Afghanistan’s security vacuum
Afghanistan is bracing for further security challenges following the US’s announcement that it will nearly halve its troop presence in the country. The Pentagon says it will cut troops in Afghanistan from about 4,500 to 2,500 by the time President Donald Trump leaves office in January. And international donors are now pledging less aid to the country, as well as imposing strict conditions in order to receive it.
But as the US prepares to bring its troops home, civilians across Afghanistan are being killed with apparent impunity. There has been a sharp rise in targeted assaults against journalists, civil society activists and human rights workers this year. We’ll look at what the expected exit of US troops means for civilians already living amid constant danger.
Peru’s political disarray
Activists are calling for root-and-branch political change in Peru, following Francisco Sagasti’s ascent to the presidency. On November 17 Sagasti became Peru’s third president in the space of a week, following the impeachment of Martin Vizcarra by Congress and the resignation of Vizcarra’s successor Manuel Merino amid popular street protests.
Sagasti is now focused on providing a semblance of political stability in the run-up to elections in April 2021. But people across Peru remain unhappy with Congress’ removal of Vizcarra. Many of those of who joined street protests against Vizcarra’s impeachment amid unproven corruption allegations consider his removal to be “a legislative coup”, and are now pushing for constitutional amendments. We’ll look at the mood in Peru and what people are calling for amid the political tumult.
Memorialising the enslaved
Memorials to enslaved people are often placed in public squares and museums, giving people a ready opportunity to remember and respect those brutally exploited by traders. But a new proposal by marine experts suggests mapping the Atlantic as a profound new way to honour those killed and abused in the transatlantic trade of enslaved people.
Placing ‘virtual’ ribbons on maps of the Atlantic sea bed would memorialise Africans who died at sea during long voyages along transatlantic slave passages, a group of academics, researchers, and Michael Kanu, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, says in a report published in Marine Policy. Kanu will join us to talk about the report’s proposals.