| (01 Oct 2011)
In Sudan a Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) offensive in Blue Nile state, and renewed clashes in Southern Kordofan between the SAF and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, fuelled fears of a return to civil war. This comes amid SAF deployments of troops and heavy weaponry to Blue Nile and continued reports of aerial bombardments against civilians by the SAF. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for Sudan for the coming month. Concerted international action is needed to stem the violence and prevent it from engulfing the entire country and region.
Insurgent attacks intensified in Afghanistan, stoking fears of further escalation in October ahead of international conferences in Istanbul and Bonn. On 20 September ex-President and chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated, leading President Hamid Karzai to declare his government would abandon talks with the Taliban. Insurgents conducted a 20-hour attack on the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul on 14 September, leaving 27 people dead. CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for Afghanistan for October.
Yemen is on the cusp of full-scale civil war between security forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and troops and militia loyal to his opponents. A brutal crackdown in Sanaa on 18 September, with regime forces killing at least 26 unarmed protesters, dimmed prospects for a peaceful compromise. The following day opposition forces loyal to defected General Ali Mohsen engaged in battles with pro-Saleh troops in the worst fighting the capital has seen since March, leaving scores of civilians dead and hundreds wounded. CrisisWatch also identifies a conflict risk alert for Yemen.
Violence broke out in the north of Kosovo as Kosovo Serbs resisted the Pristina government’s attempts to take control of border points with Serbia. Mid-month Pristina deployed customs and border officers, supported by the EU rule of law mission and protected by KFOR forces, to two border gates. Serbs erected roadblocks at both gates and throughout the north in response; four KFOR soldiers and several Serb civilians were injured in clashes at one gate on 27 September.
With Kosovo-Serbia relations strained, Belgrade pulled out of a scheduled session of its ongoing dialogue with Pristina at the end of the month; it is unclear when the dialogue will resume.
In Guinea, increasing repression and lack of political dialogue mark the build up to December’s legislative elections. Police violently dispersed an opposition demonstration in the capital Conakry on 27 September, leaving three people dead and around 40 injured.
Political violence escalated further in Burundi. At least 39 people were killed in an attack on a bar in Gatumba near the capital on 19 September. National Liberation Forces (FNL) leader Agathon Rwasa accused the government of “genocide” against the FNL, as government forces allegedly target members of the former rebel group.
In Central African Republic, over 49 people were killed in a series of clashes in the diamond-rich town of Bria and its surroundings between the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) and the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) rebel groups.
Tensions rose in Bolivia at the end of the month as police forcibly dispersed a group of indigenous marching on La Paz in protest against a planned highway through indigenous territory and a national park. The raid prompted widespread condemnation and nationwide anti-government protests and strikes. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced the police’s use of “excessive and indiscriminate force”.
September 2011 TRENDS
Burundi, Central African Republic, Sudan, Guinea, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bolivia, Yemen
Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Cameroon, Chad, China (internal), Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (internal), Indonesia, Iran (p.), Iraq, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, North Caucasus (Russia), North Korea, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe
October 2011 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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