Stories written by Correspondents

TAJIKISTAN: Divorce Spurs Female Labour Migration

Four years ago, Farida Hajimova's husband left Tajikistan to work in Russia. After a time, he stopped calling. Ultimately, he never returned. She was left at home in Dushanbe with two daughters and not a lot of options.

Bomb Hits Syrian Truck Escorting U.N. Convoy

A roadside bomb struck a Syrian military truck near Deraa, wounding six soldiers just seconds after a convoy carrying the head of the U.N. observer mission passed by.

Chinese Dissident Chen Seeks U.S. Exile Deal

Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has said he wants to leave for the U.S. rather than stay in China, throwing into doubt a deal used to coax him out of the U.S. embassy in Beijing and defuse an impasse that has strained China-U.S. ties.

Pakistan PM Found Guilty in Contempt Case

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has been convicted by the country's Supreme Court of having committed contempt of court in a case that could see him expelled from office.

KYRGYZSTAN: Moscow Vexed by Bishkek’s Efforts to Play the Field

The Kremlin is getting cranky over Kyrgyzstan's efforts to obtain aid without any diplomatic payback. To convey their displeasure, Russian officials are now delaying cooperation agreements and demanding an expanded share of a Kyrgyz military facility.

Suu Kyi’s Party “Boycotts” Assembly Over Oath

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader, and newly elected MPs from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party have refused to attend the opening session of parliament over a dispute regarding the wording of the parliamentary oath.

Sudan’s President Rules Out Talks with South

Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president, has pledged not to negotiate with South Sudan amid reports of fresh air attacks on his country's southern neighbour.

Ban Ki-moon. Credit: World Economic Forum

U.N. Chief Says Syria Has Broken Ceasefire

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the has called for a U.N. observer mission in Syria to be expanded, even though he says Damascus has failed to adhere to a ceasefire central to an agreed peace plan.

Protests in Syria Continue as Truce ‘Partly Observed’

An internationally brokered ceasefire in Syria is only being "partially observed," the opposition says, as state television reported that a roadside bomb had killed an army officer.

Annan: Iran Can Be Part of Syria “Solution”

Kofi Annan, the joint United Nations-Arab League envoy on Syria, has welcomed Iranian support for his efforts to secure peace in the country, telling Tehran that it can be "part of the solution".

Gunfire from Syria Hits Border Camp in Turkey

Gunfire from the Syrian side of the border has hit a refugee camp inside Turkey, wounding at least three people.

Uzbekistan Takes Hardline Approach on Containing Turkish Soft Power

Religion is a wedge that is driving Uzbekistan and Turkey apart.

TAJIKISTAN: Using Force to Maintain a Standing Army

Hunger, unheated barracks, beatings and regular outbreaks of disease: it could be life in a penal colony. But in this case, it describes the existence of a fresh military conscript in Tajikistan.

Tuaregs on the road between Mali and Burkina Faso. Credit: Marco Bellucci/CC BY 2.0

Tuareg Fighters Declare Mali Ceasefire

A spokesman for the main Tuareg rebel group, which recently seized the three largest areas in Mali's north, says it has declared a ceasefire, one day after the United Nations Security Council called for an end to violence in the West African nation.

Fresh Clashes in Syria Ahead of U.N. Mission

Fierce clashes have been reported between Syrian government forces and opposition fighters in Douma, near the capital Damascus, and in other parts of the country, amid doubts over the government's declared commitment to meeting an imminent ceasefire deadline.

Memories of Osh Violence Continue to Haunt Kyrgyz Children

The physical damage done to Osh, the city in southern Kyrgyzstan that was engulfed in interethnic violence almost two years ago, is steadily being repaired. The psychological scars, on the other hand, may take generations to heal.

Neighbours to Confront Mali Coup Leaders

Mali's neighbours have threatened to use sanctions and a readiness to use military force to dislodge those behind last week's coup, urging them to quickly hand back power to civilian rulers.

Turkey’s Ex-Army Chief on Trial for Coup Plot

Ilker Basbug, Turkey's former army chief, has gone on trial on charges of leading a terrorist group accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mali Mutiny ‘Topples’ President Toure

Renegade Malian soldiers say they have ended the rule of President Amadou Toumani Toure after seizing control of the presidential palace and the state television station in the West African nation.

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan Take Differing Approaches on Aral Sea

The saga of the Aral Sea is now a tale of two bodies of water. One holds the promise of a happy ending, the other remains enmeshed in tragedy.

Shelters Don’t Shelter Haiti’s Needy

Almost half of the emergency shelters distributed by the British organisation Tearfund in the mountains above Léogâne remain uninhabited six months after they were built.

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