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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Efforts to revive middle east peace talks overshadowed by Israeli settlement construction in east Jerusalem

Efforts to revive middle east peace talks overshadowed by Israeli settlement construction in east Jerusalem. Tibet marks anniversary of 1959 uprising. Ahmadinejad in Afghanistan for talks. Governor of Plateau State blames Nigerian army for killings. Aung San Suu Kyi barred from polls. Aid workers killed in Pakistan. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Peacekeepers still needed in Central African Republic

Photographs from a forgotten conflict… Anna Husarska argues that more attention to the Central African Republic is needed as it works toward restoring peace and security

Hizbollah vs Israel: the coming clash

A shifting balance of calculation in the middle east makes Lebanon’s Hizbollah movement more confident in its strategy of “deterrence-by-terror” vis-à-vis Israel, says Robert G Rabil

Burma publishes first of five new election laws

Burmese military junta unveil laws for elections later this year. French navy captures 35 Somali pirate suspects. Bali bombing mastermind thought dead after shoot-out with Indonesian police. Iran calls for China to withstand sanctions pressure. All this and much more, in today's security briefing.

Attacks kill 38 on polling day in Iraq

Attacks on election day kill 38 in Iraq. Renewed peace effort for Israel and Palestine. US-South Korean military drills spark North Korean anger. Reprisal attacks leave at least 100 dead in Nigeria. Explosion in Lahore kills 11. All this as more, in today’s update.

The price of peace

“Peace processes are bad men talking to bad government and other bad men.....women in civil society are doing tremendous work on the ground, but they are not heard, they are not respected, and above all they are not funded.” Mary Robinson speaking at the UNCSW....

Violence and uncertainty underscore Iraqi elections

Insurgents strike polling stations as Iraq votes for its new government. Turkey withdraws its ambassador to the US in the wake of a House committee vote condemning the Armenian genocide. The British PM defends the Iraq war. Clashes erupt at the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Bangladesh erupts in ethnic violence

Bangladesh has been rocked by the recent flaring up of decades old ethnic tensions, as Bengali settlers set fire to hundreds of indigenous homes. Pinaki Roy reports from Dhaka on the latest developments and explores the background to the violence

A difficult week for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

The ICTY's struggle to prosecute war criminals causes a further decline in credibility in times when progress is vital for Croatia and the relation between Serbia and Bosnia.

Whatever you say Gordon, the war was illegal

A leading lawyer sums it up, Britain's attack on Iraq was illegal

Suicide bombers target Iraqi city ahead of polls

Suicide bombers target Iraqi city ahead of polls. Arab League backs indirect talks with Israel. Afghanistan bans coverage of Taliban attacks. Italy arrests Iran arms smugglers. Fighting kills twelve in Somalia. Agathe Habyarimana arrested for genocide. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Stepan Bandera: a divisive national icon

Viktor Yushchenko has left his successor a ticking time bomb. His name is Stepan Bandera. Should Yanukovych strip him of the official status of hero, which he has been accorded?

Washington split by revised US nuclear strategy

White House reconsiders nuclear weapons policy. Pakistani Taliban chief killed by US airstrike. Dubai moves to tighten Israeli entry ban. All this and much more, in today’s security briefing.

Shadowy campaign financing will mire Iraq's democratic elections

As campaigning in the Iraqi election intensifies, there is a danger that the race will be won by ill-gotten wealth.

Eight magnitude earthquake leaves hundreds dead, millions displaced in Chile

Earthquake in Chile causes mass destruction and displacement. Islamist opposition orders the World Food Programme out of Somalia. Colombia’s election race begins as President Uribe denied third term. Northern Liberia under curfew following the outbreak of religious violence. Malaysian peace monitors arrive in the Philippines in an attempt to revive talks. All this and more in today's update.

Aman ki Asha: the stars are aligned

There are some rare occasions when the powers-that-be discover that it is ‘realistic’ to support civilian peace initiatives; when the manipulation of grievance has to be put in rapid reverse…

The Afghan whirlwind

The United States’s long-term operations in Helmand and elsewhere in Afghanistan face acute military and political pressures.

Hizbollah General Secretary meets Ahmadinejad in Damascus

Hassan Nasrallah meets with Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Damascus. A suicide attack kills seventeen in Kabul. A previously banned judgement on MI5’s use of torture is published. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Ethnic riots provoke arson in Bangladesh's troubled Chittagong Hill Tracts

Chittagong Hill Tracts shaken by riots and arson. India and Pakistan take steps to rebuild their relationship. Niger leaders rule themselves out of elections. Darfur rebels contradict president’s claim that the war is over. All this and more in today’s briefing.

Sudan and Darfur rebels sign ceasefire deal

Sudan and Darfur rebels sign ceasefire deal. Ailing Nigerian leader returns to Nigeria. Escalating dispute over Falklands Islands goes to the UN. Family of US activist to sue Israel. Turkish officers charged over coup plot. India reports border shooting ahead of talks with Pakistan. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Reconceptualising war

What if defeating the enemy was the justification for war, but not its real goal? What if its goal was a certain kind of power-brokerage?

Too many refugees, too little water

A photo essay on water problems in Eastern Chad

McChrystal apologises for Afghan civilian casualties

General McChrystal offers public apology for Afghans killed by NATO airstrike. Turkish top military officials arrested over alleged coup plot. US army has contingency plans for delaying Iraq withdrawal. Afghan immigrant admits plans to bomb New York subway. All this and much more, in today’s security briefing.

A nest of contradictions: exclusion and immunity in the Iraqi elections

The fudged compromise on Iraqi election candidates previously excluded from running raises more questions than it answers.

Gender, war and conflict transformation

As Shelley Anderson suggests, war and gender are intimately related. Gender lies at war’s heart and the conduct and impact of war are equally gendered. Although conflict transformation is based on values traditionally regarded as ‘feminine,’ it struggles to implement them in a world shaped by masculinity.

Capturing Baradar: the ISI reformed?

The capture of Taliban number two Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been hailed as indicating a change of approach by Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI. With a reformed image and important bargaining card, Pakistan looks set to benefit from the move.

Niger stricken by military coup

Military officers take power in Niger. NATO suffers casualties in Afghanistan. The IAEA launches warns of Iranian warhead development. The head of the UN’s humanitarian office criticises relief efforts in Haiti. All this and more in today’s security update.

Jack's the lad

Jack Straw boasts that he could have stopped Britain taking part in the Iraq war

Could partition solve Ukraine’s problems?

In the light of Ukraine’s election result, Ethan S. Burger offers a proposal for the creation of a new Ukrainian state. Partition would do more than better reflect the country’s national/ethnic composition, he suggests. It could also make the country economically viable, while enhancing European stability.

Afghanistan: what it’s like

The ground-level realities of western military involvement in Afghanistan - including a few dozen soldiers in an isolated base - reveal the intractability of the war.

Beirut and contradiction: reading the World Press Photo award

Four stylish young women, an open-topped car, the rubble of war-torn Beirut … but where is the real power of Spencer Platt's prize-winning image, asks Mai Ghoussoub.

(This article was first published on 13 February 2007)

Nepal: torture vs democracy

Nepal’s path to development remains hostage to the lack of accountability over human-rights violations during the country’s civil war, says Meenakshi Ganguly.

(This article was first published on 15 February 2010)

Bangladesh government accused of crackdown on Burmese refugees

Bangladesh accused of crackdown on Burmese refugees. Obama meets the Dalai Lama despite Chinese criticism; Maoists kills ten in Bihar. Protests rock Ivory Coast as president dissolves the government. Taliban running low on ammo in sixth day of Operation Moshtarak. Rumours of a coup attempt in Niger. All this and much more in today’s briefing.

Vital peace constituencies

The last decade has seen much more detailed attention to the many, sometimes contradictory, roles women play in conflict situations. But women remain a vital peace constituency

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