08 Feb Weekly News Wrap: Monday, February 8, 2016
08.02.16 | 1 Comment
Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for Friday’s deadly attack on a U.N. police base in the northern Malian city of Timbuktu, a statement monitored by the SITE Intelligence group showed on Saturday.
- The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Honourable Reine Alapini- Gansou, announced that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights hasofficially released the new Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights while Countering Terrorism in Africa (Principles and Guidelines).
- The Republic of Congo has launched an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse involving its troops serving as UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Middle East and Northern Africa
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is ready to send ground troops to Syria as part of an international coalition to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, a top official has said.
- Foreign army soldiers who enter Syria without government consent would “return home in wooden coffins“, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said, in a warning to Saudi Arabia.
- One of Iraq’s most powerful Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias on Sunday warned that Arab forces sent to Syria or Iraq would “open the gates of hell”, in comments clearly aimed at Sunni Arab countries that have said they might join such an operation.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a bill that would suspend lawmakers who follow in the footsteps of three Palestinian members of the Knesset, including Hanin Zoabi, who visited relatives of alleged Palestinian attackers.
- Turkey is ready “if necessary” to let in Syrian refugees trapped on its border after fleeing heavy fighting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
- Tunisia has completed the construction of a barrier along its border with Libya, months after attacks on its capital and a beach resort that killed dozens of tourists.
- North Korea launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite, drawing renewed international condemnation just weeks after it carried out a nuclear bomb test.
- A North Korean patrol boat crossed into South Korean waters early on Monday and retreated after the South Korean navy fired warning shots, a South Korean military official said.
- Officials from the four nations seeking to end Afghanistan’s 15-year-old war agreed on Saturday to press for direct talks between Taliban groups and the U.S.-backed government in Kabul by the end of the month.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande stressed on Sunday the migrant crisis, which brought more than a million people to the European Union last year, needs an EU-level solution.
- Spanish police arrested seven people with suspected links to Islamist militant groups on Sunday in a dawn raid in the Mediterranean regions of Alicante and Valencia and in Spain’s north African enclave Ceuta, the Interior Ministry said.
- Germany’s anti-Islam PEGIDA movement staged rallies in several cities across Europe on Saturday to protest against the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.
- The US military has released 198 photographs of alleged abuse in army facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, with many of the images showing close-ups of cuts and bruises to arms and legs of prisoners.
- The United States and its allies targeted Islamic State militants in Iraq with 14 strikes on Friday and two strikes in Syria, the U.S. military said on Saturday.
- An elderly Australian woman kidnapped with her husband in Burkina Faso by a group affiliated to al Qaeda has been freed, neighboring Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Saturday.
- Some of the 267 asylum seekers Australia wants to deport to an offshore immigration center following a court ruling are suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses, a senior government official said on Monday. The premier of an Australian state offered on Saturday to look after this group of asylum seekers facing repatriation to a camp on a remote Pacific island, adding to opposition to the federal government’s policy of offshore detention.
- The UN Security Council strongly condemned North Korea’s rocket launch and said it would speed up work on a sanctions resolution “in response to these dangerous and serious violations.”
- The United Nations human rights chief on Sunday traveled to the north and east of Sri Lanka to assess the country’s progress in prosecuting alleged war crimes. Hundreds of hardline nationalists gathered outside the United Nations’ office in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Saturday to protest his visit.
- Twitter has suspended more than 125,000 accounts, most of them linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, as part of a stepped-up effort to eradicate “terrorist content” on the popular messaging platform.