The Great Lakes Research Journal

In-depth reviews of issues and challenges facing Central Africa – ISSN: 1554-0391

David Bahati saw down with CNN reporters recently to talk about his desire to pass an anti-gay law in Uganda. Bahati believes that this piece of legislation is absolutely necessary in order to maintain the traditional ideals of the African family. The bill was proposed over a year ago, and since than has been under pressure from human rights groups all over the world, and was thought to have been shelved. But according to Bahati the bill is not only still being discussed, but in fact will soon become a law in Uganda.

Bahati’s statements were made after a Ugandan magazine outed 100 homosexual Ugandan citizens which resulted in numerous attacks on those outed in the magazine. Two women who were outed recall having groups of people stand outside of their home as they would throw stones and yell “Homosexual, Homosexual” at their home. The two women were forced to leave their home and since than been in hiding. According to the author of the magazine article, the article was written to out members of the gay community who were thought to be converting school children to become homosexual. He goes on to say that the aim of his article was that the police would track down these people and hang them for their crimes.

The bill itself supports the ideas of murdering anyone thought to be homosexual literally making it illegal to be gay. Personally, I think that this is beyond insanity. In fact I find it hard to respect their ideals, which is saying a lot considering I really try to be an open minded human being. But what they are doing in Uganda and what they want to make law is blatantly wrong in every single way, shape and form. Bhati along with other supporters of the law call themselves Christians, personally I am not a man of any particular faith but I don’t remember reading the part of the bible that read thou shall kill someone for being different than I am. At the moment I feel terror for anyone who is gay in Uganda, having to  hide who you are in order to stay alive is something that no one should have to do, and I can only hope that this law will never see the light of Uganda or any other country in the world.

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Violence ensued in Guinea this past week after elections were hel, at least 9 were killed. The army Chief of Staff for Guinea stated that the attacks were being commited by civilans with malevolent intentions on security forces around the country, although both doctors and other civilians claim that all deaths involved with these incidents were all civilian casualties caused by security forces.

The majority of busniesses and shops were closed and citizens were warned to remain indoors until the state of emergency was cleared. People were still free to move about the city, but police had the right to confront any citizen and ask them for their papers.

Dr. Mory Kaba claimed to have see 5 people shot and killed and over 30 people wounded by security forces, although leaders of these secrutity forces claim to have no knoledge about that took place in these shootings. Kaba went on to say that the city will return to normal in a few days, in hopes that the state of emergency would be lifted. He continued to talk about how Guinea is used to these types of situations post election and that a sense of normalcy is soon to return.

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Ben Okeke, also known as “Baba Mutum” meaning “Very Big Man” is attempting to bring the ancient form of Japanese wrestling known as sumo to Nigeria. Ben had started with regular wrestling until one of his friends suggested that he tried sumo, so Ben moved to Japan and practiced this ancient art, and in 1996 won a world championship bronze medal, a feat that had never been achieved by a Nigerian  until than.

Today Okeke teaches a class of about 40 students how to sumo in a makeshift arena in a rented hall in hopes that the sports popularity will spread throughout Nigeria. Okeke’s days of sumo are now over after a knew injury that he sustained in 1997 forced him to retire. But he has high hopes for future generations, believing that Nigerians are a strong people and with practice be the greatest sumo wrestlers in the world.

Today Okeke has lost a lot of weight after blowing out his knee and have a gastric bypass done, but he uses his new found look as a teaching method to his students. He teaches his students that sumo is not strictly about how physically strong you are, but that you are mentally strong and able to see your goals and push yourself to work harder than your opponents, only than can you reach your goals.

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A militant group set off car bombs in the Nigerian capital this Friday, the blast killed 7 people and wounded 21 others. According to the Nigerian Red Cross, the bombs marked 50 years of independence in Nigeria.  The group responsible is known as MEND, which stands for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. The group is made up of several small rebel groups whose main goal is to spread the wealth made from the oil found in Nigeria. The group claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail that they sent to CNN.

President Goodluck Jonathan was attending an event celebrating their nations milestone in independence in an area known as Eagle Square, the attack occurred less than 0.6 miles away from were the president was standing. MEND believes that their nation does not deserve to celebrate the past 50 years, claiming that they are not yet free. They went on to say that they will never be free while their land and resources are stolen from them by the government that was put in place to protect them.

In fact I personally believe that the actions MEND took were in the right direction just taken too far. The report went on to say that MEND had warned anyone that might have been attending the events in the capital, they instructed whoever was willing to listen to stay away from cars and trash cans. To me, MEND is simply trying to recall their country back to where is deserves to be, there tired of having their land and resources taken away from them. But at the same time I also believe that murder is never a way to solve any problem.

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