December 10, 2017

Rwanda: Rising from the Ashes

For the survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, it feels like only yesterday that machete-wielding Hutu militias embarked on a mission to annihilate Tutsis. Marie Claude Mukamabano, a Tutsi aged 15 at the time, was one of such targets. She remembers vividly how scarily close she was to losing her life when the militias grabbed her and threatened to ... Read More »

Taiwan: The Next Democracy in Crisis?

While political protests are a seemingly common affair in Taiwan, takeovers of parliament have been unprecedented. One day earlier, on 17 March, the ruling Kuomintang party (KMT) said an initial review of a service trade pact with mainland China was complete, skipping directly to a final review in parliament on 8 April. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has opposed any moves that ... Read More »

What Will Turkey Achieve Through Ban on Twitter?

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has finally “fulfilled” his dream of shutting down social media site Twitter. When defending the ban, he said: “No matter what the rest of the world says, we will root out Twitter. They will see the power of the Turkish Republic.”   Well, I don’t think shutting down Twitter is a good way of demonstrating ... Read More »

Saudis’ Mass Expulsions Putting Somalis in Danger

In 2013, Mohamed, a 22-year old Somali, was making a living washing cars in Saudi Arabia. Late that year, due to increasing government pressure on employers of undocumented workers, he was fired. In December, after several weeks without a job, Mohamed handed himself over to the police. He spent the next 57 days detained in appalling conditions.   “In the ... Read More »

Gülen Movement Eclipsing Erdoğan in Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Turkey’s most successfully elected prime minister, but his power is dramatically diminishing. Erdoğan is ruining a solid reputation. In 10 years, Turkey has tripled its growth rate, becoming one of the most productive emerging economies.   [/box]The government has put a stop to the army’s continual interference in political affairs. It  is trying to ease the conflict ... Read More »

Why Russia Wants Crimea’s Control

On Sunday, Crimea voted to split away from Ukraine and return to the Russian fold. For a vast majority of Crimea’s Russian-speaking population this is an act of redressing a monumental injustice that happened in 1991 when Crimea, which geographically, ethnically and historically is more Russian than many regions of Russia itself, became part of a foreign state as the ... Read More »

The Knowns and Unknowns of Flight MH370

It is one of the biggest hunts ever – involving dozens of ships, planes across vast oceans and thousands of people on the Internet searching real-time satellite pictures – but Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is still lost.   The Boeing 777-200ER carrying 239 people vanished exactly a week ago, while on an overnight flight to Beijing but a search that ... Read More »

Japan’s Constitutional Dilemma in a Changing Northeast Asia

Japan’s ‘defenseless on all sides’ security strategy has served it well through the post-war period, underwritten as it has been by America’s security guarantee and continuing presence on Japanese soil. Despite the steady accretion of its military capabilities, the ‘peace’ constitution allayed anxieties within Japan’s neighbors, China, South Korea and the newly independent Southeast Asian nations, about Japanese military intentions. Even ... Read More »

The Many Shades of Grey in Ukraine

When is an invasion not an invasion? When is sovereignty not sovereignty? When is an unelected regime more legitimate than an elected government? The answer, it seems, is when we are discussing Ukraine. The crisis in Ukraine has swiftly turned into a global stand-off. It has also become the focus for a war of words about the meaning of freedom, ... Read More »

Morocco, Algeria and the Cold War

The recent tension between Algeria and Morocco is nothing unusual and not the first of its kind. For more than three decades the Sahara issue, which dates back to 1975, has been a serious problem, a source of tension and deep political sensitivity between the two countries that are central to the Maghreb region.   However, the problem with this ... Read More »