember that the Saddam-Iran war which destroyed millions and cost billions of dollars was on this ground.

    If I am in South Africa on the end of December every year I use to do some business, and the reason I like doing it that days is because of what they call Christmas (or X-mass) in the last 15 days in South Africa people buy a lot and they spend money like nothing, so I use to take the chance and make some money. My point here is the whole idea of the 1996 movie “The long Kiss goodnight” please watch it if you want, I have no time to talk about the story of the September 11.

    I hope and pray that in this economic hardship times, those who been affected so hard and well known Merchants of Death, I hope they won’t create war in that region so they can make some money.

    Now back to the pursuit of Mugabe by BBC’s other sister. If anyone do his homework well, he can see that the plots for the downfall of Mugabe is been done for quit sometimes and sometimes the push went further to even suggest to use military. Just go through the work of thugs like Robert Rotberg in place like the Daily Mail and Financial Times, you can see all sorts of views of the colleagues of Andrew there and I am sure Andrew knows this.

    What I never saw before is the strategy of trying to infiltrate the victim & try to divert their grievance and manoeuvre their aims like how it appear in one of the articles there. However, what those desperate people should understand is that Mugabe is not like any of those Arab tyrants.

    Those tyrants were made kings, groomed chauvinists and installed to abuse their own people, steal their people’s wealth and store it in the west. They are proxies as we always say. They shows the world that their enemy number one is their people and their friend number one is the west.
    And facts like The Sadat-Israel agreements, the recent Palestine paper by Aljazeera, the American, UK and French bases in those countries, and the focus on dividing their own people on the basis of sects and tribes is the Tyrants's official duty and Mugabe is far from all of that.

    Mugabe is the enemy for the west and I guess he is very proud of that, and now the west is try to make his friends which in this case are his citizens; the west is trying to make them think that he is their enemy number one.

    The west is trying to portray the one who told them (the Zimbabweans) that they are Africans and the land of Africa is theirs, and there is no such thing as chosen European nation on the African soil, no African own Europe so no Europeans shall own Africa; this very sound logic BUT dangerous message is the national anthem of Mugabe. And that is why he is been so hated by the west And this bring me to the point I end comment number 3.

    No matter how many people we change from office but the soon the bretton woods policies and mindsets are remain the same the lives of the normal person on the streets will remain the same. The blood sucker bretton woods institutions are the ones now hunting down Mugabe for his good intention to his people. And now he will have to give-up or pay for his blood. I very like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oARBdBtGenM and “mugging the poor”

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  • 12. At 9:03pm on 18 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    @back 2 blight: you can't be serious.

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  • 13. At 03:06am on 19 Feb 2011, AKPAN wrote:

    No, the revolution in the Arab world is unlikely spread to sub-Saharan Africa because unlike the former, we've been conditioned to have between very low and zero expectations. Very few of us, for example, believe that government has a basic duty to provide basic infrastructure and functioning institutions. Even our educated middle classes would much rather make personal sacrifices to provide themselves with electric generators, than come together to demand grid electricity. In my regular visits to my country, I'm often astonished by how grateful people are for something as basic as the provision of a simple borehole by the government.

    In contrast, the Arab world seem to have an unwritten contract with their despotic regimes: as long as you provide us with roads and hospitals, you can do as you please - and, while freedom of speech would be nice, we really don't mind not having it, provided you give us economic opportunities. Ben Ali was therefore unwise to forget his side of the bargain in Tunisia - and paid dearly for it. Ditto with Mubarak. But the kleptocratic tyranny in Saudi Arabia (which is ever so mindful of that "contract") remains unshaken. Ditto Kuwait and the UAE.

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  • 14. At 03:26am on 19 Feb 2011, Ddungu Musa Evans wrote:

    I believe that most african countries will learn from Tunisia and Egypt, countries like Uganda,which have faced prolonged problems of dictators have to adapt this kind of Tunisia and Egyptian style,this is because Ugandans have selfish leaders which need to be removed either by peace or by force and revolting is the easiest way to get rid off such leaders. we cannot develope while we still have corrupt leaders on african countnment. we need to protest and clean our motherland Uganda and african at large, I believe that Uganda is not ruled out though people are being intimidated by the army things might be go beyond control anytime. I fully support Revolts as it's it the only way to get rid of corrupt leaders.

    Ddungu Musa Evans
    Ugandan.

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  • 15. At 08:20am on 19 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    A COMPROMISE VERSION OF COMMENT 11
    -----------------------------------
    Mail & Guardian is the Mail & Guardian!!! We know who is the M&G, and I don’t value or pay any attention on most of what they say, and I believe that he will be an ignorant-idiot the one who will trust that journal on some particular corners. But what makes me laugh is the smartness of one of the writers of one of the articles who said “South Africa, BRITAIN and other countries have provided a safety valve.........”Since when Britain start protecting Zimbabwe?

    And concern to the push of Mugabe to be in the list with those Arab tyrants; I believe that the only benefit the west can try to benefit on this present domino falling is if they can try to squeeze Libya & Iran in the list. And since Iraq is known with over 60% Shia and vote will be the Nome and Bahrain is joining Tehran after Bagdad then I think Muslims should pray that a big setup war of Sunni vs Shia is not on progress. Remember that the Saddam vs Iran war which destroyed millions and cost billions of dollars was on this ground.

    If I am in South Africa on the end of December every year I use to do some business, and the reason I like doing it that days is because of what they call Christmas or (X-mass). in the last 15 days in South Africa people buy a lot and they spend money like nothing, so I use to take the chance and make some money. My point here is the whole idea of the 1996 movie “The long Kiss goodnight” please watch it if you want, I have no time to talk about the story of the September 11 and is not the topic here. I hope and pray that in this economic hardship times, those who been affected so hard and well known Merchants of Death won’t create war in that region so they can make some money.

    Now back to the pursuit of Mugabe by BBC’s other sister. If anyone do his homework well, he can see that the plots for the downfall of Mugabe is been done for quit sometimes and sometimes the push went further to even suggest to use military. Just go through the work of scammers like Robert Rotberg in place like the Daily Mail and Financial Times, you can see all sorts of views of the colleagues of Andrew.

    What I never saw before is the strategy of trying to infiltrate the victim & try to divert their grievance and manoeuvre their aims like how it appear in one of the articles there, but if you watch Robert Rotberg carefully you can see something like that. However, what those desperate people should understand is that Mugabe is not like any of those Arab tyrants.

    Those tyrants were made kings, groomed chauvinists and installed to abuse their own people, steal their people’s wealth and store it in the west. They are proxies as we always say. They shows the world that their enemy number one is their people and their friend number one is the west.
    And facts like The Sadat-Israel agreements, the recent Palestine paper by Aljazeera, the American, UK and French military bases in those countries, and the focus on dividing their own people on the basis of sects and tribes is their official duty and Mugabe is far from all of that.

    Mugabe grown-up as normal African child, he was trained and worked as teacher to his people, and when the needs raised for him to seek freedom for his people, he become a freedom fighter, he straggled a lot in the hands of the so-claimed to be the fathers of Democracy & freedom. Mugabe can face the west and tell them what they don’t like to hear, and he can say it in a painful ways, and I guess he is very proud of that, so now the west is try to make his friends which in this case the friends which he invested in them are his citizens; the west is trying to make them think that he is their enemy number one.

    The west is trying to portray the one who told them (the Zimbabweans) that they are Africans and the land of Africa is theirs, and there is no such thing as chosen European nation on the African soil, no African own Europe so no Europeans shall own Africa;(he said "he owns nothing in Europe and don’t want any” while the Arab tyrants save trillions of the oil money in the west) this very sound logic BUT dangerous message is the national anthem of Mugabe. And that is why he is been so hated by the west And this bring me to the point I end comment number 3.

    No matter how many people we change from office but the soon the bretton woods policies and mindsets are remain the same the lives of the normal person on the streets will remain the same. The blood sucker bretton woods institutions are the ones now hunting down Mugabe for his good intention to his people. And now he will have to give-up or pay for his blood. I very like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oARBdBtGenM and “mugging the poor”.

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  • 16. At 10:03am on 19 Feb 2011, Andrew Harding BBC wrote:

    here are another couple of interesting links on this theme: http://www.npr.org/2011/02/18/133862029/new-republic-egypts-revolts-could-unravel-sudan and http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2011/02/revolutions_sudan

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  • 17. At 11:23am on 19 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    What a shame and injustice on this site by suppressing comments which have NO ANY WORD of violence or abuse. To the one who removed my comments particularly the number 15 you have the right to do whatever you want because this is your site but on the ground of public rights, freedom of expression right, you have no right to remove that comment. And I challenge you to prove me ONE word there which is not appropriate. We should have the right to say what we feel as you give yourself the right to write whatever you want, but now your right even reach the level of suppressing every view you don’t like to be heard, and you are forcing us to only say what you want the way you wants, good democracy you have. Yes you are the one who can criticise Mugabe and call him dictator; Remove this also.

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  • 18. At 11:33am on 19 Feb 2011, Back 2 Blighty wrote:

    @ 17

    Mze-djimba,

    I know how you feel but I don't think it's Andrew Harding personally censors your comments.

    I think the way it works here someone hits the complain button and the mods do the dirty job, i.e. remove the comment, or if it says "referred for consideration" it means someone has complained and the mods are "considering" it (which can take as long as weeks or even forever in some cases).

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  • 19. At 12:58pm on 19 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    @18 back 2 blight: It’s very painful; I have comments on the no way land position now for over 6 months on this Andrew Harding blog. And in most of these comment there is no rule been broke, only that they BBC don’t like to hear these views, and they found no ground to delete it so they just keep it in no way land until the debate on the subject is close and none is going to that old pages. this guys work similar like the tyrants police apparatus in the Arab world or the CIA’s secrets prisons, simply been suspect by one of their cruel chauvinists agents, you will perish in a dark sight or place like Guantanamo bay, you won’t why you been arrested? who arrest you or when you are going to be release. You are only under their merciless system which is divine laws and none can challenge it. Thank you back 2 light.

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  • 20. At 2:02pm on 19 Feb 2011, BluesBerry wrote:

    The revolutions that we are seeing are not African revolts. The revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, etc. are NED/Soros “color revolutions”.
    What is a NED/Soros "color revolution"?
    “Color revolutions” have a pattern. This is due to the fact that they are all generated by the same strategists: the Open Society Network of George Soros. Soros funds revolutions. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is Congressionally-funded and it promotes the “world democratic revolution”, which really SERVES THE PLUTOCRACY.
    All the organizations involved have spent years and huge money creating revolutionary organizations in Egypt, Tunisia; some of these organizations are
    - National Endowment for Democracy,
    - USAID,
    - International Republican Institute and
    - Open Society Institute.
    The local labor unions for example were organized, trained and funded by NED. The local labor unions are funded by the US Agency for International Development, National Endowment for Democracy, the US Department of State, the US Department of Labor.
    These so-called mass movements (e.g. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt) are doing what they have been designed to do by the US-based organizations. These are revolutions that really come from western governments and that use locals as cannon fodder.
    The actual revolts, of course, are by the secularized youth who look on Western democracy as an ideal (Poor fools! They fail to realize that the Western Democracy is non-existent. Western Democracy is plutocracy.)
    There are many indications that Mubarak had become an impediment to US policy. e.g. The US and Mubarak were at loggerheads over Sudan - Mubarak favored a confederation; whereas the US wanted dismemberment of the South from the north. Mubarak was winning in the Sudan. In November, Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said that within the previous five years Egypt had invested more than $87M into projects in southern Sudan - hospitals, schools, power stations, “in hope of convincing the people of southern Sudan to choose unity over secession.”
    Meanwhile, the US was operating on its prime maxim: Divide and conquer.
    And then came the big push: the US Defense Department established the Africa Command (AFRICOM). Goal: the establishment of a massive military base in southern Sudan.
    In Egypt, Mohamed ElBaradei appears to be a contender-in-waiting. ElBaradei is on the Executive Committee of the International Crisis Group (ICG), yet another globalist organization promoting the “new world order” behind the mask of “democracy”. (ICG was founded in 1994 by Mark Brown, former Vice President of the World Bank. Soros is a committee member, along with Samuel Berger and Wesley Clark.)
    There is a Wikileaks from the US Embassy in Cairo that appears to prove that the US was providing support for groups of youth activists who were demonstrating in Cairo. NED, Open Society, Freedom House, etc. are proud of their roles and seem quite willing to talk & write about them, because it is assumed that everyone will be fooled into accepting the “American Dream of Democracy,”. Actually, let's call it what it is: “The New World Order.”
    Anti-Americanism is a gut reaction against a corrupt and corrupting modernization that is being vomited on other countries. America’s foreign policy elite considers the USA to have a God-like mission to remake the Earth in the image of the United States. American globalization is worse than military dictatorship, because it is corrupt, rotten and certainly nothing to emulate.
    The role of the American military is to retain the power to assault against any and all cultures that refuse to Americanize. American global culture serves to bring down traditional societies, and in my opinion, this is literally a "bloody" shame. Have we not wiped out enough cultures? Have we not lost too much wisdom and tradition in doing so?
    There seems to be a genuine respect between the Egyptian people and the army. But I believe that the western globalists have let loose their chaos, that there will be in a state of choas for many years to come - like the splendid westernization of “liberated” Iraq, or the even more splendid westernization that is going on in Afghanistan.
    Foreign Policy Journal: "The tumult in North Africa could conceivably backfire on the globalists and create a quagmire of the Iraq variety."
    I believe that the western meddling for the “new world disorder” has clearly, CLEARLY shown western Governments to be remarkably arrogant and lacking in political acumen. Therefore I also believe that the new world order will one day self-destruct. The mentality of these "color" revolutions lurks somewhere between psychopathology and arrogance.
    Further, it is my guess that the problems in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, etc. may have been part of a broader, regional scheme that is being primarily directed at Iran. Iran has been branded - right or wrong - for destruction by the "Project for the New American Century".

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  • 21. At 8:38pm on 19 Feb 2011, AKPAN wrote:

    To Mze-djimba: I can't obviously ever know what the content of your comments was (and do not care, even if it was racist, homophobic, or whatever else it might have been), but support your complain against its removal. The BBC certainly has ignominious form in censoring debate: if your views don't seem "acceptable" or "appropriate" to them, they are not to be broadcast. And you wonder how they'd behave if they were some tyrant's news media, rather than a supposed guardian of free speech, funded as they are by the people of Great Britain.

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  • 22. At 05:13am on 20 Feb 2011, Monychol Akop Deng wrote:

    Africa (and perhaps the rest of the world) will have peace only when there is discipline in politics. Lack of political discipline where scoundrels (unprincipled men with selfish tendencies) rule the continent is the source of problems.

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  • 23. At 09:15am on 20 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 10:34am on 20 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 12:04pm on 20 Feb 2011, DorsetJane wrote:

    Hi Andrew
    Thanks for giving us an African perspective, we need me of it and I am pleased the BBC is representing the views of my mother continent. One matter you do not include which I think is important is the impact of food prices on the problems in Africa. An economist I follow points this out on the notayesmanseconomics blog.
    "If we then look for causes of the unrest then whilst there are issues with corruption and other problems with her autocratic government a large factor at the bottom of this has been rises in food prices. Some 40% of Egypt’s population lives on less than one US dollar per day and they have reached the point where they are struggling to be able to feed themselves and their families. This is a human cost to the rise in commodity prices that I have been chronicling since late summer 2010. This puts a human cost too on the rise in the foodstuffs component of the CRB index from 400 in late November of last year to 479.68 now. A rise of just under 20% in basic food costs affects everyone but is particularly painful for those with little money, some of whom must have been going hungry perhaps very hungry"
    http://t.co/sV4A01p

    So my suggestion for predicting unrest is to look for places which have the poorest people in them....

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  • 26. At 4:05pm on 20 Feb 2011, induna wrote:

    Andrew,

    So what started as a blog on the potential southward-drift of apparently secular youth-driven regime change, and its assumed 'viral' effect, has (as in the inevitable BTL responses pandering to respective holy-cows)descended into trite and ill-informed manifestos on worthless and exhaustively discredited paranoid western-influenced military-industrial piffle that we apparently dont know are really "driven" by a few clearly maniacal and conveniently well-off individuals.

    To invoke (yet again) the obviously misunderstood 'heroism' of Mugabe and the West's wilful manipulation to demonise him, discredits the massive number of his countryfolk who have suffered through his depredations both black and white and who, in doing so has virtually destroyed the country or at best, set it back by three generations. This is rape and pillage of a different variety.

    That some replies on here suggest opinions formed by reading diverse media (although from some of the more "obtuse" extrapolations, presumably in a hall of mirrors), does not afford any credibility other than to misconstruct and then regurgitate populist views.

    Sadly the quality of response does your blog no justice.

    My opinion however, is that whilst there are indeed democratic levers in place to moderate the often violent and mostly misplaced protests in SA (vide recent truckers pay protests and the "teachers" (sic)) much of this dissatisfaction is due to a different type of hegemony, that of entitlement from an ANC government who believe it appropriate to "deploy" cadres rather than skilled and objective technocrats to run the place whether out of misplaced BEE transformation criteria or unfortunately, sheer avaricious corruption is not (yet) a populist revolution (see the latest issue with the Home Office visas as a prime example of this systemic failure)...so South Africa is probably not the right comparator.

    I am angered by the double standard of the SA Government keeping shtum on the Zimbabwean Human Rights abuses...though it is never too late to condemn the vile homophobe, racist and genocidal Mugabe, and I sincerely hope they will make loud and unambiguous comments at their disgust with the sociopathic Gadaffi's murderous repression now taking place in Libya. I suspect the problems will for the time being be curtailed to the Maghreb and West Africa.

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  • 27. At 4:11pm on 20 Feb 2011, induna wrote:

    re Dorsetjane's comment

    Yes food and water protection are the new battlegounds for war in the 21st century. Square this with the staggeringly uninformed approach in Zimbabwe, and the ongoing farm-murders in SA (about one per day since Zuma's state of the nation address)- Surely despite the high crime rate in SA - the government must recognise that the moving of farmers to safer climes where their rights may be better guaranteed (Mozambique, various countries in sub-Saharan Africa and even as far afield as Georgia) should take some cognisance of this?

    Even Angola is a step ahead here, noting Joburg is sitting on a water poisoning disaster (leakage, chemical leeching from the mines) that will turn it into a new 'importer')

    That, not cults of personality will determine how an electorate should vote.

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  • 28. At 4:41pm on 20 Feb 2011, camerborn wrote:

    Its amazing that so much is written about sub Saharan Africa yet we hardly hear anything about Cameroon. The president has been in power for 29 years, the population is constituted predominantly of youths, the literacy level is one of the highest in Africa and yet the unemployment rate is appalling (30% official figures and about 55% unofficial figures).Corruption levels are intolerable and opposition has absolutely no power.Yet BBC mentions nothing about this potential time bomb.

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  • 29. At 5:09pm on 20 Feb 2011, Nyadegu71 wrote:

    The middle East crisis will never rich Zimbabwe.These are my reasons:
    1)2008 was the ripe time for Zimbabweans to have gone to the streets in protest of their daily hardships that ranged from no money in the banks, no food on the shelves, and not forgetting the hyperinflation of the economy and a stolen election.If this was not enough to push them to the streets then what else shall anger them?

    2)Neighboring countries like S.Africa,Botswana and western & European countries have offered safety nets for Zimbabweans.Their borders are so porous such that frustrated Zimbabweans find themselves crossing borders.Who will then fight the tyrant if 3/4 of the workforce is in neighboring countries?It is now time for these countries to tighten their borders and deport Zimbabweans so that they can sort out their backyard.Let them boil with anger of being jobless and experience the high cost of living in Zimbabwe, maybe that's when we can start talking of Egyptian style revolution.

    Last but not least,Zimbabwean army is not educated enough to think critically that it is being used by the top brass who have enriched themselves by looting national resources.The lower ranks are languishing in poverty yet they are the ones protecting the top brass by suppressing any dissent.

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  • 30. At 7:22pm on 20 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 31. At 7:44pm on 20 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    30. DisgustedinDERRY
    "This comment has been referred for further consideration."

    It would appear that the truth is a hard pill to swallow. So much for democracy and free press. The British are as bad as the Libyans, the Chinese and all the other oppressive nations who disallow their people a voice!!!

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  • 32. At 7:59pm on 20 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    Let's try again shall we and see what comments of mine do not fit the British idea of a fair comment:

    I find it quite amusing that William Hague is criticizing the Libyans for their human rights abuses, when the British army continue, as they have done for decades, if not centuries, to abuse the human rights of every single person (and they amount to billions of human beings) who has been murdered or injured by their actions. The British government should sort out its own human rights record worldwide, before criticising the record of a fellow oppressive state!!!

    It's time to wake up and smell the stench of dead bodies, left behind by successive British governments and their repressive foreign policies!!!

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  • 33. At 8:13pm on 20 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:



    It would appear that by removing the word terrorist, when describing the awful human rights record of an army, it now fits the British idea of a fair comment.

    I suppose one man's terrorist is another man's hero!!!

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  • 34. At 00:24am on 21 Feb 2011, jsff wrote:

    My question goes back to Harding; Why is it so that the West or the greedy Western Elites so much worry about what Africa do for her citizens without the consent of Westerners?? Why is that?? Meaning, why is it that they always like to interfere in Africa Countries Sovereign decission making?? Can you answer this question Harding?? And, please make sure that this question is posted; don't manipulate the media either harding.

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  • 35. At 10:32am on 21 Feb 2011, sagat4 wrote:

    The western governments i.e. U.S, U.K and the EU are hypocrites. They supported these despotic regimes and ignored their human rights records and know they cry about their human rights abuses..lol.

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  • 36. At 11:21am on 21 Feb 2011, Andrew Harding BBC wrote:

    Is this Al Bashir's reaction to the fate of Mubarak, or, as his colleagues claim here http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-02-21/sudan-s-bashir-won-t-run-again-for-presidency-party-says.html pure coincidence...?

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  • 37. At 3:00pm on 21 Feb 2011, Sizwe M wrote:

    Great link to the Paul Mason article Andrew - thanks. Am not sure how Jacob Dlamini expects apathy will bring down the ANC in South Africa. As long as there is decent GDP growth (and associated employment), and the lot of the masses is very slowly improving, voter apathy is likely what will keep the ruling party in power.

    On the other hand, if central decisions are made that really rock the boat - e.g. as is the recent case with the proposed introduction of exorbitant Gauteng toll fees in South Africa, the public can be expected to be anything but apathetic. This is clearly demonstrated by the service delivery strikes last year and the mass action that took place in the city of Ermelo just earlier this year.

    Cosatu, the largest SA trade union, is already planning mass action and rightly so. The people affected by toll fees are the poor working class that were forced to live outside the city limits due to the Group Areas Act during the apartheid era. While it will no doubt not be a protest on the scale of Egypt's just yet, this is precisely the type of straw that will eventually break the ANC's back in South Africa. Given that there is an upcoming local election, it will be interesting to see how the ANC plays its hand here.

    Sizwe (South African blogger)

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  • 38. At 6:21pm on 21 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    Now let’s guess what can or would be the next face after topple of puppets like the Egyptian ones? It appears that some people have just the short sighting of just the toppling of the tyrants. In place like Bahrain & Saudi Arabia yes there is dire need for removing all of those self chosen and western back rulers, and automatically things might become rights but what about place like Egypt & Tunisia? Who have solution for those places?

    Are those people going to be taken hostage more than how they were? If you look at some of legitimate complains of the public in Egypt is that; price are high, and on the other hands they complained that Mubarak was sleeping with America so much.

    Here America was giving 1.3 billion dollar every year, probably that is why Mubarak was listening to them and that 1.3 was helping the financial burdens of the 80 million Egyptians. so now what the public are going to face? Is the paying high price than how it was and rejects American aid or they are going stay in both?

    The UK as third party of anyone EU or US had flown to Tunisia and start the aid promise, while also the same you UK is planning to fly to Egypt soon, what all of this means?

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  • 39. At 6:38pm on 21 Feb 2011, Andrew Harding BBC wrote:

    as for zimbabwe's reaction.... http://www.timeslive.co.za/africa/article926303.ece/Zimbabweans-arrested-for-discussing-Egypt-protests

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  • 40. At 9:41pm on 21 Feb 2011, Coley wrote:


    Eygpt, now Libya, possibly the Yemen and a few others? are we expecting democracy in these places or Iranian style 'peoples republics' I know which my money is on, and disgustedinderry needs to grow up.

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  • 41. At 9:56pm on 21 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    40. Coley

    I only speak the truth my friend. The human rights record of the British government and its army is up there with the worst of them. Their innocent victims amount to billions and that is a fact!!!

    It is said Saddam Hussein killed 500,000 Iraqis a decade. The Brits and their axis of evil did that number in a year. Maybe you need to wake up and get out more!!!

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  • 42. At 10:32pm on 21 Feb 2011, Coley wrote:

    @ DisgustedinDERRY,
    Aye, and where are these 'billions of victims'? I am afraid your name gives the game away.
    Anyway this is about Africa and what is happening there, though in Adams & Co you could make comparisons between Mugabe and Zimbabwe. terrorist murderer going on to be 'popular hero'

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  • 43. At 11:21pm on 21 Feb 2011, WurzelJ wrote:

    Although I often, perhaps usually, find myself disagreeing with Mze-djimba's hyperbole there is one thing I will agree about and that is Auntie BBC's prissy inclination to stifle fiercely-held views. I have had comments suspended sine die, deleted without explanation and deleted with weak explanations. Comments I have made, while moderate in tone, clearly are not to the taste of the moderators. So much so that I question the value of this site. No doubt this one will also be deleted or "referred". So keep at it, Mze-djimba, I may not agree with you but I sure as hell defend your right to speak out. This is, after all, the Dimbleby-inspired institution which accepts but one perspective on Africa, and Rhodesia in particular. The acid test of a tolerant and mature society is its ability to accept differing views.

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  • 44. At 11:25pm on 21 Feb 2011, WurzelJ wrote:

    Dear Disgusted in Derry

    Please allow me to express my unreserved, unqualified apologies as a British citizen to the people of ALL parts of Ireland for the appalling, unpardonable atrocities committed against them by successive British armies of occupation - notably those sent in by Churchill. Can we now be friends, please ?

    Slainte

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  • 45. At 11:30pm on 21 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    42. Coley

    They are all in the ground. Probably in graves. Don't forget the British state is built on piracy, theft and terrorism and that is the legacy of their brutal empire!!!

    The British government is saying that Gaddafi is murdering innocent people, while the Brits are murdering innocent people daily in Afghanistan, and previously in Iraq. Before that it was Ireland. Before that it was the Falklands. Before that it was Aden. Before that it was Brunei. Should I go on because the brutal wars they have been involved stretch back centuries? And the victims of those wars are endless... Just like the noughts in billions!!!

    Warmongers!!!

    Now who is Gerry and co. and what have they got to do with the British governments criticisms of their fellow barbaric nations on the African continent???

    If you cannot engage without proper dialogue, stick to your Nintendo DS. Your callowness highlights your lack of understanding of the reality and legacy of the British state!!!

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  • 46. At 11:32pm on 21 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    42. Coley
    "Mugabe"

    Isn't that Maggie's buddy. Typical idiot who doesn't know his head from his rear end!!!

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  • 47. At 03:56am on 22 Feb 2011, Coley wrote:


    I can look at the 'legacy' of the British state with both a certain degree of remorse but also pride.
    We cannot be blamed for the inability of countries to govern themselves or the endemic corruption rife in these countries, blaming it on the brits is a popular if somewhat childish game played by those who seek to avoid responsibility for their own failures.
    Now, I dont own a Nintendo but I do own a set of values unaffected by thoughtless bigotry.

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  • 48. At 08:54am on 22 Feb 2011, AfricaFreedom2011 wrote:

    Reply to Camerborn.

    Cameroon is well overdue for change but the people are happy to just survive. There were protests in Douala yesterday, but unless the whole truth of how the countries resources have been pilfered into Foreign banks by the people in power the winds of change will never blow ....and the French will also prop up the government

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  • 49. At 08:58am on 22 Feb 2011, zhuxiaolei wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 50. At 10:29am on 22 Feb 2011, Coley wrote:

    @AfricaFreedom2011
    You make a good point, how many people worry about freedom of speech and 'democracy' when just surviving the day is regarded as a victory over circumstances?

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  • 51. At 11:22am on 22 Feb 2011, sagat4 wrote:

    Ok there are two issues here which i will address. Firstly i am not a fan of anybody on this site so i can speak my mind. The current problems in Africa i.e. corruption, poverty, dictatorship etc is down to:
    1.Past colonial powers: During the winds of change in the lat 50's and throughout the 60's, these guys knew their time was coming to an end. Rather than let the people decide their own fate i.e. choose leaders, government etc they handed over power to people who they trusted (today we call such people cronies, lackies etc) to handle affairs and look after their own interests as well. Sometimes they favoured one ethnic group over the other, installed them in power to look after their own interests (diamonds, gold, copper etc) and marginalised the other ethnic groups. Down the line this resulted in civil wars and genocide. So yes the colonial powers should share some blame for the problems in Africa
    2.Know that we have briefly covered the past, we must address the present. Some (if not most) African leaders are very corrupt and selfish. They pocket money meant for the people into overseas bank accounts. They say power corrupts the mind and it is not uncommon to see an African leader (Uganda for example) clinging on to power for years refusing to go and rigging elections in the process. It is my belief that if every African government put the interest of the people first before its own, then corruption, poverty and poor governance would be a thing of the past. I would love to sit all of them down in a round table and talk to them about this:)
    So in conclusion, when looking at the state of Africa, you have to look at in from both angles and npt just the "European colonisers" one. That way one can hopefully provide solutions to the current problems. If one was to sit down and study this comprehensively, one would produce a huge report running into thousands of pages. Peace

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  • 52. At 12:27pm on 22 Feb 2011, Anthony wrote:

    Mze-djimba:-

    I am afraid your views of Mugabe are a little misguided. 2 years after he came to power in 19980 Mugabe killed 22000 Ndebeles, the other tribe of Zim plus Bob's, Mashona. Now in the west that is called genocide what would like to like to call it?

    Before Mugabe instigated the appalling and illegal land grabs he was already guilty of crimes against humanity. He has now destroyed the once lucrative farming industry in Zimababwwe. Which was before the land grabs called the breadbasket of africa.

    This is where South Africa differs from Zim, SA believes in democracy. SA have started redistributing land but they are doing it in a controlled and planned manner. I think they are taking 30% of land off farmers and then getting the farmers to train the people the land has been given too. Common sense would have thought this plan up but any how!!

    Unlike in Zim, alot of the best land was given to Bob's cronies, yes land was given to the people too. But the land has now decayed into subsistence farming and that never really works.

    You just cant handle the fact that democracy is lost on African leaders. Africa's leaders are so quickly sucked into a power trip and they think the land is theirs and the people are his, they can kille who they like etc.
    Whereas in a proper democracy the President is appointed by the people to run the country for the people etc!!

    This is where the ANC have done admirably. Yes there is wide spread corruption but by and large South Africa is light years ahead of the rest of Africa and long may they continue!!

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  • 53. At 1:50pm on 22 Feb 2011, jsff wrote:

    My question goes again to harding; why is it that when the question hits the point you and your media decided to take it off your blog. Here goes our question again, why is it that so many external interferences by the West especially Europe in many Africa Countries Sovereignty and policies making?? And, why is it that when these killings of African take place in other for these external interferences from Europe to accept what they have done to lead to these killing of Africans; they will rather blame it on something quiet different that what was not even the factor of the killings??And, when the situation is calm like in Egypt; they tend to show up their faces again as if they play a path of peace instead of brutalities?? Will they allow such incidents to happen in Europ?? Will they??

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  • 54. At 2:48pm on 22 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 55. At 3:22pm on 22 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    54. Mze-djimba

    I wouldn't say that tobacco products have any benefit to anyone but the grower and the retailer. Perhaps they could diversify their product range and grow something that benefits everyone, and not just the farmer and the retailer. Image how much money would be saved worldwide on healthcare, if the tobacco plant was wiped out completely!!!

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  • 56. At 4:07pm on 22 Feb 2011, villamagome wrote:

    READ MY LIPS -- it is not apathy that is keeping the majority Africans from running amok in the streets -- but the practical sense of keeping our children from being turned into yet another generation of child soldiers -- their future is too valuable an asset to be wasted so recklessly !!!!!

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  • 57. At 4:08pm on 22 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 58. At 4:14pm on 22 Feb 2011, Mze-djimba wrote:

    What a shame for the one who remove my comment number54? What is wrong with that comment? Now you don’t even what the truth be told? No even one word of insult or lies was told there. Bless the English form of freedom of expression

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  • 59. At 4:26pm on 22 Feb 2011, Chris Brown wrote:

    Why not North to Europe, 20% unemployment in Spain, an old perv running Italy, Bankrupt Ireland & Greece, dissolution in the UK and France, etc.etc.

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  • 60. At 4:43pm on 22 Feb 2011, sagat4 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 61. At 9:45pm on 22 Feb 2011, Earthlings944 wrote:

    Moderators, please kindly publish my comments because balancing Uganda v Libya is driving me insane.
    Good things come in small packages
    Bad news come in pairs.
    Uganda/Libya
    I was severely disheartened by news of massive rigging of the recent Ugandan elections, where I read that votes were not just rigged against opposition parties, but that even politicians within the National Resistance Movement – the ruling party, rigged votes against each other within their local constituencies; and particularly against NRM ministers who had decided to contest as Independents after having been out-rigged in the NRM primaries.
    Where is Uganda headed then? Quite simply: Ugandan politicians are out there just for personal glory; and to serve their own household, not the people. Therefore, where there is no patriotism, how can there ever be revolt in the name of a nation, when politicians are out to do justice only to themselves? They want to live in the best households, drive the best 4x4s, have their children in the best schools, etc. They are not concerned about the man in the street whose needs include only health care, roads, salt, kerosene for lighting, farming tools and rain sent by our Almighty Father, God/Allah/Jehovah.
    Development and the country’s international stance? What for?
    If Ugandans were to follow in the footsteps of Tunisia-Egypt-Libya, under Museveni, the outcome would be far far worse than what Col. Gadaffi is unleashing against his people. Both men are said to have once trained fighters to support the ANC. So, One wonders why Mandela, who is so revered his statue stands tall in London’s Parliament Square, cannot sit by their sides, hold their hands and persuade them both to stand down at the same time. It is not a coincidence that both Gadaffi and Museveni are in the limelight today; at the same time. Not for anything good they have done this week; but for the pain their people are going through. The Libyans have fearless Arabic blood in their veins, sadly, we Ugandan Africans will never ever have such guts. That is why Janet Museveni must persuade her husband to let her have a go at ruling Uganda over the next 5 years that he has just .... WON himself.
    It is time President Museveni handed over power to Mrs. Janet Museveni – his wife. That is the only way that we can have him leave power without a struggle; without spilling any blood. Being a woman and a mother, and already in Parliament, I feel that Janet Museveni would be a true visionary, compassionate and generous and proud of Uganda’s image internationally. So, seriously; President Museveni must swallow his pride and hand over power to Janet who has demonstrated her capacility on the international stage. But she must serve only one term!

    **************
    A more lengthy and strongly-worded professionally written view can be read at the following link:
    http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1112538/-/c4m5siz/-/index.html

    Thank you.

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  • 62. At 10:17pm on 22 Feb 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:





    Libyan blood on British PMs hands



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