ACAS Bulletins


Food sovereignty—the right of peoples to choose their own food production systems—is an important assertion of rights for farmers and local communities around the world. This issue of the ACAS Bulletin explores efforts to reassert food sovereignty in Africa.

Read ACAS Bulletin 88 – Reclaiming Food Sovereignty in Africa

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News, Announcements, and Analysis from ACAS

31 January 2017 : ACAS Statement on Presidential Executive Order No. 13769

The Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS) registers its outrage and its opposition to the Presidential Executive Order, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” issued by Donald Trump on January 27, 2017, which has cut off legal immigration and travel to the United States from three African nations: Sudan, Somalia and Libya as well as from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. This ban directly affects refugees from Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and Syria where the U.S. military actions contribute to the exodus of thousands of refugees. Ironically, this ban is directed toward refugees in a continent whose nations have opened their borders to refugees and people fleeing violence while the U.S. is closing boundaries and building walls.

This ban is an ill-advised, religiously-based attack on the rights of people from these majority Muslim nations. This unwise action will not make the U.S. safe, is in opposition to American values, and will fuel anti-American sentiment in Africa and around the world. This scatter-shot action is a threat to all refugees, to the global system of protection for refugees and other displaced people, and to the future of human rights and of U.S. democracy. In addition, this EO violates the Geneva Convention on Refugees which obliges all member states to take in those fleeing war.

In stating that he plans to favor Christian refugees, the President makes clear that this is a religion-based discrimination. Such discrimination has been condemned by many leaders of U.S. Protestant, Catholic, and Evangelical churches. It also violates the ban on government establishment of religion in the first amendment of the US Constitution as well as U.S. law that bars discrimination “in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.” (8 U.S. Code § 1152).

This EO violates the most basic of humanitarian norms at the core of our democracy and puts severe burdens on families in Africa, the other affected countries, and the United States. It will have a severe impact on students and scholars who have or would have sought to have, ties and links with US institutions of higher education.

With many other organizations in the United States and around the world, we therefore call for the immediate rescinding of this executive order and a new U.S. policy to accept more of those fleeing the conflicts around the world.

ACAS  January 31 2017


11 November 2015 : ACAS expresses concern at Zanzibar election annulment, November 2015

ACAS Executive expresses its concern at the Zanzibar election annulment, and agrees with the sentiments of a group of scholars of Zanzibar as below. (see link to full statement and initial signatories)

 

ZANZIBAR SCHOLARS’ STATEMENT OF CONCERN
1 November 2015
We, as concerned scholars of Zanzibar, write to express our dismay at recent events
following the elections of 25 October 2015.
We continue to be deeply thankful for the repeated opportunities afforded us by the
Government of Zanzibar to study, document, and try to understand the lives of Zanzibaris
– their complexity and inventiveness, their countless achievements, and the challenges
they face.
Our work – our research, writing, and analyses of history, culture, geography and
language – has given us a firm appreciation for the people of Zanzibar. Treating us with
enormous generosity and patience, they have repeatedly taught us the value of community,
hospitality, and perseverance.
In our many combined years of listening to and learning from Zanzibaris about so many
aspects of their lives, we have consistently been struck by their decency, kindness, and
their remarkable ability to meet adversity with grace and good humor. Today we extend
our deepest gratitude to them. And we beseech the Governments of Zanzibar and of the
United Republic of Tanzania to honor their commitment to multi-party democracy and to
keep all of their citizens well and free from harm.
We present this statement in the hope that both the Government of Zanzibar and the
Government of the United Republic of Tanzania will reassert their belief in democracy’s
core values; that they will resolve this crisis with wisdom and humility; and that security
organs will exercise restraint and good judgment, prioritizing at all times the safety,
dignity and rights of the people with whose protection they are charged.


22 July 2015 : Amnesty Urgent Action Alert: Mozambique: Drop All Charges Against Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco & Fernando Mbanze

Urgent Action Alert: Mozambique: Drop All Charges Against Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco and Fernando Mbanze (UA 162/15…

Urgent Action July 21, 2015
Economist Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco and newspaper editor Fernando Mbanze have been charged with crimes against the security of the state in relation to a Facebook post on poor governance in Mozambique. Their trial begins on 3 August.
1) Please write immediately in English, Portuguese or your own language:
  • Urging Mozambican authorities to immediately drop all charges against Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco and Fernando Mbanze, as they have been charged solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling on the authorities to end the practice of harassment and intimidation of people peacefully expressing their views, and to uphold the right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling on them to repeal all legislation which unduly limits freedom of expression.

see http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/uaa16215_0.pdf

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 SEPTEMBER 2015 TO:
Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs
Abduremane Lino de Almeida
Ministry of Justice
Av. Julius Nyerere, 33
Maputo
Republic of Mozambique
Fax: 011 25821494264 and 011 25821487853
Salutation: A sua Excelência
General Prosecutor of Mozambique
Beatriz da Consolação Mateus Buchili
Office of the General Prosecutor
Av. Vladimir Lenine, 121
Maputo
Republic of Mozambique
E-mail: pgr@pgr.gov.mz
Salutation: Exma. Dra.
Also send copies to:
Ambassador Amélia Matos Sumbana, Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique
1525 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 1 202 293-7146 I Fax: 1 202 835 0245 I Email: embamoc@aol.com


19 May 2015 : SWAZILAND: PETITION FOR RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

PETITION FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

As members of the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa (NEWSA) and scholars of African Studies, we are deeply distressed by ongoing injustices in Swaziland. These include the current crisis engulfing the Swazi judiciary, the conditions of political prisoners such as PUDEMO President Mario Masuku, Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko, SWAYOCO Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini, Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu, MK and ANC cadre Amos Mbedzi and PUDEMO stalwart Zonke Dlamini, as well as the intensified persecution of political and civil society activists and trade unions. We express particular concern about the worsening health conditions of PUDEMO President Mario Masuku, who was recently hospitalized in relation to his poor prison conditions. Masuku’s alleged crime is calling for that which is already enjoyed in many parts of the world: the right for the people to elect a government of their choosing in a free and democratic environment.

We call for the release of all political prisoners in Swaziland and express our support for several movements campaigning for democracy in Swaziland, including the People’s United Democratic Movement, the Swaziland Youth Congress, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland, South Africa Lawyers for Human Rights, Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s, and the Congress of South African Trade Union’s Global Coalition for the Release of Swazi Political and Civil Rights Prisoners.

May 19, 2015


4 May 2015 : ACAS News @ACASNews on Twitter

Follow Association of Concerned Africa Scholars ACAS on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/ACASNews