• PM Abiy Ahmed reshuffled his security services, replacing his army chief, head of intelligence, and foreign minister with a multi-ethnic group of trusted allies.

  • There are reports of dozens of casualties from airstrikes in Tigray, where Abiy ordered an offensive to take on the regional government last week—however, communications to Tigray were cut off, so reporting is flawed.


  • Belarus continued its weekly Sunday protests, and over 800 people were arrested during yesterday’s round. Opposition leaders reached out to Pres.-elect Biden, in hopes that he’d do more to challenge Pres. Lukashenko than Pres. Trump has.


  • A suicide car bomb killed four during an attack on a police base in Kandahar.

  • The Taliban said it expects Pres.-elect Biden to stick to the Afghan peace deal without “significant change.” That’s not necessarily significant since the terms of that deal were fairly vague.


  • A pair of ADF attacks on Saturday night and Sunday morning near Kisima, Beni killed at least 12 people.

Maritime Security

  • Two piracy incidents were evaded in the Gulf of Guinea this weekend: one tanker with an armed security crew fired on the attackers, who fled, and another called in support from the Italian and Benin navies, who were able to chase the attackers off. One security analyst thinks these failed attempts mean the pirates (perhaps the same crew or group) will get increasingly desperate over the next few days and try again.


  • In his first policy speech as Pres.-elect, Biden outlined a plan to curb COVID in the U.S., consisting of ramping up testing efforts and local-level monitoring of transmission.

  • The U.S. reported its 10 millionth COVID case yesterday—about a fifth of the almost 50 million cases worldwide. The latest one million U.S. cases came in just the last 10 days.

  • That said, the burden on hospitals is worse in Europe than in the U.S.: adjusted for population, Europe has over twice the number of COVID hospitalizations.

Other News

  • Opposition supporters in (Republic of) Georgia are protesting what they say was a rigged parliamentary election last week, and police fired water cannons at them. International observers had come criticisms of the poll, but overall found that “fundamental freedoms were respected.”

  • Water cannons were also used against protesters in Thailand, who were trying to delivery hand-written letters urging reform to the monarchy.

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