LONDON — After months of fruitless shuttle diplomacy, threats of sanctions, broken promises and politicking, Sudan’s government has agreed to accept a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers to back up the beleaguered African Union mission in its western Darfur region. The deal, announced June 12 from the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, would bring an additional 17,000 to 19,000 troops and 3,700 police officers into Darfur, a region the size of France where fighting between troops, government-backed militias and rebels has raged since 2003. An estimated 2.5 million people have been made homeless and some 200,000 have lost their lives […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a new weekly column on the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. HUMAN TRAFFICKING A MAJOR GLOBAL PROBLEM: The U.S. State Department released its annual victims of human trafficking report on Tuesday, looking at the situation in 164 countries and ranking countries on their individual efforts to combat the trade. The annual report ranks countries on a three-tier system: Tier 1 includes countries that are extremely active in protecting trafficking victims; Tier 2 countries are those that may be falling short but are making significant efforts; […]

TORONTO — Credit the apostle of development aid, Bono, for his unbending consistency. In Heiligendamm, Germany, last week, He accused the G-8 countries of obfuscation and creative accounting in their $60 billion pledge to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. His criticism, shared by HIV/AIDS organizations and other development activists, is twofold: That money is not designated solely for Africa, nor does it have a timeline. “We are looking for accountable language and accountable numbers: We didn’t get them,” Bono said in a statement. “Clear year-by-year steps were needed but this labyrinthine language offers no path — it’s a maze designed […]

Hoping to curtail the violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta, new Nigerian President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua sent his vice president to the United States to meet with an international consulting firm that advises world leaders on conflict resolution, Nigerian officials and experts told World Politics Review. Yar’Adua sent Vice President Jonathan Goodluck to Boston last month to meet with staff at the Consensus Building Institute, an advisory group that specializes in “multiparty conflicts.” CBI’s client list includes the United Nations and the governments of Nigeria, Kenya, and Angola, as well as U.N. officials in Sudan. Outside of Africa, the […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a new weekly column covering the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. GOING DIGITAL ON DARFUR — Amnesty International launched a new program Wednesday to monitor villages in Darfur in the hopes of putting pressure on the Sudanese government to admit a large United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force. Under the program, the rights group is using satellites to track some of the most vulnerable villages in war-ravaged Darfur, posting images online and urging members of the public across the world to log on to www.eyesondarfur.org and […]

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Zambia’s former president, Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba, is famous for his clothes. In a raid, 349 designer shirts, 206 jackets and suits, and 72 pairs of shoes, many of them bearing Chiluba’s personalized FJT monogram, were seized as part of an investigation into corruption and graft. In May, he was found guilty of siphoning millions from state coffers while in power, and his clothes were cited as “the most telling example of corruption” by the London high court judge presiding over the case. The story of Frederick Chiluba and his monogrammed designer clothes, in a country where the majority of […]

LONDON — “He killed my ma. He killed my pa. I will vote for him.” With those words chanted in the ruined streets of impoverished, war-torn Liberia, Charles Ghankay Taylor was swept into office in 1997, capping a bloody eight-year campaign that began with the savage ouster of dictator Samuel Doe. Meanwhile, in next-door Sierra Leone, one of the most brutal wars in modern history raged, fought by drug-addled youngsters and characterized by savage rapes and the hacking off of limbs that left thousands of people without arms or legs, lips or noses. It is for the crimes he is […]

LAGOS, Nigeria — A key militant group in Nigeria’s troubled Niger Delta region announced a one-month ceasefire Saturday, giving the country’s new president an opportunity to make good on promises to bring an end to the crisis there. The Niger Delta is the center of the oil industry in a country that is the sixth largest producer in the world, but the region is also home to some of Nigeria’s worst poverty. Over the last year-and-a-half, militant groups seeking a share of Nigeria’s oil wealth have sprung up in the delta. The groups have kidnapped Western oil workers and bombed […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a new feature covering the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. VENEZUELA MEDIA MAELSTROM — President Hugo Chavez Wednesday lashed out at Globalvision, Venezuela’s last private television station, in a nationally broadcast speech. He called the station an enemy of the state and threatened to shut it down. The Chavez speech came just days after Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) was taken off the air on May 27 to be replaced by a government-run channel. Thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets every day this week […]