In the mountains east of the coastal port of government-held Latakia, three years of regime bombardment has left swaths of blackened stumps in the mountain forests and crumbling concrete structures in Sunni villages, most of whose inhabitants support opposition forces.
As the death toll in Syria tops 40,000 and some 400,000 have taken refuge beyond the country’s borders, a dearth of funding for civilian projects in areas under Free Syrian control risks undermining efforts to keep inhabitants united and the limited lines of communication flowing.
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.
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.
On election day long lines of people from Sabha’s impoverished community of Tayuri waited to vote under the harsh Saharan sun. Four hundred miles from the Mediterranean coast, Sabha is tucked into the volatile southwest bordering Algeria, Niger and Chad.