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Showing posts from February 13, 2015

Map: Boko Haram in Nigeria (02/09/15)

Boko Haram in failed cross-border attack on Bosso, Nigeria. On February 6, Boko Haram launched an attack along the northeast extremity of its border with Niger. The attack was repelled by a combination of Niger troops and Chadian air power. According to state-controlled news outlets in the country, four soldiers were killed and 13 injured. Boko Haram reportedly suffered over 100 casualties, a figure that should be taken with a grain of salt given the tendency to exaggerate government victories. The Niger military is in need of some good news following the embarrassing rout of a multinational base in Baga (on the shores of Lake Chad) in early January.

The attack will likely embolden lawmakers in Niger to pass an upcoming proposal to send troops to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram. The vote comes on the heels of Chad’s recent pledge to provide 2,500 troops to a 7,500-large multinational force under the flag of the African Union (AU).

Map: Yemen (02/13/15)

Yemen: The World's Newest Failed State

In Yemen there is no longer a government or a president. On January 22, after the Houthi, (Zaydi Shiites) militiamen in the north besieged the presidential palace in Sana’a, both interim President (since 2012) Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah (of a caretaker government which secured parliamentary confidence in December 2014), resigned. Washington has closed its embassy and many other countries, Western and non, have done likewise. Four southern governors, including those from Aden and Abyan, which has been the epicenter of the US drone campaign against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have refused to resign, in solidarity with President Hadi. Houthi militias dispersed an impromptu pro-government demonstration days after the takeover; the occasion served as an opportunity for the Houthis to wield some power as they brandished weapons in the streets and made numerous arrests.

The Houthi religious-political-military movement was born in the eighties in the n…

Analysis: Minsk Ceasefire

Briefing

The main points of the ceasefire agreed upon in Minsk by leaders from Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia are as follows:


1.- A total ceasefire to begin on February 15, 2015.
2.- A withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides, 50 km – 140 km from the frontline depending on the weapon type.
3.- Day-one monitoring of the ceasefire terms by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
4.- A full pardon and amnesty for combatants held on both sides.
5.- The launching of a dialogue on self-rule in the rebel-held east.
6.- Restoration of social and economic interactions with war-torn areas.
7.- Full withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign troops from eastern Ukraine.
8.- The launching of a process of constitutional reform in Ukraine, to be completed by the end of 2015.
9.- Kiev to regain control of state borders and international border with Russia.



Outlook

German Chancellor Angela Merkel characterized the ceasefire agreement as a “glimmer of hope” upon return to Ger…