The situation in Syria continues to revolve around insurgents and Government troops bitterly fighting for the control of the main accesses to the capital Damascus. Meanwhile, the conflict has also intensified around other urban centres such as Aleppo, Homs, Deir-ez-Zor and Idleb. As of 7 April, the overall number of Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries continued to rise, reaching over 1.25 million people, according to the UNHCR.
In Mali, concerns regarding the ability of regional African troops to assume France’s armed intervention resurfaced, as the latter reiterated its intention to start withdrawing its military at the end of the month. A UN peacekeeping force is being assembled to fill the gap and South Africa has already committed to an intervention. Following the high profile attack and infiltration of Timbuktu by the Islamists, the risk that the rebels will definitely switch to mostly terrorist attacks to harass the coalition forces is high.
In the Central African Republic, Michael Djotodia who claimed the Presidency after the coup that ousted Francois Bozizé agreed - under the pressure of the international community - to hold elections within 18 months including the appointment of an interim leader in the meantime.