Hamas and Fatah sign unity deal

Fatah and Hamas have signed a deal today aimed at bringing the two Palestinian organisations together. The deal, which was brokered by Egypt and signed in Cairo, comes after Hamas announced last month it would dissolve its administration of the Gaza strip in view of holding general elections and forming a unity government with Fatah. The agreement is believed to include transfering administration of the border crossing between Gaza strip and Egypt to a unity government. Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas told AFP on Thursday, "I welcome the agreement." "I received a detailed report from the...

UN recalls top official in Myanmar

The United Nations has recalled its top official in Myanmar in response to allegations of supressing discussion on Rohingya Muislims, reprots the BBC. The BBC investigation found that the UN official had reportedly attempted to stop human rights officials from visiting areas where the army was alleged to have persecuted the Rohingya community. Sources from the diplomatic and aid community in Yangon told BBC reporters that the UN decision to recall Renata Lok-Dessallien was linked to the earlier investigation. A statement by the UN in Myanmar defended Ms Dassallien’s handling of the Rohingya...

Iraq issues arrest warrants for Kurdistan officials

An Iraqi federal court has ordered the arrest of Kurdistan officials involved administering the region’s independence referendum last month. The arrests warrants, issued by Baghdad’s Rusafa investigation court, apply to members of the Kurdistan Region’s electoral commission, reports the BBC. A spokesperson for the court, Abdulstar Byaraqdar, said the warrants were in line with Iraq’s National Security Council which deemed the referendum unlawful.

US Senate Foreign Relations committee passes bill on Iraq and Syria Genocide

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bill last week, calling for accountability for perpetrators of genocide in Iraq and Syria. The bill, entitled the “Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017”, calls for greater action to tackle Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), accusing the group of committing genocide in the region. US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chairman Daniel Mark said “two U.S. administrations have singled out ISIS for committing genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shi’a Muslims”. “Now...

UN approves international investigation in to Yemen war crimes

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution last week that will see the appointment of a panel to investigate reports of war crimes in Yemen. The resolution, passed without a vote last week, will see a group of "eminent international and regional experts" appointed by the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein to investigate “all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights and other appropriate and applicable fields of international law". It will "establish the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged violations and abuses, and where possible,...

Catalonia leader suspends independence declaration to allow for negotiations with Spain

Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont delayed the official declaration of Catalonia’s independence to allow for an opportunity for talks and negations to reach a solution with Spain. Addressing regional parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday, Mr Puigdemont said, “I assume mandate that Catalonia should become an independent state in the form of a republic… I propose suspending the effects of the declaration of independence to undertake talks to reach an agreed solution. We propose the suspension of the effects of the declaration of independence for a few weeks, to open a period of dialogue. If...

Iraq to reopen oil pipeline to Turkey bypassing Kurdistan

Iraq will reopen a crude oil pipeline to Turkey which bypasses one operated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said the country’s oil ministry on Tuesday. In a statement Iraq’s oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi asked state owned North Oil Co. to begin the restoring and reopening the Kirkuk Ceyhan pipeline reports Reuters. The pipeline crosses territory formerly held by Islamic State militants in 2014 and recaptured by US backed Iraqi forces over the past two years. See more here.

Independence movements in Cameroon and Nigeria face state military crack down

Independence movements in Cameroon and Nigeria have been met by strong military crack downs in recent weeks reports the New York Times. In Nigeria, the Biafra movement seeking independence in the southeast of the country saw Nigeria’s military storm the house of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra movement. At least six civilians were killed during the military crackdown said supporters of the group. The movement sparked a civil war in the late 60’s after the after declaring a separate state in the late 1960s. In response to the crackdown the Nigerian Army’s chief of training and...

Iraq to impose control over mobile phone operator headquarters in Kurdistan

Iraq’s government will move to impose control over Kurdistan based mobile phone operators and move their headquarters to Bagdad it announced on Monday. The announcement was made following a meeting of top security officials reports Reuters. “The government committee for national security issued a decision that all mobile phone networks must be under federal control and should be moved to Baghdad,” it said. The latest move comes a week after Iraq annoucnd financial sanctiosn against Kurdistan.

Elders express ‘deep concern’ over Catalonia crisis

The Elders have expressed their “deep concern at the recent violent confrontation in Catalonia” and called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. In a statement released on Sunday, the group called for “both sides to pursue a peaceful resolution through dialogue”. “The Elders applauded the progress that Spain has made since its democratic transition in 1975,” the statement continued. “This achievement should not be put at risk.” Chair of The Elders Kofi Annan added “the constitutional crisis that is unfolding in Spain calls for consultation and not confrontation”.

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