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CrisisWatch Database

Region / country

period from    to 

773 results found
Items 1 - 50 of 773 First   Previous   Next   Last

Nepal

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated

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

Pakistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Risk Alert Unchanged

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

Bangladesh

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

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

Pakistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

No tangible progress in govt’s dialogue process with Pakistani Taliban (TTP): army offensive in N Waziristan continued including scores killed late May in army air strikes on suspected militant hideouts, ground fighting. 9 soldiers killed in roadside bombing 8 May. Several militants reported killed in fighting between rival TTP factions, including over 20 killed 6-8 May; key faction linked with Mehsud tribe announced split from TTP late month. Head of Taliban intermediary committee Maulana Samiul Haq 18 May admitted infighting complicating peace talks with govt. Gunmen 7 May killed Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) member Rashid Rehman in Multan; 26 May killed American-Pakistani doctor in Punjab province. 8 killed in Karachi in criminal and militant violence 3 May.

Nepal

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

United Communist Party Nepal-Maoists (UCPN), Communist Party Nepal-Maoists (CPN) held reunification talks mid-month; UCPN chairman said ready to hand leadership to CPN chairman if helpful for reunification effort.

Kashmir

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Last phase of Indian general elections held 7 May in Jammu and Kashmir: opposition BJP and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won all seats. Election turnout at 50.1%, up from 39.7% in 2009. Polls relatively calm despite separatist boycotts, demonstrations in several towns and reports of threats to voters. Militants 8 May killed village govt head associated with National Congress in Kulgam district. 2 reported killed when PDP supporters clashed with supporters of losing candidate in Kupwara district 16 May. Several incidents along Line of Control including Indian soldier killed, 2 wounded, in IED explosion 19 May. 2 militants reported killed by police near Srinagar 25 May.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Leader of opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) Khaleda Zia 4 May threatened violent demonstrations if govt refused to step down, same day accused ruling Awami League (AL) party and its political allies of 1 May murdering 7 abductees seized 3 days earlier in Narayanganj district; anti-terrorism Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) accused by relatives of victims of carrying out killings on behalf of local AL leader Nur Hossain. Govt 5 May forced 3 RAB officers to retire; public prosecutors 22 May charged 2 senior officers with murder. Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu said RAB killed 373 during Zia’s tenure as PM. High Court judge 11 May asked govt to consider amending police laws to guarantee constitutionally protected rights. International Crimes Tribunal, tasked with prosecuting war crimes committed during 1971 independence war, 11 May formally charged and issued arrest warrant for former Jatiya Party legislator Abdul Jabbar; Jabbar found guilty 29 May of crimes including killing 36, forcibly converting 200 Hindus to Islam.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Final results from April presidential election announced 15 May: former FM Abdullah Abdullah won 45%, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani second with 31.6%; second round runoff scheduled for 14 June. Western observers estimated fraud tainted 8-9% of votes, down from 25% in 2009. Independent Election Commission dismissed over 5,000 staff over fraud allegations, announced plans for thousands of additional polling stations in populated areas; observers raised concern about security forces’ ability to protect additional sites. Violence continued including: 13 killed in Taliban attack on Nangarhar provincial justice department 12 May; security forces next day killed senior Taliban member Mullah Abid Rahmani in Zabul Province; militants 23 May attacked Indian consulate in Herat, 3 assailants killed; suicide bomber 26 May killed at least 2 Afghan soldiers in Kabul. U.S. President Obama 27 May announced plans for 9,800 troops to stay after end-2014 expiry of NATO mandate, to be largely withdrawn over 2 years.

Kashmir

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Polls opened 10 April in Jammu and Kashmir for voting in India’s general election, low turnout reported; several separatist militant groups called for boycott, carried out attacks including killing 3 village council heads south of Srinagar. Security forces reportedly opened fire on protesters in Srinagar 30 April, 1 killed; Hurriyat Conference called general strike. 2 militants, 2 police killed 13 April during attack targeting National Conference youth leader and son of high court judge south of Srinagar; police killed both alleged Lashkar-e-Tayyaba attackers. Late-month exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops across Line of Control, no casualties reported.

Bangladesh

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Political situation remained tense as opposition and domestic observers denounced rigging and violence in ongoing upazila (sub-districts) elections between candidates backed by rival parties and between Awami League (AL) party cadres. Following 5th round of polls 31 March, AL-affiliated candidates had won 221 upazila chairmen posts, securing lead over BNP and JI-allied candidates; 6th round of polls scheduled 19 May. Election Commission said polls thus far free and fair, threatened legal action against those committing election-related violence. Impending anti-corruption trail of Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia, which could see her jailed for life, and prosecutions against Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) members by International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), increased potential for more political unrest. Zia 13 April filed petition with High Court challenging indictment against her and her son and seeking stay order on trial, due to start 21 April. BNP’s joint secretary general 15 April said party preparing national movement to dislodge AL govt should trial proceed. High Court 23 April rejected Zia’s petitions, clearing way for cases to proceed, raising concerns of more BNP-led violent demonstrations and strikes; BNP now appealing to Supreme Court. BNP 22 April began “long march” from Dhaka in bid to gain popular support by criticising govt for failure to reach equitable water-sharing deal with India. ICT 25 March listed 7 charges of “crimes against humanity”, including genocide, against JI members, allegedly committed in 1971 independence war; also recommended party should be permanently banned. ICT 17 April decided to follow through with decision to indict UK journalist David Bergman with contempt of court for criticising its procedural flaws and biases in blog posts.

Afghanistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Millions voted in presidential and provincial council elections 5 April; early reports suggest fewer irregularities than previous polls. Insurgent attacks remained near seasonal levels in south and west, but escalated sharply in east making 5 April most violent election day so far; absence of high-profile attacks in urban areas and self-censorship by Afghan media gave appearance of peaceful voting day. Taliban mainly targeted Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) guarding voters and polling sites, few reports of direct interference with electoral process. Several polling sites closed due to security threats, mainly in rural areas. Preliminary result announced 26 April: former FM Abdullah Abdullah led with 44.9%, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani second with 31.5%. Several deadly incidents before and after election day: 17 Taliban reported killed in airstrike 8 April, subsequent reports suggested 11 children also killed; 3 Americans killed by security guard at Kabul hospital 24 April. Large attack on army base in SE reportedly repelled late month, 60 militants killed.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Crackdown on Tamil activists in north and east that started mid-March continued: military 10 April killed 3 Tamils who govt alleged were working to revive LTTE; scores arrested March/April remain detained without charge under anti-terrorism laws. Govt 4 April released text of new regulation announced 31 March designating LTTE and 15 Tamil diaspora organisations as terrorist organisations, effectively criminalising contact with such organisations by Sri Lankan citizens. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders visited South Africa 9-11 April to discuss South African efforts to restart govt-TNA negotiations. Leader of radical Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and supporters 9 April disrupted inaugural press conference of group fostering Buddhist-Muslim cooperation; BBS supporters mid-April stormed offices of govt ministry headed by Muslim in search of rival Buddhist monk in hiding. Newly-established police unit to investigate religious hate crimes reportedly received nearly 300 complaints, over 280 from Muslims, on first day of operations late April. Govt supporters, including local mayor carrying gun, 17 April violently disrupted visit by UNP opposition parliamentarians in president’s home district Hambantota.

Pakistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Pakistani Taliban (TTP) 16 April announced end to ceasefire despite prisoner releases by govt early month; announcement followed outbreak of infighting between rival TTP factions in Waziristan that reportedly killed over 40 early April; both TTP and govt declared continued willingness to hold talks. 1 killed 18 April in attack on govt forces near Peshawar, 3 troops killed in roadside bombing 27 April on border between N and S Waziristan; army 24 April launched airstrikes on militants in Khyber Agency, 37 reported killed. 22 killed in Islamabad bombing 9 April, TTP denied involvement. National Assembly 7 April passed controversial counterterrorism bill, criticised by observers for violating constitution and international law; bill awaiting deliberation in opposition-controlled Senate. Sectarian violence continued with at least 12 killed in Karachi 9 April; at least 3 children killed 28 April in attack on religious school in Karachi; 2 Hazaras killed by gunmen in Quetta 12 April. Military 7 April claimed to have killed 30 Baloch militants; Baloch group next day claimed responsibility for 31 March attack on Quetta-Rawalpindi train that killed 16.

Nepal

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Govt 9 April introduced bill offering amnesty for war crimes to former Maoist rebels, govt forces; UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said amnesty violates international law, would “weaken foundation for a genuine and lasting peace”.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Pakistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Nepal

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Bangladesh

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Nepal

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Bangladesh

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Pakistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Afghanistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

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

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

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

 

Bangladesh

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

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

Pakistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

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

Nepal

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

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

Kashmir

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Pakistan PM Sharif 3 Dec reportedly said failure to resolve Kashmir problem could trigger war “anytime”, PM’s office later denied statement; Indian PM Singh 5 Dec warned Pakistan would lose in event of war. Pakistani and Indian security forces meeting in Lahore agreed to reduce LoC ceasefire violations, boost joint security mechanisms.

Sri Lanka

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Tensions between newly elected northern provincial council and central govt continued: no formal response from President Rajapaksa to council’s call for replacement of provincial governor Ret. Gen. Chandrasiri with civilian governor. Pro-govt thugs 10 Dec violently disrupted protest by families of disappeared in Trincomalee, NW. Harassment of Muslims continued: Buddhist nationalists resumed campaign to remove Muslim residents from Debanagala village; police mid-Dec visited 3 mosques, demanded they cease religious activities; 2 Muslim-owned shops in southern Galle district set alight 19 Dec; mosque in Colombo stoned 18 Dec. Govt 17 Dec announced possibility of truth and reconciliation commission but signs of resistance from high-level politicians. U.S. early Dec called for accountability; UK deputy PM Clegg 11 Dec called for truth commission. Inquiry launched into mass grave found in Mannar district, NE. French charity Action Against Hunger (ACF) accused security forces of killing 17 employees at office in Muttur in 2006, demanded international inquiry.

Nepal

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

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

Pakistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Military officials refuted claims by residents that scores of civilians were killed in ongoing military operations in N Warizistan agency, launched after 18 Dec suicide attack on army checkpost; claimed some 30 militants, mostly Uzbeks, killed. Sectarian violence continued in Karachi, threatens to spread to Lahore: 15 killed 3 Dec, including deputy SG of Shia Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen and 3 members of Sunni Tableeghi Jamaat; Sunni extremist Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) Punjab head Shamsur Rehman Muawiya shot dead 6 Dec in Lahore; Tehreek Nifaz-e-Fiqa Jafria Shia organisation leader in Multan killed 15 Dec in Lahore. 4 killed by suicide bomber outside Shia mosque in Rawalpindi 18 Dec. 6 Dec Balochistan local elections boycotted by Baloch hardliners; predominately Pashtun Islamist Jamiat Uleme-e-Islam won largest number of votes, followed by independents. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry retired 11 Dec, succeeded by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani.

Bangladesh

  |  2 Jan 2014

Risk Alert

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

Afghanistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

President Karzai continued to refuse to sign Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S.; Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-e-Islami insurgent faction, said group would stop fighting if Karzai continues to refuse to sign. Several leading political figures, civil society groups urged Karzai to sign BSA quickly. Pakistan National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz 15 Dec said Taliban not ready for talks with Afghan High Peace Council, emphasised need for informal discussions. Leading presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah 14 Dec accused certain groups of stoking linguistic, ethnic and sectarian tensions. Security services 10 Dec said it had foiled 9 coordinated explosions in Kabul, detained 22 Haqqani militants. Hundreds protested 11 Dec in Kabul on “National Victims’ Day”, called for justice for war criminals, criticised NATO and U.S. forces for civilian deaths.

Kashmir

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Lull in Indian-Pakistani military exchanges across Line of Control (LoC). Indian military 22 Nov claimed Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian positions in Mendhar sector, Poonch district, 1 injured. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif 23 Nov said India-Pakistan dialogue to resume after early 2014 Indian parliamentary elections. Indian Secretary of Commerce Arvind Mehta 15 Nov urged Pakistan to grant India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trading status. Unidentified militants 7 Nov killed 2 policemen in Avantipur, next to Srinagar; 16 Nov injured 5 soldiers in ambush on army convoy on Kupwara-Srinagar road.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Dec 2013

Deteriorated

Political crisis deepened. Awami League (AL) leader/PM Hasina formed “all-party” interim cabinet to supervise Jan 2014 elections, based on 19 Oct AL proposal to form joint election cabinet with opposition. Ministers submitted resignations 11 Nov, President Abdul Hamid 19 Nov swore in new 8-minister interim govt comprised entirely of pro-AL politicians after 19-party opposition led by Bangladesh National Party (BNP) refused to join, calling it “another version” of previous AL govt and continuing call for transfer of power to neutral caretaker govt ahead of elections. Opposition 4-7 Nov enforced 84-hour strike to protest new cabinet; clashes with AL-supporters and security forces left 2 dead, over 100 injured. Violence reignited 9 Nov after police arrested 5 senior BNP leaders for “instigating” attacks. Election Commission 26 Nov announced elections to be held 5 Jan, urged all parties to participate; 28 Nov said elections could be postponed if govt and opposition agree. Opposition rejected date, called for suspension of elections, 26-29 Nov held new strikes and demonstrations; 22 reported killed in unrest and clashes; 30 Nov started another 72-hour nationwide strike demanding postponement of elections. BNP leader Khaleda Zia 20 Nov requested President Hamid resolve political deadlock “within his constitutional limits”, said opposition would not participate in “one-sided election”. International Crimes Tribunal 7 Nov sentenced British Muslim leader Chowdhury Mueen Uddin to death in absentia for alleged 1971 war crimes; Uddin said trial “politically motivated”. Special court 4 Nov sentenced 152 ex-border guards to death for 2009 2-day mutiny over low wages; UN human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised trial for failure to meet international standards, said defendants were tortured.

Nepal

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Elections for new Constituent Assembly (CA) held 19 Nov with little violence, turnout close to 70%, after dissenting groups, including breakaway Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), enforced shutdown days before polls but refrained from using violence or obstructing vote. Domestic and international monitors 21 Nov said elections “free and fair”. Near-complete results 28 Nov indicate lead for Nepali Congress and United Marxist Leninist (UML), unexpected major losses for Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), coming in distant third and for Madhesi parties. UCPN-M, Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Nepal and Federal Socialist Party 20-22 Nov claimed elections were rigged, boycotted counting. Parties did not present evidence but 27 Nov submitted request to Election Commission to probe irregularities. UCPN-M demanding constitutional amendment for consensus govt, NC and UML refuse. UML 26 Nov demanded parliament elect new president.

Pakistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Mullah Fazlullah 7 Nov replaced Hakeemullah Mehsud, killed 1 Nov in U.S. drone strike, as head of Pakistani Taliban; Fazlullah vowed to launch strikes in Punjab, stronghold of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Govt condemned attack on Mehsud, lodged formal complaint with U.S. ambassador; Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) threatened to block NATO supplies transiting through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province in retaliation. PTI and KPK coalition partner Jamaati-i-Islami leaders and activists began Peshawar sit-in 23 Nov to block NATO supply trucks, disrupting domestic economic activity and Afghanistan-Pakistan trade. As part of anti-drone campaign PTI 27 Nov released name of alleged CIA chief in Pakistan, demanded he be tried. PM Sharif 27 Nov appointed Lt. Gen Raheel Sharif to replace army chief Kayani. Sectarian attacks in Karachi continued, including shooting of 5 Shias 5 Nov and killing of 7 Sunnis 6 Nov. Security operations to combat Karachi violence continued, Sindh police late Oct reported 6,840 suspected criminals arrested since start of operation on 7 Sept; 6 alleged militants killed 13 Nov in clash with police after 3 bombs targeting 2 Shia mosques injured 16. At least 9 killed 15 Nov in riots in Rawalpindi; incident also sparked sectarian violence in Punjab and KPK’s Kohat district 16-17 Nov.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Politicians, elders, scholars and other leading figures gathered 19-24 Nov for Loya Jirga (traditional council), endorsed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S.; President Karzai 24 Nov said will not sign deal into law until after 5 April presidential polls, but later backtracked, leaving his intentions unclear. Karzai 28 Nov condemned NATO airstrike in Helmand province that reportedly killed child, said will not sign BSA if killings continue; NATO apologised 29 Nov. Insurgent attacks continued: uptick in explosions, suicide attacks to coincide with Loya Jirga including at least 6 killed 17 Nov in explosion in central Kabul. Intelligence services 7 Nov reportedly foiled suicide attack on senior govt official in Kabul. Security forces 3 Nov seized some 50 tonnes of explosives in Paktia province. Pakistan PM Sharif visited 30 Nov, discussed peace efforts, bilateral relations. Independent Electoral Complaints Commission 19 Nov said only one disqualified presidential candidate, Daud Siltanzoi, reinstated to final list.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) held 15-17 Nov in Colombo with lowest attendance on record, with only 27 of 53 heads of govt attending; Indian PM Singh 11 Nov announced decision to boycott summit; Canada and Mauritian PMs also chose not to attend, citing human rights concerns. International media coverage extremely negative, focused on Sri Lankan record of human rights abuses, intimidation of Sri Lankan activists, attempts to block Tamil protests. British PM Cameron 15 Nov visited Jaffna, met with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders, endorsed international investigation into alleged war crimes should Sri Lanka fail to complete credible and independent investigation by March 2014 UNHRC session. Chinese foreign ministry 18 Nov released statement asking govt to “make efforts to protect and promote human rights”. President Rajapaksa 17 Nov mooted truth commission after meeting with South African President Zuma during CHOGM; govt 26 Nov announced census to count civil war deaths. Northern Provincial Council 13 Nov passed resolution calling for replacement of provincial governor on grounds he is retired general.

Kashmir

  |  1 Nov 2013

Deteriorated

Regular gun- and mortar fire exchanges between Pakistan and India despite late Sept agreement between leaders to stop attacks. India accused Pakistani troops of firing at over 50 Indian border posts 24 Oct in what it called most serious ceasefire violation in decade, killing 1 Indian soldier and injuring 6; claimed Pakistan shelled Indian military post in Uri sector of LoC 28 Oct, killing 1 soldier. Indian troops 4 Oct reportedly fired across LoC, killed infant, injured 5 civilians. Pakistan PM Sharif 10 Oct said normalised relations with India a priority, but finance minister same day said India’s Most Favoured Nation trading status to be suspended until May 2014 Indian parliamentary elections. Indian President Mukherjee 5 Oct accused Pakistan of exporting state-sponsored terrorism.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Independent Election Commission 22 Oct announced 16 of 27 presidential candidates disqualified. U.S. Sec State Kerry visited 11 Oct, discussed with President Karzai bilateral security agreement setting out plan for some U.S. troops to remain after 2014 NATO withdrawal; agreed remaining U.S. troops would not conduct unilateral operations, could not agree on immunity for U.S. soldiers. Foreign ministry 27 Oct urged Pakistan to facilitate direct talks with deputy Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, reportedly recently freed to encourage Afghan peace process; govt 29 Oct announced meeting with Baradar agreed during London talks. Senior Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud reportedly seized 12 Oct by U.S. forces in East. Logar province governor and close Karzai ally Arsallah Jamal killed, 15 wounded in bomb attack on mosque 15 Oct. Roadside bomb killed 18 civilians on way to wedding in east 27 Oct; 3 killed, 15 injured 29 Oct in Quetta bombing. 4 coalition soldiers killed 6 Oct during operation in Zhari district, Kandahar province; suicide bomber 18 Oct attacked Green Village foreign compound on outskirts of Kabul.

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