Middle East & North Africa

Clueless in Iraq

For many Americans and Brits the 2003 Iraq war is seen as not only a disaster for Iraq and its neighbours but also as a defeat of the US and UK forces. The recently published Chilcot inquiry lends its considerable weight to this view. It went so far as to describe the circumstances in which the British pulled out of Basra, after negotiating a deal with a local militia there, as “humiliating”.

Saudi Scapegoats

The eleventh day of September 2001 seems a distant memory now. On that day, 19 hijackers unleashed mayhem in the skies over the United States of America. Fifteen of these 19 hijackers, it would later be discovered, were Saudi citizens. Yet the war that ensued, that cast its bloody fingers deep into the Middle East and South Asia, would not be a war against Saudis. It was instead against Afghans, Iraqis and, at least via remote control, Pakistanis.

Suspend Saudi Arabia from Human Rights Council, Human Rights Groups Say

Saudi Arabia’s membership in the Human Rights Council (HRC) should be suspended by members of the UN General Assembly, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) said on Wednesday.

Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Sweden Among New Members of UN Security Council

Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Sweden were elected on Tuesday to serve on the UN Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members, while Italy and Netherlands have split the remaining contested seat.

The Case for Cash in Humanitarian Emergencies

Currently only six percent of humanitarian aid worldwide comes in the form of cash handouts, yet many aid organisations believe that cash transfers should be seen as the rule, not the exception.

Journalists Face Unprecedented Violence

There has never been a time more dangerous to be a journalist than today. On an average week, one journalist gets killed, according to UNESCO, and the pace of these attacks keeps increasing.

Worldwide Displacement At Levels Never Seen Before

Displacement has increased to unprecedented levels due to war and persecution, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has found.

Fearing Violence, LGBT Refugees Rarely Seek Help

Despite their extreme vulnerability, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees often do not seek the assistance they need, since revealing their sexual or gender identities can put them in grave danger.

Majority of Vulnerable Refugees Will Not Be Resettled in 2017

Only a small percentage of the world’s most vulnerable refugees will be resettled in 2017, according to new figures released by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) this week.

Leaving Saudi Arabia

The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is not one pilgrims or foreign tourists normally visit. Set against the Persian Gulf, it is the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry. Unsurprisingly, it is also home to most of its migrant workers whose labour populates this sector.

From Somalia to Afghanistan: The Dangers Local Journalists Face

On Sunday, June 5, three reporters were killed: Somali broadcast journalist Sagal Salad Osman, Aghan journalist Zabihullah Tamanna, and American photojournalist David Gilkey.

UN-Backed Findings Reveal Startling Small Arms Trade Increase

A report released by The Small Arms Survey here Monday shows the alarming rate at which the trade of small arms and light weapons has been increasing.

Terrorist Recruiters and Organ Harvesters Prey on Vulnerable Refugees

Ismail had just finished daily prayers when the men approached. It was a sweltering evening in the Maadi district of Cairo, and the group of three bearded figures, who had been loitering outside a mosque, spotted him as soon as he walked out. Ismail, a struggling Sudanese migrant, hadn’t eaten in a few days, leaving his eyes badly bloodshot. The men took notice of his condition. As they advanced, the air thick and choked with pollution, a cloud of dust swirled around them, settling on their clothes and facial hair.

UN Planning Airdrops for Besieged Syrians but Prefers Land Convoys

The UN has begun plans to deliver aid to besieged Syrian towns by air but says there are a number of obstacles in the way and that delivery by land remains its preferred choice.

YEMEN: Authorities foil Al Qaeda attack in Mukalla

General Faraj Salmin, who commands Yemen's Second Military Zone in the eastern province of Hadramaut, revealed today that the authorities had foiled a massive terrorist attack aimed at the local administrative headquarters in Mukalla. He said a car loaded with 15 high-explosive bombs had been detected in time before an individual linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, had been able to carry out the attack, averting a major disaster.

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