South Korea Administrators Aid in Home Raiding

Image result for South Korea administrators aid in home raidingSouth Korean prosecutors raided the homes and offices of senior advisors to President Park Geun Hye, as she struggles with corruption and influence peddling cases involving close family members. The crisis, centered around Park’s long-time confidante Choi Soon-Sil, has plagued her presidency, thanks largely to a lurid back story involving talks of cults, shamanist rituals and embezzlement scandals.

Prosecutors have confiscated computers and documents from the homes of a top presidential advisor, her two aides and a deputy minister in the culture department. They also ransacked some offices in the presidential Blue House facility. The move follows massive protests in Seoul city, orchestrated after it emerged that Park had allowed Choi, with no official post or security clearance, to meddle in state affairs. Thousands of people turned up for the candle lit demonstration which called for the stepping down of the leader, whose popularity ratings have plunged to record lows in recent times.

Park has however publicly apologized, supporting a reshuffle of her presidential office personnel.




Deadly Clashes Precede Yemen’s Latest Ceasefire

Image result for Deadly clashes precede Yemen’s latest ceasefireHeavy clashes rocked Yemen hours before a UN brokered ceasefire was due to begin, as warring parties come under increasing pressure to end a conflict that has raged for more than three years. The truce will serve as the sixth attempt to end the bloodshed; which was further accelerated in 2015 by the Saudi-led intervention in support of President Mansour Hadi after rebels overrun much of Yemen.

Civilians have been worst affected, considering the country was already the poorest in the Arabian Peninsula. The total death toll is at seven thousand, with more than half being civilians, while millions have been displaced and are in need of food aid. A recent UN report mentioned that air strikes by the coalition were accounting to most civilian deaths.

Last Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the announcement of the new ceasefire and echoed an urgent plea from the UN envoy calling for unfettered humanitarian aid access across Yemen.

Central Africa on Edge as French Troops Pull Out

Image result for Central Africa on edge as French troops pull outWith scores killed in fresh sectarian violence and militia fighters still refusing to disarm, Central African Republic remains on a razor’s edge following the recent pullout of French troops and other key donors. After more than two years of atrocities between Christian and Muslim groups that displaced more than 450,000 persons, CAR seemed to be returning to normal, holding peaceful talks and polls earlier in the year.

But despite 12000 UN peacekeepers and a few remaining French soldiers, tensions are still high, with tens of thousands still displaced and in need of aid. Last week alone saw 30 people slain with many being injured, when a Muslim militia group attacked civilians and clashed with peacekeepers in the town of Bangui. Amid fears of an imminent sectarian bloodbath, French Defense Minister Jean Le Drian recently flew into the capital to wind up French military operation Sangaris.

CAR plunged into chaos following the March 2013 ousting of then president Francois Bozize, which was mainly orchestrated by the Seleka rebel alliance.


Protests Continue in Ethiopia After Stampede

Image result for Protests Continue in Ethiopia After StampedeA deadly stampede blamed on state police in the Ethiopia capital has sparked anti-government anger and fresh protests, characterized by the stoning of vehicles, as well as torching of foreign firms’ buildings.

Ethiopia is currently facing its biggest anti-government unrest in a decade, from the majority Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups which feel marginalized by a minority-led government. An Oromo religious

occasion last Sunday ended up in chaos after police fired tear-gas on anti-government protesters, sparking panic in the massive crowd and hence triggering a stampede. Authorities and medical groups gave differing death tolls of between 52 and 58, nonetheless opposition believe the figures were much higher. Michelle Kagari, the regional representative of Amnesty Corporation, called for investigations which would in turn unearth the truth and identify the law enforcement officers who are criminally responsible.

Demonstrations have subsequently broken out in several parts of the Oromia region and elsewhere, wherein some foreign companies have been targeted. Dutch fruit juice company AfricaJuice was recently attacked by large group of protesters.


US ‘Misled’ Into Attacking Somali Forces

Image result for US ‘misled’ into attacking Somali forcesA regional officer in Somali recently condemned US airstrikes that killed 22 of their troops and wounded others, claiming the Superpower was misguided into launching the atrocities. American administrators confirmed conducting the strike Wednesday last week near the town of Galkayo, though they asserted that the targets were al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militia men. A statement from US Africa Command detailed the Somali counter-terrorism undertaking, mentioning it was meant to suppress an armed, device making network of fighters who were threats to the safety and security of

Somali troops and their US counterparts. Nonetheless, authorities from Galmudug state say it was their soldiers who were slain, and that the US was deceived by forces from the neighbouring Puntland. The Somali cabinet has since demanded clear explanations from US government about the attack which also claimed civilian lives; while calling for a truce between Galmudug and Puntland inhabitants who have often clashed over territory in the past.


More South Africa Universities Shut as Protests Rage Over Fees

Image result for More South Africa universities shut as protests rage over feesMore South African Universities have been shut following students riots over an eight-percent fee increase announced by the government earlier last week. The University of Cape Town and the University of Witswaters were first to close on September 21th. Since then, police have employed rubber bullets and stun grenades to chase away protesting personnel in Central Johannesburg, in further outbreaks of turmoil resulting from failed negotiation efforts between higher institution administrators and students. Clashes with security personnel have resulted in a significant number of students being injured, while others have been arrested and detained by authorities. Learners are calling for the government’s commitment to free education.

Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, has condemned the violent demonstrations, mentioning that it is indeed disturbing to witness such atrocities; after wide consultations efforts were undertaken on the announced initiative seeking to address the ongoing concern of university fees. He mentioned that the government had already heeded to the student’s call by focusing on resources which subsidize children from poor, working and middle income families, to in turn negate repercussions of the tuition fee rise.


AU Calls for More Mediation in Handling Conflicts

Image result for AU calls for more mediation in handling conflictsThe African Union has reported that the conflicts it needs to mediate and resolve have gradually grown in terms of complexity, and therefore the need for intensified mediation efforts arises. AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, mentioned that emerging threats to peace and

security influence conflict dynamics while at the same time complicating mediation efforts. The above mentioned concerns include rapid increase of illegal firearms, human and drug trafficking, money laundering, as well as exploitation of natural resources. The commissioner advocated for the establishment of a Mediation Support Unit within the AU, which would in turn guarantee a systematic approach wherein the experiences from previous mediation efforts serve as a basis for formulation of guiding principles, and hence strengthen the work of current mediators. Mr Chergui added that the unit would assist in building the organization’s internal mediation capacity, while collaborating with member states, UN, the International Community as well as civil societies and research institutions. AU mediation initiative is currently channeled to conflict management in various African countries, including Libya, Somalia, Central African Republic, Madagascar and Guinea.