Saturday, December 3, 2016

Phase 2, week 3

Hi all

Don't forget this week:
     name and conflict
     sources in-text
     hyperlinks at the bottom

You should have at least two sources.

Bring questions if you wonder how to represent things on your croquis.

Good luck!


  1. Ambre Perron - Civil War In South Sudan

    Suspicions of a possible genocide in South Sudan increase says Yasmin Sooka, reporting from the country: “The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it.” The arm embargo and sanctions that the UN considered imposing are mandatory to avoid the genocide. Washington Free Beaker’s article notes that 800,000 people had been killed in the span of three months in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Fears of the preparation of “large-scale attacks in coming days/ week” from the government army threaten the population of South Sudan reports Keith Harper, the US representative at the UN Human Rights Council. UN Commission experts warn that “a blind eye [is casted] on South Sudan while [attention remains focused] on the crisis of Syria.” Southern Equatoria, so far, had not been affected by the violence. It now finds itself experiencing the same traumatic violence as the rest of the country. A survey estimated that 70 percent of women in South Sudan have been victims of rape since December 2013. China Daily reports that China would be releasing its “third batch of peacekeeping infantry battalion” in the Juba Region.

  2. Replies
    1. Israel & Palestine - Delphine Chiffaudel

      According to the Times of Israel, Abbas was reelected on November 29th as head of the Fatah. His first announcement was a hopeful one, projecting 2017 as a year where the state of Palestine will be created through foreign diplomacy, notably with Trump, even though the Israel’s right wing -- hostile to the Fatah-- rejoiced over Trump’s election.

      According to Maan News, A fourth wave of hunger strikes has appeared in Israeli prisons, from Palestinian prisoners, in order to be recognized as prisoners of war and therefore treated accordingly to the fourth geneva convention.

      According to Hurriyet Daily News, Erdogan declared to Rivlin that a close relationship between Turkey and Israel is necessary for peace in the middle east. Moreover, the arrival of the Israeli ambassador in Ankara illustrate their improving ties. Despite Turkey not being an arab country, this rapprochement is significant because Turkey is a muslim country. Its influence on the middle east is not neglectable.

      About croquis: I'm not sure how to represent the diplomatic ties with Turkey. Can I draw an arrow on the sea towards Turkey?

  3. Theodore Fèvre - Taliban in Afghanistan

    According to The Guardian in a news article dating from the 29th, the Taliban are facing financial issues. With the Taliban recent attacks resulting with a majority of civilian deaths, donors have stopped funding the extremist group. Originally F-fighting the foreign forces in the country, the Taliban recent activities- such as car bombings against civilians- have been the factor of the cease in financial aids. Mullah Rahmatullah Kakazada, diplomat under the Taliban regime, even stated that "These people who give money don’t want to spend it on mines that kill children.” In addition, on the same day AlJazeera have posted an article stating that a Taliban spokesman declared that the islamist group is willing to protect government projects. They propose their assisstance in projects such as mining in order to, as stated the extremist group, "to help in the security of all national projects that are in the higher interest of Islam and the country".

  4. Kashmmir Conflict Olivine SILIER

    14/12 Modi government declared 20 billion rupees will be given to 35.000 refugee families in Jammu and Kashmir that left PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. They have been waiting for decades for this help, unfortunately, more than five thousand families are still excluded from this package. (Hindustan Times)

    China projects to build the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) This project promises significant economic benefits for Pakistan as well as the creation of 700.000 jobs for Pakistan and a the possibility for Pakistan to finally supply enough energy to meet the energy demand of the country. India is firmly opposed to this plan. (IAS)

    1. I didn't write more because it took me a long time to find accurate estimates of the number of refugees from PoK as these numbers are under debate.

  5. Kelcie Bons North Korea crisis 03/12/16
    According to an article written by Tom Pervival on 03/12/16 called "North Korea is 'Grooming Underage Girlsé for Kim Jong Un's Pleasure Squad", a group called section 5 who works for Kim Jong Un when it come to his private life has been searching for girls that will be dancers and entertainers for the supreme leader. They will form a group called the Moranbong. According to Mr Jang, the past laureate in North Korea, there is a competition to pick who will be part of that group. Tom Pervival suggests they do not have a choice when he says they "are taken away by section 5", he also says "It's been claimed(...) they're often forced to perform sexual acts on North Korean elites". (
    On the other hand, a CNN report by Laura Park and Richard Roth called "Toughest UN sanctions yet to cost North Korea $800 million", it is announced that the United Nations had unanimously voted in favor of a new set of sanctions to impose on North Korea this wednesday. These sanctions are on North Korea's exporting of coal, statues, metals like copper, silver, nickel and zinc, rugs and tapestries over 500 dollars as well as tableware and china above a 100 dollars. It is expected that this means they will lose more than 800 dollars per year. The goal is that North Korea will have less money to spend on nuclear and ballistic missile programs. During the meeting in which the sanctions were voted, it was said that it was a message to the DPRK that it must ceise provocative actions and abide fully to international obligations. (

  6. Domitille- Conflict in Ukraine

    In Ukraine, tensions are still ongoing even though the conflict started a few years ago. On December 1st, Ukraine fired 16 surface to air missiles in the region of Kherson bordering Crimea. According to The Telegraph, Russia considers this a “dangerous precedent” and even threatened to “shoot down the missile”. On December 2nd, there was shelling in Maryinka, and four soldiers were killed and wounded in Lysenko. On December 3rd, Russian forces attacked Ukrainian positions 44 times. Other tensions, less aggressive, are still going on as well. On December 2nd, Russian ships blocked a Ukrainian vessel’s way to a drilling platform situated in the Black Sea from which they were illegaly extracting gas. Furthermore, according to Ukraine Today, a Ukrainian officier said that the Russian ship’s manoeuver to block the vessel were dangerous and could have caused an accident.

    However, on December 3rd, as Ukraine Today informs, Iryna Gerashchenko reported that “the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation proposed to hold a meeting” with NATO, a meeting that could be held next March and hopefully appease existing tensions.

  7. Tim d'Aboville-Civil War in Syria

    According to BBC News, this past week the Syrian government troops have retaken up to 50% of rebel territory in eastern Aleppo. Aljazeera confirms that "the capture of Tariq al-Bab neighborhood means the government now controls about half of eastern Aleppo. The government claims that they hope to regain total control of the capital in a few weeks (BBC News) and this would be an immense step towards victory for the government as Aleppo is "the heartland of the revolution" (Aljazeera). Meanwhile, about 250,000 people are trapped inside the city (BBC News) and roughly 300 have been killed since the siege has begun a little over 3 weeks ago (BBC News). The final outcome of the conflict might not be determined yet, however, it is sure that it will come at the cost of a horrifying number of casualties.

  8. Ambassador Kim Darroch told the US that British military force would continue to operate in the Middle East, but would start to focus in the Asia-Pacific region (RT). According to Brunnstrom, British fighter planes will fly over the South China Sea and Britain will sail aircraft carriers in the Pacific once they are operational in 2020, given concerns about freedom of navigation there, said the British ambassador to the United States.
    Four British fighter planes arrived in Japan in October to take part in exercises with Japanese forces as the Japan and Britain agreed on naval cooperation (Brunnstrom).
    The US is still remotely present, and is accused of militarization in the region and is the subject of The Coming War in China, a film by John Pilger on November 29th (RT).

    - Brunnstrom, David. "British Fighters to Overfly South China Sea; Carriers in Pacific after 2020: Envoy." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 01 Dec. 2016. Web. 03 Dec. 2016. .

    - RT. "Britain Will Send Fighter Jets & Aircraft Carriers to South China Sea." RT International. RT, 02 Dec. 2016. Web. 03 Dec. 2016. .

  9. Romane Centis- ISIS in Iraq

    Number of casualties

    According to CNN, Iraq has claimed that nearly 2 000 of their troops were killed across the country in November. However we do not have any specific numbers as the battle is still ongoing, and there is no obligation to publish it. It was also said that the release of any false news could help the opposite forces locate defeat the Iraqi armies. CNN also said that the number of civilian deaths and wounded had also been released amounting to 900 deaths and 930 wounded in November, 52 foreign civilians were killed and 31 wounded. The UN numbers show that Baghdad was hit the worst, suffering from 733 civilian casualties and in Ninewa the number amounted amounted 332. 96,000 people have fled to other countries, according to the UN refugee agency.

  10. Emilie Shagrin: refugee crisis in the EU

    On November 28, it was announced that 171 299 migrants had arrived by sea to Italy this year. In 2014, there were 170 100 arrivals, and there is still a month to go before the end of 2016, leaving a new record on their number of arrivals by sea. This indicates that in three years, about half a million migrants arrived in Italy, with 176 000 asylum seekers now in refugee camps. (Le Monde)
    Libya's coastal cities have been making incredible sums of revenue from people smuggling, as revealed by an EU military task force. Migrant smuggling remains a major source of income among people in coastal cities in Libya as well as other countries.
    (Immigration Concern)
    Activists met on the 29th and 30th November and said in a joint statement that EU and member states have not been doing enough to protect minor refugees, as they struggle to reach Europe alone and survive there. (EU Observer)


  11. “A perfect storm of suffering.” As is Yemen’s situation described by Oxfam (Daily Records). In a country were 90% of its food is imported, the number of merchant ships was reduced by half in 2 months, generating the malnutrition of 8 million people and 20 million civilians’ suffering of food shortage. (Daily records)
    The situation in Tai’zz has only worsened (BBC news). Both sides kill civilians and opponents arbitrarily and care-freely. The brief truces imposed by the UN only increased the violence; some think it would be impossible to halt the fighting in Tai’zz, even if the UN declared a national ceasefire. (BBC news)
    The 28th of November 2016, the Houthi rebels and their allies formed a government (Relief Web). Kirby told VOA they created “a new cabinet unilaterally, with an official foundation and without the support of the legitimate government of Yemen or the Yemeni peace process.” This action goes very clearly against the UN’s attempts to achieve peace. The Houthi stated it was a necessary course of action due to Yemen’s “internal situation and confronting the Saudi aggression”.
    It is in fact in response to Hadi’s rejection of the UN plan, stating the Houthi had to depart from the main cities and give up their heavy weapons, but which also forced Hadi to hand over his power to a less disruptive deputy.
    This decision shows, according to Alexander Corbeil, the rebel’s awareness of their power as they control important areas of Yemeni territory. They are aiming to put more pressure on the international, regional and local actors to come up with a solution to this situation, one ultimately enhancing the Houthi’s impact in the country’s political and security affairs
    (Relief Web).

    BBC news:
    Daily Records:
    Relief Web :

  12. Sophie Lemmerman – Kashmir Conflict

    On Friday December 2, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in the Northern Indian city of Amritsar for the Heart of Asia conference aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan. Amritsar is located just east of the Pakistan border. The Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process (abbreviated HoA) was founded in 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Comprised of 14 participating countries which include both India and Pakistan, it is a platform that was created to discuss regional issues with Afghanistan placed at its center. (Heart of Asia - The HoA encourages security, political and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors. The platform’s 6th ministerial conference will be held on December 4, 2016, with the aim of “assist[ing] war-ravaged Afghanistan in its fight against terrorism for establishing peace in the region” (Times of India - However, the 6th ministerial conference will also aim to “isolate Pakistan who has been sponsoring terrorist attacks on India” (ibid). According to Indian news source DailyO (, Pakistani economist and strategist Sartaj Aziz –– who serves as a senior member of Pakistan’s federal cabinet and as the de-facto minister for foreign affairs –– “delivered the message loud and clear that Pakistan’s use of terrorism as state policy will only lead to its diplomatic isolation” (ibid).

  13. Matteo Valderram-DRC Violence
    The International Business Times reported this Friday that “DRC nears a bloody dictatorship.” (Romil Patel, IBT) Unfortunately, it appears that the delay in democracy in the country prolonging the president’s tenure, isn't the only sign of oppression of the people in DRC. A U.N. expert on freedom of expression brought to light the strict regulations on the media in the country, who have been jamming radio signals as well as arresting journalists who report against Kabila.( WashingtonPost) Furthermore, anyone who expresses their opposition to the political regime finds themselves imprisoned, as was the case of Fred Bauma, considered as the most prominent DRC activist, who was incarcerated for almost 19 months for his opposition to Kabila being the sole reason. (IBT) Bauma, however keeps hope for his country and called out to the US to take immediate action in preventing DRC from “being the next Burundi, the next South Sudan, and the next Central African Republic.”(IBT) While the US involvement in DRC stays limited, they are very active in demining mine fields, especially in the Tshopo province, enabling children to play ball peacefully as well as restoring agricultural land for returning refugees.

  14. Marin Duroyon - Libyan Civil War

    On the 29th of November, the general of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar met the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. The general was requesting Moscow’s help to defeat his rivals. As Libya remains divided between different political rivals, fighting rages on between significant cities for more than 2 year, and Haftar is associated with the eastern government of Tobruk. The renegade general, also seeked public backings from different other countries, and has received support from Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and France who has already sent special forces to work alongside the Libyan National Army. According to The Guardian, many believe Haftar is looking for national power, and Russia accepted to promote “the political process” of Libya. The Kremlin did not say if they would offer military support, but instead said they were practicing business as usual. The way Russia will help Libya is unknown for the time being, however it is likely they will support Khalifa Haftar’s rise to power to govern and unify Libya in its entirety.

  15. Julie Clar - Boko Haram in Nigeria

    On November 28th, Nigerian troops kill 30 Boko Haram terrorists in a failed ambush in Borno State (“Today”). On the 29th of November, 29 581 Nigerians who had previously fled from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, returned voluntarily (“Today”). On November 30th, Nigerian troops entered the Sambisa Forest, Boko Haram’s most important hideout. Their goal is to recue the Boko Haram’s victims held captive and eliminate the terrorist group as a whole (“Today”). On December 1st, “The United Nations says 400,000 children are now at risk from a famine in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe - 75,000 of whom could die from hunger within the next few months (“Aljazeera”).” On December 2nd, the Nigerian Air Force struck Boko Haram in the Sambisa Forest destroying a number of BHT vehicles, fuel depots and other logistic items (“Today”). On December 4th, the United Nations estimated that Nigeria needs one million dollars to provide appropriate aid for Boko Haram victims. The United Nations described the conflict as “the largest crisis in Africa (“Today”).

  16. David Ripayre Uyghur conflict

    According to an article on Radio Free Asia from last Wednesday (1/12/16), Rishat Haji a young Uyghur man aged 24 is currently being detained by Chinese police. The Man's Grandmother believes he is detained as a “hostage”, as police believes his brother of being a Uyghur separatist whom has fled to Turkey. He had already been held in custody in 2015 following his brother moving to Turkey says his Grandmother.
    “The police said at that time that they were investigating a case of separatism in which they thought Abduweli was involved, and they said that Rishat would be released if Abduweli came back from Turkey. So, after six months in detention at the Ulugchat Detention Center, they let him go after he promised to convince his brother to come back,” said their grandmother.
    He was then accused, after sending money to his brother, of supporting financially Muslim Uyghur separatist groups.” Rishat’s grandmother said.  “We believe that he was detained again because Abduweli has not returned. Or maybe the police are looking for some praise from higher authorities for discovering more ‘guilty’ people” she said.
    However his brother supposedly in Turkey has not been located yet according to RFA sources. No knews has been herd from him, his wife or children. The family back in Xinjiang fear for him but local security prevents them from doing anything.

  17. Saturday 3rd of December, 2016, there was an exchange of fire between Turkish soldiers and members of the PKK at an army base in the southeastern Hakkari province. According to ARA news, at least 34 Turkish soldiers were killed, and according to Reuters the PKK suffered casualties of at least 20 fighters. ARA news received a statement from the PKK leadership that the assault was a response to Turkish offensives in the area which targeted Kurdish towns and villages. The military stated that the fighters crossed into Turkey from Northern Iraq, and refused to give further details {Reuters}. Information and precise counts on the number of casualties and details of the assault are not available, as the attack was very recent and news sources have yet to receive clarification from the Turkish military.

  18. Chloé Erny, EU migration crisis

    Smugglers spread rumor of Libyan patrols being trained, which would soon close off the well-used Libya-Italy sea route. This caused a great spike of dangerous sea crossings despite difficult winter conditions: according to NBC News, “More than 10,000 migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast over the past 48 hours”. (November 28)
    Records are also being broken in the UK, where 284,000 arrivals are estimated— 19,000 more than last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figures encompass the period up to the EU referendum and after, despite government resolution to get net migration below 100,000 arrivals. (Sky News, December 1)
    In response to EU blocking talks of Turkey's accession to the EU, Turkish president Erdogan threatens to open up its borders for migrants to enter Europe; an Independent article talks of a “secret plan to allow 3,000 refugees to sail to Greece every day” according to intelligence officials (Caroline Mortimer).

  19. Paul, Iraq
    The current situation in Iraq is not evolving rapidly as ,apart from an increasing amount of casualties concerning civilians and fighters on the battlefront, the coalition has not really advanced on their quest of taking back Mosul. According to Hadi Mizban and Susannah George, the situation is gradually worsening and they’ve stated that : approximately 80,000 civilians have fled Mosul since military operations have begun there, local people are desperate as it is the first time the government sent aid trucks containing food and water supplies (water supply pipes have been cut for a lot of civilians), suicide bombs. A provisional report has been released by CNN concerning civilian casualties, it was said that in November at least 900 civilians were killed and another 930 were wounded. The prime minister seemed to be very concerned as the situation is worsening. However , all of the Iraqi military forces have entirely surrounded the city of Mosul. More than 6 weeks into the the battle and the coalition has still not won this ongoing battle against ISIS. Nevertheless we can see that IS are persistent as they keep assaulting nearby villages.As a matter of fact, Iraqi forces repelled two IS attacks in south and west of city. ( according to Xinhua)


  20. Juliette Scholler - Taliban in Afghanistan

    The Taliban heads are leaning more towards finding peace in the country. The insurgency stated this week that they would protect governmental projects like the copper mining near Kabul, financed by the chinese, the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India gas pipeline project, or the regional electricity-generation effort linking Central Asia and South Asia project (Al Jazeera). They claim that their war is against the foreign powers, not the Afghan people, and that it is their job to do what is in the “interest of the people and result in the development and prosperity of the nation” (Al Jazeera).
    It is possible that the sudden action might be because of the Taliban’s financial crisis. After most foreign troops left Afghanistan, many of the donors stopped helping, mainly because their fight against the foreigners lost its legitimacy, and because most of their recent attacks causes a lot of civilian death (the guardian). It is in their interest to show their support for the Afghans, whether it is to get the donors back or to bring the fight to an end before they run out of money.
    Despite the peaceful talks from the Taliban heads, on November 28th, the Taliban had organized an ambush that killed four Afghan policemen (Washington Post).

  21. Pierre-Malo Vienney -- Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo

    On November 27, a group of Toronto residents protested and asked the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau to take a stand in the deteriorating situation in DR Congo. At a meeting held at the University of Toronto, Trudeau announced that he wished to promote the rights of women within La Francophonie, a global group of 80 states from French-speaking nations. Therefore, many people say that it is time for the Canadian government to act and that the genocide has to cease. Dawson, a university professor, said that DR Congo is living a humanitarian crisis; almost 12 million people have been killed in the past 10 years. Many residents also ask the Canadian government to supervise its mining activities in DR Congo because the issue exudes from the traffic of natural resources. (CBCNEWS, Muriel Draaisma)
    On Thursday, December 1, a UN expert on freedom and expression accused the Congolese government of violating the Geneva Convention by arresting journalists and jamming the signals of media outlets. The government accused Radio France International of diffusing false information. Now the conflicts in DR Congo are beginning to be treated seriously within other countries because of the repeated violations of rights and conventions. (The Washington Post, Associated Press)

    Draaisma, Muriel. "Trudeau to Be Asked to Take Stand on Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo." CBCNews. CBCNews, 27 Nov. 2016. Web. 4 Dec. 2016. .
    Associated Press. "UN Rights Expert Criticizes Clampdown on Media in Congo." The Washington Post. The Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2016. Web. 4 Dec. 2016. .

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  23. Emma Ghafari – Conflict in Ukraine
    Many events have occurred over the past week in Ukraine. Fighting involving machine guns and tanks took place in Yasinuvata on December 4 (liveuamap, 2016). Moreover, a military demonstration was carried out in Kramatorsk, also on December 4 (liveuamap, 2016). In addition, on December 3, Polish and Ukrainian defence ministers, Macierewicz and Poltorak respectively, signed a “security cooperation” (liveuamap, 2016) partnership agreement between the two countries which will apparently strengthen both countries’ armies (RadioPoland, 2016). On December 1, Ukraine launched test missiles near Crimea, in spite of Russia’s displeasure (BBC, 2016).
    "Clashes near Yasinuvata Checkpoint, Machine Guns, a Tank." Live UA Map - Ukraine. N.p., 04 Dec. 2016. Web. 04 Dec. 2016. .
    "Military Demo in Kramatorsk." Live UA Map - Ukraine. N.p., 04 Dec. 2016. Web. 04 Dec. 2016. .
    "Poland and Ukraine Signed Agreement on Security Cooperation." Live UA Map - Ukraine. N.p., 02 Dec. 2016. Web. 04 Dec. 2016. .
    "Poland, Ukraine Sign Defence Agreement." Polskie Radio Dla Zagranicy. N.p., 3 Dec. 2016. Web. 04 Dec. 2016. .
    "Ukraine Tests Missiles near Crimea despite Russian Ire." BBC News. N.p., 01 Dec. 2016. Web. 04 Dec. 2016. .

  24. Billy McGovern -- This week’s updates Israel-Palestine Conflict

    28/11/16: Mahmoud Abbas re-elected as leader of Fatah, the party controlling authority in the West Bank. This was Fatah’s first conference in seven years, and “handpicked” delegates ensured that Abbas took control over Palestinian Authority again. Although he is optimistic about the future, Abbas’ popularity has been in decline among Americans, Israelis and Palestinians.

    1/12/16:President Obama postpones the move of US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for 6 months, shortly before president elect Donald Trump enters office. This move on Obama’s part is justified by the fact that relocating the embassy to Jerusalem would be recognizing it as the capital of Israel, and this would cause great anger on the part of the Palestinians and, consequently, the Arab world. Although the White House has stated that this relocation would happen after a peace process and mutual recognition between Israel and Palestine, Trump would “throw the longstanding policy out the window.”

    1/12/16: New Israeli ambassador arrives in Ankara. This is a step towards new diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey, as the relations between both countries had broken down in 2010 when Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed by Israeli commandos.

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  26. p.s. Can I simply put since all I looked at were the headlines and the two lines they offer with them at that link?

  27. Cassiopeia Van den bussche, Libya
    In recent days attacks on Ganfouda persist both on land and from sea having increased as of the 30th with the armies official major launch on the “terrorist enclave”, December 2nd the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade claim to have captured camp 77 in the Tripoli area, huge damages was cased in Sirte by female suicide bombers the same day, more clashes were reported in Tripoli December 1st due to Pro-PC forces attempting to “crush” militias, the same day a suicide bomb attack took the lives of many in the crowded Benghazi Medical Center, Tripoli’s last week’s protest on poor living conditions is petering out(Libya Herald). Furthermore on an international level Haftar met Russian ministers and demonstrators protest at Tobruk’s airport the arrival of UNSMIL head emphasizing Libyans current dislike for foreign involvement in their country (Lybia Herald). However, according to Libya Observer, “uneasy calm has returned” to several areas in Tripoli( Herald Saturday roundup). One should also highlight the increasing amount of forced disappearances, murders, abductions according to AL-Bunyan Al-Marsoos forces who claim to have helped save several lives the 2nd but so many more are victims (Libya Observer Sat). Haftar claims to desire to bomb humanitarian aid that will arrive from Canada for Ganfouda(Herald sat), on December 1st 16 Operation Dignity forced lost their lives on top of the 40 injured in western Benghazi against Benghazi Shura Council(Herald thu). A humanitarian crisis in Derna has been going on for months under Haftar’s siege( Herald wed). Supposedly 252 civilian injuries due to violence, terrorism, and assaults were recorded since January 30th of which 52 deaths( Herald wed). According to Air Force Emergency Chamber at Al- Bunyan Al-Marsoos military operation international airstikes over Sirte come to a total of 420 since march and the Lybian air force has flown over 2230 times( Herald tue). The death toll of Libyan newborns is concerning according to WHO(Herald sun).Awlad Sulaiman and Gadadfa tribes in Sabha agree on ceasefire December 4th (Herald sun). Heavy shooting , bombardement and fierce clashes happened in Tajara on Tuesday (liveuamap).

  28. Leah Sadoff- Al-Shabaab

    According to the Daily Times, this past Monday there were 26 al-Shabaab fighters killed in the eastern part of the Mudug region, and many of them were injured as well. The terrorists’ aim this time was to get revenge and rob the locals. It is Mudug’s second heavy fight in the past week. More interesting news comes from Business Daily, and it is that the US gave Kenya six helicopters to be able to fight al-Shabaab. There are supposedly two more coming next May. Not only that but the States also granted $106 million to help Kenya fight off the terrorists. Today information has been leaked that the UK has been funding ISIS (which includes al-Shabaab) with $723 million. The document leaked is a “41 paged business plan drawn up by the UK’s Department for International Department. [...] The document [...] outlines strategy until 2020” (All Africa) to help out these terrorists.

  29. Mika Desblancs - South China Sea

    The still recent election of Trump has sparked uncertainty over what will be the US's next move in the region. However, according to Wu Scicun, president of the South China Sea think tank, stated he believes their will be an increase of US presence in the region but that he will not push for drastic measures. Trump has only stated he will increase the number of military vessels from 272 to 350 which indicates the number of ships in the South China Sea will rise. Zhu Feng executive director of Nanjing University’s China Centre for Collaborative Studies of the South China Sea, said he fears that the tensiosns could end in an arms race which could end in a catastrophy for the region. Futhermore, Trump's history in rash decisions and his inexperience in Foreign Policy is worrying.

    On Novembre 29th Taiwan held a joint coast guard and navu rescue training in waters off Taiwan controlled Taiping Islands. According to Coast Guard Administration Minister Lee Chung-wei, this exercise was to demonstrate Taiwan's great attachment to humanitarian assistance and that it wants to solve the South China Sea dispute peacefully. According to Fan Shih-ping, a political science professor at the National Taiwan Normal University, the US sees Taiwan more and more as a strategic partner and a security ally for Japan because the Philippines are creating ties with China.
    Britain's ambasador to the US has announced British planes will fly over the South China Sea and ships will sail through it starting in 2020 to ensure freedom of navigation. Four British planes have arrived in Japan to take part in military exercises with Japanese forces in a time where tensions are rising with China due to the East and South China Sea disputes.
    According to Stapleton Roy, a former US ambassador to Beijing, disputes in the South China Sea have been blown out of proportion because of internal disputes within the Chinese governments. He states their are disputes between the Foreign Ministry and military over claims. The Ministry claims China owns all islands and reefs the South China Sea but Chinese behaviour suggests they are only claiming rights within the famous Nine Dash Line. He states the fishing industry are acting inconsistently with the Foreign Ministry claims.

  30. Marc de Laportalière - Tensions in East China Sea
    Once again, Japan has had to send its JASDF forces to counter Chinese fighters and bombers which have been seen near the Diaoyu/ Senkaku Islands. Even though the airships did not penetrate Japanese territory, they were flying in a highly sensitive area. (national security news) To this day, the countries involved both claim legal ownership of the Islands, China through its historic rights, and Japan through its purchase of the Islands in 1972. Also, Japan’s claim relies upon the treaty of San Francisco, using judgment passed by the United Nations. Unfortunately for them China did not sign this charter after the second World war. (Xinhua, the China Times) Making the argument null in their eyes. The conflict seems to have reached a standstill as both parties involved claim that they will not move, since the other country is in a state of illegality. Especially with Chinese officials trying to blame Japan for its “inability to see the truth” (Xinhua, the China Times)

  31. Eliott- Kurdish Conflict

    On Sunday the 4th of December, in a village in Iraqi Kurdistan near Darbandikhan, two suicide bombers exploded themselves according to shafaaq news, quoting a Kurdish military source, says albawaba news. Another suicide bomb was set up, but the bomber got killed by security forces before the man executed his mission. There were exchanges of fire between armed men and Kurdish security guards shortly after the twin bomb attack. According to albawaba news, the casualtiesare of at least 13, injured or killed. The attack isn't yet claimed by any groups.
    However according to a security source, Rudaw news claims it is after a heavy gun battle, an ambush of Kurdish soldiers that the suicide bombers blew themselves up. And according to those sources, there were no casualties.

  32. Elise- War in Yemen
    This Monday, the Houthi movement announced the formation of a new presidential council. According to al Jazeera, it is formed of 5 members, including former governor of Aden, Abdul Aziz Bin Habtoor. Through dissolving the parliament, Houthi fighters intend to put into place a transitional government consisted of 551 members in order to dissolve legislature. (1)
    The now popularly known as “national salvation government” is backed by many political factions. Important figures in Yemeni politics, such as head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, and president of the Karamat party, Abdul-Malek al-Hujari, have shown their support for the new government. (3)
    According to Hashem Ahelbarra, this rise of Houthi power in Yemeni politics is bound to “fuel secular tensions”. (1)  However, it has been said that the Houthis, during formal peace talks, agreed upon wanting a presidential council with representatives from both North and South Yemen. (1)
    The UN has not acknowledged this new form of government, and the US is “deeply concerned”. (1)
    The Saudis, on the other hand, aren’t done pointing fingers. The United Arab Emirates, close allies to Saudi Arabia, have filed a report to the UN asking for Iran to be sanctioned for supplying weapons to the Houthis. They claim that by doing so, Iran is prolonging the conflict. (2)




  33. Lucca Stagno Al Shabaab in Somalia

    A US surveillance drone would supposedly have crashed in the Lower Shabelle town of Bariire and have been taken by Al Shabaab militants according to anonymous residents. This wouldn't be the first time a US unmanned aircraft crashes in Somalia. In 2013, a drone crashed a town called Bulo Mareer also in Lower Shabelle.
    In their latest effort to aid Kenya and Somalia to fight Al Shabaab, the United States has given the Kenya Defense Forces six helicopters at an estimated worth of 106 million dollars to help boost security in the area. According to AllAfrica: "it is the single largest donation to a foreign country in sub-Saharan region." It is expected that the US will deliver two additional helicopters in May 2017.
    Al Shabaab militants attempted to kill patrolling police officers by planting an Improvised-Explosive Device (IED) on Elwak-Dabacity road in Mandera, Kenya. Despite detonating the IED by running it over with their car while accompanying passenger buses, the Kenyan policemen remained unscathed. Mandera County Police Commander reports that the 5 suspects were most likely targeting to blow up the passenger buses that use the road and fled upon seeing the police towards the Kenya-Somalia border.

  34. Boris Hullin - Cartel Violence in Mexico

    The judicial battle against the high-ranked cartel members in custody progressed this week when distributor Manuel Fernandez-Navarro was sentenced to 27 years of prison by a Chicago District judge for smuggling narcotics in the U.S (Chicago Tribune). Fernandez-Navarro was tightly linked to notorious drug lord El Chapo of the Sinaloa cartel, for which he organized the transportation of tons of cocaine and heroin from South America into Mexico to be exported to the U.S. He served the same function for the Beltran-Leyva cartel. His activity reflects the Mexican Cartel’s abundance of resources, smuggling the drugs by private aircraft, container ships, fishing vessels, and even submarines.
    Fernandez-Navarro pleaded guilty last year to conspiring the distribution of narcotics, and his prison sentence is the longest so far in the indictments of 20 high-profile cartel members trialed in Chicago. The city and its area is particularly flawed by Mexican cartel operations. The U.S government arrested these criminals after the collaboration of former notorious cartel distributors, Pedro and Margarito Flores, with Federal authorities. The Flores brothers had gathered evidence of the offender’s criminal activities, among which were recorded phone calls with El Chapo himself. They are currently under witness protection, carrying out a 14-year federal sentence (Chicago Tribune).


  35. Juliette Debray - Boko Haram
    Currently, Nigeria is hosting the biggest refugee crisis in the world; according to the Guardian and the UNHCR, there are more people displaced in the town Monguno (North-east Nigeria, near Lake Chad) than have left for Europe this year (1). They are in a dire situation, due to the lack of media attention that prevents important funding for the UN (1). Even though Boko Haram’s forces have been greatly diminished by the African Union, IDPs have been unable to return to their homes, even though they were pronounced ”safe” by the government, due to Boko Haram’s presence in the surrounding areas (1). Not only that, but Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje fears the group intends to invade the North-Western part of Nigeria, mainly the important city of Kano (largest commercial city in the North) (2). I believe it would be interesting for the insurgents not only because of its commercial greatness, but also because of its international airport, railroad line, and recent major highways (3). President Buhari has been warned by Governor Ganduje and increased security and arrests have already been executed (4)


  36. Ito Choho - Burundi
    December 5th post:
    On the 28th of November, at 9:30 PM, there was an attempted assassination of Willy Nyamitwe, the top advisor to the president. (AFP, The East African) He was coming out of a meeting in Kajaga, a district in the western part of the capital, Bujumbura, and was faced with gunmen who threw grenades at him. Nyamitwe escaped with a few arm injuries, but the attack killed one of his bodyguards and injured the other. (Le Monde Afrique)
    Three police officers, Captain Celestin Iranyibutse and colonels Nestor Bahati and Jean-Baptiste Miruho, were arrested on the 1rst of December “for attempted assassination and an attack on the internal security of the state”(AFP). These men are former members of a Hutu rebel group, and are believed to be affiliated with “armed groups seeking to destabilise Burundi” (AFP).
    Burundi police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye reports claims that the suspects were affiliated with Rwanda. He said that “a soldier told us that people who are behind these targeted killings are based in Kigali,” which is the Rwandan capital. (Mugisha, The East African) The Rwandan army spokesman, Lt Col René Ngendahimana, challenges Burundi to provide evidence for these claims, as it is not the first time that the government accuses Rwanda of “recruiting, arming and training Burundian refugees-turned-rebels opposed to President Nkuruzinza’s government,” (Mugisha) with no actual proof that this is the case. This has caused borders between the two countries to be more secured and restrictive in terms of trade and population movements. (Mugisha)

  37. Rémi Masia-Depardieu, Destabilization of Mali
    The militant group Ansar Al-Dine claims responsibility for the destruction of a French tank in Northern mali, in the region of Timbuktu. In addition, a branch of Al-Qaeda, Al-Mourabitoun, led by Belmokhtar, attacked the minusma installation, next to the Gao airport, which also got damaged. Therefore, the Malian population, in the South as well as in the North is gradually losing faith in the French “Bukhane” mission started in 2013, and in the mission led by the UN Minusma. It seems like terrorist attacks are not rarer since, but more frequent. In addition the june 2015 peace treaty is signed, but put in place very slowly. There are major consequences to this long-lasting terrorist war: the city of Kidal was visited by the Malian minister of water and energy, Alhussein on december second. The government is encountering major complications to restore drinkable water and energy throughout the Northern region of the country.