Sunday, 4th December 2022
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Indonesia: Will the army’s ban on ‘virginity tests’ last?

The Indonesian army says it will no longer conduct the "two-finger" tests on women applying to join the forces, but there are worries that the ban might not last long.

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9 Nov 2021
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16 Nov 2021
The Nigerian Army fired live rounds at peaceful protesters at a toll gate in Lagos in October 2020, according to a leaked report into the incident seen by Reuters and verified by three sources close to the panel that drafted it. The report described the incident as a "massacre", said most of the army officers deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate were "not fit and proper to serve" and recommended prosecuting certain policemen for their actions.
25 Nov 2021
It is the last place on the planet where the Sumatran rhino, tiger, elephant and orangutan still roam together in the wild – and it is under threat. The Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia is facing a series of mounting pressures, including loggers, plans for hydroelectric dams, and human encroachment on the land. Now activists, led by a group of women, are fighting to ensure it survives. We spoke to Farwiza Farhan, one of the women on the front line of forest conservation.
2 Dec 2021
Fighting continues in Ethiopia, where rebel groups are advancing on the capital Addis Ababa. While much has been said about the northern front, where the army is at war with the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF), another armed group – allied to Tigrayans – is fighting from the south and west of the country. The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) now controls a large swathe of territory. Together, the TDF and OLA plan to topple the government and take over the capital. The government accuses these rebel groups of committing crimes against civilians, including several massacres. Our regional correspondent reports.
13 Dec 2021
"Islamic State" propaganda lured hundreds of Indonesians to fight for an extremist cause in Syria. One such Indonesian says the IS Islamic caliphate dream was flawed and that he wants to turn over a new leaf. He has joined a social media campaign to counter extremist narratives.
22 Jan
Java's northern coast is slowly subsiding into the sea — mainly because of groundwater exploitation. Without a wholesale change in the provision of water, the city of Pekalongan could be submerged by ocean waves by 2030.
23 Jan
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23 Jan
Heavy gunfire could be heard coming from several military camps in Burkina Faso early on Sunday (January 23), the government said, but it denied the military had seized power. Heavy arms fire at the capital Ouagadougou's Sangoule Lamizana camp, which houses the army's general staff and a prison whose inmates include soldiers involved in a failed 2015 coup attempt, began at least as early as 5:00 a.m. (0500 GMT), a Reuters reporter said. The reporter later saw soldiers firing into the air in the camp. A witness also reported gunfire at a military camp in Kaya, around 100 kms (62 miles) north of Ouagadougou.
26 Jan
After being driven out of Uganda, the Lord's Resistance Army ran riot in the Central African Republic, where it behaved more like a criminal gang than a terrorist militia. Now the LRA's days seem to be numbered.
26 Jan
A blaze took hold as two gangs from rival ethnic groups in the province of West Papua fought to settle a quarrel. The two sides used machetes, arrows and Molotov cocktails to attack each other.
29 Jan
This week on The Observers, we investigated an incident in Nia Ouro, Mali on January 4. Residents claimed that men dressed in Malian military uniforms killed four civilians and reduced buildings in the village to ashes. We spoke to an eyewitness, analysed videos taken after the event and cross-referenced satellite imagery to put together the days events.