The New Statesman

The War on Poaching

More than 1,100 rhinos were killed for their horns in Africa in 2016. Quasi-military conservation units are trying to stop the slaughter.

Democracy Grows In the Desert

This September in Somalia, hundreds of thousands of people are due to take part in an election. At polling stations guarded by civilian police, they will stand in orderly lines beneath a scorching sun waiting to vote for a new leader.

Much of this country continues its relentless descent into mayhem and murder. But Somaliland, a small north-western chunk, has been trying for the past 18 years to free itself of its bigger, nastier neighbour, having declared independence when Somalia's last government, a violent military autocracy, collapsed in 1991.

Tamil Tiger Trap

Not even the United Nations can stand in the way of the Sri Lankan army now. Looking to finish off the Tamil Tigers, the government has ordered the few aid agencies still in the northern war zone to leave, saying it can't guarantee their safety.

Asia's longest-running civil war has left many claims of imminent victory in its wake, along with an estimated 70,000 dead. The difference today is that Tiger losses on the battlefield are compounded by high-level defections, and a stranglehold on the fundraising and smuggling operations that have sustained them.