IRIN’s Top Picks: IDPs, Yemen, War Pillage and Ebola

Welcome to IRIN's reading list. Every week our global network of specialist correspondents share some of their top picks of recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. We also highlight key upcoming conferences, book releases and policy debates.

Five to read:

Ten Years After Humanitarian Reform: How Have Internally Displaced Persons Fared? 

Ten years on from humanitarian reforms focused on improving responses to internally displaced persons (IDPs) what has really changed and what still needs to be addressed? This new study by the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement includes field examples from Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Somalia and desk research on Syria, Pakistan, Kenya and Haiti. It notes some progress but says “huge gaps remain in both protecting people from displacement and in finding solutions for the displaced”. The report also makes an interesting case for IDP responses to be more development-driven and not simply focused on short-term emergency response.

“My Nurses Are Dead and I Don’t Know if I’m Already Infected

Published on Medium by journalist Joshua Hammer, a former Newsweek bureau chief and veteran correspondent, this long read tells the story of Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, the head of the Kenema Government Hospital’s Ebola ward in Sierra Leone. It’s a touching account of a well-respected and dedicated Sierra Leonean doctor who eventually succumbed to Ebola. The piece shines a light on how communities are bearing the brunt  of the disease and how mistrust of traditional medicine and institutions has played a part in its spread.

Private Violence, Public Concern: Intimate Partner Violence in Humanitarian Settings 

Violence against women and girls perpetrated by their intimate partners takes place all over the world but prevalence is likely to be higher in humanitarian settings. A new International Rescue Committee (IRC) study – based on research carried out in 2014 in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Domiz refugee camp, Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, and South Sudan’s Ajuong Thok settlement - looks at the drivers of intimate partner violence in humanitarian contexts and presents recommendations for aid organisations to spot and respond to it.

Playing a Double Game in the Fight Against AQAP

As violence and instability rumble on in Yemen, it’s worth reading this deep background insight into the Arab state, its former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the role of the United States in trying to defeat al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  In September 2014, President Barack Obama declared the country a counter-terrorism success story and a model for other conflicts, but the last few months may have left him regretting that boast.

Grand Theft Global: Prosecuting the War Crime of Natural Resource Pillage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 

In this hard-hitting report, the Enough Project, a US-based activist group, details how violent armed groups finance their activities through the illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources. It calls for more to be done to investigate financial flows stemming from trafficking of minerals and the “war crime of pillage”. The report focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo but also carries lessons for dealing with other militant groups: the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda and Al-Shabab in Somalia.

Coming up:

The Next Flashpoint: Potential Threats to Peace and Security in 2015 

Tuesday 3 February, 1pm GMT at Chatham House, London

Jean-Marie Guéhenno, president and CEO of the International Crisis Group (ICG) will be flagging ten conflicts to watch in 2015. The hotspots are Syria, Iraq, and the Islamic State; Ukraine; South Sudan; Nigeria; Somalia; the Democratic Republic of Congo; Afghanistan; Yemen; Libya and the Sahel; and Venezuela. Attendees must register but a livestream will be available.

From IRIN:

ICC and Palestine - a long way to go 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced the opening of a preliminary examination into possible war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory. However, any prosecutions could still be a long way off. IRIN’s interactive map shows how few ICC investigations have delivered results.

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