1996-1997 indexDistributed April 3, 1997
Africa Peace Tour
African political activists will discuss the future of their homelands
Political activists from Zaire, Mozambique and Nigeria will discuss the future of Africa during a lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, on the Brown University campus. They are part of the "Africa Peace Tour" sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Three political activists from Zaire, Mozambique and Nigeria will discuss the future of Africa during a 7 p.m. lecture at Brown University Tuesday, April 8, in Room 168, Barus & Holley Building,184 Hope St.
The three speakers -- Bunmi Fatoye-Matory of Nigeria, Jose Caetano of Mozambique and Justin Mayunga of Zaire -- are part of the "Africa Peace Tour" sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee. During their lecture, which is free and open to the public, they will discuss the region's civil wars, U.S. policy toward Africa, conflict and development, and arms production and trade. The event is co-sponsored by the University's Afro-American studies program, the Department of Political Science, the Chaplains' Office and the Salomon Fund.
Editors: There is an opportunity to interview the speakers by telephone on Saturday, April 5, in advance of their lecture at Brown. Please contact the News Bureau for details.
Bunmi Fatoye-Matory is a pro-democracy activist who was born and educated in Nigeria. She has worked in Nigeria on projects that targeted the development of women. A freelance journalist, her work has appeared in Nigerian and American newspapers.
The military has been an active force in Nigerian politics for decades, ruling the country for 30 of its 35 years of independence. Political reform in Nigeria hit a major snag in 1993, when the military canceled the results of multiparty elections. In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, democracy has been on a downward spiral. The current regime of Gen. Sani Abacha has defused all organized internal opposition, in some cases by executing pro-democracy activists.
Jose Caetano of Mozambique, currently teaching in California, is a long-time activist and a founding member of Frelimo, the National Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, which fought for independence from Portugal beginning in the early 1960s. Mozambique was granted independence in 1974, and Caetano worked beside the nation's first president, Samora Machel, Frelimo's leader. Caetano's portion of the discussion will emphasize how wars against Portugal and South Africa have affected Mozambique, which is considered the poorest nation in the world.
Justin Mayunga is from Zaire/Congo and is a member of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress. A leading participant in a series of demonstrations by teachers in Zaire who were protesting against the Mobutu Sese Seko government, Mayunga recently has been negotiating between government and rebels in Zaire, which has been in turmoil since anti-Mobutu alliances seized control of eastern Zaire/Congo. The French newspaper Le Monde reported in January that up to 1,000 mercenaries had assembled to resist the alliance.######