Monthly Archives: April 2010

Friday Afternoon Africana

Because Sierra Leonian pop-star Emerson knows how to through one awesome Tutu Party:

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This Week in the Great Lakes

1. Canada does not want to send peace-keepers to the DRC; instead suggest possible deployment to vacation islands with nice beaches.

2. Burundais school children protest teacher’s protest; expect teachers protest against students protest soon.

3. Norwegians once arrested and convicted of murder in the DRC have death penalty overturned; picture of defendants still suggest they are in dire need of a razor.

4. Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire arrested, released; Government tries to stifle dissent by giving local leaders cows.

5. New gorilla sanctuary opened in the eastern DRC; gorilla camps compete with refugee camps for inernational coverage.

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Mo’Great Lakes

There will be light posting over the next three weeks, after which Mo’dernity Mo’problems will be back in full thrust. Until then, make sure to keep an eye on Texas in Africa, Congo Siasa, This is Africa, and Jina Moore for your Great Lakes news.

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1-800-I-Am-A-Rebel

The opaque equation of how to best disarm rebels has stumped policy makers, frustrated governments, and caused continued violence. Cash-transfers, community reintegration measures,  and job training programs have all had fairly dismal results. Now, MONUC is on the cutting-edge of disarmament policy in the DRC. They’re using the hotline:

MONUC peacekeepers are using broadcasts from mobile radio stations, mobile phones and leaflets air-dropped over hostile territory, to encourage rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, FDLR to quit the bush in eastern Congo and accept safe passage to Rwanda. The news of peaceful homecomings and the mass distribution of mobile telephone numbers to call when rebels want to surrender their weapons, made it possible for rebels like Colonel Ngoboka Rachid of the rebel Group ‘Raliement Pour Unite’ et la Democratie’ (RUD) to surrender to MONUC in the remote village of Mashuta in Luofu, North Kivu last month.

Facilitating access for rebels who want to disarm is key. Setting up a hotline is a great way to do that. I imagine the message on the helpline starts something like:

Than you for calling MONUC’s 1-800-I’m-A-Rebel hotline. If you are a member of the FDLR, press 1. If you are a member of the APCLS, press 2. Mai Mai, press 3….

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Friday Afternoon Africana

Because Senegalese rap group Daara J team up with Rokia Traore in an amazing hip-hop singer-songwriter jam:

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This Week in the Great Lakes

1. The Economist asks where is all the love for MONUC; MONUC hopes for hugs from Economist readers.

2. Rwanda claims suspension of independent papers is not about upcoming elections; rather, government didn’t like the font-type used in the papers.

3. China donates material for upcoming elections in Burundi; ballot stations will serve dim sum. One person one dumpling.

4. Burundais president Pierre Nkurunziza visits Congolese president Joe Kabila; lapas with Great Lakes presidential faces will be produced.

5. Canadian Governor comes to Rwanda to discuss burgeoning and completely non-monumental geo-political relationship.

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War & Welfare in Burundi

Over at the Households in Conflict Network (HiCN), Philip Verwimp and Tom Bundervoet explore the impact of rebellion on welfare in Burundi. Substantively:

We find that 25 war-related deaths or wounded at the village level reduce consumption growth by 9%. However difficult a peace settlement may be to achieve, the policy relevant prescription of our finding is clear: failing to find a settlement has direct negative implications for household welfare. Third, we find that membership of rebel groups substantially increases household welfare, by 41% compared to non-member households. War thus has winners and losers, which we are able to profile with our data. Our results are robust for different household and initial household fixed effects specifications.
Verimp and Bundervoet also explore some interesting methodological and definitional frameworks in their paper, “Civil War and the Welfare of Extended Households: Evidence from Longitudinal Data from Burundi“. Check it out.

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