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Week of November 28th

Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba.


Fighting in Rwenzururu

Fighting broke out in Uganda between government forces and royal guards of the Rwenzururu kingdom, a somewhat autonomous region.The royal guard supports King Charles Wesley Mumbere, the tribal king of a small kingdom on the boarder of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The region is mostly comprised of Bakonzo people, an ethnic group found in both Uganda and the DRC. The kingdom was formed as a separatist movement in 1962 and there was fighting between the kingdom and Uganda until 1982, when they were given a certain level of autonomy in exchange for peace. President Museveni of Uganda officially recognized them in 2009, however this latest outbreak of violence is a setback. King Mumbere has tried to distance himself from the actions of the royal guard, saying the initial attacks were made by a group of people who wish to separate completely from Uganda, a position Mumbere does not officially support. As the death toll on both side grows it remains unclear what the political repercussions will be for the future of Rwenzururu. EMMA STOUT


Week of Mourning in the Wake of Fidel Castro’s Death

The world is reacting to the long-anticipated death of the revolutionary Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who passed away this Friday at around 10:30 local time in Havana. It was first reported by his brother, current President Raúl, on state media and since then an outpouring of statements by world leaders and famous Cubans have been expressed worldwide. Raúl stated in this public press conference that Fidel’s body will be cremated, and his ashes will be buried in the main cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, Santa Ifigenia, to lie alongside other famous Cuban persons and revolutionaries like the Bacardi family and José Martí. This upcoming week will see a long period of 9 days of mourning throughout Cuba, with eulogies and wakes being held in central Havana and in special places throughout the nation. This period of mourning will also include the journey of his ashes from Havana to his final resting place in Santiago de Cuba, along the route Fidel and his fellow revolutionaries took through the country to celebrate their victory in the Cuban Revolution against Batista in 1959. Reactions to the death of Castro will certainly continue this week as Cuba hold various memorials and ceremonies for the deceased. ANDREW MITCHEL


Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar

According to a senior UN official, Myanmar is perpetrating an ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority from its territory. The country’s armed forces have been murdering Rohingya in the Rakhine state, forcing many innocent Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. The government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been organizing counter-insurgency operations since the border guards began being attacked back in October. The government is upset by the allegations and denies any reports of committed atrocities saying the Rohingya are burning their own houses. The Rohingya, a minority numbering one million in Myanmar, are considered a community of illegal migrants by the Buddhist majority. Bangladesh’s official policy prevents illegal immigrants from entering the country, but fortunately many of the Rohingya have sought refuge in the neighboring country. The UNHCR is looking for the cause of this tragedy, while Bangladesh faces the issue of opening their borders to these refugees and fears that an unguarded border would force the ethnic cleansing to continue. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see how the UN attempts to resolve this attack on Myanmar’s Muslim minority. SANURI GUNAWARDENA


Fillon Seeks Runoff Victory As French Head to Polls

On Sunday, French citizens headed to the polls to select the new Republican Presidential Candidate in a primary runoff, the winner of which is set to take on far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen in April. After Francois Fillon won last week’s primary, barring former President Nicolas Sarkozy from the race, polls show he is set to win again. His socially conservative platform, including anti-abortion, anti gay marriage, and restrictive immigration proposals, stand in contrast to centrist opponent Alain Juppe, who denies the need for such “brutal” laws. While French identity remains a priority to many voters, polls suggest Fillon was largely selected last week due to his economic proposals. Fillon has advocated for strict measures against regulation, sharp cuts in government jobs and spending, and higher sales taxes to tackle double digit unemployment and measly economic growth. However, all citizens are allowed to vote in the primary, and if Juppe supporters turn out as much as Fillon’s, there could be an upset in expectations. Regardless, both candidates are expected to represent the political mainstream in another likely test against growing Western anti-establishment sentiment. MEGHAN ROWLEY

Middle East

Fall of Eastern Aleppo Near

The fall of Aleppo is near - and indeed, the Syrian government operation for the elimination of terrorists and moderate rebels from the Eastern part of the city has never been closer. This past weekend, the Syrian government made advancements on eastern Aleppo districts that have been strongly held by rebels and allied forces for 5 and half years. On Saturday, the Syrian government regained control of the large Hanano housing district, located on the northeastern frontline of the rebel-held Eastern Aleppo. After a rapid advancement on Sunday, Syrian government-allied forces also captured a neighboring Eastern Aleppo district, Jabal Badro. By Sunday evening, Syrian state media reported the complete control of Holok, another strategic northeastern Aleppo district. Reports from the ground also show increasing momentum for the Syrian government in the Bustan al Basha, Haydariya, and Sakhour districts of Eastern Aleppo. Streets were left deserted as air the strikes by the Syrian regime were as intense as ever, with civilians in eastern Aleppo ultimately fleeing and seeking refuge in government-held western Aleppo. With intentions to strategically retake all of Aleppo, look for the Syrian government forces to intensify airstrike bombardment this week, diminishing the little dominance the rebel forces still have. JALAL TALEB

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