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A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 9.45 am Paris time.

THE OBSERVERS

THE OBSERVERS

Latest update : 2013-05-22

A Soweto township fights for electricity, trees vanish in Libya, and more

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

Story 1: South Africa

Our first stop today is in South Africa. We're headed to Kliptown, one of the townships south of Johannesburg. Like other parts of Soweto, Kliptown was a bastion of the African National Congress during the apartheid era. When that era ended, and the ANC came to power, one of their key promises was electricity for everyone, affordable and universally available. Twenty years later it hasn't happened. Kliptown is still not on the Johannesburg grid, so residents are forced to siphon power illegally. On May 7, the city's power company came in and cut the illegal lines - depriving residents of the power they'll need for the chilly winter nights ahead.

While our Observer says the police had live ammunition, we should note that the police said only rubber bullets were used in the incident.

 

Story 2: Libya

Now to the northern end of the continent, to Libya, a country that is overwhelmingly desert - it's the Sahara in the south, and even in the coastal areas along the Mediterranean it's mostly scrub, with very few trees. Forests then should be a preciously guarded resource. But in the disorder that's followed the overthrow of Muammer Gaddafi, there's no one to do the guarding. Here's our Observer, Abdulhameed.

Abdulhameed is one of the contributors to Libyablog, a training project we've help set up. You can find more of his posts - in Arabic - at libyablog.org.

 

Story 3: World

Now for our weekly roundup of other reports from our Observers around the world.

First, Reyhanli, a Turkish town near the border with Syria that was the site of twin car bombings onMay. The bombs killed more than 40 people, infuriating the local residents. Now while the government blames the Syrian regime, many of the locals took out their frustration on the refugees who have fled the fighting in Syria. Our Observer Oum Abdo is one of those refugees. She says the Turks have been welcoming and generous up til now, but worries that could change now that the war is spilling over the border. She no longer feels safe.

To Tunisia now, and a new sight since the revolution that overthrew President Ben Ali - preachers on the street. Our observer Messaoud says you see them everywhere - outside schools, in public squares, even on the bus. Telling people to return to the path of righteousness. While some of the imams are local, many come from other Muslim countries, with the blessing of Tunisia's Islamist government, says Messaoud. He worries their preaching often borders on hate speech, and threatens to divide Tunisian society into two sides - secular and religious.

Finally today, a word of support for one of our Observers from Chad. Makaila Nguebla is a blogger who is openly critical of the Chadian government. He's been living in exile in Senegal, but now the Senegalese have expelled him to neighboring Guinea, and he's worried he'll be sent back to Chad. Makaila says the government of President Idriss Deby is using its influence in the region to crack down on freedom of speech at home.
 

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