Central African Republic: While the capital Bangui remains relatively calm, the security situation in the northwest of the country remains highly volatile with several clashes reported between ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka factions. An estimated 902,000 people are now internally displaced as a result of the ongoing violence - half of them in the capital, and over 246,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, the European Union has approved the six-month deployment of a joint contingent of up to 1,000 soldiers to support French and African Union forces. In a further political development, the mayor of Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza, was elected as the new interim president, following the resignation of President Michel Djotodia.
South Sudan: Clashes are ongoing between pro- and anti-government forces in the northeast of the country, with South Sudanese forces still fighting to regain control of key cities in the states of Jonglei and Upper Nile. Since the violence erupted in mid-December, an estimated 580,000 people have been displaced, 86,000 of whom have crossed into neighbouring countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia. Meanwhile, a final draft agreement on a cessation of hostilities was submitted to the warring parties. Although both sides have expressed commitment to a ceasefire in principle, it is still unclear whether they are planning to sign a truce and lay down their weapons.
Syria: Government forces continue to launch attacks on opposition-held areas of Aleppo, while the governorate is affected by infighting between an alliance of opposition groups and the Al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Along the northwestern border with Turkey, several attacks threaten to halt the vital supply of humanitarian aid. To date, 6.5 million Syrians are internally displaced across the country, and the total number of Syrians refugees in the region stands at 2.4 million. Meanwhile, the Government of Syria offered a prisoner exchange and a security plan aimed at stopping military actions in Aleppo ahead of the Geneva II peace talks scheduled for 22 January, to which the opposition Syrian National Coalition confirmed it would now participate.
Updated: 21/01/2014 Next Update: 28/01/2014