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17 Dec 2013 description

In Syria, government military aircraft targeted rebel-held districts in the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 15 people according to opposition activists. In parallel, Damascus announced that it had retaken control of the key Damascus – Homs supply highway after gaining ground in the battle for the strategic Qalamoun region. London and Washington decided to suspend all non-lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition fearing that military equipment may fall under the control of Islamic radical groups.

10 Dec 2013 description

Snapshot 3 - 10 December

In Syria, the conflict has been going on for over 1,000 days, and to date, the war has displaced 6.5 million people internally and forced 2.3 million to cross into neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, Washington indicated that it has been in talks with Islamist opposition factions non-linked to Al-Qaeda, in order to push for a negotiated settlement to the crisis.

05 Dec 2013 description

JOHANNESBURG, 5 December 2013 (IRIN) - A protracted drought followed by the onset of the rainy season in southern Angola has triggered a sharp increase in cholera cases, mainly concentrated in Cunene province, where over 1,000 infections and 48 deaths were recorded during a two-week period in November, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.

03 Dec 2013 description

In Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an estimated 126,000 people have died during the conflict, more than a third of them civilians. Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran, which support opposing sides within the crisis, jointly called for a ceasefire before the beginning of the peace talks, set for 22 January in Geneva.

26 Nov 2013 description

In Syria, government forces fully control the town of Qara after almost a week of heavy fighting which caused over 15,000 Syrian refugees to cross into Lebanon. Meanwhile, the UN stated that it has brokered an agreement allowing for the Government of Syria and opposition negotiators to meet for peace talks in Geneva on January 22. The opposition reaffirmed the conditions of its participation: the release of prisoners, humanitarian assistance for besieged towns, and the exclusion of President Assad from the new transitional government.

12 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 5 – 12 November

In Syria, the opposition agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva under the condition that President al-Assad is excluded from any transitional government, which constitutes a major obstacle to the initiation of the process as the Government stated it will not enter discussion if this demand is upheld. The peace dialogue has been repeatedly postponed and will not go ahead as planned in November. To date, the overall number of Syrian refugees is over 2.2 million and the number of people in need in the country stands at 9.3 million.

05 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 29 October – 5 November

In Syria, the opposition remains divided over their participation to proposed peace talks in Geneva, with a decision being expected by 9 November. In Damascus, the Government repeated that it will not enter discussions if President al-Assad is forced to resign. While the overall number of Syrian refugees went over 2.2 million, revised estimates indicated that the number of people in need in Syria has increased from 6.8 million in April to 9.3 million in late October. An estimated 6.5 million are internally displaced.

29 Oct 2013 description

In Syria, fighting has intensified in October with the Government gaining control of strategic areas around Damascus and south of Aleppo. Meanwhile, while the number of Syrian refugees has reached almost 2.2 million people, parties to the conflict and international actors are increasingly focused on the Geneva II conference scheduled to take place in November after having been postponed several times.

24 Oct 2013 description
  • Zambia, Angola cut GDP forecast because of drought

  • Despite resource wealth, agriculture remain big employer

  • Normal rains expected for 2013/14 season - famine network

By Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Shrikesh Laxmidas

JOHANNESBURG/LUANDA Oct 24 (Reuters) - Spells of drought in southern African this year have hit agricultural output and hurt economic growth in countries such as Zambia and Angola, underscoring the lingering importance of farming to the resource-rich region's prosperity.

22 Oct 2013 description
report The Guardian

Government accused of playing down the crisis, which has affected 1.8 million people, to protect its economic reputation.

The Angolan government has been accused of being in denial over a drought that has affected 1.8 million people because the crisis threatens to tarnish the country's image as a booming economy.

22 Oct 2013 description

Snapshot 15 – 22 October

In Syria, conflict is of high intensity in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb, and Homs, and Damascus city has repeatedly been under fire from opposition mortar rounds. Clashes between rival opposition groups have spread, culminating in a bloody battle over the control of some northern Aleppo neighbourhoods. While Government forces have made gains in Rural Damascus, the opposition has won ground in Dar’a, with both sides renewing efforts to gain a firm upper hand before the proposed Geneva II peace talks in November.

15 Oct 2013 description

Snapshot 08 – 15 October

In Syria, heavy fighting is ongoing in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb and Homs, with government forces making gains in Rural Damascus while the opposition has won ground in Dar’a. Despite the call of al-Qaeda’s leader for opposition fighters to unite, inter-group fighting has escalated in Aleppo over control for neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Council announced that it did not intend to participate in the proposed Geneva II peace talks.

08 Oct 2013 description

In Syria, heavy fighting along the border with Jordan in the southern province of Dar’a is on-going. After a week-long battle in Aleppo, the Government army regained control of the strategic town of Khanasser which is located on a key supply route between central Syria and Aleppo. Meanwhile, ground fighting is ongoing across Syria, with clashes extending to the previously relatively stable governorate of Tartous.

30 Sep 2013 description

In Syria, heavy fighting continues between the Government and opposition groups as well as infighting within the opposition. Against this background, the UN Security Council endorsed the Russia-US agreement on the elimination of Syria’s chemical stockpile. There are now over 2.1 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. As of 27 September, heavy shelling is preventing an estimated 70,000 Syrian refugees from crossing into Jordan, leading them to face severe food insecurity as they remain stranded on the border.

21 Sep 2013 description
report Al Jazeera

International response to the pleas for aid aimed at Namibia's drought-stricken communities have fallen short

The people most affected by Namibia's drought are in the northern rural areas, which are also the most impoverished.

Read the full report

16 Sep 2013 description

Snapshot 09 – 16 September

In Syria, heavy fighting continues, with air-strikes on opposition controlled areas in Damascus and on-going offensives in Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Idleb, Homs and Al-Hasakeh. Meanwhile, after three days of talks in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached an agreement on a disarmament proposal under which Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons are to be eliminated by mid-2014. The Syrian Minister for Information has indicated that Syria will abide by the terms set out in the plan.

10 Sep 2013 description

JOHANNESBURG, 10 September 2013 (IRIN) - Many Angolan refugees living in South Africa have been left undocumented after a deadline for the cessation of their refugee status elapsed before they were able to secure immigration permits or exemption decisions.