Tracking Conflict Worldwide
Outlook for This Month August 2005
Conflict Risk Alerts
Trends for Last Month July 2005
Thirteen conflict situations around the world deteriorated in July 2005, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch,* released today. The United Kingdom became the first European country to be hit by Islamist suicide bombings -- four explosions on London's transport network claimed 56 lives and injured 700. A second wave of attacks on 21 July caused no casualties as the bombs failed to explode. Egypt suffered the worst terrorist attack in the country's history, with 64 killed in a coordinated triple bombing in Sharm el-Sheik, while tourists were also targeted in bombings in Turkey.
The tragic death of Sudan's first vice-president, John Garang, in a helicopter crash, came at a crucial moment in the implementation of Sudan's north-south peace agreement, putting the country's fragile peace at risk. Insurgent attacks in Iraq showed increasing sophistication, while in Afghanistan clashes with the Taliban increased ahead of September elections. In Israel and the Occupied Territories the 5-month informal ceasefire by Palestinian militant groups was severely undermined by spiraling violence on both sides. Kenya was struck by the worst violence in post-colonial history, killing 76 and displacing 9,000. The situation also deteriorated in Chechnya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Seven conflict situations showed improvement in July 2005. In Northern Ireland (UK), the IRA made a historic declaration that its decades-long armed campaign was over and that it would pursue its goals through peaceful means. A draft peace agreement was initialed to end the conflict in Indonesia's Aceh province. North Korea returned to six-party nuclear talks after a 13-month standoff, while a highly contested law on flags in Macedonia marked the end of the technical implementation process for the 2001 Ohrid Accord. Situations also improved in Burundi, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.
For August 2005, CrisisWatch identifies Somalia and Thailand as Conflict Risk Alerts, or situations at particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict in the coming month; and Indonesia as a Conflict Resolution Opportunity.
Largely peaceful parliamentary elections held 4 July with 65% turnout: former Hutu rebel group CNDD-FDD won 58% of vote; President Domitien Ndayizeye's FRODEBU second with 22% - accepted defeat. Senators elected 29 July by communal councillors: CNDD-FDD won majority. MPs and senators to elect president 19 August; CNDD-FDD’s Pierre Nkurunziza only candidate. Despite May 2005 ceasefire, clashes with National Liberation Front rebels continued, extending into central Burundi: some 100 civilians killed.
Central African Republic
Nationwide disarmament and reintegration campaign broadened to northwest Nan-Grébizi district. 1,200 fled to Chad after attacks in north. Economic Community of Central Africa States extended regional force’s mandate for 6 months to consolidate May elections.
Refugee situation deteriorated: 10,000 Central African Republic refugees may need to be moved from CAR adding to 200,000 Sudanese refugees already in Chad.
Democratic Republic of Congo
UN peacekeepers launched series of major military operations to clear South Kivu of Rwandan Hutu militias (FDLR): destroyed FDLR base 20 July, forcing 800 rebels to flee. In alleged FDLR warning against cooperation with UN, nearly 40 burned to death near Bukavu; 18,000 civilians fled homes following attacks. In North Kivu, 41 rebels and 2 government soldiers killed as army re- took 3 villages held by FDLR. UN concerned Uganda sheltering new rebel group, Congolese Revolutionary Movement, violating international law. In Katanga region, ongoing conflict reported with local soldiers attacking civilians. Elsewhere generalised violence: soldiers went on rampage 4 July western Mbandaka town killing 9 to avenge murder of colleague, anti-government protest over election delay held under heavy security 9 July Kinshasa, after 30 June protest left 1 dead. Voter registration began Oriental and Bas Congo provinces for 2006 elections. UNSG’s 14 July report called for additional 2,590 military and 641 police personnel for elections; UN Security Council extended arms embargo until July 2006.
Worst violence in post-colonial history: 76 killed, 9,000 displaced in inter-clan conflict in Turbi village over access to water and grazing near Ethiopian border 12 July. Hundreds marched through Nairobi 19 July, protesting draft constitution endorsed by parliament in which president retains strong executive powers; 3-day protests turned violent with 1 demonstrator shot dead by police. Security forces killed up to 40 Ugandan cattle raiders following agreement with Uganda allowing security forces to pursue rustlers over borders.
Government began releasing 36,000 genocide suspects from jail: some may still face traditional “gacaca” tribunals. Extradition treaty signed with Uganda 15 July; Kigali seeking repatriation of over 1,000 asylum-seekers who fled “gacaca” trials; Uganda denied refugee status to all but 80.
Voters restored multi-party politics in national referendum 28 July; low turnout due to opposition boycott. Violence continued in north with Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) killing up to 22 in ambush 11 July. Ugandan army claimed step closer to defeating LRA, announced deaths of LRA chief-of-staff and leader Joseph Kony’s eldest son. Cattle rustling violence, including cross-border raid in Kenya, left at least 50 dead.
UN Security Council mooted possible trip to region to kick-start implementation of 2003 border demarcation ruling. UNMEE warned incidents in Temporary Security Zone risk return to hostilities. In Ethiopia, bombs exploded in 3 Jigjiga bars killing 5, injuring 31. Ethiopian government and Ogaden National Liberation Front gave mixed signals about prospect for peace talks.
Tension between rival factions over seat of transitional government continued. President Abdillahi Yusuf arrived Jowhar, 93km north of Mogadishu; Mogadishu- based cabinet members, MPs and warlords threatened retaliation should Yusuf establish government there. Military build-up continued on both sides. Fears also high over risk of further violence in Baydhowa. UN Security Council urged dialogue. General insecurity elsewhere: southern Somalia clan violence killed 20; World Food Programme ship seized, forcing UN to suspend aid shipments. Peace activist and Crisis Group consultant Abdulkadir Yahya Ali murdered in his Mogadishu home, 11 July.