|Barómetro issue 5, April - June 2004
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- The total number of armed conflicts has remained the same (25), with the ending of the conflict in West Papua and the outbreak of conflict in Nigeria as a result of confrontations between the Christian and Muslim communities in the centre and north of the country. The total number of situations of tension in the world has also remained the same (52), though there was a notable increase in inter-religious violence in Pakistan.
- The elections in Afghanistan have been postponed due to the widespread violence and lack of security which has hindered the rehabilitation process in the country. In Africa, the rebellion in Bukavu (DR Congo) has resulted in a heightening of tensions between this country and Rwanda.
- Two new peace-keeping missions have been established in Burundi and Haiti, and a mission has been designed for future operations in the southern region of Sudan. The participation of members of the armed forces from EU countries in peace-keeping operations is only 2% of total troop numbers.
- Four new exploratory processes have begun for the opening of peace negotiations, one in Colombia (with the ELN) and three in India (with the PWG, PW and ULFA armed groups).
- The Sudanese Government and the SPLA have signed the remaining protocols that will allow them to reach a final agreement very soon, while the third phase of the peace process has begun in Somalia.
- Bosnian Serb officers have for the first time admitted that their troops were involved in the Srebrenica massacre, in which around 8,000 Muslims lost their lives.
- On the subject of post-war rehabilitation, the International Coalition handed power over to the interim Iraqi Government, as required under resolution 1546, which was approved unanimously by the UN Security Council.
- Turning to humanitarian crises, humanitarian organisations have warned of the growing risk of famine in Darfur (Sudan), where more than a million people have been displaced and a further 200,000 have fled to Chad.
- UNHCR announced that the number of refugees fell by 18% in 2003.
- The section on militarization and disarmament indicates that world military spending increased by 11% during 2003, reaching 956 billion dollars. Russia was the biggest exporter of heavy weaponry for the third year running.
- A mandate has been established for an independent Expert on terrorism and Human Rights, while complaints from NGOs have centred around the situation of prisoners being held by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- The Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court has announced the Court's decision to begin an investigation into the war crimes committed in DR Congo since 1 July 2002.
- As regards the section on development, it should be noted that during the 11th UNCTAD Conference in Sao Paulo, medium- and low-income countries stated their intention to bring about a change in the rules and structures of international trade.
- Reference has been made to how little importance is placed on gender issues during the peace-keeping operations currently in progress, and the need to reinforce efforts in this area in order to combat exploitation and sexual abuse.