Top stories from DAWNS Digest.
Warlord Bosco “The Terminator” Ntaganda Overruns Two DRC Towns
Forces loyal to Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the ICC, have taken over two towns in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Thousands of people are reported to have fled the fighting. “The Congolese army has admitted its troops were defeated and pushed out of the towns of Mushake and Karuba by Gen Ntaganda’s men. The government soldiers have retreated 12km east to Sake, 30km (18 miles) west of Goma, the regional capital, where they are regrouping for a counter-offensive. The BBC’s Thomas Hubert in Sake says local residents told him they heard the fighting between forces loyal to Gen Ntaganda and government troops going on well into Sunday night. Our correspondent says he saw a constant stream of families loaded with mattresses, kitchen utensils and suitcases on the road between Sake and Goma.” (BBC http://bbc.in/IhUGg1)
Mum’s the Word from USA on Chen Guangcheng
Here is what we do know: the blind rights activist is probably holed up in the American embassy in Beijing. And a top American diplomat is in China to address the issue before his boss, Hillary Clinton, sets foot in China later this week. Other than that, no one is saying much of anything.” U.S. and Chinese officials maintained silence Monday on the location and fate of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng as both sides sought to avert a diplomatic crisis during Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s coming visit to Beijing. State-run Chinese media have yet to even acknowledge that the blind 40-year-old human rights activist escaped last week after 18 months of house arrest, and U.S. officials have declined to confirm reports that Chen has been given refuge at the American Embassy in Beijing. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell was already in Beijing ahead of Clinton’s arrival, but State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refused to say anything about his meetings with Chinese counterparts or whether the subject of Chen’s whereabouts was being addressed.” (LAT http://lat.ms/ID0m7t)
Ban Ki Moon Addresses Myanmar Parliament
In yet another sign that Myanmar is back in business, the UN Secretary General spoke before Burma’s parliament. More importantly, Aung San Suu Kyi attended the event, meaning she will take her oath of office after initially balking. “’I urge the international community to go even further in lifting, suspending, or easing trade restrictions and other sanctions,’ he said. ‘Second, Myanmar needs a substantial increase in international development assistance as well as foreign direct investment.’ The U.N. chief also praised democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership. Her National League for Democracy Monday backed off a demand for changes to a constitutional oath required of members of parliament. ‘We decided to compromise in this situation because we don’t want to become a political problem. Some people may think the NLD has given in, but let them think what they want,’ Aung San Suu Kyi explained in response to a reporter’s question about why they made the compromise. NLD members could take the oath as early as Wednesday. The oath requires politicians to say they will ‘safeguard’ the military-drafted constitution as they are sworn in. The NLD members opposed it because they want to amend the charter. (VOA http://bit.ly/ID0QKO)