In this week’s issue: More clashes are reported in South Darfur; a splinter group of Burma’s NLD registered for the elections; MONUC will transition to MONUSCO in July with a greater focus on civilian protections
The Week That Was, May 26 to June 2, 2010, compiled by Joshua Kennedy of GI-Net and the STAND E-team.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC) has informed the United Nations Security Council that Sudan is not cooperating with the cases concerning Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kushayb.
- More clashes were reported between the Rizeigat and Sa’ada tribes in South Darfur. These skirmishes were the latest in a series of attacks between the two groups that have claimed at least 100 lives and destroyed 11 villages since late April.
- Fighting between rebel movements and the Sudanese government was also reported across South Darfur last weekend, with the Sudanese armed forces fighting with JEM near the town of El Daein and against the SLA-Abdul Wahid faction in the Jebel Marra region.
- The Sudanese government has declined further peace talks with JEM, calling instead for the arrest and prosecution of its leadership. This will allegedly have no affect on the peace talks with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), set for later this month in Doha, Qatar.
- Officers from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) have said they have stopped deploying their forces to barricade former SPLA deputy chief of General staff, Lieutenant General George Athor, from moving out of his base. Athor had previously taken up arms to protest the recent gubernatorial vote in Jonglei state. There are increasing reports that Athor is coordinating with other dissatisfied candidates in southern Sudan.
- The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to withdraw the 3,300-strong U.N. peacekeeping force operating in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT). MINURCAT had been providing civilian protection and military training in the two countries after the withdrawal of the EUFOR peacekeeping force.
- The UN group of experts monitoring sanctions on North Korea believes that North Korea is exporting nuclear and ballistic missile technology to Burma.
- Leaders of the splinter political group of Burma’s National League for Democracy registered their party at the Election Commission office in Naypyidaw on Thursday, claiming they were gathering increasing support across the country.
Senator Jim Webb will once again meet with junta officials, less than one month after the visit of Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell. There is speculation that the junta will use the opportunity to release political prisoners as a symbol of concessions to the international community before the elections take place.
- The EU and ASEAN called on Burma’s rulers to ensure that this year’s planned election is “credible, transparent, democratic and inclusive” in a joint statement released on Wednesday.
- The Group of Experts on the DR Congo released a new interim report on the conflict in the country. In the report, the experts charge that former CNDP rebels exercise de facto control of North Kivu and parts of South Kivu. The report also claims that while the FDLR is still recruiting, its operations have been disrupted by the recent Amani Leo and Kimia II operations. The Group also stated that it believes that nearly all mining deposits in North and South Kivu were under the control of an armed faction, including the CNDP, the FLDR, FARDC subunits and Mai Mai militia.
- The MONUC peacekeeping mission will transition to the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission on July 1, 2010. The new mission will include a greater focus on civilian protection and may include a force reduction of nearly 2,000 troops.
- The newly opened “Peace Jirga,” which began this morning in Kabul, was attacked by insurgents, but it does not appear that the Jirga was affected. The goal of the Jirga, a traditional dispute resolution mechanism, is to discuss how to reconcile with low- and mid-level Taliban fighters while balancing concerns about women’s rights and democratic participation in Afghanistan.
- The results of the Iraqi parliamentary elections were certified after three months of deliberations, with former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi winning more votes than current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The certification of the election results is the first step in the process of forming a new governing coalition in the country.
- Iraq has seen a spike in post-election violence, with civilian casualties in April and May totaling 549 people, a 29% increase over levels in January and February. Despite this increase, attacks on civilians are much lower than during the height of the fighting in 2006 and 2007.
- In a worrying development, it appears that militant groups in Pakistan, including the Tehrik-e-Taliban and Jaish-e-Mohammad are forging closer links with the goal of carrying out attacks across the country.
- The Pakistani army declared success in their operation against militants in the Orakzai Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.