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2022

In the Frontline of War Zones

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Act Bold, Think Slow

Being a diplomat traveling around the world solving global war crisis may seem intriguing to most of us. Some may even consider it as a dream job working in prestigious global organisations. But do we truly know the 'mundane', cruel, yet realistic side of wars?

As a former regional head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jason Yip shared his genuine stories with us having worked with real governments and terrorists. He started by illustrating the concept of "neutral" as how ICRC would position itself in solving global crisis such as the Afghanistan war, Rohingya humanitarian crisis etc.

It is always easy for us to see things as black or white. But as Jason asked is plain bombing legal during war - it brought a moment of reflection for all of us. Perhaps the answer is not as straight-forward as it may seem.

With the many real-life stories that Jason shared, one really struck me the most. He mentioned how a man who belonged to the Taliban Terrorist Group would go to his office regularly to ask for medical resources such as bandages or pills. It may sound counter-intuitive that a so- called humanitarian organization is helping a terrorist group. But after deeper thoughts and as Jason unveiled in the story, it actually not only helped the people under the control of the Taliban get the minimal treatment to stay alive, it also helped the organisation gain bargaining power to negotiate for better protection of civilians suffering from the war.

It shed light on how many global affairs in front of our eyes aren't as simple as we may think of. Aung San Suu Kyi who was heavily criticized during the Rohingya crisis needed to also consider the two groups of people, the Muslims and the Buddhists. As cool-hearted as she could look when handling the crisis, it would be unfair to only look at the whole situation in one angle only.

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