Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good news in time for World AIDS Day, 12.01.2010?

Good news in time for World AIDS day?  Maybe; the 700 condom vending machines, announced by Rwanda's "The New Times, Government Supporting Daily" on 11.30.2010, the day before World AIDS day, would seem to be an advance over the abstinence-only-until-heterosexual-married-monogamy-for-life strategy advanced by Reverend Rick Warren and other imperial evangelists in Rwanda, but . . . shouldn't condoms be free in the most densely populated country in Africa, where the majority survive on less than $1/day?  Rwanda is one of the 15 "focus countries" that most of $50 billion--not million, billion--in President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is supposed to be helping.

U.S. foreign aid, including PEPFAR, is supposed to serve U.S. interests even as it aids foreigners.  Thirteen African countries are on  PEPFAR's list of fifteen "focus countries": Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.  The other two are longstanding targets of U.S. interest:  Haiti and Vietnam.

Rwanda's The New Times:

The New Times (Kigali)
Government Supporting Daily

Rwanda: 700 Condom Vending Machines to Be Installed

Bosco Asiimwe
30 November 2010

The Executive Secretary of the National AIDS Control Commission (CNLS), Dr. Anita Asiimwe, has said that they will, in the next few months, install 700 condom vending machines at hospitality facilities such as hotels, lodges and restaurants all over the country as part of the commission's strategy to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Asiimwe said this yesterday during a press conference on the country's preparations to mark the 'World AIDS Day (WAD)'. The day is marked annually on December 1.
She said that the first pilot phase which saw 69 condom vending machines installed in several hospitality facilities proved positive.
Asiimwe added that for the second year running, WAD, at the national level will further emphasise on the use, access and availability of condoms as a means of dual protection.
"We will also focus on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, family planning and protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV," Asiimwe noted.
"The distribution channels still need to be improved, because until now, we cannot ensure the sustainability of condom' supply, especially in rural areas. The existing distributions will therefore be strengthened by availing condoms in rural areas and public places and installing outlets across the country," she added.
WAD is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and commemorate those who have passed on and celebrate successes.
This year's WAD, which is slated to take three months of national mobilization campaign, will be launched in Rubavu District under the theme: "Protecting oneself and others against HIV is everyone's responsibility. I choose to use Condoms."
In conjunction with the Ministry of Health, Asiimwe also noted that there will be reinforcement of sensitization initiatives on reproductive health and condom use for students in schools.
However, Archbishop Thaddee Ntihinyurwa, the president of the Interfaith Network, had a different view when he said that condoms should only be used by legally married couples.
"Condoms should be used by spouses, when either of them is infected with HIV or both. Others should abstain and married ones be faithful," Ntihinyurwa, who is also the Archbishop of Kigali Catholic Church, said.

On World AIDS Day, 12.01.2010, Rwanda's "The New Times, Government Supporting Daily" once again reported the vending machines and their expected success at fighting AIDS infection rates, in "Rwanda: More Condom Use Will Enhance HIV Prevention."

Monday, November 29, 2010

The LRA excuse to secure Southern Sudanese oil

On Wednesday, November 24th, the Obama White House went to Congress with its plan to disarm the LRA militia that has been fighting the Ugandan government for the past 23 years, and issued a statement saying, “The development of the strategy, relied on the significant involvement of the Department of State, the Department of Defence, the US Agency for International Development and the Intelligence Community."  (As reported in Uganda's government newspaper, the New Vision, below.)

The U.S. is thus ignoring the 10.01.2010 UN report documenting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's army's war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocidal civilian massacres in neighboring Congo, but,  using the usual LRA excuse to justify sending Museveni's army into Southern Sudan and the Central African Republic.  Ugandan American Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi says they're really going in, as U.S. proxies, to secure southern Sudanese oil reserves, as they've already gone into northeastern Congo, with the LRA excuse, to secure the estimated $30 billion worth of oil reserves on the Uganda/Congo border, in Lake Albert.

The most "progressive" Democratic Senators in D.C. co-sponsored Senator Feingold's deceitful bill, the LRA Disarmament Act, to make way for this, including Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA, Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, and Senator Al Franken, D-MN.  Even Vermont's Independent Bernie Sanders signed on as a co-sponsor.   (See list of co-sponsors after The New Vision report.)

USA to disarm Joseph Kony rebels
Thursday, 25th November, 2010

By Barbara Among
and agencies

The Government has welcomed the plan by the US to disarm the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, James Mugume, the foreign affairs permanent secretary has said.

US president Barack Obama on Wednesday presented Congress with a plan to disarm the LRA. The rebels currently operate in a remote area between the DR Congo and Central African Republic.

The strategy responds to a law Obama proposed and Congress passed six months ago to defuse the spiraling bloodshed in central Africa, protect civilians and bring LRA leaders to justice.

The army spokesman, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, yesterday said the plan would heal the victims and also enhance the capacity of the UPDF in dealing with the LRA.

The US supported Uganda in the December 2008 operation, Lighting Thunder, in which several LRA rebels were killed and their bases in Garamba forest in eastern DR Congo destroyed, but failed to capture the top leaders.

The plan’s four objectives also include promoting “the defection, disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration of remaining LRA fighters; and... the increase and continuation of relief to affected communities”.

“The development of the strategy,” the White House said in a statement, “relied on the significant involvement of the Department of State, the Department of Defence, the US Agency for International Development and the Intelligence Community. 

(See also Samar Al-Bulushi writing in Black Star earlier this year, Peace in Uganda via Bullets and Bombs.)

Senator Russ Feingold's bill, which this strategy will enact:

S.1067 - Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009   
A bill to support stabilization and lasting peace in northern Uganda and areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army through development of a regional strategy to support multilateral efforts to successfully protect civilians and eliminate the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army and to authorize funds for humanitarian relief and reconstruction, reconciliation, and transitional justice, and for other purposes. view all titles (6)



Russell Feingold

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