This painting titled “My Village in Sudan”, taken from the UNHCR Refugee Art website was done by a young Sudanese artist named Bor Alier.  Bor lives in Kakuma and was aged 17 when he did this.  He explained his painting this way:  “People came to visit our village and ask how we were and what…

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Well, I am pleased to say I got immediate feedback on the last blog including requests for more background on the refugee situation in East Africa. I usually try to keep it short, not wanting to bore the poor reader but as this is an important subject and one in which I have considerable first-hand…

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(c) Photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran / Unamid

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone, especially my Muslim colleagues, a Ramadan Mubarak.  In these times I think it is good to reflect not only on Ramadan, a period of spiritual re-dedication and renewal for the estimated 1.9 billion Muslims worldwide, but also on the religion of Islam itself.  In the…

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Background: In a previous blog I discussed a visit to Kakuma, the large UNHCR refugee camp located in northwest Kenya.  Here some new arrivals put up a temporary shelter. East Africa has long suffered from unstable governments, rebel insurgency, terrorism, warfare, droughts and flooding.  As a United Nations Peacekeeper, I spent several years working and…

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Understanding Migration: an overview I recently did a talk and PowerPoint presentation entitled “United Nations and the Refugee Situation”, an introduction to the worldwide refugee status and the involvement of the UNHCR (“the migration people”).  My presentation did not concentrate on the situation in the Americas (mostly asylum seekers), which is rather unique from the…

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I am pleased to announce that my latest book titled “Keeping The Peace” has been published.  It is available on Amazon both in paperback and in e-book format.  Simply go to Amazon Books and enter my name and through the magic of the internet the book cover and details appear. The back cover reads as…

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Avoiding A Ramadan Riot in Afghanistan by @RonRisdonAuthor #Ramadan #Eid #Afghanistan

In Islamic countries, it is customary to pay a Ramadan bonus, much like a Christmas bonus.  It is usually equal to one month’s salary and is handed out just before the Eid celebrations. The second year I was in Afghanistan, on the last working day before Eid we had issued the bonus to all the…

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How To Cope With Death Every Day in Somalia by @RonRisdonAuthor #Death #Somalia #Peacekeeping

Now for another chapter from my new, as yet unpublished manuscript. It concerns the end of my first assignment as a U.N. Peacekeeper in Somalia, one of my most dangerous assignments. Death was all too common and you had to learn to deal with it.   Coping With Death  After witnessing the student’s death, any reluctance…

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This Is Why He Has War In HIs Heart by @RonRisdonAuthor #War #Peacekeeping #UN

The soldier striding into my office didn’t smile; his worn fatigues bore the insignia of the South Sudanese Army. He introduced himself through his translator as Lt. Rashadd and offered me a limp but sweaty palm. I greeted him and motioned for him to take a seat. Instead, he eyed me with a feral glare…

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A Day In The Life Of A PeaceKeeper Part Two by @RonRisdonAuthor #Life

The UN wasn’t created to take mankind into paradise, but rather to save humanity from hell ~ Dag Hammarskjold As I explained in my last blog entry, part one of a two-part series, I recently gave a presentation to the Lansing, Michigan chapter of the United Nations Association as part of a popular series called Java…

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