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5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

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5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Posted by Laura Heaton on September 24, 2010

5 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.

To mark U.N. Week, check out this great collection of the most absurd things ever said during a speech at the United Nations. Compiled and wittily described by Foreign Policy’s Josh Keating.

Also from Foreign Policy, Beth Dickinson investigated what exactly it means when we say the Somali government “only controls a few blocks of the capital.” It turns out, not even the government and the United Nations agree on what exactly constitutes government territory, but the discrepancies help illustrate “how fast things can go from bad to worse.”

For its September edition, the Voices on Genocide Prevention podcast featured an interview with Congo analyst Jason Stearns. Host Bridget Conley-Zilkic and Stearns discuss the findings of the U.N. mapping exercise, recently leaked to the media, that provided unprecedented details about massacres in Congo from 1993-2003. An important note from Stearns:

“The Congo is an anomaly compared to many post conflict countries around the world. Usually there’s at least some efforts for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a tribunal, vetting out officers out of the army who are known to have committed abuses, something. And in the Congo we’ve had absolutely nothing.”

Drawing attention to an underreported story in Sudan, Peter Moszynski described the tenuous situation in the Three Areas: Abyei, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan. Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement gave the people of Abyei the opportunity to choose whether to be part of the North or South (though lack of progress to prepare for the Abyei referendum raises serious concerns that this referendum is at-risk); by contrast, the people of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan have a narrower spectrum of options for addressing their issues with the northern government. As a rep of one rights group poignantly put it:

"The CPA was supposed to bring a new era of democracy and inclusivity to Sudan, in order to make unity attractive, but it also offered an opt-out clause for the southerners to vote for independence if this didn’t happen. If the southerners choose to secede, it will demonstrate that the peace process has failed, and where does that leave us?"

Michelle Faul of the Associated Press provided this gruesome but important report from a corner of eastern Congo that in August fell prey to a spree of rape by the FDLR rebels, a Mayi Mayi group led by the notorious Commander Cheka, and some former CNDP rebels. (The preliminary U.N. report on the attacks was released today, in French only for now.) The area is rich with minerals, and armed groups use rape as part of their military strategy to intimidate the population, she wrote, adding:

No one was killed in the attack and the villages are so poor that there is little to loot, leaving people to conclude that the rapes, and forcing families to watch, was some form of punishment — for what no one is sure.