Showing posts tagged as "Conflict"

Showing posts tagged Conflict

27 Aug
Libya’s Crisis: A Shattered Airport, Two Parliaments, Many Factions | Leila Fadel
As Libya has descended into chaos, it has split into two broad camps. On one side is Libya Dawn, an Islamist-backed umbrella group; on the other is a renegade general, Khalifa Hifter, who is based in the eastern part of the country along with his allies.
As this power struggle has escalated, it is no longer just an internal Libyan conflict. It is now being fought regionally, with parallels to other battles playing out in North Africa and the Middle East.
U.S. officials say Egypt and the United Arab Emirates carried out secret airstrikes in recent days directed against the Islamist factions, which was first reported in The New York Times. This direct involvement in the Libyan fighting came as a surprise, though both of these countries have staked out positions opposing Islamist groups in their own countries and abroad.
"We see in the battle that is being fought out in Libya between these two broad coalitions is a battle that is already being fought out regionally," says Claudia Gazzini, a Libya researcher at the International Crisis Group.
FULL ARTICLE (NPR)
Photo: Nasser Nouri/flickr

Libya’s Crisis: A Shattered Airport, Two Parliaments, Many Factions | Leila Fadel

As Libya has descended into chaos, it has split into two broad camps. On one side is Libya Dawn, an Islamist-backed umbrella group; on the other is a renegade general, Khalifa Hifter, who is based in the eastern part of the country along with his allies.

As this power struggle has escalated, it is no longer just an internal Libyan conflict. It is now being fought regionally, with parallels to other battles playing out in North Africa and the Middle East.

U.S. officials say Egypt and the United Arab Emirates carried out secret airstrikes in recent days directed against the Islamist factions, which was first reported in The New York Times. This direct involvement in the Libyan fighting came as a surprise, though both of these countries have staked out positions opposing Islamist groups in their own countries and abroad.

"We see in the battle that is being fought out in Libya between these two broad coalitions is a battle that is already being fought out regionally," says Claudia Gazzini, a Libya researcher at the International Crisis Group.

FULL ARTICLE (NPR)

Photo: Nasser Nouri/flickr

Afghan forces battle for control of symbolic Kunduz province | MIRWAIS HAROONI
(Reuters) - Afghan security forces are battling the Taliban for control of the northern province of Kunduz, where insurgents are threatening to overrun the capital and terrorising residents who have fled to nearby districts.
The battle for Kunduz, as politicians wrangle amid a deadlocked presidential election in the capital, has special significance for people on both sides: it was the Taliban’s last stronghold before the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance drove them out in 2001.
The fighting in Kunduz reflects a broader trend of insurgent attacks across the country involving hundreds of fighters at a time.
Most Western troops are due to leave Afghanistan after 13 years of fighting, leaving a security vacuum some fear the Taliban could quickly fill as Afghan security forces grapple with maintaining law and order on their own.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/flickr

Afghan forces battle for control of symbolic Kunduz province | MIRWAIS HAROONI

(Reuters) - Afghan security forces are battling the Taliban for control of the northern province of Kunduz, where insurgents are threatening to overrun the capital and terrorising residents who have fled to nearby districts.

The battle for Kunduz, as politicians wrangle amid a deadlocked presidential election in the capital, has special significance for people on both sides: it was the Taliban’s last stronghold before the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance drove them out in 2001.

The fighting in Kunduz reflects a broader trend of insurgent attacks across the country involving hundreds of fighters at a time.

Most Western troops are due to leave Afghanistan after 13 years of fighting, leaving a security vacuum some fear the Taliban could quickly fill as Afghan security forces grapple with maintaining law and order on their own.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/flickr

26 Aug
Hero of Libya’s revolution wages war on government | Borzou Daragahi
Salah Badi has a reputation for resorting to other means when politics do not go his way.
A hero of the 2011 uprising against Muammer Gaddafi and head of a militia affiliated with the coastal city of Misurata, the former member of parliament is now waging war in the capital, Tripoli, as he tries to maintain the dominance of Islamists – and his home town – in the face of overwhelming voter opposition to his agenda in June 25 general elections.
“He reflects a certain component of Libyan politicians who see themselves as still fighting out the revolution,” said Claudia Gazzini, Libya researcher for the International Crisis Group. “They don’t care that they’re not popular. They see themselves as righteous defenders of Libya and saviours of a Libya that is gradually returning into the hands of the former regime.”
FULL ARTICLE (The Financial Times)
Photo: mojomogwai/flickr

Hero of Libya’s revolution wages war on government | Borzou Daragahi

Salah Badi has a reputation for resorting to other means when politics do not go his way.

A hero of the 2011 uprising against Muammer Gaddafi and head of a militia affiliated with the coastal city of Misurata, the former member of parliament is now waging war in the capital, Tripoli, as he tries to maintain the dominance of Islamists – and his home town – in the face of overwhelming voter opposition to his agenda in June 25 general elections.

“He reflects a certain component of Libyan politicians who see themselves as still fighting out the revolution,” said Claudia Gazzini, Libya researcher for the International Crisis Group. “They don’t care that they’re not popular. They see themselves as righteous defenders of Libya and saviours of a Libya that is gradually returning into the hands of the former regime.”

FULL ARTICLE (The Financial Times)

Photo: mojomogwai/flickr

Pakistan’s “Forgotten Crisis” | Priyanka Boghani
In just two months, more than 1 million people — including 456,000 children — have been displaced by the Pakistani military’s offensive against militants in North Waziristan, according to figures released earlier this month by the United Nations.
The exodus began when the Pakistani military launched a major offensive on June 15 on what’s believed to be the last stronghold of Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants in the country. After two weeks of air strikes that drove civilians from their homes, the military began a ground operation.
The staggering number of internally displaced people, or IDPs, was double what United Nations agencies in the area had prepared for.
FULL ARTICLE (PBS FRONTLINE)
Photo: PDI/Oxfam/flickr

Pakistan’s “Forgotten Crisis” | Priyanka Boghani

In just two months, more than 1 million people — including 456,000 children — have been displaced by the Pakistani military’s offensive against militants in North Waziristan, according to figures released earlier this month by the United Nations.

The exodus began when the Pakistani military launched a major offensive on June 15 on what’s believed to be the last stronghold of Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants in the country. After two weeks of air strikes that drove civilians from their homes, the military began a ground operation.

The staggering number of internally displaced people, or IDPs, was double what United Nations agencies in the area had prepared for.

FULL ARTICLE (PBS FRONTLINE)

Photo: PDI/Oxfam/flickr

25 Aug
Eritrean Border Guards Shoot Dead 10 Civilians Trying to Flee | Tesfa-Alem Tekle
Shire — Eritrean border guards have allegedly shot dead 10 Eritreans citizens as they attempted to cross in to Ethiopia, a recent escapee told Sudan Tribune on Friday.
Samuel Gedion said he was among a group of 18 Eritreans who were trying to flee to Ethiopia two weeks ago.
"Ten of them were killed, while three of us made it to Ethiopia. I am not sure on the fate of the remaining five," he said.
He said border guards had opened fired on the group without any prior warning.
FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)
Photo: Charles Roffey/flickr

Eritrean Border Guards Shoot Dead 10 Civilians Trying to Flee | Tesfa-Alem Tekle

Shire — Eritrean border guards have allegedly shot dead 10 Eritreans citizens as they attempted to cross in to Ethiopia, a recent escapee told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Samuel Gedion said he was among a group of 18 Eritreans who were trying to flee to Ethiopia two weeks ago.

"Ten of them were killed, while three of us made it to Ethiopia. I am not sure on the fate of the remaining five," he said.

He said border guards had opened fired on the group without any prior warning.

FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)

Photo: Charles Roffey/flickr

Explained: What will it take for the Gaza crisis to finally end? | AFP
Future developments in the Gaza conflict — attrition warfare, a ground incursion or a ceasefire — depend on events on the ground, the status of the forces on both sides and internal dynamics, analysts say.
What is the current balance of power in the conflict?
Israel has dealt a heavy blow to Hamas by eliminating three of its senior military commanders, with the outcome of its attempt to assassinate the Palestinian movement’s military chief Mohammed Deif unclear.
Israel has also destroyed around two-thirds of the 10,000 rockets Hamas was believed to possess, killing some 900 “terrorists” and destroying their network of underground attack tunnels, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP.
"Hamas no longer has the same capabilities as before, there is a gap between the reality on the ground and the military and political statements," said Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University.
FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via First Post)
Photo: Kashfi Halford/flickr

Explained: What will it take for the Gaza crisis to finally end? | AFP

Future developments in the Gaza conflict — attrition warfare, a ground incursion or a ceasefire — depend on events on the ground, the status of the forces on both sides and internal dynamics, analysts say.

What is the current balance of power in the conflict?

Israel has dealt a heavy blow to Hamas by eliminating three of its senior military commanders, with the outcome of its attempt to assassinate the Palestinian movement’s military chief Mohammed Deif unclear.

Israel has also destroyed around two-thirds of the 10,000 rockets Hamas was believed to possess, killing some 900 “terrorists” and destroying their network of underground attack tunnels, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP.

"Hamas no longer has the same capabilities as before, there is a gap between the reality on the ground and the military and political statements," said Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University.

FULL ARTICLE (Agence France-Presse via First Post)

Photo: Kashfi Halford/flickr

22 Aug
"The government, parliamentary opposition, demonstrators and the security apparatus must all respect the constitution and rule of law. Otherwise it would be next to impossible to resolve Pakistan’s security challenges, including militancy and terrorism that have claimed thousands of lives."

—From Crisis Group’s latest Conflict Alert: Protecting Pakistan’s Threatened Democracy

21 Aug
Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie
BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.
The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.
Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.
The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”
FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)
Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie

BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.

The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.

Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.

The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”

FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)

Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

Seleka rebels threaten to split CAR | Hilke Fischer
Dar El Kouti is the name of the new state according to a Seleka press release dated August 17, 2014. The document also lists the names of people who are supposed to lead this state. Top of the list is Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic’s fugitive Seleka leader. In the new state of Dar El Kouti he would supposedly become the new head of state and government.
Djotodia was forced to exile in Benin in January 2014 after intense international pressure. He was the man behind the March 2013 coup which threw the Central African Republic into chaos.
Dar El Kouti is the name of a sultanate which existed in the early 19th century. It was located on the territory of present-day north-western Central African Republic.
The Sultan, Muhammad al-Sanusi, fought against the French colonialists. Some people wish to see his legacy revived in the region around the city of Birao, some 800 km (497 miles) north of the capital Bangui. This lies outside the territory that once formed the Sultanate.
FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: hdptcar/flickr

Seleka rebels threaten to split CAR | Hilke Fischer

Dar El Kouti is the name of the new state according to a Seleka press release dated August 17, 2014. The document also lists the names of people who are supposed to lead this state. Top of the list is Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic’s fugitive Seleka leader. In the new state of Dar El Kouti he would supposedly become the new head of state and government.

Djotodia was forced to exile in Benin in January 2014 after intense international pressure. He was the man behind the March 2013 coup which threw the Central African Republic into chaos.

Dar El Kouti is the name of a sultanate which existed in the early 19th century. It was located on the territory of present-day north-western Central African Republic.

The Sultan, Muhammad al-Sanusi, fought against the French colonialists. Some people wish to see his legacy revived in the region around the city of Birao, some 800 km (497 miles) north of the capital Bangui. This lies outside the territory that once formed the Sultanate.

FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: hdptcar/flickr

1 Aug
A pincer move - Iraq’s bloody mess has helped the regime in Syria and its jihadist enemy
WHEN an alliance of disgruntled Sunnis led by the Islamic State (IS), an extremist group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), streaked across Iraq in June and proclaimed a caliphate in the territory it holds on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, Syrian rebels with a more national focus thought their day had come. Surely, they surmised, America and its Western allies would not sit by and allow to prosper a group that had grown out of al-Qaeda in Iraq and killed American soldiers during the war there in 2003? Bar the Americans getting involved militarily, the only way for them to push back IS in Syria would be to bolster the more moderate rebels there.
A little more weaponry, mainly anti-tank missiles, did indeed arrive for eight vetted groups that have been supplied by a covert programme that since last year has been run by America and states in the Gulf and Europe that want to see the back of Bashar Assad, Syria’s president. These groups have made some gains in the northern part of Hama province and the southern part of Idleb, near the regime’s stronghold in western Syria (see map). But the main picture has not changed. Syria’s regime and IS both gain from the mess next door in Iraq, whereas the more moderate rebels are increasingly being squeezed. “The aid is for a plan to deal with a 2012 problem, not a 2014 one,” says Noah Bonsey, an American Syria-watcher at the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think-tank.
FULL ARTICLE (The Economist) 
Photo: James Gordon/flickr

A pincer move - Iraq’s bloody mess has helped the regime in Syria and its jihadist enemy

WHEN an alliance of disgruntled Sunnis led by the Islamic State (IS), an extremist group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), streaked across Iraq in June and proclaimed a caliphate in the territory it holds on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, Syrian rebels with a more national focus thought their day had come. Surely, they surmised, America and its Western allies would not sit by and allow to prosper a group that had grown out of al-Qaeda in Iraq and killed American soldiers during the war there in 2003? Bar the Americans getting involved militarily, the only way for them to push back IS in Syria would be to bolster the more moderate rebels there.

A little more weaponry, mainly anti-tank missiles, did indeed arrive for eight vetted groups that have been supplied by a covert programme that since last year has been run by America and states in the Gulf and Europe that want to see the back of Bashar Assad, Syria’s president. These groups have made some gains in the northern part of Hama province and the southern part of Idleb, near the regime’s stronghold in western Syria (see map). But the main picture has not changed. Syria’s regime and IS both gain from the mess next door in Iraq, whereas the more moderate rebels are increasingly being squeezed. “The aid is for a plan to deal with a 2012 problem, not a 2014 one,” says Noah Bonsey, an American Syria-watcher at the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think-tank.

FULL ARTICLE (The Economist

Photo: James Gordon/flickr