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CrisisWatch Database

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1516 results found
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Mauritania

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Libya

  |  1 Apr 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

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

Tunisia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Saudi Arabia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt 7 March designated Muslim Brotherhood (MB) terrorist organisation.

Yemen

  |  1 Apr 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Violence in North increased: clashes between Huthis and opposing tribesmen in Jawf killed over 30 late Feb-early March. Fighting spread to Hamdan area near Sanaa, killing over a dozen early March; military entered Hamdan to separate warring factions; ceasefire negotiations ongoing. 12 killed 22 March when Huthis clashed with security forces near Amran city; tensions remain high. Govt 12 March concluded deal in Dalia governorate ending clashes between army and Hiraak. Hadramout tribal confederation mid-month accused govt of not following through on deal to provide financial compensation and jobs in exchange for end to hostilities. AQAP attacks continued including at least 20 soldiers killed 24 March at checkpoint in Hadramout; at least 5 drone strikes conducted. President Hadi 8 March replaced several officials including head of political security and interior minister; same day appointed constitution-writing committee. Thousands protested in Sanaa 21 March calling for release of political prisoners, trial of former President Saleh.

Iran

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Second round of negotiations on comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 held in Vienna 17-19 March, following expert-level talks early March. Escalating animosity between Russia and Western members of P5+1 over Ukraine crisis had no tangible impact, however Russian deputy FM Ryabkov subsequently threatened unspecified “retaliatory measures” against U.S. and EU in negotiations. Next round planned for 7-9 April. EU foreign policy chief Ashton 8-9 March visited Iran, first such visit since 2008; met with rights activists without govt approval, FM Zarif reportedly cancelled 17 March dinner ahead of Vienna talks to protest Ashton’s “uncoordinated” move. IAEA, monitoring compliance with Nov Joint Plan of Action (JPA), 20 March said Iran fulfilling obligations, govt to start conversion of enriched uranium stockpiles to below 5% 9 April. At least 14 border guards killed in attack near Pakistani border claimed by Sunni insurgent group Jaish al-Adl, 16 alleged “rebel” prisoners hanged by local authorities in apparent revenge killing; insurgents later reportedly killed 1 border guard held hostage since early Feb, 4 still in captivity.

Egypt

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Algeria

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

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

Bahrain

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

3 police killed in bombing 3 March in Manama, opposition group Saraya al-Ashtar reportedly claimed responsibility; govt next day designated group terrorist organisation along with 2 others. More bombings followed, several police injured.

Lebanon

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Continued spillover from Syrian conflict as Syria’s Assad regime intensified fight with Syrian rebels along Lebanese border. Rebel defeat in Syrian town Yabroud 16 March saw refugees and fighters fleeing to Lebanese city Arsal. Hizbollah and local residents blocked roads around city prompting protests, road blockings and tyre burnings by Sunni militants elsewhere in Lebanon. Arsal and other Bekaa Valley areas targeted by Syrian regime airstrikes throughout month. Dozens killed in Tripoli during fighting starting 13 March between supporters of rival parties to Syrian conflict; fighting later spread to Beirut, 1 killed in clashes 23 March. Sunni jihadis continued rocket attacks, car bombings inside Lebanon in retaliation for Hizbollah’s involvement in Syria: 2 killed in suicide bombing in Bekaa Valley 16 March, claimed by Jabhat al-Nusra. 3 soldiers killed 29 March in suicide bombing at army checkpoint in Arsal; 2 civilians killed hours later by soldiers at another checkpoint. Israel held Hizbollah responsible for 14 March bomb targeting Israeli patrol on border, retaliated against group’s positions (see Israel-Palestine). New govt 20 March won confidence vote in parliament.

Iraq

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Amid ongoing fight against insurgents in Anbar province, Anbar Provincial Council accused Iraqi army of not seriously trying to solve crisis. Shia chairman of secular Iraqiya Alliance in parliament Iyad Alawi criticised lack of progress; criticism also from members of Sunni Mouttahidoun electoral list, with one MP calling govt operation “not a war on terrorism, but a war against Anbar and its people”. Local Mouttahidoun officials in Ramadi negotiated with central govt, including over deployment of army and enrolment of recruits in local police force; tribal leader Ahmed Abu Richa 16 March urged uniting army, Ramadi police forces and tribes in joint operation against insurgents controlling neighbouring Falluja. Ahead of April parliamentary elections, Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) discussed postponement of poll in Anbar due to ongoing turmoil and high numbers of displaced; UN 27 March said 400,000 displaced since beginning of year. IHEC commissioners resigned 25 March blaming political and judicial “interference” in electoral process; 30 March withdrew resignations following UN appeals, reports parliament ruled to limit judiciary’s powers to impose candidate bans. Widespread violence continued ahead of elections with bombings across Iraq claiming hundreds of lives: at least 45 killed 9 March in single car bombing in southern city Hilla, at least 80 killed 25 March including 41 soldiers.

Israel/Palestine

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

16-month ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, which eroded during past several months, temporarily broken 12 March when Palestinian group Islamic Jihad launched largest salvo of rockets towards Israel since last major escalation in Nov 2012; 3 members of group killed previous day in Israeli airstrike during border clashes. Israel struck back with airstrikes. Egypt negotiated reactivation of ceasefire between Islamic Jihad and Israel 13 March. Escalation followed cross-border attacks early March, including 2 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike 3 March. In W Bank, Israeli forces killed several Palestinians including: 10 March shot dead 18-year-old stone-thrower near Ramallah and Palestinian judge from Jordan on border crossing causing protests in Jordan, demands for expulsion of Israeli ambassador; 22 March killed 3 during raid against Palestinian militants in Jenin refugee camp. Several clashes along Israel’s northern borders: Israeli forces 5 March killed 2 suspected Hizbollah fighters on border between occupied Golan Heights and Syria; 4 Israeli soldiers wounded by roadside bomb 18 March on same border, Israel blamed Syrian regime, retaliated against Syrian army positions. Following 14 March bomb attack targeting patrol on Lebanese border Israeli forces shelled Hizbollah positions. Amid ongoing peace talks PM Netanyahu met U.S. President Obama in Washington 3 March; PM Abbas met Obama 17 March.

Syria

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Following Feb breakdown of Geneva II negotiations seeking political resolution to conflict, regime intensified push to secure control over areas bordering Lebanon, part of long-running Qalamoun offensive: with backing of Lebanese Hizbollah seized city of Yabroud 16 March, largest remaining rebel bastion in area; 19 March took village SW of Yabroud, 29 March seized another 2 villages near border. Many rebels fled across border to Lebanon; regime forces 21 March claimed to have killed at least 93 fleeing takeover of Crac des Chevaliers. Rebels meanwhile announced offensive in Latakia province in NW: dozens killed in fighting as rebels captured Kaseb town and border crossing with Turkey; Hial al-Assad, cousin of President Assad and pro-regime militia leader, killed 23 March. Rebels 19 March took prison outside southern city Daraa. Fighting between rebel groups continued: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rejected demands for mediation by al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra; mid-month withdrew eastwards, pulling out of Idlib and Latakia provinces, concentrating fighters in eastern Aleppo, Raqqa. More than 50 rebels reported killed after ISIL seized town in Hasakah province in NE 30 March. Govt 15 March missed UN-imposed deadline for destroying chemical weapons (CW) production facilities; UN mission overseeing CW removal 20 March said 53.6% of CW removed from or destroyed in Syria. Turkish air force 23 March shot down Syrian plane, saying it crossed into Turkish territory; regime denied crossing border, said Turkey complacent in “terrorism”. Following Feb UNSC resolution to increase aid access, UN aid trucks 20 March entered Syria from Turkey for first time in 3 years; aid entered through regime-held crossing near Qamishli, will be distributed through partners approved by Damascus. Regime continued siege and starvation tactics around Damascus, temporarily resuming siege of Palestinian neighbourhood Yarmouk early March.

Iraq

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Anbar province remained under siege by army following early-Jan seizure of key areas by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL): army continued shelling of Falluja and Ramadi suburbs, govt withheld electricity and water; hundreds killed during fighting which also saw militants bring down army helicopter 22 Feb killing all 4 crew. ISIL mid-month seized parts of northern town Suleiman Pek, govt forces 22 Feb retook city and surrounding areas after over a week of fighting which left dozens dead. Ahead of April elections Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr 16 Feb announced retirement from politics, saying no bloc in govt or parliament will represent Sadr Movement which had held 6 cabinet posts, 40 parliament seats; many Sadrists reacted by resigning their posts. Sadr 18 Feb called PM Maliki “tyrant”, “dictator”, govt corrupt. In first assassination of candidate for April election gunmen 7 Feb killed Sadr supporter in W Baghdad. Car bombings across central Iraq continued with multiple deadly attacks; at least 34 killed 5 Feb in central Baghdad, at least 49 killed 18 Feb in attacks in Baghdad and southern Hillah, at least 31 killed in 27 Feb blast in Baghdad.

Yemen

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged Risk Alert

Tensions in North continued, threatening shaky ceasefires in Dammaj, Arhab and Amran and rekindling of larger-scale violence, fracturing of delicate political consensus. Huthis 3 Feb won significant battle in Amran, defeating Ahmar fighters in Ahmar’s home village; Huthis consolidated gains through deals with Hahsid tribesmen. Security forces 28 Feb clashed with Huthis in Hizm, Jawf province, at least 13 killed. 2 weeks after its formation, presidential committee charged with defining federal structure 10 Feb announced Yemen to be divided into 6 regions, 2 in South and 4 in North. Rushed announcement stoked political opposition; majority of Hiraak rejected outcome, claiming not sufficiently included in process; Huthis also opposed. UNSC 26 Feb established sanctions regime to impose travel bans and asset freezes on individuals or entities obstructing transition. Mass anti-govt protest held in Sanaa 21 Feb. Suspected al-Qaeda militants 20 Feb killed Salafi Shaikh Ali Bawazir in Hadramawt. 29 prisoners freed 13 Feb in attack on central security prison in capital. 2 foreigners kidnapped early Feb in Sanaa. South remained volatile: military clashes with armed Hiraak in al-Dalia governorate and with tribesmen in Hadramawt continued including at least 12 killed, 14 soldiers kidnapped in Daleh province18 Feb. 

Saudi Arabia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

4 killed 20 Feb in clashes in eastern Shiite area, including 2 police. 7 protesters jailed for up to 20 years for demonstrating against govt.

Libya

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated

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

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

Lebanon

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

New govt formed 15 Feb following 10 months of talks; cabinet split equally between Hizbollah-dominated March 8 coalition, rival March 14 coalition, and ministers appointed by President Suleiman. Sunni jihadis continued suicide bombing campaign in retaliation for Hizbollah and Iranian involvement in Syria; Jabhat al-Nusra claimed 1 Feb attack in eastern Hermel which killed 4, and 22 Feb attack in same town killing 3 including 2 soldiers. Abdullah Azzam (AAB) brigades claimed 19 Feb twin attack outside Iranian cultural centre in Beirut killing 8. March 14 coalition head Saad Hariri 15 Feb urged Hizbollah to end involvement in Syria to avoid “sectarian holocaust”. Gunmen 20 Feb killed senior leader of Arab Democratic Party which favours Syria’s President al-Assad in Tripoli. Lebanese army arrested 2 suspected AAB leaders, uncovered booby-trapped cars in Beirut and Arsal near Syrian border. In latest Israeli targeting of Hizbollah weapons shipment, airstrikes 24 Feb hit Hizbollah position near eastern border with Syria, Hizbollah vowed retaliation.

Bahrain

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Demonstrators 13 Feb clashed with police on first of 3 days of protest to mark third anniversary of uprising, 29 arrested; tens of thousands demonstrated 15 Feb, 1 policeman died in bomb blast. More clashes reported 24 Feb in Shiite villages west of capital 28 Feb following funeral for villager who died in detention 2 days earlier. King approved law imposing jail sentence of up to 7 years on anyone publicly insulting King, flag or national emblem.

Algeria

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

PM Sellal 23 Feb announced President Bouteflika would seek re-election for 4th term; elections scheduled for 17 April against backdrop of rare public battle between presidential clan and military intelligence.

Iran

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Talks on final comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program 18-20 Feb in Vienna ended with agreement on timetable, framework agenda; next technical level meeting 3 March and political level 17 March in Vienna, EU HR/VP Ashton to visit Tehran 9-10 March. Although conflicting interpretations remain regarding path set out for coming talks by Nov Joint Plan of Action, IAEA 20 Feb reported Iran complying with confidence-building measures. Iran and IAEA 8-9 Feb agreed on additional steps to clarify aspects of nuclear program to be implemented by 15 May 2014, including access to uranium mine in Yazd, Ardakan concentration plant, information on Iran’s stated need for exploding-bridgewire detonators; first time aspect of what IAEA considers program’s “possible military dimensions” will be addressed. U.S. 6 Feb targeted businesses for evading sanctions, second such move since Nov deal; President Obama 11 Feb warned U.S. will come down hard on companies breaching sanctions. President Rouhani same day vowed to pursue peaceful nuclear technology “forever”; Supreme Leader Khamenei 17 Feb said not opposed to talks but predicted they will lead nowhere. Sunni insurgent group Jaish al-Adl abducted 5 Iranian soldiers on border with Pakistan; interior minister 17 Feb threatened troop incursion into Pakistan to retrieve them, Iran-Pakistan border commission 21 Feb agreed on joint efforts to track them down. Reuters 24 Feb reported Iran Nov 2013 signed deal to sell arms to Iraq breaching UN weapons embargo; govt denied claims.

Syria

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated

Second round of Geneva II talks 10-15 Feb failed to generate meaningful discussion on political resolution to conflict or improve humanitarian conditions; govt delegation refused to discuss opposition’s transition plan, emphasising instead need to fight “terrorism”. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) NGO said more killed every day since beginning of talks than any other time during civil war. U.S., Saudi Arabia reportedly reacted to diplomatic breakdown by planning increase of weapons supplies to rebels in south who reorganised into Southern Front, 18 Feb announced spring offensive. Exiled opposition group Syrian National Coalition’s 16 Feb attempt to replace General Selim Idriss as leader of organisation’s military arm rebuffed by regional commanders inside Syria. UNSC 22 Feb adopted resolution to increase aid access to and within Syria, threatening to consider “further steps” in case of non-compliance. Around 1,400 evacuated from besieged old city of Homs beginning 7 Feb following UN-mediated agreement; several hundred males detained and interrogated by govt forces, 91 still held 27 Feb according to governor, at least 11 killed during evacuation by mortar, sniper fire. Rebel infighting continued with jihadi group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) conducting assassination campaign against senior leaders of Islamic Front-affiliated groups: 1 Feb killed leaders of Liwa al-Tawhid, Suqour as-Sham in separate suicide bombings; 23 Feb killed senior Ahrar as-Sham commander appointed by al-Qaeda to mediate inter-jihadi conflict. 3 Feb statement by al-Qaeda general command said no organisational links to ISIL, no responsibility for group’s actions. Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra gave ISIL 1 March deadline for accepting mediation or face expulsion from Syria, Iraq. SOHR 27 Feb estimated 3,300 killed in rebel infighting since early Jan. Govt forces gained ground on Aleppo’s NE outskirts taking advantage of rebel infighting; indiscriminate “barrel” bombing campaign continued with hundreds killed. Govt 5 Feb missed UN-endorsed deadline for handing over all chemical weapons stockpiles, accepted new 27 April deadline.

Israel/Palestine

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

U.S. Sec State Kerry continued to work toward framework for extended negotiations by end-April. Following 19-20 Feb talks with Palestinian President Abbas in Paris Palestinian official rejected Kerry’s ideas as unacceptable, not recognising “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people”. Abbas early Feb voiced support for 5-year phase-out of Israeli troops and settlements from future Palestinian state, proposed U.S.-led NATO forces could patrol it; Israel 9 Feb rejected proposal. Jerusalem municipality 5 Feb approved construction plans for 558 new homes in W Bank settlements. Thousands of Israelis, including ministers, lawmakers 13 Feb protested against peace efforts and for more settlement construction. 25 Feb Knesset Plenary session on Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif sovereignty saw PM Netanyahu intervening to ensure no operative steps are taken; session nevertheless triggered violent protest by young Muslims on holy esplanade, strong condemnations from Jordan and Arab League. UN reported Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in W Bank displaced nearly 600 in 2013, double 2012 figure. Army shot dead 1 Palestinian in Gaza near border 13 Feb, another in W Bank 27 Feb. In latest Israeli targeting of Hizbollah weapons shipment, airstrikes hit Hizbollah position near Lebanon-Syria border 24 Feb (see Lebanon).

Tunisia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Egypt

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Following late-Jan escalation of conflict in Sinai army struck several targets, jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) continued attacks. Army raids and airstrikes killed dozens throughout month, officials claimed senior ABM members among dead. ABM bombing 16 Feb killed 3 S Korean tourists, 1 bus driver near Israeli border. Attacks in and around Cairo continued including 7 Feb bombing near Giza police station injuring 6, claimed by new militant group Ajnad Misr. Several killed in drive-by shootings targeting police. Military-backed govt 24 Feb announced resignation in move expected to pave way for Field Marshal Abdelfattah el-Sisi to announce presidential run; candidacy requires Sisi to step down as defence minister, exiting Housing Minister Ibrahim Melheb tasked with forming new govt. 2 presidential contenders announced: former armed forces chief of staff Sami Enan, neo-Nasserist and 3rd runner-up in 2012 presidential election Hamdeen Sabahi. 4th runner-up in 2012 election Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh 9 Feb announced boycott; described polls as “mockery”. Sisi’s expected candidacy received endorsements from former President Mubarak, Russian President Putin. Sisi, FM Fahmy visited Russia 12 Feb, reportedly to discuss arms deal. Prosecutor general 4 Feb referred nearly 200 to trial including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohammed Badie, other senior members: more than 500 Morsi supporters referred to trial 24 Feb, 220 sentenced to up to 7 years’ jail next day.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

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

Libya

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Political tensions remained high with General National Congress (GNC) still deadlocked over new transition roadmap and motion of no-confidence in PM Zeidan; majority of GNC members favour Zeidan’s removal, but key group refuses to hold no-confidence vote until successor agreed upon. Islamist Justice and Construction party 22 Jan quit Zeidan govt after failing to win support for no-confidence vote. Gunmen 14 Jan opened fire on GNC, demanded Zeidan’s resignation, threatened use of force against cabinet. Popular calls to dismiss GNC by 7 Feb. GNC 30 Jan set 20 Feb as date for election of constitution-drafting panel. Main oil export terminals in east remained closed. Following govt fire on Maltese tanker accused of heading to federalist-controlled al-Sidra port 4 Jan, federalist movement leader Ibrahim Jedran’s self-appointed Barqa (Cyrenaica) Council 6 Jan announced it would ensure safety of any tanker entering “Cyrenaican waters”. Religious authorities 15 Jan issued fatwa to free ports “by all possible means”. Over 86 killed after clashes erupted 9 Jan between Tebu and Awlad Sulayman tribesmen in Sebha and Murzuq, south. Govt 18 Jan ordered deployment of security forces following alleged show of force by Qadhafi loyalists in Sebha. At least 30 killed 13-18 Jan in clashes in Tripoli western suburbs and Aijelat between state security forces and criminal gangs accused of being pro-Qadhafi. Targeted violence continued, extending throughout Libya: UK and New Zealand nationals murdered 2 Jan in Sabratha; gunmen 11 Jan killed deputy industry minister in Sirt; gunmen 15 Jan killed political activist Amr Habil in Derna; deputy PM Sadiq Abdul-Karim survived assassination attempt in Tripoli 29 Jan. 2 Italians kidnapped 18 Jan in Derna; South Korean trade envoy kidnapped in Tripoli 20 Jan, released 23 Jan. Egypt evacuated embassy and Benghazi consulate following 25 Jan kidnap of 5 diplomats and embassy employee; hostages released 26 Jan in exchange for Egyptian release of Sabaann Hadia, prominent Islamist rebel commander, arrested 24 Jan in Alexandria.

Mauritania

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Malian President IBK visited 12 Jan, signed agreement to boost military cooperation and information sharing in regional fight against terrorist and armed groups.

Iraq

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Month saw security further deteriorate in Anbar province following 30 Dec govt demolition of Sunni protest camp in Ramadi and negotiated withdrawal of govt forces from province: as govt forces withdrew, Islamic militants from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) 1 Jan seized key areas of Anbar’s main cities, Ramadi and Falluja. Fierce clashes followed between ISIL and govt forces backed by local allies, killing scores including over 100 killed in Ramadi and Falluja 3 Jan; despite local tribes, clerics and former officers regaining control of the city, govt made no distinction between Falluja locals and ISIL militants, announced Falluja in hands of ISIL, calling for national, international support in “war on terror”. UNHCR 24 Jan said 65,000 fled fighting in Falluja, Ramadi in past week alone fearing clashes between army, locals and ISIL militants. Govt forces 29 Jan regained control of areas west of Baghdad after weeks of fighting; militants next day attacked transport ministry building. PM Maliki 16 Jan requested new arms, training from U.S.; U.S. VP Biden 26 Jan said Maliki has U.S. support, Senate signed off on long-stalled sale of Apache helicopters. Bomb attacks across Iraq continued: at least 73 killed 15 Jan, 27 killed 20 Jan in Shia neighbourhoods of Baghdad. Govt estimated 1,013 killed during month, highest number since April 2008. 26 hanged on terrorism charges 21 Jan; UN criticised “conveyer-belt of executions”. Kurdistan Regional Govt 8 Jan announced plans to sell 2mn barrels of oil to Turkey via newly-built pipeline by month’s end; PM Maliki 12 Jan threatened to cut region’s share of federal budget, Oil Minister Luaibi 17 Jan said govt preparing legal action against Kurdistan, Turkey.

Israel/Palestine

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

U.S. Sec State Kerry continued parallel dialogues with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas and Israeli PM Netanyahu on principles forming framework for negotiations; 23 Jan said final agreement would include complete removal of Israeli troops from Palestinian territory and Palestinian recognition of Israel as Jewish state. Both sides expressed reservations: Netanyahu said he would not accept any reference to Jerusalem, hardened demands regarding settlement blocks Israel wants to keep; Abbas said no deal without E Jerusalem as Palestinian capital but 28 Jan said could accept 3-year Israeli military presence in WB. Israel 10 Jan announced construction plans for 1,400 settlement homes in WB and E Jerusalem. Abbas 21 Jan said PA will not negotiate with Israel longer than agreed 9 months; PLO committee 25 Jan agreed on taking Palestinian plight to UN if talks fail. PM’s office 28 Jan said in event of agreement settlers should be able to stay under Palestinian sovereignty, provoking vitriolic debate in Israel, Palestinian rejection. Steps towards Hamas-Fatah reconciliation: Gaza PM Haniyeh 6 Jan announced hundreds of Fatah members exiled since 2007 could return to Gaza; Hamas 8 Jan freed 7 Fatah prisoners. Rockets fired at Israel from Gaza and Israeli reprisals spiked; Hamas 21 Jan deployed forces to prevent additional rocket fire on Israel. Israeli attacks killed at least 8 Palestinians in Gaza Strip, 29 Jan killed alleged Palestinian gunman north of Ramallah. Shin Bet 22 Jan arrested 3 Palestinians allegedly involved in planned al-Qaeda attack on U.S. embassy. Former PM Ariel Sharon died 11 Jan.

Algeria

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

President Bouteflika hospitalised in France mid Jan renewing fears over his health. Bouteflika 17 Jan said elections scheduled for 17 April; Islamist parties Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) and Front for Change announced boycott. Ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) Sec Gen Amar Saadani reiterated Bouteflika likely candidate for polls; ex-PM Ali Benflis announced intention to run. Security forces 8 Jan killed 8 suspected terrorists near Bouira.

Egypt

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Official results of 14-15 Jan referendum on amended constitution indicate over 98% in favour, turnout almost 39%. Outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Islamist Alliance for Support of Legitimacy (ASL) campaigned for boycott; Strong Egypt Party campaigned for “no”, some members arrested. Monitoring NGOs reported violations during two-day voting period, influencing voters and voting registration errors. Interim President Adli Mansour 26 Jan announced presidential elections to take place within 3 months, before parliamentary elections. Supreme Council of the Armed Forces 27 Jan approved defence minister Abdelfattah el-Sisi to run for presidency, after President Mansour promoted him from colonel-general to field marshal. Clashes between supporters of ousted President Morsi and security forces increased ahead of and during referendum; 17 killed and 60 injured 3 Jan, 3 killed 10 Jan, 11 killed 14 Jan. Deadly clashes between protesters and security forces continued after referendum, with at least 49 killed in worst incident 25 Jan, anniversary of 2011 uprising. Several bomb attacks in Cairo including 3 attacks 24 Jan killing at least 5, injuring 60. Gunmen shot dead senior interior ministry official in Cairo 28 Jan. Multiple attacks continued in Sinai Peninsula, including first-ever use of surface-to-air missile by militants 27 Jan to bring down military helicopter, killing 4; Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group claimed responsibility. Arrests of MB supporters continued, including 444 arrested 15 Jan on charges of rioting and weapons possession, 63 jailed 9 Jan. U.S. Sec State Kerry 18 Jan expressed concern about limits of freedom of assembly and expression. MB lawyers 6 Jan petitioned ICC to investigate alleged crimes against humanity by military govt since July 2013. Amnesty International 23 Jan reported human rights violations and state violence on “unprecedented scale” since July 2013.

Tunisia

  |  1 Feb 2014

Improved

New constitution signed into law 27 Jan, day after passing National Constituent Assembly vote with 200 of 216 votes. Constitution clears way for new general elections, most secular democratic constitution in Arab world. Radical religious groups criticised secular orientation of constitution; internal tensions in Islamist an-Nahda party over compromises made to achieve breakthrough. PM Jomaa sworn in 10 Jan to replace an-Nahda-led Troika govt; Jomaa’s new caretaker cabinet approved by parliament 29 Jan. Scattered clashes and attempts to attack govt and political parties across country. Some opposition secularists appeared intent on “de-Islamising” administration, encouraging judges to start trials against an-Nahda ex-ministers over corruption accusations, links to terrorist groups. Protests over economic hardships increased: crowds protested new taxes in Tunis 10 Jan, tens reportedly arrested after clashing with police; same day man killed in clashes near Algerian border after protesters tried to storm customs office.

Iran

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

P5+1 and Iran 10 Jan agreed on implementation of 6-month Joint Plan of Action (JPA) signed in Geneva in Nov. Plan took effect 20 Jan; IAEA confirmed Iran halted 20% uranium enrichment, also provided better access to IAEA inspectors, stopped installing new centrifuges, suspended construction of heavy water reactor in Arak; EU and U.S. initiated sanctions relief in return, in accordance with deal. Implementation agreement included specification that Iran gains access to $4.2bn of blocked assets in 8 instalments, first planned 1 Feb; also specified exact nature of JPA’s research and development provision. P5+1 and Iran to reconvene 18 Feb in Vienna for negotiations on final comprehensive agreement. IAEA 29 Jan inspected Gachin uranium mine in accordance with separate Nov Iran-IAEA agreement. U.S. Senate push to impose new sanctions appearing to lose momentum. Diplomatic row over “Geneva II” talks on Syria as UNSG Ban 19 Jan invited Iran to participate, 21 Jan withdrew invitation following U.S.; U.S. warned companies Iran still “not open for business” due to remaining sanctions. Violence in eastern border region continued; Baluchi Sunni separatist group Jaish al-Adl 25 Jan claimed attack on Revolutionary Guards killing 7.

Yemen

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

National dialogue launched March 2013 officially concluded 25 Jan; new federal political system endorsed, president’s term extended by 1 year to oversee constitution drafting and referendum before elections. Dialogue outcomes included “solutions document” that agrees on federalism in principle and empowers President Hadi to appoint small negotiating team to determine number of federal units. Document failed to win support of entire Hiraak (southern seccessionist movement) delegations. Security continued to deteriorate. Houthi representative Ahmed Sharaf el-Din killed 21 Jan on way to conference. In North Huthis and Salafis 11 Jan agreed to ceasefire after months of clashes in Dammaj; Salafi spokesman 13 Jan said at least 210 Salafis killed in fighting in last 2 months; fighting between Huthis and various opponents continued in other areas including Jawf, Amran, Sadaa and Sanaa governorates. Tensions in south continued: clashes erupted 17 Jan between armed residents and military al-Dalia governorate; southern separatists demonstrating against national dialogue 27 Jan clashed with troops in Ataq, 4 wounded. Tribesmen attacks on oil infrastructure in Hadramout and Shabwa continued. Suspected al-Qaeda militants 16 Jan attacked military camp in al-Baydah, killing 9 soldiers; 31 Jan killed 17 soldiers in 2 attacks in Hadramout. Unknown assailants 19 Jan killed Iranian diplomat in Sanaa. 3 suspected al-Qaeda killed in drone strike in Marib province 24 Jan.

Lebanon

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Month saw escalation in targeting of Shia neighbourhoods with attacks by radical Sunni groups in retaliation for Hizbollah’s military involvement in Syria. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed car-bombing in S Beirut 2 Jan killing 5; Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) claimed 21 Jan bombing in same neighbourhood killing 4, also 16 Jan bombing in eastern Hermel killing 4, 25 Jan rocket attack jointly with fellow al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB), no casualties. Head of AAB died in military custody 4 Jan reportedly of kidney failure. Further clashes in Tripoli between supporters of rival Syrian groups, 5 killed by sniper fire 21 Jan. Rocket fire on Arsal near Syrian border 17 Jan, 7 killed. Amid continued political deadlock over formation of new cabinet, trial over 2005 killing of former PM Rafik Hariri began in The Hague; Hariri’s son Saad Hariri, currently in The Hague attending trial, vowed to return to Lebanon for Nov elections.

Bahrain

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Opposition groups 9 Jan withdrew from national dialogue talks; talks reconvened next day following intervention by Crown Prince, parties agreed to basis for further negotiations. Hundreds protested in Shiite village Diraz 17 Jan saying talks meaningless.

Syria

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

First round of long-awaited Geneva II talks produced no agreement on confidence-building measures or allowing aid to besieged areas in Homs, no progress in discussing solution to conflict; next round scheduled for 10 Feb. Opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) agreed to participate, though increasingly in disarray ahead of talks; less than half members 18 Jan voted to attend, over third withdrew from session. Talks began 22 Jan with Syrian govt delegation rejecting SNC demands for President Assad’s removal from power and creation of transitional govt; Assad 19 Jan said “significant” chance he will seek new term in summer 2014 election. In lead-up to talks govt escalated systematic starvation and barrel bombings of rebel-held areas, killing scores. On rebel side clashes between Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other groups intensified after Islamic Front (IF) 1 Jan accused ISIL of killing popular rebel commander and being worse than Assad regime. Opponents of ISIL gained control of most of Idlib province and towns west of Aleppo city; ISIL consolidated presence east of Aleppo and in Raqqa province; fierce fighting continues for control of towns between Aleppo and Turkish border. ISIL 27 Jan rejected reconciliation initiative endorsed by other rebel groups. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 23 Jan estimated nearly 1,400 killed in rebel infighting since beginning of month; UN received reports of “mass executions”. Syria 1 Jan missed UN-endorsed deadline for transfer of “priority chemicals” under Sept resolution, first batch shipped out 7 Jan; only 4.1% reportedly shipped out by end Jan, UNSG Ban 28 Jan called delays unnecessary, U.S. 30 Jan warned Syrian efforts had “seriously languished”. Govt 8 Jan reported 2 rebel attacks on chemical sites, first such report. Unconfirmed reports Israeli air force 26 Jan bombed base in Latakia. U.S. 27 Jan announced resuming deliveries of non-lethal aid to non-armed opposition groups, suspended Dec; Reuters reported U.S. had already resumed delivery via Jordan of light and anti-tank weapons to “moderate” rebel groups in S Syria.

Libya

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

General National Congress (GNC) “roadmap” committee held consultations on length and modality of extension beyond Feb 2014; UNSMIL hosted several closed-door meetings; GNC 23 Dec voted to extend transition one year, set deadline for drafting constitution by Aug 2014. UNSC 19 Dec expressed concern over worsening security, political divisions, called on all parties to end violence and support democratic transition. GNC 4 Dec voted to make Sharia law foundation of national legislation. Militia blockading oil export terminals in east again called for autonomy of region, right to profit from oil exports, refused to end blockade; leader Ibrahim Jedran 15 Dec said he will begin selling oil outside govt channels and redistribute revenues to provinces according to pre-Qadhafi law; Libya Revolutionary Operations Room (LROR) 16 Dec said will liberate terminals by force. Assassination of security force members continued in east: at least 13 soldiers killed 21 Dec in car bomb explosion on checkpoint in Barsis, outside Benghazi. Benghazi military intelligence chief shot dead 21 Dec in Derna; army officer killed 26 Dec in Benghazi.

Mauritania

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Electoral commission 3 Dec announced results of legislative and municipal results held 23 Nov, said ruling party Union for the Republic (UPR) won landslide victory with 53 seats in national assembly; Islamist party Tawassoul came second with 12 seats. Thousands of Coordination for Democratic Opposition (COD) supporters protested 18 Dec in Nouakchott against “unilateral” elections.

Iran

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Govt, P5+1 and IAEA 9-13 Dec met to discuss technical details of 24 Nov Geneva nuclear deal, but Iran pulled out of talks after U.S. 12 Dec blacklisted 19 companies linked to Iran’s nuclear program; Tehran said new sanctions “violated” the spirit of Geneva agreement. Talks further jeopardised after bipartisan group of U.S. senators 19 Dec introduced new sanctions bill that would strengthen existing sanctions if Iran breaks interim deal; President Obama threatened to veto bill if it passed. 100 hardline Iranian parliamentarians 25 Dec introduced bill obliging govt to increase uranium enrichment to 60% if U.S. introduces new sanctions. Head of Iranian negotiating team 1 Jan said sides had proposed 20 Jan for Geneva deal to go into effect. IAEA 8 Dec inspected Arak nuclear plant; govt and IAEA 12 Dec agreed to meet 21 Jan to discuss “practical steps” to improve transparency of nuclear program. Public row erupted between President Rouhani’s govt and Revolutionary Guards commander Ali Jafari: FM Zarif 3 Dec said U.S. could eliminate Iran’s defensive systems “with one bomb”; Jafari called comments “incorrect”, said govt “infected by Western doctrine” and “fundamental change must occur”. Nuclear chief Salehi 1 Dec said govt in talks with Russia to build another nuclear plant at Bushehr, construction to begin in 2014. Govt 5 Dec announced it executed 4 Ahwazi Arab political activists on charges of enmity against God and threatening national security. Upsurge in violence on Iran’s eastern and western borders: gunmen killed 15 Iranian and 3 Iraqi workers on gas pipeline near Balad Ruz village NE of Baghdad 13 Dec; 3 Revolutionary Guards killed in SE by roadside bomb believed to be planted by Baluchi Sunni separatist group Jaish al-Adl 18 Dec.

Algeria

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Security forces 4 Dec killed leader of AQIM Ennour brigade Khalil Ould Addah (aka Abou Bassen) and 4 terrorists in Tamanrasset desert; 6-8 Dec continued combing operations near Ghardaïa in effort to root out “important AQIM group”; 13 Dec killed 2 alleged terrorists near Tizi Ouzou; 15 Dec shoot-out near Tizi Ouzou left 1 soldier injured. Intelligence services mid-month reportedly contacted Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghali to seek his assistance in liberating hostages abducted by MUJAO in Gao in April 2012. PM Abdelmalek Sellal 7 Dec said country will bolster security cooperation with Libya to stem arms proliferation. Govt 17 Dec said 220 terrorists killed since Jan 2013. Intercommunal clashes in Ghardaïa 25-27 Dec between Chaâmbis (Arabs) and Mozabites (Berbers) left dozens injured, including 40 policemen; govt deployed gendarmerie; president 31 Dec called for calm, dialogue.

Israel/Palestine

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

U.S. Sec State Kerry intensified diplomatic efforts to resolve impasse in peace negotiations, 5 Dec presented security proposal purportedly entailing demilitarised Palestinian state, Jordanian border crossings under joint Israeli-Palestinian control, limited Israeli military presence in Jordan Valley. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas 13 Dec rejected continued Israeli military presence in Jordan Valley. Israel 27 Dec issued instructions for construction of 1,400 West Bank units in advance of late Dec Palestinian prisoners’ release; met with strong criticism from U.S., EU, PA. Gaza humanitarian situation deteriorated due to fuel shortage, aggravated by extreme winter weather, floods; Qatar provided funds for fuel; over 5,000 evacuated from N Gaza, Gaza City 13 Dec. UNRWA called for end of Israeli blockade to allow recovery efforts, Israel opened Gaza crossing to allow entry of gas, water pumps. Bomb exploded in Tel Aviv bus 22 Dec shortly after vehicle evacuated; Palestinian militants suspected. Several killed in shootings, retaliatory attacks between Israeli forces and Palestinians. Lebanese soldier 15 Dec shot dead Israeli soldier at border near Rosh Hanikra; Israel retaliated shooting 2 Lebanese soldiers. Gunmen 2 Dec fired from Syria on Israeli soldiers in Quneitra, prompting retaliation. Roadside bomb attack on IDF jeep on Israel-Syrian Golan border 6 Dec; perpetrators unknown. French and Russian inquiries ruled out poisoning as cause of death of ex-PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Yemen

  |  2 Jan 2014

Deteriorated

Security deteriorated after armed forces early-month killed prominent Hadrami sheikh; Hadrami tribes, supported by Hiraak, set 20 Dec as deadline for handing over killer, transferring governorate security responsibilities to them. Thousands protested in South, including Qaten, Seiyun and Tarim cities in Hadramout, and clashed with armed forces. Army 27 Dec struck funeral of southern separatist in al-Dalia, killing 19 including 4 children. Tribal attacks on oil pipelines continue: unknown assailants 27 Dec blew up main oil pipeline from Masila field. At least 56 killed, 215 injured 5 Dec in al-Qaeda attack on defence ministry complex in Sanaa. At least 4 soldiers killed 31 Dec in suicide bombing of security HQ in Aden. 15 killed 12 Dec in U.S. drone strike on reported wedding convoy; parliament 15 Dec issued non-binding agreement banning drones. In north, fighting between Huthis and Salafis continued. Several political parties 23 Dec signed agreement granting some autonomy to South and supporting federalism as basis of new state structure. New as-yet undrafted constitution to decide on number of regions and their authorities.

Western Sahara

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Polisario Front 10 Dec declared that approval of new Protocol to EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) amounts to EU support for Morocco’s “illegal claims” on W Sahara; protests against agreement same day in Laayoune violently dispersed by police and army. UNGA 11 Dec adopted resolution reasserting support to negotiation process “to reach solution which allows Saharawi people to exercise right to self-determination”. Morocco, Polisario 1 Jan confirmed new round of talks will be held Jan in Sweden and Morocco.

Egypt

  |  2 Jan 2014

Deteriorated

Govt 25 Dec formally declared Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist group, made MB membership and participation in anti-coup protests a crime; move effectively rules out possibility of reconciliation with MB, further complicating political scene. Declaration followed bomb explosion at govt building in Mansura 24 Dec in which at least 12 killed, scores injured; govt blamed MB despite lack of evidence of its involvement. Political transition roadmap moved ahead as constitutional committee 1 Dec finalised controversial draft constitution. Committee president 15 Dec said draft gives unprecedented rights to women and removes religious clauses included in Dec 2012 constitution. MB 2 Dec and Islamist Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy (ASL) rejected draft. April 6 Movement criticised draft over powers granted to military and defence minister, inclusion of military trials for civilians; Coptic church, Salafi Nour Party and Tamarrod movement voiced support for draft. Interim President Mansour 14 Dec said referendum on draft constitution scheduled 14-15 Jan; April 6 movement and ASL announced boycott. Secret talks between authorities and ASL faltered. Govt 18 Dec charged ousted President Morsi with treason, espionage, sponsoring terrorism, collaborating with Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas. Sweeping arrests against Islamists continued; govt crackdown on dissidents expanding to include rights groups, secular political activists. Anti-govt protests ongoing on near-daily basis, several killed in clashes with police late-month. Police 8 Dec staged rare protest demanding higher wages, defying new protest law. Militant attacks continued: in Ismailia suspected Islamists shot dead policeman 17 Dec, car bombs exploded 12 Dec killing 1 policeman; car bomb in Cairo 17 Dec; suspected al-Qaeda-affiliated militants shot dead soldier during clashes in Sinai Peninsula 20 Dec. 5 injured in Cairo bomb attack 26 Dec. Army 17 Dec shot dead alleged Islamist militant Abou Khaled wanted for Aug 2012 terror attack in Sinai Peninsula.

Iraq

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Daily violence continued with UN reporting over 700 killed including over 661civilians: at least 42 killed, 84 injured in series of bomb attacks 25 Dec; series of bombings in Baghdad Shia neighbourhoods 30-31 Dec killed 23; over 70 killed 16 Dec; at least 18 military personnel killed 21 Dec in ambush by Islamic State of Iraq. UN reported at least 7,818 civilians killed in 2013, marking deadliest year since 2008. Security forces 28 Dec raided home of Sunni lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani, arrested him on terrorism charges; 7 killed in ensuing gun-battle. At least 10 killed 30 Dec when security forces dismantled Sunni protest camp in Ramadi, al-Anbar province, calling for removal of PM Maliki. 44 MPs resigned 30 Dec over demolishing of camp, arrest of Alwani. U.S. reportedly shipped Hellfire missiles, reconnaissance drones to help govt combat militants. Govt 25 Dec closed border with Syria following start of military operation against al-Qaeda in western desert.

Tunisia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

National Dialogue between governing Troika and opposition parties 14 Dec reached agreement on industry minister Mehdi Jomaa as technocratic caretaker PM to construct interim govt replacing Troika led by an-Nahda, and lead caretaker administration until elections. Jomaa 18 Dec said consultations on forming new interim govt “ongoing”. Compromises still needed on other issues including new constitution, new elections and reviewing some of an-Nahda’s public administration appointments. Landmine exploded 2 Dec during military operation against Islamist militants in Mount Chaambi, killing 1 soldier. President Marzouki provoked outrage with early Dec publication of “black book” detailing collaboration of public intellectuals, journalists and others with ousted Ben Ali regime. National Constituent Assembly 14 Dec adopted draft law on creation of transitional justice authority.

Bahrain

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Courts handed series of prison sentences to Shiite activists. Govt denied entry to UK rights lawyer who was to observe trial of opposition Al-Wefaq leader Khalil Al-Marzooq. Govt 29 Dec detained Al Wefaq leader Ali Salman on charges of “inciting hatred”, imposed travel ban after his release. Homemade bomb wounded 2 police near Manama 17 Dec.

Lebanon

  |  2 Jan 2014

Deteriorated

Car bomb in Beirut 27 Dec killed senior “March 14” figure and former finance minister Mohammad Chatah and 7 others: March 14 alliance accused Syrian regime and Hizbollah, both denied. Assassination derailed cabinet formation process: March 14 alliance 28 Dec rejected unity govt, called for cabinet excluding Hizbollah. 13 killed, dozens wounded in sectarian clashes between Sunni Bab al-Tebbaneh and Alawite Jabal Mohsen neighbourhoods of Tripoli 30 Nov-2 Dec; govt ordered army to preserve security in city. Lebanese troops fired at Syrian military aircraft violating its airspace in Bekaa Valley 30 Dec. Saudi Arabia 29 Dec granted Lebanese army $3bn. President Suleiman 7 Dec again called on Hizbollah to withdraw from Syria, abide by Baabda declaration. Prominent Hizbollah commander Ali Bazzi and 3 militants killed in firefight with Syrian rebels near Nabuk on Syrian Qalamoun front 8 Dec. Gunmen 4 Dec assassinated Hizbollah commander Hassan al-Laqis in Hadath. Armed men and suicide bomber 15 Dec attacked 2 army checkpoints in Sidon, killing 1 soldier; army detained 5 suspects, claimed men part of al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades. Unidentified militants 29 Dec fired 5 rockets from Hasbaya toward Israel, 2 exploded near Kiryat Shmona; Israel blamed Hizbollah, shelled Rachaya border area in retaliation, no injuries reported. Lebanese sniper 16 Dec killed Israeli soldier on border, army said soldier acted alone (see Israel/Palestine). Residents of Qsar Naba village near Syria 2 Dec torched ad hoc Syrian refugee camp, forced hundreds of refugees from campsite. Authorities arrested head of group that claimed Nov Iranian embassy bombing.

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CrisisWatch N°128

Read the latest edition of CrisisWatch in full.