Armed Conflicts

DRC’s First Peaceful Transition of Power Was At Expense of Women

When Felix Tshisekedi, the 55 year old son of the former opposition leader, won the recent presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it should have felt like a new dawn for many of us living here.

Munich Security Conference – Old Question Marks in the Shadow of the Anthropocene

This year’s Munich Security Conference (the MSC), held on 15-17 February raised many questions but didn’t have the answer. It was not a happy and certainly not a self-confident gathering. Yet a couple of moments suggested the first new blooms of new ways to think about security might soon poke through the soil.

Sexual Violence Surging in South Sudan

Women and girls continue to face the brunt of violence in the northern region of South Sudan with persistently high and brutal levels of sexual violence, a new report found.

Economic Crisis Can Trigger World War

Economic recovery efforts since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis have mainly depended on unconventional monetary policies. As fears rise of yet another international financial crisis, there are growing concerns about the increased possibility of large-scale military conflict.

Billions of Swedish Krona Supported the Struggle against Apartheid

Between 1982 and 1988 Birgitta Karlström Dorph was on a secret mission in South Africa. "Why didn't they stop us? Probably they were not aware of the scope of the operation. The money was transferred through so many different channels. We were clever, " Karlström Dorph says. 

Seas of Death and Hope

The Mediterranean Sea is currently a sea of death. On the 20th of June every year, i.e. The World Refugee Day, an organization called UNITED for Intercultural Action publishes a “List of Deaths”, summarising information on where, when and under which circumstances a named individual has died due to the “fatal policies of fortress Europa”. The data are collected through information received from 550 network organisations in 48 countries and from local experts, journalists and researchers in the field of migration. The list issued in 2018 accounted for 27 000 deaths by drowning since 1993, often hundreds at a time when large embarkations capsize. These deaths account for 80 per cent of all the entries,1 there are probably thousands more dead, corpses that were never found and/or not accounted for.

Confronting the Challenges of Migration in West & Central Africa

Without a doubt, migration is a defining issue of this century. One billion people, one-seventh of the world’s population, are migrants. Some 258 million people are international migrants, 40 million are internally displaced and 24 million are refugees or asylum seekers.In 2018, there was no longer a single state that can claim to be untouched by human mobility.

As Treaties Collapse, Can We Still Prevent a Nuclear Arms Race?

The United States last week officially announced it is walking away from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, an agreement made between the USA and the Soviet Union in 1987 to eliminate a whole class of nuclear weapons that had been deployed in Europe and had put the continent on a trip-wire to nuclear war.

Ethics for artificial intelligence

Owing to our varied circumstances and experiences, there are contradictory tendencies to either exaggerate or underestimate the power and importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in contemporary society.

Back to the Future: Vietnam Now and Then

In 1989 I watched Back to the Future, Part II by Robert Zemickis, a complicated story about a youngster who from 1985 time travelled to 2015. Within the movie I spotted a poster from the imaginary 2015: US AIR Surf Vietnam. Back in 1989 I associated Vietnam with the war that lasted from 1955 to the fall of Saigon in 1975 and by different media was brought into the homes of millions, radicalizing and engaging youngsters, not the least me.

Why Are so Many Humanitarian Crises Under-reported?

According to a recent poll of aid agencies by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the most under-reported crisis of 2018 was the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Strangers in the Land: A Congolese Murder Case

I thought about this song by Paul Simon while I in 2011 spent a few weeks in Kinshasa. I was a foreign man in a strange world, surrounded by sights and sounds, completely dependent on my new-found Congolese friends. When our taxi got stuck in a traffic jam and we had to walk to our destination I was stopped by a group of heavily armed youngsters, lead by a man who claimed to be a policeman, charging me with an exaggerated high fine for taking photos within a restricted area.

Syria’s Kurds: The new frontline in confronting Iran and Turkey

US President Donald J Trump's threat to devastate Turkey's economy if Turkish troops attack Syrian Kurds allied with the United States in the wake of the announced withdrawal of American forces potentially serves his broader goal of letting regional forces fight for common goals like countering Iranian influence in Syria.

Acts of Terror Will Not Undermine Our Resolve

On 15 January 2019, terror struck Nairobi's 14 Riverside Drive.Kenya is in mourning following a senseless act on innocent and defenseless civilians by individuals preoccupied with contemptible and misplaced ideology; who hope to intimidate others through violent acts of terror. Like in their other past attempts, they have failed, and Kenya remains unbowed.

Interview with Brian Hook: We call Iran regime what it is – a ‘kleptocracy’

Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, was in Abu Dhabi as part of Mike Pompeo’s delegation touring eight nations across Gulf and Middle East. Hook sat down with Al Arabiya English for an exclusive conversation. Here is the entire interview:

Preventing a New Euro-Missile Race

Next month, it is very likely the Trump administration will take the next step toward fulfilling the president’s threat to “terminate” one of the most far-reaching and most successful nuclear arms reduction agreements: the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which led to the verifiable elimination of 2,692 Soviet and U.S. missiles based in Europe.

One Hundred Years of Solitude: Memories and Genocide

Denis Villeneuve´s film Blade Runner 2049 depicts a future where “bioengineered replicants” are used as slaves and killed if they misbehave. Replicants are manufactured and individualized as if they were real humans. They are even implanted with artificial memories, a measure intended to make them more “mental stable”, able to cope with their wretch existence as slave labourers. Dr. Ana Stelline, a character in the movie, explains how she manufactures memories:

Renew Nuclear Arms Control, Don’t Destroy It

A hard-earned lesson of the Cold War is that arms control reduces the risk of nuclear war by limiting dangerous deployments and, even more important, by creating channels of communication and understanding. But President Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton appear to have forgotten, or never learned, that lesson.

Of Cockroaches and Humans

Rita Levi-Montalcini, the Italian Nobel laureate honoured for her work in neurobiology, once gave a splendid conference with the title “The imperfect brain”. There she explained that man has a brain that is not used completely, while the reverse is true for the cockroach.

“No One Listened to Us!” The Ixiles of Guatemala

According to the Mexican Interior Ministry more than 7,000 Central American migrants have during the last month arrived at the US-Mexico border. Despite warnings by officials that they will face arrests, prosecution and deportation if they enter US territory, migrants state they intend to do so anyway, since they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence. This is not new, in 1995 I visited Ixil and Ixcan, two Guatemalan areas mainly inhabited by Ixiles. My task was to analyse the impact of a regional development programme aimed at supporting post-conflict indigenous communities. United Nations has estimated that between 1960 and 1996 more than 245,000 people (mostly civilians) had been killed, or "disappeared" during Guatemalan internal conflicts, the vast majority of the killings were attributed to the army, or paramilitary groups.

Q&A: Conflict in Africa makes Migration Compact Useless

The recently adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration continues to generate enormous debate as to its pros and cons. Evans Tekenge Manuika, head of Association des Travailleurs Immigrés au Maroc, who spoke to IPS at the  conference, warned that the Compact will remain a dead letter without peace in Africa.

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