THOUSANDS ARRESTED AFTER DEADLY UNREST IN KAZAKHSTAN

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By Donnelly McCleland Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory on Monday [10 January] in defending Kazakhstan from what he described as a foreign-backed terrorist uprising, and promised leaders of other former Soviet states that a Moscow-led alliance would protect them too. Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty returned to near-normal on Monday after nearly a week of…

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ANTI-CHRISTIAN ATTACKS CONTINUE TO RISE IN INDIA

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On 28 November, 25 members of the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu nationalist organisation, broke into the ‘Life to the Nation’s Ministries’ church building in Delhi during a prayer meeting and attacked the congregants. The police were called, and the attackers were held and questioned, but no charges were filed. Members of the Bajrang Dal and…

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INDIA FACES SEVERAL CHALLENGES AS HINDU NATIONALISM INCREASES

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By Alex Pollock Tensions were high in parts of India’s northeastern Tripura state on Friday [29 October] after a string of attacks against minority Muslims, seen as retaliation for the violence against Hindus in neighbouring Bangladesh earlier this month. State authorities deployed police and paramilitary troops and banned the assembly of more than five people…

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AFGHANISTAN’S NEIGHBOURS AND RUSSIA MEET IN IRAN TO DISCUSS WAY FORWARD

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On Wednesday 27 October, the foreign ministers of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan met in Iran’s capital, Tehran, to discuss their relations with the newly formed Taliban government, with Russia and China joining via video call. More than a month after Pakistan held the first round of talks virtually, Iran hosted an in-person meeting with…

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ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT CONTINUES TO GROW IN SRI LANKA

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An Amnesty International report published on 17 October entitled From Burning Houses to Burning Bodies: Anti-Muslim Violence, Discrimination, and Harassment in Sri Lanka, has called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately reverse all legislation that has led to discrimination against the country’s Muslim community, as well as for police forces to protect the nation’s…

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HOUTHI REBELS ATTACK AIRBASE, REVEALING FRACTURES IN FOREIGN-LED NATION-BUILDING

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By Alex Pollock At least 30 pro-government fighters have been killed in an attack on an airbase in southern Yemen, security and medical sources say. A spokesman for Yemeni southern forces said al-Anad airbase was targeted with armed drones and missiles. He blamed the Iran-aligned rebel Houthi movement, which is fighting a war against the…

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IRAQ HOSTS MIDEAST LEADERS AND RIVALS IN A BID TO EASE TENSIONS

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On Saturday 28 August, Arab heads of state and senior officials from the region including archenemies Iran and Saudi Arabia (who cut diplomatic ties at the beginning of 2016) held a rare meeting at a conference hosted by Iraq. After decades of being largely shunned by Arab leaders over security concerns amid back-to-back wars and…

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INDIA PARTNERS WITH THE MALDIVES IN THEIR BIGGEST INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT

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On 26 August, the Maldives government officially signed an agreement with Mumbai-based company AFCONS for the construction of a 6.74km-long bridge and causeway link that will connect the capital, Malé, with the strategic neighbouring islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. The Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP) has been under discussion since the visit of India’s…

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AFGHANISTAN’S UNCERTAIN FUTURE AS MANY REFUSE TO RECOGNISE TALIBAN RULE

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Almost two weeks after the Taliban entered Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, signalling the defeat of former President Ashraf Ghani’s government on 15 August, several countries have shut down embassy operations and evacuated staff from the country. Many members of the international community have suspended humanitarian aid and government funding to Afghanistan, trying to find a…

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