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World Conflicts: No improvements

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Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in May 2009, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch, released today. 

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Somalia’s capital was rocked by intense fighting as an alliance of anti-government Islamist factions led by influential Islamist cleric Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys launched a large-scale offensive in and around Mogadishu. Close to 200 civilians were killed, hundreds wounded and over 46,000 displaced by heavy shelling into residential areas. The effects of severe drought have compounded fears for a further deterioration in security and humanitarian conditions in June.

Conditions for civilians in Pakistan also deteriorated considerably over May, as the army offensive against the Taliban continued in the north west. The total number of displaced has reportedly reached over 2.4 million since the operation’s launch in late April, prompting UN calls for “urgent and massive” humanitarian assistance on the ground.

Tensions between Chad and neighbouring Sudan escalated sharply, as an early month agreement to cease hostilities quickly unravelled following a fresh assault in Chad’s volatile east by Chadian rebels operating from bases across the border in Darfur. Retaliatory air strikes by Chadian forces on Sudanese soil have since prompted vehement accusations of military aggression between capitals and threats of further action. The situation in Nigeria also deteriorated, as the government launched a major ground, air and naval offensive against militia groups in the restive Niger Delta. Dozens of civilians have reportedly been killed and thousands displaced since mid-May, amid reports of government efforts to restrict humanitarian access.

In North Korea, Pyongyang’s 25 May announcement of the completion of an underground nuclear test prompted widespread condemnation over its brazen contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1718 and fears for the further escalation of regional tensions. The situations in Guatemala, Myanmar/Burma and Niger also saw significant deteriorations in May.

May 2009 TRENDS

Deteriorated Situations
Chad, Guatemala, Myanmar/Burma, North Korea, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan

Improved Situations  - NONE

Unchanged Situations
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia/Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chechnya, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yem en, Zimbabwe 

Conflict Risk Alert

Conflict Resolution Opportunity -None

1 June 2009

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