CrisisWatch N°87, 1 November 2010

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New CrisisWatch bulletin from the International Crisis Group

CrisisWatch N°87, 1 November 2010

Three actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in October 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch, released today.

Twin bomb blasts struck the Nigerian capital Abuja at the beginning of the month, killing at least a dozen people during celebrations of the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. A statement by the Niger Delta militant group MEND claiming responsibility for the blasts was later denied by former MEND leaders, although the group subsequently released a statement threatening a repeat of the attack. The chief of staff of former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida – a candidate in next year’s presidential elections – was questioned about the blasts, leading to accusations that President Goodluck Jonathan was trying to implica te his political opponents in the attack. Meanwhile, tensions increased in Borno state as hundreds of troops were deployed in the state capital in response to a series of deadly attacks blamed on Islamic sect Boko Haram.

Zimbabwe’s inclusive government looked increasingly unstable, threatening to fracture over differences on implementation of the 2008 Global Political Agreement and elections. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party called the constitutional reform process, which has been beset by military violence and intimidation of Zimbabweans attending constitutional outreach meetings, a “circus”. Tsvangirai accused President Robert Mugabe of violating the Global Political Agreement, and declared that his party would refuse to recognise unilateral appointments made “illegally and unconstitutionally” by Mugabe in the past 18 months, including govern ors, judges and envoys. South African President Jacob Zuma sent three envoys to Harare in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

The situation again deteriorated in Guinea, where CrisisWatch also identifies a conflict risk alert for November. October saw further political violence surrounding the second round of the presidential election between leading candidate Cellou Diallo and his rival Alpha Conde. Persistent tensions between the two camps following the controversial first round in June have been exacerbated by further delays to the run-off.

The announcement on 22 October that the polls would be postponed for a third time sparked more clashes along ethnic lines between rival supporters. Violence spread from the capital Conakry to at least four towns in the north of the country, and over three days of clashes caused the displacement of some 1,800 ethnic Peul. Chief mediator for the Guinea crisis Blaise Compaoré has pressed upon both candidates their responsibility for the security situation, but the situation remains tense ahead of the polls, which are now scheduled for 7 November.

October 2010 TRENDS

Deteriorated Situations
Guinea, Nigeria, Zimbabwe

Improved Situations

Unchanged Situations
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chechnya (Russia), Colombia, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan , Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zimbabwe

November 2010 OUTLOOK

Conflict Risk Alert

Conflict Resolution Opportunity

*NOTE: CrisisWatch indicators - up and down arrows, conflict risk alerts, and conflict resolution opportunities - are intended to reflect changes within countries or situations from month to month, not comparisons between countries. For example, no "conflict risk alert" is given for a country where violence has been occurring and is expected to continue in the coming month: such an indicator is given only where new or significantly escalated violence is feared.

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