Tag: Aid

Obstructing Humanitarian Assistance in Syria: A Weapon of Warfare

The Syrian conflict continues to shake the world. The massive influx of refugees into neighbouring countries, the untold suffering of the Syrian people, and the razing of whole cities are some of the destructive characteristics of this war. The participation of other countries, such as the U.S., Turkey, Iran and Russia, has triggered a debate around whether this armed conflict is of an international or of an internal character. This controversy has complicated the issue regarding the application of the rules of armed conflict as far as obstructing humanitarian assistance is concerned.

The following analysis will be around two major issues: first, whether these unspeakable conditions constitute a weapon of warfare for the Parties or are they just a consequence of the conflict; secondly, whether the UN has the power to intervene and protect the civilians. This discussion will be based on the legal framework regarding the obstruction of humanitarian assistance during armed conflicts and the UN’s position.      

Aid and Violence in Kashmir

The violence in Kashmir is one of the longest-running and unresolved disputes in contemporary times. It is also at the centre of a nuclear flash point between two arch rivals – India and Pakistan. Both powers have engaged in three wars before nuclear acquisition (1947, 1965, 1971), as well as several military skirmishes (1999, 2001-2002). Relations between the two states are acrimonious at best.  Much of the hostility stems from unfettered terrorist activity in the region that is at times openly backed by Islamabad as means to undermine Indian hegemony. The September 2016 terrorist attacks in Uri attest to this reality, the consequences of which have virtually severed relations between the two states.