Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service–DAWNS Digest.
Diplomats Watering Down the Syria Resolution in the Security Council
Everyone knows that Russia is deeply uncomfortable with a strongly worded Security Council resolution on Syria, so diplomats in New York are busy diluting the Arab League supported resolution to avoid a Russian veto. Up until now, the resolution had called for President Assad to hand over power to his deputy and step aside. That clause seems to be the victim of some pandering to Moscow. “The revised Security Council draft resolution “fully supports” an Arab League proposal for a political transition in Syria, but no longer includes an explicit call for President Bashar al-Assad to delegate his powers and form a unity government ahead of elections. Several Western diplomats Thursday said they are hoping for a Council vote in the next few days. But others said there are no signs that Russia, a key Syrian ally, is satisfied. Moscow, a veto-wielding member of the Security Council, has promised to reject any text that hints at regime change or that does not explicitly rule out foreign military intervention.” (VOA http://bit.ly/wVdQvM)
Top UN Humanitarian Official’s Dire Warning on South Sudan
The OCHA chief is in South Sudan and she does not like what she sees. “Valerie Amos told a news conference in Juba, the capital, that South Sudan’s recent threat to shut down all oil production would spell a more severe crisis for the poor when the government is forced to close down services for lack of funds. South Sudan, which relies on oil for 90% of its budget and could lose billions of dollars in revenue, recently began to close down production in a deepening dispute with neighboring Sudan over oil revenues. Talks brokered by the African Union have failed to resolve the conflict over resource revenues. Tribal massacres in the South Sudan states of Jonglei and Warrap, along with the simmering border conflict with Sudan and the squabble over oil revenues, threaten to paralyze the new state, which just last July was celebrating the heady birth of a nation…’I’d like to emphasize my concern about the situation in South Sudan broadly,’ Amos said. ‘The situation is very precarious and the risk of a dangerous decline is very real. The scope of this crisis cannot be ignored.’” (LAT http://lat.ms/yngsP6)