mercredi 19 septembre 2012

What to do with the Arabs?


(...) In an island ever closer, facing a sea of ​​increasingly unknown, under a sky increasingly unpredictable, Robinson Crusoe, the white man who invented the pick and hope without God asks: "What do Arabs"?
Especially after the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Benghazi. If we help them, they believe in the conspiracy. If we ignore them, they cry to the shopping inhumanity of the West. One time it was believed that they wanted to be free, but in fact they just wanted to worship more freely and voluntarily crashing more.
It was believed that they sought free land, but they wanted the sky for them. We can not throw overboard all like Bin Laden. Or repress in the desert. Or involve them in the conquest of the moon, or convince them to accept the difference as a religion and not religion as a difference.
What to do? exclaims Robinson who cares for its resources but also for the meaning of life and the environment and comfort and gas, the mission of her white skin and the invasion of the Chinese or the threat of violence. What a neighbor that can not be moved, nor kill, nor remove or ignore? What do the "Arabs" in the end?
Vote for the Islamists. And what do the Islamists? Living in the afterlife.
Therefore unable to speak between Robinson and who wants to live an Islamist who hastens to die to prove he's right.

Extract from the article Kamel Daoud "Why Abdelaziz Bouteflika he dies so often? "published inAlgérie-Focus” on  17 September 2012.

lundi 10 septembre 2012

Democratic Republic of Congo: Mobutu, inventory of a poisoned legacy? *

Fifteen years after his death, the Congolese dictator's shadow still hangs over the country. Who are the heirs? Where is his fortune? Mobutism is he really dead? The man who was, during his lifetime, the symbol of bad governance carnivore - the point of giving the body a neologism not listed, but oh so colorful, gargantuan neighbor, near and manducatoire synonymous predator mobutuesque - it still nothing, or almost visible.
       Weeds and looting of biblical dimension reduced fetish Gbadolite the palace, where the King of Zaire loved to give parties drizzled with champagne and chateau latour, the state remains haunted. Kamanyola the yacht on which this man of the curve of the river refuge in times of trouble invoking the spirit Mami Wata, the goddess of water, is a carcass.
       The hat and cane, portraits and songs, griots and marabouts, heavy glasses and boxes dollars: all gone. Ten years after its extinction, September 7, 1997, the most successful specimen of the great race of dinosaurs African based, forgotten land in Morocco.
       Just interested he still these paleontologists are political historians.

Forgotten by the
World,  Forgotten by God, but not by his countrymen.

       Forgotten by the world, forgotten by God, but not of his countrymen, in which his shadow still looms, scary and tutelary, reassuring and disproportionate. It will take another generation before probably get rid of the Congolese mental grip of a dictator who has shaped their minds for over thirty years.
       Because Mobutu was in the truest sense of the term totalitarianism. Totalitarianism Bantu tempered by the palaver and palm wine, certainly, but also a laboratory of brainwashing and disaster which plunged in thought, sometimes with delight, the vast majority of its citizens.
       Mobutu Sese Seko had his matrix, the MPR (Popular Movement of the Revolution), which was a member of all Congolese, willingly or unwillingly, from his birth and he was both the bogeyman and father. For three decades, working under Mobutu and work closely mingled for Mobutu.
Basis of the Constitution, providential man, thought Mobutu for his subjects: "They owe me anything, I owe them nothing,"
he said, and added: "Before me, the deluge, after me, the deluge."
Mobutu was above the law, above public morality over ethics, values, human rights, private property, and the extent of the truth. Pressed a bloated security apparatus, eyes raised to the sky constantly European-American, where he got his power, he transformed a colony bleeding by the Belgians in a State thief, repressive, manipulative, smarmy, corrupt and debilitating.
       In many ways, Zaire was a disaster and a collective shame that did not escape, in a political contaminated to the bone, those who had the courage to go into exile or underground.

Unconscious mimicry.

       Attached to the occult dimension, essential category of public and private life in Africa, where Mobutu used and abused to protect themselves, eliminate enemies and grease the wheels of his regime, this domestication general population is one of the key current persistence of Mobutu.
His opponents have also been the first victims, and involuntary Pavlovian, this unconscious mimicry.
       The "Tshitshisme" the cult of personality that surrounds the opponent Etienne Tshisekedi and reproduced at the neighborhood level Limete in Kinshasa and Kasai, one in which Mobutu loved to wallow. Ditto for his lady-killer Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who imitated the manner of speech of Marshal and went to advocate, to "awaken sleeping consciences by years of Mobutu" the use of chicotte in force until the late 1980s.
       The Mzee treated and his ministers and senior officials ¬ how Mobutu its heyday: regularly arrested, beaten, imprisoned, released and returning to their office sore buttocks, as if nothing had happened.
       As for the Congolese, at least those in the West, nostalgic for a lost power when their cultural references - especially Lingala - prevailed over "the other Zaire",
the Eastern Swahiliphone, they tend to zap the second half of Mobutu's reign, that of the descent into hell, to remember that the 1970s boom years of the "authenticity" of the triumphant zairianisation and commodity boom.

A proud people led by a strong leader.

       This past both obscured and mystified when all the "hits" were allowed and that we hoped to enrich millions (of dollars) without working in skinning the beast, Kinshasa retained its own identity a way to dress, walk and move eminently recognizable as a daring, opportunism, a spirit of resourcefulness and a willingness to take risks that do not belong to them.
       In addition, this complex character that was Mobutu, in which the bid on the West cohabiting with a deep heritage nationalism has undoubtedly passed to his compatriots a certain pride which traces remain today.
       Proud to live in a huge country courted for its riches, pride exist in the aftermath of colonization infantile pride of being commanded by a strong leader, charismatic and media: "When Mobutu was room at the UN or Moreover, we saw that Zaire was present, "
a nostalgic sigh.
       Admittedly, it did not take long, just a decade before the slender young general in 1965, sponsored by the CIA, becomes incarnation Bantu Bula Matari-- this mythical figure and summary of all that modernity represents violence, suffering, chaos and misery for the Congolese, Leopold II massacres Kivu.

What remains of Mobutu's a paradox of ambiguity.

Valium but what the poor memories of the time when Kinshasa was nicknamed "Kiese Kin (Kin la Belle)" allows its 8 million inhabitants to withdraw into a dream of what they might be, as they are disappointed by what they have become.
       What remains of Mobutu Sese Seko is above all a paradox. While the looting of the state and private grabbing of public good a case study, the former army sergeant colonial Congolese instilled a strong patriotic reflex unit can withstand the toughest tests.
       This ambiguous legacy became clear during the terrible years 1996-1998: while all conditions were met bursting of Congo, it has never been about the secession of a province alone.
       When Kabila launched an assault Mobutu is to capture the state, not to skin it. And it is this very nationalism "Mobutu" to be the cause of her breakup with his Rwandan and Ugandan mentors.
       It is also worth remembering that Mobutu, unlike a Ceaucescu, which they compared willingly, was not overthrown by a popular revolution, but driven by a foreign intervention.
       The conditions for the reproduction of the system he fathered are far from having all been eradicated. For that determinism does not shed in fatality, President Joseph Kabila, who has the advantage of never having known or met Zaire Mobutu virus and can therefore assume without passion posthumous legacy Leopard, must of be each day a little more vigilant.

* Article of François Sudan, journalist at Jeune Afrique.

mercredi 5 septembre 2012

Swaziland: 60,000 topless virgins parade before the king.

The Reed Dance or "Umhlanga", attended Monday, September 3, 2012 tens of thousands of young Swazi the very bare beauty, is one of the most vibrant African traditions, but now hostage to a king challenged .
         Long hours, responsorial songs that accompany the dance have resonated at the royal residence of Ludzidzini, the highlight of the annual festivities that captured the imagination, and also shocked by the habit by his majesty Mswati III until 2004 to choose a new wife (he has 13 in total) of these young virgins topless.

For men in December.

         Transported by the truckload, they would be more than 60,000 this year, according to the authorities, which tend to inflate the numbers. The Umhlanga knows its male at the full moon of December, when it was the turn of the young men of the kingdom of praising the king.
         If success is assured in a small country of one million people with little distraction, the charm of this liturgy begins to be broken as a result of the political and economic crisis.

 Why should I serve the king?

         "I used to go there when I was a teenager. I loved being at camp, away from the house with almost all the girls in my house, and the day of the dance, I was at the forefront , all this attention, I loved it,
"says Khosi, now leaking any advertisement and will not be identifiable.
         This 24 year old student began to see things from a different perspective attending the University, measuring the difficulty of obtaining a scholarship or attend classes at scheduled times.
         "The Umhlanga express our loyalty to the king and I thought to myself, why should I serve the king? Even today, it is silent on the crisis in education,"
she said.
         The failure of public services in this paradise traditions affects all areas according to her: "We find almost anything in the hospital, not even basic antibiotics, the cough syrup, or an anti-venom for bites Snake in rural areas. "
         The public health system is, however, crucial in a country with high poverty, where 26% of the population is infected with the HIV virus, a record.

"The king  used it to show support for the people"

         "But people do not make the connection between the problems and the political system,"
sighs Khosi, his grandparents are concerned about the demonstrations that shook the kingdom since 2011. She has already spent several hours in a police station in April 2011.
         "The dance is growing every year. The king is used to show support for the people and for progressives to get mad,"
she said.
         The royal palace, a 79-year old Swazi, Bulunga confirms that she has never seen such a crowd of girls and young girls, baby three years to thirty years: "From the time of Sobhuza II [father the king] it was not so many. "
The atmosphere is festive. The days before the dance, the surrounding roads offer the spectacle of these women and children returning from reed cutting for the origin of the tradition to pay tribute to the Queen Mother and the maintenance of its properties.

"Tackling á the reed dance is a lost cause."

         Thelumusa Hlophe, 18, is delighted: "I made new friends,"
she said, confiding that she "loves the King" and is proud "to dance in the nude, while readjusting the modestly'' umgaco 'pompom scarf wool red, yellow and blue encircling her chest and signs, says she, her' virginity '. "
The opposition PUDEMO (forbidden) denounced in a statement, "a stress relief for the poor as opposed to a real process to find solutions to substantive issues."
But to tackle the reed dance for criticizing the king and the lack of multi is useless, says a father, Simphiwe Mngometulu, 35.
         "If you think it will solve the economic crisis by forbidding her daughter to go to the reed dance, it can not walk,"
he said.
         "But they should not justify their mistakes with the tradition,"
he says, denouncing the patronage of the King family.
         "They use tradition we do not ask because in our tradition, it is wrong to question."

Source AFP

mardi 4 septembre 2012

Morocco: The French roots of King Mohammed VI *

A confidence ... Mohammed V made ​​by his friend Dr. François Cléret adds a surprising biography of Hassan II, if one believes the French physician, the paternal grandmother of Hassan II was the original French.
       "At the end of 1955, a few days after his return to Morocco after twenty-seven months of exile, Mohammed V told me a secret:" The deep joy I feel today to be in the middle of my people, he said, is a bit overshadowed by the death of my mother, Lalla Yacout, the eve of my return. This woman, whom I loved very much, had a great importance in my life. Today, I'll give you a revelation.      
       My mother was French. She was removed at the end of the nineteenth century near Hyères, in Provence, by the last Barbary Tunisia, who sold her  to pirates of Salé. Finally, Haouz tribes have offered her to my father, Moulay Youssef ".
       Once on the throne, says the doctor, the young Sultan gave his "mother" of living conditions. Throughout his life, including in Madagascar where he could not take him, he remained in contact with her.
       Thanks to her, the Sultan spoke good French, and he had to use an interpreter or voluntarily spoke in broken French, it was to deceive his French interlocutors or to gain time for reflection . Mohammed V was never mentioned his affiliation with his doctor friend. Hassan II was he aware of the existence of this foreign descent?
., Hassan II entre tradition et absolutisme (Hassan II between tradition and absolutism), Fayard, Paris, 2011.

dimanche 2 septembre 2012

South Africa / Austria: Give us back our ancestors!

Saartjie Baartmen the "Hottentot Venus" syndrome,

         In 2000, the Spanish authorities returned to Botswana to be buried there, the stuffed body of an African man who was exposed in 1916 at the Museum of Catalan town of Banyoles.
         Ten years ago almost to the day, France was forced to repatriate to South Africa remains the "Hottentot Venus," whose real name Saartjie Baartmen, a woman from the community Hottentot "Khoikhoi" which was exhibited as one freak throughout Europe in the nineteenth century because of its special character callipyge. Till this day, she is buried at Hankey, Eastern Cape.
         In 2009, Ghana has done the same with the skull of King Ahanta Aboade, Otumfuo Badu Bonsu II executed in 1838 by Dutch settlers and preserved from the Netherlands.
         Namibia has done the same process for 20 skulls of Herero warriors who lay in a German museum. September 30, 2011, during a moving ceremony at the airport in Windhoek, grandchildren son could pay them tribute.

"Repairing the past mistakes"

         South Africa, encouraged by these successful approaches, intensifying its efforts to repatriate the remains of his countrymen kept in museums in Europe.
         On 12 August 2012, it is a couple of Xhoisan, descendants of the indigenous peoples of the Kalahari, and Klaas and Trooi Pienaar was buried, after long negotiations with Austria. The President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma was present at the ceremony alongside government official Austrian Manuel Gartner.
         Three hundred years after their death, both Xhoisan a couple descendant of the original inhabitants of Southern Africa had died of malaria in 1909. A few months after their deaths, the couple had been unearthed by the assistant of the physician, historian and
anthropologist Austrian, Dr. Rudolph Pöch(1870-1921).
         He then brings their leftovers in Vienna to conduct a study on indigenous peoples and dwarfism. Bodies of Klaas and Troii Pienaar become mere scientific objects, victims of colonial fascination, racism and oppression, according to Jacob Zuma, the South African president.
         It took a study by academics at the Cape and four years of negotiations with the Austrian authorities that the remains are repatriated to South Africa in April. On Sunday, two South Africans were finally buried in Kuruman in the Kalahari Desert, where they lived.

Other human remains of colonization in Africa will they return?

         During the French colonization in Algeria in particular, thirty six of whose skulls resistant Kabyles of the brotherhood Derkaou Bou Amar Ben kadida, Boubaghia Mokhtar Al-Titraoui Sheikh Bouziane, Si Moussa Al-Darkaoui, Aissa Al-Hamadji who fought the Emir Abdelkader in 1831 in the Medea region, were donated to the Museum in Paris. They gather the homeland?
         For this and other reasons more political than it will the French and the Algerians make a critical review of what was the French occupation of Algeria. As the Belgian and Congolese, Angolans and Portuguese with Mozambicans, the English with their former colonies in Africa.
         And through respect for the man as a whole, will we one day lead to a genuine dialogue "Truth and Reconciliation"
of cultures?