“It’s Been More than 40 Days and Sunday Never Came”

The sentence in the heading is often recalled and reshared by many Sudanese people who had to, and still are, enduring war, suffering, and displacement after the breakout of conflict between two armed forces, the Rapid Support Forces of Lt. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo (also known as Hemedti), and the Sudanese Army under the leadership of gen. Abdel Fatah Al Burhan in Khartoum on April 15th, 2023.

Galal Yousif

A war that is a battle for power between two rival armed forces has forced many to leave or lose their homes, jobs, and even worse, loved ones.

Before the fighting erupted, INSPIRE researchers Katarzyna (Kasia) Grabska and Azza Ahmed A. Aziz in partnership with Reem Aljeally from The Muse multi studios, in Khartoum, Sudan, organised a five day workshop with artists in Khartoum.

Open Space Khartoum opened on the 13th of April 2023 and was the result of over two years of ethnographic research (INSPIRE) with artists in the city. Collectively designed and organised, 15 artists, including visual artists, musicians, photographers and filmmakers, together with the two researchers worked with questions of what inspires their work and what their central themes of creative practice and their interconnectedness with the political and social context of Sudan are.

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Putin and Kim Meet at Russian Cosmodrome

On September 13, two armored trains met at a cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.

While this might read like the beginning of a joke, it is in fact an accurate description of last week’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin in September 2023. Photo: Vladimir Smirnov, TASS / kremlin.ru

Due to personal security concerns, the location of the two autocrats’ meeting was not announced until right before their two entourages arrived at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, some 1,500 kilometers by rail from Vladivostok (TASS, September 13).

Besides the superficial formalities, little is known about the more substantive content of the talks.Read More

We Could Have Prevented Thousands of Deaths in Libya

As Libya’s death toll rises due to the massive floods triggered by Hurricane Daniel, it’s normal to wonder if such a catastrophe could have been prevented.

Search and rescue operation teams continue their efforts after the floods caused by the Storm Daniel ravaged the region, in Derna, Libya on September 17, 2023. Photo: Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

New research published this month gives a better understanding of how and why countries affected by armed conflict are more vulnerable to disaster.Read More

Morocco’s Response to French Aid After the Earthquake: Reverse Humanitarian Diplomacy?

Morocco was hit hard by the earthquake in the evening of September 8th, and has been scrambling to organize rescue and first aid operations to the affected areas since – notably the hard-to-reach and most badly hit villages of the Atlas mountains.

A man stands next to goods he has salvaged from the ruins of his house on September 13, 2023 in Ardouz, Morocco. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

On Monday 11 September, it was announced that Morocco had accepted the aid offer from four countries: Spain, United Kingdom, Emirates and Qatar – referred to as “friendly countries” by the Moroccan Interior Ministry.

One notable country is left out of the list, although being among the first to offer help: France. It is not a simple hazard. How should this refusal be understood?

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Russia’s Diminished Global Status Exposed in India

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s absence at the G20 summit in New Delhi on September 9 and 10 was not all that surprising and seemed hardly registered by any of the two dozen world leaders who attended.

Narendra Modi of India welcomes US President Joe Biden for the G20 Leaders’ Summit on September 9, 2023 in New Delhi. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Putin also missed the previous summit in Bali, Indonesia, and did not attend the most recent BRICS gathering in Johannesburg, South Africa, nor the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Jakarta in early September.

Instead, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has been shuttling from one high-level event to another delivering the same anti-Western message.Read More

Russia Remains Stubborn on Non-Renewal of Ukraine Grain Deal

It has been almost two months since Russia terminated the United Nations–approved deal ensuring the safe export of Ukrainian wheat and corn from its Black Sea ports.

And following his most recent meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on September 4 in Sochi, Russian President Vladmir Putin seems resolute on continuing to deny Ukrainian grain access to global food markets.

Wheat fields in midsummer (August) in Ukraine. Photo: Raimond Spekking / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Following the talks, Putin declared, “We will be ready to consider the opportunity of reviving the grain deal … after all arrangements set in it on lifting of restrictions on Russian agricultural exports are fulfilled” (TASS, September 4).

As a result, prospects for revival of the deal remain uncertain.

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Seeking New Leadership? Military Coups in Africa and Their Implications

In a 2021 op-ed, we predicted that military coups and political unrest in West African countries like Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso signaled a recurring pattern of semi-democratic military rule. Recent military takeovers in Niger on July 26 and Gabon on August 30 have now affirmed this prediction.

Mohamed Toumba, one of the leading figures of the National Council for the Protection of the Fatherland, attends the demonstration of coup supporters and greets them at a stadium in the capital city of Niger, Niamey on August 6, 2023. Photo: Balima Boureima/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

This raises a crucial question: are we witnessing the emergence of a new brand of political leadership in Africa, starting within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region?Read More

Six Years as Refugees and Still No Refuge

“What is happening with the Rohingya refugees? We heard so much about all the horrible things, but how are they now?”

These are questions I often get when I talk to people about my research.

Rohingya refugee woman in front of her shop at Noya Para Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh in May 2023. Photo: K M Asad/LightRocket via Getty Images

What is the situation for the Rohingya? The situation is terrible.

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Curtains for Wagner: Can Russia’s Show in Africa Go On?

The fall of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group and its impact on Russian activities in Africa: diminished authority of President Putin, fading diplomatic influence, and declining mercenary power pose challenges to sustaining interventions on the continent.

An alleged member of the Wagner group stands guard at the informal memorial for Yevgeny Prigozhin in Moscow. Photo: Vlad Karkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The abrupt end to the spectacular career of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of the Wagner Group and the proprietor of a substantial business and media empire, was anything but surprising. The shocking mutiny of his mercenaries on June 24 was to all intents and purposes an act of high treason.

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In the Israeli Democracy Protests, the Flag Has Become the Contentious Topic – The Occupation Is Not.

For the past few months Israel has experienced mass demonstrations both for and against the attempted judicial “reforms” by the current right-wing government.

A striking visual theme of the protests have been the ubiquity of the Israeli flag. Photo from Jerusalem in July: Eyal Warshavsky/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A striking visual theme of these protests have been the ubiquity of the Israeli flag. The use of national symbols like the Israeli flag is nothing unusual for Israel’s right-wing movements, indeed it has long been associated with the nationalist right-wing manifestations like the flag march through Jerusalem’s Palestinian parts.

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