11th December 2015

  • Abu Nabil, the Islamic State’s man in Libya, has been killed by a US airstrike in Derna. The group is using Libya, where it has some 3,000 fighters, as a footholdin North Africa.
  • Rival factions in Libya have agreed on a peace plan.
  • How a rivalry between the UAE and Qatar is impacting Libya.
  • French peacekeepers are being interrogated about claims of child sex abuse in the Central African Republic.
  • Protests broke out in CAR’s capital, Bangui, after the Constitutional Court rejected exiled former president Françoise Bozize’s electoral bid.
  • The UN issued a warning over a crackdown on dissent ahead of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Two military camps in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, were stormed by unknown attackers and eight people were killed in the firefight.
  • Unrest in Burundi, which has stoked fears of a return to ethnic violence and civil war, has increased the country’s debt fourfold.
  • One of the nine most wanted fugitives from the 1994 Rwandan genocide wasarrested in the Congo. Ladislaz Ntaganzwa, a Rwandan man with a $5m bounty on his head who had been on the run for 21 years, stands accused of participating in and inciting the genocide as mayor of Nyakizu.
  • Boko Haram suicide bombers killed eight in Cameroon Friday morning.
  • Extremist attacks have displaced thousands from islands in Lake Chad.
  • Violent clashes in Ethiopia have killed ten students after protests erupted against a planned expansion of Addis Ababa into nearby farmland.
  • The US has announced that it killed the Islamic State’s minister of finance, along with two other senior commanders, in an airstrike.
  • Here’s how the group is pulling in so much cash. The Treasury Dept. says that the Islamic State has made $1.5 billion from bank looting and oil sales. Even after their supply routes have been cut, the group shows serious resilience.
  • Reuters investigates the role of former Ba’athists in the formation of the Islamic State.
  • Syrian rebels and civilians have pulled out of the last opposition-held neighborhood in Homs.
  • The US says that an airstrike on a Syrian army position in eastern Syria wasactually carried out by Russia.
  • The high global demand for precision missiles (smart bombs) is putting a strain on US arms manufacturers.
  • Russia’s defense minister says that the country has carried out 4,000 sorties over Syria since the start of its air war, also saying that Russia has received 35 new ICBMs in 2015 to push forward their military modernization quest.
  • Turkey’s prime minister accused Russia of “ethnic cleansing” in Syria.
  • The Guardian obtained an internal Islamic State manual that offers insight into its state-building efforts.
  • Iraqi forces have retaken 60% of Ramadi from the Islamic State.
  • Shadi Hamid looks at the rationality of the Islamic State.
  • The Long War Journal explains why the Islamic State wants believers like the San Bernardino shooters to pledge allegiance before their deaths.
  • The Pentagon has proposed a string of new bases in Africa, Southwest Asia and the Middle East to aid in the fight against the Islamic State.
  • Thousands of Syrian asylum seekers are being held in limbo at Jordan’s border.
  • Syrian opposition have agreed to UN-sponsored negotiations, but say Assad has to go.
  • “Farah” details to the BBC her torture in the hands of the Syrian government.
  • The Syrian government has no interest in defeating the Islamic State.
  • Baghdad is angry over a Turkish troop deployment into northern Iraq for which it did not give permission.
  • Turkey announced an expansion of the rights of the Alevi minority.
  • New Yemen peace talks are set for December 15th.
  • Former Guantánamo detainee Ibrahim Qosi is now an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen.
  • Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is on hunger strike.
  • One rifle’s journey from Belgium to Gaza.
  • There are signs of a factional realignment underway in Iran.
  • 11 Taliban gunmen laid siege to Kandahar airport, killing at least 50 people.
  • After overrunning Khanishin district in Helmand province, the Taliban nowcontrol 37 districts in Afghanistan and contest 39.
  • Rival Taliban factions are clashing in western Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US have reopened Taliban peace talks without the Taliban.
  • Mullah Mansour says he isn’t dead.
  • Afghanistan’s intelligence chief has resigned after disagreements with President Ashraf Ghani.
  • The US jailed a former Russian tank commander for life plus 30 years for fighting for the Taliban.
  • India and Pakistan have agreed to resume peace talks.
  • The Islamic State has extended recruitment efforts into China.
  • Chinese civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang will stand trial next week over comments he made online.
  • North Korea hinted at H-bomb capabilities, though experts doubt this.
  • North and South Korea met this week in an attempt to improve relations.
  • Arms and fighters are still coming over the border from Russia into eastern Ukraine, says the UN. 9,100 people have died so far in the war in Ukraine.
  • Georgia says Russia violated its airspace.
  • Ukraine and Syria offer insight into Russian tactics.
  • The Bosnian Serb regional government has stopped cooperating with the State over the arrests of five Serb war crimes suspects.
  • Azerbaijan has released human rights activist Leyla Yunus.
  • Geneva is on maximum alert hunting for four terror suspects.
  • How terrorists return to Europe from Syria.
  • About 100 Cuban dissidents were arrested in a crackdown on Human Rights Day protests.
  • Voters’ fears over terrorism and xenophobic insecurities are fueling far-right populist politicians from the United States to France and Hungary.
  • House Republicans are accusing the White House of breaking the law with the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap.
  • The new season of the Serial podcast will focus on Bergdahl.

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