Blog archive: All

  • 28th April 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A dispute is raging in Iraq over the future of children born to Yazidi women who were abducted and raped by Islamic State fighters. The Yazidis are a non-Muslim minority centred mainly around Sinjar in northern Iraq who follow their own distinctive religion. To maintain what they see as the...
  • 27th April 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Yazidis are followers of one of the Middle East's minority religions, centred mainly around Sinjar in northern Iraq. They tend to be secretive about their beliefs and keep themselves to themselves: they don't accept converts and they don't marry non-Yazidis. Over the centuries they have often...
  • 2nd April 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Algerians who have been demonstrating on the streets for more than a month appear to have achieved their primary goal of toppling President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. On Monday the official news agency reported that the 82-year-old president will resign "before 28 April" – the date when his...
  • 27th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At least five members of Britain's special forces have reportedly been injured in gun battles in Yemen. If true, the story has serious implications because the British government has long insisted that it is not a party to the conflict. According to the Mail on Sunday, commandos from Britain...
  • 17th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A recent report by the chemical weapons watchdog, OPCW, has caused a flurry of activity among defenders of the Assad regime who claim chemical attacks in Syria have been faked or staged by rebels. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from the OPCW report was that two cylinders of chlorine gas...
  • 13th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Protesters returned to the streets of Algeria with renewed anger on Tuesday, accusing President Bouteflika of trickery. For a brief moment on Monday night it seemed that their key demand had been granted, and that the 82-year-old president, who is in poor health, would not after...
  • 12th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The strikes and street protests seen in Algeria over the last couple of weeks bore fruit on Monday with the announcement that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is 82 and in poor health, will not be seeking a fifth term in office after all. At first sight, this is a significant victory for the...
  • 11th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    President Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned to Algeria on Sunday after two weeks at a hospital in Switzerland for what were described as routine medical tests. His plane arrived at a secluded military airfield outside the capital where there was no official welcoming ceremony. He was then whisked...
  • 4th March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Algeria's 82-year-old president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was formally nominated yesterday for a fifth term in office, even though the current constitution says he is limited to two terms. Bouteflika, who is in poor health and uses a wheelchair, is reported to be in Switzerland for medical...
  • 2nd March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On Friday the OPCW's fact-finding mission issued its final report on alleged chemical attacks in the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma last April.  Dozens of people were reportedly killed by a release of toxic chemicals and the US, Britain and France responded shortly afterwards with...
  • 1st March 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When the Arab Spring uprisings broke out in 2011 there were riots in Algeria, as elsewhere in the region. But while the leaders of three neighbouring countries – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – were toppled the regime of Abdelaziz Bouteflika survived relatively unscathed. Although Algeria...
  • 26th February 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Large-scale protests are continuing in Algeria against President Bouteflika. Now aged 81 and in poor health, he has been president since 1999 is seeking re-election for a fifth term in office (see previous blog post). Today student demonstrations are being organised though there are reports of...

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