Landmines in Suarassy, Kashatagh Region, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, courtesy of Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2006
This week, the ISN focuses on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over this de facto independent territory has been running since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Mediation efforts by the ‘Minsk Group’, a group of OSCE member states, haven’t brought any substantial success. Some even argue that they’ve been counterproductive.
As other disputes stuck in a ‘no peace, no war’ situation for so long, Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to the ‘frozen conflicts’ species. But the dramatic meltdown of the South Ossetia conflict last summer showed that frozen conflicts should be taken very seriously indeed.
Check out this ISN Special Report on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by our senior correspondent in the South Caucasus, Karl Rahder.
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the event that lay the foundation for international humanitarian law and humanitarian aid. The grueling battle of Solferino saw the launch of Henry Dunant’s campaign that resulted in the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions setting today’s standards for humanitarian law.
This year also marks the 90th anniversary of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.
The ICRC, which owes its existence to Solferino, commissioned an opinion survey about the needs and expectations of people in eight of the most troubled places in the world (Afghanistan, Colombia, DRC, Georgia, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, the Philippines).
Not surprisingly, the study concludes that armed conflict causes extreme widespread suffering. Almost half of the people surveyed have personal experience of armed conflict. Numbers are topping in Haiti, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Liberia, where almost everyone is affected. Around half of the people with conflict experience are displaced or have lost contact with a close relative. Almost one-third have lost family members.
Contrary to what we probably would expect, people in these eight countries are optimistic about the future. All the same, anxiety and sadness rises and trust declines as a result of conflict. » More
Sceenshot of Boston Globe / Guardian slideshows: Displaced children chasing a truck spraying insecticide through a UNHCR refugee camp in Pakistan / A child swimming in the polluted waters in Cilincing, Indonesia.
Two very different issues, two powerful slideshows.
Slideshows like this tend to remind you of the power of photography- the way a photograph can say so much, awaken so many senses, give rise to so many ideas, sadness, anger, joy, curiosity, and eventually action.
We wanted to share both with you:
The Guardian recently ran a slideshow titled ‘World’s poor overwhelmed by rubbish‘. From mountains of rubbish in Naples and New Orleans to desolate scenes of rivers of rubbish in the Philippines and Indonesia.
The Boston Globe’s Alan Taylor put together a slideshow titled ‘Children in Pakistan‘ depicting the plight of those caught in the middle of the Taliban-Pakistan battles in the Swat valley and in refugee camps.