Warzone News: March 23, 2016

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Warzone News: Week of March 23, 2016

In Afghanistan, another district in the embattled southern province of Helmand fell to the Taliban on Tuesday. U.S. General Nicholson formally apologized for the American bombing of a Doctors without Borders hospital last year that killed 42 people and wounded 37.

In Burundi, a senior army officer and ally of the president was shot dead in the Defense Ministry compound on Tuesday. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonoviæ, warns Burundi’s tensions could fuel violence throughout the Great Lakes region.

In Central African Republic, ex-Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba of the DRC became the highest-ranking politician convicted by the international war crimes court on Monday, when it judged him responsible for a campaign of rape and murder in Central African Republic. This is the first case in which the ICC has found a high official directly responsible for the crimes of his subordinates, as well as the first to focus primarily on crimes of sexual violence committed in war. Read Human Rights Watch’s Africa Researcher Lewis Mudge’s perspective on the situation on the ground in CAR.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 civil society activists, who had been arrested after a silent march last week in Goma, were released on Saturday after posting bail. Ladislas Ntaganzwa, who allegedly helped orchestrate the Rwandan genocide in 1994, was extradited to Rwanda on Sunday to be tried by a United Nations tribunal.

In Iraq, a collapse of the Mosul dam – which is more than two miles long – threatens both devastation to central Iraq and to the external forces involved in the conflict. U.S. and allies continued attempts to stop ISIS with 16 targeted strikes on Saturday.

In Israel and Palestine, the Palestinian government ordered a boycott of five Israeli food-makers, in response to Israel’s decision to stop admitting Palestinian-made produce from the occupied West Bank to East Jerusalem. 19 Jews from Yemen were flown in by Israel in what was likely the last covert operation to move members of a dwindling Jewish community whose roots date back two millennia.

In Libya, the UN Mission to Libya has said that the new unity government will install itself in Tripoli within days.

In Myanmar, it has been confirmed that Aung San Suu Kyi will be a minister in Myanmar’s new cabinet when it takes power in April. In other news, the U.S. State Department said on Monday it believes that Myanmar is persecuting its Rohingya Muslims, but the “government’s treatment of the religious minority group does not constitute genocide.”

In Nigeria, the army announced Tuesday that it killed 58 Boko Haram fighters and recovered several weapons during a raid on a hideout in the northeastern village of Musari. Read the story of two Nigerian girls who almost became Boko Haram suicide bombers. Nearby, 89 Boko Haram militants have been sentenced to death in Cameroon.

In Somalia, 34 Al-Shabaab militants were killed by Kenyan forces in in two separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday.

In South Sudan, one person has been killed and dozens injured in an attack on a UN camp. Read NPR’s story on the struggle to get, and keep, kids in school in the country.

In Syria, convoys carrying humanitarian aid were attacked by militants while on their way to the Syrian provinces of Damascus and Hama. In neighboring Jordan, Syrian refugees are finding it difficult to get medical care because of Jordanian fees and bureaucracy, and shrinking humanitarian financial support.

In Yemen, the U.S. military launched an airstrike on Tuesday in the mountains of Yemen against a training camp run by al Qaeda, killing dozens of its fighters. Peace talks are expected to occur in Kuwait next month.

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