What Somali pirates explain about imperialism

My following book review appears in today’s Weekend Australian newspaper: Imperialism still casts a dark shadow over modern Africa. Former colonial powers France, Britain, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Germany largely spend their aid dollars in nations they used to rule. Oxfam France’s Christian Reboul told The Guardian this makes sense for Paris “because the former…

Making money from Ebola misery

My weekly Guardian column: The horror of ebola in West Africa has taken thousands of lives and spread fear around the world. This fact, coupled with ignorance and misinformation, has created the perfect storm. The risk is real, but you wouldn’t know the full picture from watching last weekend’s American 60 Minutes. Lara Logan’s report…

The good mercenary life in Africa

Who said being a private security thug wasn’t profitable in the age of capitalism on crack (via South African paper The New Age)?: Thirty-five Special Forces-trained South Africans were responsible for this week’s audacious operation that spirited Muammar Gaddafi’s wife and three children from Libya to safety in Algeria. The “battle hardened Iraq veterans”, who…

Chasing “our” friends

Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch in Brussels, on US-backed Chadian dictator Hissène Habré who fell from power in 1990 and is the subject of a new documentary, The Dictator Hunter: Hissène Habré was a local warlord in Chad, which is a Central African country just south of Libya. And at the…