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Showing posts from December 10, 2012

Two officials assassinated in Afghanistan

Gunmen shoot dead women's affairs official in Laghman, while Nimroz province police chief dies in roadside bombing. Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 07:36 Suspected Taliban fighters have assassinated an Afghan women's affairs official in Laghman province, just months after her predecessor was blown up by a bomb, while a police chief was killed in a roadside bombing in Herat province. Nadia Sidiqi, the acting director of the women's affairs department in the eastern province of Laghman, was shot dead by two unidentified men while commuting in a motorised rickshaw on Monday. "We have launched an investigation and we have sealed off the area where the attack took place and we will very soon capture the attackers," Laghman police chief Ahmad Sherzad told AFP news agency. In a separate attack, General Mohammad Musa Rasoli, the provincial police chief of Nimroz, was killed when his vehicle was struck by a bomb in Adraskan district of Herat province, while he was heading to Nimro…

Is a military intervention necessary in Mali?

Inside Story Americas http://aje.me/VBsxfs We discuss Mali's crisis, plus, what the Senate's disabilities vote says about US politics. Inside Story Americas Last Modified: 07 Dec 2012 11:27 US military planners prepare to support a multi-national African force to intervene in northern Mali - in an attempt to roll back al-Qaeda in the region. Pentagon officials are working with African nations ahead of possible international military action against al-Qaeda-linked groups in northern Mali. The Obama administration, however, says US involvement will be limited to helping with military planning, working alongside partners in ECOWAS, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, and the African Union. There has been growing international concern over Mali’s north, an area the size of Texas, which was taken by islamic fighters "There really is no case where it wouldn't do more harm than good, but we are talking a choice of evils at this point .... Leaving the area a…

The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The pact signed on 15 October 2012 between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government is a breakthrough in many ways but is far from a final peace. As with earlier texts signed over years of negotiations, this one – the “framework agreement” – defers several tough questions and it is unclear how, if ever, they will be resolved. At stake is the creation of a genuinely autonomous region in Muslim-majority Mindanao for the various ethnic groups collectively known as the Bangsa­moro, with more powers, more territory and more control over resources. The framework agreement envisions a new government for the troubled Muslim south that would raise its own revenues and have its own police and judiciary. It maps out a multi-step process to create this new entity by the time President Benigno Aquino III’s term ends in 2016. The obstacles ahead are huge. Politics in Mindanao or Manila could get in the way, and it may be impossible to devolve sufficie…