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News Analysis
Somalia’s Puntland State to Strengthen Anti-Piracy Operations
Amidst a score of news reports on the raging fight against piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa comes an interesting signal from the regional government of Puntland in Somalia: The regional security minister of the Somali semi-autonomous government, General Yusuf Ahmed Kheyr, said in a press conference on Saturday that his administration has lost patience with the pirates and vows to increase anti-piracy operations in the unpatrolled waters of the troubled region. (Full Story)
Haiti UN Conference. To make reconstruction work, the process must uphold democracy
Port-au-Prince/Bogotá/Brussels - As a critical strategy conference convenes today at the UN, a Haitian-owned and led process, based on broad consensus among Haitians and with resolute international support, is needed to build the country back better after the devastating earthquake. (Full Story)
Sudan. A legal environment for free elections does not exist

Nairobi/Brussels - The Khartoum government is rigging the 11-13 April elections in Darfur to return an indicted president and his party to power with catastrophic consequences for Sudan.

(Full Story)

North Korea's internal problems could have unanticipated implications
Seoul/Brussels - The recent tightening of economic sanctions, compounded with domestic problems, could trigger North Korean instability as the country’s human security tragedy continues to deteriorate.
  (Full Story)

Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh remains a potent threat
Dhaka/Brussels - The Bangladesh government has taken steps to dismantle the terrorist group Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), but it should not take its demise for granted: the organisation is regrouping and the possibility of another attack is increasing. (Full Story)
March 7 Iraqi Elections. The international community should intensify its electoral monitoring
Baghdad/Washington/Brussels : The run-up to the Iraqi elections on 7 March has brought to light deep-seated problems that threaten the country’s fragile recovery.
  (Full Story)

Iran Nuclear Impasse. Beijing would negotiate for weak sanctions
Beijing/Brussels -While China resists tougher UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, it is likely to ultimately come on board but will seek to delay and weaken the West’s desired measures.

  (Full Story)

Russia Boosts its Naval Capabilities with French Mistral-class Vessels
While France recently celebrated the keel-laying for its third Mistral-class amphibious assault ship (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement, BPC) at the DCNS shipyard in Saint Nazaire, the vessel may see an even greater success. (Full Story)
Burundi: Ensuring Democratic Elections
Nairobi/Brussels - Burundi’s escape from its long civil war can only be solidified if all political forces, including government, opposition parties, civil society and media ensure that this year’s series of elections is truly democratic.
  (Full Story)

Romania Accepts US Ballistic Missile Defence Basing Plans
Romanian President Traian Basescu announced last week that his country would accept an US offer to base medium-range interceptor missiles (the proposed land-based version of the SM3 system) as part of the revamped missile defence plans formulated by the Obama Administration in 2009. (Full Story)
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