25 Aug
Eritrean Border Guards Shoot Dead 10 Civilians Trying to Flee | Tesfa-Alem Tekle
Shire — Eritrean border guards have allegedly shot dead 10 Eritreans citizens as they attempted to cross in to Ethiopia, a recent escapee told Sudan Tribune on Friday.
Samuel Gedion said he was among a group of 18 Eritreans who were trying to flee to Ethiopia two weeks ago.
"Ten of them were killed, while three of us made it to Ethiopia. I am not sure on the fate of the remaining five," he said.
He said border guards had opened fired on the group without any prior warning.
FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)
Photo: Charles Roffey/flickr

Eritrean Border Guards Shoot Dead 10 Civilians Trying to Flee | Tesfa-Alem Tekle

Shire — Eritrean border guards have allegedly shot dead 10 Eritreans citizens as they attempted to cross in to Ethiopia, a recent escapee told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Samuel Gedion said he was among a group of 18 Eritreans who were trying to flee to Ethiopia two weeks ago.

"Ten of them were killed, while three of us made it to Ethiopia. I am not sure on the fate of the remaining five," he said.

He said border guards had opened fired on the group without any prior warning.

FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)

Photo: Charles Roffey/flickr

Bosnia Salafi Leader ‘Appeals to Youths to Join Isis’ | Gianluca Mezzofiore
The leader of the Salafi movement in Bosnia Herzegovina, one of the largest Islamist communities in the country, has called on young Muslims to join the ranks of Isis (known as the Islamic State) in Iraq and Syria.
Bilal Bosnic was filmed in the area of Cazinska Krajina in northwestern Bosnia preaching beneath an Isis black flag that “the truth and the Islamic State survive despite so many attacks of those who are confused and those who fight against the truth”. He then urged fellow Muslims to join the jihadists fighting to establish a caliphate between Syria and Iraq.
But when interviewed by the Avaz news site, the cleric retracted his comments, claiming that journalists misinterpreted his words.
FULL ARTICLE (The International Business Times)
Photo: Andreas Lehner/flickr

Bosnia Salafi Leader ‘Appeals to Youths to Join Isis’ | Gianluca Mezzofiore

The leader of the Salafi movement in Bosnia Herzegovina, one of the largest Islamist communities in the country, has called on young Muslims to join the ranks of Isis (known as the Islamic State) in Iraq and Syria.

Bilal Bosnic was filmed in the area of Cazinska Krajina in northwestern Bosnia preaching beneath an Isis black flag that “the truth and the Islamic State survive despite so many attacks of those who are confused and those who fight against the truth”. He then urged fellow Muslims to join the jihadists fighting to establish a caliphate between Syria and Iraq.

But when interviewed by the Avaz news site, the cleric retracted his comments, claiming that journalists misinterpreted his words.

FULL ARTICLE (The International Business Times)

Photo: Andreas Lehner/flickr

Explained: What will it take for the Gaza crisis to finally end? | AFP
Future developments in the Gaza conflict — attrition warfare, a ground incursion or a ceasefire — depend on events on the ground, the status of the forces on both sides and internal dynamics, analysts say.
What is the current balance of power in the conflict?
Israel has dealt a heavy blow to Hamas by eliminating three of its senior military commanders, with the outcome of its attempt to assassinate the Palestinian movement’s military chief Mohammed Deif unclear.
Israel has also destroyed around two-thirds of the 10,000 rockets Hamas was believed to possess, killing some 900 “terrorists” and destroying their network of underground attack tunnels, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP.
"Hamas no longer has the same capabilities as before, there is a gap between the reality on the ground and the military and political statements," said Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University.
FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via First Post)
Photo: Kashfi Halford/flickr

Explained: What will it take for the Gaza crisis to finally end? | AFP

Future developments in the Gaza conflict — attrition warfare, a ground incursion or a ceasefire — depend on events on the ground, the status of the forces on both sides and internal dynamics, analysts say.

What is the current balance of power in the conflict?

Israel has dealt a heavy blow to Hamas by eliminating three of its senior military commanders, with the outcome of its attempt to assassinate the Palestinian movement’s military chief Mohammed Deif unclear.

Israel has also destroyed around two-thirds of the 10,000 rockets Hamas was believed to possess, killing some 900 “terrorists” and destroying their network of underground attack tunnels, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP.

"Hamas no longer has the same capabilities as before, there is a gap between the reality on the ground and the military and political statements," said Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University.

FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via First Post)

Photo: Kashfi Halford/flickr

Populist’s Brash Tactics Stir Fears of Crisis in Pakistan | DECLAN WALSHAUG
LONDON — Only last year, Imran Khan was casting himself as the savior of Pakistani politics: a playboy cricketer turned opposition leader who enjoyed respect and sex appeal, filling stadiums with adoring young Pakistanis drawn to his strident attacks on corruption, American drone strikes and old-school politics. When Mr. Khan promised that he would become prime minister, many believed him.
Now, though, Mr. Khan’s populist touch appears to have deserted him. 
He led thousands of supporters into the center of the capital, Islamabad, a week ago in a boisterous bid to force the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom he accuses of election fraud. But the crowds he attracted were much smaller than his party had hoped, and the protest movement has been messy, inchoate and inconclusive. 
FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times)
Photo: Mustafa Mohsin/flickr

Populist’s Brash Tactics Stir Fears of Crisis in Pakistan | DECLAN WALSHAUG

LONDON — Only last year, Imran Khan was casting himself as the savior of Pakistani politics: a playboy cricketer turned opposition leader who enjoyed respect and sex appeal, filling stadiums with adoring young Pakistanis drawn to his strident attacks on corruption, American drone strikes and old-school politics. When Mr. Khan promised that he would become prime minister, many believed him.

Now, though, Mr. Khan’s populist touch appears to have deserted him. 

He led thousands of supporters into the center of the capital, Islamabad, a week ago in a boisterous bid to force the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom he accuses of election fraud. But the crowds he attracted were much smaller than his party had hoped, and the protest movement has been messy, inchoate and inconclusive. 

FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times)

Photo: Mustafa Mohsin/flickr

22 Aug
"The government, parliamentary opposition, demonstrators and the security apparatus must all respect the constitution and rule of law. Otherwise it would be next to impossible to resolve Pakistan’s security challenges, including militancy and terrorism that have claimed thousands of lives."

—From Crisis Group’s latest Conflict Alert: Protecting Pakistan’s Threatened Democracy

Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms | Agence France-Presse
Thousands of armed Shiite rebels in Yemen strengthened their positions in the capital Sanaa this week as they pressed their campaign to force the government to resign.
The rebels have been fighting an off-conflict with government troops in the northern mountains for the past decade but analysts warned their bid for a greater share of power in a promised new federal Yemen was creating a potentially explosive situation.
The Zaidi Shiites are the minority community in mainly Sunni Yemen but they form the majority in the northern highlands, including the Sanaa region.
Rebel activists used cranes to build walls around protest camps across the capital, where protest leaders have given the government a deadline of Friday to meet their demands.
FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via France 24)
Photo: AJTalkEng/flickr

Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms | Agence France-Presse

Thousands of armed Shiite rebels in Yemen strengthened their positions in the capital Sanaa this week as they pressed their campaign to force the government to resign.

The rebels have been fighting an off-conflict with government troops in the northern mountains for the past decade but analysts warned their bid for a greater share of power in a promised new federal Yemen was creating a potentially explosive situation.

The Zaidi Shiites are the minority community in mainly Sunni Yemen but they form the majority in the northern highlands, including the Sanaa region.

Rebel activists used cranes to build walls around protest camps across the capital, where protest leaders have given the government a deadline of Friday to meet their demands.

FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via France 24)

Photo: AJTalkEng/flickr

"The protests rocking Islamabad threaten to upend the constitutional order, set back rule of law and open the possibility of a soft coup, with the military ruling through the backdoor. Renewed political instability at the centre would imperil any progress that has been made in addressing grievous economic, development and security challenges."

—From Crisis Group’s latest Conflict Alert: Protecting Pakistan’s Threatened Democracy

Tunisia crackdown raises fears of rights rollback |  Bouazza Ben Bouazza And Paul Schemm
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Mosques are being closed, local organizations banned and at least 1,000 people have been arrested as Tunisia cracks down on those suspected of sympathizing with radical Islamists.
Tunisia was the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, but the nation’s battle against terrorism is raising fears that it might be returning to its old ways of political repression.
Since overthrowing long-ruling dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and kicking off region-wide pro-democracy protests, Tunisia has been moving slowly toward setting up a new representative government, but increasingly it has come under attack by radical Islamists capitalizing on the chaos in neighboring Libya. Weapons and extremists from both Libya and Algeria are threatening Tunisia’s security as all of North Africa has become increasingly jittery over rumors of new attacks by al-Qaida’s local branch.
FULL ARTICLE (Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek)
Photo: Richard Mortel/flickr

Tunisia crackdown raises fears of rights rollback |  Bouazza Ben Bouazza And Paul Schemm

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Mosques are being closed, local organizations banned and at least 1,000 people have been arrested as Tunisia cracks down on those suspected of sympathizing with radical Islamists.

Tunisia was the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, but the nation’s battle against terrorism is raising fears that it might be returning to its old ways of political repression.

Since overthrowing long-ruling dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and kicking off region-wide pro-democracy protests, Tunisia has been moving slowly toward setting up a new representative government, but increasingly it has come under attack by radical Islamists capitalizing on the chaos in neighboring Libya. Weapons and extremists from both Libya and Algeria are threatening Tunisia’s security as all of North Africa has become increasingly jittery over rumors of new attacks by al-Qaida’s local branch.

FULL ARTICLE (Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek)

Photo: Richard Mortel/flickr

21 Aug
Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie
BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.
The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.
Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.
The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”
FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)
Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie

BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.

The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.

Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.

The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”

FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)

Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

Seleka rebels threaten to split CAR | Hilke Fischer
Dar El Kouti is the name of the new state according to a Seleka press release dated August 17, 2014. The document also lists the names of people who are supposed to lead this state. Top of the list is Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic’s fugitive Seleka leader. In the new state of Dar El Kouti he would supposedly become the new head of state and government.
Djotodia was forced to exile in Benin in January 2014 after intense international pressure. He was the man behind the March 2013 coup which threw the Central African Republic into chaos.
Dar El Kouti is the name of a sultanate which existed in the early 19th century. It was located on the territory of present-day north-western Central African Republic.
The Sultan, Muhammad al-Sanusi, fought against the French colonialists. Some people wish to see his legacy revived in the region around the city of Birao, some 800 km (497 miles) north of the capital Bangui. This lies outside the territory that once formed the Sultanate.
FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: hdptcar/flickr

Seleka rebels threaten to split CAR | Hilke Fischer

Dar El Kouti is the name of the new state according to a Seleka press release dated August 17, 2014. The document also lists the names of people who are supposed to lead this state. Top of the list is Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic’s fugitive Seleka leader. In the new state of Dar El Kouti he would supposedly become the new head of state and government.

Djotodia was forced to exile in Benin in January 2014 after intense international pressure. He was the man behind the March 2013 coup which threw the Central African Republic into chaos.

Dar El Kouti is the name of a sultanate which existed in the early 19th century. It was located on the territory of present-day north-western Central African Republic.

The Sultan, Muhammad al-Sanusi, fought against the French colonialists. Some people wish to see his legacy revived in the region around the city of Birao, some 800 km (497 miles) north of the capital Bangui. This lies outside the territory that once formed the Sultanate.

FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: hdptcar/flickr