Thursday, January 29, 2009

[PCV news] Peace Corps museum proposed

From a press release from The Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience:

It is my pleasure to inform you that the Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience has entered into a collaborative effort with the Oregon Historical Society to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Peace Corps in 2011. Together, CMPCE and OHS will be putting on an exhibit that will highlight the contributions of Oregon an Northwest Peace Corps volunteers to the history and success of this great program. The show is scheduled to run from January to April of 2011.

Oregon and other northwest states have consistently been in the top ten of producers of volunteers. We also boast one of the largest and most active of the returned volunteer communities. Recognizing the significance of these facts, the Oregon Historical Society was persuaded to host our 50th Anniversary exhibit.

This is an exciting opportunity and one that will bring a great deal of recognition to Peace Corps, to Portland and all the RPCV's that reside here. Peace Corps is planning a nationwide series of commemorative anniversary events and we in Portland are thrilled to be part such a major undertaking. As we go forward with the planning for this program, we will need your help. In 2009 we will publicize specific requests for help with preparing exhibits, collection of items to exhibit (either donated or loaned), oral history recordings, research into Oregon's and the Pacific Northwest's contributions to Peace Corps and for your participation in various educational programs to be held at the museum. Finally, an undertaking of this magnitude is very expensive and your financial support is essential.

Please think about how you can get involved. We need your input and look forward to working with you side-by-side.

Our Website:

PHONE 503-699-9833

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

[Guinean news] Guinea affected by yellow fever, worm invasion

The UN is responding to another yellow fever outbreak in Guinea.

Additionally, a nasty invasion of something called army worms has caused ecological devastation in Liberia and has crossed the border into Sierra Leone and the forest region of Guinea. The invasion was so bad that Liberia's president declared a national state of emergency.

It is unclear exactly what's happening in Guinea, but the UN reports that in Liberia, the worms left wells contaminated with their feces, fields empty of crops and markets lacking food.

In Gbarnga, a Liberian town not far from the southeastern Guinean city of N'Zérékoré, the cost of some foods has more than doubled: a large bunch of bananas now cost US$10 up from $4; 1 kg taros that used to cost 38 cents now costs $2.25.

Agence France Presse identifies Yomou as one of the regions in Guinea affected by the worms.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

[Guinean news] Junta arrests two of its own

After only a month in power, the CNDD junta has arrested three of its military members, accusing them of plotting to destabilize the new government. One of the accused had only recently been made Central Secretary of the CNDD, a post that gave him the power to review laws.

Friday, January 23, 2009

[Guinean news] Junta summons industry leaders, is warned by Human Rights Watch

Guinea's military junta summoned industry leaders earlier this week, including representatives of the country's lucrative and controversial mining sector, before a commission investigating corruption.

Meanwhile, the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch called on the junta to hold members of the former regime accountable for human rights' abuses.

"Guinea stands at an historic crossroads," said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Improving the chronic human rights problems that have undermined the civil, political, social, and economic rights of the Guinean population for decades must be a top priority of the current government."
Since 2006, Human Rights Watch has done extensive research into patterns of human rights abuses against ordinary Guineans, including torture, extrajudicial executions, widespread extortion, and the brutal repression of street protests. The evidence in the vast majority of these cases shows that the abuses have been committed by members of the security forces, but the government has rarely investigated these cases, much less brought those responsible to justice. This failure to act, coupled with a weak judiciary, characterized by a lack of independence from the executive branch, inadequate resources, and corruption, has left ordinary Guineans with scant hope for redress.

In 2007, then-head of state Lansana Conté agreed to set up a commission to investigate extrajudicial killings and other abuses related to the repression of that year's general strike. However, the commission never really started its work. In an interview with Radio France Internationale, Dufka called on Dadis to order the commission to start its work and cooperate with it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

[Guinea news] Guarded optimism about new government's agenda

The IRIN news service has an article about Guineans' 'guarded optimism' about the country's new government.

Junta leader Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, took to the airwaves last week to pronounce the discours programme, or agenda, of his government.

Some of the key points proposed by the head of state as underlined by Guinéenews:

-Revision of the mining code and of mining contracts 'in the interest of all parties.'

-A program of self-sufficiency in the local production of rice

-The privatization of the state-run energy, water and telecommunications companies

-The creation of universities in the country's big cities and improvements to those in Conakry

-An end to 'illicit medical practices that cost the lives of many Guineans.'

-The creation of a paved, toll transational autoroute giving access to all of the country's prefectures before the end of 2010.

-The creation of jobs program for 10,000 young people

-A professionalization of the army and obligatory military service for college graduates.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

[Guinean news] Junta names new govt

The ruling CNDD military junta has announced members of its new government. The government comprises 30 cabinet ministers, led by technocrat prime minister Kabiné Komara. The cabinet contains both civilians and soldiers but no representatives of any political parties.

Monday, January 05, 2009

[Guinean news] Junta revises elections promise

After originally promising to hold elections in 2010, the ruling CNDD junta is now saying it will hold polls sometime in 2009. This, according to France's secretary of state for cooperation.

Reuters notes that: Major donors, the United States and European Union, have demanded a return to constitutional rule, and the African Union has suspended Guinea's membership. But there has been little internal opposition and some nearby countries have indicated that they were likely to work with Camara.

This analysis from the Canadian Press explores the 'Groundhog Day' nature of the recent coup.