On January 10, former de facto premier Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest since the military coup of February 1, 2021, was sentenced to four years in prison for illegally importing walkie-talkies. She was sentenced to four years in prison last month for violating restrictions related to the covid-19 pandemic, but the sentence was reduced to two years by the military junta.
On January 10, after a five-day outage, the internet connection was restored in Almaty, the country’s economic capital, where dozens of people died in clashes with security forces during a series of protests against the increase in gas price. More than 7,900 people were arrested. President Qasym-Jomart Toqaev denounced a coup attempt.
An Australian court overturned the government’s decision on January 10 to deny a visa to Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, world number one, and authorized him to play the Open which begins on January 17 in Melbourne. The visa was denied because Djokovic is not vaccinated against covid-19. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke could still proceed to expel Djokovic despite the court ruling.
On 9 January, government sources revealed that more than two hundred people were killed between 5 and 6 January in a series of attacks by gunmen on motorcycles in the northwestern state of Zamfara. The attacks have been attributed to groups of “bandits” active in the northwest and in the center of the country.
On January 9, the Economic Community of West African States ordered the closure of the borders with Mali and proclaimed an embargo against the country. The decision was made in response to the military junta’s decision to cancel the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for February 27, which should have marked the restitution of power to civilians.
The United Nations announced on 9 January the suspension of the activities of humanitarian organizations in the Dedebit area, in the northern region of Tigrai. The day before, the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (Tplf) had accused government forces of carrying out a drone raid on a refugee camp in which 56 people were reported to have died.
On 9 January, the opposition won a historic victory in elections in the western state of Barinas, controlled since 1998 by family members of former president Hugo Chávez. Opposition candidate for governor Sergio Garrido obtained 55.36 percent of the vote, against 41.27 percent of government candidate Jorge Arreaza.
At least nineteen people, including nine children, died on January 9 in a fire that broke out in a building in the borough of the Bronx in upstate New York. More than sixty people were injured. The new mayor Eric Adams has called the fire, caused by the malfunction of an electric stove, one of the most serious in the recent history of the metropolis.