New Constitution + Election Season = New problems for Africa

This past month has seen many state leaders calling for the creation of new constitutions in their respective countries. Côte d’Ivoire, Nepal, Zambia, Chile, amongst other countries, all might possibly have a new constitution in the coming months. The construction and use of constitutions vary from each corner of the world. In the United States we’ve had the same constitution spanning over two centuries. Latin American countries notably switch out constitutions in favor for a newer one as tim...
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Gold, Coltan & Diamonds: Pillaging in the Congo

Argor-Hereaus, one of the world’s leading gold refiners, is currently being investigated by Swiss authorities on suspicion of money laundering linked to gold pillaged from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2004 and 2005. The three tons of gold were later sold to companies in the Channel Islands and Great Britain. Gold is one of Congo’s most infamous conflict resources. It is widely available in the Kivu conflict region, and gold is less traceable than diamonds as there is no jewelry standa...
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Rape as a Weapon of War in Congo

In 2008, the United Nations formally declared rape as a weapon of war. [1] Rape is not just an act against individual women or a “spoil of war;” it is systematically being used to destabilize communities, instill terror, even acting as a form of ethnic cleansing in certain cases. Moreover, rape doesn’t lead to human rights prosecutions. In Half The Sky, Nicholas Kristoff argues that rape is especially effective in conservative societies in which female chastity is honored. Communities ostracize ...
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Blood Ivory: Africa's Next Conflict Resource

A few weeks ago, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service crushed six tons of confiscated ivory tusks and trinkets, turning tens of millions of dollars of contraband ivory into useless powder. This event sent a resounding message to the world that elephant poaching would not be tolerated.[1] Although the international commercial trade of African elephant ivory has been banned since 1989, tens of thousands of elephants are killed annually. Officials estimate that poaching may be even worse tha...
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