Nieuws

Poroshenko ends ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine against European and Russian advise.

On the night of July 1st the ceasefire between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian state was put to an end by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. In his address to the nation, he declared that Kiev "will attack and liberate [its] land. Not renewing the ceasefire is [its] response to terrorists, rebels, looters." This statement followed the multiplication of aggressive actions by pro-Russian separatists in the Eastern part of the country. The ceasefire had been effective for ten days, without a clear diminution in the conflict’s intensity and renewed breaches of the truce. Ukrainian Foreign Minister stated on Monday that the ceasefire had led to 27 Ukrainian servicemen being killed and 69 wounded during more than 100 violations of the ceasefire by rebels.

Kosovo elections : relations with Serbia influence majority formation

Following our previous coverage of June 8th elections in Kosovo, declared as positive and democratic, the country has entered a profound political crisis. The opposition parties’ alliance against the PDK’s election victory have increasingly being challenging the political and institutional organization of Europe’s youngest state. Indeed the Vetevendosje’s demands to end the EU-led talks between Belgrade and Pristina still prevent the opposition from forming a majority.

Syrian rebels hail Islamic State

Militant Sunny rebels in Syria’s northern Raqqa province have hailed the change of name by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) into Islamic State and the declaration of a new Calipahte on 29 June. After the deceleration by Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, Sunny rebels held a parade and cheered the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as new Caliph. The promulgation came after the organization conquered a large part of Iraq to add to its territory.

Pas op voor democratierelativering

Door Arjen Berkvens, directeur Foundation Max van der Stoel

De Amerikaanse invasie in Irak was het” hoogtepunt” van Westerse interventiepolitiek in de afgelopen 25 jaar. De aanwezigheid van massavernietigingswapens was de Amerikaanse rechtvaardiging voor het beginnen van deze oorlog, maar toen die er niet bleken te zijn, werd het brengen van democratie tot hoogste doel verheven. Deze doorzichtige verantwoording achteraf had tot dramatisch gevolg dat alle democratieondersteuning in een kwaad daglicht kwam te staan, zoals we nu zien in Oekraïne. Er zijn echter vele goede manieren om van buitenaf de democratisering van landen te ondersteunen.

Parliamentary elections in Libya

Marking another step in the transition from the Gaddafi-regime, 1.5 million Libyans will go out and vote for a new 200-seat parliament today 25 June. Libya desperately needs a functioning government to bring the heavily armed former rebels, militias and tribes that helped oust former dictator Muammar Gaddafi under control and to secure the oil ports vital for Libya’s government and public budget. The new parliament, which will be called the House of Representatives, will replace the General National Congress as new legislative assembly.

Ethnic Albanians clash with Police in south Mitrovica

Clashes broke out between ethnic Albanians and police in the ethnically divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica, injuring 13 police officers and 21 protesters on Sunday 22 June. The clashes started after ethnic Serbs rebuilt a road barricade over the central bridge, dividing the ethnic Albanian southern part of the town from the ethnically Serbian northern part. Local Serbs removed the barricade on 17 June but they replaced a road barricade, made of sand and flowerpots, on 18 June. The ethnic Albanian’s were outraged by the renewed barricade, saying the barricade stands testament to ethnic Serb refusal to integrate into the independent state of Kosovo.

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