Newswire : Honorable Discharges for 110 Buffalo Soldiers convicted in aftermath of 1917 Houston Riots

Buffalo Soldiers

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth formally gave the greenlight to overturn the court-martial convictions of 110 Black soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the Buffalo Soldiers. The Army said in a news release that officials made the decision based on a suggestion from the Board for Correction of Military Records and to atone for the unfair treatment of soldiers after the 1917 Houston Riots.

“After a thorough review, the Board has found that these Soldiers were wrongly treated because of their race and were not given fair trials,” Secretary Wormuth stated. “By setting aside their convictions and granting honorable discharges, the Army is acknowledging past mistakes and setting the record straight.”

The Houston Riots, which erupted on August 23, 1917, stemmed from racial tensions and provocations against members of the 24th Infantry Regiment. The catalyst for the riots was the violent arrest and assault of two Black Soldiers, leading to a group of 110 soldiers seizing weapons and marching into the city. Clashes ensued, resulting in 19 deaths.

The subsequent trials of the soldiers were marred by irregularities, according to historians, culminating in the largest mass execution of American Soldiers by the U.S. Army. The Army’s immediate regulatory change, prohibiting future executions without proper review, followed the initially secretive executions.

The South Texas College of Law, in October 2020 and December 2021, petitioned the Army for a review of the court-martial. Retired general officers also submitted petitions requesting clemency for the soldiers.

“We cannot change the past; however, this decision provides the Army and the American people an opportunity to learn from this difficult moment in our history,” Under Secretary of the Army, Gabe Camarillo, said in the release.

At the Secretary’s request, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records meticulously reviewed records related to the court-martial cases, officials affirmed. The unanimous decision was that significant deficiencies permeated the proceedings, rendering them fundamentally unfair. The board recommended setting aside all convictions and characterizing the soldiers’ military service as “honorable.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Review Boards Michael Mahoney, overseeing the review, agreed with the decision. “With the support of our experts, our dedicated Board members looked at each record carefully and came up with our best advice to Army leaders to correct a miscarriage of justice,” Mahoney added.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said it actively supports family members affected by the correction of records, offering assistance upon receipt of the amended documents.

“It is a long time coming, but it is justice that is finally achieved,” John Haymond, a historian, told the New York Times, which reported that the Army acted after it received a petition requesting clemency for the soldiers that had been written by Haymond and Dru Brenner-Beck, a lawyer. The duo cited trial transcripts and other records to show that the soldiers had been denied due process and other basic rights. “This isn’t a political action. This is the Army internally fixing a problem that was the Army’s problem 106 years ago,” Haymond asserted.

Family members of the 110 Soldiers may be entitled to benefits, and guidelines for applying to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records can be found at Online applications can be submitted at or through mail to Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA), 251 18th Street South, Suite 385, Arlington, VA 22202-3531. Applications should include documentation proving a relationship to one of the 110 formerly convicted soldiers.

Family members and interested parties can request a copy of the corrected records from the National Archives and Records Administration, following the NARA Archival Records Request procedures at


Newswire: At African conference, action planfor reparations wins support

Ghanian President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo
Nov. 20, 2023 (GIN) – “It is time that Africa, whose sons and daughters had their freedoms controlled and were sold into slavery, also received reparations.” 
“No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade … But surely, this is a matter that the world must confront and can no longer ignore.”
With those words, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo launched a four-day reparations conference in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
The event is expected to produce an African-led action plan to push for reparatory justice, establish an African committee of experts to oversee the plan’s implementation, and boost collaboration with the broader diaspora, according to the meeting website. 
Attending the Accra Reparations Conference have been senior government officials from across the continent as well as members of the diaspora community.
In his opening speech, the President called out British and other European countries for enriching themselves during the slave trade while “enslaved Africans did not receive a cent”. 
“The entire period of slavery meant that our progress, economically, culturally, and psychologically, was stifled. There are legions of stories of families who were torn apart,” Akufo-Addo said. “You cannot quantify the effects of such tragedies, but they need to be recognized.”
Ghana’s president said he welcomed a similar call from Caribbean nations for reparations.
“We in Africa must work together to advance the cause,” he said to applause from the audience that included other African, Caribbean and other high-level delegates.
In response, the delegates agreed to establish a Global Reparations Fund to seek compensation owed to millions of Africans enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade.
The delegates did not specify how such a reparations fund would work. But Gnaka Lagoke, assistant professor of history and Pan-African studies, said it should be used to “correct the problems” the continent faces in all sectors of its economy.
Togo’s Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé also attended the conference. She listed the “scars of exploitation, dispossession and cultural erasure persist, manifesting themselves in contemporary challenges such as economic inequality, political instability and cultural disintegration.”  
Activists say reparations should go beyond direct financial payments and also include development assistance to countries, restitution of colonized resources, and systemic correction of oppressive policies and laws. 

Newswire : Reactions pour in following the passing of Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady and Global Humanitarian

Rosalynn Carter with Jimmy Carter

By Stacy M. Brown, For The Washington Informer
In a wave of condolences, political leaders and public figures expressed their grief and admiration for the late Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and tireless advocate for various social issues. President Joe Biden, visibly moved, shared his sentiments with reporters as he boarded Air Force One in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday night.
Habitat For Humanity, the Georgia-based charity closely associated with the Carters, expressed sadness at the news. The organization described Carter as a “compassionate and committed champion” who worked tirelessly to help families worldwide.
The late First Lady and her husband co-founded the Carter Center, which expressed its sorrow in a statement by highlighting their global initiatives to strengthen democracy, settle disputes, advance human rights, and eradicate crippling diseases. The center announced that, instead of flowers, contributions in Carter’s memory could be made to the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program or the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers.
“He had this great integrity and still does. And she did too,” Biden remarked. “God bless them.” After speaking with the family, Biden learned that Jimmy Carter’s children and grandchildren were by his side during his final moments. The White House later issued an official joint statement from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, lauding Rosalynn Carter’s inspirational impact on the nation.
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush also paid their respects, praising Carter’s dignity and strength. “There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity,” Bush stated.
U.S. Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia emphasized Carter’s compassionate nature and commitment to various causes. “The State of Georgia and the United States are better places because of Rosalynn Carter,” Ossoff stated. “May Rosalynn Carter’s memory be a blessing.”
Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged Carter’s redefinition of the First Lady’s role and her life of service, faith, compassion, and moral leadership. “Her legacy will be a beacon for generations to come,” Harris asserted.
Former first lady Melania Trump expressed her condolences, noting Carter’s meaningful legacy and servant’s heart. “May she rest in peace,” Melania Trump conveyed on X, formerly Twitter.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Carter as a “saintly and revered public servant,” highlighting her historic diplomatic missions and advocacy for mental health. Pelosi offered condolences to the Carter family.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, in a joint statement, referred to Carter as a champion of human dignity. They praised her advocacy for mental health and childhood immunization and her work with the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity.
Former first lady Michelle Obama shared a personal connection, revealing that Carter offered advice during their periodic lunches at the White House. “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others,” Obama stated.

Newswire: Education Department unveils disturbing disparities in pandemic-era schooling

A teacher instructs students at Superior Vocational High School in Loíza, Puerto Rico. (Tatyana Hopkins/NNPA)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education has released a wealth of data from the 2020–21 school year in a revealing exposé that reveals significant disparities in education access that the coronavirus pandemic challenges have exacerbated. The findings paint a stark picture of inequality in the nation’s educational landscape, prompting urgent calls for comprehensive reform.
“In America, talent and creativity can come from anywhere, but only if we provide equitable educational opportunities to students everywhere,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized in a release.

The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), a mandatory survey of public schools serving preschool to grade 12 students, counts as a critical instrument in assessing equal educational opportunities mandated by federal civil rights laws.
The 2020–21 CRDC, the first since the 2017–18 collection was delayed due to the pandemic, draws from over 17,000 school districts and 97,000 schools, unveiling concerning disparities in education access nationwide.

“These new CRDC data reflect troubling differences in students’ experiences in our nation’s schools,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon remarked. “We remain committed to working with school communities to ensure the full civil rights protections that federal law demands.”

Key Data Points from the 2020–21 CRDC:

Harassment or Bullying:
• K–12 students reported over 42,500 allegations of harassment or bullying based on sex, sexual orientation, race, disability, or religion.
• Racial and gender disparities were evident, with Black students reporting 37% of race-based harassment, while white students reported 68% of sex-based and 70% of disability-based incidents.

School Offenses:
• Districts reported approximately 274,700 incidents, with 78% being threats of physical attack without a weapon.
• Public schools reported over 3,000 incidents of rape or attempted rape and sexual assault.

Student Discipline:
• About 786,600 K–12 students received in-school suspensions, with Black boys nearly two times more likely than white boys to receive out-of-school suspension or expulsion.
• Students with disabilities, representing 17% of K-12 enrollment, accounted for 29% of students with one or more out-of-school suspensions.
Restraint and Seclusion:
• Approximately 52,800 K–12 students were subjected to physical or mechanical restraint and seclusion, with boys, Black students, and students with disabilities overrepresented.

Access to Advanced Courses:
• More than half of high schools nationwide do not offer calculus or computer science, disproportionately affecting Black and Latino students.
• Black students, representing 15% of high school enrollment, accounted for only 10% in AP computer science and 6% in AP mathematics.

Access to Teachers and Other School Staff:
• Approximately 522,400 students attended schools where fewer than half of the teachers met state certification requirements, with 66% being Black and Latino students.
• Four percent of high school students attended schools with no school counselors.

Access to the Internet and Devices:
• Students’ Internet access varied by state, with Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia reporting 99% or more of their schools connected to the Internet.
• Florida (66%) and Alaska (52%), respectively, reported the lowest percentage of schools connected to the Internet.

Newswire: Racial disparities highlighted as October breaks global temperature record

Polar bear surrounded by melting ice flows

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Weather officials and experts have confirmed that last month was the hottest October ever globally, surpassing pre-industrial averages by a staggering 1.7 degrees Celsius (3.1 degrees Fahrenheit), weather officials confirmed. This milestone marks the fifth consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures, setting the stage for the hottest year ever recorded.
The extent of the temperature surge, which exceeded the previous record set in 2019 by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.7 degrees Fahrenheit), has astonished experts.
And as extreme weather patterns increasingly become the new normal, it is not surprising to find that African Americans are disproportionately affected. Research from the Gallup Center on Black Voices underscored the disparities in confidence, preparedness, and resource accessibility between racial and ethnic groups. Black and Hispanic Americans report lower levels of confidence in their preparedness and less access to vital resources compared to their white counterparts.
While most respondents across all racial and ethnic groups agree that they have access to reliable weather warnings and someone to call for help during extreme weather events, the margin is narrower for Black and Hispanic Americans. White Americans outpace both groups by approximately ten percentage points on each measure, indicating a higher level of preparedness and ability to recover.
According to Gallup, the most significant divide emerges in the perception of community support during natural disasters or extreme weather events. Compared to white Americans, Hispanic adults lag by 13 percentage points, while Black adults fall behind by 18 points. Relocation statistics, which show that 14% of Black Americans and 11% of Hispanic Americans have relocated, either temporarily or permanently, due to extreme weather events, are further evidence of this disparity.
The climate crisis is exacerbating these disparities, with the Copernicus Climate Change Service noting that a contributing factor is the reduced capacity of oceans to mitigate global warming, which is historically responsible for absorbing up to 90% of excess heat from climate change. This drop in oceanic regulation and El Niño’s effect (a natural climate cycle that raises ocean temperatures temporarily and changes global weather patterns) make it look like more warming is coming in the coming months.
According to Gallup researchers, 2023 has seen a notable increase in unusual weather events like floods, hurricanes, heatwaves, tornadoes, and wildfires. This trend is expected to continue, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicating a high likelihood of an increased frequency and severity of such events in the coming decades.
“2023 has been a notable year for abnormal weather events, which have caused considerable impact to life and property,” Gallup researchers concluded. “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it is very likely that these types of events – floods, hurricanes, heatwaves, tornadoes, wildfires and more – will increase in frequency and/or severity in the coming decades.”

Newswire : The interconnected struggles: Black American and Palestinian solidarity

Pro Palestinian demonstration last weekend in Washington, D. C.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Writer, speaker, and author Leron L. Barton recently encapsulated the essence of solidarity between Black Americans and Palestinians, comments that offer one potential reason America continues to see pro-Palestine demonstrations at the White House and in locations throughout the nation. Importantly, Barton’s op-ed in Newsweek is a reminder of why President Joe Biden will continue to struggle to obtain the type of support from the Black community that helped propel him into office in 2020.
“Black American and Palestinian solidarity is not only rooted in struggle but hope, fighting, resilience, laughter, endless battling, sadness, and doing it all over again the next day,” Barton observed. “This is what I see for my Palestinian brothers and sisters trying to hold on to a land that does everything it can to make them let go.”
Barton’s words resonate with many, capturing the indomitable spirit that defines both communities’ quests for justice and self-determination. His sentiment extends to his sorrow for the lives lost on all sides of the conflict. He stressed the importance of seeing the situation not just as “The Conflict,” but as “The Occupation,” recognizing the power dynamics involved.
The author underscored his belief that the struggles faced by Black Americans and Palestinians are intertwined. “This is why I cry for the deaths of Palestinian and Israeli people,” he declared. “This is why I do not refer to it as ‘The Conflict,’ but as ‘The Occupation.’ This why I have hope for and will continue to support Palestine as they fight to be recognized as people, human beings that deserve freedom and equal treatment as their Israeli neighbors, just as I, a Black man, will continue to fight for the freedom of my people in America. Our struggle is intertwined. When they win, we win.”
The 2018 book “Black Power and Palestine: Transnational Countries of Color” by Michael Fishbach echoes the sentiments put forth by Barton. Fishbach delves into how conflicts in the Middle East significantly influenced the American Civil Rights Movement. He asserts, “Much about how American peoples of color create political strategies, a sense of self, and a place within U.S. and global communities.”
According to Fishbach, the events of the 1960s and 1970s continue to have a profound, structural impact on the United States. This historical perspective underscores the enduring influence of these interconnected struggles.
Recent controversies have illuminated the complexities of solidarity movements. Black Lives Matter Chicago received criticism for posting a graphic that appeared to celebrate Hamas’ violent attack on civilians at a concert. The graphic has since been deleted. The image featured a paraglider with the Palestinian flag and the words “I stand with Palestine.” The incident prompted a nuanced conversation about the expression of support for a cause. The group later clarified, stating, “We stand with Palestine and the people who will do what they must to live free.”
Historians said the connection between the Black American and Palestinian struggles has been evident for many years. The proximity of protests over the Gaza war and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, led to a cross-cultural exchange of advice on dealing with tear gas that included Bassem Masri, a prominent activist in Ferguson and a Palestinian American. In 2015, Black activists and Palestinian advocates displayed their support for each other by visiting occupied territories and making public statements of solidarity.
In 2020, George Floyd’s murder by the police led to protests across the U.S., with comparisons made to the situation faced by Palestinians. Sam Klug, an expert in African American History, highlighted the resonance of the phrase “I can’t breathe” in both contexts. “People were painting George Floyd murals in Palestine,” Klug explained. “Palestinians were being attacked by Israeli security services, and saying, ‘I can’t breathe.’ Over time, African Americans have looked at Palestine, and Palestinians have also looked at what is going on in the United States.”
Against this backdrop, Democrats have grown increasingly attuned to the challenges facing Biden’s reelection campaign. Concerns, and even alarms, have sounded regarding Biden’s support among Black voters, a pivotal demographic in his 2020 victory. Cliff Albright, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, said that supporting Biden for practical reasons might not mean being equally enthusiastic. Disillusionment over policies and stances, including Biden’s stance on Israel, may influence voter engagement in the upcoming 2024 election, Albright told the Washington Post
.“People fundamentally misunderstood what Black voters said in 2020,” Albright said. “The depth of support was never there. The enthusiasm was never there for Biden. We were very pragmatic. We knew he was the best chance to beat Trump.”


Newswire : Denver Court hears arguments on Trump’s eligibility for 2024 ballot

Members of mob, incited by Trump, surround U. S. Capitol on January 6, 2021


Stacey Brown, NNPA Newswire National Correspondent

Denver district court is considering a lawsuit to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on Colorado’s 2024 ballot due to his alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021. Colorado Judge Sarah Wallace recently rejected Trump’s attempt to dismiss the case, which was filed last month on behalf of six voters in the Denver district.
The lawsuit is based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. It argues that people who have participated in insurrection or rebellion after promising loyalty to the Constitution should not be able to hold office. Trump, who is currently facing 91 criminal charges after four federal and state indictments, could potentially receive a prison sentence of over 800 years. The lawsuit accuses him of breaking his promise as president by attempting to overturn the 2020 election, which ultimately led to the January 6 insurrection.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), along with several law firms, filed a lawsuit on behalf of six voters from the Republican Party and independent voters. Eric Olson, from CREW, began his testimony by explaining what Trump did before January 6. This included a tweet he sent in December 2020 asking his supporters to come together in Washington, D.C. Olson highlighted Trump’s frequent mentions of January 6. He stated that Trump motivated his followers by making false allegations of election fraud.
Olson showed a video clip of Trump’s speech on the Ellipse on January 6. In the speech, the former president said, “Let’s go to the Capitol.” He argued that Trump was acutely aware of the influence of his words and that his speech before the Capitol riot exacerbated the situation.
Olson also pointed to a post-speech tweet where Trump criticized then-Vice President Mike Pence, asserting that Pence lacked “the courage to do what he should have done.” That followed a clip of Trump supporters outside the Capitol chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.”
“We are here because Trump claims, after all that, that he has the right to be president again,” Olson asserted. “But our Constitution, the shared charter of our nation, says he cannot do so.”
During his opening arguments, Scott Gessler, Trump’s legal representative, decried the lawsuit as “antidemocratic” and said Monday’s hearing was “politicized.” Gessler argued that Trump used the word “peace” several times during his speech at the Ellipse on January 6, as well as in his tweets on the same day. He claimed that the lawsuit wants the court to approve the January 6 Committee’s report, which he described as a biased and harmful report.
Officer Daniel Hodges, from the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, testified about his terrifying ordeal during the Capitol attack. Hodges described observing Capitol rioters donning tactical gear, an occurrence that left him “very uncomfortable.” He suffered many injuries when rioters attacked the Capitol, including bruises, a head injury, cuts on his face, and bleeding from his mouth. Hodges also attested that a rioter attempted to gouge his eye. He remembered protesters yelling that the election was stolen and encouraging others to fight for Trump. They also criticized law enforcement for being on the wrong side of history.
During his remote testimony, Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, stated that Trump had clearly indicated before the 2020 election that he would not acknowledge the results if he was not the winner. Swalwell claimed that Trump escalated his rhetoric after legal challenges to the election results were dismissed. He told the lawmakers’ increasing worry when Trump announced, “We’re going to the Capitol” in his Ellipse speech. He then described the distressing experiences of himself and his colleagues as rioters entered the Capitol.

In her ruling last week, Wallace dismissed Trump’s argument that Congress, not the courts, can handle questions about ballot eligibility. She disagreed with Trump’s statement that state election officials cannot enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Wallace argued that the clause allows Congress to remove a constitutional disability if a person is disqualified. However, the clause does not specify which government body would decide on such disability initially.
“The Court notes, however, it would be strange for Congress to be the only entity that is empowered to determine the disability and then also the entity that is empowered to remove it,” Wallace wrote. “States can, and have, applied Section 3 pursuant to state statutes without federal enforcement legislation,” Wallace said.
The judge’s ruling followed a decision by Chief U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer to dismiss Trump’s request to move the Colorado ballot case to federal court. In a four-page order, Brimmer, a nominee of George W. Bush, stated that Trump, who was found responsible for sexually assaulting a journalist by a civil jury this year, did not properly follow the necessary procedures to involve Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State, Jena Griswold, or get her approval to transfer the case to federal court. As a result, Trump’s attempt to move the case is considered “defective.”

Trump is also facing other challenges to his eligibility to appear on the 2024 presidential ballot. The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday concerning a lawsuit to remove Trump from the ballot in Minnesota. The current lawsuit also references a lesser-known provision in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Similar legal challenges are underway in New Hampshire, Arizona, and Michigan.

Newswire : Monument erected to Dred Scott in North St. Louis

Dred Scott

By: BlackmansStreet Today

The nine-foot monument was erected in Calvary Cemetery to honor Dred Scott, who was buried there. Scott challenged slavery in court and, in so doing, helped spark the Civil War.

The monument was dedicated on September 30th in North St. Louis.

Dred Scott had a “familiar name but an unfamiliar story,” said Lynne Jackson, founder and president of the foundation and great-great-granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott. “This monument has the real estate to tell people who he is and why he is important. We hope people walk away with a greater understanding and appreciation of his impact.”

The foundation, which works to educate the public about the significance of the Dred Scott decision and the struggle for the freedom of Dred and Harriet Scott through commemoration, education, and reconciliation, held a GoFundMe campaign to fund the memorial. The monument also was made possible through a contribution from the Mellon Foundation.

The Scotts claimed they should be granted their freedom because Dred lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory for four years, where slavery was illegal, and laws in those jurisdictions said that slaveholders gave up their rights to slaves if they stayed in these areas for extended periods.

In a landmark case, the United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore, Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules.

Moreover, Scott’s temporary residence in a free territory outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation because the Missouri Compromise, which made that territory free by prohibiting slavery north of the 36°30′  parallel was unconstitutional because it “deprived citizens of their [slave] property without due process of law.”

Although Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage, deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern states, and hastened the eventual explosion of their differences into the Civil War.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the post-Civil War Reconstruction Amendments the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments—nullified the decision.

The Scotts were manumitted by a private arrangement in May 1857. 
Dred Scott died of tuberculosis a year later.

Newswire : African nations ‘deeply divided’ over Israel-Hamas war

Pro-Palestinian rally in South Africa

Oct. 23, 2023 (GIN) – Back in 1963, the founders of the Organization of African Unity pledged to work and speak as one, forge an international consensus in support of the liberation struggle and fight against apartheid.
Their aims were high. The achievements less so.  Last week, a one-day Cairo Summit for Peace, attended  by leaders and top officials from more than a dozen countries, closed without agreement on a joint statement two weeks into a conflict that has killed thousands and visited a humanitarian catastrophe on the blockaded Gaza enclave of 2.3 million people. 
Only one Africa leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa, was in attendance.
The speeches reflected growing anger in the region, even among those with close ties to Israel as the war sparked by a massive Hamas attack enters a third week with casualties mounting and no end in sight. 
The current Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza strip has left the African continent deeply divided, with some countries choosing to remain silent while others openly showing solidarity with either Israel or Palestine.
Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo all expressed some form of support for Israel since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
“Kenya joins the rest of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemns terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians,” said President William Ruto, writing on Twitter, now known as X.
Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs proclaimed Israel’s right to exist and defend itself while cautioning that country to exercise restraint and seek negotiation talks for both parties.
Rwanda called the Hamas attack an ‘act of terror’ while the Democratic Republic of the Congo expressed support for Israel from the presidency’s Twitter account.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in contrast, expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine.
“All of us standing here pledge our solidarity for the people of Palestine,” he said at a recent meeting of the African National Congress in Johannesburg. “We stand here because we are deeply concerned about the atrocities that are unfolding in the Middle East.” 
One of Palestine’s strongest African supporters is Algeria which condemned ‘brutal air strikes by the Zionist (Israel) occupation forces in the Gaza Strip’. They stated they were in ‘full solidarity with the Palestinian people’ while calling on the international community to act against ‘repeated criminal attacks.’
Tunisia, a member of the Arab League like Algeria, expressed ‘complete and unconditional support for the Palestinian people “who have been ‘under Zionist occupation for decades.” They called on the world ‘to stand by the Palestinians and remember the massacres carried out by the Zionist enemy.”
Countries that are more neutral include Nigeria which, on the day of the attack, condemned the “cycle of violence and retaliation that the current escalation has assumed.”
While Uganda has not taken an official side, President Yoweri Museveni urged Israel and Palestine to strive for peace and a ‘two-state solution’.
“African countries take different positions based on their political and geopolitical interests,” said Louis Gitinywa, a Rwanda-based political analyst and constitutional lawyer. “This is nothing new. States have interests, they don’t have friends.”
The only African country with a strong historical attachment to Israel is Ethiopia, but it is yet to make clear its stance on the current situation.
Buchanan Ismael, a political scientist at the University of Rwanda, pointed out that some African countries depend on Israel for military technology and weapons.
“I don’t think African states have very strong diplomatic relations with Israel,” he said. “Their ties are based on an “opportunistic way of cooperation and assistance.”