Ready or Not: Sudan Moves Towards Referendum

The AP is reporting today that merchants are starting to flee South Sudan ahead of January’s referendum, which will decide the fate of Africa’s largest country. For over 20 years civil war took place in Sudan between the largely Muslim Arab north and the mostly Christian and Animist south. As part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the warring parties have agreed to a referendum that will decide if the semi-autonomous South Sudan will stay part of the country or secede. Abyei will hold a referendum simultaneously with the southern Sudan referendum to decide whether to remain in northern Sudan or become part of southern Sudan.

Map of Sudan, highlighting the oil rich and most contentious area of Abyei. Click to enlarge. (c) Amnesty International USA

Since the signing of the CPA in 2005, the north and south have squabbled over several implementations of the agreement. Most observers now expect that the south will vote for independence.

Several new developments have recently emerged. In a rare joint-statement made last week the south’s minister for the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) and the north’s Minister of Defense tried to mitigate tensions. In the midst of recent accusations by both sides of troop and military buildup, the two officials vowed that there would not be a return to war following the referendum.

Voter registration for the referendum started this week in the more than 2600 registration centers across the south. Registration is also available to southerners in the north and for those residing in eight countries outside of Sudan.

In anticipation of the vote, the United Nations has been keeping a close eye on the situation. On Monday the UN’s chief peacekeeper, Moses Obi, made a statement quelling rumors that there have been major military build-ups by both the north and the south. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated the next day that the UN is considering measures to increase their peacekeeping force, currently numbering at over 10,000.

Background Info

This Weekend, All Eyes on Myanmar

Update (November 5): Government attacks on freedoms compromises elections (AI Press Release)

This Sunday, Myanmar will hold its first national election in twenty years. Considering the authorities ongoing restrictions on the freedoms of expression, association and assembly, its outcome is expected to be deeply flawed. Many people, including political prisoners, have been banned from voting. The UN and international human rights groups have called on Myanmar to release over 2,100 political prisoners.

A student activist from the 1988 generation, leads a crowd of demonstrators in a chant of 'Free Burma'. Trafalgar Square, London 2007. (c) AI

Ethnic tensions have also risen. The junta has barred voting in about 3,400 villages and some ethnic candidates or parties have been barred from participation. Additionally, no foreign media will be allowed to cover the election. Only some diplomats and UN representatives based in Myanmar will be allowed to observe the vote.

The main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, announced last March that it would boycott the elections. The group, which won the 1990 elections but was denied power, is led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The junta has kept Suu Kyi under either house arrest or detention for over 14 of the past 20 years.

In case you will be in San Francisco this Friday, come to Amnesty International’s rally in support of human rights in Myanmar!

Overheard

The people had clearly voiced their aspirations in the 1990 election, but the government has ignored the results. Now is the opportunity for the public to retaliate for what the government had done in 1990—Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as quoted through her lawyer Nyan Win

It is clear the process remains deeply flawed. The conditions do not show that these elections will be inclusive, free and fair. The potential for these elections to bring meaningful change and improvement to the human rights situation in Myanmar remains doubtful—UN human rights envoy for Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana

Background Info

Human Rights Flashpoints – November 10, 2009

What’s Up This Week

  1. Colombia – Venezuela: No Love
  2. Sudan: Threat Against Election Officials
  3. Upcoming This Week

Colombia and Venezuela – The Cold War Continues?
The tension between Colombia and Venezuela has once again flared with Venezuela’s government sending 15,000 troops to the border at the end of last week and publicly stating that it is preparing for war. There have been multiple causes for the recent deterioration of relations between the two governments. Most recently, the murder of two national Venezuelan guardsmen on the border allegedly by Colombian paramilitary groups resulted in the closing of two bridges connecting the two countries. Consequently, Chavez has accused the Colombian government of complacency against paramilitary groups trying to destabilize his government. In addition, the Venezuelan leader has cited last month’s military cooperation lease between the US and Colombia to give American troops more access to national military bases as the foundation for a US invasion into Venezuela. The US and Colombia have argued that the military deal will assist in the fight against drug traffickers and other insurgents. The recent violence further exacerbated the already strained relations caused by the Venezuelan arrests of supposed Colombian spies last month, the discovery of multiple bodies along the border presumed to be Colombian paramilitaries, and Colombian charges that Chavez was supplying guerilla groups with anti-tank weapons.

The Uribe government in Colombia announced on Sunday that it would solicit the aid of the UN Security Council and the Organization of American States to deal with the growing enmity with Venezuela.  While an all out war between the parties is highly unlikely, Chavez’s decision to send troops to the border could lead to an escalation in border violence.

SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Human Rights Flashpoints – October 27, 2009

Zimbabwe – Political Standoff Continues
The situation remains tense in Zimbabwe after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai temporarily withdrew from the governing coalition on October 16th. Following the 10-day standoff, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) boycotted Tuesday’s cabinet meeting since the party’s outstanding complaints with Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party have yet to be addressed. The initial catalyst for the disengagement of the MDC was the temporary detainment of one of its senior members, Roy Bennett, by government forces.  The MDC has continued its boycott on the basis that Mugabe is still not fully implementing arrangements of the Global Political Agreement, that key cabinet appointments remain unsettled and that ZANU-PF supporters and security forces have refused to halt their intimidation campaign of MDC’s lawmakers and supporters. MDC security official Edith Mashaire told IRIN about an assault attempt:

Two other men, one brandishing an AK-47 rifle and another holding a pistol, approached me and threatened to shoot me. They started assaulting me with their weapons while telling me to get into the truck

Since the break between the parties, the MDC has been soliciting support from other southern African leaders asking for their intervention in the standoff.  On Thursday, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold a meeting in Harare to discuss possible remedies for the political impasse. However, there is concern that if the SADC is unable find a political solution and reach agreement between the two parties, new elections will be the only viable alternative. This could in turn lead to escalations of violence similar to the violence experienced leading up to and after the June 2008 elections.

SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Human Rights Flashpoints – October 20, 2009

What’s Up This Week:

  1. Afghanistan: Elections Run-Off
  2. Angola: Humanitarian Crisis
  3. Upcoming This Week

Afghanistan Elections – Take Two
On Sunday, the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) announced the results from its fraud investigations regarding the August 20th Afghanistan presidential elections.  The commission’s conclusions invalidated nearly one million votes cast as fraudulent, with 210 out of the 350 polling stations marred by fraud.  As a consequence, incumbent President Hamid Karzai’s margin of victory has diminished to below the 50% vote threshold necessary for an outright win forcing him to concede to a run-off election against opponent Abdullah Abdullah on November 7th.  SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Human Rights Flashpoints – October 13, 2009

What’s Up This Week:

  1. Sri Lanka: Humanitarian Disaster Looms
  2. Pakistan: New Violence
  3. Upcoming this week

Sri Lanka: Trapped Between Military and Monsoon

The quarter of a million Sri Lankans locked up in military-run internment camps are facing a humanitarian disaster with the arrival of monsoon rains. Living situations in the overcrowded camps are likely to further deteriorate in the following weeks. The camps lack even basic sanitation facilities. During previous heavy rains, water flooded the camps and forced residents to wade through overflowing sewage.

We had heavy rains about a month ago. It was hell. The ground here cannot absorb water so it just gathers. We couldn’t even walk around. The authorities have done some work to improve drainage, but I doubt it will help much.

A recent escapee from Chettikulam camp reported to Amnesty International that some women had been forced to give birth in front of strangers without privacy:

Medical staff are only available in the camps 9 to 5. People start waiting in line for medical assistance from early morning…how can you expect a lady who is pregnant to stand in a line for hours? If the war has ended, why doesn’t the government let these people out?

The situation worsened on October 5, when a main water pipeline was turned off in Menik Farm camp. The escalation of the humanitarian situation also leads to violent tensions, both within the camp residents and between residents and the military.

Overheard

I remain particularly concerned about the slow pace of identifying those in the camps who do not pose a threat to security and the lack of transparent criteria in this regard. (..) Immediate and substantial progress in restoring freedom of movement for the displaced is an imperative, if Sri Lanka is to respect the rights of its citizens and comply with its commitments and obligations under international law – Walter Kaelin, Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons

Must Reads

Pakistan: The fighting goes on

The situation in Pakistan has escalated with the fourth militant attack in the last week occurring yesterday in Peshawar. A Punjabi faction of the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, signaling a disturbing level of increased cooperation between militant groups to the Pakistani government and its Western allies. Other attacks included a 22 hour assault on Pakistan’s army headquarters and began with the suicide bombing of a UN aid agency. In total 119 have been killed and several injured. The group has threatened more strikes across the country in advance of the army’s plans to launch a ground offensive of the Taliban’s major base in South Waziristan.

In response to the deadly attacks, Pakistani jets have bombed the Taliban’s major base in South Waziristan and Bajaur, another tribal agency in northwest Pakistan.  

The renewed escalation of violence has increased concerns for the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The surge in attacks has come as the Pakistani government is trying to respond to U.S. aid package conditions requiring the government to do more to control its armed forces and extremists operating within the country.

Overheard

Such attacks cannot deter us from the offensive against the militants. We will continue our fight till the death of the last terrorist – Mian Iftikhar Hussain, provincial Information Minister

Must Reads

Upcoming

  • October 12: How to Feed the World in 2050, FAO High-Level Expert Forum
  • October 13: Turkish and Armenian governments are due to complete protocols on normalizing ties between the two countries
  • October 13: Trial of Roy Bennett, a senior official in Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, on terrorism charges
  • October 14: Open debate in the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the recent Gaza conflict 
  • October 15: Publication of Irene Khan’s (AI Secretary General) book The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights

Human Rights Flashpoints is a weekly column about countries at risk of escalating human rights violations and is brought to you by AIUSA’s Crisis Prevention and Response team

Human Rights Flashpoints – September 29, 2009

What’s Up This Week:

  1. Crackdown in China
  2. Food Crisis in Africa
  3. Upcoming Dates

China: Crackdown in Preparation for 60th Anniversary Party
In preparation for the October 1st celebration of the 60th anniversary of Communist rule, China has initiated a crackdown of human rights activists, press and private citizens in an effort to eliminate disruptions or protests that would reflect negatively on the country’s message of social harmony. The repression has included the increased surveillance, harassment and imprisonment of activists, students, religious practitioners, and ethnic minorities. An estimated several hundred individuals are either under surveillance, house arrest or are being forcibly removed from Beijing. We have received reports that petitioners are being held in informal jails or detention centers outside of the city.  Similar to arrangements made for the 2008 Olympic Games, up to one million volunteers are assisting police in security efforts throughout the capital to ensure that there are no threats to security or displays of dissent.   As a precautionary measure, tourists have also been denied access to Tibet until after October 8.

Local government and security forces have also been tasked to prevent the entrance of activists to the capital prior to this week’s festivities. These measures are accompanied by an internet crackdown, targeting mainly free web-based online tools, in the hopes of preventing access to websites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Some foreign media and human rights organizations have also been targeted by email viruses.

Must Reads

Overheard

The Chinese government wants to celebrate the country’s success while ensuring that no dissenting view or complaint is heard. As a result, what the Chinese government is highlighting is its own fear of giving the Chinese people a real voice to talk about the reality of their lives, good and bad. – Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific deputy director

There is definitely a pattern of virus attacks in the run-up to important dates on the Chinese political calendar. Whether the government is behind it, closes its eyes to it, supports it or has nothing to do with it is unclear. There are also patriotic hackers, so there is no way to know for sure who is behind it.- Nicholas Bequelin, Human Rights Watch

Food Crisis in Africa
The food crisis in Africa is getting worse every day, as has been reported over the past few days. The World Food Programme (WPF) is currently facing an unprecedented $3 billion gap in funding, forcing them to cut rations in programs throughout the world. These cuts are leaving millions of vulnerable people without stable access to food. The World Bank is predicting that a historic high of 1.02 billion people will be left hungry this year.

Last week for instance, the BBC reported that the WPF would soon be closing 12 feeding centers for mothers and children in Somalia because they had run out of money to run these programs . Meanwhile, in Kenya, the WPF will be forced to start reducing food rations to almost four million people next month. And in the Central African Republic, a dangerous combination of high poverty levels, insecurity in the north of the country and a drop in diamond production due to falling demand for gems is leading to an alarming rate of malnutrition, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Sadly, these are just a few examples of the dire need for humanitarian aid throughout the continent.

CARE International, in noting that more than 20 million in the Horn of Africa are in need of emergency food assistance, warns that the international community must act now in order to avoid a full-blown humanitarian disaster. In countries embroiled in conflict, such as Somalia or the Central Africa Republic, or in countries just recently recovering from internal turmoil, like Kenya, humanitarian aid agencies are often the only way that people can have access to food. The combination of rising world food prices, climate change and continuing violence and instability throughout the region will have serious repercussions on people’s ability to feed themselves.

Overheard

There is more than enough food in the world, yet today, more than one billion people are hungry. This is unacceptable […] the food crisis is far from over. Ever more people are denied the food they need because prices are stubbornly high, because their purchasing power has fallen due to the economic crisis, or because rains have failed and reserve stocks of grain have been eaten. – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, September 26, 2009

Hunger is on the rise. More than a billion people wake up each day without enough to eat. The threat of continued record high food prices in the developing world and global recession have devastated poor nations and left populations weak and facing severe malnutrition and even starvation – Josette Sheeran, WFP Executive Director, September 26, 2009

Repeated drought, failed rains and harvests, and ongoing conflict and insecurity are destroying people’s coping mechanisms. If you have one bad year, people can survive. They sell some assets to buy food and make it through the hard times, and hope to make it back the next year. But three bad years? People can’t recover. – Mohammed Khaled, CARE Regional Emergency Coordinator for East Africa, September 23, 2009

Must Reads

Upcoming

  • September 28: Press Conference with Ms. Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, World Food Programme; and Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Millennium Villages Project
  • September 28: Fourth round of U.N. Climate Change Talks in Bangkok (to Oct. 9).
  • September 29: U.N. Human Rights Council debates Goldstone report on war crimes in Gaza in Geneva
  • October 1: 60th Anniversary of Communist Party rule over mainland China
  • October 4: Deadline for militants in Niger delta to disarm in exchange for amnesty
  • October 5: Official celebrations for World Habitat Day will be held in Washington, DC. Amnesty International to launch campaign on Forced Evictions in Africa

Jennifer Ferreri and Juliette Rousselot contributed to this post.

Human Rights Flashpoints is a weekly column about countries at risk of escalating human rights violations and is brought to you by AIUSA’s Crisis Prevention and Response team.

Human Rights Flashpoints – September 22, 2009

HONDURAS – Surprise Return of Ousted President Sparks Protests
Following the surprise return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya on Monday, thousands of protestors gathered in support outside of the Brazilian embassy where Zelaya is currently seeking refuge, defying a city-wide curfew. As reported by the AP, a 26-hour curfew in the capital began Monday afternoon, with the international airports closed and road blocks erected to prevent future protests. According to the BBC, police have surrounded the Embassy, wearing riot gear and firing tear gas into the crowd in order to dissolve the protesters.

De facto President Roberto Micheletti, initially unaware of Zelaya’s return, has now asked the Brazilian Embassy to hand over Zelaya to stand trial on 18 counts of corruption and treason. However, both the US and the EU have urged both leaders to remain calm and encourage respective supporters not to resort to violence.

With the upcoming elections on November 29th just a little over two months away, the possibility for increasing violence in the country continues to exist. A recent Amnesty International Report (pdf) stated:

Concerns include the increasingly disproportionate and excessive use of force being used by the police and military to repress legitimate and peaceful protests across the country. Female protestors are particularly vulnerable and some women and girls taking part in the demonstrations are reportedly suffering gender based violence and abuse at the hands of police officers.

The de facto government now faces pressure to enter into talks with the ousted President, which could lead to further human rights violations of supporters and crack downs on media as previously documented by AI and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission reports. Although some have argued that Zelaya’s presence may be helpful to resolving the current governing dispute, analysts warn that the president’s presence in the city is likely to move the conflict into the streets.

Must Reads

Overheard

It’s imperative that dialogue begin … (that) there be a channel of communication between President Zelaya and the de facto regime in Honduras, It’s also imperative that the return of President Zelaya does not lead to any conflict or violence but instead that everyone act in a peaceful way to try to find some common ground - Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State

I was traveling for around 15 hours using different routes and different methods of transport to arrive here and call for dialogue, which is my role as the elected president of Honduras – Honduran President Manuel Zelaya

Upcoming

  • September 22: Amnesty International launches its new report on maternal mortality in Sierra Leone in Freetown: Out of Reach: The cost of maternal health in Sierra Leone (pdf)
  • September 22: President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during the UN General Assembly in New York.
  • September 22: Save Darfur Coalition Darfur/Darfur opening event in midtown Manhattan.
  • September 23: Transparency International launches its Global Corruption Report 2009: Corruption and the Private Sector.
  • September 23-26 & 28-30: UN General Assembly general debate.
  • September 23: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the UN General Assembly.
  • September 24: Commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
  • September 24-25: G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jennifer Ferreri contributed to this post.

Human Rights Flashpoints is a weekly column about countries at risk of escalating human rights violations and is brought to you by AIUSA’s Crisis Prevention and Response team.

Human Rights Flashpoint – September 15, 2009

AFGHANISTAN – Election Recount
The United Nations Electoral Complaints Commission has ordered a recount of about 10 percent of votes from Afghanistan’s recent president election. The recount could reduce President Hamid Karzai’s lead to below the 50 percent threshold, which would in turn force a second-round runoff. The recount will involve polling stations throughout Afghanistan and not only in the south, where Karzai finds his strongest ethnic support and where the worst of the cheating is alleged to have happened.

Second-place candidate Abdullah Abdullah has welcomed the move but believes that a higher percentage of votes should be recounted, claiming the fraud is much more extensive.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, predicts the US may require many more troops in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban, despite a doubling of the force this year. Mullen was speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee during his nomination hearing for his second term as President Barack Obama’s senior military adviser. US Army General Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, is expected to make a request for more troops in the next couple weeks.

Must Reads

Overheard

We will press for an investigation of all fraud allegations. It is important that the elected president is recognized and respected by the entire population of Afghanistan – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, September 15, 2009

A properly resourced counterinsurgency probably means more forces. And, without question, more time and more commitment to the protection of the Afghan people and to the development of good governance - Admiral Mike Mullen, September 15, 2009

UGANDA – Still Chasing the LRA
As the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continues to terrorize civilians throughout the region, the Ugandan army is stepping up efforts to put an end to their rebellion. On Friday, the UN reported an increasing number of “brutal” attacks in South Sudan, which have included burning villages, killing civilians and abducting children. There have already been seven attacks leading to civilian displacement in September alone.

Meanwhile, the Ugandan military has captured Okot Atiak, a feared senior rebel of the LRA, while pursuing a military campaign in southeast Central African Republic (CAR). Although Atiak is not one of the 3 LRA commanders indicted by the ICC, his arrest is proving useful to the Ugandan military as he is providing intelligence to troops in the field.

In a separate development, at least 15 people were killed and hundreds arrested following pro-monarchy protests in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Reuters reports that the police had barred the Buganda monarch, the “Kabaka,” from visiting a town claimed by his kingdom, which triggered riots in Kampala and other central towns. This is part of a long-simmering row over land and power between the Ugandan government and Buganda. Ugandan President Museveni accuses the King of Baganda of overstepping his authority and trying to meddle in politics. Human Rights Watch has accused the Ugandan police of having used unnecessary lethal force during the protests.

Calm has now returned to Kampala, but some analysts say that this is just one of several incidents which point to increasing turmoil ahead of the 2011 elections.

Must Reads

Overheard

Many innocent people are losing their lives every week, and the United Nations is very concerned about the killing, abduction, maiming and displacement of innocent civilians – Ameerah Haq, UN humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, September 11, 2009

It was agreed that since (LRA leader Joseph) Kony is a regional problem, he should be pursued into Central African Republic where he had gone - Uganda military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Felix Kulayigye, September 7, 2009

Upcoming
September 14-October 2: 12th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
September 14: US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell starts trip to Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

Juliette Rousselot contributed to this post.

Human Rights Flashpoints is a weekly column about countries at risk of escalating human rights violations and is brought to you by AIUSA’s Crisis Prevention and Response team.

Human Rights Flashpoints–September 9, 2009

Sudan – Deadly Attacks in the South
Recent ethnic clashes in southern Sudan have killed at least 25 people and displaced dozens of civilians in Upper Nile State since Friday. Violence has been escalating recently, as women and children are increasingly targeted by both tribal militias and the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

The World Health Organization (WHO) also warned today that conflict-affected areas of southern Sudan, including Ezo County in Western Equatoria State where the LRA has been active recently, are facing a high risk of epidemics. WHO cites damaged health facilities, displaced health workers and the difficulty of accessing health facilities as contributing factors to this increasing risk for epidemics. Attacks in recent weeks have caused forced around 80,000 people to flee their homes.

In a separate development, Reuters reports that the NGO Global Witness claims that they have found serious discrepancies in reports of Sudan’s oil revenues, meaning that the Sudanese government may been underpaying the south by hundreds of millions of dollars.  However, government officials denied all accusations made in the report and claimed to the BCC that the south was represented in all state bodies that dealt with oil.

Must Reads

Overheard

The violent clashes are different to the traditional  ‘cattle rustling’ that normally occurs each year. Women and children, usually spared in this fighting, are now deliberately targeted and the number of deaths are higher than the number of wounded… The intention is to attack a village and to kill. The result is a population living in total fear, with significant humanitarian and medical needs – Jonathan Whittall, MSF Head of Mission in southern Sudan, September 3, 2009.

Abatement of violence and intertribal reconciliation in the south are vital to the forthcoming elections in 2010 and the subsequent referendum in 2011 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, September 6, 2009.  

Yemen – No End to the Violence
Clashes between government troops and rebel groups in Northern Yemen are ongoing and putting the lives of many civilians at risk. Displaced people in and around the city of Saada are trapped in the war zone, unable to leave and without access to humanitarian aid. Those who are able to leave the area have no choice but to use mined roads.

According to the BBC, a truce between the government and rebels which was agreed to on Friday, primarily to allow civilians to flee from the war zone, collapsed just a few hours later. Both sides blame the other for the continuing violence.

Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is waiting for security clearances in order to open a humanitarian corridor that would allow them to gain access through Saudi Arabia to displaced people in need of tents and other aid. The UN estimates that about 35,000 have been displaced by the fighting in the past three weeks alone.

Must Reads

Overheard

Heavy fighting between Al Houthi forces and government troops in and around Saada city in northern Yemen continues with utter disregard for the safety and well being of the civilian population – Andrej Mahecic, spokesman of the UNHCR, September 8, 2009 

The children of Yemen need urgent assistance. We cannot fail them – Sigrid Kaag, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, September 8, 2009

Coming Up

  • September 7-8: Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Kinshasa, DRC.
  • September 8: Amnesty International releases new briefing on Chad, which uses satellite images to document housing demolitions in N’Djamena. 
  • September 8: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya meets with members of the OAS in Washington, DC.
  • September 8: Head of UNHCR begins five-day trip to North Africa to visit refugees from Western Sahara.
  • September 8: Inauguration of President-elect Malam Bacai Sanha in Guinea Bissau.
  • September 10: Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders due to resume UN-sponsored peace talks.
  • Week of September 14: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
  • September 15: 64th session of the UN General Assembly opens.

Juliette Rousselot contributed to this post.

Human Rights Flashpoints is a weekly column about countries at risk of escalating human rights violations and is brought to you by AIUSA’s Crisis Prevention and Response team.