Compiled by Rikke Sponheim
Venezuelan President Maduro has accused the United States of meddling in the country’s politics in order to gain control of Venezuela’s oil interests. This comes after the United States and many other countries have expressed support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Maduro has stated that he is willing to hold mediation talks with Guaidó on neutral territory and named several countries that might be suitable locations for talks, one of which being Russia. Russia has announced that they would support these talks, and the country has invested money in Venezuela’s debt. A protest against Maduro lead by Guaidó took place on Wednesday, Jan. 7, and another will be happening again on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Two boats carrying migrants are believed to have sunk off the coast of Djibouti sometime this past week, and as of Wednesday, Jan. 30, 28 bodies have been found and two survivors have been rescued. Through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which found the two survivors, it is thought that there could be around 130 casualties from the incident. According to the survivors, the two boats were overloaded and capsized within half an hour of leaving shore. An average of six people a day die while attempting to cross just the Mediterranean, and the thousands of people who attempt to cross the Bab al-Mandab Strait from the Horn of Africa to the Arabian Peninsula face a similar fate.
The Zimbabwean government is still cracking down on unrest after former president Robert Mugabe stepped down in early January after having been in power since the 1980s. Soon after the transfer of power to current President Emmerson Mnangagwa, oil prices and the prices of other essentials such as flour have doubled or even tripled. This has resulted in unions in the country calling for strikes, which have been responded to with police and military violence. It has been reported that at least 12 people died, and many others were injured when government security forces fired on civilians.
The cease-fire in Yemen is still holding, and Saudi Arabia is still set on negotiating an end to the civil war in Yemen that has been going on for the past four years. The cease-fire is still being maintained but might be on the brink of falling apart. It is suspected to be close to falling apart due to breaches in what was agreed in the UN lead talks in Stockholm that happened in September. While there have been no air strikes or military operations in the area, things like the UN food program have had difficulty operating in the country. Also, both the Houthi rebels and government forces have not demilitarized as quickly as was agreed upon and is a key factor in destabilizing the cease-fire.