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"Water Diplomacy Talks": "Water And Violence: The Euphrates"


Diana Philip, Senior Research Manager for international think-tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) "Water Diplomacy Talks" audio interview.

This OOSKAnewscast was recorded on the occasion of the release of SFG’s seventh "Blue Peace Bulletin", "Water and Violence: The Euphrates", which can be DOWNLOADED HERE. This Bulletin examines the region around the Euphrates River and the possible role that it could play in finding a future solution in Syria.

Philip discusses the historic and current significance of the river to transnational issues and internal conflict in Syria; difficulties posed by the complexity of conflict in Syria; the role of state actors and non-state actors in the country; a histroical analogy with Europe's Rhine River; the Euphrates as a potential zone for descalation of violence in Syria. Philip is a lawyer who works as Senior Research Manager for SFG, heading initiatives on public international law, hydro-diplomacy, conflict, terrorism and global foresight issues. She has an LL.M from Harvard Law School with a concentration in Human Rights. SFG is an international think-tank engaged in crafting new policy concepts that enable decision makers to prepare for a future in uncertain times. SFG's body of work encompasses over 50 countries, across four continents. SFG pioneered the “Blue Peace” concept to use water as a tool to promote peace and security in the world.

Further Reading: Other SFG “Blue Peace Bulletins” can be DOWNLOADED HERE

“Water and Violence: Yemen”, released January 2019:

In “Water and Violence: Yemen”, Strategic Foresight Group examines the issue of protecting water in Yemen.

“Water and Violence: Ukraine”, released February 2019:

Strategic Foresight Group’s “Water and Violence: Ukraine”examines the prospects of securing critical water infrastructure in Donbass? What can be done by the relevant actors and the international community?

“The Middle East Blue Strike List”, released March 2019:

This “Middle East Blue Strike List” Bulletin provides details of 51 attacks that have taken place between 2012 and 2018 in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The attacks are categorized by Strategic Foresight Group into three types, either “Direct Target”, “Weapon” or “Indirect Target”, based on the kind of attack.

“Water and Violence: Mali”, released April 2019

Strategic Foresight Group's "Water and Violence: Mali" describes how, while Mali’s water infrastructure is yet to be used as a tool of violence during the on-going conflict, that conflict has had an impact on access to water leading to constant clashes between ethnic groups in the country.

"Water and Violence: Somalia", released May 2019

In the drought and conflict-stricken country of Somalia, water is often indiscriminately targeted or used as a weapon of war primarily by Al-Shabaab. Destruction of water infrastructure, blocking of access to rivers and other water sources, poisoning of wells of both civilians and peacekeepers are among tactics deployed by the terror group. “Water and Conflict: Somalia” argues for a holistic and coordinated response by the Somalian government, key countries such as Ethiopia, regional actors like the African Union and the AMISOM peacekeeping forces could go a long way in helping the nation grapple with their water woes and protecting their dwindling resources.

“Blue Peace Bulletin: Regional Water Protection Frameworks", released June 2019

There are a plethora of legal instruments including the Geneva Conventions that address the issue of protection of water resources especially during armed conflicts. However, implementation is relegated to the realm of domestic polices of state parties. The protection of water resources and related infrastructure more often than not require collective, regional or basin level measures by states. This Blue Peace Bulleting is therefore an attempt to lay down guidelines that states can adopt towards cooperative and collective security measures to protect water resources and infrastructure against acts of violence by terror groups or during international and non-international armed conflicts.

"Blue Peace Bulletin - - Protection Of Water: Local Solutions", released July 2019

This Bulletin analyzes the positive impact of traditional conflict resolutions mechanisms in order to understand the manner in which similar local solutions can be adopted to prevent or curb other localized disputes, describing instances where people have had faith in traditional means of conflict resolution over water related disputes as compared to established international practices, outlining circumstances where traditional means of conflict resolution may be favored.