Month: February 2015

Between the Mosque and the Temple Mount

Unrest on and around the Al Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount in Jerusalem last autumn caused the Palestinian president, Mahmood Abbas, to warn that the conflict between Israel and Palestine could escalate into a religious war.  The site has extremely powerful national and religious symbolic value for both Palestinians and Israelis.

Dial ICT for Conflict? Four Lessons on Conflict and Contention in the Info Age

The past decade has witnessed an explosion of interest among political scientists in the outbreak and dynamics of civil wars. Much of this research has been facilitated by the rise of electronic media, including newspapers but extending to social media (Twitter, Facebook) that permit the collection of fine-grained data on patterns of civil war violence…. Read more »

After Debaltsevo – Is there a Chance for Ceasefire?

It is entirely correct to say that the “Minsk Two” agreement, reached on February 12, after painstakingly long talks between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, was broken inside the first week of implementation. Yet, as the battle for Debaltseve has drawn to its predictable end, the opposing parties may find it opportune… Read more »

Can Putin trust China?

The Ukraine crisis has made Russia more dependent on China. Putin is popular in Beijing, and Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are the best of friends. But can China save Russia from its crisis? 70 years ago, from 4-11 February 1945, Josef Stalin received US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and British prime minister Winston… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 8

Tuesday 17 February South Sudan’s Information Minister, Michael Makuei warned media groups and journalists of harsh punishments if they publish or broadcast interviews with rebels inside South Sudan. New clashes in Upper Nile between government forces  and the SPLA (IO) in Renk and Manyo. Lakes state parliamentary speaker, Baipath Majuec Relpuou, called on caretaker governor… Read more »

Conundrums in the Embrace of the Private Sector

The humanitarian sector faces an unprecedented number of crises globally. The growing operational and financial deficit in the capacity of governments and humanitarian organizations to respond has led to calls for changes in the way such crises are understood and managed. This involves a strong focus on cooperation and partnerships with the private sector. A… Read more »

Partnership of Contrarians

Russia connects with Turkey seeking opportunities in the Middle East. Violent conflicts in the Middle East gained new momentum in 2014, and the forceful multilateral efforts to contain them yielded far from satisfactory results. Both Russia and Turkey have remained aloof from these efforts, and often oppose US-led endeavors but they have major stakes in… Read more »

Who’s Afraid of “Waging Nonviolence”?

Since at least 2011, the Chinese government has censored numerous websites on the topic of nonviolent resistance, including websites for the Albert Einstein Institution, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, an online bibliography of scholarship of nonviolent action, and the website for the NAVCO data project, among others. A month ago, the Chinese government allegedly… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 7

Tuesday 10 February New clashes between government forces and the SPLM/A (IO) in Obudo County, Upper Nile state, and north of Bentiu in Unity state.   The Nuer Council of Elders (NCE) issued a statement criticizing the IGAD for suffering from conflict of interest and called for greater impartiality. Juba and Kampala denied claims by… Read more »

The Window of Opportunity Closes in Nigeria

On 14 February, the population of Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy, were supposed to go to the polls to elect a new president. This election might have proven a watershed in Nigerian history. For the first time, the opposition had a realistic opportunity to take over from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has held power ever… Read more »