WORLDVIEWS

Women’s Rights Defenders Are Tired of Being Told to ‘Push Back’ Against the Opposition

As a human-rights defender and women’s rights campaigner, I continue to be struck not by the many challenges now facing women’s rights organizations but by the constant calls for women to “push back against the pushback.” This call for women to push back against the many forces oppressing women’s rights organizations was repeated in a … Read more

A Survey on Mali for Malians: What They Want for Their Country

Since 2012, a German political think tank has surveyed Malians regularly on their country’s current affairs across a legion of crises. These include the 2013 jihadist incursion in the nation, the French-led militarization to oust the jihadists, the post-conflict stabilization work done by the United Nations and a new cycle of intercommunal violence erupting in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In the Central African Republic, War’s Most Forgotten Victims

I can’t stop thinking about Marie. She was 30 years old when I met her in 2015. Two years earlier, six fighters armed with rifles and machetes burst into her home in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui. Two of the fighters held her husband at gunpoint while the others pushed her to the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Justice for Darfur Is Critical for a Peaceful Future in Sudan 

Women from North Darfur performing a traditional dance

The people of Sudan finally ousted President Omar al-Bashir from power, on April 11, 2019. The people of Sudan must now transfer al-Bashir to The Hague to stand trial in the International Criminal Court, which, more than 10 years ago, indicted him for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur — including the … Read more

 

Pompeo Retreats on Universal Human Rights as US Looks More Inward

Secretary of State Pompeo

In an audacious move that could be the capstone of the Trump administration’s campaign to reverse decades of American support for human rights globally, the State Department is creating a separate new commission to advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on redefining United States policies, aligned with “natural law and natural rights.” For many human-rights … Read more

How Uruguayan Peacekeepers Found the Two Dead UN Experts in Congo in 2017

Two years have passed since the shooting murders of Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán, independent experts working for the United Nations Security Council in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in March 2017. Sharp, a 34-year-old American, and Catalán, a 36-year-old Swedish-Chilean, had gone on a mission, without UN escorts, to find information about atrocities … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Gains of LGBTQ Rights in Some Mideast-North African Nations May Be a Game-Changer

Progress in recognizing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people at the United Nations in New York and in Geneva may seem detached from the realities faced by LGBTQ people in the Middle East and North Africa, or Mena, region. Activists there, however, are navigating the UN human-rights system as part … Read more

Serving the UN Where Violence Never Ends: One Person’s Story

Simon Handy, a specialist in African politics and conflict, is a veteran of a hazardous and tormented mission in the Central African Republic that left him with an enduring cause that still haunts him. He argues that when a United Nations mission changes or is abandoned, as was the case for him, staff members can fall … Read more

 

English-Speaking Ghana May Adopt French as an Official Language: Why?

Ghana, one of the few English-speaking holdouts in Francophone-heavy West Africa, is suddenly talking about adopting French as an official language. How come? In 2017, Emmanuel Macron became the first French president to visit this former English colony in 60 years. At the time, Nana Akufo-Addo had been president of Ghana only a few months and … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why We Canceled an Event in the US Featuring West African Journalists

A resident returned to his home in the Mopti region of Mali after attacks in February 2019

Over the past eight months, we at the Mali-based independent news website Sahelien.com have been working on a documentary film called “The Forgotten Ones,” about the urgent security crisis in Mali’s Mopti region, where civilians, soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers are being increasingly killed. As part of our efforts to engage more directly with audiences … Read more

In Numbers, Africa May Be a Force in the Christian World by 2060

Schoolgirls in Sierra Leone

New projections from a leading American research group suggest that the number of Christians in various denominations and sects is steadily rising in Africa and could dominate the faith numerically worldwide for decades to come. In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, only three African countries were included in the top 10 in numbers … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Elusive Truth About the Death of Dag Hammarskjold and My Father

My clock radio clicked on. The morning news bulletin announced that United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane was missing. It was Sept. 18, 1961. I was 16. Over the next hours, my mother and sisters and I learned that Mr. Hammarskjöld, accompanied by Dad and 14 others, had flown from Leopoldville, in the Congo, to … Read more

 

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Equatorial Guinea’s Priority in the UN Security Council: Stability in West Africa

A trip by the United Nations Security Council to the Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau in West Africa to promote state sovereignty; a visit to the UN from one of Africa’s longest-serving head of state, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo; and discussions on arms and piracy: these are the big items on Equatorial Guinea’s menu this … Read more

Where Is the Worst Place for a Child to Be Born?

By one measure — the chances of surviving to young adulthood — sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the highest rates of child deaths at every stage of childhood. By contrast, the best place to be born this year was Australia or New Zealand, where only two of every 1,000 babies die in their first … Read more

Climate Talks Bypass the Poorest, Who Endure Polluted Homes

Today and every day around the world, in bleak rural villages and the poorest urban neighborhoods, millions of people are igniting small fires to cook their meager meals, brighten dark homes or scare away intruders at night. The number of people using small fires is not small. Climate scientists estimate that three billion people in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The G5 Sahel Force, Failing the Region and Failing Itself

BAMAKO, Mali — The G5 Sahel Force was conceived to enable greater coordination among five countries in the Sahel region of West Africa in fighting jihadist groups and to strengthen regional administration and development while relieving the United Nations mission in Mali of those burdens. Yet ever since the group — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, … Read more

 

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Ivory Coast’s Priorities in the UN Security Council: Postwar Peace

The Ivory Coast holds the rotating presidency in December in the United Nations Security Council at a pivotal point in its membership in the world body. The West African country was elected to its current term in the Council just as the last peacekeeping troops left in 2017, ending the UN’s presence there after a … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The US Is Driving the New Talks on Western Sahara, Involving Morocco and Algeria

Horst Koehler, a former German president who has been the United Nations special envoy for Western Sahara since last year, is bringing the parties to the longstanding conflict over that region to a roundtable meeting in Geneva soon. Koehler expressed his intent last summer to bring all the relevant players together by the end of … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

When Is an Attack on UN Peacekeepers a War Crime and When Is It Not?

The recent attack by a militia on the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which seven peacekeepers were killed, highlighted a question that the Security Council has hesitated to confront for years. What are the consequences when UN peacekeeping missions become parties to the conflict? The Security Council responded to the latest attacks on Monusco, as the … Read more

The UN’s Combat Troops in the Congo: ‘They Were Not Supposed to Die’

United Nations peacekeepers working for the mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed by a militia in a jungle in North Kivu Province on Nov. 15, leaving seven soldiers dead: six Malawians and one Tanzanian. Ten were injured. Twelve members of the Congolese armed forces were also killed, as national forces and … Read more

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