Pinboard: News round-up

Central African Republic

Religious violence between Christians and Muslim is worsening in the Central African Republic. NGOs, aid workers, policymakers (such as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius) and UN representatives have issue warning of the violence spiralling into genocide. Amnesty International said war crimes and possible crimes against humanity may have been committed – people have been killed, raped and kidnapped. A clear sign that the conflict is escalating is the increasing number of child soldiers, now estimated at 6,000.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon first urged the Security Council to authorise the deployment of 6,000 blue berets but now says that another 3,000 should be on standby in case things get worse. “This cycle, if not addressed now, threatens to degenerate into a country-wide religious and ethnic divide, with the potential to spiral into an uncontrollable situation, including atrocity crimes, with serious national and regional implications,” he said. According to the UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, Christians and Muslim will end up killing each other if nothing is done now. He did not exclude the possibility of genocide occurring. In an extensive article titled “Unspeakable horrors in a country on the verge of genocide” David Smith asks “What needs to happen before the world intervenes?” This question is certainly legitimate once again.

The problem is that UN peacekeeping forces are slow to deploy. I have also seen very little political will, at least in the West, to prevent an escalation of the conflict in a decisive manner. The only country that has stepped forward is France, who backed a UN resolution in October. The Central African Republic may be a big country but in terms of international attention, it gets very little from world leaders, policymakers or the general public.

Evan P. Cinq-Mars, who works at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, wrote a good op-ed in The Ottawa Citizen in which he argues that while warnings have been issued the situation resonates with what happened in Rwanda and Darfur. Words and lots of tip toeing but no action. There is no genocide yet but if nothing is done, that we may be heading in that direction. 

Thierry Vircoulon, Africa expert at the International Crisis Group, wrote this piece in which he underlines (as many think tanks and activists often do) that “prevention of a crisis is much better than a cure — and much cheaper.” While CAR has a long history of conflict, the current escalation of violence could have been avoided if regional bodies such as ECCAS and the AU had agreed on a political solution to the crisis, put more pressure on the transitional “government” to protect civilians, and if the AU’s peacekeeping force had more resources and support. Now refugees are fleeing to neighbouring countries and there is a real risk of spill-over. CAR could also become a safe haven for terrorists groups such as Boko Haram. Consequently, it would be wise for the international community to act.

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Myanmar: no citizenship for the Rohingya

On Tuesday, the UN asked the government of Myanmar to grant citizenship to the Rohingya, a stateless minority group that I have previously written about. A government spokesperson replied that “”We cannot give citizenship rights to those who are not in accord with the law, whatever the pressure. That is our sovereign right.”

Considered as illegal immigrants and “Bengalis” (a pejorative term) by Burmese authorities as well as the Burmese citizen, the Rohingya have long been persecuted and violence, including pogrom-like attacks, against them has increased since Myanmar embarked on a reform drive.

The authorities’ refusal to recognize the Rohingya is a clear sign that they are being discriminated against.

Nyan Win, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, agreed with the government’s position and added that “the Rohingya do not exist under Myanmar’s law.”

 

Lord’s Resistance Army: Little hope to catch Kony despite rumors of talks

Last week a spokesperson for the President of the Central African Republic, Michael Djotodia, claimed that the president is currently in talks with world-known LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony, and that the latter may surrender. President Djotodia reportedly said: “Joseph Kony wants to come out of the bush. We are negotiating with him.”

What to make of these claims and the possibility of  surrender? Very little. While the LRA has been weakened in recent years and probably feels under pressure, many remain sceptical, including Ugandans. We’ve heard to story before. The US State Department, which has backed efforts to hunt down the LRA, does not give much weigh to the claims either, arguing that Kony and his top men use this tactic “to rest, regroup, and rearm (…).” Similarly the AU’s special envoy on the LRA said that Kony may be trying “his time-tested tricks of buying time by duping the CAR authorities into negotiations”.

We also have to consider where this is coming from. Michel Djotodia became president after ousting President Bozizé with the help Seleka, a rebel coalition that is committing widespread abuses in CAR. By now the country has pretty much become a “failed state.”

Nonetheless, Joseph Kony has been weakened. In the end perhaps, continued military pressure may “bring him out of the bush” but since we are aware of his bluffing tactics, that kind of pressure should continue in order to prevent his men from reorganizing.

 

Conflict Diamonds and the efficiency of the Kimberley Process

A new map of the eastern DRC reveals that artisanal mine sites controlled by armed groups (200) or by the Congolese army (265). It shows the location of 800 mining site, cases of illegal taxation by armed groups or the army Researchers at the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) found that gold is the number one conflict mineral in the region. The rise as the first conflict mineral is both the result of the high value of gold and stricter anti-conflict minerals legislation, gold being easier to smuggle than tin, tungsten and tantalum.

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Although there have been significant efforts to guarantee conflict-free mineral, there are loopholes in the supply chain, a clear lack of monitoring and due diligence. Governments in the region are clearly not imposing sanctions on those who buy minerals from armed groups.

There has been quite a lot of debate on the need to reform the Kimberley Process (KPSC), a mineral certification process founded in 2003. Delegates from 81 KPCS member countries called for stricter sanctions. One of the biggest criticisms made by NGOs is the weak definition of conflict diamonds. Described as “rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments”, they do not include state entities (ex: Zimbabwe in 2008). Times Live looks at the double-standards of the diamond industry.

 

The Justice vs. Peace Conundrum

“What place should the international community give to justice and accountability in its response to conflicts involving mass atrocities? Under what circumstances does the effort to pursue justice help or alternatively complicate the effort to bring atrocities to an end? Is it better to set a benchmark for justice by referring active conflicts to the International Criminal Court, or should efforts to seek justice be deferred until a peace deal is being discussed?” These are the questions raised by the European Council on Foreign Relations project on International Justice and mass atrocities. The goal? Examine the effects of international justice mechanisms on conflict resolution, the relationship between bringing violence to an end and holding perpetrators of mass atrocity crimes accountable: “How far are those two objectives mutually reinforcing, and how far are they in tension?” The debate over “peace vs. justice” is not new but the project takes a refreshing look at the debate thanks to the variety of case studies it examines as well as the impressive quality of scholars/experts Anthony Dworkin and the ECFR managed to gather. The ECFR commissioned 12 case studies in order to look at the variety of approaches and their consequences: Afghanistan, Bosnia, the DRC, Israel and Palestine, Kosovo, Liberia Libya, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Uganda and Yemen. The case studies are short and concise.

On the same, subject Al Jazeera presenter Mike Hanna sat down with the former President of South Africa to discuss the problem of peace and conflict, especially at time when many African leaders are rising against the ICC. Should justice trump peace?

 

DRC: one down but many others left

I have seen some optimism in Congolese and international media about the situation in the DRC. However, while the M23 may been militarily defeated there are other armed groups the DRC must still deal with. As this article by Ida Sawyer rightly argues, “it is by no means the end of Congo’s brutal story.” The M23 leaders and many of the rebels have found refuge in Uganda and Rwanda, who refuse to hand them over. No political solution has been found either so the cycle of conflict may continue. Foreign (the FDLR for example) and Congolese militia groups (self-defense groups such as the Mai Mai Sheka and Raia Mutomboki who are fighting the FDLR) are still very much present, especially in the eastern DRC, and continue to commit abuses against civilians. Similarly, in “An elusive peace” on The Economist’s Baobab blogger emphasizes the importance of a political deal with the M23 – the absence of a deal, considering the presence of M23 rebels in Rwanda and Uganda, is an “accident waiting to happen.” But the blogger also emphasizes on the need to track down the FDLR since Rwanda is unlikely to stop interfering in the DRC as long as these rebels are present in the Congo.

While the government and the UN may have won the fight against the M23, as Sawyer concludes “the road toward peace will remain as long as ever.” And this is without taking into consideration all other challenges, such as good governance and corruption, justice, reconciliation, and security sector reform. Amani Itakuya – Peace will come has published a list of articles written by journalists, academics, activists, and practitioners on the challenges and opportunities of peace building in the Congo and the Great Lakes region. This collection of articles allows us to get different views and arguments on a variety of subject linked to challenges in the region: conflict minerals, justice, the FDLR and the M23, the role of regional tensions and international intervention, security sector reform, ethnic conflict, and reconciliation.

 

Technology: Twiplomacy study

 Since the rise of social media, world leaders, policymakers, and international and regional organizations have embraced these new digital media to communicate and increase their impact. A new Burson-Marsteller Twiplomacy study looks at the way international organizations use Twitter and what we can learn from it. While some people may think of Twitter as something obsolete, they must realize that it has opened new communication channels. A lot of diplomacy occurs in the Twittersphere. These days important news, events or statements are tweeted before they appear on websites and certainly in traditional media. Statements, and judgments are made, debates and protests occur, and individual leaders also use Twitter to chat with their followers, thereby opening new communication channels. Imagine, combined, all organizations studied here have sent 770,547 tweets!

The Twiplomacy study focuses on 223 accounts from 101 international organizations, 51 personal accounts of these organizations’ leaders and 75 accounts in other languages. The research analyses each organization’s Twitter profiles and their recent tweet history based on 50 variables, including followers, retweets, replies and hashtags.

UNICEF is the most followed international organization. To measure an organization’s effectiveness, the research took into account the number of retweets (RT). The European Organization for Nuclear  (CERN) comes first, followed by UNICEF and the UN. To measure popularity, the study also looked at the number of times an account appears on Twitter lists. Here the UN comes first, followed by CERN, UNICEF, Greenpeace and WHO. You can also have a look at the most followed and the most conversational leaders

 

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Using Tech to Fight Mass Atrocities

As part of the Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab (DMAPLab), MIGS hosted an online panel discussion on the use of social media and other technologies to detect and prevent mass atrocity crimes.
The panel titled “Using Tech to Fight Atrocities?” includes speakers Christopher Tuckwood (The Sentinel Project), Akshaya Kumar (The Enough Project), Nathaniel Raymond (Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative), and will be moderated by Kyle Matthews (Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.

“People Never Talk”: Imposed silences and narratives – the challenges of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda

In the field of conflict and peace studies, Rwanda often stands out. Not only was the hundred-day genocide extremely bloody and destructive but José Kagabo describes the massacres as a “genocide of proximity” because perpetrators, including ordinary citizens, turned against friends, neighbours, colleagues, and even family members. Today, both groups live in close quarters and this does not come as a choice. As one Rwandan explained, the reality of life on the hills demands coexistence: “(…) we don’t have any choice. If we don’t live together the genocide will start again.”[1]

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            Almost twenty years after the 1994 genocide that killed almost one million Tutsis (and Hutu moderates), how strong are the divisions between the two communities? Would you be able to live next the man or woman who killed your family members?  In post-conflict countries, dealing with broken relationships between antagonistic parties is a central challenge. But it has been also described by conflict resolution scholar Bar-Siman-Tov as “probably the most significant condition” for sustainable and stable peace. The Rwandan government, now led by President Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has taken a multifaceted approach to solve ethnic divisions and achieve sustainable peace. The singularity of the Rwandan approach is an interesting case of state intervention in post-conflict reconciliation. But what does reconciliation mean after genocide? To rebuild mutual ties, how does one deal with the contentious past and ethnic divisions, and address human rights violations? Obviously, reconciliation is context-dependent – there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all peace-building mechanism. It entails not simply tensions and setbacks, but certain reconciliation practices can also have contradictory effects.

            In terms of economic growth, the Rwandan government has made important progress: with an average annual growth rate of 7.7% in 2012, the country is embracing various development plans and investing in new technologies as it seeks to become the “Singapore of Africa”. International donors and foreign affairs analysts describe the country’s reconstruction as a “success story” and see the RPF-led government “as one of the more efficient and honest ones in Africa.” Yet is economic development sufficient? War continues in the minds of individuals long after formal and structural arrangements have been instituted. The 2010 presidential elections were marred by repressive government measures and several cases of violence committed by a rising number of dissenters. While it is too early to make concrete conclusions about the country’s future, several pre-genocide trends and tensions seem to be perpetuating in post-genocide Rwanda.

            To achieve unity and reconciliation between Tutsi and Hutus, the post-genocide Rwandan government has not only insisted on holding perpetrators accountable, but has sought to change the way Rwandans perceive themselves, the past and the causes of the genocide. Rwanda’s history has long been manipulated by those in power in order to create divisions. It is therefore now argued that a truthful history will benefit justice and reconciliation. To do so the state has sought to control narratives around Rwandan identity and ethnicity, as well as the history and memory of the genocide. The state has imposed a canonical narrative, an official “truthful” account of Rwandan history in order to undermine dualistic ethnic identities and forge a collective Rwandan consciousness. The regime portrays pre-colonial Rwanda as a harmonious society shattered by Western intruders (colonizers) and divisive national politics and discourses (Hutu leaders). In the end, the RPF intervened to stop the genocide when no one else would. In a way, the state is re-educating Rwandans about their past. While there is truth in the way the regime portrays Rwanda’s past, as Catherine and David Newbury rightly argue, “it is politics that makes ethnicity important (…)”.[2] While Rwanda’s attempt to move beyond ethnic identities is highly welcomed, I would argue that the regime’s the history as told by the government remains subjective. This meticulous narrative management and selective remembering based on practices of imposed silences, actually tend to perpetuate ethnic categories by creating ethnicized, dichotomous categories of victims and perpetrators. It also prevents the emergence of constructive dialogue essential to reconciliation. By silencing alternative voices, power also remains in the hands of a small government and military elite. Eventually, this can have risky effects on ethnic consciousness and reconciliation. While security concerns justify restricted civil rights in democratizing post-conflict societies, as institutions and leaders shape public discourse and identities, power-sharing, representation and social justice are nonetheless crucial to reconciliation.

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             Furthermore, while the official discourse promotes unity, in practice, other government narratives and practices have silenced critics and alternative experiences deemed threatening. The government’s claim to reveal the truth should be questioned as post-genocide judicial mechanisms (including the traditions Gacaca courts), the genocide ideology and divisionism laws, as well as memorials and commemorations have been manipulated and politicized to control what is officially remembered and forgotten. For example, many reconciliation policies focus only the genocide committed by Hutus against Tutsis, thus blotting out from national memory human rights violations committed by the RPF against genocide suspects, Hutu civilians during the genocide while defending Tutsis, and contemporary abuses committed against legitimate critics.  In Rwanda, the perceived lack of social justice combined with feelings of exclusion, victimhood and fear of being accused – wrongly or justly – perpetuate mistrust between communities and prevent a reassessment of identities. These government practices as well as surveys conducted among Rwandans, show that ethnic consciousness and tensions remain present. The heavy-handed control over public debate has led one Rwandan to state that “it is the fear that stays in people’s head.”[3] Another one stated “keeping quiet over an existing problem does not provide a solution.”[4] Authoritarian, top-down practices and rigid control over public debate and discourse can be detrimental to reconciliation as dialogue around ethnicity and the genocide is repressed. This could make the ground rife for renewed conflict. My aim here is to say that there is a discrepancy between the government’s original strategy/discourse of unity and what it does in practice.

              Reconciliation is a long-term process – it is too early to say whether the country will relapse into conflict. Yet, one Rwandan recently asserted that “[…] people never talk because it brings back bad memories and problems. We pretend in does not exist.”[5] Such a statement seems enough ground for concern and, as Rwanda tries to break away with its violent past, a new and participatory approach should be endorsed. It may be time of to talk instead of silencing, or peace on Rwanda’s hills will remain pretended.

 


[1] Buckley-Zistel (2008), ‘We are pretending peace: Local Memory and the Absence of Social Transformation and Reconciliation in Rwanda’, in Phil Clark and Zachary D. Kaufman, eds., After Genocide Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond (London: Hurst Publishers), p.138

[2] Newbury, Catherine and David (1995), ‘Identity, Genocide, and Reconstruction in Rwanda’, Paper prepared for the Conference on Les Racines de la Violence dans la Region des Grands Lacs, Parlement Europeen, Bruxelles, 12-13 Janvier 1995, pg. 16

[3] Longman, Timothy and Rutagengwa, Théoneste (2004), ‘Memory, identity and community in Rwanda’, in Eric Stover and Harvey M. Weinstein, eds., My Neighbor, My Enemy. Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

p.175

[4] Freedman, Sarah Warshauer, Deo Kambanda, Beth Lewis Samuelson, Innocent Mugisha, Immaculee Mukashema, Evode Mukama, Jean Mutabaruka, Harvey M. Weinstein and Timothy Longman (2004), ‘Confronting the past in Rwandan schools’, in Eric Stover and Harvey M. Weinstein, eds., My Neighbor, My Enemy. Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)p.258

[5] Buckley-Zistel, Susanne (2006b), ‘Remembering to forget: chosen amnesia as a strategy for local coexistence in post-genocide Rwanda’, Africa, 76 (2), p.141

Reading list of the week

A number of great articles and long-reads

– New Technology and the Prevention of Violence and Conflict

How can international actors, government and NGOs use new technologies to prevent conflict and violence. According to this research “the context should inform what kind of technology is needed and what kind of approach will work next.” As with any other program or approach, there is not one-size-fit-all solution and a failure to acknowledge the side-effects and risks of the technology can worsen the situation. The “do-no harm” theory works here as well. The technology must be integrated into existing civil society initiatives. “The increased horizontal spread of new technologies across societies has the potential to revolutionize these traditional systems by making more information available to more people”

 

– Central African Republic: U.N. Is Warned About Genocide Threat

There is been very little attention to the conflict in the Central African Republic but the UN office on the prevention of genocide that the country is at risks of genocide. In this now lawless and pretty much state-less country, armed groups incite Christians and Muslims to turn against each other – interreligious and inter-communal attacks have very much increased. According to a coalition of NGOs, new militias are forming in order to defend communities and counter-attack. What makes this even worse is the dire humanitarian situation caused by massive displacement and food shortages. Adama Dieng, the United Nations’ special adviser on the prevention of genocide, called for action on Friday.

 

– Syria

In Syria: What Chance to Stop the Slaughter? Kenneth Roth reflects on the impact of the chemical weapons deal, arguing that it should not be belittled, even though the Assad regime continues to kill people with conventional weapons (“(…) as Assad showed, chemical weapons are also different because of the extraordinary civilian toll they can exact”). The greatest impact, according to Roth, is a diplomatic one. From the beginning Russia and China used their veto power at the UN Security Council to “obstruct any significant effort to address the Syrian slaughter (…)”). The chemical weapons deal ended the stalemate and opened the door to focus on bringing humanitarian help to Syrians, an opportunity that the UN should urgently grab the opportunity now.

Roth then considers several ways to prevent further mass atrocities: the Geneva Talks II? The ICC? More condemnation of Russia? What is certain is that things can get worth. The responsibility to take action not only lies on the shoulders of the five permanent members of the Security Council but also on emerging or middle powers such as India, Brazil, and South Africa. “The chemical weapons deal represents the best opportunity since the war began to forge a unified international front to stop the slaughter in Syria. But that will happen only with a much more focused and consistent international effort—by both the West and others—to press Russia to live up to its responsibility to protect the people of Syria.”

 Insight: Starvation in Syria: a war tactic: The first sentence pretty much sums it all: “One Syrian security official called it the “Starvation Until Submission Campaign”, blocking food and medicine from entering and people from leaving besieged areas of Syria.” Aid deliveries are being blocked in several besieged areas and over one million refugees are affected, according to the UN. Furthermore, according to civilians, “farmers are targeted as they try to harvest their crop in an open field.” Deliberate starvation is a war crime, according to international law and there is been international pressure on the Syrian authorities to let aid agencies have access to these areas. However, Russia and China have vetoed condemnations of Assad and therefore referral of the case to the ICC. According to the journalist, “hunger has become so endemic that locals say they eat leaves and grass.” It is one thing to get a chemical weapons deal but deliberate starvation is a conventional, old-aged and easily used weapon of war as well.

It was also officially announced last week that polio had broken out in Syria, the polio outbreak in the country in 14 years.  Humanitarian access is poor or inexistent in many areas, especially those under military blockade. The shortage of food and medicine will make the situation even worse. According to experts, and to the Assad regime, the disease may have transmitted by foreign jihadists. In order to prevent an epidemic, the UN must focus on humanitarian aid (“36% of the aid for Syrians inside the country has been collected”). But the Assad regime must also understand that restricting access to humanitarian aid in rebel-controlled neighborhoods will not prevent infectious diseases from spreading to other areas. Epidemics don’t make a difference between friends and enemies.

Radicalization in Syria poses growing threat to Europe, says Turkish leader: In this interview Turkish President Abdullah Gul reflects on the consequences of the conflict in Syria beyond the country’s borders, including in Turkey. Not only is he worried about the spread of violence and the number of refugees (500,000 right now in Turkey alone), but also about the spread of infectious diseases such as polio and TB. One of the main arguments of why we should prevent or halt conflicts and mass atrocities even in “far away” countries is exactly that: we live in a global world where conflicts will have consequences beyond borders. If the moral argument doesn’t (which rarely does), then think about the consequences for your own people.

Gul also raises the right questions about Assad’s use of chemical weapons: “But was it just the chemical weapons? Do we reduce the whole thing to chemical weapons?” He is heavily critical of the international community’s failure in regard to Syria and described the UN Security’s performance as a “disgrace”. Finally he is pessimistic about Syria’s future “The country is destroyed … There really isn’t in my opinion much that can be done now.”

 

– Preventing Mass Atrocities: Resilient Societies, State Capacity, and Structural Reform

At the 54th Annual Strategy for Peace Conference (October 16–18), the Stanley Foundation brought together 30 diplomats, mass-atrocity experts, and international civil society representatives to achieve resilience to mass atrocities. They concluded that preventive actions are not only the responsibility of the state but also that of the international community, which must support a country’s efforts to develop its capacities to prevent violence.

Based on the discussions, here are the main guidelines for preventive action against mass atrocities:

International actors should identify opportunities for common collaboration with local groups and build from there.

Preventive action is dynamic, not static: To adapt to the quick evolution of mass  violence, international actors should integrate preventive action across varied sectors and  throughout different stages of mass violence.

Anticipate unintended consequences: International actors should be aware that in some cases they will work with and alongside former perpetrators to build preventive resilience. To mitigate hazards, preventive action should define clear boundaries between positive incentives and unconditional support.

 

–  Louise Arbour on conflict and peace: Doctrine derailed?

The International Crisis Group’s President & CEO Louise Arbour spoke at the opening of the Global Briefing 2013 (Video) She reflected at the past, present and future of internationalism by looking at the state of international criminal justice, peacekeeping missions, the Responsibility to Protect, and the international promotion of the Rule of Law. She gives a realistic and rather “pessimistic” view of the current state conflict management and mass atrocity prevention. Nonetheless, Arbour underlines that “ (…) it is only by acknowledging the inadequacies of our approaches that we have any chance of improving them” and therefore to advance peace and security

 

– New report on Piracy: a sophisticated financial system

“Pirate Trails: Tracking the Illicit Financial Flows from Piracy off the Horn of Africa” is reveals how profits are used to fund terrorism. After interviewing current and former pirates, middlemen, financial backers and government official the World Bank, the UN and Interpol is a comprehensive research put together this comprehensive report on the dangerous, murky but sophisticated world of piracy. Kenya, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates are the main transit points and final destinations. Most worryingly, a third of pirate financiers use profit made from piracy to gain political influence, set up militias or help religious extremists, including Al-Shabab and Al-Qaida.

“It is estimated that  more than  US$400 million was claimed in ransoms for pirate acts between April 2005 and December 2012 and  179 ships were hijacked off the coast of Somalia and the Horn of Africa during that time.”

 

– How good are Goodwill Ambassadors?

The article offers a balanced view of the debates around good will ambassadors, often referred to as “celebrity humanitarianism.” While many may cringe at the view of people like Madonna, Bono, Ben Affleck and Angelina Jolie visiting a refugee camps in “khaki-clad” entire, they sure bring a lot of attention to a country or a cause from those who do not usually look that way. The article highlights the benefits for humanitarian agencies and NGOs but also shows that using celebrities to draw attention to complex issues contains numerous risks: misrepresentation, simplification and condescendence (West must safe Africa). UN agencies and NGOs now understand the issues better and rely on “star-power” only when they know that it will be long-term and deep investment. Move aside Christina Aguilera and Miley, met George Clooney (The Sentinel Project) and Angelina Jolie (UNHCR) to the job.