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Five Stories You May Have Missed This Week

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Five Stories You May Have Missed This Week

Posted by Katie Smith on August 30, 2013

Five 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.

The newly created U.N. intervention brigade launched its first offensive attack to eliminate the M23 rebels from eastern Congo. After the rebels began launching shells towards the military posts of the Congolese army (FARDC) and the U.N. mission to Congo (MONUSCO) last Thursday, the combined forces went on the offensive, attacking rebel positions with helicopter gunships, armored personnel carriers and ground troops. One Tanzanian peacekeeper was killed in the clashes, and seven others were wounded. Enough Project field researcher in Goma, Timo Mueller, weighed in on the intervention brigade’s effect,

“It’s already changing the equation. For now, I would shy away from calling it a game changer. It’s certainly unprecedented not only for Congo, but for peacekeeping itself and the U.N. at large.”

Despite increasing violence between the M23 rebels and Congolese and U.N. military forces near Goma, Rwanda blocked a joint U.S.-French proposal to impose UN sanctions on two senior commanders in the M23. The U.S. and France submitted documents explaining why these commanders warranted sanctions, citing Human Rights Watch and the UN Group of Experts reports, which accused Rwanda of supporting the rebels among other documentation of M23 atrocities. Citing a lack of evidence, Rwanda opposed the sanctions. Rwanda, a temporary council member, has also rejected Security Council efforts to publicly condemn the actions of the M23 rebels.

In the wake of the troubling report of U.S. complicity in chemical weapons use in Iran in the 1980s via shared satellite imagery, Andrea Peterson of the Washington Post highlighted the potential for satellite intelligence to help protect human rights. The Satellite Sentinel Project, for example, uses satellite imagery to track and document human rights violations in Sudan, where humanitarian ground access is blocked by the Sudanese government.

Intense rains and flooding have affected more than 300,000 Sudanese people in the past few weeks, creating humanitarian situations across the country. In response to the flooding and the government’s lack of response, the volunteer group, Nafeer, assembled to confront the challenge. The youth-led initiative used social media networks to organize more than 5,000 volunteers to assess damage and distribute aid throughout Khartoum and its surrounding areas. (Editor's note: Check out our blog post that includes before and after images of Khartoum.)

Following a probe into South Sudan’s police force, the new nation uncovered 11,000 fake names on the payroll. The discovery follows United Nations-backed efforts to turn the ex-rebel SPLA into a more professional force for maintaining security in the country. The police force was initially thought to comprise of more than 52,000 men and women, and the discovery of fraudulent names will save the government close to $9 million dollars a month.