AfricaNowInternational

AFRICA NOW: Organization Busts Up Haitian Sex-Trafficking Ring

After visiting Haiti while working for the U.S. government, former CIA analyst Tim Ballard recalls witnessing a father in Port-au-Prince with a flashlight in search of his son, whom he suspected he had lost to trafficking.

After the horrific incident, Ballard, who has 12 years of experience as a special agent in child trafficking, decided to create Operation Underground Railroad, an organization devoted to hunting down child sex traffickers, noting that Haiti has the third-highest rate of trafficking per capita in the world, in large part because of the poor economy.

“If you just painted orphanage on the side of the wall, people would bring children to you, and then the kids would go out the back door in a deal,” Ballard said, the Fox News affiliate in Salt Lake City reported.

In the past four years, the organization has successfully completed 73 operations, rescued 643 victims, and aided in 273 arrests, busting nine Haitian traffickers and saving 29 Haitian girls in February.

Ballard noted that Americans play a big role in the trafficking, adding that the U.S. is the number one producer and consumer of child pornography worldwide.

“We create this party scene, and they think these Americans are here to engage in illicit activities with children,” Ballard said.

Ghanaian President Welcomes French Partnership

At a sod-cutting ceremony for construction of a new French Embassy in Accra, newly elected Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo championed France’s support in the areas of security and service and said he welcomes a long-term partnership among the two countries.

After France agreed to support the African Union in the development of its collective security system, particularly in the African standby force, Air France commenced its flight between Paris and Accra, bringing the total number of French projects in Ghana to 170, Akufo-Addo said, according to Ghana radio station Citi FM.

“Our country continues to benefit from French support in sectors such as health, rural water supply, agriculture, construction, telecommunication and industry for which we are grateful,” the president said. “In recent times, Ghana and France have increased collaboration and security matters for the maintenance of peace and security through technical exchanges with the military and Police Service.”

More Pyramids in Sudan Than Egypt, Researchers Find

The word “pyramid” almost always invokes thoughts of Egypt. However, as more exploration is done, many are learning that the realm of “pharaohs” reaches further along the Nile, past what is now the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser.

In North Sudan, the ancient Egyptians left behind a wealth of temples, pyramids and outline pictures of Egyptian deities, but many archeologists and tourists are reluctant to visit the war-torn country, which was recently placed on a U.S. travel-ban list by the Trump administration, the Telegraph in U.K. reported.

With the nation’s long history of unrest — including a 21-century civil war that resulted in the birth of a separate country, South Sudan — it may be a while before most set sights on these pyramids, however.

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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