Warzone News February 3, 2016

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Warzone News: Week of February 3, 2016

In Afghanistan, numerous human rights abuses continue. Read Human Rights Watch’s latest findings here.  Airstrikes killed around 29 ISIS militants and destroyed the group’s radio station, a main tool in mobilizing and recruiting fighters.

In Burundi, at least one person was killed in a grenade attack on a bar Monday night.  The African Union will send a team to press the government to accept a peacekeeping force after the president rejected such a move. Many are saying that the African Union’s credibility has been undermined since it failed to follow through with deploying peacekeeping forces

In Central African Republic, for the second time in two months peacekeeping troops are being accused of sexual assault. The UN and home states of the alleged offenders have expressed their commitment to end these abuses and punish perpetrators. The UN has released $9 million for humanitarian aid programs to assist those affected by conflict in the country.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, armed militia and rebel groups are again targeting the North Kivu region for violence and putting thousands of civilians on the run, the UN refugee agency reported today.

In Iraq, tens of thousands of trapped civilians are running out of food and medicine in the ISIS stronghold of Fallujah.

In Israel and Palestine, Israeli military bulldozers have demolished 23 houses in two impoverished southern West Bank villages that were the homes of more than 100 people. The Israeli military also has lifted the restrictions on access to the West Bank city of Ramallah that were imposed following a shooting last week. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concerns that a stalemate in the negotiations between Israel and Palestinians is reaching “the point of no return for a two-state solution.”

In Libya, time may be “running out” to stabilize the country, according to diplomats meeting in Rome as part of a coalition to prevent ISIS from gaining ground in Libya. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warns of the the threat posed by ISIS and the possibility that the group will seize the country’s oil production.

In Myanmar, history was made as the new parliament met for the first time on Monday.

In Nigeria, at least 86 people, including many children, were killed in a Boko Haram attack in Maiduguri.  Officials report that additional suicide bombers were stopped following the attack.

In Somalia, a commercial plane made an emergency landing when an explosion injured two people on board after take off from the Mogadishu airport.  Initial investigation shows the damage tested positive for explosive residue, but it is unclear if this was an attack and no group has yet to claim responsibility. Kenyan authorities are holding trucks carrying food aid at the border of Somalia because of suspicions the supplies could fall into the hands of al-Shabaab.

In South Sudan, the African Union details the further worsening of conditions in the country in its latest report. Al Jazeera interviewed opposition leader Riek Machar about ongoing efforts to establish a national unity government. Machar says he will not agree to a new government unless the recent plan to create new states is withdrawn. The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission reports that in October of 2015, government forces killed about 50 civilians by locking them in a shipping container in extreme heat until they suffocated.

In Syria, aid convoys were allowed to enter rebel-held areas during a “rocky” start to peace talks. The Syrian military, backed by Russian air strikes, threatened to cut critical rebel supply lines into Aleppo on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the warring sides said peace talks had not started despite a UN statement they had.

In Yemen, Houthi forces have been restricting food and medical supplies for civilians in Taiz, which constitutes violations of humanitarian law. Saudi Arabia claims that 375 civilians, including 63 children, have been killed since the start of the Saudi-led campaign in March of last year.

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