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International brief ~ Mugabe refuses to sign anti-NGO bill
International brief ~ Mugabe refuses to sign anti-NGO bill

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] has refused to sign a controversial bill that would have severely limited the rights of NGOs to act in Zimbabwe [government website], according to newspaper reports. The Non-Governmental Organisations Bill [Human Rights Watch backgrounder] was passed by the Zimbabwean Parliament [JURIST report] last year and was simply awaiting the signature of the president to be made into law. The Bill would prohibit foreign rights groups from acting in Zimbabwe, as well as outlawing all local rights groups that receive outside funding. Opposition groups and human rights advocates had lobbied fiercely against the bill's passage. Zimbabwean Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche told newspapers that the president had refused to sign it because of "one or two issues he wanted to be addressed" but did not clarify what those issues were. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. South Africa's News 24 has local coverage.

In other international legal news …

  • Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe [official profile in French], elected in the recent heavily contested elections [JURIST report] in Togo [government website in French], met with opposition leaders in Nigeria for a regional summit Thursday to discuss plans to form a unity government. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] is hosting the event as part of African Union and ECOWAS pressure for the West African nation to quell the outbreaks of protesting and violence that has occurred since the end of the election which has resulted in thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries, including Ghana and Benin, whose presidents attended the summit. The European Union Parliament recently announced that it considered the Togo elections to be invalid due to election fraud. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Togo [JURIST news archive]. Republique Togolaise, the state information service, has local coverage in French. Reuters has more.
  • The Kenyan National Security Minister announced Thursday that Kenya [government website] has approved the deployment of 842 military personnel to be included in the UN Mission in Sudan [official website] peacekeeping force. The troops comprise a significant portion of the nearly 10,000 troops authorized for the peacekeeping force [JURIST report] by the UN Security Council [official website] under Resolution 1590 [official PDF text]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.