News Brief

The News You Need to Know: 50 Years Since the Declaration of Biafran Independence, Kenya Launches New Railroad and More

Fifty years since the Declaration of Biafran independence, Kenya's new railroad, and other stories from the continent.

'Stay-Home' to Commemorate 50 Years Since Declaration of Biafran Independence

NIGERIA—Cities across Nigeria's Southeast came to a standstill Tuesday after Biafran secessionists called for residents to stay at home in memory of the million people killed during the 1967-1970 Biafran war. It was also part of a new wave of demonstrations by primarily Igbo activists in support of a sovereign Biafran state and against Igbo marginalization in Nigeria.

Chris Hani's White-Supremacist Assassin Stripped of South African Citizenship

SOUTH AFRICA—During his parole hearing yesterday it was revealed that Janusz Walus, who assassinated anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani in 1993, had been stripped of his South African citizenship. This means Walus, a Polish citizen, could be deported if allowed to leave prison. Hani's death was said to have brought South Africa to the brink of civil war, a conflict averted by Nelson Mandela and the ANC.

Kenya Launches Nairobi Mombasa Railroad, the Biggest Project Since Independence

KENYA—The Chinese-built railroad cost 3.3 billion dollars to build—about 5 percent of Kenya's GDP. It is the first phase of a much larger project meant to connect Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan to the port of Mombasa. Investors hope the project will cut down on transportation costs and open the way to economic growth in Kenya and the larger region.

A New documentary aims to force Germany to acknowledge its history of Genocide in Nambia

NAMIBIA—"Skulls of My People," tells the story of how the Herero and Nama people of Nambia were massacred by German troops in the early 20th for "rebelling" after their land had been confiscated. Survivors were forced into concentration camps, and an estimated 100,000 people died. Afterwards, skulls of the Namibian victims were taken to Germany for experimentation.

"This film is a testimonial account of the descendants of the Herero victims and their ongoing struggle to reclaim their land, compensation and the return of their ancestors' skulls from Germany," Aljazeera reports. Watch the full documentary via their website.

SOUTH AFRICA—Kwesta wins big at the 2017 South African Music Awards

The South African Music Awards took place on Sunday, and some of our favorite artist took home awards. South African rapper, Kwesta won six awards including Best Rap Album, Best Male Artist of the Year, Best Album of the Year and more. Other winners included Amanda Black, and Nasty C.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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