Jack Merlin Watling, 5 February 2015.
ONES TO WATCH
JORDAN: King vows ‘relentless war’ on Islamic State’s own ground. Following the immolation of a Jordanian pilot by Islamic State militants the kingdom has promised to step up measures against IS in Syria. Demonstrations in support of the pilot and against IS were held across Jordan on Wednesday.
UKRAINE: Fighting intensifies after ceasefire breaks down. Fighting between rebels and Ukrainian government forces saw escalating casualties after negotiations failed on Saturday. Diplomatic tensions are expected to rise with both a NATO and Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in coming days.
TURKEY: Dutch journalist faces charges of ‘terrorist propaganda’. Fréderike Geerdink, a long term reporter on Kurdish affairs has been charged by the Turkish state with spreading ‘terrorist propaganda’ over a set of interviews with senior figures in the PKK. The charge follows the searching of her home by Turkish anti-terror police and a marked increase in government action against journalists.
THURSDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2015
INTERNATIONAL: Military experts debate African Union intervention against Boko Haram. They’ll meet in Cameroonian capital Yaounde to prepare a proposal to present to the UN Security Council for “Chapter 7” authorization. UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said he supports a regional force to fight the group.
INTERNATIONAL: Western intelligence chiefs meet in London. Representatives of the world's leading intelligence-sharing network, known as the “Five Eyes” (the United States, Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand) will likely discuss strategies to fight terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks against Charlie Hebdo.
INTERNATIONAL: NATO Defence Ministers meet in Brussels. They’ll likely discuss escalating violence in Ukraine and possible moves for Georgia to join the alliance. Meanwhile
US Secretary of State John Kerry visits the Ukrainian capital of Kiev for talks with the president, Petro Poroshenko and other Ukrainian officials.
INTERNATIONAL: Russia hosts a Eastern Europe / Central Asia security conference. Heads of government from Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will discuss further integration within the Eurasian Economic Union and Kyrgyzstan's accession to the group.
FRIDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2015
INTERNATIONAL: Heads of state and government attend one of the year’s top security gatherings. Both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov will be at the Munich Security Conference in the Bavarian capital. It will likely look at crises in the Middle East, North Africa and Ukraine. Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani will also be there.
TUNISIA: 2nd anniversary of assassination of opposition politician Chokri Belaid. The secularist lawyer and politician was a vocal critic of both the Ben Ali regime and the current Islamist-led Tunisian government until he was shot outside his house near the capital Tunis.
SATURDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2015
ARABIAN GULF: Prince of Wales goes on tour. The heir to the British throne will visit Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates at the request of the British government. His visit comes shortly after an unauthorised biography claimed he "doesn't like being used to market weaponry" and avoids doing so wherever possible.
SUNDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2015
NIGERIA: Deadline for distribution of voter registration cards for Presidential election. 44 million of 68.8 million cards have so far been distributed. If this is not completed then the elections may be delayed. Nigeria’s National Security Advisor recommended that the election be delayed over this issue but Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that it is imperative that the election happens on schedule.
Editing by Paul Raymond.