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Review 16 July 2013
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Middle East North Africa Northeast Africa Horn of Africa IED & Demining
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This document provides complex coverage of developments in regions of interest from 09 - 15 July 2013, with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to the region, please contact the members of the CFC, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.
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Iraq As Iran continues to exert considerable influence in Syria and throughout the region, the country is meeting resistance from an unlikely source: Iraq’s polarised and faltering democracy, according to The Washington Post. While Iran has funnelled millions of dollars to Shi’ite political candidates in Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has made significant efforts to build alliances with moderate Iraqi Sunni groups. A close adviser to Maliki notes, “[o]ur Iranian brothers do not like it”. Across the region, sectarian rivalries have erupted with Iraq caught in the middle. A majority of Iraqi Shi’ites are located in the southern region of Iraq, closer to Iran, and the majority Sunni regions in the north and west are more closely aligned with the Sunni majority in neighbouring Syria. In other news, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari stated that Iraq is unable to stop Iran from transferring weapons to Syria through Iraqi airspace, reports Reuters. Zebari indicated that Iraq’s random checks of Iranian aircraft bound for Syria since September 2012 have only revealed non-lethal aid cargoes. While Zebari said, “[Iraq] rejects and condemns the transfer of weapons through our
airspace and we will inform the Iranian side of that formally”, he also stated, “we do not have the ability to stop it”. Numerous violent incidents were reported throughout the country this past week.
11-Jul-13: In the Anbar province city of Ramadi, two suicide bombers attacked a police station killing at least five police officers, reports Reuters. The same day, one person was killed when a car bomb exploded near a courthouse in Tuz Khurmato. The Associated Press (AP) reported that evening attacks against Shi’ites in the towns of Muqdadiyah and Dujail killed an additional 24 people. In total, The Daily Star reports 44 people across the country were killed in sectarian violence. 12-Jul-13: In the ethnically mixed northern city of Kirkuk, at least 31 people were killed when a bomb detonated in a tea shop where people gathered after breaking their Ramadan fast, reports Reuters. Earlier in the day, a suicide car bomber struck a police patrol outside Mosul killing four officers, reports Al Jazeera. 13-Jul-13: Nine people were killed by roadside bombs in Baghdad, while at least three people were killed outside of a Sunni mosque in the Tumaa neighbourhood of Baghdad, according to CNN. In Madaan, south of Baghdad, two people were killed when a roadside bomb detonated outside a restaurant. 14-Jul-13: AP reports that a wave of bombings in overwhelmingly Shi’ite cities south of Baghdad killed at least 28 people. Attacks occurred in Basra, Kut, Karbala and Nasiriyah. Earlier in the day, gunmen killed two soldiers in the northern city of Mosul.
After intensive talks between Dutch and Iraqi leadership, Iraq says it will not assist the Netherlands in deporting Iraqi nationals who have failed to become recognised as asylum seekers, reports United Press International (UPI). Iraq refuses to accept Iraqis deported against their will, and the Netherlands cannot deport the foreign nationals without Iraq’s assistance as they lack proper documentation. Iraqi officials say many nationals returning are placing a burden on Baghdad to provide them with financial support and employment. The Netherlands offered Iraq more than USD 6 million in development aid in return for accepting the deportees but Iraq demands USD 10,000 per person, and more than 15,000 could potentially return. Analysts reviewing the 20 June and April provincial elections suggest that while the Mutahidun (Uniters bloc) led by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al Nujayfi expected a strong win in Sunni provinces, the results were mixed, according to Foreign Policy. While winning a strong plurality of Sunni votes in Baghdad and Diyala, the Mutahidun placed second in Salahaddin where the governor, Ahmad Abdullah al Jiburi is a Maliki-ally. Election results in Anbar and Nineveh revealed that while the Sunni party did not run on a pro-Maliki platform, those parties expressing a willingness to work with the Prime Minister fared better. The results could suggest that Sunni concern over Maliki’s “creeping authoritarianism” is offset by Sunni fears that the protest movement’s radicalism could spell renewed sectarian war in the country. Oil industry experts suggest that Baghdad’s oil production targets are overly optimistic, reports UPI. The country’s infrastructure bottlenecks, poor governance, lack of skilled workers and the current security climate will hamper the country’s development of oil reserves. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts Iraqi production will hit 6.1 million barrels per day by 2020, “but storm clouds threaten Iraq’s revival”.
Lebanon A car bomb struck the Hezbollah neighbourhood of Bir al Abed in Beirut on 09 July injuring more than fifty people, according to Christian Science Monitor (CSM). Hezbollah gunmen and Lebanese troops quickly cordoned off the area as police prepared to investigate the six-foot crater the explosion created. While the attack was condemned across Lebanon’s political spectrum, some Hezbollah opponents suggest it was a result of the Shi’ite militia’s on-going involvement in Syria. Sunni leader Saad Hariri urged Lebanese to avoid “being lured into wars that will only bring more schism to Lebanon”. Hezbollah sources estimated the bomb’s size to be approximately 66 pounds of explosives. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported that Syrian rebel groups threatened to strike in Lebanon after Hezbollah fighters travelled to Syria to fight alongside the Syrian government. Voice of America (VOA) reports that the attack is not the first on Hezbollah’s Beirut suburb. In May 2013, shortly after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah publicly acknowledged the militant group’s involvement in Syria, rockets were launched at the region but failed to hit Beirut. It was never determined who was responsible for the May incident. Many Lebanese are deeply concerned that the Beirut bombing could re-ignite the country’s brutal sectarian civil war of 1975-1990 that left over 120,000 dead. On 10 July the UN Security Council echoed concerns when it urged Lebanon to recommit to its Disassociation Policy1 regarding the neighbouring conflict, reports VOA. The Lebanese government launched a formal investigation into the recent violence in the southern city of Sidon where more than twelve Lebanese soldiers were killed during a raid on the compound of radical Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmad al Assir, reports UPI. A military judge issued arrest warrants for six detained Lebanese soldiers held in connection to the raids, after authorities have reason to believe the military mistreated some of the Assir supporters. Meanwhile, Assir and 36 of his supporters were charged for the outbreak of violence. Assir’s whereabouts remain unknown. On 12 July, supporters of Assir held rallies in Sidon calling for the Salafist preacher’s return, reports The Daily Star. 1
The Disassociation Policy in Lebanon comes out of the Baabda Declaration of June 2012 which pledged that Lebanon would distance itself from the neighbouring Syrian conflict for its own well-being.
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Investigative Judge Fadi Sawwan recommended the death penalty for 33 suspects in the February 2013 killing of two Lebanese soldiers in the Bekaa Valley village of Arsal, reports The Daily Star. The suspects were charged in absentia as Lebanese officials have yet to capture the fugitives. In the latest fallout for Lebanese Shi’ites over Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf States quietly continue to expel Shi’ites from their countries, according to AP. A Lebanese diplomat confirmed on 11 July that Saudi Arabia stepped up deportation operations.
Syria Russia asserts it has obtained evidence that a projectile, which hit a northern Syrian village, contained the nerve agent Sarin and was most likely fired by Syrian rebels, reports BCC. Moscow says the findings were the result of an independent investigation requested by Damascus. Both sides of the Syrian conflict have accused each other of chemical weapons attacks. According to the Russian laboratory that conducted testing, the chemical agent was carried by a “Bashair-3 unguided projectile” which was produced by the Bashair al Nasr Brigade, a group affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Syrian rebels report that “foreign forces destroyed advanced Russian anti-ship missiles in Syria last week”, according to Reuters. Syrian sources suggest that Israel carried out the raid. Accounts of the events describe a 05 July pre-dawn strike on a Syrian navy barracks in Safira near the port of Latakia where Yakhont missiles were purportedly stored. When asked about the Latakia blasts, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said, “[w]e have set red lines in regards to our own interests, and we keep them. There is an attack here, an explosion there, various versions – in any event, in the Middle East it is usually we who are blamed for most”. Israel continues to closely monitor its northern border with Lebanon and Syria where Hezbollah’s increasing involvement in the Syrian civil war has created a volatile situation that could draw in Israel with little notice, according to AP. Reflecting the high priority of the northern front for Israel, the military announced the creation of a new army division to oversee the Golan Heights in order to effectively respond to emerging threats in the area. US congressional committees continue to hold up the delivery of weapons to the Syrian opposition; members of the Syrian opposition said that they had given up hope the US will deliver promised military aid, reports Reuters. US Democrats and Republicans express concern over weapons reaching Islamist factions like al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)-affiliated al Nusra Front. Meanwhile, militants linked to al Qaeda killed a senior figure in the Western and Arab-backed FSA on 11 July, reports Reuters. Jihadists killed Kamal Hamani, a member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council, while he met with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 2. The killing of the FSA official signals a widening rift between moderate Syrian rebels and Islamist groups within the Syrian opposition. While FSA units sometimes fight alongside Islamist militants, rivalries have increased. AFP reports that the assassination of Hamani is not the first time FSA and militants have clashed. Earlier in July, dozens of FSA fighters were killed in a battle against the Islamic State of Iraq in Syria (ISIS)3 in the north-western province of Idlib. The FSA battalion leader was beheaded and his brother slaughtered by ISIS fighters, according to published accounts by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Also, BBC reports that Mohammad Amin, a senior Pakistani Taliban operative and “co-ordinator of the Syrian base”, opened a cell in Syria six months ago in order to monitor the “jihad”. Amin is responsible for observing events in Syria and reporting back to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)4 to “assess the needs of the Jihad in Syria, and to work out joint operations with our Syrian friends”. The flow of foreign fighters into Syria continues, according to AP. Three Pakistani intelligence officials based in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan say that Pakistani, Turkmen and Uzbekistani fighters are relocating to focus their efforts in Syria. Responding to the spate of jihadist abuses in Syria, protesters at a rally in the northern town of Manbij shouted, “[o]ut, out, out, the [Islamic] State [of Iraq and Syria] must get out”, reports AFP. The demonstration is one of many depicting mainstream Syria’s turn against the more hard-line Islamist factions operating in the country. Detentions, beheadings and other abuses have activists in Raqa’a also calling for jihadists to leave Syria, asserting that “although their [jihadists] methods differ from the regime’s, they are just as brutal”. Save the Children, an international relief organisation, reports that more than twenty per cent of Syria’s schools have been destroyed or rendered unusable during the more than two-year-old conflict, according to Reuters. Currently, the education of 2.5 million schoolage children and young people is jeopardised.
The Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant is a name reflecting a merger between al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and al Nusra Front that was initially reported to have occurred in April 2013. However, it should be noted that the viability of this group remains questionable as there have been recent news reports suggesting that the Syrian-based al Nusra Front has not merged with al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). 3 The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is another reference of combined AQI and al Nusra Front forces. 4 Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is an umbrella organisation of militant jihadist groups fighting Pakistan military forces.
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Algeria A report released early in July by the government-affiliated Human Rights Authority in Algeria criticised government corruption, restrictions on the press and the violations of the judiciary, reports Asharq Al-Awsat. The paper suggests that despite some positive efforts by the government, corruption “has become an institution in and of itself”. The report also criticises limitations on press freedom by authorities who allegedly issue “resolutions and regulations aimed at restricting freedom” and threaten journalists with arrest. Furthermore, the report indicates that the judiciary lacks the confidence of citizens. Stating that “the constitution does not guarantee the independence of the legislative authority”, it called on the Ministry of Justice to “refrain from interfering with the activity of the judiciary”. According to the report, the two major governmental anti-corruption bodies in the country are “inefficient and ineffectual”. The report recommends that anti-corruption efforts “should be commissioned to honest figures with guarantees of protection and enormous powers”. Under heavy social pressure to address a severe housing shortage, the Algerian government is opening the construction sector to foreign companies, reports Reuters. Authorities plan to build 200,000 units annually; however, local companies’ capacity is no more than 80,000 units a year. The government allocated about USD 50 billion for the housing sector as part of a 5-year, USD 286 billion plan to modernise infrastructure and create jobs between 2010 and 2014, and has indicated a willingness to spend more if necessary. Two-hundred foreign firms reportedly showed interest in submitting a tender. The Ministry of Housing released a shortlist of 60 companies eligible to work on such projects, 53 of which are based overseas.
Egypt Clashes between police and supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi in Cairo and Giza on 15 July left 7 people dead and 261 injured, reports Ahram Online. Pro-Morsi supporters have staged demonstrations calling for his return to power since his ousting on 03 July. The largest protest was held on 13 July when tens of thousands of Morsi supporters peacefully demonstrated outside the defence ministry and near Tahrir Square, informs Al Jazeera. In an attempt to placate the increasing number of Muslim Brotherhood supporters taking to the streets, the military chief General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi addressed the country in a televised speech on 14 July, defending his decision to remove Morsi from office, reports Associated Press (AP). Sissi argued that Morsi violated his popular mandate and alienated state institutions. In response to the speech, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad said that the military did not have the right to act on behalf of Egyptians except through “orders of their elected commander in chief”, referring to Morsi. On 13 July, the public prosecutor’s office announced the investigation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders for numerous alleged crimes to include insulting the judiciary, damaging Egypt’s economy and inciting violence, according to The Independent. Prosecutors froze the financial assets of fourteen senior Muslim Brotherhood members on 14 July, reports The Wall Street Journal. While new interim president Adly Mansour has appealed for reconciliation between the secularists and Islamists, the interim government has taken a hard-line against the Muslim Brotherhood. Since Morsi’s removal on 03 July, 650 Muslim Brotherhood members have been incarcerated of whom 550 have been released. Morsi remains under house arrest for his own protection, according to the military. As the country becomes increasingly divided, the Muslim Brotherhood has rejected any calls to participate in the interim government’s transition. The Washington Times reported on 15 July that the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, instructed members to quit fasting for Ramadan in order to retain their strength to battle for the return of Morsi. Badie, through a series of tweets to fellow members, said they were in a “state of jihad” and could break fasts without violating Ramadan rules. Egypt’s interim Prime Minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, filled senior cabinet posts on 14 July that will oversee the “road map” to restore civilian rule in Egypt, informs Reuters. Beblawi cabinet assignments included liberals and technocrats to govern the country until parliamentary elections are held in approximately six months. The cabinet includes Mohamed ElBaradei, the former senior UN diplomat who was sworn in as vice president, informs Egypt Independent. In addition, former ambassador to the US, Nabil Fahmy, was named foreign minister and Ahmed Galal, an economist and graduate of Boston University, accepted the position of finance minister. According to Mohamed El-Beltagi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood official, Beblawi did not offer cabinet posts to Muslim Brotherhood members, reports Reuters. However, Beltagi stated that the Muslim Brotherhood member would reject an offer if extended. On 15 July, US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns arrived in Cairo to meet with the interim President Mansour, Vice President ElBaradei, representatives from human rights groups, business leaders and bishops from the Coptic Christian Church. Burns stated, “Egyptians understand that the first priority must be to end violence and incitement, prevent retribution and begin a serious and substantive dialogue among all sides and all political parties.” On the same day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Egyptians not to resort to revenge and retribution, urging instead for inclusion and reconciliation, informs AFP. Ban, who spoke to reporters following a meeting with French President François Hollande, denounced the arrests of senior Muslim Brotherhood members saying, “It is important that Egyptian authorities should include all the parties in managing the current difficult situation”. Later that day, an advisor to Mansour announced that the interim president will hold national reconciliation talks, although a date was not disclosed, 4 16 July 2013
informs Ahram Online. At least three civilians were killed and seventeen wounded after militants fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at a bus transporting workers to a cement factory in North Sinai state on 15 July, informs Reuters. The vehicle was hit in the city of El Arish, a town which has experienced an uptick in violence since 03 July. The Egyptian army stated that the original target was a police vehicle but the RPG missed and hit the bus. Middle East Online reports that the military in response is preparing for a major offensive against Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula. Since the removal of Morsi, militants have carried out daily attacks, killing numerous security officers and two Egyptian Christians in Sinai. A senior military official confirmed the army “will carry out an operation” but refrained from giving further details. Kuwait has dispatched two oil tankers carrying crude and diesel worth USD 200 million to Egypt, informs Reuters on 14 July. The shipments are part of a USD 4 billion aid package pledged by Kuwait following the ouster of Morsi. The state news agency KUNA reported that Kuwait’s aid package includes a USD 2 billion central bank deposit, a USD 1 billion grant and USD 1 billion in oil products. In addition, AFP reports that other Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have pledged a total of USD 8 billion in assistance to Egypt. The aid package is expected to prevent Cairo from sliding into a balance of payment crisis and alleviate fuel shortages which were partly responsible for increasing public animosity towards the ousted president. The aid will also relieve some of the pressure on the interim government to sign a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a USD 4.8 billion loan. On 11 July Gerry Rice, IMF spokesperson, stated that it had not resumed discussions on a loan and that such a decision would be guided by the international community. Rice stated, “In determining how to deal with the interim government of Egypt, we will be guided, as is usually the case in these circumstances, by the views of the international community, in particular those of the Fund’s membership”.
Libya Zueitina port in eastern Libya resumed operation on 15 July after being forced to close for three weeks due to a strike by oil field workers, reports Reuters. An engineer at the terminal who wished to remain anonymous said, “Workers at the fields have still refused to start work, however due to the power cuts in some cities and because it is Ramadan, some have agreed to produce only gas. Others have not decided yet”. The strikers demand a change in management pertaining to a dispute over work conditions and salaries, reports Libya Herald. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, Minister of Electricity Ali Mohammed Muhairiq and Minister of Oil Abdulbari Al-Arusi condemned the protests, which are blamed for recent power cuts throughout the country. Acting Army Chief of Staff Salem Gnaidi criticised Prime Minister Zeidan, saying his government does not want to build the Libyan Army but instead create a new “National Guard” parallel to the army, reports Libya Herald. The remarks came a week after the government repealed a resolution to create a National Guard. However, the General National Congress (GNC) is expected to draft legislation that creates a similar security force. Gnaidi said the political partisanship among current army officials hinders the establishment of a national army, which must be impartial. He also claimed the money allocated for the building of the army and police forces is being routed into “unknown personal accounts” instead of military accounts. Defence Committee member Jumaa Sayah alleged that Gnaidi does not have evidence to support his claims.
Mali French President François Hollande announced on 15 July that a body retrieved from the town of Tessalit, near the Algerian border, was likely that of Philippe Verdon, a geologist who was captured by militants in 2011. Verdon was one of at least six French nationals held by Islamists in Mali, according to BBC. On July 11, Governor Adama Kamissoko returned to the northern town of Kidal but abruptly departed for Bamako on 12 July, reports News24. Kamissoko said he was in the capital to retrieve a generator, but Associated Press (AP) said residents warned that he was unwelcome in the northern city. Initially scheduled to last four days, the visit was intended to strengthen ties between the central government and restive administrators in Kidal. A predominantly Tuareg city of 25,000, Kidal was the centre of a peace process that allowed the return of the Malian army in early July 2013. Officials hope ethnic tensions in Kidal will not interrupt elections scheduled later this month on 28 July. Finally, on 15 July, Mali became the first African country to allow free registration of its internet domain: .ML. According to The Wall Street Journal, technology advocates hope that offering free use of domain names will spur infrastructure and technology development in the underdeveloped country.
Secular opposition to Tunisia’s governing coalition – currently led by the Islamist Ennahda party – seeks to topple the elected government in an effort to emulate the recent military coup in Egypt, reports Reuters. Young Tunisian activists collected 200,000 signatures for a petition against Ennahda, calling for protests on 25 July. The activists are demanding a caretaker government to replace ruling Islamists. The main secular opposition party, Nida Touns, called for a national salvation government in Tunisia, a day after the coup in Egypt. It also met with other opposition parties on 09 July to create a common platform. Political analyst Youssef Ouaslati said the meeting is a “turning point” as it could “help mobilise Tunisians against the Islamist-led government and focus popular anger against rising prices, unemployment and the spread of religious extremism”. Meanwhile, Ahmed Sadik, a leader in the leftist Popular Front – the party of assassinated opposition leader Chokri Belaid – threatened street action by saying: “If our opponents insist on ignoring our demand, we will go for it by imposing the will of popular pressure. We are not afraid to go to the streets or even 16 July 2013
to be killed”. However, the army has failed to shows signs of a willingness to intervene in the political affairs of the country. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on 09 July the signing of the Tunisian-American Enterprise Fund (TAEF), which will invest in small and medium enterprises to promote economic growth and employment. The Fund initially provides USD 20 million for loans and private equity investments. USAID’s acting assistant administrator for Middle East Alina Romanowski said, “measurable economic progress can help bolster democratic reforms both in Tunisia and elsewhere in the region”, and added that “the Tunisian-American Enterprise Fund will help to address gaps in financing for entrepreneurs and small businesses that overwhelmingly drive Tunisian private sector growth”. The Board of Directors, which will determine TAEF investments, will be comprised of six Americans and three Tunisians with expertise in international finance.
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South Sudan - Sudan Cross Border Issues
Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) requested proof that Juba is no longer providing support to rebel groups, and has cut its ties with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), reports Sudan Tribune. Juba, however, continues to reject Khartoum’s allegations that it supports SPLM-N and Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels, and in turn accused the Sudanese government of supporting South Sudanese rebels such as David Yau Yau in Pibor County in the state of Jonglei. In a statement released on 14 July, the NCP also called on the South Sudanese government to accept the initiative of chairman of the African Union (AU) mediation team, Thabo Mbeki, concerning the delineation of the centreline of the border between the two countries. The Misseriya tribe reaffirmed their rejection of the AU High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) proposal for a referendum on the Abyei region in October 2013, reports Sudan Tribune. Originally scheduled for January 2011, the proposed referendum has been postponed several times as Khartoum and Juba fail to agree on terms of voter eligibility. In 2012, the AU mediation team proposed to hold the referendum in October 2013 with the proviso that only permanent residents of Abyei would be eligible to vote on the future of the region. With the current proposal, the majority of voters would originate from the Dinka Ngok tribe which is aligned with South Sudan. The Misseriya nomads, who spend several months of the year in the region for grazing, would thus be at a disadvantage. Misseriya chief, Mukhtar Babo Nimir, stated that a referendum that does not include his tribe will fail, further stressing that the Misseriya are the “true stakeholders in Abyei” and they will never abandon their inherent right under any circumstances.
South Sudan The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) renewed the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 July 2014, and also reviewed the current state of relations between South Sudan and Sudan on 11 July, reports Sudan Tribune. As a condition of renewal, the UNSC demanded that the government of South Sudan guarantee freedom of movement for UN mission personnel throughout the country. The head of the peacekeeping department, Hervé Ladsous, briefed the UNSC on his recent visit to the region regarding efforts to ease tensions between Khartoum and Juba and the outcome of recent talks between senior leaders of the two countries following a visit to Khartoum by South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar. The UN reports that intense fighting over the past two weeks between the South Sudanese army, rebel militias and rival tribes in Jonglei state has displaced thousands of civilians, informs Reuters. The army is simultaneously facing a rebellion led by local leader David Yau Yau and new inter-tribal clashes in Jonglei. Thousands of civilians have taken refuge in the bush outside the town of Pibor in order to escape the fighting between Yau Yau rebels and government troops. UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, said the communities in the area require urgent medical attention but that the rainy season has made roads impassable to deliver aid. Aid organisations and rights groups have accused the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and rebels of abusing civilians and preventing access to humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, at least 200 people have been wounded in inter-tribal clashes in Jonglei, informs Associated Press (AP). According to a statement issued on 14 July by Lanzer, the most critically wounded were transported to Bor, the state capital, for treatment. Voice of America (VOA) reports that dozens are also feared dead as a result of clashes between youth members of the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes. Local officials state that fighting broke out during the first week of July, but the reasons for the clashes remain unknown. Accounts suggest that fighting began in the Murle village of Nanaam on 05 July and spread to neighbouring villages in Pibor County. Baba Medan, a Member of Parliament representing northern Pibor in the Jonglei state assembly said that the South Sudanese army has not intervened to stop the violence. In response to the increased hostilities, the US embassy in Juba on 10 July issued a statement calling on the South Sudanese government to do more to protect people in Jonglei, reports Sudan Tribune. The embassy also expressed disappointment in the national army and the SPLA for not adequately defending citizens in vulnerable areas, calling the lack of action an “egregious abdication of responsibility” by the SPLA and the government. The US embassy further called on government and local authorities to ensure that the respective tribe members disarm immediately.
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Sudan Armed men ambushed UN peacekeepers on 13 July in Darfur, killing seven Tanzanian troops and wounding seventeen others, informs AP. UN officials noted this was the single deadliest attack on the UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in Sudan since its deployment five years ago. Darfur has experienced increased violence since the beginning of 2013. Inter-tribal clashes and armed violence by former government militias have become more prevalent in the region, displacing over 300,000 people over the past 6 months. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the “heinous attack” and offered condolences to the families of the soldiers. The attack is the third on UN forces in the region in less than a month. According to the statement, Ban “expects that the government of Sudan will take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice”. According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the attackers used anti-aircraft guns, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and AK-47s. In the wake of the attack, UNAMID chief Mohamed Ibn Chambas said he will review whether UNAMID troops possess sufficient resources to deal with the deteriorating security situation in the region. Ex-intelligence chief Salah Gosh, charged with plotting a coup to overthrow President Bashir, was granted amnesty on 10 July, reports BBC. Gosh headed Sudan’s national intelligence for 10 years, until 2009, when he served as presidential security adviser until 2011. According to Gosh’s lawyer, Nabeel Adeeb, Bashir ordered charges be dropped against Gosh due to a lack of evidence. Gosh has maintained his innocence since his arrest, along with several other soldiers and intelligence officers, in 2012. President Bashir arrived in Nigeria to attend a health summit convened by the AU on 15 July, informs BBC. His visit to Abuja sparked outrage amongst human rights groups. Human Rights Watch said Nigeria has the “shameful distinction” of being the first West African state to host Bashir since the 2009 issuance of an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant and called his visit an “affront to victims” of the Darfur conflict. The ICC indicted Bashir in March 2009 for committing genocide in Darfur, a charge he denies. The AU subsequently decided that member states would not enforce the arrest warrant.
Horn of Africa
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Djibouti The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) officials warned of a likely food crisis in Djibouti. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reports 66,000 people are food insecure and WFP anticipates providing emergency food for the rest of 2013. Poor rains, water scarcity, lean economic conditions, and inadequate technical expertise at a local level are contributing to current conditions, according to UN officials. Recurrent droughts since 2005 reduced the size of herds, leaving pastoral communities at considerable risk. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) stated that conditions will deteriorate in the southeastern pastoral regions and the entire Obock region through September 2013 while leaving the rest of the country at “stressed” levels.
Ethiopia Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus proposed the creation of a health commission for Africa at a meeting of the executive council of the African Union (AU) held in Abuja, Nigeria on 15 July. The proposed African Centre for Disease Control (AfricanCDC) would conduct research and tackle public health issues especially pertinent to the continent. Key public health problems include malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. According to Al Jazeera, AU states are committed to designating fifteen per cent of their domestic budgets to health issues, but only six currently do so. In humanitarian news, WFP launched a new cash distribution initiative in Ethiopia with the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). In the past, WFP provided food rations to refugees, but the new method gives cash or vouchers directly to individuals. If conditions are optimal and markets are responsive, WFP says the distribution system will give refugees more control over their food choices, improve diets and benefit local economies. The initiative is in a pilot phase until December 2013.
Kenya Tea exports dropped by as much as twenty per cent due to the turmoil in Egypt, reports Capital FM. The recent ousting of Morsi had a dramatic impact on exports, but the on-going sluggishness of the Egyptian economy had affected the sale of tea for several months, according to a report published by the Tea Board of Kenya. In response to the downturn, exporters now seek new markets in China, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia and Europe. Kenya’s tea industry, worth USD 1.2 billion, is crucial to its economy, accounting for almost four per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). On 15 July, the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected a request by lawyers for Deputy President William Ruto to commence his trial in Africa. Ruto asked to utilise courtroom facilities in Kenya or neighbouring Tanzania with a video link to The Hague, where the ICC is located. According to Voice of America (VOA) the five-panel judge supported his request in theory but cited challenges to the arrangement such as cost, security, and the protection of witnesses. Ruto will go on trial 10 September 2013, alongside co-accused Joshua Arap Sang. The trial for President Uhuru Kenyatta will commence 12 November 2013. Charges for both men stem from violence that erupted after the 2007 Kenyan elections, which killed 1,200 and displaced 600,000. Finally, a three-week old strike organised by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) defied President Kenyatta’s request to end the protest, according to The Star. The teachers will not return to work until the government delivers on its promise to implement the return to work formula by paying their dues in full. Sabahi reports the government offered USD 196 million, far lower than KNUT 16 July 2013
demands for USD 543 million. To date, the threat of legal action by the Ministry of Labour has not motivated KNUT to require its teachers to return to classrooms, but Standard Digital reports that parents are increasingly desperate to resume instruction in prepare for upcoming student national exams.
Somalia Al Shabaab called for violence during the holy month of Ramadan. The group launched a coordinated attack involving a suicide bomber who drove a vehicle that targeted Americans travelling in an AU peacekeeping convoy on 12 July, according to Al Jazeera. No Americans or peacekeepers were killed in the incident which killed two and wounded nearly a dozen others in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab took credit for the attack, calling it a “martyrdom explosion”. Grenades were thrown into the nearby Barwaqo hotel immediately following the detonation of the vehicle. In total, at least six people were killed and fourteen injured in the Ramadan offensive. Locals criticised the attacks and the willingness of al Shabaab to strike innocent civilians during Ramadan. Nevertheless, the group tweeted that the attack was “one of many” to come. Agence France-Presse reports that Somali refugees in Kenya grow more nervous about repatriation plans being developed by officials in Nairobi and Mogadishu. Although many refugees desire to return home, the concept of “home” is vague to many Somalis who have been displaced for years. Indeed, many young Somalis were born in refugee camps or diaspora communities in Nairobi, Mombasa and other metropolitan areas. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres visited Nairobi in early July to reiterate that any return of refugees must be voluntary. UNHCR noted some 12,000 refugees voluntarily returned to Somalia in the first half of 2013. Sabahi reported that humanitarian conditions worsened in Jubaland, the region of southern Somalia beset by violence between warlords competing for the title of local president. Barre Adam Shire Hirale is a former defence minister and Ahmed Madobe leads the Ras Kamboni group. On-going violence killed over seventy people in recent weeks. Attacks occurred between militants fighting in Kismayo where the two rivals vie for control of the valuable port city. Sabahi notes that thousands of Kismayo residents have fled their homes, hospitals lack supplies to treat patients wounded by the fighting, and many humanitarian agencies suspended their operations – including the World Health Organization, which had just launched a campaign to deliver polio vaccinations.
IED & De-Mining
The CFC publishes a weekly IED and Demining Events map. This global compilation links to articles reporting significant IED related-events and demining efforts. This report covers 09 – 15 July 2013. GLOBAL NEWS (Click on the map for more IED events.) Ireland: Orange Day parades sparked a second day of violence in Northern Ireland where police came under attack from petrol bombs, reports Voice of America. England: Police in Tipton say a bomb blast near a mosque on 12 July was a terrorist incident after nails were found in the explosion debris, according to UPI. Thailand: Eight soldiers wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Yala’s Raman district on 12 July and authorities believe an insurgent group led by Saifulloh Balor might be behind the attack, according to The Nation.
Recent CFC Special Reports Mali’s Stabilisation Project: Political, Security and Humanitarian Assessments (June 2013) Regional Monarchies in the Context of the Arab Spring (June 2013) Destination Unknown: Eritrean Refugee Torture and Trafficking (May 2013) Rebuilding Somalia: Security Challenges for the Post-Conflict Nation (May 2013) The Re-Awakening of Anbar (April 2013) j a
CLICK ON LINKS TO VISIT COMPLEX COVERAGE PAGES ON CIMICWEB
16 July 2013