Compiled by Rikke Sponheim
Fourteen protesters have been arrested in British Columbia during a protest against a proposed pipeline across First Nations land. The protest started in response to a court ruling on Dec. 14, 2018 which permitted the construction of the pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en are a group of five tribes who have retained control over their land since they never signed a treaty that would have given Canada control of their land, so this ruling by the Canadian courts has not been well received. Elected First Nations officials signed deals with the company building the pipeline, but hereditary chiefs in the area have opposed the construction of the pipeline. After making arrests, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police took control of the area where protesters were preventing access to the construction zone. Now those who attempt to enter the area may be arrested.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The results of the election in the DRC which took place on Dec. 30, 2018 have not been released, despite that they were supposed to be by Jan. 6, 2019. The presumed winner is Félix Tshisekedi Tshilombo, and the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) has called for transition talks between Tshilombo and current President Joseph Kabila. South Africa, which is the most powerful member of the Southern Africa Development Community, is the country which would have the most ability to enforce the DRC to follow through with the results of the election, but so far has not made any statement about the election.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced that they had recovered an ancient relic that had been stolen from the country and taken to a London auction house. The item, a tablet carved for King Amenhotep I, is one of over a thousand artifacts that have been recovered by Egypt over the past two years. The value of the item is estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, the Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a UN supported anti-corruption group, was expelled from the country by President Jimmy Morales. In a press conference President Morales gave on Monday in Guatemala City, Morales claimed that the expulsion of the group was due to law violations. Many think that this move was really designed to protect corrupt politicians and Morales himself from consequences. This has led countries condemning President Morales. The United States used to be a strong supporter of CICIG, but there has been no comment from the Trump administration about this incident.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, the Dutch foreign minister announced that there was significant evidence that Iran was behind two killings in the Netherlands. The first occurred in 2015 when Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi was shot. Samadi was working under an alias as an engineer in the Netherlands and had left Iran when he was accused of planting a bomb in the Islamic Republic party’s headquarters in 1981. Ahmad Molla Nissi was the victim of the other murder, which took place in 2017. Nissi was the founder of a nationalist group that sought to create an independent state within Iran. The EU imposed new sanctions on the Iranians directly connected with the murders and the military intelligence service. Previously, the Netherlands had taken action in 2018 by removing two Iranian diplomats from the embassy in the Netherlands. (The Guardian)