A Check on Lethal Aid to Syria

This week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Syria Transition Support Act, authorizing arming and training vetted Syrian rebels. Across the Atlantic, the United Kingdom and France are similarly pressing the European Union to lift the arms embargo for Syria. Donor governments, however, need to ensure this “lethal” aid does not pose more risk…

Help for Civilians Harmed in America’s Drone Wars

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post. A decade after weaponized drones were first used in counterterrorism operations in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen the US Senate Judiciary Committee had its first hearing on April 23 questioning the legality of the targeting killing program including who is being killed and where. Senator Durbin also asked, “What moral…

The Mali Crisis through Civilian Eyes: Hamidou’s Story

Michael Shaikh, director of country operations for Center for Civilians in Conflict, and Sam Hendricks, a consultant for the CIVIC, were in Mali this month speaking with civilians about the current conflict and the challenges they face. In this post we hear from Hamidou, a schoolteacher in Mali’s Mopti region, who shared his experience of…

Two years after the first refugees fleeing armed conflict in northern Mali stranded in this desert location near the Mauritanian town of Bassikounou , 60 000 of them continue to be rely on aid. Water, food, shelter, health care, all of these essential services in Mbera camp are being provided by humanitarian organisations, some of them funded by ECHO, the European Commission humanitarian aid and civil protection service. With conditions for a safe return home not met, according to the refugees, most of them are not planning to pack their bags anytime soon.

Ahmed’s Story: Revenge Will Tip Us Into Hell

Michael Shaikh, director of country operations for Center for Civilians in Conflict, and Sam Hendricks, a consultant for CIVIC, are currently in Mali speaking with civilians about the current conflict and the challenges they face. “Before the rebels came, life was good,” said Ahmed, a schoolteacher in Mali who sat down with Center for Civilians…