Skip to content or view screen version

Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees, November 2009

John O | 02.12.2009 10:10 | Repression | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | World

Three actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in November 2009, according to the International Crisis Group.

Deteriorated Situations: DR Congo, Venezuela, Yemen

DR Congo, Security seriously deteriorated in northwest province of Equateur, following eruption of inter-tribal violence over farming and fishing rights 29 Oct: at least 100 civilians and 26 police reported killed by mid-Nov and tens of thousands displaced internally and to Republic of Congo. UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy 2 Nov announced MONUC had suspended cooperation with Congolese army's 213th brigade, involved in targeted killing of 62 civilians over May-Sept during anti-FDLR operation Kimia II. MONUC command 11 Nov stressed no intention to broaden suspension. Human Rights Watch in 2 Nov report documented killing of hundreds of civilians by Congolese troops since March; UN Panel of Experts report to UNSC, leaked 25 Nov, stated operation had failed to dislodge FDLR, exacerbated humanitarian crisis; Reports emerged UN preparing MONUC exit strategy and President Kabila pressing for a 2010 withdrawal ahead of 2011 presidential elections. UN announced some 12,000 unregistered refugees, thought to be Congolese, arrived in N Kivu from Rwanda;

Venezuela and Colombia, Tensions with Colombia increased significantly as President Chávez stepped up aggressive rhetoric following Bogotá's controversial 4 Nov military base deal with U.S. Chávez 9 Nov said U.S. or Colombian attack would trigger "100-year war", urged military and population to "prepare for war". After claiming 11 bodies found in Venezuelan border region in Oct were part of Colombian "paramilitary infiltration plan", Caracas 5 Nov deployed 15,000 border troops to combat drug-trafficking and strengthen security. Colombia in response 13 Nov protested to UNSC, lodged complaint with WTO over Venezuela's partial blocking of trade across border. Venezuelan military 19 Nov blew up 2 cross-border bridges.

Yemen, Saudi forces 4 Nov launched ongoing offensive against Houthi-led rebels in Saada province following rebels' 3 Nov cross-border incursion in Jabal Dukhan area (see Saudi Arabia). Saudi authorities 8 Nov reported 4 Saudi civilians, 3 soldiers killed recapturing Jabal Dukhan; 3 further soldiers reported dead 22 Nov. Rebels 27 Nov said 9 Saudi soldiers captured. Saudis also claimed tens of rebels killed, over 200 captured. Despite initial denials of widespread reports that Saudi airstrikes and shelling hitting Yemeni territory, Saudi officials mid-month said strikes enforcing 10km buffer zone inside Yemen. Saudi navy 10 Nov imposed coastal blockade; forces thwarted rebel attack on Midi port 22 Nov. Yemeni forces reported killing 3 rebel commanders 18 Nov, repelling rebel attacks on Saada city 20, 28 Nov. UNHCR 10 Nov said total displaced by conflict now over 175,000. 3 protesters, 2 soldiers killed in 25 Nov clash at Southern pro-secession rally in Ataq, Shabwa province; pro-secession protesters blocked Sanaa-Aden road 26-27 Nov. Large-scale security crackdown in Aden prevented demonstrations on 30 anniversary of South Yemen independence from Britain.

Improved Situations ~ None

Unchanged Situations
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Armenia/Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), Colombia, Côte d‚Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel-Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe

December 2009 Outlook

Conflict Risk Alert ~ None

Conflict Resolution Opportunity ~ None

CrisisWatch N°76, 1 December 2009

End of Bulletin:

Source for this Message:
International Crisis Group

John O
- e-mail:
- Homepage: