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Why is Europe suddenly cozying up to Zimbabwe’s nonagenarian kleptocrat? On February 21, Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe celebrated his 91st birthday followed by a lavish party with an exotic menu, reportedly including barbequed baby elephant.
Mali’s post-coup transition in the South and the separatist rebellion in the North are two distinct but inter-related crises. Neither can be ignored by Mali's friends. But the current planned interventions seem both muddled and wrong-headed. The South appears destined for a prolonged and ambiguous political transition that will eventually get to new elections and put the military back in barracks.
Last week, USAID finally published an external review on its activities in Haiti: “Independent Review of the U.S. Government Response to the Haiti Earthquake”. The report is dated March 28, 2011. Yes, 2011. It took over a year to post the document on the USAID website. The review was conducted by MacFadden and Associates – which operates an $80M Indefinite Quantity Contract from USAID. There are some frank and enlightening assessments of USG response and coordination, but very little discussion of aid accountability.
The UN Security Council has lifted its ban on diamond exports in Liberia, on the grounds that the post-conflict country has made significant progress in establishing necessary internal controls to comply with the Kimberley Process--a me