Top of the Morning: Blue Helmets for Mali Looking Likely; Somali Court Sentences Rape Victim to Jail;

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

UN Peacekeeping Force for Mali Looking More and More Likely

Of course, for a peacekeeping force to be effective there first has to be a peace to keep, but it looks like key players are lining up to support a future deployment of blue helmets. “African and Western countries threw their support on Tuesday behind the idea of having United Nations peacekeepers eventually take over from an African force being deployed in Mali..’There is support shared by the African Union, by France, by the United States, by (West African grouping) ECOWAS, all the key players, to gradually move towards a peacekeeping operation under U.N. control, but in the medium term,’ French Development Minister Pascal Canfin told reporters during an international meeting on Mali in Brussels.” (Reuters

Somali Court Sentences Alleged Rape Victim and Journalist Who Interviewed her to Prison

It’s a case that has caught the attention of right activists around the world. “A Mogadishu court on Tuesday handed down one-year prison sentences to a woman who said she was raped by security forces and a reporter who interviewed her. The judges decided the woman falsely claimed she was raped and had insulted the government…Rights groups have decried the case as politically motivated because the woman had accused security forces of the assault. Rape is reported to be rampant in Mogadishu, where tens of thousands of people who fled last year’s famine live in poorly protected camps. Government troops are often blamed.” (WaPo

UN Report Criticizes Economic Policies of Arab States

The ILO and UNDP joined forces for this study. “According to the report, ‘Rethinking Economic Growth: Towards Inclusive and Productive Arab Societies,’ the Arab region had the lowest productivity growth rate of any world region between 2000 and 2010 except Latin America, with 1.5 per cent for North Africa and 1.2 per cent for the Middle East against a world average of 1.8 per cent. Policies pursued over the past two decades enabled countries in the region to tackle debt and inflation and create jobs, but growth lagged behind the rest of the world, and new jobs were concentrated in low productivity sectors. Meanwhile, the private sector remained among the least competitive globally due to low rates of investment, a poor regulatory environment, and widespread nepotism and corruption.” (UN

Horn of Africa