Warzone News: April 13, 2016

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Warzone News: Week of April 12, 2016

Resource of the Week: Can human psychology help end wars?

In Afghanistan, the Taliban announced a new offensive this spring that will target government strongholds, attempting to overthrow the Western-backed government. A US Special Inspector noted this week that, “The reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is in a perilous state.”

In Armenia, the ceasefire with neighboring Azerbaijan appears to be holding. Russia has said it will continue to sell arms to both countries.

In Burundi, with 250,000 people displaced and tensions still high, the country could devolve into a humanitarian crisis. Rebels opposed to the president are accused of attacking and killing at least six people.

In Central African Republic, France has begun to withdraw troops as the country appears to be stabilizing.

In Democratic Republic of Congo, 30,000 people have been cut off from aid because of fighting in the eastern region of the country.

In Iraq, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited, encouraging the Prime Minister who is facing a fight against ISIS, massive displacement, and political opposition to his decision to replace cabinet members. Though ISIS has been defeated in parts of Iraq, questions remain about how the liberated areas will be stabilized. Some towns that were liberated from ISIS have become totally isolated.

In Libya, ISIS’s presence in the country has doubled over the last year. One of two rival governments has announced that it is stepping down, making room for the UN-backed unity government.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram’s use of child suicide bombers has increased 11-fold over the last year. Two years after over 200 children were kidnapped by Boko Haram, families hold out hope that their daughters will be returned. Human rights groups are calling for an investigation of alleged mass graves that contain the bodies of Shiites killed in fighting with Nigeria’s military.

In Somalia, a severe drought is threatening thousands, especially in the north. More Al-Shabaab militants were killed in US airstrikes. Despite progress, Al-Shabaab forces continue to survive as the central government struggles to support it’s troops and provide services in liberated areas of the country.

In South Sudan, the leader of rebel forces arrived in the country’s capital, signaling to many the end of the civil war.

In Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir claims he will step down in 2020. He has been in power since 1989 and is wanted by the International Criminal Court. In the Darfur region, residents are voting on whether to re-unite western states into a single state in a move that could escalate tensions or even create an independence movement.

In Syria, peace talks that will resume next week are threatened by President Assad’s unwillingness to compromise and escalating violence. ISIS has reportedly kidnapped up to 300 factory workers near Damascus.

In Yemen, a truce began on Monday, though there have been reports that fighting has continued in certain areas.

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