20th January 2017

  • Dozens were killed in a car bomb attack on a military base in Mali.
  • US air raids on Islamic State camps in Libya killed more than 80 militants.
  • Moscow signals interest in Libya.
  • The Nigerian air force mistakenly bombed a refugee camp near the border with Cameroon, killing as many as 170 people.
  • Senegalese troops entered Gambia yesterday in a bid to force President Yahyah Jammeh to relinquish his rule to the democratically-elected Adama Barrow. Jammeh has been given until midday today (Friday) to cede power.
  • The Ivory Coast’s military mutiny is cause for worry in an otherwise bright post-conflict narrative.
  • In the wake of war and ebola, Sierra Leoneans need mental health support but have one lone psychiatric hospital and two psychiatrists.
  • The Sudanese government says it is ready to sign a peace accord with one of the major rebel groups in the Darfur conflict.
  • South Sudan and the limits of American influence.
  • In Somalia, Al-Shabaab is making extensive use of child soldiers. The verifying the recruitment of more than 6,000 children between 2010 and 2016 and estimating that half of the group’s forces were child recruits.
  • Purges have weakened Turkey’s military.
  • Corruption allegations plague Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Despite the ceasefire, aid to besieged Syrian civilians is at its lowest level in a year.
  • After reclaiming Palmyra in December, Islamic State militants have destroyed a tetrapylon and part of a Roman theatre.
  • The death toll in the war in Yemen is now more than 10,000 people.
  • In Iraq, a 650-mile trench “runs from Sinjar, in the north-west, to Khanaqin, near the Iranian border, following the line of Kurdish military control.”
  • Marsh Arabs make a return to Iraq’s wetlands 25 years after Saddam Hussein drained them.
  • Iraqi forces secure eastern Mosul.
  • “This is the Catch-22 facing the world. The more defeats IS suffers in the Middle East, the more it must expand its operations abroad.”
  • The Islamic State’s oil fires have destructive consequences.
  • Iraq struggles with an overwhelming need for mental health care.
  • The Taliban refuses ownership of an attack that killed five Emirati diplomats.
  • Kompromat moves from a domestic tool of the Kremlin to an international one.
  • Russia extended Edward Snowden’s asylum.
  • In her last major speech as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power delivered some severe criticism of Russian aggression.
  • Domestic refugees in Ukraine wait out the war.
  • In a lawsuit brought in the International Court of Justice, Ukraine has accused Russia of “acts of terrorism and discrimination in the course of its unlawful aggression.”
  • Lithuania is building a fence along its border with Russian Kaliningrad.
  • Kosovo accused Serbia of wanting to annex part of northern Kosovo following the “Crimea model.”
  • NYT journalist Adam Nossiter talks about the reporting and consequences of his piece on French olive farmer and eloquent migrant smuggler Cédric Herrou.
  • Analysis: the consequences of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders.
  • Among his hundreds of acts of clemency as he left office, President Obama commuted the bulk of Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence. She will be released in May. For those who might criticize the choice, here’s an essayfrom Lawfare in September arguing the case for her commutation. Also important to note that her pre-trial imprisonment was investigated by the UN and deemed “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” and she has since faced inter-related struggles with gender dysphoria, suicide, and solitary confinement.
  • Obama also commuted the remaining 35 years of Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera’s 55 year sentence for “seditious conspiracy.”
  • Obama’s last detainee transfers from Guantánamo leaves the prison population at 41.
  • Newly released CIA documents add details about the torture program, including internal concerns over it.
  • Human Rights Watch calls Trump’s inauguration the “dawn of a dangerous new era.

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