Top Picks: The Arab Spring, arms to Yemen and why Myanmar wins
Top Picks: The Arab Spring, arms to Yemen and why Myanmar wins

A display outside the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva shows an ambulance that has been attacked. States at the meeting adopted a resolution vowing to protect healthcare workers. Photo: Heba Aly/IRIN.LONDON, 18 December 2015 (IRIN) - Welcome to IRIN's reading list. Every week our global network of specialist correspondents share their top picks of recent must-read research, podcasts, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. We also highlight key upcoming conferences, book releases and policy debates.

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Untangling Congo's armed groups

While refugees and the war in Syria have dominated the headlines this year, other conflicts continue to rumble on. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a recent count identified 70 armed groups in one province alone. Why are there so many and what is behind the fiendishly complex and endlessly shifting alliances and breakaway factions? A new report from the Rift Valley Institute says many are, ironically, the product of recent stabilisation strategies. It identifies a need for policies that focus specifically on armed groups and convincing them to lay down weapons. It also urges policymakers to consider the wider social and economic networks that are creating an environment in which violence is so often seen as the only option.

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