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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Somali-Swedish diaspora engagement in the Somali region

Many diaspora actors have a desire for stronger inclusion in policy processes that concern the Somali region and diaspora engagement. This offers opportunities for development agencies.

Counter-terrorism: new UK strategy must learn obvious lessons

Since 2001, Britain has compromised its passion for the rights of people in the name of counter-terrorism, thereby undermining its national security and winning enemies faster than they are eliminated.

Soñar con crear un país: Somalilandia

Los somalilandeses concretan silenciosamente y con confianza sus sueños de convertirse en un Estado, con el deseo de que algún día se reconozca como tal. English

Dreaming of Somaliland

Somalilanders are quietly and confidently concretizing their dreams of statehood – all with the wish of one day being recognised as a political entity in its own right. Español

Horn of Africa: there are no quick fixes in ‘countering violent extremism’

An effective response to violence and harmful ideologies is important. But projects are failing to adequately engage with root causes.

Whatever happened to peace? Arms, oil and war by proxy

We're living in a new era of proxy warfare, where multiple powers fund local proxies with disastrous consequences. We need to break the cycle.

“Women and Children First”: war, humanitarianism, and the refugee crisis

Is a rethinking of laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance and refugee policy not significantly overdue?

Method in Trump’s madness?

A look at Donald Trump’s 'travel bans' with an eye to the harvesting of personal data, and the EU-US Privacy Shield, now on life support.

Climate change as genocide: inaction equals annihilation

Not since World War II have more human beings been at risk from disease and starvation than at this very moment.

In crisis-stricken Somalia, no safe haven

Ignoring systemic abuses and the vulnerabilities of people most affected by previous and ongoing crises means that the current efforts will have limited long-term impact.

From shore to shore: regional collapse and human insecurity

These are policies that, whilst having a humanitarian veneer, radically exacerbate the burdens of migrants and displaced persons from and in countries like Libya, Syria, Eritrea, and Somalia, alike. 

Desperate people, hazardous escapes

Those fleeing violent conflict or brutal repressive regimes, facing darkness and terror as they journey from home to Europe, deserve compassion—not intolerance, paranoia and hate.

“Frankly, I don’t think we know who we killed”

A drone strike in Somalia highlights how the US is increasingly pursuing a strategy of remote-control warfare.

Why the US should join forces with the Baathist regime in Syria

The Baathist regime is indeed guilty of great war crimes, but the human cost of a failed state would be a greater catastrophe. Washington should have learnt this lesson from Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq.

Piracy: navigating the dark side of globalisation

There is a dark side to globalisation, yet the losers rarely get their moment in the spotlight. Recently however, attention has become fixed on a particularly disenfranchised group: Somali pirates. Their story is a good illustration of some of the worst relations forged by globalisation.

Meet the Somalis: choose a story

These are little stories, vignettes that offer unique insights into the every day struggles of Somali migrants living in the cities of Europe.

Diasporic youth: untapped asset in rebuilding Somalia

There has been little consideration of the possible positive contributions of Somali youth from the diaspora. 

Somalia's displaced: the reform test

The harsh experience of Somalis driven to seek shelter in Mogadiushu 's unsafe camps should be an urgent priority for the country's new government and its foreign donors, say Jamie Vernaelde & Laetitia Bader.

Understanding Somalia

The scenario has changed with Turkish involvement in Somalia, in a way that prompts me to ask what it is that the Turks have done differently, to win over the hearts of the people of Somalia.

No going back

Only recently, we were the world’s worst failed state. Look at us today.

What has changed in Somalia?

For the first time in twenty-two years the United States of America recognized the new government of Somalia on the 17 Jan 2013.

A Somali perspective on Mali

Maybe the forces involved would rather continue an on-going battle against those whose beliefs cannot be supressed by violence.

Syria and the risk of Somalisation

If the crisis continues, Syria risks not so much division into hostile states as happened in Yugoslavia, but control by warlords who will persecute the Syrian people.

Al-Qaida, idea in motion

The United States's "remote control" campaign against Islamist targets is intensifying. But behind the headlines, the transnational diffusion of al-Qaida's idea is just as potent.

Rebuilding Somalia

The appointment of two Somali women in key ministerial posts must not mask the massive day to day persecution of women in Somalia, says Hala al-Karib

Taking stock in Somalia

After twenty years of failed statehood, Somalia shows the first signs of a new political conjuncture that could bring about peace. Yet Islamist militant group al-Shabaab will continue to play a role in shaping the country's future.

Can the London Conference on Somalia get it right this time?

Deals struck in foreign capitals over power-sharing and constitutional arrangements do nothing to address the deep issues that perpetuate conflict. When existing institutions are irrelevant or inimical to many ordinary people, as they are today in much of Somalia, new institutions need to tap into genuine sources of legitimacy and authority, to move beyond elites and support inclusive political processes.

The Somalia dilemma

Foreign intervention is not the answer, argues Josephine Whitaker. The solution to Somalia’s problems must be found at home.

Nairobi hit by grenade attacks as Somalis turn against Kenyan incursion

Nairobi hit by grenade attacks as Somalis turn against Kenyan incursion. At least 279 killed in Turkey quake. Bloody weekend in Colombia just 10 days before elections. Indonesian police officer shot dead in Papua. All this in today’s briefing...

Kenya and Somalia: landscape of tension

"Kenya doesn’t know war. We know war." A fractious mix of violence and politics is unsettling the relationship between east African neighbours and putting more pressure on Somalis living in Kenya. The Somali militia group known as al-Shabaab is often viewed as the source of the problem. But the roots of the turmoil go deep in Kenya's own history, says Daniel Branch.

Vietnam, Myanmar foster ties with India, illustrating the art of balancing relations with great powers

The presidents of Vietnam and Myanmar visit New Delhi to strengthen cooperation with India. Kenya launches military operations against al-Shabab in Somalia following the kidnapping of aid workers. The US sends advisors to help fight the Lord's Resistance Army, and a recent poll reveals the Afghan population's perception of the situation in its country. All this in today's security briefing.

Beyond good versus evil: fighting Somalia’s perpetual war

The country has suffered de facto secessions, appalling destruction and humanitarian disasters – but still both the war and the Somali people march on. Can the international community help find a way out of conflict in Somalia, or is it blundering into yet another category mistake?

Somalia: livelihood and politics

Somalia's long civil war and political fragmentation define the country to the world. Yet the society also contains potent resources of allegiance and solidarity, says the doyen of Somali studies, Ioan M Lewis.

Indonesian church bombing sparks fears of escalation in religious violence

Indonesian church bombing sparks fears of increasing religious violence. Guangdong riots over ‘landgrabs’. US drone crashes in Kismayo, Somalia. Fresh clashes hit southern Philippines . Shooting at ‘CIA station’ in Kabul. All this and more in today’s security briefing...

All sides guilty of breaching international law in Somalia

All sides guilty of violating international law in Somalia, says new report. Wave of attacks rock Iraq. Assault on Syrian port enters third day. US officials reject report on drone death figures. Gaddafi defiant as rebels claim control of West. All this and more in today’s briefing...

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