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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

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2333 results found
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Korean Peninsula

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

U.S. blamed DPRK for major cyberattack on Sony Pictures 1 Dec, allegedly in response to launch of comedy movie featuring DPRK regime; President Obama said U.S. would “respond proportionally”. DPRK denied role in attack, proposed joint investigation, later blamed U.S. for several internet blackouts in DPRK. UNGA 18 Dec passed resolution calling for UNSC to refer DPRK’s alleged human rights violations to ICC. UNSC 22 Dec discussed human rights situation in DPRK. ROK 29 Dec offered to resume high-level talks with DPRK; DPRK leader Kim Jong-un in New Year’s address said open to talks. DPRK military continued winter military training, described by ROK military sources as “unusually intensive”. DPRK denied involvement in hack of ROK nuclear power operator late Dec.

Uzbekistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

President Karimov and Russian President Putin met in Tashkent 10 Dec; agreed on enhanced military technical cooperation, Moscow wrote off $865m in Uzbek debt. Karimov met U.S. Asst Sec State Nisha Biswal in Tashkent 2 Dec; Biswal’s visit criticised by rights groups. Parliamentary elections 21 Dec saw reported turnout of 89%: victorious candidates all from parties supporting President Karimov.

Turkmenistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Concerns after Khamyab district in Afghanistan’s Jowzan province adjacent to border fell under Taliban control 14 Dec. Also in Jowzan province, villagers 17 Dec threatened to attack Turkmen border guards who they claimed were moving border posts and depriving them of grazing pastures.

Tajikistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Four Tajik border guards taken hostage 21 Dec by Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, where they were reportedly collecting firewood. President Rahmon mid-Dec expressing increasing concern about Islamic State (IS) recruitment among young Tajiks; reportedly called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) “modern plague”. 46 men arrested in Sughd province on suspicion of joining IS. Tajikistan 23 Dec assumed presidency of Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

During 1 Dec interview President Atambayev insisted Kyrgyzstan no longer a poor country; also said some NGOs may pose threat to national security. Atambayev 23 Dec signed agreement in Moscow to join Eurasian Economic Union. Depreciation of Russian rouble causing increasing difficulties for families reliant on remittances from relatives working in Russia. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan held border cooperation talks 9 Dec in Batken.

Kazakhstan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 22 Dec met with Ukrainian President Poroshenko in Kyiv, agreed to restore economic ties, resume military-technical cooperation. Nazarbayev 21 Dec said Kazakhstan could become mediator between Russia and Ukraine, during Kyiv visit reportedly called on Moscow and Kyiv to find compromise and “preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity”. Russian, Ukrainian, French and German leaders to meet in Astana 15 Jan. Kazakh citizen sentenced to five years jail 12 Dec for fighting alongside pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine. Nazarbayev’s grandson Nurali Aliyev appointed deputy mayor of Astana 19 Dec.

Kashmir

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Final four phases of Jammu and Kashmir state elections held 2-20 Dec; People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won 28 seats, PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) second with 25 seats. Militants launched several deadly attacks during election period, including at least 21 reported killed in four separate attacks 5 Dec. Four Pakistani, one Indian soldier reported killed in cross-border firing 31 Dec.

Afghanistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Deteriorated

Unprecedented wave of insurgent attacks continued in Kabul, raising concerns over viability of new govt: suicide bomber 11 Dec killed German citizen, mortally wounded Afghan journalist at French cultural institute; suicide bombers killed at least thirteen Afghan troops in attacks on military transport vehicles 11 and 13 Dec; two NATO troops killed in suicide bombing outside Bagram airbase north of Kabul 12 Dec. UN 20 Dec said record number of civilians killed in 2014: death toll up 19% by late Nov compared to 2013. U.S. Sec Defence Hagel 6 Dec announced 1,000 additional U.S. troops to remain in country past 2014, raising total to 10,800. Delay in naming new cabinet persisted, indicating continued tensions between supporters of President Ghani and govt “chief executive” Abdullah. Two Taliban leaders reported killed in Baraki Barak district, Logar province 7 Dec; militants next day killed eleven when storming administration complex in Kandahar’s Maiwand district. Security forces mid-Dec began operation in eastern border areas after Pakistani army requested help targeting Pakistani Taliban (TTP) hideouts in response to deadly mid-Dec TTP attack on Peshawar school (see Pakistan); four TTP militants, seven others reported killed in U.S. drone strike 16 Dec.

Philippines

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Chair of House of Representatives ad hoc committee on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) 28 Dec said chamber will pass it by March 2015, following removal of provisions that go against constitution and completion of public hearings. Senate president also said he expects approval of BBL in first semester of 2015. MILF peace panel chair said group will begin decommissioning arms and fighters in Jan. Further attacks by splinter rebel groups opposed to peace agreement; bombing of bus in Mindanao 9 Dec that killed ten blamed on Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF); BIFF also denied involvement in 26 Dec ambush in Maguindanao in which three civilians killed. Eleven militants reported killed in clash between military and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan 4 Dec. Two soldiers and paramilitary killed in suspected New People’s Army attack in Compostela Valley 29 Dec. Two people killed, over 30 injured in bomb blast in Mlang, North Cotabato 31 Dec.

Bangladesh

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) late Dec scheduled anti-govt rallies in Dhaka for early Jan, including on 5 Jan anniversary of 2014 elections boycotted by party; senior member of ruling Awami League (AL) Mohammad Nasim mid-Dec warned BNP will not be allowed to “create anarchy”. BNP leader Khaleda Zia 21 Dec called govt “illegal”, requested discussions with opposition to pave way for general elections. Dhaka court 10 Dec issued arrest warrant against Zia’s son, BNP vice chairman Tarique Rahman, for allegedly insulting country’s AL wartime president. Former Jatiya Party minister and senior Jamaat-e-Islami leader sentenced to death over alleged 1971 war crimes late Dec.

Pakistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Deteriorated
Pakistani Taliban (TTP) 16 Dec killed at least 148, including 132 children, in unprecedentedly deadly attack on military-run school in north-western city Peshawar; TTP called attack retaliation for army killings during operation against militants in NW. Military campaign escalated following attack, including scores reported killed in Khyber agency 18-19 Dec; militant suspected of involvement in Peshawar attack reported killed 26 Dec. PM Sharif lifted moratorium on death penalty: six non-TTP militants, allegedly responsible for attacks on military, executed 19-21 Dec, including five over failed 2003 assassination attempt against former President Musharraf; Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan 22 Dec said preparations underway for executions of nearly 500 terrorism convicts. Interior ministry late Dec claimed to have arrested several militants in relation to Peshawar attack; issued arrest warrants for TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah and former spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid over June 2014 Karachi airport attack. At least twenty TTP militants reported killed by police in Karachi 18-21 Dec. Parliamentary committee 24 Dec reached agreement on several counter-terrorism measures, including setting up special military courts to hear terrorism cases; Senate opposition leaders opposed setting up military courts through constitutional amendment that would curtail fundamental rights. Govt announced PM Sharif will head committee supervising implementation of new counter-terrorism “National Action Plan”. Supreme Court 9 Dec dismissed all petitions for PM Sharif’s removal, including from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). PTI mid-month organised anti-govt protests in Karachi and Lahore before calling off further protests in response to Peshawar attack. Court 18 Dec granted bail to Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, behind deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, drawing strong reactions from India (see India); Lakhvi later detained on other charges. U.S.-wanted al-Qaeda leader reported killed by army in S Waziristan 6 Dec; four reported killed in U.S. drone strike next day, at least dozen more killed in N Waziristan late month.

Sri Lanka

  |  5 Jan 2015

Risk Alert

Joint opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena mounted significant challenge to President Rajapaksa ahead of 8 Jan election; tight race raised concerns about serious election day and post-election violence. Rajapaksa 22 Dec promised peaceful transition in case of defeat despite numerous reports of intimidation of opposition, including almost daily violent attacks on activists, rallies; persistent allegations of large-scale illegal use of state resources and workers for pro-Rajapaksa campaigning. Race tightened throughout month with continued defections from ruling United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) alliance, many blaming govt corruption. Sinhala nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) 1 Dec announced support for Sirisena; govt lost two-thirds parliamentary majority with 22 Dec departure of All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), followed 27 Dec by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), both criticising govt failure to protect Muslims. Sirisena 19 Dec released campaign manifesto: pledged reduction of presidential powers, other governance reforms; no mention of devolution of power or other key Tamil concerns; announced no cooperation with any international efforts to prosecute govt or military leaders for alleged war crimes. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) 30 Dec pledged support for Sirisena; smaller All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) called for election boycott. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya mid-Dec announced EU request to monitor elections denied; 19 Dec said election monitors will only be allowed at 300 of 1,115 ballot counting centres.

Indonesia

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Five teenagers killed, at least 17 reported injured in clash between protesters and security forces in Enarotali, Papua 8 Dec; rights groups accused police of opening fire. Sixth person died of injuries 10 Dec. Attending Christmas celebration in Papua 27 Dec, President Widodo said shooting deaths unacceptable, promised investigation.

Myanmar

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Govt and armed ethnic groups resumed ceasefire talks 22 Dec in Yangon, postponed since 19 Nov army shelling of Kachin Independence Army training camp. Commander in Chief 29 Nov held latest in series of meetings with Gen. Mutu and other leaders of Karen National Union (KNU) in Naypyitaw. UNFC alliance of armed groups (which KNU has suspended its membership of) 29 Nov announced reactivation of combined Federal Army; criticised by govt peace negotiators and military. Ethnic Kokang rebels of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army 10 Dec killed at least seven soldiers in Shan state. Ruling USDP 20 Nov submitted bill proposing referendum on constitutional reform, slated for May 2015; unclear what changes will be put to vote. Bill followed existing election laws in giving Temporary Registration Card (“White Card”) holders – form of ID carried by most Rohingya – right to vote in referendum; NLD representative then submitted proposal, which was adopted, removing right of White Card holders to vote in referendum. Following 14-party talks among national leaders convened by president 31 Oct, legislature 25 Nov adopted proposal to hold smaller 6-way talks; rejected by president. President 26 Nov submitted to legislature texts of four controversial “protection of race and religion” bills; will be debated Jan. UNGA resolution on human rights in Myanmar adopted by consensus 21 Nov; govt objected to use of word “Rohingya”.

Thailand

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam 23 Dec said next general election will be held Feb 2016 at earliest. Seven police officers arrested late Nov on charges including bribery, money laundering, misconduct and lèse-majesté; senior officer arrested, Police Lt General Pongpat Chayaphan, accused of running criminal network, is uncle to Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s third wife, Srirasmi. Investigation widened through Dec, over twenty people arrested, including several of Srirasmi’s relatives. Srirasmi resigned royal title 11 Dec, divorced 13 Dec. Appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) 28 Nov voted to open impeachment proceedings against former PM Yingluck Shinawatra for alleged negligence leading to losses from her govt’s rice-pledging scheme; proceedings to begin 9 Jan. Impeachment proceedings against former Senate and House speakers for role in helping pass amendment for fully elected senate scheduled to begin 8 Jan. NLA 18 Dec dropped bid to impeach 310 former lawmakers for misuse of power for supporting amnesty bill. PM Prayuth Chan-ocha 1 Dec visited Malaysia to discuss dialogue with Malay-Muslim insurgents; junta intends to restart dialogue in Jan with insurgent leaders in exile, Malaysia to act as facilitator. Several civilians and members of security forces killed/wounded in insurgent attacks and clashes during month.

Nepal

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) early Dec admitted failure to reach consensus between political parties ahead of 22 Jan deadline for drafting constitution; task force consisting of representatives of main parties late month failed to resolve disputes.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

UN human rights committee 18 Nov passed resolution calling on UNSC to refer DPRK to ICC for alleged crimes against humanity, following Feb UN report; resolution also called on SC to consider targeted sanctions against those responsible. Pyongyang 20 Nov responded threatening to conduct nuclear test, accused U.S. of being behind resolution, which it called “grave political provocation”. Comes after DPRK official in Oct denied existence of prison camps. Satellite images emerged indicating new activity at DPRK’s Yongbyon nuclear facility. Pyongyang sent high-level envoy Ch’oe Ryong-hae to Moscow where he met with President Putin; part of DPRK’s efforts to reach out to Russia amid souring of relations with China. Afterwards, Russian FM Lavrov said Pyongyang ready to return to six-party talks without preconditions. Lavrov called 18 Nov UN resolution confrontational, counterproductive. Two U.S. citizens released from detention in DPRK early Nov. ROK staged annual Hoguk joint military exercise, and combined airforce exercise with U.S.; DPRK reportedly began winter military exercises. ROK official early Nov reportedly said DPRK has launched new submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

President Karimov’s grandson Islam Karimov 15 Nov gave BBC interview on house arrest of his mother Gulnara Karimova, previously seen as possible successor to her father as president, now detained on corruption charges after falling out of favour with members of her family.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Authorities 12 Nov arrested twelve men in Sughd province, charged with organising criminal group, recruiting for IS. National Security Committee reported 300 Tajik citizens fighting alongside IS in Syria.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

With winter coming, President Atambaev visited Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan early Nov to confirm energy cooperation. Border tensions continued: in Batken region Uzbek border guard 10 Nov shot and wounded one Kyrgyz man, detained one; in Jalal-Abad region Uzbek border guard 13 Nov shot dead Kyrgyz citizen. Speaking at Security Council Atambaev 3 Nov compared extremism to cancer, said IS a threat to Kyrgyzstan identity.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Anti-extremist bill signed into law 3 Nov aiming to simplify procedures to define groups as terrorist/extremist. National Security Committee 18 Nov announced more than 300 Kazakh citizens fighting alongside IS in Syria and Iraq. Former PM and recently resigned Defence Minister Serik Akhmetov charged with embezzlement 19 Nov, placed under house arrest.

Kashmir

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

First phase of Jammu and Kashmir state elections began 25 Nov, results due 23 Dec. Indian authorities early Nov arrested several Kashmiri separatist leaders; move provoked demonstrations in Srinagar, human rights activists argued arrests aimed at suppressing anti-India vote. Indian defense minister 5 Nov said Pakistani authorities must choose between dialogue with Indian govt or Kashmiri separatists; Pakistan rejected conditions for dialogue. Twelve reported killed in attack on army base near border with Pakistan 27-28 Nov, including four militants, three soldiers, five civilians. Occasional firing across Line of Control (LoC) continued, including one soldier, one civilian reported killed 8 Nov. Indian military court 13 Nov sentenced five soldiers, including two officers, to life imprisonment over murder of three civilians in 2010.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Deteriorated

Month saw series of Taliban attacks on foreign targets in Kabul: seven killed, including one Briton, in attacks on UK embassy vehicle, foreign compound 27 Nov; three South Africans killed in attack on foreign guest house next day; four suicide bombers killed 19 Nov in attack on “Green Village” international zone. President Ghani 30 Nov dismissed caretaker govt amid continued delay in formation of new unity cabinet, reflecting difficulty of reaching compromise between opposing factions supporting Ghani and govt “chief executive” Abdullah. Ghani, Abdullah continued to insist on formation of technocratic administration with educated candidates in senior positions despite perceived risks of excluding influential powerbrokers lacking formal education. International donors urged formation of govt before London conference to review funding commitments 5 Dec; several parliamentarians warned delay causing insecurity. Parliament late Nov approved Sept agreements allowing U.S., NATO troops in country beyond 2014. Parliament’s lower house 5 Nov criticised Independent Election Commission (IEC), Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) for refusing to brief lawmakers on allegations of widespread fraud in provincial council elections; acting Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor 9 Nov accused IEC, IECC of committing fraud, accepting bribes. Violence continued across country including at least 62 reported killed by suicide bomber at volleyball match in Paktika province 23 Nov; thirteen militants reported killed by police 10 Nov in Kunduz province, including Taliban shadow governor for Takhar province.

Indonesia

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Security forces reportedly shot one West Papua separatist, arrested 11 separatists following demonstration in Moanemani late month.

Thailand

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Possible impeachment of former House and Senate speakers and former PM Yingluck Shinawatra rekindled pre-coup political animosities. National Legislative Assembly (NLA) 7 Nov voted 87-75 in favour of impeachment motion against former speakers, as recommended by National Anti-Corruption Commission. No date set for proceedings against Yingluck. People’s Democratic Reform Council (PDRC) leaders 4 Nov promised to return to streets to demand impeachments, prompting threats by Red Shirts to stage counter-protests. PM Prayuth Chan-ocha warned against protests, threatened to invoke sweeping powers under interim constitution. Spate of small protests, acts of defiance signal growing restiveness as authorities banned public seminars on political issues. Ongoing arrests of senior police officers and associates for bribery, lèse-majesté began 23 Nov. At ASEAN Summit in Myanmar mid-Nov UNSG Ban and Japanese PM Abe urged Prayuth to restore civilian rule. In late Nov media interview Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said elections may not take place until 2016. Several killed in insurgent attacks in south during month. Security agencies authorised formation of new marine paramilitary regiment, provision of 2,700 assault rifles to interior ministry defence volunteers, approved budget of $234mn to improve security measures.

Pakistan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Large-scale demonstrations by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) continued in several cities despite dwindling attendance in Islamabad: Khan 9 Nov called for involvement of military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) in judicial commission to investigate fraud in 2013 elections; call met with sharp criticism, including from major political parties, govt rejected demand. Khan threatened to wage “decisive war” against govt ahead of 30 Nov Islamabad rally. Suicide bomber 2 Nov killed at least 57, injured hundreds near Wagah-Attari border with India; Pakistani Taliban (TTP) group Jamaat-ul Ahrar claimed responsibility, threatened attacks inside India. Afghan President Ghani 15 Nov visited Islamabad; PM Sharif expressed support for “Afghan-led”, “intra-Afghan” reconciliation process, Ghani promised to target Pakistani tribal militants operating from Afghanistan. Sharif’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz 17 Nov suggested military should not target anti-U.S. militant groups not posing threat to state, including Haqqani network; foreign ministry claimed Aziz quoted out of context. Military operation in N Waziristan continued: army 16 Nov said 90% of N Waziristan cleared of militants, 1,200 killed in past five months; two IDPs killed in clash with police 13 Nov in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KPK) Bannu district. TTP chief Fazlullah 25 Nov survived U.S. drone strike in Afghan border province, five other militants killed. Highest number of polio cases since 1999 recorded mid-Nov; three killed in bomb attack on polio patrol in FATA’s Bajaur agency 11 Nov, four polio workers shot dead in Quetta 26 Nov. Mob 4 Nov tortured and killed two Christians outside Lahore following blasphemy charges by local clerics; policeman next day killed Shia held on blasphemy charges in Gujrat. PM Sharif, Indian PM Modi dismissed rumours about planned bilateral meeting during late Nov summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Nepal.

Philippines

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Consultations on Bangsamoro Basic Law, required for creation of new Bangsamoro region, continued. Addressing Philippine Develolpment Forum early month, senior govt official said $5bn needed for development of Bangsamoro until 2016. MILF early month reported to be finalising organisation of political party for 2016 national elections, United Bangsamoro Justice Party. Attacks blamed on breakaway group opposing MILF-govt peace deal continued: two killed by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) mortar shell in Pikit 14 Nov. BIFF also suspected in other attacks including bomb in M’lang, North Cotabato 23 Nov, killing three. Three soldiers killed by BIFF in Maguindanao 17 Nov. Five govt soldiers, ten Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) killed in clashes in Sulu, southern Philippines 14 Nov. At least five suspected ASG rebels reported killed by govt soldiers in offensive in Basilan 23 Nov. One soldier wounded in clash with ASG 22 Nov. BIFF also suspected after bomb exploded in Kabacan, North Cotabato 16 Nov killing one.

Myanmar

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Fear of serious implications for peace process with ethnic armed groups after mortar shell fired by govt forces 19 Nov hit military training facility near Laiza, Kachin Independence Organization HQ, killing 23 trainees; military claimed strike unintentional. During late-Oct meeting Karen National Union standing committee reaffirmed earlier decision to indefinitely suspend membership of UNFC rebel alliance organisation. Activist and freelance journalist detained by military in east in area where clashes had broken out with rebel soldiers was killed and buried by unit that detained him; president ordered inquiry amid scepticism over military claims that he was shot trying to escape. Buddhist nationalist “Association for Protection of Race and Religion” organised large rally in Mandalay 30 Oct, calling for passage of controversial bills regulating interfaith marriage, religious conversion, polygamy and birth control for non-Buddhists. After constitutional review committee submitted report 22 Oct setting out proposals for amending charter, changes to clauses that would allow NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be presidential candidate appear unlikely; lower house speaker stated no changes will take effect until after 2015 elections. Lower house voted to retain current first-past-the-post electoral system. President Thein Sein attended 8-10 Nov APEC summit in Beijing, hosted high-profile ASEAN summit in Naypyitaw 11-13 Nov.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Month saw several strikes and demonstrations by Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), including in Dhaka, after controversial International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) late Oct sentenced JeI leader Motiur Rahman Nizami to death over alleged 1971 war crimes. Supreme Court 3 Nov upheld death sentence against JeI leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman; govt 5 Nov requested preparations for execution, attorney general said apex court’s full verdict still required. ICT 2 Nov sentenced senior JeI member Mir Quasem Ali to death. JeI protests less violent than in past despite some incidents includingvandalism, crude bomb explosions and vehicle torching; observers warned of risk of escalation if sentences carried out. ICT 13 Nov sentenced member of opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) to death; 24 Nov sentenced to death expelled former local leader of ruling Awami League. BNP continued struggling to mobilise long-promised mass movement; leader Khaleda Zia criticised “inactivity” of other parties. Police 9 Nov shot BNP demonstrators in Gazipur, other districts, injuring around 30. Supreme Court 24 Nov rejected appeals in corruption case against Zia, clearing way for trial. Indian, Bangladeshi officials mid-Nov discussed counter-terrorism cooperation after India late Oct claimed to have uncovered Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) plot to assassinate PM Sheikh Hasina, carry out coup; police 23 Nov said four JMB members arrested in Dhaka, another five suspected militants arrested in Chittagong. Harkatul Jihad al-Islami members, arrested late Oct/early Nov, admitted to receiving training in Pakistan from Lashkar-e-Tayyaba for attacks inside Bangladesh.

Nepal

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee 18 Nov postponed drafting of constitution indefinitely after opposition blocked ruling parties’ proposal for settling contentious issues. Netra Bikram Chand-led faction 24 Nov split from Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (CPN-M) over alleged failure of CPN-M leader Mohan Baidya to advance class struggle.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Election commission 21 Nov announced presidential polls scheduled for 8 Jan after President Rajapaksa called early election; observers predicted violent campaign, risk of coup in case of opposition victory. General Secretary of ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Maithripala Sirisena, 21 Nov resigned to run against Rajapaksa; fisheries minister, three other lawmakers resigned, pledged support for Sirisena as common opposition candidate in broad coalition led by main opposition United National Party (UNP). Sinhala nationalist party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), part of Rajapaksa's United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition, 18 Nov announced resignation from govt without joining opposition; expected to back Sirisena. Supreme Court 10 Nov declared Rajapaksa eligible to run for third term despite widespread doubts about legality. Left-wing Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) 17 Nov held major rally in Colombo, called Rajapaksa’s candidacy for third term illegal. UN HCHR Zeid 7 Nov criticised govt campaign of “distortion and disinformation”, “insidious” attempts to intimidate witnesses in OHCHR investigation; move followed late Oct arrest of Tamil gathering information for investigators, govt’s subsequent public rebuke of investigation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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CrisisWatch N°137

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