Africa Now April 6, 2016
Topics and Guests: Libya—Possibility of Another Western Intervention; and Cultural Milestones in April: National Poetry Month and Celebrating the Spirit of Jazz in Cape Town.
Topics and Guests: Five years ago—in March 2011—with various forms of uprisings in North Africa, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) after securing UN Security Council resolution, intervened in the crisis in Libya. At the time this act was deemed as a “humanitarian intervention.” Many expressed concern that the situation in Libya was different, more complex than the neighboring states. NATO ignored such advice and even marginalized the African Union (AU) which had a plan for peaceful mediation between the government of Muammar Gaddafi and those fighting against it. There are reports that another Western intervention is eminent this under the guise of countering Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Five years after NATO’s 2011 incursion, Libya is worse off; exactly what the AU and others warned against. Up until yesterday April 5 Libya had two governments one in Tripoli and the other in the east in Tobruk; some of the country is controlled by ISIL which has affected Northern and Western Africa. The Tripoli-based government reportedly said it was stepping down to prevent further bloodshed and backs the new “unity government.” In December 2015 the UN brokered “unity government”, officially known as the Government of National Accord (GNA). Last week on March 30, 2016 the prime minister-designate (Fayez al-Sarraj) of the “unity government” arrived in Tripoli. Africa Now! Host Mwiza Munthali recently had a conversation on the possibility of another Western intervention in Libya with Ms. Phyllis Bennis, a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) where she directs the New Internationalism Project, and as a writer, activist and analyst on Middle East and UN issues. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. In 2001 she helped found and remains active with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She works with many anti-war organizations, and writes and speaks widely across the U.S. and around the world. She has served as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues. Ms. Bennis has written and edited eleven books: her latest book is Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror: A Primer.
Today Africa Now! commemorates National Poetry Month with the poetry of Kadija Sessay—incidentally this April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month. Ms. Kadija Sessay is a British literary activist of Sierra Leonean descent. She is the editor of several important anthologies and is the publisher and managing editor of the magazine Sable LitMag. Ms. Sessay is featured on Africa Now! reading from her 2013 book Irki. “Irki” means “homeland” and in the collection Kadija Sessay brings to bear the memory of a Pan-African homeland upon the reality of a British upbringing. Ms. Sessay read from her 2013 book Irki: the poems were “Bus Etiquette” and “Reality of the Atlas.”
April is also Jazz Appreciation Month. The spirit of jazz in Cape Town is how Africa Now! will begin the month’s celebrations with Ms. Katea Stitt, the Interim Program Director and Host of Wednesday’s Morning Brew. Ms. Stitt just returned a couple of days ago from South Africa after attending the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. The festival took place on Friday April 1st and Saturday April 2nd. The 17th Annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival featured more than 40 artists from the African continent and beyond.
Click here to listen to Africa Now! of April 6, 2016 Libya—Possibility of Another Western Intervention; and Cultural Milestones in April: National Poetry Month and Celebrating the Spirit of Jazz in Cape Town.
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