Humanitarian instinct against humanitarian bureaucracy

26 May 2022 – Mukesh Kapila Last month, I visited Romania and the border region with Ukraine towards Odesa, in my role as Special Adviser to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), accompanying its President Hon. Gennaro Migliore and Secretary General Sergio Piazzi.    PAM is an international organisation of the parliaments of theContinue reading “Humanitarian instinct against humanitarian bureaucracy”

WHO head Tedros faces a challenge all humanitarians know well

“Damned if you speak up, damned if you don’t” the dilemma faced by humanitarians when they seek to help the victims of egregious crimes against humanity. Dr Tedros, the head of WHO decided to speak up on the catastrophic situation in Tigray, Ethiopia – setting an example to the leaders of other international organisations.

The world’s biggest active war: Appeal for Tigray, Ethiopia 

The civil war in Tigray, Ethiopia is a year old. It is the biggest active armed conflict in the world with millions blockaded and denied humanitarian aid, even as massacres and sexual violence abound, and famine is getting established. Distinguished scholars and researchers from around the world appeal for the blockade to be lifted as prerequisite for negotiations and eventually peace.

Circles of impunity: why sexual violence by humanitarians and peacekeepers keeps happening

Why does sexual exploitation and abuse continue to happen in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations worldwide? What must be done to break the circle of impunity?

What Climate ‘Code Red’ Means for Africa

There is much talk on the #ClimateCrisis. And the impacts of #globalwarming take on existentialist proportions for the most poor and vulnerable on the planet. Especially so for peoples in #Africa as their continent is warming slightly faster and their sea levels rising slightly more than elsewhere, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What will happen there?

Health in the crosshairs of the Tigray conflict

Mukesh Kapila  – 31 August 2021 As Ethiopia’s civil war  approaches its first deadly anniversary in November, there is, as yet, little prospect for peace.  The underlying causes of the immediate conflict are bitterly contested and the essential conditions for solutions remain elusive.  Geopolitical factors mean that the African Union and United Nations are paralysed,Continue reading “Health in the crosshairs of the Tigray conflict”

Following the Tigray conflict, the rocky road to peace in Ethiopia

Experience shows there are no shortcuts, quick-fixes, avoiding tackling underlying causes and ignoring the bringing of justice and healing to end a war & sustain #peace. Also, while all wars eventually end, how long and viciously a war is fought has a direct bearing on the quality of peace that follows.
When #genocide acts are part of the warmaking, forging peace is substantially more difficult.
What are these and other lessons from war and peace around Africa and the world?

Will #Ethiopia #Tigray learn? And others engaged in endless conflicts in so many places.

Comply or leave: the dilemma facing humanitarian agencies

Mukesh Kapila – 9 August 2021 The Ethiopian government has suspended the activities of three foreign humanitarian organisations which had been working in the Tigray region. Moina Spooner, from The Conversation Africa, asked Mukesh Kapila, a specialist in humanitarian affairs, to provide insights into the challenges humanitarian agencies face and what can be done to better support them.Continue reading “Comply or leave: the dilemma facing humanitarian agencies”

What is killing humanitarian aid workers?

Today’s soldiers are smart. They launch missiles and drones from a safe distance behind computer screens. And when they are obliged to venture out, they are forewarned by intelligence and well protected by their armour.

In contrast, more and more civilian aid workers, protected by little more than their sense of righteousness, serve at chaotic frontlines, and are pressured to bear witness and provide succour…come what may. Unsurprisingly, some of them are bound to be harmed.

But it is not just being in the wrong place that puts humanitarian workers at risk.There is increasing mistrust of the humanitarian enterprise either because its practitioners are not so scrupulous nowadays or their efforts can be easily abused for other ends. Besides, in a world of impunity where bad behaviour is a norm and there is rarely any accountability for hurting aid worker, it is simple to target humanitarian access as part of warmaking tactics.

Could it be that it is not random bombs and bullets but the erosion and abuse of humanitarian principles (including by careless humanitarians themselves) that is killing more of them?