Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.
In an op-ed for the LA Times, Helen Wintenitz rightly calls for President Obama to take a long, hard look at Africa’s most dysfunctional countries, namely Congo, after highlighting an African success story through his Ghana speech. In particular, Wintenitz makes a direct appeal for the president to appoint a special envoy to tackle the broader regional conflict with its epicenter in eastern Congo, provide more direct aid, and supporta $6 billion project proposed by China that would yield massive infrastructure development for Congo. Wintenitz has a long-standing expertise in Central Africa, and her op-ed raise some very good points.
The BBC reported on a disturbing though certainly not surprising trend of the militant al-Shabaab in Somalia coercing children into joining their jihadist movement to topple the fragile Somali government. One father whose 15-year-old son recently disappeared and is believed to have joined Shabaab said:
They are using our children as a shield. But the children of people who claim to be leaders are not in the (Shabaab training) camps. They are not fighting. Al-Shabab only use children from the poor as fighters.
AlJazeera has another up-close look at the fighting in Mogadishu, this week focusing on recent attacks by Hizbul Islam and Shabaab on African Union peacekeepers protecting strategic Somali government sites just outside of the capital. The toll on the civilian population is, as always, dramatic, and AlJazeera visits one of Mogadishu’s hospitals to speak with the lead doctor about what he has witnessed.
The Telegraph published an insightful series of journal entries from actor and UNICEF UK Ambassador Ralph Fiennes’ recent trip to Chad. The diary describes meetings with former child soldiers, school children, women in a refugee hospital, and chance meetings with a woman who has been separated from her son and a boy who fits the mother’s description. Fiennes’ account is well informed and reflective, certainly an impressive example of an actor’s goodwill to use his recognizable name and face as a way to draw attention to human suffering in an often overlooked part of the world.
In its print edition this week, the Economist offers a useful rundown of the substance of the Abyei decision and reactions from northern and southern Sudan that have been expressed over the past week as the decision had a chance to sink in.
Rebecca Brocato contributed to this post.