Stories written by Samuel Oakford
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Peacekeepers Greenlighted for CAR, but Mission Will Take Months

Amid alarming reports of ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to send an official peacekeeping mission to the conflict-torn country where the minority Muslim population has all but disappeared in much its Western half.

As Planet Warms, Clean Energy Investments Take a Dive

Policy uncertainty and plummeting solar prices led to a 14-percent decrease in investment in renewable energy in 2013, according to a report released Monday.

Executions on the Upswing

The number of recorded executions carried out worldwide rose 14 percent last year, as anti-terrorism measures in Iraq and hardline drug polices in Iran accounted for more than half of all reported government-sanctioned killings in 2013.

Political Wrangling Stymies CAR Peacekeeping Force

Budget constraints in Washington and obstinacy at the highest levels of the African Union (AU) have combined to dangerously delay a possible U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to sources close to negotiations currently underway in New York.

U.N. Report on South Sudan Paints Grim Picture

An interim human rights report released by the beleaguered U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan is being tentatively hailed by rights groups and observers who have pressured the mission to be more transparent with its findings.

An Environment-Wrecking Pipeline Hangs in Limbo

The Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota Nation, in the midwest of the United States, is one of the most abandoned places in the country and in the world.

In Bali, a Pivotal Moment for Climate Postponed

Facing a crucial meeting this week in Bali, the board of the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) once again postponed drawing out the bulk of policy that will guide the fund as it prepares to open later in 2014.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Dampen Shift Towards Renewables

Despite evolving public awareness and alarm over climate change, subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels remain a stubborn impediment to shifting the world’s energy matrix towards renewable sources.

Greater Transparency Urged for U.N.’s South Sudan Mission

As South Sudan’s fragile ceasefire threatens to unravel, human rights groups are calling on the U.N.’s mission there to make public its human rights reporting, a step they say will help lay the groundwork for reconciliation that never took place following independence in 2011.

CAR’s Sectarian Strife Worsens Despite French, AU Troops

Reports of horrific revenge killing continued to emerge from the Central African Republic Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Security Council voted to increase the international troop presence there and levy sanctions against those it suspects of war crimes.

Decriminalisation Comes to Davos

In the exclusive, rarified air of Davos, Thursday’s attendees at the World Economic Forum shared in a whiff of decriminalisation at a panel on drug policy in the Swiss alpine city that included former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Texas Governor Rick Perry and the head of Human Rights Watch, Ken Roth.


Clean Energy Investment Sags Amid Mounting Climate Risks

Despite Wall Street’s nascent rediscovery of green stocks, global investment in alternative energy declined by 12 percent last year.

Peacekeeping 20 Years after Rwanda

On Jan. 11, 1994, Romeo Dallaire, force commander of the United Nations Mission in Rwanda, sent a fax to U.N. Headquarters in New York, telling officials there a source close to the government had confided to him that Tutsis were being forced to register themselves in Kigali.

U.N. Peacekeepers Overwhelmed in South Sudan

As the death toll rises from South Sudan’s spiraling political and ethnic conflict, the ability of the U.N. to enforce its peacekeeping mandate in the country is coming under increased scrutiny.

Thousands Flee South Sudan as Conflict Shows no Signs of Abating

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported Tuesday that over 31,000 South Sudanese have fled the country since armed conflict broke out more than three weeks ago.

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