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Weekly update: 12 June – 18 June 2023

The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 12 June to 18 June 2023.

Guernica 37 will provide weekly media updates from the International Criminal Court, European Court of Human Rights, United Nations, European Union and other sources. Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at for consideration.

IRAQ - 18 JUNE 2023

BBC, ‘Iraq: displays 2,800-year-old stone tablet returned by Italy.’

‘A 2,800-year-old stone tablet has gone on display in Iraq after being returned by Italy following nearly four decades. The artefact is inscribed with complete cuneiform text - a system of writing on clay in an ancient Babylonian alphabet.

Italian authorities handed it over to Iraq's President Abdul Latif Rashid in the city of Bologna last week. It is not clear how the tablet was found - or how it made its way to Italy where it was seized by police in the 1980s. Iraqi Culture Minister Ahmed Badrani said that it might have been found during archaeological excavations of the Mosul Dam, which was built around that time.

Iraqi authorities have vowed to try to repatriate all stolen artefacts.’

See here:

EGYPT - 18 JUNE 2023

Reuters, ‘World Bank's IFC to help Egypt monetise state assets’

‘The International Finance Corporation (IFC) said on Sunday it would act as the strategic advisor for Egypt’s plans to boost the role of the private sector in the economy. The IFC said it would advise on the government's "asset monetization programme, which will focus on harnessing private capital and know-how to manage state-owned assets” That will include structuring and preparing assets for sale, the IFC said in a statement.’

POLAND - 17 JUNE 2023

The Guardian, ‘Poland pride: marchers demand LGBTQ rights before election.’

‘Tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Warsaw to demand equal rights for LGBTQ+ people in Poland before general elections due this autumn.

Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party has focused on opposing what it calls 'LGBT ideology' in previous campaigns.

U.S./CHINA - 19 JUNE 2023

BBC, ‘What is on the agenda at crucial US-China talks?’

‘US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's first visit to China comes nearly five months after a major rupture in relations over a Chinese spy balloon.

His original trip was abruptly cancelled because the balloon, which China says was monitoring weather, drifted across the continental US before being destroyed by American military aircraft. Mr Blinken's visit includes meetings with China's top foreign policy officials but there is no word yet on whether he will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, who appeared with Microsoft founder Bill Gates in Beijing on Friday. The two global superpowers have a long list of issues that concern them, including high-profile disagreements as well as potential areas of co-operation.’


The Independent, ‘Ukraine-Russia war – live: Drone footage shows car ‘filled with explosives’ on Kakhova dam’

‘The Russia-controlled Kakhovka dam collapsed earlier this month, causing flooding that has killed at least 52 people. Drone footage has emerged allegedly showing a car filled with explosives on the Kakhovka dam when it collapsed earlier in the month.

Two Ukrainian military officials told the Associated Press that Russian troops were in the same area inside the dam where Ukraine claims that the explosion took place. The Russian Defence Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. The Russia-controlled Kakhovka dam collapsed earlier this month, causing flooding that has killed at least 52 people.

GENEVA - 19 JUNE 2023

Cites, ‘Review of international trade in wild and captive-bred animals, future zoonotic disease emergence among discussion topics for upcoming CITES meeting

In the early years of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (1975-1989), a staggering 96 per cent of internationally traded animals were taken from the wild. Now, 50 years after the entry into force of CITES, the majority of international trade in animals is in specimens from captive-produced sources (e.g., reptiles for skins, and birds and ornamental fish for pets).'

‘Trade in captive-bred animals is one of the many issues up for discussion at the upcoming 32nd Meeting of the CITES Animals Committee to take place 19 – 23 June 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the first meeting of the Animals Committee following the 19th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP19) held in Panama City, Panama, in November 2022 and follows the 26th Meeting of the CITES Plants Committee held two weeks earlier (5 – 9 June 2023).’

MALI - 17 JUNE 2023

BBC, ‘Mali urges immediate end to UN Minusma peacekeeping mission’

‘Mali's foreign minister has called on the UN to withdraw its peacekeeping force from his country "without delay”.

Abdoulaye Diop accused the force, Minusma, of having "become a part of the problem in fuelling intercommunal tensions". He was addressing the UN Security Council. Minusma has more than 13,000 troops. Its decade-old mission has failed to stop the spread of jihadist violence. Russian Wagner mercenaries are now assisting Mali's military rulers.

Western officials have accused Wagner of human rights abuses in Ukraine and parts of Africa, and last month the US announced sanctions on Ivan Maslov, whom it described as Wagner's top official in Mali.

Wagner has not commented on the Western allegations and its activities in Mali and other parts of Africa remain shrouded in secrecy.'

UGANDA - 18 JUNE 2023

BBC, ‘Uganda school attack: Dozens of pupils killed by militants linked to Islamic State group’

‘Nearly 40 pupils have been killed at a school in western Uganda by rebels linked to the Islamic State group (IS). Five militants attacked the Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe at around 23:30 (20:30 GMT) on Friday. They entered dormitories, setting fire and using machetes to kill and maim the pupils, officials said.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) - based in the Democratic Republic of Congo - have been blamed and a manhunt is under way.’


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