Monitoring South Sudan Week 12

Tuesday 20. March The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) protested against last week’s decision by the UN Security Council to renew UNMISS’ mandate, saying they were not consulted on the matter. GoSS has suspended Vivacell’s licence, one of the largest telecommunication companies in the country, for failing to comply with government regulations. Former SPLA chief… Read more »

On Militarism and Security: a Special Issue Introduction

This blog post briefly introduces the Security Dialogue Special Issue on Militarism and Security: Dialogue, Possibilities and Limits, guest edited by Anna Stavrianakis and Maria Stern (Volume 49, Issue 1-2, February-April 2018). Here they talk about their own article for the special issue, which also serves as its introduction.  By Anna Stavrianakis and Maria Stern If your child… Read more »

Measuring Women, Peace and Security

Last week, GIWPS together with the International Peace Institute and the Government of Norway cohosted a discussion on linking the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Index to WPS in practice. The WPS Index, launched in October 2017 by GIWPS and PRIO at the United Nations, draws on recognized international data sources to rank 153 countries on peace and security—and women’s inclusion and justice—in homes, communities, and societies.

Jeni Klugman at the launch of the WPS Index at PRIO.

The New York discussion, held alongside the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, touched on how the index and data more broadly can be used in advocacy efforts, challenges in collecting data in fragile or conflict contexts, and broader priorities for WPS action.

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This Week in South Sudan – Week 11

Tuesday 13 March Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, a former undersecretary in the finance ministry, has been appointed as the new Minister of Finance following President Salva Kiir’s dismissal of Stephen Dhieu Dau. Radio Tamazuj: “Profile: South Sudan’s new finance minister Salvatore Garang” At least 16 people were killed during inter-communal clashes in Jalwau, Warrap State, between… Read more »

The State of the Field in Climate and Security

This blog post was first posted on the Duck of Minerva. After nearly fifteen years of study, what do we know about the relationship between climate change and security? I recently attended a Woodrow Wilson Center event organized by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) on the state of the field. Along with Geoff Dabelko,… Read more »

Science Meets Policy, Practice, and the Public

Last week, PRIO co-hosted a set of meetings for peers, policy, and the general public at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. These events marked the end of Climate Anomalies and Violent Environments (CAVE), a three-year research project supported by the Research Council of Norway’s FRIPRO program. The project has contributed… Read more »

Will the “October Children” from Afghanistan Get Fair Treatment?

Is Norway’s asylum policy simply strict – or is it also fair and humane?

In the coming weeks, approximately 200 young Afghans – the so-called “October children” – will have their cases re-assessed.

Originally these children were granted temporary residence permits until they turned 18. Thereafter they were to be returned to life as internally displaced persons in Afghanistan, which in practice meant being sent to Kabul. Then the Norwegian Parliament voted for their cases to be re-assessed. The government was required to attach greater emphasis to the young people’s vulnerability and to assessing whether they had access to adequate contacts and resources to cope with life in Kabul.

Zendegi Soltani in front of the Norwegian parliament, November 2017. Foto Mónica Orjuela / Norwegian Afghanistan Commitee

Too strict! This was Parliament’s view of the initial assessments. Parliament considered that the assessments failed to attach sufficient importance to Norway’s objective of implementing a fair and humane asylum policy. Accordingly, the new assessments must be different – something more – than the initial assessments. The new review must not be merely a hurried  repetition of the first. The number of young people affected is not large. But the Directorate of Immigration must facilitate case-by-case assessments to establish whether each young person will cope on his or her own in Afghanistan today.Read More

This Week in South Sudan – Week 10

 Tuesday 6 March The New York Times op-ed on the on-going food crisis: “Famine Stalks South Sudan” Wednesday 7 March According to a GoSS representative, South Sudan has formally applied for observer status in the Arab League, a 22-nation regional organization. Friday 9 March GoSS has suspended the operations of Radio Miraya, owned by UNMISS,… Read more »

The Taliban’s Choice

The Taliban have, for the first time, been presented with a comprehensive peace initiative. This is an invitation they can not turn down.

Kabul … challenges the Taliban to demonstrate that they are capable not only of producing war and terror, but also of engaging politically. Photo: Creative Commons

President Ashraf Ghani’s proposal at the conclusion of the recent meeting of the Kabul Process on Peace and Security Cooperation was as bold as it was surprising. The package contains many new elements, and some things remain ambiguous, but the main news is that what is offered is a comprehensive package, without conditions or deadlines.

Many Afghans remain skeptical towards a peace process, and many are skeptical of the Taliban, the government, or both. If the Taliban reject the invitation, they also give a loud message that their preference is enduring armed confrontation.

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Putin’s virtual missiles create real risks

Surprise is a political technique Russia’s President Vladimir Putin excels at, and he did not miss the occasion to spring big surprises during his annual address to the parliament, on 1 March. The first half of the speech contained a rich menu of economic and social promises, but Putin’s delivery was uninspired, as if he was… Read more »