Africa

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‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a riveting election for new members of the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly voted for 18 new members. Yet, given that all prospective candidates were unopposed, the perfunctory ballot simply selected a list of states where everyone won, including some notorious human rights […]

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UN peacekeeping; vital but tarnished tool

UN peacekeeping; vital but tarnished tool

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — One of the UN’s most vital, unsung, but necessary operations concerns its global peacekeeping missions. For more than sixty years, the UN “Blue helmets” have seen service from the Sinai to Cyprus and the Congo. In 1988, UN Peacekeeping won the Nobel Peace Prize. But in recent years […]

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UN Security Council merry go round

UN Security Council merry go round

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In its annual membership rotation, the UN General Assembly has chosen five new members; Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Dominican Republic and South Africa, who will serve two-year stints on the powerful fifteen-member Security Council. The election, or more properly selection, is based both on geographical and regional representation as […]

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40 million enslaved by human trafficking: ‘Cops and clergy’ join forces

40 million enslaved by human trafficking: ‘Cops and clergy’ join forces

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The challenge is growing. The risk is widening. The stakes are stark. Those are some of the key takeaways from a UN press briefing on an expanding and dangerous global challenge; human slavery and sex trafficking where forty million lives hang in a precarious balance between enslavement and […]

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China seeks ‘new chapter’ with resource-rich Zimbabwe: Different leader, same access

China seeks ‘new chapter’ with resource-rich Zimbabwe: Different leader, same access

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The setting was all about renewing an old friendship between a political pariah and the People’s Republic of China, its longtime patron. So in his first state visit outside of the African continent, Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa visited China to reaffirm and re-enforce the close political and […]

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U.S. support needed in Mali, a nexus for Sahel terror and people smuggling

U.S. support needed in Mali, a nexus for Sahel terror and people smuggling

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The landlocked West African state of Mali remains a critical crossroads for both international people smuggling and a nexus of radical Islamic terrorism in the Sahel, the vast arid region on the southern reaches of the Sahara desert. Here amid ancient caravan routes, porous borders, and weak governance, […]

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Africa’s Sahel region ‘sinking into chaos’ as terror spreads

Africa’s  Sahel region ‘sinking into chaos’ as terror spreads

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The recent killing of four U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers in Niger tragically highlighted a quiet but lethal conflict in sub-Saharan Africa’s Sahel region. Here in the confluence of the arid and largely forgotten lands of Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania lay a vast land plagued […]

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As UN convenes, N. Korea is only one crisis: Consider China-backed Burma’s ethnic cleansing

As UN convenes, N. Korea is only one crisis: Consider China-backed Burma’s ethnic cleansing

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Amid the backdrop of global conflicts and humanitarian crises, presidents, prime ministers, and potentates from 193 member states have gathered in New York for the 72nd annual General Assembly of the United Nations. The Autumn Assembly comes at a time of renewed political and humanitarian […]

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Why communist China’s first foreign military base? Location, Location, Location

Why communist China’s first foreign military base? Location, Location, Location

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Nearly six hundred years ago, huge Chinese fleets plied the Indian Ocean sailing as far as Arabia and the East African coast. The epic seaborne expeditions carried out between 1405 and 1432 under Adm. Cheng Ho and during the glorious Ming Dynasty were larger and far more encompassing […]

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UN secretary general bemoans refugee tsunami; appeals for consideration, assimilation

UN secretary general bemoans refugee tsunami; appeals for consideration, assimilation

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In an impassioned appeal to the media, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres decried the rising tide of refugees worldwide, but advised that ultimately political solutions to the crises remain the key to stem the tide creating chaotic human displacements. While more than 65 million people around the world […]

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