Sudan's Lost Boys Pursue Olympic and American Dreams (interview with Dominic Maurice)

Virginia Mitchell and Charlton Breen of the Michigan Darfur Coalition (MDC) recently sat down for an interview with Dominic Maurice. Maurice is a former "Lost Boy" refugee from Sudan who has become a U.S. citizen and resides in Michigan. Last week, Maurice's friend, Lopez Lomong, was selected by Team USA to carry the American flag at the Olympic parade of nations in [...]

Power-Sharing in Zimbabwe

It is Tuesday, August 12, and the leaders of the political parties are still locked in talks of power sharing -- it was expected that a deal would be struck on Sunday, but to no avail, so the talks continue. Most of us are still digesting and coming to terms with the content of the proposed new deal -- some parts are hard to swallow, but I think the model of power-sharing being used by chief mediator Thabo Mbeki is modeled on the South African experience.

If you can recall, [...]

South Africa's Complex Challenges

Being at home in the land of my birth, South Africa, over the last five weeks has been awesome. It is wonderful being amongst family and friends, and having our daughter Mahalia Khanya be with our "peeps."

However, as much as the wonder and joy of being home is "something to write home about," there is also much shock and disgust brewing for me personally, as well as for the broader South African society.

People are feeling the pinch of living in a South Africa where democracy [...]

Slicing the Cake of Power in Zimbabwe

The latest development on talks between the opposition party -- the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -- and ZANU-PF President Robert Mugabe is that they have produced a 50-page document as a way forward in power-sharing and the installation of a transitional government. The duration of the transitional government is still being debated -- the opposition wants two years and ZANU-PF wants five. The plan is to eventually dissolve the transitional government and hold fresh [...]

An Olive Branch Grows in Africa

Widespread violence broke out in Kenya after President Mwai Kibaki declared himself victorious following disputed elections in late December 2007. The conflict claimed an estimated 1,000 lives and drove hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, many of whom have yet to return.

Mennonite Central Committee—a relief, service, and peace agency of the North American Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches—is supporting a Kenyan organization, Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa, in a project to reconcile Kenyans divided by ethnic and political differences. George Kut, a coordinator for NPI-Africa, described this “listening project” in an interview this spring with Tim Shenk, a writer for MCC.

Tim Shenk: How did the National Peace Initiative (NPI) listening project get started?

George Kut: When the election results were announced, there was a lot of violence that erupted in different parts of the country, particularly those parts that supported the Orange Democratic Movement, which was the major opposition during the campaign. Because of the violence, the killings, a lot of looting, and a lot of very violent demonstrations, we needed to consider the ideas, the stories, and the images that people of Kenya hold of the crisis and in time be able to translate this into leadership capacities for peace.

At NPI, we decided to go out to those people and listen to their stories, to hear what sense they made of the particular violence that was going on. That was really the purpose of the listening project.

Did this involve people who were committing the violence, as well as others affected by it?

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Sojourners Magazine August 2008
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The IMF Files: They Want to Believe

Andrew Berg, an International Monetary Fund African department policy adviser, is a nice man. I know this because he spent some time talking earnestly with me after an IMF press conference in which I'd asked a pretty confrontational question about Malawi, whose 2002 famine is often partly attributed to IMF (and World Bank) advice, and whose current bumper crops are attributed to ignoring it.

Berg looks a tiny bit like The X Files' Agent Skinner, but what this conversation [...]