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In this week’s PSR:  One year on in Kyrgyzstan; Burkina Faso mutiny; Somali political deal; Abyei updates; Zimbabwe voter fraud; Mexico peace caravan; Peru’s new president; Regional integration; Malaysian immigrants; Economic zone in N. Korea; Shangri-la in Singapore; Singapore anti-china protests; Croatia approved for EU; Greek bailouts; Russia/NATO exercises; Syrian refugees in Turkey; Bahraini doctors prosecuted; Iran’s naval expansion; Yemeni leaders in Saudi Arabia; Syrian upheaval; Afghanistan civilians; Indian corruption; Sri Lanka and Iran.

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PEACE & SECURITY REPORT
IPSI's Peace & Security Report (PSR) is a concise weekly e-publication intended to keep busy students, academics, advocates, and practitioners in the conflict management community briefed on pertinent global news, events, and trends.  Meticulously researched and written by IPSI, the PSR empowers us all to take a step back from our immediate deadlines each Friday and gain a greater understanding of the week's global events.


Featured Article

Amnesty International
   

kyrgyzstan

In June 2010, four days of violent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan left thousands injured, hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. While serious crimes were committed by members of both ethnic groups, the majority of the damage, injuries and deaths were suffered by ethnic Uzbeks.
 
The Kyrgyzstani authorities are obliged to establish the truth about what happened. They must provide justice for the thousands of victims of the serious crimes and human rights violations, including crimes against humanity.
 
However, one year on from the June violence, justice is no closer to being done. The failure to investigate and prosecute abuses fairly and effectively, the widespread use of torture in the security operations that followed and the repeated official endorsement of an ethnically biased version of events have compounded the sense of impunity among perpetrators and injustice among victims.
 Read Full Report >>

Africa
BURKINA FASO: Army mutiny extinguished
Soldiers loyal to the Burkina President Compaore extinguished a mutiny on June 4 in a military camp in Bobo Dioulasso, 200 miles from the capital Ouagadougou. The fighting killed seven people and injured 33. Among those killed was a 14 year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet. The mutineers were complaining about the delay in their pay. They also pillaged food stocks and shops in the city. 93 soldiers have since been arrested in connection with the mutiny. Comment: The Compaore government has been facing a series of protests from soldiers, teachers, and students since February over high food prices, unemployment, and rising costs. (AFP, Associated Press, Reuters)

SOMALIA: Somali leaders reach political deal
Rival Somali leaders from the ruling government reached a deal on Thursday in Kampala to defer elections for the President, Speaker, and his deputies for 12 months; the fragile UN-backed government's term was set to expire in August this year. Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden will remain in office. The deal, however, seeks the appointment of a new Prime Minister within 30 days. The news of the impending sacking of current Prime Minister Farmajo sparked large-scale protests in Mogadishu. Comment: The deal was reached after a prolonged political stalemate, which brought the government to a halt. The international community has been exerting increasing pressure on the leaders for a breakthrough. (Associated Press, BBC, UN News Center)

SUDAN: UN asks Sudan to withdraw troops from Abyei
The UN Security Council released a statement on June 3 calling on Sudan to withdraw its troops from the disputed region of Abyei. The Security Council objected to Sudan's military control of Abyei which has displaced thousands in recent weeks and led to increased violence and looting; the statement was backed by China, Russia, and three African nations. The UN also asked parties to show restraint to avoid an escalation of violence. Comment: Sudanese President Bashir has previously rejected calls from the U.S. and Europe to remove troops from Abyei. Southern Sudan is set to gain independence on July 9 and pressure is now mounting on Southern Sudan to respond to the North's aggression. (AFP, AllAfrica, Washington Post)

ZIMBABWE: Report states Zimbabwe's voters list erroneous
According to the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), Zimbabwe's electoral list has 2.6 million "fictitious" voters. There are 132,540 persons over the age of 90 on the list, including 41,000 above the age of 100 even though the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 49. Given the age structure of Zimbabwe, the number of registered voters should be an estimated 3.2 million as opposed to the 5.8 million on the list. The SAIRR report is based on a digital copy of the October 2010 electoral roll, which is yet to be made public. Comment: President Mugabe has called for elections this year. The 2008 election was marred by violence and allegations of rigging, although a tumultuous power-sharing government was formed in 2009 under the Unity deal, which made Mugabe's rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, the Prime Minister. (AllAfrica, BBC, Bloomberg)


Americas
MEXICO: Cross-country caravan of peace begins week-long journey
On Saturday, poet turned activist, Javier Sicilia, along with 500 demonstrators, began a week long, 1,800 mile, caravan of peace that will journey across the country. The caravan's planned route includes some of the areas most affected by drug-related violence, including Ciudad Juarez, where 3,100 died in 2010.  At Saturday's rally in Mexico City, Sicilia stated that the protest is "against the ways in which this country has been run, the mistaken ways that serve personal interests and do not give citizens a political life."  Sicilia will take his message to El Paso, Texas on Saturday where he is expected to speak at a U.S. rally supporting the citizens' protest. Comment: Sicilia emerged as the face of the protest movement after his son was killed in March, along with six others, by a drug gang in the town of Cuernavaca. The murders sparked large protests in cities nationwide because the victims were allegedly not involved in the drug trade. Since President Felipe Calderón began his crackdown on the drug trade in 2006, over 38,000 people have been killed, including most recently, 13 on Wednesday at a drug treatment center.  (El Paso Times, AFP, Christian Science Monitor, Reuters, AP)

PERU: Humala claims victory in presidential run-off election
The leftist Presidential candidate, Ollanta Humala declared victory Sunday over the conservative Keiko Fujimori, daughter of Alberto Fujimori, the ex-president who was jailed over human rights abuses and corruption.  President-elect Humala has pledged to increase the role of the state in the economy, redistribute Peru's sizeable mineral wealth, and export less natural gas. Humala claimed 70 percent of the vote in four poor Andean states, including Puno, where Aymara Indians halted a nearly month-long protest over a planned Canadian mine in the region to allow citizens to vote. Comment: Humala, a former army officer, was accused of human rights abuses during a counterinsurgency against the Shining Path rebels in the 1990s; a claim he denies. (BBC, Washington Post, Miami Herald)

REGIONAL: Chavez meets with Correa to discuss further integration
On Tuesday, Venezuelan President Chavez met with Ecuadorian President Correa to renew bilateral agreements and projects, as well as call for increased Latin American integration. Chavez stressed the importance of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the goal of integrating Latin American into a "zone of peace and democracy" that is able to "resist further invasion or processes of destabilization by powerful foreign players." The two leaders discussed their country's issues relating to energy, health, education, security, and defense. Comment:  On Monday, Chavez met with Brazilian President Roussef in their first bilateral meeting since Roussef took office, pledging to maintain a high level of economic cooperation. The establishment of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on July 5 at a Caracas summit, will further political and economic integration in the region. The organization hopes to counter the OAS and the influence of the U.S. in the region. (El Universal, El Herald, El Universo, Radio Cadena Agramonte, Guardian)

 

Researched/Written by  Leah Cullins


East Asia
MALAYSIA: Government announces amnesty plan for illegal immigrants 
The Malaysian government will implement an amnesty scheme in July for roughly two million illegal immigrants who currently work in the country. Under the proposed plan, illegal workers will be allowed to register with the government to work for one year and would have the option to renew for up to five years. Malaysia hopes this new deal will combat human trafficking into the country, alleviate demands on their detention centers, and repair their negative image of brutality towards illegal migrants. Comment: Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's Home Affairs Minister, said the scheme would ensure that undocumented workers' skills would be "channeled in the right directions" and that they would not be "abused by human traffickers". James Nayagam, from Malaysia's Human Rights Commission, described the plan as a "good move," but also urged the government to reconsider the costly expense of 800 ringit, or $250, migrants would be responsible for paying in order to register. (Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Express, The Economic Times, NY TimesAFP)

NORTH KOREA: New experimental economic zone opened
Approximately 1000 people met on Wednesday for the opening of the joint North Korean-Chinese economic experimental zone. Following Kim Jong-Il's most recent visit to China, North Korea is prepared to experiment with Chinese-style economic reforms on the North Korean islands of Hwanggumpyong and Wihwa. The Korean Herald and YonHap News indicate plans to develop Hwanggumpyong into a tourist site and part of a future Choson-Sino industrial belt. Comment: North Korea hopes to build a "strong and powerful nation" (Kangsong Taeguk) by 2012, the centennial of the late founder Kim Il-sung; however, previous attempts to establish flourishing economic zones along its northern borders in Rason, in 1991, and Sinuiju, in 2002, both failed to materialize due to corruption or international sanctions. (YonHapNews, AFP, JoongangIlbo, Chosun Ilbo, Korean Herald

SINGAPORE: 10th Shangri-la dialogue ends
Defense ministers, diplomats and distinguished business leaders met in Singapore this weekend for the International Institute for Security Studies 10th Asian Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-la Dialogue. Issues discussed at the summit included the "modernization of the Chinese Military," cyber security, North Korea, the South China Sea disputes, and U.S.-Chinese relations in Asia. Singapore's acting Prime Minister described the event as "very successful" while all of the participants emphasized the importance of dialogue as a means of peacefully resolving issues and avoiding conflict.  Comment: Since its inception in 2002 the Shangri-la Dialogue, named after a hotel in Singapore where the event is held, has become a significant venue that allows for informal multilateral dialogue regarding security in Asia. The outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and China's Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, were focal points at the conference, both commenting on their respective nation's positions on a wide variety of regional issues. (Inquirer, Bernama, TodayOnline, AP,  Joongangdaily)

VIETNAM: Social media used to organize anti-China demonstration
On Sunday, approximately 300 people gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to protest recent Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. A student participant remarked that the group was demonstrating "because we feel humiliated," while an older participant said that he hoped the government would do more to "protect national sovereignty." The demonstration coincided with Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh's address at the 10th Asian Security Summit in Singapore, regarding incidents between Vietnamese and Chinese ships in the South China Sea. Comment: Many young participants in Sunday's demonstrations answered calls from social media outlets that included blogs, text messages and Facebook, which are usually blocked in Vietnam. Political activism of this nature is typically rare in Vietnam, although in 2007, Chinese claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea incited a similar response from the public. (IISS, SydneyMorningHerald, ABS,BloombergGlobalTimes
  

Researched/Written by  Matthew McGrath 


Europe & Central Asia
CROATIA: Country approved for EU entry by mid-2013
The EU Commission today approved Croatia for entry into the 27-member bloc and called for an official accession date of July 1, 2013. On Monday, EU-Croatia negotiations on fisheries were completed, closing the 31st out of the EU's 35 accession negotiation chapters and setting Croatia on track to become the union's 28th member. The remaining four negotiation chapters include tough judicial and competition issues, including Croatia's need to deal more effectively with high-level corruption and to harmonize its privatization of state-owned shipyards with EU rules.  Comment: Croatia has worked for more than a decade to negotiate entry to the EU in order to open its economy and boost growth. The accession of Croatia would represent a positive step in the stabilization and growth of the Balkans, as well as provide encouragement to other prospective members in the region such as Serbia and Bosnia. (BBCCroatian TimesBloombergWSJ)

GREECE: Public protests austerity as government seeks new EU-IMF bailout
According to EU officials, negotiations for a second international bailout of Greece, worth 80 to 100 billion euros, will be ready in the next two weeks. Greece agreed to a 110 billion euro rescue with the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year, with the expectation the country would resume borrowing commercially in 2012; however, EU officials are now struggling to find a new solution for Greece's financing needs for the next three years. If approved, the new package would require Greece to impose even more austerity and faster privatization of state assets to cut its budget deficit and avoid triggering a default on its 340 billion euro debt. Prime Minister George Papandreou is struggling to win support from his party and the public for a new wave of austerity measures, and on Sunday, 80,000 protesters converged in front of Athens' parliament to denounce the new proposal, demanding that the measures be put to popular vote. Comment: Unprecedented spending cuts have increased taxes, frozen wages, and decreased pensions and many other social benefits in Greece; official figures released Wednesday showed that the country's unemployment rate is over 16 percent. As European leaders move toward a second bailout for Greece, some economists warn that a new rescue would simply delay the country's problems and could strain Europe's monetary union. (Athens NewsBBCGuardianReutersBusiness week)

RUSSIA/POLAND: NATO and Russia conduct first ever joint exercises
NATO and Russia conducted their first joint counter-terrorism exercise on Tuesday. Polish and Russian fighter aircraft took part in operation "Vigilant Skies 2011," which simulated an attack by a hijacked civilian aircraft over northern Poland, similar to the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. The exercises taking place from June 6-10 are part of the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI), and are designed to bolster cooperation and understanding between the participating countries, increase counter-terrorism capabilities, and bring transparency and predictability to the situation in the air. Comment: NATO-Russia ties froze in 2008 after Russia's war with Georgia, but relations have since improved. Recently, negotiations on missile defense cooperation created little tangible progress and increased tensions between NATO and Russia. Russian President Medvedev warned that failure to reach an agreement could force Russia to build up its arsenal leading to a new arms race. (Warsaw Business JournalReutersDeutsche WelleRIA Novosti)

TURKEY: Thousands fleeing Syria into Turkey amid growing violence
Over 2,000 Syrian refugees fled across the northern border into Turkey over the past few days in an attempt to escape growing violence in their country. Many fled the town of Jisr al-Shughour ahead of a military assault today after dozens of soldiers were reportedly killed there. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said Turkey was monitoring the situation, and criticized Damascus for committing "atrocities" against its civilians. Erdogan also stated that Turkey would not close its borders and is prepared to deal with a massive influx of refugees.  Comment: Ankara enjoys good relations with Syrian President al-Assad, but in recent weeks increased its pressure on the Syrian leader to cease violent crackdowns on protesters and to initiate a peaceful transition. Turkey sent an envoy to Damascus in April to urge al-Assad to take steps toward political and economic reforms, offering Turkish assistance and expertise. Syrian opposition groups gathered in the Turkish city of Antalya last week to discuss a transition process for Syria. (Hurriyet Daily NewsRIA NovostiBBCWashington TimesAFP)

Researched/Written by  Mark Simeone


Middle East & North Africa
BAHRAIN: Doctors and nurses face trial for their roles in protests
On Monday, a military court postponed the trial of 48 Salmaniya Medical Complex employees who face charges of participating in efforts to overthrow the Bahraini regime during the uprising in February and March.  The defendants had not been granted access to their lawyers, and a new court date was set for June 13.  During the protests, the predominantly Shia Salmaniya employees treated hundreds of Shia protesters who were wounded during clashes with the mostly Sunni government security forces. Comment: With help from the Peninsula Shield, a unified Gulf Cooperation Council military force, the Bahraini government has been able to crackdown on protesters and arrest dozens of activists, journalist, and national athletes.  In February, two of Bahrain's top soccer players, Alaa Hubail and Sayed Mohammed Adnan, were arrested after a violent protest that "nearly brought down Bahrain's Al Khalifa royal family."  Adnan and Hubail were fired from their clubs, and are both banned from playing on the national team. (Aljazeera, CNN, AFP, Reuters)

IRAN: Navy expands its missions to the Red Sea
On Tuesday, the Iranian Navy reportedly deployed submarines to the Red Sea to "collect information and identify other countries' combat vessels."  Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Commander of Iran's Navy, announced last March that the Iranian Navy plans to expand its operations beyond the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, and the Gulf of Aden. The motivation behind this expansion is to "further boost" Iran's military power.  Sayyari explained that in order to become the "superior power in the region," the Iranian military should prove its capability inside and outside the region.  Comment: On Wednesday, a spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. and Israel of having various plots to push the regional countries into "military and internal conflicts," and that they are "striving to bring the Islamic Republic into a military conflict in the region." Iran has expanded its naval clout, and announced that if pushed to give up the "civilian nuclear technology," it will close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Hormuz is a vital oil-shipping maritime route through which the majority of Saudi and Iraqi exports pass. (Asharqalawsat, Farsnews, Irib, Jamestown, Farsnews)

SAUDI ARABIA: Kingdom treats injured Yemeni leaders 
After the bombing of the presidential mosque in Sana'a during last Friday's prayer, the President of Yemen and six other senior government officials were transported to Saudi Arabia to receive treatment for severe injuries.  President Saleh survived the assassination attempt with significantly less injuries than the Prime Minister, two Deputy Prime Ministers, Head of Consultative Council, Head of the Parliament, and the Governor of Sana'a.  Saudi Arabia declared it would accept any wounded Yemeni requiring treatment that could not be provided in Yemen.  Yemen's armed forces and tribal rebels have been fighting on and off for the last two weeks leaving dozens dead and many wounded.  Comment:  In an attempt to stabilize the region, Saudi Arabia has pledged generous assistance to a number of neighboring Arab countries.  Egypt was promised $4 billion in loans and grants, and Jordan received a $400 million grant for economic development last week.  On Wednesday, King Abdullah Al Saud ordered three million barrels of crude oil as a gift to Yemen. Yemen, the region's poorest country, has been losing between $300-400 million per month after armed tribesmen attacked one of their key oil pipelines in April. (BBC, AFP, Bloomberg, Ahram, CNN)

SYRIA: Uncertainty in Jisr al-Shughour provides opportunities for military and refugees
Since Wednesday, hundreds of Syrians have been crossing the border to Turkey to escape a "military crackdown."  There are conflicting reports on what is really happening in the Idlib governate, where the majority of al-Shughour residents have evacuated in fear of the thousands of Special Forces troops and a multitude of tanks deployed by the Syrian military. The Syrian government claims the military operation as a reaction to the death of 120 soldiers who were allegedly killed by an "armed gang" over the weekend. Other reports from refugees who have escaped, claim the death of the soldiers to be the result of an internal conflict between the military and its members who have defected.  The accuracy of the information from both sides of the conflict cannot be verified because of the government ban on foreign media. Comment: Foreign pressure on the Syrian regime continues to grow as the number of casualties and military maneuvers rise.  In addition to a "western" bid in the UN to pressure Syria to allow immediate access to international human rights monitors and other humanitarian agencies, there are efforts to bring Syria before the Security Council for "failure to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency."  (UPI, DP, Aljazeera, BBC, Alarabiya, CSmonitor)

Researched/Written by Ibrahim Al-Hajjri


South Asia
AFGHANISTAN: Calls to decrease civilian casualties
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council called for greater civilian security in Afghanistan in an attempt to lower the number of civilian casualties. Chairman of the Security Council's Working Group on Children in Armed Conflict, Peter Wittig, noted that it is imperative to investigate how these attacks have affected children in the war-torn country. General Josef Blotz, spokesperson for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), noted on Monday that the forces were "doing [their] best to curb civilian deaths." Comment: NATO representatives also reassured the Afghan National Security Council on Monday that NATO forces would not conduct raids in civilian areas. According to UN reports, in 2010 Afghanistan experienced a 15 percent increase in civilian casualties from 2009, resulting in over 2,700 deaths. (Bakhtar News Agency, Outlook Afghanistan, UN News Centre)

INDIA: Activist protests government corruption
Indian social activist, Anna Hazare, participated in a day-long fast on Wednesday to protest rampant corruption by the Indian government and to show support for yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, who has been fasting for six days in protest of government graft. Hazare, a follower of Gandhi, was joined on Saturday by thousands of protesters demanding change; the crowd was met with violence from local government authorities and led to the arrest of many protesters. Comment: State corruption, which most recently includes the government run 2G scam and contracts for the Commonwealth Games, has been met by months of protests both from Hazare and the popular guru, Baba Ramdev. However, Ramdev has received government backlash for his outspoken and sometimes aggressive comments and faced new criticism Wednesday for statements calling for an army to rise up against the Indian government. Ramdev's initial protests garnered him popular support; however, Wednesday's remarks threaten to delegitimize the anti-graft movement. (DNA India, The Guardian, NDTV, Reuters India, The Times of India)

SRI LANKA: Greater cooperation with Iran
On Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asian and Oceanic Affairs, Mohammad Ali Fathollahi, met with Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa to discuss expansion of bilateral cooperation. Fathollahi also met with the ministers of economic affairs, foreign affairs, trade, and development. Monday's meeting further expands ties between the two countries and follows a May meeting in which ministers from both agreed to diversify trade. Comment: Moves towards greater cooperation come as Iran and Sri Lanka held discussions last month on the expansion of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery. Iran has proposed to finance 70 percent of the expansion costs, which would enable the refinery to double current production to over 100,000 barrels a day. (Colombo Page, Daily Mirror, FARS News Agency, Press TV, The Island)

Researched/Written by  Kamila A. Badat


June 10, 2011
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In This Issue
Featured Article
Africa
Americas
East Asia
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & N. Africa
South Asia



IPSI Symposiums 
Dr. Joyce Neu 

  Meet IPSI's Faculty:

   Dr. Joyce Neu, Founder and Senior Associate at Facilitating Peacewill lecture on gender in international mediation / negotiation at the 2011 Bologna Symposium >> 

  

See the full list of invited faculty >> 

 

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Dr. I. William Zartman 
Dr. P. Terrence Hopmann 
Alexander Little 
Nadim Salti
Pamela Aall 
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah
Betty Bigombe 
Jan Eliasson
Gareth Evans 
Dr. Ted Robert Gurr
Amb. Jacques Paul Klein
Peter Kyle 
Dr. Jean Paul Lederach
Jeffrey Mapendere
John Marks 
Susan Collin Marks 
Dr. Joyce Neu

Dr. Valerie Rosoux 
William Stuebner 
Dr. Ruth Wedgwood

Dr. Craig Zelizer

 

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