World News Brief, Tuesday April 23

Fighting between military and Boko Haram kills 185 in Nigeria; South Korea cancels Japan trip; China rejects Japan's offer of post-earthquake disaster recovery help; Burma accused of fueling ethnic violence; tobacco magnate wins Paraguay election; and more

Top of the Agenda: Insurgency Violence Kills Hundreds in Nigeria

Fighting between the military and the Boko Haram militant group in northern Nigeria is reported to have killed at least 185 people (BBC) in the remote town of Baga, near the border with Chad. The assault marks a sharp escalation in a long-running insurgency in the predominantly Muslim north, where Boko Haram has launched a campaign to overthrow the government and adopt strict Islamic law. The conflict has killed thousands since 2009 (al-Jazeera).


"Traditional Muslim leaders, the sultan of Sokoto in particular, may have an important role to play in countering the extremist views that attract recruits to Boko Haram, Ansaru, and other radical Islamist groups," writes Jacob Zenn in this blog post for CFR.

"However, what is left to be seen is whether the US and in fact other Western countries really believe the amnesty option would curb insurgence in Nigeria, as strategic arms of the US government have written expressly on the likelihood of the failure of the amnesty option," writes Moses Alao for the Nigerian Tribune.

"President Goodluck Jonathan is on his knees morning, day and night begging the Islamist terrorists to accept an amnesty that they never asked for in the first place and which they have consistently rejected," writes Femi Fani-Kayode for Daily Trust.



South Korea Cancels Japan Trip

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se canceled his trip to Japan this week after a series of visits (Yonhap) by Japan's cabinet members to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine on Sunday. The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including fourteen who were classified as war criminals in World War II. Yun planned to hold his first bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart during his two-day visit.

CHINA: China declined Japan's offer to help with disaster recovery from the earthquake that shook the city of Ya'an on Saturday. The rejection came as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine (SCMP).


Burma accused of fueling ethnic violence

Tobacco magnate wins Paraguay election


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