World News and Trends- War, famine, disease: Africa's endless afflictions

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World News and Trends- War, famine, disease

Africa's endless afflictions

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The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are already riding roughshod over much of Africa. Sum- ming up, 28 million Africans find themselves HIV- positive-nearly 10 percent of the adult population. Corruption remains endemic in many African countries, stifling economic, social and political development. Thirteen million Africans face starvation. Drought is a continual crippler, and the continent is engaged in constant military conflict.

Six weeks ago the promise of peace among some of Africa's most deprived countries-the Congo, Sudan and even Burundi-seemed possible. But as The Scotland on Sunday observed: "Now all bets are off again. The Sudanese government has pulled out of negotiation . . . The Congo deal, like so many before it, is floundering . . . And in Burundi there is business as usual: shelling of civilian suburbs."

Africa is a lesson in how dreams can turn to dust. Even slavery survives and thrives in parts of this suffering continent, along with outbreaks of genocide in Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia and the Congo.

Commenting on Southern Africa's food shortage, The Economist stated that "bad weather, and bad rulers, are making millions of people hungry." Time magazine's Atlantic edition concurs: "War, bad government and AIDS are feeding a deadly drought across Southern Africa."

When it comes to bad governance, Zimbabwe takes the cake. Food aid goes to those who support the government, leaving opposing citizens in danger of starvation. White farmers who could help are deprived of their land by government edict. “Like a roaring lion and a charging bear is a wicked ruler over poor people,” Proverbs 28:15 reminds us.

It is hard to envision how anyone or anything except the coming Kingdom of God can turn Africa around. No wonder Jesus Christ told us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” (Sources: The Scotland on Sunday, The Economist [both London], Time, The Washington Times.)