Weekly Links

Frederic Edwin Church, “Niagara,” 1857. Via National Gallery of Art.

By Patrick Pierson.

The “killing fields” of South Sudan serve as a stark reminder of an overlooked conflict laden with human rights abuses. Sadly, an accurate death count for the conflict does not exist. A recent report suggests fighters were allowed to rape women and girls in lieu of financial payment. The fighting has also driven an increase in forced child marriages in the country. But the horrors are not confined to women alone. Amnesty International recently reported on the killing of dozens of men via suffocation in a shipping container at the hands of government forces.

Unfortunately, some of the most devastating effects of the violence are those that come after. This harrowing story details the trauma that lingers in the wake of war-time rape. Others have noted an oft-overlooked aspect of the European migrant crisis; namely, the psychological trauma – which often goes undiagnosed and untreated – experienced by refugees.

In Latin America, this report details the differential impact of violence on women in El Salvador. And while the immigration debate in the US has surged as of late, an equally heated conversation is taking place in the Dominican Republic with regard to the citizenship status of Haitians in the country. In nearby Cuba, relations with the EU appear to be on the mend. Elsewhere in the Americas, Venezuela has recalled the country’s most senior diplomat in the US after the Obama administration renewed sanctions against Venezuelan officials.

Earlier this week, an Australian naval vessel seized thousands of weapons off the coast of Oman that are believed to have been in route from Iran to Yemen. However, a rare positive development has surfaced in the Yemen conflict with direct talks held between the Saudis and Houthis this week. In a first for the conflict, this week also saw a prisoner swap between the two sides in an apparent bid to form a truce along the Yemen-Saudi border.

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