Tag: Risk


Violence against NGOs: The motives

In 2013, 461 aid workers were attacked, setting the recorded as the most violent year against humanitarian staff.  The 1949 Geneva Conventions and related 1977 Protocols I and II provide a legal safeguard to prevent violence against NGOs. Yet as the number of international aid workers has tripled since 2000, the number of attacks against NGO aid workers has also increased.

The question is why, in particular contexts, does violence against NGOs occur? This piece will seek to explain the motives for which non-governmental organisations are targeted in order to better understand the reasons why NGOs, in cases such as the Central African Republic and Syria, have not been able to function to their full potential in response to humanitarian crises.

Risk Management in Conflict-Affected Contexts: The Case of Mali

Since 2012 Mali has been immersed in a violent conflict between armed jihadist groups and the Malian government that first involved exclusively the North of the country but has since spread to the areas of Mopti and Ségou. Despite massive international mobilization and intervention, the conflict is still classified as escalating by ACLED. One of the key issues at stake is the balance between military intervention in support of the Malian government and the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need. The case of Mali gives us an insight into why risk management in conflict-affected contexts is needed.

Adama Barrow’s New Presidency | Gambia Risk Report: A New Dawn?

On 1st December 2016, Gambia had what some might call its first “real” presidential election. A strong and united group of opposition parties, led by Adama Barrow, was able to defeat the incumbent autocrat, Yahya Jammeh, who had sat in power since 1994. While initially accepting the results, Jammeh would change face and dispute the results, triggering a constitutional crisis that was only thwarted following military and political pressure from several countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The result was cheered by international commentators and Gambians alike. The result was of particular significance for those Gambians who had fled to Europe during the past 20 years in an attempt to flee persecution under Jammeh’s rule. Many see Barrow’s victory as a critical juncture in Gambia’s future.

Aid channels that had been previously shut during the last few years of Jammeh’s rule – either by the humanitarian organisations of Jammeh himself – have slowly started to reopen. Political prisoners have been released from jails, and press freedoms have been greatly increased.

Risk Report | Nigeria: The economic and security implications of the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.

Situating the Militancy

Located on Africa’s Western coast on the Gulf of Guinea and with an estimated population of 183 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Over the years, Nigeria has also emerged as Africa’s largest economy, with a GDP worth $481.07 billion in 2015. Even when ranked against other African resource-rich countries, Nigeria stands out as the leading economy on the African continent. Egypt’s GDP – despite the fact that the country is the second-largest African economy and natural gas producer – it does not exceed the threshold of $400 billion. Likewise, Angola – that led the African oil producing countries well above Nigeria in the first half of 2016 –  has a GDP worth only $102.96 billion, less than a third of Nigeria’s. Historically, the risk within Nigeria’s economic growth, has been that income and revenues have been tied to the exploitation of its resource-rich soil, with the oil and natural gas industry primarily located in the southern Niger Delta region.  Since crude oil was first discovered in 1956 in Oloibiri, in the South-Eastern Bayelsa state, the Niger Delta region has played a crucial role in the economics, politics and security of Nigeria. This has cultivated the conditions necessary for the emergence of the so-called politics of oil. A common practice of governance shared by other oil-rich countries across Africa. For Nigeria, this means that oil and natural gas revenues are the mainstays of its economy, accounting for roughly 70% of the Nigerian government’s income and 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Part I: Examining the Threat of Right-Wing Extremism | The United States

The spectre of right-wing extremism is no stranger to most Americans. From Dylann Roof’s massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to the Oklahoma City bombing, right-wing extremism has a long history of violence. However, the concept of right-wing extremism itself is a rather controversial topic in the US, one that is often overshadowed and downplayed. It was Republicans who decried a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism as an unfair characterisation of veterans and the political right. Any discussion on the matter is immediately classified as a political attack against conservatism, derailing any meaningful insight into the potential threat and prevalence of this extremist thought.

The Dangerous Business of Humanitarian Aid

How Aid Organisations Should Go About Providing Safety and Security

With about 280,000 humanitarian aid workers worldwide, the United Nation’s Office for Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that the odds of an aid worker experiencing an attack are 1 in 1,000, making the business of assisting the world’s most vulnerable citizens a very dangerous undertaking.1 The complexity of today’s threat landscape has caused the business of humanitarian action to become more physically dangerous. In 2015 and 2016 alone, 616 aid workers fell victim to violent attacks, 229 of which resulted in death, with the most prevalent acts of intentional violence stemming from armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, IED’s, landmines and assault.2 Overall, the rate of major attacks against aid workers, measured by the number of killings, kidnappings and casualties over the population of aid workers in the field has increased over the past decade in a handful in violent environments. With the highest-risk degree of attacks taking place in: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, and the Central African Republic.