The new United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic should urgently improve protection for civilians in eastern and central parts of the country where sectarian violence is increasing, Human Rights Watch and Stichting Vluchteling, a Netherlands refugee foundation, said today. The new mission is to take over peacekeeping responsibilities from African Union forces on September 15, 2014.
The US Justice Department’s $30 million settlement deal with the eldest son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, announced on October 10, marks the end of a decade-long US effort to pursue Teodoro (“Teodorín”) Nguema Obiang Mangue for corruption and money-laundering. Under the settlement, Teodorín will have to forfeit to the US some of the funds the Justice Department says he “shamelessly looted.” He agreed to pay without admitting any wrongdoing.
Sudanese authorities should investigate reported abuses, including sexual abuse, of female Darfuri students during a government raid on an all-female dormitory. The authorities should release or charge all those remaining in detention.
President Salva Kiir should veto a bill giving South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) sweeping powers. The bill would allow the security service virtually unfettered authority to arrest and detain suspects, monitor communications, conduct searches, and seize property.
When I visited the small-scale — or “galamsey” — gold mines in the Ashanti Region earlier this year, I met “Kwame,” a quiet but self-assured 12-year-old. He dropped out of primary school about a year ago to help his mother feed his five younger siblings.
In February, the World Bank delayed a $90 million loan for health care in Uganda out of concern over its new Anti-Homosexuality Act. Since then, the Constitutional Court nullified the law for lack of a parliamentary quorum during the vote. But the government quickly filed a notice of appeal. Members of parliament are also pressing to bring the law back to the floor, swearing they can gather the constitutionally-required numbers.
South Sudan’s lawmakers should overhaul draft legislation that would establish and regulate the powers of the National Security Service (NSS) to ensure that it conforms with international human rights standards. The draft law is pending before parliament and expected to be put to a vote on October 7, 2014.