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Weekly News Brief, 2.20.10 – 3.5.10

In this week’s issue: after JEM rebels and the Sudanese government signed a framework agreement, clashes and instability remain; Tensions are rising between the Burmese military and Karen Independence Organization and troops are being deployed; Global Witness is pushing the EU to exclude imports of Congo’s conflict minerals


Your weekly news brief, February 20 to March 5, compiled by Joshua Kennedy of GI-Net and the STAND E-team. Email to receive weely education emails including news briefs, trivia, and discussion guides.


Areas of Concern

  • Burma’s Supreme Court rejected Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal to overturn her house arrest, which precludes her from participating in the 2010 elections.  Suu Kyi will be seeking a special appeal.
  • On February 18, UN Special Human Rights Envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana met with Tin Oo, vice-chairman of the National League for Democracy, and visited Insein Prison to examine Burmese treatment of political prisoners.  He was not allowed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • The Thai Labor Ministry announced that 500,000 migrant workers who missed the March 2 to renew work permits will be deported to their country of origin. International labor organizations have protested, saying that migrant workers may face human rights violations if forcibly repatriated.
  • Tensions are rising between the Burmese military and the Karen Independence Organization as they continue to negotiate over the Border Guard Force.  The Burmese Army has increased security along northern trade routes while the Karen Independence Army is recruiting soldiers and conducting military training.
  • An order has been released for all Burmese Army divisions and battalions in Shan State and Kachin State to prepare for combat, said sources close to a local Burmese military unit.  It is speculated that the order is meant to prepare an offensive against the KIO and UWSA.   The Burmese government is reportedly deploying 70,000 troops to confront the USWA.
  • The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) reportedly reversed its original decision to accept the regime’s plan for ceasefire groups to become a border guard force.
Democratic Republic of Congo

Sri Lanka


Around the World

Côte d’Ivoire

  • Xenophobia and electoral violence are reportedly on the rise in advance of this year’s Ivorian elections. Supporters of current President Gbagbo are reportedly calling for the exclusion of suspected foreign nationals on the basis of family names. Tensions over foreign residents of the country was one of the main issues during the Ivorian Civil War.


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