Weekly News Wrap: Monday, April 6, 2015
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Gunmen from the Islamist militant group al Shabaab stormed a university in Kenya and killed at least 147 people on Thursday, in the worst attack on Kenyan soil since the U.S. embassy was bombed in 1998. Al Jazeera offers a context piece about why al Shabaab has gained a foothold in Kenya.
- Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s president, has said the al-Shabaab assault that killed 148 people at a university is an “attack on humanity” and vowed to take harsh measures against what he called “extremists”.
- Fighters from Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency fleeing an offensive by soldiers from Chad and Niger launched a rare attack on Chadian soil, killing seven people, security sources said on Friday.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- On April 1, Palestine formally became the newest state party to the International Criminal Court. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to turn to the International Criminal Court over Israel’s refusal to fully release hundreds of millions of dollars in tax monies owed to the Palestinian Authority.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross has said it hopes to bring vital medical supplies and aid workers into Yemen after receiving approval from the Saudi-led military coalition.
- Iran’s president said on Friday that a framework for a nuclear deal was just the first step toward building a new relationship with the world, after Iranians greeted the announcement of the accord with celebrations in the streets.
- An Indonesian court will rule on Monday on an appeal against President Joko Widodo’s refusal of clemency for two Australian drug convicts who are facing execution by firing squad.
- North Korea fired four short-range missiles off its west coast on Friday in what South Korea called a bid to stoke tension during its annual joint military drills with the United States and has declared a no-sail zone for its ships off its east coast, South Korean media reported on Monday, suggesting more missile launches are possible before the U.S. defense chief visits Seoul this week.
- A Chinese naval frigate has evacuated 225 foreign citizens from strife-torn Yemen, its foreign ministry said, marking the first time that China’s military has helped other countries evacuate their people during an international crisis.
- Greece has agreed to repay its debt to the International Monetary Fund by April 9, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said after a meeting with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
- President Milos Zeman has “closed the door” of Prague Castle to the U.S. ambassador following comments perceived as critical of the Czech’s decision to attend a World War Two commemoration in Moscow, according to local media reports on Sunday.
- Two teenagers from northern England have been arrested on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism, British police said on Sunday.
- Italian navy and coast guard ships rescued around 1,500 migrants aboard five boats in the southern Mediterranean in less than 24 hours, officials said on Sunday.
- Serbia must cooperate with a U.N. war crimes court seeking the return of an ultra-nationalist defendant, not on the basis of truth or justice but because it’s the law, the Balkan country’s president said on Friday.
- Lithuanian prosecutors said on Thursday they had restarted an investigation into allegations that state security officials helped the CIA run a secret jail in the Baltic state as part of the agency’s global program to interrogate al Qaeda suspects.
- United States President Barack Obama has defended a framework nuclear understanding with Iran as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prevent a nuclear bomb and bring longer-term security to the Middle East, insisting the US will stand in defence of Israel.
- U.S. and allied forces conducted 15 air strikes in Syria and Iraq against Islamic State militants during the past 24 hours, the combined joint task force said on Sunday.
- Britain spied on Argentine military and political leaders to ensure the security of the Falkland Islands from 2006 to 2011, according to a local television channel, citing intelligence documents provided by U.S. whistle blower Edward Snowden.
- Britain should spend more helping its own poor than on defending the Falkland Islands, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said on Thursday, responding to a recently-announced budget increase aimed at protecting the contested archipelago.
- Around 200 Australian organisations are turning to the United Nations to voice their concerns over Australia’s human rights performance in a co-authored a report which will be presented to the UN’s main human rights body in the lead up to a periodic review of Australia that takes place every four years.
- The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has issued an urgent plea for humanitarian access to the Yarmouk district in the south of the Syrian capital.
- U.N. police peacekeepers “used unauthorized and excessive force” that killed three people and injured four others during a protest in the northern Malian town of Gao in January, the United Nations said on Thursday.
- United Nations rights experts on Thursday called on Russia to repeal laws limiting free speech and targeting homosexuals and to act firmly to prevent torture by police, racist crimes and a wide range of other human rights abuses.