Warzone News November 4, 2015

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Warzone News: Week of November 4, 2015

Resource of the Week: The heads of the U.N. and Red Cross issued a joint statement about the impact of today’s armed conflicts on civilians. They called for urgent actions from the international community to address conflicts and their effects.

In Afghanistan, battles are taking place in a northern province as the Taliban attempts to gain ground there. U.S. strikes targeted an Al Qaeda training camp, the largest found since the start of the war. Photos of Afghanistan over the last few decades by an American photojournalist who has visited the country dozens of times since 1988.

In Burundi, twelve people were killed in clashes after the president announced he plans to seek another term.

In the Central African Republic, six hostages were killed, three by each of the two militias in the conflict. Violence has continued ahead of a scheduled visit by the Pope later this month. Elections have been re-scheduled for December 13 after violence forced the original October date to be postponed. Some wonder if holding elections too early could worsen the violence and set the country back even further.

In Iraq, Parliament unanimously voted to prevent the Prime Minister from single-handedly passing reforms, in the latest government controversy. Rainstorms in Baghdad have caused flooding, interrupting electricity and other services. An attack on a camp housing Iranian refugees killed 26 people.

In Israel and Palestine, up to 100,000 Gazans are facing their second winter without homes after the conflict in the summer of 2014. On the flip side, the first Palestinian family moved back into their rebuilt home since the conflict. Israeli police killed a Palestinian man who was attempting to stab guards.

In Libya, a helicopter carrying two government official was shot down, killing 19.

In Myanmar, the integrity of elections scheduled for November 8 is being brought into question as many are blocked from running and voting, especially the Rohingya minority. Human Rights Watch is reporting that flaws in the structure of the election mean that it will not be free and fair. Burmese refugees in nearby countries express both hope and fear around elections. A new report claims that the Rohingya are facing genocide, comparable to Nazi-era Germany.

In Russia, a plane departing from Egypt crashed soon after take off. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the crash but officials say it is unlikely they were involved.

In Somalia, this year is expected to hold some of the worst El Nino weather in decades, and could impact up to 900,000 Somalis. After a plane crashed near Mogadishu, Al Shabaab is suspected of holding surviving crew members hostage. A popular hotel in Mogadishu was bombed by Al Shabaab, killing at least 14 people.

In South Sudan, a report by the African Union documents mass graves and other atrocities in the country’s ongoing civil war.

In Syria, Iran is increasing it’s military presence. Talks began in Vienna to find a solution to the Syrian civil war, and Iran attended for the first time. The U.S. announced plans to send ground troops into Syria for the first time. The troops will play an advisory role. The bombing of a market in Damascus killed 70 and wounded at least 550.

In Yemen, an airstrike on a hospital last week highlights that medical facilities are increasingly being targeted in conflict zones, including 12 strikes on hospitals in Syria in just one week. A cyclone hit Yemen, displacing thousands of people, although no injuries have been reported.

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