Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
- Medecins Sans Frontieres has reported the systematic rape of more than 30 women in the eastern DRC on New Years Day. The survivors of the attack have accused the FDLR, a group of genocidaires from the Rwandan 1994 genocide.
- France has followed through with the extradition of Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana to the International Criminal Court. He is currently being held for trial on 11 counts of wars crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the DRC in 2009.
- The United States Department of Energy has announced plans to switch America’s dependency on cobalt from the DRC to domestic American sources.As the world’s leading consumer of cobalt, the US has been pressured by advocates to withdraw its role in fueling the war over ‘blood minerals’ in the DRC.
- Fighting between the Burmese Army and the Arakanese Liberation Army ensued in an area near the Bangladeshi border on January 3. Four Burmese soldiers were killed during the attack.
- The Burmese government stated that it plans to grant freedom to all political prisoners before the first session of the country’s new parliament. Burma currently has an estimated 2,200 political prisoners.
- A legal aid team associated with the National League for Democracy set up a network for lawyers in Burma. This will provide resources for cases such as those concerning child soldiers, land confiscation, and political prisoners.
Areas of Concern
Pakistan and Afghanistan agree to have a peace jirga to negotiate peace deals with the Taliban.
The policeman who assassinated Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab who opposed Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, told others of his plan before he was assigned to protect the politician.