|Barómetro issue 10, January - March 2006
To read the full document click here. Armed conflicts
- The total number of armed conflicts remained at 21, unchanged from the previous quarter.
- A total of 10 conflicts remained at stalemate with no signs of improvement. There were increased confrontations in another five, while a further two showed signs of a reduction in violence.
- The United Nations proposed replacing the UA's mission in Darfur with another that would have greater resources and a wider mandate, given the current mission's inability to cope with the serious situation in the region.
- A number of Mayi Mayi militias have carried out further attacks during recent months in the province of Katanga, in southeast DR Congo.
- Increased violence between the different communities in Iraq has brought the country to the brink of civil war.
Situations of tension and high-risk disputes
- Fighting intensified between government armed forces and armed groups in the north of the Central African Republic.
- More than 100 people died in Nigeria as a result of disputes between sections of Muslim and Christian communities.
- An agreement was reached over the holding of a referendum on autonomy in Bolivia.
- The security forces intensified their operations against groups of insurgents in Balochistan (Pakistan).
- Relations between Georgia and Russia deteriorated over the issue of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
- The amnesty called in Yemen failed to stop the fighting between government forces and followers of the cleric Al-Huthi.
- There were loud protests in Belarus complaining about fraud during the presidential elections.
- The Norwegian government has offered to begin peace talks in Nepal.
- Direct negotiations were resumed between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, with mediation from Norway and additional involvement from Switzerland.
- The Turkish government sent the UN a plan of action aimed at resolving the crisis in Cyprus.
- In Spain, ETA declared a permanent ceasefire which opened the way to talks aimed at bringing an end to the Basque conflict.
- The first negotiating rounds began in the debate on the final status of Kosovo.
- Today's conflicts enter a negotiating phase more quickly than the conflicts of several decades ago.
- Analysis of the process for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) began during the course of this quarter.
- Nigeria handed over C. Taylor following pressure from the USA and a request from the President of Liberia. The former President will be tried by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
- The European Commission, the Government of National Unity, the regional government for the South of Sudan and the UNDP introduced a Rehabilitation and Recovery Programme that will last four years and have a budget of 50 million euros. It will be implemented in 10 Sudanese states.
- The United Nations warned of the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe in the Horn of Africa due to the persisting drought.
- The worsening fighting in countries like Sudan, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo has hugely impeded humanitarian access to the affected population.
- The United Nations' Central Emergency Response Fund was introduced, aimed at offering an immediate response to natural disasters.
- The total number of people who are internally displaced fell slightly during 2005 to around 23.7 million people, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
Militarization and disarmament
- The results achieved by the Preparatory Committee for the Conference for the Review of the Programme of Action to Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms were disappointing, mainly due to the blockade of certain issues by some countries, among them long-standing foes including Egypt, the USA, Iran and Israel.
- To understand behaviour and proliferation on the production side, one must also analyse the reasons for the demand for weapons and see this as an essential part of the process.
- More than one million former combatants are now taking part in DDR programmes in 20 countries, according to a study by the School of Peace Culture.
- The World Bank and the Government of the Republic of Congo signed an agreement on a DDR process for some 30,000 combatants.
- The UN General Assembly approved the creation of a new Human Rights Council by a broad majority, in spite of opposition from the US government.
- The United Nations made a statement relating to the people detained at Guantanamo, calling for the centre to be closed.
- The European Parliament and the Council of Europe carried out various investigations into the CIA's secret internment centres in Europe.
- The publication of cartoons showing the prophet Mohammed sparked extreme tensions between defenders of the freedom of expression and certain religious communities.
- The World Social Forum 2006 held parallel sessions in America, Asia and Africa, discussing issues relating to armed conflicts and peace processes in greater detail than on previous occasions.
- Activities have begun as part of the International Year of Deserts and Desertification. This is a rapidly advancing phenomenon which is affecting the subsistence of some 2,000 million people and which could cause massive population movements around the world during the coming years.
- The 4th World Water Forum ended without water being recognised as a human right, while civilian organisations demonstrated in protest against the growing commercialisation of water.
- A committee was created to oversee compliance with the undertakings set out in the Kyoto Protocol.
- The International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development acknowledged the impact caused by lack of access to land in a large number of today's armed conflicts and situations of tension, though no binding international plan was approved.
Gender aspects in peace-building
- A decade on from the approval of the Beijing Platform for Action, women are still persistently being excluded from the decision-making process.
- Women in Mindanao (Philippines) and Somalia have demanded that their opinions and needs be taken into consideration in the peace processes currently underway in these two countries.
- Worldwide statistics still fail to reflect the status of women, ignoring the contribution that they make to development.
- The international community must play a greater role in promoting participation by women in peace processes.