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CWA # 557, 25 September 2021

Conflict Weekly 89
Pride marches in Europe, Jail term for Hotel Rwanda hero, and continuing Houthi-led violence in Yemen

  IPRI Team

Conflict Weekly #89, 22 September 2021, Vol.2, No.25
An initiative by NIAS-IPRI & KAS-India Office

Europe: Pride Marches in Serbia and Ukraine 
In the news 
On 18 September, hundreds joined Serbia's annual Pride parade in Belgrade. Celebrating 20 years since their first parade, organization committee member Marko Mihajlovic said: "In the past 20 years the situation has improved LGBT noticeably but not decisively... (The participants of) this year's Pride demanded a law on same-sex unions. We want this to be the last Pride that we don't have this law."

On 19 September, over 7000 people attended Ukraine's annual March in Kyiv for Equality, supporting the rights of the LGBTQ community. Ukraine ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova asked radical groups to refrain from violence and wrote on Facebook: "(the Constitution recognizes all people) equal in their rights from birth, regardless of any characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Issues at large 
First, the pride rallies. Kyiv's tenth Pride rally saw marchers calling for substantial changes to be made concerning how they were treated. Banners referencing eight demands made to the Ukrainian authorities, including the legalization of LGBT civil partnerships and other laws against LGBT hate crimes, were seen. A similar scene was witnessed at Belgrade; marchers were heavily policed and demanded the adoption of a law on same-sex unions. The slogan of this year's parade was 'Love is the law'. Last year, due to the pandemic, Kyiv cancelled its rally while Belgrade held it online.

Second, the opposition to LGBTQ. Concerns of violence loomed during Ukraine's Pride rally; around 100 far-right activists counter-demonstrated in a nearby park. Despite recent progress, homophobia and opposition to same-sex partnerships are prevalent in Kyiv. LGBTQ rights groups claim police were downplaying homophobic or transphobic motives of attacks as 'hooliganism', which further contribute to the problem. LGBTQ associated groups and events are regularly attacked by conservative groups and members of far-right organizations. In Serbia, consistent with past marches, police avoided clashes between far-right protesters who burnt the rainbow flag and pelted stones and eggs at the marchers. According to polls conducted in Serbia, homosexuality is widely considered to be a 'disorder.'

Third, the government response. The Serbian and Ukrainian governments largely support the rights of the LGBTQ community and actively work towards substantive measures. Ever since pro-West leaders came to power, the Ukrainian government has increased support for LGBTQ rights. Amendment banning LGBTQ discrimination at workplaces was also a long stride in ensuring the rights of the community. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, who is openly gay and has attended previous marches, is said to have been unable to join this year's rally. However, the Serbian law on same-sex unions remains stalled since President Alexander Vucic refuses to ratify the law without which it won't come into force.  

Fourth, Europe's LGBTQ stance. Widespread criticism against bloc members who promote state-sanctioned homophobia is becoming increasingly common. Poland and Hungary, which have been reprimanded through legal and financial actions, are prime examples. The European Commission – responsible for approving and handing out the bloc's pandemic recovery fund – has yet to approve Hungary's reconstruction funds. This delay is due to Budapest's failure to repeal its anti-paedophilia law, which is a disguised anti-LGBTQ law.  

In perspective 
Over the past decade, support for the LGBTQ community and their rights has significantly grown globally, especially in Europe. This could be due to the increased presence of Pride parades, which call for safeguarding the community's rights and ability to live peacefully without being victims of hate crimes. Meanwhile, providing leadership in the global arena, the EU has reiterated it will not tolerate undemocratic and inhumane acts committed against any community by member states. It has since discovered ways to discipline those states which fail to comply with its measures.



Rwanda: 'Hotel Rwanda' hero Paul Rusesabagina sentenced for terrorism offences
In the news
On 20 September, Paul Rusesabagina was sentenced to 25 years of prison under charges of terrorism by a court in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Rusesabagina had climbed to popularity after the release of the Hollywood movie 'Hotel Rwanda' in which he was portrayed as the humanitarian hotel manager that housed nearly 1200 Tutsis during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The prosecutors of the legal row had sought life imprisonment for Paul under several charges, including terrorism, kidnappings, arsons and forming a terrorist organization.
Ned Price, a US Department of State spokesperson, commented that the US is concerned by the verdict and questions the fairness of the trial. Belgium's Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes resented the verdict and observed that Paul did not benefit from a fair trial. Paul's supporters and human rights activists call the trial a political sham and accused the Kagame government of arbitrariness.

Issues at large
First, the political intolerance in Rwanda.  President Paul Kagame has been criticized internationally for his totalitarian approach towards dissent and opposition at the domestic and international levels. Earlier in 2014, the Human Rights Watch had released a report titled 'Repression across Borders', which documents nearly 10 cases of mistreatment in the form of attacks and threats faced by critics in exile. Paul Rusesabagina is a prominent political figure and a critique of Paul Kagame and his administration. He has remained as a strong voice of the opposition coalition Rwandan Movement of Democratic Change (MRCD) overseas, especially in the west. He is also recognized to be among the leadership of the (MRCD). He is held responsible along with 20 other defendants for various acts of violence committed by the radical and armed wing of the Ihumure party called the National Liberation Front (FLN). Earlier in 2018, he openly expressed his support for FLN and called for armed resistance against the Kagame administration. However, he denies the allegation of being an active member of FLN. Many opposition figures and rights groups have condemned the trial as they view it as a strong expression of judicial unfairness.

Second, the questionable judicial trial. The Rwandan Intelligence Bureau detained Paul Rusesabagina from Dubai after being tricked to travel in a plane which he was given the impression would take him to Burundi, instead landed in Kigali. He was later kept in solitary confinement for nearly 250 days; according to Nelson Mandela rules for the treatment of prisoners (UN), this is a form of torture. Paul's legal team also accuses the Rwandan authorities of preventing proper audience with the defendant, and his international legal aids have been prevented from contacting him. In protest, Paul had boycotted the recent hearings while the other defendants attended.

Third, dwindling popular support to Paul Rusesabagina. The national hero has been facing increased criticism; many of his critics identify him as a 'manufactured hero' who had unjustly benefited from the genocide. According to the state-run media, his popular image is largely a product of the western interpretation of the genocide and contradicts the facts. Authors like Alfred Ndahiro, in his work on the genocide, provides an alternative reality based on the accounts of the survivors of the genocide who were at the hotel Paul managed. Such campaigns have caused significant damage to Paul Rusesabagina's popularity in the country.

In perspective
The opposition has unequivocally condemned the verdict. "In a country where freedom is limited, all power is in the hands of the executive, how could a judge dare to take a decision incompatible with the wishes of the president" commented an opposition leader. Paul has been acquitted of creating and running an armed group, but with the remaining allegations, he is expected to serve his sentence.


 
Yemen: Houthis continue to capture territories
In the news
On 16 September, nearly 50 pro-government troops and rebels were killed after clashes in the Al-Bayda province. According to military sources, a colonel and 19 other loyalists were killed in the clashes, and the Houthis had seized a few key areas from the government forces. The Sawma'ah district and the Mukayras District in Al-Bayda have come under Houthi control as per reports. The Houthis had launched the offensive at Al-Bayda weeks in advance to assert their dominance in Central Yemen.
On 18 September, nine people involved in the killing of Al-Sammad were publicly executed in broad daylight by the Houthis. Al-Sammad was the President of a Houthi-backed political party and was killed by a Saudi-led airstrike in 2018. After a rebel-controlled court found the 9 Yemenis guilty of spying for the Saudi-led coalition forces, the public executions were carried out with hundreds of onlookers in the capital city of Sanaa.  

On 20 September, more than 30 rebels were killed in Marib after Saudi-led airstrikes hit Houthi reinforcements. The Marib region has been coveted by the Houthis for more than a year now. Despite the heavy casualties they suffer, the Houthis have continuously attacked Marib in successive waves. The rebels are also notorious for using young boys in their frontlines to soak up the enemy fire.

Issues at large
First, the incapable Yemeni government. Despite being backed by Saudi Arabia, the government under President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has done very little to gain control over territories or mending ties with the Houthis. President Hadi's apathetic nature towards numerous issues since his time as Vice-President in 1994 has often raised concerns about his leadership. The lack of a transparent system had allowed corruption to fester within the government even before the conflict began in 2014. The unchecked corruption has impacted the management of essential resources and foreign aid within the country.   

Second, the declining morale amongst government troops. Till 2020, the Yemeni military did a commendable job in deterring Houthi advances on multiple fronts. Even if they lost control over territory, the military (with the help of the local tribes) would immediately regain control over the territory. However, this will to fight has seen a decline in recent times, mainly due to the lack of funding and proper leadership in the military. The military has also adopted reactionary strategies over proactive strategies, thereby reducing the number of offensive operations.   

Third, the US withdrawal of support to the Saudi-led coalition. From the time Tim Leaderking was appointed as the US Special Envoy for Yemen (in February), the US strategy towards the war in Yemen has changed significantly. To end the dire humanitarian condition plaguing Yemen, the US decided to stop supporting the Saudi-led coalition logistically and financially. In early September, the US started removing its Patriot missile defence batteries from Saudi Arabia, despite the kingdom facing numerous Houthi ariel (missile, mortar and drone) attacks in recent times. The US deciding to take a diplomatic route to solve the conflict has emboldened the Houthis.

In perspective
The distressing humanitarian conditions of the Yemeni public and the grave human rights violations committed by the Houthis have made the conflict in Yemen one of the worst the world has seen in recent years. With no sense of accountability to the Yemeni public or the international community, the Houthis have imposed their reign of terror through local courts. The tribes who oppose the Houthi rule are suppressed with an iron fist, and the public who show dissent are tortured and killed. To make matters worse, the Yemeni government still plays second fiddle to external powers and has no true voice or power of its own.



Also from around the World 
By Apoorva Sudhakar and Abigail Miriam Fernandez
 
Peace and Conflict from East and Southeast Asia
Hong Kong: Three pro-democracy student group members arrested
On 20 September, police arrested two men and a woman of a pro-democracy student group, Student Politicism, accusing them of a "conspiracy to incite subversion." The police raided their warehouse and seized sweets, surgical masks, biscuits, lotion, and books; prisoners were allowed to receive these items from outside. Therefore, the police said the arrested members were trying to help the prisoners to recruit. The Police Senior Superintendent also said the group had established booths to reportedly engage in hateful speech and call on people not to use a government app to trace the spread of COVID-19. Reuters quoted the Senior Superintendent: "If the intention is to help prisoners with the same beliefs and to recruit followers ... to continue to violate national security, it is a problem for sure."
 
Australia: 60 arrested as anti-lockdown protests intensify in Melbourne
On 21 September, police used pepper balls and rubber pellets to disperse nearly 2,000 anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne who had violated the stay-at-home orders; 60 protesters were arrested as demonstrators blocked a freeway and damaged property. Three police officers were injured. The development comes after city authorities closed construction sites for two weeks, maintaining that the coronavirus spread due to the frequent movement of the workers. Therefore, protesters included construction workers and those opposing compulsory vaccinations.
 
Indonesia: Leader of East Indonesia Mujahideen killed in a joint operation
On 19 September, police said that the Indonesian security forces had killed Ali Kalora, leader of the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), which was linked to ISIS, in a joint operation. The police said operations were still ongoing to capture four other members of the militant group and that one militant, Jaka Ramadhan, had also been killed. The police recovered an M-16 rifle and two machetes. Kalora had taken over the group's leadership in 2016; the MIT is believed to have been involved in the murder of four villagers in central Sulawesi in November 2020.
 
The Philippines: Government refuses to cooperate with ICC probe on drugs
On 16 September, the government said it would not cooperate with the ICC probe into the country's war on drugs. The presidential spokesperson said the ICC has no jurisdiction, and complaints be filed in the Philippines courts. Reuters quoted the spokesperson: "When we became a party in the (ICC's) Rome statute, we did not surrender our sovereignty and jurisdiction." Government records say 6,100 suspected drug dealers have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016. On 15 September, the ICC ordered a probe into the same and called for an investigation into Duterte's anti-drug campaign during 2011-16, when he was the Davao City mayor.
 
The Philippines: Citizens mark 49th anniversary of martial law
On 21 September, police dispersed protesters near the Mendiola Bridge in Manila, who called for an end to the "tyranny" of the government. The protests marked the 49th anniversary of the Martial Law which was imposed by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1972. Protesters used slogans including "Stop the killings" and "Stand for democracy! Rage against tyranny!" Similarly, several youth groups observed the day by remembering the victims of Martial Law.
 
Myanmar: More than 40 troops killed in fights with civil resistance fighters
On 20 September, over 40 junta troops were killed in clashes with civil resistance fighters in the Kayah State and Sagaing Region. Some civilian fighters were injured, but no casualties were reported. The resistance groups included the People's Defense Force-Katha (PDF-K) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Meanwhile, on 21 September, The Irrawaddy reported that youth in the Kachin State had demonstrated against Senior General Min Aung Hlaing's visit to the state capital. The youth maintained that they would not allow a "military leader who has killed hundreds of people" to enter their land.
 
Peace and Conflict from South Asia
India: Search operations  in Uri to flush out infiltrators 
On 21 September, a search operation was launched for the third day by the Indian Army to push out infiltrators in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir. Previously, on 19 September, the Army launched the operation along the Line of Control (LoC) after it detected some suspicious movement in the Uri area of Baramulla district. Meanwhile, an army commander in Kashmir said that there had been no ceasefire violation from across the border in the Valley, stating that there have been only two known successful infiltration attempts by militants this year. 
 
India: Assam Foreigners' Tribunal observes August 2019 NRC as final
On 20 September, The Hindu reported that although the Registrar General of India has not issued a notification on Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) to make it a legal document, a Foreigners' Tribunal went ahead and observed it as the "final NRC," declaring a man to be an Indian. This tribunal was hearing a case against a person whose name figured in the NRC list stating, "...there is no doubt that this NRC Assam published in 2019 is nothing but Final NRC." This observation comes after Assam's Political (B) Department asked the Foreigners' Tribunal not to pass "consequential orders/directions" and stick to giving an "opinion" as mandated by the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964.
 
India: Nagaland's new 'Opposition-less' government
On 18 September, Nagaland's state legislators decided to call the new 'opposition-less government' the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio via Twitter said: "The nomenclature of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) for the Opposition-less government in Nagaland has been unanimously approved by the legislators and party leaders of NDPP, BJP, NPF and Independent MLAs." Previously, in August 2021, the Opposition joined hands with the government in Nagaland with the "aim at promoting the Naga Peace Talks with a positive approach in the greater interest of achieving peace."
 
Sri Lanka: President Gotabaya invites Tamil diaspora to join a dialogue to resolve issues
On 20 September, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated that he would engage with the Tamil diaspora for reconciliation talks to resolve the country's internal problems. Additionally, he said he would not hesitate to grant presidential pardon to Tamil youths in jails for their association with the LTTE. Meanwhile, President Gotabaya held a "fruitful discussion" with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on ways to jointly promote "reconciliation" in the country as the only way to move towards a prosperous future as he attends the UN General Assembly 76th session.
 
Nepal: Oli claims that Jaishankar warned them against adopting Constitution in 2015
On 20 August, K P Sharma Oli claimed that Minister of External Affairs of India S. Jaishankar had warned against passing the Constitution in 2015. According to a set of "political documents" submitted to the standing committee of the Communist Party of Nepal-UML: "The Indian diplomat who arrived as a special emissary of the Prime Minister of India threatened the leaders of the political parties not to promulgate the Constitution and that it would not be accepted if it was done against India's suggestions," adding, "the consequences would be negative." This comes as Nepal mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution.
 
Pakistan: Policeman shot dead during polio vaccination drive in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
On 19 September, a policeman was shot dead by assailants while guarding a polio vaccination team in Kohat city. The Kohat District Police Officer said that search operations began after the attackers fled the scene. Following this, the security of polio teams had been further tightened. Meanwhile, on 20 September, a five-day national polio eradication drive began across the country. During the campaign, polio and vitamin A drops will be administered to 18.6 million children up to the age of five years.
 
Afghanistan: UN stated that 635,000 people displaced in Afghanistan in 2021
On 20 August, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that 635,000 people in Afghanistan have been displaced in 2021 because of violence, with more than 12,000 recently displaced to Kabul, mostly from Panjshir Province. Meanwhile, the office stated that the UN Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration have distributed relief to more than 9,300 people displaced by the violence in Kunar Province, while 63,000 people in Maidan Wardak province are set to receive food aid.
 
Afghanistan: Daesh not a threat, says the Taliban
On 20 September, the Taliban stated that it can restrain Islamic State (Daesh) which is not capable of posing a threat to Afghanistan. Taliban's interim government's Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Zabihullah Mujahid said: "Daesh is not a threat, because the thought of Daesh is a hated thought among the people. No one supports them. Second, our combat against Daesh was effective in the past and we know how to neutralize their techniques." However, given the recent attacks in Nangarhar and Kabul, many claim that the group is likely to be present in Afghanistan.
 
Peace and Conflict from Central Asia, Middle East and Africa
Armenia-Azerbaijan: Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of decades of rights violations 
On 16 September, the International Court of Justice released a statement that said that Armenia had accused Azerbaijan of racially discriminating against Armenians and claimed that the country had a "state-sponsored policy of Armenian hatred." Accusations against Azerbaijan include that of "systemic discrimination, mass killings, torture, and other abuse" which lasted for decades. Armenia also claimed that such acts were evident in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2020. Armenia has called on the ICJ to probe the same. Meanwhile, a foreign ministry spokesperson in Azerbaijan said the country would counter these claims and file a petition against Armenia.
 
Qatar: Aid to Gaza resumes for the first time since May
On 15 September, the office of Qatar's Gaza envoy confirmed that the country had restarted distributing aid to the Gaza Strip after it was halted following the recent escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas in May. According to the UN, the funds amount to USD 40 million. Previously, on 13 September, the UN had announced that the funds would be channelized through the regular payments to supermarkets, money exchange avenues, retail stores, aid to families and payment to civil servants.
 
Lebanon: PM objects to Hezbollah importing fuel from Iran
On 20 September, the Lebanese Prime Minister termed Hezbollah's import of fuel from Iran a breach of national sovereignty. The PM said Hezbollah had not sought permission from the government to import the fuel. Tanker trucks started arriving on 17 September through Syria; both Iran and Syria face sanctions from the US. However, the PM said he was not apprehensive of sanctions being placed on Lebanon as the import was carried out without the government's involvement.
 
Israel: Last two prison escapees captured in Jenin
On 19 September, the Israeli Police Commissioner said the last two of the six prisoners who had escaped from a high-security prison had been captured from Jenin in the occupied West Bank. This comes after the remaining four had been apprehended in pairs a few days earlier. On the same day, Arabs in Israel, identifying themselves as Palestinians, planned to hold protests in support of the six prisoners.
 
Burundi: Lakhs displaced due to rise in Lake Tanganyika
On 19 September, the Save the Children organization said at least 103,305 people had been displaced due to crises including floods, landslides and storms, all linked to climate change. According to the organization, 84 per cent of the displacement has been linked to the rise in the water level of Lake Tanganyika to 776.4 meters above sea level in April, in contrast to the lake's average, 772.7 meters. Of the total displaced, seven per cent are less than one-year-old babies.
 
Burundi: Several dead in series of blasts in two days
On 20 September, at least five people were killed and 50 injured in a series of blasts in Bujumbura. Witnesses said two blasts took place at a bus parking lot and another in a marketplace. This comes after two people were killed in a grenade attack in Gitega, the country's administrative capital, on 19 September. Earlier on 18 September, an attack was carried out in the airport as the President was leaving for New York to attend the UN General Assembly; a Congo-based rebel group Red Tabara claimed responsibility for that attack.
 
Cameroon: Several killed in two attacks in English-speaking regions 
On 20 September, the Defence Ministry said heavily armed terrorists had killed 15 soldiers and several civilians in two attacks in the Northwest Region on 16 September. The Ministry said the attackers had used IED and an anti-tank rocket launcher in the attacks, which targeted the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. Al Jazeera quoted from the Ministry that said it had observed "links and exchanges of sophisticated weaponry" among "secessionist terrorists" and "other terrorist entities operating beyond the borders."
 
Sudan: Coup attempt thwarted; PM blames individuals linked to Omar al-Bashir
On 21 September, the government said military officials and civilians in ties with former President Omar al-Bashir had attempted to carry out a coup on 20 September, which was immediately thwarted; several arrests have been made, and interrogations are underway. The current Prime Minister linked the coup attempt to "remnants from the previous regime" aiming to foil "the civilian democratic transition."

Peace and Conflict from Europe and the Americas
Russia: ECHR rules that Russia is responsible for the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko
On 21 September, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said that Russia was responsible for the killing of Alexander Litvinenko. The court in a statement on its ruling said: "Russia was responsible for assassination of Aleksandr Litvinenko in the UK." In addition, it said that Russia "had not carried out an effective domestic investigation capable of leading to the establishment of the facts and, where appropriate, the identification and punishment of those responsible for the murder." Meanwhile, Russia has rejected the ruling as "unsubstantiated claiming, "The ECHR hardly has the authority or technological capacity to possess information on the matter."
 
France: President Macron apologies to Algerians who fought for colonizers
On 20 September, President Emmanuel Macron asked for "forgiveness" on behalf of France for the abandonment of the hundreds of thousands of Algerian Arabs who fought alongside French colonial forces in Algeria's war for independence, who were later massacred and ostracized as traitors. Macron said: "We will continue to bandage the wounds as long as they haven't healed through words of truth. That is why the government will present a bill aimed at inscribing recognition and reparations in the marble of our laws." Additionally, he promised a law guaranteeing reparations for the contingent known as the Harkis.
 
Poland: Four people were found dead on the Belarus-Poland border
On 19 September, four people were found dead on the Belarus-Poland border. Previously, Poland blamed Russia and Belarus for the influx of migrants saying: "We're dealing with a mass organized, well-directed action from Minsk and Moscow." Given the situation, Poland is sending 500 additional army troops and special vehicles to its border with Belarus in an attempt to strengthen against increasing migrants.
 
Greece: First refugee holding camp opened in Samos Island
On 18 September, Greece inaugurated its first 'closed' holding camp for migrants and refugees on the island of Samos. The new facility is one of five being built with EU funds aimed at improving the living conditions of asylum seekers. Around 450 asylum-seekers of the 7,500 who lived at another camp are scheduled to move into the new facility. Greek Migration Minister said: "We have created a modern and safe new closed, controlled access center ... that will give back the lost dignity to people seeking international protection."
 
Cuba: Draft family code that paves the way for gay marriages introduced
On 15 September, Cuba published a draft of a new family code that would allow for gay marriage if approved. According to the new code, marriage is defined as the "voluntary union of two people" without specifying gender, as opposed to the current definition as the "union of a man and woman." The draft which is still in the nascent stage will have to be debated and amended before going to a referendum. Meanwhile, activists fear the commission in charge of the code may concede to the demands of religious groups and those who prefer traditional machismo culture.
 
The UN: 76th UNGA session to see discussions on climate change, pandemic and Afghanistan crisis
On 20 September, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his address to the United National General Assembly, said: "Our world is challenged like never before. From climate change to conflicts, to COVID-19, which is putting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) further out of reach." Later, on 21 September, he said: "Today's multilateral system is too limited in its instruments and capacities, in relation to what is needed for effective governance of managing global public goods," adding that the world must address six "great divides": Peace, wealth, gender, digital, and generational. Further, he said: "The problems we have created are problems we can solve. Humanity has shown that we are capable of great things when we work together." The 76th session this year will see the participation of leaders from over 100 countries converging to discuss issues like terrorism, climate change, equitable and affordable access to vaccines, and the Afghanistan crisis.



About the authors
Joeana Cera Matthews is a postgraduate scholar in the Department of International Relations, University of Mysore. Jeshil Samuel J is a postgraduate scholar from the Department of International Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be University) currently enrolled at the NIAS Online Certificate Course on Contemporary Peace Processes. Mohamad Aseel Ummer is a postgraduate scholar in international relations at the Central University of Kerala and is enrolled at the NIAS Online Certificate Course on Contemporary Peace Processes. Apoorva Sudhakar and Abigail Miriam Fernandez are Research Associates at the School of Conflict and Security Studies in NIAS.

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