- Posted July 31, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
An Eye On Africa - Overnight Edition - July 30/31
Long called The Dark Continent, the nations which dot Africa are climbing to greater significance on the world stage. Some of the nations impact the world in economic equations as well suck Western powers into conflicts which can have global impact. The African nations offer a ready market to such economic powerhouses as China and the US of A.
Senegal: Senegal is inaugurating a new parliament Monday with a coalition led by the president's party holding a large majority.
The day's mantra among citizens and new lawmakers is “a break from the past” -- a past in which parliament was seen as serving the political elite rather than the people.
The new national assembly takes office about four months into the administration of President Macky Sall, who came to office vowing greater decentralization of power. Last week, President Sall, whose Bokk Yakaar coalition won 119 of 150 seats in an election earlier this month, said the Senegalese people's demands for better governance will require a "rigorous" parliament and effective collaboration between lawmakers and the executive.
The incoming assembly is the first since Senegal adopted a gender parity law designed to boost the number of female legislative candidates. Of its 150 elected representatives, 65 are women -- nearly twice the number of the outgoing parliament.
Ethiopia: At least 18 people have been killed in fierce fighting between two communities over land in southern Ethiopia and 20,000 refugees have fled to Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said on Monday.
Fighting broke out last Thursday because of a dispute over the Ethiopian government's decision to settle the Garri community on land which the Borana claim to own, KRCS said in a statement on its website.
Thousands of refugees, segregated by ethnicity, are camped out in schools and a mosque around the Kenyan town of Moyale. Others are being given refuge by local Kenyan residents.
Kenya: Kenyan police have arrested a Venezuelan diplomat over the killing of the country's charges d'affaires in her official residence, the High Court heard on Monday.
Venezuela's acting ambassador and charge d'affaires, Olga Fonseca, was found dead in her official residence on Friday. Police said she was strangled, though the motive is unclear.
Dwight Sagaray, First Secretary at the Venezuelan Embassy, was arrested on Saturday and Kenyan police on Monday made a court application to hold him in custody for another 14 days.
"The suspect was arrested by the police after his diplomatic immunity was waived," deputy prosecutor Tabitha Ouya told the courtroom.
Nambia: A Namibian court on Monday ruled state hospitals illegally sterilized three HIV-positive women, opening the door for suits from other women who claim they were coerced into the procedure because they were infected with the virus that causes AIDS.
The court ruled the three were sterilized without being adequately informed, but in this case found no grounds to link the procedure to their HIV status.
"There should be unhurried counseling in a language that is clearly understood by the patient," Windhoek High Court Judge Elton Hoff said. "I am not convinced that informed consent was given".
Mali: Islamists occupying the northern Mali town of Aguelhok have stoned an unmarried couple to death in front of about 200 people.
"I was there. The Islamists took the unmarried couple to the centre of Aguelhok. The couple was placed in two holes and the Islamists stoned them to death," said a local government official on condition of anonymity.
"The woman fainted after the first few blows," he said, adding that the man had shouted out once and then fallen silent.
A second official confirmed the information, saying the couple had two children, the youngest of which was six months old.
"They were living in the bush, they were brought to town by the Islamists who stoned them to death. People came out to watch, there were witnesses," he said, also not wishing to be identified. The stoning happened on Sunday, but only came to light yesterday.
The small town in the region of Kidal near the Algerian border was one of the first to be captured by Tuareg separatists rebels on January 24.
Dictator To Be Honored?: The biennial summit organized by the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, located in the heart of K Street, has for two decades been a place for world leaders to convene and talk about solutions for Africa with the help of the African diaspora.
Previous attendees include presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, General Colin Powell and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And yet this year, the foundation—named after Baptist minister and Martin Luther King-era civil rights leader Rev. Leon Sullivan—has made an odd choice about the location and host of its summit. This August, the Sullivan Summit will be held in the central West African country of Equatorial Guinea, with host "His Excellency Teodoro Obiang-Mbasago."
The foundation boasts on its website that under President Obiang's rule, tiny Equatorial Guinea has "enjoyed the most productive period of peace, stability and development in its history."
But the country has also developed one of the worst human rights records under Obiang, who since the death of Moammar Gaddafi holds the title of Africa's longest-ruling leader.
From the Cornfield, the ongoing upheavals in Africa are drawing the US in to more and more operations on the ground. One spark, one flare-up could find the find the US embroiled in yet another needless war.