In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with Christoph Harnisch, head of delegation in Bogata, Colombia. He’s been with the ICRC for more than 33 years, including time spent in Africa, Middle East, Central America, and currently Colombia where he has been since August 2014. We previously had Christoph on our podcast in May of last year, about six months after the peace agreement was first signed. In our conversation, we discuss what has changed, the challenges of implementing the peace agreement, insecurity in some of the most remote areas of the country, the plight of missing people and the prison crisis in the country. Hosted by Niki Clark and Sara Owens.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we are joined by American Red Cross's Director of International Communications Jenelle Eli. Hurricane Harvey has dumped the equivalent of Lake Michigan on south and central Texas. What is the situation on the ground? How is the American Red Cross responding? What can you do if you find yourself in an emergency situation? And how can you help? Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with Christoph Harnisch, head of delegation in Bogota, Colombia. With more than 30 years working for the ICRC, Harnisch brings a rich and storied perspective of complex and protracted conflicts. We discuss how reaching a peace deal is really just the first step for the country, the ICRC's role in negotiations, the challenges Colombians still face, and the single most important experience that has impacted him as a humanitarian. Hosted by Niki Clark and Sara Owens.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, Olivier Dubois, coordinator for the Missing Persons program and Ute Hofmeister, forensics coordinator, speak to Intercross about the ICRC's work surrounding the missing. During conflicts, thousands of people disappear. How do you find them or give their family closures, particularly when it's been decades since their disappearance? How does ICRC support the families of the missing? And what motivates people to work in a field with often little answers? Hosted by Niki Clark and Tracey Begley.Read More
While the peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army (FARC-EP) are making headway, there is no respite from the everyday armed violence in Colombia.
Today, the ICRC Delegation in Bogotá, Colombia launched its annual report, or Humanitarian Situation Report 2016, giving an overview on ICRC activities in the country in 2015 as well as highlighting key challenges for 2016.Read More
In September 2015, Andrea Harrison, Deputy Legal Advisor at the ICRC in Washington DC, had the opportunity to travel to Colombia and gain field exposure with our delegation there. Upon returning, she reflected on some of the activities our colleagues carry out in the country and their impact on society.Read More
As today marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we have chosen to re-post an opinion piece written by ICRC's President, Peter Maurer. The piece was originally published in the Huffington Post in December 2014.Read More
Recently, The Washington Post and The Miami Herald reported on the ICRC’s role in facilitating interactive video conversations between two detainees (formerly held by the CIA and currently held separately from the general population in a classified location at Guantanamo Bay) and their respective familiesRead More
On January 14, the American Red Cross hosted an important conference in Washington on migration in the Americas, entitled “Humanitarian Action across Borders”. The event brought together leading advocates, service providers, and government representatives (see speaker list) to focus on the humanitarian needs of migrants.Read More
On Friday, Central America became the first region in the world to be free of cluster munitions, after Belize joined theInternational Convention on Cluster Munitions. Speaking at the start of the Fifth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention in San Jose on Tuesday, Costa Rican President, Luis Guillermo Solis, said that as a region that has seen its fair share of armed conflicts, it was important for Central America to “send a clear message” about its commitment to peace and development.Read More
The ICRC updated its Customary International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Database on July 30, including United States practice up until the end of 2010. The database, which is now four-years-old, is a vital tool for all those working on issues related to armed conflict and IHL.Read More
The Battle of Gettysburg is arguably the most famous and decisive battle of the American Civil War. It took place 151 years ago this week, during three unbearably hot days – from July 1 to 3, 1863.
Today, the area surrounding the town of Gettysburg is a beautiful, almost bucolic setting made up of wheat fields, a peach orchard, rocky hills, tourist shops, wooded outcrops, and well-preserved historic homes.
But just over 15 decades ago it was the scene of the American Civil War's bloodiest confrontation – and the largest battle in North American history – involving more than 150,000 men, 70,000 horses, and 550 cannon combined. Around 50,000 soldiers from both sides were killed during those three days. (Remarkably, despite the fact that tons of artillery shells and an estimated seven million bullets were fired, just one civilian, a 20-year-old seamstress named Jennie Wade, was killed. That's in sharp contrast to today's armed conflicts.)
In the end, the Battle of Gettsyburg resulted in the triumph of the Union Army over the Confederate forces, marking not only a tipping point in the Civil War but a pivotal moment that changed the course of world history, according to Colonel Douglas Mastriano, a historian at the US Army War College, who recently took Intercross on a tour of the battlefield.
In this short, narrated photo gallery, Colonel Mastriano takes us back to those sweltering summer days when the battle was about to begin and describes both the horror and the humanity that could be found as the sound of guns rang out in and around this Pennsylvania crossroads town.
It's a crucial time for Colombia with a tight presidential run-off election taking place on Sunday and ongoing peace talks between the government and FARC guerrillas continuing in Havana, Cuba.Read More
With thanks to the ICRC's regional delegation in Washington for hosting this discussion, and to Gary Brown and Bobby Chesney for their thoughtful commentary, I want to shift the conversation to the domestic law issues. My focus is on the implications of a repeal of the 2001 AUMF – something that the President of United States has indicated he would support – for the United States’ counterterrorism authorities. I start with questions about the use of lethal force and then move to the trickier issues surrounding detention.Read More
My thanks to the ICRC for sponsoring this discussion, and to the ICRC's Gary Brown, in particular, for his insightful opening post. As Assistant Secretary of Defense (SO/LIC) Michael Lumpkin recently said in Congressional testimony, “we are at a natural inflection point” with respect to the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), and should be taking stock of whether and how it ought to be changed.Read More
On February 7, the ICRC completed its 100th visit to the United States detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, where its delegates have been monitoring the detainees' living conditions since 2002 in order to ensure that they are held and treated in accordance with international standardsRead More
The Americas is a vast and diverse region. Stretching all the way from Chile, through Central America, and up to Canada, it is home to almost a billion people. It is also one of the most dangerous regions on Earth. From extremely high homicide rates to the presence of organized gangs that can rival the most powerful armies on Earth in terms of resources, many South American countries continue to be caught up in a vortex of violence that has left between 200,000 and 300,000 people missing and resulted in severely overcrowded prisons.Read More
On November 6, Military Commission Judge James Pohl, who is presiding over the trial of five Guantanamo detainees, ordered the US government to turn over to him all correspondence between the US and the ICRC pertaining to our "inspections of, and work at, the detention facilities at the US naval station" in Cuba. The ICRC is disappointed by the ruling, which failed to recognize that under international law, ICRC materials are absolutely protected against disclosure in judicial proceedings unless the ICRC gives its consent in writing to such disclosure or otherwise waives its privilege in all or in part. Our legal advisor in Washington DC, Daniel Cahen, explains why the ICRC disagrees with the ruling.Read More
News release: Bogotá/Washington/Geneva (ICRC) – United States citizen, Kevin Scott Sutay, held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) since 20 June 2013 has been released into the care of a team made up of representatives from the governments of Colombia, Cuba and Norway and delegates of the ICRC.Read More