Friday, July 9, 2010
Volume IX, Number 24
In this issue:
Democratic Republic of Congo
Sudan: Southern Sudan
Pak Ready to Support Any Afghan-led Peace Initiative: Qureshi
TheIndian, June 30, 2010
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that peace initiatives by the Afghan government will receive the Pakistani government’s support. Qureshi also stated that Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai presented an internationally- and Pakistani supported reconciliation and restorative peace plan in London earlier in 2010.
Taliban Rule out Negotiations with NATO
BBC, July 1, 2010
After June being the deadliest month on record for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces, the Afghan Taliban stated that they will not participate in talks with NATO or other foreign forces. In the statement given by Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahedd, they also claim success in the conflict, which they say is indicated by General McCrystal’s replacement in the United States (US) forces by General Petraeus.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Secretary-General Inaugurates New Phase of UN Mission in DR Congo
UN, July 1, 2010
On July 1 the United Nations (UN) drew down 2,000 UN peacekeeping troops from 19,815, a move authorized by a UN Security Council resolution. The mission, now named the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), will remain in the Democratic Republic of Congo until June 30, 2011.
Kenya Referendum Case Aborts
Capital News, June 28, 2010
Justice Violet Mavisi of the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court has given government lawyers ten days to respond to a lawsuit on the constitutional review process brought by Kenyans for Justice and Development. The group has asked the court to decide on seventy-five issues arising from the review process, including alleged bias in the civic education program and the Interim Independent Electoral Commission’s (IIEC) decision to not provide a multiple question referendum on the proposed constitution.
Fresh Rules to Prevent Chaos at Referendum
Daily Nation, July 3, 2010
The IIEC announced new regulations to prevent violence during the referendum for the new constitution. One of the regulations will allow only a few designated personnel to enter the tallying centers. Another regulation allows the Commission to direct activities at the voting centers and kick out anyone who impedes the voting process within the vicinity of the centers.
Kyrgyzstan Swears in Caretaker President
Associated Press, July 3, 2010
The new “caretaker president” of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva, was sworn in July 3 for a term of one and a half years, lasting through 2011. Implementation of the new constitution, which creates a more European-style parliamentary system, will be a primary responsibility of Otunbayeva’s. In addition, Otunbayeva will be responsible for resolving the remaining ethnic tensions after June’s clashes and riots between Kyrgyzstan’s Kyrgyz majority and Uzbek minority. Otunbayeva served as Kyrgyz ambassador to the US and Britain, and was a leader of the 2005 Tulip Revolution.
UN Envoy Holds Consultations on Western Sahara
UN, July 2, 2010
The UN Envoy for Western Sahara Christopher Ross has met with France, Spain, and Britain’s governments and plans to meet with US and Russian governments, as member nations of the Group of Friends. These consultations consist of discussions on ways to further negotiations in order to achieve an accepted settlement. So far the Group of Friends’ nations concur that all are willing to work with the Envoy and that the conflict requires additional work and focus, for example on confidence-building measures.
Nepal PM Quits Amid Pressure from Maoists
Times of India, June 30, 2010
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned in the midst of increasing pressure from many parties, including his own. Mr. Nepal said he hoped his resignation would lead to political resolution and consensus in order to finalize the peace process and draft a new constitution. In his televised address, Mr. Nepal blamed the failure of his government to declare a new constitution on the former guerillas and the Maoists’ five-month siege on the Constituent Assembly (CA). Mr. Nepal noted that his government still held majority support in the CA, recalling successful achievements and initiatives under his tenure.
President Gives Parties a Week’s Deadline
Kathmandu Post, July 1, 2010
President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav told the parties in Parliament that they must elect a new prime minister and council of ministers by consensus by July 7. If the parties miss the deadline, Dr. Yadhav will write to the CA asking it to elect a majority government. According to the Interim Constitution, if the parties cannot agree on a candidate, a new prime minister will be elected on the basis of parliamentary majority.
Fight for Next Nepal PM Begins
Telegraph Nepal, July 1, 2010
Ram Chandra Poudel, Vice President of the Nepali Congress (NC), hopes for a government under the leadership of his party. Poudel supports his candidacy with the fact that both the Unified Maoists and the Marxist Leninists have already led governments after the election of the CA. On the other hand, Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, Vice President of the Maoists’ Party, said it was only natural for there to be a Maoist prime minister because the President is from the NC and the Chairman of the CA is from the Unified Marxist Leninist (UML). Meanwhile the UML insists on its chairman, Jhal Nath Khanal, as prime minister.
International Observers Judge the Elections to have been Fair
Washington Post, June 28, 2010
Michael Walls, the spokesman for a group of international observers, told the press that despite some irregularities including inconsistent coverage of the candidates and questionable use of public resources, the campaign and polls were peaceful and democratic.
New Somaliland President Sets Sights on Corruption
IRIN, July 2, 2010
Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Siilanyo”, leader of the opposition Kulmiye “Peace, Unity and Development Party”, has been elected president of Somaliland with 49.59 percent of over 530,000 votes cast, and will be inaugurated next month. Once a minister under former Somalian President Siyad Barre, he later became leader of the armed Somali National Movement before serving in the government of Somaliland and then forming the Kulmiye party. Among his stated priorities are limiting the number of ministerial posts in the government of Somaliland, abolishing unconstitutional emergency laws, and releasing prisoners unlawfully imprisoned under those laws.
New President of Somaliland Fights for Recognition
The New York Times, July 3, 2010
Newly-elected President Ahmed Mohamud Silaanyo vowed to vigorously campaign for international recognition of Somaliland’s high developing democracy. He was elected for a five year term, stating that his government will focus on “development and rehabilitation of public services.” He has asked Somalia to resolve many of its problems, and reached out to Ethiopia as a partner. His election marks the second democratic transfer of power since 1991, when Somaliland split from Somalia.
Sudanese President Vows to End Darfur Conflict through Peaceful Negotiations, or Force the Rebels to Stop Fighting
Xinhua, June 30, 2010
In a nationally-broadcast address from Port Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir vowed that he would end the Darfur conflict this year, either through peaceful negotiations or through force. “There will be no third option. He who wants peace is welcomed and he who rejects reconciliation, we will teach him a lesson and bring him by force,” al-Bashir said. He reiterated that Doha would remain the only site for negotiations with Darfur’s armed groups.
Libyan Envoy to Darfur Talks Leaves Doha after Stirring up Troubles
Sudan Tribune, July 1, 2010
The Libyan government ordered Mohamed Garsallah, the Libyan envoy to the Darfur peace talks in Doha, to return home after causing trouble with rebel groups that he had helped to unite. Qatari officials and Darfur rebels claimed that Garsallah was trying to influence the Liberation and Justice Movement decisions and encouraging some rebels to leave the venue of the peace talks.
Doha Talks Parties Discuss Disputed Issue Over Lands
Sudanese Media Center, July 4, 2010
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), specialized experts, co-mediation representatives, and Justice and Liberation Movement (JLM) have begun to participate in Doha talks that opened debates over land and natural resources. JLM wealth sharing dossier, Hashim Hamad, has stated that participants have already agreed to form a mechanism to follow up on wealth-sharing implementation.
Sudan: Southern Sudan
Sudan Parliament Appoints Commission to Prepare for Referendum
VOA, June 29, 2010
The Sudanese Parliament in Khartoum has unanimously approved a nine-member commission to oversee preparations for the upcoming referendum. The Referendum Commission will be led by Mohammed Ibrahim Khalil, the current Sudanese Foreign Minister and former Speaker of Parliament. The Commission will now work until January to register voters ahead of the referendum.
UN Ready to Assist With Referendum
ReliefWeb, June 30, 2010
The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is working closely with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) on the types of assistance UNMIS will offer for the referendum. UNMIS is preparing to establish county-level offices and train 16,000 Southern Sudan Police Service officers. Additionally, UNMIS continues to work on demining and the UN Mine Action Office has designated 9.5 million square meters for the resettlement of 5,000 displaced persons, according to David Gressly, the UN Regional Coordinator for Southern Sudan.
SPLM & NCP Hold Preliminary Meeting on Post-Referendum Issues
Sudan Tribune, July 4, 2010
Top SPLM officials and the NCP held preliminary meetings ahead of negotiations that are to start this week. The first round meetings focused largely on procedural issues and the ground rules for the full scale negotiations. While the parties agreed at the meeting to have talks conducted without “foreign interferences”, upcoming negotiations are to be sponsored by the African Union (AU) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Government Delays Review Mechanism
The Citizen, July 4, 2010
Implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), a self-auditing process geared towards good governance and democracy, has been delayed due to lack of funding. The Government has rejected outside funding due to fears of pressure from external sources. Although over $600,000 has been set aside, Said Amour Arfi, a Mpanda Central Member of Parliament (MP), argues that this funding is insufficient.
Police on Top of Abuse List
The Citizen, July 5, 2010
The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) reported that the police force is the largest government perpetrator in human rights violations. Of the 25,753 complaints filed with CHRAGG, 80% of the complaints concerned the police force. As a result, the Ethics Secretariat is implementing an ethics, accountability, and transparency project geared towards improving good governance.
Resentment Bubbles in Thai Countryside
Financial Times, June 28, 2010
Although the violent protests have ended in Thailand, feelings of deep disappointment and resentment are still present in the rural population. The five-point reconciliation plan presented by the government fails to sway many Thais, and has been criticized for the marked lack of opposition input. Meanwhile, the state of emergency remains in force in most of Thailand, and numerous protesters are still incarcerated and some are charged with terrorism, creating uncertainty about who will take over the leadership of the protest movement.
Thailand’s Charter Rewrite Framework Expected in October
Xinhua, June 30, 2010
Thailand’s constitutional review committee expects to finish a framework for constitutional amendments this October. The three sub-committees will meet every week, and will consider the Parliamentary Panel on National Reconciliation’s recommendations on six points to amend the constitution. Topics for amendment include the dissolution of a political party for electoral fraud, the political structure and justice process, the promotion of public involvement and understanding, and the process of becoming an MP and Senator.
Security for Thai PM Stepped Up Amid Assassination Warning
Xinhua, July 1, 2010
Prime Minster Abhisit Vejjajiva and other key government officials have been warned that they are targets of assassination plans. The acting National Police Chief informed Abhisit and others that there are reports of a plan to assassinate them, and ordered security forces to implement extra measures for their protection. The other targets include Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban and the judges who will rule on a dissolution case against the Democrat Party.
Field Dispatch: Disturbing Developments in the Hunt for Kony
Enough Project, June 29, 2010
Although reports are not yet confirmed, various news sources have noted that the Ugandan army may have lost more troops in its pursuit of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lords’ Resistance Army (LRA), in the Central African Republic (CAR) than has been previously acknowledged by the Government of Uganda. The exact number of Ugandan troops killed, and whether outside groups were involved, remains uncertain. However, the Enough Project suggests that these deaths indicate that the capacity of the Ugandan forces to apprehend Kony is insufficient, and must be supplemented by further international assistance.
Uganda on Heightened Alert After Deadly Rebel Attack in Congo
Voice of America, June 30, 2010
Following the Allied Democratic Force’s (ADF) recent attack in eastern Congo, about 50 km from Uganda’s border, the Ugandan military has deployed its reserves and it is monitoring the ADF’s activities. The ADF has not attacked within Uganda since 2007 and may now be trying to gather more resources to reengage in Uganda. The ADF is a rebel group that began operations in 1996 and claims to be fighting on behalf of Muslims who have been marginalized by the Ugandan government. Some military leaders have suggested that the ADF launched its attack to generate fear before Uganda’s February presidential election.
Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants in Conflict Affected Northern Uganda
Peace and Conflict Monitor, July 1, 2010
In a recent paper, the University for Peace and Conflict (UPC) has highlighted the central importance of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants in Northern Uganda for ensuring stability in the region. The paper reports that the Ugandan government has made great strides by implementing the Amnesty Act in 2000, among other reintegration measures, allowing over 19,000 Ugandans to receive reintegration aid. However, the UPC also acknowledges the challenged facing Northern Uganda such as sexual and gender-based violence as well as the difficulties of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Amnesty Act.
Zimbabwe Ministers Accused of Obstructing Justice
Reuters, July 2, 2010
Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa and Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone have been accused by Zimbabwe police of obstructing justice after their visits to two police stations in an attempt to secure the release of three men who allegedly pressured a white businessman to surrender part of his company to them. Makone serves as head of the national police. It is not yet determined whether the two ministers will officially be charged.
KP Punishing Ordinary People: Biti
New Zimbabwe, July 2, 2010
Zimbabwe’s finance minister has said that by refusing to lift a ban on diamond from the Marange fields, the Kimberly Process (KP) is punishing ordinary Zimbabweans. This comes after the KP meeting in Israel failed to reach a consensus on lifting the ban, even though KP’s monitor said that minimum requirements for trade have been met.
EU Demands More Reforms
New Zimbabwe, July 3, 2010
After a meeting between the European Union (EU) High Commissioner for Development and a Zimbabwean ministerial delegation, the European Union has said that it will resume aid to Zimbabwe, but only if the country makes concrete progress in political reforms.