State of emergency declared in South Sudan 

More than 170 people have reportedly been killed in clashes in South Sudan, leading to President Salva Kiir declaring a state of emergency across the country. The order allows the army to use force if civilians did not lay down weapons, reports the BBC. Local MP Dharuai Mabor Teny added that more than 200 were also thought to have been injured in the latest flare-up of violence. “Right now, from both sides, we have 170 plus people who lost their lives. 342 houses have been burnt and almost 1,800 people displaced," he told Reuters. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Mr Kiir said they hoped the...

EU rebuffs Israel calls to recognise Jerusalem as capital

The European Union rejected calls by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join the US in recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. During his first visit to the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Mr Netanyahu said the US decision helped peace, “because recognising reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace.” Speaking after a breakfast meeting between Mr Netanyahu and EU foreign ministers, Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallstrom said no country voiced support for the US move, adding, “I have a hard time seeing that any other country would do that and I don’t...

Nationalist parties in Corsica sweep elections with demand of more autonomy from Paris

Nationalists in Corsica have gained a majority in elections for a new regional assembly on the French Mediterranean island, reports the New York Times. The coalition of moderate and hard line nationalists won 56.5 percent of the vote to defeat President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party. The nationalist parties on Corsica, an island of 320,000 people, have called for greater autonomy from Paris. The parties rallied around issues such as amnesty for political prisoners, the recognition of Corsican as an official language and protection for locals who want to buy real estate in Corsica. In the...

UN marks Genocide Prevention Day with calls to ‘do more’

UN Secretary-General António Guterres marked Genocide Prevention Day on Saturday, with a message that the international community ”must do more” to prevent genocide from occurring, rather than reacting. “Genocide does not happen by accident ; it is deliberate, with warning signs and precursors,” said the secretary-general, in a statement to mark the day. “Often it is the culmination of years of exclusion, denial of human rights and other wrongs. Since genocide can take place in times of war and in times of peace, we must be ever-vigilant,” he added. He went on to call on member states to...

Cartier to drop Myanmar’s ‘genocide gems’

Luxury jeweller Cartier announced that it will no longer be buying gemstones from Myanmar, following a campaign to boycott the purchase of “genocide gems” over the Burmese government’s military campaign against Rohingya Muslims, reports The Times. The decision, announced last week, comes after a campaign to boycott Myanmar’s gem industry. Jewels from the country have been part of collections in luxury jewellery houses worldwide, costing several thousand pounds. Previous sanctions by the European Union and the USA targeted the jewel industry but have since been lifted. Following campaigners...

France and Turkey to cooperate on reversing US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

France and Turkey’s presidents have agreed to work together to persuade the US to reconsider its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Speaking to Reuters , a Turkish official said the two leaders agreed over the phone to make a joint effort to reverse the US decision. The Turkish President also spoke to the presidents of Kazakhstan, Lebanon and Azerbaijan on Saturday. In 2014 the French National Assembly passed a non-binding motion calling on the government to recognise Palestine. Hundreds of pro-Palestine supporters marched through Paris on Saturday reports Reuters.

Arab nations must consider sanctions against US to prevent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital - Lebanon

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gerban Bassil called on Arab nations to consider economic sanctions against the US to prevent it moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, reports Reuters. Speaking at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo, Mr Bassil said, “Pre-emptive measures must be taken against the decision .. beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions.”

Hundreds protest in Jakarta for West Papua self-determination

Hundreds of people attended a rally in Jakarta last week, calling for self-determination for West Papua. The rally, organised by the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP), was initially meant to march from the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) offices in Central Jakarta to the offices of PT Freeport Indonesia. However, Asia Pacific Report states that hundreds of armed Indonesian police officers blocked the rally from proceeding. Instead, they remained at a bus stop, where protestors read out demands, including the closure of the...

14 UN peacekeepers killed in DR Congo

At least 14 UN peacekeepers were killed this week in the Democratic Republic of Congo during an attack on the UN's Monusco mission base in North Kivu. Over 53 are reported to have been injured in the attack, believed to have been carried out by fighters alligned to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The attack was condemned "unequivocally" by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “These deliberate attacks against UN peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime” he said. “There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else," Mr Guterres added.

UN Security Council members condemn US decision on Jerusalem

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, members states condemned the US' decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warning that it sets backs years of peace efforts in the region and would lead to bloodshed. Notably criticism also came from traditional US allies, the UK, France, Japan, Sweden and Italy. The British ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft said the US decision was "unhelpful to peace", whilst his Swedish counterpart said it "contradicts international law and Security Council resolutions". The UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process,...

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