|Africa News Digest
Nigerian Journal Prints LaRouche Essay
The double edition of Nigeria's Conscience International (Vol. 2, No. 3, 2005/2006) reproduces Lyndon LaRouche's essay, "The Night They Came to Kill Me," in a three-page article, with three prominent color photos of LaRouche, who is identified as a U.S. Presidential candidate.
Life Expectancies in Zimbabwe Are Now 34 (Women), 37 (Men)
The life expectancy in Zimbabwe for women has dropped in one year from 36 to 34 years, and 39 to 37 for men, according to "World Health Report 2006," released by the World Health Organization (WHO) April 7. The figure for women is the lowest in the world, according to a news story released by the UN's Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) April 7. The figures are based on statistics for 2004 compared with 2003.
Carla Abou-Zahr of WHO's Health Metrics Network said the decrease was related to the high prevalence of AIDS, according to IRIN. But, IRIN reported, inflation in Zimbabwe is 800% per year, and "Local newspapers have also reported that many provinces had run out of tuberculosis drugs, while deepening poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic were contributing to the resurgence of TB."
IRIN did not mention U.S. economic sanctions as a contributing cause.
Soros Behind Drive Against South African Nuclear Reactor
Two of the three organizations leading the campaign against South Africa's development of the high-temperature pebble-bed modular reactor (PBMR) for the past three years are financed by George Soros through his Open Society Foundation in South Africa.
First, there is the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), which is representative of the South African liberal elite that opposed apartheid, but now seems to be acting against the ANC government. It is financed by Soros. The LRC financed a study aimed at debunking the viability of the PBMR, written by Steve Thomas, who was, at the time, at Sussex University, UK, and is now at the University of Greenwich in London. Thomas was brought on to a panel of five experts commissioned by ESKOM (the South African power company) to assess the project.
The LRC study was then used by the South African environmentalist organization Earthlife Africa as propaganda, but also as part of a court action aimed at forcing ESKOM to release the report of the five experts. The court case was financed by the Open Democracy Advice Center, which is also financed by Soros, as are its founders, the Institute for Democracy of South Africa and the Black Sash Trust.
The case was thrown out of court and Earthlife had to pay the costs. The judges ruled that the study by Thomas, which was submitted as evidence, had "no probative value." Indeed, the report speaks only in general terms, alleging that high-temperature reactor technology has always been problematic. But most of the report deals with the incompatibility of nuclear energy with energy privatization, since it prevents the earning of high short-term profits required by private energy companies. ESKOM is a government company and South Africa has no intention of privatizing it.
Also cited in the court action was a report written by Dr. Edwin S. Lyman of the Nuclear Control Institute (NCI) of Washington. The court stated that this report was too technical to be intelligible. The NCI, run by Paul Leventhal, is committed to stopping all nuclear power because it leads to proliferationthe Albert Wohlstetter and Paul Wolfowitz line. Written in 1999, Lyman's report may have been used to get Exelon Generation Corp., the U.S. energy company, to pull out of the project in April 2002, which almost led to closing it down.
Sub-Saharan Africa: 'Dying for Water'
"Water will be the cause of the next war in Africa," according to a representative from a Sub-Saharan African country, cited in the Washington Post April 14. The story, headlined, "Dying for Water in Somalia's Drought," reports on the "War of the Well"a deadly conflict that killed 250 men in a drought-stricken area over two years. The effect the current and previous droughts, on top of decades of deprivation of vital infrastructure, has led to the current crisis, where upwards of 30 million Africans are faced with growing hunger. The most intense areas of starvation are in the Horn of Africa, where 11 million lives are in danger. The potential loss of life due to lack of food and water is reported to be 2.1 million in Somalia, 3.5 million in Kenya, and 2.6 million in Ethiopia. South of the Horn, Malawi has 4.9 million out of 12.8 million of its people in need of food and water, and Mozambique has 1 million facing severe hunger, out of a population of 17 million.
In parts of Mozambique, water from the bottom of shallow wells is salty, but is still considered potable. In Kenya, wells that are 50 meters deep are infested with worms and are killing the animals.
About 43% of Africa's land surface is reported to be arid, and with droughts occurring more frequently, many nations on the continent are in worse condition than they were 20 years ago. Among the most vulnerable are: Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Chad, Mauritania, and Mozambique.
Lack of water has a devastating effect on poor, rural, agriculture-based nations, creating food shortages leading to famine among both the human and animal populations.