New Internationalist

Cover for Wars for Africa's wealth (Issue 367)

May 2004's Issue

Diamond rings. Garden furniture. Mobile phones and gaming consoles. Africa is vastly rich in natural resources-the gems, the metals, the minerals - essential to the manufacture of these consumer items in Western markets. But is this wealth a blessing or a curse for the poorest continent?

Many of the wars that have ravaged the continent over the last decade-such as in Liberia, the Congo, Sierra Leone and Angola - have been fuelled by the demand for control over diamonds, timber, gold, minerals and oil.

In this month’s NI we find out whether the consumer goods you buy are the loot of bloody conflict -and what you can do about this scandal.

Every month, we put up a selection of articles from the magazine. To enjoy the complete magazine, subscribe and receive three free issues and a world map. Or buy a digital subscription which gives you unlimited access to all magazines since 2007 and for a year after purchase on your computer or mobile device, in their original full-colour design.

Featured in issue 367

The way back

Detainees return from Israel after 16 years, witnessed by Reem Haddad.

Rainbow Warriors

Gays are the rainbow warriors, delivering some of the best news in human history, believes Eduardo Galeano.

Iqbal Hossain

A street-sweeper’s lot, photographed by Iqbal Hossain, with words by Faysal Ahmed Dadon from Bangladesh.

War Crimes

Médecins Sans Frontières medic Helen Clarkson finds sexual violence being used as a weapon of war in the Congo.

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The looting of the Congo

Colette Braekman uncovers what lies at the heart of the world’s deadliest war.

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The scramble for Africa

Katharine Ainger traces the connections between the Western World’s prosperity and Africa’s misery.

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Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.

  • 1 May 2004
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Decolonization and us

Resisting the military dictatorship in Pakistan is a priority, writes Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, but that doesn’t mean taking refuge in colonial institutions.

Interview with Daud Sharifa Khanam

Indian villager Daud Sharifa Khanam’s dream is to build a mosque for women – with a female priest.


George Bush Senior

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Diamonds in the rough

The action so far on ’conflict diamonds’ is welcome, but Janine Roberts argues that there is much more to be done – and urgently.

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Making a Killing

André Verlöy charts the rise of privatized military corporations.

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Songs for a Raggy Boy

Songs for a Raggy Boy directed by Aisling Walsh.


Mirrors by Kev Carmody


Liberation by Trans Am

The Bleeding of the Stone

The Bleeding of the Stone by Ibrahim al-Koni

From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers

From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers by Southall Black Sisters

The Naked Pioneer Girl

The Naked Pioneer Girl by Mikhail Kononov

Pre-Emptive Empire: A Guide to Bush's Kingdom

Pre-Emptive Empire by Saul Landau

Fuelling the Fire

Alice Blondel argues that ’conflict timber’ is as serious an issue as diamonds.

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Polyp's Big Bad World – May 2004

Israeli policy on Palestine, as seen by Polyp.

The arms smugglers

Wairagala Wakabi exposes the lucrative smuggling networks of guns, gold and gems in the Great Lakes region.

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The Trots

You’ll find them at any industrial dispute, any anti-war demo, armed with party-line placards and keen to take over the show. Meet the Trots.

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Inspiration from revolutionary Angolan poet Agostinho Neto.

Calmer waters

Good news out of Africa on sharing the Nile’s waters

Migrants demand equality in South Korea

migrant workers battle for rights in South Korea

Pint-size visionary

tribute to a great Canadian activist

Nepal is South Asia's worst trouble spot

Nepali violence escalates

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Banish sweat

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Caressing the cortex

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Cover of the Homelessness of New Internationalist

On Newsstands



The market is broken. The price of housing is through the roof. Social housing is neglected.

In major cities around the globe ordinary people can no longer afford to buy or rent basic accommodation. Incomes stagnate while the gap between the 1 per cent and the rest of us widens. Housing insecurity and homelessness are the inevitable result. Families find refuge in temporary shelters or with relatives; young people couch surf; the addicted and the mentally disturbed drift to the street. Treating housing as a commodity rather than a human right leaves people homeless and hurting. This needs to change.

This edition of New Internationalist looks at how to prevent homelessness and outlines the steps to a world where everyone is safely housed.


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Freedom in sight?

West Papua stands on a knife-edge between freedom and disaster. In this issue, we hear the voices of people living under Indonesian occupation and fighting to be free. We learn about the unifying power of Melanesian music, expose the extractive companies that are profiting from Papuan repression, and hear Indigenous leaders lay out their visions of the new country they want to build.

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