Warzone News: Week of September 9, 2015
Resource of the Week: Looking for a simple overview of the complex civil war in Syria? This radio interview is a great primer.
In the Central African Republic, the country may not be prepared for elections scheduled for October 18. Chad is being accused of committing atrocities against civilians in CAR, including border killings.
In Iraq, the conflict continues to affect civilians, with over 1,300 killed last month alone. Across the Middle East and North Africa, 13 million children are out of school, threatening to create a “lost generation.” Reports that ISIS used mustard gas in Iraq have been confirmed.
In Israel and Palestine, a new UN report warns that Gaza could become “uninhabitable” by 2020 if current economic trends continue.
In Libya, a report has found that cluster bombs (a destructive and indiscriminate weapon that has been banned) has been used there and in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and Sudan. Officials remain optimistic about peace talks to end the conflict, hoping they will come to a resolution by September 20. The government has added Yemenis, Iranians, and Pakistanis to the list of nationalities barred from entering the country in attempt to stem the flow of foreign fighters entering the country.
In Pakistan, reports that the military has killed a top insurgent leader.
In Myanmar, the president is pushing for a ceasefire deal to be reached ahead of November’s elections. Muslims have been banned from running in the upcoming elections and Rohingya Muslims will not be allowed to vote.
In Somalia, Al Shabaab has claimed control over two towns in southern Somalia following an attack on an African Union base in the region. The country’s foreign minister expressed a need for more support for it’s army to fight Islamists. The US has re-opened it’s diplomatic mission to Somalia, although it will be based out of Kenya.
In Sudan, Human Rights Watch has accused the government of committing crimes against humanity in the western region of Darfur over the past year and a half.
In Syria, the US is planning to overhaul it’s efforts to train moderate rebels. ISIS has destroyed more ancient sites in Palmyra. The UK completed it’s first drone strike in Syria which killed 3 members of ISIS, two of which were Britons. France is also considering airstrikes against ISIS. Russia is reportedly sending equipment, and possibly troops, to fight on behalf of the Syrian government. Both ISIS and the Syrian government are using water as a weapon, cutting off supplies in contested cities. Efforts to come to a diplomatic solutions in Syria stall over the future of President Assad. This week saw mass coverage of the refugee crisis in Europe. A large proportion of migrants making the journey are from Syria.
In Tajikistan, clashes have killed 22 people, which is being blamed on “terrorists.”
In Yemen, ISIS bombed a mosque in the country’s capital, killing 20. Two Red Cross aid workers were also killed last week. Aid agencies are warning that Yemen could become a humanitarian disaster, with half a million children at risk of severe malnutrition. The opening of a new front in the conflict threatens to expand it’s impact.