India (non-Kashmir), At least 147 civilians killed, scores injured after suspected Maoists 28 May derailed train in West Midnapore district, West Bengal; Maoists denied responsibility, but police claimed strong evidence. At least 35 civilians, police killed in 17 May bus bomb by Maoists in Danteweda district, Chhattisgarh; at least 20 reported killed in other attacks. Ruling Congress Party split on whether to launch air strikes against rebels. Protesters calling for govt to lift its ban on Nagaland rebel leader Thuingaleng Muivah entering Manipur continued to block supply roads to state. 6 suspected separatist rebels killed 14 May in Manipur near Myanmar border.
Israel/Palestine: At least 9 people reported killed 31 May by Israeli soldiers boarding flotilla carrying activists, aid to Gaza; full details not yet clear. UNSC 1 June condemned “those acts which resulted in the loss of at least ten civilians” and called for “credible and transparent investigation”. Israeli PM Netanyahu cancelled Washington visit, gave full backing to action of Israeli troops. Israel said soldiers acted in self-defence, accused convoy of “premeditated” provocation, campaigners denied accusations. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas condemned incident as “massacre”. Turkey withdrew ambassador, called Israeli actions “murder by a state”. Followed 9 May start of U.S.-mediated indirect talks between Israel, PA after 17-month halt in negotiations. Netanyahu 21 May spoke of possible goodwill gestures towards Palestinians. Announcement of talks followed by rocket attacks on southern Israel from Gaza 8 May, Israeli bombing of targets in response. At least 12 injured in 25 May airstrikes in Gaza in response to 24 May rocket and mortar attacks. IDF troops 21 May killed 2 Islamic Jihad militants near Kissufim crossing; 14 May shot dead Palestinian civilian near border fence; 2 suspected militants killed by IDF 1 June after entering Israel from Gaza. Palestinian youth killed by Israeli settler in West Bank 14 May.
North Korea, North-South Korean relations deteriorated further after investigators 20 May announced N. Korean torpedo caused March sinking of S. Korean ship despite NK denials. S. Korean President Lee Myung-bak 20 May pledged “stern action” against NK; S. Korea 23 May stated intention to take case to UNSC. S. Korea 24 May froze trade with NK, resumed propaganda broadcasts on DMZ; NK threatened to fire artillery at loud speakers. NK 25 May severed all ties with S. Korea; NK 27 May scrapped 2004 accord aimed at preventing accidental naval clashes with S. Korea. UNSG Ban 26 May expressed confidence UNSC would “take measures appropriate to the gravity of the situation”. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao 30 May during regional summit, warned of need to diffuse tension but stopped short of condemning NK over attack. N. Korean leader Kim Jong-il 5 May visited China; met President Hu Jintao; Chinese media 7 May reported NK prepared to negotiate over nuclear weapons. UN OCHA 18 May stated intention to send team to NK to assess aid situation.
Thailand: Violence in Bangkok between security forces and “red shirt” protestors left 54 dead over May. Months-long stand-off continued despite PM Abhisit’s 3 May offer of early elections, later withdrawn. Pro-“red shirt” army general Khattiya Sawasdipol shot 13 May. Soldiers raided “red-shirt” encampment 14-19 May, fired live rounds. Majority of protestors surrendered 19 May and camp disbanded as several buildings, including stock exchange, damaged by protesters. Govt 19 May imposed curfew in Bangkok and 23 other provinces; curfew lifted 29 May but state of emergency remains. Thai court 25 May approved arrest warrant for former PM Thaksin on “terrorism charges” linked to unrest; Thaksin denied fomenting violence. Opposition MPs 25 May begin process to impeach PM Abhisit. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay 31 May called for investigation into violence. In restive south, 2 bombs exploded 26 May in Yala killing 2 injuring 55.
Improved Situations: None
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Armenia/Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), Colombia, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Somaliland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zimbabwe
Outlook for June
Conflict Risk Alerts – None
Conflict Resolution Opportunity – None