IRAQ/TURKEY – Iraqi PM says agreement has been reached with Turkey over the presence of Turkish troops near Mosul. Details are scarce other than Ankara will ‘respect Iraq’s sovereignty’. Turkey says its troops are inside Iraq legitimately. Iraq had said they must leave.
IVORY COAST/MUTINY – Soldiers in the city of Bouake fired on the residence of the Defence Minister as part of a munity over pay and conditions. Most of those involved are former rebel soldiers. President Ouattara says he has a deal to end the crisis.
PAKISTAN/MILITARY COURTS – Trials involving terrorism will no longer be heard in military courts and will be transferred to anti-terror courts. The military took over legal proceedings involving terrorism in Jan 2015 following an attack on a school in Peshawar.
IRAN/BORDER CLASH – An Iranian border guard has been killed and three injured during a clash with militants in the town of Jakigur on the Iran/Pakistan border. The group the militants were from has not been disclosed.
IRAN/RAFSANJANI – The former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has died aged 82.
It’s not making headlines but the crisis in Gambia could lead to serious bloodshed. We should have a clearer idea of the future after the High Court rules on President Jammeh’s claim that the December election he lost is invalid due to voting irregularities. The hearing begins on Tuesday. Jammeh is supposed to leave office on Jan 19th. He has spent the last month rallying support within the military and intelligence senior ranks and allegedly hiring foreign mercenaries. If Jammeh wins in court there will have to be another election. If he loses, but refuses to stand down, the neighbouring West African countries will have a difficult decision to make – intervene militarily or accept the seizure of the state.
Jan 9 – Russian officials in Turkey to discuss the proposed Astana talks on Syrian scheduled for the end of the month.
Jan 10 – U.S. Senate begins hearings to confirm Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments. The session for nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is expected to be on the 11th.
Jan 10 – Gambia’s Supreme Court begins hearing of presidential poll petition re the Dec. 1 election. (See above)
Jan 10 – Inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega expected to be attended by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. She’s on a Latin American tour. This appears to be partially designed to head off any pressure China may put on Latin American countries to break relations with Taiwan.
Jan 10 – Following the FARC deal Colombia’s government and the National Liberation Army resume peace talks.
Jan 10 – Hamas and Fatah expected at preparatory meetings for the Palestinian National Council session in Beirut. 1st PNC session for 17 years. Both factions see need for unity in face of Trump’s closeness to Israeli gov. (See Jan 15th)
Jan 12 – Japanese PM Abe in the Philippines. Joint security and China likely to be on agenda.
Jan 15 – France hosts Israeli-Palestinian peace conference.
Jan 15 – Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions meet in Moscow.
Jan 15 – S Korea, USA and Japan meet in Seoul to reaffirm security alliance against N Korea.
Jan 13 – France-Africa summit hosted by Mali.