|Barómetro issue 15, July - September 2007
To read the full document click here. Armed conflicts
- The number of armed conflicts fell from 25 to 23, due to reduced levels of fighting in Palestine and the peace agreement reached in June between followers of al-Houthi and the government of Yemen.
- The most noteworthy feature of the last three months was the increase in hostilities in 10 contexts, the worst scenarios being, once again, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan (Darfur), along with DR Congo and Waziristan (Pakistan).
- The upsurge in fighting in North Kivu province between dissident Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda and Congolese armed forces could have regional repercussions.
- The UN Security Council approved the establishment of a combined AU/UN peacekeeping force in Darfur and an EU-led peace-keeping force along the border between the Central Africa Republic and Chad.
- The Thai government extended the state of emergency and intensified its counterinsurgency policy in the Muslim-majority southern provinces.
- In Waziristan (Pakistan), violence worsened following the suspension by Taliban militias of the peace agreement reached with the government in 2006.
Situations of tension and high-risk disputes
- The reactivation of Tuareg insurgent groups in Mali and Niger led to increased tensions in the west of Africa, with a state of alert declared in the north of Niger.
- The situation in Burundi deteriorated seriously as a result of the grave political crisis and the fighting between two factions of the FNL, placing the peace process at risk.
- Tensions between followers of Hamas and Fatah became institutionalised with the creation of two separate political entities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. The situation was further exacerbated by the blockade of the former and international support for the latter.
- Demonstrations in Myanmar led by Buddhist monks and members of opposition groups protesting over the price of basic goods were brutally suppressed by the military junta.
- The Turkish army bombed parts of northern Iraq in attacks on PKK bases, though this did not lead to a large-scale cross-border operation.
- Fresh outbreaks of violence in Timor-Leste left several people dead and injured and many houses destroyed.
- Armed groups operating in Darfur agreed to enter talks about a road map designed by the AU and the UN.
- India suggested to Pakistan that natural resources and water in Kashmir could be shared.
- Indonesia agreed to assist facilitation of the conflict in southern Thailand.
- Tony Blair was appointed as the Quartet’s envoy in the Middle East.
- Only 4% of the people involved in peace negotiations are women.
- The general elections in Sierra Leone were a success in terms of both turnout and transparency.
- A Conference in Rome on the Rule of Law in Afghanistan adopted a plan of action for the security sector.
- The Nepalese transitional government decided to postpone elections until 22 November 2007.
- The Peace-building Commission submitted its first annual report to the UN General Assembly.
- The Security Council approved the deployment of a hybrid mission from the United Nations and the African Union, following authorisation from the government in Khartoum.
- The United Nations approved the deployment of an international force to protect the refugee camps in the border areas between Chad, the Central African Republic and Sudan.
- The WHO warned of the risk of epidemics in southern Asia following the heavy impact of the monsoons, which left 3,000 dead and 30 million displaced across the region.
- In Palestine, Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip left conditions for the population on the verge of collapse.
- The Sri Lankan Government prevented displaced Tamils from returning to two areas to the northeast of Trincomalee after classifying them as High Security Zones.
- The UN Security Council extended the arms embargo on non-state groups operating in DR Congo for a further six months.
- The OSCE approved a resolution in favour of an international agreement on a ban on the production, use, transfer and storage of cluster munitions.
- Russia suspended its compliance with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty of 1990, which restricts levels of conventional weapons in Europe.
- The latest yearbook from Small Arms Survey calculates that there are 875 million small arms in the world and that 75% of these are in the hands of civilians.
- The US government admitted that around 190,000 small arms that were supposed to be passed on to the Iraqi security forces had gone astray between 2004 and 2005.
- The process began in Côte d’Ivoire to disarm and demobilise around 42,500 members of the Forces Nouvelles and 5,000 members of the regular armed forces.
- Further legislation was introduced to combat terrorism and protect national security, granting excessive power to the security forces in Turkey, Zimbabwe and Thailand.
- Attacks against people working in the media continued in Somalia and DR Congo.
- The Ombudsman in Argentina filed a complaint against 17 oil companies in the Supreme Court for ecological damage and social rights violations.
- The International Commission of Jurists and Human Rights Watch stated that the draft bill proposing the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal could deny victims their right to receive justice, reparation and the truth.
- The UN General Assembly approved the International Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Gender issues in peace-building
- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women reported that the most serious levels of sexual violence against women in the world were currently to be found in DR Congo.
- The approval of several laws in Sierra Leone has led to formal advances in the fight to combat inequality and discrimination against women.
- The International Women’s Peace and Solidarity Mission to Basilan and Mindanao urged the Philippine government and the MILF immediately to resume peace talks after the recent upsurge in violence in the region.
- The Women’s Peace Coalition, formed by women from Serbia and Kosovo, demanded implementation of Resolution 1325 in talks on the final status of Kosovo and participation by women in these talks.