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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

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2239 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 2239 First   Previous   Next   Last

Philippines

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Senator Jose Estrada, son of former Philippine President Joseph Estrada, 23 June surrendered to police; among 54 arrested for embezzlement. Abu Sayyaf member Sattar Abdula captured 22 June in Barangay Tumalutab; 3 other members arrested same day near Zamboanga city in Mindanao. Muktar Kindo Santo, wanted for involvement in 2009 Maguindanao massacre, and two companions killed 23 June in shoot-out after attempted arrest. Organisation of Islamic cooperation (OIC) Gen Sec Iyad Ameen Madani 18 June called for MILF peace agreement to be linked to prior MNLF agreements; both groups met early month, reached memorandum of understanding. President Aquino 29 June put state on alert after intelligence reported possibility of terror attacks in Mindanao.

Myanmar

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

2 members of parliamentary committee 13 June suggested committee would recommend retaining constitutional clause 59(f) restricting presidential candidacy of persons with foreign marital ties; would mean Aung San Suu Kyi could be elected to legislature but not eligible for presidency. Delegation of Karen National Union armed group leaders early June visited Naypyitaw for meetings with president, legislative speaker and commander-in-chief of military. Myanmar’s religious affairs Minister Hsan Sint detained and charged with corruption 19 June after opposing 10 June govt raid on Mahasantisukha Monastery, ownership of which is in dispute. U.S Assistant Sec of State Tom Malinowski 22-28 June headed delegation to Myanmar, said there is potential for more comprehensive bilateral engagement including non-combat military ties.

Indonesia

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Former military Chief Wiranto 19 June renewed rights abuse accusations levelled against presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, said Subianto responsible for arrest and disappearance of activists in 1990s. VP candidate Jusuf Kalla mid-June urged police to arrest publisher of Obor Rakyat for slander after paper claimed Kalla’s running-mate and presidential candidate Joko Widodo was Christian.

Nepal

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Parliamentarians 11 June agreed to form committee to oversee constitution drafting. Maoist factions Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-M) and United Communist Party of Nepal (UCPN-M) continued reunification talks; late month formed alliance with 3 other Maoist parties.

Kashmir

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Month saw continued ceasefire violations along Line of Control (LoC); Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley 16 June called on Pakistan to end violations. Indian soldier killed in IED explosion 12 June. Pakistani PM Sharif early month sent letter to Indian PM Modi expressing desire for enhanced cooperation, peacebuilding. Militant Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) 9 June blamed India for attack on Pakistan’s Karachi airport (see Pakistan), threatened retaliation; LeT commander reported killed by security forces 1 June in Kupwara district, another killed 23 June in Sopore. 3 separatist militants killed by security forces in Pulwama district 19 June.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated

Month saw unprecedented violence against Muslims by supporters of radical Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS): 4 killed in SW coastal towns Aluthgama and Beruwela 15-16 June, over 100 injured; scores of Muslim businesses, houses, and 3 mosques destroyed or badly damaged. Violence followed BBS rally where leading member, Gnanasara Thero, threatened Muslims; authorities allowed rally despite tensions in Aluthgama following Buddhist attacks on Muslims days earlier, sparked by unconfirmed reports of Muslim assault on monk. Heavily armed police and army largely stood by, failed to stop violence; no charges filed against BBS leaders for incitement; no arrests of BBS activists. President Rajapaksa 19 June promised investigation, accountability; PM Jayaratne 17 June blamed Muslims for attacking BBS marchers, sparking violence; senior officials alleged foreign conspiracy behind violence. Courts blocked 2 BBS rallies late month. Violence condemned by UNSG Ban, UNHCHR Pillay, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, EU, several NGOs and govts, including U.S.. UN OHCHR 25 June announced names of 3 experts appointed to assist UNHRC-mandated investigation into alleged war crimes during civil war, due to begin July. Parliament 18 June voted to endorse govt’s policy of non-cooperation; main opposition parties abstained or boycotted vote; Tamil National Alliance publicly endorsed investigation.

Pakistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated

Scores killed in attack on Karachi’s international airport 8 June, including 29 mainly airport security and staff, 10 Uzbek militants: attack claimed by Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Pakistani Taliban (TTP). TTP claimed another attack on security camp near airport 10 June, no casualties; gunmen 24 June fired on plane landing at Peshawar airport killing 1. Retaliatory army airstrikes targeted militants in NW, including 35 reported killed in Khyber Agency 11 June; govt 14 June announced launch of military operation in N Waziristan, military 2 days later claimed airstrikes had killed 187 militants; N Waziristan residents warned to leave region by 23 June ahead of ground assault beginning 30 June. Hundreds of thousands fled fighting; army 18 June relaxed curfew to allow civilians out, many senior Afghan and Pakistani militants reportedly allowed to leave, some across border to Afghanistan. After 6-month pause, U.S. drone strikes 11 June targeted several militant compounds in N Waziristan killing 16; another strike 18 June killed 6. Insurgent infighting continued: senior commander of TTP splinter group, Ashiqullah Mehsud, killed 4 June. Sectarian violence continued including 30 Shia pilgrims killed by suicide attacker 9 June near border with Iran. Paramilitary forces reportedly killed at least 30 separatists in Balochistan 5 June.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Risk Alert Unchanged

Political crisis ignited by dispute over result of 14 June runoff presidential vote: leaked, unconfirmed results suggested former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani won 59%, first-round winner and opponent of President Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, took 41%; IEC claimed more than 7 million participated despite reports of turnout being lower than during first round in April. Abdullah threatened to reject result: alleged 1 million fraudulent ballots counted, 18 June requested Independent Election Commission (IEC) stop vote-counting, executive director Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhil be suspended; next day rejected IEC’s legitimacy, accused President Karzai of engineering post-election “stalemate”. Several pro-Abdullah street protests late month. Amarkhil 23 June resigned; Abdullah responded by declaring openness to talks with IEC but persisted with demands for overhaul of fraud adjudication process; IEC 29 June rejected demands. Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan 12 June alleged govt resources used by both candidates during campaign. 33 civilians, 18 Afghan National Army soldiers and 14 Afghan National Police killed in election-day violence. Abdullah 6 June survived assassination attempt, 12 others killed when bomb attack targeted convoy after Kabul campaign rally; at least 28 insurgents reported killed by security forces 1 June; scores reported killed in coordinated Taliban assault across Helmand province late month.

Thailand

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Army spokesman 4 June said China, Vietnam and Myanmar gave support to National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) military govt; coup condemned by Australia, Canada, UK and U.S.; EU FMs 23 June condemned military rule, called for punitive measures, suspended official visits, delayed signing agreement on closer economic and political ties; U.S. suspended Thai junta from RIMPAC naval exercises which began 26 June. NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha 13 June said country will have new interim govt by Sept, followed by formation of constitution drafting assembly and general election if reconciliation achieved. Junta purged dozens of officials linked to deposed govt; 30 June announced overhaul of electoral system. Curfew lifted 14 June but military crackdown continued: police 8 June arrested 7 protesters at Bangkok shopping mall; 8 arrested 22 June for anti-coup activity, included 1 for reading George Orwell’s 1984 in public. Security forces continued suppression of Red Shirt supporters outside Bangkok: hundreds of radio stations closed, scores detained under martial law; several high-profile Red Shirt leaders publicly renounced political activity. Exiled chairman of deposed Pheu Thai Party, Jarupong Ruangsuwan, 24 June condemned NCPO and announced formation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FTHD) in first sign of organised resistance to coup. International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 19 June estimated 200,000 Cambodian workers returned home after rumours of coming Junta crackdown on illegal immigration. Southern insurgency continued: 2 army rangers killed 3 June in Pattani’s Sai Buri district; 2 rangers killed, 5 injured in ambush in Si Sakhon district.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Kazakh FM Erlan Idrissov 16 June said no evidence Kazakh citizens fighting alongside separatists in Ukraine; local initiatives to support civilian populations in SE Ukraine shut down by govt early June.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Tensions with Uzbekistan over gas and water continued: govt 9 June threatened to close vital canal to Uzbek Namangan agricultural region; Russian-owned Gazprom, owner of KyrgyzGas and developer of Uzbek gas fields, 10 June sent representatives to Tashkent in attempt to mediate: both Kyrgyz and Uzbek govts unwilling to compromise. Public discontent over lack of gas in southern Kyrgyzstan grew: Uzbek authorities 17 June reportedly agreed to resume gas supplies to southern Kyrgyzstan if land corridor to Sokh enclave opened and construction of hydropower plants stopped.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Canadian resident Alexander Sodikov arrested 16 June, accused of espionage after meeting with opposition leader Alim Sherzamonov in Khorog to discuss civil society role in Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Province; EU 27 June released statement expressing concerns, urging Tajik govt to provide information on arrest. British ambassador early June attempted to meet Sherzamonov in Khorog; authorities insisted he leave, citing firefight on Tajik-Afghan border.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov 2 June threatened to dismiss Turkmenistan's border police chiefs after three border guards were shot by Taliban militants at Afghan frontier late May.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Uzbek-Russian relations continued to deteriorate following Uzbekistan’s ongoing condemnation of Russian actions in Ukraine: Uzbek President Islam Karimov 6 June warned of growing Russian domination and loss of political independence for Kazakhstan and Belarus following their late-May signing of Eurasian Economic Union. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claimed 8 June attack on Karachi airport (see Pakistan).

Bangladesh

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Tensions increased between ruling Awami League (AL) and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) after opposition calls for dissolution of anti-terrorism Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), criticised for extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations, dismissed by PM Sheikh Hasina Wajid late May. RAB early month discovered weapons caches in NE, allegedly belonging to Assam separatist from India; BNP claimed move part of govt-orchestrated efforts to improve RAB’s image. PM Sheikh Hasina 2 June claimed late BNP founder Ziaur Rehman involved in 1975 killing of her father. At least 9 Urdu-speaking Biharis killed 14 June during clashes with police and ethnic Bengalis in Dhaka refugee camp.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

DPRK propaganda video released early June showed footage of launch of improved anti-ship missiles apparently identical to Russian-made KH-35 model. DPRK 26 June fired three projectiles from Wosan, landed in ocean. ROK Six-Party Talks negotiator Hwang Joon-kook met with U.S., Chinese and Russian counterparts in efforts to restart dialogue; DPRK newspaper Rondong Sinmun 16 June said nuclear arms programs not part of political negotiation. DPRK govt delegation led by FM Ri Su-yong 18 June met Syrian President Assad, discussed DPRK-Syria cooperation, economic development and reconstruction. U.S.-ROK talks held 16-17 June, discussed transfer of wartime operational control of ROK troops from Washington to Seoul, slated for Dec 2015. ROK PM nominee Moon Chang-keuk 24 Jun withdrew candidacy in light of alleged “pro-Japanese” comments in 2011; Chung Hong-won retained as PM despite 27 April attempted resignation following Sewol ferry disaster. ROK Navy 20 June conducted live-fire exercises near disputed Tokto/Takeshima islands despite protestation from Japan.

Philippines

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Skirmishes in Mindanao continued including 39 miners taken hostage by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels 3 May during confrontation with govt forces in Compostela Valley. Govt, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 6 May announced creation of regulatory bodies to oversee peace process. Philippine and Indonesian FM’s met 23 May in Manila, signed agreement defining maritime borders after 20-year dispute; tensions with China continued (see South China Sea).

Myanmar

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Govt, Kachin Independence Organisation leaders met 13 May for bilateral talks following April clashes; representatives of other ethnic groups, UN, China attended as observers: agreement reached on establishing joint conflict resolution committee. Another round of multilateral peace talks between govt, various armed groups held 19-21 May. Enumeration period for controversial census extended to 10 June to reach populations in Kachin, Rakhine states. Opposition NLD, 88 Generation group held series of joint rallies across country pushing for constitutional change. Election commission 15 May consulted with political parties after releasing draft of new campaigning regulations; draft criticised for restricting ability to campaign freely.

Indonesia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Election Commission 9 May released official results of April parliamentary elections; main Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won 18.9% of vote, failed to secure 25% needed to field candidate in 9 July presidential election without coalition. PDI-P candidate Joko Widodo 19 May announced former VP Jusuf Kalla from Golkar party as running mate; Golkar announced support for former army general Prabowo Subianto and running mate Hatta Rajasa, former chief economics minister.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Govt 18 May celebrated fifth anniversary of civil war’s end with large military parade, public events in south; military-enforced ban on Tamils commemorating dead in north and east, Jaffna University closed; small Tamil National Alliance (TNA) commemoration 16 May outside provincial council building in Jaffna disrupted by police. TNA 24 May condemned govt listing of Tamil diaspora groups and activists as terrorist supporters; Malaysia 26 May deported 3 Sri Lankan Tamils on suspicion of working to revive LTTE. Newly-elected Indian PM Modi met President Rajapaksa 27 May, urged "early and full implementation" of 13th amendment and further devolution to support national reconciliation. University students 7 May held large demonstration against closure of health services degree program outside president’s residence in Colombo, in violation of police ban; more than dozen student leaders arrested 16 May, reportedly beaten in police custody, at least 4 hospitalised. Ruling party urban councillor shot dead 12 May by unknown gunmen outside Colombo. Former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake refused to plead guilty or non-guilty to corruption charges 12 May.

Pakistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

No tangible progress in govt’s dialogue process with Pakistani Taliban (TTP): army offensive in N Waziristan continued including scores killed late May in army air strikes on suspected militant hideouts, ground fighting. 9 soldiers killed in roadside bombing 8 May. Several militants reported killed in fighting between rival TTP factions, including over 20 killed 6-8 May; key faction linked with Mehsud tribe announced split from TTP late month. Head of Taliban intermediary committee Maulana Samiul Haq 18 May admitted infighting complicating peace talks with govt. Gunmen 7 May killed Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) member Rashid Rehman in Multan; 26 May killed American-Pakistani doctor in Punjab province. 8 killed in Karachi in criminal and militant violence 3 May.

Nepal

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

United Communist Party Nepal-Maoists (UCPN), Communist Party Nepal-Maoists (CPN) held reunification talks mid-month; UCPN chairman said ready to hand leadership to CPN chairman if helpful for reunification effort.

Kashmir

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Last phase of Indian general elections held 7 May in Jammu and Kashmir: opposition BJP and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won all seats. Election turnout at 50.1%, up from 39.7% in 2009. Polls relatively calm despite separatist boycotts, demonstrations in several towns and reports of threats to voters. Militants 8 May killed village govt head associated with National Congress in Kulgam district. 2 reported killed when PDP supporters clashed with supporters of losing candidate in Kupwara district 16 May. Several incidents along Line of Control including Indian soldier killed, 2 wounded, in IED explosion 19 May. 2 militants reported killed by police near Srinagar 25 May.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Leader of opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) Khaleda Zia 4 May threatened violent demonstrations if govt refused to step down, same day accused ruling Awami League (AL) party and its political allies of 1 May murdering 7 abductees seized 3 days earlier in Narayanganj district; anti-terrorism Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) accused by relatives of victims of carrying out killings on behalf of local AL leader Nur Hossain. Govt 5 May forced 3 RAB officers to retire; public prosecutors 22 May charged 2 senior officers with murder. Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu said RAB killed 373 during Zia’s tenure as PM. High Court judge 11 May asked govt to consider amending police laws to guarantee constitutionally protected rights. International Crimes Tribunal, tasked with prosecuting war crimes committed during 1971 independence war, 11 May formally charged and issued arrest warrant for former Jatiya Party legislator Abdul Jabbar; Jabbar found guilty 29 May of crimes including killing 36, forcibly converting 200 Hindus to Islam.

Thailand

  |  1 Jun 2014

Deteriorated

Army 22 May staged coup after months of political unrest, violence and large-scale demonstrations: suspended constitution; dismissed caretaker govt; arrested hundreds of politicians including former PM Yingluck, democracy activists and journalists. Several released under orders to remain in country, not oppose coup. Coup followed army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s announcement of nationwide martial law 20 May: military shut down broadcasts from partisan TV and radio stations, disbanded govt’s temporary security centre, instructed all protesters to remain peaceful. Prayuth 26 May said formally recognised as head of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by King, warned force will be used in case of renewed protests. Junta ordered military tribunal to try lèse majesté and national-security cases. Hundreds of anti-coup protesters rallied daily in Bangkok late month, in defiance of martial law but without serious violence. Prayuth 30 May said 15 months of “reform”, “reconciliation” needed before general elections. Ahead of army intervention, Constitutional Court 7 May removed caretaker PM Yingluck Shinawatra and 9 cabinet ministers for abuse of power; governing Pheu Thai Party called court ruling “judicial coup”. National Anti-Corruption Commission 8 May voted to impeach Yingluck. Widespread pro- and anti-govt protests early month: 3 killed, over 20 injured 15 May in grenade and shooting attack on anti-govt protesters in central Bangkok. Violence in south continued with several insurgent attacks including: 2 bombs detonated 6 May in Hat Yai city, 2 police and 6 civilians injured; coordinated attacks across Narathiwat and Yala provinces 11 May, 1 dead and 9 injured; 10 injured 28 May in bombing at Khok Pho Hospital, Pattani.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Final results from April presidential election announced 15 May: former FM Abdullah Abdullah won 45%, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani second with 31.6%; second round runoff scheduled for 14 June. Western observers estimated fraud tainted 8-9% of votes, down from 25% in 2009. Independent Election Commission dismissed over 5,000 staff over fraud allegations, announced plans for thousands of additional polling stations in populated areas; observers raised concern about security forces’ ability to protect additional sites. Violence continued including: 13 killed in Taliban attack on Nangarhar provincial justice department 12 May; security forces next day killed senior Taliban member Mullah Abid Rahmani in Zabul Province; militants 23 May attacked Indian consulate in Herat, 3 assailants killed; suicide bomber 26 May killed at least 2 Afghan soldiers in Kabul. U.S. President Obama 27 May announced plans for 9,800 troops to stay after end-2014 expiry of NATO mandate, to be largely withdrawn over 2 years.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Joint U.S.-ROK investigation 9 May concluded 3 drones found late March near demilitarised zone from DPRK; DPRK state media decried accusations as “charade for confrontation”. Pyongyang 10 May renewed threat of nuclear testing. U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper 14 May met ROK Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin, reportedly discussed DPRK escalating rhetoric. Chinese FM Wang Yi visited ROK counterpart Yun Byung-se 26 May, agreed to increase cooperation on opposition to DPRK’s nuclear testing. DPRK fishing boats turned away with warning shots by ROK coastguard 20 May after crossing maritime border; DPRK military 22 May exchanged fire with South Korea warship across disputed sea border. Japanese and DPRK delegations finished talks 28 May in Stockholm aimed at lifting sanctions in return for investigation into abduction of Japanese citizens in 1970s and 1980s; missile and nuclear tests also on agenda; DPRK agreed to reopen investigation into abductions, both parties agreed to further meetings. High-rise apartment collapse in Pyongyang rumoured to have caused up to 500 deaths; DPRK media reported public apologies by senior officials. ROK President Park continued major govt shake-up in wake of Sewŏl ferry disaster.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Central Election Commission 12 May approved election plan and schedule: parliamentary and local elections to be held 21 Dec 2014, presidential elections May 2015. NATO liaison office opened 16 May in Tashkent; SRSG James Appathurai confirmed cooperation on defence, military and counter narcotics initiatives. Karakalpakstan independence groups claimed to have formed militia group.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Commission formed by President Berdymukhamedov 17 May tasked with modernising constitution in line with international norms. Berdymukhamedov 14 May visited Beijing, discussed continued cooperation including on gas exports from Turkmenistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Tajik authorities continued crackdown on local networks sending citizens to fight in Syria; bill adopted mid-May to allow prosecution of Tajiks for taking part in military conflicts abroad. 3 killed in clashes in Khorog, Gorno-Badakhshan region, following police offensive against suspected criminals 21 May; protesters 24 May attacked security forces building, 1 killed; civil society and authorities 25 May agreed to investigation.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Kyrgyz-Tajik border tensions continued: some 60 injured 7 May in mass brawl in Vorukh, Tajik enclave; mob same day attacked Kok-Terek village in Kyrgyzstan, burned vehicles, shops and petrol station; Kyrgyz citizens 9 May blocked Isfara-Vorukh road, accused Tajiks, demanded prosecution of those responsible. Crowds same day gathered in Batken, demanded governor’s resignation, said if govt fails to resolve border issue residents would do it. Both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan govts said they would accelerate border delimitation and demarcation. Kyrgyz parliament committee suggested limiting water supply from Toktogul reservoir to Uzbekistan, risking increased tensions with Uzbekistan. Kyrgyz security 17 May arrested Uzbek intelligence agent, said he was under orders to kill Rashod Kamalov, influential imam and alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir leader.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 7 May met U.S. Deputy Sec State William Burns instead of attending Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) meeting in Moscow as scheduled. Kazakh Senate 15 May ratified agreement with Russia to create unified regional air defence system. Nazarbayev 19-22 May visited China, discussed bilateral cooperation. Founding treaty of Eurasian Economic Union (EES) signed by Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus 29 May in Astana, due to come into force 1 Jan 2015; dozens of protesters demonstrating against EES arrested 29 May in Astana.

Kashmir

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Polls opened 10 April in Jammu and Kashmir for voting in India’s general election, low turnout reported; several separatist militant groups called for boycott, carried out attacks including killing 3 village council heads south of Srinagar. Security forces reportedly opened fire on protesters in Srinagar 30 April, 1 killed; Hurriyat Conference called general strike. 2 militants, 2 police killed 13 April during attack targeting National Conference youth leader and son of high court judge south of Srinagar; police killed both alleged Lashkar-e-Tayyaba attackers. Late-month exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops across Line of Control, no casualties reported.

Bangladesh

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Political situation remained tense as opposition and domestic observers denounced rigging and violence in ongoing upazila (sub-districts) elections between candidates backed by rival parties and between Awami League (AL) party cadres. Following 5th round of polls 31 March, AL-affiliated candidates had won 221 upazila chairmen posts, securing lead over BNP and JI-allied candidates; 6th round of polls scheduled 19 May. Election Commission said polls thus far free and fair, threatened legal action against those committing election-related violence. Impending anti-corruption trail of Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia, which could see her jailed for life, and prosecutions against Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) members by International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), increased potential for more political unrest. Zia 13 April filed petition with High Court challenging indictment against her and her son and seeking stay order on trial, due to start 21 April. BNP’s joint secretary general 15 April said party preparing national movement to dislodge AL govt should trial proceed. High Court 23 April rejected Zia’s petitions, clearing way for cases to proceed, raising concerns of more BNP-led violent demonstrations and strikes; BNP now appealing to Supreme Court. BNP 22 April began “long march” from Dhaka in bid to gain popular support by criticising govt for failure to reach equitable water-sharing deal with India. ICT 25 March listed 7 charges of “crimes against humanity”, including genocide, against JI members, allegedly committed in 1971 independence war; also recommended party should be permanently banned. ICT 17 April decided to follow through with decision to indict UK journalist David Bergman with contempt of court for criticising its procedural flaws and biases in blog posts.

Afghanistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Millions voted in presidential and provincial council elections 5 April; early reports suggest fewer irregularities than previous polls. Insurgent attacks remained near seasonal levels in south and west, but escalated sharply in east making 5 April most violent election day so far; absence of high-profile attacks in urban areas and self-censorship by Afghan media gave appearance of peaceful voting day. Taliban mainly targeted Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) guarding voters and polling sites, few reports of direct interference with electoral process. Several polling sites closed due to security threats, mainly in rural areas. Preliminary result announced 26 April: former FM Abdullah Abdullah led with 44.9%, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani second with 31.5%. Several deadly incidents before and after election day: 17 Taliban reported killed in airstrike 8 April, subsequent reports suggested 11 children also killed; 3 Americans killed by security guard at Kabul hospital 24 April. Large attack on army base in SE reportedly repelled late month, 60 militants killed.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

2 drones of alleged DPRK origin found on ROK territory late March, sparking concerns over ROK air defence and DPRK intelligence gathering capabilities; ROK defence ministry responded unveiling 2 of its own drones. U.S. and ROK 18 April completed Foal Eagle joint and combined field exercises in ROK, also conducted amphibious landing training, large combined air exercise. ROK 4 April successfully flight-tested new ballistic missile capable of striking all DPRK territory. DPRK again conducted live-fire drill near disputed western sea border with ROK 29 April. DPRK’s newly elected Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) held first meeting 9 April; Kim Jong-un re-elected as first chairman of National Defence Commission (NDC); Ch’oe Ryong-hae elected vice chairman of NDC, position previously held by purged Chang Sŏng-t’aek. ROK President Park delivered speech in Germany 28 March laying out proposals to pave way towards peaceful unification of Korea; DPRK NDC spokesman later lashed out at Park’s speech. Beijing responded to DPRK’s 30 March threat of “new type of nuclear test” to further strengthen nuclear deterrence with public warning that China does not support DPRK’s “threat of a nuclear test”. Satellite imagery released late April indicating new activity at DPRK’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Amid anxiety over relations with Russia and potential economic impact of Russia-West split, Karim Massimov, PM from 2007-2012, reappointed 2 April. Oil and gas minister 7 April publicly discussed options to divert oil export routes from Russia towards China, Iran or through Azerbaijan, Georgia. Military early April conducted drills in NE and near Almaty. Rights groups criticised wide ranging changes to criminal code, including death penalty for terrorism, jail terms for unregistered NGOs and religious organisations, decree restricting press freedom in case of state of emergency.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Crackdown on Tamil activists in north and east that started mid-March continued: military 10 April killed 3 Tamils who govt alleged were working to revive LTTE; scores arrested March/April remain detained without charge under anti-terrorism laws. Govt 4 April released text of new regulation announced 31 March designating LTTE and 15 Tamil diaspora organisations as terrorist organisations, effectively criminalising contact with such organisations by Sri Lankan citizens. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders visited South Africa 9-11 April to discuss South African efforts to restart govt-TNA negotiations. Leader of radical Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and supporters 9 April disrupted inaugural press conference of group fostering Buddhist-Muslim cooperation; BBS supporters mid-April stormed offices of govt ministry headed by Muslim in search of rival Buddhist monk in hiding. Newly-established police unit to investigate religious hate crimes reportedly received nearly 300 complaints, over 280 from Muslims, on first day of operations late April. Govt supporters, including local mayor carrying gun, 17 April violently disrupted visit by UNP opposition parliamentarians in president’s home district Hambantota.

Pakistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Pakistani Taliban (TTP) 16 April announced end to ceasefire despite prisoner releases by govt early month; announcement followed outbreak of infighting between rival TTP factions in Waziristan that reportedly killed over 40 early April; both TTP and govt declared continued willingness to hold talks. 1 killed 18 April in attack on govt forces near Peshawar, 3 troops killed in roadside bombing 27 April on border between N and S Waziristan; army 24 April launched airstrikes on militants in Khyber Agency, 37 reported killed. 22 killed in Islamabad bombing 9 April, TTP denied involvement. National Assembly 7 April passed controversial counterterrorism bill, criticised by observers for violating constitution and international law; bill awaiting deliberation in opposition-controlled Senate. Sectarian violence continued with at least 12 killed in Karachi 9 April; at least 3 children killed 28 April in attack on religious school in Karachi; 2 Hazaras killed by gunmen in Quetta 12 April. Military 7 April claimed to have killed 30 Baloch militants; Baloch group next day claimed responsibility for 31 March attack on Quetta-Rawalpindi train that killed 16.

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers met in Dushanbe 1 April, discussed Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, military-technological cooperation and joint anti-terrorism military exercise to be held in China. Deputy head of U.S. Special Operations Command Central same day met with high-ranking officials, discussed bilateral security cooperation. During visit to Kabul President Rahmon 26 March signed cooperation agreements with Afghanistan including on customs, transport. In 23 April annual address president stated political and economic ties with Russia a priority; vowed to continue construction of Roghun Dam, opposed by Uzbekistan. Security services said they prevented terrorist act against aluminium plant in Tursunzade early April.

Indonesia

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

President Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party won 9% of national parliamentary vote in largely peaceful 9 April elections, sharp fall from 2009 level of 21%. W Papua independence fighters reportedly shot and injured 2 security personnel near PNG border 5 April. 2 W Papua students reportedly beaten in police custody after participating in protest in Jayapura.

Myanmar

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

National census went ahead 30 March-10 April, extended to end-April to allow time to collect data from difficult/hard-to-reach areas. Census enumeration accompanied by large military security operations in parts of Rakhine and Kachin, escalating in Kachin into armed clashes with Kachin Independence Organisation (which did not allow enumeration in areas under its control), causing estimated 5,000 people to flee, govt reports of 22 combatant deaths on both sides, in most serious clashes since early 2013. Following govt’s 29 March decision that Rohingya would not be allowed to self-identify as such in census, no credible enumeration of Rohingya households took place, sparking international criticism. Latest round of ceasefire negotiations between govt and ethnic armed groups in Yangon 5-8 April, resulting in first draft of single consolidated text for nationwide ceasefire accord, though with disagreement on some points relating to federalism, use of term “revolutionary” for armed groups, recognition of interim administrative authority of armed groups in their areas. Next meeting planned early May. In speech marking 3-year anniversary of his administration, President Thein Sein noted military had to continue to play political role during transition, but needed to reduce role as democratisation progressed. Brawl resulting from personal dispute in Hlegu, near Yangon, escalated into attacks on mosque and Muslim-owned properties by Buddhist mob 4 April. Democratic Voice of Burma reporter jailed for one year for “trespassing”, “disturbing a civil servant” while investigating operation of foreign-funded educational scholarship program; move condemned by local media, rights groups.

Philippines

  |  1 May 2014

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Members of Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), chaired by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator, 20 April signed final draft of Bangsamoro Basic Law, enabling Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to be replaced with new political entity; needs to be ratified through plebiscite in proposed Bangsamoro territory. MILF early April announced it was forming new political group, United Bangsamoro Justice Party. MILF accused military of attacking its fighters during operation against Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan province 11 April, during which 18 rebels, including 4 alleged MILF, and 2 soldiers killed; military said MILF not intended targets. Military 30 April reported 14 ASG militants, 1 marine killed in clash in Patikul, Sulu province. Govt signed new military pact with U.S. allowing for larger U.S. military presence in Philippines; visiting President Obama in speech spoke of “ironclad” U.S. commitment to defend Philippines.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 May 2014

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Turkmen and Azerbaijani officials 2 April met in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku to discuss bilateral cooperation on possible gas transport routes for gas exports to Europe.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 May 2014

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Amid worsening energy and food insecurity, agriculture minister warned food security at critical point; energy minister 2 April said country will be unable to export energy in 2015 due to low water levels. Uzbekistan shut off gas to Osh and Jalalabad provinces after Russia’s Gazprom 10 April took over state-owned Kyrgyzgaz. Kyrgyz-Tajik border tensions over water and land continued; tensions also reviving around Kyrgyzstan’s Sokh enclave in Uzbekistan. Opposition protest in capital 10 April passed peacefully; violent anti-mine protest in Talas early April prompted president to visit province. Parliament 16 April approved amendments to criminal code outlawing spreading of false information via media, raising concerns about freedom of press. Newly-appointed PM Otorbayev 17 April said joining Russia-led Customs Union will help country tackle economic and social challenges. Osh regional TV station sold to Russian businessman.

Nepal

  |  1 May 2014

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Govt 9 April introduced bill offering amnesty for war crimes to former Maoist rebels, govt forces; UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said amnesty violates international law, would “weaken foundation for a genuine and lasting peace”.

Thailand

  |  1 May 2014

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Constitutional Court (CC) 2 April accepted petition to review PM Yingluck’s transfer of Thawil Pliensri from NSC chief in 2011, earlier ruled improper by Supreme Administrative Court; CC ruling against Yingluck would force Yingluck govt to step down. People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) Secretary General Suthep Thaugsuban 5 April in speech to supporters said once courts and independent agencies toppled caretaker govt, he would assume “sovereign powers”. PDRC protester shot dead 1 April while leaving rally site. Election for 77 non-appointed senate seats proceeded without incident 30 March; candidates aligned with Pheu Thai Party caretaker govt won 44 seats. 22 April meeting of Election Commission (EC) and political party representatives to discuss timing and other conditions for new general election inconclusive. Democrat Party (DP) leader Abhisit Vejjajiva 24 April announced plan to resolve political impasse; offered no details, but declared that elections are integral to reform, distancing from PDRC stance of “reform before election”. EC 30 April announced 20 July date for elections, agreed with caretaker govt; unclear if DP will take part. Formation of pro-govt Red Shirt militia Democracy Protection Volunteer Group and royalist Rubbish Collection Organisation, to pursue lèse-majesté violators, reflects trend toward vigilantism. Red-Shirt poet and lèse-majesté law critic Kamol Duangpasuk murdered 23 April. United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), main Red Shirt organisation, held rally large outside Bangkok 2-7 April; cancelled another rally planned 19-20 April. Several thousand Red Shirts gathered in NE province Nakorn Ratchasima, participated in basic martial arts training. Insurgent attacks and violence continued in southernmost provinces, including quadruple bombing in Yala town 6 April killing 1 and injuring at least 28; several killed in attacks in Yala province.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 May 2014

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Army 22 April held military exercises near Kyrgyz border. Comes amid increased tensions as govt 10 April ended gas deliveries to Kyrgyzstan’s Osh and Jalalabad provinces (see Kyrgyzstan). President Karimov 17 April signed law giving PM right to nominate regional governors, Tashkent mayor; granted parliament right to control cabinet’s activities, approve nomination of PM, express confidence in govt via vote, role in formation of election commission. Govt 19 March issued regulation ordering Internet cafés to install CCTV, store records of visited websites. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure 28 March met in Tashkent, discussed extremist website database, regional security, Afghanistan.

Indonesia

  |  1 Apr 2014

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Increase in political violence in Aceh province ahead of 9 April legislative elections, with spate of attacks on political parties and politicians amid rivalry between Aceh Party and new National Aceh Party (PNA). Police 23 March arrested 21 members and supporters of Aceh Party over attacks on PNA. 3 people including 18-month-old shot dead in attack on minivan by unknown gunmen 31 March. Police arrested several terrorism suspects during month, including one wanted for alleged involvement in 2012 attack on police in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

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Insurgent attacks continued ahead of 5 April presidential polls: Taliban 10 March threatened to “use all force” to disrupt polls, warned Afghans not to vote; official 12 March reported 3 campaign workers shot dead; Taliban 20 March attacked Serena hotel in Kabul, killed 9 including 1 international election observer; 2 foreign election observation missions pulled out staff. Taliban attack killed 11 police in Jalalabad 20 March. Taliban 25 March attacked Independent Election Commission (IEC) office in Kabul, killing 5, and IEC HQ 29 March; security forces killed at least 4 attackers. President Karzai announced support for former FM Zalmai Rassoul in elections after brother Qayum Karzai withdrew 6 March. Former Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak also pulled out 16 March. Karzai 12 March reiterated opposition to signing Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S. before elections, said country does not need troops. Govt 20 March released another 55 detainees from Bagram prison. 6 March NATO air strike accidently killed at least 5 Afghan soldiers, injured 8 in eastern Logar province. Anti-insurgency operations continued: 16 insurgents killed 14 March; govt 3 March said Taliban insurgents driven from strongholds in Helmand province.

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