International brief ~ Congo to hold AU chair instead of Sudan

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, the Democratic Republic of Congo will hold the chairmanship of the African Union (AU) [official website] for 2006 under an agreement reached by a five-nation panel assigned to develop a compromise to the tense standoff concerning the proposed Sudanese bid to chair the African regional organization. Under the compromise, Congo will hold the chairmanship this year and Sudan will assume the chairmanship in 2007. Sudan's bid to chair the AU was vehemently opposed by rebel leaders [JURIST report] in Darfur [JURIST news archive], who threatened to leave AU-sponsored peace talks if Sudan was given the position. The compromise is expected to be announced at the end of Tuesday's session of the AU annual meeting. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Congo and Sudan [JURIST news archives]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • Over two dozen protesters were arrested Tuesday throughout Nepal in a series of demonstrations against the Nepalese monarchy [official website] and its systematic crack-down on human rights and opposition political leaders. Several different rallies were scheduled for Tuesday, some in locations currently maintaining bans on public assemblies of protesters, and police responded with force and tear gas in several different cities. The curfew and ban on protests in the capital city of Kathmandu was just raised [JURIST report] Monday. Reports of student protesters being arrested have been confirmed by police officials and several high-level opposition political leaders are still in custody for "further questioning." JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. eKantipur.com has local coverage.

  • Kenyan Water Minister Mutua Katuku has announced that member nations of the Nile Basin Initiative [official website] will undertake a complete rewrite of domestic legislation relating to the use of water from the Nile River. Katuku, in a statement released on Monday at the opening of a staff training conference for the NBI held in Nairobi, said that progress had been made on a draft cooperative framework that would give countries along the Nile River the right to equitable use of river water. Once the draft has been approved by the Nile Council of Ministers, the guidelines would be implemented into domestic legislation to ensure that all nations bordering the Nile River were in compliance with international law concerning the use of shared water sources. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.

  • Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's senior envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website], has said that any move to refer the situation in Iran concerning the use and development of nuclear power to the UN Security Council [official website] will cause Iran to abandon all attempts at a compromise agreement and begin development on a "full-scale uranium enrichment program". The US and the European Union have both expressed concern [JURIST report] over Iran's plan to develop nuclear energy, as the materials used for peaceful production of electricity may also be used for the development of materials needed for nuclear weapons. The IAEA is currently scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on Iran's actions on February 2 and the EU is pushing for referral [JURIST report] of the matter to the Security Council. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Iran [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

 

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