In Afghanistan, top U.S. and NATO military commander General John Campbell may request more troops to contain the Taliban. As American and Afghan efforts have focused on ISIS and the Taliban, Al-Qaeda has re-emerged, with new training camps posing a surprising threat.
In Burundi, after the government rejected peacekeeping troops as a violation of national sovereignty, all sides of the conflict have been called by regional powers to Uganda to begin peace talks. Burundian musicians seeking refuge in Rwanda have come together because of the crisis to create songs of unity.
In Central African Republic, political campaigns are winding down as the elections scheduled for Sunday have been rescheduled for Wednesday December 30th. Former Prime Minister Dologuele seems to be the front runner.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Doctors Without Borders, in their latest report on the measles epidemic in the Southeast region of the country, says the epidemic is on the decline but the risk of spreading to other regions still remains. Lieutenant General Derick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi, a former South African special forces commander with UN peacekeeping experience has been appointed to lead the mission in the DRC.
In Iraq, Iraqi forces have retaken the strategically important city of Ramadi from ISIS, one of the first significant victories in Iraq against ISIS.
In Israel and Palestine, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been given a reduced sentence of 18 months for his role in a bribery scandal. Two Palestinian assailants were killed by Israeli security forces in separate incidents.
In Libya, on the 64th anniversary of its independence and one week after the establishment of a new unity government, the UN urges Libyans to put aside differences.
In Myanmar, protests have erupted over the conviction of two Burmese men for the murder of British tourists in Thailand. A woman has been sentenced to jail for making comments about the military on Facebook. Read the story of a young Rohingya man’s journey here.
In Somalia, Christmas and New Year’s festivities were banned for fear that they might attract terrorist attacks. A soccer program for youth shows that the sport can inspire young people amidst civil war and terrorism.
In South Sudan, President Salva Kiir dissolved the previous 10 states and announced the creation of 28 new ones. This has lead to many protests and critics say that this move threatens the recent peace deal, which details important power-sharing agreements between the 10 states. After rebel delegates came to Juba last week to meet regarding the peace deal, this could potentially reignite conflict.
In Syria, at least 32 people have been killed and 90 injured in bombings in the Syrian city Homs on Monday. Evacuations of wounded fighters and their families, from both sides of the conflict, were organized in order to calm the conflict ahead of peace talks next month. The recent deaths of two important rebel leaders raises concerns about the future of peace negotiations between the Syrian regime and the opposition, casting doubt over the regime’s intentions.
In Yemen, Kuwait, yet to intervene in the civil war, will send its first troops to Saudi Arabia to fight Yemen rebels. Yemen’s pro-rebel ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, has rejected further peace talks with the government, saying dialogue should instead take place with Saudi Arabia.
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