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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

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586 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 586 First   Previous   Next   Last

Tunisia

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Presidential polls held peacefully 21-23 Nov, interim President Marzouki will face Beji Caid Essebsi of secular Nida Tounes party in run-off 26-28 Dec. Nida Tounes’ success in Oct parliamentary polls and prospect that it will secure presidency contributing to polarisation of Tunisian politics: Islamist An-Nahda party supporters concerned it will mean return to former regime and dictatorship. Marzouki seeking support from Islamist right, self-proclaimed “defenders of the revolution”, and supporters in south. Insecurity near Algerian border continued: five soldiers killed, ten wounded 5 Nov in attack on army bus by alleged jihadis. Authorities closed border with Tunisia ahead of polls, raised alert level amid reports jihadi group Islamic State established presence in Libya.

Mauritania

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Nine human rights and anti-slavery activists including Biram Dah Abeid, leader of Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, arrested 11 Nov near Rosso, jailed on charges of inciting violence, violating public order, offending authorities, belonging to unsanctioned organisation.

Libya

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Supreme Court 6 Nov stripped Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR, Libya’s internationally recognised parliament) of legal basis, plunging Libya into further political chaos; anti-HoR factions approved verdict, some continue to support former legislature General National Congress (GNC) as interim legal authority, others call for early elections. U.S., Canada and six EU states issued statement but declined to take position; Egypt stated continued support for HoR; Turkey called for early elections. Clashes between armed factions continued in main cities: ongoing clashes in Benghazi, where some 400 reported killed in past six weeks; army 21 Nov declared shutdown of Tripoli and Misrata airports; airstrike by unidentified jet 24 Nov targeted Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, controlled by Islamist Libya Dawn militia. Fighters loyal to HoR seized control of Kekla town in west, following weeks of clashes with Libya Dawn forces. Car bombs exploded outside Egypt, UAE embassies 13 Nov amid reports countries conducting airstrikes in Libya. UNSC 26 Nov expressed “profound concern” over security deterioration, warned of sanctions. Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry 30 Nov announced regional FMs to meet 4 Jan to discuss support to Libya. Head of Tripoli-based legislature Omar al-Hassi 28 Nov said struggle for control of Libya’s oil could split country.

Algeria

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Budget deficit looming with continued lowering of international price of oil. Police mid-Nov staged three-day strike to protest working conditions; govt negotiated social but not political concessions to end strike. Two killed, dozens wounded 28 Nov in clashes between security forces and protesters in southern province of Ouargla. Security along Libya border increased. Reports President Bouteflika mid-month visited France for medical treatment.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

King of Morocco Mohammed VI early Nov said W Sahara autonomy initiative is “maximum” Morocco can offer, rejected any change of parameters of negotiations or change in UN MINURSO peacekeeping mandate to include human rights; also called on U.S. to adopt less ambiguous position on conflict, pressure Algeria to end support for Polisario separatist movement. Polisario countered with threat of “return to armed struggle” if Morocco and international community “fail to comply with international regulations and legitimate resolutions”; called on EU to condemn king’s speech.

Egypt

  |  1 Dec 2014

Deteriorated

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) 10 Nov pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), changed name to Province of Sinai (Welayet Sina); 14 Nov claimed responsibility for late Oct attack on army checkpoint killing 33 soldiers. ABM 13 Nov killed five govt forces in Sinai; three militants, seven civilians reported killed in clash with army 19 Nov. Court 30 Nov designated IS and affiliated groups terrorist organisations. Court 29 Nov dropped case against former President Mubarak over killings of protesters in 2011; two anti-Mubarak protesters killed same day. Civilian criminal court 16 Nov referred five Al Azhar University students to military court after President Sisi late Oct expanded jurisdiction of military courts to try civilians. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members continued following PM Mehleb’s late Oct decree dissolving MB-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL);senior MB leader Mohamed Ali Bishr arrested 20 Nov. Clashes between police, MB-supporters continued: two protesters killed south of Cairo 7 Nov. Salafi Front called for demonstrations 28 Nov, some leaders called strategy of peaceful protest a failure: four protesters reported killed in Cairo after ministry of interior pledged to use lethal force against demonstrators; two senior army officers shot dead in Cairo same day, another killed in Alexandria. Four killed, including two police, in bomb attack on train in Nile Delta’s Menufia province 5 Nov. Sisi 10 Nov said parliamentary elections to take place by March 2015.

Tunisia

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Secular party Nida Tounes won 27 Oct parliamentary elections with 39% of votes, Islamist An-Nahda party second with 32%; drawn-out process of forming coalition majority expected as Nida Tounes considers national unity govt with An-Nahda or narrower secular coalition. Days preceding elections remained calm despite fears of attacks by militants, deepening divisions in secular political camp; An-Nahda party remained unified, reiterated determination not to field candidate for late Nov presidential election. Govt 23 Oct decided to close Libya border crossings of Ras Jedir, Dhehiba during polls as part of tightened security measures against spillover from Libya crisis; 70,000 security forces deployed during same period. Several suspected militants arrested including 30 in Oued Ellil town late Oct; six suspected militants, one police killed during police raid in Oued Ellil 24 Oct.

Mauritania

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Security forces arrested four on the 12 of October for having suspected links to Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL) in town of Zouérate. Government reportedly closed the border with Mali late October to block the spread of Ebola.

Libya

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Military and political crisis continued despite repeated UN calls for ceasefire: anti-Islamist militia coalition led by Zintan-based groups, rebranded as “tribal army”, attacked western Jebel Nefusa towns allied to Islamist leaning coalition Libya Dawn, at least 21 reported killed. Fighting continued in Benghazi: groups allied to general Khalifa Haftar clashed with Islamist rivals, including 22 reported killed 15 Oct during Haftar’s seizure of Ansar al-Sharia base; at least 130 reported killed across city over following ten days. Tobruk-based internationally recognised parliament, House of Representatives (HoR), 19 Oct formally aligned with Haftar: HoR spokesman Farraj Hasshem described Haftar’s “Operation Dignity” against Islamists as Libyan army operation despite reports most Haftar fighters young tribesmen with no military background, allegations of abuses including summary executions of captive Islamists and their families. UNSG Ban 11 Oct visited Tripoli, urged peace talks; condemned both Haftar and Ansar al-Sharia. Prime minister of Islamist-supported parallel govt in Tripoli, Omar al-Hasi, 21 Oct held first public diplomatic meeting with Turkish envoy. Egyptian airstrikes reportedly struck Islamist forces in Benghazi 15 Oct, Egypt denied involvement; HoR member Tareq al-Garrouchi alleged planes were Egyptian, pilots Libyan.

Egypt

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Scores killed in clashes between army and militants in Sinai, including 31 soldiers 24 Oct: govt declared three-month state of emergency in north and central Sinai, closed border with Gaza and evacuated 1,100 residents along border to create buffer zone; 26 Oct postponed indirect talks between Israel, Palestinian factions, scheduled to begin in Cairo late month, in reaction to attacks. Gaza reconstruction conference 12–13 Oct, co-hosted in Cairo by Egypt and Norway, trumpeted as sign of Egypt’s return to world stage in local media following similar reporting around President Sisi’s late Sept attendance of UNGA and meeting with U.S. President Obama. Renewed protests on university campuses across country beginning 11 Oct: several clashes between students and police including 149 students arrested over first three days of protests; student died following clashes at Alexandria University, eleven injured in bomb blast outside Cairo University 22 Oct. Twelve reported injured in bomb blast near Cairo courthouse 14 Oct; several bombings in northern city Tanta during Sufi religious festival 16 Oct, no casualties.

Algeria

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Army 10 Oct claimed to have killed five militants in retaliation for Sept beheading of French tourist. Three police killed by militants 16 Oct in Zemmoura, Relizane province. Hundreds of riot control police mid-Oct demonstrated in Algiers, southern town Ghardaia against poor working conditions in defiance of anti-protest law; protests followed several police injuries sustained during violent clashes between Arabs, Berbers in Ghardaia.

Egypt

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Muslim Brotherhood (MB) appeared to be losing support as protest turnout declined. Salafi al-Watan party 17 Sept withdrew from MB-led Alliance to Support Legitimacy (ASL) after earlier withdrawal of moderate al-Wasat party; both said planning to act as opposition groups, indicating participation in coming elections. Non-Islamist criticism of regime continued: at least 105 detainees, mostly secular activists, on hunger strike to protest unjust detentions under 2013 Protest Law; many in pre-trial detention. High-profile activist Alaa Abdelfattah, 2 others released from pre-trial detention 15 Sept; 116 students, arrested during demonstrations, released 17 Sept. MB leader Mohamed Badie handed another life sentence 15 Sept; prominent MB politician Mohamed Beltagy sentenced to 20 years imprisonment early month. Attacks by jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) continued in Sinai including 11 soldiers killed 2 Sept, 6 police killed 16 Sept; 4 ABM militants reported killed 23 Sept. ABM continued beheadings of local Sinai residents accused of cooperating with Israeli intelligence: corpse discovered 19 Sept marking eleventh such execution since mid-Aug. Three police killed in bombing outside foreign ministry in Cairo 21 Sept, claimed by militant group Ajnad Misr.

Tunisia

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Tensions and divisions grew among secular politicians ahead of parliamentary election campaign: leading secular party deputy Nida Tounes 1 Sept escaped assassination attempt; party leader and presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi 12 Sept claimed top party dissidents and security officials plotting his assassination; two top party officials opposing Essebsi’s candidacy fired following day. Islamist An-Nahda party appeared calm and confident, maintained not planning to field candidate for upcoming presidential election; former leader Hamdi Jebali 19 Sept echoed stance, declining to run and citing wish for Tunisia’s democracy to mature without Islamist-secular divide. Security situation remained stable despite border tensions; police 17 Sept killed 2 armed jihadis on border with Algeria.

Libya

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Military and political standoffs continued as Islamist-leaning militia coalition continued to clash with anti-Islamist groups, country’s 2 rival legislatures refused to recognise each other’s legitimacy; state institutions in increasing disarray as neither Council of Representatives (CoR) based in Tobruk nor General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli exert control. More than 100 killed in clashes between supporters of Islamist-leaning Operation Libya Dawn and rivals on outskirts of Tripoli; dozens killed in Benghazi including 9 in clashes between Islamist groups and Khalifa Haftar’s troops 9 Sept; several assassinations by suspected Islamists targeting activists and journalists, including 14 killed 18-20 Sept. Up to 12 reported killed in clashes between militias and police near El Shahara oil field 17 Sept. CoR 4 Sept reportedly signed military agreement with Egypt following alleged Egyptian airstrikes on Islamist positions in Tripoli in Aug; more airstrikes reported mid- to late Sept. CoR 22 Sept approved PM al-Thinni’s new cabinet. Head of GNC-backed administration Omar al-Hassi 15 Sept called for international recognition; GNC mid-month sent emissaries to Chad and Sudan. Rival parliamentary factions 29 Sept held talks under UN auspices in Western town of Ghadames, reportedly agreed to call for ceasefire; Libyan Dawn rejected call, demanded disarmament of rivals; earlier unsuccessful mediation attempts in early-Sept and 17 Sept international conference in Madrid produced no clear plan of action, only agreement not to recognise Tripoli-based govt."

Algeria

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Algerian AQIM faction 13 Sept announced split from group, creation of Jund Al-Khilafa (“Soldiers of the Caliphate”), pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL); late month beheaded French citizen Hervé Gourdel following 21 Sept abduction and demands for halt to French airstrikes against IS in Iraq.

Libya

  |  1 Sep 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Fighting between Islamist leaning Misrata-led militia coalition and anti-Islamist Zintan-led coalition continued in Tripoli, UN attempt to broker ceasefire failed mid-month; Misrata-led forces 23 Aug captured Tripoli’s international airport and Zintanis withdrew from the capital, but armed confrontations likely to continue. Fighting fuelled by instalment of new parliament, Council of Representatives (CoR), in eastern city Tobruk: 158 of 188 newly elected MPs 4 Aug convened for swearing-in ceremony; pro-Misrata factions disputed relocation from Tripoli, claimed transfer of authority to new parliament unconstitutional, CoR biased against Islamist factions; appealed to Supreme Constitutional Court. Former parliament General National Congress (GNC) 25 Aug reconvened in Tripoli, elected Islamist backed Omar al-Hasi PM in challenge to CoR’s authority. Acting PM al-Thinni 28 Aug announced resignation to allow CoR to form new govt. Multiple unidentified air strikes through month targeting Islamist positions; U.S. officials late month said Egypt and UAE responsible, Egypt denied involvement. Fighting between former General Hiftar’s forces and Islamist militants continued in Benghazi. UNSC 27 Aug imposed sanctions on individuals fuelling the fighting, ordered all arms transfers to be approved by UN sanctions committee.

Algeria

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

200 Syrian migrants detained 18 Aug in Oued Laâlemga near Libyan border, reportedly en route to Italy aided by Libyan Islamists. Army 12 Aug reportedly killed 2 militants in Ouled Riah.

Egypt

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Several killed during protests marking first anniversary of deadly raids on Cairo protest camps, including Rabaa Square mass killings, following ouster of former President Morsi: 9 protesters, 1 police reported killed 14-15 Aug; protester reported killed 8 Aug. Human Rights Watch 12 Aug urged investigation into 2013 killings, said protest raids may amount to crimes against humanity. MB Freedom and Justice Party dissolved by court 9 Aug; Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam 7 Aug rejected death sentence for Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, late month commuted sentence to life imprisonment. Violence continued in Sinai including reported army killing of 11 militants 3 Aug; jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis mid-month executed 4 over alleged links to security army, Israel. 5 police, 4 alleged smugglers reported killed west of Alexandria 5 Aug; unknown gunmen 18 Aug shot dead policeman north of Cairo.

Mauritania

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

President Mohamed Abdel Aziz sworn-in for second term 2 Aug; 2 members of youth opposition movement Kafana, including leader Jacob Ahmad, arrested by security forces 5 Aug over anti-Aziz graffiti.

Tunisia

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Optimism prevailed throughout month following late July “Gentlemen’s Agreement” on political party behaviour before and after elections, despite worries Oct election could re-ignite tensions. 1,500 electoral lists containing over 15,000 candidates submitted by 29 Aug deadline according to Independent High Electoral Commission (ISIE). Situation remained under control on eastern border, refugee influx from Libyan fighting stable (see Libya); approximately 3,000 Egyptians crossed daily, evacuated to Egypt with Tunisian cooperation. Security remained tense on Algerian border: suspected jihadis 2 Aug killed soldier manning border post; 2 others wounded by landmine in same area 16 Aug. Police 23 Aug killed 2 women mistaken for members of armed group near Kasserine. Interior ministry 7 Aug said 21 Ansar al-Sharia members allegedly plotting terror attack arrested in Tunis.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Polisario Front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz 18 Aug sent letter to UN condemning Moroccan military deployment in Western Sahara, continued expulsion of journalists and human rights activists.

Libya

  |  1 Aug 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Insecurity deepened as clashes between security units, militias left scores dead; fragmentation of newly elected parliament enhanced concerns over govt’s inability to tackle security challenges; first parliamentary session scheduled to take place in Benghazi early Aug, reportedly moved to Tobruk over security concerns. At least 94 reported killed 13-27 July in fighting between Zintan militia and security units affiliated with Islamist-leaning Libya Revolutionaries’ Operation Room (LROR) over control of Tripoli airport. Govt 28 July called for international help to fight oil tanker fires in Tripoli harbour set ablaze by fighting, rival militias 30 July agreed on temporary ceasefire to allow firefighters to try to control blaze. At least 75 reported killed mid- to late July in Benghazi during clashes between different govt forces and militias; Islamists seized control of Special Forces base 28 July in battle killing over 50. Former General Hiftar 31 July denied Islamist claims of complete control over Benghazi; Ansar al-Sharia 30 July declared city an “Islamic emirate”. UN staff 14 July pulled out of country due to increasing violence; U.S., several other embassies evacuated throughout month; UK embassy convoy attacked 26 July on road to Tunisia, no casualties; several countries announced plans to evacuate nationals. Acting PM al-Thinni reportedly prevented from flying to Tobruk by militia controlling Mitiga airport 24 July. FM Abdel Aziz 18 July appealed to UNSC for help in tackling security problem; UNSC statement 23 July stressed need for political solution.

Algeria

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Govt forces mid-month reportedly killed 6 suspected AQIM members, arrested 1. PM Abdelmalek Sellal 22 July met Tunisian counterpart following killing of at least 14 Tunisian soldiers by gunmen near border (see Tunisia); countries launched joint military operations including 8,000 Algerian troops. Govt 22 July announced plan to tackle crisis in southern town of Ghardaia following months of clashes between Arab and Mozabite Berbers killing 10 and damaging over 1,400 buildings.

Egypt

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Govt early July implemented deep fuel subsidy cuts as part of wider aggressive campaign to reduce budget deficit, also including electricity subsidy cuts and taxes on consumer goods: resulting fuel price hikes led to few scattered protests; full impact yet to be felt by consumers, fears move could increase social tensions; measures expected to fulfil one requirement for Egypt to secure IMF assistance package. Several deadly incidents along border with Israel including: soldier killed in roadside bombing in Rafah 9 July; 2 tribal elders reported killed by suspected Islamist militants in same town 21 July; 8 reported killed, including soldier, in explosions targeting security installations 14 July; over 20 militants, 4 children reported killed in shoot-outs, mortar fire 26-27 July. At least 21 guards killed in Western Desert oasis 19 July, Sinai-based jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis blamed. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued, extended to other parties from Alliance for Support of Legitimacy (ASL) opposing 2013 military coup; senior leaders of Construction and Development, Wasat party arrested early July. ASL 3-4 July arranged demonstrations on anniversary of coup, at least 6 reported killed in clashes, bomb blast in Cairo outside presidential palace. Former PM Kandil freed from jail mid-July, first release of senior official from administration of ousted President Morsi.

Mauritania

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Parliament 2 July passed anti-terrorism law.

Tunisia

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Govt forces stepped up operations against militants in west: at least 14 soldiers, 1 attacker reported killed 16 July in Mount Chambi area near Algerian border; 2 soldiers killed 26 July in El Kef region. Govt 17 July created new anti-terrorist agency; 19 July announced 63 suspected terrorists arrested in El Kef, Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine provinces. Around 40 mosques, 1 radio station, 1 TV station closed down by govt 20 July over alleged Islamist radicalism. FM Mongi Hamdi 30 July warned of possible border closure following Libya unrest, said UN presence requested.

Algeria

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Govt forces 4 June killed alleged terrorist in Bouira town; 11 suspected militants arrested mid-month by security forces in El Oued province. 11 policemen injured during unrest in Ghardaia town 8 June following clashes between Malekite and Ibadite communities. Several public buildings torched, 12 people injured 20 June in communal violence in Beriane town.

Egypt

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Sisi inaugurated 8 June after announcement of election result: Sisi won 96.9%, official turnout at 47.5%, opposition alleged fraud. Sisi 17 June swore in new cabinet retaining Ibrahim Mehleb as PM, appointed 13 new ministers without change in key ministries including defence, interior. Crackdown on dissidents and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 182 others, including 13 other senior members, sentenced to death 19 June; 2 protesters killed in clashes with govt forces next day in Cairo during demonstrations against sentencing. 1 police shot dead 13 June during dispersal of pro-MB protest in Cairo; another killed 16 June during shoot-out with alleged MB supporters; 2 police killed in bomb blast near presidential palace 30 June, claimed by militant group Ajnad Misr. 3 Al Jazeera journalists sentenced to 7 year imprisonment 23 June for helping “terrorist organisation”. Alaa Abdelfattah, prominent revolutionary youth activist known for participation in 2011 Tahrir Square occupation, sentenced 11 June to 15 years imprisonment for participating in unauthorised protest.

Libya

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Supreme Court 9 June ruled PM Ahmed Maiteeq’s appointment illegal; Maiteeq resigned same day; power restored to interim PM al-Thinni despite parts of General National Congress (GNC) opposing him over previous involvement with controversial militia leaders. Ousted PM Zeidan mid-June returned to country after having fled in March, announced plan to challenge dismissal in court. UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) cancelled political dialogue initiative scheduled 18-19 June due to opposition by liberal factions. Parliamentary elections held 25 June: 13 of 200 seats expected to remain unfilled following security challenges and boycotts, low turnout reported. At least 5 killed in election-day clashes between govt forces and militants in Benghazi; gunmen same day killed prominent political activist Salwa Bughaghis in Benghazi. Car bomb detonated in front of Constituent Assembly in Bayda 26 June, 2 injured. Clashes between Ansar al-Sharia and former General Khalifa Hiftar’s forces continued in and around Benghazi: 19 killed, 82 injured 1-2 June; at least 8 killed 15 June; Hiftar injured, 3 killed in assassination attempt 4 June; missiles fired on Benghazi airport, Tobruk military HQ mid-June. Influential cleric Sheikh Sadeq al-Ghariyani 9 June called on Libyans to fight Hiftar and his allies. Senior Ansar al-Sharia member Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspected of involvement in Sept 2012 U.S. embassy attack, captured 15 June by U.S. Special Forces in Benghazi.

Mauritania

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz re-elected 21 June with 82% of vote, turnout reportedly 56%; election boycotted by most opposition parties. Runner-up Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid 24 June accused govt of fraud, filed appeal at constitutional council; council 29 June rejected appeal, confirmed Aziz’s victory. Former President Ely Ould Mohamed Vall 17 June urged non-recognition of “farcical” elections.

Tunisia

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Following 13 June agreement by participants in National Dialogue, election commission announced parliamentary elections to be held in Oct ahead of presidential election in Nov, in line with sequence preferred by Islamist An-Nahda party. Security situation remained tense: 2 alleged jihadis killed 12 June by govt forces in Jendouba town; 2 civilians injured 11 June in IED attack in Mount Selloum close to Kasserine town; govt 3 June announced arrest of 14 alleged members of terrorist cell in Gafsa town. Interior minister 6 June called for allowing army to support regular security forces in cities. AQIM 13 June claimed responsibility for 27 May attack on interior minister’s family home that killed 4 police. Committee tasked with investigating alleged state violations of human rights since 1955 established 9 June.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Clashes between Moroccan forces and Saharawis continued: dozens injured 15 June during protest in Laayoune calling for human rights mechanism within UN MINURSO mandate. Moroccan authorities 5 June deported 2 Italian journalists for reporting on Saharawi resistance in Laayoune. Several injured 7 June in clash between Saharawis and Morrocan settlers in Dakhla city. Former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano appointed new AU special envoy for Western Sahara late month.

Libya

  |  1 Jun 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Libya brought to brink of country-wide military showdown over persistent insecurity and General National Congress (GNC) decision to back Ahmed Maiteeq, widely perceived as backed by Misrata-based Islamist groups, as new PM despite fierce controversy over legality of his 4 May appointment; Maiteeq 25 May obtained disputed GNC vote of confidence. Retired army general Khalifa Hiftar, army units and tribal-backed forces from east 16 May launched military assault including airstrikes against militant Islamist groups in Benghazi; at least 70 killed in fighting; several army units including Benghazi-based Special Forces, Tobruk-based airforce units and Ibrahim Jedran’s Petroleum Guards Force declared support for Hiftar’s operation; Jedran and Hiftar 26 May said did not recognise Maiteeq’s govt; interim PM al-Thinni’s govt also questioned legality of Maiteeq’s appointment. Militia allies 18 May attacked GNC in Tripoli, ordered its suspension; at least 4 killed, dozens injured. Radical Islamist Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi leader al-Zahawi 27 May vowed to battle Hiftar, accused U.S. of supporting him, threatened to bring foreign fighters to Libya. U.S. 28 May issued travel warning, recommended U.S. citizens leave immediately.

Tunisia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Political calm marred by security incidents: state of emergency declared in south 9 May following violent clashes between inhabitants over agricultural land. Socio-economic protests continued in interior and south. Aziz Amami, blogger and leader of “I burned a police station” movement established to defend young demonstrators on trial for burning police stations during 2011 uprising arrested 12 May on drug charges, charges dismissed 25 May. Human rights groups reported Amani mistreated in custody, said arrest due to police desire for revenge. President Marzouki 6 May raised prospect of presidential pardons for jihadists while visiting Mount Chaambi area, target of ongoing military operations. 2 soldiers killed, 4 injured by landmine in Mount Chaambi 23 May. PM Jomaa 25 May reported terrorist operation targeting national leaders, economic and tourist establishments prevented by security forces. Interior Minister Ben Jeddou’s home in Kasserine, south, attacked late May by suspected Islamist militants, 4 policemen killed. Court 26 May ordered dissolution of vigilante group League for the Protection of the Revolution. New electoral law officially promulgated 26 May: head of electoral committee said general elections will “probably” take place late-Nov.

Egypt

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Presidential election held 26-28 May amid heavy security presence; Hamdeen Sabbahi, sole challenger to Former Defence Minister Field Marshal Abdelfattah el-Sisi, alleged number of violations; reports of detentions and arrests of campaign members, voter intimidation, pro-Sisi campaigning inside polling stations, Sabbahi’s representatives denied access. PM Mehleb declared second day of voting public holiday, Election Commission extended voting to third day; both Sabbahi and Sisi filed complaints against extension. Early unofficial results suggested Sisi won around 93% of vote. Reported turnout numbers varied, judicial sources said around 44%. Sabbahi conceded defeat, questioned turnout numbers. Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy claimed only around 10% voted, staged several protests; 4 supporters reported killed 30 May during clashes with police in Cairo. Tamarrod group said 1 member and 1 Sisi campaign coordinator shot dead in Giza province same day. In run-up to election, Sisi restricted public appearances to select TV interviews after claiming 2 assassination plots against him uncovered early month: campaign message included warnings 2 years of tough reforms needed; media should temper criticism of govt in interim; protests and strikes should cease; democracy not feasible in short term. Sisi showed no inclination towards reconciling with anti-coup forces. Violent unrest, acts of terrorism and state crackdown continued. Twin suicide bombings killed 3 in Sinai 2 May, claimed by insurgent group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis; same day 2 soldiers killed in Cairo bombings and 2 killed in Alexandria, reportedly during clashes between Morsi supporters and residents. 3 police killed 20 May in drive-by shooting outside Cairo’s al-Azhar university. Court 21 May sentenced former president Mubarak to 3 years imprisonment for stealing public funds.

Algeria

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Following April re-election, President Bouteflika 5 May named new cabinet, opposition refused offer to participate; Bouteflika 15 May proposed constitutional amendments including two-term presidential limit, less restrictions on media. Violence continued in south: 12 militants killed by govt forces 5 May in Tamanrasset province. 2 AQIM members killed by govt forces 13 May in Boumerdes province; AQIM 1 May claimed responsibility for Kabylie attack 18-19 April that killed 11 soldiers. Govt 19 May closed border with Lybia, fearing influx of militants.

Mauritania

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Mauritania: President Abdel Aziz 23 April announced his intention to stand for re-election in the 21 June polls, despite continued boycott by the opposition.

Egypt

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Former Defence Minister Abdelfattah el-Sisi and Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi only 2 candidates to register for 26-27 May presidential election by 20 April nomination deadline. Court 15 April banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members from running in any elections. Sabbahi campaign warned against use of state resources and media in favour of Sisi, complained of assaults on campaigners and arrests on false grounds. EU foreign policy chief Ashton visited Cairo 10 April, formally announced EU election monitoring mission, reportedly called Sisi’s decision to run “courageous”; no meeting with MB representatives, who criticised visit. Attacks on security forces continued with militant group Ajnad Misr claiming several bomb attacks: 2 killed outside Cairo University 2 April, including police brigadier-general; 1 police killed in Cairo 18 April; 2 police shot dead 20 April between Cairo and Suez. Several killed by govt forces, including in separate incidents 11 April: pro-MB demonstrator shot dead in Alexandria, 2 MB members reported killed in Nile Delta shoot-out, prominent Ansar Beit al-Maqdis militant killed in Sinai according to military officials. At least 25 killed early April in clashes between rival clans in Aswan. Court 28 April sentenced 683 defendants to death, including MB leader Mohamed Badie; another court banned April 6 Movement. Govt announced price increase for subsidised fuel, electricity, water, imposed ban on high-power air-conditioning units ahead of expected summer energy crisis.

Algeria

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Presidential elections held 17 April, low turnout reported, especially in Kabylie (23%); President Bouteflika secured re-election with 81.53% of votes, 28 April pledged constitutional reform, said reestablishment of peace and security is priority. Runner-up and former PM Ali Benflis took 12%, decried massive fraud, accused Constitutional Council of cover-up. Police violently dispersed attempts by opposition activists to stage protests in capital ahead of vote. Jihadis reportedly killed 11 soldiers 18-19 April in Kabylie. Tensions between Chaambis (Arabs) and Mozabites (Berbers) in south continued: at least 35 injured, including 17 police, 5-6 April. Violent clashes between police and Kabyle Berber activists in Tizi Ouzou 20 April, day of celebration of Berber spring.

Western Sahara

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

UNSC 29 April renewed MINURSO peacekeeping mandate for another year, called on all parties to respect human rights, but did not call for inclusion of component to monitor abuses, as advocated by POLISARIO, Algeria, rights groups.

Tunisia

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Salafis clashed with police 8 April in Rouhia (east) and 12 April in Menzel Nour (west), several police injured. Dozens of Salafis arrested, police raided mosque in Rouhia early April, evicted several self-appointed imams, notably in Baraket Essahel. Major military operation began late-April to rout militants from Chaambi mountains. MPs condemned clemency granted by military to former Ben Ali regime security officials involved in repression of 2010-11 uprising. Economic deterioration continued, several officials suggested short-term austerity measures necessary; PM Jomaa 29 April said reforms needed but ruled out severe cuts. French and German FMs visited, pledged financial aid.

Libya

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

General National Congress (GNC) remained polarised despite March ouster of PM Zeidan. Interim PM Abdullah al-Thinni 12 April announced resignation after gunmen attacked his home and family. Gunmen 29 April stormed GNC, disrupted selection of new PM; several injured. Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) convened 21 April, but 13 of 60 seats remain unfilled; president, VP and rapporteur for CDA appointed. Govt early April began direct negotiations with federalist movement leader Ibrahim Jedran on oil terminal crisis; Jedran reportedly agreed to lifting closure of 4 oil terminals in 2 stages in exchange for establishment of investigation into oil sector irregularities, disbursement of salaries to militiamen and dropping of criminal charges against them. Hariga and Zeutina ports reopened; reopening of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider terminals conditional on govt implementation of deal. Agreement opposed by some factions within GNC and govt as well as allied armed groups. Abductions continued including Jordan’s ambassador 15 April, Tunisian embassy adviser 17 April. At least 2 killed in suicide bomb targeting army camp in Benghazi 27 April. U.S. Deputy Sec State visited 24 April, promised help to tackle “rising violent extremism”.

Egypt

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Field Marshal Abdelfattah el-Sisi resigned as defence minister 26 March in order to run in May presidential election; candidate registration open 30 March-20 April. Interim President Mansour 8 March decreed controversial new election law protecting decisions of election commission from legal challenges, refused to amend it after some parties protested on grounds that doing so could lengthen electoral process. Previously announced contender Sami Anan withdrew from presidential race; second runner-up in 2012 presidential election General Ahmed Shafik in leaked recording said election bound to be rigged in favour of Sisi, in subsequent public statement backed Sisi; another former candidate, human rights lawyer Khaled Ali, announced he would not run, called election “farce”. New govt formed 1 March by PM Ibrahim Mehleb, member of pre-2011 ruling party; departure of outgoing PM Biblawi and Deputy PM Ziad Bahaa Eddin, who represented liberals in anti-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) alliance, seen by observers as further reducing prospect of reconciliation with MB. Court 24 March sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members to death for murder and other offences, sparking domestic and international condemnation; sentence to be appealed. Several police and army officers killed during month, including 6 officers by gunmen at checkpoint near Cairo 15 March; army blamed MB, MB denied. 2 senior army officers, 6 militants killed 19 March in Nile Delta region during army raid on jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. Clashes continued between MB supporters and police across country, several casualties: MB-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy called for 11 days of protests starting on 19 March anniversary of 2011 constitutional referendum, 2 killed in clashes same day; 5 killed in Cairo 29 March during protests against Sisi presidential bid.

Mauritania

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Opposition parties Rally for Democratic Forces (RFD), Coordination for Democratic Opposition and Islamist party Tawassoul threatened boycott of July presidential elections.

Tunisia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Jan political truce between Islamists and secularists continued. Ongoing debate over new electoral law in National Constituent Assembly; main issue is whether to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on same day and right of illiterate voters to use proxies. Independent Election Commission head 26 March said polls will go ahead in 2014 despite election law delays. Social tensions driven by economic insecurity increased, particularly in south: police and residents in Ben Guerdane clashed 11 March following temporary closure of border post with Libya. 6 security officers wounded 17 March in shootout in Jendouba, NW; 2 officers injured same day in Sidi Bouzid.

Algeria

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Preparations for 17 April presidential polls continued. Authorities 1 March dispersed youths protesting in Algiers against President Bouteflika’s intention to run for 4th term. Recently-formed citizen’s movement “Barakat” (“enough”) 2 March filed complaint at Constitutional Court against Bouteflika 4th term; protested outside Constitutional Court 4-6, 8 March. At least 264 arrested 1-6 March; presidential candidate and former PM Ali Benflis denounced wave of arrests; rights groups also denounced ongoing repression. Security forces killed over a dozen suspected terrorists in series of operations during month near Tizi Ouzou, Tébessa, Bouira. Intercommunal tensions in Ghardaïa continued: at least 10 injured in clashes between Mozabites (Berbers) and Chaambis (Arabs) 6 March; at least 1 injured 10 March in attacks on buses; at least 20 injured, 3 killed in clashes 11-16 March.

Libya

  |  1 Apr 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Crisis over blockade of oil export terminals continued, risking expansion into wider fight between Islamists and non-Islamists, and respective militia allies. Tensions between Tripoli and gunmen loyal to eastern pro-autonomy leader Ibrahim Jedran escalated after Jedran forces loaded crude oil on North Korean-flagged tanker in Sidra terminal 8-10 March in defiance of state authority; U.S. naval forces 16 March took control of tanker near Cyprus, returned it to Libyan govt authority. General National Congress (GNC) president ordered use of force to liberate terminals; clashes ensued in Sirte and Zillah oil field; GNC president 12 March suspended military action and gave 2-week deadline to vacate terminals peacefully or face force; pro-Jedran forces mid-March gathered at Wadi Ahmar in anticipation of further clashes. GNC 11 March passed no-confidence motion ousting PM Zeidan, ending long standoff over Zeidan’s failure to address oil crisis; defence minister Abdallah al-Thinni sworn in as interim PM. At international conference on Libya in Rome 6 March, NATO reaffirmed commitment to help with transition. UNSC 13 March renewed UNSMIL mandate, 19 March mandated international community to seize ships transporting Libyan oil acquired illegally. Bomb exploded at Tripoli airport 22 March.

Tunisia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

New technocratic govt headed by PM Mehdi Jomaa in place, easing political tensions. Islamist An-Nahda and secular Nida Tounes party struggling to reach agreement on legal framework for upcoming elections and unwritten rules to help avoid clashes. Security concerns remain: armed jihadis 16 Feb killed 4, including 3 security force members, near Jendouba city. Interior minister announced around 400 Tunisians returned from fighting in Syria. U.S. Sec State Kerry visited 18 Feb to discuss security, praised transition progress, promised help in fight against radical Islamist militants.

Libya

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated

Armed violence and unrest increased across country; UNSMIL 25 Feb expressed “deep concern” over ongoing assassinations, bombings and other attacks. Peaceful protests across country early Feb calling for General National Congress (GNC), whose mandate some argue ended 7 Feb, to disband; at least 8 congressmen resigned in protest at Jan extension of GNC’s mandate. Several armed groups threatened to disband GNC by force: Zintan military council 12 Feb accused GNC of being “new dictatorship”, announced intention to use force if necessary; brigades affiliated with pro-autonomy group in east 18 Feb supported calls to suspend GNC. Retired army commander Khalifa Hiftar, claiming to speak for national army, 18 Feb demanded GNC transfer power to interim presidential body entrusted with emergency legislative powers. Mostly Islamist rival armed groups across country publicly supported GNC. GNC early Feb accepted 8 possible candidates to replace PM Zeidan. 20 Feb polls to elect assembly to draft constitution marred by low turnout, minor violence that halted voting in Derna, Murzuk and Awbari. Assassinations continued across country including air force colonel killed 3 Feb and first post-Qadhafi prosecutor-general killed 8 Feb in Derna; residents of Benghazi protested assassinations, deteriorating security following 26 Feb killing of 2 policemen. Bodies of 7 Egyptian Christians found on beach near Benghazi late Feb; all killed execution-style.

“Libya’s turmoil: little to celebrate”, Economist, 22 Feb. 2014.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Security forces 15 Feb violently dispersed march in Laayoune chanting slogans calling for freedom, self-determination and extension of MINURSO prerogatives to include human rights monitoring in W Sahara.

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CrisisWatch N°136

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