Going Global

International news explained

Julie Freijat, co-editor in chief


Burundi has seen several different outbreaks of violence since its independence in the early ‘60s. Opposite of Rwanda, Burundi experienced an oppressive Tutsi government that executed mass violence against Hutus — sparking a civil war. Eleven years after the end of the 12-year civil war, the country continues to struggle under political tensions. In 2015,  the president illegally ran for a third term and won — in turn, violence and opposition increased significantly, leading security forces to kill supposed anti-government supporters and leaving over 200,000 refugees to flee the country. In January, Burundi began a release of what is said to be over 2,000 prisoners.


Due to years of interference from neighboring countries and general instability, the country of Yemen has fallen influence to an insurgent group headed by the Houthis, a Shiite rebel group. In 2015, the rebels seized the presidential palace after failed negotiations, causing the president to step down. He later returned to presidency in September of 2015. Despite attempted intervention and assistance from the United Nations, the country continues to suffer from violence and political instability. Around 14 million people lack access to sufficient food and over 3 million have been displaced.


Due to the political crisis in Syria, the country of Jordan has received over one million refugees since 2011 — compromising around 10 percent of the population. Over 650,000 of those who fled are now registered as refugees with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Only 2 percent of the refugees who ended up in Jordan left for Europe, the majority of them planning to stay for good. Currently, over 85,000 Syrians are stuck at Jordan’s northeast border, otherwise known as “the berm.” Humanitarian efforts have proven to be difficult in the area because of border closures.


Brazil has experienced great amounts of public discontent with the government in the past few years due to a rather large corruption scandal. President Dilma Rousseff has seen her approval rating fall 70 percent since 2013. This can be attributed to what is known as the Petrobras scandal — the current biggest problem for the Brazilian government. Essentially, in the early 2000’s, top executives in construction companies pocketed profits obtained from inflated contracts which were then given to Brazilian politicians. The scandal has affected the public perception of the government, and the economy in Brazil is struggling.