Month: December 2014

This Week in South Sudan – 15-22 Dec.

Monday 15 December Foreign Policy article by Ban Ki-Moon calling on the South Sudanese leaders to show statesmanship and commitment to the peace negotiations. South Sudan marks first anniversary of civil war. Opinion piece by John Kerry and Susan Rice: South Sudan’s leaders need to set aside their dispute. One year into the South Sudanese… Read more »

Poor Research or What?

A Norwegian political scientist published an article in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten on 17 December where he criticized the ‘waning-of-war’ argument promoted by, among others, Steven Pinker and ‘major parts of peace research’. Curiously, the article was published in the paper’s column for ‘dårlig forskning, flau formidling, kunnskapsløse politiske forslag og ren fusk’ (‘incompetent research,… Read more »

Foreign Helpers

While a small number of young Norwegian Muslims have travelled to Syria to join militant groups as “foreign fighters”, far greater numbers of young Muslims are supporting humanitarian efforts. Most media attention is focused on young people travelling abroad to fight, rather than on young people’s humanitarian work. Throughout the autumn, aid organizations and groups… Read more »

Denmark challenges Russia with the Arctic claim

Denmark (together with Greenland) delivered on Monday the claim for expanding its continental shelf in the Arctic by 895,541 square km to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (the impeccably prepared submission is filed on the UN CLCS website). The statement from the Danish Foreign Ministry is concise and precise –… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 50

Monday 8 December In Pictures by the Guardian: The Sudans: after the divide: South Sudanese IDPs caught in no man’s land, Mile 14, in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.* The ongoing conflict has crippled South Sudan’s economy as much of the labor force is displaced and oil revenue is down. The SPLM continues to push… Read more »

Fighting the War with the Ebola Drone

A particularly interesting and puzzling corner of the War on Ebola imaginary is inhabited by the triad consisting of Ebola, humanitarian governance, and unmanned technology, drones more precisely. Out of this triad has emerged what will here be called ´the Ebola Drone`. The Ebola Drone has materialized from a confluence of ideas about the relationship… Read more »

Education Creates Peace

On 10 December Nobel’s Peace Prize 2014 is awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai. Critical voices have claimed that their work is more about rights activism than promoting peace and that there is no obvious association between education and peace. Research into the causes of war suggests, however, that the Nobel Committee was right… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 49

Monday 1 December Following a private meeting between President Salva Kiir, and prominent members of the Bahr al Ghazal Dinka, Bona Bang Dhel – a Dinka elder, claimed the proposed power-sharing deal would set a bad precedent in South Sudan. Tuesday 2 December In response to national and regional media reports, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon… Read more »

Do they Really Care? Protection of Civilians and the Veto Powers

It was not until the advances of IS in Syria and Iraq turned into an international security threat that a military intervention was launched in September 2014. A horrendous civil war had then killed tens of thousands Syrian civilians and displaced millions without provoking any similar reaction. In this blog post I reflect on what… Read more »

Whither UNMISS?

The recent renewal of the mandate and the six-month extension of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) warrants a broader discussion of its current state of affairs and future strategy. Not only has the political context of the mission changed significantly since the onset of war, but the nature of the operation has also… Read more »