In Afghanistan – bribes are a way of life.
According to the UN survey, 59% of Afghans said their daily experience of public dishonesty was a bigger concern than insecurity (54%) or unemployment (52%).
In 56% of cases, the request for illicit payment was an explicit demand by the bribe-taker, it said.
In three out of four cases, bribes were paid in cash.
Around one in four Afghans surveyed had to pay at least one bribe to police and local officials during the survey period while between 10 and 20% had to pay bribes either to judges, prosecutors or members of the government.
“The Afghans say that it is impossible to obtain a public service without paying a bribe,” said Mr Costa.
“Bribery is a crippling tax on people who are already among the world’s poorest,” he added.
Congo-Kinshasa: North Kivu’s False Peace
At first glance today, things in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern North Kivu province seem far calmer than in years past.
As recently as 2008, a rebel group, the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) under the command of renegade general Laurent Nkunda, controlled sizable swaths of the territory, especially around the area of Masisi in North Kivu’s south-eastern corner.
Nkunda, a Congolese Tutsi from North Kivu’s Rutshuru territory and a former commander in the Rwanda-backed Goma faction of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) rebel group, seemed poised to attack the provincial capital of Goma at any time.
Travelling much beyond the town of Sake, 25 km to Goma’s northwest, was a complicated endeavour, as the CNDP had battled the forces of Congo’s president Joseph Kabila fiercely for Sake in November 2006 before withdrawing in defeat. At the time, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that some 800,000 people had been displaced by fighting in the province.
Since those dark days, much has changed in eastern North Kivu.
In January 2009, Rwanda’s government, long believed to be the CNDP’s key backer in its vying for regional advantage, announced that they had arrested Nkunda on Rwandan territory. This event took place shortly after the CNDP had begun to splinter, with one high-ranking member, Bosco Ntaganda, advocating dialogue and détente with the Kabila government.
Since then, a bitter pill scenario has seen Kabila, in power in Congo since the 2001 assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila, cede influence and control of much of the eastern part of the vast, mineral-rich country to Rwanda and its proxies, with the Rwandan army now allowed to enter Congolese territory in hot pursuit of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the main Hutu-led military opposition to Rwanda’s Tutsi-led government. The FDLR has its roots in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide when nearly 1 million Tutsis and Hutu moderates were slaughtered by extremist Hutu supremacist elements.
The CNDP, for its part, has now become a registered political party and has seen its forces integrated with the official armed forces, the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), and its chieftain, Bosco Ntaganda, has become an important powerbroker in Goma.
All is not as it appears, however.
And the mass murder continues.
At least eight Afghan children were killed today in Kapisa Province as the result of a NATO air strike against the Nejrab District. The attack was condemned by the Karzai government.
NATO would only “confirm there has been a situation,” while promising to send a “joint NATO assessment team” to find out exactly what happened and how. So far the nationality of the warplane has not been identified.
The details of the attack are not entirely clear. Kapisa Governor Mehrabuddin Safi said the strike hit the Giawa village, and other officials said there may have been a night raid in the area shortly before the strike.
(via watanafghanistan)Source: moralanarchism