Russia’s laws prevent posting about Amsterdam’s Canal Parade 2014

Yes, Putin really did leave Amsterdam in 2013 after visiting the Dutch-Russian year of friendship. But some of his influence might not have left. While Dutch visitors and many other EU-tourists might think little about any consequences of posting selfies of themselves dancing, with in the background a boat on which Conchita is surrounded by rainbow flags and cheering people. For Russian visitors of the Canal parade 2014 in Amsterdam though, this might be very, very different.

Afrika een goudmijn?

Hoe denken Afrikanen in Nederland over de toekomst van ontwikkelingssamenwerking in Afrika? En hoe zou volgens hen de grondstoffenpolitiek uit moeten zien? Wat zouden zij anders doen als zij het voor het zeggen hadden? En U?

De bijeenkomst is de derde van een serie debatten over hoe de diaspora denkt over de toekomst van ontwikkelingssamenwerking. Afrikaanse Nederlanders met een uitgesproken mening gaan met elkaar én experts uit de sector in discussie over de thema’s als armoedebestrijding, handel, grondstoffenpolitiek, migratie en corruptie.

Erdogan wins first direct presidential elections in Turkey

After 11 years as Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected on August 10th President of the Republic of Turkey. 53 million Turkish voters were eligible to cast their ballots in this first ever direct universal suffrage elections of the country’s history, which led to a rare first round victory of Erdogan. He received 51.95% of the votes, despite growing opposition to his authoritarian style and allegations of corruption in the government. Despite a low turnout, his coming presidency is likely to transform the country’s balance of powers in favour of the executive.

Kazakh cabinet is reshuffled while super Energy Ministry is created

The Kazakh government was reshuffled on Wednesday 6 August by President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Two main priorities were put forward : the reduction of the number of ministries and the creation of a super-sized Energy Ministry. These decisions reinforce the position of personalities close to the President while trying to limit the impact of Western sanctions on Russia.

Jongerentraining in Moldavië

Afgelopen weekend (1-3 augustus) organiseerden wij, in samenwerking met de lokale partner de Democratische Partij van Moldavië (DPM), een training voor jongeren in Moldavië. De training vond plaats in Orhei, ongeveer 40 km van de hoofdstad Chisinau. Aan de trainingen deden 25 jonge enthousiaste deelnemers mee.

Moscow threatens to block BBC over separatist interview

A Siberian independence march that was planned in Novosibirsk for 17 August was banned by the Russian government yesterday. In parallel, authorities have threatened to block BCC’s Russian version over its reports on separatist protests and more precisely an interview of the march’s organiser, Artyom Loskutov. They declared his intervention "calls to mass unrest, extremist activities or participation in illegal public events", which is legally forbidden in the Russian Federation. The event contradicts Moscow’s recent support to independence movements in former Soviet states such as Ukraine and Moldova.

Gaza : 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire launches peace negotiations in Cairo

Twenty-nine days after the beginning of the “Protective Edge” operation launched by the Israeli Army, Tsahal, Israel has started withdrawing its soldiers from the Gaza Strip. After several failed attempts to install a ceasefire, both sides have agreed to indirect negotiations under Egyptian conditions. Israeli and Hamas delegations should start peace talks in Cairo today.

Tension rises in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Caucasus is under strain of renewed tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. An outbreak of fighting in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region left more than fifteen soldiers dead, while both Armenian and Azeri government accused each other of fuelling clashes. Recent events have been the deadliest since the 1994 ceasefire and raise concern about a degeneration of the conflict.

Kosovo leaders face crimes against humanity charges

Senior Kosovo leaders face indictment for crimes against humanity after a report by US prosecutor Clint Williamson was released on 29 July. The charges include killings, abductions, disappearances, sexual violence and other forms of persecutions against Serb and Roma minority populations, as well as political opponents, since the end of the conflict with Serbia in 1999. Although the suspects are not named, they are referred to as "senior officials of the former Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA), who fought against Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian regime. The EU special investigative task force (SITF) which led the investigation is likely to prosecute some top figures of Kosovo politics, who accessed leadership positions after the country’s independence in 2008.

Libya moves towards civil war as fighting intensifies between militias

Three years after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted following a NATO intervention led by the United Kingdom and France, Libya seems to be on the verge of chaos. Recent clashes between brigades that had taken the former leader down for the control of Tripoli and oil resources, highlight the progressive breaking up of political authority. After the bombing of Tripoli’s airport in early July, fire was set to 6 million-litres petrol reservoirs in the south of the city, raising concern about a dramatic shortage of fuel to come. Western countries have called on their nationals to leave the country while embassies are being closed.

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