Archive for the ‘News’ Category

23
Nov

mali

While most global attention has been focused on Nigeria, Mali has been West Africa’s other insurgent hotspot in recent years.
It is threatened by various armed groups – from Ansar Dine, which is linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), to Touareg separatist rebel groups. The lawlessness in Libya after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 led to a spread of weapons across the Sahel region of northern Africa, which fell into the hands of such groups and fuelled unrest in the region. In 2012 the handling of the Touareg rebellion prompted some army factions to stage an uprising, sparking a civil war. Jihadist groups took advantage of the situation and took control of the north of the country, imposing strict Islamic law.

The resulting fighting needed the intervention of French forces to push away the militants and regain much of northern Mali. But the jihadists are still active and have carried out numerous attacks across the country.

Key players
The most prominent group is Ansar Dine, led by Iyad Ag Ghaly. The group is linked to AQIM and has vowed to destabilise the Sahel region. Ghaly recently called for attacks on France and its interests in Mali. The group implemented Sharia law in towns it captured during the 2012 uprising, including the ancient city of Timbuktu. A new jihadist group known as Macina Liberation Front (FLM) has recently emerged in central Mali.It is linked with Ansar Dine and just last week, carried out an attack on a military checkpoint in the region of Djenne, a town 500km (310 miles) north-east of the capital Bamako. Its leader has called for continued attacks on the government. Last week, the Malian authorities said that information from members of the public had led to the arrest of one of the group’s leading financiers during an army operation in the central region of Mopti. Read more…

By Tomi Oladipo
BBC Monitoring Africa security correspondent
20 November 2015

19
Nov

FLORENCE, Italy — As President François Hollande of France has declared, the country is at war with the Islamic State. France considers the Islamist group, also known as ISIS, to be its greatest enemy today. It fights it on the front lines alongside the Americans in the Middle East, and as the sole Western nation in the Sahel. It has committed to this battle, first started in Mali in 2013, a share of its armed forces much greater than has the United States.

On Friday night, France paid the price for this. Messages expressing solidarity have since poured in from all over the Western world. Yet France stands oddly alone: Until now, no other state has treated ISIS as the greatest strategic threat to the world today.
The main actors in the Middle East deem other enemies to be more important. Bashar al-Assad’s main adversary is the Syrian opposition — now also the main target of Russia, which supports him. Mr. Assad would indeed benefit from there being nothing between him and ISIS: That would allow him to cast himself as the last bastion against Islamist terrorism, and to reclaim in the eyes of the West the legitimacy he lost by so violently repressing his own people.

The Turkish government is very clear: Its main enemy is Kurdish separatism. And a victory of Syrian Kurds over ISIS might allow the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., to gain a sanctuary, and resume its armed struggle against Turkey.

The Kurds, be they Syrian or Iraqi, seek not to crush ISIS so much as to defend their newfound borders. They hope the Arab world will become more divided than ever. They want to seize Sinjar because it is in a Kurdish area. But they won’t attack Mosul, because that would be playing into Baghdad’s hands. Read more…

Published on Nov. 17 in nyt.com

Olivier Roy is a professor at the European University Institute in Florence and the author of “Globalized Islam.”

 

16
Nov

 

Chers Membres de la Communauté IE,

Au nom de toute notre institution, je voudrais exprimer notre profonde solidarité avec nos amis Français en ces moments d’intense tristesse. Nous condamnons le terrorisme sous toutes ses formes et resterons fermes et unis face à ceux qui menacent nos valeurs. Aujourd’hui nous nous sentons tous Parisiens et nous envoyons nos sincères condoléances à tous ceux qui souffrent les effets de ces attaques barbares.

Avec mes salutations les plus chaleureuses,
Arantza de Areilza
Doyenne
IE School of International Relations

Dear Members of the IE Community,

On behalf of us all, I would like to express our deepest solidarity with our French friends in these moments of profound sorrow. We condemn all forms of terrorism and will stand firm and united against those who challenge our most cherished social values. We all feel Parisians today and would like to extend our deepest condolences to those who are suffering the effects of these barbaric attacks.

With my warmest regards,
Arantza de Areilza
Dean
IE School of International Relations

Queridos Miembros de la Comunidad del IE,

En nombre de todos, quiero expresar nuestra solidaridad con nuestros amigos Franceses en estos momentos de profundo pesar. Condenamos todas las formas de terrorismo y seremos firmes frente a aquéllos que ponen en peligro nuestros valores sociales más queridos. Todos nos sentimos Parisinos hoy y enviamos nuestra condolencia más sentida a todos los que sufren los efectos de estos ataques bárbaros.

Con todo cariño,
Arantza de Areilza
Decana
IE School of International Relations
Arantza.areilza@ie.edu

5
Nov

Lara

A blog entry by 3rd year Bachelor of International Relations Student Lara Schober

Representing ie university as a ‘scribe’ at the Madrid+10 Policy Dialogue on “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism” organized by the Club de Madrid was a great honor and an incredible experience. Me and ten fellow ie students from the BIR, the BBABIR and the MIR had the opportunity to get a rather unique insight into how diplomacy, political dialogue and individual debates between former statesmen and ministers, experts and important leaders, such as King Felipe VI or Ban Ki-Moon, take place.
Different discussions, led by a moderator, between various panelists on topics such as “New Approaches towards Preventing Violent Extremism” or “Obstacles and Opportunities in the Fight Against Violent Extremism” clearly showed how difficult it can be to reach a global consensus on this quite controversial issue and how emotionally involved some of the panelists, but also participants from the audience, are. Heated debates also arose in the framework of various workshops, which mainly focused on the role of women, the importance of education and online media, and the role of religious leaders in the fight against violent extremism.
Besides some disagreements, especially regarding the involvement of Russia in the Syrian conflict or the role of the West in the fight against ISIS, there seemed to be a clear consensus on the importance of the role of the youth and that it should be a priority to meet their grievances, incorporate them into society, and create an environment with positive future outlooks. Furthermore it was being emphasized that religion is not the problem, but part of the solution in countering violent extremism, and that statesmen should increasingly engage in an interreligious dialogue with religious leaders and enhance pluralism and tolerance within their sphere of influence.
Although we perceived it as somewhat hypocritical to be the only representatives of the youth that carries all the hope, the areas of agreement and the mere fact that such a significant number of former politicians, religious leaders, and representatives of NGOs from all around the world came together to share their opinions and ultimately work towards a common goal, showed me that diplomacy and politics might not be as hopeless in countering violent extremism as I previously thought.

26
Oct

IE International Advisory Board Members visit IE Segovia Campus

Written on October 26, 2015 by Waya Quiviger in News

International advisory board members Carl H. Hahn, P. Zulueta, , visit IE’s Segovia campus on Oct. 22nd, in the context of the Annual International Advisory Board Meeting.

 

IAB1

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