Opinion & Comment

Sweden, South Africa & the Churches.

Finland has just joined NATO.  Norway was a founding member in 1949. Sweden wishes to join but to date is blocked by Turkey. A few weeks ago, the Russian Ambassador in Stockholm, Ukrainian-born Viktor Tatarinsev, commented “the Swedes will undoubtedly be sent to their deaths in the interests of others” adding that joining NATO would…

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Africa. Organised crime and global supply chains.

The fishing and cocoa industries show how criminal networks and corrupt officials exploit multinational supply chains. Transnational organised crime is usually associated with violent mafia-style groups that traffic drugs, people, arms and wildlife. Less dramatic but equally damaging is the effect of organised crime on global supply chains for legal goods. These logistics networks provide…

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The Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean.

While the focus remains on the western Pacific and the South China Sea, because of the China-US direct interests, the Indian Ocean is a major geopolitical theatre. Several key energy-producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and the UAE are located in the region. More than 60 percent of the world’s oil shipments,…

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Yemen. Houthis and Iran: A Marriage of Wartime Convenience.

After eight years of conflict, the Houthis are now militarily closer to Iran. They are also more integrated than before in the pro-Iranian armed network. However, the Houthis differ from Iran’s proxies in the region, and not only for being part of the Zaydi Shia doctrine. The Yemeni armed movement is economically autonomous from Tehran,…

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Turkey and the earthquake: what are its implications for the future?

Between the night and early afternoon of Monday 6 February, two violent earthquakes struck south-eastern Turkey and north-western Syria, causing what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the greatest disaster recorded in the Country since 1939, the year in which the earthquake in Erzincan killed about 33,000 people and injured more than 100,000. The two…

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China: which foreign policy?

The People’s Republic of China urgently needs to revive the national economy after GDP growth stopped at 3% last year, marking the second-worst performance in the last 50 years. However, Beijing’s ambitions have to deal with an extremely unstable and conflictual international context, marked by the persistence of the war in Ukraine, the slowdown of…

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The War in Ukraine Calls for an Increased African Unity.

“How Africans voted on the Ukraine War is an indication of the plurality of views [in the continent]. If the weather forecast is a cold front, it is likely immense pressure will be exerted on African countries to choose sides. We know what follows, and we have been there. Better be united and cautious.” The…

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Wagner: The Cornerstone of Russia’s Strategy in Africa.

The Wagner Group – Russia’s most prolific and infamous private military company (PMC) – formed during Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, a mission that was influential in establishing Russia’s growing strategy of pursuing state goals through deniable PMC activities. Although other PMCs such as the Moran Security Group, Rossiskie System Bezopasnosti (RSB) Group, and Patriot…

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Turkey Toward 2023, Erdogan’s Turning Point?

Turkey is heading for crucial presidential and parliamentary elections in a pivotal year for its history. Indeed, October 2023 will mark the centenary of the founding of the Republic. Before that date, in June, Turkey will go to the polls, which will either consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s longstanding power or mark a seismic shift,…

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Middle East and North Africa´s 2023 Economic Outlook.

Global growth forecast is expected to slow down, from 3.2% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023. This is caused by a combination of the global cost-of-living crisis, tightening financial conditions, the invasion of Ukraine and the enduring impacts of the pandemic. As economic growth will weaken worldwide in 2023, most countries in the Middle East…

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Freedom of Religion – Touchstone of Human Rights.

All rights are equal but some rights are more equal than others. FIFA and the Qatar authorities are justly under fire for restrictions on LGBT rights and their treatment of migrant labourers. But nothing is said about the abuse of rights to religious freedom, a world-wide problem as well as one local to Qatar and…

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China. A Third Term for Xi Jinping.

The reconfirmation of Xi Jinping as Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opens an unprecedented season for China and the world, as no one before him had been reconfirmed for the third time for this position. This undoubtedly constitutes a signal of internal strengthening of the current leadership, which has managed to prevail…

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Samela Sateré Mawé. “Nothing for us without us”.

She is a leading voice among Brazil’s Indigenous youth. Her message is simple: Indigenous people must be involved in decision-making processes relating to the measures…

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Unbreakable jars.

Once upon a time, there was a potter, honest and diligent, who made jars of excellent quality and many sizes. He was also a very religious…

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Youth & Mission

World Youth Day. “There's a Rush in the Air!”

The official anthem of World Youth Day is entitled “There's a Rush in the Air!”. We talk about it with Father João Paulo Vaz, author of the…

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