Indian Farmers Upset on New Agricultural Reforms:
Thousands of Indian farmers filled the streets of Haryana, governed by BJP, and started marching towards New Delhi on November 26th against contemporary agricultural reforms. The protests have been going on since September in Haryana but Indian police force used tear gas, water cannons and barricades to disband the protesters when they tried entering New Delhi in buses and tractors. As per recent agricultural reforms, farmers are now allowed to sell their finished or raw products to anyone at any desired price. The prices will not be fixed by the government under the control of the State. According to BJP the reforms will transform the agriculture sector and will empower millions of farmers by attracting much needed investments. The reforms are said to have an aim of modernizing Indian agricultural sector and to fuel growth. BJP did not take farmers on board because drafting and announcing the reforms, hence the protests broke out. The reforms are anti-farmer because they will leave farmers at the mercy of big corporate houses and private investors.
Pro-Western Victory in Moldova:
Russia has been trying to keep Moldova in its sphere to have more influence if any security crises or political disorder unravels. Recent presidential elections in Moldova have shaken the idea of Russian regional supremacy. Maia Sandu, a former prime minister and an ex-World Bank economist and Pro-Western, had a sweeping victory in presidential elections against Igor Dondon, a Pro-Russian. Moldova has joined Belarus and Kyrgyzstan and has discredited the leaders that are backed by Moscow. Dondon is claimed to have kept a carefree attitude towards controlling the deadly outbreak of COVID-19 in Moldova. Dondon is also accused of practicing corrupt politics which is why the people of Moldova tilted towards Sandu. Sandu will have to fight a battle against ill and corrupt practices in Moldovan politics along with finding common grounds with both Russia, as she did not criticize Russia at any point during her presidential campaign, and the west.
Ethiopia: Steps Away From “Full-Scale” Humanitarian Crisis
Nearly thirty years later, after putting an end to a 17 year long civil war, Ethiopia is steps away from entering into another catastrophic conflict that has the propensity to extirpate the progress of the past three decades. The conflict has already turned Ethiopians against the Ethiopians and can result in a full-fledged civil war if the differences between the government and Tigrayan are not resolved. There’s a possibility that if the fighting between the government, led by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the Tigrayan nationalists continue, it would have far reaching implications, extending the arc of conflict to the fragile Horn of Africa, mount tensions in Eastern Mediterranean, East Africa and Middle East. The region can have strong repercussions as countries like Somalia and Eritrea are already entangled in conflicts. The prolonged hostilities can spoil the hopes of a two year peace agreement with the neighboring country Eritrea. A country of 11 million people could destabilize due to the differences between the federal government and the nationalists, instigating a humanitarian crisis and aggravating the already existing ethnic divisions. The people of Ethiopia are facing grave challenges due to the fighting because if the confrontation continues a famine likely haunts the nation and many have already started migrating to the neighboring country. The neighboring countries can experience a huge influx of refugees from Ethiopia, posing new challenges to their frail economy and stability. The region can become more volatile due to the tensions between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, latter has failed to find common grounds on the yearlong dispute of the controversial dam that Ethiopia has been building on the Blue Nile River. Since the country has mobilized armed forces against their own people, danger of protracted lethal conflict is augmenting. Tigray’s and the Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki, who has strong affiliation with the Tigrayan nationalists can exploit the conflict for their regional ambitions and draw countries with them who are trying to compete for gaining influence in the Horn of Africa.
Palestine to Restore Coordination with Israel
Palestine is facing devastating effects economically, after announcing to boycott Israel six months ago. In the recent days, the Palestinian Authority planned to restore relations with Israel where would be given the opportunity to discuss important matters such as financial, health and political issues. Restoration of the relations is important for peace and development reasons, but more than that due to the pandemic, Palestinian economy has been hit hard. If the relations are reestablished, Palestine will receive $890 million tax transfer money from Israel For long term effects, the leadership on both sides must remain committed to their objectives. On the other hand, if Israel does not give up its annexation ambitions, reaching a peaceful agreement on the “two state solution” would be unworkable. Coordination is crucial for both countries in the time of coronavirus because there are thousands of Israeli settlers in the West Bank and tens of thousands of Palestinians commute daily to Israel for work purposes. Only with coordination the governments will be able to spread the virus. The lives of Palestinians and Israeli citizens are interconnected, therefore, fighting against the deadly Coronavirus alone will be impossible. Restoring relations with Israel, will also pave way for recommencing contact between the new Biden Administrations and the Palestinians. Due to recent geopolitical shift in the region, which was a result of normalization of relations between Israel and other Arab countries, it is paramount for Palestinian Authority to resume relations with Israel.
Nigeria: Protests against police violence in Lagos
What initiated as peaceful youth-led protests in Lagos, Nigeria’s financial center, against police violence have now turned brutally violent. Protests started on October 7, 2020 when tens of thousands of people turned up in streets across Nigeria and demanded to dissolve one of the Nigerian police units called Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). SARS is extensively accused of extra-judicial killings, blackmail and torture. In response to protests SARS was disbanded on October 11th and was immediately taken over by Special Weapons and Tactics Team. Authorities have asked all personnel to report to the police headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, medical and psychological assessment. Despite the disbandment protests continued and soon government authorities started using extensive force against the protesters using water cannon, tear gas and live ammunition in Lekki district. As per eye witnesses more than 20 armed soldiers arrived at the toll gate in Lekki and opened fire, which killed at least 10 protestors, and were seen to remove the bodies from the scene. It has been reported that as protestors stormed in police facilities, 2000 inmates from two prisons have escaped in Benin City in southern Nigeria. A live video of protestors removing bullets and crying for help was streamed live on Instagram by DJ Switch. The videos of excessive use of force and death of protestors due to live ammunition in Lagos have caught the attention of Amnesty International and the organization will be investigating the killings. In response to protests and unrest, Lagos, a home to 21 million people, has been put under an indefinite 24 hour curfew and police chief has ordered the deployment of anti-riot forces to handle the increased attacks on police facilities.