There have been several comments on the two postings on women:

kenneth w. harrow
professor of english, michigan state university
country specialist for the drc, rwanda, and burundi, amnesty international

i read helene cooper's piece this morning with considerable dismay, as i did the earlier reportage of peacekeepers' abuses in the drc. i might critique her article for its relatively undifferentiated conflation of all abuses of women, a typical form of muckraking as witness the conflation of all forms of genital cuttings into mutilation.
however, that is small change compared with the larger issue of security that these peacekeepers are intended to create in east congo. the latest really shocking report from the region is not the abuses of the peacekeepers, bad enough as that is, but the numbers of deaths every single month, 31,000; the total number of dead since 1998, 3.8 million. this is indeed a holocaust that has gone relatively unnoticed, and will presumably be buried by the horrific accounts of the tsunami and the continued attacks on the united nations. meanwhile, the only meaningful effort to bring the deathcount down in east congo, that of the monuc peacekeepers, is undermined by these scandalous accounts.

 Kennedy Emetulu  from the United Kingdom

This is an international problem that has spawned local dimensions. What is this – a moral or cultural conquest? My hope is that those found guilty be punished firmly to send the message that communities must trust the United Nations, the last bastion of the common people of our world. If the UN loses the moral authority to regenerate battered societies, what then is the fate of humanity?
It is incumbent upon the UN now to begin to initiate a donors’ conference for these regions of Africa, including Darfur (and its shameful rape cases) to quickly bring in development. These people need to be economically self-sufficient comparatively to fight this immensely tasking moral battle foisted on them by international help! That is the only thing that can sustain the level of social regeneration needed to begin a semblance of normality in those places.
Of course, one is not dismissive of the genuine fear of those who believe that aid fuels African crises or that the charlatans leading the politics of these places are not responsible enough, or indeed knowledgeable enough to do what is needed. Add to that mix a seemingly endemic public corruption profile, what you get is pretty strong stuff; but it is not as strong as the emergency that is upon us in Africa, when you consider it against the background of aids, conflicts, economic annihilation, social distress and political defeat of civil society, development, no matter how it comes is the key. The same transnational companies and conglomerates that have reaped and fattened in all this chaos must begin to join in stabilizing it. The UN as a bridge-building institution should begin the process.
The tragedy of it all is that they will come to the same conclusions as above, but perhaps only after the damage has become somewhat irreversible or shockingly more expensive in human and material costs somewhere down the line.
What can you say?


 From Hakeem Tijani

I hope Dr. Yemi Akinwunmi of history dept. Nassarawa State University keeps a good record for posterity. Kudos to the governor. This is a higher level of prebendalism and patron-client politics in contemporary Nigeria. I trust other chiefs would adhere to the best recipe of being acknowledged and granted the chieftaincy title by the State governors - especially my ex-wife's dad who has tried unsuccessfully since the 1990s to become a second class chief in Lagos. If the governor is a Muslim there would be no problem with keeping the best gift ever. However, problem might arise if he is a Christaian. My advice... ask your deputy or one of the personal assistance to take over. DO NOT RETURN THE GIFT BECAUSE THE GODS MIGHT BE ANGRY!!! MAY THE GODS BLESS THE OSESHI OF ALOSHI!!!


 Hello, and happy new year.  Sex has always been a way of social advancement the world around, has it not?
Best wishes