FROM ROMANEAccording to the Iraqi news, a number of 300 austrians have left the country to join the terrorist group, and out of this important number, it was said by the according to interior ministry data published by Krone Zeitung newspaper, that 59 of them were women. It has also been reported that out of these women, 44 are believed to had been killed in battle while on a mission, ranging from suicide bombings and other battle duties. Some of them even went to to point of getting married to islamic terrorists. The other 16 women returned home. According to the Austrian interior ministry, there are, on the Austrian ground, 287 terrorists suspects, and 40% are believed to be asylum seekers that have arrived in the country recently. The European Union’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Gilles de Krechove reported that 2000-2500 europeans were fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He also declared that 50% are still in Iraq, 10%-15% have already been killed, and 30%-35% have returned home, posing a threat to the european safety. http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/austria-59-women-isis/
According to an article from Eurasia Review, the United Sates is taking advantage of the tension between Beijing and the Xinjiang region as it already has with the tension between China and Japan to "isolat the Middle kingdom and force it in a new state of insecurity".However China has isn't fooled and suspects the U.S. or other NATO countries like Turkey of taking advantage of the situation.China is also very careful in their policies towards the Muslim population ( 21 million ).http://www.eurasiareview.com/05122016-additional-considerations-regarding-the-uyghur-issue-analysis/I know this info isn't really news but i have been very sick this week and it is the best i could do.
Anna - War In YemenThe 6th of December, the Saudi-led coalition accidentally bombed a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital, killing 19 civilians, which forced it to pull out its forces from Northern Yemen (ABC news). The JIAT committee (formed by the coalition) confessed in an earlier report to another four accidents where Saudi warplanes unintentionally bombed two schools, a market and a factory, killing each time dozens of civilians. The JIAT either denied the coalition’s responsibility or stated the bombings had a military purpose, rendering its action justified (ABC news). A Saudi rocket and aerial attack, the 9th of December, killed seven civilians and injured eleven others in the northwestern province of Sada’a (Press TV). A day later, a suicide bombing in Aden was reported to have killed 45 soldiers, wounding 50 more (WSJ). A belt of explosives was detonated in Aden’s Solban army base, in the middle of a soldier’s gathering, there to collect their pay. ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing via the terrorist group’s website (WSJ). Additionally, the number of cholera cases has grown by more than 1200 cases in the past week, amounting now to 8975 cases and 89 fatalities (Outbreak News Today).ABC news: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/spokesman-coalition-accidentally-bombed-yemen-hospital-44016158Outbreak News Today : http://outbreaknewstoday.com/yemen-cholera-cases-rise-1200-week-77603/Press TV: http://presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/09/497160/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-war-Houthis-US-WSJ : http://www.wsj.com/articles/yemen-suicide-bombing-kills-dozens-of-soldiers-1481389871
Ito - BurundiThe OBR, Burundi’s tax authority, reported a 23% increase in tax revenues in November since last year (Obulutsa, Reuters). While 43.5 billion (26.9 million USD) francs were collected last year, and 49.9 billion (29.6 million USD) expected this year, a record 55.5 billion (33 million USD) were collected. Although no specific reasons were given by the OBR, Reuters explains that as some of the country’s major donors like the EU and Belgium have “suspended vital aid over accusations of gross human rights violations”, Burundi has had to rely more on domestic taxes. Because of the past years’ political instability, the IMF predicts a 0,5 economical decrease as well.After failing to bring about peaceful negotiations between opposing parties in July, former Tanzanian president and Burundi conflict mediator Benjamin Mkapa made another attempt at a press conference on December 9th (AFP, The East African). He urges both parties to put the January 2015 elections behind them and work on preparing “free, fair and credible elections” (AFP) in 2020. Tatien Sibomana, an opposing party leader, condemns this position as it seems to be recognizing Pierre Nkurunziza as the legitimate president despite his illegal election: “If he says with conviction that Pierre Nkurunziza is legitimate, he is not worthy of being the mediator.” (Ngendakumana, Bujumbura News)http://af.reuters.com/article/burundiNews/idAFL5N1E241Mhttps://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Burundi-peace-bid-stumbles-as-opposition-slams-mediator/2558-3481128-eqhii0/index.htmlhttp://www.bujumbura.be
Sophie Lemmerman - Kashmir With the disputed region of Kashmir being the “single most dangerous spot on the globe” (International Policy Digest), attention must be paid to the ongoing crisis between India and Pakistan. Besides, the possibility of a nuclear war erupting between the two countries is frighteningly real; “Pakistan’s current Defense Minister, Muhammad Asif, told Geo TV, ‘If anyone steps on our soil and if anyone’s designs are a threat to our security, we will not hesitate to use those [nuclear] weapons for our defense’ ” (ibid). However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria claims that at the Heart of Asia conference last week (December 4), ‘[India’s behavior] ruined the atmosphere and proved that [it] is attempting to divert attention away from Indian 'atrocities' in Kashmir’ ” (Times of India). This distracted people’s attention from the real purpose of the conference: ‘ “The conference was called for promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan but India's ‘negativity’ at the multilateral event exposed its claims of commitment to prospects of peace in Afghanistan” ’ (ibid), Zakaria said. Furthermore, he maintains that India’s primary foreign intelligence agency (Research and Analysis Wing, abbreviated RAW) has been using Afghan soil to launch terrorist attacks in Pakistan (ibid, Geo TV, The Nation). India seems to have formed an alliance with Afghanistan against Pakistan, and is blatantly refusing to discuss terrorism in Kashmir.International Policy Digest: https://intpolicydigest.org/2016/12/11/india-pakistan-thinking-unthinkable/Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-accuses-India-of-negativity-at-Heart-of-Asia-conference/articleshow/55879305.cmsGeo TV:https://www.geo.tv/latest/123038-India-using-Afghan-soil-to-spread-terrorism-in-Pakistan-FOThe Nation:http://nation.com.pk/national/09-Dec-2016/india-s-arms-buying-spree-threat-to-peace-fo
Emma Ghafari – Conflict in UkraineConflict has been incessant in Ukraine this week. On December 10, there were an astonishing 70 ceasefire violations in Donbas (liveuamap ): According to the Press Room Staff ATO, “Russian-occupation forces fired 70 times […] in all directions. Most of the attacks took place in [the direction of] Mariupol.” These attacks led to the death of three Ukrainian soldiers and the injury of two (UAtoday ). Russian forces at Donbas also attacked Ukrainian positions 41 times on December 9, before 6 pm (liveuamap ). Due to these ongoing attacks by Russian militants in Ukraine, European Union leaders have announced that economic sanctions against Russia will be extended for six months. These sanction will be put into place during a meeting on December 15 (UAtoday ). Moreover, on December 8, German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier denounced Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict, claiming that “Europe’s security is in danger” (UAtoday ) and that after the Cold War ended, “the question of war and peace would have settled forever in Europe” (UAtoday ). Yet, “the question returned” after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 (UAtoday ).Sources: Liveuamap. "70 Ceasefire Violations Yesterday at Donbas." Live UA Map - Ukraine. N.p., 11 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. .Press Room Staff ATO. "Facebook." Зведення прес-центру штабу АТО за минулу... - Прес-центр штабу АТО. N.p., 11 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. .  @uatodaytv. "A Total Aggravation at the Donbas Front." Uatoday.tv. N.p., 11 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. .  Liveuamap. "Russian Forces at Donbas Attacked Ukrainian Positions 41 times Today before 6pm." Live UA Map - Ukraine. N.p., 10 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. . Uatoday. "EU to Extend Sanctions on Russia in December." Uatoday.tv. N.p., 9 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. . @uatodaytv. "Steinmeier Declares European Security Threat, given Russia's Aggression." Uatoday.tv. N.p., 25 Nov. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. .  @uatodaytv. "Germany Demands Cooperation from Russia as "question of War and Peace" Is on Table." Uatoday.tv. N.p., 8 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. .
This comment has been removed by the author.
Domitille- Conflict in UkraineThis week, although there has been 31 attacks of Ukrainian positions by Russian forces in Luhansk on December 10th, there are two other regions in western Donbas where the tensions and fighting have been highly intensifying. First of all, near Donetsk, whereon December 10th there have been ceasefire violations, ongoing shelling, fourteen militants killed in action over the last three days and the water station again cut because of the damages of shelling. The other region that has been knowing more violent events than usually is around Mariupol: there were explosions, more ceasefire violations and attacks on Russian positions (liveuamap.com) Globally, “here have been 70 cease-fire violations overnight, according to Ukraine's ATO HQ report as of December 11” (uatoday.tv). Therefore, the many attempts at bringing peace, with ceasefires for example, have not yet known any success. On December 10th, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) declared it wanted to replace the surveillance drones that were used “to monitor to ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine” (uatoday.tv) . OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said about these losses that the “Russian-backed separatist forces were mainly responsible for”. (uatoday.tv) Furthermore, Russia and Ukraine almost reached a deal on gas. The EU was concerned since “Kyiev hasn’t bought Russian gas for a year now”. Even though the negotiations did not lead to an agreement, “the EU Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic described the negotiations as useful” (uatoday.tv). Therefore, communication between the countries does not seem to be well established, but efforts are being made.http://liveuamap.com/en/2016/10-december-russian-forces-at-donbas-attacked-ukrainian-positionshttp://uatoday.tv/crime/a-total-aggravation-at-the-donbas-front-844503.html : “A total aggravation at the Donbas front”http://uatoday.tv/techandscience/osce-to-replace-downed-drones-in-donbas-844203.html : “OSCE to replace downed drones in Donbas”http://uatoday.tv/politics/russia-and-ukraine-were-close-to-reaching-deal-on-gas-844163.html :”Russia and Ukraine were close to reaching deal on gas”
Ambre Perron - Civil War In South SudanDecember 8th, Kiir doubles his efforts to restore the economy and the oil production by ordering the “deployment of troops to oil fields” in Bentiu amongst other areas says Sudan Tribune. December 9th, Radio Tamazuj and Anadolu Ajansi report the holding of the 29th “Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly” in Addis Ababa. The presidents of Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia “agreed to operationalize the August peace agreement between the warring factions” said Maalim, Executive Secretary. Radio Tamazuj specified the expectations of the summit as an opportunity to “clarify the position of the government.” An average of 4,000 regional forces are expected to be sent to Juba. Meanwhile, Sudan Tribune addresses the recent claim of the capture of Yei made by Machar’s supporters. Lasu and Lobongo villages as well as Ombachi in Otogo Payam, killing civilians and capturing ammunitions. Radio Tamazuj spoke of Nuba refugees from Yida camp continue to be relocated to Pamir in the Ruweng State. Additionally, Radio Tamazuj makes a brief note of South Sudan’s Peace and Reconciliation Commision in Juba to “discuss the importance of peace and reconciliation among the people of South Sudan.”Salva Kiir continues to oppose the arm embargo while, as Times Live notes, the US is struggling to meet the number of votes necessary to impose the embargo. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article61059http://aa.com.tr/en/africa/african-bloc-to-not-impose-arms-embargo-on-south-sudan-/702995https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/president-kiir-leaves-addis-ababa-attend-igad-summithttp://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article61064http://www.timeslive.co.za/africa/2016/12/01/US-struggling-to-win-enough-votes-for-South-Sudan-arms-embargo1https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/relocation-nuba-refugees-pamir-camp-continueshttps://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/south-sudan-government-launch-peace-conference-juba
Marin Duroyon - Libyan Civil WarAccording to Aljazeera, Libya's UN-backed national “government” supposedly ousted Islamic State from the coastal city of Sirte, it was also supported by airstrikes from the Pentagon. The pro-GNA force declared to have full control of Sirte on the 6th of December. "The city is free of ISIL (same as IS, or ISIS) and we are tracking down some who fled, to finish them off," said Mufath al-Fadeel, the head of the pro-government 154th Brigade. However, according to the New York Times, even though IS was defeated in Sirte they are “most likely forming cells around the country.” The Islamic State has a couple hundred of fighters in different parts of Libya, furthermore, they have been recruiting foreign fighters, which is becoming dangerous. Fighting the terrorists is not a problem, but knowing where they are and how many militants is becoming problematic. In response, the United States have been working with military spotters and officials at Africa Command to find regroupements of ISIS.They also began flying UAVs across the country in the same thought.http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/libyan-troops-clearing-sirte-remaining-isil-fighters-161206130115366.html http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/us/politics/libya-isis-sirte.html?_r=0
Julie Clar - Boko Haram in NigeriaOn December 7th, Nigerian troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have advanced deeper in Sambisa Forest in order to completely eradicate Boko Haram (1). On December 9th, Governor Kash-im Shettima of Borno State announced that the Maiduguri-Magumeri-Gubio and Damasak roads will soon re-open. They had been closed since 2013 due to Boko Haram’s presence in the state (2). On the same day, the American House of Representatives passed a legislation to develop a five-year strategy in order to assist Nigeria’s government in its fight against Boko Haram. It will hopefully also find solutions to the humanitarian and educational crises that Boko Haram had created over the years (3). Finally, still on December 9th, two schoolgirl Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 57 people and injured 177 in a coordinated attack on a crowded vegetable market in Madagali, near the terrorist group’s main hideout, the Sambisa Forest (4)(5).(1) http://tribuneonlineng.com/troops-penetrate-sambisa-forest-manhunt-boko-haram-terrorists/(2) http://tribuneonlineng.com/boko-haram-nigerian-military-reopen-key-borno-roads-3-years-shettima/(3) http://guardian.ng/news/u-s-lawmakers-okay-five-year-action-against-boko-haram/(4) http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/double-explosion-rocks-nigeria-madagali-town-161209135340056.html(5) http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/toll-rises-57-suicide-bombings-northeast-nigeria-44105812
Rémi Masia-Depardieu, Destabilization of MaliThe 2015 peace treaty of Mali is not showing progress: nor the terrorist groups nor the central government is showing any determination to apply themselves to the treaty, and cease fire. Last week, the offices of the UN in Mali were attacked by a bombed truck in the region of Gao. On Tuesday, 93 imprisoned terrorists were freed by five islamists in the city of Niono, only about three hundred kilometers of Bamako. The UN peacekeeping mission Minusma started in 2013 is currently failing, as a hundred Un peacekeepers were lost their lives since 2013, and that the cost of the operation is evaluated at 1 billion dollars per year since the global peace treaty of 2015. The prisons in Mali are also in bad shape: during the attack, only three officers were guarding the complex, and they were all badly armed: a guard had a technical problem with his gun during the attack. Therefore, the fifty nine prisons in the country are easy targets for jihadists, who don’t hesitate to exploit the central state’s weaknesses.http://af.reuters.com/article/maliNews/idAFL8N1DN4GQ?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0http://www.journaldumali.com/2016/12/09/prisons-maliennes-grand-malaise-basse-securite/
Emilie Shagrin: refugee crisis in the EULatest date shows that Europe has only met 5% of its original target for the relocation of refugees from Italy and Greece. Out of the 160,000 people promised more than a year ago, only 8,162 were resettled.. (European Commission via The Guardian)Nadia Murad, an Isis survivor who escaped sexual enslavement with the Islamic State, spoke out recently about the subject of refugee admissions. She has said that admitting more migrants could save the lives of women from the Yazidi community. Germany leads in this allowance, and Britain following would be sure to help. (The Guardian)The European Commission spoke out this past Wednesday, saying it wants EU member states to begin transferring asylum seekers back to Greece starting next march under “Dublin rules.” Though this decision would perhaps allow a better division of refugees, Greece is unhappy given that it already has thousands of migrants who are unaccounted for. (EU observer via Global Conflict Tracker)Sources:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/08/eu-met-only-5-of-target-for-relocating-refugees-from-greece-and-italyhttps://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/dec/09/isis-survivor-says-uk-could-save-lives-yazidi-women-admitting-refugees-nadia-muradhttp://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/conflict/refugee-crisis-in-the-european-union
Israel & Palestine - DelphinePolitically:A Palestinian delegation has been sent to Washington. They ultimately hope to meet Trump but obtain a foreign “bilateral working committee to manage US relations” but on Monday they will discourage Obama of using the UN security council veto for an upcoming “resolution critical of settlement activity.” (1)There has been a preliminary vote in the Knesset: 60- 49 agreed on a bill that would stop the retreat of 4000 settlers on Palestinian land by “retroactively legalizing all illegal settler outposts in the occupied West Bank.” (4)Militarily:The Egyptian army has discovered and destroyed 20 underground tunnels between the Sinai peninsula and Gaza, that were used to smuggle goods and weapons into the strip. (2)The Israeli army has killed another teenager at a checkpoint near Nablus on the 7th of December. (3) They have also arrested two school children in Nablus for alledgedly throwing stones and “took them to an unknown destination” (5)1http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Palestinian-Authority-delegation-heads-to-US-hoping-to-meet-with-Trump-474987 2http://www.timesofisrael.com/egypt-destroys-20-tunnels-along-border-with-gaza/3https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israeli-forces-kill-another-palestinian-teen-checkpoint4http://news.antiwar.com/2016/12/05/israeli-parliament-backs-bill-to-legalize-settler-outposts/5https://english.palinfo.com/news/2016/12/6/IOF-soldiers-arrest-two-Palestinian-schoolchildren-in-Nablus
Tim d'Aboville--Syrian Civil WarThe government's plan to retake Aleppo is still proving to be a success; Russian military claims that 93% of the capital is controlled by the government troops (BBC NEWS). However, Assad's men were surprised when the self-proclaimed Islamic State attacked the ancient desert city of Palmyra to regain control of it (Reuters). Not only did this temporarily slow down the troops in Aleppo, but the fact that the government lost this city now gives ISIS land rich in oil. A report claims that ISIS attacked with 4,000 fighters and more than 50 Syrian men died (Aljazeera). Russia has bombed the city overnight making some 300 casualties (Aljazeera). Meanwhile, in Aleppo, civilians are still fleeing the city as it seems evident that all the rebel-controlled land will sooner or later be lost to Assad's men. The US and Russia are due to meet in Geneva to "discuss the possible evacuation of civilians" in Aleppo (BBC).http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38275905http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/isil-recaptures-palmyra-syrian-forces-161211133342925.htmlhttp://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-palmyra-idUSKBN13Z073http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38279421
Theodore FEVRE- Taliban in AfghanistanAccording to the Reuters and Foreign Affairs articles, Russian involvement with the Taliban risks to create friction in an already unstable situation. They state that in the recent months, Russian and Taliban officials have held meetings in Moscow and in Tajikistan. Furthermore, the Afghan intelligence claims that Russia supposedly finances the Taliban as well as provides them with military equipment, in order to fight their common enemies or inconveniences (ISIS, as well as foreign countries stationed in Afghanistan including the US). However, the actual degree of involvement of Russia with the Taliban is still unknown due to the constant denials of Russian officials on the subject of providing for the Taliban insurgents. Adding on, in AlJazeera's article posted on December 9th, the head of the US military Ashton Carter, stated that they would remain militarily present in Afghanistan. Stating that "The interests we are pursuing here are clear and enduring", and affirming that they will do what is necessary until Afghanistan is stable enough "to remain a long-term security partner for the US and the West". http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/military-chief-offers-assurances-afghan-leaders-161209152520656.htmlhttp://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-russia-idUSKBN13W2XJhttps://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/afghanistan/2016-01-31/russia-and-taliban-make-amends
Paul ISIS in Iraq,According to the New York Times, Iraqi forces have launched a fresh new assault towards Mosul center that could give some kind of additional motivation to the troops. They’ve also entirely changed tactic concerning their fighting as they’re “increasing the number of advancing forces and also attacking from multiple fronts to prevent Daesh from counter-attacking”(Al Jazeera). Campaign commander Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah even stated that his troops “had entered Salam Hospital (less than 1.5 km from the Tigris river running through the city center)”(NY times). ISIS tried to counter-attack by setting off car suicide bombers near the Hospital; in vain. However, as heavy fighting approaches the city ,Scientists and experts have predicted an imminent collapse of the dam(located 60km north of Mosul) due to constant shelling which would have dire consequences for both sides.Iraqi forces have answered to these warnings as very “far fetched” (Al Jazeera). They’ve even depicted the possible collapse of this damn as “worse than a nuclear bomb”, as if the dam were to collapse, it’ll put approximately seven million Iraqis in danger ( it could possibly cover up the land with 20m of water)(iben).Sources:http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/12/06/world/middleeast/06reuters-mideast-crisis-iraq.html?ref=world&_r=0http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/11/mosul-dam-collapse-worse-nuclear-bomb-161116082852394.html
Leah Sadoff- Al-ShabaabAccording to All Africa, last week in the town of Goofgaduud there was an overnight attack that the South West State army soldiers managed to stop. There are at least four of these soldiers that have been killed and many more have been injured. Before this attack “al-Shabaab said its fighters have overrun the military bases [...] and killed four soldiers” (All Africa). They managed to seize Goofgaduud for a little bit before the Somali federal government got control over it again. Today there was a suicide car bombing in the port of Mogadishu. CNN said that more than 20 people died and there are 15 critically injured people that might die as well. “An attacker rammed a vehicle filled with explosives” (CNN). At this point no one knows if it is really al-Shabaab’s doing but they have claimed that they have, and they also claim killing 30 police officers.http://allafrica.com/stories/201612090113.htmlhttp://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/11/africa/somalia-car-bomb/index.html
Marine Tallon - South China Sea On Friday Decembre 9th, the US found out the Xian H-6 bomber flew along the disputed 'nine-dash line' around the South China Sea on Thursday, passing over a number of disputed islands. The officials said it was designed to send a message to Mr. Trump. The H-6 is the Chinese version of the Russian Tupolev Tu-16 jet bomber and has been used by China to drop nuclear devices in tests. According to the Independant, China has flown a nuclear-capable bomber outside its borders in a show of force for the first time since US President’s phone call with the president of Taiwan. According to Mail Daily, the United States believes this action proves an increase of agressive measurements taken by China in the South China Sea. American officials are concerned that China might be making preparations to station advanced surface-to-air missiles on some of these islands. Trump said on Thursday the United States needed to improve its relationship with China, and told a rally in Iowa "One of the most important relationships we must improve, and we have to improve, is our relationship with China". http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4020646/China-sends-message-Trump-flying-nuclear-capable-bomber-South-China-Sea-time-Donald-s-controversial-phone-call-Taiwan-s-leader.htmlhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-bomber-flight-send-message-donald-trump-taiwan-a7468021.html
Lucca Stagno Al Shabaab in Somalia Article: https://www.rt.com/news/369919-somalia-port-bombing-shabaab/http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38279745According to RT (Russia Today) today's deadly suicide bomb car attack in Somali Capital Mogadishu was organized by Al Shabaab. The Russian news outlet claims Al Shabaab military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab stated that the deadly explosion "killed 30 security forces and injured 50" adding that policemen were targeted because "they had been trained to provide security at the so-called elections" that are about to occur in Somalia. RT only counts 29 deaths and dozens more injured, although the British news outlet BBC defers from the latter in some points: BBC claim that no such statement has been made as "no group has said it carried out the attack" but acknowledge that Al Shabaab are most likely behind the terrorist act given their previous suicide car bomb attacks in the Somali capital throughout the last year. Suicide car bombs have become a sort of 'trademark' attack of the Islamic radical group. Additionally, BBC's fatality count is at "at least" 16 with 48 wounded following the statement of the head Mogadishu's Amin ambulance service, Abdikadir Abdirahman Adem, although they mention that they expect the death toll "to rise further."
Kelcie Bons, North Korea Crisis 09/12/16Elizabeth Shim, in her article called “South on alert for North Korea provocations after impeachment decision”, reports a consequence of the possible impeachment of South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye on the North Korea, South Korea frozen conflict. South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye, was voted to be impeached by the national assembly 234 to 56. Until the court has ruled her innocent or guilty which would mean a new president would be elected, the prime minister, named Hwang kyo-ahn will be the temporary president. The minister of defense expects there to be provocative actions coming from North Korea due to the instability and turmoil in South Korea. He has therefore, according to this article, given out the order to the army “to strengthen surveillance and alertness” at the border between both countries called the 38th parallel. The surveillance at the border was reinforced by deploying a US U-2 high speed reconnaissance aircraft, a surveillance and target attack radar system(JSTARS) and an unmanned surveillance craft (unmanned surveillance craft). (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/12/09/South-Korea-on-alert-for-North-Korea-provocations-after-impeachment-decision/3051481294055/)According to a report by CBS news called “Official warns N. Korea could launch nuke, but not likely control it”, an official from the US military apparently said that “North Korea has now the capability to launch a nuclear weapon”. This official was not named because he wanted anonymity. He then precised that they could place a nuclear warhead on a missile, but that difficulties made that North Korea could not strike with it. These include that on one hand they didn’t have a weapon that could hit the target they wanted it to hit and also that their current weapon would burn up when it went through the atmosphere.(http://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-korea-can-launch-nuclear-warhead-missile-us-military-official-warns/)
Juliette Debray - Boko HaramFriday, two young suicide bombers detonated in two different markets in the town of Madagali. These attacks resulted in the death of approximately 60 people and injured over a hundred more (1). President Buhari called this latest attack “obviously an act of desperation” by the group Boko Haram (2).Although it was previously stated that the multi-national military task force effectively dwindled Boko Haram to a non threatening, weak, and even “desperate for attention” group, information about important military losses has recently surfaced (3). Major military leaders have perished at the hands of Boko Haram this year, previously denied claims of attacks resulting in important human and material losses have either been confirmed by the military (3) or been brought to life by witness accounts (4). The violence perpetuated by the army has also been brought more attention, in order to eradicate Boko Haram, troops have shown little indulgence to villagers; from tearing their households apart (5) to burning villages (4). Therefore I am at slight unease when Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai tells his troops to enter “all fortresses, camps, dens and enclaves of the Boko Haram to completely flush them out and dominate these areas to ensure they are not reoccupied” (7). Recently however, the African Union has shown great success in the clearance of Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest (6) and the liberation of 801 abductees counting from late November until now (8). (1)https://www.today.ng/news/nigeria/229837/death-toll-adamawa-market-suicide-attacks-rises-60(2)http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/buhari-says-madagali-blasts-is-desperate-last-act-of-boko-haram/175278.html(3)http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/tongues-wag-over-increasing-boko-haram-ambush-military-casualties/175344.html(4)https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/jul/14/nigeria-on-the-brink-of-famine-children-are-dying-from-starvation-video(5)http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/my-boko-haram-experience/174433.html(6)http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/troops-clear-more-b-haram-camps-in-sambisa/175055.html(7)http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/217086-must-defeat-boko-haram-december-stuck-buratai-tells-nigerian-soldiers.html(8)http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/army-rescues-801-persons-in-borno-from-boko-haram/174952.html
Boris Hullin - Cartel Violence in MexicoThe heir to the Beltran-Leyva cartel was arrested this week, according to Mexican newspaper El Universal. 24 year-old Alfredo Beltran Guzman, also known as “el Mochomito”, is the son of former Beltran-Leyva faction boss Alfredo “el Mochomo” Beltran Leyva, and the nephew of the notorious Joaquin “el Chapo” Guzman.He was located and arrested in the streets of Zaponan, in the state of Jalisco. Federal forces that had been investigating on him, suspected of playing a role in turf wars in the region as well as being involved in the kidnapping on Joaquin Guzman’s sons last August. He was apprehended “without firing a single shot”, according Army and Navy personnel involved.“El Mochomito” was presumed to be one of the main agitators in the wave of uprising violence in gang wars following the arrest of Sinaloa Cartel boss “el Chapo”. The Beltran-Leyva organization, its main rival, is particularly is taking advantage of his custody to attack the destabilized cartel and attempt to take control of its territory. “El Mochomito is thought to have taken part on the attack on “el Chapo”’s mother’s house last June.Sources: http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/nacion/seguridad/2016/12/10/cae-alfredo-beltran-el-mochomito-sin-un-disparohttp://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/06/el-mochomito-nephew-of-el-chapo-author.html
Olivine Silier Kashmir Conflict12/12 “Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for either independence or a merger with Pakistan. Since then, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and ensuing Indian military crackdown”http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/deaths-kashmir-gun-battle-trigger-anti-india-protest-161209150006210.htmlChina, the world’s third arms supplier, gives more weapons to Pakistan than to any other country according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. US congress declared that China’s goal is to contain rival nation, India’s economic and military influence. China has increasingly been providing military and economic support to Pakistan in their claim on the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir that is home to a majority of Muslims.http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/12/08/u-s-govt-china-exploiting-kashmir-tension-contain-rival-india/
Billy McGovern: Israeli Palestine ConflictSome events of the last week Israeli parliament advances bill for “retroactive legalization” on the West Bank. The settlements are one of the core current disputes of the conflict and the initial approval of the law by the Israeli legislators on Monday has been condemned by many.(1) In the words of Reuters Ori Lewis, “Israeli critics and Palestinians have called it a land grab that would further distance prospects for a two-state solution that would end the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”(2)The Syrian army and Pro-Hezbollah media accuse Israel of carrying out air strikes in Mezzeh airport in Syrian capital Damascus. These sources claim that Israel was aiming to take out a fleet of Hezbollah cars, killing members and a “prominent military leader.”(3) A propos hezbollah, Israeli military releases calculated map of Hezbollah military infrastructure in Southern Lebanon, as a sign of warning and of planned military activity in the near future. (4)Israeli police arrest 2 Palestinian children, under suspicion for planning a “terrorist attack” in Jerusalem. Not only is child incarceration a problem ( Israel strates that they are “terrorists”), the Ma’an news agency reported that 406 out of 7000 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons are minors and that 106 of these minors are under 16 years old. This is the case for one of the children sentenced to a year of prison, only 12.(5) (1)http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-settlements-idUSKBN13U2OP(2)http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/world/middleeast/bill-to-legalize-west-bank-settlements-advances-in-israel.html(3)http://english.aawsat.com/2016/12/article55363540/israel-bombs-mezzeh-airport-second-time-week(4) http://www.israeldefense.com/en/node/27815(5) http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=771127
Marc de Laportalière - Tensions in the East China SeaEven though Japan has lodged 32 complaints for the 31 days of Chinese incursions in the waters that they claim are theirs, both countries are trying to get a working relationship. These attempts still have to make an impact, as Premier Li Keqiang said that while bilateral relations had seen improvement, the foundation of the relationship was not solid yet. (SCMP) An example of these not-yet improved relations is the Japanese plan to install land-to-sea missiles to protect the Islands from China in the case of escalation of the tension between the two countries. (Japan Times). These tensions are not improved by the recurrent incursions near Japanese air-space by Chinese military planes. This has made the Japanese Defense Ministry release a white paper calling the Chinese activity “high-handed” and trying to alter the status quo by force.( Japan Times) In response, China accuses Japan of using the situation to “cook” excuses to adjust its military policies, after 2015’s legislation that loosened post WWII constraints on the Japan Military (Taiwan news). http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/14/national/chinese-fighter-jet-came-within-50-km-of-disputed-senkakus-source-says/#.WE2UzPkrLIUhttp://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2043492/japan-protests-chinese-ships-sail-near-disputed-diaoyuhttp://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/2961662
This Saturday, two explosions rocked the Turkish city of Istanbul, near Taksim Square, one of the most bustling areas in the city. 38 people were killed (mostly police officers) and 155 wounded, according to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu statement during a press conference on Sunday, says CNN. The explosions, a large blast followed by a smaller one, occurred around 11 pm local time, after a crowded football game at Besiktas Vodafone Arena. According to the Washington Post, the attack was claimed by an offshoot of the PKK, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a group that seeks autonomy for ethnic Kurds living in Turkey, and, unlike the PKK, peaceful resolution is not even considered by them. The group maintains that the Turkish people were not the target of their attack, urging Turkish citizens to abandon support for their government, calling it “fascism”. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/10/europe/istanbul-explosions/https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/turkey-mourns-as-death-toll-from-istanbul-bombings-reaches-38/2016/12/11/764a199e-bf8f-11e6-b527-949c5893595e_story.html?utm_term=.b68054c1200f
War in Yemen- EliseAccording to the Gulf News, Yemeni government forces and Saudi coalition managed to regain control of a border between northern Saada and Saudi Arabia this Tuesday. They expelled the Houthi forces from the area and made their way further into the territory, all the way to Mandaba. This has majorly negative impact on Houthi power and control in the area. On the same day, Houthis fired three missiles at Marib government and coalition military base. (1)At the 37th Manama summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council , King Salman drew attention to the Yemeni conflict. He expressed approval for “national dialogue, and the UN Security Council resolution”. (2) So, he condones whatever means by which the legitimate government chooses to “achieve security and stability” (2) in the country. There were once again a mass protests in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital. The war has now lasted 19 months and over 10 000 civilians have been killed. The Yemeni population rallied on tuesday to manifest their demand for an end to the conflict. (3) On friday, a landmine Saudi-Yemeni border explosion killed a Saudi border guard. Saudi Arabia claims that dozens of Saudi soldiers and civilians have died since the beginning of the conflict a year and a half ago. (4) Yesterday, ISIS has only now claimed responsibility for an August suicide bombing. (5) The military base in Aden was attacked, and there were over 50 deaths. (6)http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/yemen/yemen-government-forces-recapture-border-crossing-in-al-houthi-heartland-1.1911464 (1)http://www.sahilonline.net/en/stop-bloodshed-in-syria-king-salman (2)http://yemen.liveuamap.com/en/2016/6-december-massive-protests-in-yemen-capital-calling-for (3)http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-idUSKBN13Y13J (4)http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2016/10-december-isis-claims-responsibility-for-suicide-bombing (5)http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/isis-suicide-bombing-yemen-kills-71/ (6)
Pierre-Malo Vienney -- Violence in DRCWednesday, December 7, 41 South Sudanese soldiers fleeing a rebel attack across the border were caught by Congolese soldiers. This event increases the concerns about spill-over effects from South Sudan into DR Congo. Because of the conflicts between the forces loyal to President Slva Kiir and rebel groups, more than 57 000 South Sudanese refugees came to DR Congo this year. The increasing number of South Sudanese refugees pouring in DR Congo is a sensitive theme because of the number of Hutu militiamen triggering conflicts in the country. Therefore, last month, the UN warned the risk of genocide because of the increasingly ethnic nature of the violence. (Reuters)Thursday, December 8, militiamen from the Maheshe group attacked the FARDC positions in Mulamba in South Kivu. The group has kidnapped a school director and his son. During the assault, the militiamen tried to attack Kanungo, Kashebeyi, Kangombo, Misheke and Nyampego: all situated in Walungu. The small communities left the villages when they were alerted that militiamen were grouping up in the region. (Radio Okapi)Reuters. "South Sudan Soldiers Detained in DR Congo." Defence Web. Defence Web, 7 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. ."Sud Kivu : La Milice Raïa Mutomboki Enlève Un Directeur D’école Et Son Fils à Walungu." Radio Okapi. Radio Okapi, 8 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016. .
Chloé Erny, EU migration crisis On the 2nd of December, the European Commission's Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography (KCMD) introduced two new tools, the Migration Data Catalogue and the Dynamic Data Hub. The Commission want these informative tools on migration statistics to help EU policymakers upon making informed decisions, but they are also available to the public at large. On Wednesday 8th, the European Commission stated it wanted member countries transferring migrants to Greece, starting in March 2017. From then, all new arrivals will be redirected to Greece. The Commission made this decision deeming that recent improvement in Greek camps conditions made Greece “fully functional” to receive returns, despite the fact that the European Court of Justice and others consider Greece hasn’t yet fulfilled conditions to resume transfer (EU Observer). However according to immigration officials, 13,000 migrants out of 63,000 registered in Greek camps are unaccounted for, as of December 7. Despite the EU’s efforts to keep migrants within Greek borders, all or a part of these migrants gone missing may have managed to move on north into Europe (Nektaria Stamouli). In France, following the dismantling of the Calais Jungle, preparation has started in view of transferring up to 200 unaccompanied minors to Ireland. Minister for Justice Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said they will be voluntary, mostly young men between 16 and 18, from Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea: the goal is to integrate them and get them back to education (reported by Suzanne Lynch). European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/eu-migration-data-glanceNikolaj Nielsen: https://euobserver.com/migration/136201Nektaria Stamouli: http://www.wsj.com/articles/migrants-in-greece-drop-off-grid-1481106606Suzanne Lynch: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/process-of-bringing-200-child-migrants-from-france-begins-1.2899861
The DPRK is known to not have many allies. However, some communist countries such as Russia, China and Cuba have proven to support the rise in power of this authoritarian country. According to Samuel Ramani’s article in the Diplomat, North Korea and Cuba have built together “a cold war-born ideological alliance” (Ramani, Samuel. "The North Korea-Cuba Connection." The Diplomat. The Diplomat, 07 June 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.). Both countries went through rough periods of colonisation and were severely impacted by imperialism. Therefore, North Korea and Cuba are close allies. Recently, Choe Ryong-hae (the vice chairman of the ruling party’s central committee), met in Havana with Cuba’s new leader on Saturday : Raul Castro for the morning of Fidel Castro. Moreover, Kim Jong-un declared three days of mourning in North Korea. This shows how both countries have woven a tight alliance and plan to remain allies and fight against imperialism. "N. Korea, Cuba Vow to Expand Friendly Ties." Koreatimes. North Korea Times, 05 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.Batchelor, Tom. "Farewell Comrade: North Korean Despot Kim Jong-un Visits Cuban Embassy after Castro Death." Express.co.uk. N.p., 29 Nov. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.
Cassiopeia LibyaOn the 7th fighting also using air strikes and the capturing of commanders (Reuters 2) started near the Libyan Oil Crescent both on the east and west and a line of Benghazi brigade combatants attacked Ben Jawad and wanted to attack Sidra but were fought off by the locals, this area is currently since September under Haftar’s control(1). Le Monde also affirmed that IS’s control over Sirte finally ended Tuesday thanks to militias from Misrata( Reuters) but Monday 95% of the fight was done, only a few buildings remained under IS control(2). This is after more than six months fighting (2) and more than 4,000 dead ( Libya Herald ). One can also note that Sarraj’s main problem is his lack of an army according to Le Monde and that since the UN-backed government’s existence in Tripoli, fighting in Tripoli just to assert who has more power and fighting "infused with ideological and political disputes"(Reuters) has escalated although after a peak on the 1st and 2nd with tanks, trucks and heavy machine gun, an eerie calm reigns(2). Reuters explains that celebrations aren’t as prominent seeing as fear of jihadist counter attacks and renewed war are present. Merely hours after having acquired control of Sirte, fighters appeared from the desert to the south of the city heading toward the Oil Crescent and IS fighters have found refuge in cells in the hinterlands,in the desert south of Sirte, and on the western coast well(Reuters) . The two year long fighting in Benghazi opposing islamist-led groups or "terrorists" ( Lybia Herald) and the LNA continues(Reuters).The LNA has regained control over Ben Jawad (although briefly), Nufliya( Herald) against eastern forces(Reuters 2). The barely formed UN government is at loss as turmoil, human trafficking, and an economic meltdown reign (Reuters).
Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-idUSKBN13X255Reuters 2: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-oil-idUSKBN13W1PMLibya Herald: https://www.libyaherald.com/category/libya/1: http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2016/12/07/en-libye-des-combats-a-proximite-du-croissant-petrolier_5045133_3212.html#OFltdcRHLHMwYBuK.992 : http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2016/12/06/a-syrte-la-libye-chasse-l-ei-de-son-fief_5044138_3212.html#gzLtqWcT0yJmk94W.993 : http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2016/12/05/a-tripoli-le-retour-des-combats-entre-milices_5043361_3212.html#E5Rua2SFVx2d5Jtg.99
Juliette Scholler - Taliban in AfghanistanThe Taliban have recently been acting towards defending itself, mostly against traitors. On December 10th, they shot 4 civilians from a Taliban-occupied area, claiming that they were working for the western-backed government (India Live Today). Earlier this week, a university student from Kabul was publicly hanged after being accused of killing a high ranked officer (International Business Times). Both the Taliban and the Government have opened an investigation, for the accusation and execution was not backed by thorough research, and happened before any proof was given (International Business Times).These attacks both follow a recent trend from the Taliban heads to defend and protect their group. A few weeks before, they have organized a peace talk with the government, and claimed to protect Afghan governmental projects, possibly to maintain the power they currently have. It is also possible that the latest events were the Taliban’s attempt “to destroy and destabilize Afghanistan” (Afghan News)http://www.ibtimes.com/terrorism-afghanistan-2016-taliban-death-hanging-marks-latest-act-violence-government-2455029http://www.indialivetoday.com/taliban-shoots-four-civilians-in-afghanistan/74092.htmlhttp://afghannews.com.af/2016/12/10/the-talibans-pledge-to-protect-national-projects-is-a-fallacy/
Matteo Valderrama- DRC violenceOn December 3rd through the 4th, 31 men were killed, 13 Congolese soldiers and 18 militiamen.(aa) This clash, which took place in Tshikapa, is one of the first in a while in the central region of DRC which had stayed relatively peaceful over the past years.(aljazeera) This causes some concern for the UN who has been very active in stopping the tensions in DRC yet it continues to escalate. (aa) Apparently the objective of the militiamen was to seize local government buildings as well as the airport. However, the deputy governor of the Kasai region of which Tshikapa is the capital, said that the situation was under control and “public order has been restored.”(aljazeera)In other news, Kabila’s exiled opponent, Moise Katumbi who lost in the previous elections to Kabila and retreated to America to undergo medical treatment after having been sentenced to three years in prison, has vowed to return to DRC if Kabila does not give up power. He has stated that he will be on the side of the people and has shown, through a recent poll, to be the most popular politician in DRC.(FT)https://www.ft.com/content/867b40d0-bb80-11e6-8b45-b8b81dd5d080http://aa.com.tr/en/africa/un-concerned-about-escalating-drc-violence/700863http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/dead-dr-congo-clashes-161205133547745.html
Tensions in the South China Sea - Mika DesblancsChina announced on Monday its discontent with Mr. Trump's diplomatic relations blunder when he accepted a call from Taiwan after his elecion and after he started a row on Twitter a day after. The said they were concerned the President elect would jeoparize a four decade-long agreement between Beijing and Washington. Trump stated in an interview with Fox News, “I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘One China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.”China's answer was to announce growth in China-US relations and trade dependend heavily on the US's acceptance of the "One China" policy.Later in the interview he criticised heavily Chinese border taxes aswell as the builing "a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea". (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/12/donald-trump-questions-us-commitment-to-one-china-policy)Fresh sattelite images have revealed Vietnam starting dredging work on a reef in the South China Sea. The reef in question is called the Ladd Reef and is part of the contested regions in the South China Sea. This indicates Vietnam is moving beyind the "status quo" and, although they have'nt been doing nearly as much work as their Chinese counterpart, this could be the start of a series of offences to occupy islands in the Spratlys to defend their claims.(http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2053227/vietnam-moving-beyond-status-quo-dredging-disputed-reef)