Check out Jina’s blog for some great news posts, including:
Journalist Jina Moore writes in Miller-McCune:
Brenda Wandera’s iPhone buzzes in her lap. A text message has made its way through the blurry heat of Kenya’s Chalbi Desert, and it changes her next move. “As soon as we get to Kalacha, we have to go to Network,” she says.
Go to Network, I wonder. That must be a Kenyan turn of phrase for “finding a cell tower.”
I’ve been warned that Kalacha is off the grid, which would make it one of the more remote corners of Africa, where mobile-phone and Internet service in even far-flung villages can be stronger and more regular than in parts of the American Southwest or Appalachia. Indeed, Kalacha is isolated. It sits in northern Kenya, about 40 miles from the border with Ethiopia, just at the edge of the Chalbi. Rounded huts of thatched grass zigzag across dry land. The horizon is dark and bulbous and looks very, very far away.
Dr . Payam Akhavan, is a former UN Prosecutor at The Hague, he advised the Ugandan Government on the LRA case before the ICC as part of a broader strategy of isolating and defeating Kony in 2003-2005. He is now a professor of international law at McGill University n Montreal. I have known Payam for a few years. Here is what he told me about KONY2012
“The video is ten years too late. Watching it, one imagines that nobody was ever involved in this struggle before they started filming. Back in 2003, we devised a brilliant strategy with highly competent Ugandan officials on how to eliminate the LRA by depriving them of rear-bases in southern Sudan. Within two years, the war in Uganda was over and Joseph Kony’s force of several thousand was reduced to a few hundred fugitives in the Congo.
The failure to capture him thus far has nothing to do with lack of funds. It is a complex intelligence operation against a cunning and ruthless adversary who knows how to survive in the jungle. The millions in funds gathered so far are needed for rehabilitation of former child soldiers and their communities, not to pay overhead for NGOs in America. The video may be useful for public education since the world is woefully ignorant about Africa. But its content is at best uninformed and at worst deceptive. Exploiting other people’s suffering for self-promotion is unethical.
Had the Ugandan communities directly affected been consulted, the video would have had a very different focus, and the millions of dollars in funds too would have reached those that need it most.”
Just a few days ago, the Invisible Children campaign to arrest Kony hit social media. A number of people have provided excellent critiques. Check out Fellow Rosebell Kagumire’s responses: she recorded a great video blog here and followed up with a number of articles here and here. I also posted my own critique here and followed up with a few other articles.
Thoughts and commentary welcome!
Fellow Rosebell Kagumire has some interesting new posts on maternal health care in Uganda:
International Forum for Young Leaders – Global Conference on Democracy, Human Rights and the Fragility of Freedom – March 2013
Deadline: April 13, 2012
The Global Conference on Democracy, Human Rights and the Fragility of Freedom will be held at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, March 21-23, 2013. This will be the third Echenberg Family Conference on Human Rights. Before each of these conferences, a Young Leaders Forum is held; Alumni of each Young Leaders Forum become McGill Echenberg Human Rights Fellows and remain active in a vibrant community of human rights professionals around the world. This third conference will provide a unique networking opportunity for like-minded young leaders from around the world, allowing them to engage with each other and work with some of the Conference’s distinguished speakers.
The Young Leaders will address key issues around democratic citizenship, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, including the violent repression of democracy and economic and social rights, as well as the role of transnationalism, globalization and foreign policy in democracy. Young Leaders will have the opportunity to develop practical skills in human rights advocacy, including in the use of social media and community-building to effect change.
One of the main goals of the International Forum for Young Leaders is to share practical tools and experiences while engaging with these Conference themes.
We now invite applications from young professionals and scholars who can speak to the promotion of democratic issues and human rights, both in their own countries and in the international arena.
The application form is available here.
This event will be followed by an evening panel discussion & cocktail at the McGill Faculty of Law:
Stopping Genocide: A Panel Discussion on Mobilizing International Intervention in Case of Mass Atrocities
Wednesday, February 8th 2012 – 18:00PM – Moot Court – 3644 Peel St, McGill Faculty of Law
The event will be followed by refreshments.
Discussion moderated by: Prof. Payam Akhavan
With the participation of: Kyle Matthews (Senior Deputy Director, Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies) and Rebecca Hamilton (Author of Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide and McGill Echenberg Fellow).
Sponsored by the Human Rights Working Group International Justice Portfolio, the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre’s Human Rights Committee.
Fellow Jina Moore has been busy! Check out some of her newest stories and projects.
Some combination of way too much work, too much travel, and too few hours in the day has made me neglect this little nook of the Internet. Sorry for that. But I’m more sorry for barraging your email box with fake blog posts yesterday when I was trying to do some site maintenance and set up a new page. How unfun.
As a New Year’s present to myself, I finally updated the home page to reflect actually new work, including three cover stories I did for the Christian Science Monitor — on leadership and the American maverick, on the world after oil, and on social media and the Arab Spring. Those stories stretch way back to last spring… I’ve also featured my Pulitzer Center collaboration on peacebuilding on the homepage, because it won an award in December, and I’m happy to draw attention again to a story I think is important, and which took a big commitment of time and resources by a lot of people. So go home already.
Last week, the Dart Society published the second issue of Dart Society Reports. The magazine’s founding committee had this second issue well underway when I was hired as editor in November, but it took an even wider range of talent and commitment to bring the magazine into the world. Our second issue is about American prisons, with a focus on solitary confinement. The issue also includes some wonderful shorter print and multimedia pieces about Shakespeare productions in a Kentucky prison, the death penalty in Iraq, andreturning to L.A. after doing time. Journalists also reflect on witnessing an execution, on corresponding with a death row inmate, and losing sources.
I’ve got some work from Zambia coming online soon, and a few other projects slowly making their way into the world, so stay tuned.