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 BBC published a photo slideshow with details about some of the recent attacks that have occurred in the wake of the Congolese military operation against the FDLR, the brutal rebel group in eastern Congo whose leadership was responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. FDLR rebels have a history of lashing out against civilians when they are pursued. Little planning was done to protect civilians from this backlash, and now, these tragic stories and images are emerging as a result.
Bridget Conley-Zilkic, project director for the Committee on Conscience, produces a bi-weekly podcast of interviews with prominent personalities who are part of the anti-genocide movement. I’ve highlighted Bridget’s podcasts in the past, and though I’m biased, this most recent edition is worth a listen: an interview with our executive director, John Norris. They discussed Enough’s current projects, but more importantly, John highlighted the work being done to create a permanent anti-genocide/mass atrocity constituency that can respond to conflicts around the world, rather than having to regroup when a new conflict flares up.
NPR’s Gwen Tompkins reported this morning on the dramatic week in Mogadishu, where two prominent allies of Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed were killed. The national security minister and the police chief of Mogadishu died in separate attacks, and the extremist al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for both deaths. Tompkins offers a useful rundown of the week’s event, noting that while various Islamist factions battle for control of the country, “Somalia’s civilians are clearly on the loosing end.” According to the most recent U.N. estimates, more than 100,000 civilians have recently fled Mogadishu.
Another interesting story from NPR came from Philip Reeves, who reflected on the past month since the government declared victory against the Tamil Tigers. Now, the major challenge is resettling the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were displaced during years of war. Many are being held in government internment camps while the officials carry out what they say are security measures to weed out the remaining Tigers and rebuild infrastructure. The government says it will be able to resettle most of the camps within a year, but as Reeves reports, “These official reassurances have so far failed to quell concerns that many Tamils will end up interned for a long time, maybe years.”
Finally, to move into the weekend on a positive note, Sports Illustrated profiled the Congolese contingent of Mississippi State’s women’s basketball team. Chanel Mokango, Armelie Lumanu, and Rima Kalonda are part of still small group of African women recruited to play college or professional basketball; only two African women play in the WNBA. But they’re excited about the chance to be role models for young women at home and hope that their recruitment is part of a new wave opportunity for other talented Congolese players.
The Enough Team contributed to this post.