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Author: Katherine Wycisk

As Women Rally, Sudanese U.N. Worker Challenges Punishment by Flogging

As Women Rally, Sudanese U.N. Worker Challenges Punishment by Flogging
Police in Khartoum violently cracked down on women gathered in solidarity today with Lubna Hussein, a journalist on trial for accusations that she violated Islamic dress code by wearing pants. Police sprayed tear gas into the crowd and beat demonstrators, many of whom were women, according to news reports. Earlier this month, Khartoum’s “discipline police” raided a local café, arresting 14 women for and accusing them of violating sharia law’s dress code by wearing pants. Such arrests are not uncommon in Khartoum, but they are usually dealt with quickly and quietly. In this case, for instance, 13 of the women ...
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Darfur Child Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Program Demonstrates Success

The joint Darfur Child Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program, a voluntary program established by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA, for child soldiers in Sudan, has been making progress in recent weeks. Last Tuesday, 36 former child soldiers from Tora, a town in North Darfur, completed the first stage of the program by turning in their weapons and renouncing their allegiance to rebel armed forces. The children have been given backpacks with school and educational supplies, as well as sports equipment, and will now enter into the program’s rehabilitation and reintegration phase. The Sudan People’s Liberation Force (SPLA) ...
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Activists Gather at the State Department to Demand Peace

Activists Gather at the State Department to Demand Peace
Several dozen activists gathered in front of the State Department Wednesday afternoon to rally for peace and justice in Sudan. Carrying banners, the crowd shouted slogans about ending the genocide in Darfur and bringing peace and justice to Darfur through the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity). The rally was organized by the Damanga Coalition and featured representatives from organizations such as the Save Darfur Coalition and the Africa Faith and Justice Network. Activists from Sudan and the United States spoke to the crowd through a megaphone ...
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Reflecting on Recent Trip, Prendergast Discusses Way Forward for Congo

Reflecting on Recent Trip, Prendergast Discusses Way Forward for Congo
Yesterday morning, John Prendergast spoke about U.S. policy and ending the war in eastern Congo at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Drawing on experiences from his recent trip to Congo, Prendergast spoke about the realities on the ground in Congo and offered some policy recommendations for U.S. and international actors. Prendergast began by discussing the “severe indiscipline” and internal divisions within the Congolese army that have been exacerbated by the recent attempted integration of militia groups into the army. With war criminals wanted by the International Criminal Court serving in leadership positions within the Congolese ...
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Condition: Critical Launches New Congo Video Series

Last fall, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), launched Condition: Critical, a campaign that highlights the stories of individuals affected by Congo’s deadly conflict. Condition: Critical features eyewitness accounts, interviews, and statements made by people living in the Congo. The website includes a collection of photos and reflections that describe daily life in Congo, strife and hardships endured through years of conflict, and the actions young Congolese are taking to raise the profile of the violence in their country. Last week, Condition: Critical launched a new feature: a series of three videos highlighting the experience of children in the Congo. These short ...
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Forum Commemorates International Day of Peacekeepers

To commemorate International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers last Friday, the United Nations Association of the USA brought a diverse group of experts together to discuss the current state of U.N. peacekeeping. The forum highlighted the difficulties inherent in transnational nature of peacekeeping forces, which can become confused and ineffective due to language and training gaps as well as how peacekeeping will change now that a new administration is in office. While the speakers expressed optimism at the promises made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to make peacekeeping more central to U.S. foreign policy in ...
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Sudanese from Across U.S. Rally for Darfur at White House

Sudanese from Across U.S. Rally for Darfur at White House
Yesterday afternoon, Sudanese from around the United States gathered in front of the White House to rally for peace and justice in Darfur. Carrying posters that proclaimed “Restore Aid Now,” “Omar al-Bashir to ICC’ and “End the Genocide,” the energetic activists, made up of representatives from Athletes for Darfur, the Save Darfur Coalition, and Friends of Darfur in Portland, Maine, marched up and down the sidewalk for over an hour, chanting through megaphones and attracting significant tourist attention. Before the rally, the coordinator of the event, Niemat Ahmadi, Darfuri Liaison Officer for the Save Darfur Coalition, issued several statements on ...
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Sudanese Rally for Darfur Tomorrow in D.C.

Tomorrow, Friday, May 22nd, Darfuris and Sudanese from across the country will host a rally outside the White House to pressure the government to take a more active role in providing humanitarian aid to Darfur. The rally will be followed by a briefing on the current situation on the ground at the Institute for Policy Studies. Niemat Ahmadi, the Darfuri Liaison Officer for the Save Darfur Coalition, believes that the time is ripe for urgent action considering the steadily worsening conditions in Darfur, where, as Ahmadi notes, “water is scarce, food supplies are low, and the potential spread of diseases ...
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Darfur Activists in the News

Darfur Activists in the News
Although domestic concerns have taken center stage in the news throughout recent months, the crisis in Darfur continues to inspire people to make headlines. This past Sunday, Jewish World Watch, an NGO based in southern California that focuses on drawing attention to genocide and crimes against humanity worldwide, organized its first ever rally in Orange County to raise awareness for the atrocities being committed in Darfur. Over 450 people -- from dignitaries to religious leaders to synagogue members -- attended the rally, and the group plans to host an even larger Walk for Darfur in June to raise more awareness ...
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