Tag: Security


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.

The Forgotten Crisis in the Central African Republic and the Impact on NGOs

The Central African Republic (CAR) descended into violence in March 2013, when Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize’s weak authoritarian regime. After seizing power, the Seleka engaged in large-scale abuses, leading to the deaths of thousands of civilians. Initially, the Seleka started as a political movement against President Bozize but since then it has shifted its character to that of a sectarian confrontation drawn along religious lines.

The anti-Balaka (comprising of Christians) was created in response to the Seleka (rebels comprising of Muslims), with the aim of protecting the Christian community at all costs. Both sides are responsible for large scale killings, which have thrust the country into a downward spiral of pain and repression.

The Digitised Dragon: China’s Cyber Intelligence, Security and Future Monitors

In July 2016, Finnish cyber-security firm F-Secure published a White Paper entitled ‘NanHaiShu: RATing the South China Sea’. The article discussed the identification of a Remote Access Trojan, a malware which targeted organisations associated to the international territorial dispute in the South China Sea since 2015. Based on technical and motivational characteristics, the malware was attributed to threat actors from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The identification of NanHaiShu validates findings detailed an earlier study about China’s evolving intelligence strategies in cyberspace, and its move away from outdated mosaic techniques. Armed with a firm foothold in the technological research, development and manufacturing sector, there could be little doubt about the continued sophistication of China’s operational cyber-security capabilities being used in its plans for global market expansion. The recognition of cyberspace as an operation domain has revealed a clear indication of cyber-security’s intimate relationship with global geopolitics, and the subsequent effects on how state coordinated cyber-espionage will be conducted.

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.