The last six months have seen Iraq become Syria-lite. Jihadists move across the porous Iraq-Syrian border with impunity, fueling the sectarian violence. Al-Jazeera reported that Iraq has suffered more than 5,000 deaths this year alone. The Kurdish north, long considered the success story of Iraq, has not been spared. On September 29, a coordinated attack of car bombs and gunfire hit Erbil, the capital of the autonomous region.
On October 13th the administration of the president, Juan Manuel Santos, and the leftist guerrillas of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) finalised a new round of negotiations in Cuba amid growing uncertainty over the future of the peace process.
The UN is deeply concerned about the poor security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the widespread human rights abuses in the country. Seleka rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize and took power earlier this year. Since then, analysts say the CAR has descended into lawlessness and is in danger of becoming a failed state.
Peace talks are under way again in Jerusalem. If the past is any guide, the two sides are stymied over difficult issues like settlements and borders. The negotiators badly need a new approach, and one is right beneath their feet, in the Kidron Valley, the deep ravine that runs from the Old City through the West Bank toward the Dead Sea.
Ottawa has dismantled a key task force aimed at supporting the peace process in Sudan at a time of renewed fighting in Darfur, raising questions about Canada’s commitment to aid and diplomacy in the conflict-torn region.
In Georgia, it's called the fall of Sukhumi. In Abkhazia, it's called the liberation of Sukhum. Whatever it's called, it happened 20 years ago, and that's about the only thing that Georgians and Abkhaz can agree on. On Sept. 27, Georgian government officials commemorated the day at Hero's Memorial, where the government of the autonomous republic of Abkhazia in exile called for a new strategy to solve the Abkhaz conflict and expressed hope that "historical justice will be restored and that Abkhaz and Georgian people will live in peace."
In the dead of night, around 30 gunmen in pickup trucks and motorbikes sped onto the grounds of a college in northeast Nigeria. They headed into the male dormitories and opened fire. At least 41 students were killed when the suspected Boko Haram Islamists attacked the Yobe State College of Agriculture, in a rural area 30 miles south of the state capital Damaturu. They killed students in their sleep. Others were assembled in groups outside before they were shot dead. Some fled into the darkness and were cut down by gunfire. The surviving 1,000 students left the college in terror.
Within two minutes of crossing from Turkey into Syria, I’m on the back of a motorbike being given a lift to a Free Syrian Army press office. It turns out to be a forty second ride but I might have missed it otherwise. It’s just a little prefab house across the road from a refugee camp, but it’s here that I’ve been told I can get some basic information and hire a translator.