Monthly Archives: July 2015

Short-term Solutions

            Earlier last week (28 – well, technically 29 July at 1am) I was interviewed by the BBC World Service on the subject of migration. You can listen to it here: http://tinyurl.com/papbn2h

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Legal process, and other distractions

I oppose the death penalty. As a result, this was never likely to be a celebratory blog. In the event, it is a deeply critical one. Yesterday (29 July 2015), a court in Tripoli, Libya sentenced to death nine former officials of Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime, including his son Saif Al-Islam, former intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi, foreign intelligence gatherer Abu-Zeid Omar-Dawarda, and the dictator’s last Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi. The sentence is to be carried … Continue reading

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Further Complications

At 4am on Friday (24 July) Turkish aircraft launched strikes for the first time on IS positions in North Syria. The attacks – Turkey’s first military action in Syria of any description since the start of the latter state’s grim conflict in March 2011 – were widely welcomed by the international community, and came with an official announcement that the US would also be allowed to launch anti-IS sorties in Syria from Turkey’s Incirlik airfield.

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Root Causes

When the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings began in early 2011, analysts took stock of the likely outcomes and declared that Syria was ‘immune’ to the phenomenon. The reality was sadly entirely different. It is extremely difficult to be certain exactly how many people have been killed in Syria since protests against the government of Bashar Al-Assad began in early March 2011, as neither the government nor its current strongest opponent, IS, keeps count of civilian deaths, … Continue reading

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Disaster Management, or How To Appear To Be Doing Something

In the wake of a disaster, it seems reasonable to expect that there may be moments of chaos, in which the impulse to act – to do something, however effective, sensible or otherwise it may be – might tempt people. Indeed, there are organisations which spend much of their time training people to overcome these urges, or at least to harness them to deliver constructive, positive, or at least logical outcomes.

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War? Well, not really…

Last week (29 June) UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in Parliament for almost two hours about the killing of 38 people by a gunman in the Tunisian resort of Sousse. Before we look at what he said – or any of the related details – we should start with a couple of disclaimers. First of all, I am not Russell Brand: I do not believe that it’s hypocrisy to hold a brief silence to … Continue reading

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Hijack

In a previous post, I wrote that I hoped the HoR would reconsider its decision to reject a UN proposal for a new system of governance in Libya. Three weeks later came a reminder that we should be careful what we wish for… The Libyan Political Agreement (Draft VI) was proposed by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on 8 June.

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