• Africa

    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 • 1 Comment

    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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    Tunisia Acts on Violence Against Women, With Help From UN Women

    by  • August 6, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Poverty, Take a Look, US Foreign Relations • 

    • Prodded by Tunisian advocacy organizations and assisted by international legal experts, the Tunisian parliament passed a law in late July not only to curb violence against women but also to introduce measures to protect them and provide help to those who have suffered abuse. It is the first such law passed by Tunisian...

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    Russia Blocks Egypt From Pushing for More Oversight of UN Sanctions

    by  • July 31, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council • 

    Striving to leave an indelible mark as president of the United Nations Security Council in August, Egypt proposed that an informal working group, focused comprehensively on sanctions regimes, should be set up to advise the Council. But one powerful member of the Council, Russia, has said no to the idea, so it has been...

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    UN’s South Sudan Experts Criticized for Weapons Claims Amid Larger Problems

    by  • July 11, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Security Council • 

    A hard-hitting report published in April 2017 by the United Nations Security Council sanctions panel monitoring South Sudan was potentially marred by weakly sourced allegations about arms sales from Egypt and elsewhere, according to a senior Egyptian diplomat and two former UN sanctions experts. The perceived flaws in the South Sudan panel’s work are...

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    The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali Escapes Trump’s Hatchet

    by  • June 30, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    After a month of contentious debate between the United Nations Security Council and UN budget committees, agreement has been reached for the UN to stay focused on Mali and the Sahel region, where terrorism is threatening to destabilize the area. The region extends across Africa from east to west in an arc right below...

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    Despite the Terrorist Attack on Our Beloved Malian Resort, We Will Come Back

    by  • June 24, 2017 • Africa, Peace and Security, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    It always took me ages to hit the road to the Kangaba camp. Leaving downtown Bamako can be tricky, especially if your place is baco fé — on the far bank of the Niger River — as they say in Bambara, the local language. The traffic is a nightmare. On weekends, dozens of old yellow...

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    As the UN Chief Goes to Washington, He Reiterates Plight of Refugees

    by  • June 20, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Refugees, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 

    Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    On International Refugee Day, António Guterres reiterated the plight of refugees and displaced people worldwide — a phenomenal 65.5 million people — in his first media briefing at United Nations headquarters in months. He let drop that he is traveling to Washington, D.C., from June 27-29 to lobby Congressional members on UN budget matters....

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    Can the G5 Force Work Counterterrorism Magic in Africa’s Sahel Region?

    by  • June 15, 2017 • Africa, Terrorism, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Although the plan to deploy a West African troop contingent, called the G5 Sahel Joint Force, presents an opportunity to improve much-needed cooperation among the Sahel countries, it will not be a game-changer in the fight against the persistent security challenges in the region. Yet, without adequate financial and logistical support from the United...

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