Armed Conflicts

Russia and Syria in the Spotlight for Latest Idlib Medic Deaths

Medical aid groups have again blasted Russian and Syrian government forces this week for an ever-growing death toll among doctors, paramedics and other health workers in military strikes in northwestern Syria.

Rules of War Widely Flouted, 70 years on: Red Cross

World governments are not doing enough to stop armed groups from committing mass rape, torture and other war crimes, the head of the Red Cross aid group head Peter Maurer said on Tuesday.

The Moral Responsibility for Arms Trade

“I don’t want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster.” 1 These were the words of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 22 May 1940 when he learned of individuals profiting because of the booming arms trade industry during the Second World War. Seven decades down the line, President Roosevelt’s warning against the rise of the military-industrial complex and war profiteers is more relevant than ever and a telling testimony that for many in safe places war means profit. But, should the pursuit of economic profit be allowed to supplant ethical considerations, especially when weapons often end up in the hands of terrorists, human rights violators and criminal governments?

Mediating Peace in a Complex World

“It is all about orchestration”, was Martin Griffiths’, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, response to the question of what mediation in Yemen looks like today.

Nuclear Weapons Must Go: Lessons of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

It has been 74 years since a nuclear devastation took place. But a clear message stands -- that nuclear weapons must go and peace and love must reign. “Because if we forget the horrific consequences of the use of these devices, the likelihood of repetition is increased.” Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute told IPS, as the United Nations marked the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Canada Effectively Addresses Children in Armed Conflict

More than 24,000 violations have been committed against children across the globe, including recruitment into armed forces, abduction, sexual violence, deprivation of basic needs, attacks on schools and hospitals-- and even murder.

Migration and Human Solidarity

The migrant and refugee crisis has become a serious test for the unity of Europe as a political project. The inflow of destitute migrants and refugees has tested Europe’s political unity to an unprecedented extent. With a long-term solution to the migrant and refugee crisis nowhere in sight, the adverse impact of the current situation has the potential to unfold further and to give rise to a broader crisis with long-term implications, affecting Europe and the MENA region alike.

One Month Since Libya’s Migrant Tragedy, Detentions Continue

It is almost one month since an airstrike on a detention centre in Libya killed and injured scores of migrants and refugees locked up inside, many of whom were detained for doing nothing worse than fleeing instability or seeking better lives in Europe.

Human Rights Watch Disappoints on Human Rights

On 22 July 2019, Kenneth Roth published an article in Publico, Lisbon, entitled: “UN Chief Guterres has disappointed on Human Rights”.

Crime Against Humanity and Individual Guilt

On 8 July, Bosco Ntaganda was by the International Criminal Court (ICC) found guilty of crimes against humanity. The 41-year-old rebel leader, nicknamed The Terminator, had ordered his fighters to "target and kill civilians", kidnap children to be brought up as soldiers and girls to become sex slaves, while personally partaking in the crimes. The Court had gathered evidence from 2,000 survivors from the rampage that Ntaganda and his army ran through the north-eastern Congolese region of Ituri, where beginning in 1999, 60,000 people have been murdered by warring rebel armies. Eighty witnesses testified directly during the court proceedings, thirteen were "experts" and the rest victims.

U.N.’s Islamic State Probe Unit Kicks into Gear

A United Nations-backed probe into atrocities committed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq has frequently been criticised for making slow progress during its first two years of operations. Lately, that could be changing.

Women Are Pivotal in the War on Terror

On 10 July 2019 I was honored to moderate a meeting with women’s groups for the UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres, whose aim was to better diagnose the role of women in the prevention or instigation of violent extremism.

Community Action Is a Critical Weapon in the War on Terror

During the egregious Dusit attack, Kenya demonstrated remarkable, resilience, solidarity and stood firm against the terrorists.

The Libyan Disaster: Little Bits of History Repeating

The Libyan catastrophe and the suffering of ”illegal” migrants are generally depicted as fairly recent events, though they are actually the results of a long history of greed, contempt for others and fatal shortsightedness. Like former Yugoslavia, Libya was created from a mosaic of tribal entities, subdued by colonial powers and then ruled by an iron-fisted dictator. Now, Libya is a quagmire where local and international stakeholders battle to control its natural resources. The country holds the largest oil reserves in Africa, oil and gas account for 60 percent of GDP and more than 90 percent of exports.1 This is one reason why Egypt, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and many other nations are enmeshed in Libya. Furthermore, European nations try to stop mainly sub-Saharan refugees and migrants from reaching their coasts from Libya. An attempt to understand Italy´s essential role in the struggle over Libya´s oil and attempts to control unwanted immigration may help to clarify some issues related to the current situation.

U.S.-backed Kurds to Halt Child Soldier use in Syria

The United States-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have struck a deal with the United Nations to stop using child soldiers across swathes of eastern Syria under their control and to release all youngsters from their ranks, the U.N. announced Monday.

US & Iranian Actions Put Nuclear Deal in Jeopardy

Iran’s announcement that it may soon breach the 300-kilogram limit on low-enriched uranium set by the 2015 nuclear deal is an expected but troubling response to the Trump administration’s reckless and ill-conceived pressure campaign to kill the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

A Roadmap for Children as Victims, not Terrorists

The feeling in the air at a recent meeting of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was one of compassion and benevolence. The focus was on children as Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), a subject that everyone at the panel discussion argued is delicate and politically sensitive.

Patriotism versus Hope: Eritreans Wrestle with Leaving Home or Remaining

Most media narratives about Eritrea suggest an endless stream of young people fleeing the country, who couldn’t wait to escape. But the reality is far different and more nuanced—both when it comes to those who have left, and those who chose to remain.

Sharing the Burden of Refugees; the World Can Do Better

As the world marks World Refugee Day on June 20th to celebrate the strength, courage and perseverance of refugees, a glaring concern remains just how inadequate the global response to the refugee crisis has been.

As Sudan Struggles, AU Should Press for Justice and Accountability

On June 6, the African Union (AU) suspended Sudan from the 55-member group with “immediate effect.” The move came in response to a deadly crackdown on peaceful protesters in Khartoum, in which government forces, led by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), tore through a sit-in in the capital killing at least 108 people, and wounding hundreds. The AU’s decisive action has been widely applauded, but suspending Sudan is not enough.

Duel at the Shangri-La dialogue: Implications for us all

(The Daily Star) - The Annual Jamboree of global defence leaders at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore is much more than just a talkathon. Amidst the wining and dining, and in the chambers and corridors, policymakers and thought leaders get the opportunity to interact with one another intensely over a weekend. They try to make sense of how the regional critical security and related issues are evolving, against the backdrop of a rising Asia and a burgeoning superpower competition in what is now being increasingly viewed as the “Indo-Pacific Region”. Over the last several years the United States seemed to enjoy a walk-over vis-à-vis the agenda in the absence of senior Chinese protagonists. It invariably resulted in a spot of “China-bashing”, and a consequent erosion of its significance, the high quality of discourses notwithstanding.

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