ZIMBABWE: Mugabe says opposition victory leads to war

13 06 2008

Robert Mugabe says he will not let the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) take over power.

Here’s why.

Read full article below.

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Calling Teddy Bear a God

30 11 2007

Who would have thought that giving a teddy bear a prophet’s name would shake the diplomatic world within a matter of days?

But Gillian Gibbons now sits in a Sudanese prison while some Muslims ask that she be “shot by a fire squad” for disrespecting their religion. There were also some rumors about lashing Gibbons in the public as a punishment.

Where exactly is the line though? Putting a turban on the prophet’s head with a bomb on it was, I agree, taking it to another level. But should naming a teddy bear Muhammad should have never become this big of a deal.

The prophet’s name is one of the most common Arabic names. According to the BBC,

The Arabic name Muhammad is now the second popular name for baby boys in Britain, adding together its 14 different spellings in English.

And while one political editor of a Middle Eastern magazine says that the Muslim children give their pets the names of characters they like, whatever that may be, things were taken out of context because this was a westerner who Sudanese Muslims feel “offended Islam.”

And now the Sudanese blogosphere is responding to this issue. Many Sudanese bloggers are criticizing the government’s decision to imprison her.

Asking for Gibbons’ release, many have called the issue “pathetic” and termed Gibbons’ acts as “an honest and innocent mistake.”

Read BBC’s compilation of Sudanese blogs which wrote about this.

religion-toys.jpgOn a completely different note, I thought to myself how other religions handle gods, prophets and toys. I found toys of Jesus and Moses, and now of Hindu god Rama and Hanumana. These probably don’t compare to calling a bear [whose name is Teddy] Muhammad [who is a prophet].

But imagine the Christians and the Hindus imprisoning people because they made toys of their gods or called their teddy bears “the son of god” or “Shiva.”

Anyways, Sudan blew things out of proportion. How do they even justify adhering to their religion so strictly when they have killed over thousands and thousands of their own people in Darfur just because they are African Arabs?

I don’t think the prophet is too happy about that, either.





Cameroon striker Eto’o is the face of 2010 world cup

23 11 2007

FIFA World Cup in South Africa has reached a milestone long before the event has even started. It released its official poster for the World Cup where Samuel Eto’o was unveiled as the face of the 2010 World Cup.

etoo.jpg The poster (as shown in the picture) has Eto’o’s head and neck superimposed into the map of Africa. In FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s words, there will be no problem to recognize that it’s Africa and you have the face of one of the most popular and well-known faces of the continent.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said:

“Portraying a country in the shape of a man heading a ball is a new idea with potent symbolism. For me, football is all about emotion and passion, which is why I was particularly attracted to this poster. It invites the world to join in the celebration of the greatest football event on earth, while highlighting the pride and passion of the African continent and her people. It represents the African dream come true. The South Africans made a good selection for the poster, which will represent their country all the way up to 2010,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.

Eto’o was only 17 years old when he appeared in the 1998 World Cup in France. The Cameroon team, which currently ranks 24, did not qualify for the last World Cup.





Darfur mission may fail, predicts UN

14 11 2007

One of the most needed missions in Darfur, Sudan could come to an end if the the join African Union-UN peacekeeping force are provided with some 24 helicopters and a fleet of lorries.

Jean Marie Guehenno, head of the UN Peacekeeping Operations has said that six attack helicopters and 18 transport helicopters are needed to perform the mission’s duties effectively.

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Guehenno worries that the mission will not be able to “robustly carry out its mandate” without these transportation support.

Amidst so much talk about deploying fresh troops in thousands of numbers by the end of this year, now the UN officials have warned that the joint peacekeeping forces are not prepared to takeover in Darfur.

On the other hand, Sudan continues to object using outside peacekeeping forces. The inclusion of peacekeepers from Norway, Nepal and Thailand has added to their unhappiness. In August, AU Commission Chairman Oumar Konare had said that there was no need for outside infantry because the African nations had pledged enough.

Peace on this side of Africa does not seem will come so easily. However, utmost efforts are yet to be made.





Darfur needs more than diplomacy

28 10 2007

In one scene in the upcoming documentary, Darfur Now, Hejewa Adam, a Darfurian woman who became a rebel fighter after the government forces killed her three-month-old son, dreams of living a free life once the hybrid U.N.-African Union peacekeeping troops move in.

Other rebel women agree and hope that the “white men will come in” and build their homes and help them like they have in other conflict areas.

darfur_map.jpg

Many Darfurians hope that life will come to some kind of normalcy after the deployment of U.N.-African Union troops to protect civilians and humanitarian workers in the area, which was authorized after the U.N. Security Council 1769 was passed.

In a perfect world, bringing peace to Sudan could not get any simpler. Many analysts believe that boycotting the Beijing Olympic games would eventually pressure China to put pressure on Khartoum asking it to get its act together.
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