• Africa

    The Elephant in the Room: Congo’s Vicious, Illegal Fighters

    by  • February 11, 2018 • Africa, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    An open, informal meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 at the United Nations is meant to unite Security Council members in their efforts to rein in the recalcitrant Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, to allow the long-overdue presidential elections to go ahead this year. It is feared that Kabila’s refusal to carry out the vote, slated...

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    In Africa, Where the Pain of Trump’s ‘Racist’ Comments Runs Deep

    by  • January 17, 2018 • Africa, Caribbean, Geopolitics, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    In the United States, the reaction to the bigoted comments that President Donald Trump made on Jan. 11 about black-majority nations in Africa didn’t take long to shift its focus to domestic American politics, obscuring the shock of those abroad who have been maligned. Around the world, a very different story is taking shape....

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    Stopping Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping: An Interview With Marie Deschamps of Canada

    by  • January 15, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, UN Peacekeeping • 

    Marie Deschamps is a former justice on the Supreme Court of Canada who led the groundbreaking 2015 United Nations report of an independent review on sexual exploitation and abuse by international peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic. Deschamps agreed to talk in late December about how the report has been followed up —...

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    Zimbabwe Stuck With a Health Crisis Left by Mugabe Era

    by  • January 10, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Climate and Environment, Take a Look • 2 Comments

    Robert Mugabe, the only head of state that Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980, was forced out of office by an unexpected coup in November 2017, and citizens of the economically battered country are now forced to tally the costs of his dictatorship. One of them is a health system in collapse. A...

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    Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

    by  • January 9, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Peace and Security, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The 15 deaths and 43 injuries to United Nations troop personnel in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December would not, sadly, have surprised those of us who have served in peace enforcement missions with the UN.  These are difficult and dangerous places, where rebels have many advantages...

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    Least-Developed Countries, a Status That Many Nations Can’t Leave Behind

    by  • January 1, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Development, Poverty, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized least-developed countries as those deemed highly disadvantaged in their development strides because of structural, historical and geographical reasons. The aim has been, and still is, to support these countries to graduate to higher levels of self-sufficiency and economic independence, not in the sense for a privileged minority...

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    Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

    by  • December 27, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The horrific attack on United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early December and the ensuing hours-long battle was a severe blow to one of the UN’s more prized forces, leaving 15 soldiers dead. But the UN was already so concerned with a rise in peacekeeper fatalities —...

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    The Art of Infinite Patience: Searching for Peace in South Sudan

    by  • December 26, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    The South Sudan Council of Churches is an umbrella organization for seven Christian denominations — African Inland Church, Catholic, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Evangelical Presbyterian and Sudan Interior Church — working on peace and reconciliation in South Sudan and based in Juba, the capital. The country has been fighting a civil war for exactly four...

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    In East Africa, Threats to LGBTQ Rights Intensify

    by  • December 12, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, LGBT • 

    STONE TOWN, Tanzania — When a story circulated in August 2017 of male lions attempting to copulate with each other in Kenya’s Masai Mara national park, headlines and Twitter feeds went wild with speculation, ridicule and accusation. Despite Kenya being one of the more progressive countries in East Africa regarding LGBTQ awareness and rights, the...

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    The Problem of Peacekeeping Sex Abuse Is Not Going Away

    by  • December 4, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    There is no denying that sexual exploitation and abuse has acquired greater urgency within the context of United Nations peace operations. Although the UN launched its zero tolerance policy in 2003, a recent report tallied some two thousand accusations between 2005 and 2017 in peacekeeping settings, which underscores how harmful ineffective policies and specific...

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    Dear Ambassador Haley: Diplomacy Is a Team Sport

    by  • November 7, 2017 • Africa, Nikki Haley Watch, Refugees, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    When working on sticky world problems, should the United States use the United Nations as a forum to try to drum up global support for its policies, reasoning that it gains strength by linking its interests to as many other countries as possible? Or should it stand alone in a blind embrace of President...

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    A Novel Idea: Putting Refugee Health Care Experts to Work

    by  • November 6, 2017 • Africa, Health and Population, Refugees • 

    With a record 65.6 million people displaced from their homes around the world — 22.5 million of them classified as refugees who have fled across borders — alarms are sounding about the health risks in overcrowded refugee settlements. Sanitation is soon overwhelmed, hygienic conditions rapidly deteriorate and malnutrition rises, contributing to the spread of...

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    The UN Base in Timbuktu: A Demanding Deployment in the Sahara

    by  • October 30, 2017 • Africa, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    TIMBUKTU — Who wants peace in Mali? If everyone says they want it, why is carrying out the 2015 peace agreement and its cease-fire so difficult? Part of the challenge for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali is not only helping to implement the agreement in the major cities, such as Timbuktu, but...

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    Where the Hungriest People in the World Live

    by  • October 25, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Poverty, Take a Look • 

    The 2017 Global Hunger Index produced many sadly predictable findings but also worrying surprises. The report’s subtitle, “The Inequalities of Hunger,” suggests a reason. Naomi Hossain, the guest author of the report, looks at the power structures that can dictate every step of a food chain. “In food systems, power is exercised in a...

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    When Deaths Exceed Births, Countries Can Turn to Immigration

    by  • October 2, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Health and Population, Migration, Refugees • 

    The demography is clear: when deaths outnumber births — excluding for zero immigration — populations decline. That simple yet powerful demographic relationship is irrefutable, regardless of geography, era, economics, political ideology or religious belief. Yet many politicians around the world, who typically have short-term perspectives, particularly those living in countries facing population decline and...

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    Political Will: The Missing Link to Ending Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping

    by  • September 24, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 

    It is not surprising that António Guterres, the first United Nations secretary-general to be rooted in a life of politics and the first to have been a head of government, would look for a political strategy to address one of the UN’s most self-inflicted wounds: persistent sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions. When...

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    UN Chief Asks All Nations to Sign New Pact Protecting Women

    by  • August 21, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, General Assembly, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, Women • 

    Haunted by accumulating reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls by United Nations peacekeepers and others attached to UN missions around the world, Secretary-General António Guterres is taking the bold, unprecedented step of asking all governments to sign a compact pledging to prevent and stop these violations. The compact is voluntary...

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    Militia Most Likely Killed Two UN Experts in Congo, a UN Report Finds

    by  • August 16, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Security Council • 

    A militia from the Kasaï Central Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was “likely” responsible for the murders of the two United Nations experts who were killed in March 2017 in the province, according to a fact-finding report from an independent board assigned by the UN to investigate the deaths. The board...

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