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International brief ~ Kenya wants permanent seat on UN Security Council
International brief ~ Kenya wants permanent seat on UN Security Council

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere [Wikipedia profile] has announced that Kenya [government website] would actively be seeking to obtain one of the two permanent regional seats for Africa under the current proposed reform plans [JURIST report] for the UN Security Council [official website]. The reform plan calls for the addition of 10 Security Council seats, 6 of which would be permanent, four going to the 'G4 Nations' of India, Japan, Germany, and Brazil, and two more permanent membership slots designated according to regional representation. Mwakwere said that Kenya was uniquely positioned to fill one of these spots as it had taken leadership positions in the peace process in both Sudan and Somalia. Kenya would face off against regional giants such as South Africa and Nigeria for a permanent Security Council seat from the African region. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the United Nations [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's Daily Nation has local coverage.

In other international legal news …

  • Zimbabwean Minister of Intelligence & National Security Didymus Mutasa [Africa database profile], the senior government official in charge of Zimbabwe's massive eviction program, told a ZimOnline [media website] reporter Monday that the operation currently responsible for arresting over 20,000 illegal street vendors and evicting what human rights groups have estimated at several hundred thousand individuals from their illegal homes will move to the rural areas starting Tuesday. Mutasa confirmed that the goverment was planning to head to the rural regions and farms and would be evicting anyone that could not produce documentation that showed that government officials had granted them the right to live on the land. The farms were left empty following the Zimbabwe government's forced eviction of the white farmers from the land, and black families were encouraged to take up residence there and begin farming while waiting for official paperwork to be processed. The evictions, condemned by the UN [JURIST report], the EU, and a multitude of human rights and religious groups, took a bizarre turn over the weekend as police bulldozed outhouses in Chitungwiza, the third largest city in Zimbabwe, under the mistaken belief that the structures were illegal dwellings. City officials quickly stopped the destruction, but not before thousands of gallons of raw sewage were released into the city streets. Several human rights groups are fighting legal battles [JURIST report] to force the government to stop the evictions, but no injunction has yet been ordered, and the government continues to push its program into more cities. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.
  • A Pretorian police spokesman announced Monday that South African police have arrested over 1,000 individuals in a massive anti-crime effort in the past week for offenses ranging from theft, burglary, and illegally entering the country to rape and murder in Tshwane (the newly adopted name for Pretoria) [official website]. The arrests came out of a coordinated effort between Pretorian police officials, the National Defense Force, and the Tshwane Metro Police. Over 200 illegal immigrants have been detained as well, but officials have not released word on whether they will be arrested and charged or deported. South Africa's close neighbor, Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive], is still in the middle of a massive, nation-wide operation to 'clean up' its cities by arresting illegal street vendors and evicting hundreds of thousands of illegal squatters [JURIST report]. Human rights bodies have expressed concern that the announcement in Pretoria could herald a similar program in South Africa. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of South Africa [JURIST news archive]. South Africa's News24 has local coverage.
  • Two candidates in the first parliamentary elections in Burundi [government website in French] in decades were killed over the weekend in a grenade attack, only three days into the official campaign term. Both candidates, killed Saturday in the capital city of Bujumbura, were members of the FRODEBU ruling party of Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye [Wikipedia profile]. FRODEBU Secretary-General Léonce Ngendakumana said that he has repeatedly told police that his party members have reported receiving threatening phone calls and letters that range from insults to promises of death if they continue to campaign. Brigadier-General Alain Guillaume Bunyoni of the national police announced on Monday that an investigation was being opened and urged all political parties to refrain from public comment concerning the killings and election-related violence, saying that public outcries would only lead to more violence. Current campaigns are for the 4 July elections for National Assembly members. Those elected on 4 July and the 29 July Senate elections will elect a new Burundi President on 19 August. AllAfrica.com has local coverage.