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 extensive piece published by Radio Netherlands Worldwide, a team of journalists from International War and Peace Reporting delve into accusations that the United Nations is bowing to pressure from the Sudanese government, to the detriment of humanitarian efforts in Darfur. They spoke to displaced people in Darfur, unnamed and named sources from the U.N. and aid community, Human Rights Watch, lawyers, opposition groups, and Sudanese government representatives. (It seems that the U.N.’s Georg Charpentier hadn’t gotten wind of IWPR’s report when he made these comments… Or perhaps he did, and that’s the whole point.)
A team of AP reporters uncovered the scoop that Blackwater founder Erik Prince is involved in efforts funded by several Arab countries to train a contingent of Somali soldiers tasked with combating piracy. Crisis Group’s E.J. Hogendoorn highlights the crux of the controversy: "Who are these private companies accountable to and what prevents them from changing clients when it's convenient for them?"
In just 10 months, Congolese will go to the polls to elect their next president and legislature, but far less attention has been paid to preparations compared to the last vote in 2006. Jason Stearns at Congo Siasa describes what is (and isn’t) in the works, though he admits he doesn’t have all the information – which underscores the fact that groups that you might expect to be seized with preparations have been slow on the uptake. He also considers the provocative question, what if the world didn’t pay attention? “Will the mess that the Congo is be any worse with a rigged election?”
Last Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first prime minister and a man the country and the continent saw as one of its most promising leaders post-independence. For an American audience who may be unfamiliar with the independence icon – and the role the U.S. government played in his overthrow and killing – Adam Hochschild’s New York Times op-ed is an illuminating read.
For an on-the-ground update on the southern Sudan referendum, the monthly podcast series Voices on Genocide Prevention interviewed Edmund Yakani of the Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections.