This week in conflict… August 21st-27th, 2010.

World

  • Aid performance could improve thanks to a newly launched geocoded global map outlining how much individual donors have given to which aid projects and where, highlighting aid gaps, imbalances and duplication.
  • The UN is calling on all Member States that have not yet ratified the treaty banning nuclear testing to do so immediately. China, Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the US still need to ratify before the pact can enter into force.

Africa

  • The Somali government claims that ten anti-government fighters have been killed by their own bombs after the devices went off prematurely. Days later, at least 32 people were killed, including 6 MPs and five government officials, after men disguised as government soldiers attacked a hotel. Al Shabab declared a “massive war” on the African Union force on Monday, describing the 6,000 peacekeepers as “invaders” and killing at least 80 people.
  • Rwandan authorities have arrested Lt. Col. Rugigana Ngabo, brother to Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa for “individual criminal liability”. Nyamwasa survived an assassination attempt two months ago in South Africa that was thought to be ordered by Rwandan authorities.
  • A suicide bomb attempt at military barracks was foiled in Mauritania on Wednesday. The attack was attributed to Al-Qaeda.
  • Concerns of an increasingly antagonistic political climate in Burundi threatens to dismantle the 10-year-old power sharing deal in the government. At least 3 opposition leaders have gone into hiding, after some 12 people were tortured in June and July. Grenade explosions have also been increasing recently, with over 100 in the past two months alone.
  • The UN has dispatched an envoy to the DRC after a reported nearly 200 were systematically raped or sexually assaulted within a few short days in one eastern township and has announced plans to improve communications to prevent any such recurrence. It has been suggested that the UN was well aware of the rebel take-over of the area and should have done more to protect the victims. The FDLR, one of the groups accused of committing the atrocity outright denies the claims, saying they were in “no way involved” in the mass rapes reported.
  • A new leaked UN report takes a new view on the Rwandan genocide, charging the invading troops for Rwanda of killing thousands of Hutus, including many civilians. Rwandan government reacted angrily, completing dismissing the report and attempted to pressure the UN not to publish their findings by threatening withdrawal of their support for international peacekeeping missions.

Asia

  • Nine policemen were killed in Afghanistan on Friday in two separate incidents, five civilians were killed after a bomb explosion on Saturday, and another 8 police officers were killed on Thursday. At least 10 people working for a female candidate running in the upcoming parliamentary election have disappeared, and are assumed kidnapped. NATO took claim for killing three Afghan policemen in a “friendly fire” incident on Friday, while four US troops were killed on Sunday in fighting. Taliban fighters claimed to have attacked and burned 24 trucks carrying fuel and supplies to US troops in southern Afghanistan, which NATO subsequently denied, while NATO claimed to have killed some 40 Taliban insurgents this week in eastern Afghanistan. On Wednesday, an argument between an Afghan police trainee and his two Spanish trainers exploded, resulting in the death of all three, which was followed by an angry protest of several hundred villagers who stormed the compound. Dozens of students and teachers at an all girls’ school in Kabul were sickened by an unknown gas that spread through their classroom. Attacks on schoolgirls have happened in the past after the Taliban banned education for girls.
  • Police imposed a ban on political campaigns in Dhaka, Bangladesh ahead of a protest called by the main opposition party in response to the cancellation of parole of the younger son of the party chief.
  • At least 21 people were killed on Monday after two explosions rocked Pakistan in apparent suicide bomb attacks, a girls’ elementary school was blown up on Tuesday night and another 12 people killed in a US drone strike in the northwestern region. A released video showing two teenage brothers being beaten and then hanged to death in front of a large crowd resulted in the arrest of 10 people, including four police officers who looked on but did nothing to stop the attack.
  • A former Philippine police captain held a tourist bus hostage for 11 hours on Monday. The stand-off ended in bloodshed,  with police killing the hijacker.
  • Thai insurgents shot two dead and wounded at least 5 others in three separate attacks over the weekend and a grenade attack in central Bangkok on Friday seriously wounded a security guard. Anti-government (“red shirt”) protesters relaunched their rallies just days after authorities lifted a state of emergency, filling Thai jails with political prisoners.
  • A cameraman for SUN TV on the Indonesian island of Maluku was hacked to death by a group of villagers trying to hide their clash with a neighbouring village. According to local sources, policemen at the scene did not to assist the man. Two other Indonesian journalists have died recently in suspicious circumstances.

North and Central Americas

South America

  • A group of heavily armed men held 35 hostages for about 2 hours in a Rio de Janeiro hotel on Sunday. 10 suspects were arrested.
  • A small explosion rocked the home of some Cuban doctors living in Venezuela on Friday after a grenade was detonated. No word yet on who caused the explosion or why.

Middle East

  • Iran has announced its first domestically built, long-range, unmanned bomber aircraft, called the “ambassador of death” by Ahmadinejad. Reporters without borders condemned the closure of three newspapers and the arrest of a journalist in the government’s continual crackdown on the media. The government has also prohibited the media from mentioning opposition leaders in the news.
  • The government of Yemen said it killed seven al-Qaeda’s fighters on Saturday only a day after 13 people, including 10 soldiers were killed in clashes at a market in southern Yemen. Nearly 80,000 people fled a city in southern Yemen after clashes between al-Qaeda and government forces killed dozens of people. The US is considering sending in CIA armed Predator drones to the fight.
  • More than a dozen car bombs rocked Iraq on Wednesday killing dozens of people, and destroying a police station in the capital. On Thursday, a group of armed men attacked a village in Diyala province killing 8 members of the government backed Awakening Council (Sahwa) militia.
  • Three people were killed in clashes in Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday after a shootout erupted between a Shia Hezbollah supporter and a Sunni al-Ahbash supporter. The personal fight escalated into a firefight, but both groups confirmed to set aside their differences and put an end to all armed presence on the street. The UN force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) handed over 39 vehicles to the Lebanese armed forces in an effort to boost their security along the southern Israeli border following the firefight earlier this month. They should also be able to get a boost in security from the arms that Iran is prepared to sell them, should they ask for help equipping their military.
  • Tensions among the radical Palestinian factions in Gaza erupted on Wednesday following the detainment of four members of the rival Islamic Jihad.

Europe

  • A deputy mayor was seriously wounded in an apparent assassination attempt on Monday in Daghestan, North Caucasus. Another two people were killed after a suicide attack exploded in a car. At least 4 people died in violence in Ingushetia, after rebels opened fire at a police checkpoint. Another five people were killed by Russian security forces in Daghestan on Wednesday.
  • Georgia has accused Russia of deploying its newly acquired S-300 air defense missiles in South Ossetia in an effort to fence of the strategic South Caucasus. Russia has denied such claims. Georgian officials have come under fire from human rights groups over the forced eviction of hundreds of displaced people from state-owned buildings that it hopes to privatize.
  • Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has made peace with his longtime rival Isa Yamadayev, in a deal seen as a product of Russian pressure.
  • Bosnian police have arrested Dragan Neskovic, a former Bosnian Serb police officer suspected of taking part in the Srebrenica massacre. Twelve have so far been jailed, seven acquitted and eleven more are still being tried for their role in the 1995 massacre.
  • A UN panel criticized France for its crackdown on the Roma population and urged them to avoid collective deportations. Earlier this month the government had expelled nearly 300 Roma to Romania.
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