Tracking Conflict Worldwide
Outlook for This Month September 2017
Conflict Risk Alerts
Trends for Last Month August 2017
August saw Rohingya militants launch deadly attacks on security forces in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, setting the crisis on a more dangerous path. There is still no end in sight to Yemen’s war as deadly airstrikes increased. In the Central African Republic’s north and east, deadly clashes between armed groups worsened and aid workers came under attack. Both Spain and Burkina Faso faced terror attacks, while North Korea’s launch of a missile over northern Japan prompted international condemnation. Venezuela’s political situation grew increasingly grave as the government dissolved the elected parliament. Political tensions rose in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions and in Guatemala, where the president attempted to expel the head of the UN-backed anti-corruption organisation.
In Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state, militants from Harakah al-Yaqin/Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army launched coordinated attacks on 30 police posts and an army base on 25 August, leaving some 80 militants and twelve members of the security forces dead. In response, the military conducted “clearance operations”, and evacuated some 4,000 non-Muslim civilians from the area. Up to 38,000 Rohingyas have since attempted to flee to Bangladesh, but Bangladesh says it cannot accept them. As we have explained, this incident represents a “very serious conflict escalation”. The military’s response must be proportionate to avert spiralling violence, including distinguishing between militants and Rohingya civilians, protecting all civilians caught up in or fleeing the fighting, and providing unfettered access to affected areas for humanitarian agencies and media.
In Yemen, tensions between military partners erupted amid deadly airstrikes on civilians. Against Huthi wishes, former President Saleh on 24 August staged a show of strength – a large rally in the capital Sanaa, ostensibly to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the General People’s Congress party (GPC). Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes increased, including around Sanaa immediately prior to and after the GPC rally, leaving dozens dead. Huthis claimed to have intensified attacks on Saudi territory, while fighting continued in the south and along the Saudi border.
In the Central African Republic (CAR), violence worsened in the north and east between anti-balaka militants and the ex-Seleka faction, the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic, leaving over a hundred dead. Armed groups also continued to target humanitarian workers, causing aid agencies to suspend their operations. UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien warned the UN Security Council on 7 August that the situation displayed “warning signs of genocide”, and called