Warzone News: Week of October 14, 2015
Resource of the Week: The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet, a coalition of groups that helped Tunisia transition from the Arab Spring and avoid civil war. Learn more about the group here.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. government is planning to make condolence payments to the families of those killed in the bombing of a hospital in Kunduz last week. Fighting has increased in the southwest city of Ghazni as the Taliban attempts to secure another provincial capital after losing Kunduz. The Taliban released a hit list this week that targets two TV channels. An Afghan branch of ISIS is making progress in east Afghanistan. A British military helicopter crashed, killing five people and wounding five others.
In the Central African Republic, peacekeepers clashed with Seleka rebels as they tried to prevent a march towards the capital. CAR ranks at the top of the 2015 Global Hunger Index, and while the number of hungry people in the world has decreased by 27% since 2000, countries experiencing armed conflict have some of the highest hunger rates.
In Iraq, several ISIS leaders were killed in an airstrike. The group’s head, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was not one of the casualties. Iraqi Kurds, an important player in the fight against ISIS, are facing internal disputes that threaten to distract the group from it’s efforts against ISIS.
In Israel and Palestine, violence that began two weeks ago has escalated to the point where at least five Israelis and 25 Palestinians have been killed, including a pregnant woman and her young daughter in Gaza. In total, more than 20 attacks have occurred this month. An investigator from Human Rights Watch, along with seven protesters, was wounded by Israeli police at a demonstration in the West Bank. The Israeli military has begun to deploy in certain cities and police have sealed off some Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem in an attempt to halt violence.
In Mali, conflict and insecurity has led to a hunger crisis in the north.
In Myanmar, the country’s leadership considered postponing elections scheduled for next month because of recent flooding, but later announced they would occur as scheduled. Ceasefire talks between the government and 15 ethnic militias have stalled.
In Nigeria, new reports show that most of the 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014 are alive and living around Lake Chad. Lake Chad, located where the borders of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria meet, is being called a warzone by the U.N. refugee agency. Boko Haram’s influence is moving beyond Nigeria, as suicide attacks occurred in both Chad and Cameroon.
In Turkey, two bombs detonated during a peace rally in Ankara, killing almost 100 people in the country’s deadliest attack in recent history. The government has identified ISIS and two other groups as suspects, though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In South Sudan, Uganda plans to begin withdrawing its troops in accordance with the recent peace deal. Some fear that this will have a negative impact as the conflict continues. The group that oversees South Sudan’s ceasefire deals has reported that both sides in the conflict have violated deals over the last 19 months, a total of 53 times. The Red Cross is reporting that levels of sexual violence in South Sudan over the last two years are “unprecedented.”
In Somalia, the government’s inability to feed and pay it’s soldiers threatens its ability to fight Al Shabaab.
In Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir opened talks this week with hopes of agreeing to a ceasefire deal, though most opposition groups have boycotted the talks.
In Syria, government forces, with the help of Russia, made gains against rebel forces. As a reported 90% of Russian airstrikes have targeted Syrian rebels, rather than ISIS, it appears that ISIS is gaining ground in some of these areas. Missiles sent by Russia that were intended for Syria mistakenly landed in Iran. Russia and the U.S. agreed to re-open talks on air safety in Syria.
In Yemen, airstrikes by the Saudi-led forces killed 25 people at a wedding hosted by a supporter of the Houthi rebels. Amnesty International is accusing these forces of killing hundreds of civilians in airstrikes on residential areas, amounting to war crimes. ISIS has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings in Yemen last week.