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GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK, an independent nonprofit media organization, distributes news and feature articles on Africa and the developing world to mainstream, alternative, ethnic and minority-owned outlets in the U.S. and Canada. For more than 20 years, Global has been supplying wide ranging and unique news, analysis, features, on essential newsmaking events with a progressive, social justice fo

GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK, an independent nonprofit media organization, distributes news and feature articles on Africa and the developing world to mainstream, alternative, ethnic and minority-owned outlets in the U.S. and Canada. For more than 20 years, Global has been supplying wide ranging and unique news, analysis, features, on essential newsmaking events with a progressive, social justice fo

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NIGERIANS OF A CERTAIN AGE STILL HARBOR AFFECTION FOR THE COMMONWEALTH QUEEN June 6, 2022 (GIN) - For one Nigerian novel...
06/07/2022

NIGERIANS OF A CERTAIN AGE STILL HARBOR AFFECTION FOR THE COMMONWEALTH QUEEN

June 6, 2022 (GIN) - For one Nigerian novelist, the pomp and circuses filling the streets of London on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year on the throne, brought back memories of her parents’ generation, born and raised under colonialism.

Thrilled to see the British leave Nigeria on Oct. 1, 1960, they finally had control of their government - no longer subject to a foreign empire and its monarchy.

“Nevertheless, their respect for Her Majesty the Queen endured” observed Nigerian essayist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani in a recent article.

Young Nigerians look at the monarchy with less reverence, she observed. Something out of a reality TV show or a Netflix dramatic special.

Back then, the Queen, “the great white Chief ruling us all” may have been an easy idea to accommodate in the tradition-laden Benin in the southern state of Edo. Nwaubani recalled a photograph of Oba Akenzua II who ruled from 1933 until his death in 1978, stooped slightly forward - almost bowing - in a handshake with British royalty.

It was in Akenzua’s Benin that British colonialists sacked a palace and made off with dozens of bronze heads - some of which are still displayed in British museums.

"The fascination for me is that the monarchy hasn't died out," said Chuka Mordi, who applied for a position as "First Footman to the Queen" a few decades ago, moving from Benin to study in London.

"It is fascinating that they can find a way for people to still tolerate them. That kind of longevity, I find fascinating. Other than that, nothing else," he said.

Now in his 50s, Mordi, a graduate of King's College, London, is the head of an investment management company in Lagos, and he looks back at his job application - and the majestically polite letter of rejection he received from the palace - with amusement.

"I think I might have done something silly like ask for a stupendous salary because of my 'over-qualified' status," he said.

Yet another view was expressed by Ijay Uwakwe-Okoronkwo, an education consultant in Abuja, who posted the Queen’s image on her Whatsapp page.

"Let's face it, I benefited from being born in England," she said. "I have a British passport. But at this moment when we are having political issues in Nigeria, nobody gives a damn. We are dealing with electricity issues, unknown gunmen, people are being kidnapped, and you tell me about the Jubilee?"

“My generation,” concludes Nwaubani, born in the seventies, “straddles somewhere between a healthy admiration for the foreigners and a resistance to our historical entanglement with Britain… Not so for the roughly 60 per cent of Nigeria’s 200 million population that is less than 25 years old. To them, the significance of Empire is mostly lost.” w/pix of Queen Elizabeth and K. Nkrumah

DISTURBING REPORTS REVEAL HORRIFIC ATTACKS AGAINST PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM June 6, 2022 (GIN) - On Dec. 18, 2014, the U.N. ...
06/07/2022

DISTURBING REPORTS REVEAL HORRIFIC ATTACKS AGAINST PEOPLE WITH ALBINISM

June 6, 2022 (GIN) - On Dec. 18, 2014, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming June 13 as International Albinism Awareness Day, designed to protect and preserve the rights of persons with albinism to life, dignity and security, as well as their right not to be subject to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

This year, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, attorney Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond gave her first report as the Independent Expert on the status of human rights of people with albinism.

“Only a few days ago, I received disturbing reports of attacks and abductions of persons with albinism, in two different countries, both of which had little or no known attacks against persons with albinism until the recent months,” said Miti-Drummond.

“One of the victims was a child whose body was reportedly thrown into a river after her eyes and organs had been removed, no doubt for ritual purposes.”

In the past decade, UN Human Rights has received reports of more than 600 attacks against children and adults with albinism. Witchcraft was identified as one of the root causes of these attacks, as some believe that the body parts of people with albinism can bestow fortune on those who possess them.

Miti-Drummond called the shocking attacks against people with albinism, such as the incidents she described to the Council, “hate crimes and harmful practices.”

Albinism is a genetic condition resulting in little or no pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. The most common and most severe type in sub-Saharan Africa is ocular albinism which gives people white hair, pink skin, low vision or blindness and a greater susceptibility to skin cancer.

Albinism is genetically inherited and, while prevalence varies from region to region, some of the highest rates are found in sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands are living with albinism in Senegal, in Kenya, and Tanzania reportedly has the highest number of people living with albinism. The Cameroon Association for the Promotion of Albinos has reported that neglect by parents upon the birth of their child with albinism and infanticide is common.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, albino hunters sell an entire human corpse for up to $75,000, while an arm or a leg could fetch about $2,000. It is also common that albino graves are dug up and desecrated to procure body parts.

Albinism is profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination.

Salif Keita, a Malian singer-songwriter and a member of the Keita royal family of Mali, has routinely used his star status to raise awareness about albinism.

"The situation of albinos must be better known throughout the world," the acclaimed Malian singer said.

“The defense of the cause of albinos requires more support on all forms in order to be able to deter those involved in inhumane treatment.”

“I was born an albino and my life has not been easy,” he said. “I tried to live conscious of this reality and established this foundation. I tried to do something for especially children, people with albinism that had no access to education.”

People with albinism in Africa face a range of prejudices and social stigmas. They are often dismissed as belonging to another race, or as ghosts or spirits.

This year, five albinos were sacrificed in Mali. During election time, the situation is more serious. “When there is an election, we try to keep them safe to avoid the worst,” said Keita. “When a big personality asks to sacrifice an albino, he is not punished because he has the power. We need the rest of the world to join our cause so that we can punish those involved in albino sacrifices.”

KABILA CRONY LINKED TO ‘IRREGULARITIES’ UNCOVERED AT DRC MINING COMPANY June 6, 2022 (GIN) - The anti-corruption agency ...
06/07/2022

KABILA CRONY LINKED TO ‘IRREGULARITIES’ UNCOVERED AT DRC MINING COMPANY

June 6, 2022 (GIN) - The anti-corruption agency of the Democratic Republic of Congo has identified numerous irregularities in the management of the state-owned mining company, Gecamines, which it says has caused the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The report covered the years 2010 to 2020 and was completed on May 31, according to the weekly Jeune Afrique which first published the findings.

Among the “irregularities" were a "lack of transparency in the signing of contracts", "prejudices in the transfer of rights", "failure to pay taxes due to the Treasury", "presumption of embezzlement of public funds", "selling off of the real estate of the company."

Further, In particular, the 'Inspection Générale des Finances’ or “IGF” says it has not been able to trace more than $400 million out of a total of some $600 million in tax advances and loans to the state.

The mining company has pushed back with a report that seeks to debunk the allegations of corruption and missing millions. The 60-page report begins with an introduction from Albert Yuma-Mulimbi, a close ally of outgoing President Joseph Kabila and the chairman of the board for the state-owned mining giant in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Albert Yuma was ousted last December as head of the company by the government of Félix Tshisekedi. J. Peter Pham, a former US special envoy, immediately welcomed the departure, hailing it as a “break” with the Kabila era.

Also in the anti-corruption report are allegations of "undue benefits" paid to executives and the "payment of exorbitant snacks". "During the period under review, Gécamines generated 2 billion US dollars in own resources," IGF boss Jules Alingete told AFP. However, he said, "1.5 billion was used to pay management bonuses and snacks".

From 2012 to 2020, "Gécamines' partners have achieved a global turnover estimated at $35 billion", while the company "has only received $564 million in royalties from these partnerships, or 1.6%".

The financial watchdog is also looking into the 'minerals for infrastructure' deal signed with China in 2008.

The IGF believes that there has been "no serious monitoring of the investments made by the Chinese partners and the income generated by the Sicomines joint venture".

In May 2021, Félix Tshisekedi announced his intention to renegotiate the mining contracts, particularly those concluded with China by Joseph Kabila.

The DRC's subsoil is rich in minerals, and the country is the world's largest producer of cobalt and Africa's largest producer of copper. w/pix of press coverage of DRC alleged corruption

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Global Information Network began as a Third World news distributor about 4 decades ago. Gradually our focus turned to Africa, a sorely-under-reported region of the world. Our news clients asked for more Africa news as well. Over the years we have developed a network of colleagues in African media. Our goal is to introduce new voices from the continent, to increase insights, analyses and perspectives for a wide audience and to bring into their view information about African issues that are overlooked or under-reported by mainstream media or our capacity as a non-for-profit 501(c)3 organization.

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