Hundreds held a three-day protest campaign ending Sept. 24 in Ghana's capital, Accra, to denounce harsh economic conditions and the "moral decay" of the country's leadership. With placards reading "Ghana deserves better," protesters attempted to march on the seat of government, Golden Jubilee House, but riot police and armored vehicles barred their way. In response, demonstrators sat down in the road, effectively shutting down the area for hours. Over 50 were arrested when police finally cleared the intersection.
Ukrainian special forces were apparently behind a series of drone strikes and coordinated ground operation directed against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) near Sudan's capital Khartoum last week, a CNN investigation has found. An unnamed Ukrainian military source told CNN the operation was the work of a "non-Sudanese military." Pressed on whether Kyiv was behind the attacks, the source stated: "Ukrainian special services were likely responsible." The RSF, which took up arms against the ruling junta in an evident effort to derail Sudan's planned democratic transition in April, is believed to be backed by Russia's mercenary Wagner Group.
The ruling military junta in Mali announced Sept. 25 the indefinite postponement of presidential elections scheduled for February 2024. The announcement comes as one of the Tuareg rebel groups in the country's north, which have observed a ceasefire since 2015, called for renewed armed struggle to remove the junta from power. Fahad Ag Almahmoud, a leader of the Tuareg armed group GATIA, said in a statement: "We are in a war that the junta in Bamako wants. We will continue this war until all of Mali that has been taken hostage by the five colonels is liberated."
There is "continuous evidence" that Russian armed forces are committing war crimes in Ukraine, including unlawful attacks with explosive weapons and attacks harming civilians or targeting energy infrastructure, as well as torture and sexual and gender-based violence, the UN Human Rights Council's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said in its latest update Sept. 25.
With a mass exodus of ethnic Armenians underway from the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh following its fall to Azerbaijani forces, the threat of "ethnic cleansing" looms. The enclave had maintained a de facto independence as the Republic of Artsakh since 1991, but the war in Ukraine has pushed the stand-off out of the headlines, and ironically given Azerbaijan a free hand to finally re-take the territory. In Episode 193 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg explores the historical roots of the conflict, and demonstrates how the Armenians of Artsakh have been betrayed by all the Great Powers—including both Russia and the United States. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal on Sept. 21 struck down the spurious thesis behind a legislative proposal advancing in the country's Congress, which would impose a marco temporal or "time limit" on indigenous land recovery claims. The marco temporal law would nullify any indigenous group's claim to traditional lands that they weren't physically occupying on Oct. 5, 1988, the day of the enactment of Brazil's Constitution, which for the first time recognized native peoples' territorial rights. Instead, these lands would be considered the property of those currently in occupancy, or of the state. The thesis ignores the forced displacements that occurred during Brazil's dictatorship in the generation before 1988, as well as the nomadic lifeways of some indigenous groups. Environment Minister Marina Silva declared the high court's annulment of the marco temporal thesis an "act of justice."
Colombia recorded the world's highest number of killings of environmental defenders in 2022, with 60 individuals murdered, according to a report released on Sept. 12 by activist group Global Witness. The organization, which has been documenting environmental defender deaths since 2012, found that the number of environmental defenders slain in Colombia nearly doubled in 2022, compared to the previous year. These killings have pushed Colombia's environmental defender death toll to 382 since 2012.
The Tuaregs of Niger and Buryat of Siberia, like the Navajo of the US Southwest, have had their territories usurped and destroyed by uranium mining for the nuclear-industrial complex, and it makes little difference from their perspective whether the extractivist bosses were French, Russian or American. While the Great Powers wage a neo-colonial game for control of this strategic resource, the indigenous peoples on the ground pay with their lands and lives—and are fighting back for autonomy or outright independence, and ecological and cultural survival. Bill Weinberg breaks it down in Episode 192 of the CounterVortex podcast.