Russia and Ukraine Crisis- April 4, 2021
Amid allegations from Ukraine that Russia has been massing troops at their shared border, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that any attempts at a "new war" in eastern Ukraine would end up destroying that country. The threat lands as Moscow and Kyiv trade blame over a recent spike in violence in the years-long conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed terrorists.  Kyiv claims the terrorists are "systematically violating a cease-fire” agreed in July and blames Russia for a purported build-up of Russian military forces near their shared border- an accusation rejected by the Kremlin.
Russian Language To Get Official Status In Nagorno-Karabakh - March 25, 2021
The separatist parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh has approved a proposal to make Russian the ethnic Armenian-populated region's second official language, along with Armenian. The amendments to the region's language laws were passed 27-0 on March 25, with two abstentions. The bill, which will become law upon being signed by the region's ethnic Armenian leader, Arayik Harutiunian, says that giving the Russian language an official status would deepen Nagorno-Karabakh's history of "cultural, military, and economic links" with Russia. Three of the five political parties represented in the region's legislature proposed the measure last month, arguing that it would facilitate communication with Russian soldiers and aid workers deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh after last year's Armenian-Azerbaijani war over the separatist region.
137 Killed in Niger - March 23, 2021
African country Niger faces a huge security challenge. According to government reports 137 have dies in Niger after a deadliest attack by armed bandits near Niger's border with Mali. Gunmen on motorbikes attacked the villagers as local officials confirmed. While the number of fatalities increases the government of Niger has announced 3 days of national mourning for the victims. Mali-Niger border region faces a security challenges during the last couple of years and half a million residents have fled their homes so far.
EU-Russian Relations At 'Low Point' - March 23, 2021
European Council President Charles Michel has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that relations between the European Union and Russia are “at a low point” with disagreements in “many areas,” which the Russian leader blamed on the bloc's "confrontational policies." Michel and Putin spoke by telephone on March 22 after the EU imposed sanctions on two Chechen officials over rights abuses in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya and ahead of a video conference of EU leaders on March 25-26 set to address EU-Russia ties. Also the European Council statement said "EU-Russian relations can only take a different direction if there is sustained progress on issues like the implementation of the Minsk agreements” aimed at putting an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Moscow-backed separatists has killed more than 13,000 people since April 2014, as well as “stopping hybrid and cyberattacks” on EU member states, and “respect for human rights.”
Afghan government to attend both U.S. and Russia backed peace conferences! - March 15, 2021
The Afghan government said on Saturday it would participate in two separate U.S.- and Russian-backed peace conferences in the coming weeks. The Russian-backed conference is scheduled for March 18, while the U.S.-sponsored one will take place in Turkey next month, officials said. Peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the insurgent Taliban in Qatar’s capital Doha have largely stalled. “The Afghan government will take part in both the Moscow and Turkey conferences,” Hamdullah Mohib, the country’s national security council advisor told reporters in Kabul. Mohammed Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Reuters it had received an invitation from Moscow but had not yet decided whether to attend or not. The Taliban has not made any comment about the proposed meeting in Turkey. It comes at a crunch time for the peace process as a May 1 deadline for foreign troops to withdraw from Afghanistan looms and the United States reviews its military commitments.
Kenya withdraws from Somalia border Dispute - March 14, 2021
Kenyan authorities have announced that the country decided to withdrawal from the Somalia-related maritime border dispute case. With the decision, Kenya has no longer participate in the court, The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). Nairobi and Mogadishu had witnessed deteriorating diplomatic relations due to disputed maritime borders between the two countries. The case in ICJ court has started after Somalia filled and claimed ownership on some part of the territory which already recognized as Kenya waters. For the time being, Kenya's withdrawal from the court is considered a success for war-torn Somalia. 
Hundreds rally over poor living conditions in Lebanon
Hundreds of Lebanese on Friday protested the continued deterioration in living conditions and the severe collapse in the value of the Lebanese pound. Other protests erupted across Lebanon, including the northern city of Tripoli where protesters blocked roads because of high prices and poor living conditions. Demonstrations were also reported in Sidon and Jiyeh, southern Lebanon, because of the collapse of the currency. Last week, the pound fell to 10,000 to the dollar, putting further pressure on the already deteriorating economy and living conditions. The latest economic fallout comes amid a continued failure to form a new government since Prime Minister Hassan Diab's government resigned six days after a catastrophic explosion rocked Beirut’s port in August. The blast killed more than 200 people. Protesters confirmed that the protests would continue until the governing system is abolished.
Russian WAGNER Mercenaries back in Sirte - March 13, 2021
Mercenaries who withdrew outside of Sirte for a vote of confidence of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh’s government are back in the city, a Libyan official said on Saturday. Abdulhadi Dirah, the spokesman for the Sirte and Jufra Operation Department, told that the Wagner security company and Sudanese Janjaweed militia were taken 4 miles (6 kilometers) outside the city. However, 12 buses carrying militia forces returned to the al-Ghardabiya base in Sirte and were deployed to the headquarters of Al Calid. Dirah said that the return of mercenaries meant a violation of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission agreement.
European diplomat will monitor the dialogue between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition - March 11, 2021
European Council President Charles Michel has mandated Christian Danielsson to lead a EU-backed mediation effort in Georgia, in follow up to the relaunch of the political dialogue between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition.  The appointment comes shortly after Michel’s visit to Georgia earlier this month. Five of eight opposition parties which have won seats in the 10th convocation of the Georgian parliament have been demanding repeat elections since the October 31, 2020 race.  They have accused the ruling Georgian Dream party of falsifying the elections, refused to take up their mandates and took to the street in November 2020.  Opposition rallies resumed at the end of the last month, amid the coronavirus pandemic, after the arrest of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party head Nika Melia on February 23 (for his refusal to pay bail).
Crimean Tatar Leader Barred From Entering Crimea Until 2034 - March 5, 2021
Russia has barred long-time Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev from entering Crimea for the next 13 years. Russian authorities initially barred Dzhemilev from entering Crimea for five years in March 2014 after Moscow illegally annexed Crimea.  Prosecutors at the ongoing trial in the Crimean city of Armyansk have accused Dzhemilev of attempting to illegally enter Crimea, negligent possession of a firearm, and the illegal possession of ammunition. The 77-year-old Ukrainian lawmaker has rejected all of the charges, calling them politically motivated and linked to his official rejection of Russia's control over Crimea.
For Refugees in East Africa UN agencies appeal 266 million dollars - March 3, 2021
UN agencies UNHCR and WFP appeal funding 266 million dollars to feed refugees in East Africa. According to agencies Covid-19 restrictions and measures limited refugees' ability to support their families via casual daily jobs. Thousands of refugees are now struggling to have enough food. For that, the vast majority of refugees adopted new coping strategies such as reducing meals or skipping it. The agencies claimed a terrible funding situation in six countries of East Africa.
Nikol Pashinian is Ready For Early Elections - March 1, 2021
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on March 1 that he is prepared to hold snap parliamentary elections provided the opposition agrees to certain conditions. Political tensions in Armenia are high, with supporters of Pashinian and the opposition each staging massive rallies at separate sites in the capital. Pashinian is confronted with an ongoing political crisis after the army demanded that he quit last week, a move he said amounted to an attempted coup. "If the parliamentary opposition agrees to early elections, we will agree to early elections," Pashinian told thousands of supporters gathered in Yerevan's central Republic Square. Pashinian has faced mounting protests and calls from the opposition for his resignation following a six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh last year. Many Armenians see the deal as a humiliating loss.
12 years in prison for Saso Mijalkov - February 26, 2021
The former director of the North Macedonian Security and Intelligence Agency, (UBK) Saso Miyalkov, who was issued an arrest warrant after the house arrest decision in the "Target-Tvrdina" case, surrendered to the prosecutor's office. Former UBK director Saso Mijalkov was sentenced to 12 years, and former Inteiror Minister Gordana Jankuloska was given four years in prison.
Armenian Prime Minister Calls Military's Demands For His Resignation An Attempted Coup - February 25, 2021
Armenia's armed forces have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and his government, prompting him to claim it's an attempted coup by the military. The chief of information at the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Samvel Asatryan, said in a statement posted on February 25 that the call came in "resolute protest" against the dismissal of the first deputy chief of the General Staff "for short-sighted reasons." It was not immediately clear whether the armed forces are willing to use force to back up the statement. Pashinian rejected the call to step down and instead announced the dismissal of Onik Gasparian, the head of the General Staff. He also called for his supporters to gather in the center of the capital, Yerevan.
North Macedonia’s Security and Intelligence Agency Director Vanishes Before Verdict - February 22, 2021
Former North Macedonian Security and Intelligence Agency (UBK) Director Saşo Miyalkov, who was tried as the chief defendant in the "Target-Tvrdina" case for illegal listening to thousands of people in North Macedonia, the court ruled for house arrest. For Miyalkov, whom the police couldn't find in his home, the court issued a national and international arrest warrant.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia Resigns over Melia’s Detention - February 18, 2021
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned citing disagreement with his party colleagues over the detention of Nika Melia, leader of the UNM. This follows the Tbilisi City Court’s decision to send United National Movement’s Nika Melia, Chairperson of the largest opposition party, to pretrial detention. Gakharia’s statement said that while Melia had “never respected the law” and called “for the storming of the Parliament” on June 20, 2019, the decision to detain him poses unacceptable risks, and unduly complicates the task of economic recovery and the management of pandemic. The resignation comes as the post-election crisis after October polls continues to plague Georgian politics. Most of the opposition, including the UNM, is rejecting the official results and refusing to enter the new Parliament. Foreign facilitated talks to overcome the crisis have been stalled since December.
US offers to restart talks with Iran to revive nuclear deal- February 19, 2021
The United States has said it was ready to restart talks with Iran to revive a 2015 nuclear agreement, reversing former President Donald Trump’s decision to walk out of the landmark deal that was aimed at preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after a meeting with his European partners on Thursday, stressed President Joe Biden’s position that Washington would return to the accord formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Tehran came into full compliance with the deal. The state department later said it was open to an “informal meeting” with the so-called P5+1 – the parties to the agreement including Iran – that a European Union official has offered to host. It is the most concrete step the Biden administration has publicly made towards direct engagement with Tehran on the nuclear deal to date.
Biden and Netanyahu have first call after delay- February 17, 2021
Joe Biden had his first official phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House confirmed on Wednesday after questions swirled over whether the United States president was trying to send a message to the Israeli prime minister by delaying the call. It was Biden’s first call to a Middle East leader since he took office on January 20, signalling the importance of the US-Israel relationship, which has been strong for decades but was significantly bolstered by former President Donald Trump – a staunch Netanyahu ally. 
UAE swears in first ambassador to Israel- February15, 2021
Mohamed Mahmoud Al-Khaja was sworn in as the first Emirati ambassador to Israel yesterday by UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The ceremony, held at Qasr Al Watan, came after Israel officially opened its embassy in the UAE last month, currently operating from "temporary offices" with Eitan Na'eh serving as an acting ambassador. The UAE and Israel agreed to establish full diplomatic, cultural and commercial relations following the signing of the Abraham Accords on 15 September at the White House.
German Minister Warns Against Linking Fate Of Navalny With Nord Stream Pipeline - February 8, 2021
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has cautioned against linking Moscow's treatment of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. In remarks published on February 7 by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Altmaier voiced support for continuing construction of the nearly finished pipeline.  "Business relationships and business projects that have existed for decades are one thing and serious human rights violations and our reactions to them are another," Altmaier said. Navalny was sentenced on February 2 to nearly 3 years in prison after a Moscow court ruled he had violated the terms of his parole, a charge he rejected.
Taliban seek ‘inclusive Islamic govt’ in Afghanistan! - February 1, 2021
The Taliban on Monday said the agreement reached between the group and the US last year stipulates the “formation of an inclusive Islamic government” in Afghanistan. The remarks came in a news conference in Iran’s capital Tehran on the last day of the delegation's week-long visit. Speaking to reporters, Taliban representatives -- including senior member of the negotiating team Suhail Shaheen -- said the ongoing intra-Afghan talks are “based on the agreement” reached with the US. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with the visiting delegation and stressed the formation of an “inclusive government” in Afghanistan, with the participation of “all ethnic and political groups”. Zarif also expressed Iran’s readiness in facilitating dialogue between the Afghan government, the Taliban, and other Afghan groups, saying that the people of Afghanistan “have been wronged”.
Myanmar’s military stages coup d’etat! - February 1, 2021
Myanmar’s military has seized power and declared a state of emergency for one year following days of escalating tension over the result of November’s parliamentary elections. Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader, President Win Myint and other senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party have been detained in the capital, Naypyidaw, on Monday. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, has expressed “huge irregularities” in November’s vote. The power grab came as Parliament – in which the military is given 25 percent of the seats – was set to open in Myanmar. Much remains unclear about the implications of the military seizing back power 10 years after agreeing to a civilian transition. 
Kosovo-Israel Established Diplomatic Relations - February 1, 2021
Kosovo Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Minister Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabriel Ashkenazi signed a document at a virtual ceremony that the two countries have established diplomatic relations in order to increase cooperation in many areas. Former US President Donald Trump had announced that the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo, who met at the White House in September 2020, reached an agreement on normalization in the field of economy, and that Kosovo agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, and that Serbia will move the Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem.
Shell Nigeria Has To Pay Compensation for Farmers - January 29, 2021
A Dutch court has ordered oil giant Shell to pay compensation for Nigerian farmers due to environmental oil pollution caused by the company's activities in Niger Delta. The court delivered the final judgment at the end of a long-running civil case opened by some Nigerian farmers. It is believed that leaking in oil pipelines owned by Shell company has been causing environmental damage in the Delta affecting local farmers production.