Armed Conflicts

Russian Law Corners Drug Users

As local authorities prepare to put an end to opioid substitution treatment (OST) programmes in the newly annexed Crimean peninsula, drug users there say they are being forced to choose between a return to addiction and becoming refugees.

Court Upholds Most of U.S. “Conflict Minerals” Law

The United States’ second-highest court has upheld most of a landmark U.S. law requiring companies to ascertain and publicly disclose whether proceeds from minerals used to manufacture their products may be funding conflict in central Africa.

Conflict Fuels Child Labour in India

Early in the morning, 14-year-old Sumari Varda puts on her blue school uniform but heads for the village pond to fetch water. “I miss school. I wish I could go back,” she whispers, scared of being heard by her employer.

Russians Blend Loyalty to Nazarbayev with Pro-Kremlin Sentiments

On a hillside in northeastern Kazakhstan, south of the Russian border, a simple and stark slogan looms over the city of Oskemen: “Kazakhstan,” reads the message in giant white letters arrayed across the green slope.

Emerging Nations Opt for Arms Spending Over Development

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has relentlessly advocated drastic cuts in global military spending in favour of sustainable development, will be sorely disappointed by the latest findings in a report released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

World Cuts Back Military Spending, But Not Asia

For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less.

Taliban Screens a New Silence

Mushfiq Wali, a 22-year-old shoemaker in northern Pakistan, loves watching films in the local Pashto language. But he says the Taliban are a killjoy: their bomb attacks have led to the closure of movie theatres, again. “They don’t spare anything that brings happiness.”

Iraqi Sunnis Seek a Say

Sunni Muslims have set up a new party amidst uncertainties as to whether elections can be held as scheduled in the troubled western regions of Iraq. Polling for the 328-seat Iraqi parliament is due Apr. 30.

Trauma Still Fresh for Rwanda’s Survivors of Genocidal Rape

Claudine Umuhoza’s son turned 19 this Apr. 1. And while he may be one of at least thousands of children who were conceived during the Rwandan genocide, he’s not officially classified as a survivor of it. But his mother is.

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.

U.S.-Colombia Labour Rights Plan Falls Short

Three years after Colombia agreed to U.S. demands to better protect labour rights and activists, a “Labour Plan of Action” (LPA) drawn up by the two nations is showing mixed results at best, according to U.S. officials and union and rights activists from both countries.

Criminal Court a U.S.-Israeli “Red Line” for Palestinians

When Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas decided to defy the United States and Israel over stalled peace negotiations, he formally indicated to the United Nations last week that Palestine will join 15 international conventions relating mostly to the protection of human rights and treaties governing conflicts and prisoners of war.

Ukraine Crisis Cements Astana in Russia’s Orbit

The Crimea crisis is putting pressure on Kazakhstan’s long-standing, multi-vectored foreign policy, which has sought to balance the competing interests of Russia, China and the United States in Central Asia.

On 20th Anniversary of Genocide, Rwanda’s Women Lead

When Rwandan Member of Parliament Veneranda Nyirahirwa was just a girl, she wasn’t allowed to attend secondary school because of her ethnicity. 

Taliban Provokes New Hunger for Education

Following scattered defiance of the Taliban earlier, a new wave of students is now heading for education in schools and colleges across the troubled north of Pakistan.

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