The Quick Take
A quick look at the headlines this week 👀🏃🏻♀️
- Sri Lanka: Suicide bombers descended upon churches in separate cities in Sri Lanka and in high end hotels in Colombo, the country’s capital. More than 300 are dead. It was the deadliest violence in Sri Lanka since the end of its civil war 10 years ago.
- Women, peace, and security: The UN passed a resolution to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, without key language about reproductive and sexual health, thanks to the U.S.
- Ukraine elections: Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s most-watched comedian, won a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential runoff. He captured 73% of the vote. No joke. (C’mon, I had to do that….)
- Iran sanctions: The U.S. ended sanction waivers on Iranian oil buyers. China, South Korea, and Turkey are the most affected. Yeah, that’s not good.
- Mali: Facing a potential vote of no confidence, Mali’s prime minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, and his entire government, resigned on April 18. At issue is the government’s failure to respond forcefully against extremists and militia groups.
- Malaria vaccine: Imagine a world where malaria is a memory. Malawi is one step closer toward that goal, as it has become the first country to start using a newly approved vaccine for the disease. #FileUnderAwesome
- North Korea: North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, traveled to the Russian city Vladivostok for a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Stop the Madness: The F*U Issue
It’s really hard to stay anything other than “f*ck” on this one. A bombing on Easter Sunday. 321 lives taken away. Scores more devastated. A supposed retaliation for the Christchurch mosque shootings; supposed “Muslims” killing Christians. They should call themselves monsters, as should anyone who inflicts violence or fear on another. Yeah, you too, white nationalists. F*ck you all.
- What happened in Sri Lanka? Kate Cronin-Furman has what you need to know. (Washington Post)
- In Sri Lanka, politicians and police have done little to halt the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians. That will change now, but it’s already too late, Tasnim Nazeer writes. (The Guardian)
- There were many chances to stop the Easter Sunday attacks. The government missed them all, says Lydia Khalil. (Foreign Policy)
- The attacks targeting Christian worshippers suggest a new front in the annals of violence in Sri Lanka, Alyssa Ayres writes. (Axios)
- Sri Lankan police are notorious for detaining young people on the basis of their ethnic identity rather than their links to terrorism. After Sunday’s bombings, they must tread carefully when rounding up suspects, Sudha Ramachandran writes. (World Politics Review)
- ISIS still has global reach, despite the caliphate’s collapse, writes Robin Wright. (New Yorker)
Women, peace, and insecurity
In the #WTF category, we have a UN Security Council resolution condemning sexual violence in war this week — which was watered down to appease the Trump White House. Trump’s beef? Language on sexual and reproductive health. The Germans, who proposed the resolution, caved and took out the language. (#WTF) We’d just shake our heads if the consequences weren’t so dire. And they are dire.
Rape is repeatedly used as a weapon of war. The point of the resolution was to protect rape victims and ensure remedies for victims. That includes providing them with healthcare, which often involves reproductive and sexual healthcare. Trump, along with many hard line conservatives before him, consider this support for abortion. Trump has gone further by opposing the use of “gender,” seeing it, as Liz Ford writes in The Guardian, “as a cover for liberal promotion of transgender rights.” 🙄 cue: #WTF
- In pursuing a new resolution on sexual violence, the Security Council significantly undermines women’s reproductive rights. (LSE – Centre for Women, Peace, and Security)
- A UN resolution condemning sexual violence against women should’ve been uncontroversial, writes Allison Herrera. (PRI)
- UN waters down rape resolution to appease US’s hardline abortion stance, writes Liz Ford. (The Guardian)
As mentioned in the Quick Take… the U.S ended sanction waivers on Iranian oil buyers. What does that mean? These ladies are on it….
- As Trump moves to cut off Iran’s oil revenues, what’s his endgame? Suzanne Maloney breaks it down. (Brookings)
- What impact will U.S. sanctions have on Iran, countries that rely on Iran for oil, and the global energy market? Elizabeth Rosenberg explores. (CNAS)
- If Iran is to build a sustainable economic future for itself, its ‘look East’ policy will need to be a clear priority, but it won’t be enough, Mahsa Rouhi and Clement Therme write. (IISS)