• Africa

    Pushing the African Union to Prevent Conflicts on Its Own Turf

    by  • August 22, 2016 • Africa, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    As the African Union ambitiously strives to end conflict and “silence the guns,” as it says, by 2020 amid rising instability across the continent, a new review by the World Peace Foundation on peacemaking efforts lays out how the African Union can become a stronger, more viable force in preventing and resolving violent conflict...

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    As China Becomes a Major Player in UN Peacekeeping, Will It Respond to Crises?

    by  • August 17, 2016 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    As China has projected its economic and military power more widely not only in Asia but also in Africa and to some extent in Latin America, little notice has been paid by the general public to another arena of growing influence: United Nations peacekeeping. In coming weeks, the Chinese are expected to announce the...

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    Fixing UN Peacekeeping Operations: The World’s Most Complicated Army

    by  • May 23, 2016 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, Women • 

    It has been almost a year since a sweeping assessment of United Nations peacekeeping operations by experts recommended significant changes from top to bottom: a reformed hierarchy in New York and greater coordination and discipline among military contingents in ever-more dangerous missions around the world. Few of their substantive ideas have been adopted. As...

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    Advocates for Besieged Children Say Collaboration Is Essential

    by  • May 1, 2016 • Africa, Asia, Child Soldiers, Middle East • 

    Grim images from the small world of children are multiplying. Little bodies adrift in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Uncomprehending faces pressed against wire fences and barricades in Europe from the Balkans to the French port of Calais. At least 17 Syrian children and their pediatrician slaughtered by a bomb apparently targeting a hospital...

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    Obama, at His Last Nuclear Summit, Urges Strong Vigilance Ahead

    by  • April 5, 2016 • Africa, Nuclear Disarmament, US Foreign Relations • 

    When the last of President Barack Obama’s four summit meetings on keeping weapons-grade material out of the hands of terrorists and criminals ended on April 1, there were no headline advances to report, as experts were predicting. Instead, Obama took the opportunity at a farewell news conference to count how considerable progress had been...

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    As Women’s Rights Gain Broadly in Africa, the Global Picture Looks More Mixed

    by  • March 15, 2016 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Latin America, Women • 

    Hailing from various corners of the world, five activists gathered in New York recently to assess the progress of women’s rights globally — presenting a mixed picture of gains in Africa but threats to women’s rights through new programs countering violent extremism — just as the world celebrated International Women’s Day. The five women,...

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    A Gift for Balance: ‘Soba’ Ladies Sell Their Goods

    by  • March 6, 2016 • Africa, Women • 

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Everyday, from dawn to dusk, under intense sunshine, thousands of women travel to work through the streets of this capital of nearly three million inhabitants, managing like tightrope walkers the dusty, cratered roads, slaloming between cars and motos, the skin of their feet cracked by the daily march, the lines...

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    Snakes, Scorpions and Red Tape: Europeans Adjust to the UN Mission in Mali

    by  • February 11, 2016 • Africa, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations • 

    Since its rollout in 2013, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali has been actively recruiting more European troops to strengthen its ranks of police, military and civilian personnel from African and Asian countries, typical sources for UN missions. The mission’s main mandate is to protect civilians, stabilize the country and carry out a...

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    In Burkina Faso, a US Ambassador Wins Over a Slice of Francophone West Africa

    by  • January 13, 2016 • Africa, US Foreign Relations • 

    Tulinabo Mushingi, center, the US ambassador to Burkina Faso

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Nowhere can the positive presence of the United States in West Africa be more obvious than in the quiet, dusty nation of Burkina Faso, a mostly rural state surrounded by six other countries of ranging stability: Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Togo. Near the heart of a well-coordinated...

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    All in Africa: The World’s 13 Highest-Mortality Countries

    by  • January 6, 2016 • Africa, Development, Health and Population, Poverty, Women • 2 Comments

    M'Poko camp in Central African Republic

    Despite remarkable reductions in mortality, 13 sub-Saharan African countries — 1 out of every 20 people in the world — have yet to achieve life expectancies at birth of 55 years, the global average attained a half century ago. These highest-mortality countries, with Somalia leading the list, are more than 15 years behind the...

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    The UN’s Support of Midwifery and the Serious Gaps That Remain

    by  • December 21, 2015 • Africa, Health and Population, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Agencies, Women • 

    Midwifery is one of the world’s most ancient vocations, its practitioners playing a prominent role dating back to the Bible. In much of the world, midwives continue to play an important role in maintaining the health of women and newborns. It should come as no surprise, then, that investments in this occupation, according to...

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    Report Damns the UN for Its Response to Sex Abuse Cases in Central Africa

    by  • December 17, 2015 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, UN Peacekeeping • 

    A strongly worded independent report released Dec. 17 condemned the United Nations for bungled and deceptive responses to reports of sexual abuse of children by primarily French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic in 2014. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his “profound regret” and accepted blame for the organization’s systemic failures. The report implicated at...

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    A Monastery’s Farm in Burkina Faso Feels the Impacts of Climate Change

    by  • December 5, 2015 • Africa, Climate and Environment, Development, Health and Population • 

    KOUBRI, Burkina Faso — More than 2,500 miles away from this village, world leaders met recently in Paris to try to save the earth from severe climate change and its deadly effects. Here in West Africa, people in rural communities scrape together livelihoods in a region that is extra-vulnerable to drought and hunger, problems...

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    Women Compete in Burkina Faso’s Presidential Contest, a First for the Nation

    by  • November 29, 2015 • Africa, Governance • 

    These Burkina Faso voters leave a polling station

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — This small but determined West African country voted on Sunday in its first presidential election since its last president, Blaise Compaoré, was ousted in October 2014. He had ruled the country for 27 years and was finally pushed out by a grass-roots opposition movement. Although the front-runner, Roch Marc Kaboré,...

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    A New UN Nutrition Program Financed by Africans for Africans

    by  • November 10, 2015 • Africa, Development, Education, Health and Population, Women • 1 Comment

    African foreign ministers attending the Unitlife launch at the UN

    The first United Nations development aid program financed solely by African countries for their own benefit was announced recently at the UN headquarters in New York. Unitlife, which was presented as world leaders convened at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, will tax the sale of oil, gold and other natural resources...

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