Thursday, December 02, 2004


According to the International Crisis Group ten "conflict situations" deteriorated in November. How many of these have you heard of:
Ten conflict situations deteriorated in November 2004 according to the December edition of CrisisWatch. The rigged 21 November presidential runoff elections in Ukraine sparked mass protests and left the country in turmoil. Cote d'Ivoire took a dramatic step backward, with government planes breaking the ceasefire in the north, 19,000 fleeing to Liberia, and French destruction of the Ivorian airforce in retaliation for air strikes that killed nine French peacekeepers. The Democratic Republic of the Congo came under repeated threats of invasion by Rwanda as Kigali worried about rebels in eastern DRC. Despite positive movement in peace talks between the Sudanese government and southern rebels, Darfur experienced increasing violence. The situations in Central African Republic, Guinea, Kosovo, Nepal, Serbia & Montenegro and Uzbekistan also worsened in November.
As someone who prides himself in keeping up with world affairs, I have to confess that I am clueless as to what the specific crises are (and why they are worsening) in the Central African Republic, Guinea, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, and Uzbekistan. That's five out of ten for those keeping score at home. I am equally clueless about the areas in which the group sees improvement in 11/04:
Four countries saw their situations improve in November 2004. Macedonia's referendum on decentralisation failed to attract the minimum turnout, signalling approval of plans for new local government boundaries introduced under the Ohrid peace agreement. Iran pledged a full, if temporary, suspension of uranium enrichment, allowing more time for further negotiations to resolve the nuclear issue comprehensively. Ethiopia's parliament approved a government plan to accept "in principle" a disputed boundary commission ruling on the town of Badme, reversing a position that had stymied peace with Eritrea. And Burundi?s peace process got back on track.
Burundi had a peace process? Who knew? To know this I would have to know that Burundi had a war, something that I suppose might be expected after the genocide of the 1990s but I certainly don't know any details.

Where are Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea et al? They're lumped into the "unchanged" category; here's the list:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), China (internal), Colombia, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Haiti, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Territories, Jordan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mauritania, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nigeria, North Korea, Northern Ireland (UK), Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe
Is there anywhere left that isn't troubled by conflict?

Nebraska seems to be calm tonight.
So does Iowa.
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