Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

Syria vote blocked at the UN. Now What?

Russia and China issued a double veto on Saturday, preventing the Security Council from passing a mild resolution on Syria. With diplomacy effectively blocked at the UN, the USA and other western and Arab countries are exploring other options. “‘Faced with a neutered Security Council, we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations,’ [Hillary Clinton] said, calling for ‘friends of democratic Syria’ to unite ‘support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.’ The call points to the formation of a formal group of like-minded nations to coordinate assistance to the Syrian opposition, similar but not identical to the Contact Group on Libya, which oversaw international help for opponents of the late deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. In the case of Libya, the group also coordinated NATO military operations to protect Libyan civilians, something that is not envisioned in Syria. U.S. officials said an alliance would work to further squeeze the Assad regime by stepping up sanctions against it, bringing disparate Syrian opposition groups inside and outside the country together, providing humanitarian relief for embattled Syrian communities and working to prevent an escalation of violence by monitoring arms sales.” (CBS http://bit.ly/wvKxL4)

Youssou N’Dour Tells Young Senegalese to take to the Streets

The political tension in Senegal is heating up as a broad coalition is working hard to undermine President Wade’s illegitimate attempt at a third term in power. Expect big protests again this week as people heed the call of the country’s most popular figure. “‘Internationally acclaimed singer Youssou Ndour, whose own candidacy in the February 26 elections has been rejected by the Constitutional Council, called on the Senegalese people to take to the capital Dakar’s streets Sunday, the official launch of the three-week election campaign. “I solemnly ask the population and young people to mobilise,’ Ndour said. ‘Accept your responsibilities.’ Ndour is one of eight opposition figures who said in a joint declaration released Saturday they would do all they could to block Wade’s candidacy, though they said they would not be boycotting the polls.” (Yahoo http://yhoo.it/yXoH8C)

The Pernicious Legacy of Qaddafi Carries on…in Mali

Qaddafi may be dead and gone, but a tribal militia he armed is wreaking havoc in the region. “More than 15,000 people including Malian military personnel have fled into neighboring countries since members of the nomadic Tuareg ethnic group launched a new rebellion against the Malian government last month, aid officials say. Some civilians are fleeing areas where fighting is taking place, while others fear there could be revenge attacks against those believed to be Tuareg. Already at least one Tuareg family’s home has been attacked near the capital of Bamako. The International Committee of the Red Cross says 10,000 people have crossed into Niger after fighting in towns just across the border, and the ICRC is preparing to provide food and shelter…Another 5,000 people have fled to Mauritania, according to an official who works at an international humanitarian organization based in Mauritania’s capital.” (Yahoo http://yhoo.it/wA0AgK)

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