Oumar Ba

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A rescued Syrian man holds the Koran inside an Open Arms rescue boat off the Libyan coast on March 5. (Andoni Lubaki/AP)

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many in the news media covering reactions to Ukrainian refugees have made casually derogatory comments about non-European refugees. For instance, ABC News correspondent Kelly Cobiella said, “These are not refugees from Syria … These are Christians. They’re White. They’re very similar to people who live in Poland”. Many Western countries have responded to the invasion by recovering a shared identity as a political-military alliance guarding civilization. But the concept of Europe as the home of peaceful nations and societies requires willful amnesia about its imperial history.

Willful amnesia

In 2001, political scientist Sankaran Krishna argued that the emergence of the modern sovereign state system in Europe was made possible through the enslavement of Africans, colonization and genocides of Indigenous people.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rohingya walk through a paddy field after crossing into Bangladesh in 2017. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

On Thursday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a unanimous ruling that ordered Myanmar to “take all measures within its power” to protect its ethnic minority Rohingya population from genocide. The case — against which Myanmar’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, argued unsuccessfully — ended up in front of the ICJ because of a tiny African country thousands of miles away. Here’s what you need to know about this story.

How the case got started

The case before the ICJ started a few weeks ago, when Gambia accused Myanmar of violating the United Nations’ 1948 Convention on Genocide. Suu Kyi flew to The Hague to defend her country, arguing that her government’s actions were legitimate counterinsurgency efforts against rebels in Rakhine state.…  Seguir leyendo »

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 19, 2018: Senegalese football fans with painted faces before a First Stage Group H football match between Poland and Senegal at FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. Alexander Ryumin/TASS (Photo by Alexander RyuminTASS via Getty Images)

If Africa were a single country, its history and founding myths could be narrated around thrilling episodes of “the beautiful game” on the world stage. Ask any not-so-young African what their best memories of the World Cup are, and you may hear about that day in 1982 when Algeria beat the mighty West Germany—at the pre-game press conference, a German player had quipped, “We will dedicate our seventh goal to our wives, and the eighth to our dogs.” No one had told him, one suspects, about the Algerian team’s proud past, during the country’s anti-colonial struggle in 1958, as flag-bearers for a nation fighting for freedom.…  Seguir leyendo »