Why George Clooney got himself arrested
Actor and activist George Clooney, who just returned from a trip to Sudan, is taken away during a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy i Washington on Friday,
March 16th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

Why George Clooney got himself arrested

Editor's Note: Mark Leon Goldberg is the managing editor of the UN Dispatch blog.

By Mark Leon GoldbergUN Dispatch

By now, you have no doubt heard that George Clooney, several members of congress, and a bunch of other activists were arrested protesting outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, DC.

Here’s why George got sent to the slammer:

You’ve probably heard of Darfur, the region in western Sudan where the Sudanese government used genocide as a tactic to surpress a rebellion.  And you have also probably heard that there was a 20 year civil war between Sudan and South Sudan.  That civil war ended with a 2005 peace agreement. Per the peace agreement, South Sudan became an independent country last June. It is the UN’s newest member state.

The border region between South Sudan and Sudan is called the Nuba mountains. This area is largely populated by ethnic groups that supported the South during the civil war, but now find themselves living on the north side of the border. For several months, the Sudanese military has been trying to purge their former adversaries and disarm rebel groups.  Some of the tactics the Sudanese government has used are very reminiscent of Darfur: namely, targeting the civilian populations to get at the militias. FULL POST

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Topics: Africa
5 stories to follow during UN week
September 18th, 2011
11:35 PM ET

5 stories to follow during UN week

Editor's Note: Mark Leon Goldberg is the managing editor of the UN Dispatch blog.

By Mark Leon GoldbergUN Dispatch

UN Week is here. Soon, world leaders will descend on Turtle Bay for the annual ritual of speeches, press conferences and back-room wheeling and dealing. Here are the top five stories on the agenda this week in New York, ranked in descending order of likely media interest. So, without further ado - 5 stories to watch during UN Week.  FULL POST

Why fear Palestinian "Observer Status" at UN?
A Palestinian man displays a map showing flags of countries that have recognized the Palestinian state. Palestinian leaders will formally request U.N membership on September 20. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)
September 9th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Why fear Palestinian "Observer Status" at UN?

Editor's Note: Mark Leon Goldberg is the managing editor of the UN Dispatch blog.

By Mark Leon Goldberg, UN Dispatch

We are entering into the home stretch of a period of frantic diplomacy surrounding the planned General Assembly vote on Palestine.

So far, there is no draft UN General Assembly (GA) in circulation. That’s because there’s no consensus yet on the pro-Palestine side over what specific thing the GA resolutions should call for.  There are basically two options on the table: 1) A resolution that calls for full UN membership for the new State of Palestine or 2) A resolution that grants Palestine “Observer Status” as a member of the General Assembly. FULL POST

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