Weekly News Roundup: Nigeria’s state of emergency, Kidal battle looming, and Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia

Missed a week again as I was away in the greatest city in the world. But have no fear, a double helping of news roundup is here for all to see.

West Africa

Nigeria: In the most drastic measures taken since Boko Haram’s inception in 2009, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northern provinces and launched a “massive” military campaign to drive out the Islamic terrorist group.

Turning to the other end of the country, Zainab’s Musings examines a recent USIP report on instability in the Niger Delta.

Mali: Things are getting dicey as the Malian military advances on Kidal, currently held by secular Tuareg rebels (MNLA) who refuse to give up the city. However, French forces have thus far encouraged the Malian military to hold back, instead favoring a political solution to resolve the dispute. If Malian forces enter Kidal, the result would very likely be a bloody battle.

Another MNLA spinoff emerged last week, as a group of Tuareg leaders around Kidal formed the “High Council for the Azawad.” They agreed to negotiate with the Malian government.

Hannah Armstrong has a fascinating report on the treatment of “light-skinned” populations in northern Mali.

Central Africa

DRC: Reuters takes a look at the M23 rebels as a UN intervention brigade, created to extinguish them, looms.

Jason Stearns examines competing peace proposals to stem violence in eastern Congo.

Chad: Reuters explores Chad’s role as an “African power broker” as French influence recedes.

Middle East and North Africa

Iraq: A hot topic in the past weeks, and a gloomy one. Foreign Policy, Reuters, and Washington Post report on Al Qaeda in Iraq and the fragile state of the country.

Tunisia: Ansar al-Sharia is becoming quite the hot topic for North Africa/counterterrorism analysts. The Tunisian government is leading a significant offensive to expel the hardline Islamist group from its rural and urban strongholds. Ansar al-Sharia’s growing violence is already spoiling Tunisia’s post-Arab Spring promise. Andrew Lebovich has a good primer here.

South Asia

Pakistan: Authorities arrested Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s Karachi chief.

Southeast Asia

Thailand: The Atlantic reports on the ongoing Islamist rebellion in Pattani state.

Latin America

Venezuela: New President Nicolas Maduro deployed the Venezuelan military into the streets of Caracas to quell crime.

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2 Responses to Weekly News Roundup: Nigeria’s state of emergency, Kidal battle looming, and Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia

  1. Pingback: RIP Weekly News Roundup | Notes on the Periphery

  2. edwardohare says:

    Buffalo has no MLB team, ergo: cannot be the greatest city in the world

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