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Rough guide to Islamic rules of war

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN) - There is a renewed interest in translating classical texts about Islamic rules of war into English, adding to the increasing body of work on the intersections between Islam, international humanitarian law (IHL) and the protection of civilians. IRIN provides this study guide to get you started. full report

Can Islamic law be an answer for humanitarians?

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN) - In the last decade, aid and advocacy agencies have increasingly tried to understand Islamic law in order to use its humanitarian provisions as tools of negotiation with armed groups in the Muslim world. While the approach has seen some successes, it also raises certain ethical dilemmas. full report

Jihadi jurisprudence? Militant interpretations of Islamic rules of war

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN) - Within extremist militant circles is a debate over acceptable behavior under the Islamic rules of war. This so-called “jihadi jurisprudence” is increasingly studied by humanitarians as practitioners seek to understand the degree to which there is room for even the most radical armed groups to be influenced in favour of the protection of civilians and aid workers. full report

Islamic law and the rules of war

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN) - Islamic law contains a rich, but complex set of rules on the protection of civilians which can be difficult to understand, given the range of sources and interpretations available. IRIN walks you through the basics. full report

Remittance rip-offs

LONDON, 22 April 2014 (IRIN) - All over the world migrant workers are sending money home to their families. The money pays hospital bills and school fees, buys land, builds houses and sets up small businesses. The cash goes from the US back to Mexico, from the Gulf back to India, from the UK back to Somalia, and from South Africa back to Malawi, Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa. full report

Trading away West Africa’s hunger

DAKAR, 20 March 2014 (IRIN) - Severe food shortages in the Sahel and West Africa are often the result of droughts and poor harvests. But inefficient intra-regional trade also places significant strain on food availability, exacerbating hunger. full report

Humanitarian response gap grows in northern Nigeria

KANO, 14 March 2014 (IRIN) - Humanitarian needs are mounting in northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram attacks have displaced 350,000 people since 2013, 290,000 of them internally; the rest are sheltering in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. But the national response is inadequate and the international response minimal due to access hurdles and political sensitivities. full report

Long road to an African rapid reaction force

JOHANNESBURG, 21 February 2014 (IRIN) - The African Union (AU) is rethinking how it can most effectively deploy military forces to tackle the continent’s crises. full report

Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment, poverty

DAKAR, 10 February 2014 (IRIN) - Youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa, say experts. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence among idle youth. full report

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

NAIROBI, 4 February 2014 (IRIN) - Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts. full report

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