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.
This week, Enough Project Field Researcher Timo Mueller was featured in an IRIN Africa briefing that examined the recent developments surrounding the stalled peace talks between the Congolese army and the M23 rebel movement in Kampala, Uganda and the renewed fighting between the two groups in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. His analysis concluded that the Congolese army's strategy of pursuing military confrontation with M23 undermined the peace talks; however, it is unlikely that Congo will withdraw from talks favored by the international community.
In Sudan, new satellite imagery reveals the Government of Sudan is violating a September 2012 agreement by maintaining infantry, tanks, and artillery in a demilitarized border zone between the Sudans. In an interview with allAfrica, Enough Project Director of Research Mark Quarterman states:
"The continued violations by Sudan of its agreement with South Sudan jeopardize the peace process between the two countries. The presence of Sudanese troops in the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone raises the chance that this border flashpoint could be the spark for renewed armed conflict."
The new images released by the Satellite Sentinel Project show that Sudanese military installations remain active and are manned with both infantry and heavy artillery.
Global Post reports that African insurgencies are cashing in on the lucrative ivory trade to fund their violent operations across the continent. Enough Project Field Researcher Kasper Agger explains:
“We know how minerals fuel conflicts, but with the growing prices, ivory is also starting to fuel conflict. We have to see it in that context — that it is equally damaging to regional security.”
Partly in response to new developments where armed groups like Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Somalia's Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab, and Sudan's Janjaweed militias are joining organized criminal networks to profit from the illicit trade, President Obama established earlier this month a high-level Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking.
The Washington Post reports that Samantha Power's Senate confirmation hearing to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations began this week with a welcome show of bipartisan support that contrasts with the recent filibuster fight over the blocking of other presidential nominees. Power, a liberal academic, is best known as the author of A Problem From Hell, a powerful study of American inaction in the face of genocide. Despite initial criticism from Senate Republicans, Power has also received the public backing of key Republican lawmaker Senator John McCain.
Max Fisher in a blog post for The Washington Post examined the recent projections by the United Nations Population Division on the demographic future of the Earth, noting that Africa will see a population explosion nearly unprecedented in human history. Africa's population boom will be largely sub-Saharan, and by 2100 Africa will be nearly as populated as Asia. In a chart-by-chart breakdown, Fisher's blog post examines key country population growth, immigration, life expectancy, and dependency ratios.