• Democratic Republic of the Congo = The “world capital of rape” continues to earn its title. Since January of this year, more than 200 civilians—women, men and children—have been treated for sexual assault by Doctors Without Borders in just one region of South Kivu Province. Rape has been used as a weapon of war fairly consistently since 2004 by the Rwandan Liberation group FDLR which is now based in Eastern DRC, just across the Rwandan border. However, this is largest scale of mass rape victims in years. (IRIN, OHCHR)
• Ivory Coast = Political conflict is fueling a humanitarian crisis. Current but outgoing President Gbagbo allegedly cut off water and electricity to the Central, Northern and Western areas of the country for “national security” reasons. These areas voted principally for Presidential hopeful Allassane Outtara, the “internationally recognized winner of the November 2010 presidential elections” and fighting has broken out between groups loyal to Gbagbo and to Outtara. The conflict, combined with the lack of water and electricity has resulted in terrible sanitation issues as well as limited medical resources, as surgeries, for example, require both clean water and electricity. As the death toll rises, civilians are having to unceremoniously burn dead bodies to help prevent the spread of disease. (AI, IRIN)
• Libya = I'm sure those of you who follow this blog are well aware of most of the actions in Libya this past week. Here are some additional doozies to consider:
Paramedics have been attacked by al-Gaddafi's Security Forces, despite the fact that the medical workers were wearing “full medical uniform” and arrived at the hospital in Red Crescent-marked vehicles. (AI)
A video “roundup” showing what has been happening on the ground is available online here.
BP is still doing business in Libya, engaging in offshore activities, despite the UN's imposition of sanctions on the current government. (CHNG)
• China = Since local bloggers and activists have been calling for an extension of the Jasmine Revolution in China, authorities have cracked down on the media – including the foreign media. This past week, more than a dozen foreign journalists were attacked by Chinese police officers and “plainclothes thugs.” Despite China's agreed-upon October 2008 regulations regarding rights of media correspondents, officials have warned reporters that they must now apply for and “obtain government permission before any newsgathering within the city center.” (HRW, NPR)
If this is how the foreign media are being treated, what about the locals??
• United Arab Emirates = The government this week announced its candidacy for a spot on the UN Human Rights Council. The Council is currently meeting in its 16th regular session in Geneva until 25th March. (UAEI)
•Yemen = This week has seen more protestors attacked and fired upon by Yemeni officials, including during prayer time. (HRW)
ALSO OF INTEREST:
• The Brookings Institute has published a new (and very comprehensive) report on Education and Displacement: Assessing Conditions for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Affected by Conflict. You can find it online here.
• March is International Women's Month – more on this topic on Wednesday, 8 March, International Women's Day.