MSF in Somalia

As one of the few NGO's working in Somalia, a country classified as a ‘failed state' by some commentators, Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) are uniquely placed to report on the true situation in the war torn country where they have worked for over 16 years. Village spoke to Colin McIllreavy, an Irishman working for MSF as Head of Mission in Somalia.

Taming the African beast

The failure of successive governments to address economic security in Kenya, not tribal tensions, are chiefly responsible for the wave of violence that gripped the nation following the recent presidential election. Constitutional reform is needed to address the abuses and failures of successive presidents. By Paul Goldsmith in Kenya

Death by stoning continues in Iran

A report published today by Amnesty International says that a moratorium in Iran on the sentence to death by stoning is not being upheld. One person was stoned to death in 2007, two people in 2006, and a further 11 people are at risk of being stoned to death, according to the report. Iran's Penal Code prescribes execution by stoning but a moratorium was placed on the practice by the Head of the Judiciary in 2002.

Direct action must follow Annapolis agreement on Middle East

Direct action to improve the human rights and living conditions of Palestinian communities must be an essential part of the new negotiations process that is being put in place after last month's Middle East summit writes David White, Co-ordinator of Amnesty International Irish Section's Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories Group.

Interview with Susan George

The French trade justice expert Susan George was hosted in Dublin last November by The Campaign Against The EU Constitution, a coalition of left wing groups and individuals established to oppose the original EU Constitution. Ms Goerge spoke to Village about her experience in the French campaign to oppose the Constitution in 2005, and her views on both the defeated Constitution and the new Reform Treaty which will be put before the Irish electorate in 2008. By Eoin O'Broin

Jacob Zuma: Dividing a nation

Jacob Zuma is disliked by many South Africans because of his controversial past, but to others he represents change. By Aoife Kavanagh 

At political rallies the length and breadth of South Africa supporters of presidential frontrunner Jacob Zuma can be heard chanting the theme song for his campaign.  It's a favourite of Zuma's entitled ‘Umshini Wami' or ‘Bring me my Machine Gun; Don't make me wait.'. 

The Schuman Declaration

On 9 May 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman (pictured) proposed a community to integrate the coal and steel industries of Europe - the declaration is regarded as the instigator of the European Union. This is an edited version.

Chavez referendum defeated

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez had his first ever electoral defeat this week since he came to power in 1999. Chavez had sought constitutional change that would allow him continue his rule beyond the two term limit currently stipulated, under which he must step down in 2013. The divisive figure who has gained notoriety and cult status due to his vehement criticism of the United States saw his proposals to amend 69 articles of the constitution rejected by the National Electoral Council by 51 per cent  to 49 per cent.


Piling the pressure on Mugabe

Robert Mugabe's talks with opposition leaders continue as he  ponders how to give up power without being prosecuted for his abuses. Aoife Kavanagh reports from Bulawayo