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International brief ~ ECOWAS rejects new Togo leader

[JURIST] In Thursday's international brief, West African regional organization ECOWAS [official website] has refused to recognize Faure Gnassingbe as the legitimate leader of Togo [government website in French] and threatened sanctions against the country unless it returned to its prior constitutional process. The Togo National Assembly changed the country's constitution [JURIST report] on Sunday to permit Fuare Gnassingbe [BBC profile], son of former president Gnassingbe Eyadema [official profile in French], to remain in power after Fuare was unilaterally placed in the office by Togo's military. African and European nations have raised an outcry over the capitulation of the National Assembly, and the ECOWAS executive is planning to travel to Togo on Friday to express its concerns in person. The Nigerian National Assembly [government website] has meanwhile urged African Union [official website] chairman and Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] to use any means necessary, including military intervention, to restore constitutional rule to Togo. AllAfrica.com has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] Thursday ordered an official inquiry into allegations of corruption in the Kenyan government [official website]. The inquiry comes after the release of an audit report into the nation's security contract bidding process revealed questionable methods in how contracts were awarded. Vice-President Moody Awori [official profile] admitted that the audit pointed towards "massive corruption" at senior levels in the government. Kibaki was elected in 2002 on an anti-corruption platform. He has been severely criticized recently for a perceived lack of enthusiasm in pursuing his pledge to root out bribery and graft in the national government. The Kenya Daily Nation has local coverage.

  • UN Special Representative Olara Otunnu [official profile] presented the UN Secretary-General's plan for dealing with the problem of child soldiers the Security Council [official website] Wednesday. The report, drafted by the UN Office on Children and Armed Conflict [official website], detailed a systematic intiiative to identify the use of children as soldiers in any armed conflicts or "situations of concern" around the world and to publish a list of parties violating the law prohibiting child soldiers, as well as commiting other crimes children, including sexual abuse, rape, and torture. Otunnu said that the list would make no distinction between 'rebel' or 'government' in identifying violators, and any party placed on the list would be presented to the Security Council for possible sanctions, such as travel restrictions on leaders, arms embargoes and military assistance bans and restrictions on the flow of financial resource. The UN News Center has more.

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected Friday to announce sweeping reforms to combat the nation's severe corruption problem. Hun Sen will be addressing a group of international investors from the private sector and the World Bank [official website]. The problem with corruption in Cambodia [government website] has made the rest of the world wary of sinking funds into rebuilding efforts. Hun Sen's keynote speech is seen as a significant opportunity to present a well-defined plan to tackle graft and red-tape problems. BBC News has more

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