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5 Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

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5 Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Posted by Laura Heaton on August 28, 2009

5 Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

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.

The latest installment of Voices on Genocide Prevention, the podcast series broadcast by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, features an interesting interview with Alex Hinton, the director of Rutgers University Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, who provides an overview and analysis of the Cambodian tribunal to try the members of the Khmer Rouge who are accused of orchestrating at least 1.5 million deaths from 1975 -1979. The first trial has been a long time coming and began this year. Host Bridget Conley-Zilkic and Hinton have an interesting discussion spurred by Conley-Zilkic’s question about why perpetrators do they do what they do – “an excess of killing that’s much more cruel than just ending life” – and about whether the case has shed new light on the psychological element of perpetration.

Tracy Kidder, prize-winning author of the best-seller Mountains Beyond Mountains, is coming out with a new book, Strength in What Remains, and spoke with The World’s Jeb Sharp this week about his most recent project. Kidder talks about the subject of his new book, a Burundian man named Deo who "escapes" violence in Burundi by fleeing to Rwanda in 1994 and eventually lands NYC, where he miraculously goes to medical school … and eventually makes his way back to Burundi to open a clinic. Kidder is an excellent storyteller, and it’s fascinating to hear him talk candidly about capturing Deo’s remarkable life story.

This Q&A with Doctors Without Borders coordinator Katharine Derderian provides a good anecdotal account of the conditions in northeastern Congo, in a region that has come under recent attacks by the LRA. In addition to the description she provides about the situation for civilians – “there is indescribable fear in everyone’s eyes” – Derderian provides a sobering account of the challenges faced by the few aid agencies still operating in the dangerous conditions.

The Economist offers a good analysis of former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s trial in The Hague, which marks the first time an international court has tried an African former head of state. Taylor is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged arming of Sierra Leonean rebel groups during the country’s civil war from 1991-2002. The case is charting new territory on a number of fronts, and the Economist highlights several of them.

Don’t miss the blog post by Alex Meixner of Save Darfur, in which he takes apart the claims made Marc Gustafson in a controversial op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor. Gustafson suggests that pressure from activists led to misallocation of U.S. funding that could’ve been used to save lives in Darfur. Meixner goes through the list of “skewed figures and false premises” one by one, and offers this clarification:

Save Darfur’s efforts to shine a spotlight on what was clearly an unmet need for more robust peacekeeping and civilian protection in Darfur did not diminish the allocation for humanitarian aid, both because that’s not the way the system works and because that was never the intent. Quite the opposite, the intent was to push for the creation of a stronger and fully funded peacekeeping force to complement the humanitarian life line already in place.