Top stories of the week (11-15 June)

Monday

Lesotho After May 2012 General Elections: Making the coalition work (ISS News)

On Friday 8 June, Thomas Thabane succeeded Pakalitha Mosisili as the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, not by winning elections but by building a coalition government with the support of the opposition. The outcome of Lesotho’s 2012 general elections was historic for three main reasons.

Firstly, the country moved from a single party majority government under the Lesotho Congress Party (LCD), led by former Prime Minister Mosisili since 1997, to a coalition government. Mosisili, who led the newly created LCD splinter party, the Democratic Congress (DC), to a significant win of 48 parliamentary seats (218 366 votes out of a total of 551 726) fell short of winning an outright parliamentary majority, leading to his defeat.

The second reason for the significance of these elections is that the coalition, which unseated and relegated the ruling DC to opposition status, was itself produced by opposition parties in the minority.

The third point to highlight is that the parliamentary opposition numbers are now far more significant than during the previous parliament, which was characterised by a fragmented and weakened opposition.

Tuesday

AU moves summit to Ethiopia after Malawi snubs Bashir (Reuters)

The African Union has moved its July summit to the Ethiopian capital after Malawi blocked the attendance of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the bloc said.

Malawi last month asked the African Union to prevent Bashir from taking part in the event, saying his visit would have “implications” for its aid-dependent economy.

“Following the withdrawal of … Malawi to host the 19th AU summit meetings … and after consultations among member states, it has been decided that the 19th summit will be held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the same dates,” the AU said in a statement late on Monday.

Wednesday

African Union seeks mandate to send troops to Mali (Reuters)

The African Union has asked the U.N. Security Council for a resolution that would allow military intervention in Mali, where Islamist militants have become an international security threat, the union’s commission chief said on Tuesday.

Jean Ping said union officials would meet Security Council representatives in New York to discuss the issue further, but he did not give any date for the meeting or details of proposed military aims in the West African state.

Thursday

Sudan agrees to resume talks with South Sudan next week (Reuters)

Sudan said it had agreed to resume talks next week with South Sudan to end hostilities between the arch-foes, state news agency SUNA said on Thursday. (…)

Talks over border security will resume in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman El-Obeid Morawah told SUNA late on Thursday. South Sudan had already said it was ready to resume talks next week. (…)

They also have to agree on how much the landlocked South should pay to export its oil through the north. Juba halted oil production in January to stop Khartoum from seizing southern oil for what the latter calls unpaid export fees.

Friday

Fatou Bensouda sworn in as ICC prosecutor
(Al Jazeera)

Gambia’s Fatou Bensouda has been sworn as the International Criminal Court’s new chief prosecutor, saying she is ready to lead the fight against the world’s worst war criminals.

“I Fatou Bensouda, solemnly undertake that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, honourably, faithfully impartially and conscientiously,” she said on Friday at a ceremony in The Hague.

The 51-year-old Bensouda, the first woman and African to head the team of prosecutors at the tribunal, had served as outgoing prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s number two since 2004.

Map of the week

Map showing the results of the Global Peace Index 2012 – The world has become more peaceful for the first time since 2009. More and an interactive map on The Guardian website

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