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Weekly News Brief: 05.28.09 – 06.04.09

In this week’s issue: the Sudanese government drops bombs in Chad, Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial comes to a close amid controversy, and LRA attacks continue in DRC

Featured: During a major address to the Muslim world today, President Obama made a very brief mention of the Darfur conflict that many argue "fell short". Check out this joint statement from Genocide Intervention Network, the ENOUGH Project, and the Save Darfur Coalition about the speech.

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The Sudanese Air Force bombed the Chadian towns of Bahai and Karyare on Sunday, in an attempt to strike JEM fighters.

The ICC is looking closer at allegations of child soldier use by militia groups in Darfur, in what could be a move to investigate more rebel offenses. The Court also expects a decision on whether the charges of genocide will be added to President al-Bashir’s case.

Physicians for Human Rights released a report detailing the long-term effects of sexual violence on Darfuri women. The report also highlights the prevalence of rapes occurring in Chadian refugee camps.

The New Republic published an editorial calling for Obama to increase pressure on the government of Sudan to bring an end to the conflict in Darfur, arguing that Obama could use increased engagement in the Arab world to encourage neighboring countries to change their foreign policy towards Sudan.


The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to end soon, with closing arguments beginning on June 4. In an apparent effort to appease critics, the Burmese junta has opened the trial to foreign diplomats.

Several Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states are considering suspending Burma from body if the country continues to detain or imprison pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The trial has prompted a number of editorial pieces denouncing the miscarriage of justice, as well as several pieces, including one by Pedro Nikken and Geoffrey Nice in the Washington Post, publicizing the crimes against humanity committed in eastern Burma and calling for an international investigation.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Lords Resistance Army attacks continue in the Dungu area of the DR Congo, displacing more than 12,000 civilians in May. LRA attacks appear to have shifted back to resupplying the force, in contrast with the civilian massacres seen during the winter, which appeared to be retributive attacks in response to the joint Ugandan-Sudanese-Congolese offensive.

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