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IRIN is ending the year on a high

Originally published

Dear friends and colleagues,

IRIN is ending the year on a high.
Our climate change expert, Jaspreet Kindra, was invited to chair two separate panel discussions at COP 17 in Durban, and our PlusNews staffer, Keisha Rukikaire-Kagwa, was part of a satellite discussion on HIV in emergencies at the ICASA HIV/AIDS conference in Addis Ababa – great recognition of the quality of their work.

The rest of the IRIN network has also delivered some cracking stories over the past month: In November we were on the trail of the LRA in a series of reports on Joseph Kony’s brutal transnational insurgency. The datelines in the package range from remote Zemio, in the Central African Republic, to the United States, which is backing a new regional military response – will this fare any better than previous attempts?

The hope of a better life is a powerful "pull" for migrants brave enough to risk the journey. In Djibouti’s coastal town of Obock, IRIN met young Ethiopian men preparing to make the perilous crossing to Yemen, and on to Saudi Arabia. We travelled to the Ethiopian town of Jijiga to understand why people are willing to make such a high-stakes gamble, and reported from Australia on the impact of mandatory detention on asylum-seekers.

We waded through the streets of Bangkok with an urban flood expert, weighed whether mud balls could be a solution to the stagnant water, and wondered how to build a flood-resilient city.

Is this is what climate change looks like? IRIN interpreted the (equivocal) answers from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summary report, and for good measure, offered some pointers on how to spot a dodgy climate change article.

All aboard the Caravan of Hope, and why we should remember that action on climate change is ultimately about people rather than conferences.

As the Arab Spring turns to winter, IRIN reported on why some Egyptians are wishing their revolution never happened, the impact of Syria’s struggles on Lebanon’s fragile unity, and the bitterness felt in Gadaffi’s hometown, Sirte.

Half a century since oil was discovered in Nigeria, its oil-producing communities remain mired in poverty – and angry. The north, too, is in a resentful mood, fertile ground for Boko Haram. One year on from the violence in Cote d’Ivoire, we found reconciliation still has a long way to go, warned about a potential new rebellion in Burundi, and witnessed tensions rising in Guinea.

When it comes to aid, cash will do nicely, Pakistani girls fight back for the right to education in the Swat Valley, and charismatic motivator, Jean Julux Alusma, works with inmates in Haiti’s jails to increase AIDS awareness in IRIN’s latest film.

Stories in the pipeline include the role of the militias in the new Libya, the humanitarian impact of Kenya’s incursion into Somalia, and the consequences of internationalized "land-grabbing" in South Sudan. IRIN’s next film is on the protests over rising food prices in Kenya, known as the "unga revolution".

All this content can now be read in three languages – English, Arabic and French – on your mobile device, and we have tweaked our RSS feed so it looks better on tablets and smart phones.


Obinna Anyadike
IRIN – humanitarian news and analysis