Weekly News Wrap: Monday, February 16, 2015
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- A female suicide bomber has killed at least ten people at Damaturu Central Motor Park, a bus station in the northeast Nigerian city.
- Boko Haram fighters attacked a village in Chad on Friday, the first known lethal attack in that country by the Nigerian militant group, which killed several people including a local chief according to residents and security forces.
- Nigeria’s president has called for greater military assistance from the US in the fight against armed group Boko Haram.
- The United Nations expects the Nigerian military to do more to combat Boko Haram and urged Nigeria and its neighbors Chad, Niger and Cameroon to allow hot pursuit of the militants across borders as this was key to a regional offensive.
- There is enough evidence to put Chad’s deposed strongman Hissene Habre on trial for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture, judges in Senegal ruled on Friday, according to a statement from the special tribunal set up to handle his case.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal must lead to improved living conditions for Palestinians to prevent violence between the two from erupting again, Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair said on Sunday.
- Fighters pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have released a video purporting to show the killing of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians kidnapped in Libya.
- The United States and its coalition partners conducted three air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and eight in Iraq since Saturday, according to the U.S. military.
- Thousands of foreigners have flocked to Iraq and Syria in the past two years, mostly to join Islamic State, but a handful of idealistic Westerners are enlisting as well, citing frustration their governments are not doing more to combat the ultra-radical Islamists or prevent the suffering of innocents.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sending his top diplomat to Pakistan as part of a regional tour, the first top-ranking visit since Modi broke off talks last year over the disputed region of Kashmir.
- A former adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has praised apartheid as a model for how Japan could expand immigration, prompting the government’s top spokesman on Friday to emphasize that Japan’s immigration policy was based on equality.
- China’s President Xi Jinping will visit Pakistan this year in what will be the first trip by a Chinese head of state to its western neighbor in nine years, as Beijing looks to take a bigger role in South Asia.
- Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Thursday he was optimistic about securing a delay in the release of a U.N. report on alleged war crimes during his country’s civil war until the government has had time to establish a new judicial mechanism to deal with the allegations.
- A suspected gunman in two shootings on Saturday and Sunday in Copenhagen, in which two were killed and several injured, has been killed by police; the first shooting occurred at a freedom of speech event with Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, and second happened outside a synagogue in the city.
- After the deadly shooting at a Denmark synagogue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday such attacks will likely continue and Israel would welcome European Jews who choose to move there.
- The Italian coast guard has rescued more than 2,100 migrants in a major rescue operation in the sea between Europe and North Africa.
- Italy closed its embassy in Libya on Sunday and stepped up its call for a U.N. mission to calm the worsening conflict there as thousands of migrants approached Italy by boat from North Africa.
- Ukraine’s rebels disavowed a new truce on Sunday hours after it took effect, saying it did not apply to the town where most fighting has taken place in recent weeks.
- Greece and its international creditors started talks on Friday on reforms needed to keep the country financed, increasing the possibility of a interim compromise deal between the euro zone and Athens at a ministerial meeting on Monday.
- A United Nations watchdog called on Mexico on Friday to probe and prosecute alleged complicity of state forces in thousands of “disappearances”, including a notorious case of 43 students believed murdered last year.
- Canada is inclined to extend the six-month mandate of its military mission in Iraq, which comprises special forces on the ground as well as fighter bombers, Defence Minister Jason Kenney said on Wednesday.
- Colombia’s Marxist ELN rebels have freed a Dutch citizen kidnapped in January, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday after facilitating his liberation.
- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned Indonesia of the potential for diplomatic fallout if Jakarta goes ahead with the looming execution of two Australian citizens on death row for drugs charges.
- The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that demands that Houthi rebels immediately relinquish control of Yemen’s government.
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Friday not to execute prisoners on death row for drug crimes, including citizens of Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines.