What We’re Reading 8/6/09


Secretary Clinton in Africa

New York Times: Clinton Toughens Message to Kenya
Hillary Clinton toughened her message to Kenya today, saying that if the Kenyan government refused to set up a tribunal to prosecute the perpetrators of last year’s bloodshed, the International Criminal Court would get involved. The American government and human rights groups have been pressing Kenya’s leaders to establish a local tribunal, but several of the top suspects are widely believed to be high-ranking ministers. Clinton said that she carried the day’s message to Kenya directly from President Obama.

Wall Street Journal Editorial: Hillary of Africa
The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes that “Hillary Clinton is in Africa speaking some useful truths,” particularly in her tough messages on corruption. The article says that African leaders aren’t used to such blunt public criticism from the West, but the Obama administration has put a notable focus on failed governance. The Journal concludes that though it would like to see stronger language on aid, “her forthright approach to African leaders is a welcome development, not least for Africa’s suffering people.”

Other news

AP: South Africa on Climate Change: “No Money, No Deal”
Developing countries won’t consider the next round of climate change talks successful unless rich nations set aside money to help them address global warming, South African officials said on Tuesday. The officials, who are expected to lead the African bloc at the negotiations, met to discuss strategy ahead of the December climate change talks in Copenhagen. They said at least 1% of global GDP should be set aside to help developing countries to take steps to cope with the effects of climate change.

Reuters: South Africa Braces for Possible Power Sector Strike
South Africa’s biggest union said on Thursday it would march to press state utility Eskom for better wages as the company braced for a possible strike that could disrupt power in Africa’s biggest economy. The possibility of a power shutdown helped drive up prices of platinum and palladium due to fears output could be hit, and deepened concerns about damage to the South African economy. It also helped push down the local rand currency as investors became about the impact of another strike.

VOA: Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Lobbies Region for Backing on Unity Government
Zimbabwean Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday stepped up regional diplomacy, meeting with the President of Botswana following talks Monday with South African President Jacob Zuma on issues troubling Harare’s unity government. Sources in Mr. Tsvangirai’s office said that in the days ahead he will be meeting other leaders of the Southern African Development Community, of which Zuma is now chairman. Tsvangirai hopes to resolve outstanding issues before Zuma’s tenure ends in September, when he will hand off the chairmanship at a SADC summit.

-Grace Lamb-Atkinson


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