7 stories on Africa this week, other than Kony2012
Did you hear we halved poverty while we were all distracted by Invisible Children, asks guest blogger Jina Moore.
• A version of this post appeared on the blog jinamoore.com. The views expressed are the author's own.Skip to next paragraph
Torn by war and potential famine, South Sudan needs US humanitarian surge
The mad, mad debate over Rwanda -- 20 years after the genocide
Nigerian forces killed hundreds of unarmed in Giwa Barracks incident: Amnesty
Janjaweed in Darfur burn, loot refugee camp next to UN peacekeeper compound
Al Shabab leader hits popular chord in call to oust Kenyans, Ethiopians
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Did you hear we halved poverty while we were all distracted by Invisible Children? The Internet is on fire debating Invisible Children and the Kony2012 campaign targeting Ugandan Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. Rarely does news from Africa so consume the chattering classes – who, as it turns out, are missing some real news. In no particular order, here are some stories from Africa this week:
1. On International Women's Day, Kenya's sex workers offer to pay income tax -- to make the point that sex work is as valid as any other work, and to force the government to recognize the practice as a labor. (Kenya, meanwhile, fired 25,000 striking nurses, arguing that nurse strikes endanger patients lives. Twenty-five thousand missing nurses, however, is apparently totally safe.)
The maternal mortality MDG, however, looked pretty awful from Gobah, Liberia. Yesterday, I visited a clinic there – in the same county as the capital, Monrovia – that doesn't have a microscope, malaria meds for kids 5-10, or water. That's right, water. Read about it over on the project page for our Pulitzer Center collaborative project on reproductive health in Africa.
3. The International Peace Institute calls our attention to actually underreported topics, namely, security in West Africa. In addition to the notorious drug smuggling, IPI draws attention to the scary combination of terrorism, drugs, crime and insurgency in the Sahel region (especially in Mali, it notes, citing a recent UN assessment) and to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. (That's right. Pirates advance on great white saviors. Pirates, checkmate.)
Bonus points for IPI, which tell us what we can do, rather than wring our hands and feel guilty, or not guilty, or guilty about not feeling guilty, or questionable making others feel guilty about the guilt others try to put on them... er... work it out according to whatever made you angriest on the Internet.