Watchlist: SDF Fight to Retake Last ISIS Stronghold

Week of February 25th, 2019 Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announce the Deir Al-Zor offensive in 2017 (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Africa Bashir Declares State of Emergency in Sudan as Protests Continue Since mid-December, Sudanese protestors have been demanding that President Omar Al-Bashir, who has been in power for 30 years, resign. However, in response to these protests, Bashir today declared a state of emergency. Many predicted Bashir would do this, and protests continued and even grew as he made the announcement. The main opposition party, the Umma National Party, encouraged protestors to continue protesting until Bashir steps down. In declaring a state of emergency, Bashir dissolved th

Watchlist: France and Italy's Feud Thaws as Recalled Ambassador Returns

Week of February 18th, 2019 Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio pictured in 2018 (center). Di Maio's meeting with leaders of the Yellow Vests movement in France initiated the diplomatic spat between the two nations. Africa Boko Haram Continues Attacks Amidst Nigeria’s Campaign Process Nigeria's presidential election was delayed over the weekend due to logistical concerns of the Independent National Electoral Commission, drawing outrage from incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari questioned the necessity of the weeklong electoral delay and called for an investigation into the matter, as well as implying that the electoral process was under siege by "vote riggers." Furthermore, P

Leader Spotlight: Joko Widodo

Name: Joko Widodo (also known as Jokowi) Country: Republic of Indonesia Title: President Party: PDI-P (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) Ideology: Grassroots liberalism, Pan-Asianism (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Rise to power: President Joko Widodo was born and raised in the city of Surakarta (also known as Solo), living in a slum for much of his childhood. He started his career as a worker in his grandfather’s furniture factory after studying forestry and raw materials management and gained enough experience to open his own furniture company. After nearly going bankrupt, Widodo started exporting his products very successfully around the world, and as a result of his rise, became the c

Watchlist: Tensions Rise Ahead of Upcoming Korea Summit

Week of February 11th, 2019 North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump at the Singapore Summit in July 2018 (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Africa Boko Haram Continues Attacks Amidst Nigeria’s Campaign Process Nigeria is in the midst of an election process, with the general election happening on February 16th. The current President Muhammadu Buhari won past elections running on a campaign of military experience and hardline opposition to corruption. President Buhari has also made large claims of victory over Boko Haram, an Islamic State in West Africa. However, with the general election in 5 days, about 30,000 residents have had to flee their homes in northeast Nigeria from Boko H

Watchlist: Upcoming Thai Elections

Week of February 4th, 2019 Current Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (center) (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Africa Former Côte D'Ivoire President Granted Stay in Belgium After Acquittal Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Côte D’Ivoire, has been granted temporary stay in Belgium after his ICC trial ended in acquittal. Gbagbo faced charges of murder, rape, persecution and a slew of other atrocities committed by his supporters attempting to keep him in power after disputed elections. Despite witness testimony against Gbagbo, the International Criminal Court freed him to live in a third-party country—a role taken up by Belgium. Under his acquittal agreement, he is forbidden from conta

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