I wrote this article for RTE Brainstorm, where it first appeared on April 26, 2019. The original article is accessible here.
On its 25th anniversary, reverberations from the Rwandan genocide are still heavily evident in everyday life in the small East African nation.
Between April and July of 1994, at least 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered, the majority by handheld machete, as part of an orchestrated effort by the extremist Hutu government and their militias to eradicate the Tutsi population in Rwanda. In the months prior, increasingly desperate warnings of the impending genocide from UN peacekeepers had fallen on unreceptive ears on the UN Security Council. As a result, the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) was rendered impotent by its mandate and pathetic lack of resources by the time mass killings started. Continue reading
I wrote this article for RTE Brainstorm, where it first appeared on May 18, 2018. The original article is accessible here.
Amidst the shocking footage from the Gaza-Israel border this week, many online observers noted one photograph for its similarity to an iconic image from apartheid-era South Africa. In 1976, 12 year-old Hector Pieterson was shot dead by South African police during the Soweto Uprising, which started as a student protest against the implementation of English and Afrikaans as the languages of instruction in schools. The photograph of a Soweto resident carrying Pieterson’s lifeless body was published around the world the next day prompting international condemnation and increased scrutiny of the brutal nature of apartheid. Continue reading
I wrote this article for RTE Brainstorm, where it first appeared on April 20, 2018. The original article is accessible here.
After his predecessor set such low expectations, one could be forgiven for thinking that Cyril Ramaphosa might enjoy an initial honeymoon period as South Africa’s new President. Instead, he has been tasked with stewardship of land redistribution, an issue that may prove more incendiary than any that emerged during nine corruption-laden years of Jacob Zuma. Continue reading
To kick off the epilogue to this record of one of the most educational, enjoyable and hopefully pivotal periods of my life, I’ll go back to where I started over four months ago by quoting the late, great Hunter S. Thompson. Continue reading
SINCE beginning my trip in February, I had intentionally put on the long finger anything that resembled a touristy pursuit, both to allow for a primary focus on my research and to save all the fun stuff for the arrival of one of my dearest friends in the world who was joining me for the final week of my trip. Continue reading
“Inidemini āderiki” (good morning), I greeted my driver Ashu, the day after I had returned to the hotel prematurely with rotting insides, practicing the only piece of Amharic I had learned since arriving. Thankfully, the pharmacist’s fears from the day before had not been realised and I had just caught good old-fashioned food poisoning, rather than E. Coli. Continue reading
MY first two days at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa mostly consisted of shuttling between my space in between two desks in the Archives Unit and the Julius Nyerere Building, which houses the Peace and Security Department. Continue reading
ALONG with interviews, much of the content of my research will rest upon archival records of meetings that took place between states over several years at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Continue reading
RECENTLY, while in the middle of a regular morning trawl through an online media archive, the silence in my office was disturbed by the sound of distinctly African, joyous singing, coming from not too far away. Never one to turn down a good distraction, I stepped back from the proverbial haystack for a few moments to go and inspect the sound. Continue reading
I FIRST met Hamilton Wessels seven years ago at the Vancouver Rowers, a rugby club where the players were truly dedicated to their drinking and would, on occasion, match that level of commitment on the field also. Continue reading