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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 August 13, 2011

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.

The New York Times op-ed this week on conflict minerals legislation provoked a variety of responses in the blogosphere. A detailed post by Congo scholar Jason Stearns addresses some of the shortcomings of the op-ed, arguing that while “there is no doubt that the implementation of the law has been sorely wanting… I still believe that the Dodd-Frank bill – in Section 1502 on the Congo – should be supported.”

Writing for the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog, Salil Tripathi points out that the Dodd-Frank Act undertaken alone won’t bring an end to the conflict in eastern Congo – but that is not a reason to abandon it. He writes:

Should similar measures – the ethical sourcing of cocoa from Ivory Coast, sugarcane from Caribbean islands and South America, diamonds from Sierra Leone, and cotton from Uzbekistan – also be given up where they impact negatively on local job opportunities? Restrictions on conflict minerals alone won't end unrest in the DRC. But not having any restrictions on products known to fuel conflict, ostensibly to preserve livelihoods for the country's people, won't make matters better, either.

U.N. peacekeepers often bear the brunt of the criticism for failing to achieve their missions to protect civilians. But the severe constraints under which peacekeepers work are not well understood. Walter Piesing of the UK’s Independent interviewed Royal Canadian Military College professor and peacekeeping consultant Walter Dorn, who recently published a book on technology and innovation in peacekeeping operations. Piesing writes:

"The public does not realise how underequipped the UN is when the world organisation sends peacekeepers into dangerous conflict areas. Unlike in the UK, there is no Daily Mail that demands that its soldiers be properly equipped," Dorn says. "While the UN's internal communications are world-class, the military are stuck back in the Eighties, if not earlier, due to a lack of understanding by the civilians in the UN Secretariat of the importance of this new technology, how cheap it's actually becoming or how many off-the-shelf solutions there are."

Nairobi-based photojournalist Phil Moore recently posted a collection of moving images documenting the drought in East Africa, which he has been covering since May, months before famine was declared.

An investigative piece by a team of New York Times reporters examines the role of private U.S. contractors and the C.I.A. in fighting militants in Somalia.