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The beach, Red Sea State, Port Sudan, Sudan.

Eric Lafforgue / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

Sudan’s lost sea access worsens humanitarian disaster

Since fighting between rival military factions in Sudan erupted last April, nearly 8 million people have been displaced, and 24 million require urgent food aid. But the crisis now may begin to beggar description as the country loses access to its Red Sea coast and migrants stream across its borders.

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Armenia’s capital reels from the aftermath of Nagorno-Karabakh & Russia-Ukraine wars
Armenia’s capital reels from the aftermath of Nagorno-Karabakh & Russia-Ukraine wars | GZERO World

Armenia’s capital reels from the aftermath of Nagorno-Karabakh & Russia-Ukraine wars

Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh and Russia’s Ukraine invasion have come to Armenia, where the future is uncertain.

In September, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive in the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in the South Caucuses at the heart of a decades-long conflict between the two countries. Azerbaijan seized control of the territory in less than 48 hours, forcing hundreds of thousands of ethnic Karabakh Armenians to flee across the border. And they’re not the only ones. Since Russia launches its invasion of Ukraine, around a hundred thousand Russians have also fled into Armenia to escape conscription and sanctions.

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UN mobilizes to help disaster-stricken Libya and Morocco
UN mobilizes to help disaster-stricken Libya and Morocco | GZERO Media

UN mobilizes to help disaster-stricken Libya and Morocco

First, there was the devastating earthquake in Morocco. And then, cataclysmic flooding in Libya. Recent natural disasters in northern Africa have shocked the world. They've also mobilized United Nations rescue and support teams, says UN Secretary-General António Guterres in an exclusive GZERO World interview.

“We have a central emergency response fund, and we mobilized $10 million to support the operation in Libya," Guterres tells Ian Bremmer. "We are discussing, with Moroccan authorities, our best way to support them...We'll be doing everything to mobilize international community to support these two countries in this very, very tragic situation."

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The Pentagon is seen from the air in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2022, more than a week after Russia invaded Ukraine.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

What We’re Watching: Suspected US intel leaks, peace talks for Yemen, Lula talks trade with Xi

A murky document mystery

Some months ago, mysterious documents began showing up on websites used mainly by online gamers that appear to reveal top-secret US government information on the war in Ukraine and other sensitive topics. In particular, they include what seem to be maps of Ukrainian air defenses and an analysis of a secret plan by US ally South Korea to covertly deliver 330,000 rounds of ammunition to Ukraine to boost its widely expected spring counteroffensive.

Once noticed, copies of the documents made their way into mainstream media and triggered investigations by the Pentagon and the US Justice Department over possible leaks. Ukrainian officials say the documents may have come from Russian spies. Others say someone inside the US intel community must have leaked them. Some experts warn the documents may be fakes.

Given the stakes for Ukraine and for US relations with allies, this isn’t a story anyone should ignore. But the most important questions – Who did this? Why? Are the documents real? Will they change the war? If so, how? – can’t yet be answered. And like the mystery surrounding the explosion that damaged the Nord Stream pipeline last September, they may never be answered. We’ll keep watching.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy awards a Ukrainian service member at a position near a frontline, in Donetsk region, Ukraine March 22, 2023.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: Zelensky’s Bakhmut message, Rishi’s post-Brexit win, Trudeau’s take on Haiti, Ethiopia’s peace progress

Russia and Ukraine score points where they can

Volodymyr Zelensky visited frontline troops in war-ravaged Bakhmut, located in Ukraine’s eastern province of Donetsk, on Wednesday as Russian drones struck across the country. While planning for the trip was surely well underway before Vladimir Putin’s surprise stop in Russian-occupied Mariupol last weekend, the contrast underlined Zelenksy’s signal of defiance.

By appearing in Bakhmut very near the fighting, Zelensky reminded the world that, six months after Putin mobilized 300,000 new Russian soldiers for a deeper advance into Ukraine, even the small city of Bakhmut remains beyond their grasp.

In other war news, Russia has warned it will respond harshly to shipments from the UK to Ukraine of anti-tank munitions made from depleted uranium. Moscow claims this step adds an escalatory nuclear element to the conflict. In response, the UK insists the Russian position is propaganda, that the use of depleted uranium is common in anti-tank weapons, and that it contains nothing that can be used to make nuclear or radiological weapons. Finally, Russia has announced a plan to raise an additional $8 billion in revenue by changing the way oil profits are taxed.

All these stories underscore the reality that, while little has changed on the battlefield, Russians and Ukrainians are still looking for every small advantage they can gain in what looks increasingly like a war of attrition.

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A day after the elections, officials tally votes at a collation centre previously stormed by unknown assailants in Lagos, Nigeria on February 26, 2023.

REUTERS/James Oatway

What We’re Watching: Nigerian election results, Italian migrant tragedy, COVID lab leak report

Nigeria starts presidential vote count

Early results from Nigeria's presidential election are still trickling in Monday, as delays at some polling stations forced people to vote throughout the night on Saturday and the following day. Final numbers could take days, especially if the race is very tight. So far, the big news is that Peter Obi, a third-party insurgent posing the most serious threat to the Nigerian political establishment since the restoration of democracy in 1999, captured Lagos, the country's biggest city and state. Obi is facing off against ruling party candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu and opposition hopeful Atiku Abubakar. To avoid a runoff, a candidate must win the popular vote and 25% of ballots in at least two-thirds of Nigeria's 36 states. Whoever comes out on top, the final result "will most likely leave a large chunk of Nigerians upset," tweeted Amaka Anku, head of Eurasia Group's Africa practice, who's covering the election on the ground. Anku highlighted the low voter turnout — although it's unclear whether fewer people actually showed up or if biometric ID verification prevented unregistered people from voting.

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Destroyed buildings in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake, in Antakya, Turkey February 19, 2023.

REUTERS/Nir Elias

Hard Numbers: Turkey/Syria quake death toll, Modi ally’s biz empire crumbles, West Bank violence, AMLO believes in elves

50,000: The death toll of the Feb. 6 Turkey/Syria earthquakes topped 50,000 on Sunday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is feeling the heat over allegedly corrupt practices that led to so many collapsed buildings on his watch ahead of the May 14 election.

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A view shows graves of killed Ukrainian defenders, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, at a cemetery in Kharkiv, Ukraine January 31, 2023.

REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi

Hard Numbers … after a year of war in Ukraine

300,000: Human losses on both sides of the conflict are mounting (and disputed), but there have been a whopping 300,000 military and civilian deaths on both sides, according to high-end estimates.

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