May 2004

Wars for Africa's Wealth

NI (No.367)


9 Scramble for Africa
Katharine Ainger traces the connections between the Western World's prosperity and Africa's misery.

13 The Looting of the Congo
Colette Braekman uncovers what lies at the heart of the world's deadliest war.
PLUS: A Short History of Plunder
PLUS: War Crimes
Médecins Sans Frontières medic Helen Clarkson finds sexual violence being used as a weapon of war in the Congo.

18 Wars for Africa's Wealth - THE FACTS

20 The Arms Smugglers
Wairagala Wakabi exposes the lucrative smuggling networks of guns, gold and gems in the Great
Lakes region.

22 Fuelling the Fire
Alice Blondel argues that 'conflict timber' is as serious an issue as diamonds.

23 Making a Killing
André Verlöy charts the rise of privatized military corporations.

24 Diamonds in the Rough
The action so far on 'conflict diamonds' is welcome, but Janine Roberts argues that there is much more to be done - and urgently.

26 Action
Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.

28 Create
Inspiration from revolutionary Angolan poet Agostinho Neto.


<Regular Features>

2 Letters

4 Southern Exposure
A street-sweeper's lot, photographed by Faysal Ahmed Dadon from Bangladesh.

5 View from the South
Gays are the rainbow warriors, delivering some of the best news in human history, believes Eduardo Galeano.

6 Currents
Good news out of Africa on sharing the Nile's waters; tribute to a great Canadian activist; migrant workers battle for rights in South Korea; Nepali violence escalates.
PLUS: Word Corner - Vaccine/Inoculate
PLUS: Speechmarks and Seriously

29 Worldbeaters
You'll find them at any industrial dispute, any anti-war demo, armed with party-line placards and keen to take over the show. Meet the Trots.

30 Mixed Media

32 Big Bad World
Israeli policy on Palestine, as seen by Polyp.
PLUS: NI Prize Crossword

33 Making Waves
Indian villager Daud Sharifa Khanam's dream is to build a mosque for women - with a female priest.

34 Essay - Decolonization and us
Resisting the military dictatorship in Pakistan is a priority, writes Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, but that doesn't mean taking refuge in colonial institutions.

36 Country Profile - Bolivia


NI-Japan (No.55)


Wars for Africa's Wealth

Diamond rings. Garden furniture. Mobile phones and gaming consoles.

Africa is vastly rich in natural resources - the gems, the metals, the minerals - essential to the manufacture of these consumer items in Western markets. But is this wealth a blessing or a curse for the poorest continent?

Many of the wars that have ravaged the continent over the last decade - such as in Liberia, the Congo, Sierra Leone and Angola - have been fuelled by the demand for control over diamonds, timber, gold, minerals and oil.

In this month's NI find out whether the consumer goods you buy are the loot of bloody conflict - and what you can do about this scandal.

<This month's article>
-Translation of "Scramble for Africa" (NI p9-12)

<Reporting from Japan>
- Surrounded by Conflict Resources: from diamonds to tantalum

<Contact Points>
-Information on Africa's conflicts and natural resources

<Country Profile>
-Translation of "Country Profile - Bolivia" (p36)

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