Africa: Another Strongman Falls

THE dramatic events that gripped the landlocked African nation of Burkina Faso in the last week of October, has resulted in the exit of its long serving authoritarian ruler, President Blaise Compaore. The 64 year old Compaore, in a foolhardy move, tried to once again tinker with the constitution to indefinitely extend his rule. On October 22, the ruling party suddenly announced that it was proposing to table a bill in the national assembly that would amend Article 27 of the Constitution that would give the president yet another five year term in office.

Turkey: Playing with Fire

FOR the government of Turkey, regime change in Damascus seems to be still the top priority despite the US and its regional allies giving more importance to the fight against the resurgent Sunni extremist groups in the region. The Turkish parliament voted in the first week of October to rubber stamp the government’s decision to allow the deployment of the country’s troops inside Syria and Iraq, if the need arises. The government in Ankara is also demanding the introduction of a “no fly zone” over parts of Syria.

Afghan Political Impasse Ends

AS many Afghanistan watchers had predicted from the outset, a power sharing deal between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the contenders for the presidency was announced with much fanfare on September 22. Under the deal, Ghani has duly been sworn in as president of the country. Only a week before, Abdullah was threatening that he and his supporters would not recognise the results or recognise Ghani as the democratically elected president, even after the votes were audited by the Afghan Electoral Commission under international supervision.


US Prepares for Gulf War III

THE decision by President Barack Obama to order the American military back into action in West Asia following the military advances of the Islamic State (IS) forces and the beheading of three western nationals in the region, could lead to another full scale war in the region. In the third week of September, the US House of Representatives and the Senate voted to give the American president its approval for the plan to train and arm the so-called “moderate” rebel forces in Syria, without even a semblance of a debate.

Cease Fire in Gaza: Inhuman Blockade Continues

DESPITE the open ended truce that came into force in the last week of August, Gaza continues to lie in ruins. On October 12, the international community pledged more than $5 billion for the rebuilding of Gaza. It is estimated that $4 billion is needed just for reconstructing the devastated infrastructure of the enclave. Even before Israel launched its third and most prolonged military assault on Gaza, it had become unlivable. After the earlier Israeli “Operation Cast Lead” against Gaza in 2009, the international community had pledged over $4 billion.

Ukraine: Fragile Ceasefire!

THE ceasefire agreement between the central government and the Eastern Ukrainian rebel forces on September 5 was viewed by the governments in Moscow and Kiev as a definitive step forward to end the vicious civil war that had gripped the East European country. At the negotiations in Minsk, the Ukrainian government was represented by a former President, Leonid Kuchma. Aleksandr Zakharchenko represented the rebel factions from the East.

Iraq: Chickens Coming Home to Roost

THE gruesome beheading of three westerners by the Islamic State (IS), previously known as ISIL and ISIS, has once again led to a large scale American military intervention in Iraq. Alarmingly, the US has used the alleged threat posed by the IS to its homeland security to extend the military intervention to Syria. The chorus of right wing voices in the United States has demanded a full scale military intervention in the region. In the videotapes released by the IS on the beheadings, it is a masked man speaking with a pronounced British accent, who carries out the decapitations.


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