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Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2015

Categories: Articles:Asylum & Refugees, Articles:Peacemaking | Published: 02/07/2015 | Views: 2201
Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Chad, Kuwait, Myanmar, Tunisia. Extremist violence again dominated the month, with deadly attacks hitting Tunisia, Kuwait and Chad, while in Afghanistan the Taliban made further territorial gains and launched an unprecedented number of attacks.

Burundi's political crisis deepened as its ruling party held parliamentary elections despite widespread domestic and international objections.

A rejection of Myanmar's Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) text by armed group leaders threatened to halt progress on the country's peace process for the coming year. Nepal, meanwhile, made a significant step forward in its long-delayed constitution drafting process, a major part of its 2006 peace deal.

In Afghanistan the Taliban captured and maintained control of district administration centres in northern Afghanistan for the first time since the beginning of the insurgency. The losses increase military pressure on government positions near Kunduz city, and underscore the intensity of the 2015 fighting season, in which the number of violent incidents has surpassed all records since 2001. Crisis Group's new report urged the Afghan government, faced with the rising insurgency, to avoid cheap and dangerous fixes such as expanding the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and pro-government militias to address rural insecurity. Instead, rogue elements within the ALP should be disarmed and disbanded, while effective units should be integrated into the regular security forces and be subjected to strengthened oversight.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) claimed responsibility for two high profile terrorist attacks on 26 June: in Tunisia, where 38 tourists were killed in an attack on a hotel in a resort on the east coast, and in Kuwait, where a Shiite mosque was targeted by a suicide bomber leaving 27 dead and over 200 injured. Crisis Group's reporting on Tunisia has long warned about the risks posed by the intermingling of criminality and jihadi groups, notably in urban peripheries and border areas neglected by the state. The recent attack makes it all the more urgent that Tunisia's government ensures professionalisation of the security forces and avoids politicisation of their management, and steers clear of discourse and measures that could renew political and social polarisation.

Chad's capital N'Djamena suffered its first terror attack in years when on 15 June suspected Boko Haram assailants detonated suicide bombs, killing at least 30. Burundi continued to teeter on the brink of civil war as the ruling party pushed ahead with parliamentary elections on 29 June despite an opposition boycott and calls for a delay from the international community. As the country prepares for presidential polls on 15 July, Crisis Group has stressed the need for swift measures to restore the political and security conditions necessary for peaceful and fair elections, and to avoid the country's further descent into violent conflict.

In Myanmar, a summit of ethnic armed group leaders rejected the NCA text agreed in March, making it almost certain that the agreement will not be signed before the country goes to elections later this year. This makes it highly unlikely that there will be further progress on talks to end the decades-long conflict for the next twelve months, and increases the risk of armed conflict over the coming year. It also means more areas could be declared too insecure for elections to take place. On a positive note, after nearly twelve months of discussions on transitional justice, negotiators from the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced on 4 June they had agreed on establishing a truth commission once a final peace deal has been reached. Coming amid a dramatic escalation of violence following the collapse of FARC's ceasefire in May, the agreement has provided a much needed respite for the increasingly beleaguered negotiations. Lastly, Nepal's long-stalled process of formulating a new constitution - a condition of the 2006 peace deal - received a major boost as the Drafting Committee endorsed the first draft of a new constitution to be deliberated by the Constituent Assembly. The draft, which describes the country as "secular, inclusive and multi-ethnic", followed an agreement between the country's major political parties on 8 June envisioning eight federal provinces.

Improved Situations: Nepal

July 2015 Outlook

Conflict Risk: Alert Burundi Conflict Resolution Opportunity: None                Download the full report here 
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