Africa Now July 13, 2016 Dissecting Haiti at A Political Crossroads and the Colombian Ceasefire Agreement

Africa Now July 13, 2016

Topics: Dissecting Haiti at A Political Crossroads and the Colombian Ceasefire Agreement

Topics and Guests: Africa Now! begins with Haiti at a political crossroads.  Due to flawed presidential and legislative election processes in Haiti last year, widespread protests occurred and opposition parties refused to take part in the scheduled presidential run-off.   This forced the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to postpone and then cancel the run-off.  Meanwhile President Martelly’s term expired on February 7.  To prevent a constitutional crisis an agreement was reached which set the presidential run-off to April 24 and enabled Parliament to choose an interim President.  On February 14 Senator Jocelerme Privert became Interim President; who was to guide the country through presidential, legislative and municipal elections with a new Provisional Electoral Council.  But Interim President Privert remains in office even though his term has expired and the elections have been postponed to October 9.  Today dissect the political situation in Haiti with Mr. Jean-Claude Fignole of Oxfam America Program Haiti.

Mr. Jean-Claude Fignolé is Oxfam America Program Director in Haiti where he has contributed to the development of the AZUEI cultural movement which uses art to promote reconciliation, peace and a rich human experience between the peoples on both sides of the island of Hispaniola.  In Mr. Fignolé’s 14 years of experience in Haiti he has worked with la Fondation Sauvons un Pays on revenue generating projects in the rural southeast as well as youth empowerment projects.  He helped found GRADIH (Research and Action Group for the Sustainable Development of Haiti) a youth solidarity network and though this group was dissolved, many young movements emerged stronger out the initiative such as KPGA (Konbit Peyizan Grande Anse), OFTAG (Grande-Anse Women Together) and JUPED (Youth for Development Movement of Petit Place Cazeau). At ActionAid, Jean-Claude Fignole became the organization’s youngest ever Haiti Country Director in 2008.  

Today Africa Now! continues to focus on the peace process between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) and the Colombian government to end the conflict that has lasted over 50 years.  The talks began in Havana, Cuba on November 19, 2012.  A few weeks ago on June 23 in Havana the Colombian government and FARC signed a ceasefire agreement entitled A Bilateral and Definitive Ceasefire, Cessation of Hostilities, and Laying Aside of Weapons.  The conflict has left over 220,000 people dead and 6 million displaced; and it has disproportionally affected Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities.  Africa Now! dissects the agreement with Ms. Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, of Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

Ms. Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, is Senior Associate for the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), where she is the leading Colombia human rights advocate.  Ms. Sánchez is an expert on internally displaced persons, refugees and human rights, and her work has shed light on the situation of Colombia’s internally displaced persons.  She is co-author of Far Worse than Watergate, a publication that documents the widespread abuse of power by Colombia’s presidential intelligence agency, DAS.  Ms. Sánchez has worked for greater recognition of Afro-Colombian and indigenous community rights and advocated placing conditions on U.S. assistance to protect these rights.

Click here to listen to Africa Now! of July 13, 2016 Dissecting Haiti at A Political Crossroads and the Colombian Ceasefire Agreement.    

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