More peacekeepers for Balkans?

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is considering an increase in the number of troops it deploys to the Western Balkans to keep tensions under control. Hundreds of British and Romanian troops were deployed after a recent dispute in Kosovo,which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after a guerrilla uprising and a 1999 NATO intervention that included some 1,300 Canadian Armed Forces personnel. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian peacekeeping dimished

In 2016, Canada’s defence minister of the day, Harjit Sajjan, told a UN conference in London that Canada was prepared to lead international peacekeeping operations by deploying as many as 600 military personnel. As of last July, there were only 57 Canadian peacekeepers active globally. [node:read-more:link]

Peacekeepers for Haiti?

The UN Security Council has been urged by U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken to authorize deployment of a Kenya-led security mission to Haiti. He has also promised “robust financial and logistical assistance” for a campaign to address ongoing gang violence which has paralyzed Haiti for more than two years. [node:read-more:link]

Peacekeepers frustrated in Lebanon

The UN Security Council has approved a resolution demanding that the Lebanese military and Hezbollah stop interfering with peacekeepers and permit “announced and unannounced patrols.” The council voted 13-0 in favour of the resolution with Russia and China abstaining. [node:read-more:link]

Kiwis reach out to neighbours

New Zealand Defence Minister Andrew Little has signed a Status of Forces Agreement with Fiji in the latest phase of a broad regional outreach initiative which began in 2018. Kick-started by former prime minister Jacinda Arden, it comes at a time when China is trying to bring Pacific Island leaders onside. [node:read-more:link]

UN peacekeepers leaving Mali

The UN Security Council voted today to withdraw its 12,000 peacekeepers from Mali, where 187 peacekeepers have been killed during the 10-year mission. The country’s military regime has insisted on the withdrawal despite a persistent civil war in which the Russia mercenary Wagner Group has 1,000 members providing security. [node:read-more:link]

Tensions growing in Kosovo

International efforts to defuse a crisis in Kosovo intensified today as ethnic Serbs held more protests in a town where clashes with NATO-led peacekeepers earlier this week left dozens injured and sparked fears of renewed conflict. Serbians want Kosovo special police and ethnic Albanian officials withdrawn from northern Kosovo where Serbs are a majority. [node:read-more:link]

More peacekeepers for Kosovo

A day after 30 NATO peacekeepers and 52 Serbian protesters were hurt in clashes in Kosovo over the appointment of ethnic Albanian mayors, the alliance said today it is deploying 700 more troops. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognized by many European states as well as the U.S., but Russian-backed Serbia refuses to follow suit. [node:read-more:link]

Peacekeepers injured in Kosovo

Two dozen NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo were injured today, three seriously, in attacks by Serb demonstrators angered at having ethic Albanian mayors. The crisis dates to April when Serbs boycotted local elections, allowing Albanians to take control of local councils with a less than 4% voter turnout. Ethnic Albanians account for more than 90% of the Kosovar population but Serbs are the majority in the north. [node:read-more:link]

UN head wants troops in Haiti

UN Secretary General António Guterres wants an international specialized armed force deployed to Haiti as gang violence and human rights violations have reached a critical level. His call is part of a report January 23 by the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, which says killings surged by 35 per cent last year while kidnappings more than doubled. “There are also allegations that a significant number of national police . . . may be associated with gangs,” Guterres said. [node:read-more:link]

Serbian move on Kosovo blocked

NATO’s mission in Kosovo has refused a request by the Serbian government to send police and army personnel into Kosovo after a spate of clashes. “They consider that there is no need for the return of the Serbian army to Kosovo . . . citing the United Nations resolution approving their mandate in Kosovo,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said January 8. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. [node:read-more:link]

Peacekeeper killed in Lebanon

An Irish Army private, Seán Rooney, one of some 10,000 UN peacekeepers deployed to southern Lebanon by 47 countries, died earlier this month when his armoured vehicle was attacked en route to Beirut. A suspect was reportedly turned over to authorities by Hezbollah militants who denied any involvement in the attack. [node:read-more:link]

26-hour-long moment of silence

On December 6th, a 26-hour long moment of silence will begin. Beginning on Finland's Independence Day, the conflict resolution organization CMI - Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation will hold a 26-hour long moment of silence in Helsinki, Finland to honour people who have lost their homes due to a conflict. [node:read-more:link]

Azeri-Armenian peace talks stalled

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev has called off a December 7 meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Charles Michel, saying that he does not want Macron involved in peace talks with Armenia. Aliyev accused the French leader today of having “attacked” and “insulted” his country and said Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was trying to sabotage talks by insisting on France helping to broker an accord to resolve a long-running territorial dispute. [node:read-more:link]

France formally ends Mali operation

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed today that his country is formally ending its eight-year military operation in the Sahel, nearly nine months after withdrawing its troops from Mali. Faced with the continuing spread of jihadis linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and a growing number of French casualties, there has been increasing down about the fundamental viability of an ongoing intervention. While some 3,000 French troops will remain in Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso, they will act only in concert with those countries’ forces. [node:read-more:link]


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