International brief ~ UN humanitarian chief urges Sudan to accept peacekeepers

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland [official profile] has called on Sudan [government website] to accept the presence of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur [JURIST news archive] as essential to protecting Sudan's citizens. Egeland said that the AU, while effective in the short-term, was incapable of meeting the long-term demands that Darfur calls for and that the UN was unable to fund the AU in any way that would ensure its effectiveness, meaning that a UN peacekeeping force was the only viable solution. Sudan has repeatedly expressed its rejection [JURIST report] of any international peacekeeping force in Darfur as a violation of its sovereignty. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • The administration of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] has instituted a "stop-loss" procedure in the nation's police and military forces to attempt to stem the flood of officers and enlisted personnel quitting law and security forces since their pay can no longer cover living expenses. The new hold on resignations will affect anyone who has not served at least ten years in uniform and will require any individual who has served over ten years and is leaving for "study abroad" opportunities to provide documentation of acceptance into an academic institution. Over 500 police officers resigned in February alone as the value of Zimbabwean currency continues to free fall and food becomes increasingly scarce. Unnamed sources in the military have told reporters that they have been informed that the decision is beyond judicial review as well, falling under executive powers of national security. The government has refused to comment on the stop-loss order. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.

  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres [official profile] told the Chinese government that individuals fleeing from North Korea, even for economic reasons, faced such severe hardships and possible persecutions in the event of their deportation that they should be treated as refugees under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees [PDF text]. China has continually refused to recognize individuals fleeing from North Korea as refugees under international law, instead referring to them as illegal aliens and routinely deporting them back to North Korea, where they allegedly face criminal prosecution for attempting to leave and even torture or death as examples of the penalty for abandoning North Korea. North Korea denies that any human rights violations occur within its territory and demands the return of all of its citizens, arguing that no possible justification for asylum status exists within its borders. Chosun Ilbo has local coverage.

  • Kenyan Information and Communications Minister Mutahi Kagwe [official website] told reporters on Wednesday that three bills addressing regulation of media sources currently scheduled for presentation to the Kenyan Parliament [official website] late this year should be combined into two bills and passed as soon as possible. The Information and Communication Technologies Bill, the Private Member's Media Bill, and the Freedom of Information Bill all contain provisions concerning the regulation of media in Kenya and the access of the public to information. Kagwe said that the government is especially concerned to see legislation about cross-ownership passed, which would limit the ability of large media companies to own significant percentages of all operating media sources in Kenya. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.

 

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