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CrisisWatch Database

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2191 results found
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Bangladesh

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Special anti-corruption court 19 March indicted Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia on charges dating from her last term as PM 2001-2006, could see her jailed for life; Zia’s son and political heir Tarique Rehman, currently in self-exile in London, also indicted. Zia rejected charges as politically motivated, vowed to restart protests to oust Awami League (AL) govt, prompting fears of renewed political tensions, violence. Zia’s trial due to start 21 April. Continued violence surrounding ongoing non-party upazila (local body) elections amid opposition allegations of rigging by AL and its supporters; at least 7 killed, hundreds injured in violence during 3rd and 4th round voting and during campaigning. In 15 March speech to Supreme Court Bar Association Zia urged opposition groups to launch movement against AL’s “killer and repressive government”. Following BNP-allied candidates’ lead in 1st and 2nd rounds, AL-affiliated candidates took lead following 3rd and 4th rounds. In continuing war crimes cases against Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, prosecution in case against Jamaat leader Motiur Rahman Nizami 12 March reiterated demand for death penalty. Govt minister 14 March announced that Jamaat would be banned by June 2014 for its role in 1971 war crimes. ICT set April date for decision on contempt of court proceedings against UK journalist David Bergman for criticising tribunal’s procedural flaws and biases towards prosecution in blog posts.

Philippines

  |  1 Apr 2014

Improved

Govt and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 27 March signed historic final peace deal Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), ending 40-year conflict in Mindanao region. Under deal, MILF to become political group, new autonomous Bangsamoro entity to be in place by 2016. Govt, MILF and observers stress remaining obstacles to implementing peace agreement including MILF disarmament, danger posed by potential spoilers including other rebel groups. New People’s Army (NPA) threatened to intensify attacks in S Mindanao after 2 Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA leaders arrested on charges including murder 22 March; 2 soldiers killed in NPA ambush in Lopez town, Quezon province 24 March. Military 13 March captured 4 suspected NPA rebels in Sorsogon, Bicol region. 16 injured in suspected NPA landmine explosion in Bansalan 2 March. Several abductions early month blamed on Abu Sayyaf group. Chinese Coast Guard 10 March prevented 2 Philippines vessels from reaching disputed Second Thomas Shoal in South China Sea (SCS). Philippines vessel 29 March delivered supplies, fresh troops to military outpost on shoal despite 2 Chinese Coast Guard ships trying to block its way. Manila 30 March submitted formal plea at UN tribunal in its case against China’s SCS claim; China said it would not accept international arbitration, urged return to bilateral talks to resolve dispute.

Thailand

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Constitutional Court 21 March ruled 2 Feb general election invalid because it was not held in all constituencies on same day. PM’s Sec Gen 19 March said nullification would be acceptable if new elections, with Democrat Party (DP) participation, could be arranged quickly; DP stated prior to ruling it would not participate in immediate rerun, continues to demand reform before election. Following ruling, anti-govt protest marches resumed in Bangkok. DP, anti-govt activists continue to file petitions with courts and independent agencies, seeking removal of PM Yingluck and caretaker govt. Yingluck appeared before National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) 31 March to answer charges of dereliction of duty for failing to halt alleged corruption in govt’s rice-pledging scheme. Red-Shirt leaders mobilised several thousand supporters in NE early month, attempting to form volunteer “democracy-protection force” to confront any move to remove caretaker govt. Change in leadership of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship mid-month also indicating more combative stance in preparation for widely anticipated ouster of govt. Banners urging formation of separate Lanna state in north displayed in Chiang Mai, Phayao provinces early March; army adopted hard line on alleged northern separatism. Political violence decreased following anti-govt People’s Democratic Reform Committee 28 Feb announcement of end to “shut down” Bangkok rallies, but regular night-time grenade and shooting attacks continued in Bangkok and upcountry. Insurgent attacks continued in southernmost provinces, with civilian and security-force casualties.

Myanmar

  |  1 Apr 2014

Risk Alert

Controversial UN/donor-backed census began 30 March amid fears of intercommunal violence in Rakhine state, as Rakhine nationalists threatened to boycott census over issue of people being allowed to self-identify ethnicity as Rohingya; called off boycott after govt 29 March decided to prevent people self-identifying as Rohingya. Protests in Rakhine state mid-month against census, escalated to attacks on offices and homes of international humanitarian workers 26-27 March; 1 bystander killed by police warning shot; some 100 humanitarian staff evacuated to Yangon. Commission established by President Thein Sein to investigate allegations of killings of Rohingya villagers in Du Chee Yar Tan village in Maungdaw submitted report to President 28 Feb, finding no evidence to support allegations; also recommended addressing status of Rohingya in Rakhine State, granting citizenship to those who meet criteria under restrictive 1982 law. President late Feb, responding to letter with over 1 million signatures received from monk-led campaign, requested legislature to consider enacting legislation that would restrict inter-faith marriage, conversion from one religion to another, polygamy and number of children, likely to be targeted at Muslim/Rohingya communities. President 7 March appointed commission charged with drafting 2 bills on conversion and balancing population by 30 June; requested legislature to take lead on drafting the other 2 bills, in consultation with Supreme Court. Moves prompted condemnation by rights groups. Govt peace negotiators and armed group representatives met in Yangon 9-10 March, reached agreement to work on consolidated ceasefire accord text, established joint drafting group comprising 9 members from ethnic armed groups and 9 from govt (3 each from executive, legislature and military). President met with Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyitaw 9 March, 5th formal meeting.

Pakistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Militant attacks continued as talks between govt and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) revived: TTP 1 March announced month-long ceasefire; bombs targeting polio vaccination workers’ convoy killed 11 police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province same day; 3 March suicide attack on Islamabad court killed at least 11, injured 24, TTP splinter group Ahrar-ul-Hind claimed responsibility. Ahrar-ul-Hind bombing 14 March targeting Frontier Corps van in Quetta and market in Peshawar killed at least 18 civilians. Reconstituted govt negotiating team met TTP committee 14 March in FATA: TTP demanded release of 300 non-combatants, creation of free travel “peace zone” in S Waziristan. Govt and TTP held direct talks in N Waziristan 26 March. TTP 30 March announced ceasefire extended beyond 31 March. Interior minister 2 March said govt will halt air strikes on terrorist hideouts; defence minister Khawaja Asif 7 March warned strikes will resume if insurgent attacks continue. Madrasa students in Sindh’s Larkana district 15 March burned Hindu temple after alleged act of blasphemy by Hindu community member. 10 March UN report called for independent investigations of drone attacks in Pakistan. Former President Musharraf formally indicted for high treason 31 March.

Nepal

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly (CA) 21 March approved regulations paving way for constitution-drafting process. Leaders of Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-UML) and UCPN-Maoist 25 March agreed to form High-Level Political Committee to prepare new constitution; 27 March agreed on roadmap to facilitate constitution-writing process. CPN-UML 23 March decided to exert pressure on govt and Election Commission to hold local elections by mid-June.

Indonesia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Taliban denied responsibility for 26 Feb killing of 3 Turkmen border guards, said it was a set-up by Afghan govt. Turkmenistan reportedly stepped up patrols in border towns, sent reservists for training on border at Serhetabat, important outpost for Russian logistics during Soviet-Afghan war. Govt refrained from commenting on Russian actions in Ukraine.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Chair of Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matvienko visited Dushanbe 12-13 March, reportedly discussed migration, political-military cooperation and border issues with President Rahmon. Matvienko reiterated Russia will help Tajikistan strengthen borders ahead of Afghan presidential elections and NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. Russian FM Lavrov early March praised Tajikistan for hosting Russia’s 201st military base. Govt refrained from commenting on Russian actions in Ukraine. Parliament considering changing legislative basis of how Tajikistan is governed by doing away with regions, re-organising country as a single unit.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Amid uncertainty over regional response to Russian actions in Ukraine, President Nazarbayev fielded series of phone calls with U.S., Russian, German, UK leaders 10-14 March. Foreign ministry initially voiced respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international law, but govt 18 March recognised as legitimate results of 16 March referendum in Crimea, regarded Russian actions “with understanding”. EU decided to discontinue post of Special Representative for Central Asia as of 28 Feb.

Kashmir

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Protests erupted in Jammu and Kashmir after security forces killed teenager in Srinagar 14 March; govt imposed curfew, arrested separatist leaders including Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik. PM Sharif 24 March asked for U.S. assistance to settle Kashmir dispute in meeting with Sec State Kerry. Tensions over normalisation of bilateral trade ties continued. Security forces killed 3 suspected militants in Kathua following 28 March terror attack that killed 2.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Exchange of fire across disputed western sea border between ROK and DPRK 31 March after latter fired 500 artillery shells near Northern Limit Line (NLL) with 100 rounds falling south of NLL. ROK retuned 300 rounds into disputed waters. Earlier in month DPRK launched rockets and missiles into Sea of Japan, including 9 short-range missiles 3-4 March, 46 rockets 22-23 March, 2 medium-range Nodong missiles 26 March. Nodong launches, first since 2009, occurred hours after trilateral U.S.-Japan-ROK summit. UNSC condemned launches, ROK urged DPRK to refrain from provocative actions. DPRK 30 March threatened to carry out “new form of nuclear test”. DPRK leader Kim Jong-un 9 March won first Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) elections under his rule with 100% of vote. Chinese FM Wang Yi 8 March called for resumption of six-party talks, declared “red line” on DPRK saying war or chaos on peninsula is unacceptable. Chinese nuclear envoy 17 March visited DPRK, first visit by Chinese official since Dec purge of Chang Sŏng-t’aek. U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi 25 March disagreed over when to resume six-party talks. Japan, DPRK resumed high-level talks over normalisation of relations, abductions of Japanese citizens 30-31 March. UN DPRK sanctions committee 11 March reported DPRK circumventing sanctions.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

UN Human Rights Council (HRC) 27 March passed resolution with 23 yes votes (12 opposed, 3 abstained) criticising Sri Lanka govt for impunity for rights violations and lack of reconciliation; established investigation by OHCHR into alleged war crimes by govt and LTTE. Govt won easy victory in western and southern provincial council elections 29 March, though with reduced majorities; President Rajapaksa, other govt candidates used HRC process and threat of “international intervention” to win votes, sharply criticised Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for supporting HRC resolution. Govt launched military and police crackdown in N and E, alleging attempt to revive LTTE; increased pressure on human rights activists and NGOs, accused of propagating “false information” to tarnish govt’s image internationally. 6 activists arrested, others threatened mid-March; 2 activists held 48 hours under Prevention of Terrorism Act released 16 March following international outcry. Govt 7 March suspended excavation of mass grave outside Mannar following excavation of over 80 bodies.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt coalition collapsed 18 March when Ata-Meken pulled out; President’s Social Democratic Party, Ar-Namys and Ata-Meken 31 March agreed to form new coalition. Opposition grouping pulled together by pro-Western independent MP Ravshan Jeenbekov held first conference; leading opposition figures former mayor of Osh Melis Myrzakmatov and Ata-Jurt leader Kamchybek Tashiev did not attend. Former FM Alikbek Jekshenkulov denied involvement in Jeenbekov’s movement. Jeenbekov denied allegations he obtained funds from U.S. govt. Govt late Feb set up new force under interior ministry to deal with pubic unrest. Bishkek police early March outlined formation of local militias to guarantee law and order in event of public unrest. Kyrgyz and Tajik govts reportedly discussing possible land exchanges to resolve longstanding border disputes; following Jan closures, some border checkpoints reportedly reopening. Govt ended right to sit final school exams in Uzbek language, contradicting positive rhetoric on seeking to improve relations with 14% ethnic minority population. Govt 11 March said ousted Ukrainian President Yanukovych not Ukrainian president, 20 March recognised as legitimate results of 16 March referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Uzbekistan 4 and 28 March urged Ukraine’s territorial integrity to be respected. Govt made changes to constitution seemingly devolving more powers to PM’s office and creating more reporting procedures between regional and central govt; observers dismissed changes as window dressing that will not impact govt practices. In interview with U.S. Central Command-funded news website, Uzbek security official claimed there are 5,000 IMU members in Afghanistan, group still aims to penetrate Uzbek borders; said some 7,000 people detained or under surveillance because of suspected links to IMU. Socio-economic conditions continue to worsen with inflation running high on food items and gas, electricity price hikes due 1 April.

Philippines

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Ahead of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between govt and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) planned for March, MILF protested after police 23 Feb arrested Wahid Tundok, key MILF commander wanted on murder and other charges; MILF claim Tundok immune under ceasefire agreement. Tundok released 25 Feb after court rescinded arrest warrant. MILF commander Yusoph Kusain killed by police in Maguindanao 17 Feb during attempt to arrest him. Military 2 Feb announced completion of 8-day operation against Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, rebel splinter group opposed to govt-MILF peace deal. MILF and Moro National Liberation Fron (MNLF) clashed in Carmen town, N Cotabato 20 Feb, reportedly over land. 5 injured in Zamboanga City 2 Feb after unknown attackers threw grenade into church; Abu Sayyaf Group suspected. Govt reported it was working with Norwegian govt on possibility of reopening peace talks with communist insurgents. Govt 25 Feb formally protested 27 Jan firing of water cannon by Chinese vessel at Filipino fishermen near disputed Scarborough Shoa.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Following Jan tensions along Kyrgyz-Tajik border, countries attempted to resolve border demarcation issues around Tajik enclave Vorukh diplomatically with 2 rounds of talks 31 Jan and 14 Feb, but with little progress. Tajik side announced land corridor joining Vorukh to Tajikistan would be created, Kyrgyz side denied; next high-level meeting due March. Points of contention reportedly include disagreement over what Soviet era agreements and maps should be used as basis of negotiation. CSTO head 20 Feb said situation along Tajik-Kyrgyz border had improved, however intercommunal violence simmering around Vorukh enclave with series of incidents ratcheting up tensions between ethnic Tajiks and Kyrgyz in area. Border troops 23 Jan killed 11 alleged Uighur separatists in remote valley in east. Men reportedly entered from China’s Xinjiang province, armed with knives and rifle but no ammunition, said to have murdered Kyrgyz national who apprehended them; authorities claim they were planning to carry out terror attacks in Karakol or Bishkek, refused to surrender. New opposition coalition formed with aim of overthrowing President Atambayev, bridging north-south divide: includes Ata-Jurt and former Osh mayor. MPs early Feb approved memo on new ownership structure of Kumtor gold mine, proposing equal stake by Kyrgyzstan and Canadian partner in new joint company until 2026. Russia and Kyrgystan 19 Feb signed preliminary agreement for Russia to take control of Manas airport. Authorities 17 Feb announced 6 alleged members of terrorist ring, some trained in Syria, arrested in Osh.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

National bank 11 Feb unexpectedly devalued currency 19%, prompting series of small protests with some arrests, panic buying, run on 3 banks, expectations of price increases. Move generated much public criticism; govt blocked internet petition calling for President Nazarbayev to resign. Column of military vehicles including armoured personal carriers appeared in Almaty 13 Feb; defence ministry said it was test drive. SMS messaging services and apps unavailable same day, observers speculated test of blocking equipment. In 13 Feb media interview Nazarbayev did not rule out seeking presidency again in 2016. In parliament 14 Feb Nazarbayev defended currency devaluation, ordered govt to monitor and control prices for consumer goods and exchange bureaus; threatened to dismiss govt if they fail to attract foreign investment; said pensions and student stipends will be increased by 14% and 10% as of April; also called on 3 major firms to increase salaries 10%.

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Media reported deputy FM met with Afghan clerics linked to Taliban, suggesting Ashgabat may be seeking to rekindle accord it had with Afghanistan during 1990s. 3 border guards reportedly killed by Taliban in NW province Baghdis 26 Feb.

“The Achilles heel of Central Asian security”, RFE/RL, 16 Feb. 2014. 

Pakistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Govt 6 Feb restarted talks with militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP); talks suspended 17 Feb after TTP revealed 23 Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers held since 2010 executed. Govt 18 Feb set unconditional ceasefire as requirement for continuation of negotiations; TTP 21 Feb said prepared to talk if military operations end, 26 Feb fully rejected proposal. At least 100 killed, including civilians, in series of govt airstrikes targeting insurgent bases in N Waziristan and Khyber Agency 20-25 Feb. Senior army officer killed 18 Feb in TTP attack. Taliban leader Mawlawi Abdul Raqib assassinated 17 Feb in Peshawar. Sectarian violence continued: Shia scholar Haji Sardar Ali shot dead by TTP 4 Feb in Peshawar; 9 Shia killed, 50 injured by bomb in Peshawar 5 Feb; gunmen 10 Feb attacked Sufi religious gathering in Karachi, killed 8. Militant extremists 2 Feb issued ultimatum to minority Kalash “kafirs” threatening attacks if they do not convert to Islam. 8 killed in 16 Feb train bombing between Peshawar and Karachi, Baloch radicals claimed responsibility.

Thailand

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated

Month saw wave of political violence in Bangkok and several provinces, with several killed, dozens injured during month, rhetoric growing more heated on both sides. General election took place with relatively little incident 2 Feb despite opposition Democratic Party (DP) boycott, with 47.72% turnout. Anti-govt protesters succeeded in stopping/disrupting polling in over 10% of polling stations, voting partially/completely cancelled in 18 provinces, preventing formation of govt; PM Yingluck’s caretaker govt and election commission at odds over when and how to complete election. People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and affiliated groups consolidated main protest sites early Feb, number of protesters dwindled. Deadly attacks on PDRC rallies and other political targets continued, including 6 injured in gunfight between protesters and pro-election Red Shirts in Lak Si district, Bangkok 1 Feb; 1 policeman, 4 protesters killed, 64 people injured in clashes after police attempted to disperse protesters in Bangkok 18 Feb; 30 injured, 3 killed in attack on PDRC rally in Trat 22 Feb; 3 killed, 21 injured in 23 Feb explosion at protest site in Bangkok. Around 20 grenades exploded near PDRC’s Lumpini Park stage 25 Feb, at least 2 injured. 2 grenades fired at Centre for Maintenance of Peace and Order 26 Feb, no injuries. Yingluck’s caretaker govt under increasing pressure from courts, independent watchdog agencies. Constitutional Court 12 Feb dismissed petition by DP to annul 2 Feb poll; same day rejected request by Yingluck’s Pheu Thai Party to charge PDRC with violating constitution. Bangkok Court 19 Feb stripped govt of authority under Emergency Decree to use force against protesters. National Anti-Corruption Commission 18 Feb resolved to charge Yingluck with malfeasance, abuse of power in connection with rice-pledging scheme; Yingluck sent legal team to hear charges. Army 26 Feb set up 176 positions near protest sites and some govt agencies in Bangkok. PDRC 28 Feb announced end to “shutdown Bangkok” rallies, plan to open 4 major intersections and consolidate protests at Lumpini Park from 3 March. Amid deteriorating situation in Bangkok militants in southernmost provinces stepping up attacks; 3 Feb murder of 3 young Muslim brothers in Narathiwat Province, which locals blamed on state-supported vigilantes, sparked series of reprisal killings of civilians by militants.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

PM Sheikh Hasina consolidated new govt following Jan re-election of her Awami League (AL) party; opposition street protests subsided, reflecting apparent loss of appetite domestically, international pressure on opposition BNP. Following its boycott of Jan elections, BNP decided to contest upazila (local body) polls, technically a non-party election; achieved significant lead over other parties in 1st and 2nd phase of polls 20, 27 Feb. Some violence during polls; 1 AL activist killed following clash between AI and BNP supporters in Chaugachla, 1 killed after police fired on Jamaat-e-Islami supporters in Sonaimuri. 2 main parties yet to enter into talks to improve relations despite international pressure; BNP top party committee passed resolution 6 Feb calling govt and 10th parliament illegal and unconstitutional. 30 Jan sentencing of 14 men, mostly with links to opposition parties, to death for involvement in 2004 arms smuggling case, further aggravated BNP-AL tensions. Audio tape purportedly from al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri mid-Feb called on Bangladesh’s Muslims to wage “intifada” and “massive public uprising in defence of Islam against enemies of Islam”; citing police action against May 2013 Islamist rally charged that “massacre of Muslims is being carried out”. AL MP 16 Feb accused BNP and ally Jamaat-e-Islami of maintaining ties to al-Qaeda; BNP strongly refuted, accusing govt of “suicidal ploy to divide the nation and the people for its own political interests”. Jamaat and Islamist umbrella group Hefajet-e-Islam also denied links to al-Qaeda. Cabinet 17 Feb approved 5-year extension of speedy trial bill, which has seen due process subverted in high-profile cases against Jamaat and its allies, aggravating tensions between the 2 main parties.

Myanmar

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

UN 23 Jan stated it had credible information of killings of at least 48 Rohingya in N Rakhine State, in connection with apparent killing of police officer by villagers. Govt “strongly objected” to claims; 2 out of 3 national investigations arranged by govt failed to find evidence of Rohingya killings, 3rd yet to report. Govt reportedly suspended operations of Médecins Sans Frontières in Rakhine state, saying NGO was biased in favour of Rohingya minority. Rights NGO Fortify Rights issued report citing evidence of govt discrimination against Rohingya. 2 political leaders from Rakhine Buddhist community allegedly victims of assassination attempt 7 Feb while visiting Malaysia. 20-25 Jan conference of nearly all ethnic armed groups at Karen National Union HQ reached agreement on common position in negotiations with govt on nationwide ceasefire accord; formal negotiations between ethnic armed groups and govt currently scheduled mid-March. Clash broke out between army and Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) 10 Feb near KIO’s Laiza HQ, most serious in several months. Constitutional Review Joint Committee submitted report to legislature 31 Jan; new 31-member “Implementation Committee for Amendment of the Constitution” established 3 Feb, tasked with making specific recommendations for constitutional change including draft bill with proposed new constitutional language. Speaker 18 Feb issued instructions to committee indicating it should complete tasks at least 6 months before 2015 elections. Authorities early Feb arrested several journalists and editor of local Unity journal, charged them under Official Secrets Act for publishing article about alleged military chemical weapons factory. Alliance of main ethnic political parties 2 Feb issued statement calling for review of how census planned for late-March will be conducted, particularly system of classifying ethnic identity.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Presidential election campaign began 2 Feb, first televised debate held 4 Feb with 5 out of 11 candidates. Taliban 18 Feb attacked presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s convoy in Surobi, Kabul; 2 elections campaigners killed in Herat 1 Feb. Govt 13 Feb released 65 Bagram prison detainees despite U.S. objections; President Karzai accused U.S. of not respecting Afghan sovereignty. Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S. still unsigned; NATO Sec Gen 20 Feb said Karzai’s successor likely to sign deal. U.S. President Obama 25 Feb informed Karzai plans underway for full U.S. troop withdrawal by end 2014; NATO 27 Feb agreed to plan for all options, including full withdrawal. Hezb-i-Islami suicide bomb attack in Kabul killed 2 NATO contractors 10 Feb; 2 U.S. troops killed, 4 injured 12 Feb in attack in E Kapisa province. Roadside bomb 9 Feb killed 7 Afghan soldiers in Farah province. Taliban killed 21 Afghan soldiers, kidnapped 7 after storming army outpost in Kunar 24 Jan. Karzai 17 Feb ordered last-minute changes to domestic abuse law after pressure from Western, Afghan women’s rights activists.

Nepal

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

10 Feb elected Sushil Koirala of Nepali Congress (NC) new PM with 405 out of 601 votes after political parties failed to agree on consensus PM. Koirala 25 Feb formed cabinet, 10 members each from NC and main coalition partner Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-UML), latter awarded home and foreign ministries. CPN-UML’s Subash Chandra Nembang elected CA chair 18 Feb; appointment supported by NC.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

In ongoing public battle between President Karimov’s daughter Gulnara Karimova and powerful head of National Security Service (SNB) Rustam Inoyatov, president’s chief of security Muidjon Tokhiri 17 Feb led raid on Karimova’s apartment, arrested 3 close associates. 10 close associates reportedly being investigated including for involvement in forgery, illegal business activities, money laundering, tax evasion and concealment of foreign currency. Karimova and her daughter, a U.S. citizen, were in apartment when raid happened; Karimova claims she is under house arrest. Umbrella organisation of opposition groups in exile calling for armed struggle against Karimov.

“Birdamlik leader on the split in power in Uzbekistan and Gulnara Karimova”, Uznews, 26 Feb. 2014. 

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

U.S. 1 Feb officially announced intention to table resolution at March UN HRC calling for Sri Lankan govt to “do more to promote reconciliation, democratic governance, justice and accountability”; resolution expected to call for international inquiry into war crimes allegations. EU Foreign Affairs Council 10 Feb confirmed support for accountability efforts, including independent investigation. UN OHCHR report to HRC 24 Feb called for “independent, international inquiry mechanism” into allegations of war crimes by govt and LTTE forces; govt rejected report as “unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state”. Senior govt delegation 19 Feb visited newly appointed South African special envoy to Sri Lanka in Pretoria to discuss reconciliation issues. Govt using HRC process to bolster support in western and southern provincial council elections scheduled for 29 March. Main opposition United National Party (UNP) 13 Feb announced support for domestic war crimes inquiry, criticised govt human rights and governance record. Over 80 bodies recovered in past 2 months from mass grave outside northern town Mannar.

Indonesia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Diplomatic dispute with Australia continued as evidence emerged that Australia spied on U.S. law firm representing Indonesian govt on trade talks. Security forces reportedly shot dead separatist rebel in Papua 2 Feb, arrested 11 others. Aceh provincial administration 7 Feb approved law obliging all Aceh residents, including non-Muslims, to follow sharia law.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

DPRK and ROK held first high-level talks in 7 years 12-14 Feb in P’anmunjŏm border village; reaffirmed plans for family reunions that took place 20-25 Feb in DPRK’s Mt. Kŭmgang resort. U.S. Sec State Kerry visited Seoul 13-14 Feb to discuss DPRK policies, during Beijing visit urged China to exert greater pressure on DPRK; China reiterated commitment to denuclearisation “through peaceful dialogue”. U.S. and ROK 24 Feb commenced annual multinational simulation exercise Key Resolve and large-scale joint and combined field exercises Foal Eagle; DPRK 27 Feb fired 4 short-range missiles into sea off east coast. UN Commission of Inquiry 17 Feb released report on DPRK human rights abuses, in letter to Kim Jung-un warned him of possible prosecution at ICC; DPRK and China rejected report findings. Satellite images showed DPRK has expanded primary its Sŏhae Satellite Launching Station creating potential ability to launch larger rockets.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Govt in talks with Kyrgyzstan over border tensions that erupted Jan (see Kyrgyzstan). Tajik and Russian FMs 6 Feb signed protocol on Russian 201st military base in Tajikistan, following over a year of negotiations. Amid continued Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) attempts to reinforce Tajik-Afghan border with military equipment transfers, CSTO head in Dushanbe for talks with President Rahmon 19 Feb. Senior U.S. diplomat visited Tajikistan late Feb to discuss bilateral cooperation, Afghanistan. 4 men in northern district Istaravshan, Sughd province, reportedly arrested late Jan on suspicion of being members of outlawed religious extremist group Jamaat Ansarullah.

“Tajiks claim travel to Kyrgyzstan hindered”, IWPR, 4 Feb. 2014. 

Kashmir

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade resumed after Pakistan and India 12 Feb agreed to release stranded trucks and drivers, following 17 Jan detention of Pakistani truck driver for alleged drug smuggling. Indian trade minister cancelled planned attendance at India Trade Show in Lahore mid-Feb amid concerns about operationalisation of Jan trade pact to grant liberalised trade status by end-Feb. Protests broke out in Kupwara region after Indian army 24 Feb killed 7 civilians mistaken for rebels; strike in Kashmir Valley 28 Feb. 2 Hizbul Mujahideen Indian separatist group members killed 13 Feb in encounter with security forces in Sophian, S Kashmir.

Philippines

  |  1 Feb 2014

Improved

Govt and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 25 Jan announced agreement on 4th and final annex of Oct 2012 govt-MILF Framework Agreement for Muslim-majority areas in south. Annex on normalisation of security details disarming of 11,000-strong rebel force and creation of security force for area, paves way for final comprehensive peace agreement to be signed, ending 4 decades of conflict. Includes amnesty/pardon for MILF rebels convicted of rebellion-related charges. At least 2 rebels killed in clashes in S Maguindanao 27 Jan between govt forces and fighters from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), one of several groups opposing govt-MILF deal. Police trying to arrest group leader came under fire 26 Jan. Govt reported around 40 rebels killed in late-Jan offensive, BIFF denied deaths. 2 explosions in Basilan province 26 Jan, at least 3 wounded. Military 20 Jan reported seizure of 44 IEDs from suspected leftist rebels in Agusan del Sur province.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Amid moves to consolidate Kim Jong-un’s control following Dec execution of his uncle Chang Sŏng-t’aek, reports emerged Chang’s extended family also executed in Dec. Kim’s New Year message referred to uncle’s purge, economy, called for improved inter-Korean relations. DPRK 16 Jan referred to annual U.S.-ROK combined military drills planned Feb-April as prelude to war, 17 Jan called on ROK to end “all acts of provocation and slander”. ROK President Park 18 Jan ordered “airtight security” against DPRK. DPRK 24 Jan sent open letter to ROK calling for reconciliation and end to hostile acts; ROK asked DPRK to prove sincerity through action. DPRK 24 Jan accepted ROK’s proposal to reschedule cancelled family reunions, but failed to respond to ROK’s proposed dates of 17-22 Feb. ROK completed live-fire exercise on 2 north-western islands without incident despite DPRK warnings. ROK 15 Jan approved $400,000 in private humanitarian assistance to DPRK. U.S. announced sending 800 more troops, 40 battle tanks and armoured vehicles to ROK in Feb. After months of negotiations ROK agreed to pay $866mn for maintenance of U.S. troops in ROK as part of new Burden Sharing Agreement, 5.8% increase over 2013.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

French court 9 Jan approved extradition of fugitive Kazakh banker and opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov to Russia or Ukraine; Ablyzov, accused of embezzling $6bn from BTA Bank, said accusations politically motivated. Human Rights Watch 9 Jan warned Ablyazov “at serious risk of ill-treatment”, likely to be denied fair trial if returned to Kazakhstan. FM 20 Jan said Kazakhstan to step up financial, political commitments to Afghanistan to counter security threats after withdrawal of NATO troops.

Kashmir

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Tensions on Line of Control (LoC) lessened following Dec discussions between senior Indian and Pakistani military officials on restoring 2003 ceasefire, fewer clashes. Pakistan described as “provocative and regrettable” 13 Jan remarks of newly-appointed Indian army Chief General Bikram Singh admitting killing of 10 Pakistani soldiers in retaliatory fire across LoC in Dec, and warnings that India would retaliate in same way against further ceasefire violations. Gen Singh also ruled out withdrawing army from Indian-administered Kashmir or repealing controversial Armed Forces Special Power Act. Pakistani troops reportedly violated ceasefire 26 Jan; Indian troops did not retaliate. Pakistani and Indian commerce ministers 18 Jan agreed on measures including uninterrupted trade across Wagah/Attari border and more liberal visa policy for businessmen; Pakistan promised to grant India Non-Discriminatory Market Access by late Feb, instead of more controversial Most Favoured Nation status.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Sharp deterioration in relations with Kyrgyzstan following violent clashes at border (see Kyrgyzstan).   

Indonesia

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Diplomatic relations with Australia further strained as Indonesia moved warships to border after Australian apologised for inadvertent incursions into Indonesian waters while carrying out border control policy. Authorities reported anti-terror police foiled planned bomb attack in Surabaya, E Java 20 Jan, arrested 2 suspected members of Central Sulawesi-based terrorist cell led by fugitive leader Santoso; also shot dead 6 suspected terrorists linked to Santoso’s group in raid near Jakarta 31 Dec. Court jailed Sigit Indrajit, arrested ahead of May 2013 foiled Myanmar embassy plot, for 7.5 years. Govt 28 Jan reported it was finalising draft revision to 2001 Papua Special Autonomy Law, met with Papua and W Papua governors. 1 soldier, 3 guerillas killed in security operation in Puncak Jaya 24 Jan.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Tensions at Kyrgyz-Tajik border escalated as 11 Jan clashes between border forces left several guards on both sides injured, prompted both countries to send additional troops to area. Clashes reportedly broke out over Kyrgyzstan’s construction of new road through disputed border territory in Ferghana Valley that would bypass Tajik enclave Vorukh. Kygyzstan reported Tajik border troops fired mortars, rocket-propelled grenades to hit transformer station, water pump inside Kyrgyz territory, claimed attack premeditated; Tajikistan alleged Kyrgyz border guards fired first. Kyrgyzstan reportedly closed all border crossing points to Tajikistan, 14 Jan withdrew ambassador. Folllowing talks countries agreed to withdraw additional troops from disputed area late Jan; vice PMs met in Bishkek 30 Jan. Former Osh mayor Melis Myrzakmatov 15 Jan lost ballot in Osh city council against pro-presidential candidate Aitmamat Kadyrbaev. Myrzakmatov said elections “held completely unfairly, completely unlawfully”; addressing 15 Jan mass rally of supporters vowed to start “real political struggle” soon. Close ally of President Atambayev appointed mayor of Bishkek 15 Jan; was only candidate in elections.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Taliban attack on restaurant in Kabul 17 Jan killed at least 21, including 13 foreigners, among them IMF country head and 4 UN staff members, in worst attack on foreign civilians since 2001. Taliban attacks continued: suicide bombers 4 Jan attacked NATO HQ in Shinwar district, killed 1; assault on NATO base outside Kandahar 20 Jan killed 1; suicide bomber detonated bomb next to police bus in Kabul 12 Jan, injuring 6 police. National Directorate of Security 8 Jan reportedly averted assassination attempt on deputy director, arrested 3 suspects. Internal political pressure on President Karzai to sign Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S. continued; tensions between U.S. and Afghanistan increased 25 Jan when Karzai said would not sign deal unless peace talks with Taliban restarted. Karzai 9 Jan defied U.S. by authorising release of 72 prisoners from former U.S.-run Bagram prison.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

U.S. Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp visited 6-11 Jan, travelled extensively in north; media reported Rapp promised TNA and other Tamil leaders that U.S. will introduce resolution at March UNHRC meeting calling for international investigation into alleged 2009 war crimes. Rapp and U.S. Ambassador Michele Sisson 9 Jan posted photo of school playground to Twitter, said “site of killing of hundreds of families by army shelling”; U.S. embassy confirmed post was official U.S. govt statement. Officials and pro-govt media reacted angrily but govt declined to protest remark officially. UK 16 Jan reiterated commitment to backing international investigation if govt fails to initiate credible and independent inquiry by March. Presidential secretary late-Jan travelled to Geneva and Washington to present reported progress in implementing recommendations of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). Over 50 skeletons recovered from mass grave discovered late Dec in Mannar district dating from late 1990s to 2004; contradictory reports over whether area under LTTE or Sri Lankan security forces control during period. No improvement in tense relations between Northern Provincial Council and central govt despite 4 Jan promise by President Rajapaksa to Northern Province chief minister to appoint new chief secretary to council. Radical Buddhist groups led by monks 12 Jan attacked at least 3 evangelical Christian churches in Hikkaduwa.

 

Nepal

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Newly elected Constituent Assembly (CA) members sworn in 21 Jan, 2 months after elections, amid sit-in protest by 3 dozen UCPN-Maoist MPs; party leaders 22 Jan vowed to draw up new constitution within year. Differences between Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) concerning new presidential elections resolved after Supreme Court 24 Jan ruled interim president could remain in place until constitution formation. Leading party NC started negotiations on power sharing and distributing key CA posts with runner-up in elections CPN-UML. President Yadav 26 Jan pressed political parties to form consensus govt in 7 days. Sushil Koirala seen as most likely next PM following appointment as NC leader 26 Jan. Supreme Court 3 Jan ruled serious human rights violations may not be covered by amnesties in future truth and reconciliation commission.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

President Karimov 14 Jan pledged to boost defence capabilities in response to increasing regional tensions, particularly after withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan; said drawdown posed serious threat to Uzbekistan and region.

Myanmar

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Karen National Union armed group delegation met with President Thein Sein and commander-in-chief in Naypyitaw 5 Jan to discuss plans for meeting between govt and all armed groups in Karen State capital Hpa-an, now scheduled 20 Feb. Allegations emerged 15 Jan of massacre by authorities and local Rakhine Buddhist villagers of Rohingya villagers several days earlier in remote part of N Rakhine State; govt denied. Major meeting of thousands of Buddhist monks in Mandalay 15 Jan resolved to push for adoption of law restricting inter-faith marriage, ban on MPs not from recognized national race. President 2 Jan issued pardon reducing prison sentences for all detainees; 13,274 inmates released including some political prisoners; estimated 33 political prisoners remain. Following end-Dec deadline for public submissions, Constitutional Review Joint Committee announced it had received some 300,000 suggestions for amendment of 2008 constitution; due to report to legislative speaker end-Jan. President 2 Jan backed appropriate changes to section 59(f) which sets out requirements for presidential candidates, though unclear on specific language and whether this would allow Aung San Suu Kyi to be a presidential candidate. Myanmar formally took over as ASEAN Chair for 2014.

Thailand

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Political turmoil intensified as People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) 13 Jan began series of protests aiming to “shut down Bangkok”, stepping up efforts to overthrow PM Yingluck’s caretaker govt and force cancellation of 2 Feb general election; further violence anticipated on election day. Protest-related violence increased, including 1 killed, 35 injured in grenade attack on PDRC march 17 Jan; dozens injured by 2 grenades at PDRC’s Victory Monument protest site 19 Jan. Govt imposed state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces beginning 22 Jan. Amid deteriorating security, pressure growing on govt to delay poll, including repeated calls from Election Commission. Constitutional Court 24 Jan ruled govt could postpone poll; govt 28 Jan said election will take place as scheduled. Anti-govt protesters 26 Jan turned out at polling stations to prevent people from advance voting; protest leader and former New Politics Party politician Suthin Tharatinwas shot dead outside polling station in SE Bangkok. United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (main Red Shirt organisation) 26 Jan said Red Shirts will enter Bangkok within hours if election is postponed. Ongoing violence in southernmost provinces included: 1 ranger killed, 5 injured in 2 bomb attacks in Narathiwat Province 21 Jan; Buddhist monk, ranger and civilian killed in 2 separate attacks in Pattani province 24 Jan; IED blast killed 2 police and injured 3 in Than To District, Yala same day.

Pakistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Militant attacks intensified: 19 Jan suicide bomb attack on military convoy in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killed at least 20 soldiers and injured 30; suicide attack next to Pakistan's military HQ in Rawalpindi 20 Jan killed at least 14, including 7 soldiers; 3 polio vaccination workers killed in Karachi 21 Jan; at least 3 security personnel killed in Karachi 29 Jan. Awami National Party member killed 12 Jan in Peshawar; 6 killed in attempted attack on prominent PML-N member in Swat same day; senior Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf member shot dead in Lahore 11 Jan; senior counter-terrorism official killed in Taliban attack in Karachi 9 Jan. Growing pressure on PM Sharif to take action against Pakistani Taliban. Pakistani airstrikes in N Waziristan 20-21 Jan killed 40 including 4 Taliban leaders. Sharif 29 Jan reiterated commitment to initiate dialogue with Taliban. Sectarian violence continued in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Gunmen 4 Jan killed 2 senior members of Sunni extremist group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat in Islamabad. 15-year-old killed 5 Jan in Hangu preventing suicide bomber’s attack on his school in Shia-majority neighbourhood; 29 Shia pilgrims killed 21 Jan after Lashkar-e-Jhangvi suicide bomber drove car with explosives into bus near Quetta; 3 Shias shot dead in Karachi same day in attack claimed by Sunni extremists.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Awami League (AL) govt held elections 5 Jan despite boycott by BNP, 18 small parties, sparking further political uncertainty. More than 20 killed in election day violence. Govt claimed voter turnout 48%, some media assessed only 22%, suggesting instances of fraud. 154 of 300 seats contested only by AL candidates. AL won 233 seats; parliamentary opposition to be led by Jatiya Party with 33 seats. BNP absent from parliament for first time since 1991. PM Sheikh Hasina 6 Jan announced crackdown on opposition unrest, but lifted restrictively heavy security around BNP leader Khaleda Zia’s house. Sporadic protests and deadly clashes between opposition supporters and police continued, including 3 killed in clashes with police in SE 26 Jan. Human Rights Watch criticised authorities’ use of excessive force, crackdown on opposition, extrajudicial killings by security forces of opposition supporters. Some reports suggesting Hindu minority being increasingly targeted by govt opponents. Court 30 Jan sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami president Motiur Rahman Nizami and 13 others to death for arms smuggling in 2004; Jamaat supporters staged protest following verdict.

Philippines

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Govt, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 8 Dec signed 3rd of 4 annexes to complete peace agreement for Muslim-majority areas in south; agreement outlines powers of national govt and proposed autonomous Bangsamoro govt. Both sides “confident” of signing final annex on normalisation, decommissioning MILF forces in Jan; UNSG Ban praised progress. MILF attacks reported during month, including several people abducted 5 Dec, 1 person killed 6 Dec in attack on police station in Marawi City; MILF leadership pledged to punish perpetrators. Reports of clashes between MILF factions in Maguindanao. Communist New People’s Army (NPA) leader killed in clash with army in Camarines Sur 5 Dec. NPA rebels 12 Dec killed policeman in Bukidnon. NPA and govt announced holiday ceasefire 18 Dec. 2 soldiers killed in suspected NPA attacks 24, 26 Dec. Abu Sayyaf leader killed resisting arrest in Sulu 23 Dec. 4 people including mayor of southern Labangan town shot dead at Manila airport 20 Dec. U.S. announced $40mn in maritime security assistance for Philippines, said “firmly committed” to security there.

Nepal

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Official results of 19 Nov elections for new Constituent Assembly (CA) 3 Dec: Nepali Congress Party (NCP) won largest share of CA seats (196 out of 601); Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) won 175 seats, United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) 80 seats. 8 major political parties reached deal 23 Dec to bring UCPN-M-led parties into CA. 4-point deal includes: parliamentary committee to investigate “questions raised” about CA election (response to UCPN-M and others alleging fraud); new constitution to be drafted in 6 months in spirit of Oct 2005 12-point agreement, Nov 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2007 Interim Constitution, promulgated in a year; high-level political mechanism to help complete peace process, constitution-writing; Truth and Reconciliation and Enforced Disappearances Commissions to be formed. CPN-UML 5 Dec formally demanded election of presidential and vice-presidential posts, NC said president’s term not negotiable under interim constitution. Splinter communist group Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) 17 Dec declared “12-point Agreement in 2005 and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2007 stand annulled”, said “new understanding” must be reached.

Bangladesh

  |  2 Jan 2014

Risk Alert

Tensions and violence intensifying amid continued political deadlock ahead of general election scheduled for 5 Jan, with opposition promising blockades until election day, violence bringing country to standstill. Bangladesh National Party (BNP)-led opposition 2 Dec announced it will boycott elections, continues calling for ruling Awami League (AL) to stand down and form neutral caretaker govt to supervise polls: blocked rail, road and waterways. BNP 18 Dec labelled 5 Jan polls “one-party elections”. Opposition boycott would mean 154 out of 300 seats could go uncontested. BNP head Khaleda Zia’s house surrounded by police 29 Dec; party vice chairman among BNP leaders arrested. AL-led alliance continued election process, 15 out of 40 registered parties 2 Dec filed nomination papers. AL-alliance suffered setback when coalition member Jatiya Party (JP) joined election boycott. Deadlock exacerbated by 12 Dec execution of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) leader Abdul Quader Mollah, convicted by International Crimes Tribunal for atrocities committed during 1971 liberation war. JeI supporters 12-15 Dec protested execution, enforced nationwide blockade, attacked houses of 4 AL ministers, clashed with police and AL supporters; at least 25 killed. More than 100 dead in political violence since BNP announced boycott.

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CrisisWatch N°128

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