RUSSIA BEGINS TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM UKRAINE BORDER

. by

Russia began withdrawing military units from the Ukrainian border and the Crimean Peninsula, after weeks of heightened tension over Russian troop build-up in the area. On Thursday 22 April, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the objectives of the sweeping military manoeuvres were accomplished. He ordered the units on exercise back to their permanent bases…

READ MORE

TENSIONS BETWEEN U.S. AND CHINA CONTINUE TO RISE OVER TAIWAN

. by

By Alex Pollock The State Department has announced that it will make it easier for US officials to meet Taiwanese representatives, defying pressure from China at a time of high tensions, and as the US Congress considers sweeping legislation to counter Beijing’s influence. The United States still considers Beijing to be China’s legitimate government, consistent…

READ MORE

JORDAN’S PRINCE HAMZAH ACCUSED OF ‘DESTABILISATION PLOT’

. by

By Donnelly McCleland Jordan has banned reporting about an alleged plot to destabilise the country, said to involve controversial ex-Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein. The prosecutor general said the ban extended to social media networks. Over the weekend, the government accused Prince Hamzah, 41, of conspiring against the kingdom. Details have now emerged of an…

READ MORE

CHINA, IRAN SIGN COMPREHENSIVE 25-YEAR COOPERATION AGREEMENT

. by

On 27 March, the foreign ministers of China and Iran signed a 25-year cooperation agreement to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance. The deal, discussed since 2016, came to fruition on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and China, and at a time when their key interests overlap amid…

READ MORE

NUCLEAR-ARMED NEIGHBOURS PAKISTAN AND INDIA SHOW SIGNS OF MENDING RELATIONS

. by

On Thursday 18 March, Pakistani military chief Qamar Javed Bajwa called on both Pakistan and India to “bury the past” and to move toward creating a stable, diplomatic relationship. The chief’s comments come one month after a 25 February ceasefire in the disputed Kashmir region. Bajwa blamed on-going disputes in Kashmir for “dragging the region…

READ MORE

RUSSIA’S PEACE-MAKING AND DIPLOMATIC INTERVENTIONS

. by

By Alex Pollock Russia has become involved in wars in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and the CAR in different capacities. Russia has many of the instruments needed to make headway in complex peace negotiations, including good intelligence and analytical capabilities and effective diplomatic service. But so far, Russia has had mixed success. Many Russian mechanisms of…

READ MORE

WILL TIGRAY BE ETHIOPIA’S TIPPING POINT?

. by

By Donnelly McCleland Forces fighting Ethiopia’s military in the Tigray region laid out eight conditions on Friday [19 February] for beginning peace talks, including the appointment of an international mediator and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered airstrikes and a ground offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – the…

READ MORE

G5 SUMMIT CONSIDERS OPTIONS FOR COMBATTING DEEPENING CRISES IN SAHEL REGION

. by

By Donnelly McCleland French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday [16 February] ruled out an immediate reduction of French troops battling Islamist militants in West Africa’s Sahel region, saying a rushed exit would be a mistake. Mr Macron and a group of five African allies — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — were taking…

READ MORE

EGYPT OPENS GAZA BORDER

. by

On Tuesday 9 February, Egypt opened its Rafah border with the Gaza strip ‘indefinitely’. This crossing functioned as the enclave’s only access point not under Israel’s control but remained mostly closed since the split in the Palestinian government. Fighting broke out when Fatah refused to recognise the unexpected victory of Hamas in the 2006 elections….

READ MORE

2021 – LOOKING AHEAD

. by

By Andrew Richards The ongoing impact of COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the fastest, and most far-reaching response to a global health emergency in human history. 2021 will see the outworking of this collective scientific effort, as nations embark on the mammoth task of vaccinating millions of people. Despite the calamitous impact of COVID-19…

READ MORE