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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

period from    to 

2301 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 2301 First   Previous   Next   Last

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un 14 Oct returned to public view after40-day disappearance, missing several important national events including 10 Oct anniversary of Korean Workers Party; state media remained silent amid intense speculation about Kim’s health. Satellite images released 1 Oct showed DPRK completed upgrade of Sohae satellite launch station near border with China to facilitate larger projectiles. DPRK 20 Oct said aiming to enhance nuclear capability; U.S. General Curtis Scaparotti 24 Oct suggested DPRK capable of building nuclear warhead. High-ranking DPRK delegation, led by Vice Chairman of National Defence Commission Hwang Pyong So, 4 Oct unexpectedly attended closing ceremony of Asian Games in Inch’ŏn, ROK, part of reported DPRK diplomatic offensive. DPRK, ROK naval ships 7 Oct traded fire in Yellow (West)Sea after DPRK ship violated Northern Limit Line; ROK military 13 Oct pledged deployment of additional armament to islands near border. DPRK 10 Oct fired at activist-launched balloons carrying anti-DPRK leaflets; two rounds fell into ROKborder town near demilitarised zone. ROK soldiers 18 Oct fired warning shots at approximately 10 DPRK troops approaching military demarcation line nearCh’ŏrwŏn, no return fire; similar incident reported near Paju 19 Oct leading to exchange of fire.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Russian news agency RIA Novosti 6 Oct claimed to have evidence that Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan militant group was working with Iraq’s Islamic State.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Authorities continued digging 5-meter trenches along Afghan border, installing barbed wires, fences. President Berdymukhammedov 23 Oct met with Uzbekistan counterpart, discussed Afghanistan security implications.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Govt early Oct blocked websites, disabled SMS-messaging, deployed armoured vehicles to city gates ahead of planned opposition protest in Dushanbe 10 Oct; Supreme Court 9 Oct declared organiser “Group-24” extremist group. Interior Ministry spokesperson 18 Oct announced 13 Islamists returning from Syria detained for planned terror attack. High-ranking border officer arrested 22 Oct on drug trafficking accusations.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Amid rolling blackouts in Osh, Interior Minister Melis Turganbaev 2 Oct deployed armed public order units to Osh region. Five arrested 15 Oct during protest in Bishkek against energy price hikes. Authorities launched investigation following further reports Kyrgyz citizens fighting in Syria. President Atambayev 17 Oct suggested constitutional change to allow judicial reform prompting fears of additional changes. Respublika party 20 Oct merged with Ata Jurt nationalist party.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Man sentenced in Almaty for allegedly propagating terrorism and religious extremism. President Nazarbayev 9 Oct signed Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with EU. Govt 15 Oct outlawed Islamic group Takfir wal-Hijra.

Kashmir

  |  1 Nov 2014

Deteriorated

Hostilities across Line of Control (LoC) continued, often provoked by Pakistani military to provide cover for cross-border militant movement; at least 20 civilians reported killed. Indian govt 21 Oct warned continued violations would result in “pain” for Pakistan. Fears hostile Indian rhetoric could further narrow options for Pakistani govt struggling with military to exercise control over India policy: Pakistani army general Raheel Sharif 18 Oct said lasting peace in region depends on “fair and just resolution” of Kashmir issue, reflecting continued military rejection of PM Sharif’s attempts to normalise relations with India through stronger economic ties (see Pakistan). Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister Omar Abdullah 4 Oct said upcoming state elections should be delayed until residents have recovered from deadly Sept floods; election commission late Oct announced month-long five-phase election starting 25 Nov. Militant reported killed by security forces 3 Oct in Pulwama district; soldier killed in clash with militants 13 Oct in Kupwara district.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Cohesion of new unity govt remained uncertain following late Sept inauguration of Ashraf Ghani as president, appointment of runner-up Abdullah Abdullah as “chief executive officer”; sides yet to agree on appointments of cabinet members, other key positions. Ghani 1 Oct promised merit-based appointment of governors, mid-Oct promised same for senior military officials. Police 11 Oct arrested seven in connection with 2010 Kabul Bank collapse after Ghani instructed attorney general’s office to reopen investigation; special tribunal formed 29 Oct to review case. Head of Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) 9 Oct described holding presidential and provincial council elections simultaneously as failure, suggested future rounds should be separate. Independent Election Commission (IEC) 10 Oct confirmed receiving IECC’s decision on final results of provincial polls, said IECC's ruling needs further clarification. Defence ministry late Oct reported 23% increase in casualties among soldiers, police over past six months, making 2014 deadliest year since U.S.-led invasion. Violence continued across country including: seven killed in twin Taliban suicide bombings in Kabul 1 Oct; Taliban next day claimed control of Registan district, Kandahar province; scores of Taliban, govt forces reported killed in clashes in Sar-e Pul province 13 Oct.

Thailand

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Military junta continued to suppress dissent and move toward creating new constitution; membership of National Reform Council (NRC), responsible for proposing constitutional reform, announced 6 Oct, dominated by junta loyalists, opponents of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra. NRC 27 Oct voted down proposal to allot five seats on 36-member constitution drafting committee to non-NRC members. Govt 1 Oct approved economic stimulus package worth 364bn baht; 16 Oct yielded to demands from rubber farmers after threats to defy martial law and organise rallies, agreed to 8.5bn in subsidies. Prayuth Chan-ocha 9-10 Oct made first foreign visit as PM to Myanmar, 16-17 Oct visited Milan for Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Southern insurgency continued: gunmen 2 Oct killed village headsman in Pattani; one police killed by IED in Nong Chik district 3 Oct, Muslim villager killed in Mayo district same day.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Main opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) vowed to launch mass demonstrations against govt starting second week of Oct after PM Hasina late Sept ruled out possibility of mid-term election, any dialogue with opposition; BNP struggled to mount significant opposition. Lawyers 16 Oct boycotted courts over late Sept signing of controversial sixteenth constitutional amendment restoring parliament’s authority to impeach Supreme Court judges. Dhaka court again deferred trial of BNP leader Khaleda Zia, hearing adjourned to 9 Nov after Zia refused to attend trial proceedings citing security concerns. Over 100 BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) activists charged mid-month over violence in run-up to Jan 2014 election; senior JeI member Motiur Rahman Nizami sentenced to death 29 Oct over alleged 1971 war crimes.

Myanmar

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Govt 1 Oct announced plan not to release sensitive census data on religion until 2016, after 2015 elections. 3,000 prisoners pardoned 7 Oct: small number of political prisoners among released including Rohingya activists. President Thein Sein 31 Oct hosted meeting between govt, military, parliament, political party representatives to discuss transition, national reconciliation; response to Aung San Suu Kyi request for quadripartite talks. Clashes reported early Oct in Shan state including two police wounded in 4 Oct bombing in Taunggyi. Court 25 Oct sentenced seven Rakhine men to seven years in jail over killing of ten Muslim pilgrims in 2012.

Pakistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Month saw anti-govt demonstrations in Islamabad lose momentum, attendance dwindle; protest leaders Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tahirul Qadri of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) mobilised rallies outside capital, including in Karachi, Lahore, smaller cities in Punjab; Qadri 22 Oct ended PAT protest in Islamabad. Demonstrations retained potential to undermine political stability: Supreme Court 15 Oct admitted appeal by PTI member to disqualify PM Sharif for lying to parliament despite lack of constitutional provision for such disqualification, apparently overstepping jurisdiction. PTI held govt responsible for failure to prevent seven deaths in stampede during PTI rally in Punjab’s Multan 10 Oct. Govt 17 Oct reportedly resumed talks with PAT over alleged June police killing of 14 PAT demonstrators in Lahore; Qadri 19 Oct declared settlement only possible if perpetrators hanged; left country 28 Oct after ending Islamabad sit-in, pledged to return mid-Nov. TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid fired after declaring allegiance to Syria and Iraq-based jihadi group Islamic State along with five regional TTP commanders mid-month. Sectarian violence continued: six killed in Shia majority neighbourhood in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kohat district 4 Oct; six Hazara Shias killed in Quetta same day; another thirteen reported killed 23 Oct including nine Hazaras. Military continued operations in N Waziristan; mid- to late Oct conducted operations in Khyber Agency, claimed to have killed scores of militants, thousands of civilians fled fighting. U.S. increased drone strikes in S and N Waziristan: conducted nine strikes within one week starting 5 Oct, at least eight reported killed 6 Oct.

Nepal

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Political parties 17 Oct missed another deadline for reaching consensus on core issues in constitution drafting process, new deadline set for 1 Nov. Opposition United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) held protests against alleged sidelining in drafting process; rejected ruling parties’ proposal to vote on disputed issues, called for consensus decision.

Indonesia

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Joko Widodo 17 Oct inaugurated as president; 26 Oct appointed country’s first female FM, Retno Marsudi. Two French journalists, detained since August, sentenced to two and a half months in jail 21 Oct for reporting on Papua.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Govt 20 Oct announced early presidential election for Jan 2015 in possible sign of President Rajapaksa’s concern with waning popularity; Rajapaksa 24 Oct presented populist budget to parliament featuring tax reductions and increased subsidies, public sector jobs, salaries. Election announcement exacerbated strains in ruling United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA); coalition’s left wing parties and Sinhala nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) expressed opposition to move. JHU 14 Oct presented proposal for constitutional reforms including abolishment of executive presidency, threatened to campaign against Rajapaksa if proposal not implemented prior to election; JHU and UPFA leaders met 27 Oct to discuss proposal. Opposition remained in disarray despite signs of Rajapaksa’s vulnerability: no consensus over joint candidate, political platform. Militant Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) 5 Oct publicised constitutional reform platform: proposed making Sri Lanka Buddhist state, giving monks formal roles in governance. Military mid-month reimposed requirement that foreign passport holders receive prior permission before travelling to Northern Province; observers suspected restrictions targeted at UN OHCHR war crimes investigators. EU’s General Court 16 Oct overturned on procedural grounds EU’s 2006 listing of LTTE as terrorist organisation, maintained accompanying assets freeze.

Philippines

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Month saw signs of progress toward passing Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL): National Security Council 21 Oct proposed accelerating passage through Congress, said autonomy for Bangsamoro people would help calm radical ideology in Mindanao. Suspect in 2003 Awang, Maguindanao airport bombing and Feb 2005 Manila bombing, Ricardo Ayeras, arrested 7 Oct; officials alleged arrest foiled plot to bomb Manila metro. Militant attacks continued throughout month: Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) 2 Oct killed one police, two soldiers in separate attacks in Datu Piang; two New People’s Army militants killed 14 Oct in clash with army in Davao Occidental. Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants detonated two bombs in Basilan’s Isabella City 17 Oct, no causalities; Abu Sayyaf 17 Oct released two Germans after six months captivity, reportedly in exchange for ransom; thirteen other hostages remain. Seventeen police officers, among 196 accused of Nov 2009 massacre in Maguindanao, allowed to post bail 15 Oct. National Democratic Front-Philippines Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni 20 Oct said high-level govt delegation set to discuss possible resumption of peace negotiations after collapse of talks in Feb 2013.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

National armed forces from Turkmenistan were reported to have entered into Afghanistan in early September in an effort to push back Taliban forces following a series of attacks on multiple border posts.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Series of high level meetings between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan officials culminated in 12 Sept meeting between Presidents; talks failed to produce practical measures to diffuse tensions between states, delineate border. Spokesman for the Interior Affairs Directorate 29 Sept confirmed 8 Kyrgyz nationals reported killed in Syria, fighting along Islamist forces. Govt 30 Sept said 7 women in southern Jalal-Abad province detained for allegedly recruiting for Islamist militant group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Philippines

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Govt and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) panels continued ironing out details of Bangsamoro Basic Law. First draft delivered to Congress 10 Sept, certified as urgent by President Aquino; relevant committees in Senate, House of Representatives began deliberations week of 22 Sept; MILF chief negotiator Mohager Iqbal appealed for acceptance. Justice department rejected suspending arrest warrants against Nur Misuari of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction and Umbra Kato of MILF splinter group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Several clashes involving insurgents including two soldiers killed 11 Sept by BIFF; military also blamed group for two bomb explosions 16 Sept in General Santos city injuring six civilians. Three suspected communist guerrillas killed, three govt militiamen wounded 15 Sept in two separate clashes in Davao del Norte province. Army 19 Sept killed two suspected New People’s Army militants in Surigao del Sur.

Myanmar

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged
Democratic transition and peace process appeared on track despite Union Election Commission 7 Sept announcing by-elections for 35 vacant seats not to be held in 2014 due to cost, time constraints; announcement generally accepted by political parties. Four senior military officers assigned new posts, likely in preparation for 2015 retirement of commander-in-chief. Curfew in Sittwe, imposed July in response to anti-Muslim riots, lifted 11 Sept. Médecins Sans Frontières 8 Sept signed memorandum of understanding with govt hoping to resume medical relief in Rakhine State. Myanmar’s FM Wunna Maung Lwin 29 Sept said at UNGA that Rohingya minority will be offered citizenship if they register as Bengali, otherwise will be detained and relocated overseas. Karen National Union 1 Sept said reviewing participation in United Nationalities Federal Council following disagreements over peace-process strategy. Peace talks between govt, ethnic groups continued 22 Sept.

Indonesia

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Multiple raids on suspected terrorist hideouts throughout month: seven arrested 13 Sept in Ampibabo district over alleged links to Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL); joint police-army raid 19 Sept targeting suspected East Indonesian Mujahidin (MIT) members following 18 Sept MIT killing of man in Poso; six arrested, one killed in 20 Sept police raid in Bima.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Ruling UPFA coalition 20 Sept won narrow victory in Uva provincial polls with much reduced margins from previous elections, despite large-scale illegal use of state resources for govt candidates, violence against opposition campaigners. Strong performance of main opposition UNP seen as increasing likelihood of early presidential election, expected Jan 2015. Militant Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) 28 Sept held large rally of monks in Colombo in “defense of Buddhism”; attended by Myanmar’s Ashin Wirathu, accused of inciting deadly anti-Muslim violence. UN human rights chief Zeid 25 Sept urged govt to end “climate of intimidation, threat and harassment against civil society actors”, incitement to hatred and violence against Muslims, Christians; called for enhanced accountability. In UNGA speech President Rajapaksa 25 Sept rejected OHCHR war crimes investigation as unbalanced, politically motivated. Police detained Catholic priest in Jaffna early Sept for allegedly gathering evidence for OHCHR. Govt 10 Sept proposed long-promised witness and victim protection law in parliament seeking to address international concerns over accountability.

Nepal

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

All-party conference on constitution drafting process scheduled for 16 Sept postponed following boycott by extra-parliamentary party alliance led by Communist Party Nepal-Maoists (CPN-M); CPN-M alleged conference would fail to address CPN-M concerns. CPN-M organised several protests against Nepal-India power trade agreement signed early month.

Kashmir

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Pakistani govt’s efforts to normalise relations with India through trade liberalisation jeopardised by sporadic clashes along Line of Control (LoC), Pakistani military’s reported attempts to use anti-govt protests in Islamabad to pressure PM Sharif to further relinquish control over foreign policy. Sharif called for international support to resolve Kashmir dispute in UNGA speech late month; Indian PM Modi questioned Sharif’s highlighting of Kashmir issue, offered bilateral talks but rejected dialogue under “shadow of terrorism”. Pakistani Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba provided assistance to flood-affected population in Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, leader Hafiz Saeed accused India of deliberately allowing waters to flood Pakistan; claims echoed by Islamist Jamaat-i-Islami. PMs Sharif and Modi exchanged letters offering assistance in relief efforts. Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit mid-month met Indian Foreign Secretary Singh following Aug cancellation of FM-level talks. Several militants reported killed by security forces including three alleged Jaish-e-Muhammad members 2 Sept in Pulwama district; Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander killed in Kupwara district 9 Sept; several militants killed along LoC, including four in clashes 20 Sept.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged
Awami League (AL) won significant political victories, moved to consolidate power: Supreme Court 14 Sept rejected appeals by opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia in embezzlement case; possibility of life sentence. Parliament 17 Sept unanimously passed controversial constitutional amendment giving it power to impeach Supreme Court judges, signed by President Hamid late Sept. Three BNP leaders, 38 other BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) members indicted 1 Sept for violence during 2013 election-related demonstrations. Major protests in Dhaka against 17 Sept Supreme Court decision to commute death sentence of JeI leader to life imprisonment; demonstrators demanded death sentence, JeI called for a two-day strike to condemn Sayeedi’s conviction.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged
DPRK continued missile testing: 1 Sept fired short-range missile from north-western Chagang province near China, 6 Sept fired three short-range projectiles from east coast near Wŏnsan; projectiles landed in Sea of Japan. Republic of Korea (ROK) navy 19 Sept fired warning shots at DPRK vessel crossing North Limit Line (NLL). Month saw extensive international diplomatic engagement by DPRK including: Kang Sok Ju Korean Workers Party (KWP) Secretary for International Affairs 7-16 Sept led delegation to Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy; tour followed by 18 Sept visit to Mongolia, met President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and other senior officials; FM Ri Su-yong 14 Sept met Iranian FM Javad Zarif in Tehran, 21 Sept addressed UN General Assembly in New York. U.S. citizen Matthew Todd Miller sentenced to six years hard labour 14 Sept.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah 21 Sept signed agreement on unity govt: Ghani to assume presidency, Abdullah new position of chief executive officer. Independent Election Commission (IEC) same day declared Ghani winner of June run-off vote, said no formal result will be announced. Ghani, Abdullah inaugurated 29 Sept; new govt next day signed long-delayed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S.. Deal followed pressure from international donors for negotiated settlement rather than outright victory partly due to threats of violence from Abdullah’s supporters and flawed ballot audit. Members of parliament’s lower house 8 Sept urged candidates to end electoral crisis citing economic and security implications of continued deadlock; Balkh provincial governor and prominent Abdullah supporter Atta Mohammed Noor 11 Sept accused President Karzai of colluding with IEC and Ghani in rigging vote, said unwilling to accept govt elected through fraud. Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) 15 Sept announced 1,683 of 2,200 complaints registered by Abdullah’s team legitimate; finding not enough to put Abdullah in lead. Violence intensified with months-long political deadlock boosting insurgency: attacks escalated over past months despite previous years seeing decrease in late summer. Interior ministry 1 Sept reported at least 41 Taliban killed across country; officials 4 Sept claimed 22 insurgents killed in Logar province, Taliban said dozens of police killed or injured; at least 48 insurgents reported killed in Balkh province 7 Sept. Taliban fighters 14 Sept entered main bazaar, attacked administrative HQ in Helmand’s Sangin district; local officials warned district could fall to insurgents. Similar warnings from Ghazni officials after more than 100 reported killed in Ajrestan district during late-month Taliban assault. Seven killed in Taliban suicide attack near Kabul airport on inauguration day 29 Sept.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

An anti-terror exercise was held on the Afghan border in early September. The prosecutor general’s office 23 September acknowledged the president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova’s house arrest on corruption charges.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Russian President Putin and Nazarbayev met 30 Sept in Atyrau (Kazakhstan) to discuss inter-regional cooperation following late-Aug tensions after Putin insinuated that, prior to Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan had no statehood. Kazakh FM Erlan Idrisov 22 Sept met U.S. Sec State John Kerry, discussed counter-terrorism, post-election period in Afghanistan.

Pakistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Continued signs military exploiting protests by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to influence politics: PTI president Javed Hashmi 1 Sept said military elements encouraged Khan-led protests; Khan 16 Sept claimed army chief said govt would meet all protest demands except PM’s resignation. Joint session of parliament 19 Sept condemned protests. Govt negotiations with PTI and PAT suspended after police arrested over 500 protestors in Islamabad and Lahore 12 Sept; majority quickly released, charges dropped. Over 300 killed, hundreds of thousands displaced by flooding in Punjab and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, adding to almost 1mn displaced by ongoing military operation in N Waziristan. Jihadi organisations continued to exploit govt failure to provide adequate assistance: offered assistance through charity wings, sought to stoke anti-India sentiments in flood-affected areas (see Kashmir). Military claimed more than 1,000 militants, some 100 soldiers killed in N Waziristan operation since mid-June. Army spokesman 15 Sept claimed Pakistani Taliban (TTP) no longer able to launch attacks; at least four reported killed in TTP suicide bombing targeting military convoy in Peshawar 23 Sept; two killed in attack targeting senior counter-terrorism police officer in Karachi 25 Sept; at least seven killed in attack on IDP camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 28 Sept. TTP faction “Punjabi Taliban” 5 Sept declared intention to halt attacks in Pakistan and focus on Afghanistan, indicating peace deal with military. Other Punjab-based anti-Shia groups continued sectarian killings countrywide including: son of Shia Jafria Alliance Pakistan party leader murdered 6 Sept in Karachi by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; head of Karachi University Islamic Studies department shot dead 19 Sept. Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar appointed new chief of Inter-Services Intelligence 22 Sept. At least 14 suspected militants reported killed in U.S. drone strikes in N and S Waziristan late month.

Thailand

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) led by PM General Prayuth Chan-ocha continued to consolidate political control; appointed 12 serving and former military officers to new cabinet. NCPO 16 Sept added 9 members, only two without military or police background. Office of Attorney General (OAG) 4 Sept declined National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) recommendation to prosecute former PM Yingluck Shinawatra for corruption. Police 17 Sept detained four academics, three students at Thammasat University for staging seminar on dictatorship, released after questioning; 60 university professors from 16 universities 22 Sept submitted petition to govt calling for respect for academic freedom. Deadly attacks continued in south including: member of Tha Nam Tambon Administration Organisation killed by gunman in Ban Surao village 5 Sept; militants 17 Sept killed five in attack on local administration office in Khok Pho district, Pattani.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

President Rahmon 18 Sept said 200 Tajik jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq. Regional Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Sec Gen Bordyuzha 17 Sept said spillover from Afghanistan serious regional problem; Tajik-Afghan border remains very porous. Two Uzbeks arrested June sentenced 26 Sept to 9 years imprisonment for fighting alongside Taliban in Afghanistan. Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Emomali Rahmon early Sept launched Iran-funded Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant. Fatwa issued 27 Sept by Tajik mufti against govt critics.

Pakistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Month saw mass anti-govt demonstrations threaten fragile democratic transition, raise fears of military intervention: parallel protests led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader, cleric Tahirul Qadri, demanded PM Sharif's resignation and parliament's dissolution, rejected govt offers of negotiated settlement. Govt refuted rumours of military support for protests, relied on army for security in Islamabad despite concerns military could exploit crisis to extend political influence at govt’s expense; coup seen as unlikely by observers, opposed by all mainstream political parties, civil society, and superior courts. Khan and Qadri-led protest marches reached Islamabad from Lahore mid-month after at least 4 Qadri supporters killed in clashes with police early month in Punjab; 19 Aug entered Islamabad’s “Red Zone” containing parliament, other official buildings. Fears spread extremists could exploit situation to attack high level targets, provoke violence. Govt sought peaceful resolution including accepting Khan’s demands for audit of 2013 election result in certain constituencies, judicial commission investigation of vote rigging allegations; talks ongoing late month, both Qadri and Khan continued refusing to modify demand for PM’s resignation. Army chief Raheel Sharif 28 Aug met protest leaders, reportedly agreed to act as guarantor for deal with govt; military’s overt role strongly condemned in parliament, PM Sharif 29 Aug insisted govt only requested military facilitation, no request to act as mediator or guarantor; Khan and Qadri denied responsibility for involving military. At least 3 killed, over 200 wounded in clashes between protesters and police 30-31 Aug. Military continued N Waziristan operation, claimed progress in dismantling militant networks; at least 5 alleged militants killed in 6 Aug U.S. drone strike N Waziristan. Militants launched several high profile attacks including: 13 soldiers injured, 11 attackers killed in 14 Aug attacks on 2 Quetta air force bases, claimed by Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). N Waziristan IDP crisis deteriorated further: military continued to refuse access for local and international humanitarian agencies; vacuum exploited by charity wings of jihadi organisations.

Kashmir

  |  1 Sep 2014

Deteriorated

Sharp deterioration in India-Pakistan relations as FM-level talks, aimed at setting agenda for resuming dialogue process, cancelled by India following 18 Aug meeting between Pakistan’s High Commissioner and Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi. Meeting followed resumption of periodic clashes along Line of Control: at least dozen casualties reported. PM Modi 12 Aug visited Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir, first PM visit since 1999, condemned Pakistan for “proxy war of terrorism against India”; allegation strongly refuted by Pakistan. Unknown gunmen 13 Aug reportedly killed 2 police, 1 civilian in Pulwama district; militants 16 Aug shot dead 2 soldiers outside Pulwama air base.

Indonesia

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Constitutional Court 21 Aug rejected challenge to President-elect Joko Widodo’s election win, said opponent Prabowo Subianto failed to prove alleged irregularities. President elect met Papuan leaders early Aug, promised to focus on W Papua; new focus to be symbolised by building of presidential palace in regional capital Jayapura; plans received mixed reaction. Indonesian anti-terrorism chief 22 Aug met Chinese senior security official Meng Jianzhu in Beijing, vowed cooperation on anti-terror operations.

Myanmar

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Myanmar hosted 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Naypyitaw 8 Aug, ASEAN Regional Forum 10 Aug attended by U.S. Sec State Kerry; Kerry also met Aung San Suu-Kyi in Yangon. Night-time curfew in Mandalay lifted 11 Aug following early July violence. Ethnic armed-group representatives 15-17 Aug met with govt in Yangon, made progress on text of nationwide ceasefire agreement, but significant divergences remain.

Nepal

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi early month visited the country, highest level visit in 17 years; India and Nepal held a two-week joint military exercise on counter insurgency, jungle warfare and disaster management late month.

Philippines

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Govt and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace process continued following July’s disagreements over revision to Bangsamoro Basic Law; govt-MILF 15 Aug met to review amendments; revised edition submitted to President Aquino 20 Aug. Multiple clashes, insurgent attacks through month: 2 suspected New People’s Army rebels killed 15 Aug in clash with govt forces in Agusan del Sur; 1 killed, 1 kidnapped 16 Aug by Abu Sayyaf militants in Zamboanga City; MILF commander Batuh Mohammed and son killed 20 Aug in Sultan sa Barongis, reportedly by gunmen led by another MILF commander.

Thailand

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Ruling military National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) continued consolidating power in wake of July interim constitution: 1 Aug Royal Decree finalised appointment of 200 National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members, more than half active or retired senior military officials. NLA opened 7 Aug; 21 Aug unanimously elected NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha PM; King Bhumibol Adulyadej 25 Aug endorsed appointment. Exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra 19 Aug urged supporters to allow NCPO to run country for 1 year. National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) 6 Aug recommended criminal prosecution of recently ousted PM Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged dereliction of duty; Yingluck 10 Aug returned to country despite speculation she would go into exile. Red shirt activist Kritsuda Khunasen 2-3 Aug posted videos claiming soldiers tortured her during her detention; NCPO refuted claims, 9 Aug issued arrest warrant for Kritsuda on weapons possession charges. Rights crackdown continued: 2 students participating in pro-democracy play charged with lèse-majesté mid-month; taxi driver sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment on similar charge 14 Aug. Hundreds of anti-coup leaflets strewn in front of army HQ 15 Aug. Murder charges against former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and deputy, Suthep Thuagsuban, linked to 2010 protest crackdown, dismissed 28 Aug. Govt 8 Aug said it would continue stalled dialogue with southern insurgents. Attacks continued in south: 2 rangers killed in bombing 11 Aug in Yala province; 1 soldier killed, 3 wounded 21 Aug as militants ambushed truck in same province; ranger injured 14 Aug by IED on highway in Pattani province.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Govt continued crackdown on civil society groups following July banning of NGOs from holding press conferences, other public activities; continued to promise more restrictive laws on NGO operations. Several instances of intimidation including: mob led by Buddhist monks 4 Aug broke into church in Colombo, disrupted meeting between activists, diplomats and families of people missing since 2009 civil war; attack condemned by U.S., European govts. Series of armed attacks late month against main opposition party offices and workers during Uva province election campaign. President Rajapaksa 19 Aug said govt will refuse visas for UN investigators probing war crimes accusations, UNHCHR Pilay earlier said investigation can continue without access.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Election stalemate continued despite U.S. Sec State Kerry early Aug persuading presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani to sign statement pledging support for outcome of ongoing ballot audit process, renewing commitment to July political deal; Ghani campaign days later expressed doubt about power-sharing aspects of deal, Abdullah-supporter Balkh Governor Atta Mohammed Noor warned of possible civil uprisings. Abdullah 27 Aug boycotted audit protesting process for invalidating votes; pledged to rejoin if demands met in talks with UN. Security forces 11 Aug started disarming armed groups in central Parwan province, stronghold of Abdullah support. Economic effect of political deadlock underscored by govt’s 17 Aug announcement of at least 50% decline in revenue since first election round in April. Pakistani newspaper 4 Aug reported Hezb-e-Islami insurgent faction negotiated joining new govt with Abdullah, Ghani; both candidates denied claim. Ministry of Defence 17 Aug rejected talks with Taliban, disavowing statement by special forces commander in Helmand announcing pursuit of local deal with insurgents. Kandahar chief of police, Brigadier-General Abdul Raziq, 7 Aug said 171 insurgents killed in recent operations, Taliban suspects killed rather than captured. Nangarhar province security officials 14 Aug claimed 145 Taliban killed in operation, including 23 Pakistanis.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 6 Aug announced govt reshuffle, reduction of ministries from 17 to 12, creation of super-sized Energy Ministry. Nazarbayev 13 Aug discussed with Russian President Putin and Belarussian President Lukashenko Russia’s sanctions on goods from EU, U.S., Canada and Norway; authorities 13 Aug announced after Kazakhstan will not take part in sanctions. Uzbek-Kazakh clashes erupted 27 Aug in Madani village, south; Interior Minister Qasymov 29 Aug said clashes not ethnic.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Energy situation continued to deteriorate: Uzbekistan has not resumed gas experts to southern Kyrgyzstan following cuts 14 April; PM Otorbaev 7 Aug expressed concern over Russian petrol deliveries stuck in Kazakhstan (500 wagons); Toktogul reservoir attached to hydropower station that supplies 90% of country’s electricity unusually low. 1 Kyrgyz killed 9 Aug in reported incident in Jirgatol on eastern Kyrgyz-Tajik; officials met 11 Aug to discuss shooting; shootings reported 25 Aug in Gafurov Tajik district between Kyrgyz border guards and Tajik protesters against highway project, 4 reportedly wounded.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Minister for Internal Affairs 11 Aug said Syria-trained jihadists pose threat; some 200 Tajiks reportedly fighting in Syria. Crackdown continued, including by using 26 July law criminalising recruitment and participation of citizens in armed conflicts; at least 88 detained on terrorism charges since beginning of year including 7 ethnic Uzbek Tajik citizens sentenced 12 Aug to 18 to 22 years jail for allegedly plotting terrorist attack against TALCO aluminium plant. Local media 9 Aug reported Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) planning return to Ferghana Valley from Waziristan, Pakistan.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Increased fighting along Turkmen-Afghan border; source of violence unclear, some indicate IMU and Chechen involvement, others suggest Taliban. Rare public protest 23 Aug in Ashgabat.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Sep 2014

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Prospects of reconciliation between ruling Awami League (AL) and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) remained slim: govt 4 Aug approved broadcast policy criticised by opposition and civil society for threatening freedom of expression; policy challenged in Supreme Court 18 Aug, BNP held protests in Dhaka. Govt claimed policy merely “guidelines”, not enforceable. Draft act on NGOs pending before parliament: regulates activities of NGOs receiving foreign funds, penalises NGOs allegedly involved in activities deemed “illegal or harmful for country”. Cabinet 18 Aug approved draft constitutional amendment restoring parliament’s authority to impeach Supreme Court judges; criticised by prominent lawyers, former judges for undermining judicial independence. Police continued raids against extremist group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, responsible for 2005 bombings, following late July arrest of 3 suspected activists in Dhaka; state minister for home affairs Asaduzzam Khan said JMB regrouping, seeking links with international terrorist groups including al-Qaeda.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

DPRK 14 Aug test-fired 5 missiles appearing to be new short-range tactical ballistic missiles China and Russia voiced opposition to possible U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence battery in ROK after Han Min-koo, supportive of THAAD, 30 July replaced Kim Kwan-jin as ROK defence minister. 50,000 ROK troops and 30,000 U.S. troops 18 Aug began UN Command (UNC) and Combined Forces Command (CFC) multinational and combined military exercise; DPRK criticised exercise, threatened retaliation.

Philippines

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Opposition parties and left-wing groups 24 July filed complaint with House of Representatives calling for impeachment of President Aquino after he 28 April signed Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement with the U.S. without approval of Congress. Aquino also came under fire for Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), portions of which Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional 1 July. Chief of the Philippines Armed Forces Lieutenant General Gregorio Catapang 24 July denied possibility of military involvement or coup. Conflict continued in Mindanao: 17 Bangasmoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), 1 soldier killed 21 July during fight in Cotabato City. 4 police captured 10 July by communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Alegria town; 11 day ceasefire implemented 22 July by NPA, release of prisoners held by NPA set for 25 July cancelled. 5 killed 25 July in clash between govt troops and members of Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf on Basilan Island; further 19 killed 28 July in ambush on Jolo Island. President Aquino late July met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chief Murad Ebrahim, discussed peace process including MILF opposition to reported alterations to proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, submission to congress due 28 July delayed, new round of govt-MILF negotiations continued 1 Aug; Law would replace Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindano with new political entity.

Myanmar

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Court 10 July sentenced 4 journalists and CEO of local news journal to 10 years imprisonment, hard-labour for alleging military facility in Magwe region manufacturing chemical weapons; sentence appealed, condemned domestically and internationally. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) 23 July announced expectation of reaching 10 million signatures on petition to revoke military’s veto capability on constitutional amendments, part of NLD push for amendment to Article 59 (F) which prevents Suu Kyi from being elected president. 2 dead, over 12 injured in anti-Muslim violence 1-2 July in Mandalay following rumour Muslim shop owner raped female Buddhist employee; curfew imposed 3 July. Aid agency MSF invited to resume critical health operations in Rakhine State 24 July after gov halted its operations in Feb.

Indonesia

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

The General Elections Commission on 22 July declared Joko Widodo winner of the presidential election; his opponent Probowo Subianto pledged to appeal the results via the Constitutional Court.

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CrisisWatch N°135

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