The year opened with a worsening of the ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Nigeria and Ukraine, each with potentially major regional implications. Violence escalated in Sudan, as well as in Lebanon's Tripoli and along its southern border with Israel, and a deadly clash between police and militants in the southern Philippines threatened to derail the peace process there. In South Asia, both Bangladesh and Nepal saw political tensions intensify.
General Situation during January 2015 Forecast until mid-March 2015
December saw a significant deterioration of the security situation – compared to the previous month – in nine countries or conflict situations in the world, including in South Asia (Pakistan and India), and East Africa (South Sudan and Kenya). There is a risk of increased violence in the coming month in Sudan, where major offensives are anticipated on the heels of a failure in the peace talks; in Sri Lanka, in the context of the 8 January elections; and in Haiti, where the current president could rule by decree unless parliament's mandate, due to expire on 12 January, is extended.
After a rainy season lull, South Sudan’s warring parties are preparing for major offensives with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) this week launching attacks on Bentiu, capital of oil-producing Unity state (see our recent Conflict Alert). Hardliners in the government and the SPLA-IO appear determined to settle the conflict through war.
The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria’s north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS.
Libye - L’OIM est préoccupée par l’insécurité croissante qui touche plus de 200 000 migrants qui vivent et travaillent à Tripoli, à Misurata et à Benghazi en Libye. Parmi eux, 7000 personnes sont particulièrement vulnérables et ont besoin d’une aide d’urgence pour être évacués.
D’après les autorités, près de 150 000 habitants (soit 31 000 familles) de Tripoli ont fui les combats qui font rage depuis deux mois dans la capitale.
IOM Libya is monitoring the growing insecurity of some 200,000 overseas migrants living and working in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi. They include some 7,000 individuals IOM categorizes as “vulnerable migrants” in urgent need of evacuation assistance.
Nearly 150,000 Tripoli residents made homeless by two months of ever-intensifying conflict – almost 31,000 families – have fled the city, according to the local authorities.
The fight for control of Libya between the Misrata-led Islamist-leaning coalition and the Zintan-led forces is escalating by the day. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in over six weeks of clashes and heavy artillery fire. The Misrata side emerged victorious in the battle over Tripoli’s international airport, taking control of the capital, and made advances around Benghazi, but the larger political divide remains unresolved.
“[I]f the dignity of the individual is upheld across Africa, then I believe Americans will be more free as well, because I believe that none of us are fully free when others in the human family remain shackled by poverty or disease or oppression. … Governments that respect the rights of their citizens and abide by the rule of law do better, grow faster, draw more investment than those who don’t.” – President Obama, Cape Town, South Africa, June 30, 2013
Increasing Israeli-Palestinian tensions culminated in Israel launching "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza in early July (see our latest report and commentary). The assault, which started as an aerial campaign and was later extended to include ground operations, reportedly killed more than 1,400 Palestinians throughout the month while 64 Israelis were killed in clashes inside the Gaza Strip and by Hamas rocket fire. Several attempts at reaching a ceasefire agreement failed in July.