Posts tagged: conflict
This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
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- Egyptian General Abdul-Fatah al-Sisi, leader of last year’s military takeover, has announced his military resignation and presidential bid.
- The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 682 others went on trial on a variety of charges, a day after the capital sentencing of 500 plus supporters of former president Morsi.
- The Ethiopian government is importing European and Chinese technologies to spy on the electronic communications of the opposition.
- William Langewiesche reports for GQ from South Sudan, where he observed G4S (a British “global security” contractor) and their ordnance-disposal teams in action.
- A makeshift refugee camp near the airport in the Central African capital of Bangui holds tens of thousands of people in an incredibly precarious situation.
- Peacekeepers in CAR have declared war against the anti-balaka, a Christian militant group, after the group’s attacks against their troops.
- More than three million Nigerians, a third of the country’s population, are suffering the results of the Islamic militant uprising.
- The US is sending 150 USAF Special Operations forces and CV-22 Osprey aircraft to assist the Ugandan government in its efforts against Joseph Kony.
- The Arab League summit was held this week despite deep tensions over Syria and Egypt.
- Turkey blocked Twitter ahead of an electoral vote.
- 53.6% of Syria’s chemical weapons have been destroyed or removed.
- Turkey shot down a Syrian warplane.
- Islamist rebels in Syria captured a small town on the Turkish border.
- Syrian troops overtook the Crusader castle on the Lebanese border, a UNESCO world heritage site with symbolic value to the rebels who had controlled it since 2012.
- 20 members of Yemen’s security forces were killed in a militant raid on a checkpoint.
- The entire board of Iraq’s electoral commission resigned this week, citing political interference.
- RFE/RL’s Baghdad bureau chief, Mohammed Bdaiwai Owaid Al-Shammari, was shot dead by a member of the presidential guard.
- Reporters Without Borders expresses concern about Iraq’s official treatment of journalists.
- A global spike in executions is sourced to those carried out in Iran and Iraq.
- Iran says one of its five border guards held hostage by a militant group has been killed.
- Well-known Afghan journalist Sardar Ahmed, his wife and two of his three young children were among those killed by a militant gunman at the Serena Hotel last week.
- The chief judge in former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial has quit, recusing himself after repeated accusations of bias against Musharraf.
- Peace talks began between the Pakistani government and the Pakistani Taliban.
- A mass grave has been discovered in Bosnia, containing the remains of 147 Bosnian Muslims, believed to have been killed in 1992 in the town of Kozarac.
- Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s former prime minister, has announced a bid for the presidency.
- Russia is re-investing in Afghanistan as the US pulls out.
- Russia calls on its prominent artists to publicly express support for the Crimean annexation, a move that many artists reject as a return to Soviet-era tactics.
- Increased signs of the annexation in Crimean daily life: the currency is now the ruble, and the Russian Investigative Committee has set up its new offices and legal procedures are in limbo.
- Russia staged military training exercises in the separatist Moldovan region of Trans-Dniester, considered a possible next target for annexation.
- CNN reports that a new US intelligence assessment believes that Russian incursion into eastern Ukraine is more likely than previously thought.
- According to Time, Putin’s aversion to texting presents a challenge to US spies.
- Japan is turning over more than 700 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium and 450 pounds of highly-enriched uranium to the US.
- The death toll in Venezuelan protests rose to 34.
- Tens of thousands of Chileans marched for constitutional reform.
- On the rise and fall of unusual Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant.
- How British satellite company Inmarsat narrowed the search for flight MH370.
- The White House prepares NSA reforms, which Shane Harris points out still contains wins for current NSA practices.
- Abu Ghaith, bin Laden’s son-in-law, was convicted of terrorism charges by a federal jury in New York City.
Photo: Raqqa province, Syria. An image from a militant website shows a group of fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has become entrenched in the province. Associated Press.
The rise of genocidal Buddhist racism against the Rohingya
The rise of genocidal Buddhist racism against the Rohingya, a minority community of nearly one million people in the western Burmese province of Rakhine (also known as Arakan), is an international humanitarian crisis. The military-ruled state has been relentless in its attempts to erase Rohingya ethnic identity, which was officially recognized as a distinct ethnic group in 1954 by the democratic government of Prime Minister U Nu. Indeed, in the past months of violent conflict, beginning in June 2012, the Rohingya have suffered over 90 percent of the total death toll and property destruction, including the devastation of entire villages and city neighborhoods. Following the initial eruption of violence in western Burma, several waves of killing, arson, and rampage have been directed at the Rohingya, backed by Burma’s security forces.
— Dr. Maung Zarni, Buddhist Nationalism in Burma
Food for thought: “See that guy over there with an almost identical religion? I wanna kill him because my God is all about love.”
from 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2013 | Foreign Policy
by Louise Arbour
Unsurprisingly, the “Sudan Problem” did not go away with the South’s secession in 2011. Civil war, driven by concentration of power and resources in the hands of a small elite, continues to plague the country, and threatens to lead to further disintegration. Divisions within the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), growing popular unrest, and a steady national economic meltdown also could send this country off the rails.
Sadly, 10 years ago, the situation was almost identical — only then Khartoum was fighting against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), representing the entire South, whereas now government coffers are drained by ongoing fighting against the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an alliance of major rebel groups from Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. The victims, as always, are the civilians caught in the middle. As it did in the South, the government has sought to use access to humanitarian aid as a bargaining chip, essentially using mass starvation as part of its military strategy.
The only lasting solution is a comprehensive one, bringing all of Sudan’s stakeholders together to reform how power is wielded in a large and diverse country. Over the long term, the status quo — incessant warfare, millions displaced, billions spent on aid — is intolerable for all parties. If it is to be resolved for good, the NCP and international players will need to offer much more than at any time in the past — the former a process of genuine all-inclusive dialogue, the latter economic and political incentives.
Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr
COMMENT | Why Mali is falling apart | CNN World
By COMFORT ERO
Over the last 20 years, Mali has mostly been a model of stability in a fragile region. Now it’s falling apart. Rebels control the north of the country and are depriving local people of their freedom. They’ve destroyed religious monuments, and many fear the region could become a new haven for terrorists, some of whom have abducted Western hostages in recent years. Mali’s neighbors and some in the international community, including France, are leaning toward the use of force as the right solution. But an immediate military intervention would be shortsighted, almost certainly drive the wedge even deeper between the northern and southern communities and further destabilize West Africa and the Sahel.
Comfort Ero is Africa Program Director at the International Crisis Group. The views expressed are the author’s own.
Photo: Anne Look/Wikimedia Commons
This innocent-looking house is believed to be the only Chinese home to survive the Rock Springs Massacre in 1885. At that time, more than 300 Chinese miners were living in 80 houses in Rock Springs, Wyoming, when a white mob went on a rampage, murdering and mutilating an unknown number of Chinese people (at least dozens, probably hundreds), torching 79 homes, throwing corpses into the fires and burning some people who could not escape alive.
This photo comes from a new online project called No Place For Your Kind (via Angry Asian Man), which aims to photograph and document contemporary locations where anti-Chinese violence took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Chinese in America. According to the site:
From 1870 to 1910 a violent anti-Chinese movement in this country instigated forced removals of entire Chinese communities, major riots against Chinese residents and even horrific massacres of Chinese immigrants. Some of these actions, such the riot in Rock Springs, Wyoming, were among the most violent events in American history, yet few people are aware of this part of our American culture.
Photographer Tim Greyhavens has spent more than five years researching and documenting the exact locations of many of these events, tracing the history of the past to the landscapes of today. Unlike many historical sites, there has been little recognition of the specific places where these events took place. For most sites there are no plaques or markers, no guidebook references – nothing at all to indicate what happened. Greyhavens has recorded these seemingly commonplace scenes and combined them with written descriptions of what took place there. The photographs and the text together are integral parts of the documentation for this project.
Medical Needs Increasing Among Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
On July 20 and July 21, there was a new surge as thousands of Syrians entered Lebanon. MSF teams were dispatched to the areas along the border and to the Bekaa valley, where many refugees are seeking sanctuary.
As the crisis in Syria continues to intensify, the humanitarian needs—both in Syria and in surrounding countries—are increasing significantly. Many people have been killed and wounded and tens of thousands have fled their homes, leaving behind everything they own. Medical and humanitarian assistance within Syria is extremely limited, and aid from international organizations, including MSF, has been severely restricted. In neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, MSF has therefore augmented its work with the growing numbers of Syrian refugees flowing across the borders.
Photo:An MSF nurse gives a vaccine to a young Syrian boy in northern Lebanon.
Lebanon 2012 © Nagham Awada/MSF