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June 11th, 2015

Canada’s Humanitarian Legacy

Kitty Shephard, Blog Writer

Canada has traditionally held a very important humanitarian leadership role around the world. Peacekeeping missions have given it the legacy of a nation who aids countries in desperate need of relief. These efforts were recognized internationally when Canada was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts. The country’s concentration on international humanitarian work was crucial to the functionality of early United Nations (UN) operations. Consequently Canada often has an automatic association with peacekeeping operations. However recent phenomenon, both internally and externally, has put Canada’s reputation for humanitarianism under fire. Read the rest of this entry »

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June 11th, 2015

TRC Report Finds Canada Guilty of Cultural Genocide of Aboriginal Peoples and Pushes for Reconciliatory Action

Solaye Snider, Blog Writer

Released last week, the summary report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada gives the nation “a rare second chance to seize a lost opportunity for reconciliation.” The TRC’s report confirmed that Canada’s past policies towards Aboriginal people, especially the Residential Schools Program, amounted to “cultural genocide” in that the policies aimed to destroy Aboriginal people as distinct peoples through a program of forcible assimilation. Read the rest of this entry »

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June 2nd, 2015

Midas’ Tusks: Financing Genocidal Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sho Shibata, Blog Writer

How do militant groups – especially those who perpetrate genocide – gain the means to perform violent acts on a mass scale? This topic is undoubtedly very broad, crossing a range of disciplines; however, by examining the specific case study of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its domestic struggle with the illegal ivory trade, one can garner some insight as to the intricacies of funding mass violence. Born Free USA – a national animal advocacy non profit – hosted a report titled Ivory’s Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa that builds upon findings that al-Shabaab funds its activity by poaching elephant tusk in Northern Kenya – widely considered as a transhipment hub for the ivory black market. Read the rest of this entry »

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June 2nd, 2015

Nowhere to go for Myanmar’s Rohingya

Talha Sadiq, Blog Writer

The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim minority living in the Rakhine region of western Myanmar. The Rohingya have faced institutionalized discrimination by the state for decades. These stateless people are seen by the Government of Myanmar as refugees from bordering Bangladesh; however, early Muslim settlements in the region can be traced back to the seventh century. Today there are an estimated 810,000 people, mostly Rohingya, living without citizenship in Myanmar and thus especially susceptible to persecution. Read the rest of this entry »

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May 7th, 2015

What does the re-election of Al-Bashir mean for the Sudanese people?

Kitty Shephard, Blog Writer

Sudan has been under the rule of President Omar Al-Bashir since 1989. Al-Bashir’s presidency, gained through a military coup, is widely viewed as illegitimate. His recent re-election extends his 25 year rule and has elicited varied responses from the international community. Internally, the National Elections Committee (NEC) reported cases of forgery and a lack of transparency at most polling stations. Externally, concerns have been raised about the violent and undemocratic environment in which the elections were held. Canadian Foreign Affairs minister, Rob Nicholson, was among those condemning the elections, stating that Canada would not acknowledge the election results. The Troika countries (a Norwegian, British, American coalition to support and develop Sudan and South Sudan), along with the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), have also condemned the election results, expressing concern at the repression committed by government security forces in Sudan. Read the rest of this entry »

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