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5 Stories You May Have Missed This Week

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5 Stories You May Have Missed This Week

Posted by Laura Heaton on August 17, 2012

5 Stories You May 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.

Reporting for VOA, Hannah McNeish describes the unexpected link between South Sudan and Cuba, which offered refuge and education to southern Sudanese child soldiers during the civil war. Now adults with skills in law, medicine, and engineering, and fluency in Spanish, many are returning to South Sudan to help build the new nation. McNeish caught up with some of these Cuban Jubans at De Havana bar in South Sudan’s capital.

Sudan specialist Eric Reeves aggregates, supplements, and cross-checks information about recent bouts of violence in Darfur that have displaced tens of thousands of people—indeed, entire camps— incapacitated humanitarian groups, whose fuel and other basic supplies were looted, and left at least two dozen (and likely many more) dead. UNAMID, who is busy drawing down its force and whose officials remain “invested in the ‘success’” of the mission, has reliably pleaded an inability to access many of the affected areas. As Reeves writes:

These denials come more than four and a half years after UNAMID supposedly secured from Khartoum a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) (February 2008), guaranteeing complete freedom of movement throughout Darfur—yet another agreement that this cynical regime has signed without any intention of abiding by.

Susan Burgess-Lent, executive director of Women’s Centers International that supported a center in the Kassab camp in North Darfur before it was “looted and destroyed,” writes about the implications of recent violence on the already-fragile existence of displaced people and the few humanitarian groups left to serve them—all while government plans to empty the camps are underway. “The ‘Warsaw ghettoes’ of Sudan are now being emptied,” Burgess-Lent writes. “The people who’ve survived many years in IDP camps will not be sent to gas chambers. They’ll be forced into a forbidding desert without food, water or shelter.”

In a fascinating feature for Foreign Policy, law professor and columnist Rosa Brooks charts the rise of AFRICOM. For some, the mission’s involvement in not-strictly-military projects—cattle vaccinations, malaria prevention, construction of solar-powered water pumps, for instance—has led some to allege mission creep. But Brooks, a former counselor to the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy, writes:

The Pentagon is right to see poverty, underdevelopment, disease, repression, human rights abuses, and conflict as likely drivers of future security threats to the United States. And if the Defense Department's job is to protect the United States, that mission must surely include preventing threats.

Interns for the Center for American Progress, Enough’s parent organization, created this upbeat recruitment video. For anyone inspired to work in the middle of it all in Washington, D.C., one intern’s testimony will no doubt stand out: “It’s unthinkable, like when I put on my socks that morning I had no idea I was about to shake President Obama’s hand.”