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All Eyes on Sudan

In Khartoum, Sudan's capital, heavy fighting broke out in April last year between the government army the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary army Rapid Support Forces (RSF). A bloody war has been raging in Sudan ever since. But even before this escalation in 2023, the country was experiencing major problems. The population of [...]

'A mood of hope and anger' in Georgia as 'foreign agent law' passed by parliament

Photo: Graffiti in Tbilisi in April-May 2024 (source: Jelger Groeneveld, Flickr) On 3 June, the infamous law on foreign agents was officially passed by the Georgian parliament. A final attempt to stop the law by Saloma Zourabichvili, Georgia's EU-friendly president, was rejected by the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority. The [...]

Western Sahara: British MPs embrace Moroccan plan, but at what price?

Photo: A Sahrawi with the flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic - Wikimedia Commons On 25 May, 30 British MPs, mostly from the ruling Conservative Party, called on the British government to support Morocco's proposal for Western Sahara governance. This so-called Moroccan autonomy plan, proposed in 2006, offers Rabat control over [...]

"Outline agreement" on solidarity with the past

On 16 May, PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB presented the long-awaited outline agreement "Hope, Guts and Pride". The unambitious and financially unstable agreement mainly seems to be a throwback to the past and a passing of responsibilities to Brussels. Actual investments in democratic citizenship are crucial to make the Netherlands ready for a hopeful future. On [...]

Kuwait in political fray: emir dissolves parliament and grabs authority

Photo: First session of the Kuwaiti parliament after elections on 2 February, 2012 - Flickr In an unprecedented move, the emir of Kuwait, Mishal al-Ahmed Al Sabah, dissolved the country's parliament for a period of no less than four years. He also invalidated several articles of the Constitution. As a result, [...]

The West and Russia after the war

Statues in Moscow's Red Square of former Soviet leaders (Source: Pixabay) What on earth should we do with Russia when the war in Ukraine is over? Whatever the outcome of that war (Ukraine wins, an unsatisfactory peace deal or Russia still wins), we will have to relate to a country in Europe that has been a [...]

The tragic fate of Nikolai Statkevich

Nikolay Statkevich is chairman of the Belarus-banned social democratic party Narodnaya Gromada. A few months before the falsified 2020 presidential elections, the politician was kidnapped in broad daylight by the KGB secret service. After a year and a half in pre-trial detention, he was sentenced to 14 years in a monster trial against several opposition members in December 2021. Initially, [...]

Protests after proposed renewed 'foreign agents' law in Georgia

Photo: Georgian flags in the capital Tbilisi. Source. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the Georgian capital Tbilisi in recent days to protest against the reintroduction of a notorious 'foreign agents' law. The law was proposed on 3 April by Georgia's ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party and is a slightly modified version of a law [...]

Fraudulent elections in Belarus: continued support for opposition and political prisoners essential

  "A senseless farce" is how Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya described the recent local and parliamentary elections in her country. Only parties swearing allegiance to dictator Lukashenka were allowed to run, the opposition in exile called for a boycott. They were the first elections since the highly controversial 2020 presidential election, in which Lukashenko ran for a sixth term [...]

Serbia and Hungary scene of growing gender inequality

Photo: Wikimedia Commons Last Friday, 8 March, it was International Women's Day, a day dedicated to gender equality and solidarity between women, but also drawing attention to problems related to women's rights. Gender equality is under pressure in authoritarian regimes, as Freedom House reports show. Preaching hierarchical, patriarchal structures is [...]