Top of the Morning: Sudanese Munitions Factory Explodes; Assad Reportedly Agrees to Ceasefire; Land Grabbing in Burma

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

Sudanese Munitions Factory Goes up in Flames

An explosion of unknown origin rocked an arms factory in Khartoum late this evening. “The governor said the cause of the fire and the explosions was unclear, but that nothing pointed to “external” reasons. He told state television the explosion had probably occurred in a storage hall of the huge complex. In May, Sudan’s government said one person was killed when a car exploded in the eastern city of Port Sudan. It said the explosion resembled a blast last year that it had blamed on an Israeli missile strike.”(Reuters

Envoy: Assad Agrees to Holiday Ceasefire

UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been in the region this week working feverishly to press for a ceasefire for the forthcoming Muslim holiday. He announced today that Assad has agreed to his plan. We’ll see if the Syrian forces actually follow through. “’After the visit I made to Damascus, there is agreement from the Syrian government for a ceasefire during the Eid,’” Brahimi told a news conference at the Cairo-based League. He did not give a precise time period for the ceasefire but said Damascus would announce its agreement on Wednesday or Thursday. ‘Other factions in Syria that we were able to contact, heads of fighting groups, most of them also agree on the principle of the ceasefire,’ he added. (NYT )

As Myanmar Opens Up to Foreign Investment, Worries About Land Grabs

The rush to invest in Myanmar is leading to destabilizing conflicts over land confiscation and the displacement of local landowners. “In Burma, all land is nominally owned by the state, leaving small-scale farmers without legal land titles. Over the years, businesses with connections to the country’s military government were able to seize land from farmers and villagers, mostly to build lucrative mining or agricultural projects. Many of those who lost their lands received little compensation. Now, as the government considers new laws to attract foreign investors, activists say there has been a rash of land seizures with up to 3.6 million hectares being taken by government, private companies and the military as the economy prepares for more foreign investment.” (AFP