• Africa

    In South Sudan Camps, Radio Is a Powerful Tool

    by  • March 22, 2017 • Africa, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    Jess Engrebretson is a different kind of humanitarian-aid worker. As an American journalist and Thomas J. Watson Fellow, she has worked with local radio projects in Indonesia, Rwanda and Liberia on post-conflict resolution and human-rights reporting. From 2014 to 2015, Engrebretson helped develop radio infrastructure in a camp for displaced people near Malakal, South...

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    Can a Trusteeship Rescue South Sudan? Unlikely, Experts Say

    by  • February 22, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations • 

    The intense civil conflict in South Sudan that broke out in December 2013 and has brought the world’s youngest nation to the edge of genocide has not subsided, with no solution in sight. Once more, the United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the newest status report from the UN Secretariat, as President...

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    It Still Exists: Slavery Drags On in Mauritania Despite Being Illegal

    by  • February 15, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Women • 

    NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — “The officials here in Mauritania will tell you the opposite of what victims will tell you, which is that there is no slavery in Mauritania,” said Brahim Bilal Ramdhane, who lives in this West African capital and was enslaved during his childhood. “They will just tell you that people who say...

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    Timbuktu’s Ancient Manuscripts Are Being Saved but Not Translated

    by  • February 7, 2017 • Africa, Education, Unesco • 2 Comments

    TIMBUKTU — Down the road from the 700-year-old iconic Djinguereber mosque in this north-central Malian city lies the Al Qadi library, a private, family-owned collection holding hundreds of manuscripts from nearly a millennium ago. The manuscripts are priceless treasures of African history that experts say cover a range of topics, from minute religious law disputes...

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    Goodbye, Obama: A West African’s Loving Farewell

    by  • January 9, 2017 • Africa, Education, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 2 Comments

    ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — The 2008 United States presidential election was an incredible time for me, here in West Africa. The election contributed to shaping my leadership skills and affected the course of my life. I used to take part in events at the US Embassy in Abidjan, our country’s commercial capital, as a...

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    Checking on the Health of the International Criminal Court

    by  • December 8, 2016 • Africa, Child Soldiers, Gender-Based Violence, ICC, International Justice • 

    THE HAGUE — At the glassy, eco-minded new building of the International Criminal Court here in the Netherlands’ capital, people who are being tried may still be called “detainees,” but make no mistake: they remain accused of such atrocities as murder, torture and child-soldier recruitment as well as gang-raping women and girls. It’s business...

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    Sudan, the Enigma

    by  • November 30, 2016 • Africa, Unesco • 

    KHARTOUM, Sudan — Arriving at the Khartoum airport near midnight, as I did a few weeks before the American presidential election, one is struck by the lineup of aircraft parked near the terminal. There is not a single Western airline among them, though one sees several from across the Arab world and parts of...

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