Archive for the ‘Somaliland – Somalia – Horn of Africa’ Category
By Christina Spannar and Jan Oberg, TFF founders
TFF was established on September 12, 1985. We think that it’s 30th Anniversary is a fitting occasion to reflect on what has happened in the big world and in our lives with the foundation.
It is also a piece of Lund’s research history in general and of peace research and education in particular.
Weak aspects of TFF
• Being outside many networks and institutions – it has become more and more difficult to influence the world if you are small, independent and don’t accept governmental and corporate funds.
• A perception that the interest/commitment of TFF is out of sync with the sentiments of times, of the Zeitgeist. In spite of that we maintain the fundamental belief that peace is essential and that we can forget about the rest if major wars or nuclear exchanges take place.
• Too ‘academic’/theoretical to forge deeper, permanent links with public opinion and movements.
• Too ‘radical’ or ‘idealistic’ to be interesting to governments and most mainstream media.
• A constant very hard work load – resting on a small international group and on the founders in Sweden – vulnerability also in the perspective of us having gotten 30 years older.
• The struggle for funds getting more and more tough and we are much more vulnerable than, say, ten years ago. Being all-volunteer, we still have to pay the bills for what enables us to do things: the Internet, computers, travels to conflict areas, insurance, bank fees, fund-raising, phones, sending out mails, using social media, etc. The generosity of yesterday has been replaced by a ”stingy” attitude of being entitled to get things free in the affluent Internet-based society. This attitude implies that it is not my responsibility to finance peace, somebody else does (and the somebody else is never me). Few citizens seem to recognise that they are the taxpayers who de facto finance all the weapons and wars. The far majority of those who support us are idealists without particular means – while wealthy people for peace a far and few between.
TFF’s stronger sides
• We are still here, operating with amazing TFF Associates around the world who share the commitment to ‘peace by peaceful means’.
• We have remained faithful over all these years to the original ideals, not succumbing to go mainstream/politically correct to achieve more funds or appearing acceptable to the masters of war, i.e. government – neither by the way in Sweden nor Denmark. Read the rest of this entry »
The refugees in the Mediterranean
The European Union members states are trying to look as if they are doing something serious to care for the poor, catastrophe-stricken people who flee from war zones to Europe under the most risky and inhuman conditions. Apart from the lack of genuine humanism and compassion and the cynical intention to uphold the ”deterrence” factor – other features surround these tragic events.
In various media reports and political statements the word ”refugee” is increasingly being replaced by ”migrant” – hardly just a coincidence given the fact that the number of refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum-seekers passed 50 million fellow human beings worldwide last year.
Migrants and refugees
A migrant, according to the UN, is a person who is engaged in (seeking) a remunerative activity in a state of which he or she is not a national. A refugee is an entirely different person who is outside his or her home country because of having suffered (or feared) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or political opinion; because he or she is a member of a persecuted social category of persons; or because they are fleeing a war. A refugee has the right to seek asylum and shall not be penalised for his or her illegal entry or stay.
“Seeking a better life” ?
Add to that the now often repeated but totally misleading wording Read the rest of this entry »
By Jan Oberg
It’s our wars, stupid!
A short interview on Russia Today about Europe’s woefully inadequate understanding of why refugees come here.
Towards a solution: Deal with conflicts early and by peaceful means, criminalise arms trade and abolish war and you’ve solved most of the world’s refugee problems!
Interview on YouTube with RT International (700 million viewers worldwide and broadcast repeatedly on April 20, 2015).
By Jonathan Power
American Middle East interventionists chide President Barack Obama for not doing more. Why is the US running away from Yemen, why didn’t the US go into Syria and depose President Bashar al-Assad, why did Obama pull troops out of Iraq prematurely, why isn’t he putting “boots on the ground” in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS)? Why, in short, doesn’t the US use its military might to subdue the stormy parts of the Middle East?
The first answer must be that he does not have to be George W. Bush’s surrogate. It was Bush who triggered much of the upheavals with his invasion of Iraq – although ex-President Jimmy Carter bears the responsibility for arming the Taliban and thus the establishment of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Why should Obama want to continue to try and mop up after Bush’s dirty work, especially as more intervention is likely to up the ante rather than calming the situation?
That said Obama made his own serious mistake of intervening to depose Muammar al-Qaddafi in Arab Libya. Although the UK and France led from the front the US was backing them up in every way Read the rest of this entry »
By Jan Oberg
Lund, Sweden, July 1, 2014
This PressInfo is about place you’ve probably never visited nor know a lot about: Somaliland.
TFF today publishes the report from a mission there in May 2014 – to the capital Hargeisa, the harbour town of Berbera and to Burao.
With the report in photos and texts we seek to alert you to this indeed unique and interesting country.
Somaliland declared itself an independent state out of Somalia in 1991 and is still not recognised by a single government in the world.
But against all odds Somaliland has made considerable progress.
It isn’t easy to develop when you are marginal to the aid and investment sources, have no foreign embassies and can’t be a member of inter-national organisations. Read the rest of this entry »