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Global Overview MARCH 2018
On Monday 16 October 2017 the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights And Democracy in the World in 2016.
2016 was a challenging year for human rights and democracy, with a shrinking space for civil society and complex humanitarian and political crises emerging. In this context, the European Union showed leadership and remained strongly committed to promote and protect human rights and democracy across the world.
Syria: Fierce fighting between opposition groups has led to further displacement in Deir-ez-Zor while a truce between the Government and the opposition is expected to see the Old City of Homs handed over to the Government after its recent campaign to retake it.
Syria: The security situation had deteriorated with escalating violence in the West of the country resulting in population displacement and hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Large numbers of newly displaced are heading to the calmer regions of Idleb governorate, which hosts over 500,000 IDPs. In the East, Iraqi helicopters hit an opposition convoy in the first strike claimed by Iraq inside Syria since the conflict began.
Snapshot 16–23 April
Central African Republic: Renewed clashes between anti-balaka and Seleka fighters occurred in several locations in central, northern, and southwestern provinces. MISCA soldiers are being redeployed to cover areas previously secured by the Chadian contingent. A Christian religious leader was killed and four were abducted in two northern towns, while 30 Christian civilians were reportedly killed in a central town.
Syria: Violence is intensifying in Damascus, with increased attacks from both the Government and the opposition. In Aleppo, fighting between Syrian troops and opposition fighters is causing further casualties. In the east, infighting between rival opposition factions has led to a reinforcement of Iraqi troops’ positions on the Iraqi side of the border. To date, over nine million people are in need of assistance, and more than 2.6 million have fled the country. In early April, humanitarian assistance was allowed in besieged areas in Aleppo for the first time since June.
Syria: Violence continues in and around Damascus, with government shelling and retaliation attacks from opposition fighters. Armed confrontations are also reported in the northwest, near the Syria–Turkey border, including in Lattakia where heavy fighting has continued for two weeks. To date, over nine million people are in need of assistance, and more than 2.6 million have fled the country. In late March, successful negotiations allowed food distribution to four million people. This was the first dispatch to all provinces for six months.
Syria: Violence continues with government forces shelling areas recently gained by opposition fighters in Lattakia province, along the western Turkish border. In the northeast, aid convoys have crossed from Turkey, enabling relief agencies to deliver assistance to communities in need at the border area. In a further political development, the Turkish government stated its readiness to launch cross-border military operations in Syria if its national security was threatened.
Syria: Tensions continue to run high across the country, with Government forces retaking control of a key rebel supply route in the southwest, and insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) moving eastward after months of infighting between rival opposition groups in the northwest. Over nine million people have been uprooted from their home since the start of the crisis three years ago, and the international community continues to push for humanitarian access in conflict-affected areas, notably in the northeast of the country.