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Six actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved

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

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The political crisis in Iran deepened over December, as anti-government protests intensified and met with further brutal crackdowns by security forces. Student protests were held in universities across the country from 7 December, followed quickly by government-staged counter-demonstrations and stern warnings by senior officials against further protests. On 27 December, violent clashes broke out in Tehran and elsewhere in rallies marking the Shiite holy day of Ashura, with 8 killed when security forces opened fire on protestors.

In Yemen, heavy fighting between government forces and rebels continued in the northern region of Saada, fuelling fears of further civilian deaths and displacement. The growth of terrorist networks in the country was underscored late month as Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner by a Nigerian citizen on 25 December.

The situation also deteriorated in Nepal, as the Maoists called a three-day general strike from 20 December that paralysed business and infrastructure across much of the country and led to the largest street protests in Kathmandu since the Maoists quit the unity government in May. The UN condemned the excessive use of force by police against protesters. The Maoist leadership has since threatened to resume the strike indefinitely if a new unity government is not formed by 24 January, a demand Prime Minister Madhav Nepal firmly rejects.

In Nigeria, clashes between the Yan Kala Kato Islamic sect and police in Bauchi State left up to 70 dead in another deadly upsurge in violence in the north. The shooting of junta leader Dadis Camara in Guinea by one of his senior military aides on 3 December underscored the depth of divides within the military and the potential for further potentially violent unrest. In Madagascar, de facto leader Andry Rajoelina’s decision to boycott power-sharing talks dealt a further blow to prospects for a negotiated solution to the ongoing political standoff that has gripped the country since Rajoelina’s unconstitutional takeover in March 2009.

December 2009 TRENDS

Deteriorated Situations
Guinea, Iran, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Yemen

Unchanged Situations

Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Armenia/Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iraq, Israel-OPT, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Niger, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ug anda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe
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