PEACE NEGOTIATIONS WATCH
Friday, October 15, 2010
Volume IX, Number 38
In this issue:
Sudan: Southern Sudan
Izetbegovic Vows to Protect Bosnia Unity Amid Serb Ambitions
World Bulletin, October 6, 2010
Bakir Izetbegovic, the newly elected Bosniac member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, expressed his determination to achieve a unified Bosnia with a strong central government respectful of all ethnic groups. He said that nationalist sentiments in the Republika Srpska can be contained by reason and negotiation. He also underscored the Bosniac commitment to playing a lead role in the dialogue on constitutional reform and European integration.
Fuele Tells Bosnian Leaders to Embrace Reforms
Balkan Insight, October 8, 2010
European Union (EU) Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fuele, urged new Bosnian leaders to cooperate and begin implementing reforms. Bosnia is lagging behind in the EU integration process compared to other Balkan states. He strongly recommended that the issue of EU accession be placed at the center of the government’s political agenda, starting with reforms to increase the efficiency of the state.
Secretary Clinton Embarks on Balkans Diplomacy Tour
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton started her Balkans tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Secretary Clinton will reaffirm the United States’ support for Bosnia’s peace and relative stability while also urging EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) integration. She is scheduled to meet with Valentin Inzko, the United Nations (UN) High Representative for Bosnia, the newly elected members of the state Presidency, and possibly with Milorad Dodik, Republika Srpska’s new President.
Six Parties Form Pro-Democracy Alliance
The Irrawaddy, October 5, 2010
Six Burmese opposition parties have formed an alliance to increase the strength of pro-democracy parties in the upcoming election. The National Democratic Force, the Shan Nationals Democratic Party, the Rakhin Nationals Development Party, the Chin National Party, the Union Democratic Party, and the League for Democracy and Peace have joined this alliance. The parties hope that the alliance will increase their financial and human resources, thereby increasing the chances that their candidates will be elected. The leaders of the six parties have urged the Burmese people not to boycott the election, despite the call for boycott made by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) earlier this year.
Aung San Suu Kyi Launches Legal Battle Over Elections
BBC, October 5, 2010
Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers have launched a lawsuit in the Supreme Court in Rangoon to challenge the junta’s decision to dissolve the NLD. The lawyers argued that the Electoral Commission (EC) lacks the authority to abolish the NLD because the NLD had never registered with the EC. Although critics say that the legal action is mainly symbolic, a lawyer for Suu Kyi stated that the NLD wanted to show it had not given up fighting for democracy.
The Junta-Backed Yuzana Company’s Workers Are Armed for Civil War With the Kachin Independence Organization
Kachin News, October 6, 2010
The junta has armed and trained workers of the Yuzana Company in Kachin State to prepare them for a civil war against the Kachin Independence Organization. Awng Wa, chairman of the Kachin Development Networking Group, expressed concern that Yuzana workers may use threats to coerce the local population to vote for the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). In addition, company sources said that military leaders had ordered workers to transport 200,000 ethnic Burmese people to the area prior to the November 7 election to outnumber the native Kachins and vote for the USDP.
NATO Chief Says Alliance Committed to Georgia Membership
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, October 1, 2010
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO remains committed to granting membership to the Republic of Georgia, praising the country for its contributions in Afghanistan. The comments came at the opening ceremony for a new NATO liaison office in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. NATO leaders agreed in 2008 to grant membership to Georgia but have not granted pre-membership status following Georgia’s 2008 war with Russia.
Georgia: No Link Between Russian Pullout and WTO Vote
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, October 8, 2010
Georgian Vice President Nika Gilauri has denied any relationship between Georgia’s pending vote on Russia’s application to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Georgia’s demand that Russia remove its forces from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gilauri said that Georgia will support Moscow’s bid to join the WTO if it makes customs checkpoints in Abkhazia and South Ossetia transparent, as required by the WTO.
India Names Mediators to Hold Kashmir Dialogue
BBC, October 13, 2010
The Indian government has appointed three mediators in an attempt to begin a dialogue with people in Indian-administered Kashmir. According to Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the government hopes to start a sustained dialogue with all Kashmiris, including political parties. The mediators include an Indian journalist, a bureaucrat, and an academic on Kashmir. Both the hard-line and moderate faction leaders of the separatist All Party Hurriyat Conference of Kashmir have dismissed the move as meaningless, calling the mediating team another offensive “joke” played on Kashmir by the Indian government.
Dialogue With India to Focus on Kashmir: Qureshi
Pakistan Observer, October 13, 2010
In a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Kashmir must be at the top of the agenda for any future engagements with India. He added that Pakistan is not interested in another “photo session” and that it is time for a results-oriented dialogue. Qureshi condemned the violence against Kashmiri civilians by Indian security forces, calling it a violation of basic human rights. He insisted that Pakistan will continue to provide moral, diplomatic, and political support to the people of Kashmir.
PNU and ODM Near Deal on Law Team
Daily Nation, October 9, 2010
Party of National Unity (PNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Abdikadir Mohammed gave up his chairmanship of the Legal Affairs and Justice Commission and his post as Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice in order to sit on the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC). The dispute over who should chair the CIOC has renewed animosity between the PNU and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The ODM party, which has a majority in the House, has said that it is unfair for a PNU MP to chair more than one powerful committee that will monitor the implementation of laws.
We Are Running Out of Time, Justice Minister Warns Members of Parliament
Daily Nation, October 9, 2010
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo called on Parliament to institute special procedures to simultaneously table multiple bills in order to meet the deadlines for implementing the new laws. Kilonzo is particularly concerned that the Judicial Service Commission, the Commission on Revenue Allocation, and the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution have not been set up in time to meet the schedule.
Cabinet Team to Draft Rules to Guide ICC Probe
Daily Nation, October 10, 2010
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo announced that a Cabinet subcommittee is set to draft regulations that will govern how the International Criminal Court (ICC) will record statements from government officials. Following the controversy over Kenyan officials’ initial rejection of the ICC’s request for interviews without a judge present, Judge Kalpana Rawal has been appointed as a witness to the interviews. The ICC will interview Provincial Commissioners, police officers, and district commissioners who were posted in the areas affected by the post-election violence. Kilonzo also announced that the subcommittee would review security meeting minutes to determine whether security chiefs ordered the killing of civilians.
Twenty-Seven Parties Talk Constitution
The Kathmandu Post, October 5, 2010
The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly called a meeting of twenty-seven parties in the Assembly to discuss their differences in the constitution-drafting process, including the model of government to be implemented. Major points of disagreement include the balance of power between the President and Prime Minister and the manner of electing the posts.
No PM in Nepal Despite Twelve Rounds of Polls for Post
Press Trust of India, October 10, 2010
Nepal’s Parliament has failed to elect a Prime Minister for the twelfth time in a row. The sole candidate, Ram Chandra Poudel from the Nepali Congress (NC), remained adamant about not quitting the race despite another abstention by the Maoists and the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist. Poudel received a total of eighty-nine votes, the lowest number of votes registered thus far.
Three-Party Meet Inconclusive
Republica, October 10, 2010
The Maoists, NC, and CPN-UML have failed to reach an agreement to end the political stalemate in Nepal. In a meeting at the Maoist parliamentary party office on October 10, the NC again rejected the Maoist request to withdraw its prime ministerial candidacy. The Maoists in turn declined the NC’s request of a packaged political deal that includes the integration and rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants and the return of property seized by the Maoists.
President Siilanyo Meets British Delegates
Somaliland Press, October 4, 2010
Delegates of the British government met with Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud Siilanyo to discuss development in Somaliland. At the meeting, Siilanyo re-stated his commitment to combating terrorism and piracy and stressed the need for cooperation with neighboring countries to work on security and stability.
Sudan and Darfur Rebels Agree to End Direct Talks Within Two Weeks
Sudan Tribune, October 6, 2010
The Government of Sudan and the Liberty and Justice Movement (LJM) agreed that peace talks would start from where they left off last August and would aim to settle all outstanding issues within two weeks. Following these direct negotiations, the mediation will draft the final peace agreement. The mediation expressed the hope that any agreement signed by the Government of Sudan and LJM will also serve as a basis for discussion with other rebel groups.
UN Members Confront Sudan Over Darfur Violence
Associated Press, October 8, 2010
During the U.N. Security Council delegation visit, British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant disputed statistics presented by the governor of North Darfur that showed a decrease in violence over the past few years. Grant countered the government’s information with statistics indicating that violent deaths had more than doubled in the past year.
Negotiating Parties in Doha Score Progress
Sudanese Media Center, October 11, 2010
The Government of Sudan and the LJM recently deliberated issues of power sharing and transitional justice in the Doha Peace Talks. Sudanese government spokesman Omar Adam Rahama stated that the negotiators have made progress on reconciliation, justice, and compensation mechanisms. Rahama reiterated the commitment of both parties to reach sustainable peace for Darfur.
Sudan: Southern Sudan
Kadhafi Warns Against ‘Contagion’ of Sudanese Partition
AFP, October 10, 2010
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi warned at the Arab-African summit that a vote for independence in Southern Sudan could lead to partition of other African states. Attendees of the summit also expressed concerns relating to regional security and stability following the referendum. Participants adopted a declaration that underscored their respect for Sudanese sovereignty and rejected the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Tensions Rise Ahead of Sudan Vote
Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2010
While the UN and world leaders are increasing diplomatic efforts to ensure a peaceful referendum, leaders in Sudan are escalating their rhetoric, stressing the dangers of conducting the referendum without first resolving technical issues. A number of technical issues remain ahead of the referendum, including registering voters and determining criteria for voter eligibility. Several UN diplomats have expressed the belief that delaying the referendum by no more than one month in order to iron out the technical issues could prevent the outbreak of another war.
Khartoum Rejects Deployment of UN Troops on North-South Sudan Border
Sudan Tribune, October 11, 2010
The Sudanese government has asked UN officials not to deploy peacekeeping forces along the north-south border, saying such action is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Southern Sudan’s President Salva Kiir recently requested peacekeeping forces to be installed ahead of the referendum. While the UN may consider the request, it is unclear whether they will accede to the appeal, as it is currently beyond the UNMIS mandate.
Tanzania the Best Governed Country in EA Says Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The East African, October 6, 2010
Tanzania was voted the best-governed state in East Africa and ranked 15th among the 53 African states by the 2010 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance. This index assesses progress made by African states in terms of overall governance, safety and the rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development. However, Tanzania’s high index score does not match its lagging performance on the Millennium Development Goals. Tanzania ranks low in every indicator measured as part of the Millennium Development Goals.
EU Observers in Tanzania for Polls
EUbusiness, October 7, 2010
The EU will send 68 observers to Tanzania for the state’s general elections to be held on October 31, 2010. This monitoring team will observe all aspects of the elections, including electoral campaigns, preparations for the vote, ballot counting, and results. The observers will also assess the overall management of the elections, as well as media coverage and participation of women. While Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister welcomed EU monitoring, he also warned against interference in the polls, stressing that the observers’ mission is to observe and report their findings, rather than regulate the process. The incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to win despite strong opposition.
Tanzania Women Politicians Feel Sidelined by Media Ahead of Elections
The Citizen, October 9, 2010
Civil society in Tanzania has called on the media to provide equal coverage of male and female politicians for the upcoming general election. Tanzanian media coverage of female politicians is currently negligible compared to that of male politicians, who dominate the news both as sources and as the subjects of news articles. Female politicians complain that the media does not seek out their views, which limits their ability to campaign and reach out to voters. If the disparity in media coverage is not addressed, Tanzania may fail to reach the 2015 goal of gender parity in political decision-making set by the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.
Thailand Extends Emergency Decree
UPI, October 5, 2010
The Thai government has decided to extend the state of emergency in Bangkok and three surrounding provinces for an additional three months past the original October 6 end date. According to a government spokesperson, the decree was extended in response to the continued instability in the capital.
Thai Leader Defends Crackdown as Way to Ensure Stability
New York Times, October 7, 2010
While acknowledging that human rights violations may have occurred, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva defended his government’s emergency policies, saying that the actions were necessary to ensure safety and stability in Thailand. Abhisit compared his government’s policies to those of other democratic states, and reaffirmed his commitment to remedying human rights violations that have occurred as a result of them.
Thousands of Thai “Red Shirts” Demand Prisoner Release
Reuters, October 10, 2010
At least 7,000 anti-government protesters gathered in Bangkok on October 10 to demand that the government release protesters detained after the violent protests in May. The protest was the second biggest gathering since September, when some 10,000 people came together as a sign of the revival of the “Red Shirt” movement. The gathering took place despite the continuation of the state of emergency that has permitted the detention of nearly 175 activists.
Uganda LRA Rebels Extend Reach With New Attacks
Reuters, October 8, 2010
The Lord’s Resistance Army’s (LRA) presence has increased in the northern region of the Central African Republic, as evidenced by increasing violent attacks on the civilian population in the region. On October 4, five civilians were killed in the northern town of Moanda. It is estimated that the LRA has 300 to 400 active combatants in the area. The instability has discouraged foreign investment in the mineral resources of the country and has added to the decline in regional security.
Army Recovers 30 Guns in Kaabong
Daily Monitor, October 8, 2010
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UDPF) has confiscated 30 sub machine guns and 105 rounds of ammunition from Karimojong warriors in Kaabong District. In addition to confiscating the weapons, the Ugandan army has also attempted to block the corridors of illegal arms exchange between the Kaabong District and other countries such as Sudan and Kenya. The recovery of weapons is part of a long-term disarmament effort in the region.
Uganda’s Army Under Scrutiny for Rights Abuses in Karamoja
The East African, October 11, 2010
The UDPF has been accused of human rights violations including murder, torture, rape, and arbitrary detention in connection with their disarmament campaign of the Karimojong in the Karamoja district of Northern Uganda. In the early 1990s the Karimojong, a nomadic people, often used deadly force in their cattle raids in Northern Uganda, Kenya, and Sudan. In order to control violence in the region, the UDPF lead a largely successful disarmament campaign that significantly decreased the presence of militant forces in the region and reduced the illegal exchange of weapons.
World Bank Not Yet Ready to Fully Engage Zimbabwe Government- Official
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
The Zimbabwe World Bank Manager, Peter Nicholas, announced that while the World Bank may provide US$2.7 million to Zimbabwe to help rehabilitate the country’s failing water and sanitation infrastructure, it will not start funding major projects in Zimbabwe until it decreases its US$6.7 billion debt. The Zimbabwe Finance Minister and Economic Planning Minister have encountered difficulty obtaining international assistance with Zimbabwe’s debt due to a failure to address human rights transgressions.
Harare Residents Express Anger Over Delayed Constitutional Outreach Meetings
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
Harare residents have expressed considerable anger and frustration following the cancellation of several outreach meetings of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Revising the Constitution in September. The Committee has also failed to release dates when these meetings will be rescheduled, further contributing to this frustration. Harare Residents Trust Coordinator Precious Shumba stated that the delays are intended to deny residents their democratic rights, and that Harare residents and civil society groups are considering holding protests to demand the meetings be held.
Zimbabwe’s Unity Government in Trouble
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
Experts have expressed concern over the stability of the Zimbabwe government amid accusations by Prime Minister Tsvangirai that President Mugabe violated the constitution by unilaterally appointing provincial governors. Tsvangirai has refused to recognize any of Mugabe’s appointments and called upon Mugabe to return the country to constitutional rule.
Peace Negotiations Watch is a weekly publication detailing current events relating to conflict and peace processes in selected countries. It is prepared by the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) and made possible by grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ploughshares Fund.
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