Bi-weekly News Update


SUDAN

George Clooney Arrested for Protesting Outside of Sudanese Embassy
American movie star George Clooney was arrested outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. today, along with his father and others, who assembled to protest against the Sudanese government’s refusal to allow humanitarian food and supplies to reach civilians living in the war-torn Blue Nile Region who are expected to face starvation without immediate assistance. Following his release a few hours later, Clooney gave his two requests– that aid be allowed into “Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, immediately,” and for “the government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women, and children.”

Sudanese President Confirms Intentions to Not Seek Re-Election
Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, who has been in power since 1989, has reiterated his plans to turn over the presidential candidacy to another National Congress Party (NCP) member for Sudan’s 2015 federal election. This decision follows pressure from unidentified fellow members of the NCP, including the NCP’s youth sector, on Bashir to step down to facilitate reform within the party. Some NCP members have speculated, however, that the NCP, and not Bashir, will ultimately be responsible for deciding whether or not he will seek re-election.

South Sudan Governor: Tribal Attack Leaves Over 200 Dead
Last week, several Lou Nuer tribes were victims of a three-day attack launched by members of the Murle, a long-time enemy of the Lou Nuer. While the UN has yet to confirm this speculated death toll of 200, the UN estimates that more than 1,000 people were killed in the Jonglei in 2011, mostly in association with fighting between these two tribes.

South Sudan’s Army Signs Anti-Child Soldier Agreement
Though the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army of South Sudan (SPLA) committed to releasing its child soldiers in 2009, Monday marked the SPLA’s first signed agreement with the UN to do so. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, arrived in South Sudan this week and has declared hopes to meet with the Nuer and Murle tribes of the Jongeli state in order to work towards a similar understanding with these communities.

DRC

ICC Prosecutor Will Seek Maximum Sentence for Convicted Congo Warlord
The International Crime Court declared its first verdict this week in its 10 years of existence– Thomas Lubanga was found guilty of harboring child soldiers in Congo from 2002 to 2003. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo referred to the verdict as a “victory for humanity” and disclosed that he will be recommending a sentence “close to the maximum”: 30 years or life in prison. Lubanga will be sentenced later this year. Moreno-Ocampo has also declared plans to compound the indictment of Bosco Ntaganda, a former commander of Lubanga who is wanted by the ICC for recruiting and using child soldiers, with accusations of murder and rape. Ntaganda currently remains in Congo, maintaining his position of army general.

Congo Slowing Search for Joseph Kony and Rebel Army, Says Ugandan Government
The hunt for Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army and wanted person of the International Crime Court (ICC), has been impeded by territorial restrictions imposed by the Congolese government, says Ugandan government official Fred Opolot. The UN estimates that Kony’s army has launched twenty raids in northeastern Congo is the past half-year, resulting in 10 fatalities and the displacement of 3,000 individuals. The United States has provided Uganda with military advisors to pursue Kony, whose official charges by the ICC include war crimes and crimes and several crimes against humanity– “murder, sexual slavery, and abusing children.”


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