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Abstract: This is a transcript of an event held on 11 October at Chatham House. A panel of Pakistani journalists discussed the role of the media in Pakistan and considered what role, if any, the media can play in helping to bring stability to the country.
Abstract: The popular protests in Egypt have signalled major political change but also uncertainty. What lies on the road ahead?
Amongst other issues, Shadi Hamid explored the wider implications of unrest in this region, Ginny Hill examined the knock-on effect in Yemen and Dr Maha Azzam addressed the role of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Abstract: OneResponse is a collaborative inter-agency website designed to enhance humanitarian coordination within the cluster approach, and support the predictable exchange of information in emergencies at the country level. The website will support Clusters and OCHA fulfill their information management responsibilities as per existing IASC guidance. Key characteristics of the site include:
- A global entry page, where all global cluster guidance materials located on www.humanitarianreform.org is currently being migrated.
- Country or emergency specific content will be hosted on the field level site.
- A specific disaster site will be created within 24 hours, during the onset of a new emergency.
- A low-bandwidth version of the site is available, to enable access and exchange of information in poor connectivity environments.
- Information can be categorized as either public or private. This allows sensitive information to be made accessible only to cluster specific working groups.
- Clusters will directly manage their own content on the site.
- OCHA owns the website and is responsible for its management.
Abstract: This report documents numerous abuses during renewed fighting in the past year by parties to the 20-year-long conflict in Somalia. These include the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab, the Somali Transitional Federal Government, the African Union peacekeeping forces, and Kenya- and Ethiopia-backed Somali militias. The report also examines abuses by the Kenyan police and crimes committed by bandits in neighboring Kenya against Somali refugees.
Abstract: This report deals with a series of Indonesian military documents that were
passed to the West Papua Project -WPP- in early 2011.1 The documents
provide remarkable insights into how the Indonesian military (Tentara
Nasional Indonesia – TNI), operates within the disputed territory of West
Papua (disputed, that is, between the vast majority of Papuans and the
Indonesian government), and how they view West Papuan civil society. The
documents reveal the names and activities of Indonesian intelligence agents;
describe how traditional Papuan communities are monitored; and include a
detailed analysis of both the West Papuan armed guerrilla groups and the
non-violent civil society organisations which promote self-determination.
Identifying so many West Papuan leaders and others as ―separatists‖, these
documents effectively show that support for independence is widespread and
surprisingly well organised. West Papuans have long complained of living
under an Indonesian military ―occupation‖ and these documents go a long
way to substantiating this claim.
Abstract: For decades, the trade in conflict minerals has fueled human rights abuses and promoted insecurity in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in July 2010, includes a provision that addresses the need for action to be taken to stop the national army and rebel groups in the DRC from profiting from the minerals trade. Section 1502, the Conflict Minerals provision, is a disclosure requirement that calls on companies to determine if their products contain conflict minerals and to report this to the SEC.
This legislation has the potential to make a significant impact on the ground in the DRC; however, there has been considerable misinformation and fear-mongering spread about its requirements and likely impact. This document seeks to clarify some of the most common misconceptions.
Abstract: Written by Patrice Sartre, a retired French Marine General, this report recounts the achievements and weaknesses of United Nations peacekeeping operations while considering ways to increase robustness.
In the executive summary, Mr. Sartre writes: “The debate about robust peacekeeping pits the enthusiasm of ‘diplomats,’ who believe in peacekeeping but worry that it might not succeed in violent situations, against the scepticism of the ‘military,’ who see its failures as proof that the proper role of military forces is war fighting."
Mr. Sartre served in peace operations in Africa and the former-Yugoslavia. He currently lectures on African Security, UN and EU peacekeeping, and counter-piracy.
Abstract: This Policy Brief examines the real and imagined influence of al-Qa‘ida in North Africa and the Sahel. Despite a perception of the transnationalization of terrorist movements in North Africa under al-Qa‘ida’s banner, robust evidence of an effective al-Qa‘ida’s expansion in the Maghreb and the Sahara/Sahel region remains elusive at best. Rather, doubts about al-Qa‘ida’s actual threat and the efficacy of international response in the context of pervasive state failure in the Sahel raise questions regarding the policy objectives of US-led counter-terrorism in the region.
Abstract: Key facts and figures for Sudan with a focus on Darfur as of June 2011. Categories include:
- Geography and demographics Area Sudan
- Map and focus areas
- Human Development (HDI, Sudan)
- Economy, Budget and Aid
- GDP / govt revenue ($bn, Sudan)
- Aid ($bn, Sudan)
- Acute respiratory infections (incidents / 10,000 population, Darfur)
- Food security
- Cereal production (‘000 MT, Darfur)
- Urbanization (%,Sudan)
- Min. food basket (SDG / day, Darfur)
- Water and sanitation
- Conflict and fatalities (Darfur)
- Fatalities Darfur
- UN & Partners Work Plan 2011
- Displacement and refugees
- Villages affected (Darfur, cum. total)
Abstract: This publication draws attention to one of the most crucial yet overlooked humanitarian issues of today: violence against health care. Attacking health-care structures and personnel, and ambulances – as well as deliberately obstructing the efforts of the wounded to find help – are common features of conflicts throughout the world.
In Sri Lanka and Somalia, hospitals have been shelled; in Libya and Lebanon, ambulances have been shot at; in Bahrain, medical personnel who treated protesters are on trial; and in Afghanistan, the wounded languish for hours in vehicles held up in checkpoint queues. From Colombia to Gaza, and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Nepal, there is a lack of respect for the neutrality of health-care facilities and personnel, and medical vehicles, among both those attacking them and those who misuse them for military gain.
The ICRC has been documenting violence against health-care facilities and personnel, and against patients, since 2008 in 16 countries where it is working. The number of incidents that have been recorded is striking. But statistics represent only the tip of the iceberg: they do not capture the compounded cost of violence – health-care staff leaving their posts, hospitals running out of supplies and vaccination campaigns coming to a halt. These knock-on effects dramatically limit access to health care for entire communities, many of whose members may be suffering from chronic or war-related health problems.
Abstract: Crimes under international law, including rape and murder, continue to be committed by the Congolese army and armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo following decades of similar crimes across the country, Amnesty International said today.
A new Amnesty International report The time for justice is now; new strategy needed in the Democratic Republic of Congo calls for the reform and strengthening of the country's national justice system to combat impunity that has been fostering a cycle of violence and human rights violations for decades.
"The people of the DRC have suffered war crimes and crimes against humanity - including torture, sexual violence and the use of child soldiers - on an enormous scale and yet only a handful of perpetrators have ever been brought to justice," said Veronique Aubert, Amnesty International's Africa deputy director.
Abstract: Multiple threats to Libya's stability and public order could emerge if the Qaddafi regime falls. Scenarios range from Qaddafi loyalist forces launching a violent resistance to internecine warfare breaking out among the rebel factions. This instability in Libya could lead to a humanitarian disaster, the emergence of a new authoritarian ruler, or even the country’s dissolution. Given these potential consequences, Daniel Serwer recommends in this Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum that the European Union lead a post-Qaddafi stabilization force in Libya. The force preferably should fall under the United Nations umbrella with modest participation from the African Union and Arab League. The United States should support the stabilization effort with the aim of helping to establish a united and sovereign Libya with inclusive democratic institutions.
Abstract: This report is published by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq -UNAMI- in cooperation with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights -OHCHR- under their respective mandates. Information for this report has been gathered from direct monitoring by UNAMI as well as from a variety of other sources, including Government, UN Agencies, civil society, NGOs and media. It covers the period from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010. The draft of this Report was submitted to the Government of Iraq and the Government of the Kurdistan Region prior to publication and their views are referred to in the text or footnoted where appropriate.
Abstract: Three years after their August 2008 war over the South Ossetia region, tension is growing again between Russia and Georgia, and talks are needed to restore stability and create positive momentum in a situation that is fragile and potentially explosive. Diplomatic relations are suspended, and the two have only started limited negotiations, with Swiss mediation, on Russia’s World Trade Organisation membership. Yet, they share interests in improving regional security, trade and transport and should start discussions on these rather than continuing to exchange hostile rhetoric that only makes renewed dialogue more difficult.
Lack of contact has increased distrust since the fighting ended. For Georgia, Russia is an occupier who is undermining its sovereignty and security. While almost the entire international community regards South Ossetia and Abkhazia as parts of sovereign Georgia, Russia recognised both as independent shortly after the war. Moscow maintains an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 combat, security, and border forces in those two territories and is building and refurbishing permanent military bases there, in violation of the ceasefire brokered by the EU presidency in 2008. Some 20,000 persons displaced that year have been prevented from returning home, and casualties still occur along the administrative border lines.
Abstract: Why do some armed groups commit wartime rape on a large scale, while others never turn to sexual violence? Although scholars and policymakers have made many claims about the rates, severity and locations of wartime sexual violence, there have been few systematic efforts to gather data on sexual violence during conflict. Using an original dataset, I examine the incidence of sexual violence by both insurgent groups and state actors during civil wars between 1980-2009. I first establish that there is substantial variation in the severity of wartime sexual violence, both across and within conflicts. I then use the data in a statistical analysis to test a series of competing hypotheses about the causes of wartime sexual violence. I find strong evidence that the choice of recruitment mechanism—namely, whether the armed group abducted or press-ganged its members—predicts the use of sexual violence. I maintain that this finding supports an argument about the use of rape as a method of combatant socialization, in which members of armed groups who are recruited by force use rape to create and to maintain unit cohesion. I also find that contraband funding and genocide predict sexual violence by insurgents. Notably, there is no support for several common explanations for wartime sexual violence, including ethnic war and gender inequality. Drawing on data from the Sierra Leone civil war, I examine the observable implications of the proposed mechanism on the micro level in a brief case study. The results undermine conventional wisdom on the causes of sexual violence and suggest that multiple mechanisms may be at work in understanding wartime sexual violence.
Abstract: Conflict continues to pose one of the biggest
threats to the survival, development and well being
of a significant number of children across the world.
In the past decade, 2 million children have died
directly as a result of conflict and 6 million have
been permanently disabled or seriously injured.
Explosive weapons were responsible for the death
and injury of thousands of children in a number of
conflicts in 2009, including Operation Cast Lead
in Gaza, the final stage of the war in northern
Sri Lanka, and the intensification of conflicts in
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. In these
latter four countries, as well as in the occupied
Palestinian territory and Iraq, the use of explosive
weapons continued through 2010. Children were
often the victims in these conflicts, with too little
attention paid to minimising the risk to them or to
ensuring that their fundamental human rights, such
as the right to life,were not violated.
As well as governments’ use of explosive weapons
in populated areas, recent decades have seen
a rising number of non state actors using more
sophisticated explosive weapons. For instance,
information leaked from Afghanistan indicates that
the Taliban has used shoulder launched surface to
air missiles, which are more technologically
advanced than the rocket propelled grenades they
frequently use. Improvised explosive devices
have also become more sophisticated and more
deadly over the past two decades.
Section 1 of this report describes the impact
of explosive weapons on children and their
communities. Section 2 outlines the international
human rights and legal framework that could
and should be implemented to protect children.
In Section 3, Save the Children proposes three
steps towards minimising the impact of explosive
weapons on children and makes recommendations
to the international community, governments and
Abstract: IKV Pax Christi strives to enhance the protection of civilians in conflict. In the report, IKV Pax Christi expresses her concern about the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
From relatively simple improvised explosive devices to advanced aircraft-delivered bombs and missiles, all explosive weapons share certain characteristics that make their use in populated areas especially dangerous for civilian populations. By projecting a blast wave and shrapnel, explosive weapons indiscriminately damage the area around the point of detonation, making no distinction between soldiers or civilians. Furthermore, explosive weapons can also destroy critical infrastructure and frequently pose a long-term risk to populations in the form of unexploded ordnance. For these and other reasons, the use of explosive weapons in populated areas urgently needs to be addressed.
The report provides an overview of recent debates on the use of these weapons, existing agreements in International Humanitarian Law, and the consequences of the use of these weapons for civilians when used in populated areas.
Abstract: In 2001, Pax Christi Netherlands published a report
about the kidnapping industry in Colombia. Seven years on, and the number of kidnappings
worldwide has risen even more. The crime has lost
nothing of its potency as a cause of human tragedy.
Kidnapping is a serious violation of the most
elementary right of mankind: the right to a dignified
existence. We set out in this report to provide a brief
summary of the kidnapping issue on a global level, in
particular of kidnapping in conflict regions and fragile
states. The questions to be answered are concerned with
the financial and political requirements that the
kidnappers set, and with the impacts of these practices
on the conflict and its perpetuation, and on the
performance of the state.
Following on from the previous report, the emphasis of
this investigation is on kidnapping and extortion in
Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Firstly, we wished to
ascertain how the kidnapping issue has developed in
these countries in the past ten years. This raised the
question of whether there was any relationship between
the kidnapping practices in Colombia, and trends in
this crime in the neighbouring countries. Another
primary question regarding Colombia was concerned
with the role of the kidnapping theme in peace talks
and other dialogue between illegal armed groups and
the Colombian government, and with the possible role
of the theme in any future peace talks.
The final chapter investigates the kidnapping-related
policies of the EU member states, and as far as possible
we compare their policies with their actions in practice
in recent years. The main question is whether there is
any European consensus on how to deal with
kidnapping, and how to suppress the phenomenon.
What obstacles are there to a joint approach to the
Abstract: For more than a decade, research has stressed the importance of the economic dimension of conflict, and of the economic interests of belligerents. Competition among political, military and business actors for the control of mineral resources in the east of the country is being increasingly recognised as a pivotal factor in assessing the causes of instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This report is based on a thorough review of all the main literature on the subject since the year 2000. It describes and assesses the different categories of actors and the processes, chains and linkages that are involved in mining and trading of minerals in the Kivu provinces and in the territory of Ituri. It also reveals some of the main gaps in the information on the issue that is needed to develop and refine more effective peace-building strategies by national and international interveners.
Abstract: A host of publications over the last decade have highlighted the important role played by artisanal and small scale mining of coltan, gold and cassiterite in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, yet there is still little awareness of the modus operandi of the various actors involved in the exploitation and trade of these minerals. It is vitally important that initiatives aimed at reforming the artisanal mining industry are based on a thorough knowledge of the political, economic and social dynamics at the grassroots level. This research report analyzes the trading networks within the mining sector and their links to military, economic and political actors in eastern DRC, focusing on the provinces of North and South Kivu, and Ituri District in Orientale Province.
Abstract: In February the conflict was sparked by anti-Government protests which drew a Government of Libya response. Since then, the
conflict has moved back and forth across Libya. The humanitarian and protection situation remains of utmost concern to the
humanitarian community. Over 686,422 migrants have fled the violence, including 261,118 third-country nationals. Hundreds of thousands of Libyans are internally displaced. At least 40,000 are refugees in neighbouring
Tunisia. Humanitarian partners have provided over 5,180 metric tons of aid including food, medical supplies, shelter
and non-food items. Over 12,800 people have been evacuated from Misrata so far. The humanitarian community is in
contact with all parties to carry out assistance. By far the greatest impact has been wrought on Misrata, a city of 300,000
people, which has seen the bloodiest fighting with thousands of casualties. Precise numbers of civilians killed or injured are unknown.
Abstract: State-building is currently considered to be an indispensable process in overcoming state fragility: a condition characterized by frequent armed conflicts as well as chronic poverty. In this process, both the capacity and the legitimacy of the state are supposed to be enhanced; such balanced development of capacity and legitimacy has also been demanded in security sector reform , which is regarded as being a crucial part of post-conflict state-building. To enhance legitimacy, the importance of democratic governance is stressed in both state-building and SSR post-conflict countries. In reality, however, the balanced enhancement of capacity and legitimacy has rarely been realized. In particular, legitimacy enhancement tends to stagnate in countries in which one of multiple warring parties takes a strong grip on state power. This paper tries to understand why such unbalanced development of state-building and SSR has been observed in post-conflict countries, through a case study of Rwanda. Analyses of two policy initiatives in the security sector – Gacaca transitional justice and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration – indicate that although these programs achieved goals set by the government, their contribution to the normative objectives promoted by the international community was quite debatable. It can be understood that this is because the country has subordinated SSR to its state-building process. After the military victory of the former rebels, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the ruling elite prioritized the establishment of political stability over the introduction of international norms such as democratic governance and the rule of law. SSR was implemented only to the extent that it contributed to, and did not threaten, Rwanda’s RPF-led state-building.