Stories written by Lisa Vives

Charleston Church Shooting Sparks Debate on Race in South Africa

South Africa’s old guard of separatist whites who supported the racist policy of apartheid have been reading with interest about Dylann Roof, accused assassin in the deaths of nine churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Newly-Recovered Ship Contains Rare Remnants of Slave Trade

A Portuguese slave ship that left Mozambique in 1794 bound for Brazil had hardly rounded the treacherous Cape of Good Hope when it broke apart violently on two reefs only 100 yards from shore.

Nigeria’s New President Sworn in Amidst ‘Catastrophic Expectations’

Muhammadu Buhari, his hand on the Holy Book, was sworn in as Nigeria's president at an open-air ceremony this past Friday in the capital city of Abuja. His speech acknowledged many of the challenges facing the largest democracy in Africa but offered hope that these challenges could be met.

Burundi Leader, Stifling Attempted Coup, Cracks Down on Media

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkuruziza, who narrowly avoided his removal from office by a citizen-backed military coup, has turned against the media that closely reported the day to day protests.

Kenyans Attack Food Insecurity with Urban Farms and Sack Gardens

In the midst of one of Africa’s largest slums, vegetables are growing.

Burundi President, with Shrinking Pool of Support, Faces Ouster

The days of African presidents rewriting the constitution to crown themselves Presidents for Life may be coming to a close but Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza appears to have missed the signs of this historical shift.

Texans Propose to Adopt Threatened African Rhinos

Thefts, murders and mutilation of Africa’s wildlife, from white rhinos to elephants with their prized horns and tusks, are at an all-time high, say conservationists who are keeping track of the poaching of species by fortune-seeking hunters.

Popular Nigerian Author Calls on Americans to ‘Reject Silence’

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, co-curator of a spectacular World Voices week with over 100 African writers, closed the May 4-10 event with an admonition.

A Nightmare Comes to a Close in Liberia as MDs Declare It ‘Ebola-Free’

With no new infections in 42 days, Liberia has been declared free and clear of Ebola by the World Health Organization.

Kerry Brings Promise of 45 Million Dollars for Kenya’s Massive Refugee Camp

At a meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this week pledged an extra 45 million dollars for the U.N. which is sheltering over a half million refugees fleeing civil unrest, terrorism and violence in Somalia and South Sudan.

Popular Nigerian Writer Headlines at Blockbuster World Voices Fest

Prize-winning writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is hoping to break down some stereotypes at the upcoming World Voices Festival sponsored by the PEN America free expression group.

Close to a Thousand Nigerian Girls Freed, Many Malnourished or Pregnant

Boko Haram, fleeing to a new hideout, has abandoned hundreds of women and girls in the Sambisa forest where the high school girls from Chibok were initially taken over one year ago. It is not certain, however, that the freed girls and women were part of the 200 plus kidnapped victims of Boko Haram, officials say.

Video of Police Beating Black Soldier Sparks Protests by Israel’s Ethiopian Jews

A video that caught an Israeli police officer and a volunteer shoving and punching a black soldier in uniform outraged members of the Ethiopian Jewish community and set off a clash Sunday between Ethiopian Jews and police in central Tel Aviv.

Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption Pledge Resonates in Far-Off Zambia

Nigeria’s president-elect is already making waves with his pledge to attack corruption, starting with the missing 20 billion dollars allegedly swiped from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation during the previous administration.

Anti-Foreigner Discrimination ‘Fostered in South African Schools’

A practice of denying admission to South African public schools of children without visas or whose parents are refugees from other African countries is creating a foundation for the current rash of xenophobia, critics of the practice say.

Chaos Grows in Burundi as President Defies Advice to Step Down

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, overriding objections to an ill-advised third term, now faces a growing popular movement to oust him after his term ends this coming June.

East African Environmental Activist Wins Major Prize

On Earth Day, Apr. 22, Kenyan activist Phyllis Omido takes the stage in Washington DC to receive the Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts to defend her community from lead poisoning and force the closure of a lead smelting plant that was emitting fumes and spewing untreated acid wastewater into streams, poisoning the neighbourhood – including her own baby.

First Genocide of 20th Century Was in Africa, Says Nigerian Writer, Correcting Pope

An Anglo-Nigerian writer has respectfully urged Pope Francis to look beyond Armenia for the first genocide of the 20th century.

Backlash Follows South Africa’s Xenophobic Attacks on Africans

Shocking images of South Africans beating foreign-born residents residing in Durban, Johannesburg and other parts stunned the continent which had taken a message of brotherhood from former president Nelson Mandela.

In One Terrible Weekend, ISIL Beheads Christians and Hundreds Drown in a ‘Mass Grave’

As Europeans debated their policies towards the leaky flotillas steaming out of Libya, carrying most to a certain death at sea, members of ISIL were streaming a video of captured Ethiopian Christians on a beach.

Kenya Orders Somali Refugee Camp Sheltering Thousands to Move

The United Nations, which is sheltering over 600,000 refugees from war-torn Somalia, has been ordered by Kenyan authorities to relocate the camp in three months.

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