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CrisisWatch Database

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630 results found
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Philippines

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

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

Unchanged

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

Unchanged

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.

Thailand

  |  1 Jun 2014

Deteriorated

Army 22 May staged coup after months of political unrest, violence and large-scale demonstrations: suspended constitution; dismissed caretaker govt; arrested hundreds of politicians including former PM Yingluck, democracy activists and journalists. Several released under orders to remain in country, not oppose coup. Coup followed army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s announcement of nationwide martial law 20 May: military shut down broadcasts from partisan TV and radio stations, disbanded govt’s temporary security centre, instructed all protesters to remain peaceful. Prayuth 26 May said formally recognised as head of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by King, warned force will be used in case of renewed protests. Junta ordered military tribunal to try lèse majesté and national-security cases. Hundreds of anti-coup protesters rallied daily in Bangkok late month, in defiance of martial law but without serious violence. Prayuth 30 May said 15 months of “reform”, “reconciliation” needed before general elections. Ahead of army intervention, Constitutional Court 7 May removed caretaker PM Yingluck Shinawatra and 9 cabinet ministers for abuse of power; governing Pheu Thai Party called court ruling “judicial coup”. National Anti-Corruption Commission 8 May voted to impeach Yingluck. Widespread pro- and anti-govt protests early month: 3 killed, over 20 injured 15 May in grenade and shooting attack on anti-govt protesters in central Bangkok. Violence in south continued with several insurgent attacks including: 2 bombs detonated 6 May in Hat Yai city, 2 police and 6 civilians injured; coordinated attacks across Narathiwat and Yala provinces 11 May, 1 dead and 9 injured; 10 injured 28 May in bombing at Khok Pho Hospital, Pattani.

Thailand

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Constitutional Court (CC) 2 April accepted petition to review PM Yingluck’s transfer of Thawil Pliensri from NSC chief in 2011, earlier ruled improper by Supreme Administrative Court; CC ruling against Yingluck would force Yingluck govt to step down. People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) Secretary General Suthep Thaugsuban 5 April in speech to supporters said once courts and independent agencies toppled caretaker govt, he would assume “sovereign powers”. PDRC protester shot dead 1 April while leaving rally site. Election for 77 non-appointed senate seats proceeded without incident 30 March; candidates aligned with Pheu Thai Party caretaker govt won 44 seats. 22 April meeting of Election Commission (EC) and political party representatives to discuss timing and other conditions for new general election inconclusive. Democrat Party (DP) leader Abhisit Vejjajiva 24 April announced plan to resolve political impasse; offered no details, but declared that elections are integral to reform, distancing from PDRC stance of “reform before election”. EC 30 April announced 20 July date for elections, agreed with caretaker govt; unclear if DP will take part. Formation of pro-govt Red Shirt militia Democracy Protection Volunteer Group and royalist Rubbish Collection Organisation, to pursue lèse-majesté violators, reflects trend toward vigilantism. Red-Shirt poet and lèse-majesté law critic Kamol Duangpasuk murdered 23 April. United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), main Red Shirt organisation, held rally large outside Bangkok 2-7 April; cancelled another rally planned 19-20 April. Several thousand Red Shirts gathered in NE province Nakorn Ratchasima, participated in basic martial arts training. Insurgent attacks and violence continued in southernmost provinces, including quadruple bombing in Yala town 6 April killing 1 and injuring at least 28; several killed in attacks in Yala province.

Philippines

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Members of Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), chaired by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator, 20 April signed final draft of Bangsamoro Basic Law, enabling Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to be replaced with new political entity; needs to be ratified through plebiscite in proposed Bangsamoro territory. MILF early April announced it was forming new political group, United Bangsamoro Justice Party. MILF accused military of attacking its fighters during operation against Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan province 11 April, during which 18 rebels, including 4 alleged MILF, and 2 soldiers killed; military said MILF not intended targets. Military 30 April reported 14 ASG militants, 1 marine killed in clash in Patikul, Sulu province. Govt signed new military pact with U.S. allowing for larger U.S. military presence in Philippines; visiting President Obama in speech spoke of “ironclad” U.S. commitment to defend Philippines.

Indonesia

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

President Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party won 9% of national parliamentary vote in largely peaceful 9 April elections, sharp fall from 2009 level of 21%. W Papua independence fighters reportedly shot and injured 2 security personnel near PNG border 5 April. 2 W Papua students reportedly beaten in police custody after participating in protest in Jayapura.

Myanmar

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

National census went ahead 30 March-10 April, extended to end-April to allow time to collect data from difficult/hard-to-reach areas. Census enumeration accompanied by large military security operations in parts of Rakhine and Kachin, escalating in Kachin into armed clashes with Kachin Independence Organisation (which did not allow enumeration in areas under its control), causing estimated 5,000 people to flee, govt reports of 22 combatant deaths on both sides, in most serious clashes since early 2013. Following govt’s 29 March decision that Rohingya would not be allowed to self-identify as such in census, no credible enumeration of Rohingya households took place, sparking international criticism. Latest round of ceasefire negotiations between govt and ethnic armed groups in Yangon 5-8 April, resulting in first draft of single consolidated text for nationwide ceasefire accord, though with disagreement on some points relating to federalism, use of term “revolutionary” for armed groups, recognition of interim administrative authority of armed groups in their areas. Next meeting planned early May. In speech marking 3-year anniversary of his administration, President Thein Sein noted military had to continue to play political role during transition, but needed to reduce role as democratisation progressed. Brawl resulting from personal dispute in Hlegu, near Yangon, escalated into attacks on mosque and Muslim-owned properties by Buddhist mob 4 April. Democratic Voice of Burma reporter jailed for one year for “trespassing”, “disturbing a civil servant” while investigating operation of foreign-funded educational scholarship program; move condemned by local media, rights groups.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Indonesia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Papuan independence activists flew pro-independence Morning Star flag at govt building in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to mark national day 1 Dec; Port Moresby governor accused govt of bowing to pressure from Jakarta as 3 PNG activists arrested. 3 suspected terrorists arrested in Java 15 Dec.

Myanmar

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Next round of govt-ethnic armed group dialogue, planned for late-Dec, postponed until Jan/Feb to give both sides time for further technical-level discussion of key issues. Authorities 26 Nov announced they had charged 93 people in connection with Oct anti-Muslim violence in Rakhine State town of Thandwe that left 7 dead, many homes destroyed. Opposition NLD 25 Nov proposed quadripartite talks (NLD, President, legislature, military) on amending constitution; rejected by President Thein Sein, who indicated he did not want to overstep legislature, and that outcome of its constitutional review committee, due to report end-Jan, should be awaited. NLD 28 Dec announced it would contest 2015 general election even if constitution is not amended to remove article disqualifying candidates whose spouse or children are citizens of a foreign country from becoming president/VP – which would bar NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi; ruling USDP 30 Dec submitted recommendations to constitutional review committee, reportedly including suggestion to amend article. Govt 10 Dec pardoned 41 political prisoners, leaving an estimated 44 in prison; President 31 Dec issued pardon releasing people charged under several old repressive laws. U.S. 17 Dec blacklisted Myanmar army officer and 2 military-linked companies it accused of continuing illegal arms trading relations with DPRK.

Thailand

  |  2 Jan 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Political crisis escalated with major protest movement demanding Yingluck govt step down and allow appointed council to reform electoral system, threatening to block general election scheduled for 2 Feb and seize Bangkok. People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), led by former Democrat Party secretary-general Suthep Thaugsbhan, continued anti-govt protests, staged massive marches 9, 22 Dec. Criminal Court 2 Dec charged Suthep with sedition. Protesters 2 Dec attempted to breach police barricades at Govt House and Metropolitan Police HQ. Opposition Democrat Party MPs resigned en masse 8 Dec. PM Yingluck dissolved House 9 Dec, general election scheduled for 2 Feb. PDRC seeking to oust Yingluck’s caretaker govt, derail election, “eradicate Thaksin regime”; calling for establishment of 400-member People’s Council to implement political reform. Democrat Party 21 Dec announced election boycott, support for PDRC protests. Protesters blocked Bangkok candidate registration site 23-24 Dec, attacked police 26 Dec; 1 policeman, 1 protester shot dead, many injured. Election Commission 26 Dec called for delay of poll. Army chief 27 Dec refused to rule out coup. Suthep threatened to shut down Bangkok starting 13 Jan. Protester killed in shooting at protest site 28 Dec. Militants stepped up attacks in Deep South, including 5 soldiers killed in IED attack in Kapho District, Pattani Province 11 Dec. Coordinated bombings 22 Dec targeted 3 towns in Songhkla’s Sadao District injured at least 27; first attack in district. Police 22 Dec found two 50kg IEDs inside truck parked at police station on tourist island Phuket.

Philippines

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

More than 5,200 people confirmed dead, 1,600 missing after typhoon Haiyan struck country 8 Nov, hitting east and central regions. Govt’s chief negotiator with MILF 5 Nov said confident that peace talks would be completed soon with agreement on power- and wealth-sharing annexes. MILF 7 Nov said it will evolve into political party after peace deal with govt is completed. EU donated additional €8mn to post-conflict recovery in Mindanao. Troops killed 2 New People’s Army communist rebels outside Tacloban who were reportedly part of group seeking to hijack typhoon relief supplies. NPA rebels 2 Nov clashed with troops: at least 6 rebels killed, several rebels, soldiers wounded. Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) rebels 5 Nov kidnapped 2 telephone company workers. Taiwanese tourist killed and his wife kidnapped by suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) rebels in Sabah, Malaysia 15 Nov. Suspected ASG rebels seized govt official in Sulu province 19 Nov. Marine killed in clash with ASG in Patikul, Sulu, 20 Nov.

Indonesia

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Govt suspended cooperation with Australia on some anti-terrorist and other activities amid diplomatic storm over revelations of Australian phone-tapping of President Yudhoyono and other senior figures.

Thailand

  |  1 Dec 2013

Deteriorated

Bangkok saw largest protests since 2010 with anti-govt protesters occupying ministries and govt buildings late month in bid to oust elected Pheu Thai Party (PTP)-led govt of PM Yingluck Shinawatra. Lower House 1 Nov passed a blanket amnesty bill that would allow exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra to return and absolve opposition Democrat Party leaders for role in 2010 crackdown-related deaths. Bill sparked wave of protests, led by Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban, swelling into movement to eradicate “Thaksin regime”. Senate 11 Nov rejected amnesty bill. Suthep and 8 other Democrat MPs announced resignation in order to lead protests. Constitutional Court 20 Nov ruled Sept amendment to establish all-elected Senate unconstitutional, dismissed petition to dissolve PTP. Anti-govt rallies reignited 23 Nov. Under banner of Civil Movement for Democracy (CMD), protesters 25 Nov occupied foreign and finance ministries. Cabinet 25 Nov invoked Internal Security Act in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces, court issued arrest warrant for Suthep. CDM protesters 26-27 Nov surrounded other ministries and govt buildings, 29 Nov stormed army HQ, 1 Dec attempted to breach security barriers at Govt House; police responded with tear gas. At least 2 killed, dozens injured in protest-related violence 30 Nov. Thousands of Red Shirts gathered in Bangkok stadium in support of govt. PM Yingluck 28 Nov survived vote of no confidence 297-134, said no early election. ICJ 11 Nov affirmed Preah Vihear Temple complex situated in Cambodian territory, boundary to be determined bilaterally; ruling failed to galvanise public against govt. National Security Council chief Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabutr 27 Nov said next round of dialogue between govt and Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) early Dec, postponed due to political turmoil. Deep South Watch reported 32 deaths, 72 wounded in 118 incidents in Oct in main conflict areas, mostly due to bombings. Gunmen shot dead village headman in Narathiwat’s Muang District 7 Nov. Motorcycle bomb exploded in Rangae 7 Nov, killing 2 soldiers, wounding 6 others. Bomb injured 4 police, 8 civilians in Waeng District, Narathiwat, 13 Nov. IED attack wounded 3 rangers in Mae Kaen District, Pattani 14 Nov. Gunmen killed off-duty ranger in Muang District, Pattani, 19 Nov.

Myanmar

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Unprecedented meeting between leaders of almost all ethnic armed groups hosted by Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) at their Laiza HQ 30 Oct-2 Nov followed by meeting in Kachin State capital Myitkyina between armed group leaders and govt 3-5 Nov. Discussed draft text for Nationwide Ceasefire Accord; no final agreement, but parties agreed to follow-up meeting in Karen State capital in Dec; govt still hopes to hold nationwide ceasefire signing ceremony early 2014. Senior KIO leader General Gun Maw visited Yangon mid-Nov for talks with Myanmar Peace Centre and Kachin community leaders, gave public speech, in govt-approved visit. Fighting flared in Mansi township, Kachin State in recent weeks, displacing several hundred civilians. Rakhine State authorities late Oct brought charges against 61 people (out of 78 initially arrested), majority Buddhists, for various offences including murder in relation to anti-Muslim violence in Thandwe town. Govt 15 Nov released 69 political prisoners; estimated 60 still in jail. EU began €10m program providing police training on riot control, community policing. OIC delegation visited Myanmar, including Rakhine State, to see situation of Muslims affected by communal violence. EU delegation led by foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also visited.

Philippines

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Govt and MILF negotiators met for 41st round of talks in Malaysia 8-13 Oct, discussed remaining annexes of Oct 2012 framework agreement on power sharing and normalisation; sides reported progress but no agreement. Military officer 9 Oct accused MILF commander Malista Malanka of aiding Abu Sayyaf (ASG) militant group during army-ASG clash in which 2 soldiers, 3 ASG militants reported killed. Following Sept siege of Zamboanga City by MNLF, arrest warrants issued for 4 suspected leaders of group responsible for attack. At least 22 candidates and supporters reported killed, 27 injured in run-up to 28 Oct village elections across country. 4 MILF reported killed during clash between 2 MILF factions in Maguindanao 23 Oct, reportedly over rival candidates in polls; one of several intra-MILF skirmishes during month.

Indonesia

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Civilian shot dead in food convoy in Puncak Jaya district, Papua 21 Sept; police 23 Sept shot dead teenager during protest against police weapons searches in Waghete town. After meeting with President Yudhoyono 30 Sept, Australian PM Abbot said he admired what Indonesia had “done to improve the autonomy and the life of the people of West Papua”, called provinces “integral part of Indonesia”. Anti-terrorism squad Densus 88 shot dead 1 suspect, arrested 2 others in 17 Oct raid in S Sulawesi, allegedly connected to group behind recent attacks on police in Poso, Central Sulawesi. Anti-corruption agency 2 Oct arrested chief justice and head of Constitutional Court on corruption charges linked to regional elections in Banten and Central Kalimantan provinces.

Myanmar

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Govt and Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) armed group signed agreement following latest round of peace talks 8-11 Oct; representatives of most other ethnic armed groups attended as observers, also Chinese envoy and UNSG’s Special Adviser for Myanmar. KIO committed to strive to end armed clashes, and reached agreement with army on implementing ceasefire monitoring arrangements and other issues. KIO also expressed support for President’s idea for conference to sign Nationwide Ceasefire Accord with all armed group leaders, possibly in Nov/Dec. Would mean country in peace for first time in 65 years, enshrine govt commitment to next political steps, timeframe. KIO also convened meeting of ethnic armed group leaders at its HQ 30 Oct-1 Nov for discussions ahead of nationwide ceasefire meeting; leaders of Wa armed group, country’s largest, did not attend. Govt 8 Oct released 56 political prisoners, most charged with contacts with ethnic armed groups. Fresh anti-Muslim violence in Thandwe in Rakhine State early Oct, with attacks on Kaman Muslim minority villages; 7 killed, scores of houses burned down; 78 arrested for role in violence, which coincided with visit by President Thein Sein to area. Series of bomb blasts 11-14 Oct, killing policeman and one other person in Taungoo 11 Oct, and injuring several including in upscale Traders Hotel in Yangon. Several small IEDs also found in various locations. No claim of responsibility; several arrested including suspect in Traders Hotel bombing. Thein Sein 8-10 Oct attended ASEAN Summit, ahead of Myanmar’s chairmanship of grouping in 2014.

Thailand

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

National Security Council (NSC) 10 Oct postponed indefinitely 4th round of flagging peace dialogue with Barsan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), originally scheduled for 20 Oct. Army chief Gen Prayudh Chan-ocha said splits within militant movement on whether to participate contributed to decision to postpone. NSC said more time needed to study BRN demands. Officials insist process will continue. Sources report next plenary meeting expected before end-Nov. Violence in southernmost provinces included 4 soldiers killed in IED attack targeting teacher-escort patrol in Krong Pinang District, Yala 3 Oct. 2 rangers killed in IED attack in Rangae District, Narathiwat, 11 Oct. Insurgents 9 Oct detonated 27 small IEDs at banks and shops in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla provinces, 3 injured; army ranger killed, 4 wounded in IED attack in Cho Airong District, Narathiwat Province same day; teacher executed in Saiburi District, Pattani. 3 killed in gun battle between security forces and suspected militants in Thung Yang Daeng District, Pattani, 15 Oct. Constitutional Court twice decided in favour of govt-backed legislation, dismissing petitions against draft constitutional amendment for all-elected senate and 2014 budget bill. Cabinet 9 Oct approved imposition of Internal Security Act (ISA) for 3 Bangkok districts in response to protest by People’s Democratic Force To Overthrow Thaksin. Larger protests anticipated following 18 Oct revision by governing Pheu Thai Party of draft bill to provide amnesty for offences related to political unrest since 2006, in apparent bid to allow exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra to return without serving 2-year sentence for abuse of power. Revised bill angered Thaksin opponents plus some pro-Thaksin Red Shirts, as it would absolve former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and deputy of causing deaths by ordering 2010 crackdown on anti-govt protesters.

Philippines

  |  1 Oct 2013

Deteriorated

Major assault by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels, outside peace process between govt and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), highlighted potential for disaffected rebel groups to derail peace talks. MNLF rebels entered Zamboanga City 9 Sept; ensuing fighting saw over 200 people reported killed, mostly rebels, also security forces and civilians, and over 100,000 residents reported displaced. Airport reopened 19 Sept, despite some fighters still holding out; authorities 28 Sept declared standoff over. Attacks coincided with resumption of peace negotiations with MILF following wealth-sharing agreement signed in July. Govt-MNLF ceasefire plan abandoned 14 Sept after sides failed to agree terms. Indonesia FM 15 Sept said Indonesia ready to contribute to restoration of normalcy in southern Philippines. Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) 12 Sept attacked predominantly Christian outskirts of Lamitan town in Basilan province, several wounded. Displays of growing tension between Philippines and China over South China Sea continued.

Myanmar

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) ethnic umbrella group met with govt negotiators early-month, afterwards expressed doubts about govt’s proposed nationwide ceasefire signing next month, but unclear how much influence group will have over its members. Over 50 organisations attended “trust-building” conference with govt officials in Shan state capital Taunggyi 21-23 Sept; delegates called for improved ethnic rights, govt official pledged to move ahead with political negotiations early 2014. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK) 17 Sept said constitutional changes needed to resolve ethnic grievances. Following Aug visit UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar acknowledged progress on several fronts but said critical challenges remained. UNSG’s Special Adviser on Myanmar also visited late-Aug, was granted permission to visit Kachin Independence Organisation’s HQ at Laiza for first time. President Thein Sein 9 Sept named representative of largest Shan political opposition party as Deputy Minister for Hotels and Tourism, 2nd opposition legislator to be appointed by president as a deputy minister. Armed police 29 Sept dispersed Buddhist mob in Thandwe town, Rakhine state; mob torched houses, no injuries reported. U.S. Sec Defence 28 Aug met Myanmar counterpart on sidelines of defence meeting in Brunei, first meeting between countries’ defence chiefs. ASSK completed 3-country European tour 17 Sept.

Indonesia

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

In Papua, police reportedly detained over 100 demonstrators in 8 cities during protests organised by National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) 16 Sept demanding among other things that Vanuatu raise Papua issue at UNGA. Yogyakarta military court 5-6 Sept jailed 12 members of Special Forces Command (Kopassus) for up to 11 years for roles in March prison killings, in ruling hailed by rights activists as departure from past impunity for military personnel. Spate of police killings in Jakarta continued, thought to be work of small terrorist cells, including 10 Sept shooting of internal affairs officer. Bekasi district court 12 Sept sentenced Abdul Aziz bin Naimun for threatening Batak Protestant Congregation (HKBP) pastor. Bomb exploded 7 Sept at offices of local newspaper in Banda Aceh, no injuries reported.

Thailand

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Senior officials continue to voice support for talks with rebel Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) despite stalling of dialogue process following failed Ramadan Peace Initiative; said 4th round of talks will take place mid-Oct. BRN submitted formal demands to Thai authorities early Sept via dialogue facilitator Malaysia. 2 separate factions of Patani United Liberation Organisation (PULO) and Barisan Islam Pembebasan Patani (Islamic Liberation Front of Pattani, BIPP) reportedly conveyed to BRN desire to join process. Cabinet 18 Sept approved extension of emergency decree in 3 southernmost provinces for 3 months; 33rd extension since decree invoked in 2005. Insurgent attacks included 11 Sept ambush in Thung Yang Daeng District, Pattani Province, killing 5 police; bomb planted by school in Yala’s Muang District 10 Sept killed 2 soldiers; gunmen killed 3 rangers in 12 Sept attack in Yarang District, Pattani. Attacks reflect insurgency’s shift to focus on security forces in recent months. Opposition lawmakers repeatedly disrupted proceedings in parliament in vain effort to derail consideration of Pheu Thai Party (PTP)-sponsored draft charter amendment bill to restore all-elected senate. PM Yingluck launched political reform forum 25 Aug, aimed at promoting prospects for reconciliation; Democrat Party members and People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) boycotted meeting. Continued protests by rubber farmers in mid-South demanding higher govt subsidies since late August.

Philippines

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Continued uptick in violence; 8 killed by bomb in Cotabato City, Mindanao 5 Aug; 3 bombings in central Mindanao 7 Aug, with targets including army truck. Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) claimed responsibility for latter. Police 6 Aug filed murder charges against suspects in 26 July Cagayan de Oro bombing, including member of new Khilafah Islamic Movement, which officials claim has links with foreign jihadis. President Aquino 8 Aug suggested BIFM, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other new radical group perpetrating recent attacks to derail Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace process. Clashes between BIFM and Philippine military 10-13 Aug displaced almost 10,000 villagers in 2 towns in N Cotabato province. Govt-MILF peace talks resumed mid-Aug, with 2 of 4 annexes to Oct 2012 pact left to negotiate. In Sulu archipelago, some 70 members of ASG and military clashed in Basilan 8 Aug; 1 soldier, 7 militants killed. 2 injured by bomb in Jolo town 14 Aug; military blamed ASG. Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari 12 Aug declared independence of Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, and Sabah in eastern Malaysia. Manila and Washington opened negotiations over U.S. military presence in Philippines. Ahead of Chinese-hosted talks with ASEAN in Sept, Chinese FM Wang warned against rushing South China Sea Code of Conduct negotiations; Wang and Chinese analysts accuse Philippines of delaying process. Philippines acquired old U.S. coast guard ship 6 Aug to patrol South China Sea.

Thailand

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Future of peace dialogue process between Barisan Revolsui Nasional (BRN) and govt uncertain after BRN 6 Aug issued video announcing suspension of its participation because Bangkok had not responded to its demands. Govt officials repeatedly stated intention to continue dialogue, though senior military officers oppose BRN’s demands. Violence intensified 1 Aug with 12 arson attacks across Pattani, Songkhla and Yala provinces, while separate bombings killed ranger in Yala Province and injured another in Narathiwat. On 2 Aug, eight soldiers injured, 2 severely, by a bomb explosion in Yala’s Raman District 2 Aug. Another soldier killed in IED attack in Yala same day. Bomb attack in Tak Bai, Narathiwat, injured 4 soldiers 3 Aug. 4 gunmen killed imam at Pattani Central Mosque, supporter of peace dialogue, 5 Aug. IED attacks spiked to 35 between 31 July-7 Aug; monthly average was 24 for first half 2013. In spite of continuing violence during ceasefire period, Internal Security Operations Command reported this year’s Ramadan saw lowest number of casualties for holy month since 2007, with 23 people killed in the 3 southernmost provinces 10 July-18 Aug. Video clip posted online 28 July purportedly al-Qaeda death threat against former PM Thaksin for 2004 Tak Bai massacre; National Security Council chief dismissed video as stunt by Thaksin’s political opponents. Early Aug anti-govt rallies aimed at derailing Parliament’s consideration of amnesty bill fell flat; bill, introduced by governing Pheu Thai Party to provide amnesty for crimes associated with political turmoil since 2006, passed first reading 7 Aug; opposition Democrat Party has vowed to contest legislation in parliament, petition Constitutional Court and keep up pressure on streets. Bangkok court concluded that army troops killed 6 people at Pathum Wanaram temple May 2010 following “Red Shirt” protest.

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CrisisWatch N°133

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