Georgia:

A ceasefire has been signed by Georgia (and was signed by Russia on Tuesday.) Both sides need to keep their promises this time.

The IHT has some powerful photos of the war’s already devastating toll on Georgian and Ossetian civilians.

Afghanistan:

The IRC has suspended its operations in Afghanistan in response to the brutal murders of four of its staff two days ago.

Just weeks before her death, Canadian aid worker Shirley Case wrote to her colleagues back in Canada:

“Being here in Afghanistan definitely speaks to the complexity of
humanitarianism, politics, security, civil war, religious ideology, and
also speaks to community … Each person I have met has a story that
makes you want to sit down for tea for the afternoon. The adversity
they have overcome, their commitment to their country, more to come! Sending you all the very best from this part of the world, sharing your sky of stars.”

“Sharing your sky of stars”; I think that speaks for itself. Rest in peace, Shirley.

On Comment is Free, Conor Foley poignantly explained the security dilemma facing aid workers in Afghanistan:

The dilemma facing humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan is a hard one.
The country is a dangerous place to work and all of us who go there
know the reality is that we are risking our lives. No one takes
unnecessary risks, but it is difficult to balance the need for security
with the humanitarian nature of our work. All humanitarian
non-governmental aid organisations operate a strict “no guns” policy,
rejecting both armed guards on our premises and military escorts when
we go to the field. Breaching this principle would compromise our
humanitarian status, which is probably our best long-term protection,
but upholding it inevitably restricts our access to people in need of
help.

So very, very sad.

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