HONIARA, Solomon Islands
After ten years of working towards peace and reconciliation in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, following a five-year civil conflict known as the ‘Tensions’ (1998-2003) which left 30,000 people displaced and hundreds unaccounted for, people now go about their daily lives in improved freedom and personal security. But below the surface, untreated post-conflict trauma continues to impact many individuals and communities.
If Herod the Great was a controversial figure of his time, 2,000 years on the controversy isn’t about his legacy; it’s about who holds the rights to excavate and preserve his artefacts.
A Soviet-era 4x4 snores down the muddy road to the front line. It’s another foggy day in the flatlands east of the borders of the tiny and once autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, sandwiched between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Two of the three main objectives of the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal project grapple with how to “save the Dead Sea” and “build a symbol of peace in the region.” With Israeli-Palestinians relations and the Dead Sea at an all time low, questions arise whether the ‘Red-Dead Canal’ (as it is known in environmental jargon) could save not only the hyper-saline desert lake but peace itself.
Seventeen-year-old Afzal is an unusual orphan. Though his father died many years ago, his mother is still alive and living with Afzal’s grandparents and younger siblings in a house not far from the orphanage where the boy has spent most of his teenage years.
Water scarcity is fuelling deadly inter-ethnic wars that continue to claim lives in Kenya, according to government officials. And if nothing is done to educate communities on how to conserve the valuable resource, the situation will escalate, governance experts and environmentalists warn.
The protection of children remains critical in the Central African Republic, where parents willingly give their children to armed groups in exchange for protection and services.
As the world faces possible water scarcities in the next two to three decades, the U.S. intelligence community has already portrayed a grim scenario for the foreseeable future: ethnic conflicts, regional tensions, political instability and even mass killings.
Following Monday’s announcement of the death of long-time Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian civil society leaders and Western rights groups are characterising the turn of events as an opportunity to heal decades of increasingly stark sectarianism.
A rash of recent rape cases has sparked local criticism of the weakness of the justice system in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where inadequate resources and simple incompetence mean survivors of sexual violence hold little hope of obtaining justice.
Military action by West African states against the insurrection in northern Mali would be extremely risky without diplomatic support from neighbouring Algeria and Mauritania, according to International Crisis Group researcher Gilles Yabi.
Even as Côte d'Ivoire gradually recovers from the bloody events of the 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis, massacres in the western part of the country and the frequent sound of gunfire in the economic capital, Abidjan, are signs of the long road ahead.
Eliane Negui knew just what to do when she got word that a group of inmates had escaped from Abidjan’s main prison, MACA, earlier this month. After all, the 24-year-old, who has lived across a dirt road from the facility for nine years, had witnessed the same scenario just two months before.
The United Nations has called for sustained aid efforts in Somalia to prevent the war-torn country from experiencing another humanitarian crisis as more than three million people remain in need of urgent aid.
Non-governmental organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo province where Thomas Lubanga Dyilo used children as fighters in his militia in 2002 to 2003 have slammed his 14-year sentence as inadequate – and potentially dangerous.