| (01 Dec 2010)
Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in November 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Tensions surged on the Korean peninsula as two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed when North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, where South Korea was conducting military drills. The North Korean attack was condemned by the international community. Seoul announced new rules of engagement with Pyongyang and troop increases on islands close to the North, and began combined military exercises with the U.S. in the Yellow Sea.
Haiti ’s late month presidential elections ended in confusion, as several opposition candidates called for the vote to be annulled amid reports of fraud, and thousands of people took to the streets in protest. International observers from the OAS called the vote valid despite “serious irregularities”, but tensions remain high. Meanwhile, the cholera epidemic continued to worsen and spread to half the country’s districts including the capital Port-au-Prince. There have been almost 2,000 fatal cases since the start of the outbreak in October.
Ivory Coast saw deadly pre-election clashes on the streets of the capital Abidjan between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. The tightly contested 28 November run-off and delays in announcing the preliminary results has led to heightened tensions between the two camps and fears of further violence.
In Guinea, preliminary results declaring opposition leader Alpha Condé winner of the 7 November second round presidential election sparked three days of violence resulting in at least four deaths and dozens injured. The UN and rights groups expressed concern over security forces’ excessive use of force against civilians.
CrisisWatch also noted deteriorated situations in Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Egypt and Western Sahara.
In Niger, the situation improved as results from the 31 October referendum showed 90 per cent of voters in favour of the new constitution, paving the way for January 2011 elections and a return to civilian rule.
Once again this month CrisisWatch describes violence against civilians in North and South Kivu provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The military strategy agreed in 2008 by the Congolese and Rwandan presidents Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame to defeat militias and reclaim land and resources has failed. Two years of military campaigns have seen the humanitarian situation deteriorate and conflicts over land, inter-ethnic clashes and other incidents of extreme violence proliferate. The ongoing crisis in Congo’s eastern provinces risks leading to the disintegration of the Congolese national army and dangerous regional destabilisation (See also Crisis Group Africa Report N°165, Congo: No Stability in Kivu Despite Rapprochement with Rwanda, 16 Nov. 2010).
November 2010 TRENDS
Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, Haiti, Madagascar, North Korea, Western Sahara
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), Colombia, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuril Islands/Northern Territories (Russia/Japan), Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zim babwe
December 2010 OUTLOOK
Conflict Risk Alert
Conflict Resolution Opportunity
*NOTE: CrisisWatch indicators - up and down arrows, conflict risk alerts, and conflict resolution opportunities - are intended to reflect changes within countries or situations from month to month, not comparisons between countries. For example, no "conflict risk alert" is given for a country where violence has been occurring and is expected to continue in the coming month: such an indicator is given only where new or significantly escalated violence is feared.
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