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Results 1 - 10 of Headlines for Africa Union
Africa Union Headlines
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004
: RCN Administrator
One of the most important subjects on the agenda at summit in Togo is the proposal to form an African Union - a pan-African body with strong political and economic ties intended to eventually take the place of the current Organisation of African Unity.
African leaders fear their continent is becoming increasingly powerless in a tough global economic environment.
Many believe that unless Africa can talk and act with greater cohesion, it will continue to be virtually ignored by the richer countries.
Beyond this general consensus, which is shared by all the 30 or so heads of state in Lome, there are considerable differences about what is the best way to proceed.
At one end of the spectrum is Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who has grabbed much of the attention here.
Colonel Gaddafi raised the idea of an African Union, loosely modelled on its European counterpart, at an extraordinary summit in Libya last year.
His ambition is that the union should come into existence, in some form, in 2001.
Colonel Gaddafi can count on support for this idea from several small countries in Africa, like Burkina Faso and Togo, who have benefited from his financial largesse.
But some of the more powerful African countries are wary of losing their own regional influence and concerned at any initiative that would weaken their sovereignty or ability to act independently.
Nigeria, for example, enjoys its role as the dominant force in the existing West African grouping, the Economic Community of West Afrian States, Ecowas.
In recent years Ecowas has made significant progress in easing travel restrictions in West Africa, and has started the process of establishing a single West African currency.
In southern Africa, South Africa enjoys a similarly important role in SADC, the Southern African Development Community.
Although SADC's effectiveness has been diminished in recent years, in part because of political differences between South Africa and Zimbabwe, many southern Africans would prefer to work towards regional integration first, before looking at pan-African unity.
Likewise in East Africa, where Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have been working to revive the old East African Community, which collapsed in the mid-1970s because of political and ideological differences.
There are about 50 African states, and Despite Colonel Gaddafi's plans, its hard to see how an African Union will mean much in practical terms, at least in the short term.
But it is possible that new pan-African institutions, such as a parliament and a court of law, will come into existence in the next few years - possibly providing a basis for a more united Africa in the future.</p>Results Page:
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004
: RCN Administrator
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - On a continent dominated by despots and beset by war, South African President Thabo Mbeki has emerged as the leader increasingly called upon to stop the bloodletting.
While he has had only limited success so far, Mbeki remains the leader both the West and Africa turn to for help in brokering solutions to some of the continent's most intractable conflicts.
That's partly because of South Africa's dominant economic role in the continent's affairs, but it's also because Mbeki cultivated close contacts across Africa as a former exile in the struggle against apartheid.
His latest peace-making task has been over the conflict in Ivory Coast. Mbeki last weekend met with Ivorian Prime Minister Seydou Diarra and rebel leader Guillaume Soro, and he soon plans to return to the West African country to push forward peace efforts.
Through South Africa's efforts to bring peace to Ivory Coast, Sudan, Congo and Burundi, an Mbeki doctrine has emerged - one that favors dialogue, compromise and a sensitive ear to the concerns of all parties.
"It is this notion that conflicts in Africa are best resolved by inclusive political settlements," said Steven Friedman, a senior research fellow at South Africa's Center for Policy Studies.
Mbeki always looks for a tiny acre of common ground. Friedman said Mbeki doesn't see good guys and bad guys. Instead, he struggles to get both sides to settle for only part of what they want in the interest of peace.
Powersharing, transitional governments and reconciliation are always part of the initiative. It is a formula the South African leaders believes ended apartheid and avoided bloodshed in his home country.
So in Burundi, Mbeki encourages Hutus and Tutsis to form a temporary government of national unity as they work toward elections. In Ivory Coast, he wants both sides to commit to previous cease-fire agreements as a building block for peace.
At the core of the Mbeki doctrine is the belief he shares with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that without peace, Africa cannot develop.
"Getting Africa's political house in order is part of the doctrine," said Richard Cornwell, a senior researcher at South Africa's Institute for Security Studies.
In Burundi, South Africa claims to have brokered a general agreement on a power-sharing formula to end fighting between Hutus and Tutsis. But the major Tutsi party has rejected the agreement over concerns about who will represent them in any new government.
South Africa helped guide Congo and the five other countries involved in its civil war to a peace agreement in July 2003. The agreement created a transitional government and set elections for next year. However, Mbeki has had to intercede to keep rebels in the transitional government, which remains fragile.
Mbeki is the staunchest advocate of African Renaissance, a movement of social and economic recovery he believes is sweeping the continent. He is one of the authors of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, a program for economic revival and good governance adopted as the African Union's economic and political blueprint.
Mbeki's strategy for peace both in Africa and elsewhere relies heavily on multilateral institutions like the United Nations and the African Union.
As the first chairman of the African Union, Mbeki led the body to successful interventions in Congo and Burundi. He also works through the organization to try to ease the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Mbeki has also worked to resolve conflicts between Ethiopia and Eritrea and internal conflicts in Angola, Madagascar and the Comoros.
While Mbeki is often hailed as a point man for peace, one glaring exception is Zimbabwe: Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy" is called "silent diplomacy" by critics.
Many believe the crisis is too close to home. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe may be seen as a tyrant now, but he was a hero of the Zimbabwean liberation struggle. He was also a friend and benefactor of South Africa's anti-apartheid campaign.
South African regional power stems largely from economic leadership - it is by far the most prosperous country on an impoverished continent. Its gross domestic product is four times greater than that of its southern African neighbors and accounts for 25 percent of the continent's total.
"He would not play as big a role if he was the president of Botswana," said Friedman.
Friday, April 25th, 2003
: RCN Administrator
Short Opinion: - A. Odutola, Nigeria -- Science; despite its averment for truth based on
evidence, also cunningly pays obeisance to politics
where truth is often the first victim of self serving
The raging controversy on whether HIV transmission in
Africa is predominantly driven by 'unsafe sex' or
'unsafe medical practices' has been cloaked in a lot
of science but with a strong and quiet undertone of
The first salvo in this debate was fired by
Gisselquist and associate in late 2002 when, using
science of course, they challenged the prevailing
conventional wisdom by suggesting that probably more
than 35% of HIV infections in Africa cannot be
accounted for by heterosexual transmission. Unsafe
medical practices, including unsafe and un-sterile
needle/instrument usage, female genital mutilations
and unsafe blood transmission were fingered as bigger
culprits. (1) Heresy! Heresy in the court of
population agenda. But heresy is not unknown in the
political court of science with sometimes unfortunate
chagrin to the heretical.
Just so that "safer sex promotion must remain the
primary feature of [HIV] prevention programmes in the
[Africa] region" and that 'safe sex' messages are not
sabotaged in the hugely important process of
preventing the spread of HIV in Africa especially, the
World Health Organization (WHO) (2) and fellow
protagonists (3) since the Gisselquist publication,
have spared no resource in also using science to
re-emphasize the pre-eminence of 'unsafe sex' over
'unsafe medical practices' in the transmission of
HIV/AIDS in Africa. In common parlance, a 'my dog is
better than your dog" controversy is being played out
and the general scientific community and the public at
large cannot but be amused; for it is well known that
except in the minds of the political, a dog is a dog
by all names and anatomy.
'Unsafe sex' and 'unsafe medical practices' are
probably unequally culpable and bad for the control of
HIV transmission in Africa and the controversy over
pre-eminence is simply strategic hair-splitting.
Saturday, March 29th, 2003
: RCN Administrator
Over the past week, it has been very pathetic/ depressing watching news
report of the death of innocent civilians, mauled to death by the outrageous
bombing campaign of President Bush, ordained "liberator" of the Iraqi
Â Â Â The United Nations has now been reduced to nothing but a toothless
organization, by a neophyte US political leader, whose experience and
judgment of international law and diplomacy place the most powerful nation
in ridicule and despise world-wide.
Â Â Watching the frightened poor African-American woman prisoner of war on
the screen, tells more about how far these ultra-conservatives in Washington
can exploit the needy minorities.Â Ironically, the daughters and sons of
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are fully protected from the claws of war, may be
President Bush's twin daughters are gulping their beer while this
African-American soldier, and single mother of a three year old girl
languishes in Iraqi war prison.
Â Â The status of the United Nations Secretary General has been degraded by
the disrespect of the Bush Adminstration. Mr. Kofi Annan has been treated
with the least regard, by the Washington power brokers. The United States is
nowÂ a lawless super-power, the only nation which determines who is a
prisoner of war or an ã€“unlawful combatantã€“ (the sub-human treatment given to
the Afghan prisoners jailed by the US at the Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba),with
no rights under the Geneva Convention.
Â Â Â The only nation which can force the UN Secretary General to remove the
UN Arms inspectors in Iraq under the threat of bombs.
Â Â Â Ironically, with the unexpected strong resistance by the Iraqi forces
and the lukewarm reception given to the coalition forces in the "liberated"
parts of Iraq, the Bush Administration is considering the return of the
United Nations Arms Inspectors to Iraq under Mr. Blix as reported in todayã€“s
Boston Globe. Hence a possible dissent in the Bush Administration about the
Iraqi War policy and progress/ retrogress.
Â Â Â With the failure of the "shock and awe" bombing propaganda that
Defence Secretary Rumsfeld reported will bake President Saddam and his
regime into smolders within 48 hours of the war, these oil-hungry
conservatives appear to have been in disarray.
Â Â Â President Bush has repeatedly cited the massacre in Rwanda to justify
his aggression and removal of President Saddam, but the whole world knows
that Bush will not sacrifice an American soldier to save lives in a poor,
OIL-LESS country like Rwanda.
Â Â Â Â It's an irony of fate that an African-American is at the helm of
Americaã€“s foreign Policy at the time of this naked aggression against a
sovereign nation.Â At a time when Secretary Powell was making his best
efforts to get UN approval, the "war-tigers" in the Bush Administration:
Wolforwitz and Rumsfeld were mapping out the tons of bombs to use in
destroying Iraq, while Cheney was busy awarding contracts to his former
Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â With Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel demolishing Palestine into
rubbles and Bush Jr. dropping cluster bombs in civilian areas of Baghdad,
there is no doubt that the plan is to make Israel the dominant military
power in the Mid-East, but with an end result which only God can foretell.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
Â Â As with the many poor US minorities, and less privileged white soldiers
who will return home (to the US) as war veterans, and susceptible to
Post-traumatic syndrome (PTSD); only the Good Lord knows how many of them
will join the homeless veterans sleeping in shelters and under bridges with
severe mental disorders, after risking their lives to serve their nation.
Â Â Â According to US Representative Stephen Lynch, "it's a disgrace that we
are watching about $843 million cut for the veterans, at the same time that
the Bush Administration is proposing approximately $700 billion in tax cuts
for people making more than $208,000 a year.ã€“
Â Â May God in His Infinite Mercy bring this senseless war of oil-
adventurism to a Peaceful end.
Friday, March 28th, 2003
: RCN Administrator
Spotlight on Africa
...an African focused Radio program...
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The program brings you all about Africa including interviews, news, profile, and the best of African music.
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starting April 4th 2003 on New World Radio (1120 AM)
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firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
To sponsor or advertise on the program, please call:
(301) 379-3443 or (301) 651-9309 or
send an email to:
Thursday, March 27th, 2003
: RCN Administrator
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hacker attacks continued to plague the Web site of Arab satellite TV network al-Jazeera on Thursday, as cyber-vandals replaced the news site with a stars-and-stripes logo saying "Let Freedom Ring".
Both the Arabic site, at (http://www.aljazeera.net), and the English-language version at (http://english.aljazeera.net) could not be accessed Thursday. Users who tried to log onto the site found a message that read, "Hacked by Patriot, Freedom Cyber Force Militia" beneath a logo containing the U.S. flag.
"This broadcast was brought to you by: Freedom Cyber Force Militia," the site said. "God bless our troops!!!"
Al-Jazeera information technology manager Salah Al Seddiqui said someone had hijacked the domain name and redirected it to another server computer.
"Our Web site is working but nobody can see it," Al Seddiqui said.
The al-Jazeera Web site has faced near-constant cyber attacks since an English-language version devoted exclusively to the war in Iraq was launched Monday.
Hackers have blitzed the site with meaningless data in an effort to squeeze out legitimate traffic and render the site inaccessible, a technique known as a "denial of service" attack.
That attack eased at around 3 a.m. London time on Thursday, Al Seddiqui said, but the domain name was hijacked shortly after.
The Qatar-based network had tried to switch the address back but was denied access by domain-name seller Network Solutions Inc. ,he said.
"We can't say it's their fault or our fault," he said.
A Network Solutions spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
The company also HAS had to search for a new home for the site after U.S.-based DataPipe said it could no longer host the site from the end of the month. Al Seddiqui said the company had moved its servers to a data center in France.
Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service
Thursday, March 27th, 2003
: RCN Administrator
"We welcome response to this position from citizens of African countries"
Wanyonyi, this may enlighten you a little more on Colin Powell. The following is an exert from an interview he did with Henry Louis Gates Jr. for the New Yorker:
Colin Powell - "One, I don't shove it in their face, you know? I don't bring any sterrotypes or threatening visage to their presence. Some black people do. Two, I can overcome any stereotypes or reservations they have, because I perform well. Third thing is, I ain't that black."
Condoleeza Rice stated in an article for Savoy Magazine in March of 2001 this: " I am so happy to be in a political party where you do not have to be a member of a group." Her statement speaks for itself.
Statements of the aforementioned types are the reason why so many Afrikans who are citizens of the U.S. dodo can't trust these to hand picked (by the white man) so called negro leaders. Peace and Blessings.Ta'Ziyah >>
Thanks a lot. Sorta puts it in perspective.
Wanyonyi, P. N.
Amen Ra Hetep,
Salaam Kemey Alekwhom,
Afrikan-Americans &Their Lost Identity Problem!
"In the course of our ordeal, Black Afrikan-Americans lost one identity and acquired another. Most of them lost the quality of being an Afrikan, or at least the consciousness of being an Afrikan. But the worst of it is in America -- they too teach Black Americans to be ashamed of Afrika.
Now having cast off the robes of our history, Black Afrikan-Americans then had to carry the badge of not only being ex-slaves, but of race. For this badge is very distinct.
Other Americans have their names or, as collective groups, traced by their geographical origin and their cultural origin [Jewish, Irish, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Swedish, German, Italian, etc...]. But suddenly as "Negroes" or "Blacks," you have stopped referring to geography and culture. You are now referring to race. You know what that means is that the entire history of this country - "Amerikkka" - has but one compelling lesson for people of Afrikan ancestry;
Remember what you look like;
Forget where you come from;
Forget your ancestry and remember your skin color; and
Forget you are Afrikan and remember you are Black, Minority, People of Color. -Statement by Dr. Ali A. Mazrui, The Afrikan Commentary Magazine
Please note that views and opposing viewpoints expressed in this forum are the rights of individual senders. Respect for other people's views no matter how
they differ from yours is the corner stone of this forum.
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Chat-AfriK forum & AfriK Network Groups are managed by Martin Akindana
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all based in Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.
FASTRAC International is a Political Consultancy firm.
FASTRAC Systems is a Communications and Information Technology Consultancy firm.
Martin Akindana is a Political Strategist and IT Consultant.
Tuesday, February 11th, 2003
: RCN Administrator
An experimental AIDS vaccine seems to be safe for babies born to women infected with HIV, and early signs suggest it may help protect them from infection, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
The vaccine, made by Aventis Pasteur, is one of dozens being tested although few experts believe any of them could actually prevent HIV infection in a global population.
Instead, doctors are hoping to use different vaccines on different groups in the hope of preventing some infections.
One of these areas is in mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus. About a quarter of children born to HIV-infected mothers catch the virus, either during birth or through breast milk.
Giving the mother and baby drugs can reduce this risk, but a vaccine might be safer, more effective and perhaps cheaper.
A network of doctors across the United States, led by Dr. Elizabeth MacFarland of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, tested Aventis Pasteur’s experimental ALVAC-HIV vCP205 -- which is a vaccine using canarypox, a distant relative of the virus used in the smallpox vaccine -- combined with several proteins from the AIDS virus.
The idea is to prime cells to recognize and destroy cells infected with HIV.
They tested 23 babies with four doses of the vaccine. All were born to HIV-infected mothers in the United States.
It was a phase I-II study designed to show that the vaccine was safe, not to prove it works, said Aventis Pasteur’s Jim Tartaglia.
"It wasn’t designed as an efficacy trial. You would have to do a whole new trial to show that," Tartaglia, head of research for the company, said in a telephone interview.
The study showed the vaccine was safe, with no serious side-effects in the babies, the researchers told the 10th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston, the major annual scientific meeting on AIDS.
Tartaglia said it often takes a long time, sometimes years, to determine whether a baby has contracted the AIDS virus. The babies were not tested to see if they contracted HIV but the vaccine did cause an immune response in the babies, which would suggest it may help to prevent HIV infection.
DISCUSSIONS IN AFRICA?
Tartaglia said Aventis Pasteur is now deciding what to do next. He said the company would discuss this with authorities in Africa -- the region hardest-hit by HIV -- and the National Institutes of Health in the United States.
A separate team of researchers tested a slightly different version of the vaccine in HIV-infected adults who had been keeping the virus controlled using drugs.
A strong cocktail of medicines known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART can keep AIDS at bay and keep patients healthy, but they are expensive and have unpleasant side-effects.
And the virus can eventually mutate to resist the drugs, forcing doctors to re-formulate the cocktail.
Many researchers are testing the idea of a "drug holiday" to give patients a break and the give the body a chance to fight the virus on its own.
A team of French researchers told the conference they tested 48 patients on HAART with four doses of the vaccine. Four months after starting, they were taken off HAART.
Again, the study was meant to show the approach was safe and the researchers noted no severe reactions to the vaccine.
After 44 weeks, 21 percent of the patients still have the virus well under control and have not needed to re-start the drugs, they said.
Tartaglia stressed it is too soon to tell whether the vaccine can be used to relieve patients on HAART.
"Is it a six-month drug holiday? Is it a 12-month drug holiday? I think we are in the early stages of the field," he said.
Based in Lyon, France, Aventis Pasteur is owned by French drugmaker Aventis SA.
Sunday, July 28th, 2002
: RCN Administrator
Having recently read the articles on; divorce rates in the US, (Statistics released) cross cultural marriage (OBJ’s daughter), Christian& Muslim religions versus African religions, African culture and the general social (marital) challenges faced by Africans, as well as comments by Hilary, Helen A Wright(Edo group), Nowa Omoigui(who asked me to further my schools of thought on an earlier article), I thought to share the reason behind my thinking on these topics.
My position can be summed up thus; all life’s struggles are ruled by either of two emotions-Love or Fear (which produces worry). Fear or worry is the condition of the mind that denies God. It is that which produces all life’s troubles, as we know it. Love on the other hand is of Godliness; love expressed of our free will is an advanced emotion of an advanced being. As long as the highest reason behind anything we do is of fear, we as individuals, families, nations must relive our experience till we do it of love. Whether you are a preacher worrying about how to build your next church, or a student worrying about your next meal, the very act tells God: "God, I don't believe in you" So also it is with marriage.
The worst thing people can do is go into marriage out of the fear that they will not get married, or the fear of poverty, fear of loneliness, the fear of growing old, etc, because as long as what I will call ’the highest truth’ or the reason behind our actions are based on fear, then we have learned nothing and will have to go through painful experiences once more. It is in this knowledge that our forefathers took out that fear by arranging marriages, which worked for years without divorce. (Till they forgot its purpose or abused the institution) cidentally, the bible tells us to marry the "companion of your youth" as another way of bypassing this same problem of fear, because in our youth, we are oblivious of the social economic and political currents that generate fear within the society. Marriage between families and not individuals cemented that love as against the fear of individuality. The bible advocates ’one man one wife’ in the bid that polygamy will not be a breeding ground for the fear of the lack of love or finance brought about by a fearful or not-so-advanced husband or society.
Mohammed of Islam, created a system of living in polygamous marriages around love rather than fear, knowing that at that age and stage, it would be futile to let man experience the freewill God had given man, lest he use it to experience evil rather than Godliness. That known as the devil is that freewill experienced without its every product being one of love, yet God gave us the freewill that its product may be love and those that are able to experience love of their own without inhibition that we may be like him. So he gave us the 10 covenants (called 10 commandments) as a guide to enable us know when we are experiencing Godliness as a product of our own freewill or being like him, which is why gay marriages and the likes which express on of the highest forms of free will of the individual, will never enable the society evolve towards that perfection we collectively seek through and to God.
Now back to marriage, does it mean that those unmarried outside their youth are in trouble of marrying out of fear? Will those females who are ˜now ready" that seem to seek younger spouses always have troubled relationships? The guide is the highest truth behind your search for a spouse. If the male or female looking for a spouse says "I will prey on his fears of poverty’s on the fear of the hopelessness of his or her situation" then that relationship will outlive its purpose when that fear is removed. This is the problem with the Nigerian male bringing his spouse overseas and getting the shock of his life, or that of the rich Nigerian female who "picks the young-jobless-man
out of the gutter" The truth is-having missed the calling of your youth, older women who are interested in younger men may have a seemingly similar challenge as cross cultural marriages. Then again, older women who fail to realise that a good percentage of younger men love them for many other reasons like the lady’s experience or her semblance to their’ mothers or who fail to eliminate fear as a factor behind the youths involvement in the relationship may have themselves to blame.
Cross-cultural marriages are another challenge. Just like modern day African polygamy marriages (Such Islamic ones have rules, boundaries and parameters)
it is a relatively high expression of freewill“which is Godly and good, but the question is "have we evolved o that point?" Certainly not! African’s of old were so advanced in thinking, they were able to express this freewill without parameters. Islam has chosen to play it safe by inhibiting the freewill. Western countries have a problem today because they are expressing so many aspects of freewill within their societies all at once, rather than move to Godliness, are brewing a society with ’sinful’ practices, which destroy the fabric of the family and ultimately the society. (Mind you sin in itself is a concept or a measure of how far away we are from God, and in this new age is without hell-like repercussion. The Pope himself in 1999 refuted the principle of hell [I’ll write about in some other piece] and so there really can’t be ’sin’ as we know it)
I know an example of an ’Oyingbo/ Darkie’ relationship in the early 1940’s in a village in Delta State that produced a ’half-caste’ offspring, both father and son eventually lived there becoming part of the society in harmony with the culture of the day, by passing the ’cross-pigmentation’ challenge. Nigerians need to remember the wisdom of old. Today we cannot even handle Christian/Muslim marriages or even Catholic/Protestant marriages how much more oyingbo/darkie marriages?“Which is why the bible at some point says something about marrying from within your community. Its all an expression of the free will, which is attempts to help us evolve to Godliness, only we may not have reached that level of self-consciousness or understanding.
In conclusion, express yourselves in any way you may and in everything you do, but do it of love, rather than fear that we may evolve to the level of Godliness that produces advanced societies and states of mind we seek, but let the covenant of God be your guide -in this the West seems to be failing and falling. Africans advance once more in love and feel free to marry more than one wife if you so desire or have advanced thus!
Sunday, July 21st, 2002
: RCN Administrator
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. We give Him praise and thanks for His mercy and His goodness to the human family. That goodness is reflected in the guidance that He brings to the human family through the mouth of His prophets and messengers. And this is why as Muslims We thank Allah for Moses and the Torah. And we thank Him for Jesus and the Gospel. We thank Him for Muhammad and the Qur’an. Peace be upon these worthy servants of the Almighty God.
As a student of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad I could never thank Allah enough for His intervention in our affairs in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad to Whom praise is due forever for His raising among us one to lead, teach, and guide us into the process that would make us once again the righteous Muslims that our fathers once were. We thank Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and in their names I greet all of you with the greeting words of peace, As-Salaam Alaikum.
First let me say how thankful we are that Almighty God brought us back to the United States. Our thanks to the National Press Club for allowing us the privilege of speaking to you from this platform, and our thanks to the members of the press who are present and thanks to all of you who prayed for the success of our peace mission and for our safe return for we traveled safely on the wings of your prayers and we are indebted to each of you for that.
This morning I spoke with Ambassador Burns, assistant to the Secretary of State Colin Powell, by telephone and gave him a brief report of our Peace Mission. We will follow up with a detailed report in writing to the Secretary of State Colin Powell and his assistant Ambassador Burns. As you know our peace initiative was twofold. First, we wanted to see if we could stop the carnage among the Israelis and Palestinians that we felt if it continued unabated would possibly widen the conflict, destabilize the region, and this would not be good for United States interest nor the interest of Europe and the world.
From time to time I have met with most of the Palestinian leaders including President Arafat. I believe that if I were able to go into Israel and the West Bank that I could have gotten an agreement from the Palestinians to accept a moratorium from 90-120 days on this suicide bombing. For there can really not be a peace initiative in the face of an ever increasing cycle of violence. At the same time if we had gotten such an agreement, which I believe we could have, then I would have asked Prime Minister Sharon on the base of that agreement, if he would pull his troops and tanks out of the West Bank. And since the state of Israel was mandated by the United Nations, the United Nations can not abandon its responsibility to gain peace in that area. So we suggested that in that condition of non-violence that the United Nations should sponsor then under its auspices a discussion where all the parties who have offered their peace initiatives could sit down and try to work out a basis for a Palestinian state, the cessation of conflict, and the Israelis having secure borders.
Unfortunately we were not permitted to enter Israel. The Palestinians have no control of those borders and the Israelis said that they would follow the position of the United Kingdom. As you know the United Kingdom has banned Louis Farrakhan from going there for the last, now, 17 years. And now that we won in a lower court, it was appealed to higher court and it was reversed, and then it was appealed to the House of Lords and just recently the House of Lords said no, Farrakhan would not be able to enter the United Kingdom. So the Israeli government felt that my presence would not be good for the stability and peace of the area so they refused our entrance.
Now, President Bush’s peace initiative took place while I was in Qatar and I happened to be in the studios of Al-Jazeera watching him and I was to speak on the news that night at 11 o’clock. And after his peace initiative I was greatly disappointed because his peace initiative was based on the condition of a change in Palestinian leadership and certain reforms as a condition for America using its great influence to carve out a legitimate state for the Palestinians. These conditions angered the Palestinians and made them even more solid in their support of President Arafat as their leader. The threat of no American support unless there were a change in leadership made the Palestinians feel that America wanted democracy but they wanted it by coercion, not respecting the intelligence or the will of the Palestinian people. So the situation there is not better. Unfortunately the cycle of violence continues.
And I am afraid, my dear brothers and sisters and listeners, that if America fails to use her tremendous leverage ____________ to get him to cease his plan to assassinate Saddam Hussein and a bombing campaign on Iraq, similar to that that was unleashed on Afghanistan, only America had planned that it would be even greater, according to what we have read. Well it appeared then when I first spoke of this that I was singing a solo but now a chorus has come up from the world.
I spoke to many Arab leaders, both political and spiritual and I can tell you that there is no Arab country that does not desire better relations and friendship with the United States of America. Even Iraq wants friendship with America but on conditions that are fair and just. Whether the leaders in that area agree with Saddam Hussein or not, none of them with whom we spoke wanted to see bombs fall on Iraq and the slaughter of innocent civilians just to get rid of a man that America says is some threat to the world. They thought that if such an attack took place they know that it would increase hatred for the American administration. And any Arab leader that would give approval to the United States to attack Iraq would cause a popular uprising and it would cause America to loose her moderate friend in that area of the world.
So I can tell you that I am very pleased that the Arab and Muslim world is beginning to speak with one voice on this issue. And I thank God that He gave us that desire to speak out regardless to the consequences. My appeal to the United States government is that it is very unwise to pursue this policy. America is too great and powerful a nation as the only remaining super power to do that which would destroy her credibility as any type of moral authority. The loss to America in terms of political capital would be very great. America would then appear to the world even her friends as a bully using manufactured evidence, supposition, assumptions or a set of maybes as a basis for murder and war. This is why we said that before one bomb is dropped on Iraq, and before one American soldiers life is lost, there must be congressional hearings that the matter should be debated publicly so that the American people, rather than a strong lobby, could determine what the direction of this nation should be. Such aggression in the name of a preemptive strike against anyone that the United States presumes or assumes is developing weapons of mass destruction would not only be unwise and improper, but it would place the United States opposite God, Himself.
The Holy Qur’an, which is the book of scripture of the Muslims, but also you will find it in the Bible, God demands of the righteous not to be the aggressor, either in word or deed. The Qur’an teaches that Allah loves not the aggressor. So if America would assume an aggressive posture, under the name of a preemptive strive without ever proving to the American people that it is worthy of America, then God would take a position. And that position would be against the aggressor. And then inside the armed forces of America you have over 400,000 Black soldiers, men and women, some of whom are Muslim. And they would be forced then to choose under such a policy whether they should obey God or obey the commands of their commander and chief. This would not be good for the morale of the armed forces. To have that kind of conflict within its ranks.
Our travels took us to Durban, South Africa where we witnessed the birth of the African Union. It is regrettable that such a significant event in the affairs of Africa, and Africans wherever they are in the Diaspora, got so little attention in the American media, so that there was only a handful of Africans in the Diaspora attending such a significant, historical event. This must not be because the idea of an African Union or the United States of Africa did not start on the African continent with Kwame Nkrumah and Gamel Abdul Nasser. That idea started in the Diaspora with Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. DuBois, C.L.R. James. And then it was taken by Kwame Nkrumah and Gamel Abdul Nassar and others on the African continent. Now Muammar Gadhafi seeing the validity of that, knowing that Africa has 53 independent states would not be able to compete in a time of globalization. Africa would be left out totally unless Africa found a way to unite the best of itself to compete. So the European union became somewhat of the model for the African Union.
Our trip also took us to Zimbabwe where the historical injustice of the land question has to be resolved; hopefully amicably. Now the way the media in America and Great Britain and Europe have written and shown President Mugabe, they showed him as a undemocratic, wicked man who is now taking land from the white owners. I think if we really want peace we have to structure peace on the basis of justice. And we cannot have justice accept on the basis of truth. And the truth must not be hidden to vilify one or the other. Truth must be told. The land was taken from its original owners by force.
Under Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, men, women and children fought a war of liberation. They didn’t fight a war of liberation just to have a flag and a national anthem and a seat in the United Nations. They fought to liberate the land so that the resources of that land would accrue to its natural and original owners. Unfortunately, just as they were about to capture the whole country, negotiations began with Great Britain. And for three months at Lancaster House in the United Kingdom, they argued over the land question: What to do with the land settled on by Whites that originally belonged to Blacks?
The British wanted Zimbabweans to buy the land back from somebody who never used a dollar to get it. That was an insult. So they founded a constitution and the land question in that constitution was, that the land would be bought back but the people of Zimbabwe had no money to pay for the land. So under the administration of Margaret Thatcher and Jimmy Carter, there was an agreement, not written but verbal, that they would help to buy the land back from the British settlers. Well, that went along pretty good for a while. Then Margaret Thatcher had no more to give. President Carter was only in office for four years then Ronald Reagan for eight. And all during that time money was given to buy back land and it was proceeding, but slowly.
So the Zimbabweans changed an aspect of the constitution, which at first said that if the White settlers wanted to sell the land the land could be bought. But if they refused to sell, you could not force them to sell. But after 10 years of that the constitution said the land would be bought in the national interest. Now after 20 years, I want you to see this, Robert Mugabe when he was fighting for the land we saw old newspaper articles that depicted him as a terrorist. And all the man was doing was fighting to liberate his land. When he allowed Ian Smith who was brutal in his suppression of Black people after independence Ian Smith was allowed to still live there on a large track of land. He still lives there. And as long as the Whites ownership of land was undisturbed Mugabe was a gentlemen. From a terrorist he became a gentlemen.
But after 20 years some of the soldiers that fought with him felt betrayed and that’s when they settled on the land to say that the revolution is not complete until the land is back in the ownership of the original owners. Now Mugabe had two things to do. He could either fight them and throw them off the land or recognize the rightness of them and the slowness of justice coming. And when Mugabe took the latter position that the soldiers were right, the revolution was not completed, 4,500 Whites owned 12 million hectares of land and a hectare is 2.7 acres. So when you have 4,500 Whites owning 12 million hectares and millions of Blacks living huddled together with no real economic substance, that is an injustice that must be rectified.
So Great Britain has no money to give. Under the Bush administration of the elder Bush they gave money for a while and then they watched the way Zimbabwe was voting and since Zimbabwe seem to be voting more on the side of the soviet union than the United States, President Bush, the elder, decided no more money. So the land question then gets bogged down until that man who was a soldier stood on that land and said we are claiming this. This is what we fought for.
Now instead of Britain and America recognizing that it was two billion and some odd dollars it would take to buy back all the land. Now what is better—two billion dollars or extended war. Because nothing is going to stop Black people in Africa from wanting what belongs to them. And it is wiser for the Whites who live there well to want to share the resources. They don’t want to just kick the Whites all together out but they can not live as they are living anymore. One man owns 40 percent of the wealth of South Africa and that same man owns 130,000 hectares in Zimbabwe the size of Belgium and doesn’t want to give anything back to the indigenous people. Well, what will that cause?
To the Whites of Europe and America I am pleading with you to think with wisdom. Justice is not what you are being offered. You are being mercy. And if you reject mercy then justice comes. And what is justice? The Prophet Obadiah said, as thou hast done so shall it be done unto you. That’s not what you want. You have given something to Africa so why not accept a merciful solution that allows you something but does not deprive the indigenous people of what belongs to them; what they rightfully deserve.
South Africa the wealth is not in the hands of the Blacks. We can’t live with a national anthem and a flag and no food, clothing, shelter, electricity, running water, and decent homes. The impatience of Africans now to resolve the land question and the mindset of Europe and America to make Mugabe an example so that Thabo Mbeki or Sam Ujomo in Namibia and others would not follow suit. So they want to pounce on Mugabe. Now what right does a Black congressman have to vote for a democracy bill that sanctions Zimbabwe? As a Black person in congress to represent the rights of Black people, when you hear Whites saying that Mugabe is wrong for what he is doing, why don’t you get on a plane and go on the ground and see for yourself and come back and report to those of us who sent you to congress.
The Middle East is a hot button. We pray for the resolution of that conflict. But Africa is another hot button. And if something is not done among wise White people to recognize the injustice of what you have done and then offer back to the Africans some of what you have taken and you keep what is commissary to your population and give to the Africans what is commissary with theirs then there won’t be bloodshed anymore. You will together and there will be peace in the valley. But if this is rejected because you feel you own it, you took it, it’s yours, then I warn you in the Name of Allah that a curtain of blood will rise from South Africa. I want you to hear me please. I don’t want this but it will precipitate race war. Now listen to me. In Africa the Whites are the minority. You have weapons in South Africa but you are the minority. If the Blacks loose patience because they are suffering and living under terrible conditions, if they start throwing the Whites off the land and blood begins to flow, that will affect how Blacks survive in Great Britain, how Blacks survive in Belgium, in Harland, in France, in Germany, in Italy. Because whatever happens in Africa you see a repercussion or something as they say, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You will find a reaction on the African continent but the greater reaction will be where Whites are the majority and Blacks are the minority. And then the scriptures of the Bible will be fulfilled. That in that day every man shall go to his own and find refuge under his own vine and fig tree. And as the Whites are pushed out, when they come back to Europe and they see you, they won’t look good at even their neighbors and that will have an effect in the United States of America with race relations. I think the time to stop all of this is now and the wise Whites and the wise Blacks should plan for peace and the acceptance of mercy rather than the harshness of justice.
Now all of southern Africa is suffering from AIDS. And the sad thing about that is that they are in Botswana trading diamonds for medicine. We have to stop this. So we are sending a team of doctors to Zimbabwe because we believe there is a cheaper way to do this. And we intend to encourage Muammar Gadhafi to open that facility that he was accused of making chemical and biological weapons. But we want to encourage him to open that facility and let the world come and see that he is manufacturing vaccines and manufacturing a low cost or producing rather, not manufacturing, producing a low cost remedy for the AIDS pandemic that is killing our people wholesale in Africa.
We have taken our video cameras and taken pictures and we are sending a team back to make a documentary because the American people, Black and White and Brown and Asian, must know what is really going on. I personally believe that the American Whites, if they knew, they would stand with us for a better solution than what the government is presently advocating. But getting the truth of the situation to our people is the problem but its something that we have to do.
Now in closing, unfortunately it was reported in the Washington Times, UPI that I prayed for an Iraqi victory in a military conflict with the United States. I want the American people and the world to know that the only victory that those of us who were in this delegation and on this peace mission prayed for was the victory of peace over war, the victory of right over wrong, the victory of justice over injustice, tempered with the mercy of God. I would never go on a peace mission and pray for victory in a war. A war that would see American soldiers loose their lives and Iraqi people get slaughtered. That was designed in this atmosphere of patriotism to make Farrakhan look like an enemy of the United States of America. I want to make it very clear. I am a citizen of the world but this is my land. And I was most happy to get back here safe. I love this land and I see myself as one that has to take, you said I was a citizen, so I’m taking my citizenship very serious. I believe that as a citizen I have a responsibility. And since this is suppose to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and since I’m one of the people, then if I see my government doing something that doesn’t have the consent of the governed, but are being manipulated by those who want war so they can extract more money out of congress to feed the war machine, then I think as a citizen I should speak. The guarantee of freedom of speech is the beauty of American life. Not speaking freely and stupidly. But speaking freely and responsibly. In standing up against the will of our government for war and the lack of the use of her strength and leverage in the pursuit of peace, I know that in this climate of patriotism that I and we can be accused of being unpatriotic.
I want to start first with the word patriot. It comes from a Latin word patir, which means father and you have taught me a prayer, Our Father. So I can’t be patriotic to the fathers of the nation until I’m first patriotic to our father. Now being patriotic to our father means that His will is above the will of the president. His will is greater than the will of the president even though the president is our commander and chief. But I being true to The Father have a duty to Him as well as He has a duty to all of us. Thomas Jefferson said that he trembles for this country when he reflected that God was just and that His justice could not sleep forever. He knew that the question of slavery and how the question was dealt with could be the undoing of this nation. He said this but John Brown acted upon it. As a result John Brown was evilly spoken of. But history has rewarded John Brown. Martin Luther King took an unpopular position against the war in Viet Nam and Jane Fonda took a similar position and even visited Hanoi and spoke with Ho Chi Men and they both were castigated and evilly spoken of, maligned, called traitors. And they lost many friends but in the end history has rewarded Dr. King. And when Jane Fonda comes in a room nobody even mentions it.
Andrew Young was the first Black man to ever hold the position of America’s Ambassador to the United Nations. But because he spoke to a representative of the Palestinians during a time of a foolish no-talk policy he was forced to resign his post but history is kind to him. We have taken this anti-murder, anti-war stance, not because we wish to be popular and not because we need to be unpopular but because we desire the United States to be right. And no matter what we suffer from being called unpatriotic and even having our lives threatened, I believe like those who took a right position in the past, history will also be kind to us. And lastly, it is written in the Holy Qur’an that whenever God sends a messenger he seizes that nation with distress and affliction that it might humble itself. Whenever God raises a messenger or a warner His pattern is that he raises the warner from among the slaves, from among the abject, the oppressed, and the poor, and He sends that one to speak to the mighty and the powerful and the wise of that nation but because of the humbleness of that person and his background and position, the arrogantly proud dismiss the warner and his warning as inconsequential. So it forces God then to seize that nation with distress and affliction that it might humble itself to the wise guidance coming from one from among the slaves, the abject, the poor, and the weak of the society. This is mercy from God to a great and powerful nation.
According to yesterdays newspaper 49 states are under a condition of drought. Rivers are drying up leaving fish stinking on the banks in the dry, parch, mud. Cattle are dying by the thousands under snow and intense heat. Wind, rain, snow, hail, storms, floods and soon earthquakes, these are mercies coming to the greatest nation on earth to make you humble yourself and say wait a minute, maybe we should examine our policies. Maybe we should be a better nation, a more just nation. The crisis of confidence that has caused the stock market to plunge. Enron and the world com scandal which has not been created by Saddam Hussein or any foreign power. But these are calamities coming from within based on greed and corruption causing thousands of Americans to loose their life savings while corporate executives are making millions at the expense of the poor and weak investors.
The crisis of confidence has caused the investors to loose well over a trillion dollars. And this crisis of confidence is now causing foreign investors to back away from the stock market. And as there were trillion of dollars in we say surplus which Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush were arguing about how to spend now all of that is gone and now there is a deficit. What is happening to America? Open your eyes American people and stop dancing and playing and partying and drinking and smoking dope while your country is going to hell. Wake up and take your responsibility.
The government can not make Saddam Hussein or anybody else a boogy man and focus Americas attend on Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. That’s not going to solve the internal problems in America. There are 15 million Americans that are homeless. Saddam Hussein didn’t do that. There are 42 million Americans that have no life insurance. Saddam Hussein didn’t do that. Millions of Americans are incarcerated and they have very little education and 30 percent of those graduating from high school are functional illiterates. Saddam Hussein didn’t do that. There are mob attacks and police brutality on Black people, racial profiling, that our president has not spoken against. Saddam didn’t call us no Nigger. Saddam didn’t beat us down in the street. Our fight is not in Iraq. Our fight is in the streets of America for justice.
There is a drug epidemic now that even snared members of the presidents family. Saddam hasn’t sent no drugs to America. Whose bringing in the drugs? Whose selling guns to the gang bangers? It’s not Saddam Hussein. No, these are internal problems that the American administration must deal with and making Saddam the enemy and inflaming the passion of the American people and the soldiers whose patriotism is unquestioned, whose love of this country is unquestioned. But it should not be manipulated. So America is seized with distress an affliction and our prayer is that she will humble herself to listen to voices that speak to her that desire to see America fulfill her potential—not fulfill a destiny of former sister nations: Rome, Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah and Ancient Egypt that refused to heed guidance from a warner from God in their midst.
Thank you for listening.