– No Land, No Life

Why are individuals willing to join armed groups and fight over land access? To find answers to this question I studied a militia in the Mt Elgon conflict in Kenya. A key finding of interviews with 75 ex-members of the SLDF militia was that the economic importance of land for farming communities is important for… Read more »

A More Comprehensive Measure of Women’s Wellbeing

Despite major strides, women in many countries continue to face huge constraints in personal security, social and political inclusion, and legal protections that harm their wellbeing and hold back economies. The Index reflects a shared vision that countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights and opportunity Several global… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 47

Tuesday 21 November Conflicting reports over clashes in Ayod area, Jonglei State. SPLM (IO) rejected the recent reunification deal between SPLM and SPLM Former Detainees (SPLM-FD) signed in Cairo, Egypt. Pagan Amum denies that the SPLM (IO) is excluded from the process, saying that this is part of the implementation of the Arusha agreement.  Wednesday… Read more »

Climate Change, Jihadism and Policy Failures in the Sahel

On the 22 November 2017, the Subcommittee on Security and Defence in the European Parliament held a public hearing on the ‘The Security Dimension of Climate Change – What Implications for EU Common Security and Defence Policy?’. I was one of three invited speakers at this event, and talked about ‘Climate Security in the Sahel’…. Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 46

Monday 13 November The President of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, arrived in Kampala for a two-day state visit to met with his Ugandan counter part, President Yoweri Museveni to discuss, amongst other things, the situation in South Sudan.  Tuesday 14 November Following diplomatic pressure from the US, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has promised… Read more »

Why Isn’t Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Treated the Same as Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Contexts?

The recent #MeToo hashtag and associated social media storm highlighted the extensiveness of sexual abuse and harassment and the exploitation of women and girls (and in some cases men and boys) by those in positions of power. It showed that the problem does not come down to a few “bad apples”, but is systemic, impacting… Read more »

Zimbabwe: from Coup to Democratization?

In the early hours of the morning on 15 November, the Zimbabwean military placed President Mugabe under house arrest. The coup against one of the longest serving rulers in Africa appears to have been a reaction to Mugabe’s ouster of his vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, to pave the way for his wife as the successor to… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 45

Tuesday 7 November Sudanese presidential assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid met with the British and Norwegian special envoy to discuss the regional and international efforts to end South Sudan’s civil war. SPLA officer from Aweil, Col. Chan Garang Lual, has reportedly defected to join the SPLA (IO) together with an unconfirmed number of other SPLA officers and… Read more »

Europe’s Quiet Offensive Against People Helping Refugees

A look back on three years since the end of Operation Mare Nostrum. Three years ago today, pressure by the European Union on Italy forced the end of one of the EU’s most successful humanitarian missions, Mare Nostrum, a search-and-rescue operation that in just one year brought 130,000 refugees safely to Europe’s shores. As the… Read more »