Weekly Wrap Up: February 27, 2011

International Call: Gaddafi Must Go

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose sanctions on Libya because of Muammar Gaddafi’s orders to violently attack protestors. The Council backed an arms embargo and asset freeze and referred Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity. While his regime still controls Tripoli, the eastern part of the country has fallen to the uprising. President Obama called for Gaddafi to step down and leave the country immediately. You can read the whole story here.

Mutware Sentenced

Colonel Kibibi Mutware, one of Democratic Republic of Congo’s military leaders, was sentenced to 20 years in prison this week for orchestrating mass rapes on New Year’s Day in the country’s eastern province of Fizi. Tried in a military tribunal, three other commanding officers were sentences to 20 years, and another five to between 10 and 15.

This is a remarkable story for a number of reasons, one being that this is the first criminal conviction of a commanding officer for rape in DR Congo. And in a country where the victims are forced into silence, 49 women testified against Mutware and his men during the proceedings. While hundreds of people swarmed the courthouse on the day of sentencing, many were angry at the result.

“The people are not happy with this judgement; the people were expecting the death sentence,” one man in the crowd told the BBC. You can read the full news story here or the back story here.

Girls’ Education At Risk

Aid groups warned Thursday that the education of girls in Afghanistan is at risk even after the gains achieved after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. There are approximately 2.4 million girls enrolled in schools but about 20 percent do not attend regularly. And despite billions being poured into education programs, there remains a lack of funding, low security, and poor teacher training. Many parents expressed security concerns after a string of attacks on girls’ schools. While development groups continue to stress the importance of educating the country’s women, tough obstacles still remain. Read the full story here.

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