Though signs are emerging that negotiators from the government and ethnic rebel groups are closing in on a ceasefire accord, it is less certain whether the ceasefire accord will lead
to a political dialogue, and thus a broader peace-building process, prior to general elections in 2015. Mass graves have been found
at large, sophisticated, and now abandoned smuggling camps in Malaysia, believed to have housed Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants.
Zedi Feruzi, leader of the opposition party Union for Peace and Development, was shot
and killed, leading activists to suspend talks with the government. The East African Community announced
that it would hold a summit this Sunday to discuss the crisis. The Government underscored that it would not negotiate with actors on President Nkurunziza’s candidacy and claimed that the media had abused the practice of freedom of press by inciting insurrection. The government further made an appeal
to its public for money to fund the upcoming election, after international actors withheld aid for the vote. Lithuania, the current president of the Security Council, stated that the “predominant
” opinion among Council members was that Burundi’s June elections should be delayed.
Central African Republic:
Save the Children warned that more than 60% of CAR’s children
have witnessed or been subjected to acts of extreme violence since March 2013. Evidence emerged that the United Nations knew
about allegations that French peacekeepers had sexually abused children for months. French and Central African justice authorities announced that they were cooperating
in ongoing investigations on the accusations.
Democratic Republic of the Congo:
Residents of a town in eastern DRC started a tax strike
in protest of several rebel massacres that have occurred there.Congolese soldiers clashed with FDLR rebels, wounding six, as an agreement
to move the Rwandan Hutu fighters from one transit camp to another fell apart.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
U.S., South Korea, and Japan announced
that they would tie the DPRK’s rights records to nuclear talks, issues which the countries had previously dealt with separately.
Amnesty International reported that the military wing of Hamas carried
out a campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of “collaborating” with Israel and others during Israel’s military offensive against Gaza in the summer of 2014. A rocket was fired
from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday.
Iraq began its operation to expel
the Islamic State from Ramadi. Suicide bombings killed at least 17 Iraqi soldiers
in Anbar. Shiite authorities in Baghdad have started
restricting the entry of Sunnis displaced by the Islamic State. Iraq exhumed
500 bodies from mass graves in Tikrit, believed to be those of Iraqi soldiers killed by the Islamic State in June 2014.
Libya's internationally-recognized Government says that gunmen tried to assassinate
the Prime Minister. Human Rights Watch warns that civilians are trapped in Benghazi and called on the International Criminal Court to open
International Crisis Group warned that Mali’s peace agreement must be strengthened
if a resumption in fighting is to be avoided. Thousands of Malians marched
in support of the agreement. A UN peacekeeper was killed
by militants in Bamako. At least nine civilians were killed
in a separatist attack in northern Mali, with Tuareg rebels accusing
pro-government militias of executing the civilians. The UN stated that it was investigating
Boko Haram killed dozens in an attack
in Borno. UNICEF reported that women and children carry out 75% of the suicide attacks
in Nigeria. Fulani herdsmen killed
96 in Benue. Video footage captured near Boko Haram camps indicates
that foreign fighters are among the group’s leaders.
AU Peace and Security Council renewed
its call for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions and an arms embargo on South Sudan. Uganda’s Parliament, in a new report, urged
the government to pull its forces from South Sudan, though the Ugandan defense minister rejected the proposal. Paloch, an oil field in Upper Nile State (the sole region still pumping crude oil), has emerged
as a prime rebel target. The loss of Paloch could spell disaster for the oil-dependent South Sudanese government. The UN estimated
that over 40% of South Sudanese will face a severe food shortage over the coming months.
An estimated 3,000 civilians who fled militia attacks in East Jebel Marra two months ago are being terrorized
by Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The Sudanese government said that it prevented
a move by European states to give the ICC jurisdiction over crimes against women and children. The UN special rapporteur on violence against women called for an inquiry
into the accusations of mass rape in Tabit, Darfur in November 2014.
Kurdish forces wrested
control of 14 Assyrian villages from the Islamic State. The Syrian foreign ministry said
that it wanted more coordination with Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State. Syria’s air force bombed
an Islamic State-controlled air base in Raqqa and also carried out intense
strikes to dislodge the Islamic State from Palmyra. The Islamic State reportedly executed
over 200 after taking control of Palmyra last week. Opposition activists claimed
that they have documentation of 18 cases of chlorine gas attacks since 6 March 2015. Turkey stated that it has reached
an agreement “in principle” with the U.S. to provide air support to Syrian rebels. Hezbollah vowed to increase
its participation in the civil war..
What else is new?
The ICRtoP is extremely saddened to hear of the passing of renowned genocide prevention scholar Sheri Rosenberg last Friday. A leading voice in this field, her work will continue to impact the Responsibility to Protect for years to come.
Above photo: "Returnees from Bangladesh to Myanmar." UN Photo/UNHCR/A.Hollman