Warzone News: Week of June 1, 2016
In Afghanistan, the number of people displaced by conflict has doubled over the last three years to 1.2 million. The new leader of the Taliban is unlikely to be cooperative in peace talks with the government. More than 50 police officers were killed in the southern Helmand province in the first Taliban offensive under the new leader.
In Burundi, three people were killed in violence linked to the president‘s continued hold on power.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the head of the UN is worried about continued political tensions ahead of elections in a country that has never had a peaceful transition of power.
In Iraq, Iraqi troops, with the support of US forces, are working to re-take the city of Fallujah from ISIS. Fallujah was the first city to fall to ISIS in early 2014, and remains an important strategic city. The battle could have devastating consequences for the 100,000 civilians still in the city, including at least 20,000 children who face the threat of recruitment into armed groups and separation from their families. Plans are in place to take Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, from ISIS. This could lead to the displacement of up to 700,000 people.
In Israel and Palestine, the newly appointed Israeli defense minister appears unlikely to be open to negotiations with Palestinians.
In Nigeria, food aid is being delivered in the northeast of the country, where Boko Haram has been active, to avoid a possible famine. The UN aid chief said that the Lake Chad Basin is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where the gap between need and response may be greater than Syria or Yemen. An armed group called the Niger Delta Avengers has attacked a major oil pipeline in the country’s Delta region.
In South Sudan, Human Rights Watch is reporting that government soldiers are committing a variety of abuses in the western part of the country. Continued fragility in South Sudan, especially in government policy, could undermine sustainable peace.
In Syria, two rebel groups have agreed to a ceasefire. Aid workers in Syria are asking the international community for more protection, saying that working in Syria is like “waiting for death.” Government forces bombed cities in northern Syria, including targeting hospitals.
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