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Congo and Rwanda Agree on Peace Deal
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (Reuters) - Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo struck a deal on Monday aimed at ending four years of war in the Congo, officials said. Delegates from the two countries have been meeting in the South African capital Pretoria since Thursday to try to resolve the conflict which has killed an estimated two million people since 1998, mostly from starvation and disease. "We have reached an understanding and agreement at a technical stage," said South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, who chaired the talks. A Rwandan government official told Reuters in the Kenyan capital Nairobi the two sides had signed a memorandum of understanding restating their commitment to the Lusaka peace agreement of 1999.

posted by West 8:51 PM

Africa Needs Green Growth to Fight Pollution-UN
KAMPALA (Reuters) -- Africans are likely to suffer increasing pollution, ill-health and loss of farmland unless the continent adopts "clean" technologies and the world does more to fight global warming, the United Nations said on Thursday. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), releasing what it called the most authoritative assessment of Africa's environment ever produced, said many African countries were trying hard to protect their farms, coasts, jungles and deserts.
"But a far bigger effort, by countries within and outside the continent, is needed," said a U.N. statement on the report. The report, Africa Environment Outlook (AEO), said growing populations, wars, debt, natural disasters and disease had damaged the continent's rich environment over the past 30 years. In the next 30, poverty, pollution and disease were likely to be worsened by climate change, the unchecked spread of species from outside Africa, the uncontrolled growth of cities and pollution from cars and industry, UNEP said.

posted by West 9:21 AM

Faith: Africa grapples with Romans 13
WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- As evangelical Christianity is becoming the dominant force in sub-Saharan Africa, the key New Testament passage dealing with the relationship between church and state has taken on paramount importance. At last weekend's international conference titled, "The Bible and the Ballot Box: Evangelical Faith and Third-World Democracy," no other Biblical text came up more frequently than Romans 13:1-7, which reads in part: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God ... Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed." It's a troubling text because, depending on how you interpret these words, they might lead to the assumption that a Christian must not resist injustice.

posted by West 3:41 PM

G-8 Summit Sidelines Africa
(Ross Crockford,, June 27, 2002)
As both summit delegates and activists point out, African nations face problems of epidemic proportions. One-half of the continent's population of 680 million people live on an income of less than $1 per day. More than 12 million have died in wars in the past decade. More than 25 million have AIDS, and 2.4 million died of the disease last year. One hundred and forty children out of every 1,000 don't live to see their fifth birthday. . . . But Africans hoping for a firm international commitment from the G-8 received a slap in the face -- delivered principally by George W. Bush. Bush essentially steered the agenda at the summit away from Africa, focusing instead on drumming up support for his new Mideast peace plan and the war on terrorism. . . . An economic-justice group based in Washington, D.C., called 50 Years is Enough noted that the G-8 insist (through the World Bank) that African countries eliminate all their agricultural subsidies -- even though the G-8 themselves have given $500 billion in subsidies to their own farmers this year alone. . . . Although the G-8 leaders announced $1 billion in new debt relief this week, African nations still send more money to G-8 bankers to service their debts every year than they receive in aid. The debt drains what little funds they have for health care and education. Worse still, almost no new money was set aside to fight AIDS. . . . Even the $6 billion in aid vaguely promised at this week's summit will be distributed over several years. "Another 10 million people will have died before we reach those levels of assistance," he said.

posted by Lorenzo 8:13 PM

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