Planet Watch
Ghana soldiers

Growing police-state measures in face of COVID-19

As nations across the globe remain under lockdown, more sweeping powers are being assumed by governments in the name of containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing demands for relief from poor barrios running out of resources under his lockdown orders, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to shoot protesters in the streets. Police have opened fire on lockdown violators in Nigeria, Ghana and Peru. In Tunisia, remote-controlled wheeled robots have been deployed to accost lockdown violators. States of emergency, including broad powers to restrict movements and control the media, have been declared from the Philippines to Serbia. Amnesty International warns that the restrictive measures could become a “new normal.” (Photo: Pulse, Ghana)

Africa

Burkina Faso faces ‘unprecedented’ crisis

Attacks by Islamist militants, military operations, and waves of inter-communal violence have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced since January in Burkina Faso, triggering an “unprecedented” humanitarian crisis that has caught many by surprise. Homegrown militant groups, as well as extremists linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS, have been operating in the country’s north since 2016, but have expanded to new fronts. As the state struggles to contain the insurgencies, a growing number of “self-defense” militias have mobilized, escalating ethnic tensions in a country once considered a beacon of coexistence and tolerance in West Africa. (Photo: The New Humanitarian)

Africa

Ruling for Ghana in Ivory Coast boundary dispute

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled in favor of Ghana in a lengthy maritime dispute with Ivory Coast. The case, which was brought to the international body by Ghana in 2014, was an attempt to clarify the boundary between the two countries, as both countries were vying for control of offshore oil leases in the contested area.

Watching the Shadows

Two Guantánamo detainees transferred to Ghana

Two Yemeni men captured in Afghanistan and detained at Guantánamo Bay for 14 years have been released to Ghana, bringing the number held at the facility to 105.

Southeast Asia

Chinese mining interests take hit in Philippines

The Philippines high court issued a "temporary environment protection order" against 94 Chinese-owned "small-scale mines" operating on the margins of the law in Luzon region. 

North Africa

AQIM manifesto found in northern Mali: report

A document found in a demolished building in Timbuktu purports to reveal plans by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to establish "command and control" over northern Mali.