This Week in South Sudan – Week 14

Monday 31 March 36 civilians killed in clashes in Duk County, Jonglei. Heads of World Food Programme and UNHCR visited South Sudan. Peace talks suspended until 30 April. Tuesday 1 April Prosecution witness Aleu Ayieny Aleu withdrew as witness in the treason court case. The African Union Commission of Inquiry of South Sudan opened its… Read more »

Issues for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots was launched in April 2013 with the objective of achieving a ban on the development, production and deployment of lethal autonomous weapons. In May 2014, the issue will be discussed by a UN expert meeting under the auspices of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva. At this stage, it is inevitable that there will be much debate and discussion over the scope and meaning of any future prohibition. The Campaign is still being shaped, and what will be necessary for its success is that over the next few years a group of states and governments coalesce around a shared understanding of the problems and its solutions.Read More

Treason Case in South Sudan: Why now?

While peace negotiations between the SPLM/A and the SPLM/A-in-Opposition have entered a third round in Addis Ababa, the government of South Sudan is in the process of putting several of South Sudan’s most prominent politicians on trial. The court case is highly politicised and inextricably linked to the struggle for power in South Sudan. Shortly… Read more »

Female Empowerment in DR Congo

The gate of City of Joy, a center for healing, and training for survivors of gender-based violence. (Photo: Gudrun Østby, PRIO)

In January 2014 PRIO researchers Gudrun Østby and Ragnhild Nordås went on a two-week fieldtrip to Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu, DRC. The main purpose of the visit was to launch the new collaborative project, “Female Empowerment in Eastern DRC”, funded by the Research Council of Norway. This project is based on a partnership between PRIO and the International Centre for Advanced Research and Training (ICART), which is a collaborative initiative between researchers from the Panzi Hospital, Panzi Foundation DRC, and the Université Evangelique en Afrique in Bukavu, DRC.

Read more at the blog of the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies, 1 April 2014.

This Week in South Sudan – Week 13

Monday 24 March The South Sudanese government dropped their demand that the former detainees must be excluded from the IGAD peace talks if the talks are to proceed. Clashes between the SPLA and the SPLA-in-Opposition in Nasir County (Upper Nile). Tuesday 25 March Peace talks in Addis Ababa resumed. UN warned of a potential food… Read more »

Last Chance in the Middle East?

EgyptianCourtThis week, an Egyptian court sentenced 529 defendants to death after a two-day trial. Finally, after being mostly silent through more than half a year of brutal repression by Egypt’s military regime, Western governments expressed ‘shock’, judging the sentences to be ‘unacceptable’. Whatever the consequences this farcical trial will have for Western policies towards the military regime in Egypt (if any), it is probably going to be too little, too late. Since the military coup on 3 July 2013 over a thousand persons have been killed, and the super-rich Egyptians who fled the country after Mubarak’s ouster are starting to make preparations to return. The military is so far succeeding in overseeing a counter-revolution that will bring Egypt back to the good old days, minus the Mubarak family and their close friends.

Read more in the blog post published March 28, 2014 at the New Middle East Blog

“Polite green men”

As the “polite green men” were taking control over the Crimea, another unit of Russian paratroopers landed on the Kotelny island, as TASS proudly reported. More extensive coverage of that high-risk exercise is here. An article in Nezavisimaya argued that “penetration of Greenpeaceniks and radical Islamists is a grave threat to the Russian Arctic“. This… Read more »

Fleeing Conflict in South Sudan

As peace talks in Addis Ababa resumed yesterday, five days later than scheduled owing to disagreements over participation, a political compromise still seems to be in the future. Meanwhile, the humanitarian impact of the conflict intensifies day by day. As the rainy season approaches and transportation becomes increasingly difficult, as many as 4.9 million people… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 12

Monday 17 March Japan announced that they will provide $1,5million to South Sudan in order to support the peace process. UNMISS prepares for the rainy season and relocated displaced in Juba. The pressure group Justice for Juba four (J4J4) demanded the release of the four detainees charged of treason. Clashes south-west of Rumbek, two SPLA… Read more »