In the News: March 2024

PNG Massacre

At least 49 killed in massacre in PNG highlands.

In short: PNG police say at least 49 people have been shot dead in an ambush in the country’s highlands in a major escalation of tribal fighting in the region. Authorities said one of the tribes was on their way to attack a neighbouring tribe when they were ambushed.

What’s next? Police have urged for calm in the province as they investigate. Additional security forces have been deployed to the area following the escalation of violence.


How the funnelling of high-powered weapons into Papua New Guinea is making tribal violence deadlier


Tribal fighting, common in PNG’s highlands, can break out over a range of reasons, such as politics, land disputes, inter-marriage issues and so on.
What has changed though, making it all the more difficult for police and defence to bring under control, is that these clans are now fighting each other with guns, not bush knives or other weapons.
Mr Komengi advocates for resolving these conflicts through local cultural and traditional methods rather than relying on police and military intervention to stem the violence.

Anthony Albanese, Christopher Luxon and Justin Trudeau ‘grave’ concerns for Israel military operation in Rafah

The city of Rafah now houses over a million displaced people living in tent camps and makeshift shelters who had fled there from Israeli attacks on Gaza. Israel wants to flush out Hamas militants from hideouts in Rafah and free Israeli hostages being held there, including Palestinian refugees. A large military operation there could lead to significant civilian casualties, hence unjustifiable. The joint statement urges Israel to avoid this path, as it is violating the humanitarian law.

Several killed in Israeli attack on aid truck in Gaza: Report

An Israeli attack on an aid distribution truck has killed at least nine civilians in the alleged safe zone of Deir el-Balah. Malnutrition and dehydration continue to cause death to civilians in Gaza due to obstacles to ensuring humanitarian relief. UNICEF has warned that many more children will die unless there is direct intervention to ensure aid.


Nepal registers first lesbian marriage in South Asia

The first marriage between two women was officially registered. Nepal became the first country in South Asia and the second after Taiwan in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage following a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in June 2023 which paved the way for the legal protection of LGBTQ rights.

Academic Article

Women’s Wings in Rebel Organisations: Prevalence, Purposes and Variations

Women’s wings are a common feature of rebellions, but we lack a systematic accounting of how women organise themselves or are organised within and across armed groups. The article highlights the types, purposes, and autonomy of women’s wings inside and between groups, including their role in mobilising women into conflict, pressing reforms and creating leadership opportunities. Furthermore, demonstrates important sites for gendered power, negotiation, activity, and outreach within armed groups in the contemporary world.

South-East Asian heavyweights head to Melbourne for ASEAN-Australia summit

Australian PM Anthony Albanese is meeting nine South-East Asian leaders at Melbourne summit from Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand

Hundreds of officials, diplomats, academics and business leaders will meet for three days of summitry, discussion and deal-making of the ASEAN-Australian ties.


Journal article:

Peacekeeping Operations and Growing Global Terrorism in East and West Africa: A Call for New Re-Engagement

This open-source article investigates peacekeeping missions in Eastern and Western Africa with a focus on the success rate of missions to adapt to the various changes and developments that take place throughout the lifespan of armed conflicts. The article concludes that where peacekeeping/building operations do provide valuable assistance, there is extensive evidence of their shortcomings and inability to adapt.

Global Perspectives on Ending the Russia-Ukraine War- Council on Foreign Relations

Ukraine fights for independence and Russia fights for conquest of territory leaving the conflict a stalemate. The West supports Ukraine, however supporting it for “as long as it takes” is no longer sustainable. War fatigue has entered the Western world; The United States and NATO allies are considering their ability to continue securing flows of military and economic aid to Ukraine. Ukraine would not have been able to survive without support from the transatlantic community.

More concrete efforts are required to end the conflict, hence no Ukrainian NATO membership due to geopolitical insecurity and East-West tension, but Russia must abandon its conquered territory. The European security architecture should be reconstructed to solve the conflict.

Two Years On, What’s Next in Ukraine? Eight thinkers shed light on the state of the war. – Foreign Policy Magazine

The war’s main front is now political, and Putin betting that divisions and hesitations in the West will hand him the victory he has failed to achieve on the ground. European governments have aided more weapons and economic assistance to Kyiv than Washington, revealing that the United States could be falling off which is significant for Ukraine’s survival.

The rise of populism, nationalism and polarization policies in the US and Europe affect the war and European security. Western leaders need to increase the supply of weapons if Ukraine is going to win. Ukraine needs to set out a clear plan for its future, which should be built on three pillars: long-term security guarantees, accession to the European Union and NATO membership.

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