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Trafficking of Nigerian women into prostitution in Europe ‘at crisis level’ | Global development | The Guardian

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UN says 80% of the Nigerian women who came to Italy by boat in the first half of 2016 will be trafficked into prostitution

Source: Trafficking of Nigerian women into prostitution in Europe ‘at crisis level’ | Global development | The Guardian

“The trafficking of Nigerian women from Libya to Italy by boat is reaching “crisis” levels, with traffickers using migrant reception centres as holding pens for women who are then collected and forced into prostitution across Europe, the UN’sInternational Office for Migration (IOM) warns.

About 3,600 Nigerian women arrived by boat into Italy in the first six months of this year, almost double the number who were registered in the same time period last year, according to the IOM.

More than 80% of these women will be trafficked into prostitution in Italy and across Europe, it says…”

 

Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists – FT.com

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“This is the land of Isis, the jihadi organisation in control of swaths of Syrian and Iraqi territory. The trade in oil has been declared a prime target by the international military coalition fighting the group. And yet it goes on, undisturbed.

Oil is the black gold that funds Isis’ black flag — it fuels its war machine, provides electricity and gives the fanatical jihadis critical leverage against their neighbours.

But more than a year after US President Barack Obama launched an international coalition to fight Isis, the bustling trade at al-Omar and at least eight other fields has come to symbolise the dilemma the campaign faces: how to bring down the “caliphate” without destabilising the life of the estimated 10m civilians in areas under Isis control, and punishing the west’s allies?

The resilience of Isis, and the weakness of the US-led campaign, have given Russia a pretext to launch its own, bold intervention in Syria.

Despite all these efforts, dozens of interviews with Syrian traders and oil engineers as well as western intelligence officials and oil experts reveal a sprawling operation almost akin to a state oil company that has grown in size and expertise despite international attempts to destroy it…”

Source: Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists – FT.com

The Troubles Are Back – The New York Times

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Peace in Northern Ireland relied on a flawed power-sharing deal that set sectarian divisions in stone.

Source: The Troubles Are Back – The New York Times

LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland — IT is widely assumed that the Northern Ireland conflict was settled in 1998 with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The war was over and the good guys had won.

Many Americans may even derive satisfaction from the role played by American presidents and political grandees — notably, President Clinton’s point man, George J. Mitchell, who presided over the negotiations leading to the agreement.

Yet the deal delivered by Senator Mitchell contained the seeds of its own destruction. In effect, the Good Friday Agreement assigned every person in Northern Ireland to either the unionist or nationalist camp, and the decision-making institutions it created, the Northern Ireland Assembly and its accompanying Executive, were designed to be balanced between the two camps. The plan was not to eliminate sectarianism, but to manage its manifestations…

ISS Africa | Beyond rhetoric: the role of women in sustainable peacebuilding

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ISS Africa | Beyond rhetoric: the role of women in sustainable peacebuilding.

“A high-level review of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1325, expected to be released in October this year, provides an opportunity for policymakers to move beyond the rhetoric of gender mainstreaming and start putting words into practice. Resolution 1325 underlines the need for gender-sensitive approaches to peace and stability in post-conflict contexts.

Although the inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes has gained momentum in policy discussions over the last 15 years, the number of women in decision-making positions remains relatively small. Peacebuilding is the foundation for creating sustainable human security and equitable development in countries emerging from conflict. UNSC resolution 1325 recognises that women are disproportionally affected by conflict, and to address this, women should play a key role in achieving lasting peace after conflict…”

U.N. Set to Cut Force in Darfur as Fighting Rises – NYTimes.com

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U.N. Set to Cut Force in Darfur as Fighting Rises – NYTimes.com.

UNITED NATIONS — Under intense pressure from the government of Sudan, the United Nations is planning to shrink its floundering peacekeeping force in Darfur, even though renewed fighting there has chased more people from their homes this year than during any other in the past decade.

The withdrawal plans come right after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she had decided to suspend the genocide case against Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, because world powers have done nothing to secure his arrest.

The twin retrenchments are emblematic of the limits of international attention at a time when Darfur has been overshadowed by newer crises and conflicts around the world, from the civil wars in Syria and South Sudan to the Ebola epidemic…

I.S. = Invasive Species – NYTimes.com

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I.S. = Invasive Species – NYTimes.com.

I can’t think of a better way to understand ISIS. It is a coalition. One part consists of Sunni Muslim jihadist fighters from all over the world: Chechnya, Libya, Britain, France, Australia and especially Saudi Arabia. They spread so far, so fast, despite their relatively small numbers, because the disturbed Iraqi and Syrian societies enabled these foreign jihadists to forge alliances with secular, native-born, Iraqi and Syrian Sunni tribesmen and former Baathist army officers, whose grievances were less religious and more about how Iraq and Syria were governed.

Today, ISIS — the foreigners and locals together — is putting pressure on all of Iraq’s and Syria’s native species with the avowed goal of reducing the diversity of these once polycultural societies and turning them into bleak, dark, jihadist, Sunni fundamentalist monocultures.

It is easy to see how ISIS spread. Think about the life of a 50-year-old Iraqi Sunni male from Mosul. He first got drafted to fight in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war that ended in 1988. Then he had to fight in the Persian Gulf war I after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Then he lived under a decade of U.N. sanctions that broke Iraq’s middle class. Then he had to endure the years of chaos that followed the U.S. invasion, which ended with a corrupt, brutal, pro-Iranian Shiite regime in Baghdad led by Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that did all it could to keep Sunnis poor and powerless. This was the fractured political ecosystem in which ISIS found fertile ground…

On Iraq, Echoes of 2003 – NYTimes.com

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On Iraq, Echoes of 2003 – NYTimes.com.

Is this 2014 or 2003?

I’m flinching at a painful sense of déjà vu as we hear calls for military intervention in Iraq, as President Obama himself — taunted by critics who contend he’s weak — is said to be considering drone strikes there.

Our 2003 invasion of Iraq should be a warning that military force sometimes transforms a genuine problem into something worse. The war claimed 4,500 American lives and, according to a mortality study published in a peer-reviewed American journal, 500,000 Iraqi lives. Linda Bilmes, a Harvard expert in public finance, tells me that her latest estimate is that the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war will be $4 trillion.

That’s a $35,000 tax on the average American household. The total would be enough to ensure that all children could attend preschool in the United States, that most people with AIDS worldwide could receive treatment, and that every child worldwide could attend school — for the next 83 years. Instead, we financed a futile war that was like a Mobius strip, bringing us right back to an echo of where we started.

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