18 Jan Weekly News Wrap: Monday, January 18, 2016
18.01.16 | 0 Comments
Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Burkina Faso and Mali have agreed to work together to counter the growing threat of Islamic militants in West Africa by sharing intelligence and conducting joint security patrols following two deadly and well-coordinated attacks in the region.
- The UN says the worst drought in 30 years in Ethiopia means 400,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and more than 10 million people need food aid.
- Somalia received a pledge of aid for $50 million from Saudi Arabia this month on the same day it announced it was cutting ties with Saudi rival Iran, a document seen by Reuters showed.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- At least 42 people have been killed, including civilians, in suspected Russian air strikes in Syria’s Raqqa province, activists and a monitoring group say.
- Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has described as “historic” and a “great victory” the lifting of sanctions against Iran, declaring that the country is now reopening its doors to the international economy.
- Islamic State militants kidnapped at least 400 civilians when they attacked government-held areas in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor on Saturday, a monitoring group said.
- For China, whose President Xi Jinping is already taking an increasingly muscular approach to claims in the East and South China Sea, the question of Taiwan trumps any other of its territorial assertions in terms of sensitivity and importance.
- Last week’s attack on Jakarta showed for the first time that Islamic State violence has arrived in Indonesia, but security experts believe the radical group’s footprint is still light here because militants are jostling to be its regional leader.
- Malaysia’s police chief said on Saturday that a suspected militant arrested in a train station in Kuala Lumpur had confessed to planning a suicide attack in the country.
- Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), played down a European Union investigation into recent legislation, saying Poland has to go its own way and not yield to any pressures.
- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has proposed the introduction of a special tax on gasoline in European Union member states to finance refugee-related costs such as strengthening the continent’s joint external borders.
- US president Barack Obama is expected to release a new plan in a bid to convince Congress to close Guantanamo Bay prison.
- Two Swedish citizens whom U.S. prosecutors said fought alongside the Islamist militant group al Shabaab in Somalia in battles to take control of the country’s capital of Mogadishu were sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday.
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on European countries to “step up” efforts to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria during a surprise visit to Iraq on Saturday.
- Turnbull also announced on Monday a small increase in the Australian troop commitment to the NATO-led force supporting the Afghan central government during a surprise visit to Kabul.
- As attacks on civilians continue in North Kivu, DRC, many say the UN mission there is doing nothing to help or protect them.
- Unverified reports say 15 to 20 people died of starvation in the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor last year, the United Nations said on Saturday, warning that 200,000 residents there face a severe food shortage and sharply deteriorating conditions. Doctors Without Borders say that 35 people have died of starvation in Madaya since the beginning of December 2015, with more than 250 people suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
- Last week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that the Saudi-led coalition’s use of cluster bombs in Yemen “may amount to war crimes“.
- The United Nations’ refugee agency will seek additional resources for Turkey, the world’s largest host of refugees, and push for more resettlement, its head said on Saturday, as the war in Syria is set to enter its sixth year.