Warzone News: Week of September 30, 2015
In Afghanistan, the Taliban captured Kunduz, the sixth largest city in Afghanistan and considered a gateway to Central Asia. The Afghan military, with support from US troops, is fighting to reclaim the city. The Taliban’s victory is considered one of their most significant since they lost power in 2001. Human Rights Watch has called for the Afghan government to include women in peace talks with the Taliban.
In Burkina Faso, the president has been restored in his position after a failed coup attempt earlier this month.
In the Central African Republic, renewed violence erupted when a Muslim man was killed. Muslim militants attacked a Christian neighborhood in response. The 42 deaths so far make it the worst violence the country has seen in a year. During the chaos, 500 prisoners (including militants on both sides of the conflict) escaped from a jail in the capital city. The country’s interim president left the UN General Assembly in New York early to attend to the crisis.
In Israel and Palestine, Israeli police and Palestinians clashed at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Egypt‘s president defended his country’s creation of a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, saying it is not intended to harm Gaza’s residents.
In Myanmar, the foreign minister defended the government’s decision to prevent 800,000 Rohingya Muslims from voting in upcoming elections.
In Nigeria, 241 women and girls were freed and one of Boko Haram’s key members was arrested.
In Somalia, a motion to impeach the president was withdrawn from parliament. The British Prime Minister has committed to sending up to 70 troops to support peacekeeping mission in the country, as well as up to 300 troops in South Sudan. In total, 40,000 additional peacekeeping troops were pledged by 50 countries at a UN summit this week.
In South Sudan, the past few months of fighting have seen worsening atrocities, despite the signing of a peace deal. The president of Kenya called for international support to uphold the deal. The peace deal is allowing some needed food aid to get to communities affected by the violence.
In Syria, a new report has uncovered that up to 30,000 foreign fighters have entered Syria over the last year to fight on behalf of ISIS. Unsurprisingly, a new survey shows that the vast majority of refugees are fleeing Syria because of the conflict. France launched it’s first strike against ISIS this week. Russia’s increasing involvement in Syria is raising concerns that it will actually benefit ISIS. A Vox article details Russia’s possible motivations for getting involved in Syria. At the UN General Assembly meeting this week, leaders of the US and Russia are trying to work together towards a solution in Syria, although they have different ideas about what that should involve. A new report by the US Department of Defense shows that the US and it’s allies have completed over 7,000 airstrikes against ISIS. A truce was reached between the Syrian government and rebels in two locations in Syria. Research released this week shows that barrel bombs and other harmful weaponry used in the conflict has had a disproportionate impact on women and children. A growing number of Syrians are traveling to hospitals in Jordan to get treatment due to a shortage of care in Syria.
In Turkey, rising tensions with the PKK rebel group are threatening to lead to a civil war. Turkish security forces and the PKK have both suffered casualties in recent months.
In Ukraine, most aid agencies have been forced to leave rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine, raising concerns about how people will receive aid ahead of winter.
In Yemen, a Saudi air strike mistakenly hit a wedding party, where the death toll is currently at 131. A helicopter attack killed 30 civilians, although Saudi Arabia dismissed the accounts as being completely false. An attack by ISIS killed 10 at a mosque. The war in Yemen has killed an estimated 2,355 civilians since it began six months ago. This feature by Amnesty International provides an informative look on the conflict, from it’s roots to it’s impact on civilians.