South African Lawsuit Could Grant Rural Communities Right to Reject New Mining Projects

South Africans await judgement to be handed down in a court case that could set a sweeping precedent by empowering communities on communal land with the right to reject new mining projects. Calling the case a referendum on “the right to say no,” residents of several rural villages are asking the court to reinterpret current minerals extraction legislation to compel mining companies to gain explicit community consent prior to breaking ground on new operations. “The land is our identity. When we lose that land, we lose who we are,” Nonhle Mbuthuma, leader of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, said of the court case.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (right) at the country's independence anniversary in 2016. From early 1983 to late 1987, the Zimbabwe National Army carried out a series of massacres of Ndebele civilians called the Gukurahundi, deriving from a Shona language term which loosely translates to "the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains". (Photo credit: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty)

The Dark Chapter of Zimbabwe’s History That Won’t Go Away

With Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa just concluding a 100-day timeline to address what he considered the country’s most pressing issues, which focused on economic revival, human rights activists have their own timeline. Survivors of the 1980s Gukurahundi atrocities, where a campaign by government soldiers claimed thousands of civilian lives, are demanding that the new president address the country’s dark past.

Moroccans demonstrate in Rabat on February 20, 2011 demanding political reforms. Photo credit: EPA/Karim Selmaoui

“People Are Not Afraid Anymore:” The Legacy and Impact of Morocco’s February 20th People’s Movement

Last month marked the seventh anniversary of the February 20 Movement, a pro-democracy movement born in Morocco in the wake of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. To celebrate the anniversary of one of the most defining events of Morocco’s recent political history, hundreds of protesters took to the streets. “People are not afraid anymore,” said human rights activist and trade unionist Abdellah Lefnatsa. “Everywhere, the population takes its inspiration from the February 20 Movement."


Over Four Million People Displaced as Crisis Deepens in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The numbers are hard to fathom. Nearly two million people driven from their homes in 2017 alone. The worst cholera epidemic of the past 15 years, with over 55,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Countless others killed, maimed or sexually assaulted. The human costs of the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo are borne disproportionately by women and children.