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Yemen: under fire, desperate for peace

Can the Yemen peace talks succeed? The dire humanitarian situation demands it but political factionalism and external interference may prove inordinate obstacles.

For children born of war, what future?

Sexual violence in conflict has attracted increasing attention, but with the majority of responses focused on short-term needs, children born through war remain largely ignored. 

Security services should not have carte blanche

It seems obvious that human rights must be compromised to guarantee security in the face of armed violence. Obvious but wrong.

What role for a truth commission in Colombia?

While a positive step in negotiations between warring parties, what are the limits of uncovering the dark truths of Colombia's conflict? 

Aziz’s notebook: transmitting the memory of violence

A granddaughter discovers her grandfather's notebook years after the political massacres that stole her mother and aunt. Beginning as a testimony of loss, it becomes an obsession to leave a trace against silence and denial. From States of Impunity.

The wounds of Baghdad's Frankenstein

Ahmed al-Sa'dawi's novel, rather than reconciling the complexities of violence in Iraq, seeks to exorcise the demons that haunt the lives of ordinary people left with wounds from decades of imperial brutality. From States of Impunity.

The Iraqi crisis: rethinking the narrative

An approach to Iraq focused on military intervention, with some humanitarian assistance, has defied the complexity of the domestic and regional kaleidoscope. No wonder it is failing.

When does a refugee camp become a permanent home?

Encamped refugees are often portrayed on our TV screens as objects of pity with deadpan expressions. Time to ask what they think and feel.

Yemen at war

With a humanitarian crisis mounting in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has eased its military pressure—for the moment.

Searching for justice: the Tokyo Women’s Tribunal

Justice for sexual crimes in wartime still remains elusive for many survivors, but it's never too late. From States of Impunity.

From punishment to acknowledgment: tribunals of opinion in contexts of impunity

Civil society tribunals, though unofficial, provide new spaces that fundamentally contest the state and its hold over justice. From States of Impunity.

From Tottenham to Baltimore, policing crisis starts race to the bottom for justice

What is it about the police and urban black populations in the US and the UK? The explanation starts with two of the most stretched social hierarchies in the developed world.

G4S abuses in South African prison still ignored

Investigations and reports into allegations of widespread human-rights violations at G4S-run Mangaung prison have stalled. Can anyone wrangle the private security behemoth? 

States of impunity

openSecurity's new series explores how the violence of state crimes endures. How and when does the fight against impunity open up an arena for action and change?

Overlooked and invisible: the women of enforced disappearances

The overwhelming majority of the victims of enforced disappearances are men. What happens to the women left behind? 

‘Your face now looks permanently in pain’—awaiting sentence in Egypt

The sister of a US-Egyptian activist on hunger strike in a Cairo jail, whose cause has been taken up by Amnesty International, issues a cri de coeur on the eve of a critical court appearance.

After Garissa, Kenya needs to break the cycle

The massacre at a university in Kenya should lead the government to a recognition that repressive and discriminatory reactions, however tempting, have only fuelled such horrific violence.

Sudan: nodding through a dictator’s re-election

Next week sees elections in Sudan. But there’s one thing wrong—we already know the outcome.

Palestinian options after the Israeli election

Six ways Palestinians can change the rules of the game after Netayanhu's comments during the election made a just and equal peace even more elusive.  

Libya: the pressing need for dialogue

The western intervention in Libya in 2011 failed to recognise the complex warp and weft of its pre-democratic tribal fabric. Only a regionally facilitated dialogue can repair the shattered state left behind.

Military immunity: Colombia's moment of choice

Will Colombia force its military to face up to its past human rights abuses?  

Universal rights, double standards

What is the difference between the human-rights shortfalls of Venezuela and Mexico? Objectively, not much, but Washington has a different perspective.

Egypt’s political prisoners

Egypt’s president has a simple solution for activists who protest against his draconian laws criminalising public assembly. Jail them.

Indonesia regresses with the use of the death penalty

The prospect of execution of two Australians in Indonesia has caught international media attention, amid Australian protest. But these are part of a wider official spasm, in a country dominated by a ‘tough on crime’ narrative.

Turkey and Armenia: genocide? what genocide?

April 1915 saw the start of the genocide against Armenians and other minorities in the former Ottoman Empire. Erdoğan hopes he can ignore the anniversary and it will go away—while Armenian politics is stuck in victim mode.

Mexico: active civil society key to ending culture of impunity

A renewal of democracy should be the means to cleanse Latin America of its history of corruption and abuses of power. But as the Mexican case shows, unless democracy is extended by enhancing civil society, its promise will not be realised.

Crime and the state: Latin America’s season of scandal

In Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, major scandals have highlighted the murky links between serious crime and the political arena. Why have hopes of reform been dashed? Español.

Women in Bangladesh: silenced victims of state terror

International outrage focussed on Bangladesh’s labour violations remains indifferent to a concurrent reality: the increased targeting of women and girls as subjects of political violence. 

Karabakh truce shaken by gunshots and tough talk

OSCE mediators urge an end to attacks after a month in which the 20-year-old ceasefire was broken in thousands of incidents.

Is there reason to hope for Minsk II?

The last Minsk agreement on eastern Ukraine failed to bring peace. The latest looks similar—but the context has changed.

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit—what next?

The ceasefire agreement in Minsk over Ukraine was better than no outcome at all. But only a little better.

“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.

The two big holes in the strategy against IS

The US-led campaign against Islamic State isn’t working. It won’t unless it addresses Shia sectarianism in Iraq and Assad’s atrocities in Syria.

Blowback: the failure of remote-control warfare

It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But the battlefield has come home.

Colombia: the year of peace?

The unilateral ceasefire signed by the FARC last December is a historic and positive step towards a permanent peace, but questions remain. From openDemocracy.

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