Israel’s Disproportionate Use of Force in Gaza

The Great Return March demonstrations (see here for more on this topic) officially began on 30 March 2018 (Land Day) and ended on 15 May 2018 (Nakba Day). These events were meant to reaffirm the right of return of Palestinians in the face of the US decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem, which is seen by Palestinians as the capital of their future state.…

Election Violence in Indian West Bengal

The ruling Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) secured a comfortable victory in the 2018 West Bengal panchayat (village government) elections on May 14 in India. However, political violence and inadequate security arrangements during the election nomination and polling phases prevented opposition parties and citizens from fulfilling their democratic right to participate in free elections.…

The Offensive on Hodeidah

Since the killing of the President of the Supreme Political Council in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike, anti-Houthi militias backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have managed to wrest much of southern Hodeidah governorate from Houthi control, setting the stage for a full-out assault on the port city and sparking fears of increased suffering by civilians should the port cease to function.…

Alleged Chemical Incidents in Syria

Chemical incidents have perhaps been the only consistent factor shaping the United States’ position on the civil war in Syria before and after Trump’s election. A chemical attack on Eastern Ghouta in August 2013 prompted an imminent attack, led by the Obama administration.…

Elections and Sectarianism in Iraq and Lebanon

Since the beginning of May 2018, voters in both Lebanon and Iraq have gone to the polls in historic elections. There have been concerns that these elections could spark violence amongst the participating actors due to sectarian tensions and the divisive political landscapes in these countries — as well as pressures from the Syrian Civil War and conflict with the Islamic State (IS).…

The Many Sides of International Peacekeeping in Africa

Of the fourteen United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions currently active around the world, half are based on the African continent. Of these, five—those in Somalia[1], Mali, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo– have ongoing or recently renewed mandates, and a force of over 10,000 personnel, including soldiers and police.…

Violence in Bangui, Central African Republic

Since the beginning of April there has been a dramatic escalation of violence in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic[1]. Most of this activity has been focused in the PK5 or KM5 neighbourhood – a Muslim area that is considered the economic heart of the city.…