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News Roundup – 26 January 2015

January 26, 2015

Syria calling: Radicalisation in Central Asia. 

Threats to media freedom in Afghanistan: “Stop Reporting or We’ll Kill Your Family”

ISIL offers to swap Japanese hostage for Iraqi woman jailed in Jordan. 

Parts of Yemen are now threatening to secede after Houthi rebel takeover. 

UN to hold new Libya talks in Geneva, as gunmen kidnap deputy foreign minister. 

One tumultous year in power for CAR’s president. 

Dominic Ongwen makes first appearance before the ICC. 

Rockets kill 30 in Mariupol as rebels launch offensive. 

News Roundup – 20 January 2015

January 21, 2015

On the situation in Yemen:

Islamic State demands $200 million ransom for two Japanese hostages

Yemen rebels attack presidential compound, weakening U.S.-backed leader

What’s happening in Yemen’s potential coup

Who Are the Houthis of Yemen?

VICE documentary: ‘Yemen: A Failed State’


Other news:

LRA’s Dominic Ongwen transferred to The Hague

Three months of fighting in Libya’s Benghazi kills 600, say medics

International Crisis Group report on ISIS’s appeal: Syria Calling: Radicalisation in Central Asia

2 Yemeni Men Are Charged With Conspiring to Attack American Soldiers

Fighting traps hundreds of Chinese nationals in Myanmar

‘Engaging with radical groups in conflicts: What can we accomplish through dialogue?”

January 20, 2015

Pages from HD-Oslo-Forum-2014The Report of the Oslo Form 2014 has just been published on the theme of ‘engaging with radical groups’. The Oslo Forum is a high-level international network of conflict mediation practitioners which is co-hosted by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It features an annual event in Oslo which convenes conflict mediators, peacemakers, high level decision makers and key peace process actors to discuss a single overarching theme.

This year the participants discussed the question of whether talking to extremists advances or hampers the quest for peace. In doing so, they focused on several country case studies that included Colombia, Syria, CAR, Iran, Nigeria and the Philippines. There were also several roundtable discussions on subjects such as the state of democracy in the Arab world, preventing violence in popular uprisings, whether ‘national dialogues’ are a reliable tool for building sustainable peace and the role of third party mediators in dealing with the deepening sectarian rifts in the Arab world. The report contains a detailed record of these discussions and a list of participants.

News Roundup – 19 January 2015

January 20, 2015

UN peacekeeper killed in Mali base attack

UN condemns Boko Haram attacks, urges African nations to act

CAR rebels want $5M bounty for arrest of Lord’s Resistance Army commander

Surrendered LRA officer says he didn’t want to die in bush

U.N. peacekeepers arrest Central African Republic militia leader

UN mission chief voices ‘full solidarity’ as DRC Government battles armed groups

Darfur rebels claim Sudanese troops killed top military commander

SPLM-N recaptures two areas in South Kordofan, according to Sudan rebel spokesperson

Ukraine Accuses Russia of Sending More Troops and Artillery to Aid Rebels

Hezbollah accuses Israel of deadly attack targeting its fighters in southern Syria

Iran Confirms Israeli Airstrike in Southern Syria Killed One of Its Generals

Israel and Lebanon brace for possible Hezbollah retaliation after Israeli attack

Pentagon says U.S. to begin to train and equip moderate Syria rebels

Canadian special forces calling in airstrikes and shooting ISIL gunmen

Houthi fighters surround Yemen PM’s palace, but Unrest in Yemen prompts emergency ceasefire talks, resulting in Ceasefire in Sanaa: Yemen troops, Houthis hold fire

Suspected US drone strike kills 4 militants in Pakistan

Myanmar President Thein Sein hopeful of ceasefire deal with insurgent groups



News Roundup – 15 & 16 January 2015

January 16, 2015

Lawfare blog: Notes on the Erosion of Norms of Armed Conflict. 

Understanding Colombia’s armed conflict: the role of drugs. 

Shaky truce in rebel-held area of Homs. 

ICRC ready to help with Lebanese hostage negotiations. 

Nigerian lives matter – the Baga controversy. 

Amnesty International: Satellite images show horrific scale of Boko Haram attack on Baga. 

US special forces hand over Ugandan rebel chief Ongwen. 

Dominic Ongwen and the slow-grinding wheels of international justice. 

Why the UN is planning a fresh military offensive in DRC against the FDLR.

Second war crimes prosecution from Liberian civil war

January 16, 2015

The arrest of Alieu Kosiah, a former commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO), a rebel group that fought against Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front for Liberia (NPFL) in Liberia’s first civil war, was reported yesterday. Kosiah was arrested on 10 November 2014 for his alleged implication in war crimes committed between 1993 and 1995 in Lofa County, Liberia. A Swiss judge decided on 13 November 2014 that Mr. Kosiah will remain in detention for at least three months.

This landmark case marks the very first time a former ULIMO member has been charged with international crimes committed during Liberia’s civil wars and his arrest in November came only a few weeks after a NPFL Front Line Commander, Martina Johnson, was arrested in Belgium for her alleged role in wartime atrocities (for information on this case, see here). The investigation and arrest were possible under Swiss law as Mr. Kosiah was residing in Switzerland.

The majority of the 7 Liberian victims who filed criminal complaints against Alieu Kosiah in Switzerland are represented by Alain Werner, Swiss lawyer and Director of Civitas Maxima. Civitas Maxima has been working since 2012 with the Monrovia-based Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP) to document crimes committed during the wars by all warring factions and find avenues for accountability.

The victims directly implicate Mr. Kosiah as having participated in mass atrocities including systematic killings committed against civilians between 1993 and 1995 in Lofa County, in northwestern Liberia. ULIMO occupied large parts of Lofa County, where they instilled a reign of terror in areas under their control.

Until now, the Liberian authorities have made no effort to investigate and prosecute crimes committed during over a decade of civil war, which claimed over 150 000 lives, most of them civilians.

Hassan Bility, the Monrovia-based Director of the GJRP commented: “The news of Martina Johnson’s arrest in Belgium gave hope to thousands of Liberian victims that justice can be a reality. This second arrest is a milestone as it is the first case ever against an ULIMO commander and it reinforces the Liberian demand for impartial justice for all victims. We are unbiased in our documentation of war crimes and we believe that former commanders of all rebel factions who committed crimes during the wars in Liberia need to be held accountable, without exception.”

News Roundup – 13 and 14 January 2015

January 14, 2015

Al-Qaida group in Yemen claims responsibility for Paris attack. 

Is it time for ICC to open Nigeria investigation?

Boko Haram: I walked through five villages and each one was empty except for bodies. 

Why Nigeria’s army is losing the battle against Boko Haram. 

UN military action ‘inevitable’ in DRC. 

CAR crisis: a crisis in numbers. 

On the road in CAR. 

Uganda says it wants to try rebel leader who surrendered. 

Sudan captures Darfur areas from rebels. 

Senior rebel commander slams UN human rights report on Bentiu massacre.


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