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Weekly News Brief – Week of 9.29.08 -10.05.08


189 police advisors arrive in Darfur to support the UN Peacekeeping mission, UNAMID. This week, the UN also committed to supplying 18 helicopters for UNAMID. Meanwhile, Qatar may be hosting new peace talks in the coming weeks.

Darfur was brought up in this week’s US Vice Presidential Debates, although Governor Palin’s response around Alaskan state divestment has been brought under scrutiny. Both were criticized by Sudan.

The UN General Assembly ended Monday – this session was marked by Sudan attempting to persuade the UN to block the potential indictment of its President Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court, while Luis Moreno-Ocampo attempts to persuade the UN to allow justice to take its course.


Due to China’s role on the Security Council, the UN still has not been able to properly address the child soilder issue in Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi had a check up by her physician and eye doctor after reportedly going on a hunger strike.

Human Rights groups continue to pressure the UN to act on behlaf of the estimated 2100 political prisoners still being held in Burma. The same human rights organizations have been reporting new broad sweeping arrests of political activists as well.


Tutsi rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda has announced the withdrawal of his faction, known as the CNDP, from a UN-brokered ceasefire agreement signed in January 2008. Nkunda accused the Congolese government of failing to implement the deal and indicated plans to expand his operations from the east to the entire country, calling for the "liberation" of DRC.

In light of recent violence in eastern DRC, UN Special Representative Alan Doss called for a "surge" of peacekeeping troops and outlined a comprehensive disengagement plan. In a speech to the UN Security Council on Saturday, Doss indicated that most of the rebel groups had agreed to the plan, but that General Laurent Nkunda was proving uncooperative.

Civilians displaced by recent fighting in eastern DRC are facing starvation, as the UN World Food Programme has been forced to cut ration sizes by half in the region.

Reuters published a useful summary of the recent events in DRC, including origins of the conflict.

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