The Rafah Crossing was opened in both directions for two days starting March 23 to allow the passage of humanitarian cases. This crossing is specialized for individual movements across borders and was being prepared for the transfer of goods between the two countries.
The massive exodus of Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia has become in recent months a humanitarian emergency that affects both countries, which share some 2,200 kilometers of border. It is under the regime of Nicolás Maduro, because of the structural shortage that hits the population. And it is on the other side of the Táchira or Arauca rivers, where the impact of migratory flows, which increased by 110% last year, is increasingly difficult to sustain, according to local authorities. Around 550,000 people, with visa and without papers, arrived with the intention of staying in Colombia. That figure, according to official estimates, can reach one million in July. The colombian president Santos explained that military control will be reinforced at border crossingsand on the trails, the most remote roads become the usual routes of contraband, crime and human trafficking. At the same time, the authorities seek to regulate the entry of Venezuelans in a “controlled, orderly and within the law” manner.
On Sunday night a devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Iraq-Iran border about 64 miles (103km) Southeast of the city of Sulaymaniyah. The earthquake was felt across large parts of Iran, including Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Ilam, West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan provinces. It has claimed a large number of victims: about 400 people dead and more than 6600 injured, but the number of fatalities is feared to rise. The earthquake has created extremely difficult conditions: the electricity was cut off in several Iranian and Iraqi cities, and fears of aftershocks sent thousands of people in both countries out onto the streets and parks in cold weather and rescuers worked through the night to find people trapped in collapsed buildings, but there are still people under the rubble. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani assigned the vice president on Monday to oversee a national disaster response to the last night’s powerful earthquake and all administrative, military, public and non-governmental organizations were mobilized to handle the disaster. Following the death toll in Kermanshah province, the deputy governor announced three days of public mourning in the whole province. Also, leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei called in a message for taking immediate measures to assist those affected by the earthquake, including a rapid mobilization of the relevant government organs to provide medical treatment for the injured. 20 helicopters from Iran Army Aviation, 136 ambulances, and 28 ambulance buses were also deployed to earthquake-affected areas. Four field hospitals have also been set up in the area.
A high-ranking official of Russia’s ruling United Russia, Sergei Zheleznyak, said that Kosovo Serb politicians should block the ratification of the Agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro, local media report referring to Russian newspaper Pravda.Sergei Zheleznyak in an article published on the United Russia website wrote that Kosovo Serb MPs should thwart the adoption of an agreement on the border demarcation between Kosovo and Montenegro. Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said recently the solution of the border demarcation should be sent to the International Court of Arbitration “because there are no votes that support current version of the agreement in the Assembly”. Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic insist that current version on border delineation signed between the two countries in 2015 is a done deal for Montenegro.