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'Artist. Designer. Writer. Committed -yet preoccupied- citizen of the world.
And much more, I guess.

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Aug 28, 2013


Helping Congo Help Itself
Or: 'What It Will Take to End Africa’s Worst War'

Once in a while (and obviously not as often as I wished), I read an interesting piece on Congo providing a great insight on a delicate situation. Jason Stearns‘ article published on Foreign Affairs website is definitely a good one. He writes: Congo’s problems are complex, but certainly not beyond repair. First, however, it is necessary to diagnose the conflict’s root causes and understand its protagonists’ interests. Although Western media have often taken shortcuts, focusing in particular on the scourge of sexual violence and conflict minerals, a close reading suggests that it is not local warlords and mining companies that are the key players in this drama but the Congolese and Rwandan governments. Stearns adds: Congo’s government is not only extremely weak, but it is also beholden to a political logic of patronage that undermines the reform of its own state and encourages the creation of competing armed groups. Meanwhile,…Read more

Aug 16, 2013


The hard truths we must swallow: Rwanda is wreaking havoc in Congo

Alice Gatebuke is a Rwandan genocide and war survivor, Cornell University graduate, and a human rights activist. She is a co-founder of African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN). She wrote on Pambazuka News: After sixteen years of invasion and intervention through proxy groups, it is still difficult for people in the international community to accept that the Rwandan government is guilty of anything but justified intervention in Congo […] U.S. President Barack Obama understood this when as senator, he authored and passed into law the Democratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act, PL 109-456 in 2006 that called for accountability for those of Congo’s neighbors that destabilize the country. And he understood it last summer when he cut $200,000 in military aid to Rwanda. And he understood it last December when he personally made a call to Rwandan President Paul Kagame and asked him to cease support…Read more

May 17, 2012


Way-C touchpad by Congolese inventor Verone Mankou

Semhar Araia is Founder and Executive Director of the Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN) and she recently tweeted: ‘By 2050,Africa’s population will reach 2 billion. By 2040, its workforce is expected to reach 1.1billion. Whos pushing govts to create jobs?‘. That’s a very good question and hopefully, there are already many talented and creative entrepreneurs in Africa, just like Congolese inventor Verone Mankou. Last year I read several articles about him and I thought it was perfectly illustrating how many countries in Africa are undergoing a profound transformation. In this article on we can read: ‘Verone Mankou, a young Congolese inventor aged 25, is the designer of a touchpad called “Way-C” for which the entire design and architecture have been conceived in Congo-Brazzaville.’ On a side note to some people I know who still don’t know the difference:  do not confuse the Republic of the Congo, commonly referred to as Congo-Brazzaville, with the Democratic Republic…Read more

Jan 11, 2012


French journalist Gilles Jacquier killed in Syria

French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier has been killed in the Syrian city of Homs; he is the first Western journalist to die since anti-regime protests erupted 10 months ago. Jacquier was an experienced war correspondent who had previously reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, Israel and Kosovo and he was not working undercover, he had been authorised by the Syrian authorities to work in Homs… Jacquier was with other journalists reporting on the situation in the city, a centre of opposition to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The question is: what happened in Homs? Who did kill the journalist and injured several others? French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe condemned the attack and demanded the authorities carry out an immediate investigation. Reporters Without Borders also demanded an inquiry. Gilles Jacquier was a great reporter and I watched his work as a correspondent for the program Envoyé Spécial on France 2. The deadly attack in Homs…Read more

Dec 20, 2011


Quick Tweets: North Korea, Sudan, Congo, Stiglitz…

A quick round-up of the recent tweets I consider interesting sharing with you. Follow the links, articles are all must-read.   @NickKristof (Nicholas Kristof) Best recent books on North Korea are Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy, and also the Inpector O mysteries set inside N.K. @sudanreeves (Eric Reeves) Obstructions of humanitarian relief in Sudan should be legally recognized as crimes against humanity: @KenRoth (Kenneth Roth) In surprise decision, #ICC rules that crimes against humanity by #Congo rebel group FDLR have not been proved. @bechamilton (bechamilton) Smart of @enoughproject to distinguish #conflictminerals legislation they support from the failed #blooddiamond regs : @Jake_Bernstein (Jake Bernstein) @joestiglitz explores parallels between Great Depression and today. Both involved shifts in the “real” economy.

Dec 2, 2011


Congo’s elections, between hope and violence

On November 28th, both the Presidential and Legislative elections took place. Millions of Congolese went to the polls amid violence and confusion, to vote in the presidential and parliamentary polls nationwide. Thousands of international peacekeepers and monitors were sent in the country to oversee the election but observers say they were beset by fraud, vote rigging; some polling stations have been attacked and burned… This is the nation’s second postwar election since the end of the civil war in 2001; ten years have passed and nothing has really changed for the population. The Congo is now ranked as the least developed country on earth, and South Kivu is one of the worst conflict-affected areas in eastern Congo where the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) are more active than ever. Despite all this, the courageous and determined Congolese people went to the polls. They want a change,…Read more

Jun 5, 2011

Sunday Roundup

Sunday Roundup: Abyei, Ai Weiwei, Artmaking…

U.N. probes absences amid Sudan clashes. Since Northern Sudanese forces seized Abyei, many rightfully think northern and southern fighting over Abyei could reignite a full blown war in #Sudan. And we thought U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan would protect the people of Abyei from the attacks; apparently we were wrong. According to Reuters: ‘U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan stayed holed up in their barracks for two days during violent clashes between northern and southern forces that sparked the flight of tens of thousands of civilians, diplomats told Reuters‘. We can also read: ‘Diplomats described the peacekeepers’ failure to maintain a visible presence in Abyei during a period of heightened conflict — which they said is crucial for deterring attacks — in disparaging terms. One senior diplomat described their performance as “pathetic.” Another said it was “terrible” […] “The Americans and Europeans don’t want to send their troops into the field, and yet…Read more

May 29, 2011

Sunday Roundup

Sunday Roundup: Sudan, particles, Gil Scott-Heron

New Visual Evidence of Government of Sudan War Crimes in Abyei. Here we are, again. Al-Bashir is back, alive and kicking. Hard. Again. And unlike in #Darfur, this time we can have proof of what is happening right now, thanks to the Satellite Sentinel Project: ‘The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released new visual evidence that the Government of Sudan has committed grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and other war crimes, some of which may also constitute crimes against humanity. The totality of evidence from satellites and ground sources points to state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of much of the contested Abyei region, says SSP. The evidence is being conveyed to the International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council.’ Many articles are being published about the situation in Abyei, so you can know exactly what is happening. I received many emails last week about #Sudan and I will post about…Read more

May 22, 2011

Sunday Roundup

Sunday Roundup: Abyei, WOZA, Rwanda, DSK, Cannes

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity. The UN General Assembly expressed ‘its deep concern about the continuing loss of the world’s biological diversity, and reaffirmed the commitment to the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and the appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and technologies, and by appropriate funding.’ It’s always baffling when stating the obvious seems, unfortunately,  necessary… Not a good day for the environment but neither it is for #Sudan: Northern Sudanese troops appeared to have seized the contested town of Abyei on Saturday night, a UN spokeswoman said, increasing fears of conflict as the country’s south prepares to become the world’s newest country. We can read on this article: ‘Southern Sudanese army…Read more

May 15, 2011

Sunday Roundup

Sunday Roundup: Unhappy China, JPMorgan Chase, Jal

It’s about being ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’. Support of #Ai Weiwei makes #China “unhappy”. Reported by Yahoo News, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: ‘The Chinese people also feel baffled — why do some people in some countries treat a crime suspect as a hero? […] The Chinese people are unhappy about this. No matter what influence they have had, they will be punished according to the law.’ China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying added: ‘There are rules and laws in China that need to be applied just like here, and individuals, maybe they are your friends, maybe they agree with you more than others, but that should not make (them) … above the law […] It is very condescending for the Europeans to come in to tell China that some people are beyond the law‘. Support of dictators and blindingly dealing with them make me very unhappy. No need…Read more

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