Posts tagged africa
Sierra Leone’s Leading Ebola Doctor Contracts Ebola
The doctor at the forefront of Sierra Leone’s fight against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in the region has contracted Ebola himself, Reuters reported Wednesday.
As of this week, Ebola has claimed 632 lives in three West African countries, according to the World Health Organization. Virologist Sheik Umar Khan, 39, has treated more than 100 victims of the disease. Sierra Leone Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called him a “national hero” and said she would “do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives,” according to Reuters.
Last month, Khan told Reuters that he was aware of the risk of himself contracting the disease, which kills up to 90 percent of those infected. “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life,” he said. “Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”

Sierra Leone’s Leading Ebola Doctor Contracts Ebola

The doctor at the forefront of Sierra Leone’s fight against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in the region has contracted Ebola himself, Reuters reported Wednesday.

As of this week, Ebola has claimed 632 lives in three West African countries, according to the World Health Organization. Virologist Sheik Umar Khan, 39, has treated more than 100 victims of the disease. Sierra Leone Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called him a “national hero” and said she would “do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives,” according to Reuters.

Last month, Khan told Reuters that he was aware of the risk of himself contracting the disease, which kills up to 90 percent of those infected. “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life,” he said. “Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”

Recent anti-homosexuality laws don’t just violate human rights—they might worsen the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist warns in a PLOS Medicine essay published today. 

While many countries and communities are expanding civil rights to the LGBT community, such as marriage equality, some nations including Nigeria, Uganda, Russia and India are criminalizing homosexuality or intensifying present anti-gay statutes. 

More nations are poised to follow, putting public health initiatives at risk, Dr. Chris Beyrer writes in “Pushback: The Current Wave of Anti-Homosexuality Laws and Impacts on Health.” 

“These laws and policies make it much more difficult to provide HIV services particularly gay and bisexual men who have sex with men, who really need these services,” Beyrer tells Newsweek. “It can definitely lead to a worsening of the HIV epidemic in these countries.” 

How Anti-Gay Laws Worsen Diseases Like AIDS and TB

Recent anti-homosexuality laws don’t just violate human rights—they might worsen the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist warns in a PLOS Medicine essay published today.

While many countries and communities are expanding civil rights to the LGBT community, such as marriage equality, some nations including Nigeria, Uganda, Russia and India are criminalizing homosexuality or intensifying present anti-gay statutes.

More nations are poised to follow, putting public health initiatives at risk, Dr. Chris Beyrer writes in “Pushback: The Current Wave of Anti-Homosexuality Laws and Impacts on Health.”

“These laws and policies make it much more difficult to provide HIV services particularly gay and bisexual men who have sex with men, who really need these services,” Beyrer tells Newsweek. “It can definitely lead to a worsening of the HIV epidemic in these countries.”

How Anti-Gay Laws Worsen Diseases Like AIDS and TB

Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), has never been known for the reliability of its public utilities. Most trash is picked through by scavengers, and the remaining mango pits, scraps of plastic, and rusty bottlecaps pile up on dirt roads or get blown into fetid open sewers. 

But since December, along a desolate stretch of the Avenue de France, the Red Cross has operated an on-demand, white-gloved sanitation service that, within an hour of being called, will show up to collect human bodies, whether chopped up or left intact. 

The Avenue de France marks a divide between two neighborhoods, and the human remains belong to those who have, for one reason or another, strayed too far in the wrong direction. 

The road itself is devoid of foot traffic—a no-man’s-land where both sides can deposit their victims, so they don’t have to bury them or let them rot within smelling distance in the African sun. 

North of the line is the Fifth Arrondissement, a neighborhood inhabited almost exclusively by Christians now that its Muslim residents have either been killed or forced into exile. 

The Muslims who haven’t fled the country live primarily in the Third Arrondissement, just south of the Avenue de France. 

There, being a Christian is a condition nearly as fatal as being a Muslim is to the north, south, east, or west. 

About 15 percent of Central Africans are Muslims, and for much of the country’s 54-year history, they lived in relative harmony with the Christian majority. 

But in the last year, CAR has collapsed—first in a spasm of political violence and now in a grisly carnival of factional and religious slaughter that has left it one of the very worst places on Earth. 

It is a country the size of Texas, with as many people as Boston, and an economy less than a tenth the size of Chattanooga’s. 

Reliable data doesn’t exist for the number dead, but from December until March, street lynchings became so common that they ceased to be news. The danger is unequaled anywhere in present-day Africa except, perhaps, Nigeria on a bad day. Bangui competes with Damascus for the title of world’s grimmest capital city. 

The Central African Republic Conflict Is Africa’s Bloodiest Fight

Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), has never been known for the reliability of its public utilities. Most trash is picked through by scavengers, and the remaining mango pits, scraps of plastic, and rusty bottlecaps pile up on dirt roads or get blown into fetid open sewers.

But since December, along a desolate stretch of the Avenue de France, the Red Cross has operated an on-demand, white-gloved sanitation service that, within an hour of being called, will show up to collect human bodies, whether chopped up or left intact.

The Avenue de France marks a divide between two neighborhoods, and the human remains belong to those who have, for one reason or another, strayed too far in the wrong direction.

The road itself is devoid of foot traffic—a no-man’s-land where both sides can deposit their victims, so they don’t have to bury them or let them rot within smelling distance in the African sun.

North of the line is the Fifth Arrondissement, a neighborhood inhabited almost exclusively by Christians now that its Muslim residents have either been killed or forced into exile.

The Muslims who haven’t fled the country live primarily in the Third Arrondissement, just south of the Avenue de France.

There, being a Christian is a condition nearly as fatal as being a Muslim is to the north, south, east, or west.

About 15 percent of Central Africans are Muslims, and for much of the country’s 54-year history, they lived in relative harmony with the Christian majority.

But in the last year, CAR has collapsed—first in a spasm of political violence and now in a grisly carnival of factional and religious slaughter that has left it one of the very worst places on Earth.

It is a country the size of Texas, with as many people as Boston, and an economy less than a tenth the size of Chattanooga’s.

Reliable data doesn’t exist for the number dead, but from December until March, street lynchings became so common that they ceased to be news. The danger is unequaled anywhere in present-day Africa except, perhaps, Nigeria on a bad day. Bangui competes with Damascus for the title of world’s grimmest capital city.

The Central African Republic Conflict Is Africa’s Bloodiest Fight

Africa’s Tech Edge

How the continent’s many obstacles, from widespread poverty to failed states, allowed African entrepreneurs to beat the West at reinventing money for the mobile age 

Africa’s Tech Edge

Africa’s Tech Edge

How the continent’s many obstacles, from widespread poverty to failed states, allowed African entrepreneurs to beat the West at reinventing money for the mobile age

Africa’s Tech Edge

African elephants can differentiate between human languages and move away from those considered a threat, a skill they have honed to survive in the wild, researchers said.
The study suggests elephants, already known to be intelligent creatures, are even more sophisticated than previously believed when it comes to understanding human dangers.
African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are the largest land animals on Earth and are considered a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and illegal hunting for their ivory tusks.
Researchers played recordings of human voices for elephants at Amboseli National Park in Kenya to see how they would respond, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Elephants can tell difference between human languages

African elephants can differentiate between human languages and move away from those considered a threat, a skill they have honed to survive in the wild, researchers said.

The study suggests elephants, already known to be intelligent creatures, are even more sophisticated than previously believed when it comes to understanding human dangers.

African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are the largest land animals on Earth and are considered a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and illegal hunting for their ivory tusks.

Researchers played recordings of human voices for elephants at Amboseli National Park in Kenya to see how they would respond, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Elephants can tell difference between human languages

Elvis Otieno — Sir Elvis, as his fans call him — seems to have lived a childhood quilted from country music lore. He was born in 1977 (the same year Elvis Presley died) near a railroad track in a small shanty town. His father was a Pentecostal preacher who played gospel music on the guitar; his mother collected American records and exposed him to Western country singers: Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Charley Pride, and the like. At age seven, Elvis and his family moved to Norway, where he started his first country band and began playing shows at small clubs. When a school trip in his early teens brought him to the United States, he got the opportunity to see one of his idols, Shania Twain, perform live. It changed his life. Elvis returned with a conviction: ““what you love most is what you’re most likely to succeed in.” He left his engineering job in Norway and returned to Kenya in 2003, intent on carving out a career as a country singer. “At the time,” he says, “there was a very small country music scene. It was very hard to build an audience.
South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive 
Marial Simon, one of 17,000 desperate souls crowding into the dusty United Nations Tomping compound in Juba, was still in shock from what he had seen on December 15. “That was the night of the killing,” said the Nuer schoolboy, slight for his age, as he clutched nervously at the filthy clothes he has been wearing for weeks.“The shooting went on and on, and the killing began and it did not stop. I was there. I saw it happen.”
Violence erupted in South Sudan on December 15 after members of the Dinka tribe in President Salva Kiir’s presidential guards in Juba tried to disarm their Nuer colleagues.
Many of former vice president Riek Machar’s supporters are believed to be Nuer, his own tribal group.There is a historic enmity between the two groups.
“[The incident] caused [the Dinkas] to panic and go out on a rampage,” said a Western diplomat. “They went after anyone who had allegiance to Riek Machar. Now it’s unclear whether the people who were targeted will take revenge.”
The two communities, Nuer and Dinka, are the largest in the world’s youngest country.
Two years before, in a much-hailed event, after a four-decade-long war that left more than a million people dead, South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan. It was, briefly, a time of hope. But by then people seemed too exhausted, too traumatized and too shattered to celebrate their new country.
Post-independence corruption was rife. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the national army meant to be a symbol of the new nation’s multiethnicity, was splintered. And there was lingering ethnic hatred.
“On the upper level, there were too many Dinkas,” says the Western diplomat. “And on the lower, too many Nuers.”
(READ: South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive)

South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive 

Marial Simon, one of 17,000 desperate souls crowding into the dusty United Nations Tomping compound in Juba, was still in shock from what he had seen on December 15. “That was the night of the killing,” said the Nuer schoolboy, slight for his age, as he clutched nervously at the filthy clothes he has been wearing for weeks.“The shooting went on and on, and the killing began and it did not stop. I was there. I saw it happen.”

Violence erupted in South Sudan on December 15 after members of the Dinka tribe in President Salva Kiir’s presidential guards in Juba tried to disarm their Nuer colleagues.

Many of former vice president Riek Machar’s supporters are believed to be Nuer, his own tribal group.There is a historic enmity between the two groups.

“[The incident] caused [the Dinkas] to panic and go out on a rampage,” said a Western diplomat. “They went after anyone who had allegiance to Riek Machar. Now it’s unclear whether the people who were targeted will take revenge.”

The two communities, Nuer and Dinka, are the largest in the world’s youngest country.

Two years before, in a much-hailed event, after a four-decade-long war that left more than a million people dead, South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan. It was, briefly, a time of hope. But by then people seemed too exhausted, too traumatized and too shattered to celebrate their new country.

Post-independence corruption was rife. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the national army meant to be a symbol of the new nation’s multiethnicity, was splintered. And there was lingering ethnic hatred.

“On the upper level, there were too many Dinkas,” says the Western diplomat. “And on the lower, too many Nuers.”

(READ: South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive)

We sent a reporter to Uganda for this week’s Newsweek and asked he trail along with a crew of Ugandan soldiers hunting for Joseph Kony. Here’s his story. And here’s how it starts:

Maj. Richard Kidega threaded his way through a thicket of sweet black trees and thorny underbrush when suddenly he drew to a halt. A young Ugandan soldier in front had raised a clenched fist: the sign to stop. With their AK-47s raised, Kidega and his men silently scanned the jungle for any signs of the enemy, such as fresh tracks or trampled brush. Hanging vines clogged the path. Dry leaves masked deep holes. The gully was an attractive place for an ambush. “It’s places just like this where the LRA likes to hide,” Kidega whispered, as the hunt for Joseph Kony, rebel leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, slowly moved ahead.
This inhospitable swath of jungle in the Central African Republic is ground zero in the search for Kony’s LRA. On any given day, Ugandan soldiers, aided by U.S. special forces, comb through the forests, looking for one of the most elusive war criminals in history, a man who has kidnapped thousands of children, turning boys into hardened killers and girls into sex slaves. It is estimated that the LRA has killed upwards of 70,000 civilians, kidnapped some 40,000 children, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in four countries.
The movement, which has now descended into butchery, rape, and even cannibalism, began in 1986 as a popular insurrection against Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Initially many in northern Uganda supported the rebellion against Museveni, whose army ruthlessly persecuted the Acholi people in the north. Eventually, however, the warlord’s insurgency lost steam, and Kony turned on his own people, accusing them of sinning against God. As punishment, Kony and his commanders have cut off the lips, noses, and ears of victims; he has forced abducted children to murder their own families to ensure loyalty; and he has killed those who disobeyed orders.
The hunt for Kony, known as Operation Lightning Thunder, now takes place across four countries and involves several thousand troops, at least 100 of them American. The warlord got international attention after a 30-minute video on him produced by the American NGO Invisible Children became a viral YouTube phenomenon last month, drawing more than 87.5 million views. It sparked outrage—and renewed pledges to bring Kony to justice. Later this month, the African Union will bring another 5,000 troops from the armies of South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Congo to help the Ugandans in their hunt, now in its 25th year.

Keep reading.
See more photos.

We sent a reporter to Uganda for this week’s Newsweek and asked he trail along with a crew of Ugandan soldiers hunting for Joseph Kony. Here’s his story. And here’s how it starts:

Maj. Richard Kidega threaded his way through a thicket of sweet black trees and thorny underbrush when suddenly he drew to a halt. A young Ugandan soldier in front had raised a clenched fist: the sign to stop. With their AK-47s raised, Kidega and his men silently scanned the jungle for any signs of the enemy, such as fresh tracks or trampled brush. Hanging vines clogged the path. Dry leaves masked deep holes. The gully was an attractive place for an ambush. “It’s places just like this where the LRA likes to hide,” Kidega whispered, as the hunt for Joseph Kony, rebel leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, slowly moved ahead.

This inhospitable swath of jungle in the Central African Republic is ground zero in the search for Kony’s LRA. On any given day, Ugandan soldiers, aided by U.S. special forces, comb through the forests, looking for one of the most elusive war criminals in history, a man who has kidnapped thousands of children, turning boys into hardened killers and girls into sex slaves. It is estimated that the LRA has killed upwards of 70,000 civilians, kidnapped some 40,000 children, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in four countries.

The movement, which has now descended into butchery, rape, and even cannibalism, began in 1986 as a popular insurrection against Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Initially many in northern Uganda supported the rebellion against Museveni, whose army ruthlessly persecuted the Acholi people in the north. Eventually, however, the warlord’s insurgency lost steam, and Kony turned on his own people, accusing them of sinning against God. As punishment, Kony and his commanders have cut off the lips, noses, and ears of victims; he has forced abducted children to murder their own families to ensure loyalty; and he has killed those who disobeyed orders.

The hunt for Kony, known as Operation Lightning Thunder, now takes place across four countries and involves several thousand troops, at least 100 of them American. The warlord got international attention after a 30-minute video on him produced by the American NGO Invisible Children became a viral YouTube phenomenon last month, drawing more than 87.5 million views. It sparked outrage—and renewed pledges to bring Kony to justice. Later this month, the African Union will bring another 5,000 troops from the armies of South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Congo to help the Ugandans in their hunt, now in its 25th year.

Keep reading.

See more photos.

The Liberian journalist Mae Azango has been living in fear since March 8, International Women’s Day, when a newspaper published an article she had written about the negative health implications of female genital cutting, which is practiced among a powerful secret women’s society in many of the country’s rural counties. 
Says Azango: The callers warned that “they will grab me and put me in the Sande bush and cut me. And for putting my mouth in this business, I will pay for it.”
But that’s not stopping Azango.
“I won’t back away. Let me tell you that: I won’t back away,” she told us by telephone from Monrovia. “I am not saying I will do it today or tomorrow, but eventually I will do a story on it. Because this thing needs a lot of public awareness.”
Our story. Her story. 
Read them and be aware.

The Liberian journalist Mae Azango has been living in fear since March 8, International Women’s Day, when a newspaper published an article she had written about the negative health implications of female genital cutting, which is practiced among a powerful secret women’s society in many of the country’s rural counties. 

Says Azango: The callers warned that “they will grab me and put me in the Sande bush and cut me. And for putting my mouth in this business, I will pay for it.”

But that’s not stopping Azango.

“I won’t back away. Let me tell you that: I won’t back away,” she told us by telephone from Monrovia. “I am not saying I will do it today or tomorrow, but eventually I will do a story on it. Because this thing needs a lot of public awareness.”

Our story. Her story

Read them and be aware.