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CrisisWatch Database

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Pakistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Sep 2014

Deteriorated

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

Indonesia

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Myanmar

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Nepal

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Philippines

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Thailand

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Bangladesh

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

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

Philippines

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

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

Myanmar

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

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

Indonesia

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

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

Nepal

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Deputy PM Bam Dev Gautam 15 July said new constitution to be introduced 22 Jan 2015, preceded by local elections same month. 5-party Maoist alliance 22 July agreed in principle to talks with govt aimed at settling political disputes.

Kashmir

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Several incidents of cross-border violence including: Indian army 3 July reportedly killed 3 militants along Line of Control (LoC); Pakistani troops 16 July reportedly fired on Indian border outposts killing soldier; Pakistani civilian reported killed in Indian mortar shelling days later near Punjab border, another Pakistani killed 23 July in Shakargarh; 2 reported killed, including 1 Indian soldier, in separate border incidents 22 July. Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militant reported killed 9 July during joint army-police operation in Kupwara district. 1 police shot dead by militants in Bijbehara town 25 July, another killed in grenade blast during protest in Sopore next day. Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar 17 July said govt willing to negotiate reduction of negative list of tradable items from India if bilateral dialogue revived, including on Kashmir dispute; commerce ministers scheduled to meet 24 July in Bhutan during eighth SAFTA ministerial council meeting, Indian minister did not attend.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Month saw continued fallout from mid-June attacks on Muslim persons and property in SW: official statements endorsed Buddhist nationalist claims Muslims started violence, Sinhalese equal victims. Justice Minister and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem continued probing incident after late June alleging police complicity in attacks, accusing officials of falsifying autopsy reports in cases of 3 Muslims shot dead, possibly by police or off-duty security personnel. Many criticised dispatch of military to rebuild damaged areas fearing destruction of evidence, undermining of independent fact-finding efforts. No leaders or known activists of radical Buddhist group widely blamed for instigating violence, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), among more than 100 suspects arrested; police questioning of BBS leader Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara 2 July widely seen as public relations move. President Rajapaksa 17 July appointed international legal experts to “advise” ongoing commission of inquiry into missing persons, expanded commission’s mandate to include range of war crimes during civil war, including LTTE abuses; move criticised as attempt to undermine ongoing UN OHCHR investigation. Rajapaksa 11 July reappointed retired general G.A. Chandrasiri as northern province governor despite promising Tamil National Alliance he would be replaced by civilian.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Deteriorated

Election crisis deepened after presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah rejected preliminary results of second round of voting, announced by Independent Election Commission 7 July: former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani received 56.4%, Abdullah 43.6%. Abdullah’s supporters next day urged him to declare parallel govt. U.S. Sec State Kerry 11-12 July met candidates, agreement reached on 8-point technical framework for auditing all ballot boxes. Audit began 17 July, complicated by delays, procedural disagreements between candidates; postponed 26 July until early Aug. Agreement also reached on political plan for national unity govt with representatives of losing team in key positions; details, including possibly including revived slot of PM, still to be settled. Violence continued across country including: 8 air force personnel reported killed in suicide bombing 2 July in Kabul; 4 insurgents killed in suicide attack on Kabul airport 17 July; suicide bomber 22 July killed 4, including 3 foreign advisors, outside airport. At least 14 Taliban reported killed 5 July after storming security base in north-eastern Badakhshan province; 5 NATO troops among 16 killed in 8 July suicide attack in eastern province of Parwan; at least 28, mostly insurgents, killed 9 July in attacks on governor’s house, police HQ in Kandahar.

Pakistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Deteriorated

Army operations against tribal militants continued in N Waziristan, causing mass displacement, humanitarian assistance inadequate. Military 15 July claimed to have killed 447 militants, destroyed 88 hideouts; also claimed clearing 80% of N Waziristan’s administrative HQ, Miramshah town, of militants; claim later denied. FATA Disaster Management Authority registered nearly 1mn IDPs fleeing operations by 22 July, majority to neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Military in control of humanitarian response, aid distribution limited: access restricted for foreign aid organisations and local NGOs; reports charity fronts of jihadi organisations allowed to conduct relief activities. Estimated 25,000 residents fled FATA’s Bajaur Agency ahead of anticipated military strikes following 12 July attack killing 3 security personnel; military later reached accord with Bajaur-based militias who pledged to confront anti-state militants themselves. U.S. drone campaign continued in N Waziristan: several reported strikes including 7 suspected militants killed 10 July; 20 killed 16 July; 11 killed 19 July. Police and paramilitary operations continued in Karachi, including 5 suspected militants killed 15 July. Security forces 17 July raided militant safe house near PM Sharif’s home in Lahore, 1 security official, 1 suspect killed. Controversial Protection of Pakistan Bill, criticised for threatening constitutionally protected rights and violating obligations under international law, signed into law 11 July; Senate amendments enhanced some judicial oversight, limited validity to 2 years.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Kazakh air force 10 July conducted large-scale military exercises along Kazakh-Chinese border. 4 sentenced 22 July to 6-12 years prison for recruiting fighters for Syria’s rebel army. Same sentence for similar charges pronounced 21 July in Shymkent against a group of four.

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Water and energy tensions with neighbours continued: Tajikistan 10 July launched mortar attack against Kyrgyzstan following tensions over water in Vorukh enclave (Tajik territory surrounded by Kyrgyzstan’s Batken province); Kyrgyz and Tajik vice PMs met 11 July to discuss conflict, agreed on joint commission to investigate events. Kyrgyz and Tajik govts 28 July agreed to joint patrolling of common border to avoid more clashes. Kazakh PM Masimov visited Bishkek 12 July, discussed possible reduction of scheduled water released from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan following 70% shortfall in water for irrigation in Chui province, northern Kyrgyzstan. Interior Minister Suranchiyev 3 July warned religions extremism on rise, at least 80 Kyrgyz citizens fighting alongside rebels in Syria. Ousted President Bakiev sentenced in abstentia 25 July to life in prison for 2010 killing of protesters.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Alexander Sodikov, Tajik national resident in Canada, arrested 16 June on spying accusations, released 22 July, asked to remain in Dushanbe while investigation continues. Opposition leader from Gorno-Badakhshan province, Saodatsho Adolatov, sentenced 30 July to 5 years jail for inciting hatred.

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Aman Sagidullaev, leader of separatist movement Alga Karakalpakstan and former minister on Karakalpakstan Agricultural Department, declared wanted 3 July; Sagidullaev accused of stealing over $1mn. Uzbekistan’s National Security Forces purged early July; 40 officers reportedly arrested or dismissed. 6 alleged Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) members reportedly sentenced 7 July to 9-15 years jail for terrorism.

Thailand

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Ruling junta National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) tightened grip on power. Interim charter adopted 22 July granted amnesty to coup makers and outlined 200-member national legislative assembly, 250-member national council, 35-member constitution drafting committee; Section 44 grants NCPO authority over interim govt. NCPO 15 July suspendedelections for all local administrative organisations. National Anti-Corruption Commission 17 July found former PM Yingluck Shinawatra negligent in administration of rice-pledging scheme, recommended prosecution; NCPO same day approved Yingluck’s request to travel abroad. NCPO 2 July established 5 panels to monitor local and international media for criticism of junta, authorised legal action against journalists and outlets for “inappropriate content”; 18 July reiterated ban on criticism in all forms of media. Red Sunday group leader Sombat Boongamanong, arrested 5 June, released 2 July on bail after lèse-majesté charge; Same Sky editor Thanapol Eawsakul 5 July detained second time since coup over Facebook posts, 9 July released after signing pledge to cease expressing political opinions. Multiple attacks in Southern provinces through July including: 13 July killing of Buddhist woman in Tak Bai District; 17 July fire fight in Pattani killed three militants, wounded four police; 20 July bombing near Rangae train station in Narathiwat; 25 July vehicle-borne IED attack in Betong, Yala, killed two, injured 42.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Tensions between ruling Awami League (AL) and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) remained high: Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu 11 July accused BNP leader Khaleda Zia of conspiring to seize power with “killers” who participated in 1971 war crimes, 1975 military coup and more recent terrorist plots. Zia renewed calls for mass protests against govt to begin after Eid holiday late July, repeated demands for early elections under non-partisan caretaker govt. Special court trying Zia, her son Tarique Rahman, and others in two graft cases delayed recording deposition of prosecution witness to 3 Sept. Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague 7 July ruled on maritime boundary dispute with India, awarded Bangladesh nearly 80% of Bay of Bengal.

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Korean People’s Army (KPA) conducted ballistic tests throughout month: 2 Hwasŏng missiles fired 9 July 40km from demilitarised zone (DMZ); 2 more fired 13 July near Kaesŏng city; 100 artillery shells fired into Sea of Japan 14 July, only few hundred meters from DMZ. KPA 5 July conducted joint ground, naval, air, and air-defence exercises, simulating assault on ROK island. ROK and U.S. 16 July conducted 5-day naval exercise in ROK south-western sea despite DPRK protest; 21 July held 2-day trilateral exercise with Japan south of Cheju Island. DPRK launched “peace offensive”: state-media called for end to confrontation with ROK. ROK announced 3 billion won for NGO projects in DPRK, first use of state funds for NGOs in DPRK since 2010 imposition of sanctions. Delegation of 38 ROK officials and corporate representatives visited DPRK 15-22 July to conduct survey for potential ROK investment in Russia-DPRK railway link to DPRK north-eastern port city of Rajin. DPRK and Japan 1 July held talks, agreed on lifting Japanese sanctions in return for investigation into fate of Japanese nationals abducted by DPRK agents. Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) 18 July unanimously accepted DPRK as observer.

Philippines

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Myanmar

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Indonesia

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Nepal

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated

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

Pakistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Risk Alert Unchanged

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

Thailand

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Kyrgyzstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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

Turkmenistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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

Uzbekistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

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

Bangladesh

  |  1 Jul 2014

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

Korean Peninsula

  |  1 Jul 2014

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

Philippines

  |  1 Jun 2014

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

Myanmar

  |  1 Jun 2014

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

Indonesia

  |  1 Jun 2014

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jun 2014

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

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CrisisWatch N°133

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