Any Road Will Take You There

June 13, 2016

In the news:

This week it was reported that a war crimes suspect from Somalia, Yusuf Abdi Ali, has been residing in the U.S. for twenty yeasr and works as a security guard at Dulles International Airport. Ali, who is being sued in civil court for torture, denies the allegations and cleared both FBI and TSA security screenings prior to beginning his employment.

Two years after the summary executions of eighteen people detained by Congolese peacekeepers occurred, the mass grave near the peacekeeping base has been exhumed. The exhumation provides new evidence into the investigation of peacekeepers’ actions within the Central African Republic between 2013 and 2015.

In South Sudan, both former rebel leader, Riek Machar, and South Sudan’s President, Slava Kiir, proposed to eliminate the war crimes court established in the peace agreement, and focus, instead, on a truth and reconciliation authority. Critics point out that eliminating the court would mean a discharge of criminal liability for both leaders, as well as others involved in wartime atrocities.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks continued in Paris this week. The agenda for Friday focused on examination of the 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative. Though the Israeli Prime Minister, conceded that the 2002 initiative has some positive features, he continues to request “direct negotiations without preconditions” between the parties.

Following a four-year investigation, The United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution service has determined that there is insufficient evidence to continue the case against a former MI-6 officer for the rendition of several Libyan citizens.

A man suspected of participating in both the Paris attacks and Brussels airport bombing may stand trial in France as well as Belgium. The pre-trial chamber in Brussels has concluded that the French request for the suspect’s extradition, according to a European arrest warrant, is enforceable.

In an effort to disrupt terror networks within the country, police in Bangladesh have arrested around 900 people. The crackdown comes following several targeted attacks in the nation where dozens of secular bloggers, minorities, activists and academics were killed.

Kurdish militants affiliated with Turkey’s Kurdish PKK party have claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb that killed several people in Istanbul this week.

As the battle against ISIS in Syria rages on, Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering deploying special operations forces. Although Putin previously stated that Russia made no plans to deploy combat troops, the reinforcements may be the key to “decisive victory” in the war torn nation, according to a Russian former deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Millions of civilians living in hard-to-reach areas in Syria may not receive the aid air drops they so desperately need. To make the air drops, the World Food Program would need permission from the Syrian government. Unlike opposition forces, the Syrian government has yet to give the green light to perform the air drops.

In Afghanistan, territories under government control are shrinking as Taliban insurgents employ a new tactic in their fight. The insurgents are storming villages in the south and starving out locals, thereby forcing them to leave and taking over the abandoned villages.

The UN has voiced concerns over Israel temporarily cancelling entry permits for Palestinians. The decision comes after a deadly attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, and it may be classified as collective punishment, which is prohibited in the Geneva Conventions.

Around the web:

Arabs and Arabs: Refuge Integration and Existing Franco-Arab Communities. Writing for Lawfare, Laura Dean sheds light on why social differences emerge among Arab immigrants in France despite losing “all social anchors” after emigrating from their respective countries.

Why the United States has no hope of stopping the war in Syria. Leon Aron discusses obstacles the West faces in coordinating with and countering Putin’s strategy in Syria.

From War to Work. Frances Stewart discusses and dispels some common assumptions on the relationship between conflict and employment.

On the blog:

ISIL’S Rule of Law: Creating A Caliphate State and Laws of Armed Conflict. Christie Edwards moderates a discussion with Andrew March about the legal frameworks influencing ISIL’s caliphate and judicial system, as well as rules related to armed conflict.

International Humanitarian Law: A Primer for Professionals. Register for one of our upcoming one-day workshops. Audience members will learn to recognize and understand situations where international humanitarian law is applicable. CLE credits are available! Contact us at to apply and obtain more information.

IHL Action Campaign. Follow the work of the IHL Action Campaign, and our other youth education program updates!

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