Friday, December 31, 2010

What's the matter with the Save Darfur Coalition?

"What's the matter wih the Save Darfur Coalition?" someone asked me yesterday.   She told me she'd been giving regularly, in response to regular solicitations, for years, and she seemed to think that the organization delivered humanitarian relief on the ground, in Darfur.

Here's the Better Business Bureau's review of Save Darfur, in 2007, which said that it failed to meet three standards of charity accountability:

Standard 3: Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings 

Standard 12: Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all

Their program budget that year had been over $48 million, nearly $34 million of which went to advertising their campaign regarding U.S. foreign policy.  They gave nothing to deliver food, medical relief, shelter, education, or infrastructure in Darfur.

Its Executive Director David Rubinstein, in 2007, earned $169,678.

BBB Wise Giving Report for
Save Darfur Coalition

BBB Wise Giving Report issued February 2009
BBB Wise Giving Report expires February 2011
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

Find out more about this charity:

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Charity Contact Information

Name:Save Darfur Coalition
Address:2120 L Street, NW
Suite 335
Washington, DC 20037
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BBB Wise Giving Alliance Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 2005, District of Columbia
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: “to raise public awareness and mobilize an effective and immediate response to end the atrocities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.”
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Evaluation Conclusions


Save Darfur Coalition (SDC) does not meet the following 3 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Standard 3: Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings - An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.
  • SDC does not meet the meeting frequency provision of this Standard for meetings held in the past fiscal year because although six meetings were held, only one was in person.
Standard 12: Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses - Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. If the charity has more than one major program category, the schedule should provide a breakdown for each category.
  • SDC does not meet this Standard because its financial statements did not include a detailed functional breakdown of expenses by natural classification (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities.
Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.
  • SDC does not meet this Standard because it states it does not have an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year.
Save Darfur Coalition (SDC) meets the remaining 17 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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SDC is a coalition of faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations, and community groups devoted to ending the genocide in Darfur. Through advocacy efforts, on both the domestic and international fronts the coalition is seeking to bring peace to a war-torn region. The organization advocates for ending the violence against the Darfuri people; facilitating the provision of adequate and unhindered humanitarian aid; establishing conditions for the safe and voluntary return of displaced people; promoting the long-term development of Darfur’s infrastructure; and holding the perpetrators of the genocide accountable.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007, SDC's program expenses were:

Grassroots activity10,266,775
International activism4,567,315
Total Program Expenses:$48,694,925

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rwanda, New Media, and the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper

U.S. AFRICOM Commander William "Kip" Ward with 
Rwandan General James Kabarebe in Rwanda.

On December 27th, the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper published my editorial "Obama take heed; French judge files charges against Kagame allies."    Comments are interesting as ever, including:

1)  A complaint that my editorial was also published on the website of, the website of AfrobeatRadio, a weekly radio hour on WBAI-New York City, one of the five metropolitan stations within the Pacifica Radio Network.

2)  An argument that there is an alternative viewpoint, that of the U.S. Army, as expressed on their news website.

Many writers consider themselves above responding to those who comment on their work, but I've engaged with many of the Rwandan readers of the SF Bay View throughout the past year, as I have here:

Sagakiga's avatar
Sagakiga· 16 hours ago
While you keep repeating yourself with such articles it tends to be boring and waste of tax payers money to spread wrong opinions. Just the same article ont this link

Ma point is Rwanda is a Country for Rwandan Citzen ready to walk the talk and so people will always talk ,write inconsistent articles cover them with a nice picture like US Commander Kip meeting the Rwandan General. There are 2 different stories
1 reply · active less than 1 minute ago
Words like "boring" and "wrong" do not persuade; they are simply adjectives. I can use them too. You are boring and wrong. Does that persuade or prove anything?

And, I am wasting tax payers money? That's choice. There is no tax payers' money coming to me or to the SF Bay View. I think you are confusing the SF Bay View with Rwanda's "The New Times, Government Supporting Daily," and confusing me with its scribes Edmund Kagire, Edwin Musoni, or perhaps Sunny Ntayomba.

As to this article also appearing on AfrobeatRadio, a weekly radio show on WBAI-New York CIty:

Have you failed to notice that most all newspapers and newspaper websites in the U.S.A. are the same now, that they are all running the Associated Press wire stories on most international stories? The SF Bay View has earned a high Google page rank in part because it consistently publishes unique content, every day. My reporting and analysis occasionally appears on two or three outlets and may be posted to other sites and Yahoo lists.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rwandan Opposition Leaders' Christmas Behind Bars

by Ann Garrison

The Kagame regime arrested opposition
leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
in Kigali, Rwanda, 15 days after the
release of the UN report documenting
the regime's war crimes, crimes against
humanity, and genocidal massacres of
civilians in the Democratic Republic
of Congo, and, she has remained behind
bars ever since.

On Christmas Eve, KPFA Radio-Berkeley broadcast the following news report:

KPFA Holiday News Anchor Anthony Fest:
And in news from the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda, two of the three presidential candidates who attempted to run against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame this year, are spending their Christmas in prison in Kigali.   KPFA's Ann Garrison is in the studio with the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison:
Bernard Ntaganda declared his intention to protest the Rwandan opposition's exclusion from the country's 2010 presidential election on June 24th, saying, "Silence is acceptance," but, he was arrested inside his home that morning, before he could leave, and has been behind bars ever since.  

Also on June 24th, authorities confined Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza to her home and arrested other members of all three viable opposition parties who attempted to protest publicly.  Journalist Jean Leonard Rugembage was gunned down in a Kigali street on the same day, shortly after reporting that President Kagame had ordered the assassination attempt on an exiled dissident Rwandan General.

Rwandan opposition leader and presidential
candidate Bernard Ntaganda was arrested before he
could leave his home to protest exclusion from Rwanda's
presidential election on June 24th and has been behind
bars, in Kigali's 1930 maximum security prison since.
In May,  Ntaganda told KMEC Radio-Mendocino,
that the real problem in Rwanda is not between
Hutu and Tutsi but between rich and poor. 
Ingabire had by then already been arrested and confined to Kigali since March.  She was re-arrested, on October 15th, and has remained behind bars ever since.

Supporters of Rwanda's opposition from all over the world expressed their sadness that the country's democratic leaders are the ones spending Christmas in prison, even after the UN Mapping Report, released on October 1st, documented war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocidal massacres of civilians perpetrated by Kagame's RPF regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ingabire's daughter, Raissa Ujeneeza, spoke to KPFA from the Netherlands.

Raissa Ujeneeza:
She is in prison without having been proven guilty and that is the problem right now.  They are trying to build a case against her, but they don't have a legitimate evidence against her, and they're not gonna find anything, but that doesn't keep them from keeping her in prison.

Eleneus Akanga, Rwandan journalist and Contributing Editor of The Newsline EA in East Africa spoke to KPFA from London, where he is studying international human rights law.

Eleneus Akanga:
Victoire Ingabire's daughter Raissa Ujeneeza stands front and
center in this protest for her mother Victoire Ingabire
Umuhoza's freedom in the Hague. 
It's a sad story really, but if President Paul Kagame thinks that prison is the place for anyone who dares to challenge his authoritarian rule, then he'd better build more prisons.   Rwandese are resolved people and they will continue to fight his repressive regime, no matter the intimidation.  And until the US and the UK stop pampering his ego, the dictator that is Kagame will continue to rule Rwanda and Rwanda remains headed for disaster.  That's all I can say.  

And, WBAI AfrobeatRadio Producer Wuyi Jacobs spoke to KPFA from New York City:

Wuyi Jacobs:
Rwanda's political opposition leaders Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda and many members of the opposition have been in prison for many months now.  Let our New Year's resolution be to work together to seek their freedom.

For Pacifica/KPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.

Also on Christmas, Ingabire's FDU-Inkingi Coalition of Parties released a statement saying that:

Today, Ms. Victoire INGABIRE's lawyer has requested an immediate release order from the Intermediate Court of GASABO because the pre-trial detention order expired on 25th December 2010. The case has not yet been transmitted for evidential trial. Her detention is illegal. Paul KAGAME's government has no legal basis to keep her in jail after the expiration of the ordinance. 

The FDU called on the Rwandese people and the international community to make calls and write letters demanding her immediate release, and filed a motion for her release with the GASABO court in Kigali, but on December 30th, the court denied bail again and issued another preventive detention order.  

Bernard Ntaganda is scheduled to appear in court on January 5th.  His support team says that they remain strong and that his family takes him food every day at Kigali's 1930 prison.  Shortly after his arrest, Ntaganda went on a hunger strike for fear that President Kagame would have him poisoned.  

KPFA Radio audio link:

For Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda in Rwanda

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda

by Ann Garrison on Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 1:12pm

Please add your Christmas wishes to this global online Christmas card for Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda, and for the Rwandan people, and African people of the wider region, who have suffered  such brutal dictatorship and exploitation for so long.  

The AfrobeatRadio Collective will publish everyone's good wishes, on   Please include names and locations, unless doing so is cause for anxiety.

To Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda
1930 Prison
Kigali, Rwanda

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Rwanda's FDU-Inkingi opposition leader, is spending Christmas in Rwanda's maximum security 1930 prison.
Dear Victoire and Bernard:

We are sad to see you, two of the candidates who attempted to contest this year's Rwandan presidential election, spending Christmas behind bars, in Rwanda's 1930 maximum security prison. Your incarceration, even after the release of the October 1st UN Mapping Report documenting the Kagame regime's war crimes, crimes against humanity, and civilian massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is justice turned upside down, or rather, no justice at all.
Bernard Ntaganda, Rwandan opposition leader, planned to protest the opposition's exclusion from Rwanda's 2010 presidential election, saying, "Silence is acceptance." He was arrested before he could leave the house on 06.24.2010, and is now, like Victoire Ingabire, spending Christmas in Rwanda's 1930 maximum security prison.
Though you will not even be able to read this card online or in print, we hope you may somehow hear of it and be heartened.  Thank you many times over for your courage and strength.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Radioactive spill in Arlit, Niger, home to "significant quantities of uranium from Africa"

French physicist and anti-nuclear activist Bruno Chareyron
took this photograph of chidren in Arlit, Niger, who often lay
near garbage contaminated by France-Areva's uranium
mine there.
Arlit, Niger, in the Sahara Desert, surfaced in international news in January 2003, when George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, said what came to be known as "the sixteen words," which became a central pretext for the Iraq War:

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

At the time, no one noted that France had used its former colony, Niger, as its national uranium mine, ever since the conclusion of World War II, as it developed its nuclear power and weapons industries, or that it had severely contaminated Niger, home of the legendary Touareg nomads, in the process.

Last week there was news of yet another radioactive waste spill in Arlit, that has contaminated 2 hectares, or, roughly five acres, of land in Arlit, since December 11th, 2010.


Areva Uranium Mine in Niger Has Waste Spill, Greenpeace Says

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- At least 200,000 cubic liters of radioactive waste has leaked at the Areva SA-operated Somair uranium mine in NigerGreenpeace said today in an e-mailed statement.
"Almoustapha Alhacen who carried out an inspection of the spill for NGO Aghir in'Man confirmed to Greenpeace that two hectares have been contaminated by the spill since Dec. 11," Greenpeace said.

Read more: