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Readers,

Next week has an array of African heads of state in town in association with the opening of the UN General Assembly.  Many will be making the rounds at public events, so many that I’m not going to try to list them all here, but check the public schedules of SAIS, the Wilson Center, and the World Bank for more info.  A congratulations to President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone who seems to be making a particularly strong effort to connect with the public.

I welcome guest posts on these events from readers, please just check in with me first.

I’ve previously railed about Washington’s false commitment to its professed agenda of democracy and governance on the continent – with Burkina Faso and Uganda being among the most notable examples (our relations with both the Congo and Rwanda are also likely in the mix).

A particular target of my ire has been Burkina Faso.  Thus, it is much to my chagrin that its President, Blaise Compaore, will speak on ‘Consolidating a Culture of Peace in Africa’ next Friday.  HOW THE HELL CAN A MAN WHO CAME TO OFFICE BY MURDERING HIS PREDECESSOR BE GIVEN A FORUM TO SPEAK ON THIS TOPIC?????  A few years later, this man  went on to play a crucial role in the Liberian civil war, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands.  Why is Charles Taylor in prison and Compaore being feted by the Wilson Center?

I won’t be able to attend, but dearly wish that I could.  Burkina Faso is ruled by a dictator who has controlled the state since 1987, it is one of the poorest countries in the world, yet it enjoys great relations with the US.  As an American, that relationship makes me feel ever so pathetic.

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