Warzone News: March 9, 2016

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Warzone News: Week of March 9, 2016

In Afghanistan, the Taliban issued a statement saying that it will continue to refuse to attend peace talks until the government orders foreign troops out of the country and releases all of its fighters from prison. Six months after fleeing a Taliban attack on her city, Zarghona Hassan, activist and founder of a radio station in Kunduz, has returned and relaunched her radio station.  Until last year the radio station reached an estimated 800,000 in northern Afghanistan, where the vast majority of women are illiterate, and served as a major source of information and awareness in the face of extremist violence as it encouraged women to take an active role in ending the country’s 15-year war.

In Burundi, the government has denied accusations that its security forces were behind a number of mass graves containing the bodies of dozens of opposition supporters. The recent UN delegation sent into investigate human rights violations in the country are reporting that the mission was a “success.” The number of refugees who have fled the country since April of last year has reached 250,000, according to the UNHCR.

In Central African Republic, armed men killed 12 people in villages, local officials said on Sunday, in the first violence since Faustin-Archange Touadera was confirmed as president, an election many hoped would help end attacks. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon reported that he is “deeply troubled by scale, nature of harm to children” going on in the country.  Militants associated with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) out of Uganda are reportedly responsible for a spike in kidnappings in CAR.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 are confirmed dead and 5 are missing after the Glencore mine collapsed on Tuesday. The DRC will extradite Ladislas Ntaganzwa, a suspect in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, Congo’s justice minister said on Thursday, retreating from an earlier demand that Rwanda first respond to Congo’s own extradition requests.

In Iraq, a suicide bombing killed at least 60 people on Monday in Hilla, south of Baghdad. A top U.S. general is recommending increasing troops in Iraq and Syria to retake ISIS-controlled areas.

In Israel and Palestine, a stabbing attack — carried out by a “terrorist,” according to authorities — along a popular oceanfront boardwalk around Tel Aviv left an American tourist dead and 10 other people wounded not far from where U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Tuesday.  Thousands of teachers took to the streets in nonviolent protest to demand better wages, leaving West Bank schools closed for nearly a month.

In Libya, a 5,000-strong, Italian-led international force is ready to deploy as concern grows over the threat from extremist groups operating in the country, after dozens of fighters stormed through the Tunisian town of Ben Guerdan near the Libyan border on Monday attacking army and police posts in a raid that killed at least 50 people, including civilians.

In Nigeria, 76 members of Boko Haram on the verge of starvation, including women and children, surrendered to Nigerian soldiers on Saturday in the town of Gwoza, Borno state. President Buhari is saying that mobile phone company MTN fuelled the Islamist-led insurgency in Nigeria by failing to disconnect unregistered sim cards.

In Somalia, a U.S. strike, initially characterized as a drone strike, but later was explained to have involved both manned and unmanned aircrafts, killed as many as 150 suspected Al-Shabaab fighters, the Pentagon said Monday.

In South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, civil war and recent fighting have led to disastrous consequences for the population; aid supplies are being blocked while fighting spreads and Human Rights Watch is urging the African Union to set up a hybrid court to investigate the violence and atrocities committed against civilians. Check out a recent photo gallery of life in South Sudan here.

In Syria, ABC News visited besieged Madaya with leaders of Hezbollah. The U.N. envoy for Syria will begin holding “substantive” peace talks with both Syrian government officials and opposition representatives no later than next Monday even as preparations toward the discussions get underway this week in Geneva.

In Yemen, 4 missionaries and 12 others were killed by gunmen in a home for the elderly ran by nuns in the port city of Aden on Saturday. As of Tuesday, the UNHCR reports that the conflict in Yemen has left 2.4 million forcibly displaced. A delegation from the Houthi group is in Saudi Arabia for talks on ending the conflict in Yemen, two senior Yemeni officials said on Tuesday.

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