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December 30, 2012

Opening the Other Eye: Charles Taylor and Selective Criminal Accountability

April 27, 2012 by

From all that we know Charles Taylor deserves to be held criminally accountable for his role in the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during the period 1998-2002. Taylor was then President of Liberia, and did his best to encourage violent uprisings against the governments in neighboring countries so as to finance his own bloody schemes and extend his regional influence. It was in Sierra Leone that ‘blood diamonds,’ later more judiciously called ‘conflict diamonds’ were to be found in such abundance as to enter into the lucrative world trade, with many of these diamonds finding their way onto the shelves of such signature jewelry stores as Cartier, Bulgari, and Harry Winston, and thereby circumventing some rather weak international initiatives designed to prevent this outcome.

Hidden Hands behind Sudan’s Oil War

April 27, 2012 by

Once again Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir waved his walking stick in the air. Once again he spoke of splendid victories over his enemies as thousands of jubilant supporters danced and cheered. But this time around the stakes are too high. An all out war against newly independent South Sudan might not be in Sudan’s best interest. South Sudan’s saber-rattling is not an entirely independent initiative; its most recent territorial transgressions - which saw the occupation of Sudan’s largest oil field in Heglig on April 10, followed by a hasty retreat ten days later – might have been a calculated move aimed at drawing Sudan into a larger conflict.

Burma’s Reform: An Opportunity or a Threat?

April 27, 2012 by

Luminaries smelled blood. Hillary Clinton, Kevin Rudd, and David Cameron came and went, openly advocating for continued democratic reform. All met with Ms. Aung Sun Suu Kyi. In the aftermath of grandiose state visits from such luminaries to Burma (officially known as Myanmar), Aung Sun Suu Kyi and military leaders face a long and difficult task to bring about political, social, and economic reforms in a country that has remained under a brutal military junta and isolated from most of the world since 1960.