CENTRAL AFRICA (LRA): The armed group LRA carries out new attacks against the civil population in the Central African Republic
At least 16 people died as a result of clashes between the armed group LRA and civilians in two localities of Bria, the diamond-rich mining region in the northeast of the Central African Republic. The attacks left more than a dozen wounded among the civil population, and the armed group looted various houses. The LRA, which acted with extreme brutality, lost four combatants as a result of the action of the population in response. The coup by the rebel coalition Séléka left a power vacuum which the LRA and other armed groups took advantage of to loot and carry out acts of extortion. The temporary president, Michel Djotodia, has stated his wish to continue to collaborate with the international community to put an end to the LRA. The UN Secretary-General said in his last report in May that the armed group had executed 100,000 people over the last 25 years, and had kidnapped between 60,000 and 100,000 minors, forcing many of them to fight as child soldiers. United Nations has repeated its firm determination to continue supporting the efforts that the AU is making. (AFP, Aljazeera, 16/06/13, RFI, 17/06/13; Xinhua, 17/06/13)
CHINA (XINJIANG): Some thirty people die during an attack on several public buildings, in one of the biggest episodes of violence in recent years
At least 27 people died in the region of Lukqun (some 200 km to the southwest of Urumqi) after presumably armed people attacked a police station, a public building and some vehicles. Nine police officers and eight civilians were thought to have died before the police opened fire on the attackers, who were thought to have suffered 10 casualties. The reasons for the attack and the details of that episode of violence have not yet emerged. It was one of the worst outbreaks of violence in recent years. On 21 April, 21 people died, including several police officers and Chinese civil servants. The Government declared that the number of crimes in the region linked to drug trafficking had increased substantially since 2010. The Chinese authorities linked that rise to the fact that Xinjiang borders on the region known as the Golden Half Moon, which in recent years has become the main representative of production and trafficking of opium in the whole of Asia. (Reuters, Bloomberg, Deutsche Welle, 26/06/13; People's Daily Online, 21/06/13)
DISPLACED PEOPLE: The number of people displaced by violence during 2012 exceeded 7.6 million, raising the total figure of the worldwide displaced population to its highest level since 1994
The annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)) concluded that a total of 7.6 million people had been forced to abandon their homes due to contexts of conflict, generalised violence, persecution or violations of human rights during 2012. That figure included 1.1 million new refugees, the highest figure since 1999, as well as 6.5 million people who sought protection or a safe environment within the frontiers of their own countries. As a result, at the end of 2012 the total world forcibly displaced population amounted to 45.2 million people, the highest figure since 1994, when 47 million people were found to be in that situation. Of the total of refugees worldwide, 55% came from five countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and Syria. The armed conflict in that last country was considered to be one of the main factors behind the increase in the number of people displaced due to violence last year. Press information stresses that the UNHCR figures did not include the million people forced to abandon Syria in the last six months. The UNHCR analysis also highlighted that violence in Mali and in DR Congo also led to major displacements of population during 2012. Women and children accounted for 48% of the worldwide refugee population in 2012. In terms of age, children under 18 years made up 46%. It should be noted that, according to the report, the developing countries had 80% of the worldwide refugee population, compared to 70% a decade ago. (BBC, 19/06/13; UNHCR Global Trends 2012)
PHILIPPINES (NPA): The government appoints to another post the head of its negotiating panel with the NDF, a few months after deeming the official negotiations at an end
The government appointed the present head of the negotiating panel with the NDF, Alex Padilla, as president of PhilHealth, a public company in the health sector. Manila said that the appointment did not mean that the government had ceased being interested in the negotiations with the NDF, though the decision comes a few months after the government deemed the official negotiations with the NDF to have ended (having been at a standstill since 2011). The so-called "special path" agreed by both parties for trying to recommence the dialogue process had come to standstill since the beginning of 2013. The Presidential Councillor for the Peace Process, Teresita Quintos-Deles, declared that she was working on a fresh approach in an attempt to solve the conflict through dialogue, although no details of it have yet emerged. The government accuses the NDF of having sabotaged both the official negotiations and the so-called "special path" by its lack of political will and the imposition of preconditions to the dialogue, while the NDF considers that the failure of the negotiations has been mainly due to a government breach of some of the agreements signed in recent years, particularly the Joint Declaration of the Hague and the Joint Agreement on the Security and Immunity Safeguards. The NDF has already announced its intention to continue with the armed struggle through to the end of the mandate of Benigno Aquino and a change in political conditions for a new process of dialogue. (Philippine Star, 17 and 25/06/13)
SYRIA: The aggravation of the armed conflict raised the figure of fatalities to 100,000, while dialogue initiatives are postponed
The persistence of violence in Syria continues to cause fatalities, mainly as a result of attacks with explosives, sectarian attacks and combats between rebel forces and government troops. According to UN estimates, the total figures for deaths since the start of the conflict in 2011 already exceeds 93,000 people, while the calculations of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the figure at 100,000. At the middle of June, after the troops of Damascus advanced positions on the ground following the defeat of the rebel forces in al Qusayr (a locality bordering on Lebanon), the USA announced its willingness to deliver military aid to the rebels. Washington's argument for adopting that position was the existence of signs said to show the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. Days later, the Friends of Syria Group (a group of countries that back the Syrian opposition) also resolved to increase help to the rebels. Within that context, and despite the contacts between Russia and the USA, the international conference for fostering a negotiated outcome to the Syrian crisis promoted by the two countries was postponed. The meeting, which was scheduled to be held in Geneva in June, will now probably be held at the end of July. (BBC, al-Jazeera and Reuters, 01-29/06/13)
COLOMBIA: FARC denies threats to social and union leaders and the president warns that this may affect the peace process
In a statement published on its website, the FARC leadership said it was "not its policy to threaten social or trade union leaders". Its statement came just hours after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos warned that FARC involvement in the threats could derail the peace talks. The President of the General Confederation of Trade Unions of Colombia (CGT) Julio Roberto Gomez said he had received the threat last week. (BBC, 03/06/13)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The climate of insecurity and anarchy persist in the country following the takeover power in March by the rebels
Various international organisations have stated their concern at the serious situation of insecurity and anarchy affecting the country. As noted by the Chatham House organisation, the situation is going entirely unnoticed by the international community, which sees the crisis situation as a domestic problem with some regional ramifications, instead of facing it as a threat to peace and regional and international security akin to Somalia, the Sahel or DR Congo. In a report in May, HRW pointed out the serious violations of human rights committed by the rebel coalition Séléka between December 2012 and April 2013, among which it particularly noted mass looting, executions of civilians, raping of women and settling of accounts with members of the army. HRW urged the government of Séléka to control its own members, to prevent abuses and to bring those responsible to justice. And finally, as pointed out by the ICG, the absence of a State, the change of situation at political level, the fragility de Séléka and religious resentment contribute towards the creation of a climate of uncertainty for the transition. (IRIN, 06/06/13; Allafrica, 07/06/13)
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: The UN independent expert alerts to the need to tackle the deep political fragmentation of the country
In his report to the UN Human Rights Council the independent expert on the human rights situation in Ivory Coast, Doidou Diène, has emphasised that despite social and economic advances in the process of democratic reconstruction, the country is still facing deep political division. For that reason, according to the expert, a political dialogue is of key importance for achieving an effective reconciliation. Diène has pointed out that the country requires an inclusive democracy and equitable justice. He has also recommended a prolongation of the mandate of the national commission for dialogue, truth and reconciliation beyond 2013, and has once again defended a lifting of the arms embargo, arguing that there are risks of destabilisation due to the crisis in the Sahel. For its part, the International Criminal Court announced that the hearing against the former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo would be postponed due to lack of sufficient evidence. The Court pointed out that the evidence, while insufficient to start the hearing, was not so weak as to withdraw the charges against him of crimes against humanity for violence following the electoral crisis of 2010. (UN, 12/06/13; BBC, 03/06/13)
DR CONGO: Increased violence in the province of Katanga
The province of Katanga suffered increased insecurity owing to the actions of the armed group Bakata Katanga and clashes between that group and the army, which caused over a dozen victims, while the UN informed about the execution of 13 women by the rebels in the north of the province. Various analysts have noted that there the increase in the province may be due to a struggle between national and provincial leaders over the distribution of profits from the exploitation of copper. Katanga, which has a history of secessionist movements and that tried to achieve independence following the independence of DR Congo in 1960, is one of the main copper production regions in the world (in 2012 it exported 600,000 tonnes), and it has the main multinationals in the sector, such as Freeport McMoran and Glencore. Katanga is also the birthplace of president Kabila and of some of his main allies, so there is speculation around the growing divisions within the coalition in power, Presidential Majority, which my be behind the violence. At the end of March, 200 Bakata Katanga combatants rushed in plain daylight into the capital, Lubumbashi, handed themselves over to the MONUSCO and were transferred to Kinshasa for trial. We might also note an attack that the army repulsed against Lubumbashi prison, in an attempt to release various colleagues imprisoned at the beginning of June. (Radio Okapi, 17/06/13, AFP, 23/06/13)
INDIA (JAMMU AND KASHMIR): Clashes continue on the Control Line as the first railway line linking Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the world is inaugurated
An exchange of fire for an hour at the beginning of June on the Control Line caused the death of an Indian soldier. On the eve of a visit from the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh to Jammu Kashmir, eight Indian soldiers were assassinated by insurgents near the capital of the region, Srinagar. A few days earlier, two soldiers were fired upon in the same city. During his visit, Manmohan Singh, in the company of the President of Congress, Sonia Gandhi, inaugurated a new section of railway line that starts out from the Valley of Kashmir, reaches Jammu and connects with the rest of India. A recently constructed tunnel, the longest in the country, will put an end to the isolation of Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the country in winter. (BBC News, 7 and 24/6/13; The Hindu, 27/6/13)
IRAN: The cleric Hassan Rohuani is elected new president of the Islamic republic, bringing to an end the era of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
In the first round of the elections held on 14 June and with 50.71% of the votes, the cleric Hassan Rohuani was elected as the successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidency of Iran. Ahmadinejad, who was re-elected in 2009 in controversial elections, could no longer stand for the post due to having completed the number of mandates permitted under the Constitution. Rohuani was the only cleric among the eight candidates authorised by the Council of Guardians to stand in the electoral contest, and was seen as the most moderate and pragmatic. His victory appears to have been facilitated by the decision of the only candidate classified as a reformist, Mohammad Reza Aref, to withdraw his candidacy, as well as the support received from key figures such as former presidents Mohamed Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. A critic of Ahmadinejad, during his electoral campaign Rouhani promised the release of political prisoners and guarantees for civil rights. His election gave rise to some expectation overseas, given his reputation as a conciliatory diplomat and his previous experience as a negotiator over the nuclear programme. Following his election, Rouhani stressed the importance of reducing the international sanctions on Iran and showed himself prepared to adopt a greater transparency in the Irani nuclear programme. (BBC, 10, 14, 16, 17/06/13)
LIBYA: Clashes between demonstrators and members of a militia cause 30 fatalities in Bengazi and lead to the resignation of chief of the general staff of the army
Confirming that the existence of a number of militias remains as one of Libya's main challenges, a protest calling for the dismantling of those armed groups led to violence in which 30 people died. The incidents occurred in Bengazi, where clashes between demonstrators and members of the militia Libya Shield Brigade left dozens injured, many of them victims of mutilations. The militia, which in the past had fought for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, refused to disarm, stating that its activities had the approval of the Minister of Defence. The incidents in Bengazi led to the resignation of the general staff of the army, Youssef al-Mangoush, criticised for his inability to control the various militias that continued to operate in the country. At the end of June, press information alerted to renewed clashes, this time in the capital, Tripoli, headed by rival militias. The fighting, which involved light arms but also some heavy armament, was thought to have activated after a group of combatants had tried to release other comrades held by group of former rebels. Within that context, analysts have noted the climate of anarchy and lack of authority that exists in various parts of Libya. (BBC, 09, 26/06/13; Reuters, 09, 11/06/13)
MOLDOVA (TRANSDNIESTRIA): The government of Transdniestria unilaterally delimits its frontiers
The presidency of Transdniestria passed at the beginning of June a decree whereby it unilaterally delimited the frontiers of the secessionist region, taking in on paper territory currently under the jurisdiction of Moldova. The measure adds tension to a climate which has deteriorated in recent months, following clashes in April between the Moldovan population and the security forces of Transdniestria after the independentist region set up two checkpoints between the locality of Varnita (under the control of Moldova) and Bender (under the control of the secessionist authorities). The OSCE and the EU have called for dialogue and the avoidance of unilateral actions that might aggravate the conflict. The Moldovan prime minister, Iurie Leanca, has pointed out that Moldova will not have a functional system until Transdniestria returns to the single political, cultural and economic space of the country. According to Leanca, the process of confidence-building initiated by the previous Moldovan government is positive, but the conditions do not currently exist for definitive resolution of the conflict. He has at the same time shown himself ready for direct dialogue with the leader of Transdniestria. (RFE/RL, 1-27/06/13)
PAKISTAN: The security crisis in the country continues as Nawaz Sharif, the new prime minister, takes up his post
Various episodes of violence in different parts of Pakistan connected with the Taliban insurgency caused more than 80 fatalities in May. Among the most outstanding incidents were various suicide attacks against the Shiite minority, the detonation of an artefact on a bus in which university students were travelling in Baluchistan, followed by a suicide attack on the hospital where they had been taken; and at the end of the month ten tourists were killed at the Nanga-Parbat base camp in Kashmir. On 6 June, Nawaz Sharif took up his post as prime minister of Pakistan, calling upon the USA to halt air attacks using drones over Pakistani territory. Two days later, at least seven people died in an attack by US drones. Sharif declared at the end of the month before the National Assembly that his government plans to try Pervez Musharraf for having betrayed the county. (BBC, 01-28/06/13)
SERBIA – KOSOVO: The Kosovar parliament demands more rights for the Albanian population in the south of Serbia
The Kosovar parliament passed a resolution calling for more rights for the Albanian population in the south of Serbia, in the majority in the Presevo valley region. The demand is approached as a call for reciprocity in the concession of specific rights to the Serbian population of Kosovo provided for in the agreement reached in April between Serbia and Kosovo under the mediation of the EU and in the implementation plan agreed in May. The latter includes legislative changes, the creation of an association of Serbian municipalities and reforms relating the police, the courts and elections, among other aspects. The resolution of the Kosovar parliament at the end of May, with 74 votes in favour and only four against, calls for improvements in freedom of movement, education rights and access to official documents by the Albanian population in the south of Serbia, elimination of what are considered to be discriminatory fees, the creation of a specific economic fund for that representative and regional offices for attending to the Albanian population displaced from Serbia in Pristina and Gjilan, among other aspects. For their part, local Albanian leaders in the Presevo valley also voted at the beginning of June for a resolution calling for contact and coordination offices with Pristina similar to those set up between Serbia and Kosovo, arguing that Serbia is not well-informed about the needs of the Albanian population in the region. (Balkan Insight, 06, 20/06/13)
SUDAN (DARFUR): The state of Central Darfur suffers fierce fighting and the situation of the displaced persons worsens
In mid-June, the Sudanese Armed Forces and rebels groups clashed severely at a Central Darfur refugee camp. The fighting resulted in at least two fatalities, a fact denounced by the UN representative and humanitarian coordinator, Ali Al-Za'tari. Human Rights Watch revealed images recorded by a satellite and showing violent attacks perpetrated by the army in the zone. The soldiers burst into various towns, firing indiscriminately, burning houses and looting shops. The International Committee of the Red Cross alerted that the continuing situation of instability in Central Darfur was increasing the number of people displaced towards Tissi, a Chadian city bordering on Darfur. That place has no services, so the humanitarian situation of the Darfuris in the region has deteriorated. (Sudan Tribune, 11, 13 and 18/6/2013; Agence France Press 12/6/2013)
SUDAN – SOUTH SUDAN: Tension rises over administration of oil in Abyei, and China plays a leading role
At the beginning of June the largest oil pipeline in Difra, in the north of Abyei and under Sudanese administration, suffered sabotage. The Sudanese authorities accused the rebel group JEM of being behind the action. The group denied the accusation, however, while pro-South Sudan platform Abyei Now in turn accused the Misseriya community of the attack. Following the incident, the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, ordered a blockage on oil pipelines carrying oil from South Sudan. Within that context of instability, the Chinese government, chief beneficiary of Sudanese oil, took up a stance on the dispute through its special envoy. The Chinese government's representative, Zhong Jianhua, announced that he would be visiting Juba and Khartoum with the objective of setting the relations between the two countries back on course and seeking a solution to the conflict. (Sudan Tribune, 14, 16 and 18/6/2013; Sudan News Agency, 16/6/2013)
TURKEY: Police repression of citizen protests in dozens of localities causes four deaths and leaves more than 7,200 wounded
The violent dispersion of people in Genzi park in Istanbul at the end of May who were protesting in limited groups against Turkish government plans for demolition of the park and for development planning in the area led to mass citizen protests that went on through June and were violently repressed by the police. According to the balance drawn up by the doctors' union in Turkey, the unrest and police violence caused at least four fatalities and left 7,822 people wounded in 13 cities between the start of the protests and 17 June. The protests spread to 78 localities in Turkey. According to the Lawyers Association of Istanbul, in that city 17,000 people contacted the association for legal assistance in relation to the mobilisations, and 882 people were detained or held in the period up to 21 June. The protests brought together very diverse sectors, including lay liberal sectors, Turkish nationalists, students and women's groups, among others. The Kurdish nationalist movement took part in the demonstrations, although it called for caution in the face of Turkish nationalist sectors. The government maintained a position of challenging the protests, though in the end the prime minister did meet a delegation from the protest movement in mid-June, though the meeting yielded no answers to demands for freedom of expression in Turkey and for release of the people detained in the demonstrations. In response to demands for answerability of the police for the mass violent repression, Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out that three police officers had been dismissed and that the necessary measures would be taken later on. The government raised the possibility of a referendum on the development plan for the park, but demanded the ending of protests in the zone. (Bianet, BBC, 1-27/06/13)
AFGHANISTAN: The USA announces peace talks with the Taliban militias, amidst continuing violence
The USA announced in June the start of peace talks with Taliban groups in order to set under way a conflict-resolution process that would also encompass the Afghan government. For their part, the Taliban militias have opened an office of representation in Qatar and state their support for a political solution to the Afghan conflict. At the end of the month, the US and Afghan presidents, Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai, ratified their intention to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan through dialogue with the Taliban militias, despite criticisms from Karzai and his team about the way the Taliban office had been opened in Qatar, with the Taliban flag and the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in public view, though they were later removed. Karzai had earlier announced a boycott of the talks unless the process were led by Afghanistan. As June started, the Taliban insurgency had still made no pronouncement about whether or not it was willing to enter into dialogue with the Afghan executive or only with the USA. Information about the start of the dialogue nevertheless came amidst a climate of serious violence, with numerous attacks by the Taliban militias against military and civilian targets. Among the incidents, a bomb went off at the beginning of the month as a military convoy was passing, causing at least 12 deaths, most of them students. Kabul international airport was also attacked, in an incident in which the seven attackers died. A day later, 17 people died and another 39 were wounded in a suicide attack in front of the Supreme Court in Kabul. In claiming the attack, the Taliban insurgency warned that it would continue to attack the judiciary if it handed down death sentences against the Taliban combatants. The end of June brought an attack against the presidential palace in Kabul, which led to clashes in which three security guards and four insurgents died. (Al-Jazeera, 10,18/6/2013, 21/6/2013; CNN, 3/6/2013; BBC, 11/6/2013)
MALI: The government and the Tuareg rebels of the MNLA reach a peace agreement that seeks to facilitate the holding of elections at the end of July
Following two weeks of negotiations facilitated by the president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, and by delegates of the EU and the UN, the government of Mali and the Tuareg armed group MNLA reached a peace agreement. The pact calls for an immediate ceasefire between the parties and allows government troops to return to the area of Kidal, which had been under Tuareg control. The army had threatened to take the city if a solution was not found. It is hoped that the agreement will clear the path for the holding of elections in the country, scheduled for 28 July. Although the agreement was hailed by various international actors, some analysts noted that it was a partial agreement to facilitate the elections, not an overall solution for the Tuareg demands, now including autonomy after reducing their independentist aspirations. It is expected that the subject of disarmament, for example, will be debated after the elections. Alongside this, captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, leader of the March 2012 coup, asked the population for pardon within the framework of a reconciliation ceremony between the rival military factions in Mali. It should also be stressed that the UN Security Council gave the go-ahead to the deployment from 1 July of the peace-maintenance mission for Mali, MINUSMA, which was approved in April and will be made up of 12,600 soldiers. (BBC, 18, 25/06/13; Reuters, 18/06/13; Jeune Afrique, 27/06/13)
MYANMAR: The negotiating process between the government and various opposition groups prospers
In the latest round of peace negotiations held between the government of Myanmar and the Organization for Kachin Independence (KIO), held at the end of May in Myitkyina, a seven-point peace agreement was signed in which reference is made to the historical claims of the KIO, such as the need for a separation of forces, the setting up of a mechanism for monitoring and verification of the conflict, and the opening up of a dialogue on political questions. Furthermore, there was a meeting for the first time on 10 June between the leaders of the opposition group Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the president of Myanmar, Then Seen, in the Burmese capital, Naypydaw. The RCSS and its armed wing, the South Shan State Army (SSA-A), agreed to enter into dialogue with the government over relocation of the troops, a reduction in the hostilities and the creation of a conflict monitoring group in the State. At the beginning of June there was also a meeting in Myawaddy (State of Karen) between representatives of the Karen National Union (KNU) and functionaries of the Burmese government for informal discussions on the establishment of a "code of conduct" and for beginning to establish a political dialogue. The government assured a delegation from the EU that it would hold a major conference with minority ethnic groups in the month of July to try to have a national ceasefire signed, accompanied by the start of a political dialogue with the groups seeking greater autonomy. (Irrawaddy, 10, 13, 20/6/13)
PHILIPPINES (MINDANAO-MILF): The government announces the restarting of the peace talks with the MILF following months of tension between the parties
The government announces restarting of the peace talks with the MILF for the month of July in order to tackle the three points outstanding for the signing of an overall peace agreement: the distribution of power, redistribution of wealth and normalisation. One of the members of the government negotiating panel even stated his confidence that the overall agreement could be signed within two months. Those declarations came shortly after the MILF had expressed its disappointment and concern at the delay and the slowness with which the peace negotiations were progressing. Some leaders of the MILF even declared that they were losing their confidence in the government, for the latter had committed itself to restarting the process of dialogue straight after the national and local elections held on 10 May past. The MNLF went so far as to declare that some of the MILF commanders had been abandoning the discipline of the group and enlisting in the MNLF due to the feeling that the peace process was doomed to failure. For its part, the government negotiating panel justified the delays in restarting the peace negotiations due to the consulting they had been undertaking with representatives of both legislative chambers, including those that had been chosen in the May elections. (Philippine Star, 17, 21 and 22/06/13; AFP, 21/06/13; Xinhua, 14/06/13)
SEXUAL VIOLENCE: The UN Security Council passes a resolution to combat sexual violence used as a weapon of war
The UN Security Council unanimously passed on 24 June resolution 2106, proposing a strengthening of the mechanisms for struggling against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. UN agencies estimate that some 40,000 women were raped during the civil war in Liberia between 1989 and 2003, over 60,000 in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and at least 200,000 in DR Congo since 1998, in a list to which Syria has recently been added. Notable among the mechanisms posited is the deployment of advisors on issues of gender in the political and peacekeeping missions; the establishment of sanctions against the perpetrators of sexual violence; systematic vigilance for sexual violence in situations of armed conflict; a start-up of all the mechanisms necessary to ensure the participation of women in all aspects of mediation, recuperation and consolidation of peace, among others; the establishment and examination of the political and peacekeeping mandates, international investigation commissions, consultations with the regional bodies and work of the competent sanctions committees of the Security Council. The resolution recognises the need for more appropriate, objective, precise and reliable information to serve as a basis for prevention and response, and requests that the secretary general and competent entities of the United Nations speed up the establishment and application of provision for vigilance, analysis and presentation of reports concerning sexual violence related with conflicts and other situations pertinent to the application of resolution 1888 (2009). (S/RES/2106 de 24/06/13)
THAILAND (SOUTH): The government announces a continuation of the peace talks with the BRN despite an increase in violence in the south of the country
The head of the negotiating panel and leader of the National Security Council, Paradorn Pattanatabut, declared that the peace negotiations would continue despite increased violence in the south of the country. Following the end of the third round of negotiations on 14 June, a spokesman of the armed opposition group negotiating with Bangkok, the BRN, made public its demands to the government to decree a cessation of hostilities during Ramadan, which will start on 8 or 9 July. The demand that had the greatest political and media repercussion was the call for the armed forces to withdraw to their military bases. The deputy prime minister, Chalerm Yubamrung, clearly ruled out such a possibility, arguing that the BRN could not control the actions of its members on the ground and that the State must guarantee security in the south of the country. For his part, Paradorn Pattanatabut said that he would wait to receive the BRN proposals officially through the Malaysian mediator before making any public declaration on their content. He nevertheless declared that the government of Thailand had to respond to the demands of the population in the south of the country, and not just the requests of one particular group. Some of the media noted that there had been very little progress since the start of the peace talks in March. (Pattaya Mail, Channel News Asia, Global Asia, 24/06/13; Bangkok Post, 22/06/13; Voice of America,14/06/13)
TURKEY (SOUTHEAST): The leader of the PKK announces the start of the second phase in the peace process
The top-ranking leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, jailed since 1999 and in negotiations with the Turkish government since last December, announced the start of a second phase in the process of dialogue, following the forthcoming finalisation of the first phase, that of the withdrawal of the PKK forces in Turkey to the north of Iraq. Öcalan made the announcement through two deputies of the pro-Kurdish BDP party who visited him in June, the co-president of the party, Selahattin Demirtas and the parlamentarian Pervin Buldan, and through his brother, Mehmet Öcalan, who also visited him this month. Along general lines, the process is being approached in three broad phases: withdrawal of the guerrilla forces, democratisation reforms and normalisation, including disarmament. Öcalan said that for the resolution process to progress he would require more regular visits from his lawyers, BDP representatives and relatives. The BDP has also asked to henceforth have two meetings a week with the PKK leader. For its part, the Kurdish party has put to the Turkish government a number of proposals on reforms of democratisation. (Institut Kurde de Paris, Hürriyet, Firat, 1-26/06/13)
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