02 September 2009

Conflict Horizon #4

In August 2009, five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated {Chechnya (Russia); Niger; North Caucasus (non-Chechnya); Senegal; and Yemen} and three improved {Armenia/Turkey; Mali; and North Korea}.

NORTH CAUCASES (non-Chechnya): Violence continued to escalate in Chechnya and in the North Caucasus republics of Ingushetia and Dagestan. Intensified attacks by insurgents throughout the month included a suicide bombing on police headquarters in the Ingushetia capital Nazran that killed 25 and injured over 100 on 17 August.

CHECHNYA/RUSSIA: As violence in Chechnya worsened, the murder of NGO head Zarema Sadulayeva, just weeks after the slaying of prominent rights activist Natalia Estemirova, prompted strong local and international condemnation.

YEMEN: In Yemen, the ongoing conflict in the north escalated as the government launched an offensive against the Zaidi Shiite Houthi rebels in Saada and Amran provinces, backed by airstrikes and artillery fire. Proposals from both sides have failed to result in a ceasefire. Dozens are reported to have been killed including civilians, and the UN reported at least 35,000 displaced since early August.

NIGER: The situation deteriorated in Niger, where President Tandja pressed forward with his controversial and unconstitutional bid for a third term, and in Senegal, which witnessed a vicious upsurge in attacks by suspected Casamance separatists.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: U.S. Sec State Clinton visited Kinshasa, Goma 10-12 Aug as part of 11-day Africa tour; pledged $17m new aid for victims of sexual violence. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced upcoming assessment mission on U.S. military support to combat sexual violence. UN reported thousands displaced after continued attacks by LRA rebels in northeast.