This Week in South Sudan – Week 34

Monday 20 August According to Sentry, a US-based watchdog, General Jok Riak did not receive an official waiver from the UN when he visited China, thereby revealing a gap in sanctions enforcement. Tuesday 21 August The Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Festus G. Mogae, resigned from his position. Mogae was criticized for… Read more »

Is ‘Sustainable Migration’ a Valuable Concept?

Is ‘sustainability’ a good guiding principle for migration policy? Or does using this word muddle well-informed debate on international migration? The notion of ‘sustainable migration’ has been floated as a guiding principle for migration policy. Is it a concept we should embrace? On the one hand, it neatly captures the idea that migration should be… Read more »

Eid, Islamic finance and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, the ‘festival of sacrifice’ or the Greater Eid. The other Eid, Eid-ul-Fitr is the festival which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. This is when many Muslims pay their annual zakat – a religious tax equivalent to 2.5 percent of a person’s wealth each… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 33

Tuesday 14 August The next phase of IGAD’s peace talks started in Khartoum. Wednesday 15 August President Salva Kiir proposed that 14 of the 32 states should be governed by the opposition as part of the peace deal. Thursday 16 August Military chief General Jok Riak returned unimpeded from a visit to China, despite the… Read more »

Climate change and violence: The case for mechanisms

Bookshelves are getting heavy from dire portrayals of a hotter future with more conflict. Two of today’s most high-profile conflict cases – Darfur and the war theatre in Syria – have been strongly connected to environmental change, at least judging from media sources and pundits. While over a dozen studies have conducted statistical analyses on… Read more »

The politics of identifying potential terrorists

Is it possible to identify someone who might, one day, go on to commit an act of terrorism? And if it is, is it possible to intervene in order to disrupt or mitigate this potential? These questions have been central to state responses to the “war on terror” and have led to the creation of… Read more »

Game of Thrones – the Middle Ages and Today

Every generation has its own concept of the Middle Ages. Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama, but it also reflects the present, viewed through the prism of the Middle Ages. From Middle-earth to Westeros Many young people today picture our distant past in a way that is strongly influenced by The Lord of the… Read more »

Liquid Warfare: AFRICOM and its pop-up militarization

In recent years, an expanding conglomerate of armed actors is engaged in training operations, targeted killings and manhunts, often outside conventional war zones across the Middle East and Africa. These Western state-led operations mark a shift away from ‘boots-on-the-ground’ deployments towards light-footprint military interventions, and involve a combination of drone strikes and airstrikes, special forces,… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 32

Monday 6 August The National Salvation front (NAS) distanced itself from the agreement on outstanding issues of governance. The leader of NAS, Thomas Cirillo Swaka, fired six leading members of the party, accusing them of plotting to overthrow him. Tuesday 7 August The Troika (US, UK, Norway) and the European Union called on the government… Read more »