Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Toronto Violence makes the Angola Press

Don't ask how I got the article from the Angola Press, but here is their description of the recent rash of violence in Toronto (Angola Press, Roundup: Gang violence rampant in Toronto):
Gang violence has become so rampant in Canada`s biggest city of Toronto during the past two weeks that police had to deploy extra forces out in the streets.

Two more deaths arising from gang shootings during Sunday night has raised the total number of those hit by gunfire to 17, with the death toll to 7 in the past 15 days.

Panic is spreading fast in the booming commercial city that residents in some of the troubled regions dare not to come out in the streets during daytime.

The worsening security situation in the city have aroused the attention of the church groups, which organized marches in four of the most plagued neighborhoods Saturday, calling for quick solutions.
Angola thinks it's rough here? Angola?

While the article uses hyperbole to full effect ("worsening security situation", "plagued neighbourhoods", "panic is spreading fast", etc.), let's not forget Angola's problems.

From Amnesty International: Angola:
In July [2004], after UNITA tried to set up party offices in Cazombo, Moxico province, a mob burned or looted about 80 houses belonging to UNITA supporters and others who did not speak the local language. The crowd, allegedly encouraged by the municipal authorities, also wounded about 10 people. Unarmed police were reportedly deployed but did nothing to stop the violence.
Three men – Manuel do Rosario, Laurindo de Oliveira and Antonio Francisco – reportedly “disappeared” in April after being arrested in Luanda in possession of a stolen car. Relatives searching for the men saw this car parked in a police station. In May they found the bodies of the three men in an unofficial cemetery in Cazenga suburb. Police exhumed the bodies and opened an investigation, but no results were reported by the end of 2004.
A violent protest in February concerning electricity supplies in Cafunfo, a diamond-mining town in northern Angola, left at least three people dead, according to official sources. Unofficial sources said that police fired indiscriminately, killing more than 10 people, including two teenage girls and 12-year-old David Alexandre Carlos, and wounding some 20 others. Seventeen protesters were subsequently detained and accused of disobeying the authorities, a crime punishable by up to seven months’ imprisonment. Applications for bail were not granted. The trial began in July but was suspended and not concluded by the year’s end. One of the defendants, a 15-year-old boy, was held with adult prisoners for several months before being given separate accommodation. There was apparently no inquiry into the reports that police had used excessive force.
Et cetera.

From Foreign Affairs Canada: Angola:
Foreign Affairs Canada advises against all travel to the region(s) specified below.

You are advised against all travel outside Luanda. If you choose to travel outside Luanda despite this advice, you should do so only under the auspices of an organization with considerable knowledge of the country.

You are advised that, if travelling outside Luanda, you should stay in the main cities and avoid roads outside provincial capitals.

OFFICIAL WARNING: Foreign Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to this country.

You are advised against non-essential travel to this country. The security situation in Angola has improved since the signing of the cease-fire in April 2002, which brought an end to the country's civil war.
Plus, watch out for the random acts of banditry, common place drunk driving, land mines, and the kidnapping of foreigners. Also, make sure your flight lands in a UN-designated landmine-proof landing strip.

Toronto is still good in my books. Angola should worry about Angola.

No comments: