The US Senate has, with a large majority, voted for a fast withdrawal of the 66,000 US troops currently deployed in Afghanistan by 2014. Nevertheless, the Pentagon keeps on stressing the importance of a mission in Afghanistan after 2014 in order to prevent Al-Qaeda from returning to power in the country.
After negotiations in Uganda, M23 Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have agreed on withdrawal from Goma, the city in the east of the country which they captured last week. The M23 group, a new rebel group which is allegedly armed by the Rwandan and Ugandan governments, have fought with Congolese government troops in the area for days.
Due to the ongoing violence, over 500,000 people have fled their homes since April. Several NGOs have warned for an impending humanitarian crisis. Estimates are that the conflict has cost 5.4 million lives in total so far.
As a result of the recent clashes, the UN Security Council has extended the arms embargo and other sanctions imposed on the militias in Congo until February 1, 2014.
Demonstrators in Tunisia demand Prime Minister Hamada Jebali to resign after three days of violent protests which have left more than 300 people injured. Demonstrators are protesting for “jobs, development in the region and the equitable sharing of wealth” – the same demands people demonstrated for during the revolution last year. After the 2011 uprisings and the fall of dictator Ben Ali tensions arose between “secularists” and “Salafis” over the future of the country, which have severely damaged the Tunisian economy.