Jean-Rock Sobi, right, representative of the Democratic Front of the Central African People, talks with Anicet Dologuele of the Union for Central African Renewal after signing a peace deal, Rome, June 19, 2017 (AP photo by Domenico Stinellis).

On June 19, Central African Republic’s government and more than a dozen armed groups signed a peace deal mediated in Rome by the Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio, briefly raising hopes of a break, or at least a reduction, in violence. Those hopes were seemingly dashed the following day, when heavy fighting resumed in the town of Bria. The town’s mayor said at least 100 people were killed. In an email interview, Evan Cinq-Mars, United Nations adviser with the Center for Civilians in Conflict, explains how the dynamic of the conflict in Central African Republic has evolved and why the situation […]

Same-sex marriage supporters cheer after a Constitutional Court ruling, Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2017 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).

Editor’s Note: This article is the first in an ongoing WPR series on LGBT rights and discrimination in various countries around the world. In late May, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage in the country’s civil code was unconstitutional. As Buzzfeed reports, the ruling says that permitting same-sex marriage would contribute to a “stable society.” It ordered the government to change the law within two years, making it likely that Taiwan will become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. In an email interview, Jens Damm, associate professor at the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Studies […]

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha during a press conference, Bangkok, Thailand, May 23, 2017 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

In July, according to spokespeople for Thailand’s government, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha will come to Washington for a White House visit. It promises to be a substantial diplomatic and reputational boost for both Prayuth, who led the coup in May 2014 that deposed Thailand’s most recent elected government, and the junta running Thailand, which remains a U.S. treaty ally. Former President Barack Obama did not offer Prayuth a White House invitation, although Obama did meet with him as part of a summit in California of Southeast Asian leaders in February 2016. The Thai junta repeatedly expressed anger at the Obama […]

A woman sells bread near the Tawfiqia market, Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 18, 2016 (AP photo by Nariman El-Mofty).

CAIRO, Egypt—In November 2016, Egypt’s major cities experienced something that has become rare since a military coup led by then-Gen.—and now President—Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013: protests. In the streets and at universities in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said, Egyptians took great risks in sight of the police to gather and demonstrate against price hikes and bread shortages. Until then, the country had appeared to have settled into a period of relative calm. Five years after the uprisings that brought down former President Hosni Mubarak, and three years on from the coup that felled his democratically elected successor, Mohamed Morsi, […]

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., walks past food parcels included as part of humanitarian aid shipments to Syria, during a visit to the border crossing in Reyhanli, southern Turkey, May 24, 2017 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

The United Nations Security Council faces a prolonged crisis of confidence. Mounting tensions between the United States, Russia and China have stopped the council from taking serious action in response to crises in Syria, Ukraine and Burundi, among others. If those underlying tensions continue to worsen, the forum is likely to become ever more marginal to global affairs. The Security Council is a lot more active than it was in the worst days of the Cold War. In 1959, it mustered the will to pass just one resolution. It has churned out 20 in the first half of 2017. But […]