Archive for the Africa Category

War on Libya

Posted in Africa, Middle East with tags , on March 21, 2011 by Black Pumpkin

The US has now attacked a third Middle Eastern country.  I am against all the wars in the Middle East.  I understand about wanting to get rid of Moammer Khaddafi, but I don’t think joining a civil war was the right thing to do.  The only thing that does hold a little sway in my mind is that some of the “rebels” fighting against Khaddafi’s forces did call for intervention to help them.

It is a cold comfort that this operation is being handled by more than just the US.  Both Britain and France have used their militaries to strike Libya.  But the operation is presumably authorized under UN Resolution 1973 (2011).

I have this fear that more civilians will die because we attacked than would have died otherwise.  Hopefully I’m wrong.  Fortunately, we won’t have any boots on the ground.  Or that is what keeps being said.  We’ll see how true it remains.

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Libya — What about the Oil?

Posted in Africa, Environment, Middle East on March 18, 2011 by Mort the Sport

One writer at Grist has offered a fairly familiar reason that the US and the UN are doing very little in Côte d’Ivoire and have taken steps to set up the no-fly zone in Libya. One word: Oil.

After we ban nuclear energy, I vote we ban fossil fuel. I vote we get really innovative and drastically change our societies across the globe before a major die back changes our societies for us. Who’s with me?

One billion for Nigeria

Posted in Africa with tags , , , on November 23, 2009 by Black Pumpkin

One of the many things I love about the BBC is that you can focus on a certain region of the world with just a click of the mouse.

So the European Union is going to give $1 billion to Nigeria for a number of different purposes but a large chunk of it will go to the Niger Delta which is “oil-rich and crime-plagued.”  Unfortunately, as with so many places in the world (especially in Africa), Nigeria is awash in corruption.

Nigeria is important for a number of reasons.  It is the third-largest economy and the largest petroleum (primarily oil) producer in Africa.  (Nigeria is even a member of OPEC.)  And the revenue from that oil is supposed to be divided among the people of Nigeria.  But greed and corruption get in the way.  And because of this some Nigerians have taken up arms against the government and the oil companies.  It is clear that something must be done to stop the corruption and the environmental destruction going on in the Niger Delta and throughout Nigeria.

And this is where the European Union comes in, with their one billion dollars.  Almost a third of which will be used to deal with the situation in the Niger Delta.

A billion dollars might seem like a lot of money, but for a country with 155 million people, it is practically a drop in the bucket.  So while the US does give money and other assistance, it is very encouraging to see other parts of the world move to help an area of the world that clearly needs it.

BBC article

Nigeria from Wikipedia

Nigeria from the State Department’s website

Fact Sheet from USAID on US assistance to Nigeria (PDF)