Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees, September 2009
Four actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in September 2009, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.
Deteriorated Situations ~ Afghanistan, Bosnia, Guinea, Uganda
Afghanistan: Allegations of fraud in 20 Aug presidential elections favouring mainly President Karzai intensified, raising prospect of further violence, particularly if Karzai declared 1st round winner. Independent Election Commission (IEC) 16 Sept announced final uncertified results; Karzai won 54.6% of votes, main challenger Abdullah Abdullah 27.75%, turnout 37.8%, but no winner officially announced. IEC 8 Sept had ordered recount of 10% of polling places; EU observers 16 Sept said at least one third of ballots showed evidence of fraud. Head of U.S. forces and ISAF Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal 21 Sept said Afghan mission “likely to fail” without troop increase; U.S. govt yet to make definite decision. Govt claimed 4 Sept NATO airstrike killed at least 100, including 30 civilians, in Kunduz province. At least 16 killed, including deputy director of govt intelligence agency, in 2 Sept Laghman suicide blast; Taliban claimed responsibility.
Bosnia: September saw confrontation between Office of the High Representative (OHR) and Republika Srpska (RS) after High Representative Valentin Inzko 18 Sept used Bonn powers to impose 8 laws, mostly dealing with electric transmission utility – which RS trying to pull out of – and Brcko district. RS PM Dodik 23 Sept announced RS will withdraw all representatives from state govt if OHR imposes more laws. RS govt 24 Sept rejected laws they said OHR had illegally “attempted” to impose. Inzko argued his decisions “merely technical”, not against RS. Peace Implementation Council 24 Sept issued calming statement calling on RS to “reconsider” decision, warning direct challenges to OHR authority a direct challenge to Dayton. Council of Ministers 30 Sept adopted 2 key documents required for EU visa liberalization road map. Bosniak officials criticised Serbian President Tadic’s 8 Sept visit to Pale. NATO Joint Endeavour 2009 exercise launched 3-17 Sept in Banja Luka. Dodik criticised for denying wartime massacres in Sarajevo, Tuzla.
Guinea: At least 157 killed when security forces opened fire on large demonstrations in capital 28 Sept protesting junta leader Dadis Camara’s candidacy in upcoming presidential polls and military govt; reports of extreme sexual violence by security forces against protesters; several opposition figures, including presidential contender and former PM Cellou Dalein Diallo, reportedly arrested. Authorities banned “subversive” gatherings in wake. UNSC, AU, EU, France and U.S. condemned violence. Rallies followed mid-month announcement by Rally for Defence of the Republic party, formed to back Dadis after Dec 2008 coup, nominating Dadis as candidate in Jan election; now widely believed he intends to run. International Contact Group 3 Sept called on Dadis not to stand, while AU 18 Sept threatened to impose sanctions in Oct. Up to 20,000 rallied in earlier anti-Dadis protests in Diallo’s former stronghold of Labe, north of Conakry, 23 Sept; Diallo, expected to stand for opposition United Democratic Forces of Guinea (UDFG), earlier welcomed back from European trip by large crowds in Conakry. 300 demonstrated in Conakry 23 Sept against AU sanctions.
Uganda: Kampala hit by violent riots 10-11 Sept, as thousands hit streets in support of King Mutebi of Buganda region after President Museveni early month denied king access to city of Bugerere, which had announced intention to break from Buganda. 27 killed, over 100 arrested; 4 radio stations taken off air for “inciting violence”. Musevini and King Mutebi met for talks 30 Sept. Opposition leader Ogenga Latigo 23 Sept accused President Museveni of reliance on military and, citing high number of troops still in Kampala, precipitating crisis to increase military presence. Ugandan military 7 Sept confirmed Ugandan army pursuing LRA in CAR, 9 Sept announced Ugandan forces had rescued 100 kidnapped youths, killed several commanders.
Algeria, Armenia, Armenia/Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), China (internal), Colombia, Côte d’Ivore, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, North Korea, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zimbabwe
October 2009 Outlook
Conflict Risk Alert ~ None
Conflict Resolution Opportunity ~ Armenia/Turkey
CrisisWatch identifies a conflict resolution opportunity between Armenia and Turkey for the coming month with the 10 October signing of draft protocols to drive forward normalisation of relations following a breakthrough agreement in August. Following the formal signing in Switzerland, the draft protocols will go to the two countries’ national parliaments for ratification. However, segments of domestic opposition to rapprochement and uncertainty over the status of Armenia’s ongoing dispute with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh continue to threaten progress.
CrisisWatch N°74, 1 October 2009
Source for this Message: