Friday, January 6, 2017

Phase 2, last week!

This is it, folks; last weekly update for your croquis.
Aside from the regular rules, also think about what can be translated to the croquis; if you can't think of a good way to do it, maybe you don't need to report on it.

It's also the last shot you will get at finding two reliable sources for the next phase. You might start your research this week by looking for familiar sources, rather than looking for any news.

Good luck!


  1. Israel and Palestine - Delphine Chiffaudel

    Despite the recently passed UN resolution about West Bank settlements aiming for peace, violence wages on in Israel:
    Israeli forces have destroyed 15 structures (including houses and schools) in a bedouin village. Bayt Furik in northeastern West Bank has been demolished by Israeli authorities 4 times in 2016. These houses are illegal in the eyes of Israel because it declared this zone as a military zone. Therefore the bedouins are interfering with military training. (1)
    A stabbing occurred in Ashdod. An Israeli injured a Palestinian bedouin on Thursday morning. The victim is in hospital. What apparently triggered the attack was the Israeli hearing the Palestinian speak arabic. (2)
    Israeli forces raided southern Beit Unmar on Thursday, where Palestinians lived across from jewish settlers. They used tear gas and detained a 14-year-old Palestinian boy “taking him in a military vehicle to an unknown location.” (3)
    Israeli forces raided the West Bank overnight (January 3rd) and arrested 34 Palestinians in Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Jenin, and Hebron. The Israelis suspect some as Hamas activists, others as terrorists or potential ones. (4)


  2. Sophie Lemmerman - Kashmir conflict

    The following remarks were made by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his address to the inaugural session of a two-day international parliamentary seminar on Kashmir in Islamabad (Times of India): he once again glorified Burhan Muzaffar Wani (Times of India), the jihadi terrorist leader of Hizbul Mujahideen (militant separatist movement in Kashmir supported by Pakistan) who was killed by Indian security forces in July (cf. blog entry #1 of Phase 2). Sharif referred to Wani as a “vibrant and charismatic leader” (The Hindu). Furthermore, he claimed Pakistan’s territorial right over Kashmir (Times of India) and called the disputed region an “integral part of Pakistan’s identity” (Pakistan Today). Radio Pakistan quoted the prime minister saying: “Our hearts beat and sink with our Kashmiri brethren” (The Hindu). As Pakistan continues to fight for control over Kashmir, Sharif is paradoxically pushing for the freedom of Kashmiri people. He says the world needs to tell India that “enough is enough” (The Hindu, Pakistan Today), and emphasizes that the sufferings of the Kashmiri people must now come to an end (The Hindu). However, the Prime Minister himself had said in the United Nations General Assembly last September that “peace and normalisation between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute. This is an objective evaluation, not a partisan position” (Pakistan Today). Therefore, India and Pakistan must first cease all conflict amongst themselves in order to achieve peace in Kashmir. “Mr. Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said both Kashmir and Palestine were the two longest unresolved items on the UNSC agenda” (The Hindu). Conflict in the region has been ongoing since long before the partition of the British Indian Empire: “In 1931, several Kashmiris were hanged for raising their voice for freedom of Kashmir” (Pakistan Today).

    (I'm aware that this blog entry is on the longer side... My goal was to target a few reliable sources that I can use in Phase 3 and illustrate the tension between India and Pakistan in more depth to conclude Phase 2.)

    Times of India
    The Hindu‘an-integral-part’-of-Pakistan-says-Sharif/article16993039.ece
    Pakistan Today

  3. Kelcie Bons (07/01/17)
    North Korea crisis

    An article of the New York Times written by Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger recalls the events of Sunday the first of January, and of the two days following. On the New Years Kim Jong Un announced that they would soon test an intercontinental ballistic missile that was its "final stage in preparations". Allegedly, this missile could reach Guam (an island that about as far as the Philippines from North Korea, closer than the US) and the West Coast of the US. The article informs that "some analysts have predicted" that it will be launched maybe in the next month thinking North Korea will take advantage of the leadership changes both in America and in South Korea. The next day, Donald Trump posted a response on Twitter: "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!" ( An article in the Watertown Daily Times proposes different explanations of what he meant when he said "It won't happen!": he thinks North Korea is lying and can't put a nuclear warhead on a working long range missile, that China(the country with the most leverage on North Korea) will end up taking big actions to stop North Korea, that more economic sanctions decided by the UN Security Council will stop them, that the US plans to shoot down any missile launched by North Korea or that he is thinking of persuading "Kim to stand down in a diplomatic tour de force" because he has said before he would talk to him.(
    The New York Times article went on to say that a second Twitter message was posted directed this time at China passive aggressively accusing it of not doing enough to stop North Korea. It is true China has been reluctant to hurt North Korea too much out of fear of the collapse of the North's regime. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs answered to this on Tuesday at a news briefing in a suggestion directed at Trump "We hope that all sides avoid using words and actions that lead to escalating tensions" and in an assurance that China "has made tremendous efforts to promote a peaceful and effective solution to the North Korean nuclear issue". (

  4. Domitille- Conflict in Ukraine

    This week, the violence has been more targeted around certain places; shelling near Mariupol, attacks on Russian positions and ceasefire violations near Myroniskyi. It has been intensifying near Talkivka with shellings, active militants, and the use of heavy weapons. (liveuamap) Unian Information Agency also reports instances of violence, with militants attacking Ukraine 32 times on January 5th and many more. The conflict has not been getting any better, with diplomatic agreements never leading to anything and violence continuing. In fact in 2016, “211 servicement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were killed”, declared president Petro Poroshenko. (

    Furthermore, there is no promise of the conflict gettin any better. Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, has said on January 6th that the Armed Forces of Ukraine might be launching an offensive in different parts of Donbas. ( Ukraine also rejected a peace proposal by Pinchuk, who has business interests in Russia. He said that Ukraine should “quit the idea of joining NATO and the European Union, and accept wide political autonomy of Donetsk and Luhansk, while at the same time also stop demanding an immediate return of Crimea”, (ukrainian journal) which Kostyantyn Yelisieiev, deputy chief of staff, immediatley refused, saying it would be a “surrender of independance”. (ukrainian journal)

  5. Romane Centis- ISIS in Iraq

    An overnight operation was held by the Iraqi forces according to the news source Asharq Al-Awsat, translated in english. The Iraqi military took the lead in the first overnight attack against ISIS militants in the east of Mosul. It was said that the operation was quick, that the Iraqi forces progressed overnight, kicking ISIS troops out of this part of the city. 19 US airstrikes occurred at the same time in order to help gain back the piece of land. According to the Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, two thirds of Nineveh were liberated from the ISIS forces that night. “The Iraqi Army has gained high combat experience from the war against terrorism…Our Iraqi forces will cut the head of the snake and clear off Mosul in a short time,” he added. Villages in the hands of ISIS were also liberated in the Anbar province. An ISIS assault was also stopped in a district 160 km north of Baghdad called Al-Daur. All these operation led to the death of a total of 8 soldiers and 12 injuries, while 6 ISIS terrorists were killed. To finish, Iraqi forces entered the land from the north for the first time.

    According to Iraqi news, medicinale donations from the French arrived on friday, in order to address “humanitarian situation resulting from battles against Islamic State in Mosul”. The medical aid was offered by Francois Hollande during his last visit on January 2, including emergency medicines and supplies counting trauma and pain management. “This donation will certainly boost the emergency response by WHO, national wealth authorities and partners to meet increasing needs for trauma and pain management services,” said Mr. Altaf Musani, WHO representative in Iraq. An estimation of 40 000 people require very needed and urgent hospitalization as the conflict continues in Mosul. Approximately 160 000 were forced to flee their homes because of the conflict, going into refugee camps.

  6. Pierre-Malo Vienney -- Conflicts in DRC

    Last month, torrential rains caused the Kalamu River to overflow, letting the water be two meters over the average level. The flood, that hit the south of DRC and especially Boma, made at least 10 000 people homeless, killed dozens of people and destroyed entire villages. The government slow response to the disaster made the tensions rise. Emergency services, poorly equipped to deal with natural disasters, were accused of incapable of helping the endangered citizens. Because of the low salaries, $1.25 a day, many residents will not be able to recover without governmental help. (Al Jazeera)
    On Thursday, January 5, 15 persons were killed in an attack between the Twas and the Lubas in the South-East province of Tanganyika. Journalists talk about 37 wounded people and 65 burned houses. The Twas try to defend their own civil rights, and especially the right to be equally treated to the other Congolese citizens, but their claims are frequently rejected by the Lubas who maintain them as an inferior community. (Africanews)

    Al Jazeera. "DR Congo Floods Leave 10,000 Homeless." Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, 04 Jan. 2017. Web. 07 Jan. 2017. .
    AFP. "RDC : Au Moins 15 Morts Dans Des Affrontements Intercommunautaires Dans Le Sud-est." Africanews. Africanews, 06 Jan. 2017. Web. 07 Jan. 2017. .

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  7. Ito - Burundi
    The country is still in shock of last week’s assassination, leaving many questions unanswered as to the situation’s evolution in the new year. Emmanuel Niyonkuru was the first minister in office assassinated under Nkurunziza’s regime, and a Tutsi. It is unclear whether the motives of this assassination are political or racial, and what consequences this will have on a country that many claim is on the verge of genocide (AT editor, Africa Times).
    Meanwhile, relations with Rwanda seem to be tense as ever: recent updates show a continued reticence from Nkurunziza to talk with Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president. Burundi’s president says that “peace talks can only proceed if all countries hosting opposition members fighting the government, including Rwanda, ask them to leave” (TheEastAfrican Team, The East African). He also maintains accusations at Rwanda for allegedly making alliances with opposers of his government.

  8. Julie Clar - Boko Haram in Nigeria

    On January 3rd, Nigerian soldiers avoided an attack by Boko Haram terrorists on Dar village in the Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa (2). The Chairman of the Madagali Local Government, Alhaji Yusuf Mohammed, said that the soldiers remain on full alert and encourages more support to secure the area (2). Following this incident, the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari warned Nigerians about more violent attacks from Boko Haram (1) even though he had declared on December 24th that the islamist group had been eradicated (5). There is indeed a possibility that the terrorists who fled from the Sambisa Forest spread to other parts of the country (3). However, the President assured that the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, and his followers will soon be eliminated (1). On January 5th, 20 members of Boko Haram surrendered to the authorities at Diffa, in southeastern Niger. A total of 50 Boko Haram insurgents have now given themselves up (4). Although Boko Haram’s last hideout “Camp Zairo” in the Sambisa Forest has been destroyed, the group continues to be present throughout Nigeria and its neighboring countries.


  9. Tim d'Aboville--Civil War in Syria

    The cease fire that had started the year of 2017 didn’t last long. On January 7th, the city of Azaz that had already suffered a car bomb attack killing 20 in October 2016 (Al Jazeera), saw at least 40 civilian casualties perish in another one without counting the numerous injured (BBC News). The attack has not yet been revoked by anyone however, in October the Islamic State had been the attacker and everyone is pointing their fingers to them once again (Al Jazeera). The rebel held city is in the very north of the country, near the Turkish border, and many civilians that had fled Aleppo after the government retook the entire city last year, had been sent there. It would seem obvious that ISIS would be targeting this city as it had been in their possession until 2013, and in a similar manner than when they retook Palmyra from the Syrian government in December 2016, they could be trying to retake control of Azaz. The end of this war, that has made over 310,000 casualties, still seems far away, and the number of deaths is still growing (Al Jazeera).

  10. Juliette Scholler -- Taliban in Afghanistan

    On January 2nd the Taliban has made advances into the Faryab province, the fight lasting for over three days (Relief Web). Around 18000 families have been displaced due to the fighting, and Relief Web predicts more refugees because of the expected counter-offensive of the Afghan government. Currently, the Afghan government only has control over about ⅔ of the population against 10% for the Taliban (Pajhwok). The remaining 25% of territories are contested (Pajhwok), and many are locations to fights, but the Nato remains optimistic, saying that they “expect the government to increase the amount of the population it secures”(Pajhwok). The Afghan National Defence Security Force has progressed in 2016 compared to the year before, and the Nato predicts that the tendencies will stay the same this year (Pajhwok). However, Russia recently expressed opinions that went against Nato’s encouragements. In a gathering held in Moscow not long ago with Chinese, Pakistani, and Russian officials, they have argued that the Taliban could be an ally in the fight against ISIS, and that policies against them should be less harsh (Mosaic). They claimed that the Taliban would be a lesser extreme option compared to ISIS (Mosaic).

  11. Ambre Perron - Civil War in South Sudan

    January 4th
    Radio Tamazuj reports additionally fighting in the area of Lolere near the town of Torit. The pattern of continuous fighting proceeds in South Sudan as government forces attack or counterattack rebel groups. During this clash, the number of death is disagreed upon. Twenty SPLA soldiers are announced killed by some. However, Santo Domic, deputy spokesman of SPLA forces denies any deaths on either side.
    Still on the scale of the population, the Sudan Tribune tracks the migration of hundreds of civilians out of the Gbudue state into Yambio, Ethiopia. An anonymous source explains: we are “running away from our homes fearing death.” The government troops deployed in the area are accused of “allegedly killing innocent people.”
    Meanwhile, according to Nyamilepedia, a new rebel group called the National Resistance Front/Army, independent of Riek Machar is created by Cosmas Bidali Wori-Kojo. He claims he will “fight until the current regime is removed and [...] the people of South Sudan” are united. Although the exact location of his troops is still unknown, they are stationed in general areas including Western and Central Equatoria region, the Upper Nile region and Western Bahr el Ghazal region.

  12. Emilie Shagrin: refugee crisis in the EU

    Figures emerged on January 3rd, showing that more than half of failed asylum seekers have been allowed to stay in Europe. This is in part because of the continent’s ineffective border controls. (according to the Sunday Express)
    On January 5th the head of the Association of German Administrative Judges stated to expect the number of refugees suing Germany in causes related to asylum seeking will double in 2017. There were well above forty thousand cases that were opened last year, a large number of them having been filed by Syrians trying to reunite with their families. (Global Conflict Tracker)
    According to newly released figures, the number of migrants having made it to Italy in that past year has seen a record number. After surviving dangerous paths in order to reach the European Union, refugee numbers arriving in Italy in 2016 raised to almost 200,000. (Sunday Express)!/conflict/refugee-crisis-in-the-european-union

  13. According to local Russian news Sputnik news the Terrorist responsible for the attack in an Istanbul Nightclub during the new year “Was probably an Uighur” as said Turkish deputy prime minister Veysi Kaynak.
    The Guardian says that this serious information comes from the discovery of the suspects “nom de guerre” revealed by Turkish media last Tuesday “Abu Mohammed Horasani” Horasan or also called Khorasan is a region including most of central Asia and also Western China.
    ISIS which has claimed this attack has also a history of using ethnically turkik extremist for attacks in Turkey. Last Junes airport attack have included terrorist from Uzbekistan and Kyrgistan (majoritarian Turkic countries). This helps logistic but also holds a big propaganda value.
    According to China over 300 Uighur have joined ISIS however UN and experts challenge this information. On the other hand ISIS documents speak of “only” 115 Uighur.

  14. Taliban in Afghanistan - Theodore FEVRE

    On the 6th of January both AlJazeera and the Reuters posted an article on the US's claim to send 300 marines into the Helmand province. After two years without a concrete attack, the US finally took initiative in ending the war in Afghanistan. According to AlJazeera, after NATO's withdrawl from the war in Afghanistan in 2014, president Obama decided to do the same and withdraw most of his forces from the southern province. Since then, the Taliban have gained influence in the province and now control 85% of the territory. Furthermore, this territory is crucial to the Taliban for is it the largest opium output in the country, bringing in four billion dollars a year, largely sufficient for funding their war.
    Although the two articles treat the same subject, the actual reasons of the marines involvement differ according to the source. According to the Reuters, the US will send out soldiers to advise and train afghan troops as well as work in logistics, intelligence and administration. On the other hand, Aljazeera clearly state that the marines "will train and advise key leaders within the Afghan National Army 215th Corps and the 505th Zone National Police" and do not mention anything about administration and intelligence work.
    Nevertheless, the US have clearly demonstrated their determination in beating the Taliban by fully reinvolving themselves in the war in Afghanistan.

  15. Marine Tallon - South China Sea

    The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, declared he wanted Russia to be his country ally and protector, after months of fiery rhetoric aimed at the United States. Russia’s ambassador, Igor Khovaev, said his country was ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons after Mr Duterte’s speech while visiting a Russian anti-submarine vessel docked in Manila. He specifically said "we welcome our Russian friends. Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, to replenish supplies or maybe to be our ally to protect us". The Russian warships arrived in Manila last week.
    Furthermore, despite Mr Duterte’s previsous threats to the United States, the Philippine’s key agreements and arrangements with the US remain in place. Some of these agreements include a treaty allowing US troops, ships and planes to rotate through the country’s military bases, including the Subic Bay, a past strategic American military installation outside of US borders.
    Finally, Rodrigo Duterte’s reaching out to Russia at the time of tensions between the US administration and Russia over telephone hacking during the US elections is “a further blow to Barack Obama’s strategy to pivot US forces and diplomatic emphasis to Asia”, according to Lindsay Murdoch, a former journalist based in Asia, specialized in US/Asian affairs.

  16. Marc de Laportaliere - Tensions in East China Sea
    To start off the year on a good note, 4 Chinese patrol ships have been sighted near the Japanese owned Senkakus again. After the 121 sighted in 2016, with the last on december the 26th, These numbers have been rising consistently, as there were only two sighted in 2012. (Today Online). In Japan’s opinion, this is made worse by the sighting of a Chinese aircraft carrier, accompanied by seven other ships (Financial Tribune). Even though the Japanese ministry of defense was well aware of the exercise, this contributes to the insecurity and uneasiness that has been lying in those waters for the past few years. They do not directly penetrate Japan’s territorial waters but they are consistently warned by the coast Guard. (UPI) Also, another incident happened on december 10th, when JASDF planes scrambled after 6 PLAAF planes doing a drill over the Miyako strait, which resides within international waters and airspace.China expressed concern over this matter, as everything was kept inside international regulations, and “was not targeted to a special country”. China has asked Japan to adopt legal measures to stop these incidents from happening. It is also worth noting that Taiwan’s ADIZ (Air Defense Identification zone) was not breached either, though they flew close enough to be reported. (the Diplomat)

  17. Rémi Masia-Depardieu, Destabilization of Mali
    Despite the city of Gao is considered relatively safe, it still figures under the pressure of terrorist attacks. On wednesday night, a Red Cross Malian worker, Kader Kouré, who wasn’t on duty, but visiting family, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle, attested witnesses. However, no terrorists groups have claimed responsibility yet. Therefore, in addition to last week’s kidnapping, terrorism is still part of Gao’s civil life. However, the terrorist group Ansar Al-Dine is experiencing controversies : the leader, Iyad Ag Ghali has been surviving and escaping the authorities because of his seconds assisting him, and protecting him. However, he has lately been sick, and is tracked by satellites and secret national services. In addition he has recently asked for help to Amadou Kouffa, the leader of The Liberation Front of Macina, a terrorist group that has been gaining significant power recently in North Western Mali, and that was previously at the service of Iyad Ag Ghali. But his long date friend has refused to help him. Therefore, the terrorist group Ansar Al-Dine is weakened at the moment, and is losing power is central and North Eastern Mali.

  18. Cassiopeia, Libya
    In recent days:
    Libya Herald reports that fighting both in the air and on land continues in Benghazi in the east of Ajdabiya as all the fleeing trucks have been destroyed in the south and people having escaped enclaves of Ganfouda and Sabri during a power outage but not before having had mass breackouts costing the lives of at least 13 police and soldiers. As ISL fighters have fled Sirte they relocate in Nesmah as well where posters were found. The PFG Western division Nasr brigade gives up Zawia refinery due to overt accusations of smuggling. The LNA targeted a Misrata delegation in a Jufra airbase with aircrafts injuring the council’s head. Chad closes it Lybian border feering incoming ISL members. (
    Libya observer reports : Oil production is rising especially seeing as pipilines reopen. Lybia observer also reports that Derna’s three month siege by Dignity Operation has ended partially at least thanks to the reopening of a road to Martuba allowing locals to get essentials like cooking gas. 19 Al-Zawiya inhabitants kidnapped, extorked and killed in Wirshiffna were realsed after two weeks. (1) The Lybian Tunsisia border is closed agreements having been rejected. An unknown armed group shoots in Tripoli at the Civil Registry Authority building. Miahiya calls for the reopening of coastal road. Shots were fired near Al-Faregh oilfield. The LNA’s air strikes on did not limit themselves to Jurfa but are a part of a rise in the LNA’s action in the southern region (2) 18 LNA fighters killed and 17 injured in Al-Salmani and Western Dawahi in Benghazi while fighting against Benghazi Shura Council. The conflict in Sabha is veering southwards and people are loosing lives . ISIS militant finally leave Benghazi notably Ganfouda and Sabri after over 2 years of fighting(3) going to Bani Walid for example. LNA head surviced an assassination attempt in Al-Bayda. (4)

  19. Marin Duroyon - Libyan Civil War

    This week some intense fighting has been continuing near the border between the Tripoli based government and the Tobruk based government. Last week, I described several attacks already originating from that area, and this week these attacks are still fluctuating the border. These past days, several aerial attacks from the LNA has been targeting all type of anti-government sites, one of them was the Tagrift Martyrs Brigade HQ in Houn, this created some controversy since the Tagrift Martyrs Brigade was supposedly fighting against the Islamic State, according to Mahmoud Salahi. Furthermore, they also destroyed an aerial base and by doing so wounded the military council Ibrahim Bit Almal. This week Libya has had several important battles (Northeast, northwest, and south), both sides are able to conquer new territories.

  20. Elise-War in Yemen
    In recent news, it was confirmed this week that Oman has now joined the Saudi-led Islamic Military Coalition to Fight Terrorism. (6) It has been reported that their decision to mobilise “the energy [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries” (1) will prove vital in the fight on terrorism. Journalists claim that the Sultan’s reasons for doing so include the change of “incoming US administration”, who has been vocal about putting the War on Terrorism at the top of the priority list. (1) Reasons also may include the need to fight an internationally growing Islamophobia by proving that the Islamic Coalition is also doing everything possible to stop terrorism. (1)

    In August 2016, Government forces had managed to liberate most of the Abyan governate from AQAP forces. (5) On wednesday, an AQAP suicide bomber targeting a Yemeni security checkpoint in Abyan was the cause of six Yemeni soldier deaths and 20 others were wounded.(5)
    On Saturday, government forces and the coalition made their way further into Taiz territory, their goal being to gain control the Bab Al Mandeb strait that links the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean in order to prevent Houthis from carrying out international trade and to secure the Red Sea coast. (3)  It will also enable Government forces to liberate Mokha, a neighboring city. (4) They successfully captured the district of Dhubab, 30 kilometers north of the strait. (2) The fight for the strait resulted in 55 Houthi deaths and 72 wounded. (4)

  21. Juliette Debray - Boko Haram
    New details have surfaced about the capture of BH’s “Camp Zero”, it seems the group’s top commanders as well as the kidnapped Chibok girls have managed to escape (1). Leader Abubakar Shekau has made a point of saying this in a video he released a couple of days after the attack, proving his well-being and ensuring the continuity of the conflict (1).
    However, there have been over 1 200 suspects apprehended during the military “mop-up” in the Sambisa Forest (2) and further arrests have occurred since (3). Not only that, but on Wednesday, some of the apprehended insurgents have publicly asked their fellow soldiers to “lay down their arms and embrace peace”, assuring them that they will not be killed by the Nigerian government, contrary to what their sect leaders had them believe (4).
    Last week, a suspected BH commander has been apprehended in Mafa’s council chairman’s estate (5). Although it was first reported that the chairman was arrested, the Ministry for Local Government and Emirate Affairs (which supervises the chairmen of the 27 local government areas in Borno ‎State) has stated that “the caretaker chairman in question was not arrested. He actually reported himself to the military command in Maiduguri after he got information that he was needed by the military.” (6), it is expected that more information about the whole affair is yet to come.
    In the small town of Gulak near Madagali, three female IEDs were prevented entrance in the Gulak market. When ordered to stop they refused, two of three IEDs detonated because of the vigilantes’ shots thus killing the third woman (7).
    Last weekend, a former representative from the House Dr Haruna Yerima expressed his belief that a conference assembling “critical stakeholders that include the elders, politicians, traditional and religious leaders, businessmen, security agents and civilian JTF from [Yobe and Borno]” should take place to understand “how the socio-economic realities in the states fuelled the crisis as well as the actions and inactions of governments at all levels influenced the militancy”(8). We hope his propositions are welcomed by the Nigerian government.

  22. Matteo Valderrama- DRC violences

    According to Al jazeera, torrential rains that hit DRC this past week have left a number of victims in its wake with 50 confirmed casualties and more than 10,000 without homes. However, the locals, who make less than 1.25$ a day, are still waiting for help as their frustration grows.The injured are reportedly not getting the treatment they need and the emergency services are said to be “poorly equipped to deal with natural disasters,” which the chaotic way in which towns and cities are built does not help. (Al Jazeera)
    Furthermore, Thursday, January 5th, at least 15 were killed in vengeful acts of violence in the southeastern village of Piana Mwanga. Locals say the death toll is up to 17 dead, 47 injured, as well as 65 homes torched. These are supposedly the acts of Pygmies from the ethnic Twa group against Bantus. The Twas are fighting for their equality against the Bantus who regard them as second-class beings. (News24)

  23. Anna - War in Yemen

    Today, 5 civilians were killed and many were injured in the city of Taizz as a truck hit a landmine (AA). Since Thursday, the city has been the siege of violent battles as the Houthi launched a fresh offensive, killing 20 people. This attack has not resulted in any territorial gain (Gulf News). According to the Middle East Eye, 2 days of battle left 68 dead in a battle near the coastal Dhubab district. The Yemeni government launched Saturday an assault to recapture that area, only 30 km north of the Bab al-Mandad strait, a link between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean (MEY). Concerning the country’s capital, 12 villagers and rescuers were killed by a Saudi-led airstrike on a school and a mosque (Global Times). 270 km south of Sanaa, in the southern province of Abyah, a suicide bombing killed 6 Saudi soldiers (Press TV). It is believed to be the work of AQAP, as many similar incidents have been previously reported in this area (Press TV). The same terrorist group’s attacks on the city of Shuqra have killed at least 3 Yemeni soldiers on Thursday (MEM).

    AA :

    Global Times :

    Gulf News :

    Middle East Monitor :

    Middle East Eye :

    Press TV :

  24. Some events of the last week (a bit long, there’s a lot going on) : Israel-Palestine, Billy McGovern

    (1)06/01/17:Israel announced on Friday that they will deny 6 million dollars yearly to the UN after the resolution to halt settlements passed, believing that this sum contributes each year to fuelling “anti-Israel bodies.” Israel’s UN Mission stated that this cut also is a first step towards encouraging encouraging structural change within the U.N. with the ultimate goal of ending anti-Israel activities" after Trump enters presidency. On their side, a Republican-dominated US Hous of Representatives approved, on Thursday, of a resolution to rebuke the UN’s criticism of settlements and to ensure US rejection of any similar action in the future.

    (2)08/01/17: Deadly truck attack in Jerusalem as Palestinian driver ploughs truck into Israeli soldiers, killing four and severely injuring several others.Israeli authorities call it a terrorist attack, and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum praised the attack on Sunday. These are the first Israeli casualties in over three months, as the year-long wave of Palestine shootings and stabbings was slowly receding, adding to the body count: according to an AFP count, the current number of deaths caused by the conflict since October 2015 is “247 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese.”

    (3)04/01/17: Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is found guilty of manslaughter by the Israeli military court after killing a wounded Palestinian last year. On March 24, Azaria killed 21 year old Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif as he lay on the ground wounded and incapacitated. His killing was caught on camera by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. According to Israeli witnesses, Al-Sharif and a partner lunged at Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in West Bank. As Al-Sharif is lying on the ground shot and neutralized, Azaria is seen shooting him in the head on the video. Azaria’s defense proved inconsistent throughout the trial as he claimed that the “terrorist” tried to grab his knife and later that he had on a suicide vest, although the footage does not support any of these claims. He was found guilty and convicted of manslaughter and war crime, and as Colonel Maya Heller delivered the verdict, she rejected all arguments defense, stating that:"the fact that the man on the ground was a terrorist does not justify a disproportionate response."




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  26. Paul, ISIS in Iraq,
    Battle for Mosul, day 83:
    As troops advances in Iraq in their quest to recapture Mosul, iraqi forces seem to be applying their new tactic which consists of surrounding the city. As a matter of fact, according to they’ve been leading operations in the northern and southern parts of the city after having gained territory in the eastern part of the town( they are now in control of more than 70% of the eastern part of the city). A security force ( Shafaaq News) claims that the government artillery struck ISIS forces in the al-Kindi district, located in the north eastern part of the city, and that they’ll imminently bombard the whole neighborhood. Earlier today, invading forces took control of more land, as they captured the Sokkar and Baladiyat district. These operations appear to be very significant as Iraqi forces are closing in on the Tigris River, and they’ll soon move onwards to the river’s western bank, where ISIS still remain stationary. These positions held by ISIS fighters are evidently remarkable as they are extremely close geographically to Syria’s borders which facilitates exportation and importation (oil, weapons,...). In order to counter these attacks, ISIS are still deploying suicide bombers as on Sunday for example an attack led by ISIS fighters has been reported in Shia areas : in the city of Baghdad killing at least 20 deaths and leaving 50 wounded. (Al-Jazeera).

  27. Victoria, Criminal Violence in Mexico/Mexican Drug WAr
    There have been new updates on the minors section of the casualties caused by the Mexican Drug War. Mainly in the states of Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Morelos and Veracruz there have already been 2000 casualties--all minors. The REDIM, which is the network for children’s rights in Mexico, warned that with the increase in gasoline, more than 21.4 million children will be severely affected. There has been a press conference hosted by by the REDIM, and its spokesperson Martin Perez Cruz Garcia said that they will request a meeting with Mexican president Pena Nieto to find a way to solve the crisis. The issue stems from the increase in hydrocarbons found in gasoline, impacting the impoverishment of the Mexican population therefore forcing child labor. Another activist fighting for the children caught between this conflict, Gabriela Escobar of the Juconi Foundation, pointed out that the states of Yucatan, Puebla, Coahuila, Chihuahua and Sinaloa also allow child abuse and are the entities that have the most reported cases of it.
    Other sources:

  28. Leah Sadoff- Al-Shabaab

    On the 4th of January once again there was a car bombing in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, and at least four UN guards were badly injured. The attack was claimed by al-Shabaab/ al-Qaeda (Middle East Monitor). We do not know if it was a suicidal car bombing but the article says that the car was in a garage outside the UNDP facilities. Saturday night there was an explosion in a tea shop and according to the Daily Observer “at least three people were killed and 11 others injured”, in these people are included soldiers. Al-Shabaab has not claimed responsibility for this act,but we can assume that it is them considering their high destruction rate. According to the Africa Review “al-Shabaab ambushed AMISOM troops at Wareer-Maleh, near Barawe town”, which is situated 200km south of the capital. Over the course of this ambush 25 camels were killed which is dramatic for the people because the livestock is the biggest contributor to the country’s economy.

  29. Deniz, PKK Conflict

    Thursday, 5th of january 2017, two people were killed in an explosion in the city of Izmir. The attack happened near a courthouse, and a staff member who worked there died along with 43 year old police officer Fethi Sekin, who died whilst clashing with two armed attackers. According to CNN, the Izmir city governor blames the PKK for the attack. Reuters states that, according to the Turkish government, the weapons seized from the car indicated a mucher bigger attack being planned, which was thwarted by traffic officer Fethi Sekin spotting the car. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said “Our brave police prevented a disaster.” A third attacker involved in the affair remains at large.

  30. Emma Ghafari – Conflict in Ukraine
    Violence has continued in Ukraine throughout this week.
    On January 7, 250 tons of fuel were supplied by Russia to the occupied regions of Eastern Ukraine (1). This action on Russia’s part reinforces their occupation of this territory. Conflict in Donbas continues as 42 attacks, again on January 7, were launched in the region (2). Moreover, a man is arrested in Sevastopol, a region near Crimea, during his attempt to burn the Russian flag on January 6 (3). Furthermore, Mariupol (Donetsk) has been a significant target of violence. Indeed, the number of enemy shelling in the sector “remains the highest – twice as many as in other sectors” (4). The Novotoshkivske and Popasna area, both in Luhansk, are also hotspots (5). In addition, billionaire Victor Pinchuk’s proposed a peace solution, involving reversing the country’s foreign policy away from the West, was rejected by Ukrainians (6). President Poroshenko argued that “Ukraine will seek peace, but will not abandon its pro-Western foreign policy and will never accept annexation of Crimea”. Clearly, Ukraine’s ties with the West remain strong.

    (1) "Russia Supplies Militants in Donbas with 250 Tons of Fuel – Intelligence Directorate."Ukrinform News. N.p., 8 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. .
    (2) "Militants Launch 42 Attacks on Ukrainian Troops in Donbas in Last Day." Ukrinform News. N.p., 8 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. .
    (3) Liveuamap. "Man Arrested in Sevastopol during Attempt to Burn Russian Flag." Live UA Map – Ukraine - Ukraine Latest News - N.p., 06 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. .
    (4) Liveuamap. "Col. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk: Mariupol Sector: Number of Enemy Shellings Remains the Highest – Twice as Many as in Other Two Sectors." Live UA Map - Ukraine. N.p., 07 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. .
    (5) Liveuamap. "ATO Spokesperson: Other Hotspots in the Luhansk Sector: Novotoshkivske and Popasna Area." Live UA Map - Ukraine. N.p., 07 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. .
    (6) Webstudio, TAC. "Ukrainian Journal." Ukrainian Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. .

  31. Olivine Silier Kashmir Conflict
    9/1 Muzzafar Ahmed, a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant was killed thursday 5/1 by the Jammu/Kashmir police in the Gulzarpora Machowa area
    An ex service-man from Jammu claims that there are currently 200,000 west-pakistani refugees in Jammu who are not given state subject rights. The president of the PoK refugee association in Jammu and Kashmir declared that there are one million PoK refugees currently living in Jammu and Kashmir. Authorities in Pakistan are worried that issuing residence certificates to these 200,000 west-pakistani refugees would change the majority muslim character of the region which they would consider an attack.
    Islamabad accused India of trying to change Kashmir’s demography on thursday by issuing residence certificates. Pakistan’s foreign spokesman declared that since July, 10,000 Kashmiri youths have been arrested in the last five months and suspects they have either been tortured or killed. 150 Kashmiris have been killed by indian military and 23,000 have been wounded
        Since last july, after Burhan Wani’s death, kashmir has suffered from an ongoing internet block that has stopped all prepaid internet data services. The authorities are responsible for this ban yet do not seem to have any intention to raise it despite the fact that both business and education are heavily affected by this ban.
    Heavy snowfall of one to four feet in the Kashmir valley has isolated many remote areas. In Bandipora, dozens of villages and towns like Gurez have been entirely cut off by the snow. In the district of Kupwara (also very close to the LoC in the Kashmir valley) has also been heavily affected. Towns such as Machil, Keran, Karnah and Tangdhar are also more or less cut off.

  32. Lucca Stagno- Al Shabaab in Somalia

    According to Garrowe Online, Al Shabaab have regained control of Bulo-Gadud, a town about 30 miles away from the second most important city in Somalia and one of Al Shabaab's ex command centerer Kismayo they had been previously ousted from by Jubbaland state forces and AU troops, following deadly altercations with the stationed troops.Both military entities (AMISOM and Jubbaland) have yet to release an official message stating that Bulo-Gadud has yet again fell in the hands of the Islamic terror troops

  33. Kim Jong Un is at the center of all tensions when it comes to North Korea and the Western world. Leaders across the world have warned him that if he causes too much threat they wouldn’t hesitate taking him town. This week, according to the financial times, South Korea has formed “a hit squad with a mission to eliminate Kim Jong Un and his top command in the event of war”. Once again, these are just threats, however, they are leading the world closer and closer to an actual war. Part of this operation is also developing weapons which could neutralise North Korean nuclear power.
    The DPRK has also tested new weapons (possibly nuclear) in places such as Yongdeok-dong or Yongbyo. These testing have been drastically increasing tensions and forcing Western countries to eventually prepare for war.

    Harris, Bryan, and Kang Buseong. "Subscribe to Read." Subscribe to Read. The Financial Times, 08 Jan. 2017. Web. 09 Jan. 2017.
    "North Korea Facilities → Nuclear map." North Korea Nuclear Facilities Map | Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). NTI, n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2017.

  34. Chloé Erny, EU migration crisis

    - An academic at Southampton was rewarded £1.5 million (about 1.7 million euros) by the European Research Council (ERC) to fund a project “to develop a ground-breaking simulation model of international migration.” (Richard Percival)
    - Reuters reports that migration by sea has lowered by two thirds in 2016 thanks to the EU-Turkey immigration deal, although arrivals in Italy from North Africa hit an all-time high of 181,000 migrants, 20% more than the year before.
    - The EU Commission granted a 170 million euro package to help with root causes of immigration in the Horn of Africa by improving economic growth and fighting human trafficking. (Coastweek)

    Richard Percival:

  35. Eliott - Kurdish Conflicts

    On the 14th of January, a minimum of 6 PKK militants were killed due to an airstrike on their positions in the eastern province of Bletnis, Turkey, says Sputnik news. The Turkish Armed Force stated they were the ones leading the operation.
    According to Middle East Eye news, Turkey said on the 14th of January that if the US was considering a peace talk with the Kurds, they might as well invite ISIS to join them in the talk. Turkish Foreign Minister also claimed the US should stop talking to terror-groups, which shows how Turkey feels towards the kurdish people.

  36. Mika - South China Sea

    On January 12th Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state expressed great concern over the current situation in the South China Sea and vowed for more action on the United State's part. He said that China's building of islands had to stop now and the US would block China's access to the sea if necessary. China saw his words as a threat and swore to retaliate if ever it were to happen. Chinese analysts have called for China to stay calm amid concerns raised by Trump's administration who earlier on said they might reconsider the US stance on a One-China policy.

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  38. Boris Hullin - Cartel Violence in Mexico - January 8, 2017

    Mexican newspaper Proceso announced that 36-year-old Julian Prezas, a US army recruiting officer operating in San Antonio, was found guilty of selling firearms to the Gulf Cartel. The declarations of a former accomplice of his who chose to collaborate with the authorities along with other pieces of evidence confirmed that he had sold a total of 74 arms, among which several dozens of heavy assault rifles for the amount of 61,000 dollars. He is now awaiting his sentence to be declared by federal judge Orlando Garcia, facing 20 to 30 years in prison, as well as other sanctions from the US military court.
    Other news this week include the reports of Milenio on the extradition of the former leader of the Gulf Cartel, Mario Armado Trevino “El X-20”, to the United States. The U.S authorities had put a five million dollar price on the drug lord’s head before he was captured by the Mexican military in 2013. The Courts of Mexico and the United States ratified an extradition order considered in no violation of the process by the Secretaries of Internal Relations in July of 2016. “El X-20” had formerly been pursued by the American Justice back in 2007, accused by the Grand Jury of Colombia Court of smuggling at least 5 kilos of cocaine and a thousand kilos of marijuana from Mexico to U.S territory.