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United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues

Description: This report discusses negotiations to launch a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) that began on June 3, 2003. A potential FTA would eliminate tariffs over time, reduce or eliminate non-tariff barriers, liberalize service trade, protect intellectual property rights, and provide technical assistance to help SACU nations achieve the goals of the agreement. This potential agreement would be subject to congressional approval.
Date: July 24, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle

Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur

Description: This report discusses the crisis in Darfur, which began in February 2003, when two rebel groups emerged to challenge the National Islamic Front (NIF) government in DarfurThe report describes the mechanisms used to cleanse the area of non-Arabs by “total disengagement of administration and suspension of all government services.”
Date: June 16, 2004
Creator: Dagne, Ted

The Middle East and North Africa: Political Succession and Regime Stability

Description: This report discusses the political future of various countries in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. A change in the leadership in these countries could significantly affect their policies toward the United States and their willingness to cooperate with the United States in achieving the stability needed to advance U.S. interests in this important region.
Date: August 29, 2003
Creator: Thayer, Amy E. & Prados, Alfred B.

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.- Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Date: March 29, 2007
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.

The 2009 U.N. Durban Review Conference: Follow-Up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism

Description: This report provides information on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism and the circumstances of U.S. withdrawal. It discusses preparations for the Durban Review Conference, including U.S. policy and reaction from other governments. It highlights possible issues for the 111th Congress, including the Review Conference preparatory process, U.S. funding of the Conference, and the political and diplomatic impact of U.S. engagement.
Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa

Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Description: This report discusses recent (2008-2009) pirate attacks on vessels, including United States vessels, in the waters off the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is sometimes called the Somali Peninsula and includes the nations of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This report explores reasons behind the increased number of pirate attacks in recent years, as well as what efforts are being taken to combat said attacks, including those by the 111th Congress and President Obama and his Administration.
Date: April 24, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren; Blanchard, Christopher M.; O'Rourke, Ronald; Mason, R. Chuck & King, Rawle O.

Instability in Chad

Description: The political and security situation in Chad remains volatile. Ethnic clashes, banditry, and fighting between government forces and rebel groups, both Chadian and Sudanese, have contributed to a fragile security situation in the east. The instability has forced many into exile from their homes due to ongoing violence. The presence of the displaced in refugee camps contributes to the escalated tension in the area. This report discusses these issues, as well as joint efforts between the United Nations and the European Union to deploy aid and improve regional security.
Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren

Ghana: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides information on current developments in Ghana and Ghana's relations with the United States, which are close. It describes the purpose of President Barack Obama's forthcoming trip to Ghana, which will focus on issues of good governance and socio-economic and political development, and characterizes the current state of play in bilateral relations. It also summarizes the policy agenda of Ghana's president, John Atta Mills, who won office by a narrow margin in elections in late 2008. The dynamics of that election are described in the report, as are recent policy-centered developments, economic challenges and performance, and socio-economic prospects. Ghana's international relations and bilateral development cooperation with the United States are also covered in the report.
Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Cook, Nicolas

Morocco: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the current political and foreign policy status of Morocco, especially with regard to its relationship with the United States and its struggles combating terrorism.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol

Tunisia: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the governmental structure and current political state of Tunisia, as well as additional general information regarding Tunisia's economy and dealings with terrorist groups. This report also describes the U.S.-Tunisian relationship in brief.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol

Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement

Description: Sudan, geographically the largest country in Africa, has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades. More than 2 million people have died in Southern Sudan over the past two decades due to war-related causes and famine, and millions have been displaced from their homes. The crisis in Darfur began in February 2003, when two rebel groups emerged to challenge the National Congress Party (NCP) government in Darfur. The crisis in Darfur in western Sudan has led to a major humanitarian disaster, with an estimated 2.45 million people displaced, more than 240,000 people forced into neighboring Chad, and an estimated 450,000 people killed. This report discusses this situation in detail and also discusses U.S. and international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis.
Date: July 16, 2009
Creator: Dagne, Ted

Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt, U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Date: October 4, 2006
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.

Libya: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides background information on Libya and U.S.-Libyan relations; profiles Libyan leader Muammar al Qadhafi; discusses Libya’s political and economic reform efforts; and reviews current issues of potential congressional interest.
Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.

The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA)

Description: The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) was introduced in response to Iran's stepped-up nuclear program and its support to terrorist organizations. No firms have been sanctioned under ILSA, and it has terminated with respect to Libya. Renewed in August 2001 for another five years, ILSA was scheduled to expire in August 2006. This report describes ILSA in detail, as well as related legislation.
Date: September 28, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Sudan: Humanitarian Crisis, Peace Talks, Terrorism, and U.S. Policy

Description: Sudan has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades. An estimated 2 million people have died over the past two decades due to war-related causes and famine, and millions have been displaced from their homes. The ongoing crisis in Darfur in western Sudan has led to a major humanitarian disaster, with an estimated 1.9 million people displaced and more than 213,000 people forced into neighboring Chad. This report outlines the Darfur crisis as well as the current political climate of Sudan overall, as well as international efforts to send economic aid and peacekeeping forces to Sudan.
Date: July 27, 2006
Creator: Dagne, Ted

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Description: When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. The United States currently provides TPS to nationals from seven countries: Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan. Under the INA, the executive branch grants TPS. Congress, however, has also granted TPS legislatively, and legislation pertaining to TPS has received action in the 110th Congress.
Date: September 30, 2008
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Ester, Karma

United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues

Description: Negotiations to launch a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) began on June 3, 2003. A potential FTA would eliminate tariffs over time, reduce or eliminate non-tariff barriers, liberalize service trade, protect intellectual property rights, and provide technical assistance to help SACU nations achieve the goals of the agreement. This potential agreement would be subject to congressional approval.
Date: July 24, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle