An Incomplete Picture of the Humanitarian Crisis in the Lake Chad Region

The broader context of the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region, particularly in Borno State in the northeast of Nigeria, remains largely unknown to a Western audience, and in the media coverage it is mostly the stories about Boko Haram’s atrocities that are being told. Everybody condemned the jihadist group Boko Haram This was… Read more »

Playing Chinese Whispers with a Megaphone

These days, a press conference at the White House is cringe TV. President Trump greeting world leaders may leave unfortunate viewers squirming in front of the screen. It’s an experience simultaneously entertaining and unpleasant. One thing that already has generated countless internet memes and analyses among the Twitterati is Trump’s handshake. When the American president… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 12

Tuesday 21 Mars Hervé Ladsous, the outgoing UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, expects the first units of the regional protection force to deploy to Juba within the next few weeks. The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has rejected the participation of RPF troops from countries outside the region. SPLA (IO) has reportedly abducted four oil… Read more »

Democratise or disintegrate: how the AU can help South Sudan

The excerpt below is from a recently published report by Amanda Lucey and Liezelle Kumalo at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS). It is part of a broader project called ‘Enhancing African responses to peacebuilding’ by three partner organisations – ISS, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC)…. Read more »

Trump and Threats to Truth, Democracy and Peace

Stein Tønnesson delivered this year’s The Fjord Memorial Lecture  at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer. The lecture discusses Trump’s team of advisors, calls for fighting the increasing use of lies in political campaigning, sees Trump’s election as having weakened democracy worldwide, and perceives a major risk to world peace. Tønnesson ends the lecture… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 11

Monday 13 Mars Conflicting reports of alleged clashes in Leer town, Unity State, and Yuai area, Jonglei State. Tuesday 14 Mars Former political detainee, Leonzio Angole Onek says 32 others are still imprisoned, despite a recent vow from President Salva Kiir to release them. A UN report by the Commission on Human Rights in South… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 10

Monday 6 Mars The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) has granted Oranto Petroleum International Ltd. a license to explore for oil in block B3. The Nigerian company will be the technical operator and 90% shareholder of the block, with the GOSS-owned oil company Nile Petroleum Co. holding a 10% stake. According to the UN, GOSS… Read more »

A Tourist in Search of the Real Cuba

After traveling in Cuba for two weeks, I sit down to reflect: What is Cuba? A socialist laboratory for Che Guevara’s ‘New Man’? A vast outdoor museum of Spanish colonial architecture? An extraordinary collection of sixty-year old American gas-guzzling automobiles? A zoo for humans (excellent health care, low infant mortality, high life expectancy, cheap housing,… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 9

Monday 27 February Reported clashes in Tharwangyiela and Thonyor areas, Unity State. Foreign Policy: “South Sudan’s Man-Made Famine” New York Times “South Sudan’s Bleak Future” Bloomberg: “South Sudan’s Famine Is China’s Chance to Lead” Tuesday 28 February President Salva Kiir dismissed two state governors, Abraham Makoi of Western Lakes State and Rin Tueny Mabor of… Read more »