Monday, April 9, 2012

  • Tuareg Rebels in Mali Declare Independence: Part of an African Awakening for Self-Determination?

    Button-mali-soldiers

    The president of Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré, has formally resigned after soldiers ousted him in a coup in March, with power set to be transferred to Mali’s National Assembly after elections later this month. The soldiers say they seized power because of Touré’s alleged mishandling of a rebellion of ethnic Tuareg rebels, who have succeeded in capturing several key northern cities, declaring their independence and now calling for international recognition. Officials claim the rebels are a mix of Tuareg separatists and Islamists with links to al-Qaeda. We speak with Firoze Manji, editor-in-chief of Pambazuka News, a pan-African social justice website. He was formerly the Africa director for Amnesty International. Manji recently co-edited a book called "African Awakening: The Emerging Revolutions." Manji argues the political unrest in Mali, Senegal, and beyond is "driven by the fact that over the last 30 years our people have lost all the gains of independence," due in large part to what he calls neoliberal policies imposed on many African countries by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. "People feel that their governments are more accountable to the banks and to the international multinational corporations than they are to their citizens," Manji says. [includes rush transcript]

  • From Political Prisoner to Climate Activist: Ousted Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed Speaks Out

    Button-nasheed

    In part two of our interview with ousted president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, he describes the battle for democracy in his country after he was forced out at gunpoint in February. To his surprise, the United States instantly recognized the man who took his place. Nasheed was a longtime pro-democracy activist who was jailed for six years under former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s rule. The coup became news across the globe in part because Nasheed has become an internationally recognized leader in the effort to address the root causes of climate change. The Maldives rise just 1.3 meters above sea level, making his nation and other island states extremely vulnerable from rising sea waters due to global warming. We also speak with Jon Shenk, director of a new documentary about Nasheed’s life, "The Island President," which is now playing in theaters. [includes rush transcript]