This Week in the Great Lakes: Congo and UN tango over child soldiers while US preaches engagement
A holiday season roundup of this week's news from Africa's Great Lakes region: women march in the Congo for more legal action against rapists, Rwandan journalists petition for changes to defamation laws, and Al Shabab remains a threat in Burundi.
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Congo prepares to become chair of the Kimberly Process, intended to ensure diamonds are conflict-free. Advocates accuse major tech companies of failing to keep "conflict minerals" out of their products. France considers claiming a stake, from the eastern Congo, in the race for oil in Lake Albert.Skip to next paragraph
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The UN sends 900 peacekeepers north to protect against attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army. Thirty-four local groups in four countries appeal to President Obama for military aid and other help to defeat the LRA.
A three-man Oregon kayaking crew loses its leader to a crocodile attack on the Lukuga river. Hollywood star turned activist-for-Congo Ben Affleck wants to make a movie about Congo but can't find a buyer.
A top leader in the FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu rebel group with foot soldiers in eastern Congo and leadership in Europe, is charged with crimes against humanity in France, following last month's ICC indictment for his alleged crimes in the DRC. Two others are charged in Germany. Canada is set to extradite an accused genocidaire to Kigali.
American-led support for political party capacity-building expands to Butare. A public debate on political space gets testy, and a local journalist is accused of "aiding the enemy." Rwandan journalists petition the senate to change the country's defamation laws.
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