Weekly News Wrap: Monday, March 10, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The UN reports that Muslims are being “cleansed” from the west of the Central African Republic and thousands of civilians risk being killed “right before our eyes.”
- Germain Katanga was convicted by the ICC of being an accessory to crimes including murder and pillage during an attack on a village in a diamond-rich region of Congo in 2003, in which about 200 civilians were killed (more from Kevin here).
- Libya threatened to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tried to ship oil from a rebel-controlled port, in a major escalation of a standoff over the country’s petroleum wealth.
- A Red Cross worker was killed in the north of the Central African Republic, amid escalating religious violence that peacekeepers have been powerless to stop.
- Escalating diplomatic tensions are evident as South Africa has expelled three Rwandan diplomats it linked to an attack on an exiled Rwandan general’s Johannesburg home, and Rwanda has retaliated by ordering out six South African diplomats.
- The world must increase its food production by 60 percent by mid-century or risk serious food shortages that could bring social unrest and civil wars, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
- As Japan and the US start talks on how to respond to armed incidents that fall short of a full-scale attack on Japan, officials in Tokyo worry that their ally is reluctant to send China a strong message of deterrence.
- The US recently sent a small number of special forces soldiers to Jordan to train with counterparts from Iraq and Jordan, a new step in the Obama administration’s effort to help Baghdad stamp out a resurgent al Qaeda threat.
- Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli has called on Venezuela not to use its decision to break ties with his country as an excuse not to pay back a debt that tops $1bn.
- Al Qaeda militants shot dead a man in southeastern Yemen for allegedly giving the US information used to carry out drone strikes against militants, witnesses and the SITE monitoring service said.
- At least 42 African migrants drowned in the Arabian Sea off the southern coast of Yemen.
- Newborns freezing to death in hospital incubators, doctors cutting off limbs to stop patients from bleeding to death, surging cases of polio: a new report published by Save the Children paints a dire picture of Syria’s collapsing healthcare system.
- A group of Israeli teenagers have told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that they will refuse to serve in the military because of its role in the occupation of Palestinian land.
- The Ukraine city of Sevastopol has declared itself a subject of the Russian Federation. For more on the Ukraine crisis, see our insta-symposium here.
- Russia has made what may be a move towards taking part in talks over the Ukraine crisis, but is standing firm in its insistence that Crimea has a right to break away from Kiev’s rule.
- Germany’s Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to President Vladimir Putin, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine’s constitution.
- The EU has reiterated its earlier pledge to ink a trade deal with Kiev, as international tensions over Ukraine’s future escalated further over the weekend following the incursion of Russian military forces into the Crimean peninsula.
- Over a dozen EU ministers have joined together to call for a rapid agreement on the trading bloc’s 2030 climate and energy goals, either at a leaders’ summit later this month or in June.