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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

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2457 results found
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Uzbekistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) released videos in which leaders pledge allegiance to Islamic State (IS); in video released 2 Aug leader Usman Ghazi stated “Taliban cannot be trusted”. Uzbek militant group fighting in Syria pledged allegiance to new Taliban leader, condemned IS. U.S. Deputy Asst Sec State reportedly asked govt to contribute in fighting IS 27 Aug.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Turkmenistan: [no change] In Turkmenistan, relations with Moscow strained amid dispute over price Russia’s Gazprom pays for Turkmen gas. For more, see news article, Asia Times, 11 Aug. 2015: “Pipeline race heats up in Central Asia”

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

President Rahmon 8 Aug signed new law depriving Tajiks of citizenship for joining/fighting for terrorist organisations abroad. Opposition crackdown continued: Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan’s (IRPT) publishing house closed 13 Aug for not meeting national “sanitary-epidemiological norms”; IRPT claimed targeted campaign against them. Justice ministry 28 Aug banned IRPT, citing insufficient number of members to qualify as officially registered party; gave party ten days to halt activities. Deputy leader of opposition in exile detained in Moldova 11 Aug on Tajik govt request. Afghan authorities apologised after two mortar shells launched in Afghanistan 13 Aug fell in Khatlon province in SW of Tajikistan.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Clashes reported along border with Tajikistan 3 Aug. Following 16 July anti-terrorist operation in Bishkek, State Committee for National Security (GKNB) end July detained former MP Maksat Kunakunov at Manas airport, accused of sponsoring suspected Islamic State (IS) cell which was eliminated during earlier security operation. First IS recruitment video addressing Muslims in Kyrgyzstan released late July. Ahead of 4 Oct parliamentary elections, controversial former Osh mayor Melis Myrzakmatov, third candidate on Ata Meken party list, rumoured to be hiding in Moscow or Urumqi after being found guilty of corruption 22 July. Country became full member of Eurasian Economic Union 12 Aug.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Court ordered closure of opposition Communist Party 3 Aug for not meeting re-registration requirements of having at least 40,000 members; party leadership claimed closure politically motivated. Aqtobe court sentenced eight people to three-to-six years jail 3 Aug for inciting social, ethnic, religious discord via social media. Currency slumped in value by 25% 19-20 Aug; low oil prices driving reduced salaries, job losses for oil workers.

Thailand

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Bomb exploded at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok 17 Aug in deadliest terrorist attack in recent Thai history; twenty killed, 120 injured, most victims were ethnic Chinese visitors to shrine. No claim of responsibility. Second bomb of same design detonated at Sathorn Pier on Chao Phraya River 18 Aug, no casualties; CCTV showed man dropped second bomb into river shortly after Erawan explosion. Police 29 Aug arrested Erawan bombing suspect in Bangkok outskirts and seized bomb-making equipment, seeking two other suspects. Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) late July agreed to establish National Strategic Reform and Reconciliation Commission (NSRCC) to lead reforms after promulgation of new constitution and general election; mid-Aug announced plans to grant NSRCC powers to override elected govt “in times of crisis”. NSRRC proposal criticised across political spectrum. CDC 22 Aug presented draft constitution to National Reform Council for 7 Sept vote. UNHCHR 11 Aug called for release of those jailed for lèse-majesté, urged amendment of law; followed handing down of heavy jail sentences in two cases for online lèse-majesté comments, amid significant increase in cases since 2014 coup. Several killed in ongoing insurgent violence in south. General Aksara Kerdpol led “pre-talks” with Majlis Amanah Rakyat Patani (MARA Patani), umbrella group of six Malay-Muslim separatist organisations, in Kuala Lumpur 25 Aug. Security forces 2 Aug killed insurgent leader Masukarueno Yakumo in Narathiwat.

Philippines

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Plenary session in House of Representatives on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) stalled due to lack of quorum 4 and 5 Aug. Senator Ferdinand Marcos 12 Aug presented alternative BBL draft to Senate with 80% of provisions amended; govt peace panel 17 Aug said substitute BBL may encourage “personalistic” politics and perpetuate political dynasties by balancing representation in favour of district representatives. Meanwhile, MILF panel chair Iqbal has repeatedly said “no BBL is better than a bad BBL”. Senate plenary to debate substitute BBL late Aug. Plenary debate on national budget 28 Sept, Congress goes on recess 10 Oct-2 Nov. Suspected Abu Sayyaf (ASG) set off homemade bomb in Basilan 7 Aug, two soldiers killed; killed in ambush two soldiers in Sulu 10 Aug. Around 40 ASG militants clashes with members of armed civilian group Barangay Peace Action Team 15 Aug in Sulu, two ASG killed. Seven soldiers and 15 ASG killed in firefight in Sulu 20 Aug. Three ASG killed in clash with security forces in Sulu 28 Aug. New People’s Army (NPA) militants and military clashed in Masbate 5 Aug; four NPA and one soldier killed; five NPA killed in clash with military 19 Aug.

Myanmar

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Ahead of 9 Nov general elections, longstanding tensions between legislature and executive played out within ruling Union Solidarity and Development party (USDP): President Thein Sein 12 Aug deposed party chairman Shwe Mann and several allies after Shwe Mann’s rejection of Thein Sein loyalists’ applications for upcoming polls, and amid suspicion within USDP regarding Shwe Mann’s relationship with opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Divisions within opposition as NLD selection committee rejected prominent non-NLD candidates who had been requested by party to run, including prominent former student leader Ko Ko Gyi and some twenty other members of 88 Generation group. Over 6,000 candidates registered by 14 Aug deadline. Heavy rain and cyclone Komen late July brought serious flooding; nearly 400,000 households displaced, candidate registration period extended. Parliament 18 Aug approved third 90-day extension of martial law in Kokang. Ninth formal round of peace talks 6-7 Aug: final ceasefire text agreed, but question of which groups will be eligible to sign Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) remains major sticking point. Parliament 19 Aug approved two controversial bills proposed by hardline Buddhist nationalists, completing package of four discriminatory bills aimed at “protection of race and religion”. At request of UK, UNSC briefed on situation in Myanmar under AOB 28 Aug.

Indonesia

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Clash between police and suspected terrorists believed to be led by Santoso, Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist in Central Sulawesi 21 Aug; one police officer killed.

Pakistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Supreme Court 5 Aug ruled in favour of Eighteenth and Twenty-first constitutional amendments, dismissing challenges to establishment of military courts to try suspects, including civilians, on terrorism charges; affirmed court's right to oversee military courts. In Karachi, ongoing security operation mainly targeted Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM); MQM Senator Nasreen Jalil 10 Aug said 41 party workers killed since start of operation in 2013, 150 people missing in past three months; interior minister refuted allegations. MQM members of National Assembly, Senate and Sindh provincial assembly resigned 12 Aug, calling for creation of monitoring committee to oversee security operation and judicial commission to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings of party workers and release of imprisoned members. Sindh chief minister 8 Aug extended Sindh Rangers’ policing powers by another 120 days. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for murder of judge in Rawalpindi 5 Aug. Drone strike killed five suspected militants in N Waziristan 6 Aug. Military reported 90 militants in N Waziristan and fifteen in Khyber agency died in airstrikes 16 and 17 Aug. Military launched new offensive against TTP 21 Aug. Three bodies found in Balochistan’s Turbat on 25 July, nine in Quetta and Pishin districts 10 Aug. Police killed leader of sectarian militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Malik Ishaq, two sons and over ten members 29 July; at Ishaq’s funeral violent demonstrators attacked Shia mosques and private property, two police killed in attack on police station in Gujrat. 16 Aug suicide attack killed Punjab home minister and sixteen others; attack reportedly claimed by LeJ, TTP faction Jamaat ul Ahrar and Khyber agency-based Lashkar-e-Islam.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Attacks on freedom of expression intensified, with fourth murder of secular blogger and further actions by executive and judiciary pressuring journalists and human rights activists. Secular blogger Niladri Chattopadhyay (Niloy Neel) hacked to death in Dhaka 7 Aug, fourth such killing in 2015. Ansar ul Islam, linked to al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), claimed responsibility; several members of radical Islamist Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) arrested in connection with killing. Three other ABT members arrested 17 Aug in connection with killings of bloggers Avijit Roy in Feb and Ananta Bijoy Das in May. Dhaka police 2 Aug released statement accusing prominent human rights organisations Odhikar and Bangladesh Human Rights Commission of acting illegally by reporting extrajudicial killings allegedly committed by police. Police 17 Aug arrested journalist Probir Sikdar for defamation against Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain in social media (Facebook) post. High Court 5 Aug rejected opposition BNP leader Khaleda Zia’s challenge to legality of 2007 graft case. Police 10 Aug arrested six BNP leaders in Savar, 31 BNP leaders and activists in Khuln, charged with subversive activities; 18 Aug arrested BNP’s chief advisor Shawkat Mahmud on arson charges. Jana Samhati Samiti (JSS) activists 15 Aug clashed with security forces in Rangmati, five JSS killed. Bangladesh and India 31 July exchanged control over 160 enclaves in historic land swap; residents previously considered stateless will be able to choose where they want to live and their citizenship.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Tensions on peninsula escalated after three mines detonated south of Military Demarcation Line 4 Aug, seriously injuring two ROK soldiers; joint UN Command (UNC) and ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff investigation 10 Aug concluded mines purposefully planted by DPRK army (KPA) to kill ROK soldiers. In retaliation ROK 10 Aug resumed anti-DPRK broadcasting on loudspeakers at border, first time in eleven years. DPRK 14 Aug denied planting mines, 15 Aug threatened military strikes against loudspeakers; ROK continued broadcasts. DPRK and ROK exchanged artillery fire 20 Aug after apparent DPRK shelling into Demilitarized Zone (DMZ); no casualties or damage reported, DPRK denied firing shells. DPRK 20 Aug threatened unspecified military operations if ROK did not stop broadcasts, ordered troops into “semi-wartime alert”; as 22 Aug deadline approached ROK ordered evacuation of over 10,000 living close to DMZ. DPRK and ROK 22 Aug agreed to emergency talks, however Pyongyang subsequently deployed submarines and mobilised artillery units along border. DPRK and ROK 25 Aug reached agreement to end standoff, DPRK expressed regret over ROK soldiers wounded by landmines and agreed to end “semi state of war”; ROK agreed to halt anti-DPRK broadcasts. ROK and U.S. 12-28 Aug carried out jointand combined military drills in Pochŏn, Kyŏnggi province; UNC and Combined Forces Command 17 Aug began annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian multinational combined exercise, prompting DPRK threat of military retaliation; U.S. 21 Aug said exercise temporarily suspended due to ROK-DPRK tensions. IHS Jane’s defence consultancy reported analysis suggesting apparent upgrade to DPRK main nuclear facility, doubling its capacity to produce highly-enriched uranium.

Kashmir

  |  1 Sep 2015

Deteriorated

Clashes across the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary dividing Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir escalated, prompting UNSG Ban to express “serious concern” 18 Aug. Border security forces fired at each other 4 Aug near Sialkot in Pakistani Punjab; one Indian, two Pakistanis reported killed. UN Military Observer Group team visited area after Pakistan demanded inquiry. India 5 Aug reported arrest of Pakistani who allegedly attacked Indian Border Security convoy in India-administered Kashmir, killing two soldiers. India and Pakistan 15-16 Aug traded cross-border firing; three Pakistani and four Indian civilians killed, 40 injured. Pakistani sniper 25 Aug reportedly fired at Indian soldiers, killing one. Nine civilians reported killed, 63 wounded as Indian and Pakistani border guards traded gunfire near Sialkot 28 Aug. Countries 16-17 Aug summoned each other’s ambassadors to protest ceasefire violations. Planned talks between countries’ national security advisers cancelled at last minute 22 Aug; meeting of director-generals of Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers reportedly planned for Sept.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Deteriorated

Spate of insurgent attacks targeted Kabul, including bombings 7 Aug inflicting over 350 casualties, 50 killed. Govt blamed Pakistan for violence, claiming some bombs used military-grade explosives; senior delegation visited Islamabad 13 Aug for tense meetings with Pakistani officials about Kabul attacks. Acting defence minister 18 Aug said Pakistan had declared war against Afghanistan. Both sides also accused each other of initiating cross-border artillery exchanges: Afghanistan claimed eight security personnel killed in Kunar province, Pakistan accused Afghan forces of killing three paramilitaries, later in month said militants firing from Afghan territory killed four Pakistani soldiers. Govt 19 Aug lodged formal complaint with Pakistan’s ambassador, Pakistan 20 Aug summoned Afghan ambassador. Amid increased tensions with Pakistan and Taliban leadership struggle following disclosure of Mullah Omar’s death, fledgling peace process under which Pakistan had planned to host negotiations between Kabul govt and insurgents stalled. Officials 1 Aug reported at least 44 militants killed during clashes with security forces in NW Faryab province. Nangarhar province official 5 Aug reported at least 56 Taliban and Islamic State (IS) fighters killed in drone strikes. Residents of Dasht-e-Archi district, northern Kunduz province 10 Aug said Taliban forcing them to join their ranks, extorting money. Official 16 Aug said militants had blocked main route leading to Shohada district in N Badakhshan district. At least 29 members of pro-govt militia killed in Taliban suicide attack in Kunduz 8 Aug. Taliban 24 Aug captured Helmand’s Musa Qala district HQ; district recaptured by govt forces backed by NATO airstrikes 30 Aug. Two NATO forces killed in Helmand province 26 Aug; twelve people killed in bomb attack on NATO convoy in Kabul 22 Aug.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Sep 2015

Improved

Following acrimonious but largely peaceful campaign, 17 Aug parliamentary election saw United National Party (UNP)-led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) win 106 seats in 225-member parliament, while former president Rajapaksa failed in bid to become PM in a United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) govt; result consolidated political shift begun by Jan victory of President Sirisena. UPFA won 95 seats. Sirisena 21 Aug appointed UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM; MoU between Sirisena’s SLFP and Wickremesinghe’s UNP signed same day to form two-year national govt. UPFA’s and Rajapaksa’s electoral failure appears to have convinced majority of SLFP parliamentary group to back Sirisena and national govt. Days before election Sirisena 14 Aug moved to take control of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and UPFA, replacing general secretaries and expelling a dozen members of SLFP executive committee; followed 13 Aug letter to Rajapaksa reiterating Sirisena’s determination to not appoint him as PM, and criticising Rajapaksa for “racist” UPFA campaign. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won respectable sixteen seats from north and east. Plans for national govt include drafting new constitution, electoral reforms, further reduction in presidential powers and possible expanded devolution of power to provinces.

Nepal

  |  1 Sep 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Six-state federal model agreed 8 Aug between four major parties drew criticism from several constituencies including most plains-based Madhesi parties and groups, plains-based Tharu groups, and other ethnic/indigenous groups, for violating previous agreements and fragmenting regions where they held demographic majorities. Protests triggered in multiple districts including by groups demanding present regional administrative units remain intact; several protesters killed in police firing in separate incidents in the Tarai plains. Seven police and a child killed, over 40 security personnel injured 24 Aug in violent protests in Kailali demanding creation of Tharu-majority state; concerns raised over subsequent deployment of Nepal Army in protest-hit areas, local residents reportedly leaving villages. Over 100 arrested 16 Aug in nationwide strike protesting the deal, called by Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist-led alliance. Several Madhes-based parties called indefinite strike across southern districts beginning 18 Aug; Sadbhavana Party 18 Aug resigned from Constituent Assembly en masse protesting federal model and constitutional draft provisions. Fresh protests erupted 31 Aug in Parsa district, police fired into crowd of protesters, one killed. Three major parties revised federal model 21 Aug to add seventh state, recognising demands of some mid- and far-western groups; deal rejected by Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik), fourth signatory of six-state agreement, for neglecting demands of Tharu community.

Turkmenistan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Registration of candidates underway 27 June-22 July for 16 Aug parliamentary elections and local administration polls. Opposition media 2 July reported increase in arrests near Iranian border of people linked to Afghan militant groups; 400 people reportedly detained since Feb, 300 still being held. Arrested reportedly include six officials from defence ministry, nine police, several officials from prosecutor’s office. Media 6 July asserted coffins containing four officers and eight draftees arrived in Ashgabat, all served in Tagtabazar district in Mary province near Afghan border. No official explanation provided for deaths; Russian media 8 July reported servicemen killed by IS reconnaissance group that crossed border.

Tajikistan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Authorities reported they arrested two men planning terrorist attacks. Russia late June supplied 120 armoured vehicles specialised for mountainous terrain to 201st Russian military base; began training 1,000 Tajik soldiers.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Anti-terrorist operations in Bishkek and nearby Lebedinovka village 16 July; six militants killed, seven arrested. Govt said militants were members of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), led by two Kazakhs imprisoned in 2014 for attempted travel to Syria using illegal passports but escaped in April; one blew himself up 1 July during arrest. Security services reported large find of weapons and explosives following Bishkek raid, said group plotting attacks on post-Ramadan prayers and Russia’s Kant air base. Bishkek 17 July condemned U.S. State Dept bestowal of 2014 Human Rights Defender Award on jailed rights defender Azimjan Askarov; PM Sariev 21 July denounced 1993 cooperation agreement with U.S. President, set 4 Oct date for parliamentary elections.

Afghanistan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Govt officials met with Taliban leaders outside Islamabad 7 July, marking minor breakthrough in President Ghani’s efforts to restart peace talks. Senior Pakistani official said talks conducted with approval from Taliban leadership, apparently confirmed by 15 July statement signed by Mullah Omar; however, several insurgent commanders expressed scepticism. Second round of talks scheduled for end-July, but Taliban 30 July rejected participation after govt claimed to have “credible information” that Mullah Omar died in April 2013. Ghani facing continued opposition from lawmakers, who 5 July rejected his third nominee for defence minister. Security continued to deteriorate, with unprecedented number of insurgent attacks. Eighteen Afghan Local Police (ALP) members killed 3 July as insurgents overran outposts in Wardak province. In Faryab province hundreds of Taliban reportedly attacked parts of Qaisar, Almar and Pashtun Kot districts, took control of part of Almar district. Taliban reportedly captured Sar-e Pul province’s Kohistanat district late month. Khost provincial officials 12 July reported 27 civilians killed in suicide car bomb outside Khost city. Residents in northern Kunduz province 5 July complained about behaviour of some 7,000 irregular armed militiamen raised to block Taliban in north. Fighting between insurgent groups also reaching unprecedented intensity as Taliban battled self-declared Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) factions in east. Number of U.S. drone attacks doubled in July, with over 100 strikes, most prominently against IS targets. Avowed IS groups reportedly seized control of several Taliban enclaves in Nangarhar province but subsequently lost most to Taliban counter-offensives.

Korean Peninsula

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Reports emerged 22 July DPRK has upgraded a launch tower to accommodatelarger space launch vehicles; U.S. warned it against “destabilizing activities”. ROK and U.S. 29 June-9 July ran “Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise” on west coast. Some ten DPRK soldiers crossed Military Demarcation Line (MDL) 11 July, returned north after ROK army fired warning shots. Amid ongoing severe drought UNICEF warned lives of many DPRK children at risk.Two ROK citizens who had been in China near DPRK border sentenced to life for espionage by DPRK court; ROK confirmed their citizenship, denied spying accusations.

Kashmir

  |  3 Aug 2015

Deteriorated

Surge of clashes across Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir and Working Boundary dividing Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir. Pakistan 6 July reported shelling near Sialkot from Indian side of Working Boundary; India 10 July said Pakistani sniper shot Indian border guard dead across Line of Control (LoC). 10 July meeting between Pakistani and Indian PMs on sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Russia issued short joint statement condemning terrorism, pledging to cooperate in eliminating it; agreed to meetings between national security advisors, between director generals of Pakistan Rangers and Indian Border Security Force, and between directors general of military operations; sides also agreed to release detained fishermen, to discuss ways to expedite trial for 2008 Mumbai bombing. Despite statement, cross-border clashes intensified. Punjab Rangers 15 July said Indian Border Security Forces fired near Sialkot; India claimed to be responding to Pakistani shelling in which a civilian died. Pakistani military same day claimed it shot down Indian drone. Islamabad 17 July formally protested alleged Indian ceasefire violations to UN Military Observer’s Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), soon after a teenaged Pakistani girl reportedly killed in LoC crossfire. UNMOGIP members 20 July visited Sialkot district in Pakistan’s Punjab province to inspect sites reportedly affected by Indian shelling. Five people killed in series of attacks on Indian side around Sopore late month; one injured in Srinagar 24 July. Ten killed, including three militants, in day-long clash between police and gunmen in India’s northern frontier state Punjab 27 July; National Security Adviser Ajit Doval called incident “very serious”, other officials suggested Pakistani involvement.

Pakistan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Media 3 July reported military had concluded operation “Khyber-II” 15 June, three-month operation intended to retake control over militant strongholds in Tirah and Bara valleys. Several soldiers killed in militant attacks in N and S Waziristan early July. Militants 9 July bombed school in Khyber Agency. Ongoing incidents in Balochistan included suicide bomb attack in Quetta marketplace 5 July injuring nineteen; gunmen killed two Balochistan Constabulary members 13 July; nine alleged militants killed in paramilitary operations in Khuzdar and Awaran districts 20 July. Balochistan’s apex committee 27 June announced amnesty package for Baloch insurgents who disarm and renounce violence, but with no commitment to address Baloch grievances, including military’s extrajudicial killings and other rights violations. Paramilitary Rangers 17 July conducted raid on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) HQ in Karachi, detaining two senior MQM members and others for “facilitating hate speeches”; in subsequent raids reportedly arrested scores of MQM workers. Non-govt Human Rights Commission of Pakistan 15 July noted increase in extrajudicial killings in Karachi during Rangers-led counter-terrorism operation against criminal networks, from 191 in first half of 2014 to 255 in same period 2015. Sindh’s PPP govt 17 July extended Rangers broad policing powers in Karachi for another year. EU Council 20 July expressed concern about recent govt measures limiting NGOs’ freedom. Three-member judicial commission 22 July rejected allegations by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of organised rigging in 2013 election after three-month probe; PTI accepted findings.

Nepal

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly 7 July endorsed draft constitution; major parties agreed to fast-track drafting process and aim for promulgation by mid-Aug. 8-23 July public opinion collection process truncated from one month to fifteen days, two days only allocated for consultations. Draft constitution widely labelled regressive, criticised for not addressing longstanding demands including delineation of federal provinces, entrenching secularism in preamble, and granting of citizenship by descent through mother. Demonstrations demanding amendments to these and other provisions in several southern Madhesi towns 20-21 July obstructed public consultation programs, dozens injured; police criticised for using excessive force. Right-wing monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal) also launched demonstrations 20 July demanding enshrinement of Hinduism as official state religion. Citing public feedback, major parties 27 July discussed replacing secularism provision—previously enshrined in 2007 Interim Constitution – with “religious freedom” in new constitution, casting further doubt on protection of minority religions. Breakaway faction of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist launched nationwide strike 24 July against draft constitution and May 2015 India-China trade agreement for allegedly violating Nepal’s territorial sovereignty; vehicles torched, schools shut down, over 200 arrested.

Sri Lanka

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

President Sirisena’s 26 June dissolution of parliament triggered two weeks of battles within United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its main constituent, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Sirisena’s months-long effort to prevent former President Rajapaksa’s return to active politics ended 3 July, when UPFA announced it was nominating Rajapaksa for seat in 17 Aug parliamentary elections, angering supporters of Sirisena, still UPFA chairman. Sirisena 14 July speech reiterated his opposition to Rajapaksa’s candidacy, vowed never to appoint him as PM even if UPFA won majority of seats, announced he would not campaign for UPFA; speech seen as major political blow to Rajapaksa and UPFA’s chances of electoral victory and boost to coalition led by United National Party (UNP). Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Janath Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will run independent campaigns, also strongly opposed to Rajapaksa and UPFA. Rajapaksa 27 July launched UPFA manifesto with Sinhala nationalist themes, criticised TNA’s 25 July call for federal political solution; UNP and JVP also reiterated opposition to federalism. Election outcome expected to have major impact on the chances for further progress on rule of law reforms, post-war reconciliation and accountability. Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran travelled to U.S. and UK, reiterating calls for international investigation into alleged genocide by govt against Tamils and Tamils self-determination. One person reported killed, 13 injured in shooting at election rally in Colombo 31 July.

Philippines

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) 12 July announced resumption of BBL talks in Aug. President Aquino 27 July called for passage of BBL in State of the Nation Address. National Bureau of Investigation and National Prosecution Service joint fact-finding mission 16 July recommended investigation of 102 MILF and BIFF militants linked to 25 Jan clash in Mamasapano that killed 44 police commandos and eighteen MILF. Almost daily clashes in south, including: security forces 16 July conducted raid in Sulu, three Abu Sayyaf Group members killed; one soldier killed in BIFF attack in Maguindanao 6 July. New People’s Army (NPA) 11 July also conducted raid in Misamis Oriental, one soldier killed, one captured. NPA 27 July ambushed military convoy in Kalinga, three soldiers killed. Security forces 21 July arrested high-ranking NPA leader Ernesto Lorenzo.

Indonesia

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Crowd of around two hundred people attacked group of Muslims and set mosque on fire in majority-Christian Tolikara in Papua province 17 July; one attacker shot dead by police, eleven wounded.

Bangladesh

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Amid allegations of corruption and criminality, and accusations of inept and repressive governance, PM Sheikh Hasina mid-July undertook major cabinet reshuffle, reportedly considering action against corrupt ministers, Awami League (AL) parliamentarians, advisers, and senior/mid-level party members. Senior leader of Jubo League, AL’s youth wing, expelled mid-July over extortion allegations. Cabinet 13 July approved draft “Public Services Act, 2015”, requiring law enforcers to obtain govt permission before filing charges against public officials; prompted criticism from civil society groups. Addressing parliament 7 July, PM Hasina said special tribunal would be formed to try cases against Zia and 37 other Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) members under 2009 Anti-Terrorism Act. BNP’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, arrested Jan on charges of vandalism and arson, released on bail 14 July. Zia appeared before court trying two graft cases against her 23 July. Former telecommunications minister Abdul Latif Siddique, charged with hurting religious sentiments, released on bail 29 June; some Islamist parties and groups mobilised demanding death sentence. Police 27 July arrested eight suspected extremists including Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen head. Controversial International War Crimes Tribunal 1 July decided to try Razakar (militia) commander and three other militia members accused of committing atrocities during 1971 independence war; 16 July sentenced a Jamaat-i-Islami leader to death for war crimes; Supreme Court 29 July upheld death sentence against former minister and senior BNP member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, convicted by ICT in 2013.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Govt 20 May closed country’s oldest privately-owned weekly newspaper Noviy Vek for “undermining the nation’s moral values and shaping incorrect notion of the socio-political situation in the country”; newspaper had reported on corruption in state institutions. Russian Central Bank reported 49% drop in remittances to Uzbekistan in first quarter of 2015 – causing shortages of cash, foreign currency, suspension of salaries for state personnel including security services, as well as payment of pensions and allowances.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Opposition media reported govt is mobilising local population in Lebap province to build defensive infrastructure against Taliban near Amu-Darya river by Afghan border, and conducting secret military exercises with foreign trainers in area. Conscription of school leaders also reported to be gathering pace. President Berdymukhammedov 27 May met special representative of Afghan president to discuss Turkmen role in inter-Afghan peace dialogue, agreement to continue Turkmen electricity exports to Afghanistan until 2027, security. Russian Central Bank reported 57% drop in remittances to Turkmenistan in first quarter of 2015.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

New video released 19 June featuring former special forces (OMON) commander Gulmurod Khalimov, whose defection to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) was reported late May, reiterating threats to bring jihad to Tajikistan; govt blocked several websites in response. Joint military exercises continued: OMON held joint anti-terrorist exercises with Chinese special police units 5 June. Dozens of Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) members resigned during month; IRP blamed increase in harassment, including from pro-govt newspaper linking IRP to terrorism; IRP’s political council 10 June warned leader Mukhiddin Kabiri to remain in Europe for fear of arrest in Tajikistan. Russian Central Bank reported 44% drop in remittances to Tajikistan in first quarter of 2015. 

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

WTO members 22 June approved Kazakhstan’s membership following nineteen years of negotiations, to take effect in Dec. Parliament late May ratified border cooperation agreements with Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, and agreement with Turkmenistan on demarcation of Caspian Sea. President Nazarbayev 10 June called for joint efforts to fight religious extremism. Russian Central Bank reported 39% drop in remittances to Kazakhstan in first quarter of 2015

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

U.S. and ROK 31 May-3 June conducted combined anti-submarine warfare (ASW) drill near Cheju Island, and another combined ASW exercise 8-12 June in the Philippine Sea; 29 June launched joint military logistics exercise. DPRK late month threatened U.S. with “tougher countermeasures”, following U.S. criticism of DPRK in annual global human rights report; 29 June said it is ready for conventional, nuclear or cyber wars with U.S. after U.S. sent guided missile submarine to Pusan and guided missile cruiser to Yokosuka Naval Base. ROK 3 June test-fired new 500km-range ballistic missile, capable of striking all DPRK territory. DPRK state media mid-June reported test-fire of short-range anti-ship missiles in Wŏnsan. ROK 26 June imposed financial sanctions on Taiwanese and Syrian arms corporations trading with DPRK. Pyongyang 9 June announced provincial, county and municipal people assembly elections will take place 19 July. DPRK 24 June sent high-ranking envoys to Russia, Cuba and Equatorial Guinea. ROK navy 30 June fired warning shots as DPRK patrol vessel crossed ROK waters.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

MPs demanded revote on bill to increase electoral threshold from 7% to 9% after it floundered at second reading 19 June. Controversial draft Foreign Agents law passed first parliament reading 4 June; critics say law could criminalise NGOs, human rights defenders. During regional visit, UNSG Ban 10 June attended events marking fifth anniversary of Osh inter-ethnic conflict. Russian Central Bank reported 41% drop in remittances to Kyrgyzstan in first quarter of 2015.

Kashmir

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Month saw increasingly aggressive rhetoric by Pakistani and Indian officials, including implied threats of a military confrontation. Pakistan Army Chief Raheel Sharif speaking at National Defence University in Islamabad 3 June said Pakistan and Kashmir inseparable. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif next day reiterated claim that India’s main intelligence agency supporting terrorism in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan. On 7 June visit to Dhaka, Modi said Pakistan “promotes terrorism”. In apparent bit to ease tensions, Modi 16 June called PM Sharif, offered to release detained Pakistani fishermen. U.S. Sec State Kerry same day called Sharif to voice concerns about rising India-Pakistan tensions; UNSG Ban also encouraged sides to engage. Pakistan 18 June released 113 Indian fishermen, New Delhi three days later released 88 Pakistani fishermen. Indian authorities 25 May reported three soldiers and a militant killed in clashes along Line of Control (LoC). Indian soldiers 6 June reportedly shot dead three Pakistani militants attempting to cross LoC. Former militant Aijaz Ahmad Reshi killed 15 June, fourth such incident in week involving alleged separatists in Sopore; separatist leaders of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front 17 June called for complete strike in J&K, accusing militias backed by Indian security forces of murders. Two suspected militants and one civilian killed in gun battle, Indian-administered Kashmir 21 June.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Deteriorated

Taliban captured and maintained control of district administration centres (DACs) in north for first time since beginning of insurgency, including Yamgan, Chardara and Dashte Archi districts, increasing military pressure on govt positions near Kunduz and underscoring intensity of 2015 fighting season. Afghan security forces fighting to regain lost territory late June, re-captured Yamgan. Interior minister 14 June said foreign militants, having fled Pakistan, infiltrated northern provinces including Baghlan, Takhar, Faryab, Kunduz and Badakhshan. Uruzgan province official 7 June said Taliban had captured twelve security outposts, warned insurgents could take control of entire district; Sar-e Pul province officials 9 June said Taliban captured thirteen villages in Sozma Qala district. At least seventeen police reported killed in Taliban attack on police post in Musa Qala, Helmand 12 June. Eleven soldiers reported killed in clash with militants in Herat 28 June. Suicide car bomb attack in Kabul 30 June killed one civilian. Fighting also reported in east between Taliban and rival insurgent groups swearing allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL). NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg 25 June said alliance would decide how quickly to scale back Afghan forces training mission in function of their performance during 2015 fighting season. Confirmation hearing of acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanekzai interrupted 22 June by Taliban attack on parliament, killing two and injuring 40. President Ghani 19 June issued decree extending term of parliament, originally set to expire 22 June; new election date yet to be announced. Chairing 1 June Council of Ministers meeting, Abdullah denounced MoU on information sharing/cooperation between National Directorate of Security and Pakistan military’s intelligence agency, implying it would undermine national security. Urging Taliban to agree to ceasefire 17 June, Abdullah said fighting and peace talks could not happen simultaneously. Leaked UN report on police corruption heightened debate over control of donor funds for police salaries, to be transferred to Kabul under 29 June agreement.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Fallout of Jan-April violent confrontation between AL and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) continued. Dhaka court 8 June issued arrest warrants for 28 leaders and activists of BNP-led opposition alliance; 22 June issued arrest warrants for senior BNP leader and 32 other party officials for violence during BNP-led strike and transport blockade late Jan. High Court 18 June directed BNP leader Khaleda Zia to surrender in two months to trial court, rejecting her petition challenging legality of graft case. International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) 9 June awarded death penalty in absentia to former militia leader Hasan Ali for war crimes committed during 1971 liberation war. High court 16 June upheld Jamaat secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed’s death sentence for similar crimes; Jamaat responded with call for 24-hour countrywide hartal (strike), largely ignored. Several media reports of increased activism by religious extremists and recruitment on college campuses, continued attacks on religious minority symbols, including desecration of Hindu idols in Bogra 1 June. Indian PM Modi visited Dhaka 6-7 June for joint ratification ceremony of historic land swap agreement ending decades-old border dispute between countries, representing significant political victory for PM Sheikh Hasina; also extended new $2bn line of credit. Modi met Zia, who reportedly raised AL’s failure to uphold democratic principles and rule of law, assured Modi that a BNP govt would seek good relations with India. Govt under continuing pressure to take steps to stop human trafficking, including by protecting victims, taking action against traffickers.

Thailand

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) 21 July received 30-day extension to complete revisions to 315-article draft constitution and present them to National Reform Council (NRC) 22 Aug; follows late June announcement by Election Commission that referendum on draft constitution could be held Jan 2016. CDC 6 July replaced controversial “open list” system with single constituency for party-list system. National Legislative Assembly deputy chairman 20 July said current govt could stay in office until early 2017, election may not take place until Dec 2016. Criminal Court 14 July convicted ten members of alleged “lèse majesté network” for distributing online content it said insulted monarchy, sentenced them to three to five years in jail; justice minister mid-July sought cooperation from France and Japan to extradite lèse majesté suspects. Govt criticised over decision to hand over 109 Uighurs who fled China to Chinese authorities early July. Violence in south continued with series of bomb attacks in Narathiwat, Pattani during month, several killed, dozens injured including civilians and security forces. Security forces 20 July killed two wanted insurgents during raid in Pattani; gunmen 6 July killed village chief, wounded three in Yala; motorcycle bomb 10 July exploded in Songkhla, killed three civilians, wounded three others; seventeen injured in platoon-sized attack on defence volunteer base in Yala 30 July.

Pakistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Govt and military officials 13 June marked one-year anniversary of Zarb-e-Azb, military operation in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)’s North Waziristan agency, declaring ongoing success against militant groups, including killing over 2,700 insurgents. Militant attacks in FATA continued, including 1 June roadside bomb in S Waziristan that killed three, 8 June clash near Dattakhel in N Waziristan in which seven soldiers and nineteen militants reported killed, and 17 June bombing of primary school in Bajaur. Attacks on Quetta’s Shia Hazara community continued. Eight police shot dead in Quetta 6, 11 June; several police also killed in attacks in Peshawar and Karachi. Paramilitary Frontier Corps 1 June claimed to have killed thirteen Baloch militants involved in 29 May attack on bus killing 22 Pashtuns. In review headed by PM and Army Chief, senior civilian and military officials 27 May noted poor implementation of National Action Plan against terrorism, particularly regarding action against banned jihadi groups, foreign terrorism funding, hate speech and madrasa reform. Anti-terrorism court 5 June freed eight of ten people implicated in Oct 2012 attack on Malala Yousafzai; police cited insufficient evidence. Former President Asif Ali Zardari 16 June criticised military for overstepping its authority in Karachi, amid concerns about moves to oust Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sindh govt. Interior ministry 11 June reportedly ordered nine international NGOs to leave country within fifteen days; following pressure from U.S. and UK suspended order. Govt criticised as over 1,000 died in heatwave in Karachi.

Indonesia

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

President Widodo 4 June asked Papua governor to end controversial transmigration program which has relocated hundreds of thousands of Javanese to Papua since annexation in 1969; however minister for transmigration 7 June said transmigration will continue. Foreign ministry 22 June said govt never banned foreign media or tourists from covering/visiting Papua, 23 June said eight permits approved in past six months to foreign journalists. Govt 11 June announced plans to free dozens of political prisoners, launch infrastructure investment projects and confront serious unemployment problem in Papua. President Widodo 10 June selected army chief as next military chief, in apparent break with convention of rotating post between navy, air force and army.

Myanmar

  |  1 Jul 2015

Deteriorated

Negotiations on draft Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) deadlocked: leaders of armed groups meeting at 2-9 June summit declined to endorse NCA text that had been agreed by their negotiators and proposed twelve amendments (which would need to be negotiated with govt); decided that none of the sixteen armed groups would sign NCA unless all permitted to sign, and other groups (three of which currently fighting govt) should also be able to sign; and proposed current observers (UN, China and Japan) should be expanded to include ASEAN, U.S., UK, Norway, Thailand and India. Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) 11 June declared unilateral ceasefire following pressure from China, however fighting continued; govt has insisted that group must lay down its arms. Ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) 10 June proposed two constitutional amendment bills in parliament; one proposing changes to eligibility requirements for presidency and constitutional amendment procedure; other proposing changes to 30 sections. Parliament 25 June rejected most amendments in first bill, including one that would remove military’s veto power over other amendments. Govt started distributing new ID cards in Rakhine early June to replace Rakhine Muslims’ cancelled “white cards”; with green cards: first ID that does not force Rohingya to identify as “Bengalis,” no mention of ethnicity or religion; holders of these cards not on voter lists posted 22 June. Opposition leader Suu Kyi met Chinese President Xi and PM Li during visit to China from 10 June. Parliament 18 June passed amendment to education law omitting many demands of student protesters.

Philippines

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

House of Representatives postponed deadline for passing proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) from 11 June, when Congress entered recess, to Sept. Senate 9 June agreed to remove BBL’s contentious opt-in clause, expected to decrease resistance to BBL among lawmakers. Moro Islamic Liberation Front 16 June surrendered 75 assault weapons, retired 145 fighters during decommissioning ceremony; official decommissioning process to begin after BBL is passed. Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) 8 June clashed with military, blew up water pipeline in Basilan; 27,000 residents displaced. Suspected ASG 16 June detonated pipe bomb, followed by brief clash with security forces in Basilan; one soldier killed, eight wounded. Security forces 21 June arrested suspected ASG member in Zamboanga, seized explosives. Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacks continued in Maguindanao; four civilians reported killed in ambush 18 June, two soldiers killed 22 June.

Thailand

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

PM Prayuth Chan-ocha 4 June told National Legislative Assembly (NLA) he “would not rule out” National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) extending tenure for another two years, to ensure reform process is complete. Cabinet and NCPO 9 June approved seven amendments to 2014 interim charter, including allowing referendum on draft constitution; NLA 18 June approved amendments, paving way for referendum. Current Reform Council members will be eligible for the Reform Movement Council, a new body that will oversee reforms after constitution is promulgated. Police 23 June announced wrap-up of crackdown on human trafficking networks. Lt. Gen. Manas Kongpan, accused of trafficking Rohingya migrants, turned himself in to police 2 June. Police 26 June arrested fourteen students after they staged two days of anti-coup protests; military court issued warrants on charges of “violating national security”; students face seven years’ jail. Violence on rise in south: militants 3 June ambushed rangers in Yala, killing four; improvised explosive device (IED) 6 June wounded eight soldiers and civilian in Pattani; gunmen 9 June shot dead two Muslims in Narathiwat; gunmen 15 June killed police officer in Narathiwat.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

President Sirisena 26 June dissolved parliament and called elections for 17 Aug; followed deepening political deadlock and uncertainty, after months of negotiation for a 20th constitutional amendment establishing new mixed electoral system failed to reach consensus and threatened to shatter fragile coalition of parties and civil society organisations that backed Sirisena’s election. Public campaign in support of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s return as PM and rift within Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) strengthened, with pro-Mahinda rally 12 June attended by 75 parliamentarians; Sirisena 19 June reiterated that Rajapaksa will not be nominated as PM or MP. However, negotiations continue within SLFP and United Freedom People’s Alliance (UPFA) that it leads, with neither Sirisena nor Rajapaksa factions wanting to be blamed for splitting party and coalition as it faces strong challenge from United National Party, which has led minority govt since Sirisena’s January election. UN Resident Coordinator in Colombo 5 June announced plans to support range of govt reconciliation-related initiatives, including support to recently established Office of National Unity and Reconciliation and Northern Provincial Council and “quick impact resettlement initiatives” for north and east. FM 24 June said govt war crimes investigation, originally set to begin June, to be delayed until Sept in view of impending parliamentary elections. Global Tamil Forum 7-8 June hosted meeting in London with Sri Lankan FM and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to discuss confidence-building measures to strengthen reconciliation.

Nepal

  |  1 Jul 2015

Improved

Major political parties 8 June signed historic sixteen-point agreement on long-awaited constitution, which envisions eight federal provinces; hailed as “major milestone” by UNSG Ban, who called on leaders to implement agreement. Supreme Court (SC) 19 June ordered temporary halt to implementation of agreement, saying it violates provisions of interim constitution; parties criticised SC move as judicial intervention. Drafting Committee 29 June endorsed first draft of new constitution to be submitted to Constituent Assembly for deliberation; describes country as “secular, inclusive and multi-ethnic”.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

On tenth anniversary of Andijan massacre, U.S. urged govt to uphold domestic and international obligations on rights and religious freedom. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) flags reportedly hung in Bukhara early May; propaganda leaflets found late April in Parkent district, prompting anti-terrorist operation.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Media reports suggested military exercises being conducted in southern Lebap province on Afghan border. Following reported discussion with Austrian President Fischer on rights abuses during Vienna visit, President Berdymukhammedov 16 May granted amnesty to 1,200 prisoners. Parliament reportedly considering scrapping age limit for president; state media reported parliament speaker 29 May saying constitutional commission considering extending presidential term from five to seven years.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated

Former special forces (OMON) commander Gulmurod Khalimov, who disappeared 23 April, featured in Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) video 27 May saying he had joined group, criticising govt and threatening to bring jihad to Tajikistan. Amid growing concerns about intensified Taliban fighting in N Afghanistan near Tajik border, Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) sent 2,500 Rapid Reaction Force troops to border area for exercises 12-20 May. Court late April jailed ten alleged members of banned Islamic group in Sughd region.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Chinese President Xi first official visitor 7 May following President Nazarbayev’s landslide re-election in April; said China’s Silk Road economic belt program will incorporate Kazakhstan’s Nurly Zhol economic program, launched Nov 2014. Leaders travelled together to Moscow 8 May to mark Victory Day.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated

DPRK 8 May conducted submarine-launched ballistic missile ejection test, triggering alarm in Seoul, and conducted live-fire artillery exercises around NLL mid-May; evidence of expansion of Pyongyang’s satellite launch facilities also prompted concern, with DPRK media reporting that Kim Jong-un visited new satellite command and control centre close to his Pyongyang residence. ROK intelligence service reported late April purge and execution of KPA General Hyŏn Yŏng-ch’ŏl. KPA claimed seventeen ROK Navy patrol boats crossed into DPRK territorial waters on DPRK-claimed northern side of Military Demarcation Line Extended 1-7 May; KPA warned it would fire at ROK patrol boats if they were to enter “DPRK territorial waters”. U.S., ROK and Japan 27 May discussed how to raise pressure on DPRK to halt nuclear program. ROK Navy 19 May conducted live-fire missile exercise in Sea of Japan; together with coast guard conducted two-day defence drill around Tokto/Takeshima Islets. ROK military 26 May said DPRK is building artillery positions near inter-Korean sea border. DPRK 20 May said it is able to miniaturise nuclear weapons, a key step toward building nuclear missiles.

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CrisisWatch N°145

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