Colombian forces, FARC break ceasefire: Despite optimism a June ceasefire negotiated in Havana would end decades of strife, fighting erupted between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Colombian army on Friday.
According to Colombian Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas, units of the Colombian army encountered FARC rebels in the Meta Department in central Colombia and a brief skirmish ensued. Villegas reported there were wounded, but did not offer details. A statement released by FARC blamed the Colombian military for the ceasefire breach, but did not specify the nature of the violation.
Under the June 23 agreement, which has yet to be formally ratified, Bogota must invest in infrastructure spending in FARC-controlled areas and legitimize FARC as a political party; and the rebel group must cease its involvement in the illegal drug trade, pay reparations to victims of its violence and assist in the clearing of explosive devices in areas they control.
Heavy fighting in South Sudan kills 272: Mortar shells and gunfire wracked the South Sudanese capital of Juba as troops loyal to President Salva Kiir struggled to contain rebel forces led by South Sudanese vice president Riek Machar.
According to the UN peacekeeping force in Juba, one UN peacekeeper was killed, over 270 troops and civilians were reported killed and the UN compound came under fire.
Dismissed as vice president by Kiir in 3013, Machar led an insurgency which plunged the country into a bloody civil war. A truce negotiated returned Machar to the vice presidency and saw Ugandan troops allied with Kiir leave South Sudan.
On July 7, as Kiir and Machar met, fighting broke out between rebel forces and government troops while the two leaders resumed peace talks.
Former British Deputy PM says Iraq war illegal: Days after the Chilcot report rebuked former Prime Minister Tony Blair for his role in joining the U.S. in the 2003 Iraq War, former Deputy PM, Lord John Prescott, wrote in the Sunday Mirror the Iraq War was illegal.
Admitting he was willing to “take his fair share of the blame” for his role in the political decisions which oversaw Britain’s entry into the war, Prescott expressed remorse and offered his “fullest apology” to the families of the 179 British servicemen and women who died in the war.
Home Secretary May becomes British PM: Following Minister of State for Energy Andrea Leadsom’s withdrawal from the race for the Tory leadership post, Home Secretary Theresa May will become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Currently the Home Secretary where she oversees domestic security, law enforcement and immigration matters, Mrs. May will become the second female prime minister of the UK.
Vowing strong economic leadership during a period of uncertainty over “Brexit,” a vision for the UK post-EU and uniting the country, May thanked Mrs. Leadsom and outgoing PM, David Cameron.
Prime Minister David Cameron will resign on Wednesday after his weekly prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons.
Damascus extends ceasefire: Hoping to avert the unraveling of a ceasefire negotiated in February, the Syrian government has announced a nationwide cessation of hostilities for a period up to 72 hours, state-run SANA reported.
The Free Syrian Army is reported to have accepted terms of the ceasefire’s extension.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights describes intensive rebel shellfire and aerial bombardment from Syrian air force aircraft inside and around Aleppo has killed over 50 civilians in the last week.
[Reuters] [RT] [The Guardian]