Though the date has not yet been announced, Zimbabwean voters are expected to go to the polls for parliamentary and presidential elections before August 29.
Our concern for Africa is shaped by long term relationsips between Maryknoll missioners and the people of Sudan and South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia. We honor their strength and wisdom and believe that African cultures and traditions often suggest solutions to seemingly intractable local and global problems.
In Africa our Global Concerns work is at times country-specific, focussing, for example, on the slow process toward peace between Sudan and South Sudan, or the genocide in Darfur; the political and economic collapse of Zimbabwe; the introduction of genetically modified seeds or the political situation in Tanzania; efforts to stop corruption in Kenya, among other issues. We also address transnational issues of great concern to all people in Africa: deep and endemic poverty; the HIV and AIDS pandemic; the call for the cancellation of illegitimate and overwhelming debt without conditions that worsen poverty; just trade agreements; the rights of women and children; and environmental degradation.
Articles, alerts, events
The following pastoral letter was published by the Zimbabwean Catholic bishops in March 2013 as the country prepares for a new round of national elections.
The following article was written by Sr. Teresa Hougnon, MM, who lives and works in Kenya, where elections took place on Monday, March 4.
Moral and legal questions have been raised about the Obama administration’s use of drones and by concerns that they will soon be used in Africa for targeted assassinations.
Since June 2011, government forces from Sudan have fought the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N) in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the site of the world’s longest-running and most expensive peacekeeping operations, including a UN peacekeeping presence for several years after its independence in 1960 and more recent UN missions starting in the late 1990s. Despite this, an estimated five million people have died in the years since the second regional war began in 1998, and millions more have been forced to flee their homes.
The Rwandan-backed M23 militia withdrew from the eastern area of the DRC on December 1, but, according to Bloomberg news, "the rebels have remained in a ring around the city, within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) neutral zone they had agreed to leave."
The following article, contributed by Marie Dennis, explains how church leaders responded to the September 27 Cooperation Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan; the agreement covers a number of areas of vital importance, including oil, security arrangements, economic affairs, the status of nationals of the other states, a framework for cooperation on central banking, borders, trade, and other matters.
In early September, faith-based organizations issued a statement citing the “recent surge in violence in eastern Congo with the mutiny and rise of the March 23 movement, or M23,” and their alarm at UN reports revealing Rwanda’s role in supporting and perpetuating violence by orchestrating and bolstering M23 with both military and financial support. The following article was published in the September-October 2012 NewsNotes.
In late June, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined with other colleagues in signing the letter below to the U.S. Senate; it asks the Senate to reconsider the increasingly militarized relationship the U.S. has been fostering with African nations. In the next few weeks we might learn more about the recent resignation of Scott Gration from his position as U.S. ambassador to Kenya; initial analysis points to Gration's preference for a more conciliatory tone led to disagreements with the administration's larger plan for the region.
Learn more about the ongoing conflict in the DRC and sign a petition at Change.org to urge Sec. Clinton's response.
This week's reflection was prepared by Father Tom Tiscornia, who served the people of Sudan/South Sudan for many years.
This week's scripture reflection was prepared by Chris Bodewes, who served as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Kenya.
In this reflection, Maryknoll Sister Theresa Baldini remembers women she encountered in South Sudan.
Joanne Miya, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner serving in Tanzania, writes this week's reflection.
Fr. Wayman Deasy, MM, who served in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Liz Mach, a Maryknoll lay missioner in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following reflection was prepared by Susan Gunn, and can be found in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Sr. Veronica Schweyen, MM, who served in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Fr. David Schwinghamer, MM currently works with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; he wrote the following reflection which was published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Sr. Rebecca Macugay has spent much of her mission life in east Africa and South Africa
Sr. Connie Krautkremer has spent much of her mission life in Tanzania. " ... God decides that our hearts will be responsible for holding the law. God decides to forgive and forget our past failures, and we can go on from there."
Sr. Genie Natividad, MM, who serves in Morogoro, Tanzania, wrote the following reflection.
Along with her family, Joanne Miya serves with the Maryknoll in Tanzania. Her reflection, published here, is also found in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
Fr. John Sivalon, MM, who served in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection. It is also published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.