Armed Conflicts

France, Russia, ECOWAS in Battle for Soul of West Africa

On July 26 2023 a man named Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, flanked by soldiers with military fatigues, appeared on Niger's national television to announce the execution of a coup. It was the country’s fourth coup since it gained independence from France in 1960.

Putin’s Many Paradoxes & Russia’s Weaponisation of Food

Russia’s special military or colonization operation in Ukraine continues to surprise. These surprises come from a decided absence of strategic thinking by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

Education Cannot Wait Interviews The Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell, United Kingdom Minister of State (Development and Africa)


The Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell was appointed as a Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) on 25 October 2022. He was previously Secretary of State for International Development from May 2010 to September 2012. He was elected Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield on 7 June 2001.

Ukraine Humanitarian Response Plan Only 30 Percent Funded

Civilian infrastructure is under attack in cities across Ukraine, and the need for long-term aid grows. However, the United Nations’ 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine is only 30 percent funded, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, told journalists.

Should Military Leaders be Barred from Addressing the UN?

A rash of military coups in African countries -- including Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea, Mali, and most recently Niger-- has raised a legitimate question: What should be the response of the United Nations, a world body that swears by multi-party democracy, on army take-overs? Condemnation? Yes.

International Inertia Follows Israeli Assault on Jenin in the West Bank

The likelihood of further confrontations remains high following a major Israeli military assault on an impoverished camp of more than 23,500 Palestinian refugees in Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank earlier this month. The landlocked Palestinian territory, located between Israel to the west and Jordan to the east, has been illegally occupied, according to international law, following the invasion by Israel 56 years ago.

The Humanitarian & Strategic Risks of US Cluster Munitions Transfers to Ukraine

The Biden administration’s decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions, a weapon widely banned for the inherent dangers they pose to non-combatants, is risky.

It’s Time to Invoke “Responsibility to Protect” in Sudan

When war broke out in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in April 2023, those of us who know the region well feared what would happen to the west, in Darfur. In 2003, former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called on the Janjaweed Arab militia to quell an uprising in Darfur.

UN Chief vs Russia: A Second Battlefront in the Ukraine War

The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the creature of—and subservient to -- the 193 member states who largely reign supreme in the world body. But, in reality, Antonio Guterres has been defiant and openly challenged one of the five permanent members of the Security Council lambasting Russia for its 17-month-old invasion of Ukraine.

A War That Could Have Been Averted

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the immensely destructive Ukraine War lies in the fact that it could have been averted. The most obvious way was for the Russian government to abandon its plan for the military conquest of Ukraine.

Wagner Mutiny Could Push a Weak Russia Closer to Iran

Iran is not interested in a highly powerful Russia that could block Iranian ambitions in the South Caucasus and Middle East. At the same time, a too weak Russia would constitute a dangerous development paving the way for greater Western influence along Iran’s northern border and potentially even leading to the reversal of Moscow’s dependence on Tehran.

Black Sea Grain Initiative ‘Paused’ But Africa Must Live Beyond Foreign Dependence

As Russia paused the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reacted with regret saying the global south would be badly affected.

Guns for Hire? A Season for Mercenaries

Just after a band of mercenaries tried to oust the government in the Maldives back in 1988, I asked a Maldivian diplomat, using a familiar military catch phrase, about the strength of his country's “standing army.” "Standing army?", the diplomat asked with mock surprise, and remarked perhaps half-jokingly, "We don't even have a sitting army."

Impatience as a Virtue

We all know and agree that patience is a virtue. It is indeed. With one exception. In the face of a child’s suffering, impatience is the highest virtue. Or as we say in the spirit of Education Cannot Wait: “We must be unapologetically impatient” in our collective goal to reach 224 million crisis-affected children and adolescents with quality education.

Twenty-five Years After the Creation of the International Criminal Court

On the night of 17 July 1998, the outcome of the Diplomatic Conference convened to create the International Criminal Court was still uncertain. Hundreds of state representatives and civil society organizations assembled in the FAO headquarters in Rome, holding their breath in anticipation.

Private and Public Spheres: Sweden and Mugabe

The war in Ukraine continues unabated; young men are sacrificed on battlefields, towns laid waste by aerial attacks, the threat of nuclear disasters is looming. People within an often formerly friendly inclined Europe are now wondering if Vladimir Putin has gone insane. The war in Ukraine is generally called “Putin’s war” and in April 2021 Putin signed a legislation providing him the right to run for two more consecutive terms, thus he could stay in power till 2036.

Supporting Conflict Prevention & Social Cohesion in Mauritania

Deep in the heart of Southeastern Mauritania lies the district and town of Bassikounou, nestled on the border with neighboring Mali, over 1,200 kilometers from the capital city of Nouakchott.

Is the Philippines a Beneficiary of US-Chinese Confrontation?

When President Ferdinand Marcos was running an authoritarian regime in the Philippines (1965-1986), he was once asked about rumors of rigged elections in his country. “I promised I will give you the right to vote,” he said, according to a joke circulating at that time, “But I did not say anything about counting those votes”

Water – a Weapon of War or a Tool for Peace?

The role of water in conflicts is changing, with more attacks against environmental and civilian infrastructure. Dr Martina Klimes of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) recently held a lecture describing the shifting security landscape and how water can be both a weapon and a victim of war – and sometimes a tool for peace.

The Ukraine War – Will it Ever End?

There seems to be no end in sight to the war in Ukraine. On the contrary it continues to escalate. The latest ratchet up has been the decision by the USA to supply the Ukrainian army with cluster bombs. These are nasty weapons which scatter and explode over a wide area. They are specifically designed to kill people rather that destroy infrastructure, military installations or communication hubs. They also have a sting in the tail – some of the bomblets remain unexploded, effectively becoming anti-personnel mines. These can turn wide swathes of territory into virtual no-go areas.

Prigozhin: An Outsider With an Army

The Wagner uprising – despite its short duration – has demonstrated the vulnerability of Putin's power system. In the past, the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin seemed like a dark, mysterious figure somewhere from the depths of the Kremlin's web of secrets. This also has to do with the fact that he did those 'jobs' for the Russian government that took place in a semi-official grey area — such as mercenary assignments in Syria or Africa, or even before that the operation of the Petersburg troll factory with a network of fake media and disinformation machinery.

« Previous PageNext Page »