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'Africa Peace Tour' to mirror Clinton's visit to Africa, make a stop at Bates

As part of its visit to New England, an “Africa Peace Tour” sponsored by The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), will make a stop at Bates April 1 at 4 p.m. in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives. The public is invited to attend the program free of charge.

Organized to promote citizen action on U.S. foreign policy toward Africa and timed to coincide with President Clinton’s March 22-Apr. 2 visit to the African nations of Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal, the 11-day, six- state AFSC tour will be launched March 29 in Cambridge, Mass., and end April 8. In addition to Massachusetts and Maine, the tour will also stop in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont.

A team of African activists and artists will make 35 stops in area communities and on university campuses. Tour participants will explore many of the same issues addressed by Clinton during his trip, including U.S. policy toward slavery practices in Mauritania and the transfer of arms to Africa.

The Africa Peace Tour features speakers who reflect the continent’s diversity, including Mahfoud Bennoune, an Algerian professor; Rebecca Wakuteka, a political songwriter from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Bakary Tandia, a human rights activist from Mauritania; and Miriam Hussein, a Somalian human rights activist.

“The continuing flow of arms, supplied by the U.S. government to Africa is a very disturbing policy,” said Jerry Herman, Africa program coordinator for the AFSC peace education division. “Millions of Africans are killed with these weapons each year. This policy must change, and the Africa Peace Tour creates an opportunity to engage citizens in discussions on how they can affect this country’s policies on this and other issues relating to Africa.”



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