37th & The World

37th & The World: 5in5 for the week of February 19th, 2024

February 27, 2024 Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (GJIA)
37th & The World
37th & The World: 5in5 for the week of February 19th, 2024
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Show Notes Transcript

 Pakistan faces political turmoil as two parties form a coalition government amid inconclusive elections, sparking accusations of "mandate theft." Ukraine alleges war crimes against Russia, the US draws criticism for vetoing a UN ceasefire in Gaza, and tensions rise between Rwanda and Congo over a mineral-rich border. Secretary of State Blinken announces a $200 million aid plan for Haiti amid increasing instability.

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This week:

  1. In Pakistan, two political parties have formally agreed to form a new coalition government despite both parties winning fewer seats than candidates belonging to the party of the jailed former prime minister.
    1. Days after inconclusive election results, two Old-Guard Palestinian parties, the Pakistan Peoples Party, or the PPP, will back the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or the PMLN, in a new administration after no singular party achieved a majority in the highly contested election. Both the parties won fewer seats than the PTI, the party of the jailed former prime minister, Imran Khan.  Mr. Khan, who is now calling the coalition, “mandate thieves.” Both of these parties partook in ousting Mr. Khan in 2022, and in 2024 he was sentenced to 10 years in jail for supposedly leaking state secrets. The PPP and PMLN have both posited their intended Prime Minister and presidential candidates, but the remainder of government roles remain undeclared. Meanwhile, Pakistani citizens have been experiencing issues accessing social media amidst protests as internet access has been blocked.
  2. After Ukrainian soldiers retreated from the eastern city of Avdiivka last week, allegations of possible war crimes against Russia emerge from claims of executions of the surrendering Ukrainian troops. 
    1. Last week, Ukrainian forces surrendered the crucial eastern city of Avdiivka after months of desperately defending the city. Though the retreat was called with intentions to ‘save soldiers’ lives, claims from relatives of the troops are now emerging that the Ukrainian soldiers had been begging for a surrender, with commanders reportedly being unresponsive. Once finally called, the Russians had already circled the Ukrainian troops, who they then proceeded to execute. Moscow has yet to comment on these war crime allegations, but Russian military bloggers did capture and publish evidence of the Avdiivka capture, including the bodies of several Ukrainian troops who are believed to have surrendered.
  3. The United States vetoed the UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, drawing criticism from China
    1. Beijing is now reprimanding the United States for vetoing the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying that the US is giving a "green light to the continued slaughter." The resolution was backed by 13 of the 15 Security Council members, with the United Kingdom abstaining. Worries of the spillover effect of this conflict into the middle east rise. The critique from Beijing, however, is especially peculiar given the Chinese government’s years-long genocide against their own Uighyr Muslim population in the nation’s northeastern region, Xinjiang.  
  4. Rwanda and Congo on the brink of war as conflict expands surrounding Congo’s mineral-rich eastern border with Rwanda.
    1. War looming as tensions between Rwanda and Congo rise over their mineral-rich border region. The United States urged the neighboring nations at a UN Security Council briefing for conflict resolution through diplomatic, not military, measures. On monday, Rwanda rejected requests to withdraw its troops and surface-air-to-missile system from the border region. More over, the Rwandan-backed armed M23 group, known as the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, is entangled within the Congolese army attempting to disrupt ethnic group relations within Congo.
  5. US Secretary of State Blinken announces plans to provide $200m in multinational security support for Haiti.
    1. $200m of multinational aid is being sent to assist Haiti’s national police “with planning, with intelligence, with airlift capacity, communications, and medical equipment and services.” Gangs control  over 80% of the capitol, Port-au-Prince, half of the nation eats just one meal a day, and gangs are using rape as a weapon against innocent Haitian civilians. On the brink of state failure, nations like France have urged that in order to maintain long-lasting peace and stability, there must be free and fair elections.