Weekly Round Up 11th June – 17th June

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What’s in a Name?

Who?
Macedonia & Greece

What?
Historic agreement

Where?
Macedonia & Greece

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
Since the collapse of Yugoslavia at the end of the Cold War, the official name of the country of Macedonia has been “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (FYROM for short). Macedonia’s southern neighbor Greece has long objected to the name Macedonia, as it shares the name as one of it’s northern regions. Some Greeks fear that the name stands for Macedonian territorial claims to those parts of Greece.
On Tuesday the governments of Macedonia and Greece came to an agreement that would rename FRYOM to The Republic of North Macedonia.
This however has sparked an uproar in both countries, especially in Greece where mass protests have broken out. The situation escalated in Athens where the Prime Minister, Alexander Tsipras, faced but narrowly survived a vote of no confidence on Friday.

Should the deal be ratified in the coming days or weeks, it could allow for North Macedonia to gain Greek support to join both NATO and the EU. How this would change the regional balance of power and influence remains to be seen.

Full Articles:
Reuters
Al Jazeera
New York Times

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A Bloody Truce

Who?
Two Suicide bombers

What?
Threaten a fragile truce

Where?
Nangarhar Province, Eastern Afghanistan

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
Despite the three day truce announced by the Taliban in order to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, two suicide bombers killed over 50 people, wounding 50 more. The terrorist organization Da’esh (aka ISIS/ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the explosion on Saturday, while Sunday’s bomber is yet unaffiliated. Most of the dead are thought to be Taliban fighters
Despite the death toll of the weekend, the Kabul government is seeking to extend the truce for 10 days. This could be the beginning of a new status quo in the war torn country that has been wracked by conflict since the 1979 invasion by the Soviet Union.
The situation promises to remain tense however, especially in light of the coming parliamentary election in July, as the Taliban still consider the Kabul Government mere puppets of the West.

Full Articles:
Reuters
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Assoc. Press

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Photo from sofrep.com

Blood stained soil


Who?
Houthi Rebels

What?
Drawn out civil war

Where?
Yemen, Arabian Peninsula

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
For over three years a civil war has raged in Yemen between the Houthi rebels and the the Saudi backed government forces. Since 2014 the Houthis have controlled the Yemen capital of Sana’a. Although it is easy to perceive the conflict as a proxy war between the Houthis, who have ties to Tehran, and the Saudi backed Yemen Government, there are more actors at play in the conflict, including Al-Qaeda and Da’esh.
The Houthi rebels have made a name for themselves for successfully using a range of missiles to wreak havoc on their enemies, perceived and otherwise. Most recently a warship belonging to the United Arab Emirates was struck by a a Houthi anti-ship missile.
The Situation in Yemen is likely to worsen as aid organizations face great difficulty in supporting the citizens of Yemen. Furthermore due to a lack of international interest the conflict has gone under-reported and has been allowed to rage on by the international community.

Full Articles:
Al Jazeera
Reuters
The Drive

***

Full List of Resources Used:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-macedonia-name-protests/greek-police-fire-teargas-to-protesters-over-macedonia-deal-idUSKBN1JC0RG?

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/greek-pm-tsipras-survives-confidence-vote-macedonia-deal-180616163642671.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/key-facts-war-yemen-160607112342462.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/key-facts-war-yemen-160607112342462.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-factbox/factbox-who-is-fighting-in-yemens-messy-civil-war-idUSKBN1JC09B

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/21519/uae-naval-vessel-attacked-by-houthi-rebels-off-yemeni-coast-during-amphibious-operation

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/casualties-suicide-bombing-rocks-afghanistan-nangarhar-180616141815436.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-taliban/eid-ceasefire-proved-wide-support-for-afghan-taliban-they-say-idUSKBN1JD02Z?

Afghan suicide bomber kills 21, mostly Taliban fighters observing Eid truce

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/suicide-attack-afghanistan-nangarhar-kills-10-180617111812856.html

https://sofrep.com/74204/going-ballistic-iranian-backed-houthi-rebels-yemen-launch-scud-missile-saudi-arabia/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/15/world/europe/greece-macedonia-name-change/

 

 

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