Diplomacy

Double-edged Sword: Vigilantes in African Counter-insurgencies

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Vigilante groups have been successful in providing local security. But subcontracting security functions to vigilante groups for counter-insurgency purposes is a dangerous option for fragile African states. African leaders should set clear objectives and mandates when enlisting vigilantes and invest in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs. ICG Executive Summary As weak African states face growing insurgencies, they do what weak states tend to do: subcontract certain security functions to non-state actors or vigilante groups, many of which had taken up ... Read More »

Why is Canada supporting Africa’s most ruthless dictator?

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September 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pambazuka News — After amending the constitution to be able to run indefinitely Paul Kagame recently won 98.63% of votes in Rwanda’s presidential election. Yves Engler Links In response Canada’s High Commissioner Sara Hradecky tweeted: “Congratulations to Rwandans for voting in peaceful presidential election” and “Canada congratulates Paul Kagame on his inauguration today as President of Rwanda”. The latter Tweet was picked up by the state propaganda organ ... Read More »

At democracy’s birthplace, France’s Macron dreams of EU 2.0

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ATHENS, Greece — Standing at a Greek site where democracy was conceived, French President Emmanuel Macron called on members of the European Union to reboot the 60-year-old bloc with sweeping political reforms or risk a “slow disintegration.” By Derek Gatopoulos and Elena Becatoros | AP The Washington Post Macron, on a visit Thursday to Athens, urged EU nations to carry out six-month national reviews on EU reforms before imposing them — signaling his distance with the German-backed approach based on fiscal discipline ... Read More »

Merkel Wants to Apply Brakes to Turkey’s EU Aspirations, As Relationship Sours

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Berlin (CNSNews.com) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded coolly Wednesday to calls by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the European Union to end drawn-out accession talks, amid a growing conviction that Erdogan-ruled Turkey is not a suitable candidate for E.U. membership. James Carstensen Addressing officials of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Erdogan insisted Turkey “has complied with all its commitment,” and has not moved away from a “strategic goal of E.U. membership.” “You’ve kept Turkey waiting,” ... Read More »

India Should Learn the Right Lesson from China Standoff

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Why the India-China standoff near the Sikkim border happened at all and how it ended on August 28 after seventy one long and anxious days will never be fully known MELKULANGARA BHADRAKUMAR Strategic Culture The Indian government maintains cryptically that «following diplomatic communications, expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China at the face-off site at Doklam» took place. It falls far short of claiming any mutual agreement or understanding – or of any mutual withdrawal as such. And ... Read More »

Merkel Just Gave In To Erdogan’s Cries Of Populism

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By threatening to end Turkey’s EU bid, the German chancellor just signaled to members of her constituency that they’re politically expendable. Stefan Ihrig HuffPost HAIFA, Israel― German election TV debates are usually rather dull affairs compared to those in the United States. This election, there is only one ― German Chancellor Angela Merkel apparently did not feel like doing more ― and it took place over the weekend, just three weeks before the vote. On Sunday, Merkel and rival Martin ... Read More »

World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

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World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in MyanmarPersecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s security forces has escalated to its worst level in years, becoming one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. Editorial The Age So extreme is the systematic brutality against this stateless, downtrodden and demonised minority of 1.1 million people in a nation of 54 million, 90 per cent of whom are Buddhists, that the United Nations is suggesting it is tantamount to ethnic cleansing ... Read More »

The Kurds Are Not Children

Iraqi Kurdish demonstrators wave the Kurdish flag during a protest demanding for the independence of Kurdistan outside the United Nations offices in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region, on August 23, 2014. About 700,000 Iraqis have gathered in the Kurdish north after being driven from their homes by jihadist Islamic State (IS) fighters, the UN said as it stepped up a massive aid operation to the region. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

They have earned their independence, and the West must get out of the way By Bernard-Henri Lévy  Foreign Policy The timidity of the international community in the face of the Sept. 25 referendum on an independent Kurdistan is a trifecta of shame, absurdity, and historic miscalculation. We are talking about a people who have been deported, Arabized by force, gassed, and pushed into the mountains where, for a century, they have mounted an exemplary resistance to the tyranny their Baghdad ... Read More »

Buddhism and State Power in Myanmar

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Extreme Buddhist nationalist positions including hate speech and violence are on the rise in Myanmar. Rather than ineffective bans on broad-based groups like the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion (MaBaTha), the government should address underlying causes and reframe the debate on Buddhism’s place in society and politics. ICG Executive Summary The August 2017 attacks by al-Yaqin or Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which the Myanmar government has designated a terrorist organisation, have pushed Rakhine state into renewed ... Read More »

Turkey Can Forget About EU Membership

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Turkey will never become a member of the European Union, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally said so in public. Michael J. Totten World Affairs Journal “The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU,” she said in an election debate with her opponent, Martin Shulz. “I’ll speak to my colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks.” The only thing surprising here ... Read More »

US-China clash of civilisations is being played out in the South China Sea

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Mark Valencia says the hard and soft power confrontation between the two has all the makings of an existential contest because both see it as their right and destiny to dominate and shape the international order. A clash may be inevitable. Mark J. Valencia South China Morning Post The struggle between the US and China for control of the South China Sea is symptomatic of a much deeper “clash of civilisations”. According to Samuel Huntington, the originator of this theory, ... Read More »

Kenya: A Historic Decision, A Tough Road Ahead

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Kenya’s Supreme Court decision to annul the 8 August presidential election is bold and historic, but the path ahead will be fraught. A successful rerun within 60 days will need compromise on a better electoral commission, more accountable policing and more effective management of the high-stakes vote. ICG The 1 September decision by Kenya’s Supreme Court to annul the results of the 8 August presidential election and order a fresh vote was at once unexpected, historic, bold and – by ... Read More »

North Korea Nuke Tests Show Need for New Policy Response

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North Korea’s sixth nuclear test heightens regional anxieties and is dangerous for populations living nearby. But in itself it does not fundamentally alter the situation nor should it raise the risk of military conflict. Instead, it should spur the U.S., South Korea and China to forge a stronger, more effective and more united diplomatic approach. ICG In a season of repeated North Korean provocative steps, the 3 September underground nuclear test ranks as the most serious to date. Not only will ... Read More »

A new multilateral world without the US

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A global consensus is emerging without the US. Canada and other countries that rely on a liberal world order must reinforce key multilateral institutions. Colin Chia Policy Options Can multilateral cooperation keep the international order going with the most powerful country acting as dead weight? Canada is adopting a broad foreign policy posture that presumes the answer is yes. With the US taking a hard line in NAFTA negotiations and seeing the bilateral relationship in “win-lose” terms, upholding a broader ... Read More »

Siege: Envoy insists Qatar will not bow down

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The daily lives of Qataris and residents have not been affected although the blockade was a surprise and in violation of international humanitarian law and all the customs of the region and of humanity as a whole, said a Qatari… The Peninsula Qatar has been able to recover swiftly by seeking alternative markets to import goods and avoid shortages because of the siege imposed by Saudi-led bloc, said Sultan Al Mahmoud (pictured), Qatar’s ambassador to… In an interview with the ... Read More »

How America Can Keep From Losing in the South China Sea

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Washington is losing ground in the South China Sea, and risks making the situation lasting unless America imposes “real” strategic costs to China. Tuan N. Pham The Diplomat Part one of this two-part series provided strategic perspectives and context to the recent uptick in tensions in the South China Sea (SCS) following a year of relative calm since the International Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague handed down its historic and sweeping award on maritime entitlements ... Read More »