NGOs

Philanthropy, Democracy and Civil society: Tending a Garden Over the Long Term

Who would have thought that in April 2009 South Africans would vote in a national election where the winning presidential candidate, Jacob Zuma, would enter his office under a cloud of corruption? Who would have guessed that the democratic government, led by the African National Congress, would reject a visa application from the Dalai Lama, in effect turning its back on the international human rights solidarity that it relied on 20 years earlier to end apartheid?

CIVICUS Condemns Suspension of NGOs in Ethiopia

Press Release
24 July 2009

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation condemns a move designed to further restrict civil society activities by the Ethiopian Government -- which has suspended the operations of 42 NGOs for “acting out of their mandate”.

Authorities in the Southern region of Ethiopia have accused NGOs reporting on human rights abuses as seeking to interrupt peace and development of the region.

Kenya Rights Groups in Bypass Protests

Human rights groups have joined calls to stop building of the Northern bypass in Kenya's Capital Nairobi pending the resettlement of people living on government land.

The 13 groups, led by Amnesty International, say the eviction of more than 3 000 Githogoro slum dwellers near the upmarket Runda estate should be put on hold pending the resolution of a case filed by Kituo Cha Sheria.

The groups say the government is acting contrary to international conventions and the right to decent housing by ordering the residents to move.

Call for the Establishment of Rights Commission

Civil society organisations are stepping up to calls for the establishment of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights of Liberia (INHC). The commission will take over from and implement recommendations advanced by that country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Amongst other things, CSOs are calling on the government to urgently take appropriate measures aimed at resolving this concern for the speedy reconstitution and operation of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights within the next 60 days as of 23 July 23 2009.

Rwanda Human Rights Record Criticised

Rwanda's suitability for Commonwealth membership this year has been questioned because of its human rights record.

A report released by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) pointed out that harsh laws banning genocide ideology, harassment of independent journalists and military intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo make Rwanda's accession ill-advised.

SA to Build Nuclear Power Stations

South Africa is considering the construction of three nuclear power stations on its coastline despite objections from environmentalists.

The three new nuclear stations, provisionally known as Nuclear one, two and three, are expected to deliver twice the amount of power produced by the Koeberg nuclear station near Cape Town.

In 2002, Greenpeace activists raided Koeberg from the sea in inflatable dinghies. Six climbed the five-storey seawater cooling pumphouse to hoist banners protesting against South Africa's use of nuclear power.

NGOs to Sue Government Over CDF

Tanzanian NGOs have announced that they will sue the country’s government should it go ahead in introducing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Representatives of several NGOs are asking the government to also shelve the plan to channel the funds through local authorities if MPs will still be allowed to control them.

The Policy Forum members said the CDF has been wrongly mooted and planned, and will therefore be difficult to implement.

Ethiopia Suspends NGOs

Ethiopian authorities have suspended the operations of 42 NGOs allegedly involved in activities that are out of their mandate in the Southern region of the country.

Ethiopia's Southern regional state justice office chief, Yilma Meresa, points out that those NGOs were out to interrupt the peace and development of the region.

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