1st April 2016

  • The UN announced 108 new allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers, most of the 108 are minors.
  • The trial began this week in the Democratic Republic of Congo of twenty soldiers accused of rape and sexual abuse during their time as peacekeepers in the CAR.
  • France will end its military mission to the CAR this year.
  • A former Rwandan official died in jail in Burundi four months after his arrest on espionage charges.
  • A suicide bomber killed nine people at a cafe in central Somalia on Thursday.
  • 10 Libyan cities formerly under control of a rival government pledged supportfor Libya’s new unity government.
  • If the UN-backed government can regain control of Libya, the UN says it will consider lifting sanctions on the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
  • The Syrian army drove the Islamic State out of Palmyra and are setting their sights on Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.
  • In photos: This is what Palmyra looks like now.
  • Despite the drawdown, Russia is now shipping more equipment and supplies into Syria than it is removing.
  • Long read: The architectural cost of the Syrian war (with lots of great book recommendations).
  • The UN says it has been able to deliver aid to 10 out of 18 besieged areas since the February 27 ceasefire.
  • Over the past four months, Turkish border guards have shot and killed sixteen refugees as they attempted to cross. Three of those killed were children.
  • Amnesty International reports that Turkey is also forcibly returning Syrian refugees to the war zone they tried to flee.
  • An explosion targeting security forces in Diyarbakir, a city in Turkey’s primarily Kurdish southeast, killed six.
  • Tens of thousands of Yemenis in Sana’a turned out to protest on the anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war.
  • Saudi Arabia and Yemen have swapped prisoners ahead of scheduled peace talks.
  • Long read: Life for Yemen’s marginalized black citizens has always been difficult, and in this civil war they are the most vulnerable.
  • The US is ramping up its air campaign against Al Qaeda targets inside Yemen.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas backed the resumption of peace talks, saying it could end ongoing violence.
  • Britain will provide the Lebanese army with $30 million to amp up border security.
  • Long read: On the American front lines against the Islamic State.
  • An Islamic State suicide bomber killed more than 40 people as they watched trophies being awarded after a football match in Iskanderiyah, Iraq.
  • Moqtada al-Sadr is back.
  • An offensive against the Islamic State is stalled because of the presence of tens of thousands of trapped Iraqi civilians.
  • The Afghan government faces mounting discontent and criticism and an accumulation of political defections.
  • A suicide bombing claimed by a Taliban splinter group targeted a public park in Lahore on Easter, killing over 70 people. Pakistan has since arrested over 200 people.
  • Infographic: How often terror attacks strike Pakistan.
  • In Laos, some people turn unexploded ordnance from the 1960s and 70s into spoons.
  • China issued a warning to the US over the South China Sea.
  • A senior State Dept official said Russia “no longer sees value in that architecture put in place at the end of the cold war,” and accused the Kremlin of “slowly but surely” undoing post-cold war arms control agreements.
  • The US will increase its military presence in eastern Europe, to which Russia promises what it calls an “asymmetric” response.
  • The White House promised Ukraine $335 million in security assistance.
  • A UN war crimes tribunal acquitted Serb ultranationalist politician Vojislav Seselj of atrocities.
  • A German historian shows how the Associated Press cooperated with the Nazis in the 1930s.
  • Infographic: Who are the war criminals still on the run?
  • Ireland marked 100 years since the Easter Rising.
  • The White House has notified Congress of its plans to resettle nearly a dozen Guantánamo Bay detainees.

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