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‘Prevention of mass atrocities’ to be Great Decisions topic

Great Decisions will consider the actions taken to prevent massive ethnic strife in Kenya in 2007, the results of those actions, and what might be learned from them to prevent widespread atrocities in other countries. The group will meet at 10:30 a.m, Friday, February 5, in the Deltaville Community Association (DCA) building, 17147 General Puller Highway, Deltaville.

Following a rigged election, Kenya seemed destined to go down the same path of ethnic cleansing and mass persecution that has devastated Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe. Rioting by factions on the losing side and ensuing brutal repression by the powers in control were accelerating alarmingly.

The head of the African Union, aided by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, put together a highly respected multi-national team that was able to achieve a negotiated settlement preventing the immediate disintegration of the country. The negotiators were operating under a relatively recent concept, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) that stresses immediate international action to protect populations in danger of being victims of mass atrocities.

Rev. Lyle Predmore, former pastor of Philippi Christian Church, Deltaville, will lead the discussion. A Nebraska native, Predmore received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and education from Jackson College in 1955 and his master’s in divinity from Central Baptist Seminary in 1966. He has been a chaplain in the Naval Reserve, a clinical chaplain at the Kansas Department of Corrections, and served as a missionary to Japan from 1980-1987. He also has pastored churches in Kansas and Ontario.

Since his retirement in 2000, Predmore has spent 2 to 6 month terms as a volunteer in ministry in Indonesia, and is currently District Minister of the District 9 Disciples of Christ churches of Virginia. He has also been an AARP safe driving instructor and is a board member of Habitat for Humanity.

Great Decisions meetings are open to anyone with an interest in international issues. Participation in the discussions of each week’s topic is encouraged. The group addresses eight subjects of global import each winter, operating under the sponsorship of the national Foreign Policy Association (FPA). FPA briefing books about the topics are available for $20 (checks only) at the Deltaville Library, 35 Lover’s Lane, Deltaville.

In the event schools are closed because of weather, Great Decisions will not meet.

posted 02.02.2010

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