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Tributes Pour Out for Ron Dellums, Celebrated US Congressman Who Worked to Dismantle Apartheid

Dellums led the African-American fight against South African apartheid by writing the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986.

Ron Dellums, one of America's most reputable black congressmen passed away on Monday in Washington DC , he was 82.

Dellums an Oakland, California native who served 27 years in congress, was known for his progressive and fiercely anti-war agenda. He opposed every American military intervention during his time in congress, with the exception of sending emergency relief to Somali in 1992, reports the New York Times. As a young politician, he demanded a House investigation into America's war crimes during the Vietnam War.

He dedicated decades-long his career to advocating for racial and economic equality in America and elsewhere—the politician played a major role in helping weaken international support for the South African apartheid regime. He ran a 14-year long campaign against the apartheid government and went on to write the legislation for the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, which would strict trade embargoes and economic sanctions on the repressive South African government. President Ronald Reagan infamously vetoed the bill, leading congress to override him. It was the first time that congress had rejected a president's foreign policy veto in the 20th century.


Dellums also supported the restriction of foreign aid to repressive African governments in Zaire (present-day DRC), Burundi, Liberia and Sudan.

The popular 2000 Disney film The Color of Friendship, about an African-American family who takes in a white South African exchange student, was based on Dellums' family, and was many young people's first introduction to the activist's work.

He was commonly labeled a communist by right-wing politicans, for his left-leaning liberal standing and for a meeting he held with Fidel Castro in 1977. He responded to such accusations in the Washington Post, stating:

"If being an advocate of peace, justice and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I'm glad to be called radical, and if it is radical to oppose the use of 70 percent of federal monies for destruction and war, then I am a radical."

He was the first African-American and the first anti-war chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Dellums is being remembered as a fearless and dedicated leader, committed to his mission of achieving peace, racial equality and social justice in the United States and for black people around the world, even when it threatened his career.

"So here comes this black guy from the Bay Area," he told The Progressive magazine when he retired from Congress in 1998, according to The New York TImes. "Talking about peace, feminism, challenging racism, challenging the priorities of the country, and talking about preserving the fragile nature of our ecological system. People looked at me as if I was a freak. And looking back, I think that the only crime we committed was that we were 20 years ahead of our time."

Tributes have been pouring out for the pioneering congressman and activist on social media.












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(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Pregnant Tanzanian Girls Now Have Hope Of An Education

In the past, Tanzania's pregnant girls of school-going age were banned from accessing an education. However, things are about to change!

If a young girl of school-going age happened to fall pregnant in Tanzania, it usually spelled the end of her schooling career — and the death of any prospects she may have had for a bright future. In Tanzania currently, an estimated 5 500 girls are forced to leave school each year due to pregnancy, according to the World Bank.

The Tanzanian government has announced a new programme aimed at addressing the plight of young girls who have been impacted by this discriminatory ban. Tanzania's Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Leonard Akwilapo said young girls will now be offered an opportunity to further their schooling at alternative colleges.

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Nigerian Government Barred From Prosecuting Twitter Users

The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States has ordered the Nigerian government to refrain from prosecuting Twitter users, while it considers the case brought to it by civil society organisations and journalists.

Activists and journalists took the Nigerian government to court to challenge the recent Twitter ban, asking "the court to declare the indefinite suspension of Twitter a continuous violation of their human rights under the international law." As it stands the ban threatens to criminalise the 40 million Twitter users in the country.

According to Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP), a Nigerian NGO, the court ruled that no person should be "sanctioned, harassed, intimidated, arrested or prosecuted for using Twitter in Nigeria.The ruling also means that tech companies must immediately restore people's access to Twitter as a matter of human right."

"The court has listened very well to the objection by Nigeria. Any interference with Twitter is viewed as inference with human rights. This will violate human rights. Nigeria must take immediate steps to implement this order," the court ruling stated.

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Photo by Deon Raath/Rapport/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Spirit Of Humanity Gives Hope To Young Boy Mauled By A Hyena

A 9-year-old Zimbabwean boy Rodwell Nkomazana has a shot at a normal life, again, after a horrific hyena attack left him with half of his face missing.

It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes that village comes from thousands of kilometers away, and consists of committed surgeons, passionate nurses and generous international donors. Nine-year-old Rodwell Nkomazana was asleep at an all-night church service when the unthinkable happened. The little boy was attacked and mauled by a hyena outside Harare, in Zimbabwe.

The medical team at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, where he received his initial treatment, did all they could to save his life and stabilise him. However, due to a lack of resources and expertise, it was all they could do.

With half of his face missing, including an eye, his upper lip, his nose and part of his forehead, Rodwell was set for a life full of challenges. Not only would he have lost his childhood, but he would have probably spent most of his time in seclusion — isolated from the rest of society.

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