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Geopolitics

For These Three Teens, All Roads Led To Lampedusa

Young men who left Eritrea, by way of Libya, may have all ended up in Lampedusa, but they took many different paths getting there.

Kalab, Jon and Simon, young Eritrean migrants
Kalab, Jon and Simon, young Eritrean migrants
Luis Lema

LAMPEDUSA — In the Via Roma, Lampedusa’s main street, Kalab, Jon and Simon look merry. They even brag about the few euros they have in their pockets, with which they could buy themselves a soda in a café. The three Eritreans are all just 17 years old. And their escapes are similar: Had they not fled, they would have been called up for military service to "prepare for war against Ethiopia."

The young men didn't know each other at the time, but they followed the same itinerary, crossing Sudan on packed trucks, carefully avoiding the road through Egypt and the deadly trap of Sinai and winding up in Libya before eventually making the journey to Lampedusa.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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