South Sudan’s Seemingly Unending War

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 to become an independent, sovereign nation. However two years later, in December 2013, disagreements between two former rebel leaders Riek Machar and President Salvar Kirr plunged the nation into what would become a seemingly unending civil war. South Sudan has two main sides of political divide: SPLM,…

Armenia: The Road to Democracy in Post-Soviet Caucasus

A Crisis in Armenia: The Fight for Democracy Recently, the mountainous former Soviet nation of Armenia has been heavily featured on mainstream media, mainly due to the country’s wave of protests against its now former prime minister, Serzh Sargsyan, led by the opposition’s leader, Nikol Pashinyan. The protests, which Mr Pashinyan said a “non-violent velvet revolution”, reacted…

The Failure of an International Commitment to Human Rights

Middle Eastern political analyst Emile Hokayem recently tweeted “Being from, caring about and working on the Middle East is an endless heartbreak,” in reference to reports of the use of chemical weapons in Douma, Syria, on April 7th, 2018. When I first learned that a player in the Syrian conflict, presumably the Assad government, orchestrated…

Mattis Visits Southeast Asia: Strengthening the US Indo-Pacific Strategy

Last year U.S. President Donald Trump has frequently stated the term “free and open Indo-Pacific” during his Asia voyage, as this month U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has visited Southeast Asia to Indonesia and Vietnam in an effort to reach a consensus in defense issues and forge strong new partnerships. The Indo-Pacific policy aims to…

What is this so-called Wind of Change in South Africa?

The power of incumbency is such a hot topic for political debate in Africa. A sitting African president appearing on national TV, not for any other purpose, but to read out a resignation speech, is typically not an African thing. But when this happens, like we recently witnessed in South Africa, how should we tell…

Iranians Demand Change in Large Displays of Protest and Activism

Iran was struck by waves of anti-government and pro-government rallies during a period spanning the end of December 2017 and the beginning of January 2018. The anti-government demonstrators were drawn to action as a result of the rising prices of basic goods (specifically eggs and poultry), alleged corruption, lack of personal freedom and the country’s…

Saudi Arabia, the US, and Violations of International Law

A picture is really worth a thousand words. When the picture of little Omran Daqneesh, the boy covered in dust and rubble sitting in the back of an ambulance after being rescued from his house in Aleppo, Syria, after it was hit by an airstrike, went viral, the world was suddenly made aware of the…