8th January 2016


  • Egypt is getting 46 Kamov attack helicopters from Russia to go with its recently acquired Mistral warships.
  • Libya’s worst bombing since the fall of Gaddhafi killed 47 at a police academy in Zliten.
  • The Islamic State has captured Ben Jawad, a Libyan town close to the country’s oil ports.
  • Rwandan Hutu rebels launched attacks inside the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 14 civilians.
  • Paul Kagamé is seeking a third term in office.
  • New year, new sex abuse allegations against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.
  • Anicet Georges Dologuele and Faustin Archange Touadera, both former premiers of the CAR, will face one another in a run-off vote at the end of the month.
  • Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara has granted full and partial sentence reductions for over 3000 prisoners jailed over post-election violence.
  • Garissa University in Kenya has reopened after a terrorist attack killed 148 there nine months ago.
  • Kenya’s ethnic Somali population is increasingly at risk in the government’s anti-terror crackdown.
  • The US has shut down its drone operations base in southern Ethiopia.
  • Turkey has released VICE’s Mohammed Rasool on bail.
  • The Syrian government has relented, agreeing to allow aid to reach the besieged town of Madaya.
  • The OPCW says that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles have been completelydestroyed.
  • The Islamic State executed citizen journalist Ruqia Hussain in Raqqa, by all accounts the first instance of the group executing a female journalist for her reporting.
  • New propaganda video from the Islamic State shows a new executioner – aBritish-accented successor to Mohammed Emwazi.
  • Syrian refugees remain stranded in Jordan’s Zaatari camp.
  • Israel is turning to live fire and other harsh measures in response to violent Palestinian protests.
  • Here’s a Guardian interactive of US-led airstrikes since the end of December.
  • Ramadi, recently liberated, is in ruins. The Islamic State has now turned itsattentions to Haditha.
  • Anything resembling a relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia (busy engaged in a kind of proxy war in Yemen) fell apart over the weekend after the monarchyexecuted a well-known Shi’ite cleric – Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Iran was vocally outraged by the execution and protesters in Tehran stormed the Saudi embassy. Riyadh, in turn, severed diplomatic ties with Iran (as did Kuwait, Sudan, the UAE and Bahrain). In Iraq, retaliations against Sunnis have turned deadly and Baghdad is caught in a diplomatic dilemma.
  • Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of bombing its embassy in Yemen, where the war has been re-intensified since the diplomatic fallout. Human Rights Watch says the Riyadh-led coalition has recently dropped cluster munitions.
  • Yemen is expelling the top UN human rights official in the country.
  • A siege on the Indian consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif lasted for 25 hours.
  • Gunmen attacked the Pathankot Indian air force base near the Pakistani border and the ensuing battle lasted for a few days.
  • Myanmar’s army has engaged in fighting with a Buddhist insurgency in Rakhine state more than a dozen times over the past couple of weeks.
  • North Korea claims to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, though the reports are met with skepticism.
  • Human Rights Watch is accusing Thailand of avoiding accountability for the violent 2010 crackdown after the country’s corruption commission dismissed malfeasance charges against former officials.
  • The New York Times maps Russia’s re-arming and military expansion.
  • Russia has also named, for the first time, the United States as one of its threats to national security in a new appraisal signed by Putin.
  • A knife-wielding assailant in a fake suicide vest was killed outside a Paris police station on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
  • Le Monde reconstructs the events of the November attacks.
  • Belgian authorities say they may have found the Brussels apartment hideout used by one of the attackers as he escaped.
  • Guatemala arrested 18 former military officers over massacres and disappearances that occurred in the 1980s, at the apex of violence in the country’s long civil war.
  • Special Operations head Gen. Joseph Votel has been tapped to be CENTCOM’s next chief.
  • A civilian will be appointed to monitor the NYPD’s counterterrorism activities.
  • The Pentagon transferred two Guantánamo detainees to Ghana.
  • The Marines have been told to end the practice of gender segregating initial training.
  • The Just Security blog entreats us to “call combat combat.”

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