The 10 most popular IRIN stories of 2016

Exclusive: The ethical failure - why I resigned from the UN

When senior UN human rights official Anders Kompass exposed the sexual abuse of children by French and African peacekeepers in Central African Republic, instead of being lauded he was investigated, suspended, and told to resign. Finally, in June, he left the organisation – but on his own terms. In an IRIN exclusive, he drew attention to endemic failures of accountability and transparency at the UN, where he no longer felt he could fight for his beliefs. Readers listened to his powerful message.

US probe into Turkey-Syria aid corruption deepens

2016 saw the launch of our new investigative unit, and one of its first pieces revealed the depth of a US government watchdog’s probe into corruption in the delivery of aid across the Turkey-Syria border. IRIN found that corrupt sub-contracting and procurement fraud was undermining vital aid deliveries to Syrians in need.

What does Brexit mean for refugees?

After Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU, Migration Editor Kristy Siegfried took a close look at what the result might mean for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. This timely piece raised an early warning bell about the anti-immigrant, populist shift coursing through the continent.

Aleppo is screwed. Thanks everyone.

We don’t need to tell you how much has changed in Aleppo since Head of Enterprise Projects Ben Parker penned this exasperated opinion piece in July, as the siege of the rebel-held east of the city had just begun. He wrote of political deadlock, aid agencies in disarray, and even of a UN grant to a charity chaired by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife. We now know only too well what the international community’s failure has wrought for the civilians of Aleppo.

The World Humanitarian Summit: winners and losers

IRIN came to the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul fresh off the back of an exclusive from Médecins Sans Frontières, one of the world’s most prominent aid organisations, announcing it wouldn't be attending and dismissing the gathering as a “fig leaf for good intentions”. Our stand-out coverage went on to include a live blog, a review of the Grand Bargain agreement on reforms to humanitarian funding and this exhaustive summary from IRIN Director Heba Aly, making sense of what was – and wasn’t – agreed, at the inaugural three-day event.

Is Ethiopia unravelling?

When Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his wrists at the finish line at the Rio Olympics as a symbol of opposition, the world paid attention for a fleeing moment. But it can be hard to get solid information from inside Ethiopia, as freedom of political speech is heavily restricted. In this popular piece, IRIN contributor James Jeffrey unpicks the complex dynamics of the most significant protests against Ethiopia’s authoritarian leadership since its ruling party came to power in 1991.

 

Migration: What if Trump does win? 

Now that Trump is barrelling towards the presidency, have a look at our pre-election analysis of which of his campaign promises – keep an eye on that Mexico wall – are actually implementable. Worth another read now, with inauguration day looming.

EXCLUSIVE: Inside Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war rooms

When Middle East Editor Annie Slemrod gained rare access to the Saudi Arabian armed forces’ targeting cells in Riyadh, she was presented with a slick operation that took great pains to avoid civilian casualties and followed international humanitarian law to the letter. It was a jarring disconnect from the deaths of innocent men, women, and children on the ground in Yemen.

Blue Nile – Sudan’s Forgotten Front

This immersive multimedia report on a little-known conflict in southeastern Sudan is hard to shake, from the shot of a starving family hyena to the video of a boy chipping away at mud in a gold mine. This important reporting, beautifully presented in a cutting-edge format, explains both the conflict and the impact on civilians in Blue Nile, where there is neither a functioning clinic nor an open school.

China’s dangerous double game in the Sudans

Shortly after two Chinese peacekeepers were killed in South Sudan, Asia Editor Jared Ferrie came across evidence that Chinese-made ammunition was being sold to Sudan and then diverted to the southern rebels. His authoritative report lays bare the hypocrisy at the heart of China's oil investments, weapons trading, and peacekeeping contributions in the region.

(TOP PHOTO: Rebel fighters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North do a training exercise at their barracks. Alex Pritz/Documist for IRIN)