Thursday, February 24, 2005

Meanwhile back in Togo...

Update March 2nd:
I am editing this post today due to an unfortunate choice of words I used in my original posting which offended a group of people that I did not intend to insult. Therefore, a few paragraphs have been deleted and a sentence here and there to return focus to issues in Togo and my experiences with the few Togolese people that I know here in Germany.

What remains from the incident is a real smarting (menatlly fortunately) and food for thought about the sensitivities of various individuals, groups, and entire nations blog authors and their readers address and attack everyday with their postings and their comments. I am bound to make these types of mistakes again in the future as I experiment with web publishing via blogs. Fortunately I have picked up an angel or two along the way to help me when I get too careless with my writing.


Here is a report from the U.N.'s IRINnews with firsthand accounts from teachers and parents of school-aged children in Togo speaking of the difficulties they faced under the regime headed by Faure's deceased father, President Gnassingbe Eyadema. Of course, Fauré is going to fix all of this as soon as he is officially elected president within the next 60 days +/- a few months or so. After reading a number of news articles recently and listening to my Togolese friends speak about their country over the past many years I have to wonder about the part where the U.S. is calling for sanctions and cutting-off arms sales to Togo. What the He-- are we doing selling arms to the government of Togo? Who else has been selling Eyadema's regime weapons?

I sort of like that part in the IRINnews article which goes like this:

“This is Togo,” sighs her colleague, 33-year-old Akouete Attiogbe. “We have a saying here: If there’s no hound to take hunting, just take a sheep instead.”

So if you had a chance to read my previous posts on Togo, Justin and Vincent are doing just fine, and they are not acting like sheep no more. They are behaving more like bloodhounds these days and they say they are hunting for freedom for their people and I am gonna be running right along side of them for the next several weeks hunting for it too.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs news site has another good backgrounder story on Togo describing life in the country under decades of very poor governance and sanctions. After reading just these two brief reports from IRINnews you tell me how these people are going to be able to hold free and fair elections without some serious help from the outside? Who is going to help them, the ruling party and fatcats sitting in Lomé? Fauré Gnassingbe is flying around Africa today trying to get some advice from Omar "Jimmy" Bongo of Gabon and Col. Moammar Ghadafi of Libya about what he should do in the face of international pressure to step down from the presidency. Maybe he should call his father's best friends in Europe, Jacques Chirac & Co. I'm sure that Les French have a suggestion or two for Fauré.

Update March 3rd: I misspelled not only the Colonel's name but that of his country as well in my original posting. The Colonel would not appreciate that you know with all that money he is spending on advertising these days. My apologies.


Mama JunkYard said...

Reading through this post I couldn't help but ask what was meant by this

"And I thought they were so nice and friendly just like on TV"

It raises a lot of questions and not wanting to take up too much time of your blog space I have responded at my place.

Black River Eagle said...

Hi Kui,

I have already responded to the posting on your blog before writing this brief comment. I didn't realize that you are Mama Junkyard so I was responding to what I thought was a stranger.

Nonetheless, the "spat" as Mshairi called it should be laid to rest as there are so many other important matters for all of us to focus on.

I hope that my explanation on your blog today clears this up, for you at least. I must admit after reviewing my posting here that I was still "steaming" when I wrote this piece.

Mshairi tells me that most Kenyans are very nice and friendly, and I believe her. She failed to tell me that they are EXTREMELY sensitive. Now I know.

P.S. There are no (known) limitations to text entries on Blogger's comments tools. They've got plenty of storage capacity for their users and you could write a book to Blogger comments tools if you want...:-)