Syrian refugees will never go back home if their towns can’t offer the basic services they enjoyed before the war. A lack of basic civil services leaves a perfect vacuum for extremist groups like ISIS to exploit by taking control of essentially ungoverned territory.
Adriana Cómbita, 27, sees herself as part of a new generation of peacemakers who are enlisting ex-combatants, both FARC and ex-paramilitary, to their movement. Her workshops in prisons coincide with Colombia’s new judicial process that encourages those charged with war crimes to confess everything in exchange for lighter sentences.
The crisis in Venezuela is threatening to overwhelm Colombia and other countries in South America and is likely to test their good will in 2019 as migration and asylum claims from other Latin America nations pick up.
In the nuclear arms race against the US, the former Soviet Union performed more than 450 nuclear tests in an area known as the Semipalatinsk Test Site — also known as the Polygon — from 1949 to 1989. Winds blew the nuclear fallout and radioactive dust into neighboring villages, affecting anywhere between 500,000 to 1 million people.
“The abolition [of UNRWA] means erasing the existence of the refugee issue. We say to them that we insist on the existence of the agency as long as the issue of refugees is not resolved," says Taha al-Biss, leader of the al-Amari refugee camp in the West Bank.