Protests arise as Modi visits Kashmir

A shutdown protest was declared in Kashmir, during a one-day visit to the region by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was there to inaugurate a hydropower project. Separatists within Kashmir called for the protest in response to Mr Modi’s visit. Authorities closed schools, colleges and universities for the day in case of student protests. The main venue for his visit to Srinagar, the Dal Lake tourist attraction, was made out of bounds to the public. A day before his visit, at least nine people including an Indian soldier, were killed across the Kashmir’s border due to firing by each...

Referendum extends Burundi's presidential term limits

The results of a referendum in Burundi this week, which has been criticised by the US, potentially grants current President Pierre Nkurunziza the power to stay in office until 2034. The country’s election chief reported that 73 percent has voted in favour for extending the presidential term from five years, to seven. Pierre Claver Ndyaicariye, commission chairman has said that 96 percent of the 4.7 million registered to vote, has voted in this referendum. Yet, opposition campaign workers were refused access to polling stations, claimed by Evariste Ngayimpenda from the Amizero y’Abarundi...

US pledges deepening support to Georgia, calls on Russia to withdraw occupying military

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged deeper security and economic support to Georgia, whilst calling on Russia to withdraw its forces from the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in accordance to a 2008 ceasefire agreement. “The United States unequivocally condemns Russia’s occupation on Georgian soil. Russia’s forcible invasion of Georgia is a clear violation of international peace and security,” said the Secretary of State. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said American support for peaceful resolution to Russia’s presence in Georgia “is of highest importance to our...

US legislators pass bill targeting Mynamar's military and its economic interests

The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs passed legislation last week to hold Myanmar’s military accountable and target their economic interests with sanctions. The Burma Unified through Rigorous Military Accountability Act of 2018 (BURMA Act) imposes targeted sanctions and travel restrictions on senior Myanmar military officials responsible for human rights abuses against the Rohingya people. The bill also sought to empower civil society to reclaim their economy. Noting the militarisation of the gemstone economy, the bill said illicit trafficking “deprives the people of...

Taliban overruns western Afghan city in blitz attack

The Taliban launched an attack on the capital of the western Afghan province of Farah, briefly overrunning the city. At least 25 members of the Afghan security forces were killed in the attack on Tuesday. Afghan provincial official Fared Bakhtawer said "security checkpoints around the city have collapsed into the hands of the Taliban, causing high casualties among security forces." Though the Taliban have now left the city, a spokesperson said that “without any disturbance, the mujahideen withdrew to their safe positions,” according to Reuters. Afghan security officials claimed to have killed...

Turkey expels Israeli ambassador as Israel faces mounting criticism

Turkey’s government ordered Israeli ambassador, Etan Naeh to leave the country in response to Israel’s killing of Palestinian protestors in the Gaza strip yesterday. The ambassador was told by Turkey’s foreign minister that it would be “appropriate” if he returned to Israel “for a while” reports the Washington Post. Israel responded by asking Turkey’s ambassador to Israel to also return to Turkey. The moves came as Israel faced international criciticism for its brutal response to Palestinian protestors that saw over 50 killed and 2700 injured in one day. Belgium and Ireland summoned Israeli...

ICC to decide in June if forced exodus of Rohingya Muslims can be investigated

On June 20 th war crimes judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will discuss whether to launch investigation into the forced exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar. The decision was made after chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, asked the court whether deportations could be investigated as a crime against humanity. "The chamber convenes a status conference on 20 June 2018, to be held in closed session, only in the presence of the prosecutor," ruled Judge Peter Kovacs on Friday. Approximately 700 000 Rohingya Muslims fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since last August. Given that...

Catalan parliament elects new pro-independence leader

Catalan parliament has completed negotiations within parties to allow for the selection of a pro-independence candidate to assume presidency of Catalan parliament and end the emergency direct rule imposed by Madrid. The Catalan regional parliament is set to elect Quim Torra with a simple majority after the far left pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (cup) agreed to not block the vote. Mr Torra was handpicked by the exiled Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who faces jail on rebellion charges if he returns to Spain from Germany. Spanish President Marcas Rajoy said that constitutional...

South Africa withdraws ambassador from Israel following Gaza's bloodiest day of protest

In the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014, 55 protestors were killed with over 2,700 injured by live gunfire reports Reuters. The Palestinian Authority said that at least 1,100 of those injuries were lower limb gunshot wounds. Thousands of Palestinians protested at the border between Gaza and Israel to mark Israel’s 70th anniversary. As the protests swelled, Israeli forces opened fire and sprayed tear gas. South Africa’s government responded to the killings by withdrawing its Ambassador from Israel. In a statement on Monday evening, the Department of International Relations and...

Ta’ang National Liberation Army clashes with Myanmar’s military near China border

Myanmar’s troops and government aligned paramilitaries have clashed with fighters from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army in the north of the country, leaving at least 15 people dead. “Fighting took place since 5am this morning at three places: two military bases in Muse and one near a bridge on the way to Lashio town,” TNLA spokesman Major Mai Aik Kyaw told AFP. "We fight because of heavy fighting in our region and the serious offensive in Kachin State," he said. Thousands of civilians have been forced to flee the northern state of Kachin as the army stepped up air strikes and artillery...

Pages