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Reprinted from GIMUN’s Chronicles
By Ashlee Pitts
Congolese soldiers patrol the outskirts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as the threat of M23 resurfaces. The group has executed and displaced hundreds of people in their attempts to cause unrest and collapse the government. The DRC is in a fragile state in part due to its militaristic and violent history of armed conflicts. DR Congo has also initiated strikes against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) Hutu militants after the group failed to disarm by the deadline proposed by the Congolese government.
Within the past fifteen years, the country has undergone attempted coups by rebel groups, disruptively frequent shifts in legislation and government, and the assassination of the late former President Laurent Kabila. Civilians are left to suffer while the country continues to dramatically and unpredictably spiral out of control. Back-to-back armed conflicts, political turmoil and poor leadership are just a few of the many contributing factors that paint a much larger picture of the problems that exist within the country. International aid and the multiple United Nations peacekeeping missions have played a role in relieving the tension that has risen from the intense aftermath or ongoing conflicts. Given that all the parties involved agree to ceasefires and resort to negotiations, conflicts are much more likely to fissile. In this case, the government’s unwavering resistance for effective change inherently stunts progression.
On 15th April, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a news brief celebrating a second multinational company’s, PepsiCo’s, decision to support international guidelines on sustainable land tenure governance. The first one, Coca-Cola Company, made the move in November 2013. But why is this news worth noting? First of all, this may be seen as an important step in the fight against the global “land grabbing” phenomenon and secondly, this shows the power civil society organizations may have in issues the United Nations is struggling with. Read the rest of this entry »
by Lea Gleixner
25,000 meet in Medellín at UN-Habitat’s biennial conference
It is home to more than half of the world’s population, it is filled with human capacity, central to the big dream of millions, the cradle of new languages, music, art, the hope of many and likely to also be a traffic- and environmental nightmare: the city. Since the early 1970s, a great many of development strategies and programs had focused on rural development. Today both industrialized and developing countries are facing a challenge not quite unrelated, but definitely on the opposite side of the rural sphere – Urbanization.
From the April 5 – 11, around 25,000 experts from different disciplines and over 164 countries are gathered at the World Urban Forum in Medellín under this year’s conference theme “Urban equityin development – Cities for Life”. Read the rest of this entry »
The storm blowing across the Central African Republic is nothing new. Indeed, since its independence in 1960, the country has been in the grip of serious political and humanitarian crises which are hardly suitable conditions for sorting out the incredibly bad economy. The storm became a hurricane in March 2013 when Séléka rebels – predominantly Muslims – ousted President Bozizé, leading to a period of unprecedented violence. Christians, initially persecuted by militant ex-Séléka fighters, have seen Christian anti-balakas respond to the abuse with their own acts of violence. This has resulted in hostile attitudes towards predominantly Muslim Chadian Central Africans. Read the rest of this entry »