This week’s reading list

On turmoil in Egypt:


4 Die in Egypt as Unrest Spreads Across Country

Democracy Muslim Brotherhood style making Mubarak look good – Araminta Wordsworth

The anti-anti-democrats of Cairo – George Jonas

Al-Azhar cleric fears civil war in Egypt as protests over Mohamed Morsi grow – Patrick Kingsley

 Top 100: The most influential people in armed violence reduction

The AOAV put together a list of 100 people who are are trying to change the world for the better by attempting to end armed violence.

– The Dilemma of Humanitarian Intervention – Council on Foreign Relations

Syria‘s  civil war has raised  debate about the international community’s responsibility to mount a humanitarian intervention. The Council on Foreign Relations reflects on R2P, sovereignty, and debates on interventions. It also reminds that “R2P is not solely about military intervention but, if it is to have any meaning at all, must include that option as a last resort.

– “Bono can’t help Africans by stealing their voice”

This article is more about development than about prevention but I found it very interesting.You don’t necessarily have to agree but there is a lot of truth in this article. I particularly liked this excerpt: 

“Bono claims to be “representing the poorest and most vulnerable people“. But talking to a wide range of activists from both the poor and rich worlds since ONE published its article last week, I have heard the same complaint again and again: that Bono and others like him have seized the political space which might otherwise have been occupied by the Africans about whom they are talking. Because Bono is seen by world leaders as the representative of the poor, the poor are not invited to speak. This works very well for everyone – except them.”

 More space should be given to those who are actually affected by poverty, diseases etc because they know best. Instead of working “on the behalf of the poor” we should be working WITH them and listen TO them. What does a board of billionaires know about these people daily struggles? What do I know about their lives and struggles?

– Middle-class rage sparks protest movements in Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria and beyond

Unless you live under rock, you can’t help but notice how many countries are currently affected by protests. I think this comment summarizes the situation pretty well:

“We are all linked together, Bulgaria, Turkey, Brazil. We are tweeting in English so we can understand each other, and supporting each other on other social media (…) We are fighting for different reasons, but we all want our governments to finally work for us. We are inspiring each other.”

 Is Harper’s Syria strategy wrong-headed by Zach Paikin and Kyle Matthews

Canada’s strategy in Syria has been quite a disappointment.The authors are not calling for military intervention but for an approach that does not isolate Russia. Middle-powers such as Canada can play an important role in this crisis because they are middle-powers and can act as interlecutors between bigger powers such as Russia and the US. 

“We encourage the prime minister of Canada to take pragmatic and constructive steps to achieve this goal by acting as an interlocutor between Russia and the West, thereby recommitting Canada to the enforcement of the Responsibility to Protect.”

– Syria’s Metastasising Conflicts  by the International Crisis Group.

The ICG calls for a de-escalation of the conflict and for a diplomatic settlement. The ICG suggests the following questions: “What kind of power-sharing solution can protect regime and opposition interests alike? What kind of state could emerge from a political process and be the foundation of a lasting solution? How must existing institutions change for this vision to gain substance? Is there a way to accommodate the concerns of rival regional actors?” 

– Susan Rice: Syria inaction a ‘stain’ on security council

Whether this means that things will finally move forward, I don’t know…

– The Next Darfur? In Sudan’s Rebel-Held Nuba Mountains, War Rages On – by Tristan McConnell

– The UN Security Council refers to states’ responsibilities regarding mass atrocity crimes twice in June – Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

– French ex-cop accused of Rwanda genocide complicity

Former French police officer and security adviser to African states accused of supplying arms to the Rwandan government in 1994. He did so knowing what was happening…

– A good report on the situation in Myanmar where the transition  from a military dictatorship has been marred by growing violence against the Rohingya, clashes between Buddhist monks and Muslims.

Myanmar’s Democracy Transition Marred by Anti-Muslim Rhetoric and Violence

You can also read this report: Crimes Against Humanity: The Case of the Rohingya People in Burma – by Aydin Habibollahi, Hollie McLean and Yalcin Diker. The Norman Paterson School for International Affairs and the All-Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity 




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