Religion & Geopolitics Weekly Roundup

At a Glance

Religion & Geopolitics Weekly Roundup

12 Jun 2014

Events have developed rapidly this week, beginning with the Karachi airport attack in Pakistan, which was closely followed by major developments in Mosul and other Iraqi cities. We cover these events in the Roundup this week and particularly how the situation in Iraq is being viewed from a variety of angles - what this means for the people of Iraq and the momentum of ISIS. We also keep up to speed with on-going events in Myanmar, which has now seen two years of conflict. Additionally, we focus on security in Nigeria and on the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic.

Top Stories

Iraq: With events continuing to change and develop in Iraqi cities, Michael Knights says ISIS is winning the war in Iraq and must be stopped.

Pakistan: Following the attacks on Karachi airport earlier this week, Imtiaz Gul gives some background on the motives behind them and the role of foreign fighters. To sit alongside this, we also publish our  Pakistan situation report by Dr Frederic Grare.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central African Republic: With the focus of the conflict still on the humanitarian situation, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) highlights the economic impact on the country brought about by over half a million internally displaced people. As with other organisations, the IDMC again asks that there be a development response sooner rather than later.

Nigeria: The United States Institute of Peace takes an interesting view  of Boko Haram, looking at the how youth are radicalised and recruited into armed groups and what can be done to prevent this. There is also an update from the Council on Foreign Relations, tracking the security across the country. 

Somalia: With the ever-changing use of social media and communications in the Islamist group al-Shabab and with concerns over interception, Nel Hodge investigates how the group has adapted and how it has banned the use of the internet and smart phones in parts of the country.

Middle East and North Africa

Iraq: The Economist sums up the situation this week by looking at the spread of ISIS across the region and traces back the build up to the events this week over the past year.

Iraq: Roula Khalaf,  writing in the Financial Times, views the events in Iraq this week from the failed state angle and says that the central government appears more paralysed than ever.

Iraq: The Guardian publishes three eyewitness accounts from people in Mosul who experienced the city's fall, and what followed.

South East Asia

Myanmar: With the month of June marking two years since the start of the conflict in Rakhine State, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that 140,000 people remain displaced, with the majority of these being Muslim Rohingya. Min Zin also takes stock putting into perspective the views of the Mabatha Buddhist monks and the 969 movement, which are being challenged by a range of civil society groups rejecting extremism.

South Asia

Afghanistan: With the run-off for the Afghan election taking place on 14 June, David Loyn  guides us through the choices that Afghans face, between the two candidates of Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.

Pakistan /Afghanistan: With the publication of two books by separate authors, one on the future of the Pashtun people in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the other on the return of the Taliban in the same region, Douglas Ollivant suggests that neither author can find workable solutions, but they lay out in much detail the issues involved.


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