ISIS Women Hoping to Return Home Are Met with a Cold Shoulder from State Officials

The media has yet again turned its attention toward the women of ISIS.

Currently ISIS only occupies one square kilometre of the so-called caliphate they once had, and as the final battles to regain former ISIS-controlled territory are unfolding, more and more ISIS fighters’ wives or widows have ended up in refugee camps all over Syria and Iraq. These wives and widows no longer have a caliphate to look to and many are reaching out to their home countries for assistance to return home. Many do so with the hope of providing a better life for their children.

Nouri Mosque in Mosul after being retaken from ISIS, Dec 2017. Photo: Antoine Glédel / Tasnim News / CC BY-SA 4.0

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A Fool’s Errand? Exercising Critique through Ethics in EU Security Research

Claims about being “critical” as academics seldom explain what being critical actually means for us, or what it implies for our professional and personal conduct. Sometimes, it is associated with distanced observation “from above”, while at other times it is about descending from the Ivory tower and engaging with political problems for a good cause…. Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 7

Monday 11 February The Minister of Labour, James Hoth Mai, said he will reform the civil service sector, with the primary aim of increasing youth employment. Tuesday 12 February The UN reports a surge in violence in Yei State displacing 8000 people, where about 5000 have fled to the DRC. The Diplomat: “How China Came… Read more »

Climate Change and Conflict

Does global warming really increase armed conflict? Recently, a new study joined a wave of research (e.g., here and here) that seeks to illustrate the effects of climate change on political violence. The most recent study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change and conducted by Guy J. Abel and colleagues, demonstrates that climate change… Read more »

What Do the Afghan Peace Talks in Moscow Mean?

The talks in Moscow between the Taliban and Afghan opposition politicians reflect a new world order, in which Russia is recognized as a global superpower. Even though the Afghan government remains on the sidelines, the talks may become an important part of the unpredictable Afghan peace process.

A ceremonial march at the onset of Soviet troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, 1986 (the last troops left on 15 February 1989). Credit: RIA Novosti archive, image #644463 / Yuriy Somov / CC-BY-SA. Via Wikimedia Commons.

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This Week in South Sudan – Week 6

Monday 4 February South Sudan and Uganda formed a join technical border committee to address and resolve border tensions. Tuesday 5 February The UN envoy for South Sudan, David Shearer, said fighting in South Sudan “has diminished greatly” since the signing of the revitalised peace agreement. The parties of the revitalized peace agreement agreed to… Read more »

Russia Is Set to Support Maduro to the Bitter End

All smiles during Maduro’s first visit to Russia in January 2015. Photo RIA-Novosti

Russia has positioned itself as the main supporter of Nicholas Maduro regime in Venezuela, taking the risk of turning a crisis in a far-away country into an embarrassing political defeat. Official propaganda has amplified this issue, so that 57 percent of respondents in a recent poll confirmed that they were following the developments, but only 20 percent of those who were interested believed that the US “provocation” was behind the crisis (VTsIOM, February 8). While Russia’s firm stance could turn out to be a mistake, it is determined by more than just “friendly feelings” toward Venezuela, so the appeal of US National Security Adviser John Bolton to Russia to change its course would hardly be heard. A third of readers of the business-oriented daily Kommersant tend to believe that frustrating the US policy is the main motivation of Russia’s course, but in fact, there are at least four underlying drivers in it.

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This Week in South Sudan – Week 5

Tuesday 29 January The editor-in-chief of the newspaper Al-Watan, Michael Christopher, fled South Sudan after being warned not to cover the protests in Sudan. Read more about this situation in our previous posts from week 3 and week 4. Wednesday 30 January The SPLM Former Detainees announced it will reunite with the ruling SPLM party… Read more »

Can President Trump Bring Peace to Afghanistan?

The negotiations between the United States and the Taliban may represent the most important turning point in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led intervention. But the path to an internal Afghan peace process is difficult, and only history will tell whether these negotiations marked the onset of a sustainable Afghan peace process or became just a fig leaf that enabled American withdrawal.

Photo: Sven Gunnar Simonsen / PRIO

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