• Responding to refugees in urban settings

    Sequestering refugees in rural camps is no longer the norm: The most recent estimates indicate that almost half of refugees flock to urban areas and just one third to rural camps, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). But while agencies are adjusting their approaches, they are still struggling to match their response with their … Continued

  • Northern territories rife with rebel activity

    MALI: Latest on the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents’ activity is reported by Al Jazeera, in “Mali rebels advance despite French airstrikes.” IRIN News reports on the fear-stricken capital of Mali’s Mopti region, in “Panic in Mopti as rebels move southwards.” SUDAN: Local news source Radio Dabanga reports of displaced persons “pouring” into the cities of Nertiti and … Continued

  • Rebels advance on Bangui

    Séléka fighters were December 27 said to be only 75 km from Bangui. There was deep anxiety in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, CAR, as rebels advanced towards the city, a UN envoy told the BBC. Margaret Vogt said Bangui residents were fearful of what could happen if the rebels overran the city. … Continued

  • Clashes in Egyptian cities reveal ongoing divisions

    Egyptian police have fired tear gas as supporters of President Mohamed Morsi clashed with opposition activists besieging a mosque in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Friday night’s clashes come just hours before voting is to start around the country on a divisive new constitution. The protests started after a Muslim cleric appealed for support for … Continued

  • Tear-gas in Tahrir

    Anti-riot police fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse protesters camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as Western governments voiced growing concern over Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s assumption of sweeping powers. A hard core of opposition activists had spent the night in the iconic protest hub — epicentre of the popular uprising that toppled veteran … Continued

  • Fighting for citizens’ rights: An interview with SOS Habitat

    SOS Habitat is a Luanda-based civil society organisation that was founded by victims of housing demolitions in November 2002. The intention is to defend citizens’ land and housing rights by putting pressure on relevant entities to comply with Angolan and international law. SOS Habitat says its idea is to find a means of negotiating with … Continued

  • The fall of Goma: Rebels met with zero resistance

    Hundreds of government soldiers and police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have surrendered to rebels at a stadium in Goma, the main city in the eastern North Kivu province. Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri reported on “extraordinary scenes”, as thousands of security officers came to hand in their arms on Wednesday. “[The surrendered officers] didn’t … Continued

  • Lagos and the terrorist threat

    In today’s world of entrepreneurial cities, at least two things matter more than size when it comes to inspiring investor confidence – urban infrastructure and security. Lagos, Africa’s second-largest city and fastest-growing urban economy, is no exception. Yet despite considerable efforts to deliver physical upgrades, instill formality into local practices and depopulate suspected brewing stations … Continued

  • Private development vs. the public interest

    Across Cairo public service institutions are deteriorating due to severe corruption in the last two decades. The slow collapse of the state throughout the years, leading up to the uprising of last year, entailed the mismanagement of institutions such as schools and hospitals. The Bulaq General Hospital is a prime example of how private interests … Continued

  • The toxic truth about Abidjan

    More than six years after the dumping of large quantities of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, there is still nothing to stop a similar disaster in developing countries because politicians and courts have failed to learn from the lessons, a new report has found. In 2009, the Guardian fought a landmark legal battle to reveal the … Continued