>>Serbia – Nationalist Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has blocked plans for a Serbian-European political and economic agreement, suggesting that it was an attempt to make Serbia concede the independence of Kosovo. Boris Tadic, a pro-European moderate who was elected President of Serbia on Sunday, is part of Serbia’s governing coalition. The rift between Kostunica and Tadic threatens to dissolve that coaltion.
>>Zimbabwe – The war veterans’ association, a militant group in Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu-PF, has threatened former Finance Minister Simba Makoni, who is running for president against Robert Mugabe, by saying, “traitors should know Zanu-PF has a history of dealing harshly with their kind.” Makoni was also expelled from Zanu-PF yesterday.
>>Food – The global commodities boom has significantly raised the price of food, straining both the budgets of the poor and the programs of those trying to help feed them. The World Food Programme’s costs by 70 percent over the last five years. The boom is also rekindling the debate over whether donor nations should continue to provide surplus food or simply provide funding to be used on the open market.
>>Eritrea-Ethiopia – The UN fears that conflict could reignite between Ethiopia and Eritrea if 1,400 UN peacekeepers are forced to withdraw because the Eritrean government cut fuel supplies. Eritrea is attempting to apply pressure on the international community to force Ethiopian to withdraw from the border town of Badme. From 1998 to 2000, tens of thousands died in conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
“With this blockage, certain politicians are in a way filing for a
divorce before the marriage has yet even been agreed. I find that…rather regrettable.”
– EU Commissioner Olli Rehn
- Why it’s
better to be Idriss Deby than a Darfurian civilian – by
and the Insurgency – by Mark Leon Goldberg