Friday, October 7, 2016

Phase 1, week 3

Hi all

By now, you should be getting comfortable with the general history of the conflict.
If you've gotten everything I've listed so far, there are a couple of new things you can look at:

A) You can try to figure out the recent pattern of violence : looking at news sources spread over the past year or so, you should be able to give a general summary of what's going on in terms of military action, anywhere on the spectrum from a quiet, immobile stalemate all the way to major military operations to take and hold territory.
B) The other thing you can try to discover is what each group in your conflict has publicly claimed as its mission or objective.

Starting with this post, I'd like you to copy-paste the URL of each of your sources at the bottom of your comment. This will be helpful for Phase 3, and it will make it easier to show if you find any significant differences.



Some tips for everyone:
1) Don't forget that some work on your conflict may well have been done by somebody last year: go back over old posts, find those people, and see what they've said in terms of background information, sources, etc.
2) Finding (even downloading and printing) a map of your conflict zone will make it easier to keep track of who owns what and what happens where.

48 comments:

  1. Israel and Palestine - Delphine Chiffaudel
    Part of the Israeli Palestinian History, summed up:

    November 29th 1947 - Separation of Palestine into an Israeli state and a Palestinian state by UN. Israel half heartedly agrees. Arabs refuse; they consider all of Palestine as theirs.
    May 15th 1948 - First Arab-Israeli War begins in reaction to Israel independence on May 14th, Arabs (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia) attack Israel. But Israel was stronger militarily and ended up controlling more territory than before, virtually the entire Palestinian state (except Gaza, strip controlled by Egypt, and West bank, by Jordan.)
    July 1956 - Second Arab-Israeli War. Egypt refuses Israeli ships in Suez canal, and blocks Israel’s access of to the red sea from Eilat. Israel reacts by taking over Gaza and the Sinai peninsula. The UN successfully pressures the Israelis back out of Gaza and Sinai.
    June 5th 1967 - Six-Day War. Egypt forms alliances with Syria and Jordan and declares its intention to destroy Israel. Therefore, Israel takes over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, Syria's Golan Heights, and Jordan's West Bank by surprise.
    September 1st 1967 - Arab summit held in Sudan. Outcome: “no recognition, no negotiation, and no peace with Israel."

    http://www.palestinefacts.org/
    http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.timeline.php?timelineID=000031

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  2. Julie CLar - Boko Haram in Nigeria
    Boko Haram wishes to take control of the Nigerian government and turn it into an Islamic one that opposes Western social and political ways and impses Shariah, Islamic laws. This would mean that voting in elections, receiving a secular education, and wearing shirts and pants for example would be forbidden. According to Farouk Chotia from the BBC, “Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers.” France and the United States are two countries that are committed to the fight against Boko Haram. The United States are not taking part in any combat operations yet, instead they claim to be specializing their 300 troops sent to Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon in the training of counterterrorism forces. On the other hand, the French president François Hollande met with the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2016 to talk about a reinforcement of military presence in Nigeria and its neighboring countries in order to eliminate Boko Haram. Additionally, the European Uninon and several other countries have given approximately 1 billion dollars to help rebuild an estimated 9 billion dollar damage caused by the terrorist group. They have also signed technical, scientific, and agriculture pacts with Nigeria.

    Sources: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13809501
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-14/france-nigeria-to-intensify-military-efforts-against-boko-haram
    http://www.dw.com/en/us-training-forces-to-fight-boko-haram/a-19206253
    https://www.nctc.gov/site/groups/boko_haram.html

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  3. Rémi Masia-Depardieu, Destabilization of Mali
    Following the 1992 revolution and treaties between the North and the South, tension kept on building up. In 2002, president Amadou Toumani Touré, was elected. But in 10 years, the promises of the government failed to be implemented, and the new president’s additional mistakes aggravated the situation. In 2003, the Arab Spring reached Mali. In 2005, a severe drought hit Mali in its whole, and the same year, the “trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative” was launched by the United States in Mali. In the rebellion of 2006, the Tuaregs could take control of the cities of Kidal and Menaka, after the withdrawal of Malian troops. Touré wanted to negotiate with the Tuaregs and with Al-Qaeda, but the other political leaders in Bamako though military confrontation was the only solution to regain control of the country. In result, the fighting continued to 2009, territories shifting from a group’s control to another’s, and a treaty was finally signed. In result, the troops of the central state had to withdraw of the Northern regions, which offered more territorial control to the Tuaregs and the Arabs, comprising security, once again.
    The actual President of the Republic of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, has studied both in Mali and in France. He has a Master’s degree in History, and a graduate degree in political science and international relations. He was elected in 2013, after the last to date Tuareg rebellion, and named in 2015 his actual prime minister Modibo Keita.

    https://www.clingendael.nl/pub/2015/the_roots_of_malis_conflict/2_rebellion_and_fragmentation_in_northern_mali/
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/23/arab-spring-exacerbated-islamist-threat-to-mali/
    http://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/mali/government
    http://www.irinnews.org/report/95252/mali-timeline-northern-conflict

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  4. Anna - War in Yemen
    Important political instability in Yemen enabled terrorist groups to spread and seize critical infrastructure. Amidst the Houthi-Hadi government conflict, ISIS and a specific branch of Al-Qaeda, AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) have taken advantage of the situation to invade and withhold territory. AQAP now controls a South western strip of land, branching out to the southern middle east, and ISIS is slowly infiltrating through the east, having bombed many areas, including Aden and Sana’a. As for the Houthi, they control the Northwest of the country, whereas the Yemeni government still holds power over most of the Middle East and east of the country’s territory, making this war essentially on three fronts.
    Ali Abdullah Saleh, the first president of Yemen after the unification of the northern and southern governments, has also aided the Houthi in their revolution. After an assassination attempt in June 2011, he retreated to the USA to receive medical treatment, leaving the country in the hands of Hadi, his vice-president. He returned only in February 2012 to transfer his power formally to Hadi. He is now known to be a behind-the-scenes leader of the Houthi takeover since June 28, 2016.
    The Houthi’s official objective in this war is to defend themselves against the government’s attack on their community, to correct the wrongs of the 2011 transition agreement, which they feel only increases the power and corruption of old regime allies, and of course, to lower the fuel prices.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/19/understanding-houthi-motives-complicated-essential-yemen-future
    http://www.cfr.org/yemen/yemen-crisis/p36488
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/key-facts-war-yemen-160607112342462.html
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14704951
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29319423

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  5. Theodore FEVRE - Taliban in Afghanistan
    As the Afghan troops progressively attempt to restore stability within the country by eliminating the Taliban group, recent events have shown their inefficiency. In 2015, a year after the US withdrew a large part of its military forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban have gained power, demonstrating their force when they seized the city of Kunduz. On September 28 the Taliban entered the city and without true difficulty claimed it theirs, as well as the entire Kunduz province. Even though they were ruled out after a week and were the cause of 900 deaths during the battle, they proved to the world their strength and determination to control Afghanistan as well as the Middle East. However in recent events history repeated itself. Five days ago (October 3rd) the Taliban group once again seized the city of Kunzun in a coordinated attack and only two days ago did the Afghan officials claim to have eliminated the threats. Numbers show that half of the population has fled of the city, but those who decided to stay are barricaded in their homes, caught between the crossfire of the military and the rebels. However the Taliban group are carrying out several simultaneous attacks throughout the country. In the southern province of Helmand, the extremist group is forcing entry in the Nawa district and already killed the district's police chief. The situation is still undergoing, with Afghan troops holed up in the police compound and Talibans closing in on them from the outside. From suicide bombings to seizing large cities, the Taliban group have been imposing fear and demonstrating their strength across the country. Without another serious US military engagement, the Taliban group can and will gain more power; with the probability of a one week siege of a major city becoming indefinite.

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    Replies
    1. http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/conflict/taliban-in-afghanistan
      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-taliban-idUSKCN123086
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-kunduz.html?ref=world&_r=0

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  6. Ambre Perron - Civil War in South Sudan

    Oil in South Sudan is the country’s number one resource. Shortly after South Sudan claimed its independence, it was popularly hoped that this natural resource would be a significant source of income and a major pawn for the country’s development. Unfortunately the “oil revenue is not reaching those who need it most” claims Global Witness. In fact, “the industry is shrouded in secrecy”, approximately only five percent of the budget in 2013 served to finance healthcare, education and infrastructure. In addition to the corruption of the industry, South Sudan’s tribes have competed over this natural resource and made it a principal target for rebel groups. The seizure of oilfields by rebel groups could have a considerable impact on the government. In an article earlier this year, Ilya Gridneff, reporter for Bloomberg pointed out that a seizure of Paloch, the remaining area pumping oil, would have a drastic effect on Kiir’s presidency. She continued with a citation by Luke Patey calling out the vitality “for President Kiir in maintaining the last fragments of political cohesion.” Knowing that the country relies at 90 percent on this industry, without Paloch, the government could not go one due to a lack of resources.

    Bloomberg:
    Global Witness:

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  8. Olivine Silier --- Kashmir Conflict
    10/10 The Kashmir conflict is the longest ongoing war in South Asia and has already cost seventy thousands of casualties and thousands of missing. India now controls 43 percent of the region, Pakistan Thirty seven percent and China twenty percent.
    The conflict began in 1947 with religious clashes between the majority of muslims and the large minority of hindus in the region. The ruler, or Maharaja at the time was hindu and wanted to remain independent from both Pakistan and India but was forced to make a decision by the bloody revolts and violence between both ethnic groups.
    Despite the predominantly muslim population, the Maharaja signed the instruments of Accession and allowed India to take control of Jammu and Kashmir as well as force the pakistani forces to leave the region. Although the agreement was supposed to be temporary and last only until the people of Kashmir could choose which country they wanted to belong to, this never happened and all sides of the conflict have only used violence until the years two thousand to attempt to gain supremacy.
    Violence in the region peaked in 1962 when China took control of Indian parts of Kashmir.
    Full fledged war broke out in 1965 between India and Pakistan over the same territorial dispute, ending with the defeat of Pakistan and the Simla agreement in which both countries agreed to settle the dispute peacefully within UN rules.
    Unfortunately the line of control that was defined in this agreement, separating India and Pakistan has been one of the most violent and bloody borders ever since.


    https://www.insightonconflict.org/conflicts/kashmir/conflict-profile/

    I will write more next week as my entry is already getting too long.

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  9. Pierre-Malo Vienney -- Violence in DR Congo
    The conflicts in DR Congo are made of many mini wars that the government cannot control. The National Army (FARDC) is getting eaten away by corruption. Because of the disorganized government, many soldiers abuse of their power on civilians creating tensions between the government and the civilians. The President's decision to stay in power after his second term is enhancing the already anchored anger of the Congolese civilians. They claim that Kabila enriched himself leaving his poor population with no financial help. These tensions created many armed groups and milishas fighting against the Congolese governement and occasionally at other groups that do not ally themselves. The poorly developed National Army cannot sustain a peace atmosphere letting the armed groups fight back. For example, the M23, an armed group that was politically against Kabila tried to destroy the government. The army managed to keep the main leaders away creating many underground groups.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/battle-control-drc-who-are-armed-forces-drc-fardc-1526295
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/world/africa/in-congo-wars-are-small-and-chaos-is-endless.html?_r=1

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  10. Leah Sadoff- Al-Shabaab

    When al-Shabaab first started to rebel in 2006-2007 it had more of a nationalistic goal to free Somalia from the Ethiopians that were present on the land. They wanted to give Somalia back to Somali rulers. Although they did not succeed in ridding Somalia of the Ethiopians, their goals by then had expanded to another level. Being apart of the global jihad is what they want to do in the long-term, but for now their main priority is enforcing the shari’a law. The shari’a law is the Islamic law based on the Qur’an, it deals with the public and some private aspects of life. Some of these aspects are political, economic, personal relations, and other social issues. Another goal of theirs is to take over Somalia, but to be able to do that they need more people joining them. That is why they now use twitter and other social media platforms as propaganda. By now there is about 7 000 - 9 000 people that are part of al-Shabaab and that number is still growing.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/23/world/africa/what-is-al-shabaab/
    http://www.criticalthreats.org/somalia/global-ambitions-analysis-al-shabaabs-evolving-rhetoric-february-17-2011#_edn8
    http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650

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  11. Marine Tallon - South China Sea

    In July 2016, an international tribunal proclaimed that China’s claims to it's “historic rights” across the islands of the South China Sea are invalid, giving a small victory for the Phillipines. The judges said China’s island-building activities violated the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as did it prevent Filipinos to access to their fishing grounds. The judges also accused China of environmental destruction, a violation of UNCLOS. The Philippines cannot benefit just yet of their victory, since it is unclear what practical effect it might have.
    Although the ruling was a win for Phillipines, it was unclear what would happen next because Beijing boycotted the proceedings and said it would ignore the ruling. Both China and the Philippines are signatories to UNCLOS, but the tribunal has no powers of enforcement.

    view map of territorial claims here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/30/world/asia/what-china-has-been-building-in-the-south-china-sea-2016.html?_r=1

    http://thediplomat.com/tag/unclos-south-china-sea/

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  12. Domitille Bordeaux- Conflict in Ukraine

    The conflict in Ukraine is a particular one, since none of the opposing forces have declared war on each other, however Russia and Ukraine are in a “war-and-peace” situation, a situation in which theses forces are confronting each other with deadly weapons but somehow maintain relations concerning trade and negotiation. However, tensions can be felt even on the economical relations between the countries, for example Ukraine adopted a law making Crimea an offshore zone, and on this ground, Russia has “expropriated” Ukrainians businesses that openly oppose Crimea’s annexation to Russia. This conflict was originally simply a pacific political protest, however, it has escalated into “full scale clashes between police in riot gear and protesters armed with stones, fireworks, Molotov cocktails, and the occasional firearm”. The ones fighting are not only activist groups but also ordinary citizens; the violence has given rise to many activist groups that are small yet very influential. The number of deaths since the beginning of the conflict has been estimated to about 4364 by the end of 2014, however the UN estimates that this number rises to 9160 in mid-2015, and there is no apparent ending to the conflict.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/marko-bojcun/why-is-war-in-eastern-ukraine-still-going-on
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pD76O08Roifx1YWhLF0RtrfEMagKmI8FtpeALtnBbTo/edit#
    http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-02-21/who-s-who-these-are-key-figures-and-groups-ukraine-s-political-crisis
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/world/europe/ukraine-death-toll-civilians.html

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  13. Three weeks ago, shots were fired across the 750-kilometer-long Line of Control (LoC) that divides the region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The 1972 ceasefire line is one of the most heavily militarized frontiers in the world (1), and has been a source of serious conflict for decades. On September 18, a deadly attack by armed militants in the town of Uri left 19 Indian soldiers dead (2). The town belongs to the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir, and is located roughly 10 kilometers east of the LoC. Although Pakistan denies all involvement, Indian Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh claims that the militants in the attack were “foreign terrorists” bearing items with “Pakistani markings” (3). Pakistan argues that the reason for such attacks is simply India’s attempt to “hide its crimes against humanity in occupied Kashmir” (4). That a serious military confrontation will erupt between the two nuclear-armed states is a genuine concern; tension is rapidly increasing and continues to plague the relations between India and Pakistan. Following the attack on September 18, for example, the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) banned Pakistani actors, singers, and technicians from working on Indian films (5). The conflict between India and Pakistan is not only of military concern but is also a political and cultural crisis.

    (1) BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37531900
    (2) The Guardian (death toll varies slightly depending on the source) https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/sep/30/indian-film-producers-motion-pictures-association-imppa-ban-pakistani-actors-crew-kashmir-crisis-escalates
    (3) New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/19/world/asia/17-indian-soldiers-killed-by-militants-in-kashmir.html
    (4) New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/19/world/asia/17-indian-soldiers-killed-by-militants-in-kashmir.html
    (5) The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/sep/30/indian-film-producers-motion-pictures-association-imppa-ban-pakistani-actors-crew-kashmir-crisis-escalates

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  14. Elise- War in Yemen
    Facing domestic revolts, former President Saleh was able to obtain US help by allowing terrorists to take some territory. He was unable, however, to maintain his hold on power and has since fled the country. He has now joined forces with the Houthis.
    Every opposing force involved in the conflict impacts the day to day fighting in Yemen. Today, violences and confrontations still occur regularly between Yemeni and Houthi forces, especially in the south-east, where it is less clear as to whom is in control of the territory. Houthi violences against civilians persist, with checkpoints all over the country, control over airports and border entrances, and a recent raid of the human-rights ministry. They also often arrest and jail hundreds of people in secret prisons for interrogation. The Houthis remain the controlling force in Sanaa.
    Ever since the Houthis regained control of Rada City from AQAP in October 2015, attacks between the rebels and the militants are daily, with dozens of civilians killed in the short weeks following. Through car bombs and hospital massacres, Al-Qaeda won’t back down in front of the Houthis.
    American and Saudi bombings happen every day across the country, especially with cluster bombs, which 30 % of don’t go off when they first land. Women, men, and children accidentally detonate the fallen bombs every day, leaving more and more civilians dead.  
    Houthis want a more representative system and less discrimination against the Shiites. Iran agrees that this is unfair and also wants a friendly neighboring country to support their fight against Saudi Arabia. America is fighting the war on terrorism and believes that helping the Yemeni government get back up on their feet will kick out AQAP and ISIS. Finally, these terrorist groups are looking to overthrow Saudi and Yemeni governments in order to establish their Islamic state.

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    Replies
    1. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/09/saudi-arabia-iran-great-game-ye-201492984846324440.html
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/11502027/How-Yemens-US-backed-ex-dictator-is-tearing-his-country-apart.html
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/world/violence-grows-in-yemen-as-al-qaeda-tries-to-fight-its-way-back.html?_r=0

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  15. Deniz Erdogan-Kurdish Conflict

    PKK activity is mostly present in south-eastern Turkey; the heavy Kurdish presence in the area led the creation of the OHAL region (Turkish: Olağanüstü Hâl Bölge Valiliği, English: Governorship of Region in State of Emergency), a region which is governed under state of emergency legislation. The OHAL region was created in 1987, and slowly reduced in size after 1994 onwards, being ultimately disbanded in 2002. Bingöl, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Hakkari, Mardin, Siirt, Tunceli and Van are the 8 provinces that were included in the OHAL region in 1987. A map of the OHAL region at its greatest extent can be found at: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/OHAL.png
    And https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/PKK-Conflict-de.png
    In recent years, incursion by the self-proclaimed Islamic State upon regions with heavy Kurdish populations, the PKK has started to cooperate more with other pro-Kurdish groups, such as the Peshmerga militia and former political opponents, the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party), to protect the Kurdish people.

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/pkk-krg-peshmerga-join-forces-fight-islamic-state.html
    http://www.bbc.com/turkce/haberler-turkiye-36852284
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OHAL#Balance_sheet_of_15_years_OHAL
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish%E2%80%93Turkish_conflict_(1978%E2%80%93present)

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  16. Marin Duroyon - Libyan Civil War

    Lately, in the Libyan Civil War, ISIS has slowly been able to take control of a couple of important cities because of the ongoing civil war that has been “shattering and hollowing out the country.” ISIS is attacking the country’s oil port which focused the nation’s attention towards the terrorist organisation, local militias across the country started to push back the Islamic State. However, Libya does not have a singular army but a multitude of loyal towns and tribes.This allows ISIS to take control of larger cities. Western and eastern countries are also trying to contribute with airstrikes.


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/libya
    http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/08/the-fight-against-isis-in-libya/495143/
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-grinding-fight-to-root-out-isis-in-a-battered-libya

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  17. Lucca Stagno - Al Shabaab
    Just only 3 days ago, Al Shabaab members carried out a murderous attack on the northeastern Kenyan town of Madera at around three in the morning. Six people were killed after the terrorists used explosives to infiltrate a residential compound housing "non-locals" (meaning people who come from other parts of Kenya and and are generally not of Islamic faith) inside the Somali-bordering town. The assailants were rebuffed by government-armed townsmen who managed to save the remaining 27 non-locals residing in the compound.
    This is only the latest of many homicides committed in Kenya by Al Shabaab in the last seven years since Kenya's intervention and participation in the ousting the latter form Mogadishu with their forming part of the African Union forces that took the neighboring country's capital. Al Shabaab's armed interventions on Kenyan soil tend to be highly coordinated, planned and thought out which has allowed them to commit acts of terror and then flee back to the terrorist controlled areas of southern Somalia which was the case in the incident of last week. Sources: BBC, AlJazeera

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  19. • https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20161005-libyan-forces-reduce-daeshs-grip-on-sirte/
    • http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/lby/
    • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/08/27/here-are-the-key-players-fighting-the-war-for-libya-all-over-again/
    • http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/01/06/world-view-u-s-britain-france-prepare-libya-military-offensive-for-2016/
    • http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2015/02/battle-libyas-oil-150219124633572.html
    • http://www.ecfr.eu/mena/mapping_libya_conflict
    • http://www.usip.org/publications/2016/09/02/tribe-security-justice-and-peace-in-libya-today
    • https://thinkprogress.org/the-forgotten-conflict-in-libya-explained-4ffc134b0a9a#.jrthwd6sl
    • http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/07/libya-tripoli-condemns-french-military-involvement-160721142118151.html
    • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3383459/SAS-spearhead-operation-involving-1-000-British-troops-wrest-control-dozen-oil-fields-seized-ISIS-Libya.html
    • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/world/africa/egypt-and-united-arab-emirates-said-to-have-secretly-carried-out-libya-airstrikes.html
    • http://thecairopost.youm7.com/news/143075/news/sudan-militarily-backs-libyan-rebels-bashir-to-youm7
    • http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/international/mideast-africa/2016/08/11/libya-italy-special-forces-isis/88567660/

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  20. Cassiopeia, Libya
    One can better understand Lybia’s current civil war knowing that it is a country whose people historically were governed by their tribes and ethnically diverse, explaining the amount of different groups who each control parts of the country today. Today the major players can be resumes by those who support the government, the pro GNC groups , the Jihadists split between their allegiance to either Al Qeada or IS, and city militias who sometimes fit in the previous categories. The conflict is currently seen as a bloody stalemate although near Sirte, where IS strongholds are, the situation is evolving bombs are dropped and militant sniper positions resist against barrages of tanks. International players in this conflict are: Chad and Egypt concerned for their neighbors and their own security and are pro-government. The UK, France and the US also support them, in part because they are the least Islamic option, partially because European nations import $16.3B worth oil and gas from Libya, and partially because of their war against IS. The US is also a consumer of Libyan natural resources. All three are involved on soldiers and infantrymen, marines, and in air bombings. The UAE and Saudi Arabia fight on this side as a part of a bigger war for secularism verses Qatar and Turkey who sponsor Islamist groups and therefore the GNC along with Sudan. The UN, Italy ( Libya’s by far largest export destination especially knowing that a gas pipeline connects both countries), and the US support the Government of National Accord an attempt in a government united all groups. IS’s interest in Libya is to make it a next launching pad.

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  21. MAtteo Valderrama- DRC violence
    The military violence in between the DRC government and the big rebel groups has diminished in the past couple of years with the help of the UN and the signing of multiple peace agreements. However, people are still going up against the government because of the new electoral laws making it easier for president Kabila to stay in power indefinitely making the country look more like a dictatorship. In a protest against these laws, dozens of civilians were killed. Furthermore, in May, Ex-Katanga Governor Moïse Katumbi declared he wanted to run for president but was suspiciously arrested and then brought out of the country for medical reasons. On top of the unrest involving the political regime of the country, human rights violations are a huge issue in DRC. More than 1,100 women are raped per day as stated by “The American Journal of Public Health” in 2011, which explains the continuance of the involvement of the 20,000 UN soldiers in DRC as of today.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13286306
    http://donordirectaction.org/activists/synergie/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw1ee_BRD3hK6x993YzeoBEiQA5RH_BB6-YHhHPDS8iCLCtUOiCYbOl4vu996PGXCugndc2gUaAlbj8P8HAQ

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  23. Emma Ghafari – Conflict in Ukraine
    Over the past year or so, violence in Ukraine has been at a high: soon after the famous EU trade deal finally got signed by newly appointed president Poroshenko in June of 2014, a Malaysian airlines flight was shot down above rebel-held grounds in Eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people. Two months later, a ceasefire was agreed on but is repeatedly violated and on November 12 serious violence resumes as troops and tanks flood into Ukraine. By the end of 2014, more than 1.7 million children in the targeted areas of Eastern Ukraine are in an “extremely serious” state, according to the UN. On January 22, 2015, Donetsk International Airport was seized by rebels and on March 2, the UN declared that there have been 9,500 deaths and 22,100 injured since the start of the conflict in April 2014. The ceasefire is being violated daily and Ukraine’s on-going stalemate is creating distress and despair in the country.
    While there is no official aim from each side (pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government) as none have publicly declared their mission, the cause of the disagreement and therefore violent protests is clear: the pro-Russians wish for Ukraine to have closer ties with Russia (as it would have had had the Yanukovich government had the chance to carry out their pro-Russian, anti-EU project) while the Ukrainian government under Poroshenko, being anti-Russian is in pursuit of more collaboration between the EU and Ukraine.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/10/europe/ukraine-war-how-we-got-here/index.html
    http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Ukraine%20backgrounder_V6.pdf
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30929344
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/27/mh17-inquiry-missile-launch-buk-ukraine-russia

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  24. Mika- Tensions in the South China sea

    As the name of the conflict suggests, nowadays there is no real military confrontation happening. Military presence in the region is mostly officially under the form of military ships and military dispatches along the different islands each country claims. China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam have had many navel standoffs which , in recent years, have never ended in direct military confrontation. Each country is rather "flexing their muscles" trying to dissuade the other one from making a move. On the artificial island, China has built military bases equipped with a port, surveillance equipment and many troops ready to be dispatched if needed. Taiwan and the Philippines have however been relying on outdated ships and garrisons camping on claimed islands without any buildings. Vietnam has been extending the size of their islands and building garrison accommodations.
    Malaysia and Brunei have remained passive and have only until now only applied political pressure.
    The biggest threat to China in the region is the U.S who has sent many destroyers in an attempt to promote free passage in the region. As well as Navy ships, the United States has flown reconnaissance planes over the region. China insists that reconnaissance activities undertaken without prior notification and without permission of the coastal state violate Chinese domestic law and international law.
    U.S ties to the Philippines could also draw the country further into the conflict if any engagement were to happen between the Philippines and any other country in the region.
    http://www.cfr.org/asia-and-pacific/armed-clash-south-china-sea/p27883
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/world/asia/south-china-sea-taiwan.html
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349

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  25. Tim d'Aboville - Civil War in Syria

    Syria just might be the country who's land is occupied by the greatest number of different groups however, as the situation is evolving every minute, these land borders are subject to change in the near future. For starters, there are officially three different terrorist organisations in Syria: ISIS, Hezbollah, and Jabhat al-Nusra also known as Al-Qaeda. They all fight anyone opposed to them: the rebels, the government troops, the YPG (also called the People's Protection Unit or the Kurdish), and sometimes each other. Out of the three, only ISIS really controls a vast amount of territory spreading from the eastern border with Iraq all the way north to Turkey; the two other terrorist organisations aren't very dispersed throughout the country. The Islamic State controls roughly 65,000 sq kilometers and it's currently loosing some of it. The rest of the territory is shared between the Syrian regime and the rebels, the last group controlling less territory than the first. Interestingly enough, the YPG controls most of the land that borders with Turkey leaving very little to ISIS. So, the Syrian territory is like a puzzle who's pieces are shared between three terrorist organisations, the regime, the YPG, and the rebels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Syria%20Blobby%20Control%2014%20SEP_7.png

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37588882

      http://syria.liveuamap.com/

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  26. Emilie Shagrin-- refugee crisis in the EU

    In March 2016, an accord called the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan was signed, so that Turkey’s refugee entry would be more organized. However, Turkey was reluctant to satisfy certain requirements such as basic human needs, leading to a rift in between the country and the rest of Europe. Furthermore, there has been a widening political fissure in Turkey, which is not helping the crisis as it has led to mass confusion.
    In May 2016 the European Union suggested new asylum rules so that the countries closest to the borders would not be flooded with more incoming people. Countries refusing to take in migrants would have to face penalties (such as being fined). This “burden-sharing mechanism”* received a negative response in some European countries.
    There have been numerous protesters in the EU against the welcoming of Middle Eastern migrants. Their reasons are often xenophobia or terrorist fears. There have been mob attacks in cities as well as in various camps. Sometimes, the police partakes in these incidents. Meanwhile, migrants keep coming in, fleeing devastation. As Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel said back in January, the situation has gone completely out of control.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/15/turkey-misses-deadline-visa-free-travel-eu-ambassador-withdraw
    * http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/conflict/refugee-crisis-in-the-european-union
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3394896/Merkel-admits-Europe-lost-control-refugee-crisis.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-sparks-record-year-for-political-violence-in-germany-as-right-and-left-wing-clash-a7044521.html
    The International New York Times (older articles)

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  27. The Taliban’s goal has shifted throughout time. Initially, they were fighting to end the corruption and abuse of the previous Soviet system. They fought in the Civil War to protect and defend their religion against the communist regime and restore order in their country.
    After winning the war, their main focus was to establish the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and force the other parties to go under their authority. They claimed that anyone opposing to their system were also resisting Islam, therefore needed to be eliminated.
    In 2001, with the American intervention, the Talibans, who claimed were still fighting a jihad, also had a foreign enemy. They view the fight no longer as former government against Islam, but corrupt foreign systems against Islam.
    As for today, the Taliban mission is divided into four main principles. The first is to obtain total power of the country. They want the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to be recognized as the true protector of  the Afghan people, saying that the current government is a puppet of the western world. The second principle is to show the people that they are a militarily strong group and that violence is necessary for their Jihad. They spread propaganda to show their power and to prove that their win is inevitable. Violence is justified in their interpretation of the Koran, saying that they have to be prepared to die for their religion and that becoming a martyr will assure eternity and a place in heaven, as well as the recognition from Allah. The third principle is to complete their sacred quest to protecting their religion. Talibans expect every afghans to participate in the jihad, because for them, it is a duty of good muslim to defend Allah. Anyone opposing to this idea are viewed as offenders of Islam and are considered as an enemy. The last principle is to impose authority of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The founder Mullah Omar must be considered as the “Leader of the Faithful”, and all must follow the Islamic shariat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/PW102-Rhetoric-Ideology-and-Organizational-Structure-of-the-Taliban-Movement.pdf

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  28. Juliette Debray - Boko Haram
    Since the kidnap of the schoolgirls in Chebok, Boko Haram has continued to attack villages in an attempt to capture more girls and women as Shekau, the leader, says : “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah...there is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women." The hundreds of girls remaining in Boko Haram’s captivity are continuously the focal point of attention to negotiations happening with any outside nation. Ever since the capture of Chebok in 2014, rumors of negotiations have risen and been disproved by either the Nigerian government or the Islamist terrorist group. Recently however, as an attempt to further negotiate with the Nigerian government and its allies, Boko Haram has sent out a video demonstrating that the kidnapped girls were still living and offering to release them in exchange for the release of Boko Haram militants. As their territory stays stable in the North east of Nigeria, along with some parts of Chad and Cameroon, and with the help of a few international troops, no negotiations have come to end. Furthermore, the group’s attacks have become less organized and successful : mostly raids in villages, in some cases where the villagers managed to kill off the attackers, for example in May 2014 in the state of Borno. However, their new allies ISIS have created a rift in the group that some fear to spark worse violence yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/boko-haram
      http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/conflict/boko-haram-in-nigeria
      http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/553?highlight=boko+haram

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  29. Boris Hullin - Drug Wars in Mexico

    The belligerents of the conflict are the Mexican government, supported by the United States, the Sinaloa cartel, and the cartel of Los Zetas. Both of the cartels fight the other two parties of the conflict alongside a multitude of other cartels that have pled allegiance or declared a form of alliance to either the cartel of Sinaloa, either Los Zetas. This is the situation as of today and it has not always been the case, for a cartel’s dominance is ephemere: the leading position is hard to maintain under the pressure of military operations and the assault of enemy cartels.
    The first cartel to appear in Mexico was the Guadalajara cartel, founded by the powerful drug lord Felix Gallardo in the early 80’s. At the time, the cartel had a mono^poly on the drug trade between Mexico and the United States, and collaborated with the Colombian cartels. In the late 80’s, as DEA operations were putting the organization in danger, Gallardo decided to split the cartel up into smaller cartels controlling “plazas”, or zones of influence, which consisted of the main smuggling routes into the U.S. After his arrest in 1989, the cartels started an constant fight for these drug-trafficking corridors. About seven main notorious organizations have fought for territory, their influence varying over time.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/02/world/americas/mexico-drug-war-fast-facts/
    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/18/americas/mexican-drug-cartels/

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  30. One of the main issues Mexico is facing whilst attempting to fight the drug cartels is the military following their own rules. In one case, some soldiers working to catch the Jalisco cartel carried out extra-judicial killings. Because of the fact that the cartels are spread all over the country and with millions of people working for them, the military is frequently inclined to take the law into their own hands. This often happens in cases where the police comes face to face with a dangerous cartel member and needs to execute him/her. They can’t wait for trial or put the person in jail because of the numerous problems in Mexico’s law enforcement, so they carry out extra-judicial killings. Mexico’s weak justice system is at the root of the deaths of many people caught between the cartel’s and the military’s conflict. By fighting war with war, Mexico has been accused of crimes against humanity. Instead of asking the International Criminal Court to investigate, the Justice Initiative incites people to investigate and fight the cartels on their own, causing more violence that can’t be kept under control by the government.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/06/world/americas/mexico-violence-killings-torture.html
    http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/mexico-military-follow-their-own-rules-in-the-drug-war


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  31. Chloé Erny, EU refugee crisis

    European countries dealing with the largest influx of immigrants such as Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Italy, and Greece, are financially struggling to support refugees and integrate them into society. In 2015, the EU’s budget was increased to 10 billion euros to manage the crisis. Certain countries are reluctant to accept refugees because of IS terrorist attacks, and protest have emerged across Europe expressing both pro- and anti-refugee sentiment. In countries like Hungary, Poland and Austria, right-wing political parties have gained electoral votes by using the population’s fear of immigrants. Following the Brexit in June 2016, supporters of the vote cite high levels of immigration as a leading concern. In 2016 the EU proposed new asylum rules that would require member countries to accept and resettle refugees or face penalties, and countries facing a 150 percent increase in asylum applications would be able to redistribute refugees to countries with fewer asylum seekers.This law, however, is not very accepted among EU countries. There is also a growing political rift between the EU and Turkey, the largest host country for refugees: it is reluctant to sign the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan, which the EU signed in March 2016 in an effort to curb the illegal entry of migrants and refugees into the European bloc; and after a failed military coup attempt in July, Turkish president Erdogan responds with heavy-handed policies contrary to EU principles.
    The EU’s key objective in the migration crisis is for immigration policies to be “forward-looking and comprehensive”, “based on solidarity” and on “fair sharing of responsibility”; it wishes to have a “balanced approach” to regular immigration and combat irregular immigration. The EU’s aim for regular immigration is “to establish a uniform level of rights and obligations for regular immigrants, comparable with that for EU citizens.” As for irregular immigration, it claims to combat it “in particular by means of an effective return policy, in a manner entirely consistent with fundamental rights.”

    Cited source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_5.12.3.html

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  32. Marc de Laportalière, tensions in East China Sea.
    In the territorial dispute conserning the Senkaku Diaoyu Islands, tensions have been escalating. The twelve nautical mile stretch of sea is responsible for American intervention in the shanri-la dialogue in Singapour Last year. US secretary Ash Carter claimed that through this dispute, China was "erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation" as it would alienate its neighbours. Unfortunately, China has only augmented the amount of warships traveling in the disputed zone, using the Japanese Self Defence Forces to intervene 570 times in 2015 to respond to Chinese approach of the waters. The JSDF also scrambled a record 199 times for the same reason in between april and june 2016. this resulted in both China and Japan to start surveilling the zone closer and closer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/09/national/chinese-frigate-sails-near-senkakus-russian-military-vessels/#.V_u4CRmxUj1

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  33. Ito Choho - Burundi
    Following the January election, that opposing candidate Agathon Rwasa described as a “joke”, the situation has not evolved much: Nkurunziza’s power and control of the country has not decreased, he refuses to welcome UN troops or come to a compromise with opposing parties. Because of this, the UN decided in March of 2016 to stop financial aid to the government. In May, Rwanda was accused of supporting the Burundian rebels, a claim that was refuted by the country’s president, Paul Kagame.
    On September 8th, 2016, the Burundian conflict facilitator gave a speech at the East African Summit including the the following conclusions: “There is an imperative need for (the east african political leader’s) personal engagement in getting parties to commit themselves to serious and inclusive dialogue without any precondition” and “in view of the situation in Burundi, there is need for the speedy conclusion of this process, so that the country can move forward.”

    http://www.bujumbura.be/
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13087604

    ReplyDelete
  34. Eliott - Kurdish Conflicts

    In terms of military action, an attack on Mosul is expected this month. Mosul is the third largest city in Iraq, part arabic and part kurdish. ISIS is in control of the city, and the Shiite Kurds are being kept as prisoners. The attack is expected this month because of the change of weather (no figting occurs in summer because of hot weather, now with cooler temperatures... ). Iraq is planning to send Sunni soldiers to fight ISIS, so no blame will be put on the Kurds. Kurds desperately want ISIS out of Mosul as it is only 50 kilometers out of their capital.
    As said in an earlier post, each group in the conflict has different objectives, missions. Iraq and Iraqi Kurds want ISIS gone, the PKK wants better rights and Turkey wants to regain its power it once had in the early 20th century as the Ottoman Empire.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Eliott - Kurdish Conflicts

    In terms of military action, an attack on Mosul is expected this month. Mosul is the third largest city in Iraq, part arabic and part kurdish. ISIS is in control of the city, and the Shiite Kurds are being kept as prisoners. The attack is expected this month because of the change of weather (no figting occurs in summer because of hot weather, now with cooler temperatures... ). Iraq is planning to send Sunni soldiers to fight ISIS, so no blame will be put on the Kurds. Kurds desperately want ISIS out of Mosul as it is only 50 kilometers out of their capital.
    As said in an earlier post, each group in the conflict has different objectives, missions. Iraq and Iraqi Kurds want ISIS gone, the PKK wants better rights and Turkey wants to regain its power it once had in the early 20th century as the Ottoman Empire.

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  36. Theodore - Taliban in Afghanistan
    Through the years numerous Taliban leaders have been assassinated by the US military and immediately replaced, however they all share the same reasons for violence. The founder of the Taliban group, Mullah Mohammed Omar died in April 2013, but was only confirmed dead two years later. His successor, Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour was assassinated by a US drone strike in 2015 and gave place to the current Taliban leader, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada. Before his death, Mansour's spokesman held an interview where he stated that the Taliban groups' goal was to enforce the sharia law, form an Islamic government in Afghanistan as well as remove foreign forces from the country. More precisely they seek renegociations of the Afghan constitution which was promised to them with the US intervention in 2001. Seeking positions in the ministries of justice and religious affairs is their goal as well. Since his speech, the Afghan government has been open to discussions with the Taliban, under one condition: that they cease to carry out destructive attacks. Unfortunately these negociations may never happen due to the irrationality of the terrorist group who endlessly continue to place bombs under cars and kill large numbers of people.

    www.thenatioanal.ae/news/what-do-the-taliban-really-want
    www.latimes.com/workd/afghanistan-pakistan/la-fg-explainer-peace-afghanistan-2015729-story.html

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  37. Theodore - Taliban in Afghanistan
    Through the years numerous Taliban leaders have been assassinated by the US military and immediately replaced, however they all share the same reasons for violence. The founder of the Taliban group, Mullah Mohammed Omar died in April 2013, but was only confirmed dead two years later. His successor, Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour was assassinated by a US drone strike in 2015 and gave place to the current Taliban leader, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada. Before his death, Mansour's spokesman held an interview where he stated that the Taliban groups' goal was to enforce the sharia law, form an Islamic government in Afghanistan as well as remove foreign forces from the country. More precisely they seek renegociations of the Afghan constitution which was promised to them with the US intervention in 2001. Seeking positions in the ministries of justice and religious affairs is their goal as well. Since his speech, the Afghan government has been open to discussions with the Taliban, under one condition: that they cease to carry out destructive attacks. Unfortunately these negociations may never happen due to the irrationality of the terrorist group who endlessly continue to place bombs under cars and kill large numbers of people.

    www.thenatioanal.ae/news/what-do-the-taliban-really-want
    www.latimes.com/workd/afghanistan-pakistan/la-fg-explainer-peace-afghanistan-2015729-story.html

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  38. Romane Centis- ISIS in Iraq


    Creation of ISIS

    The war against the Islamic state in Iraq consists of many groups, all fighting for the same cause; take down the Islamic State. But what truly is ISIS, and how was this group created? Five years ago, ISIS did not exist. now , they are all over the social media, posting propaganda and taking young girls and boys in. This group emerged from the Jordanian Salafi jihadist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi created in 1999 that started to get more people involved after the 2003 Iraqi invasion led by the U.S. armies. The group achieved “fame” for their suicide attacks on Islamic Mosques, civilians, the iraqi government institutions as well as outside military groups staying in the country. The group pledged allegiance to the al Qaeda group in 2004. The attacks continued with the same intensity. The leader of the group, Ayman al-Zawahiri, outlined, through a letter in 2005, a four stage plan to expand the Iraq War. The plan consisted on taking the US troops out of Iraq, establishing an Islamic authority, spreading a conflict through the secular neighbours and making a conflict with Israel. In 2006, the group was joined by many other smaller Iraqi groups. In june 7th f the same year, an American airstrike killed al-Zarqawi, who was then replaced by the Egyptian militant Abu Ayyub al-Masri. On the 12th of October 2006, united with three smaller groups as well as six sunni islamic tribes and formed the “Mutayibeen Coalition”, swearing by Allah "to rid Sunnis from the oppression of the rejectionists (Shi'ite Muslims) and the crusader occupiers ... to restore rights even at the price of our own lives ... to make Allah's word supreme in the world, and to restore the glory of Islam". Only one short day later did the MSC truly declare the establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was announced as its leader.

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  39. North Korea has problematic relations with many countries in the world including the United-States, France and naturally South-Korea. Nevertheless, this isolated and authoritarian country is not alone. Fact is it actually has (or had) several strong allies.
    One of their allies is Russia --and before that the Soviet-Union--. Following WWII, the Soviet-Union controlled North Korea and spread communism while the United States spread its imperialism in South Korea. It is said that the Soviet Union indirectly gave North Korea access to Nuclear weapons by providing them funding for nuclear research. Moreover, they also actively participated in North-Korea’s development by giving an abundance of aid (ranging from military to humanitarian). Russia is still helping North Korea by recently forgiving debts going up to $10 billion ,even though they were motivated by economic reasons.
    However, most recently, Russia has started threatening Kim Jong-un as he acts increasingly confrontational mainly with the development of nuclear weapons. In fact, Putin has declared that he wouldn’t hesitate to use military intervention.

    Concerning the relations between North Korea and the United States, the situation is getting worse. A recent North Korean threat was to reduce the cities of Washington and Seoul to 'flames and ash'. On the American side, the tension is also rising as Washington fears a stronger and more precise North-Korean nuclear artillery.


    Kidal Delonix. "Who Are North Korea's Allies ?" N.p., 2016. Web. 2016.

    Chad O'Carroll. "Russia Warns North Korea over Threats of Nuclear Strike."The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 08 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

    "North Korea Threatens to Reduce US and South Korea to 'flames and Ash'"The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 06 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

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  40. Davdi Ripayre - The Uighur conflict in China

    Over the past few year this conflict has caused many terrorist attacks in China for example the explosion of bomb in public places and buses on 5 February 1992 killing 3 people and injuring 23.
    Another bus bombing took place in Urumqi in 1997 killing 9 people. In 2010 an Uighur man blew himself up killing seven, those attacks have intensified in the past decade.31 people were killed in 2014.
    In response Chinese authority have targeted separatism through major publicity campaign, the major economic breakthrough has reduced socioeconomic gaps reducing tension China however this tension has migrated and intensified in the Xinjiang region. On the other hand more repressive actions have been put in place: the threat of military force, the increase of security budget by ninety percent in 2010.
    However human right organization believe China uses those terrorist groups as an excuse to repress the Uighurs.

    http://www.cfr.org/china/east-turkestan-islamic-movement-etim/p9179
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27502652
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_China#Counter-terrorism
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_China

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