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Author: Victoria Bosselman

Displaced Ugandans Weigh Whether to Return Home

Displaced Ugandans Weigh Whether to Return Home
New figures from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, or IDMC, indicate that people displaced by instability caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, are now returning to their homes more quickly than reconstruction efforts can put basic services in place. According to IDMC, roughly two-thirds of the 1.8 million people displaced in northern Uganda have returned home since the signing of a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the LRA and the Ugandan government in 2006. While this figure is a positive indicator of the safety of a region long terrorized by the LRA, people often return home to inadequate ...
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UNAMID Steps Up Efforts on Gender-Based Violence

UNAMID Steps Up Efforts on Gender-Based Violence
In an announcement long overdue given the severity of the problem, UNAMID, the peacekeeping force in Darfur, said last week that it has tasked a seven-person team with monitoring and reporting on gender based violence in the region. In Darfur, thousands of cases of sexual gender-based violence have been reported in a conflict that began in 2003 and has left an estimated 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million displaced. However, the true number of women and girls who have fallen victim to sexual violence in Darfur is difficult to estimate because of the sensitivity of the crimes that dissuades many ...
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North, South Sudan Reps Take to the Airwaves to Discuss Abyei

North, South Sudan Reps Take to the Airwaves to Discuss Abyei
A month after the fact, the Abyei Arbitration Tribunal’s July 22 ruling remains a major topic of discussion. Voice of America’s radio show Straight Talk Africa discussed the ruling this week, with commentary by Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the Head of the Government of Southern Sudan Mission to the U.S., and Ambassador Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed, the Head of the NCP’s delegation to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Both representatives reiterated their respective parties’ commitment to the ruling and to the further implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Lol, a member of the South’s SPLM, focused his comments ...
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Alleged Mastermind of Rwandan Genocide Captured in Congo

Reports are coming out that after 15 years in hiding, a former Rwandan mayor wanted for committing genocide has been captured and arrested in eastern Congo. Gregoire Ndahimana had been fighting with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, when Congolese forces in eastern Congo’s North Kivu Province arrested him. According to a spokesman for the Congolese army, Ndahimana was found while he was searching for food. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania considered Ndahimana a Category 1 suspect and a chief planner and executer of the Rwandan genocide. Almost all of the ...
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South Sudan Still Scattered with Landmines

South Sudan Still Scattered with Landmines
Nineteen out of the 25 states in southern Sudan are still littered by landmines from the 22-year civil war that ended in 2005. Efforts are now underway to clear the most densely mined areas – a process critical to enabling displaced populations to return home, humanitarian aid to be dispersed, and peacekeeping forces to fully deploy, sources quoted in a recent report by IRIN indicated. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA, and the Sudan Armed Forces planted the mines and other unexploded devices heavily on key battlefields, which now host the deadly remnants of the war. Malakal, Upper Nile ...
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Abyei Ruling Already in Dispute?

Abyei Ruling Already in Dispute?
Less than a week after accepting and agreeing to begin immediately implementing a legal ruling on the boundaries of Abyei, northern and southern Sudanese leaders have begun trading accusations over control of the re-zoned oilfields and voting rights in the upcoming referendum over Abyei’s future. Both the North and the South had promised to respect the ruling no matter the outcome. The United Nations, the United States, and other members of the international community had praised the ruling as a step forward for the parties. The ruling, issued by a tribunal at The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration, re-drew the ...
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Lower Oil Prices Slow Sudanese Growth

The depth of Sudan’s catastrophic economic reality was emphasized Tuesday when the International Monetary Fund announced that the country’s economic growth has slowed from 7% to 4% this year due primarily to lower revenue from oil exports. Recent oil exploration –largely through Chinese investment– has fundamentally altered the nature of Sudan’s historically agrarian economy. During recent years, oil quickly became far and away the most lucrative and important Sudanese export and spawned a construction boom in Khartoum meant to rival Arab capitals such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. However, the global economic downturn and subsequent crash in oil prices have ...
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Neighbors at Odds Once Again

Neighbors at Odds Once Again
Another week, another round of accusations and threats between Chad and Sudan, as recent allegations and threats between the two governments fuel a toxic climate of mistrust that makes it easy to dismiss all of the multiple peace agreements signed between the two states in recent years. Last week, Sudan alleged that Chadian armed forces launched an air raid on rebels in Umm Dukhun, a town in West Darfur. On Monday, the Sudanese government filed a complaint against Chad with the U.N. Security Council, alleging that Chad had repeatedly violated agreements signed by the neighbors. Sudan’s ambassador to the U.N., ...
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LRA Remains a Threat

LRA Remains a Threat
Months after Operation Lightening Thunder—the Ugandan-led joint military offensive against the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, in northeastern Congo’s remote Garamba National Park—ended, the LRA continues to wreak havoc in northeastern Congo. Recent reports from the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, are a stark reminder of the LRA’s continued predations. They note that during the first two weeks of July, the LRA carried out 33 attacks in northeastern Congo’s Orientale province, killing 26 people and abducting 144. Alan Doss, special representative of the Secretary-General in Congo, said in a report to the U.N. that ...
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In Chad, Thousands Look to Return Home

“The Risk of Return: Repatriating the Displaced in the Context of Conflict in Eastern Chad,” a recent report from Human Rights Watch, discusses the return of internally displaced persons to their homes in Chad. The report addresses the violence that erupted in Koukou-Angarana in May 2009. The sites host around 40,000 IDPs and 20,000 Sudanese refugees. The fighting in May led eleven NGOs and three U.N. agencies to withdraw their non-essential staff. 40,000 Chadian IDPs returned home in 2008 and found their communities in ruins. However, the Chadian government, led by President Deby, has done very little to stabilize Dar ...
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