No More Excuses: Let's Start Protecting Women in Emergencies

By Marcy Hersh

There is always a convenient excuse. In Haiti, we don't have the time. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we don't have the funding. In the Syrian refugee response, we don't have the experts. Somehow, there is always a pat answer to why we, the humanitarian community, fail to protect women and girls in emergency after emergency.

Act Now to Solidify a Rare Victory in the DRC

By Caelin Briggs

After 20 months of shelling, occupation, and displacement, the M23 rebel group announced today that it is ending its insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The announcement comes after months of negotiations in Kampala between M23 and the Congolese government, where little progress was made towards agreeing on terms to end the conflict. Last week, after the talks broke down completely, the government recaptured the M23 stronghold town of Bunagana, and in the following days it steadily pushed M23 from each of its remaining centers of power.

Missing the Boat: Europe’s Failed Migration Policy

By Jeff Crisp

Just a few years ago, the countries of the European Union (EU) thought they were finally getting control over the flow of refugees and asylum seekers across their borders. Having peaked at 670,000 in 1992, the number of asylum applications submitted in the EU fell rapidly in successive years, slumping to just 200,000 in 2006.

"I Never Feel Safe Anymore."

By Marcy Hersh

Amina hasn't had a full night of sleep in more than a year. Ever since she fled her home in northern Mali last fall, she has been haunted by terrifying memories of violence. When my colleagues from Refugees International and I visited her in the Malian capital, Bamako, she volunteered to share her story with me.

Not So Fast: Rush to Return Malians Carries Risks

By Michelle Brown

On October 11, a boat carrying roughly 400 displaced Malians returning to their homes in the north capsized on the Niger River. According to press reports, 72 people have been confirmed dead, many of them school children. This tragedy is a stark reminder of how difficult it will be to bring displaced Malians home again.

Reality Check: The Human Cost of Climate Change

By Alice Thomas

Tomorrow at 6pm Eastern time, I’ll be participating in “24 Hours of Reality,” the third annual live-streamed show organized by the Climate Reality Project, founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

As Foreign Aid Dries Up, Displaced Malians Resort to ‘Survival Sex’

By Marcy Hersh

This post originally appeared on The Hill's Congress Blog.

Biba snaps her fingers to get my attention, struggling to be heard over the din of the crowd – all of them competing to share their story of how they came to Bamako. My colleagues from Refugees International and I turn to face her directly and the others quiet down.

For Many Malians, Especially Those Uprooted by Conflict, Life Is Fragile

By Eileen Shields-West

As conflicts go, it was relatively short. An ethnic Tuareg rebellion that began in northern Mali in January 2012 spread like wildfire when armed Islamist groups linked to Al Qaeda usurped control. A military coup in March of last year further weakened the government’s ability to respond. Fabled Timbuktu and commercial Gao (two major cities in the North) were overrun by rebels, and their citizens suffered such acts of terror and atrocities that many still cannot speak about them. Others cannot sleep without being awakened by horrific dreams of those days.

Make No Mistake: Mali’s Displacement Crisis Isn’t Over

By Michelle Brown

This post originally appeared at UN Dispatch.

More than a year ago, families fled northern Mali in droves after insurgents there routed Malian forces. While some of those families became refugees in nearby countries, most simply fled to the country’s south.

Mali: On the Road to Recovery?

By Michelle Brown

In the two months since Mali elected a new president, cautious optimism has prevailed throughout the country. The French military intervention succeeded in driving out Al Qaeda-linked insurgents from the north and has paved the way for the central government to reestablish its authority throughout the country. The UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has begun the process of deploying peacekeepers, although the mission won’t be fully operational until the end of the year.

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