HARD-LINE PAKISTANI RELIGIOUS LEADER KHADIM RIZVI DIES

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On 22 November, tens of thousands of men gathered in Lahore for the funeral of hard-line Pakistani religious leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi. No cause of death was announced for the 54-year-old Rizvi, who died on Thursday (19 November) after suffering a high fever and difficulties breathing. No Covid-19 test or autopsy was conducted. Rizvi rose…

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CEASEFIRE BETWEEN MOROCCO AND WESTERN SAHARA’S POLISARIO FRONT COLLAPSES

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Analysts have expressed concern that renewed fighting in Western Sahara between the Polisario Front and Morocco after a 29-year ceasefire threatens regional stability and renews fears for the security and future of Sahrawi refugees – most of whom have been displaced since 1975. The Sahrawi refugee situation is among the most protracted ones worldwide. Occupied…

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CONFLICT IN ETHIOPIA THREATENS REGIONAL STABILITY

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Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael has confirmed his forces’ bombing of the Eritrean city of Asmara, as the conflict in the northern region of Ethiopia continues to escalate. While he did not say how many missiles were fired, he did say his troops were fighting both Eritrean and Ethiopian forces on “several fronts” along the Ethiopian…

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ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES FORM WORLD’S LARGEST TRADING BLOC

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On 15 November, 15 Asia-Pacific countries formed the world’s largest free-trade bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The agreement includes the 10 nations that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The agreement excludes the United States, as tensions between China…

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CONFLICT ESCALATES IN ETHIOPIA’S RESTIVE TIGRAY REGION

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On Wednesday 4 November, Ethiopia’s federal government cut off communications in the heavily armed northern Tigray region and ordered troops to respond to an alleged deadly attack on a military base there. Clashes have escalated and there have been casualties reported on both sides. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has since issued several statements seeking…

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GEOPOLITICAL WRANGLING IN THE STRATEGIC KASHMIR REGION OF GILGIT-BALTISTAN

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On 15 November, the two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan will go to the polls for their legislative assembly, which currently has minimal powers and is largely governed directly by Pakistan.  However, on 1 November, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a “Provisional Status of the Province” during a visit to the scenic northern region of…

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TANZANIAN GOVERNMENT CRACKS DOWN ON OPPOSITION AFTER DISPUTED ELECTION

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Several opposition leaders were arrested in Tanzania after the 28 October presidential election gave incumbent John Magufuli five more years in power. The integrity of the election was called into question as Mr Magufuli received 84% of the vote, which is suspiciously high, according to experts. Main opposition leader Tundu Lissu said he would not…

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RUSSIA TO ‘ASSIST’ ARMENIA IF CONFLICT WITH AZERBAIJAN SPREADS BEYOND NAGORNO-KARABAKH

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Russia is prepared to provide “all necessary assistance” to its treaty partner Armenia if violence moves into Armenian territory, as fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh enters its sixth week. If Russia were to enter the conflict, there is a possibility that it could prolong the current clash. On Saturday 31 October, both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each…

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PEACEFUL PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT IN NIGERIA

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Judicial panels have been established in several Nigerian states to investigate police brutality across the country and the shooting of unarmed protesters in the country’s financial hub of Lagos on 20 October. The establishment of an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reported cases of police misconduct and abuse has been…

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LIBYA’S RIVAL FORCES REACH CEASEFIRE DEAL

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On Friday 23 October, Libya’s warring sides – the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and  the forces of commander Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) – signed an agreement for “a permanent ceasefire in all areas of Libya.” The UN’ representative, Stephanie Williams – who led the mediation – hailed the historic…

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