Warzone News: Week of October 28, 2015
In Afghanistan, an earthquake on the border with Pakistan has killed at least 300 people and caused landslides, displacing thousands. Most of those killed are in Pakistan. Following the earthquake, the Taliban has attempted to take control of the affected region in northern Afghanistan.
In Cameroon, violence and the flow of refugees from Nigeria and the Central African Republic are straining communities in the north.
In the Central African Republic, five days of violence in September resulted in a total of 31 civilian deaths.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a new report documents armed groups’ use of schools in recruiting children as child soldiers.
In Iraq, some are pressuring the Prime Minister to request Russian airstrikes against ISIS there. The country’s first major cholera outbreak since 2012 has spread into the northern Kurdistan region, with over 1,800 cases so far.
In Israel and Palestine, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry expressed hope that talks with leaders could diffuse recent tensions and violence.
In Myanmar, international observers are expressing concern about the country’s upcoming elections, with fears that results will be manipulated to favor the ruling party. The elections will have a big impact on the country’s relations with the U.S. and other Western countries, it’s economy, and stability. Violence has flared once again between the Burmese Army and ethnic militias that were not a part of last week’s ceasefire agreement. Conflict in Kachin State is putting civilians in the middle of the violence. A new report by Amnesty International finds that this year alone, thousands of Rohingya refugees escaping Myanmar by boat could have died at sea. An investigation by Al Jazeera has uncovered evidence that could suggest genocidal actions against the Rohingya.
In Nigeria, 338 people, mostly women and children, were rescued from Boko Haram.
In Somalia, an Al Shabaab leader has pledged allegiance to ISIS in a move that could further fracture the group.
In South Sudan, officials are warning of a possible famine that could begin as early as the end of the year and is already impacting thousands of people. In a potentially hopeful development toward peace, rebels have signed on to a peace agreement.
In Sudan, supplies for peacekeepers are finally being released after the UN accused the government of withholding food and other essential supplies to troops in Darfur.
In Syria, new analysis shows that at least 80% of Russian airstrikes in Syria have not been in areas controlled by ISIS, but by rebels who oppose the Syrian government. Two airstrikes in the city of Homs, likely by Russia, killed 59 civilians. President Assad made an unannounced visit to Russia to speak with President Putin about their joint military strategy. Officials from Russia and the U.S. also met to discuss a solution in Syria. Turkey has confirmed rumors that they have attacked Kurds in Syria, further complicating the conflict. The U.N. is reporting that 120,000 Syrians have been displaced this month alone.
In Yemen, adding to the civilian death toll from the civil war were 22 people killed in the central city of Taiz. The head of the Red Cross in Yemen has said that the situation in Taiz is “particularly dire.” A hospital run by MSF in north Yemen was destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes. In the absence of a functioning government, tribal authorities have become more important, which could be making the conflict worse. Water shortages and poor sanitation are causing widespread malnutrition in young Yemeni children. Journalists and activists in Yemen are facing threats, which limits the amount of information that makes it to press.