Weekly News Wrap: Monday, November 7, 2016
Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Kenya has deported a South Sudanese rebel spokesman – a registered refugee – back to his war-torn country where he could face detention and abuse at the hands of the Juba government.
- Kenya has said it is withdrawing its troops from the United Nations mission in South Sudan, a day after Ban Ki-moon sacked the Kenyan commander of peacekeeping forces in the country for failing to protect civilians.
- South Africa’s justice minister presented a bill in parliament on Thursday to repeal the country’s membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) — which the government has said clashes with diplomatic immunity laws.
- The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries. But think it’s clear where Africa stands on the ICC? Think again. A growing number of African governments have spoken out over the past week against withdrawal. See a selection here.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Iraqi Kurdish fighters are exchanging heavy fire with ISIL fighters as they advance from two directions on a town held by the armed group just 13km east of the city of Mosul.
- Almost 2,200 refugees and migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast while 10 bodies have also been recovered from a rubber dinghy, the Italian coastguard said.
- The United Nations said it was investigating an incident in which more than 30 civilians were killed in US air strikes called in support of a special forces raid on suspected Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said at least 32 people had been killed and 19 wounded in the strikes in the village of Buz Kandahari near Kunduz, the vast majority women and children. US forces in Afghanistan conceded on Saturday that their air strikes in the northern province of Kunduz had “very likely” resulted in civilian killings.
- China’s parliament passed a ruling on Monday that effectively bars two elected Hong Kong pro-independence politicians from taking office, Beijing’s most direct intervention in the territory’s legal and political system since the 1997 handover.
- German prosecutors are investigating Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives following a complaint alleging the company broke national laws against hate speech and sedition by failing to remove racist postings.
- The British government is preparing legislation to trigger the procedure to leave the EU, Sky News reported on Monday, despite Prime Minister Theresa May saying she is confident of overturning a court decision that may delay Brexit. Scotland’s devolved government is expected to join a legal challenge against the British government’s plans to trigger an exit from the European Union, the lead claimant in the court case said on Sunday.
- Luxembourg’s foreign minister said on Monday that the Turkish government’s handling of dismissed civil servants reminded him of methods used by the Nazis, and that, sooner or later, the EU would have to respond with sanctions.
- Almost 700 migrants arrived at the Italian port town of Augusta on Monday after being rescued from their perilous boat journey across the Mediterranean Sea.
- On Tuesday, November 8, Americans will decide whether Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton will be handed the keys to the White House; curious to know where they both stand on foreign policy? Check here. And if you’d like a sampling of what the rest of the world thinks, have a look here.
- With the US presidential election only days away, many in the US – particularly the Muslim-American community – are bracing for the worst over fears that a win, or a loss, by Republican candidate Donald Trump could bring violence.
- Trade ministers from Australia and Indonesia continued negotiations on Sunday to seal a trade deal between the two neighbors, despite Indonesian President Joko Widodo postponing a trip to Australia to deal with local unrest.
- Australia’s bid to hold a national vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage was defeated on Monday in the upper house of parliament, or Senate, potentially delaying legal unions for years.
- Thousands of Yemenis protested against a new peace proposal to end the conflict submitted by the UN envoy to the war-torn country, saying the plan would legitimise the rebels’ power grab.
- The 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) kicked off on Monday at Marrakech, Morocco. There is “no turning back” from a global accord to combat climate change, Morocco’s foreign minister said on the eve of U.N. talks in Marrakesh amid fears that Donald Trump will try to pull out if he wins the U.S. presidency.