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 in the Guardian, journalist and Sudan expert Julie Flint described some of the ways the Sudanese government is using its national security law – ostensibly in place to keep al-Qaeda suspects in custody – to violently suppress opposition, even in modest forms, in the run-up to the election next month. As she points out through examples, the ‘African success story’ the Guardian recently described deserves a bit more nuance, published, as it was, a day after Sudanese security services arrested a student leader in Khartoum and subjected him to a mock execution.
In her weekly segment for the New York Times magazine, Deborah Soloman interviewed author Chinua Achebe about the recent religious violence in Nigeria, the political turmoil that recently saw the country’s president go “on leave” in Saudi Arabia, and Achebe’s experience living in exile in the United States. (The best-selling author recently published a collection of short stories, his first book in more than 20 years.)
Sean Brooks from the Save Darfur Coalition, fresh from a trip to Darfur, made some excellent points about the serious challenges faced by the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s troubled western region. Here’s one:
(…) UNAMID can only carry out its Chapter 7 mandate and other duties to protect civilians with the consent of the Sudanese government. (…) For citizens throughout Darfur, this arrangement means that daily security depends almost entirely on the local relationships between residents, UNAMID, and the controlling authorities in the area.
Despite the immense difficulty of gaining reliable information from the war zone that is Somalia today, Amnesty International issued a report this week documenting abuses against civilians during the past six months. Amnesty found that the most egregious and widespread abuses – torture, stoning, amputations – are occurring in areas controlled by groups opposed to the fragile Transitional Federal Government in efforts “to intimidate and instill fear in the population in order to assert their control over territory,” they wrote.
A piece by the Washington Post/Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch, writing on his new blog Turtle Bay, gives a good useful overview of some of reasons why the United States and the United Nations are in an “awkward” position as Sudan prepares to hold its first multiparty elections in over 20 years. Lynch’s piece also highlights some of the most quote-worthy remarks of the week.