You must enable JavaScript to view this site.
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our legal notice and privacy policy for more details.
Close
Homepage > Publication Type > CrisisWatch > CrisisWatch Database

CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

period from    to 

887 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 887 First   Previous   Next   Last

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

In interviews with BBC 21 Jan and Al Jazeera 29 Jan, President Sirisena rejected participation of foreign judges in special war crimes court due to be established under terms of 2015 UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution. Sirisena also appeared to rule out other forms of international involvement agreed to at HRC; 28 Jan parliamentary statement by PM Wickremesinghe maintained possible role for foreign lawyers and other experts. Govt 9 Jan presented resolution to parliament to inaugurate process of drafting new constitution, abolish executive presidency, introduce new electoral system, expand provincial powers. Opposition issued several procedural objections; session to resolve disagreements failed 12 Jan, further discussions postponed until Feb. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Sumanthiran 26 Jan demanded devolution of power in new constitution. Sirisena 20 Jan reiterated Dec pledge of returning all people displaced by conflict in north and east by mid-2016. PM 15 Jan promised further 4,000 acres to be released for resettlement, efforts to release more Tamil prisoners held under Prevention of Terrorism Act, which he said would be repealed and replaced with new legislation. UK minister for Asia called on govt to finalise transitional justice mechanisms during 14-16 Jan visit. Sri Lanka-EU meetings in Colombo 18-21 Jan, discussed renewal of GSP+ trade preferences. Police 30 Jan arrested Yoshitha Rajapaksa, son of former president, and four others, on money laundering and fraud charges with respect to private TV station established under Rajapaksa govt. Gnanasara Thera, leader of Buddhist militant group Bodu Bala Sena, arrested 26 Jan on contempt of court and other charges following disruption of court proceedings 25 Jan; crowds led by monks protesting Gnanasara’s arrest dispersed by army and police.

Pakistan

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

Deadly attack on Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KPK)’s Charsadda district 20 Jan killed at least twenty including fourteen students, faculty member, librarian, two security guards, driver. Four attackers killed in clashes with security forces; Pakistani Taliban (TTP) denied involvement, however TTP faction commander Umar Mansoor, alleged by some to have masterminded Dec 2014 Peshawar school attack, claimed credit, his group threatened further attacks on schools. Five arrested 23 Jan charged with aiding militants. Dozens killed in terrorist attacks during month, including eleven killed by suicide bomber at market near police checkpoint in Peshawar 19 Jan. Anti-terrorism court 11 Jan issued arrest warrants for Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Hussain and twenty others for “criminal conspiracy against the state” over their criticisms of paramilitary Rangers’ activities in Karachi. Violence continued in Balochistan, several security personnel killed in attacks. Seventeen killed including twelve police in suicide attack outside polio vaccination centre in Quetta 13 Jan; TTP and Jundullah both claimed responsibility. Punjab law minister 3 Jan announced 42 arrested for alleged Islamic State (IS) links. Nearly 80 militants reportedly surrendered to govt forces in N Waziristan region 15 Jan. Reviewing implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism, interior minister 30 Dec said govt efforts had significantly improved security, conceded banned extremist groups re-emerging under new name; acknowledged limited progress on reforming status of FATA, finding solutions to Afghan refugee presence, strengthening criminal justice system.

Nepal

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

Protests against new constitution by Madhesi groups continued into fifth month despite differences among agitating four-party United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) on intensifying or scaling back blockade on essential supplies along southern Tarai belt in light of increasing humanitarian toll. Talks continued between mainstream parties and UDMF with latter expressing willingness to agree on three-month framework to resolve constitutional disputes. Rapprochement undermined 21 Jan after three Madhesi protestors killed and nine injured in police firing in Morang district following clashes between UDMF cadres and ruling party UML’s youth wing; 57 total protest-related deaths since demonstrations began Aug 2015. Trust deficit widened after 23 Jan adoption of two constitutional amendments related to constituency delineation and proportional representation of historically marginalised groups; UDMF boycotted parliamentary deliberations, rejected amendments for not redrawing highly contested provincial boundaries in new federal state structure, criticised mainstream parties for unilaterally passing amendments while dialogue still unresolved; announced new phase of protests targeting capital to increase pressure on govt. Post-earthquake reconstruction still stalled despite National Reconstruction Authority 13 Jan unveiling three-month action plan. UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited Kathmandu 7-8 Jan, expressed concern over economy, humanitarian situation, reconstruction efforts.

Kashmir

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

Less than a week after Indian PM Modi paid surprise visit to Pakistani PM Sharif, militants 2 Jan attacked Indian airbase in Pthankot in Punjab near Pakistan border, killing seven soldiers; five attackers reported killed. Indian authorities said evidence suggests Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad behind attack, although Kashmiri United Jihad Council claimed responsibility 4 Jan. Pakistani govt 13 Jan announced several Jaish-e-Mohammad members arrested in Punjab suspected of involvement in attack, including founder Maulana Azhar; Jaish-e-Mohammad denied Azhar had been arrested. Indian officials 18 Jan announced laser fences to be established across 40 “vulnerable” stretches along border. FM-level talks arranged for 15 Jan postponed to “near future” following 2 Jan attack. Pro-independence demonstrators and Indian security forces clashed in Srinagar 20 Jan; one civilian killed, prompting further demonstrations 22 Jan.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

On second anniversary of controversial 2014 elections 5 Jan, both ruling Awami League (AL) party and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) staged large rallies, notably without violent clashes. BNP party leaders reportedly claimed party will concentrate on reorganisation. BNP contested local polls in 234 municipalities 30 Dec, securing 21 seats; AL won 179 seats amid allegations of widespread rigging. Around 50 candidates boycotted elections, another 36 pulled out on election day due to alleged rigging. Journalists covering polls clashed with ruling party activists, at least fifteen injured, numerous others threatened. AL hailed elections as “free and fair”, BNP criticised process but decided against staging protests. Court 25 Jan ordered BNP party leader Khaleda Zia to appear in court in March over sedition charges. Supreme Court 6 Jan upheld death sentence for Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizmi, convicted for 1971 war crimes. Govt 12 Jan issued review petition to Supreme Court seeking death penalty for top Jamaat-e-Islami member Delwar Hossain Sayedee, also charged with 1971 war crimes. Court 18 Jan jailed five militants from banned Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) over 2005 bombings. Deterioration in relations with Pakistan which began following Pakistani criticisms of Nov 2015 executions of two opposition leaders sentenced by International Crimes Tribunal continued; Pakistani govt 5 Jan demanded withdrawal of Bangladeshi senior diplomat from high commission in Islamabad. Islamic State (IS) reportedly claimed responsibility for murder of Christian convert in Jhenaidah 7 Jan.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged

Afghan, Pakistani, U.S., Chinese delegates met in Islamabad 11 Jan and Kabul 18 Jan to discuss mechanisms for reviving talks with Taliban, following late Dec meeting between President Ghani and Pakistani army chief. CEO Abdullah’s deputy spokesman said Pakistani officials had pledged to provide Kabul with list of Taliban leaders willing to negotiate, and that Islamabad had agreed to cut off financial support to Taliban. Nangarhar governor 12 Jan said twelve-member Taliban group joined govt-initiated peace process in his province. Independent Election Commission 18 Jan announced long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections to be held 15 Oct; CEO Abdullah’s deputy spokesman called decision illegitimate. Rival Taliban factions reportedly agreed to end violent infighting 1 Jan. Insurgents continued to made gains in south and north, as heavy fighting continued in Helmand, Takhar and elsewhere. Unidentified gunmen 4 Jan attacked Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province; three insurgents and one police killed. One U.S. soldier killed by Taliban in Marjah, Helmand 5 Jan; U.S. conducted airstrikes in area 6 Jan. Seven journalists killed in Taliban suicide car bomb attack in Kabul 20 Jan. Helmand police chief claimed around 120 Taliban insurgents killed 4-6 Jan in Marjah. Taliban and Islamic State (IS) clashed in Batikot and Chaparhar of Nangarhar province early Jan, dozens killed. Suicide attack on Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad 13 Jan killed seven police, IS claimed responsibility. U.S. 21 Jan said military authorised to target IS in Afghanistan. Security officials 2 Jan reported ten-day operation against IS in Nangarhar killed 150 fighters. Suicide bomber 17 Jan killed at least thirteen at home of tribal elder in Jalalabad.

Sri Lanka

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Govt’s first budget passed 3 Dec with over two-thirds majority; addressed some serious fiscal and economic challenges, but widely perceived as transitional step toward deeper reforms. Responding to public pressure, govt 18 Dec agreed to withdraw legislation criminalising hate speech; civil society groups and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) objected to adoption of language resembling that of Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), used to imprison dissidents. Govt 17 Dec announced establishment of new secretariat for coordinating development of various “reconciliation mechanisms”, including missing persons office and “truth, reconciliation and prevention of conflicts commission”. Sri Lanka 10 Dec signed international convention on disappearances. Presidential commission on missing persons resumed public hearings in Jaffna mid Dec, amid new protests by affected families. Despite repeated promises and renewed hunger strikes by prisoners, no further releases of the more than 200 detainees held under PTA. Officials denied new allegations by Tamil politicians and activists of secret detention camps. Failure to release more military-occupied land has also fuelled discontent among Tamils in north; govt officials reiterated FM’s 3 Dec pledge that further 6,000 acres would be released for resettlement, but without date/location. 19 Dec formation of “Tamil People’s Council”, composed of civil society and political party leaders and co-chaired by Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, seen as having potential to pose strong challenge to TNA.

Pakistan

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Four men hanged 2 Dec for involvement in Dec 2014 Peshawar school attack, first executions in connection to attack. Attacks in FATA included: at least 23 suspected militants killed 15 Dec in airstrikes in Khyber Agency; bomb targeting Shias in Parachinar 13 Dec killed at least 22, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and S Waziristan-based Ansar ul Mujahidin both claimed responsibility. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) police 12 Dec reportedly arrested over 500 for suspected terrorism links. At least 22 killed in suicide bomb in KPK’s Mardan 29 Dec; Pakistani Taliban faction Jamaat-ul Ahrar claimed responsibility. Sindh’s civil-military provincial apex committee 2 Dec announced creation of 30 anti-terrorism courts and hiring of 8,000 police and twenty prosecutors to support Karachi operation. Sindh assembly 16 Dec extended Rangers’ policing powers in Karachi, though with conditions and limitations following intense criticism of Rangers’ methods and overreach. Police 1 Dec killed four suspected militants in raid targeting al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent in S Punjab; 11 Dec killed five suspected LeJ members in Lahore. Nine suspected militants with alleged ties to Islamic State (IS) arrested in Punjab 28 Dec. Attacks on journalists continued, including grenade attacks on television network offices in Lahore 1 Dec injuring four, and 7 Dec attack in Punjab’s Sargodha district. Lahore High Court 9 Dec acquitted Sunni extremist Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan’s (SSP) Qari Muhammad Yousaf, overturning May 2015 sentence by anti-terrorism court. Balochistan govt 7 Dec extended paramilitary Corps’ policing powers; continuing violence in province included: gunmen 8 Dec killed two National Party members in Khuzdar district; security forces 14 Dec killed at least thirteen suspected militants in Awaran district. Pakistan military 11 Dec test-fired intermediate range nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

Nepal

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Protests against new constitution by Madhesi groups, disruption of imports across Indian border, and clashes between demonstrators and police continued along southern plains. Protesters 16 Dec attacked President Bidya Bhandari’s motorcade in Dhanusha district. One protester killed in police firing 20 Dec in Rautahat district; at least 50 protest-related deaths since Aug. Veteran Madhesi leader Rajendra Mahato injured in 26 Dec clash with police. Madhesi leaders 5 Dec met Indian FM Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, urged India to play diplomatic role in resolving crisis. Coalition of Madhesi parties criticised Constitution Amendment Bill tabled 15 Dec for not addressing demands regarding citizenship, proportional inclusion in state bodies, and redrawing of provincial boundaries; intensified protests beginning 18 Dec; rejected Govt’s 20 Dec “ambiguous” three-point roadmap that included formation of political committee to resolve state restructuring dispute despite Indian Foreign Ministry welcoming govt decision. Amid ongoing criticism of UML-led govt over deteriorating humanitarian situation following April/May earthquakes, eight displaced people living in temporary shelters died as temperatures dropped throughout Dec; Reconstruction Authority Bill passed 16 Dec to expedite reconstruction work. Ruling-coalition member UCPN (Maoist) reportedly dissatisfied with PM Oli’s 24 Dec cabinet expansion.

Kashmir

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Indian and Pakistani national security advisers met in Bangkok 6 Dec, discussed peace and security, terrorism, Kashmir, Line of Control (LoC). Indian FM Sushma Swaraj 8-9 Dec attended conference in Islamabad in first visit by Indian diplomat to Pakistan in three years; issued joint statement saying both countries “condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate it”, agreed to “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue”. Indian PM Modi paid surprise visit to Pakistan PM Sharif’s Lahore residence via Kabul 25 Dec, first by an Indian leader in almost twelve years; agreed to foreign secretaries meeting mid Jan. Pakistan defence secretary Alam Khattak 4 Dec told Senate’s standing committing on defence India had violated ceasefire 247 times since PM Modi’s election in May 2014: 163 along LoC and 84 along Working Boundary; resulted in at least 39 Pakistani civilians killed, 150 wounded. One civilian and six Indian security officials injured in terrorist attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy 7 Dec in Anantnag district; two militants killed 8 Dec in clashes with police and CRPF in Pulwama district; Indian army reportedly prevented infiltration attempt 4 Dec in Poonch district, three guerrillas killed. Indian security forces 4 Dec launched anti-militancy operation in Kupwara district, two militants and soldier killed.

Bangladesh

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Govt continued clampdown on dissent, including with ban on several social media sites. During Facebook ban police arrested three for making “derogatory” remarks against govt; ban lifted 10 Dec, paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion same day arrested administrator of satirical Facebook page Refayet Ahmed for “campaigning against the government and state”, released four days later. Further signs of rising extremism, with two temples in northern district Dinajpur attacked 5 and 10 Dec; former attack involved timed bomb, two shot dead in latter. At least six including three naval officers wounded following two explosions at two mosques at Chittagong naval base 18 Dec; two men arrested. Alleged Islamist extremist Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) member 8 Dec admitted Oct killing of Japanese national; another JMB member reportedly admitted to Nov attack on Italian priest. Security Forces arrested seven suspected JMB militants in Dhaka 24 Dec; 28 Dec killed two alleged JMB militants in raid outside Dhaka. Police 15 Dec attributed recent attacks including on foreigners and Hindu temples to JMB, claimed no evidence of Islamic State (IS) link despite IS public claims of responsibility. Calls 16 Decby several civil society organisations for Bangladesh to cut bilateral ties after Pakistan dismissed claims of genocide during 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Dhaka-based Pakistani diplomat withdrawn 23 Dec after local media reported links to detained JMB operative; Pakistan said charges “baseless”.

Afghanistan

  |  4 Jan 2016

Deteriorated

Fighting raged between govt forces and Taliban in Helmand province. Deputy governor of Helmand 20 Dec said province “on the brink” of Taliban takeover; also reported Taliban had taken control of Sangin district. UK 22 Dec announced deployment of troops to Helmand in advisory role, U.S. 23 Dec launched airstrikes in Sangin district. Taliban 8-9 Dec attacked airport and military base in Kandahar, leaving over 40 killed; 11-12 Dec attacked Spanish embassy guesthouse, killing two Spanish security officials, four police. Six U.S. troops killed by suicide bomber near Bagram air base 21 Dec; three rockets hit govt area of Kabul same day. New Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour reportedly wounded in argument with rival commanders in Quetta, Pakistan 2 Dec; Taliban denied, released audio message reportedly of Mansour 5 Dec. Clashes reported between Taliban factions in Shindand district 8 Dec, at least 54 reported killed. Senior U.S. commander Gen. John Campbell 15 Dec warned of Islamic State activity in Jalalabad, Nangarhar; Attending “Heart of Asia” conference in Islamabad 8-9 Dec, President Ghani appealed to neighbours to help contain terrorism. Meeting in Paris 1 Dec, Ghani and Pakistani PM Sharif agreed to resume talks with Taliban. National Directorate of Security chief resigned 10 Dec over disagreement with Ghani on forging closer ties with Pakistan. Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif held talks in Kabul on ways to revive talks with Taliban 27 Dec. One killed, thirteen wounded in Kabul suicide attack 28 Dec. Ghani pledged to hold parliamentary and district council elections in 2016. First new opposition party in fourteen years “Council of Protection and Stability in Afghanistan” formed 18 Dec.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Cabinet 18 Nov approved paper calling for abolition of executive presidency and new electoral laws, key elements of Sirisena’s original reform agenda. Followed 12 Nov state funeral of revered Buddhist monk, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who helped lead civil society movement to defeat President Rajapaksa. Doubts about govt’s “good governance” credentials and commitment to pursue criminal prosecutions for corruption and abuse of power by former regime heightened after parliamentary debate 5 Nov in which Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana defended operations of company with contract to use leased govt weapons for anti-piracy operations and currently under police investigation. Marapana previously acted as company’s lawyer earlier in 2015; resigned 10 Nov following public outcry over conflict of interest. Tamil political parties and activists in north and east organised general strike 13 Nov against continued detention of prisoners under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and demanding PTA’s repeal; 38 prisoners eventually released over month; govt promised further releases by mid-Dec, non-committal on repeal. Govt 22 Nov revoked March 2014 ban on eight diaspora organisations and over 260 people for alleged links with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). UN working group on enforced and involuntary disappearances visited 9-18 Nov, verified at least one secret, unauthorised place of detention, where detainees appear to have been tortured; called on govt to address legacy of tens of thousands of disappearances, with urgent reforms including key points agreed to in Sept UN HRC consensus resolution. Foreign ministry 28 Oct held consultation with civil society groups on how to structure island-wide consultation process on transitional justice reforms agreed at Human Rights Council. Finance minister presented budget to parliament 20 Nov including policies to promote reforms outlined in 5 Nov Economic Policy Statement designed to reduce budget deficits and restructure economy toward exports with added value; budget continues annual post-war increases in military expenditures.

Pakistan

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Military claimed airstrikes killed twenty militants in Tirah and Rajgal areas of Khyber agency 7 Nov, and 22 in N Waziristan’s Shawal valley 14 Nov. Despite claims of military successes, several killed in continued attacks on security personnel. Journalist and member of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Zaman Mehsud killed 3 Nov in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)’s Tank district; Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility. Signs of civil-military tensions after military warned that insufficient progress on implementation of anti-terrorism National Action Plan could undermine operations against extremist groups. All-parties conference in Islamabad 2 Nov backed proposal for constitutional amendment to merge FATA with KPK, thus extending full political and other constitutional rights to tribal belt; PM Sharif instead formed five-member committee 9 Nov to examine FATA reform options, widely seen as military-devised attempt to delay debate and passage of proposed constitutional amendment; FATA-political parties alliance participants 16 Nov staged demonstration calling for merger. National Assembly 14 Nov passed Pakistan Army (amendment) bill, granting armed forces, civil armed forces and law enforcement agencies legal cover for arrests and detentions, and allowing military courts to conceal identity of “persons concerned with court proceedings”. Separatist Baloch Republic Army leader issued statement 15 Nov requesting Baloch leaders to develop unified stance, including on possible negotiations with state conditional on military ending operations in Balochistan. Several killed in continued militant violence, including three people killed in bomb attack on train in Mastung district 1 Nov. Army Chief Sharif visited Washington DC mid-Nov for meetings with military and intelligence counterparts and VP.

Nepal

  |  1 Dec 2015

Deteriorated

Political crisis intensified as protests by Madhesi groups over constitutional provisions continued across southern Tarai plains, surpassing 100 days since start of agitation. Vehicular movement across Indian border remained disrupted; ensuing fuel shortage exacerbated by reported distribution irregularities by national oil company. Deputy PM Kamal Thapa 4 Nov spoke at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on disruption of supplies by India; Indian delegation expressed concern over lack of political progress and protest-related violence. Four protestors killed in police firing 22 Nov in southern district Saptari, bringing total protest-related deaths since Aug to 49. Demonstrators 14 Nov vandalised ruling party UML’s Parsa district office in Tarai, 20 Nov vandalised ambulance and vehicle carrying medical supplies in Parsa and Morang districts; agitating Madhes-based parties’ rally in Itahari district disrupted by local students 27 Nov. Defence Minister Bhim Rawal 28 Nov claimed Nepal Army could be deployed in Tarai. 18 Nov talks between govt and coalition of Madhes-based parties ended inconclusively; Madhesi parties demand package deal including amendments to new provincial boundaries to ensure demographic majority. Ruling UCPN (Maoist) in discussions with former vice-chairman Mohan Baidya regarding reunification. Hardline CPN Maoist called nationwide strike 29 Nov protesting unofficial Indian blockade.

Kashmir

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Firing from Pakistan-administered Kashmir reportedly killed two Indian soldiers 2 Nov. Pakistan’s foreign ministry representative 4 Nov told Senate that Indian firing across LoC had killed 87 Pakistani civilians and injured 407 since Jan 2010. Indian colonel killed by suspected militants in clash in N Kashmir 17 Nov; four suspected militants and one soldier killed in three separate clashes 23 Nov; three militants killed in attack on army base in Tangdhar 25 Nov, one civilian also killed; militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility for attack. Army 24 Nov said at least 60 militants active in N Kashmir. Pakistani foreign office spokesperson 5 Nov criticised Indian govt for arresting 389 Kashmiri separatists ahead of visit by PM Modi to Srinagar.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Dec 2015

Deteriorated

Crackdown on opposition continued, with leaders Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid (secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami) and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury (former Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) member) executed 22 Nov, both convicted by International Crimes Tribunal of committing war crimes during 1971 war of independence. Supreme Court 17 Nov had rejected final appeals against death sentences, govt increased security across country, tensions high amid concerns about Islamist backlash. BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir again taken into custody 3 Nov, with 89 charges pending against him; arrest warrants issued for three BNP leaders in cases related to political violence same day. Gunmen shot and seriously injured Italian pastor and physician in Dinajpur district 18 Nov; Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility, heightening concerns about foreigners’ safety. Security personnel also targeted; one police killed, four injured by gunmen outside capital 4 Nov. One dead and three wounded following attack on mosque in Bogra district 26 Nov; IS claimed responsibility. Govt continues to deny IS presence in Bangladesh. Following late Oct deadly extremist attack on publishers, two prominent writers/scholars received death threats during month.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

As Taliban infighting continued over opposition among many high-ranking members to Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour as new leader, prominent commanders 2 Nov created new faction headed by Mullah Mohammed Rasool Akhund, representing first formal split in movement. Clashes between rival factions broke out in Zabul province early Nov, killing 100 from both sides. Mansour 24 Nov appointed new head of Taliban political office in Qatar. President Ghani and Pakistani PM Sharif met in Paris 30 Nov to discuss ways to revive peace talks with Taliban, improve relations. Amid ongoing fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban, Badakhshan provincial official 18 Nov reported Taliban insurgents attacked and took control of parts of Yamgan district. 88 killed in fighting between Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and Taliban in Sangin district, Nangarhar 14 Nov; at least 65 ANA soldiers reportedly surrendered and defected to Taliban. Two Afghan soldiers and a foreign national killed, eighteen captured by Taliban following helicopter crash in Faryab province 24 Nov. Kunduz military commander 16 Nov said Afghan forces had made major gains against insurgents in Dasht-e-Archi district. Nangarhar province officials 5 Nov claimed at least 26 IS fighters killed during Afghan/U.S. military operation in Achin district. Ethnic Hazara protests reportedly numbering some 10,000 broke out in Kabul and other cities demanding justice and improved security following beheadings by Islamist militants 8 Nov of seven Hazara hostages in Jaghori district including three women and a nine-year-old girl. Unidentified gunmen 21 Nov kidnapped fourteen bus passengers, reportedly Hazaras. U.S. military inquiry 25 Nov determined “human error” behind 3 Oct airstrike on Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, with hospital mistaken for nearby Taliban-held govt building; MSF said investigation needed. NGO Democracy Watch Afghanistan 2 Nov warned against splitting election commission between loyalists of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah; also warned delays in parliamentary elections would undermine stability.

Sri Lanka

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

UNHRC 1 Oct passed landmark resolution on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka; resolution commits govt to ambitious agenda of transitional justice and political reforms, including establishment of truth and reconciliation commission, offices on missing persons and reparations, range of legal reforms addressing impunity for rights violations and, most controversially, establishment of special court to prosecute alleged international crimes. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomed HRC resolution, though other Tamil activists and civil society groups more critical of lack of stronger international role in promised transitional justice mechanisms. Former President Rajapaksa and other Sinhala nationalist politicians strongly critical of HRC resolution. Parliament 22-23 Oct debated OHCHR war crimes report and reports from two govt commissions that found serious human rights violations but defended legality of military strategy during war. Investigations continued into numerous cases of alleged corruption and other crimes under Rajapaksa regime; former LTTE commander and former eastern province chief minister S. Chandrakanthan (aka “Pillayan”) arrested 11 Oct for involvement in 2005 murder of TNA MP; attorney general 7 Oct indicted former secretary to president Lalith Weeratunga and several colleagues for misuse of public funds; new information about govt death squads emerged through investigations into 2009 abduction and presumed murder of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. Jaffna district judge 6 Oct convicted four soldiers of 2011 rape of two Tamil women. Tamil detainees held under anti-terrorism laws 17 Oct called off five-day hunger strike after govt promises to expedite cases and release those without charge.

Pakistan

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

Bomb blast killed two security personnel in FATA’s Mohmand agency 3 Oct; head of anti-Taliban militia killed in roadside bomb in Bannu district, adjacent to N Waziristan, next day. Several killed in ongoing attacks and clashes in Balochistan, including eleven people killed 19 Oct in bomb blast in bus in provincial capital Quetta, at least ten killed in suicide bombing at Shiite mosque in Bhaag 22 Oct. Sixteen killed in suicide attack in Jacobabad district 23 Oct during Muharram procession, despite additional security across country ahead of Muharram (first month of Islamic calendar). Interior ministry 6 Oct reported 588 people killed and 10,007 injured in 821 terrorist attacks Jan-Aug 2015. Seven killed in bomb blast in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MP’s office in Punjab’s Dera Ghazi Khan district 14 Oct. U.S. and Pakistan 22 Oct released joint statement concluding PM Sharif’s visit to Washington D.C., reaffirming “mutual commitment to democracy”, amid continued U.S. concerns about Pakistani support to Afghanistan and India-oriented jihadi proxies. Govt appointed newly retired Lieutenant General Naseer Khan Janjua national security advisor 23 Oct. Amid ongoing Rangers crackdown against its workers in Karachi, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) 9 Oct retracted resignations of its parliamentarians, ending two-month boycott, after senior party leaders and federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar agreed to formation of “Grievances Redressal Committee”; MQM leader in exile Altaf Hussain objected to party’s return to parliament. Earthquake near border in northern Afghanistan killed at least 267 in Pakistan, mostly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Nepal

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

K.P. Oli, head of the UML, elected PM 11 Oct following resignation of Sushil Koirala; UML leader Bidya Bhandari elected country’s first female president 28 Oct. Protests across southern Tarai plains by Madhesi and Tharu groups against new constitution entered third month; 16 Oct Human Rights Watch report called for investigations into killings during constitution-related protests. Obstructions at major Indian-border customs checkpoints continued, causing acute fuel shortage and increasing accusations of an unofficial Indian trade embargo. Following informal talks, formal dialogue between govt and Madhes-based parties began 25 Oct; govt agreed to some demands including compensating families of those killed in protests and withdrawing security forces from Tarai districts. Differences persist on federalism; Madhesi parties, seeking to preserve demographic advantage, demand two provinces across Tarai instead of six as currently agreed to among three main parties; govt favour letting future Federal Commission decide province demarcation. New Deputy PM Kamal Thapa met Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi 18 Oct to discuss border situation; Swaraj urged govt to pursue dialogue with dissenting groups. Nepal Oil Corporation reached agreement on petroleum imports 28 Oct with PetroChina to ease fuel scarcity, ending four-decade Indian petroleum monopoly.

Kashmir

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

Indian FM Sushma Swaraj 1 Oct rejected four-point peace plan presented by Pakistani PM Sharif to UNGA previous day, said Pakistan must give up terrorism, called for revival of dialogue. Pakistan ambassador to UN 2 Oct accused India of committing human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir and sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Indian police reported high-ranking member of Lashkar-e-Taiba Abu Qasim killed in clash with security forces 29 Oct. Two Pakistani children reported killed in exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani security forces near Sialkot 26 Oct. Indian security forces clashed with Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad in Tral 4 Oct, two militants reported killed. Several killed in Indian elite counter-insurgency forces operation in Haphruda forest in Handwara 4 Oct. Several killed in clashes between military and insurgents in Pulwama district late Oct. China reportedly constructing road tunnels through Kashmir as part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Bangladesh

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

Publisher of secular books hacked to death and three others injured in two separate attacks in Dhaka 31 Oct, claimed by al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Islam group. Gunmen on motorcycle shot dead Japanese national in Rangpur district north of Dhaka 3 Oct, days after deadly shooting of Italian national Cesare Tavella in Dhaka 28 Sept. Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for murders; PM Sheikh Hasina 4 Oct denied Islamic State (IS) responsibility, blamed local BNP-Jamaat alliance; both parties strongly refuted allegations. Several key diplomatic missions issued heightened security alerts. Several suspects arrested in Tavella killing, reportedly said they were hired to carry out killing to “create chaos”. Two other attacks 5 Oct, allegedly by banned Islamist extremist Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) also reinforced concerns of rising extremism: former govt official-turned Sufi spiritual guide murdered in his Dhaka home, and attempted murder of pastor in Pabna city. At least one person killed in blasts attacking Shiite Ashura procession in Dhaka 24 Oct; IS claimed responsibility. Several media outlets 19 Oct said they received email threats signed by Ansarullah Bangla Team warning them of “severe action” if they publish reports on murders of atheist bloggers or their beliefs. International Crimes Tribunal 1 Oct issued death warrants against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Muhammad Majid and BNP minister Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, convicted of war crimes during 1971 liberation war. Police clashed with supporters of Awami League MP Manjurul Islam Liton 15 Oct; at least twenty injured. Member of Village Defence Police killed during encounter with unidentified “terrorists” during security operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) 18 Oct; security officials suspect link to Myanmar’s separatist “Arakan Liberation Army”.

Afghanistan

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

Taliban 13 Oct withdrew from Kunduz city amid counteroffensive by Afghan forces, U.S airstrikes and Special Forces on the ground; in two weeks following 28 Sept capture of city, Taliban reportedly destroyed govt offices and facilities, seized military hardware, attacked opponents, freed inmates from two prisons. During operations to help Afghan forces retake city, U.S. airstrike 3 Oct hit Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital, killing at least 22; MSF condemned incident as “blatant breach of international humanitarian law”, called for independent investigation. Senior U.S. commander Gen. John Campbell called attack “a mistake”, President Obama 7 Oct issued apology, promised investigation. Obama 15 Oct announced U.S. to halt withdrawal of troops, with current 9,800 remaining through most of 2016, reducing to around 5,500 by end of 2016; NATO countries including Germany, Turkey, UK and Italy announced they will also remain in Afghanistan. Gen. Campbell 30 Oct reported multi-day operation including airstrikes early month in Kandahar targeted “probably the largest” al-Qaeda training camp discovered since 2001. Head of lower house Mirdad Nejrabi 18 Oct attributed Taliban capture of Kunduz to intelligence failures, Taliban infiltration into security forces. President Ghani 3 Oct rejected call from former mujihadin leaders and political leaders for govt to provide framework for using non-state militias against Taliban. Renewed clashes between Afghan govt forces and Taliban, including in Northern provinces Baghlan, Takhar, Faryab; fighting also reported between Taliban and govt forces in Helmand’s provincial capital Lashkar Gah, and in Herat, Uruzgan and Ghazni provinces. Taliban 14 Oct claimed control of Faryab province’s Bala Baluk district, local officials denied. Border police 5 Oct reported 25 border police killed during clashes in eastern Nangarhar province, 268 Islamic State casualties. Interior Ministry 8 Oct reported over 5,600 Taliban and over 2,100 police killed in clashes during last six months. Former National Directorate of Security chief 7 Oct urged UN to investigate Taliban crimes against humanity. Earthquake hit north 26 Oct, killing around 400, mostly in Pakistan; Taliban 28 Oct reportedly took control of Darqand district in Takhar province, on border with Tajikistan.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged

OHCHR 16 Sept released report of investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, finding “horrific level of violations and abuses” 2002-2011 by govt, pro-govt groups and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and recommending hybrid special court with international investigators, prosecutors, judges and other experts plus range of legal and institutional reforms for effective investigations and prosecutions and prevention of future crimes. UN Human Rights Council (HRC) 30 Sept debated OHCHR report. In 14 Sept speech on opening day of HRC, FM Mangala Samaraweera announced plans to establish four transitional justice mechanisms: truth commission, offices on missing persons and reparations, and special court for war crimes and other human rights violations; suggested possibility of significant international involvement. Resolution tabled 24 Sept, with govt endorsement, welcomed govt plans and affirmed “importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the Special Counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorised prosecutors and investigators”. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) 25 Sept welcomed resolution as “constructive starting point”; other Tamil parties and organisations rejected it as lacking sufficient international involvement to guarantee independent judicial process. Sinhala nationalist organisations attacked resolution as undermining sovereignty. Parliament 3 Sept approved new national govt of United National Party (UNP) of PM Wickremesinghe and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) with expanded 48-member cabinet and 45 state and deputy ministers; included numerous ex-Rajapaksa ministers, some of whom face criminal charges/allegations. Parliament speaker 3 Sept appointed TNA leader R. Sampanthan as leader of the opposition. At first Constitutional Council meeting 10 Sept, speaker pledged to appoint full range of constitutionally mandated independent commissions by end-Oct; three independent civil society members formally approved by parliament 22 Sept.

 

Pakistan

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged

Dozens killed in attack on Peshawar’s Badaber air force base 18 Sept; Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. Authorities blamed Afghanistan for failing to prevent militant groups from using its territory to plan and launch attacks. Visiting Islamabad 30 Aug, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice urged Pakistan to take action against Haqqani Network. National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz 31 Aug told German FM that military operations in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)’s N Waziristan Agency had almost destroyed Haqqani Network, which had shifted operations to Afghanistan. Airstrikes and ground operations in N Waziristan and Khyber agency continued. Military 7 Sept announced its first armed drone strike, killing three militant leaders in Shawal. U.S. drone attacks also continued. Deadly militant attacks and clashes continued in FATA’s Bajaur Agency, Khyber agency and S Waziristan. In Balochistan, four bodies found in Kalat district 6 Sept; at least 80 extrajudicial killings reported in province this year. Balochistan home secretary 16 Sept said 8,000 suspected militants arrested and 204 alleged terrorists killed in province this year. In Karachi, gunmen 8 Sept killed technician with private Geo TV channel, and driver and key witness in April murder of rights activist Sabeen Mahmud; former Geo TV anchor shot dead next day. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) 3 Sept withdrew from negotiations with federal govt on resignations of its parliamentarians, citing failure to investigate arrests and killings of party members in Rangers-led operations.

Nepal

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly 16 Sept endorsed new constitution by vote of 507-25 and formally adopted charter 20 Sept, fulfilling milestone 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement commitment. However widespread protests continued across southern Tarai region by plains-based Madhesi and Tharu groups against perceived rollbacks of past assurances of electoral provisions, affirmative action and disagreement over delin-eation of new provincial boundaries. 45 killed in protests in Tarai since early August —reportedly 35 protesters in police firing and ten police at the hands of protesters. Fol-lowing unsuccessful attempts to start dialogue, Home Ministry 22 Sept relaxed curfews, PM Sushil Koirala 23 Sept cancelled attendance of UNGA to hold talks, and govt 24 Sept agreed to recall Nepal Army soldiers deployed in southern districts as confidence-building measure. Formal negotiations between govt and Madhes-based parties began 28 Sept. Indian Ministry of External Affairs released statement 21 Sept expressing con-cern over protest-related violence in Tarai region, called on parties to defuse tensions. Movement of freight vehicles from India into protest-affected southern areas obstruct-ed following new constitution’s promulgation, resulting in fuel shortages and claims of Indian economic blockade. Former PM Baburam Bhattarai resigned from UCPN (Mao-ist) and from parliament, citing failure of new statute to address Madhesi and Tharu demands.

Kashmir

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged

Hostile rhetoric and deadly exchanges of fire along Line of Control (LoC) dividing Pakistan and Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir continued, undercutting prospects of productive bilateral engagement. Pakistan 5 Sept called on UNSC to urge India to abide by 2003 ceasefire, accusing India of 36 violations in July and of killing twenty civilians in Aug. India and Pakistan 6 Sept exchanged heavy fire in Saujiyan and Poonch; one civilian killed. India 9 Sept accused Pakistan of injuring two soldiers in LoC cross-firing. Indian home minister 11 Sept told Pakistan Punjab Rangers director “India will not fire the first bullet towards Pakistan along the border”. During biannual meeting on border security and cooperation, directors of Pakistan Punjab Rangers and Indian Border Security Force pledged to de-escalate tensions, resolve border management issues, curb smuggling and other illegal border crossings. Soon after, Pakistan accused India of unprovoked shelling/firing killing soldier in Pakistan-administered Azad Jammu & Kashmir 14 Sept, and killing three civilians 17 Sept. Commanders of Indian and Pakistani armies 21 Sept discussed ways to lower tensions along LoC.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged

Opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) 7 Sept claimed govt engaging in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, said six BNP members taken by police 22-30 Aug. National newspaper 1 Sept listed 22,000 court cases against BNP members including party leader Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman, reported around 17,000 workers and activists currently in detention. Court 17 Sept rejected Zia’s petition to quash charges of corruption during her previous tenure as PM. International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) 8 Sept tried nine more accused of war crimes during 1971 independence war, dismissed charges against three, in first such acquittals. High court 14 Sept nullified 2003 Indemnity Law, passed by then BNP-Jamaat govt; 2003 law indemnified security personnel involved in controversial Oct 2002-Jan 2003 military/police “operation clean heart” in which over 11,000 were arrested and 40 died in custody. Police 1 Sept charged five suspected militants with murder of atheist blogger Washiqur Rahman, 10 Sept arrested Ansar Bangla Team (ABT) chief over series of killings. Army and Border Guard Bangladesh late-Aug/early-Sept launched first joint operation with Myanmar armed forces against separatist insurgents operating near border.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Oct 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Taliban seized control of northern city Kunduz after launching attack 28 Sept; as fighting raged between insurgents and govt forces seeking to regain city with assistance from U.S. airstrikes and German military advisors, MPs called for resignation of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah. Govt counter-offensive drove back Taliban from Kunduz airport, where some 5,000 troops awaited reinforcements. Taliban issued statement 16 Sept claiming former leader Mullah Omar’s family had pledged allegiance to new leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour, in attempt to reduce worsening internal clashes following 29 July announcement of Mullah Omar’s death and his hasty replacement by Mullah Akhtar Mansour. Some Taliban remain opposed to Mansour’s leadership, claim Pakistan’s military intelligence agency was behind selection. Representatives of 60 donor countries attending Kabul summit 5 Sept pledged continued support for Afghanistan, conditional on key reforms ahead of planned donor meetings in Brussels and Warsaw in 2016. Members of lower house 16 Sept said Electoral Reform Commission (ERC)’s work incomplete, called for computerised identity cards to enable transparent elections. Earlier in month, security official 7 Sept said operation in central Logar province resulted in deaths of 70 Taliban, four soldiers, many civilians. Taliban reportedly attacked village in Nangarhar province 8 Sept, captured several civilians as the insurgents searched for Islamic State (IS) fighters. Local official 10 Sept said IS running three private jails in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province, holding 127 people, including nineteen soldiers. Taliban 14 Sept attacked Ghazni city prison and freed over 400 prisoners; four police killed. At least 300 IS fighters reportedly attacked checkpoints in Nangarhar province in east 27 Sept.

Pakistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

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

Bangladesh

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Sep 2015

Deteriorated

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Deteriorated

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

Nepal

  |  1 Sep 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Sep 2015

Improved

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

Afghanistan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  3 Aug 2015

Deteriorated

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

Pakistan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

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

Bangladesh

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

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

Sri Lanka

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

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

Nepal

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Deteriorated

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

Nepal

  |  1 Jul 2015

Improved

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

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

Pakistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

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

Bangladesh

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Following Lahore court’s April release of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) operative and UN-designated terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with masterminding 2008 Mumbai attack, India’s permanent representative to UN early May requested UN act against his release; U.S. ambassador to India said release “a mistake”. Pakistan army 5 May issued statement accusing India’s intelligence agency of “involvement in whipping up terrorism in Pakistan”; FM Chaudhry reiterated accusation 14 May. J&K chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed 16 May pledged to improve cross-LoC travel and trade. India’s foreign ministry 12 May summoned Chinese envoy to object to passage of proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through Gilgit-Baltistan, which India considers part of Kashmir and thus disputed territory. Pakistan early May refused request by Afghan President Ghani to allow trade between India and Afghanistan to transit through Pakistan’s Wagah border. Several Indian army personnel and militants reported killed in clashes during month.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Tens of thousands fled fighting outside northern provincial capital Kunduz early month amid deteriorating security situation, as govt 7 May launched major counteroffensive against Taliban’s Azm offensive, which was launched late April and quickly advanced on outskirts of Kunduz, routing several hundred Afghan security personnel in three districts. Situation in Kunduz stabilised end-May, but further unrest expected after planned withdrawal of two battalions of Afghan soldiers deployed to counteroffensive. More than two dozen security forces killed in Taliban attacks in Helmand, Paktika and Wardak 25-26 May. Govt organised militias to bolster security in Kunduz and other provinces, raising concerns about irregular/semi-regular forces. Govt worried about risks of district centres falling to insurgency in Kunduz, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Ghor, Badghis, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces, reflecting broad geographic spread and unprecedented intensity of fighting. Insurgents reportedly aided by foreign fighters, including Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). First deputy chief executive Mohammed Khan 3 May warned Lieutenant-General Carsten Jacobson, commander of NATO's Resolute Support mission, that insecurity in north would spread if not contained with active support of international forces. Ministry of Interior 12 May said security forces had regained control of Jawand district of Badghis province, which fell to Taliban 10 May, but many parts of province remain contested. Delegation of Taliban leaders met with govt representatives for informal talks, hosted by Pugwash, 2-3 May in Qatar; participants expressed desire for political solution to conflict, agreed on shared opposition to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), Taliban reiterated demand for complete withdrawal of international forces. Meeting condemned by Afghan leaders concerned that peace talks would mean surrender; criticism of negotiations intensified after Afghan and Pakistani govts 18 May announced as yet informal intelligence cooperation agreement. NATO 13 May said it will maintain presence in Afghanistan even after current training mission ends late 2016, to “advise and instruct”. Five killed in Taliban attack on Kabul hotel 14 May. Kidnappers 11 May released nineteen of 31 passengers seized in southern Zabul province in Feb, in apparent prisoner swap for Uzbek militants held by Afghan govt.

 

Items 1 - 50 of 887 First   Previous   Next   Last
 
This page in:
English

CrisisWatch N°150

crisiswatch