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>>Zimbabwe – Despite reports yesterday that President Robert Mugabe would step down after 28 years in power, Zimbabwe’s state-run newspaper has reported that a runoff
will be held
as opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed to garner over 50 percent of the vote. Yesterday’s reports had suggested that Mugabe thought a runoff would be “demeaning” and that he would
rather step down. Both parties have denied the existence of a deal or any negotiations in an attempt to broker a deal. Meanwhile, reports continue to suggest that Zimbabwe’s ruling elite is fracturing
and has begun to reach out to the opposition for an equitable solution.

>>Olympics – Amnesty International has released a report that says China’s human rights record has been getting worse not better in the run up to the Olympics, citing the pre-Olympics “clean-up” of Beijing and crackdowns in Tibet. Nancy Pelosi, who just met with the Dalai Lama, suggested on Tuesday that President Bush should consider skipping
the opening ceremonies
. Meanwhile, China has accused
the Dalai Lama and his followers of building arsenals in preparation for an escalation of the conflict, which the Chinese say could include suicide attacks. China’s president Hu Jintao ordered his security forces to place top priority on the Olympic games in August because “without security guarantees the national image will be lost.” India’s Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee warned the Dalai Lama against damaging political activity directed at China.

>>NATO – In remarks prior to the opening of a three-day NATO summit in Bucharest, President Bush reiterated his support for Georgia’s and the Ukraine’s membership in the body and pressed France and Germany to do the same. This sets up a potentially contentious discussion at the opening dinner where the Summit’s agreements will be decided. NATO decisions require unanimity among the members.

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Wednesday Morning Coffee

Top Stories

>>Zimbabwe – Despite reports yesterday that President Robert Mugabe would step down after 28 years in power, Zimbabwe’s state-run newspaper has reported that a runoff
will be held
as opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed to garner over 50 percent of the vote. Yesterday’s reports had suggested that Mugabe thought a runoff would be “demeaning” and that he would
rather step down. Both parties have denied the existence of a deal or any negotiations in an attempt to broker a deal. Meanwhile, reports continue to suggest that Zimbabwe’s ruling elite is fracturing
and has begun to reach out to the opposition for an equitable solution.

>>Olympics – Amnesty International has released a report that says China’s human rights record has been getting worse not better in the run up to the Olympics, citing the pre-Olympics “clean-up” of Beijing and crackdowns in Tibet. Nancy Pelosi, who just met with the Dalai Lama, suggested on Tuesday that President Bush should consider skipping
the opening ceremonies
. Meanwhile, China has accused
the Dalai Lama and his followers of building arsenals in preparation for an escalation of the conflict, which the Chinese say could include suicide attacks. China’s president Hu Jintao ordered his security forces to place top priority on the Olympic games in August because “without security guarantees the national image will be lost.” India’s Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee warned the Dalai Lama against damaging political activity directed at China.

>>NATO – In remarks prior to the opening of a three-day NATO summit in Bucharest, President Bush reiterated his support for Georgia’s and the Ukraine’s membership in the body and pressed France and Germany to do the same. This sets up a potentially contentious discussion at the opening dinner where the Summit’s agreements will be decided. NATO decisions require unanimity among the members.

Yesterday in UN Dispatch

The Rest of the Story


Africa

Americas

Asia

Europe

Middle
East

Leave a comment

ICC Movement in Darfur

Yesterday, a group of international legal scholars and human rights activists sent a letter to the UN Security Council, urging Sudan to hand over two indicted war criminals, whom it has thus far shielded from prosecution. It seems that the ICC is on the same page. The Sudan Tribune reports:

The prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in prepared remarks at the twelfth diplomatic briefing that his office is working with unspecified countries to trace the whereabouts of Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs.

[skip]

Ocampo said that he is pushing world countries to assist in the arrest of the Darfur war crime suspects including those who are not members of the court.

“Our principal objective is to make sure that the issue of enforcement of the arrest warrants is not put off the agenda of relevant international meetings” he said.

This will hopefully accelerate the slow process — the two men were indicted over a year ago — of bringing the perpetrators of the Darfur genocide to justice. Unfortunately, the reach of the ICC’s current ambitions remains constricted. The arrest warrants should carry the weight of international obligation, but — due to Khartoum’s persistent obstructionism and a paucity of international will — Moreno-Ocampo seems backed into a defensive position. Instead of staking out a more affirmative role for his office, he must work to fight for the issue to remain on the agenda at all.

Moreno-Ocampo’s efforts should be praised, but he certainly could use some help — starting with the Member States that he has explicitly called on to aid the monitoring and prosecution processes.

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ICC Movement in Darfur

Yesterday, a group of international legal scholars and human rights activists sent a letter to the UN Security Council, urging Sudan to hand over two indicted war criminals, whom it has thus far shielded from prosecution. It seems that the ICC is on the same page. The Sudan Tribune reports:

The prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in prepared remarks at the twelfth diplomatic briefing that his office is working with unspecified countries to trace the whereabouts of Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs.

[skip]

Ocampo said that he is pushing world countries to assist in the arrest of the Darfur war crime suspects including those who are not members of the court.

“Our principal objective is to make sure that the issue of enforcement of the arrest warrants is not put off the agenda of relevant international meetings” he said.

This will hopefully accelerate the slow process — the two men were indicted over a year ago — of bringing the perpetrators of the Darfur genocide to justice. Unfortunately, the reach of the ICC’s current ambitions remains constricted. The arrest warrants should carry the weight of international obligation, but — due to Khartoum’s persistent obstructionism and a paucity of international will — Moreno-Ocampo seems backed into a defensive position. Instead of staking out a more affirmative role for his office, he must work to fight for the issue to remain on the agenda at all.

Moreno-Ocampo’s efforts should be praised, but he certainly could use some help — starting with the Member States that he has explicitly called on to aid the monitoring and prosecution processes.

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Even More Iraqis Are Displaced Than Previously Estimated

A short AP dispatch provides an update on the number of internally displaced Iraqis, which had heretofore most often been reported as about 2.2 million.

Aid groups including U.N. agencies say nearly 2.8 million Iraqis are now uprooted within their country.

Iraqi authorities, the Red Cross and U.N. agencies working in Iraq say they have recorded an increase of 300,000 displaced people so far this year largely due to better methods for registering displacement.

The International Organization for Migration says more than 1 million displaced Iraqis lack adequate food and shelter. A similar number are without regular income or employment.

In addition to those displaced within Iraq, more than 2 million Iraqis have fled the country and are living as refugees abroad.

It bears reminding that it is the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq that has led the efforts to care for — and return to their homes, when possible — these almost 5 million displaced Iraqis. This is a pretty impressive feat for a mission currently operating with just a tiny staff; the UN refugee agency only recently increased its personnel in Baghdad from two to five.

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Even More Iraqis Are Displaced Than Previously Estimated

A short AP dispatch provides an update on the number of internally displaced Iraqis, which had heretofore most often been reported as about 2.2 million.

Aid groups including U.N. agencies say nearly 2.8 million Iraqis are now uprooted within their country.

Iraqi authorities, the Red Cross and U.N. agencies working in Iraq say they have recorded an increase of 300,000 displaced people so far this year largely due to better methods for registering displacement.

The International Organization for Migration says more than 1 million displaced Iraqis lack adequate food and shelter. A similar number are without regular income or employment.

In addition to those displaced within Iraq, more than 2 million Iraqis have fled the country and are living as refugees abroad.

It bears reminding that it is the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq that has led the efforts to care for — and return to their homes, when possible — these almost 5 million displaced Iraqis. This is a pretty impressive feat for a mission currently operating with just a tiny staff; the UN refugee agency only recently increased its personnel in Baghdad from two to five.

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