Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

The violence that marked Bahrain’s response to the Arab Spring has gone relatively unnoticed by the rest of the world. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, in comparison with the chaos and/or violence that followed the Arab Spring in Syria, Libya, or Egypt, Bahrain’s violence has been relatively minor. For another thing,… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

Free to keep killing people

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Cairo’s uncomfortable weekend

Monday will mark the fifth anniversary of the first wave of protests in Egypt’s version of the Arab Spring, the first of 18 days of protests that ended with the resignation of former president/dictator/jolly old hill troll Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011. This time of year is fraught with emotional resonance for current Egyptian… Continue reading Cairo’s uncomfortable weekend

Death toll mounts in Ethiopian violence

Protests have continued among Ethiopia’s Oromo community, and while the government is still insisting that only five people have been killed, independent estimates have put the rising death toll at somewhere around 75 people. The State Department interjected itself into the situation on Friday, expressing its “concern” over the deaths and “urg[ing] the government of… Continue reading Death toll mounts in Ethiopian violence

Burundi is going from bad to worse

The escalating violence in Burundi escalated a little faster last week, when 100 people were killed in clashes in Bujumbura between Friday and Saturday. The US State Department took the step of issuing a warning cautioning US citizens to avoid traveling to Burundi if possible, which suggests that Washington, at least, thinks that the situation… Continue reading Burundi is going from bad to worse

The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia

For the past couple of weeks, the Ethiopian government has been killing dozens of people, many of them students and farmers, protesting a plan to expand the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, into surrounding rural areas of the country’s Oromia region. The Oromo, who inhabit Oromia and are the largest of Ethiopia’s almost innumerable (seriously, there… Continue reading The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia

Nigeria can’t deal with one Islamist insurgency, and now it’s got to deal with a second one

Nigeria is struggling to deal with Boko Haram, the jihadi insurgent organization that was the world’s deadliest terror group in 2014 and hasn’t really let up this year. President Muhammadu Buhari’s plans to have defeated Boko Haram by the end of the year are totally kaput, the multi-national coalition that was supposed to contain and… Continue reading Nigeria can’t deal with one Islamist insurgency, and now it’s got to deal with a second one