Africa

UN court rejects UK’s claim of sovereignty over Chagos Islands

Judges advise Britain that separating archipelago from Mauritius in 1960s was wrong Owen Bowcott The Guardian The UK has been ordered to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible” after the United Nations’ highest court ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal. Although the majority decision by the international court of justice in The Hague is only advisory, the unambiguous clarity of the judges’ pronouncement is a humiliating blow to Britain’s prestige ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: Why Chagos Islanders should be hailed as heroes

UN court finding may open the way for Chagos Islanders’ to return home The Irish Times In The Hague last month, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the United Kingdom’s declaration in 2010 of a Marine Protection Area around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean was illegal. The decision endorsed the claim of the government of Mauritius that the UK did not have jurisdiction to make rulings relating to the status of the area. The finding ... Read More »

Bashir declares year-long state of emergency across Sudan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared a nationwide state of emergency on Friday and dissolved the government, in an effort to quell weeks of demonstrations that have rocked his iron-fisted rule of three decades. Khartoum – AFP Hurriyet “I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year,” Bashir said in a televised address to the nation from the presidential palace in Khartoum. “I announce dissolving the government at the federal level and at the provincial levels,” he added. Deadly protests ... Read More »

Ghana Armed Forces trains stakeholders on Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) management

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Hassan Tampuli, has stressed the need for Ghana to strengthen security operations within the maritime domain, especially within the… BusinessGhana Source: graphic.com.gh Speaking at the 14th Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Management and Operations Course in Accra, Mr Tampuli said EEZ Management and Operations has assumed centre stage in maritime security and economic management in all coastal states and Ghana cannot afford to play to the… EEZ Course EEZ ... Read More »

Managing Ethiopia’s Unsettled Transition

Ethiopia’s charismatic new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has generated great excitement with initiatives breaking with the past. ICG But he faces challenges as formidable as his promises are bold: he urgently needs to halt communal strife, smooth the road to elections and boost the ailing economy. What’s new? Ethiopia’s new premier, Abiy Ahmed Ali, has made peace with Eritrea, extended a conciliatory hand to opponents, and promised moves to free and fair elections, expanded political space and economic reform. But ... Read More »

Winning Back Trust in Nigeria’s Rescheduled Elections

Only hours before polls were to open, Nigeria’s electoral commission postponed elections scheduled for 16 February by one week. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Nigeria expert Nnamdi Obasi says the commission and other authorities must act now to win back trust and reduce risks of violence. What happened? Nigeria’s 84 million voters were set to vote in presidential and federal legislative elections on 16 February. But at 2.40 am that day, just over five hours before polling stations were to ... Read More »

Israel’s Leviathan Energy Prize: Where Will The Gas Go?

Israel is finally emerging as a natural gas player in the Mediterranean. In the last week of January, the Israeli Navy conducted a complex drill simulating attacks on the country’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure. Ariel Cohen Forbes The exercise included coordinated operations between dozens of naval vessels and aircraft, and even incorporated a live-fire missile test against an abandoned cargo vessel (imitating an enemy transport… Israel’s week-long “Raging Sea” operation comes on the heels of two joint military drills ... Read More »

Egypt says “NO” to East Med

An unequivocal “no” from Egypt received the East Med gas pipeline. Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, said he was opposed to the transportation of gas from East Mediterranean to Europe via the East Med pipeline. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna He even justified his position by saying that the feasibility study for this project would last up to two years, which in itself is a luxury the region of ... Read More »

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. ICG This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule. On 3-6 February 2019, at the request of N’Djamena, planes from the French Operation Barkhane proceeded with a series of strikes against a group of Chadian rebels in the north east of the country. According ... Read More »

‘He’ll be killed’: Fears for UK asylum seekers threatened with deportation under alleged deal with Zimbabawe

Exclusive: ‘I’m shocked that they want to send me back to a place where all those terrible things are happening. I won’t be able to walk out of the airport terminal without being interrogated by the police. There will be brutal beatings. I won’t be spared’ May Bulman Independent Zimbabwean asylum seekers who were forced to attend meetings with officials from their home country have been threatened with removal, in a move believed to be part of an agreement to “repatriate” thousands of… At least two people who ... Read More »

African leaders unveil statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor

A statue of Ethiopia‘s Emperor Haile Selassie has been unveiled at the headquarters of the African Union on Feb. 10. ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Hurriyet The statue is the second to be erected inside the continental body’s offices in Ethiopia‘s capital Addis Ababa, after one of Ghana’s first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, who championed pan-Africanism. Several African leaders at the current African Union summit and relatives of the emperor attended the… Ethiopians have cheered the statue’s erection, the first on Ethiopian soil since Haile ... Read More »

Canada opens doors to some 750 ex-slaves from Libya

Canada will welcome some 750 ex-slaves from Libya as refugees, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said on Feb. 6. OTTAWA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The number of migrants traveling through Libya to reach Europe has increased tenfold since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, according to the United Nations. And their fate was highlighted – dramatically in 2017 – by multiple shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and the broadcast of a CNN report showing a Libyan slave market. “In 2017, the world was shocked to see ... Read More »

Migrants calling us in distress from the Mediterranean returned to Libya by deadly ‘refoulement’ industry

When they called us from the sea, the 106 precarious travellers referred to their boat as a white balloon. Maurice Stierl The Conversation This balloon, or rubber dinghy, was meant to carry them all the way to safety in Europe. The people on board – many men, about 20 women, and 12 children from central, west and north Africa – had left Khoms in Libya a day earlier, on the evening of January 19. Though they survived the night at ... Read More »

Eight Priorities for the African Union in 2019

With this commentary, coming in the wake of our annual Ten Conflicts to Watch and EU Watch List, Crisis Group turns to what 2019 will mean for the African continent and the African Union (AU) ahead of its February summit. ICG The broad trends identified in those two preceding publications are mirrored here as well, to wit: a transition wrapped in a transition, wrapped in a transition. The first transition is occurring at the local level, where entrenched governments face a perilous mix ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani’s literary prize acceptance speech – full transcript

Asylum speaker accepts $125,000 Victorian premier’s literary prize via video from Manus Island, where he has been held for six years Behrouz Boochani The Guardian This is a transcript of the speech Behrouz Boochani delivered via video link on 31 January 2019 Behrouz Boochani wins Australia’s richest literary prize When I arrived at Christmas Island six years ago, an immigration official called me into the office and told me that they were going to exile me to Manus Island, a ... Read More »

Tutankhamun’s tomb restored to prevent damage by visitors

A nine-year project has been completed to restore the tomb of ancient Egypt’s boy king, Tutankhamun, and address issues that threatened its survival. BBC Experts from the Getty Conservation Institute repaired scratches and abrasions on the wall paintings caused by visitors to the burial chamber. The paintings were also affected by humidity, dust and carbon dioxide introduced by every person who entered. A new ventilation system should reduce the need for future cleaning. New barriers will restrict physical access to ... Read More »