Witchy says: "These days people are only discussing terrorism and the war in Iraq, but how many wars are going on around the world now? Have you and your students ever wondered about that? Ask your students to answer this quiz about Africa and then read with them the two arrticles to find out only some of the atrocious things which have been happening in Africa during last decade".

Witchy's instructions: The teacher prints and photocopies the text. Each student shall have a a copy.

Last Updated: Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK

By Fergal Keane
BBC correspondent in DR Congo

Danny leaned into the plane and asked if we were all strapped in. Then he paused, as if thinking about what he was going to say next.

"Folks, as we are missionaries, we always start our flights with a prayer," he said.

Then he began to pray.

He asked that we be safe on our journey. He asked, too, that his passengers might find the story they were looking for in Congo.

By now Danny would have known exactly the kind of story we would find.

He had grown up in Africa. It was his home.

Every other day he flew into north-eastern Congo. He had helped evacuate hundreds of people when the fighting erupted around Bunia in late spring and summer.

Danny knew Congo alright but he wore his faith like armour, and from his world above the clouds this missionary pilot saw a different Africa.


From up there, one could see the well tilled fields of Uganda, the silver immensity of Lake Victoria, the occasional fishing boats speckled on its surface, and then the land sloping upwards into mountains and forest and another expanse of water, Lake Albert.

An invisible line divides the lake and at half past three on a sunny afternoon we crossed into Congo.

As I said, from the vantage point of these skies, one saw a different Africa.

It was a green place, a peaceful place.




Witchy's comment:

Are we sure Congo is as peaceful as it seems? Let's read what the Reuters' journalist says in this article.


1. Killing in Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo still smouldering after devastating 1998-2003 conflict known as "Africa's World War"

Seven other African countries sucked in at height of war. Millions killed since 1998, mostly due to disease and malnutrition. Mortality estimates vary widely, from 3 to 5 million. 2004 study by International Rescue Committee puts toll at 3.8 million. Valuable natural resources and legacy of genocide in
neighbouring Rwanda still fuelling fighting in remote east. Violence hinders humanitarian programmes in food security, health care, water and education. Some 3.3 million people now out of reach of aid groups, United Nations says:

"The worst humanitarian tragedy since the Holocaust. Five million dead, and yet the neighbouring countries have gone unpunished as they drop in and out of the Congo to feed their greed. The greatest example on the planet of man's inhumanity to man."
John O'Shea, chief executive, GOAL


2. Nightmare in Uganda

Eighteen-year insurgency in the north by cult-like rebel group known as Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).30,000 children abducted by LRA and forced to serve as soldiers and sex slaves, according to United Nations. Rebels also targeting wider Acholi population, the largest group in northern Uganda, from which rebels themselves come 1.8 million people - or 90 percent of Acholiland region - driven from their homes into squalid camps. Up to 100,000 people killed since conflict began.

"One of the most incredible sights in the world is to see every night tens of thousands of Ugandan children flooding in from their rural homes to spend the night in towns and cities. They are seeking safety from being kidnapped by the LRA."
Larry Thompson, senior advocate, Refugees International


3. Sudan's deadly conflicts

In Sudan's western Darfur region, attacks on black villagers by government-backed militia of Arab heritage have raised spectre of genocide. 70,000 killed since March 2004 and up to 2 million displaced
4 million may soon need lifesaving aid, United Nations says:

In southern Sudan, Africa's longest-running civil war has created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

Fragile peace deal after 21-year civil conflict

2 million killed and more than 5.5 million forced from their homes. Simmering tensions in other areas such as Nuba mountains, Southern Blue Nile and Abyei risk flaring into Darfur-like conflicts

"In nearly 40 years of travelling the world, I have not witnessed any crisis that so vividly combines the worst of everything - armed conflict, acts of extreme violence, great tides of desperate refugees, hunger and disease, combined with an unforgiving desert climate."
Martin Bell, former journalist, British lawmaker and current UNICEF ambassador, on Darfur


4. West Africa on the edge

Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone struggling for peace after years of brutal conflict

Communities traumatised after wars that displaced hundreds of thousands, forced child soldiers to commit atrocities and desta bilised entire region. Almost 400,000 Liberian refugees still to return home two years after the war, according to U.N. refugee body. Ivory Coast threatening to implode as pro-government forces break 2003 ceasefire with rebels
Half of Sierra Leone's population of 5 million displaced and 20,000 killed by war that ended in 2002.

"West Africa needs a long-term effort, both locally and from the international community, if we are not to see a return to the carnage of the years before."
Maria Immonen, advocacy and communication, Lutheran World Federation


5. AIDS out of control

Some 40 million living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, two-thirds in sub-Saharan Africa. Thirty percent of adults in southern Africa infected and 14 million children orphaned by AIDS.

Explosive growth rates in China and India, the world's two most populous countries

If prevalence rates in China, India and Indonesia climb to rates now seen in Thailand and Cambodia, the world's HIV-positive population would double
1.2 million infected in Eastern Europe, according to the International federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

"HIV/AIDS has been prominent now for over 20 years, and though the progress in the developed world has been admirable, the developing world is being eaten alive by this disease. We have not yet seen the economic consequences of the perishing of generations of wage earners, nor the psychological and spiritual damage done to millions of children raised without parents."
Pam Wilson, international relief coordinator, Operation Mercy

Witchy says:

I know the topic is rather disturbing but we don't want to close our eyes in front of what happens in the world, do we? So why don't we revise what we have read in these two article by answering these questions?

Write your answers here:
a) What is the 1998-2003 conflict in Congo known as? s "Africa's World War"
b) What were the causes of most deaths?  
c) Where is the conflict still going on?  
d) What has the leading rebel group in Uganda civil war been called ?  
e) What is the present target of the rebels?  
f) Who are their main victims?  
g) What is the name of the region in Sudan which is being attacked by Arab troops?  
h) How long did civil war last before a short truce?  
i) Which countries in West Africa are in war?  
j) In respect to the 40 million people affected by HIV/AIDS virus in the world, what percentage lives in sub-Saharan Africa?  
k) In which country is the disease growing exponentially?  

If you want to get deeper into Africa's facts go to http://www.foundation.reuters.com/

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