post Rwandan Arrested in Germany

November 18th, 2009

Filed under: News from Germany — Lissan Magazine @ 14:40

Germany Arrests Rwandan War Crimes Suspects
By Horand Knaup, Spiegel Online

The Hutu militia FDLR is responsible for much of the violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where murder, massacres, rape and kidnapping are widespread. The FDLR’s leaders have lived untouched in Germany for years. Now the authorities have reacted — far too late.

Ignace Murwanashyaka, seen here in a March 2005 photo, was arrested Tuesday in Germany.

For a long time, Ignace Murwanashyaka’s life in Germany was uneventful. The alleged war criminal lived largely unnoticed in Mannheim, despite suspicions that he had a hand in ordering from afar many of the atrocities committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On Tuesday, though, Murwanashyaka’s life of tranquillity came to an abrupt end when investigators from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office arrested the 46-year-old.

According to federal prosecutors, Murwanashyaka has been head of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) since 2001. The FDLR is a paramilitary organization involved in the Congolese civil war and which operates near the border with Rwanda. Investigators maintain that Murwanashyaka is the commander of the FDLR’s military wing.

read more…


post Germany’s Top Model

May 22nd, 2009

Filed under: News from Germany — Lissan Magazine @ 10:51

Though we are not in to this kind of production style, our interest aroused to follow up the transmission of “Germany’s Next Top Model” because Sara was one of the competitors. Sara is a 19 years old beautiful Ethiopian girl from Munich. The host of this TV spectacle is Heidi Klum who is also a popular model in the USA.

Sara Nuru (photo: ©dpa,

The process of choosing Germany’s Next Model has taken about three months. Many pretty young girls take part in this controversial test process. The competition is usually said to be controversial because firstly many believe that the theme of the competition doesn’t deserve its name “top model” and secondly many more are sure that none of the competitors has ever succeeded to be a top model after winning.

Any ways, many Ethiopians living in Germany were following this program since it was known that Sara was taking place in it. Though they all had a wish that she would be a winner,  quite few of them have assumed that that could ever happen.

Even though this TV program was not our taste, it showed us the positive social transition that is taking place in Germany. Sara was not only favored by the Ethiopians. Most of her supporters were Germans and people from other communities living here. She has everybody’s sympathy because of her beauty, natural smile and free attitude.

The world is reforming it self. A great social change is taking place around us. We are fortunate to be part of this transition. It could be awkward to compare but we want to do that any way and say: Germany has now its Sara like the USA its Obama. There is yet a lot to come.


post The Palace of Queen Saba

May 9th, 2008

Filed under: News from Germany — Lissan Magazine @ 23:19

German archaeologists discovered queen Saba’s Palace

German archaeologists from Hamburg claimed that they have found the palace of queen Saba in Ethiopia. The location of this sensational discovery is the historical town Axum-”Dungur”. The archaeologists announce that the discovery was made in the earlier months of this year. According to their statements, the founded ancient ruins are from the 10th century BC and they remained buried for centuries under a palace built by a Christian king.


This picture shows a remnant of a palace in Axum-”Dungur” in Ethiopia from 600 -640 AD. The German archaeologists assure that the location of queen Saba’s palace lies just beneath this ruin.

Many researcher teams have been looking for the palace of this legendary queen. If this archaeologists are right with their assumption, Ethiopia will be richer with one more historical treasure of a greatest value.

post Dangerous Love

March 13th, 2008

Filed under: News from Germany — Lissan Magazine @ 12:29

The story below is taken from Spiegel Online Magazine . This is not a usual case in Germany. We just want to make our readers aware of the social and cultural impact this story of a brother and a sister might have in a country like Ethiopia. How would our society get along with such a case? What would be the constitutional and social reaction towards this situation?

By presenting this story, we are not trying to reflect that this matter is normal in Germany. Actually, this story is quite unusual in Germany too and it doesn’t reflect the core nature of the daily life and the culture of the country. (Lissan Team)


German High Court Takes a Look at Incest

By Dietmar Hipp (Spiegel Online)

Must consensual sex between close relatives be punished? Germany’s highest court is about to rule whether incest will continue to result in a jail term. It is referring to the case of a brother and sister who have already had four children together.

Brother and sister, and lovers with four children. Patrick and Susan from Leipzig.

At first sight they look like an ordinary couple, strolling through the park with their child and their dog. But when the two adults hug each other their physical similarities are unmistakable. They have the same pronounced nose, the same blue-green eyes, and the same thin lips. Patrick S. and Susan K. are brother and sister. They are an incestuous couple.

Since Susan became pregnant with Patrick’s child and their relationship became known to the authorities, they have been prosecuted repeatedly. Their case touches an age-old taboo, it’s exotic and tragic at the same time. “Coitus between relatives” is illegal in German law and punishable with a fine or a jail sentence.

Patrick S. has served a jail sentence
of more than two years because of his love for his sister, and he may have to go back to jail for at least another year, unless Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court rules in his favor. The verdict is expected soon.

The key issue is whether the protection of a powerful moral taboo is sufficient justification for punishment. And whether there are reasons beyond that taboo for locking someone up, for depriving children of their father, a woman of her partner.

Some 2-4 percent of the population have “incestuous experiences”
, according to an estimate by the Freiburg-based Max Planck Institute. There are fewer than 10 convictions for incestuous sex in Germany per year.

Incest trials usually involve a father’s abuse of an under-age daughter, which is punishable under a separate law on abusing minors. Even cases of incest between siblings that come to trial are usually based on sexual abuse charges.

Consensual Incest
But in cases of incest between two consenting partners like Susan K. and Patrick S. there is no victim to be protected. Theirs is a rare case. Patrick S. was born in Leipzig in 1976, the second of five children. His sister Susan K. was born eight years later, and he didn’t meet her until he was 23.

The father was a violent alcoholic. When Patrick was three years old his father grabbed him and held a knife to his throat. Neighbors called the police and Patrick was taken into care before being handed to foster parents near Potsdam. His new family adopted him, but they eventually told him they weren’t his real parents.

Patrick is a shy man.
When he speaks, he frequently looks down at the floor, tells his story with few words and a soft voice. When he was 23 he went to the youth welfare office to find his real mother. A few days later she contacted him.

On May 20, 2000 he travelled to Leipzig
to see his mother again for the first time in 20 years. His parents had separated long before and the mother had a new partner. The three other siblings have since died, and the 16-year-old girl staring at him wide-eyed across the living room table was his sister.

Susan K. is a bit slow mentally.
She looks up to her brother because he seems so capable and experienced compared to her. He was only meant to stay for a week but Patrick’s mother asked him to stay longer. He said yes. “I felt drawn there,” he recalls. He gave up everything. A job in Berlin, a relationship with his girlfriend at the time, and moved into a four-room flat in an apartment block near Leipzig.

There was a stepbrother who had his own room, and Patrick and his sister shared a room. No one thought anything of it and the relationship at that time was still platonic, says Patrick. Suddenly, on Dec. 12, 2000, their mother died. She had heart problems but the exact cause of death was never found.

“We couldn’t cope with losing our mother,” says Patrick. Before her death his relationship with his sister was “quite normal,” says Patrick. Afterwards “the connection between us grew stronger because we were the only remaining children of our parents.” Initially no one appeared to notice that the relationship between the two had become intimate.

Incestuous Desire Is Ages Old
The phenomenon of incestuous desire is ages old, as is the taboo surrounding it. Napoleonic France stopped punishing incest in 1810 in the wake of the declaration of civil and human rights during French Revolution that the law only has the right to prohibit such actions that are damaging to society. It’s impossible, or at least very hard to prove that consensual incest does such damage.

German law since 1973 has stated
that punishing incest serves to protect families from destructive influences. But social research shows that incest is more likely to be the result of family problems than the cause. Eugenic aspects, which the German statue book cites regarding sibling incest, are a poor justification for punishment. The risk of hereditary disease for offspring also exists with other people with genetic defects. Yet the German constitution would scarcely forbid such people from having children.

It’s the physical proximity of siblings
as they grow up that helps to suppress sexual desire between them. But if close relatives only get to know each other as adults, this no longer applies. Patrick S. and Susan K. probably wouldn’t have fallen in love if they hadn’t grown up apart from each other.

Endless Trials

In October 2001 Susan gave birth to their first child, a boy. A social worker suspected that her brother was the father and reported them to the police. In 2002 Patrick was first taken to court. He got a one-year suspended sentence. Then, they had a second child. The first two children are slightly physically disabled and are a little slow mentally as well. They were both taken into foster care. They then had a third child which had a heart problem, but which is now completely healthy after a heart operation.

In 2004 there was a second trial in which Susan K. was a co-defendant because she was 18 when the second child was conceived. Neither of them was assigned a defense lawyer. Patrick was sentenced to 10 months in jail. Susan was put under the supervision of a social worker for six months.

After his second conviction Patrick approached a lawyer who appealed against the verdict. Meanwhile Susan gave birth to a fourth child. It’s healthy and she was allowed to keep it.

Both were put on trial again.
Patrick got sentenced to one year and two months in jail, and his sister was again placed under supervision. An experienced lawyer then took over the case and managed to bring it before the Federal Constitutional Court. By November 2006 Patrick had served his second sentence. Only if the court now rules against his third sentence will he be spared a further jail term.

“One can’t put this poor person in jail again,” said his lawyer Endrik Wilhelm.


post Germany’s UNICEF Crisis

February 7th, 2008

Filed under: News from Germany — Lissan Magazine @ 01:26

Donors Flee, Criticisms Mount Amid Germany’s UNICEF Crisis

As donors increasingly flee Germany’s troubled UNICEF chapter, Chancellor Angela Merkel joined a growing chorus of luminaries calling for action in response to accusations of mismanagement. UNICEF Germany acknowledged that some 5,000 of its 200,000 regular donors have pulled their support from the charity in response to reports of funding abuses and mismanagement at its highest levels.

Critics are asking whether enough UNICEF donations are going to help the needy.

The national chairwoman of UNICEF Germany, Heidi Simonis, resigned on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008, after blowing the whistle late last year on the alleged waste of donor funds collected by the body. Heide Simonis, a former Social Democrat politician, conceded that her departure after two years in the post was in part due to a bitter row with the head of management at UNICEF Germany, Dietrich Garlichs. She accused Garlichs of failing to face up to allegations of mismanagement. Pressure on Garlichs mounted on Tuesday, Feb. 5, after the press revealed a petition signed by volunteer workers, including the wife of the mayor of Munich. The petition demanded a crisis meeting to deal with the problems.

Simonis (left) stepped down amid a tiff with manager Garlichs (right)

Anger over wages for UNICEF hire
“The leadership has to stop its siege mentality and its diversion tactics,” the press quoted the petition as saying. Critics accuse Garlichs of wearing contradictory hats: He is the head of UNICEF Germany, but also sits on its supervisory board, which makes independent oversight difficult.

Television presenter Nina Ruge was among those who signed the petition. She told Bild newspaper co-workers were concerned about the generous salary of a UNICEF worker who was earning 850 euros ($1,244) per day on a two-year contract. “People have a hard time understanding this,” Ruge said.

Independent audit found ‘irregularities’
An independent audit carried out last year found no evidence of personal enrichment at UNICEF Germany, but mentioned negligence and irregularities in the running of the organization.
For example, auditors noted that management had in some cases failed to draw up proper contracts for co-workers, relying instead on oral agreements.

Garlichs is currently facing a preliminary investigation for abuse of trust, led by authorities in Cologne where UNICEF Germany is based. Meanwhile, early on Wednesday, Garlichs admitted to the press that he had made mistakes. There had been “sloppiness” at the management level, he said. And he acknowledged that self-imposed regulations had been broken. Still, he insisted to Die Welt newspaper: “No laws have been broken.”

Chancellor Merkel urges clarification
Merkel’s spokesman Thomas Steg told news agencies that the chancellor implored all parties “to shed light on these accusations in order to protect UNICEF Germany’s reputation.”

UNICEF Germany is one of the biggest contributors to the UN body’s budget. It has taken in around 100 million euros annually for the past two years. Also on Wednesday morning, Germany’s ambassador to UNICEF, television-news personality Sabine Christiansen, loudly criticized Garlichs’ rule-breaking. She demanded changes in UNICEF’s organizational structure and said she wouldn’t rule out personal consequences for specific board members.

Prominent figures demand change.
Other prominent UNICEF representatives lent Christiansen their support. The manager of the German national soccer team, Oliver Bierhoff, told Bild: “An organization like UNICEF Germany, which takes in 100 million euros per year, has to be led in a professional way.” UNICEF representative Toni Schumacher, onetime goalie for the German national team, demanded the resignation of both the management and supervisory boards. “The people who are responsible should take responsibility and resign,” he said.

A spokeswoman for UNICEF, Veronique Taveau, said from Geneva that it was vital to restore supporters’ trust in the German chapter. “We hope that we can put the crisis behind us and move on,” she told the AFP news service.

Source: DW staff (jen)


By presenting this article we are by no means trying to degrade the positive deeds that the UNICEF accomplished in its long history as an organization for children of the world. We hope that the organization will find a way to redeem its reputation by replacing those who are responsible for this mess. Lissan Team

post ad-campaign, UNICEF Germany!

February 6th, 2008

Filed under: News from Germany — Lissan Magazine @ 12:20

UNICEF Ad Campaign Uses White Children in Blackface to Portray “Uneducated Africans”
by Malena Amusa

This is an actual ad-campaign by UNICEF Germany!
This campaign is “blackfacing” white children with mud to pose as “uneducated africans”.

The headline translates “This Ad-campaign developped pro bono by the agency Jung von Matt/Alster shows four german kids who appeal for solidarity with their contemporaries in Afrika”


The first kid says:
“I’m waiting for my last day in school, the children in Africa still for their first one.”



Second kid:
“In Africa, many kids would be glad to worry about school”

Third kid:
“In Africa, kids don’t come to school late, but not at all” (!)


Fourth kid says:
“Some teachers suck. No teachers sucks even more.”

Besides claiming that every single person in “Africa” isn’t educated, and doing so in an extremely patronising way, it is also disturbing that this organisation thinks blackfacing kids with mud (!) equals “relating to African children”. Also, the kids’ statements ignore the existence of millions of African academics and regular people and one again reduces a whole continent to a village of muddy uneducated uncivilized people who need to be educated (probably by any random westerner). This a really sad regression.

Bottom lines of this campaign are: Black = mud = African = uneducated. White = educated. We feel this campaign might do just as much harm as it does any good. You don’t collect money for helping people by humiliating and trivializing them first.

Unfortunately, if it was clear to the average German that this is wrong, UNICEF and the advertising agency wouldn’t come out with such a campaign.

Please write your opinion and help make clear and explain why it is wrong to use “blackface with mud”, and write to UNICEF at as well as the advertising agency at with a copy to Black German media-watch-organization what you feel about this campaign and why. Please include a line that you’re going to publish your mail and the response.

By the way, the slogan of the advertising agency who came up with this, reads “we communicate on eye-level”.

Noah Sow


*This campaign of the UNICEF Germany was in Aug. 2007. After huge protest from various African communities and human right activists, the organization was forced to take these degrading pictures from its site. But the very fact that such a campaign has been launched by UNICEF is something that shouldn’t have happened at all.

UNICEF Germany is lately deep in corruption and mismanagement allegations. Heide Simonis, the president of UNICEF Germany has resigned recently protesting against the nontransparent management of the donation and the dominant bureaucratic methods. We will follow up this case and inform you in the next days. Lissan Team

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