THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid1 , and in particular Article 2, Article 4 and Article 15(2) and (3) thereof,
Having regard to Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ('Overseas Association Decision')2 , and in particular Article 79 thereof,
Snapshot 28 January – 04 February
Snapshot 21 – 28 January
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.
South Sudan: Ethnic violence which erupted in mid-December continues, with heavy fighting reported in the states of Jonglei and Unity, and sporadic clashes reported in Upper Nile and Central Equatoria. While numbers cannot be verified due to limited access, thousands of people have been killed or injured and reports indicate that civilians are being targeted in attacks, forcing an estimated 400,000 to flee, mostly internally.
South Sudan: Ethnic violence which erupted in mid-December in the capital Juba has now spread northwards and is ongoing in several parts of the country. Three weeks of fighting have left at least 1,000 people dead and displaced over 200,000. As government troops advanced on rebel-held cities in the northeast, peace talks between the Government of South Sudan and a delegation representing former Vice-President Machar, have started in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, discussions between Khartoum and Juba regarding the protection of the oil fields in southern South Sudan are also underway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Snapshot 16-23 September
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.
Snapshot 02 – 09 September
In Syria, intensive fighting continued in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus and Homs. Intensive clashes which ignited at the start of the month between Government and opposition groups in the governorate of Lattakia appeared however to have ceased. At the start of the week, the US warned that a military strike against Syria was imminent, following the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus on 21 August. By the end of the week, President Obama indicated that he would seek congressional approval of the Congress before undertaking such an action.
In Syria, fighting continued in Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Dar’a, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idleb, Rural Damascus and Quneitra. A large-scale chemical weapons attack in Ghouta killed hundreds of people, according to opposition groups that blamed the Government on 21 August. After some delay, Damascus allowed UN inspectors to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack while denying being behind the assault. Meanwhile, over 1.9 million Syrians have been registered with UNHCR or are awaiting registration in neighboring countries.
Snapshot 12 – 19 August
In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.
In Syria, large-scale fighting between opposition and Government forces has been reported across Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Aleppo, and especially Lattakia and Damascus governorates. Increasing strife between combatants of the FSA and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fighters continue to also be reported, especially around Aleppo and its countryside. In addition, as clashes increased between Kurdish armed groups and fighters of the ISIS, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan openly floated the idea of staging an intervention in Syria to support fellow Kurds.
In Syria, Government forces are advancing in Homs and expected to retake opposition-held districts in the short-term, while operations have been ongoing in other major cities, including Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, infighting within opposition forces is spreading between various armed groups. Clashes are continuously reported between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh and Ar-Raqqa governorates.