BURUNDI: Peace negotiations between government and opposition fail
The Government rejected peace talks with the political opposition, thus breaking off the international mediation being promoted by the East African Community (EAC), which was backed by the AU and facilitated by the mediator and facilitator from the EAC, Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa. Representatives from the five political parties that participated in the 2015 general elections have boycotted the peace talks facilitated by Mkapa (including the president’s party, CNDD-FDD) because they refuse to negotiate with those who organized the failed 2015 coup. On 12 July the government’s CNDD-FDD party and some of its other allies decided at the last minute to not participate in the Inter-Burundian Dialogue due to the presence of certain opposition leaders who are part of the Conseil National pour le respect de l'Accord d'Arusha pour la Paix et la Réconciliation au Burundi et la Restauration d'un État de Droit (CNARED), a coalition that the party considers a terrorist group. The CNARED stated that it has not received any other invitation to participate in the Arusha talks and it reiterated that it will only participate in the talks as a single unified group and will not split up. The CNARED is made up of 22 parties and political opposition movements and is led by Jean Minani. On July 7 HRW issued a report accusing intelligence services of torturing opposition members at its headquarters and at secret locations. Despite the fact that the EAC says that the situation in the country is secure, several human rights organizations have indicated that a sudden escalation of violence could take place due to the substantial repression that the government is applying on the opposition. On July 13 former Minister Hafsa Mossi (CNDD-FDD) was shot by two unknown assailants, becoming the first high-level political figure to be killed. (HRW, 07/07/16; BBC, 13/07/16; The East African, 16/07/16)
SOUTH SUDAN: The government replaces Riek Machar as vice president
In Juba, the capital of South Sudan, four days of fighting (7-10 July) between government forces and the former SPLA-IO rebels left a death toll of around 270, most of them combatants, although unofficial sources claimed that around 500 people had lost their lives. Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLA-IO and vice president of the country, left South Sudan and took refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the clashes in the capital between the parties that signed the peace agreement and asked the UN Security Council to impose a weapons embargo on the country. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional body that is acting as the principal mediator and guarantor of the peace agreement, has joined the African Union in urging the parties to contain the violence that is jeopardising the peace agreement. The IGAD has also asked both sides to withdraw their forces from Juba so they may be replaced by a regional protection force that would assume security there. This regional protection force has been approved by the African Union. However, the South Sudanese government has rejected the deployment. Salva Kiir requested t he immediate return of Riek Machar to save the peace process, a move endorsed by a faction of the SPLA-IO. Given Machar’s refusal to return to Juba before international troops are deployed as a buffering force there, Kiir temporarily replaced him as vice president, appointing Mining Minister Taban Deng Gai in his place, whom Riek Machar had dismissed for treason shortly before. The move split the members of the SPLA-IO, which led to new armed clashes that could spread in the coming months. The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the highest body created under the peace agreement, criticised Machar’s replacement and described Deng Gai’s appointment as illegitimate. The United Nations also criticised the move, calling it a violation of the peace agreement. Riek Machar has asked all his ministers in the transitional government to boycott the cabinet meetings until the crisis is resolved. Finally, at the end of the month, the UN Security Council extended the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, which had been nearing its end, until next 12 August due to the fighting in Juba. (Sudan Tribune, 09, 11, 17, 23, 27, 30/07/2016; VOA, 18/07/2016; BBC News, 20/07/2016; Reuters, 22/07/2016; Radio Tamazuj, 30/07/2016)
YEMEN: Yemeni government in exile announces that it is withdrawing from the UN-brokered negotiations
After four months of turbulent negotiations, and against a backdrop of persistent violence, the authorities of the deposed Yemeni government - led by President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi - announced that they were pulling out of the UN-sponsored negotiations underway in Kuwait. The decision was made after the Houthis and their allies, the forces of former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, created a Supreme Council with administrative powers, which was understood as an attempt to provide legitimacy to their authority in the country. A UN Secretary-General spokesman warned that unilateral decisions were not in line with the peace process and endangered the negotiations in Kuwait. In this context of uncertainty, on July 30, the UN special envoy for Yemen, Ould Cheikh Ahmed, announced that the talks in Kuwait would be extended for a week with the hope of unblocking the process. Halfway through the month the diplomat had called on both sides to take steps to demonstrate that they were sincere about ending the armed conflict, which has claimed thousands of lives since violence began to escalate in March 2015. The preliminary negotiations reached a deadlock in April and the cease-fire that had been declared was in danger of failing due to the large number of violations of the truce. During the last round held in Kuwait in July, the large gap that separated the two sides and the lack of progress led Ould Cheick Ahmed to suspend some of the sessions. (Al-Jazeera, 14, 30/07/16; UN News, 30/07/16)
ARMENIA – AZERBAIJAN (NAGORNO-KARABAKH): New diplomatic contacts and declarations in favour of the peace process, while experts point to the lack of progress
Following the recent presidential summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg in May and June, there continue to be signs of international support and diplomatic initiatives for the peace process, although experts expressed concern over the lack of progress. The gestures included a statement issued by the CSTO in early July backing the Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements and expressing support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is mediating in the process. During the CSTO summit, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a meeting to discuss implementation issues of the agreements. Also, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Lavrov had a telephone conversation to discuss what the next steps would be after the summits. US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin also held a call on the Nagorno-Karabakh process. Obama said he appreciated the diplomatic efforts made by Russia and the results of the St. Petersburg trilateral summit, which was facilitated by the Russian president. Nevertheless, despite international support, several analysts, such as Thomas de Waal, expressed concern over the lack of progress at the St Petersburg summit regarding two issues that had been agreed on in Vienna: reopening negotiations to reach a global agreement and creating a mechanism to investigate cease-fire violations. (Reuters, Itas Tass, Hetq, 1-31/07/16)
ISRAEL-PALESTINE: The Quartet on the Middle East submits a report that identifies obstacles for a two-state solution while Egypt promotes its own initiative
After several delays due to changes in the wording, the Quartet on the Middle East (the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia) released a report (the first of its kind issued by the Quartet) that identifies threats to reaching a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and proposed a set of recommendations to make progress on the two-state solution. The report, which the Quartet had been working on since February, identifies three especially worrisome trends for the prospect of peace: 1) the continuous violence, the attacks on civilians and the incitement to violence; 2) the relentless policy of building settlements, the designation of areas for Israel’s exclusive use and the obstacles to Palestinian development; and 3) the humanitarian and security situation in Gaza, as well as the lack of a unified Palestinian leadership. For example, the text highlights that nearly 70% of Area C has been unilaterally appropriated for exclusive Israeli use, that the expansion of the settlements has more than doubled since the beginning of the Oslo process in 1993 until reaching 570,000 in Jerusalem and the West Bank and that the demolition of Palestinian homes has intensified. The 10 recommendations in the text include that the Palestinian Authority should act against violence and incitement to violence, strengthen its institutions and promote the reunification of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under a single leadership. It also suggests that Israel should stop its policy of expanding settlements and implement the transfer of powers and responsibilities to the PA in Area C, according to the provisions of previous agreements. According to sources, in the days prior to the publication of the report, the Israeli prime minister met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome to push for a more favourable draft for Israel. According to Israeli diplomatic sources, despite the criticism contained in the report, Netanyahu’s government agrees with the result because the text is not a mandate and does not refer to the 1967 borders. However, Palestinian authorities expressed disappointment with the Quartet’s report and showed more support for the initiative promoted in recent months by France. Meanwhile, Egypt made progress with its own proposal. After President al-Sisi called on Israeli political forces to create a coalition to achieve peace with the Palestinians in May, in July the Egyptian foreign minister met with Netanyahu in the first trip of its kind to Israel in nine years. Ten years before, Egypt’s top diplomat had met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Diplomatic sources claim that al-Sisi seeks to promote the adoption of confidence-building measures to de-escalate the conflict. According to media reports, his initiative is supported by Kerry and Tony Blair is acting as an informal advisor to the Egyptian government on this issue. (Report of the Middle East Quartet, UN News and Reuters, 01/07/16; Al-Monitor, 05, 17/07/16; Washington Post, 01 and 11/07/16)
MALI: Young Malians denounce their exclusion in the implementation of the peace process
The Malian security forces cracked down violently on the protests staged by groups of young people in the northern part of the country because they think that they are excluded from implementation of the mechanisms of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation. On 12 July, the security forces opened fire on a demonstration called by youth associations in the city of Gao, where three people were killed and 33 were wounded. The demonstrators protested the appointment of provisional authorities in the northern part of the country, as envisaged in the peace agreement, and demanded that young people be included in the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process (DDR). Protests also erupted in Timbuktu and Bamako in the days that followed. The young people of the north feel that they are being excluded from the improvements envisaged in signing the peace agreement. Songhai leader Amadou Sarr has suggested that the way that the DDR process is being implemented and the exclusion of young people from it could lead some of them to acquire weapons to exchange for demobilisation money and thereby ensure that they benefit from the programme. A government delegation met on 13 July with youth associations in Gao to try to ease the tensions. Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head of the peacekeeping mission in Mali, declared that there is currently much tension regarding implementation of the measures provided for in the peace agreement and that nobody is satisfied. Meanwhile, armed groups of Tuareg origin operating under the name GATIA (a member of Platform) and the HCUA (a member of the CMA) signed an agreement in Niamey, the capital of Niger, on local security and power-sharing to resolve the disputes over control of the city of Kidal and its access routes. However, the signing of this agreement has not prevented further clashes between other factions in Kidal. On 21 and 22 July, fierce fighting between signatories of the peace agreement, GATIA and the CMA, claimed the lives of 20 people. Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced that these events would not derail the peace process. Furthermore, on 8 July, the Malian president officially appointed his government, including nine new ministers like Nina Walett Intalou, from the rebel group National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which signed the peace agreement and is part of the CMA. Nina Walett Intalou will be the minister of tourism and handicrafts. (VOA, 07, 21/07/2016; AFP, 08, 30/07/2016; Al Jazeera, 22/07/2016)
PHILIPPINES (MINDANAO-MILF): Government announces new roadmap for achieving peace in the country
The government announced a new peace strategy consisting of simultaneously pushing for the establishment of a federal state and the drafting of a law allowing for the creation of an autonomous region called Bangsamoro and harmonising the content of the Peace Agreement of 1996 between the government and the MNLF and the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro signed in 2014 between the previous administration of Benigno Aquino and the MILF. Regarding the establishment of a federal state, Duterte announced that by the end of the year he hopes to have a draft prepared on the issue. As for the second matter, the government broadened the structure of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) from 15 to 21 members (11 elected by the MILF and 10 by the government) to make room for members of the MNLF and other sectors of Mindanao. The BTC, presided by the head of the negotiating panel of the MILF, was the organisation responsible for drawing up the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the act that should have incorporated the main covenants of the Bangsamoro Comprehensive Agreement and which should have enabled the creation of a new autonomous region called Bangsamoro, but which ultimately was not passed in Congress following months of delays in parliamentary proceedings. A few days before announcing this new peace strategy, which also includes the NDF but excludes Abu Sayyaf, Duterte had already publicly stated his intent to negotiate simultaneously with the MILF and the MNLF. In this respect, in mid-July the President expressed his desire to be able to negotiate directly with Nur Misuari, the leader and founder of the MNLF. As Musuari is a fugitive (a warrant of arrest was issued against him in connection with his involvement in the Zamboanga siege in 2013, where around 200 people died), Duterte was even willing to travel to Jolo to have a meeting with him. It is necessary to point out that in preparation for the presidential elections that were held on 9 May, in March Misuari urged his supporters to vote for Rodrigo Duterte, who he called the MNLF’s candidate. It was the first time since the MNLF was founded that its chairman made such an explicit call at the presidential election. Following his election in late May, Duterte began again to publicly declare his intention to visit Misuari in Jolo. (GMA, 19/07/16; Rappler, 20/07/16; CNN, 08/07/16; Sun Star, 09/07/16; Inquirer, 10/07/16)
PHILIPPINES (NPA): The new President, Rodrigo Duterte, declares a unilateral ceasefire with the NPA but cancels it a few days later
During his first State of the Nation address, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a ceasefire with the NDF as a good will gesture and to foster an atmosphere of trust ahead of the first round of formal talks that should have taken place at the end of July, but were ultimately postponed until late August. In his message, Duterte also called on the NDF to replicate the government’s unilateral ceasefire. However, the NDF failed to order this measure and, furthermore, according to the government, was responsible for an attack where a soldier died and another three were wounded. In light of the lack of a response to the ultimatum issued by the government for the NDF to provide an explanation on the event, Duterte ordered the end of the ceasefire on 30 July. Despite this decision and the exchange of statements between the parties made before and after the removal of the ceasefire by the government, Duterte reiterated his intention to resume negotiations with the NDF, in addition to his willingness to free some of the NDF prisoners. Previously, on 18 July, the government had made public its new peace strategy, which amongst other matters envisages the resumption of talks with the NDF. (Philippine Star, 29/07/16; Manila Times, 27/06/16; Rappler, GMA News, Xinhua, 30/07/16; Minda News, Inquirer, 19/07/16)
TURKEY (SOUTHEAST): The pro-Kurdish party HDP urges the government and the PKK to resume the peace talks
In July, the co-leader of the pro-Kurdish party HDP, Selahattin Demirtas, made a new appeal for a return to the peace process. Demirtas urged the government and the PKK to re-evaluate the situation and to return to the talks, stressing the change in the context that occurred in Turkey after the failed coup attempt on 15 July. In statements made on 26 July, Demirtas mentioned that after the coup, the PKK largely ceased its activities. He also offered to meet with the government and to send a delegation both to Imrali prison, where PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan remains incarcerated, and to the main PKK headquarters in Kandil. According to Demirtas, a new opportunity was emerging for Turkey in the period after the failed coup d’état. However, fresh fighting between the Turkish Army and the PKK was reported at the end of the month. (Hürriyet, 26-27/07/16)
UKRAINE (EAST): New meetings about Ukraine are held between the United States and Russia amidst a lack of progress in the process
US Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to the capitals of Ukraine and Russia in July to hold meetings with senior officials of both governments over the conflict in Ukraine and the peace process, although no significant headway was made in that respect. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met with Kerry, expressed hope that the meeting would create an atmosphere favourable to improving relations between the United States and Russia. Furthermore, two senior US diplomats (the US ambassador to the OSCE and the US ambassador to Ukraine) accused Russia of failing to implement the Minsk agreements, to withdraw troops or equipment and to carry out the ceasefire in full. They also accused it of continuing to supply weapons and fuel to combatants in eastern Ukraine, deteriorating the security situation in the region, and urged it to shift from words to deeds. (Reuters, RFE/RL, 1-31/07/16)
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Opposition groups agree on the need for a national dialogue with AU facilitation
The AU announced that the country’s opposition parties have recognized the need for a national dialogue between governmental, pro-government political actors and the political opposition before the end of July. The AU has also received the support of the political opposition to facilitate this national dialogue. In this regard, a meeting was held in Brussels on July 9 and 10 with the participation of opposition leaders, including Étienne Tshisekedi, and representatives of the AU, the UN and the EU. At the meeting in Brussels, Tshisekedi and his allies insisted on measures for equity, security, peace and the release of political prisoners to begin the political dialogue. Previously, on July 4 in Addis Ababa the first meeting was held of the Support Group to the AU-led Facilitation of the DRC National Dialogue. The group called on all key actors to create a suitable climate for the celebration of a national dialogue, given the country’s serious political situation. The meeting, which was presided over by AU Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui, was attended by former Togolese prime minister, Eden Kodjo, who had been named the AU's official facilitator for the process. Finally, the AU congratulated the Congolese authorities, and especially the electoral commission (CENI), for their efforts during the voter registration process, with the support of various international actors. The United States also praised the meeting of the support group in Addis Ababa. (AU, 04/07/16; PANA, 05/07/16; AfricaNews, 11/07/16)
MYANMAR: 17 armed groups meet to discuss a federal system for the country
Representatives from 17 armed opposition groups meet in Mai Ja Yang, in Kachin State, in a zone controlled by the Kachin armed opposition group KIO, to discuss how to progress towards the establishment of a federal system in Myanmar. The participants at this summit agreed to hold tripartite negotiations with Government representatives and representatives from political parties. They also discussed eight principles for the establishment of a federal union: equal autonomy, self-determination, a genuine federal union, safeguards for the rights of ethnic minority groups, democratic rights, gender equality and multipartite democracy, as well as civil powers to control the Myanmar Armed Forces –known as Tatamadaw–. During the summit, the coordination of the armed opposition groups, UNFC, reiterated its refusal to sign the national ceasefire agreement until the groups that had been excluded were allowed to join. Representatives from China and the United Nations also attended the conference as international observers. In the days leading to the conference of armed groups, the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met with several leaders of the armed groups in the UNFC to discuss the establishment of a federal union. This meeting was framed within the preparations for the Panglong Conference scheduled for the month of August, which was attended by leaders from the armed groups KIA, NMSP, KNPP and DPN. (Mon News, 2/8/16; The Irrawaddy, 18 & 26/07/16)
SUDAN: Opposition groups agree to a mediated meeting to assess incorporation into the peace talks
Following the unilateral declaration of the ceasefire decreed in mid-June by the Sudanese government in the regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, on 13 July Khartoum announced its intention to postpone the convening of the general congress of the National Dialogue set for 6 August if the armed groups and opposition parties that have not joined the proposed road map express their intention to join the National Dialogue. The “Sudan Call” coalition, which brings together armed groups and parties opposed to the government (the National Umma Party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, Justice and Equality Movement, Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi) met in Paris from 18 to 22 July to deal with their incorporation into the process. During the meeting, it was agreed to hold a meeting of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in the coming months in order to discuss the opposition’s demands together to join the road map of the peace process agreed to between the AUHIP and the Sudanese government last March. The coalition has asked the AUHIP to include a supplementary document to the road map before joining it, requesting in particular that all items provided for in decision 539 of the African Union Peace and Security Council be resumed, which deal with the release of political prisoners and detainees, guarantee political freedoms and fully ensure the freedom of expression and the press. In other developments, on 29 June the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The mission must continue to prioritise its specific objectives, including the protection of civilians, humanitarian access and the security of humanitarian staff and activities. The prolongation of the mission was welcomed by the armed opposition movements in Darfur. (UN News, 28/06/2016; Sudan Tribune, 02, 19, 25/07/2016)
Puedes suscribirte al observatorio mensual de la ECP en https://llistes.uab.es
Si deseas darte de baja, haz click aquí
Para cualquier comentario o sugerencia puedes dirigirte a:
Tel. +34 93 586 88 42   |   http://escolapau.uab.cat   |   pr.conflictes.escolapau@uab.cat
Edifici MRA (Mòdul Recerca A), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona)
Si tienes problemas para ver este mensaje, haz clic aquí o escribe en la barra de tu explorador http://escolapau.uab.cat/procesos/07i_pro.html

En cumplimiento de la Ley Orgánica 15/1999, del 13 de diciembre, de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal, la Escola de Cultura de Pau informa que vuestros datos son tratados con confidencialidad e incorporados a nuestra base de datos general, a fin y efecto de poderos informar de nuestras actividades.