Friday, January 25, 2008


Right now we’re having the Cup of African Nations. One of the Peace Corps Volunteers in Ghana that we worked majored in Turf Grass Science and wanted to work for the event. I hope he got the job!

South Africa played Angola on Wednesday, and we tied 1-1, so our division is still up for grabs, surprisingly. So we’re doing better than previously. We don’t do well in soccer (they use that word here) despite the huge talent that is underutilized and undersourced and underdeveloped in townships and in the countryside through the nation.

Anyway, the Cup is from Jan 10 – Feb 20, so if you have time watch it or stay abreast if it interests you. I think it’s about 16 countries.

I had to send a friend, the wonderful Eliza Doolittle (girl with the biggest heart for Africa) some info on Ginuea, Kenya, and Uganda. Though it’s out of context for you, I thought I would include it for you to see some of what is going on. Of course we are dealing with a horrible AIDS crisis to the point where pretty soon (in a few years) we will have more people dying (in general) than born in a year period. Also the floods in southern Africa are ravaging people left and right, and relief efforts are important. Here’s my update to Ms. Doolittle about direction for her Africa prayer group (you’ll see me mention God).

Kenya - biggest is turmoil in aftermath of elections; need peaceful resolution to contention of presidency; don't know if you want to pray one way or another (people
differ on this), but it is clear that Kabiki did not win fairly especially as primaries showed he would lose (I don't know if primaries is the right word, but you understand what I am saying); but more importantly the violence is bad; right now 250,000 displaced from Kenya. That's HUGE.155,000 people (including 66,000 children) are homeless because of the violence. These are in the townships of Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, and Kisumu. Now more than 650 deaths. Maybe 5,000 have fled to Uganda and Tanzania. So lots to pray for. Groups like Red Cross and World Vision have had to work over time because their work has been disrupted and their work has ostensibly increased.

Uganda - huge victories for God, I believe have been occuring in this place. But peace is still not secured, though there has been a dramatic decrease in violence. It's amazing what can happen when people come together (UN, Invisible Children, President of DRC, Rwanda, President (finally) of Uganda). It's been a long war.
Ok, there are 3 agenda items being discussed in full-peace talks. They have finally finished agenda item 3 which is about accountability and reconciliation. The Northern Ugandas are still encouraging all sides to continue to hash out agenda items 1 and 2. The importance is that it will bring a final resolution and end to the war. Until then, it's still going on though mitigated.

Joaquim Chissano, a special UN envoy to LRA-affected regions, has been charged with negotiating peace by the UN Security Council. He's in Kimpala meeting with Rwanda, DRC and Uganda heads of states before going back to the LRA to hash things out in Juba.

Big deal here is the January 31st deadline given by the government--well the president of Uganda, Museveni to resolve peace AND leave their DRC base.
LRA has asked for extension like into March, but Museveni or his government has continually denied such requests. So as of now, it's still set for January 31st.
I don't know what will happen if they don't reach peace by then. Oh yes, I do. DRC military and the Ugandan military are going to go after the LRA and Joseph Kony (head of LRA). They should have done this awhile ago (I don't mean all out war and killing civilians but a specific search for the head of LRA like police work in a city).

I don't fully understand the usefulness of the Congressional Act being considered, but there is one on the floor of your US congress. It's the

Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007 (S.1175), which would encourage governments to disarm, demobilize and rehabilitate child soldiers from government forces and government-supported paramilitaries.

So you can ask your people not only to pray but to take action (I'm big on this type of active prayer as we are the actual body of Christ and too often the hand asks the brain to do something about the crippled person in front of her who cannot pick up his dropped money. And the brain is telling the hand "I'm trying to do so but my hand won't receive my signals").

Back in 2002 the child commuter count was 25,000. Last year it was down to 500 because of increased efforts to stop this war.
About 1.4 million people have been displaced. But many hundred thousands (changes every year) have been able to return home due to increased effort.

Guinea - interesting choice. Well, USAID is still there, one of around 5 development programs there but Peace Corps has left (you have to be welcome and invited to be there). It's still underdeveloped but it has been good in helping with the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 90's (civil wars). But issues with Taylor of Liberia (currently being tried for war crimes in Sierra Leone during those civil wars) led Guinea to support the anti-government rebel group during the war (after they were attacked by Liberia and the Guinean malcontented and suffered 1,000 deaths and 100,000 displaced peoples). But since Taylor was exiled in '03, relations have improved. In my mind things are not as bad as Kenya and Uganda. They do suffer from this never-ending-power syndrome. Back in 2001, a national referendum was enacted allowing the government to --the president to run for an unlimited number of terms and increasing the length of each term from 5 to 7 years. Some foreign observers, as usual, though this referendum was unfair or flawed. There were riots last year against Conte's rule (he's the president) and much of the press is restricted due to high price and censorship. There is some tight control on the radio and tv following the riots last year as well. And there is opposition against his rule but nothing so far. The IMF pulled out because they didn't reach certain goals. I'm not sure if they have recaptured that support or not. But many think it is headed toward a failed state. They still have refugees living there (perhaps still from the 90's from Sierra Leone and Liberia who the president turned against and accused as conspiring with the Liberians when the country was attacked so many were jailed or persecuted). And most people live under $1/day.

But I'm not sure if you meant Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, or Papa New Guinea.

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