Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Suspected Islamist fighters attacked a town in western Mali near the border with neighbouring Mauritania before dawn on Saturday, leaving 12 people dead, including three soldiers and nine attackers, the defence ministry said.
- Al Shabaab militants detonated a car bomb and battled African Union troops at a peacekeepers’ base south of Mogadishu on Friday, the latest in a series of attacks in Somalia, military officials and a rebel spokesman said.
- The African Union (AU) will not observe Burundi’s legislative elections scheduled for today, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the commission of the AU, has said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Israel said on Monday it had blocked a boat leading a four-vessel protest flotilla of foreign activists from reaching the Gaza Strip and forced the vessel to sail to an Israeli port.
- Iran is backtracking from an interim nuclear agreement with world powers three months ago, Western officials suggested on Sunday, as U.S. and Iranian officials said talks on a final accord would likely run past a June 30 deadline.
- U.S. and coalition forces launched 14 air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and seven in Iraq on Friday, the U.S. military said, amid reports the militant group killed 145 civilians in the town of Kobani.
- Italian coast guard ships, along with military vessels from Ireland and Britain, have rescued at least 2,900 migrants from 21 smugglers boats in the Mediterranean, north of Libya.
- Changing position on China’s claims over the South China Sea would shame its ancestors, while not facing up to infringements of Chinese sovereignty there would shame its children, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.
- The U.S. State Department’s number two diplomat on Friday compared China’s behavior in pursuit of territory in the South China Sea to that of Russia in eastern Ukraine.
- Fractious European leaders argued into the early hours on Friday over how to handle over a migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, agreeing a plan to share out the care of desperate people fleeing war and poverty in North Africa and the Middle East.
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced a temporary closure of banks, after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it would not increase additional emergency funding to the country.
- The suspected Islamist who attempted to blow up a French chemical plant on Friday has admitted killing his manager beforehand, a source close to the investigation said on Sunday, as police linked the suspect to a militant now in Syria.
- Turkish police fired water cannons and rubber pellets to disperse a gay pride parade in central Istanbul on Sunday, after organizers said they had been refused permission to march this year because of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
- European Council President Donald Tusk urged European leaders to spend more on defense on Friday as deadly attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait drove home his point about dramatic changes to the security situation in Europe and its neighborhood.
- The Swiss government will extradite wartime Muslim defender of Srebrenica Naser Oric to Bosnia, the Federal Office of Justice said on Thursday.
- U.S. military air strikes have targeted militants who were threatening international coalition forces near the border in eastern Afghanistan, a U.S. forces spokesman said on Sunday.
- Argentina will pursue in Britain and the United States a local judge’s order to seize assets of oil drillers operating in the disputed Falklands Islands, the foreign minister said in an interview published in local media on Sunday.
- Officials from Libya’s rival parliaments sat down at the same table for the first time on Sunday at the latest round of United Nations-backed peace talks in Morocco – a move negotiators saw as an important step to forming a unity government.
- The United Nations Security Council and U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien on Thursday pushed for more aid and commercial access to Yemen, where a near total blockade by Saudi Arabia has slowed shipments to the war-torn Arabian Peninsula country to a trickle.
- The sound of whirring helicopter blades fills Syrians with fear that “hell and fire” is about fall in a barrel bomb, a rescue worker told the United Nations Security Council on Friday as pressure mounts for the body to take action to stop civilian killings in Syria.
- United Nations human rights experts appealed to the United States on Friday to impose a moratorium on the death penalty for federal crimes, including the sentence imposed on the Boston Marathon bomber, with a view to abolishing the practice.