Hezbollah: Talkin’ War and Peace in Lebanon

Lebanon’s conflict-driven internal politics and Hezbollah’s relationship with its neighbor, Israel, are having an effect on the entire region. Hezbollah leader General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called for a government of “cooperation and unity” even as he critiqued the U.S.-backed government of Fouad Siniora, Agence France-Presse reports. Siniora has refused to give the opposition party veto power in the cabinet and has lost six ministers this year, prompting much controversy and upheaval. Nasrallah is angry with the United States, which recently announced it would freeze the assets of anyone it perceived as undermining Siniora’s government. Speaking to the Lebanese people, he said Hezbollah supported a “peaceful, civilian and civilized” campaign, and promised not to turn its considerable arsenal of weapons on any other Lebanese faction.

Young Immigrants Take a Hard Road North

A growing number of youth and children throughout Central America are migrating on their own to Mexico and the United States, doing odd jobs and pickup work along the way. The Christian Science Monitor reports the number of migrant children increased from 3,000 in 2004 to 5,000 last year; many are repatriated, but often set out again, following parents and siblings who have already headed north. No social services exist to serve these “little kangaroos,” who face extortion, violence and muggings as they travel, and are treated with suspicion by locals who feel they sow violence. Sources:
“In Central America, child migrants now face perils alone”
Christian Science Monitor, August 3, 2007

DARFUR: You Can’t Go Home Again

Driven by environmental pressures and ethnic divisions, the violence in Darfur is reaching across borders to affect black African and Arab communities alike throughout the region. Aid groups believe Khartoum has rounded out its ethnic cleansing campaign against black farmers in Darfur by resettling their burned-out villages with Arabs from Chad and Niger, who are entering Darfur in “unprecedented” numbers, reports The Independent. A confirmed 30,000 Arabs have crossed the border in the past two months, according to a United Nations report, and another 45,000 are widely rumored to have already entered the country. Very few of ask for help from the U.N. Refugee Agency, suggesting that they are not refugees. When they arrive, they are given Sudanese identity cards and citizenship.

Zimbabwe: Crises In Climax

With inflation at over 4,500 percent and hospitals, water, power and food access close to collapse, Zimbabwe faces its worst crisis since independence from Britain, reports the Associated Press. In June, the government of President Robert Mugabe accused store owners of fueling the inflation and ordered 50 percent price cuts on commodities such as bread, eggs and milk. Some stores are now refusing to re-order because prices are so low. Many Zimbabweans are coping with the food shortage by traveling to South Africa for goods, but Mugabe’s government will soon put a stop to that with a new law to limiting the import of food. Thousands of other Zimbabweans are simply leaving the country, looking for work and housing in South Africa.