In the News
In the past week, Boko Haram seized an army base in the town of Baga and then proceeded to massacre as many as 2,000 people in northern Nigeria, a senior member in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) reportedly defected and surrendered to U.S. forces in Central African Republic, and reports suggest North Korea is ramping up its cyber army.
Terrorist attacks around the globe this week spark concerns about weapons procurement and extremist ideology. In addition to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, a female suicide-bomber attacked a police station in Istanbul, and Mali is seeing an increase of terrorist attacks around the country.
A recently leaked report by Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirms that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. While this latest report focuses on alleged chlorine gas use in three Syrian villages, sarin gas has also been used in the civil war in Syria.
The Islamic State (IS) attracted significant attention this summer but its power is now questionable; some say the group may be declining in power but an embedded journalist—the first western reporter to spend time with IS and survive—said that the group appears much stronger than we think.
Around the Web
A Conversation with al-Bashir. A few weeks back, the Washington Post sat down with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Yes, the same al-Bashir previously wanted on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by the International Criminal Court until the investigation was halted last month. This exclusive interview features al-Bashir’s thoughts on U.S.-imposed sanctions, political opposition, and his reflections on being president in a country torn apart by armed conflict.
Displaced People. Armed conflict often causes security fears, forcing people to flee from the conflict. According to the United Nations, over 51 million people are currently displaced due to conflict. Some cross international borders, becoming refugees; others remain displaced within their own country, unable to return home.
Nuclear Weapons. Developing new futuristic weapons through improved military technology is a key initiative for the Pentagon and most militaries around the globe. Nuclear weapons, however, remain a serious issue—check out who has what nuclear weapons. While the United Nations has sought to eliminate nuclear weapons the alleged development of nuclear warheads in North Korea and Russia’s recent declaration on stationing nuclear weapons in Crimea remind us that nuclear weaponry is still a significant global concern.
Books, Podcasts, and TED Talks. Looking for some new suggestions on what to read, watch, or listen to? Thankfully, the ICRC recently shared its recommendations for your next snow day as well as suggested articles, books, and blogs from around the web; a lot of IHL-related material mixed with some more light-hearted reads as well.
On the Blog
Looking Back on 2014. Our year in review is complete! In our first recap of IHL in 2014 we focus on Islamic State, Ukraine, and new weapons technology. Our second recap focuses on Boko Haram, the Gaza Strip, and international justice.
*Inclusion in our “Weekly IHL Update” does not mean that the American Red Cross endorses or agrees with the views and opinions expressed.*