Tracking Conflict Worldwide
Outlook for This Month October 2008
Conflict Risk Alerts
Trends for Last Month September 2008
No progress in negotiations between govt and Palipehutu-FNL to revive failing ceasefire implementation; growing tensions with President Kabila; both sides allege violations. Reports of daily attacks: sports ministry director Ferdinand Ntabihari assassinated in 25 Sept grenade attack on home; 3 civilians killed 15 Sept by grenade in north east, FNL suspected. Renewed FNL racketeering reported in rural areas. Civil society groups 5 Sept condemned rise in govt harassment amid further clampdowns on media, civil society: Net Press director jailed 11 Sept for defamation; justice workers union head Juvénal Rududura arrested 15 Sept for false statements implying govt corruption; Radio Publique Africaine threatened with “sanctions” 23 Sept over Jan story alleging plot against Nkurunziza govt.
Central African Republic
Talks between govt and rebel group APRD resumed 15 Sept in Libreville, Gabon, after govt revised controversial amnesty law that prompted APRD pullout in Aug; parliament adopted new amnesty law 30 Sept– rebel groups reviewing. New coalition party approved 5 Sept incorporating opposition FPP, MESAN and PATRIE, demanded participation in national dialogue process. Further reports and accusations of peace process violations. Defence ministry 3 Sept denounced rights groups’ silence on APRD crimes in north west, APRD denied. Ahead of March 2009 EUFOR withdrawal, UNSC 24 Sept extended UN mission (MINURCAT) mandate until March 2009, but postponed decision on UNSG’s request for increased troop strength (see Chad).
Democratic Republic of Congo
Jan peace deal in tatters after further serious clashes between army and General Nkunda’s CNDP rebels in North Kivu following resumption of hostilities on 28 Aug. Fighting spread over month as army struggled to repel CNDP advances from ceasefire positions, with clashes approaching Sake, 25km from Goma, 20-21 Sept. Both sides report heavy casualties, while UN reported 100,000 displaced since late Aug. Reports of FDLR, Mai Mai rebel assaults on CNDP in Masisi, 15 Sept. CNDP cited evidence FDLR fighting alongside army. UN vehicles attacked in 3 Sept protests against MONUC efforts to hold back fighting; demonstrators called for forceful army response to rebels. Further rallies held 20-21 Sept over poor army conditions. AU, MONUC, EU and govt met for emergency talks in Goma 14 Sept, urged CNDP to return to negotiations. PM and PALU party head Gizenga resigned 25 Sept citing health, but amid President Kabila; resignation likely to result in PALU’s withdrawal from governing coalition. Govt early month began deploying some 1,100 troops near Ugandan LRA bases in north; Kampala 10 Sept called on Kinshasa to attack rebels in line with June cooperation agreement. UN said at least 17,000 displaced, 90 children abducted after alleged LRA raids on DRC villages mid-month (see Uganda).
Coalition led by ruling RPF won landslide victory after peaceful 15-18 Sept legislative polls. Elections endorsed by international observers; dismissed by exiled opposition as “smokescreen” for President Kagame’s control over democratic process. Kagame 6 Sept threatened to issue arrest warrants against French officials allegedly implicated in 1994 genocide.
LRA continued to evade signature of final peace deal, on hold since April. Early month, Kinshasa with UN mission (MONUC) support began deploying hundreds of troops near LRA bases in north DRC, while Kampala 10 Sept called on DRC for stronger action in line with June cooperation agreement. In statements 11, 13 Sept, LRA said recent DRC build-up posed new barrier to LRA leader Joseph Kony signing final deal; promised resistance, ruled out disarmament until issue of ICC arrest warrants against LRA leadership “resolved”. Food supplies to LRA suspended since May. Head of Ugandan war crimes court, formed in May, stated govt forces (UPDF) cannot be tried before court under terms of Juba peace deal.
After Dakar agreement contact group meeting in Asmara, Chad and Sudan 16 Sept agreed to exchange ambassadors, set up joint peacekeeping force on border. UNSC 24 Sept extended MINURCAT mandate until March 2009 expiry of EUFOR’s mandate, announced intention to authorise UN military component to replace EUFOR – decision on revised MINURCAT mandate, size, structure scheduled mid-Dec. World Bank 9 Sept announced end of involvement in Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline project due to govt failure to allocate oil revenues to poverty reduction. 14 alleged victims filed complaints with Senegalese prosecutor against former President Habré; charges include crimes against humanity, torture.
Djibouti/Eritrea: UN 17 Sept encouraged Eritrea to engage in dialogue following early-Aug fact-finding mission, rejected by Eritrea, to investigate June border clashes. Mission report expressed concern over ongoing border tensions and called for demilitarisation of border zone, normalisation of relations; concluded that in case of continued Eritrean rebuffal of UNSG offer of good offices, issue should be referred to UNSC.
28 Sept bomb explosion in capital of Somali region killed 4, wounded 22; ONLF accused by govt, denied responsibility. 2 foreign aid workers kidnapped in Ogaden 22 Sept; ONLF also denied. U.S. expressed concern 18 Sept over draft law regulating NGO activities, said trying to influence govt to reconsider. Unity for Democracy and Justice party granted official recognition to contest 2010 elections. Govt reported over 50 Oromo rebels surrendered in Oromia early month.
Ethiopia 25 Sept again accused Eritrea of attempting to destabilise it through new anti-Ethiopian media broadcasts in local languages.
After 6-month investigation, commission led by South African retired judge Johann Kriegler investigating post- election violence 17 Sept presented report concluding Dec 2007 election deeply flawed; called for changes to electoral system to avoid future unrest, including reformed Electoral Commission, greater transparency. During Kenya visit, Kofi Annan 22 Sept called on govt to implement recommendations. Some 19 killed, hundreds displaced in 12-18 Sept clashes between herders over water in drought-stricken northern districts of Mandera, Isiolo, Samburu. Govt tightened security along Somali border following early month incursions by Somali raiders. South Sudan apologised 9 Sept for Aug attacks by armed raiders in northern Kenya.