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From 20 to 21 April 2013, I attended the 2nd High-Level Tana Forum on Security in Africa, which was conducted under the theme: “Security and Organized Crime in Africa.” In attendance were several heads of states and former presidents, ambassadors, policy makers from regional and international organisations, activists, intellectuals and others. The [...]

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Reclaiming Activism

On April 30, 2013 By

Reclaiming Activism

For most of my adult life I introduced myself as an “activist” first and a writer, researcher, or practitioner of humanitarian action or peacemaking second. Then, about seven or eight years ago, I became rather uncomfortable with the word. Not because I had diluted my personal commitment to working in solidarity with suffering [...]

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The legal truth seeking by courageous Guatemalans will continue, even if the Constitutional Court annuls the trial to date and returns it to a previous stage with a new judge who, in the past, has institutionalised impunity through a series of questionable rulings. This ongoing process is essential to prevent genocidal history from repeating itself or, in fact, from rhyming and places at the centre of the debate the question as to whether, at least in the minds of the victims, the genocide and its enduring impact have indeed ever ended.

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The ongoing crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where up to 6 million excess deaths have been recorded since 1998 and government neither controls nor governs its territory in a meaningful sense, is cause for concern to the international community and the United States government.  The D.R. Congo is home to more than [...]

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A theme that recurred throughout the seminar was the distinction between two kinds of activism: one, principled solidarity with the people affected, pursuing solutions that they themselves define; and two, advocacy for a U.S. (or other western nation) policy response, that frequently defines success in terms of adopting a policy, rather than resolving the situation in the country concerned.

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This essay is cross-posted on the blog that Kate Cronin-Furman authors with Amanda Taub, Wronging Rights.

Amanda and I spent the second half of last week at a World Peace Foundation seminar on “Western Advocacy in Conflict.” It was lots of fun. (If your idea of fun involves assorted cheese cubes and extremely detailed [...]

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