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CrisisWatch Database

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1714 results found
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Libya

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

UN-led talks between rival Libyan factions resulted in preliminary political agreement signed 11 July by several participants but not Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC). Agreement envisions creation of consensus-based national unity govt in Tripoli with power over foreign and security policy and oversight of state finances and institutions; would also extend term of Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) for at least another year and establish a “State Council” absorbing GNC members. Role and powers of this Council remained unclear prompting GNC’s refusal to sign agreement. Despite partial signing of agreement, country remains profoundly unstable: fighting between rival armed groups in Benghazi continued throughout early July; clashes between groups affiliated with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) and other Islamist groups continued in Derna. In West, IS-affiliated groups launched two successful attacks in Misrata including 6 July attack that destroyed two fighter jets in city’s military airport. Four Italian construction workers kidnapped 19 July in Zawiya, 100km west of Tripoli. In South, fighting between Tebu and Tuareg militias reignited in towns of Sebha and Ubari; tentative new ceasefire reached 25 July. Former dictator Qadhafi’s son Seif, former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and former PM sentenced to death by Tripoli court 28 July.

Tunisia

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

National state of emergency extended 31 July for two more months in wake of June Sousse attack, with security forces granted exceptional powers to bar strikes or public meetings dangerous to public order and to increase media controls. Parliament 24 July passed anti-terror law introducing death penalty for terrorism, fifteen days detention without lawyer; rights group criticised law as draconian. Govt continued overtly anti-Islamist measures in aftermath of Sousse attack including closure of some 80 mosques, banned public recitation of prayers marking end of Ramadan Eid feast mid-July. Interior Ministry late July said almost 100,000 arrested Jan-July 2015 in fight on terrorism and crime. Govt 13 July announced leader of al-Qaeda-linked Oqba Ibn Nafaa brigade killed, group nearly wiped out. Authorities 8 July announced construction of protective wall along border with Libya.

Algeria

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

At least 22 killed early July in outbreak of communal violence on unprecedented scale between Malekite Arab and Ibadite Amazigh (Berber) communities in Ghardaia region. President Bouteflika 8 July deployed army to region to restore calm; PM Sellal vowed to “impose peace by force”. Dozens arrested including activist Kameledine Fekhar, who previously called for UN intervention to end “genocide” against Amazigh community. Bouteflika 4 July announced project for constitutional revision in final stage, but gave no date for reform; also countered opposition demands for early presidential elections amid concerns about his health, stressing he would finish his term. At least eleven soldiers killed 18 July in suspected Islamist ambush in Ain Defla. Bouteflika late July reportedly replaced three senior army officers: head of counter-espionage unit, presidential security and Republican Guard amidst rumours of foiled coup attempt.

Iraq

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) attacks and suicide bombings continued throughout month including 18 July car bomb in Khan Bani Saad town that killed some 120 and injured at least 130. Shiite militias and central govt 12 July announced beginning of second large-scale military operation to retake Anbar governorate from IS, 27 July launched attack on Ramadi. Fighting around first target, Falluja, quickly reached stalemate: IS reportedly planted booby-traps around city blocking militias from entering and confining Falluja’s residents to city. UN report released mid-month estimated nearly 15,000 civilians killed Jan 2014-April 2015 by conflict in Iraq. Kurdistan Regional Govt (KRG) early month said it was exporting crude oil from Kirkuk fields independently of Baghdad; move violates earlier agreement between KRG PM Barzani and Iraq’s Oil Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi. KRG placed in difficult position of choosing between solidarity with longstanding economic partner Turkey or Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after Turkey launched strikes against PKK militants in northern Iraq late July (see Turkey).

Iran

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged Resolution Opportunity

Historic agreement between Iran and P5+1 (EU3+3) on Iran’s nuclear program reached 14 July after twelve years of crisis and 22 months of arduous negotiations. Resulting Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) established most rigorous verification and inspection mechanism ever negotiated, rolls back extensive sanctions regime imposed on Iran. U.S. Obama administration 19 July submitted deal to Congress, triggering 60-day review period; Iranian parliament will also scrutinise deal but without deadline or obligation to vote. UNSC 20 July unanimously endorsed agreement, triggering 90-day period to “adoption day” when Iran will begin implementing key nuclear commitments and U.S. and EU will issue waivers and regulations necessary for lifting of sanctions. Iran and IAEA 14 July also reached agreement on roadmap for resolving outstanding issues by 15 December.

Bahrain

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Two policemen killed, six injured in bomb explosion in Shiite village Sitra 28 July, several reportedly arrested amid speculation over “foreign” link to attacks; Iran denied responsibility. Tensions with Iran deepened: authorities 25 July announced ambassador to Iran recalled after repeated “hostile” Iranian statements, said arms smuggling plot by two Bahrainis with reported ties to Iran foiled. EU parliament 9 July passed resolution calling for ban on exports of tear gas and crowd-control equipment to Bahrain, end to rights abuses. Rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab pardoned by King Hamad mid-July after serving three months of six-month sentence for insulting public institutions on Twitter. Sunni Muslim opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif arrested 12 July for incitement to overthrow govt and “hatred of the regime” in 10 July speech; U.S. expressed concern.

Lebanon

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Internal political stalemate endures amid rising tensions between March 8 coalition and March 14 coalition. 9 July cabinet session witnessed heated argument between PM Salam and Aounist FM Gebran Bassil, latter accusing PM of violating constitution, encroaching on prerogatives of president. General Michel Aoun, leader of Christian Free Patriotic Movement, called rally 9 July in attempt to press for his election to presidency and appointment of his son-in-law as head of army, but turnout low. Several wounded in clashes between supporters of Sunni Future Movement and Hizbollah-linked Resistance Brigades south of Beirut 1 July. Videos leaked from Roumieh prison showed security officers beating and humiliating Sunni Islamist inmates, feeding into growing sense of persecution among families and sympathisers, and raising concerns about effectiveness of govt’s policy toward extremism. Hizbollah and Syrian army continued offensives against Syrian militants in Zabadani, key militant stronghold along Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria, part of wider operation seeking to wrest control of Qalamoun region from Syrian militants (see Syria).

Israel/Palestine

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Tensions between Salafi-jihadi groups and Hamas in Gaza continued to rise following 19 July bombing of at least five vehicles belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad; Hamas security forces same day arrested two Salafi-jihadi suspects, said investigation ongoing. Hamas earlier denied involvement in 1 July attack by IS affiliate in Sinai on Egyptian forces (see Egypt). Hamas leaders made several statements alluding to indirect talks with Israel over possible lifting of Gaza’s blockade, and possible new prisoner exchange, with Israel seeking return of two of its citizens reportedly held in Gaza. Hamas leaders 17 July held rare meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, sparking hopes of rapprochement. In W Bank, negotiations continued on forming new Palestinian unity govt following June announcement by Palestinian Authority (PA) that it would resign. PA arrested over 250 Hamas members in W Bank over several weeks beginning in June, citing security concerns; Hamas condemned arrests, threatened retaliation. Israeli forces shot dead several Palestinians including teenager in W Bank 3 July, 18 year old in Qalandiya refugee camp 27 July. Increased pressure from pro-settlement lobby over 29 July destruction of 24 residential units built unlawfully in Beit El settlement and amid divisions within Israel’s coalition govt: to allay pressures Netanyahu re-authorised 300 settlement units in Beit El and promised 504 additional settlement units in E Jerusalem. Palestinian child killed in arson attack in W Bank 30 July, Israeli police said settlers suspected of carrying out attack. Netanyahu condemned 14 July Iran-P5+1/EU3+3 nuclear deal (see Iran), said it paves way for Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Syria

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Pace of opposition gains continued to slow, attacks continuing without significant gains: 2 July offensive on Aleppo repelled by Syrian army, 100 rebels killed; 24 July attack on Daraa left at least eleven civilians, eighteen regime soldiers and 50 rebels dead. Growing tensions within Islamist-led Jaish al-Fateh coalition amid perception that it failed to provide governance in Idlib province, and failure to implement agreement between its factions to share power, alienating international donors and local civilians. U.S. 7 July acknowledged its program to train and equip opposition fighters to combat IS had trained only 60 individuals. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) continued: two senior IS leaders reported killed in 13 July airstrikes in NE; at least 23, including six civilians, reported dead in 5 July strikes in Raqqa. Following 20 July IS suicide attack in Turkish town near Syrian border in which 32 people killed, Turkish govt 24 July launched airstrikes on three IS positions in Syria, 27 July announced it will work with U.S. to create “IS-free zone” along Turkey-Syria border (see Turkey). Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) 27 July said Turkish tanks shelled Kurdish troops near strategic Kobani town. Kurdish forces 7 July reportedly recaptured at least ten villages seized by IS early month north of Raqqa. Seven including Ahrar al-Sham commander killed in double bombing in Idlib province blamed on IS cell or sympathisers 13 July. Deadly regime air strikes continued, including scores killed in Aleppo, Idlib provinces.

Egypt

  |  3 Aug 2015

Deteriorated

Militant attacks continued to rise ahead of 3 July anniversary of former President Morsi's 2013 overthrow and following late June assassination of general prosecutor: at least 100 militants, seventeen soldiers reportedly killed 1 July in major clashes and attack on military checkpoints and town of Sheikh Zuwayed in North Sinai; Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) Egyptian affiliate “Sinai Province” claimed responsibility. Authorities countered 2 July launching airstrikes against militants, 19 July said 59 militants killed in previous two days as part of ongoing campaign. IS claimed 16 July strike on naval ship near Sharm al-Sheikh. Govt 25 July extended state of emergency in N Sinai by three months. Italian consulate in Cairo bombed 11 July; one killed, nine injured. At least six killed mid-month in clashes between security services and demonstrators protesting in support of ousted President Morsi and banned Muslim Brotherhood. Cabinet early July drafted law criminalising reporting of terrorism statistics that contradict govt figures; widely criticised as attack on free speech. President Sisi 9 July signed new electoral law, removing final block to delayed parliamentary elections expected to be held by year-end.

Yemen

  |  3 Aug 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Fighting intensified throughout month as hopes for Ramadan ceasefire failed to materialise and Saudi/anti-Huthi coalition launched new military offensive. Huthi/Saleh alliance 14 July suffered first major defeat since start of war in March when Yemeni fighters trained in Saudi Arabia and backed by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes captured Aden international airport. Fighters consolidated control over most of Aden, made some progress in southern governorates including retaking military bases in Shebwa and Lahj, during military push dubbed “Operation Golden Arrow”; coalition forces said will use Aden to launch further military operations. UN-brokered ceasefire announced for 10 July broken almost immediately by coalition airstrikes; Huthis 10 July threatened significant military escalation in response to increased airstrikes. Saudi-led coalition 25 July announced unilateral five-day ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid, immediately broken by both sides. Ceasefire announcement came day after coalition airstrike killed at least 65 civilians in residential compound in Mokha, Human Rights Watch said killings an apparent war crime. UN 2 July raised Yemen to level-three humanitarian crisis; humanitarians continued to warn of coming famine if naval blockade is not eased; World Food Program’s ship berthed in Aden 21 July for first time since conflict began. UN raised civilian death toll to 1,900 as of 28 July, with 202 deaths in previous twelve days.

Mauritania

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

CrisisWatch N°143, 1 July 2015: In Mauritania this month, three convicted 17 June of belonging to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), sentenced to five-to-ten years’ prison. See:

Libya

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Fourth UN-proposed draft agreement to end political standoff and internal conflict unveiled early June: Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) delegation satisfied with proposal, which allows for former GNC members to remain under umbrella of proposed State Council; Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) 24 June voted to continue participation in peace talks, said would accept proposed plan subject to several amendments, including reducing powers of State Council. Some hardliners affiliated with both GNC and HoR rejected agreement. In attempt to push for deal, UK, France, U.S. and Spain supported UNSC resolution imposing sanctions on Abderrahman Swehli and Othman Mlegta, affiliated with pro-GNC and pro-HoR blocs respectively, for obstructing UN talks on forming national unity govt; resolution blocked by Russia and China. Jihadi groups affiliated with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) expanded grip in Sirte region, but suffered setbacks in Derna region. U.S. 14 June launched airstrike in Ajdabiya, allegedly to hit wanted al-Murabitoun leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar; some twenty Ansar Sharia militants killed, Belmokhtar’s death unconfirmed.

Tunisia

  |  1 Jul 2015

Deteriorated

38 tourists killed in 26 June attack on hotel in Port al-Kantaoui tourist resort on the East coast; Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) claimed responsibility. Authorities 30 June said gunman trained at same Libyan jihadi camp as gunmen responsible for March Bardo museum attack. Ruling Islamist-secularist coalition showing signs of fragility as anti-Islamist discourse increased, including by President Beji Caid Essebsi and leaders of his Nida Tounes party. Social discontent in south continued to rise amid growing terrorism fears: authorities increasingly intolerant of social movements, 5 June imposed curfew after protests in Douz. Seven wounded including four members of security forces when protesters and police clashed; curfew lifted 16 June by new Kebili region governor nominated by govt. Five members of security forces injured by shots fired by protesters during tribal clashes in southern towns of Jemna and Galaa 27-28 May. Four national guards killed 15 June in two separate attacks claimed by IS-affiliated jihadis. Ten Tunisian diplomats kidnapped in Libya freed mid-June after several days’ captivity, consulate in Tripoli closed 19 June. Trial of 24 accused of involvement in 2013 assassination of opposition figure Chokri Belaid began 30 June

Egypt

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Death sentence against deposed president and former Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leader Mohamed Morsi confirmed by Cairo Criminal Court 16 June; judge used politically charged language, described MB as “diabolical”. Apparent unwillingness of President Sisi’s administration to consider leniency stoking radicalisation of younger MB members; MB leadership in exile 17 June voiced concern ongoing repression of group pushing some members toward violence. Uncertainty over long-postponed elections continued: citing “political crisis”, former MB and current presidential candidate for Strong Egypt Party Abou al-Fatouh 18 June proposed holding early presidential elections, transfer of power from Sisi to consensual PM and release of political prisoners; proposal broadly dismissed but marks strongest critique yet of Sisi’s performance by mainstream political figure. Top public prosecutor killed 29 June in car bomb attack in Cairo; President Sisi 30 June said will strengthen anti-terror laws. Ongoing violence in Sinai: military continued counter-terrorism campaign, imposition of severe constraints on NE Sinai including stopping food provisions from reaching area early June. 22 suspected militants killed in N Sinai army raid 22 June, at least eleven killed 27 June. Rafah crossing reopened 23-25 June to allow Palestinians and humanitarians into Gaza. Egypt 21 June appointed first ambassador to Israel since 2012. Suicide bombing against Karnak Temple in Luxor foiled 10 June.

Algeria

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

French President Hollande visited mid-June to boost cooperation on regional security and trade. Uncertainty over President Bouteflika’s health continued to mount amid speculation over his succession. Former PM Ahmed Ouyahia, considered close to military intelligence agency (DRS) often seen as opposing Bouteflika, appointed as Sec Gen of National Rally for Democracy (RND), Algeria’s second most powerful political party. Letter published early June from Army Chief of Staff Gaid Salah congratulating Amar Saadani for his re-election in May as Sec Gen of National Liberation Front (FNL), also reiterating army’s support for FNL; prompted accusations army chief lacked neutrality, was interfering in politics.

Iraq

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Iraqi soldiers, militias and Kurdish forces continued to clash with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) throughout month; U.S. coalition strikes against IS continued. IS suicide bombers killed some 40 Iraqi soldiers in attack on police HQ near Ramadi 1 June; attacks in and near Baghdad continued including at least twelve killed in series of bombings in Baghdad commercial areas 27 June. Seventeen killed 15 June in clash between pro-govt forces and IS in Baiji town. U.S. President Obama 10 June approved deployment of additional 450 U.S. troops to advise and train Iraqi army. PM Abadi suggested U.S. lacked real commitment to troop training, 27 June said Iraqi troop withdrawal from Ramadi in May “unauthorised”, 30 June “retired” army chief-of-staff. U.S. Defense Sec Ashley Carter mid-June noted Iraqi soldiers unwilling to fight, Iraqi govt unable to provide over half of the 24,000 soldiers U.S. is proposing to train. U.S. Congress 17 June voted down amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act that would have allowed U.S. to send weapons to Iraqi Kurdish forces without approval of Baghdad central govt. UN late June said over three million displaced by conflict in Iraq since early 2014.

Iran

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Deadline for completion of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear accord extended from 30 June to 7 July: drafting continued throughout June but at slow pace due to loopholes in Lausanne Framework agreed 2 April, domestic sensitivities and continued push for concessions by both sides.

Bahrain

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Leader of opposition al-Wefaq movement Sheikh Ali Salman, arrested Dec 2014, sentenced 16 June to four years’ prison for promoting disobedience, insulting public institutions, disturbing the peace and inciting hatred; acquitted of seeking to overthrow monarchy. 57 Shia citizens jailed, 56 of whom were stripped of their nationality for allegedly planning attacks on police, security institutions and embassy; rights groups condemned trial and sentences. Authorities 4 June said ten members of terrorist cell accused of bomb attacks on police and civilians arrested, 7 June said terrorist plot by Iraqi-trained militants foiled. U.S. 30 June announced resumption of military aid to Bahrain.

Lebanon

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Hizbollah and Syrian army continued offensive against rebels along Lebanon’s NE border with Syria, with some success despite growing casualties. Hizbollah 8 June seized several strategic border crossings linking Lebanese town Arsal to Syrian village Flita; 9 June repelled pre-emptive Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) attack near Ras Baalbek, in clash which saw eight Hizbollah fighters and fourteen IS militants killed; 12 June captured Qirnet Shaab al-Nasoub, Qirnet Abu Harb and Qirnet Semaan, near Jarajeer, held by Assad regime. Free Patriotic Movement leader Michael Aoun and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea signed “declaration of intent” on filling position of president, now vacant for over a year, but rare meeting 2 June did not yield significant breakthrough. Hizbollah 8 June stated March 14 coalition must elect Aoun as president or face “indefinite” presidential vacuum.

Israel/Palestine

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Palestinian Authority (PA) in West Bank 17 June announced it would resign; President Abbas ordered PM Rami Hamdallah to form new govt, replacing govt of national consensus formed in June 2014. Hamas refused to join unity govt under conditions set by PLO; Abbas spokesman 30 June said Abbas to reshuffle current govt. Tensions increased between Salafi-jihadis and Hamas in Gaza: Hamas security forces early June killed leading Salafi-jihadi militant Younis al-Hunnor in Sheikh Radwan, Gaza City. Salafi-jihadi groups 6 and 11 June fired rockets toward Israel. Amid ongoing rumours of possible Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza, Egypt opened Rafah crossing three times in June. With concern growing over Druze minority in Syria (see Syria), Israeli Druze called for govt to intervene in southern Golan to create safe zone for Druze. Druze protestors 22 June attacked military ambulance carrying two wounded Syrians in Golan Heights over suspicion they were militants, one Syrian beaten to death. Low-scale violence in Jerusalem and W Bank ongoing, including: Israeli forces 10 June shot dead Palestinian in Jenin refugee camp; Israeli forces 21 June shot dead Palestinian man who stabbed Israel border officer in Jerusalem; two Israeli civilians shot, one fatally, 19 June near Dolev, W Bank; Israeli soldier wounded in stabbing at checkpoint near Bethlehem and four wounded in W Bank settlement shooting, both 29 June. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) 11 June announced military investigation cleared forces of any wrongdoing over controversial killing of four Palestinian boys in 2014 Gaza war. Several high profile boycott campaigns prompted concern in Israel over further “internationalisation” of conflict.

Syria

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and rebel allies, Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) 15 June seized control of Tal Abyad on Turkish border, cutting vital Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) supply lines to its self-proclaimed capital Raqqah. YPG 22 June also captured IS base Liwa 93, north of Raqqah, entered Ein Eissa. Gains give YPG control of continuous territory across N Syria from Kobani to Iraqi border. Progress accompanied by accusations, including from leading rebel factions, of ethnic cleansing of Sunni Arabs; over 20,000 reportedly fled fighting in Tal Abyad. IS 25 June launched major offensives in Raqqah and al-Hasakah provinces, seized Al-Nashwa district of Hassakeh city reportedly displacing up to 60,000 people; launched renewed attack on Kurdish city Kobani, which it lost to Kurdish forces in Jan. Some 200 civilians reported killed in siege that ended 27 June with IS defeat by YPG and U.S.-led coalition airstrikes. IS attacked Tal Abyad 30 June. Rebel progress continued in south: Southern Front coalition seized Liwa 52 army base in Daraa province 9 June; 11 June stormed Thaaleh military airbase in majority Druze Sweida province; 16-17 June launched offensive against govt forces in Quneitra province near Golan Heights. Rebels halted Sweida offensive 19 June citing concerns over rising sectarian tension, amid opposition from Druze militiamen. Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) commander 10 June killed twenty Druze civilians in Qalb Lawzah, northern Idlib province. Southern Front coalition 25 June launched offensive to capture govt-held areas of Daraa, dozens killed. Govt 24 June confirmed IS blew up two historic Muslim shrines in ancient city Palmyra, followed local media reports that IS had planted mines in Palmyra 20 June. Govt launched heavy airstrikes against residential Palmyra 20-22 June, eleven reported killed. Govt airstrikes continued in Damascus and Idlib province, dozens reportedly killed including in Douma, near Damascus and Janudiah, western Idlib province. Clashes continued in Aleppo province amid near daily rocket fire.

Yemen

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

UN-brokered consultations between warring parties in Geneva 15-19 June failed to reach agreement on ceasefire or humanitarian pause. Huthi/Saleh bloc continued to view exiled Yemeni govt as illegitimate and largely irrelevant; govt maintained unrealistic demands for Huthi disarmament and withdrawal from large blocs of territory. Huthi/Saleh coalition continued to advance: captured capital of Jawf province on border with Saudi Arabia 14 June; made gains in Marib province; 6 June fired scud missile into Saudi territory. Saudi military and Yemeni fighters reinforced border position, increased cross-border rocket attacks ahead of Geneva consultations. Hiraak fighters gained upper hand against Huthis in Dalia governorate. Humanitarian situation continued to worsen: UN mid-June said over 80% of population in need of aid, $1.6bn needed to tackle “looming catastrophe”. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) 17 June killed over 30 in series of bombings at Zayid mosques and Huthi HQ in Saana. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader killed 16 June in U.S. drone strike.

Libya

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Fighting continued as UN-led attempts to broker National Unity Govt (NUG) reached standstill amid continued disagreement between factions over proposed political framework unveiled late April by UN SRSG Bernadino León, who 28 May warned Libya on verge of economic collapse. Faction within Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) refused to comment on proposal, called for León’s dismissal as lead negotiator. Misrata-based faction called for complete overhaul of proposed framework, pushed for establishment of presidential council and unity govt and for internationally recognised House of Representatives (HoR) to expire in October. Pro-HoR politicians in East insist HoR president retain full control of armed forces, rather than PM’s Council as envisaged under León’s framework. León expected to present new proposal in June. Some UNSC member states including U.S. renewed calls for sanctions on spoilers. PM Thinni late May said he survived assassination attempt in Tobruk. Armed clashes continued. Militants aligned with Islamic State (IS, previously ISIL) claimed responsibility for string of suicide bombings in al-Qubba, Sirte and Misrata late May. EU pushed ahead with plans to launch sea and air mission against human trafficking networks in Libya: European Council 18 May approved establishment of EUNAVFOR MED, EU foreign policy chief Mogherini early-May lobbied UNSC members to support resolution to allow use of force.

Tunisia

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Social discontent continued to rise in south where new People and Citizen’s Movement (Mouvement du Peuple des Citoyens), launched Dec 2014 by former President Marzouki, gaining popularity. Towns in southern mining basin 20 May announced strike over economy, unemployment. Violent protests including 9 May in El Faouer where local unemployed staged protests to demand jobs. PM Essid 25 May reiterated govt decision to cut salaries of public employees on strike. Two suspects in March Bardo museum attack arrested late May in Italy and near Libya border. Army 14 May killed four suspected jihadists in Jebel Semmama area in NW. Parliament 15 May passed controversial law establishing judicial oversight body; judges said it would undermine their independence. President Essebsi 1 May said cooperation with Libya’s Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) necessary despite his Nida Tounes party’s pro-Tobruk stance. Soldier 25 May killed seven, wounded ten at Bouchacha barracks, attack initially attributed to “psychological distress”. President Essebsi visited Washington D.C. late May; U.S. President Obama said committed to success of Tunisia, promoted country to “major non-NATO ally” status.

Egypt

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: court 16 May sentenced deposed president and former MB leader Morsi and 105 others to death following conviction for involvement in mass jail break in 2011, attacks on police. MB condemned ruling, called for international community to intervene; UNSG Ban expressed “serious concern”. Court 31 May sentenced rights activist Mahinour el-Masry and two others to fifteen months’ prison for attacking police station. President Sisi 28 May met with U.S. Sec Defence Leon Panetta to discuss regional security. Military operations against militants, including those linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), continued: military 2 May announced 29 militants killed, 133 arrested in N Sinai late April; four soldiers and three civilians killed 13 May in bomb attacks near Rafah; soldier killed 25 May in clash near Sheikh Zuweyid; policeman killed, seven wounded 27 May by roadside bomb. Six convicted Sinai militants executed 17 May, eight sentenced to death 26 May. Army late May said over 500 tunnels to Gaza destroyed during six-month operation; Rafah crossing with Gaza reopened late May after two-month closure allowing Palestinians to return.

Algeria

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Court 8 May sentenced fourteen to prison, fined seven foreign firms $390mn following guilty verdict in corruption and embezzlement case connected to highway construction. Former Public Works Minister Amar Ghoul, accused of involvement, retained cabinet post, has not been charged. Trial of banker Abdelmoumen Khalifa, accused of corruption and fraud, began 4 May. Cabinet reshuffle 14 May saw replacement of energy and culture ministers accused of corruption. Some 25 suspected Islamist militants killed late May, FM Ramtane Lamara 21 May said “only remnants of terrorism” remain in Algeria. Crackdown on smuggling along southern borders continued, several hundred reportedly arrested.

Iraq

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) mid-May seized Ramadi, last govt stronghold in Anbar province; Iraqi forces launched counter-attack late May led by Iran-backed Shiite “popular mobilisation” militias, U.S. announced it is “expediting” weapons shipments to Iraq, increased airstrikes against IS. At least seventeen troops reportedly killed by IS suicide attacks in western Anbar province 26-27 May. At least five killed in car-bomb attacks on two Baghdad hotels 28 May, IS claimed responsibility. Dozens of inmates broke out of prison in Al-Khalis 8 May, several guards killed in clashes, IS claimed responsibility.

Iran

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Drafting of final nuclear agreement continued throughout month, advanced despite some backtracking on both sides. U.S. Congress and Senate mid-May passed Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act with large majorities, bill signed into law 22 May by President Obama; Iran agreed to grant UN inspectors “managed access” to military sites. FM Zarif late May said he hoped for final nuclear deal “within a reasonable period of time”, warned against making “excessive demands” on Iran. Trial began 26 May of U.S. journalist arrested July 2014 accused of espionage. Tehran continued to offer support to anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) forces in Iraq and Syria (see Iraq and Syria). Tensions in Persian Gulf continued to escalate: Iranian ships 14 May fired warning shots at Singapore-flagged tanker that allegedly damaged Iranian oil platform; Iran cargo ship reportedly carrying 2,500 tonnes of aid supplies for Yemen diverted to Djibouti 22 May (see Yemen).

Bahrain

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Appeals Court 14 May upheld six-month jail sentence against rights activist Nabeel Rajab, found guilty of tweet insulting defence and interior ministries; former MP Khalid Abdul Aal sentenced 27 May to one year prison for insulting Interior Ministry on Twitter. Interior Ministry 10 May said group suspected of terrorist attacks arrested, explosives stockpile seized in Janusan and Sitra.

Lebanon

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Clashes on NE border with Syria intensified with Hizbollah and Syrian army making major gains against Syrian rebels in Qalamoun mountain range, including taking highest peak in Qalamoun near Tallit Moussa hilltop 13 May, 14-15 May seizing strategic hill overlooking Damascus-Homs highway, consolidating control over entire Jabal al-Barouh mountain range. Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah 5 May stated that Lebanon cannot protect its eastern borders from terror threat, Hizbollah taking responsibility to secure region. Impact of fighting evident in adjacent areas in Bekaa Valley, where military deployments are widespread and sectarian tensions palpable. Amid ongoing parliamentary divisions, PM Salam 5 May warned political stalemate harming economic growth. Former Information Minister Michel Samaha, arrested 2012 on terror charges, sentenced 13 May to four and a half “judicial years” in prison for transporting explosives from Syria to Lebanon.

Israel/Palestine

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

PM Netanyahu 6 May secured deal to form new coalition with 61 of 120 parliamentary seats; FM Lieberman resigned 4 May, announced he will not join new coalition. Palestinian Authority (PA) warned that new govt will “bury” two-state solution, and in mid-May set out conditions for re-entering peace talks, including halt to settlement construction, release of certain prisoners and timeline for peace talks and end of occupation. U.S. President Obama mid-May stated he will not seek to resume peace talks with new govt, instead prioritising smaller goals such as reconstruction in Gaza. Violence in Jerusalem and W Bank continued; Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces 4 May after being suspected of attempting to stab Israeli security officer in Jerusalem; Israeli border police 20 May shot dead Palestinian man believed to be driving into border patrol officers in E Jerusalem. Amid intense international and domestic pressure, Netanyahu 20 May suspended controversial new defence ministry plan to separate Palestinians and Jews on bus routes running from Israel to W Bank. In Gaza, Salafi jihadists, some claiming affiliation to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), intensified campaign against Hamas; group known as Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem claimed 8 May attack on Hamas base near Khan Younis. Major-General Sami Turgeman, outgoing commander of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Southern Command, stated 12 May that Israel and Hamas have “common interests” and that there is no alternative to Hamas rule in Gaza. Militants believed to be members of Islamic Jihad 26 May fired rocket that landed in empty area near Israeli city Ashdod; Israel retaliated striking four targets in Gaza. Clashes erupted 3 May in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square as thousands protested police brutality toward Israeli Jews of Ethiopian descent.

Saudi Arabia

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Saudi-led air campaign against Huthis in Yemen continued amid ongoing tensions with Iran (see Yemen). Suicide bombing of Shiite mosque near Qatif in East 22 May left 21 dead; Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) claimed responsibility; tens of thousands joined mass funeral 25 May; four killed 29 May in suicide bomb attack on Shiite mosque in Dammam. Authorities late May imposed sanctions on two top Hizbollah commanders already sanctioned by U.S. for alleged involvement in terrorism. King Salman declined to attend U.S.-Gulf Camp David summit mid-May.

Syria

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) 21 May announced it had seized “full control” of ancient city Palmyra in central Syria; govt forces retreated following clashes with IS outside Palmyra 14 May. Rebels escalated campaign against remaining regime strongholds in Idlib province; coalition of rebel forces including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) captured Mastoumeh village 19 May and Ariha 28 May. Regime counter-offensive launched in Idlib following 25 April rebel victory in Jisr al-Shaghour made little headway. Regime forces 3 May escalated offensive in Ghouta suburbs of Damascus; heavy fighting between rebels and govt forces reported in Maydaa, key supply route into eastern Ghouta. Fierce clashes between IS and regime forces began 6 May in city of Deir az-Zour, eastern Syria. Clashes in Qalamoun border region ongoing (see Lebanon). U.S. special forces 15-16 May mounted raid in eastern Syria near al-Omar oil field, killing IS commander Abu Sayyaf and capturing his wife; dozen militants reportedly killed in raid. U.S. military 3 May denied reports that coalition airstrikes 30 April-1 May killed 52 civilians in Birmahle village, Aleppo province, said those killed were fighters. UN 5 May announced launch of renewed peace talks in Geneva, billed as “low-key consultations” expected to last four-six weeks; 30 armed opposition groups declined invitation to join talks. IS 22 May seized last govt-controlled Iraq-Syria border crossing al-Tanf in Homs province.

Yemen

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated

Conflict increasingly intractable as it becomes tied to regional Saudi-Iran power struggle. Saudi coalition and Huthi/Saleh bloc feeding cycle of escalating violence: small group of special forces, reportedly Emirati, 4 May landed in Aden raising spectre of ground invasion; in retaliation Huthi-affiliated tribes 5-6 May launched cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia killing several civilians; Saudis responded with intense air raids in Sanaa and Huthi stronghold Saada. Huthi/Saleh bloc gained ground throughout month despite air campaign and blockade, especially in Aden, Taiz and Shebwa. Iran made several attempts to break blockade, including sending ship ostensibly loaded with humanitarian supplies sparking war of words with Saudis; tensions lessened when UN 20 May announced ship would dock for inspection in Djibouti. Five-day ceasefire held 12-16 May; Saudi-led airstrikes resumed 18 May in response to repeated Huthi violations of truce; 27 May killed at least 80 near Saudi border and in Sanaa, deadliest day since strikes began. New UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed working to revive negotiations including proposed consultations 28 May but neither side ready for genuine compromise: Hadi govt said Huthi withdrawal from captured territory precondition for negotiations. Saudis 16 May convened GCC-sponsored conference in Riyadh: Yemeni participants called for joint Arab force to oversee Huthi withdrawal from cities, speedy return of govt in exile, provision of anti-Huthi resistance with weapons and logistical support. UNCHR estimated at least 1,037 civilians killed and 2,453 injured 26 March to 20 May.

Mauritania

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Court 21 April sentenced suspected al-Qaeda leader Younis al-Mauritani to twenty years’ prison for terrorist activities.

Libya

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Fourth round of political dialogue held mid-April in Algeria and Morocco; agreement to end current institutional crisis remains distant. UNSMIL chief Bernardino León 27 April unveiled proposed draft agreement but supporters of both Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) and Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) expressed criticism. HoR supporters do not accept proposal that HoR be reduced to purely legislative body with new unity govt taking over executive powers, including appointment of army chief of staff; also question creation of new presidential council composed of some former GNC members. Pro-GNC faction resent proposed deal’s full recognition of HoR authority and extension of its timeline. Military confrontations continued: over twenty killed in Tripoli 17-18 April in clashes between armed groups affiliated with opposing military factions Tripoli-Misratan Libyan Dawn Coalition and Tobruk-affiliated Libyan National Army (LNA). Heavy fighting resumed in Benghazi mid-month. Islamic State video 19 April showed alleged killing of some 28 Coptic Christians in Sirt and east Libya. Same day some 900 migrants died at sea leaving Libya for Europe; EU said will launch military operations against smuggling networks in Libya; both pro-GNC and pro-HoR representatives said they would not cooperate with any unilateral EU action against trafficking sites; UNSG Ban criticised EU proposal to destroy traffickers’ boats.

Tunisia

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Attention on counter-terrorism continued in wake of 18 March Bardo Museum bombing. Religious affairs ministry increased efforts to bring mosques under its control, dismissed imams seen as overly political, reappointed imams from former President Ben Ali era. Civil society, Tunisian journalists’ trade union and Human Rights Watch warned anti-terrorism bill approved by cabinet late-March and bill on repression of aggression against armed forces, aimed at improving efficiency of security forces in fighting terrorism, could provide impunity for security forces, endanger human rights and freedom of speech. Four soldiers killed in militant attack on patrol in Sbeitia, NW; authorities 24 April said ten militants and two soldiers killed in clashes in central Kasserine region.

Egypt

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: court 11 April confirmed death sentences for MB leader Mohammed Badie and thirteen others accused of plotting unrest. Ousted President Morsi sentenced to twenty years’ prison for ordering arrest and torture of protesters; fourteen other MB figures also sentenced, most to twenty-years. Court 20 April sentenced 22 MB supporters to death for Aug 2013 attack on police station; 19 April sentenced eleven football fans to death for role in 2012 Port Said stadium riot that left 74 dead. MB in exile head Ahmed Abdul-Rahman 23 April announced MB undergoing review, admitted past mistakes. Committee established to review new electoral laws in light of March Supreme Court ruling that draft law was unconstitutional 28 April approved new electoral laws omitting changes demanded by many political parties; President Sisi said elections will not take place until after Ramadan June-July. U.S. 1 April lifted weapons export ban on Egypt, imposed when military seized power in July 2013. Attacks in Sinai continued: fifteen soldiers and two civilians killed in gun attack 2 April near Sheikh Zuweid town; at least eleven civilians and two police officers killed 8-9 April; at least twelve killed 12 April in separate attacks on police station, checkpoint and highway in N Sinai. Three military academy students killed by roadside bomb in Kafr el-Sheikh 15 April.

Algeria

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Opposition parties continued to call for “democratic transition”, dismissed talk of constitutional changes as unnecessary distraction. In response, main governing coalition parties National Liberation Front (FLN) and National Democracy Rally (RND) accused opposition of seeking to “rehabilitate terrorists”, said opposition lacks grassroots support. PM Sellal 9 April visited Ouargla, centre of protests against shale gas prospecting in south, amid accusations police had silenced local activists. Defence Ministry 6 April said some 500 illegal migrants intercepted in Tamanrasset province; 14 April said weapons cache discovered near border with Libya; 28 April said five militants killed in Tizi Ouzou region.

Iraq

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) militants early April reportedly retreated from Tikrit, under IS control since June 2014, after three-week siege by Shiite militias operating under “popular mobilisation forces” umbrella. Militias together with Iraqi govt units took over city under cover of U.S. airstrikes. Following victory PM Abadi made first visit to Washington, secured almost $200mn humanitarian assistance support, refrained from explicitly requesting increased U.S. military assistance, discussed Iraq’s budget crisis with World Bank and IMF. Reports emerged mid-April suggesting IS leader al-Baghdadi seriously wounded in airstrikes mid-March. In western Iraq, govt forces early April withdrew from eastern Ramadi, govt’s only remaining foothold in Anbar province, paving way for IS advance; 90,000 displaced. Police official 27 April said some 30 police killed mid-April in clashes between local security forces and IS in Ramadi. IS 16 April seized parts of Iraq’s biggest oil refinery in Bajii city. Amid rise in intra-Kurdish rivalries and external interference in Kurdish affairs, Kurdistan Democratic Party working to secure allegiance of Ninewa province officials, minorities and tribes; KDP security forces 5 April arrested Yazidi leader Haider Shasho, who allied with KDP rival People’s Protection Units (YPG). IS claimed 18 April bombing outside U.S. consulate in Erbil; five arrested.

Iran

  |  30 Apr 2015

Improved

Iran and P5+1 (EU3+3) 2 April announced initial agreement on key parameters of “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” on Iran’s nuclear enrichment. Iran and IAEA 15 April met to resume cooperation. Parties reconvened 22-25 April to discuss technical details and implementation plan, talks continued 27 April on sidelines of Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference. If implemented, Plan of Action parameters will reduce enrichment capacity by two thirds, reduce stockpile of enriched material by 97% for ten years, lengthening breakout time from two-three months to twelve months. Will also limit research and development to laboratory scale for ten to fifteen years, modify Arak heavy-water reactor to eliminate weapons-usable plutonium, establish safeguards and rigorous inspections and provide phased sanctions relief. Suspicions in Tehran about U.S. President Obama’s ability to deliver on final agreement exacerbated by U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s 14 April approval of bill requiring Obama to submit any deal for Congress vote. Charges against U.S. journalist Jason Rezaian, detained July 2014, made public 20 April: Rezaian charged with espionage, “propaganda against the establishment” and “collaborating with hostile govts”. Marshall Islands ship seized 28 April, reportedly in connection with court case involving unresolved cargo claim.

Bahrain

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Renewed Shiite protests ahead of 19 April Formula 1 race: hundreds marched in Shiite village Duraz. Court 5 April adjourned case of rights activist Nabeel Rajab, appealing six-month jail sentence for insulting govt, after he was arrested again 2 April following comments on treatment of inmates at Jaw prison; Rajab charged 26 April with “disseminating false news in time of war” and “openly discrediting a statutory authority”. Interior Ministry 27 April announced 28 suspected terrorists arrested.

Lebanon

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Clashes between Hizbollah and Syrian rebels continued along Lebanon-Syria border as parties reportedly preparing for offensive in Qalamoun mountain range: Hizbollah 3 April reportedly destroyed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) base in area of Khachaat; rebels 12-13 April seized strategic hill near Flita village close to border. During raid in northern city Tripoli, police 9 April shot dead Islamist militants Osama Mansour and Ahmad Nazer, arrested extremist cleric Sheik Khaled Hoblos; Mansour believed to have links to Jabhat al-Nusra, had been sentenced to death in absentia over 2014 attacks in Tripoli. Hizbollah and Future Current continued renewed political dialogue despite public disagreements over Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen. Following 2013 Saudi-funded arms deal, Army 20 April received first delivery of French weapons to help fight against terrorism. Army 7 April clashed with militants near eastern border village Ras Baalbek; three militants reported killed. Israeli Air Force 22 April reportedly raided Hizbollah weapons convoy along Syrian-Lebanese border.

Israel/Palestine

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

President Rivlin 20 April gave PM Netanyahu additional fourteen days to form new govt following 17 March elections; Netanyahu signed coalition deals with ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism and centre-right Kulanu late month. Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA) 18 April announced they had reached agreement on amount to be deducted from tax revenues which Israel had withheld. Amid tensions over tax revenue crisis, Israel took further measures to ease relations with W Bank; allowed Palestinian security forces to operate in three Jerusalem area towns and 14 April allowed Palestinian doctors’ vehicles to enter Jerusalem for first time in fifteen years. Army 15 April announced arrest of 29 Hamas activists in major sweep around Nablus city in northern occupied W Bank; several dozen Hamas activists arrested since 1 April. PA ministers from Gaza and Ramallah met 19 April in attempt to resolve ongoing salary crisis. Several explosive devices set off by unidentified assailants in Gaza during month, including explosions reported in Gaza City 17-18 April near Palestinian cabinet HQ, UNRWA offices and Islamic University. Palestinian shot dead 8 April after stabbing two Israeli soldiers in W Bank. Israeli troops 24 April shot dead Palestinian after attempted stabbing of border police officer at E Jerusalem checkpoint. Protestors clashed with Israeli troops in northern occupied W Bank 17 April. Israeli forces 23 April struck Hamas sites near Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza after rocket was fired toward Israel, Israel said by non-Hamas militants. Amid Israeli discontent over 2 April P5+1 (EU3+3) agreement on Iran nuclear framework (see Iran), Israel reportedly “happy” with U.S. President Obama’s 14 April agreement that U.S. Congress must review any nuclear deal with Iran.

Saudi Arabia

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Regime 21 April declared end to Yemen airstrikes (see Yemen); said new phase to begin focused on rebuilding and preventing Huthi operational movements. Interior Ministry 28 April said 93 suspected Islamic State operatives arrested. King Salman 29 April appointed Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as Crown Prince and Defence Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman as deputy crown prince.

Syria

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) 1 April captured large areas of Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus in cooperation with al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (JN). Regime responded with military campaign against IS including aerial bombings 8 April; IS reportedly withdrew from much of camp by 14 April, leaving JN as main rebel force in Yarmouk. Rebels continued expansion in south Daraa province after late-March gains in Busra al-sham; Southern Front rebels 2 April captured Nasib border crossing at Syria-Jordan border. Tension erupted between rebel groups as JN attempted to establish presence at Nasib; Southern Front 15 April announced they will not cooperate militarily with JN, publicly disassociating themselves from group. Coalition of rebel forces consolidated control in Idlib province, NW Syria, after late-March capture of provincial capital; 25 April seized control of Jisr al-Shughour as campaign to capture remaining regime holdings in province continued. JN confirmed death of local commander in Marea, in 7 April car bombing in N Aleppo, reportedly attributed to IS. Local media 10 April reported IS holding 50 civilian hostages following 31 March raid on Mabujeh village, Hama province. Clashes in Qalamoun region ongoing; 30 rebels and twelve IS fighters reported killed 21-22 April. Rebels including JN attacked govt intelligence centre in Aleppo 13-14 April; thirteen militants reported killed, twenty regime forces killed/wounded. Deadly regime shelling continued including 16, 22 April strikes in areas around Damascus. 6 April Russia-facilitated talks between Syrian govt representatives and low-profile opposition figures ended without notable result. Israel reportedly carried out raids in Qalamoun, including on Hizbollah arms convoy 22 April (see Lebanon), missile depot 23 April.

Yemen

  |  30 Apr 2015

Deteriorated

Saudi Arabia 21 April announced end to five-week air campaign against Huthis and security forces aligned with former President Saleh. Both Saudi and Huthi actions suggest preparing for long fight: Huthi leader, Abdulmalik al-Huthi 19 April refused to surrender; Saudi-led air attacks ongoing, intensifying in southern and western provinces, bombed Sanaa airport late-month. Naval and air blockade to stop Huthis from resupplying still in place, preventing food, medical supplies and other products entering country; Huthis preventing aid convoys from entering Aden. ICRC said humanitarian situation catastrophic; UNOCHA estimated over 300,000 displaced. UNSC 14 April imposed arms embargo on Huthis and allied military units. Iranian-dispatched ships reportedly bound for Yemen turned around 23 April; U.S. dispatched two additional warships to Yemeni waters, reportedly to deter arms shipments to Huthis. UNSG Ban 25 April appointed Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as Yemen special envoy to replace Jamal Benomar, who left post amid criticisms from Gulf countries. Al-Qaeda 3 April captured govt buildings, freed prisoners and looted central bank in Al-Mukalla, Hadramout.

Western Sahara

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

UNSC 29 April renewed MINURSO peacekeeping mission mandate for another year.

Tunisia

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Militants 18 March attacked Bardo Museum in Tunis, killing 23, mostly European tourists. President Essebsi stressed need for national unity, Islamist An-Nahda party called for more counter-terrorism efforts; security forces 29 March said commander of group responsible killed with eight other militants in south; some twenty arrested in connection with attack. Divisions within ruling Nida Tounes party between former members of Ben Ali-era ruling RCD party and leftists or anti-Islamists lessened after attack. Hundreds of thousands marched in Tunis against terrorism, including Essebsi and other world leaders. Social tensions in south continued, spurred by fears of attacks by Libya-based jihadis. Security forces 6 and 9 March discovered three weapons caches near Libya border, incuding dozens of small arms, grenades and bullets. Interior Ministry 29 March announced nine suspected terrorists killed in security operation in Gafsa governorate. Security forces expanded arrests of alleged terrorist sympathisers throughout month after mass arrests in Feb.

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CrisisWatch N°144

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