Global Recap: German police stops vigilantes at border, Sudan’s military seized power, Syria executes two dozen people for last year’s wildfires


Michael Crimmins, News reporter

There is no shortage of newsworthy topics here in the United States. At times it is easy to get lost in it all, but equally crucial things happen all over the world.

They can shed light on political relationships, on humanitarian issues and keep you up to date on global events.

These global headlines are complex. It is highly encouraged to follow the links to the stories provided and read the story in its entirety. 

Here is a quick look at some global events that made the news last week.

German police stop “far right” vigilantes attempting to patrol the Polish border

German police stopped 50 vigilanties on their way to patrol the border between Germany and Poland, according to a CNN article.

The vigilantes, armed with pepper spray, bayonets and a machete and baton, were responding to far right party Der Dritte Weg’s call for a “border walk” in an attempt to cull the migrants entering the country, according to CNN.

Der Dritte Weg, which translates to “Third Way”, has suspected ties to several Neo-Nazi groups, according to a Reuters article.

On Saturday, 120 people held a vigil in Guben to demonstrate their opposition to the border walk, CNN reports.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told a German newspaper that 800 additional police officers were sent to the area.

“Hundreds of officers are currently on duty there day and night. If necessary, I am prepared to reinforce them even further,” Seehofer told the paper.

Last week, he said he had no intention to close the German-Poland border, but this incident has made him reconsider if the situation worsens, according to CNN.

“If the situation on the German-Polish border does not ease, we will also have to consider whether this step needs to be taken in coordination with Poland and the state of Brandenburg. This decision will come to the next government,” Seehofer said.

Germany’s talks are planned to conclude sometime this November, according to Reuters. 

Sudanese military seize power and arrest the prime minister amid protests

On Saturday, the military of Sudan seized power in a coup and detained the prime minister, according to Reuters.

In Khartoum, military personnel fired shots against protesters, killing three and injuring 80 people, Reuters reports.

Young people, who opposed the coup, barricaded the streets, according to the same article.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared a state of emergency, saying the military was vital to ensuring the safety of the country, according to Reuters.

“What the country is going through now is a real threat and danger to the dreams of the youth and the hopes of the nation,” Burhan said.

The general promised to hold elections in 2023, giving civilians a place in the government, Reuters reports. However, in an Associated Press article, he makes clear that the military will remain in charge.

“The Armed Forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country’s leadership to a civilian, elected government,” Burhan said. He also said the legislative body will be made up of people who “made this revolution.”

The UN secretary-general condemned the coup by the military.

A White House spokesperson said the U.S. was alarmed by the takeover, and called for the release of the prime minister, AP reports.

Myanmar’s general excluded from attending annual ASEAN meeting

Southeast Asian leaders met for their annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting without Myanmar’s top general, according to AP news.

Sen. General Min Aung Hlaing seized power in Myanmar in February 2021, ending the hopes for a democratic transition for the country, AP reports.

The group was torn between sticking to its tradition of non-interference in other nation’s activities and calling Myanmar out for the violence, according to a Reuters article.

In the end, Brunei, who heads the group,decided to keep Hlaing from attending, doing so with a majority backing. The group instead, invited a “non-political representative” from Myanmar instead, according to Reuters.

Myanmar, according to the AP article, protested the exclusion of Hlaing from the meeting. According to the article, he was excluded for refusing to take action to end the violence in the country.

The ASEAN does not recognize the military rule of Myanmar, though the country remains a member, AP reports. 

“If you asked me if ASEAN would do something like this a year ago, I would have said it would never happen,” a regional diplomat said. “ASEAN is changing.”

Syria executes 24 people responsible for setting last year’s wildfires

Syria executed 24 people convicted on terrorism charges for igniting the wildfires that ravaged the country last year, according to CNN.

Last year’s fires left three dead, affected 280 towns, destroyed 370 homes and scorched an estimated 11,000 hectares of forest, according to the article.

Several others involved in setting the wildfires were handed life sentences and/or hard labor, CNN reports. 

Syria’s Ministry of Justice said the accused admitted to planning to set the fires last August.

Syrian officials did not specify how the executions took place, but according to an AP article, hanging is typically used to carry out the civilian death penalty.

The country allows the death penalty on cases involving terrorism, espianage, treason, arson and military desertion, according to AP, though public opinion on the executions is mixed.

“Yesterday’s executions of 24 people demonstrates the Syrian government’s disregard for international law, especially right to life,” Diana Semaan, researcher on Syria for Amnesty International said.

News reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm