The Week That Was: Global News In Review

Foreign Policy Brief #93 | By: Ibrahim Castro | October 16, 2023

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Israel-Gaza War

The militant group Hamas launched a surprise assault inside Israeli territory this past weekend that has so far killed over 900 people and became the deadliest attack in Israel’s history. Israel then formally declared war on Hamas, setting the stage for a major military operation in Gaza. During the attacks Hamas infiltrated military bases, towns, and took hostages. In retaliation the Israeli military began bombing the city of Gaza killing over 600 Palestnians and injuring another 2,500 . This new war comes on the heels of months of surging violence between Palestinians and Israelis. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed retaliation, warning his country would take “mighty vengeance” and Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza, and said Israel would halt the supply of electricity, food, water and fuel to the besieged city. (US RENEW DEMOCRACY NEWS will report more on this conflict soon>0

Armenians Flee Nagorno Karabakh

In late September following a 9-month blockade that prevented the flow of basic necessities like food and medical supplies, the Azerbaijani military conducted a military offensive against the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Nearly the entire population of 120,000 ethnic Armenians have since been forced to flee the region.The return of the region under Azerbaijani control is likely to alter power dynamics in the South Caucasus, a region that for centuries has been at the crossroads of geopolitical interests of Russia, Turkey, and Western nations. A war for the region previously erupted in 2020, during which thousands were killed and thousands more displaced.

Russia, a longtime protector of Armenia, brokered a cease-fire and deployed about 2,000 peacekeepers to the region. Azeri President Aliyev has promised that Karabakh Armenians will continue to be able to practice the right to their own language and culture if they stay, but many Armenians have expressed concerns about violence and even ethnic cleansing. According to a decree given by the annexed region’s de facto President Samvel Shahramanyan, Nagorno-Karabakh will cease to exist as of January 1, 2024.

Kenya to lead military forces to quell unrest in Haiti

Last week the United Nations Security Council approved the deployment of international forces led by Kenya to curb escalating gang violence in Haiti. The level of violence in Haiti is reported to have reached comparable levels to that of a civil war. Now, in addition to Kenyan forces, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda have pledged to send personnel to the violence racked country. Haiti is led by the unelected government of Prime Minister Ariel Henry and most gangs do not recognize him as a legitimate head of state. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere where more than half the population lives below the poverty line. The island country had previously requested international assistance over a year ago to curb the rising insecurity in the country, and welcomed the decision by Kenya and the UN.

Earthquake in Afghanistan

Last week more than 2,400 people were killed in earthquakes that hit Afghanistan, the earthquakes of magnitude 6.3 struck in the west of the country about 20 miles northwest of the city of Herat. These quakes were among the world’s deadliest this year, just after tremors in Turkey and Syria killed over 50,000 in February. The earthquake occurred in an area that historically has not experienced as many tremors. Villages affected are still trying to rescue survivors from under the rubble, the quakes will only compound the desperate situation in Afghanistan which is one of Asia’s poorest countries and has been ravaged by conflict for decades.

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