Monday, 30 April 2012

Are Belgian immigration laws strict or reckless?

Written by Gael Masengi

Belgian immigration lawmakers are facing a tough decision whether to deport or not an African teenager.

Scott Manyo
Scott Manyo, a Cameroonian national arrived in Belgium at the age of 15 years-old, he then applied for asylum which was later refused however he remained in the country’s Flemish side and has successfully integrated himself into the community. Now 19, the young man has been detained at the notorious refugee detention centre of Merksplas and faces a possible expulsion. A debate regarding Scott’s detention had just started few weeks ago among locals within his Boortmeerbeek community where he has been serving as a chief scout, now it’s growing to a state problem as a Dutch-speaking chamber chief of representatives; Karin Temmerman from sp.a (Socialistische Partij Anders) party weighs in. Ms Temmerman had said that authorities must react rapidly on this kind of problems, she asked secretary of state on immigration, Maggie De Block to analyse Scott’s problem and to come up with an appropriate solution, RTL reported.

Many of Scott’s friend and sympathisers have been posting message of support on his Facebook page, community members have expressed concerned and say it will be inhuman to send someone who fled prosecution back to where he can easily lose his life.

“Most of you will have heard about Scott Manyo by now” wrote a blogger “I sure did, and I am moved by his story in very personal way. I’ll admit I don’t know the guy personally. But everyone who does seems to want to vouch for him unconditionally. I hope there are more like him in that way. Why is this young man locked up in the first place? Is he a danger to society? Will he flee, given the chance? Where to? I don’t think so. Where is humanity when we need it?

According to a report released last year by ‘Unsafe Return’, an advocating NGO for rejected asylum shows that a majority of expelled man and woman from Europe face difficult challenges when they arrive home in Africa. The report stated that refused asylum seekers often face interrogation at airport, arbitrary detention, torture, discrimination, name calling and death at some extent at the hands of government security forces as they are seen as “traitors”. It is also documents the detention and ill treatment of children removed with parents and cases where returnees have successfully left the airport without harm but have been arrested at home or being forced into hiding or exile to another country.
Now the question of his safety is being raised as four years ago another Cameroonian national committed suicide while in detention at the same centre, the 32 years Old’s body was found hanging in the toilet. According his lawyer the man was violently assaulted by the police prior to his death.

                                         GaelOnMedia support the unconditional release of Scott Manyo!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

African figures, among the world most influential people!

Written by Gael Masengi

The year 2011 wasn’t a really amazing one for Africans as many can remember the “Arab Spring” that swept the entire Northern region of the continent and yet 2012 hasn’t had a good start either with a series of coup d’├ętat in Mali and Guinea Bissau but the people of Africa have made it somehow to be distinguished among the most influential folks in the world.

Time magazine announced its annual list of “the 100 Most Influential people in the world” on Wednesday which includes entertainers, politicians, sportsmen and women, CEOs and scientists. The 2012 issue includes celebrities like Rihanna, Lionel Messi, Adele, Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis, Kate and sister Pippa Middleton. Here are African people who made the cut include:

Goodluck Jonathan
 Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan.Whom Ellen Johnson Sirleaf described as “an example of African political renaissance.” The Nobel Peace Prize laureate  praises Jonathan as she wrote “President Jonathan possesses the qualities needed at this moment of great challenges, having come to power at crucial moment in the history of Nigeria. The country has grown out of its past corruption, mismanagement and brutality, but the  foundation of good governance is still fragile.”

Rached Ghannouc
Rached Ghannouchi, a Tunisian politician came into spotlight last year when He returned home from a long exile in Europe after the former dictator Zin El AbidineBen Ali was toppled. Time Magazine’s editor-at-large Bobby Gosh profiles Ghannouchi as a moderate, modern Muslim. He, himself claims to represent a progressive strain in Islamic reformism, and continuously stresses the need for innovation against social injustice.One his remarkable act is when He chose not to take office for himself after his co-founded political party, Ennahda won a resounding election victory. He once predicted that Israel will soon come to an end.

Fatou bensouda
Fatou Bensouda is a Gambian born lawyer, former government civil servant. She will succeed Luis Morena Ocampo as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), her term as Prosecutor is expected to begin in June. “As the court’s second prosecutor and the first African woman to assume the top job at an international tribunal, she faces daunting challenges in advancing the court’s significant, but still fragile, progress.” wrote Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch “Her mission is to prosecute those responsible for the most serious crimes – genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity – when domestic courts and prosecutors fail. Bensouda, 51, brings many years of experience to the job, as a prosecutor in Gambia, on the international tribunal prosecuting Rwanda’s genocidaires and as a deputy ICC prosecutor for eight years. Thoughtful, soft-spoken yet determined and forceful, Bensouda has been a leading voice pressing governments to support the quest for justice, particularly in Africa.”

Samira Ibrahim
Samira Ibrahim, 25, is a brave Egyptian young woman who took the military-led government in court over the practice of virginity test. After Egyptian soldiers arrested her, she and other female protesters were subjected to forced virginity tests. The 25 year-old marketing manager refused to stay silent. She sued the military, and in December last year a civilian judge ruled the humiliating practice illegal. Academy Award winning actress, CharlizeTheron wrote on Samira “When I first heard Samira’s story, it moved me. Not simply because of the abhorrent injustice she experienced but also because of her bravery to speak the truth and to face those who would tell her to stay quiet. It takes a stronger person to stand up for what is right in the face of ostracism and public scrutiny. Samira represents the model of how to stand to fear, and the impact she has made reaches far beyond Egypt. It takes just one woman to speak out, and thousands of others around the world will listen and feel inspired to act.”

Oscar Pistorius
Known as the “Blade Runner” and “the fastest man on no legs”, Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorious, the double amputee sprint runner from South Africa has achieved what many on his physical condition wouldn’t. Oscar who holds the world record in the 100, 200, and 400 metres appears for his second time at Time 100. He was ban in 2007 from competing with able-bodied athletes; the International Association of Athletics amended its competition rules to ban “any technical device that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using that device.” He kept on pushing; now he’s won the right to run with the able-bodied at the summer Olympics games in London.
What about Wall Street occupiers? Some may ask. The answer is NO; they aren’t influential according to the Time. Known as Indignants or simply as “OWS” protesters, this leaderless movement saw the light of day in September last year and it’s still going strong despite clashes with police. Inspired by Spain’s the “indignados” as well as the Arab Spring protests in the Middle East, these brave New Yorkers have been camping outside in Zuccoti Park to demand social and economic equality among other things, one thing we should all remember is that activists within this movement have successfully called for an ‘Anti Corporate influence over government’world-wide march and global demonstrations were held on October 15th 2011 in more than 950 cities (include Johannesburg, South Africa). Today term such as “We are the 99%” has become a common word used everywhere in the world to describe social injustice between the impoverished majority and the ever wealthiest minority. These folks should have been included

In contrast to the “OWS” case, Oprah Winfrey also has been dropped from the Time 100 most influential people in the world. Oprah who ended her talk show last year to concentrate on her embattling new television channel ‘Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)’ has appeared on every issue since it became annual in 2004. US president, Barack Obama is featured in the list for his seventh times along with his soon to be opponent on this year’s presidential election, Mitt Romney.
The full list can be seen here

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The World Bank left the experienced Ngozi to pick Kim as its new chief!

Written by Gael Masengi

The World Bank has chosen Korean-American health expert Jim Yong Kim as its next chief yesterday (Monday 16 April) in a decision that left people eyes rolling.

Contrary to what many economy experts and public at large include myself thought, the bank’s directors chose a 52 year-old Asian-American physician Yong Kim as their new president, over the Nigerian financial veteran Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who criticised the bank’s process of selection and predicted the apparent victory of the United States’ nominee.

“You know this thing is not really being decided on merit” Ms Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday just hours before the directors’ decision, “It is voting with political weight and shares and therefore the United State will get it.”

Jim Yong Kim
Already on Friday the other nominee for the post, the former Columbian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo ended his bid to run the world largest developing agency, World Bank, citing lack of support from his own home country and also political choice rather than experience in financial sector. Ocampo who hoped emerging-market nations would rally behind Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in a race that had turned highly political was left disappointed but not surprised on Russia’s decision to support Jim Yong Kim.  However Dr Ocampo’s decision to leave the race did not mean all the developing countries would support Ms Okonjo-Iwela’s candidacy. Despite calls to the bank to follow its own advice it gives to nations of rejecting cronyism and filling each important job with the best candidate available, the bank’s decision to leave the very experienced on international financial system, Ngozi Iweala-Okonjo, in favour of the American was politically made than merited and probably based on the influence which the United State of America has over other principle World Bank shareholders, Japan and Western Europe countries. The transatlantic relation is appear to be more based on looking after each other’s interest, mainly Europe and North America while forgetting about others within the same region. The respected former South African Finance Minister opted out the race, last year, to run the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when Domique Strauss Khan left, he then stated political interference; “It is important to understand that decisions take place in the context of politics. Against that backdrop, I have decided not to avail myself.” he said. The job eventually went to another French woman Christine La Garde. With the arrival of new power or well…not yet power block like BRICS the US and allies have to play fair and loosen up their old traditions in favour of new ones.

Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College will assume his new post on July 1 after the bank’s current president Robert Zoellick mandate comes to end in June, Zoellick slammed Kim’s ‘science-based’ drive of the bank as invaluable for the financial institution. Ms Okonjo-Iweala issued a statement congratulating Kim and said she is looking forward to working with him. However, she insisted that the selection process needs to be improved.
Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

“It is clear to me that we need to make it more open, transparent and merit-based,” she said. “We need to make sure that we do not contribute to a democratic deficit in global governance.”

 Africa which had high hope on its own daughter is very disappointed on the bank’s American favouritism, the South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who backed Okonjo-Iweala also expressed concern over the selection and saluted the pressure put on by emerging market countries, said on Monday: “We have come some way because it’s no longer in smoke-filled rooms of Europe and the US that the spoils are shared between the IMF and World Bank positions, between those two centres of power. This time the invitation was open to anybody to nominate a candidate.”

Monday, 9 April 2012

Africa is ready to lead the world

Witten by Gael Masengi

Since its inception in 1944, the World Bank has been ran by Americans only and as for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) dominated by Europeans citizens… well that might change as she is expected to possibly win the top job at the world largest finance institution this April.
Minister Ngozi Okonjo Iwaela
Hailed by economy experts as “right for World Bank”, the Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo Iwaela is bidding for presidency of the World Bank and a handful of African nations are throwing their unconditional supports behind her candidacy. In contrast to her two opponents, the Harvard graduated economy veteran, Okonjo Iwaela is apparently the most qualified and experienced for the job, she has spent years as the Managing Director of the agency before leaving to be appointed by the former Nigerian President Obasandjo as Finance Minister. The Economist website praises her as it wrote, it’s important for the World Bank to follow its own advice given to poor nations “to reject cronyism and fill each important job with the best candidate available…In appointing its next president, the bank’s board should reject the nominee of its most influential shareholder, America and to pick Nigeria’s Ngozi O. Iwaela.” Mrs Iwaela is currently working as the finance mister a post she already occupied from 2003 to 2006. She helped Nigeria to strike a deal with the Paris Club, a group of bilateral creditors to pay a portion of her country’s external debt in return for an $18 billion debt write-off. 

“It’s time to beak the tradition." noted Logan Wort, Executive Secretary of African Tax Development  Administration Forum, who wrote "This call has been made before with the leading voices that include the South African Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel and former Rwanda Finance Minister, Dr Donald Kaberuka. With minister Ngozi Okonjo Iwaela at the helm [of World Bank] it is not only developing countries that will have a stronger voice, but also Africa specifically. Africa has not only made great progress in developing its market (…) it has also made a tremendous strides in achieving greater economic growth. As an investment destination, Africa is now a recognised market”  

The World Bank logo
Analysts believe that, it may not be a surprise given Africa is rapidly emerging as a key developing market that its people will often be considered as potential candidates to run global organizations. However as an African I think, it’s also fair to say that our leaders fail to meet certain ‘international criteria’ required to run those organizations, consider two of the continent’s biggest challenges remain corruption and the difficulties shown to spell the word democracy, two decades ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) the former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko broke down in tears simply because he was forced by the opposition to introduce “democracy”. This explains how power is conceived within African perspective. 

Mrs Iwaela Okonjo’s move signals that Africans are ready to take on the world contrary to the way; the black continent has been side-lined for decades from the rest of the globe.
 Three candidates are in the running to become president of the World Bank, include Okonjo Iwaela if she wins, she will become the first non-American citizen to snag the head of top bank job. US president, Barack Obama nominated Jim Yong Kim an health expert Asian-American, the other candidate is Columbia’s finance minister Jose Ocampo.

‘The appointment of an African to the presidency of the World Bank would change the face of international economic and political affairs.’  wrote Logan  ‘It would signal a new era in the request to diminish the North-South divide and it would give greater importance to tackling some of the issues on the continent and generally in the developing world through the skill and leadership of a person who has first-hand understanding of them. African countries should support her candidacy. They should be brave enough to act in their own interests and not pander to the charms and alms of the developed world.’

Mrs Okonjo Iwaela was educated at the prestigious Harvard University and has a PhD in regional economic from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T). 

Monday, 2 April 2012

“Vote results Not Credible!” said EU again.

Written by Gael Masengi

This past week, the European Union Electoral Observation Mission published its final reports on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) November 2011 presidential and legislative elections, which were marred by serious violence and fraud. Based on the mission’s 147 observers dispatched throughout the country, the impartial and independent findings confirmed its claims that the election results were flawed and lacked credibility. 

The report said that the results were not credible in the light of numerous irregularities and massive fraud witnessed during the electoral process. The EU mission called for a reform of the national election commission, to build a transparent, independent and reliable civil society. The mission also said, the broadcasting regulatory agency (CSAC) was not impartial and discriminated against opposition media. Regarding human rights issues, the EU monitoring mission demand the Congolese authorities to punish the identified authors of crimes and for journalists to be protected against intimidation and threat.
The report has come at the crucial time while the UDPS (main Congolese opposition) vigorously continues to claim its apparent stolen victory and yet have hammered the doubts surrounding Joseph Kabila’s recent re-election. 

It also coincides with the publication of the UN report regarding the same elections, which clearly exposes the impunity afforded Kabila’s regime while calling for the same government. It’s clear that the so-called ‘champions of democracy’ are prepared to sacrifice democracy’s reputation for their selfish benefits because no president elected after a controversial election has ever lost an inch of international legitimacy. Incumbents can “miraculously win” the elections, the international community will have to deal with him because he is the man with favorable mining contracts not the opposition or human rights organizations. The noticeable arrogance of Joseph Kabila surely depends on the support he is getting from European imperialists powers for making the DRC’s resource available to them for near zero dollar price tag. Analysts believe neo-colonialists will do anything to protect their interests in Africa, two years ago, despite the call from the vibrant Congolese community in Brussels to the Belgian king not to travel in Congo, for the obvious reason, denouncing crackdown on local human rights activists, the king preferred to make the controversial trip in exchange for some Congo’s blood diamonds.
The main opponent to Joseph Kabila, the ultra populist Etienne Tshisekedi rejected the results, subsequently sworn-in as the elected president, he annulled the legislative, called for Kabila to be arrested and be brought to him alive. Since then, the country is witnessing the worst post-electoral crisis with no definitive government.

Again, Kabila is encouraged to perpetrate such dastardly deeds by the support he receives from imperialist powers and the absence of a revolutionary national movement on the ground in the Congo.
                                                                                             Additional text Uhuru News.