May’s Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar’s southwestern coast in the deadliest natural disaster in that country’s history. The storm left over 100,000 dead or missing, while millions more suffered injuries or other damage. Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta region remains affected by flooding and food shortages. The Myanmar government’s initial refusal to allow sufficient foreign aid workers into the country, like its harsh approach to last year’s democracy demonstrations in Myanmar, again underscored the problems this obnoxious military regime presents for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Its members continue to confront the issue of dealing with an unapologetic authoritarian government at […]

ABECHE, Chad — Three weeks after Chadian rebels mounted their third major challenge this year to President Idriss D├ęby’s troubled regime, the fighting has dwindled to a few isolated gunfights on the barren eastern border with Sudan. Instead of the regime-toppling attack that the Sudan-based rebels promised in their press releases — something akin to their February offensive that reached downtown N’Djamena on the country’s western border — the spring attacks apparently never reached more than 50 miles inside Chad. In mid-June, rebels briefly occupied a number of towns, only to depart hours later regardless of whether the Chadian army […]

ABECHE, Chad — As the world marked U.N. World Refugee Day June 20, a new humanitarian emergency was quietly brewing next door to a far more widely known crisis. In southern Chad, just a few hundred miles from camps housing a quarter-million Darfuri refugees, some 60,000 displaced persons from Central African Republic, having fled a growing civil conflict in their own country, have been moved to a cluster of new U.N. camps. The Central Africans’ plight is widely overlooked as a result of the intense focus on the five-year-old civil war in Sudan’s Darfur region and the hundreds of thousands […]

One of the major objectives of President Bush’s trip to Europe last week was to secure additional international support for the war in Afghanistan. Although European governments generally reaffirmed — and in several cases announced slight increases in — their military and economic commitments to the beleaguered Afghan government of Hamid Karzai, which remains entangled in a protracted insurgency with the Taliban, their declared level of support appears to fall short of that needed to allow the Afghan government to consolidate its control of the country. The members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) continue to reaffirm their commitment […]

FORMER CONGO OFFICIAL ARRESTED ON ICC WARRANT — Belgian authorities arrested former Democratic Republic of the Congo Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba May 24 on an International Criminal Court warrant. Bemba is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for the actions of troops under his command in the neighboring Central African Republic in 2002-2003. Bemba’s subordinates were responsible for mass rape and torture, according to human rights groups. The 45-year-old has conceded the events took place but argues he is not responsible because he did not specifically order his troops to commit the abuses. Human rights advocates have called […]