Thursday, January 6, 2005


CRISISWEBNEWS New CrisisWatch bulletin
When a natural disaster or military action occurs in the far corners of the world it reminds me of how little most of us know about our global neighbors.  The CrisisWatch Bulletin is a good resource for staying abreast of global developments.   Understanding a region can help you make decisions on issues from charitable giving to intercessory prayer to voting on issues affecting your nation's foreign policy.  plk
New CrisisWatch bulletin from the International Crisis Group


CrisisWatch No.17, 1 January 2005

All conflict related developments around the world in December 2004 were overshadowed by the devastating natural disaster of the 26 December Indian Ocean tsunami, with a death toll now estimated at over 150,000. The longer term implications of the tragedy for conflicts in the countries most severely hit are as yet unclear. In Indonesia's Aceh, much will depend on how the relief and reconstruction effort is handled: if done well, the central government stands to win major new support, but if poor coordination continues, or serious corruption takes place, the GAM independence movement will be the major beneficiary. In Sri Lanka, despite some reported attempts by the LTTE to politicise aid delivery, early signs are of cooperation between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, and a return to open conflict is seen as unthinkable in the immediately foreseeable future.

Elsewhere, conflict situations deteriorated in six countries in December 2004 according to January's CrisisWatch bulletin. Violence surged in Iraq as insurgents stepped up their efforts to derail the 30 January elections, and fighting between Maoists and the military escalated across Nepal with the approach of a 13 January government deadline for the Maoists to agree to peace talks. The situations in Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe also worsened in December.

In Sudan, the long-awaited signing on 31 December in Naivasha of a final peace accord between the government and Southern SPLA rebels was offset by deteriorating security in Darfur.

Three conflict situations showed improvement in December. Victor Yushchenko's victory in the 26 December re-run of Ukraine's presidential election brought a so-far peaceful conclusion to the month-long political crisis, though challenges remain ahead. Newly elected Afghan president Hamid Karzai appointed a new cabinet, in which the influence of warlords was significantly reduced. And Russia brokered an agreement to end the standoff in the Abkhazia region of Georgia over a disputed presidential election.

For January 2005, CrisisWatch identifies Kosovo as a Conflict Risk Alert, or situation at particular risk of further conflict in the coming month; no new Conflict Resolution Opportunities are identified for the immediate future.



Deteriorated Situations
Ecuador, Iraq, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe

Improved Situations
Afghanistan, Georgia, Ukraine

Unchanged Situations
Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), China (internal), Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Israel/Occupied Territories, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Maldives, Mauritania, Moldova, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nigeria, North Korea, Northern Ireland (UK), Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia & Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen


Conflict Risk Alert

Conflict Resolution Opportunity

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