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New Mobile Court May Try Conflict Minerals Cases in Mineral-rich Walikale

New Mobile Court May Try Conflict Minerals Cases in Mineral-rich Walikale
The Congolese military will set up a military justice mobile court next week in Walikale, the most mineral rich area of eastern Congo, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Mines. “Any soldier caught trading minerals is breaking the law and this means he should be punished,” said Mining Minister Martin Kabwelulu, as quoted by IRIN ...
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From an LRA Camp to Harvard: The Education of Survivor, Advocate Florence Apuri

From an LRA Camp to Harvard: The Education of Survivor, Advocate Florence Apuri
Florence Apuri was in high school when she first understood the challenges of educating a girl in northern Uganda. The second of nine children, Florence grew up in a small village in northern Uganda that has experienced the terror of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. While in her third year of high school, Florence’s uncles brutally beat her father for sending her to school instead of giving her away to marriage so that she could earn a dowry for the family. When she was in college, Florence’s future was again called into question when she was abducted by the ...
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Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program Expands to Goz Amer Camp

Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program Expands to Goz Amer Camp
The Darfur Dream Team is returning to Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad and this time, I get to go with them. It will be my first trip to the camps as the new Sister Schools Program Manager, and I am ready. Got my shots (ouch), my visa (yay), my ticket (woot), and letters from the U.S. students to their sister schools in Chad (excellent!). The opportunity to see those wonderful faces whose videos, messages, and lives have been an important part of my life for the past four months is incredible ...
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In Sudan, Post-Referendum Political Tensions Hit New High

In Sudan, Post-Referendum Political Tensions Hit New High
Two months into the post-referendum period, and just four months until Sudan splits, the list of contentious issues the North and South need to work through isn’t getting any shorter. Rather, presidential level talks mediated by the African Union high-level panel were called off this week as the southern ruling party unveiled a collection of documents it says prove the National Congress Party is backing of southern militias ...
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Why Africa’s Great Lakes Region Needs a Special Envoy

Why Africa's Great Lakes Region Needs a Special Envoy
At the blog Congo Siasa, Jason Stearns reinforces several points on the urgency of an envoy, including the need for a position capable of coordinating senior U.S. diplomatic engagement with Congo and its neighbors. Jason rightly notes that an envoy should report to Secretary Clinton in order to coordinate policy across the department. Adding to the conversation, I think this organizational chart for the Africa bureau from State’s foreign affairs manual explain why Congo policy is currently falling through the cracks ...
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South Sudan Army on the Offensive Following Malakal Flare-ups

South Sudan
South Sudan Army on the Offensive Following Malakal Flare-ups
In the aftermath of recent flare-ups in Upper Nile between South Sudan’s army and southern militias, the southern government has quickly blamed its northern counterparts for the ongoing instability. And while northern complicity should be investigated, the strategy of the southern army vis à vis militias is also worth a look. The SPLA has decided to take on a more pre-emptive role rather than being on the defensive, as they were in recent months when they worked to entice splinter factions to come into the fold ahead of the referendum ...
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How Conflict Minerals Trade Threatens Communities in Eastern Congo

How Conflict Minerals Trade Threatens Communities in Eastern Congo
After more than a decade of conflict in Congo, fueled by the illegal trade in conflict minerals, new U.S. regulations governing the trade are supposed to take effect in April. But industry trade groups claim this is too fast, so they are pushing for a delay in fully implementing the regulations. They raise the specter of a de facto trade embargo in the region if companies can't comply, which would cause communities in eastern Congo to suffer. But if the past 10 years are any indication, it is clear that the extractive companies, electronics industry, and regional governments are not ...
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South Sudan: Conflict Zone Widens as Militias Conduct Bold Attacks on Malakal

South Sudan
South Sudan: Conflict Zone Widens as Militias Conduct Bold Attacks on Malakal
Upper Nile police and SPLA forces clashed with militia men led by Commander Olony in the state capital of Malakal over the weekend. As the conflict theater expands and becomes increasing inaccessible to the United Nations and humanitarian organizations, details about culpability and the impact on civilians are difficult to ascertain ...
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Video: Bang the Drum for Peace in Darfur

People are still dying in Darfur. Villages are still being bombed. Women are still being subjected to sexual assaults. Tens of thousands have been displaced in the last few months. Actor Don Cheadle and I got together and talked about what can be done in this video, "Bang the Drum for Darfur." ...
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International Response to Libya: Lessons from Sudan Advocacy Allow for Faster Action

International Response to Libya: Lessons from Sudan Advocacy Allow for Faster Action
Just a week after Qaddafi’s crackdown on protestors in Libya, the U.N. Security Council authorized sanctions against the regime and referred the “Brother Leader” to the International Criminal Court. Mobilizing within “weeks” to deploy pressures is lightning speed, as people familiar with the international community’s efforts to quell the Sudanese government attacks on civilians in Darfur know well ...
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