Month: January 2015

Discussing Arctic issues in Brussels

Last Thursday (as it happens, right before the terror alert), a brainstorming session on Arctic matters was organized by the EU Institute for Security Studies, and I am glad to be a part of this undertaking. Juha Jokela from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs is in charge of this project, and the output is… Read more »

After Charlie Hebdo: We Must Never Cease to Protect the Rights of People who Provoke and Challenge

Why do satirists and critics of religion have to be so provocative? Why must they publish images that they know to be offensive to some people’s beliefs and traditions – and that brutal extremists may use as a pretext for terrorist acts? That such questions are asked is understandable. But for many reasons they must… Read more »

How did the Paris Killers Acquire their Guns?

At present we have very little information on the guns used last week by Saïd and Chérif Kouachi to commit a massacre at the offices of the publication Charlie Hebdo; and by Amedy Coulibaly in several shootings in Paris. They were armed with Kalashnikov pattern guns, however as nearly 200 different versions of the Kalashnikov… Read more »

The Road to Hell is Paved With Rapid Reactions

In the wake of a vicious crime, caution and restraint are a virtue. Once upon a time, in the realm of Xanadu, two and a half dim-witted but well-armed, well-funded and well-trained professional criminals committed cold-blooded murder, commando-style. While committing their crime, they uttered two sentences vocally and publically, following their script to a T…. Read more »

Futile Hopes for the Dubious Summit in Astana

Despite the apparent deadlock in armed clashes in eastern Ukraine, an idea to bringing together the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, together with their peers from Belarus and Kazakhstan as well as the leaders of France and Germany, gained momentum at the end of last week. Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev made an unscheduled visit to… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 2

Tuesday 6 January    South Sudan’s minority leader in parliament, Onyoti Adigo Nyikwak spoke out against the planned elections in June, saying it would enflame tensions and further divide the country. China pledged $33 million to improve South Sudan health care, the majority of the funds will be used to modernize the Juba Teaching Hospital…. Read more »

This Week in South Sudan 23-28 Dec. & Week 1

Dec 23-28th Opinion piece in Radio Tamazuj by PRIO Global Fellow Luka Biong Deng: South Sudan: Who to arrest, detain, search and seize? US President, Barack Obama, announced on Dec 23rd that South Sudan will be dropped from the AGOA trade benefit program with US markets as of Jan 1st 2015. China’s UN Peacekeeping troop… Read more »

Russia Enters New Year Mired in Troubles

The post–New Year holidays in Russia have brought less joy or happy expectations than usual to the country’s elites, the urban middle classes and even to Russia’s millions of labor migrants. Over the past 15 years, all these groups shared in the country’s prosperity, which had grown steadily since President Boris Yeltsin resigned and made… Read more »