21st October 2016

  • Burundi began the process of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, as did South Africa. Prior to this week, no nations had ever done so.
  • Opinion: South Africa’s attempt to leave the ICC is unconstitutional.
  • Explainer: Why are African nations leaving the ICC?
  • The number of South Sudanese refugees in Congo doubledin September.
  • South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar says he could return to the country next month.
  • Ethiopia has arrested 1645 people since declaring a state of emergency over protests two weeks ago.
  • The Chibok girls return home to face rejection from their communities.
  • Interview: Libya analyst Mattia Toaldo talks about the state of the country five years after the death of Muammar Gaddhafi.
  • A 72-hour ceasefire has gone into effect in Yemen.
  • A report to the UN Security Council from a panel of experts deems Saudi Arabia’s “double tap” on a Yemeni funeral to be a violation of humanitarian law.
  • Analysis: If the US and UK are now more involved in the war in Yemen, what’s their obligation to investigate Saudi war crimes?
  • The wife of an American man, Wallead Yusuf Pitts Luqman, secretly detained in Yemen for over a year, went public with a Facebook plea for his release.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calls for Fatah and PLO elections before the end of the year.
  • Israel suspended ties with UNESCO after the agency passed a resolution criticizing their policies regarding holy sites in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
  • Palestine is seeking a UN resolution compelling Israel to halt its settlement activity.
  • Turkey and the Syrian rebels don’t share all the same goals.
  • Turkey killed 18 Kurdish militants in Iraq and southeastern Turkey.
  • Russia agreed to extend a “humanitarian pause” in Aleppo until Saturday and the Syrian government openedan evacuation corridor.
  • Despite the temporary ceasefire and the promises from Moscow, many Syrians are staying put out of distrust for the Russian government.
  • Iran lobbied hard for Egypt to have place at the Syria talks in Lausanne last week. Egypt’s foreign policy is realigning: its anti-terrorism stance bringing it in line with Russia and Assad’s Syria and turning it away from Saudi Arabia, despite Riyadh’s deep pockets.
  • As the Mosul offensive gets underway, it should be remembered that the civilians in its path are at risk of terrible consequences. Aid agencies are preparing for the worst.
  • The offensive tests the relationship between the Iraqi army and the Kurdish peshmerga, rivals bound together by a shared adversary.
  • Dispatch: Kurdish fighters open up a new front.
  • The Mosul offensive is putting the Islamic State’s spin machines to the test.
  • An American troop killed by an IED in northern Iraq is the first US combat death in the Mosul offensive.
  • Put on its heels, the Islamic State is pivoting from caliphate to insurgency. And what is the Islamic State without a state?
  • The five cities that matter the most in the fight against the Islamic State? Dabiq, Raqqa, Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul.
  • As the Mosul offensive is underway, Islamic State militants attacked Kirkuk.
  • Iran sentenced an Iranian-American businessman and his father, a former UNICEF representative and provincial governor under the Shah, to ten years each for “cooperating with the hostile American government.”
  • The decades of conflict have taken an extraordinary mental toll on Afghan citizens, a third of whom now contend with mental health problems.
  • Two Americans were killed in an attack at an ammunition depot at Camp Morehead, six miles south of Kabul.
  • An Indonesian court found a young man guilty of terrorism charges for his role in constructing the bomb in this year’s deadly Jakarta attack by the Islamic State.
  • Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, has again started controversy after he vocally rejected the US and embraced China.
  • Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany agreed on a roadmap for peace in Ukraine, and Putin has backed the deployment of OSCE armed observers.
  • In photos: A mural goes up in Avidiyivka, between eastern and western Ukraine.
  • Germany passed a new espionage law allowing their foreign intelligence agency to spy on European Union institutions and member states.
  • The evictions of refugees from the Calais refugee camp means chaos for children.
  • Analysis: “Gender really matters in national security policy.”
  • A filing by federal prosecutors details the vastness of the breach allegedly committed by NSA contractor Harold Martin, who is accused of essentially hoarding a digital archive of 500 million thieved pages.
  • Mohamedou Ould Slahi, the author of the memoir Guantánamo Diary, has finally been released and repatriated to Mauritania. He spent 14 years in captivity without charge and was severely tortured.
  • In a surprising turn of events, a witness who did not appear during pretrial proceedings in the USS Cole case was taken into custody after the judge ordered the enforcement of the subpoena to testify.

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