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International brief ~ SA opposition urges rejection of Zimbabwe plea for money

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, the main political opposition party in South Africa, the Democratic Alliance [official website], has called on South African President Thabo Mbeki [profile] to reject a request by Zimbabwean officials for financial aid to support the rapidly collapsing Zimbabwean economy. DA officials also called on Mbeki to formally denounce Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] and his program of forced evictions, called Operation Murambatsvina [Wikipedia backgrounder] in light of the excerpts revealed so far from UN Special Envoy Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka's report on the situation in Zimbabwe [JURIST report]. Mbeki had announced that he would make no official comment concerning the evictions until the report was finalized. DA officials warned that any financial support for Mugabe would be a donation, since Zimbabwe would be unable to repay, and would "shock the democratic world" as an endorsement of Operation Murambatsvina. South Africa's Mail & Guardian is reporting that a draft outline between Zimbabwe and South Africa concerning a loan amount was agreed to, but that no formalized understanding has been signed [Mail & Guardian report] authorizing a transfer of funds. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe and South Africa [JURIST news archives]. ZimOnline has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • the previously approved and widely popular Bomas draft of changes to the Kenyan Constution was altered late Thursday night after a coalition of political parties supporting the Kenyan government [official website] sponsored changes to the Bomas draft passed the new version in the Kenyan Parliament [government website]. The approval of the new draft gives Kenyan Attorney-General Amos Wako [official website] power to create a constitution review bill that will formalize the document to be submitted to Kenyans in a national referendum by the end of November. If approved, the new constitution would take effect on December 12. The new draft version changed several key provisions of the Bomas draft, including lessening the power given to the new post of Prime Minister, keeping most of the executive power in the office of president, and retaining a single chamber legislature. Oppositions members have alleged that the government is using the new draft as a way to keep power away the populace and in the hands of a select few in government. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's Daily Nation has local coverage.

  • 12 nations comprising the "Uniting for Consensus" group submitted their version of a proposal to reform the current structure of the UN Security Council as a final attempt to prevent the G4 nations' proposal [JURIST report] from being approved. The UFC proposal opposes the introduction of any new permanent membership spots on the Security Council and recommends the introduction of ten new seats that would be open for "re-election" after a normal two year term, instead of automatic exchange with another nation. Any reform to the Security Council's current structure must be approved by a two-thirds vote in the UN General Assembly and survive a veto review by the current permanent members of the Security Council. The UFC is comprised of South Korea, Italy, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Pakistan, Turkey, Columbia, Costa Rica, San Marino and Malta. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the United Nations [JURIST news report]. Chosun Ilbo has local coverage.

  • Official spokesperson for the Royal Nepalese Army [official website] Brigadier General Deepak Kumar Gurung has announced that six RNA soldiers accused of sexual misconduct while serving in the UN peacekeeping mission to the Congo were found guilty and sentenced by military tribunal. The six soldiers were convicted of sexual misconduct and were sentenced to three months incarceration, with one of the soldiers being demoted. The UN Department of Peacekeeping [official website] requires peacekeepers alleged to have violated its new, tougher standards on sexual conduct to be recalled by their home governments. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. NepalNews has local coverage.

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