LONDON — Advocates of a global overhaul of efforts to meet the needs of the world’s 850 million chronically hungry people have received a boost with the decision by CARE, a top U.S. aid organization, to walk away from tens of millions of dollars in annual U.S. federal financing. In opting out of the mechanism by which donated U.S. food aid is transported overseas and sold in local markets to fund anti-poverty programs — a decades-old process known as monetization — CARE joins a growing number of international non-governmental and governmental groups demanding an end to a policy they say […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a weekly column covering the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. SCHOLAR FREED ON BAIL; FUTURE UNCERTAIN — Iranian authorities released Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari Aug. 21 after securing more than $300,000 in bail, ending her 100 days in solitary confinement. Esfandiari, who is one of four dual citizens currently facing legal difficulties in Iran, will face legal proceedings at some point based on authorities’ charge that she endangered Iran’s national security by encouraging a “velvet revolution” to topple the current government, though Iranian authorities have […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a weekly column covering the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. CHINA’S ID PLAN — Beginning this month, the more than 12 million residents of the Chinese city Shenzen will be required to carry identity cards fitted with powerful computer chips including not only their names and address, as with previous identity cards, but also data on their work history, education, religion, ethnicity, police record and even personal reproductive medical history. Chinese authorities have ordered all large Chinese cities to phase in similar high-tech residency card […]

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On Aug. 7, the government of Burundi again announced that it would delay sending its planned contingent of 2,000 troops to Somalia to bolster the embattled African Union (AU) peacekeeping force there. Burundi officials blamed the failure on delays in the delivery of communications and transport equipment from France and the United States, but the decision underscores the fragility of the AU peace mission there. In June 2006, war-torn Somalia experienced a new phase in its 15-years-old civil war when militiamen from the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) took over the capital, Mogadishu, and other important parts of northern Somalia. By […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a weekly column covering the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. OLYMPIC COUNTDOWN BRINGS CHINA CRITICISM — Condemnation of China’s human rights record rained down from all sides this week as Chinese authorities marked the one year countdown to the beginning of the 2008 Beijing Games with a lavish celebration. Amnesty International released a scathing report on the status of human rights in China Aug. 7, charging China has broken promises it made when bidding to host the games by increasing abuse and surveillance of political […]

Editor’s Note: Over the last month, World Politics Review published Swiss journalist Kurt Pelda’s diary of his three-week trip, during late February and March, to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese region of Darfur. The diary originally appeared in German on the Web site of the Swiss newspaper the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and was published in WPR for the first time in English. Today we present Pelda’s epilogue to his diary, penned exclusively for WPR. In it, Pelda provides a penetrating analysis of the conflict’s causes, and of various proposals for its resolution. He also responds to criticism […]

Editor’s Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur. Over 200,000 Sudanese refugees live in eastern Chad, having fled the violence in Darfur. The region likewise serves as staging grounds for the Darfur rebels fighting against the Sudanese government. During his three weeks traveling in the region, Pelda kept a diary, which provides a portrait of the Darfur conflict that is perhaps unrivaled in its detail and nuance. World Politics Review presents this important document for the first […]

LONDON — Alighting from his vintage Rolls Royce limousine with a cursory nod to the mounted ceremonial guard that escorted him to the steps of Zimbabwe’s parliament July 26, Robert Mugabe was every inch the defiant and bombastic African leader, telling the West to “go hang” after imposing another round of travel restrictions and sanctions on his penurious country. Bearing with him a sheaf of economic bills to support the latest price-stabilization scheme for a country bare of virtually every necessity for daily life — from food to fuel to foreign exchange — the 83-year-old president railed against “Western detractors […]

Editor’s Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur. Over 200,000 Sudanese refugees live in eastern Chad, having fled the violence in Darfur. The region likewise serves as staging grounds for the Darfur rebels fighting against the Sudanese government. During his three weeks traveling in the region, Pelda kept a diary, which provides a portrait of the Darfur conflict that is perhaps unrivaled in its detail and nuance. In daily installments through the beginning of August, World Politics […]

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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. BARBARIC VIOLENCE AGAINST CONGO WOMEN — A United Nations expert on violence against women reported July 27 that violence against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo is widespread and brutal to the point of incomprehension. Yakin Erturk said her investigations revealed massive incidents of torture, gang rape, sexual slavery, forced incestuous rape and women being forced to eat human excrement and flesh. Violence against women, Erturk said, is committed by armed groups, civilians, […]

Editor’s Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur. Over 200,000 Sudanese refugees live in eastern Chad, having fled the violence in Darfur. The region likewise serves as staging grounds for the Darfur rebels fighting against the Sudanese government. During his three weeks traveling in the region, Pelda kept a diary, which provides a portrait of the Darfur conflict that is perhaps unrivaled in its detail and nuance. In daily installments through the beginning of August, World Politics […]

Editor’s Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur. Over 200,000 Sudanese refugees live in eastern Chad, having fled the violence in Darfur. The region likewise serves as staging grounds for the Darfur rebels fighting against the Sudanese government. During his three weeks traveling in the region, Pelda kept a diary, which provides a portrait of the Darfur conflict that is perhaps unrivaled in its detail and nuance. In daily installments through the beginning of August, World Politics […]

Editor’s Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur. Over 200,000 Sudanese refugees live in eastern Chad, having fled the violence in Darfur. The region likewise serves as staging grounds for the Darfur rebels fighting against the Sudanese government. During his three weeks traveling in the region, Pelda kept a diary, which provides a portrait of the Darfur conflict that is perhaps unrivaled in its detail and nuance. In daily installments through the beginning of August, World Politics […]