November 2018 — CANVAS

Weekly Report: 16 November 2018

Disarmed bombs left from American activities in Laos during the Vietnam War. (Halo Trust) Syria In the area of Deir al-Zor, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces resumed fighting against the Islamic State. This comes after a   suspension in warfare. Presumably, Deir al-Zor is the last “foothold” of IS near the Iraqi border. A report which came out this week claims that beginning in February, the global chemical weapons watchdog group will begin to hold accountable those responsible for chemical weapons used during the Syrian war. The task was given to the watchdog group, given the number of attacks in the most recent years by both the Syrian forces and rebel groups. Attacks have previously used both chlorine and sarin. The team will begin analyzing attacks which began as early as 2014. Bolivia Last Friday, a bricklayer shouted “Bolivia said no! Respect the referendum!” at president Morales. For this, the man was imprisoned and put on trial. After hearing of this case, presidential candidate Mesa took to Twitter to declare his solidarity and support for the man. Mesa sees his imprisonment as a direct abuse of the government. While the Bolivian government is claiming that the man also tried to throw an unknown object at president Morales, there is no evidence of the event. There was no reported aggression. This week, the Social Democratic Movement, led by Ruben Costas and the National Unity party, led by Samuel Medina, agreed upon an alliance in the upcoming presidential elections. The new alliance is also open to agreements with other parties, for they believe that uniting citizen platforms will create a strong movement...

Weekly Report: 9 November 2018

A boat of Rohingya refugees fleeing the threat of repatriation, seeking better fortune in Malaysia. (Reuters) Syria A UN convoy which was supposed to reach the Rukban desert camp last week has finally arrived. There are near 50,000 stranded Syrian refugees in the camp, 80% being women and children. The area is controlled by Syria’s army and is nearby a U.S backed rebel-base. After joined efforts between the UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent on Saturday, 78 trucks containing food, medical supplies, and hygiene kits arrived. On Thursday, 19 people who have been held hostage by IS since a July 25th attack, have finally been freed. On July 25th of this year, 30 people were kidnapped by IS when they raided the Sweida province. That same day, the militant group killed 216 people in the region. Of the 30 people kidnapped, 19 were released. Syrian troops liberated the 19 women and children, and in exchange, IS received a monetary payment and women related to IS militants who were being held hostage by the Syrian army. Bolivia On December 6th of this year, eight departments of the country will hold a strike in solidarity against Evo Morales. Although, the president of the Association of Municipalities of Santa Cruz (Amdecruz) admitted that the mayors of his municipality will not be taking part in the strike. Jorge Tuto Quiroga, the former president between 2001-2002 strongly warned the TSE that if they try to illegally enable Evo Morales and vice president Linera in the 2019 elections, they will face trials and jail time. Quiroga stated that the members of the TSE cannot simply...

Weekly Report: 2 November 2018

A protest against Israel’s blockade of Gaza. (Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu) Syria A clash between US-backed Syrian fighters and Islamic State Militants left at least 40 Syrian fighters dead. Further, Islamic State recaptured land which was taken from them earlier this month along the border of Iraq. The Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) has been working to capture the last pocket of land being controlled by IS since September. This area is also home to thousands of civilians who are being held in the crossfire. On Saturday, leaders from Russia, Turkey, Germany, and France met in Istanbul to discuss various issues facing Syria. While there was not a major breakthrough in talks, the four-way summit addressed the necessity of an eventual peace plan. With Russia backing Assad’s Regime, and Turkey backing rebel groups in opposition of Assad, the meeting made for an interesting dialogue. The leaders also discussed the refugee crisis, the Idlib demilitarization zone, and constitutional reform. The Rukban Camp on the border of Syria and Jordan, home to more than 50,000 stranded civilians, has yet to receive aid since last January. This week, a convoy carrying aid was supposed to make its way to the camp but has been suspended due to security reasons. The camp is home to 80% women and children, all of whom are in desperate need of food, water, and medical attention. While people living in the Rukbar Camp need help, aid workers on their way were in danger. Bolivia This week, Maria Eugenia Choque was elected as the new president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). Further, Antonio Costas Sitic will become the new vice...