DUBLIN — A year after the Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced the end to its almost-40 year armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland, political progress remains piecemeal in the long-divided region. The IRA’s ongoing reticence to disarm was a key constraining factor in Northern Ireland’s slow-moving peace-building process. But now despite the organizations’ disarmament, ongoing wrangles have prevented the revival of the regional political institutions, which give Northern Ireland significant devolved authority from London. These institutions remain core aspects of the 1998 ‘Good Friday’ peace agreement. The British and Irish governments have stated their intention to put some of the institutions into ‘cold storage’ if a 24 November deadline for restarting devolution is not met by the political parties.
KASSAB, Sudan — On Saturday morning at Kassab camp, outside Kutum town in northern Darfur, more than 50 patients awaited treatment at a GOAL clinic. The facility is one of two provided by the Irish NGO to service a camp where 18,000 IDPs have been resident, most for at least two years, some for three. Seven boys aged between 12 and 15 sat waiting for treatment for conditions varying from football injuries to stomach pains and fever symptoms. Mohammed, 15, thought he just had a cold. While waiting to see the doctor he said that he does not always have enough food and feels weaker than he did when he was living in his village. It is 32 degrees celsius, sat beneath a tree in the yard, shaded from the sub-Saharan sun. “Sometimes people come here at night, sometimes they steal things, sometimes they kill people. Just two weeks ago, a shooting took place near my shelter. Janjaweed came into the camp and did it,” he said.