Week in links – Week 43/2010

A short but interesting list this week:

IDMC reminds us that its been a year since the groundbreaking Kampala Convention was passed, committing African Member states to address internal displacement. However, only two member-states have ratified to date, leaving thirteen to go until entry into force.

– IRIN published a short article on the prevalence of land-grabbing after natural disasters and new efforts to secure land tenure.

– NYU’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice published a report on the global land rush and human rights based on three negative case-studies (Tanzania, Sudan and Pakistan) and one more hopeful one (Mali).

– IRIN also reports on the connection between land and water scarcity and conflict in Yemen, a fundamental issue that appears to have been overlooked in the rush for political solutions:

“Social violence is the greatest threat to Yemen over the long term,” said Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani, a Yemeni political analyst. “Political violence and violence by the state against the population can be reversed relatively easily; there could be a new political settlement. But diminishing resources is an intractable problem that cannot be solved by political consensus. It will require much more work.”

– OpenDemocracy ran a long and thoughtful piece on the forthcoming Sudan referendum. In addition to pointing out the various tensions that risk returning the region to all out warfare, this comment also provides some useful background on the recent history of referendums in Africa and notes the potential of African and regional institutions to contain the potential for fiasco.

– David Cronin posts in OpenDemocracy on corporate capture of trade agreement negotiations and some of the more unpleasant social and environmental consequences.

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