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CFC Complex Coverage Review, 09 April 2013

CFC Complex Coverage Review, 09 April 2013

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Published by CFC Cimicweb
This document provides complex coverage of global events from 02 - 08 April 2013 with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in the region, contact the members of the Complex Coverage Team or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org
This document provides complex coverage of global events from 02 - 08 April 2013 with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in the region, contact the members of the Complex Coverage Team or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org

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Complex Coverage
CIVIL-MILITARY FUSION CENTRE
09 April 2013 Comprehensive Information on Complex Crisis
Iraq 1Mali 2Syria 3IED/Demining 4The Civil-Military Fusion Centre(CFC) is an information and knowledge managementorganisation focused on improvingcivil-military interaction,facilitating information sharing and enhancing situational awarenessthrough the CimicWeb portal and our Weekly and monthlypublications.CFC products are based upon and link to open-source informationfrom a wide variety of organisations, research centres and media outlets. However, the CFCdoes not endorse and cannotnecessarily guarantee the accuracyor objectivity of these sources.
CFC publications areindependently produced by DeskOfficers and do not reflect NATOpolicies or positions of any otherorgansiation.
The CFC is part of NATO Allied Command Operations
.
For further information contact:Complex Coverage Team LeaderLinda Lavenderlinda.lavender@cimicweb.org Foard Copeland Desk Officerfoard.copeland @cimicweb.org 
 
INSIDE THIS ISSUEDISCLAIMER
 
CONTACT THE CFC
I
raq
Linda Lavender linda.lavender@cimicweb.org Yahya al Qubaisi, an analyst with the Iraqi Center for Strategic Studies in Amman, Jordan, suggests acorrelation between the recent increase in violence in Sunni-dominated provinces and the disintegrationof theIraqiya political coalition,according to
 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Qubaisi
states, “[t]his wave of violence shows there is real fragmentation of Sunni unity”. He adds, “[w]e are
now talking about a security situation that is different than the sectarian fighting in 2007 when therewere groups fighting against the government and against those who cooperated with the government.We now have two main groups in the Sunni community and they both accept the political process; buteach one wants to be the sole representative of the Sunnis within the government and within the
 provincial councils”. Recent defections from Iraqyia have diminished the bloc’s influence in Baghdad,
leaving its power dispersed across three different political factions, suggests Qubaisi. According to
United Press International (UPI)
, Iraqi election officials are prepared for 20 April elections. The elections will take place in fourteen provinces despite security concerns. On 19 March, Prime Minister  Nouri al-Maliki announced the postponement of elections in Anbar and Nineveh provinces for sixmonths citing deteriorating security in those regions. UN special envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler agreedthat, with the exception of the three Kurdish provinces, Iraq is prepared for elections and encouraged theIndependent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to maintain its independence and transparency toensure credible elections.On 06 April, a coordinated bomb attack killed twenty people attending a political rally in Baquba, Diyala province, heightening concerns over pre-election violence, according to
The New York Times(NYT)
. Four political candidates standing for elections were injured in the explosions. Jihad al Bakri, a
security expert and former officer in the Iraqi Army, states “Al Qaeda is here in
Diyala and they want to prevent the elections from happening. More bombings will happen before the elections, and more
attacks on candidates will happen”.
 
This document provides complex coverage of global events from 02
08 April 2013 with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information onthe topics below or other issues pertaining to events in the region, contact the members of theComplex Coverage Team or visit our website
 
 
2
09 April 2013
Iraq’s cabinet unveiled sweeping reforms to legislation that barred Ba’athist members
 from public office in an effort to quell months
of protests and rallies by Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority, reports
 Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The proposed amendment to the standingDe-
Ba’athification law must still be approved by the Iraqi Parliament.
Despite international calls for Iraq to declare a moratorium onexecutions, Iraqi officialsexecuted seven  people convicted of terror-related crimes on 08 April, according to
 AFP.
AmnestyInternational states that executions in Iraq have  peaked to their highest level in almost ten years, reports
 Al Arabiya
. Meanwhile,approximately fifty gunmen in military uniforms stormed four  independent newspapers operating in Baghdad on 02 April, beating and stabbing newspaper employees, reports
 NYT.
 On 08 April, Iraq grounded and searched an Iranian aircraft en route to Syria and found only medical equipment, according to
 Reuters.
 
In late March, US Secretary of State John Kerry called upon Iraq’s Shi’ite
-led government to improve its searches of Iranian aircrafttransporting weapons to Syria through Iraqi airspace. Also, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, after months of  hostile rhetoric with Turkey, now welcomes rapprochement, reports
 Reuters
. Turkey’s negotiation of energy deals with the semi
-autonomous region of Kurdistan has angered the Iraqi central government, which maintains it alone is authorised to control oil exports and agreements.Unidentified attackers  bombed a military vehicle in western Baghdad on 05 April, killing three soldiers, according to
 Al Jazeera
. Later 
the same day, three civilians were killed at the market in Hillah, a Shi’ite
-dominated city south of Baghdad. On 03 April, a member of theanti-al Qaeda Sunni militia and his mother were killed by unidentified gunmen, according to
 Associated Press (AP).
The re-emergence of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has coincided with an increase in revenge killings of anti-al Qaeda Sunni fighters who foughtagainst AQI during the Iraq civil war.
M
ali
Foard Copelandfoard.copeland@cimicweb.orgOn 08 April, France launched its last major operation before reducing its presence in Mali later this month, reports
 BBC 
.
will rout militants from Gao and surrounding territories using 1,000 French troops. Covered by support from drones, tanksand helicopters, the soldiers moved against a suspected  jihadist base in the small town of Bourem, north of Gao. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabiusurged 
Mali’s leaders to adhere to a 07 July deadline for presidential elections, reports
 Al  Jazeera
. Fabius’ also noted on his 05 April visit to Mali that France intends to halve the number of troops to 2,000 by July.
 
“All my
interlocutors support the elections as provided for by the roadmap, and that those elections take place in July. Nobody, including
 politicians, have proposed anything different and for us it is important that election are held on the date”, he said.
Additionally, Fabius
asserted that Tuareg separatist group National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) must disarm “in time”.
Fabiusdescribed a disarmament process that will include cantonment
1
and the abdication of arms, reports
 France 24
. Tuareg fighters fear disarming due to recent backlash from Malians who blame them for sparking the conflict by declaring independence for the North,which subsequently fell under the control of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Bilal Ag Al Sharif, MNLA Secretary-General,told
 Al Jazeera
that his soldiers do not intend to return northern territory to the Malian government without a political dialogue. According to Sharif, the MNLA is open to peace talks with the Malian leadership.
“We have not completely renounced our 
independence claims. In fact, this is not just our desire, but that of our people, and for that purpose we have always expressed our 
readiness for negotiations”, said Al Sharif.
 The United Nations diplomatic corps took up the issue of Mali last week after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released his tworecommendations for a stabilisation mission on 26 March.
On 03 April, Jeffrey Feltman, the UN’s top political official warned the UN
Security Council (UNSC) of the necessity for broad-based measures to secure and stabilise Mali. Feltman identified two immediategoals
:securing the country’s “territorial integrity” and holding legitimate elections. Additional priorities include: strengtheni
ng stateinstitutions, preventing human rights violations during the transition process and bolstering local governance. While outlining key
aspects of the Malian political transition, he commended the interim government’s selection of a Tuareg woman, Meti Ag Mohame
dRhissa,as one of its two Vice-Presidents to the newly established National Commission. Rhissa is a moderate from the Kidal region
who many hope will lead efforts to reconcile disputes between the country’s fractious ethnic communities. On 03 April,
USAmbassador to the UN Susan Riceannounced US support for the transition of the African-led AFISMA force to a UN stabilisation operation. She said the US envisions a robust Chapter VII
2
peacekeeping mission with political and security mandates that provide for  protection of civilians, a reconciliation process and democratic elections. Earlier, France declared it expects to contribute one thousand  permanent troops to support a UN mission. Security Council Report, an independent watchdog, expects the UNSC to establish a full- fledged, UN-led peacekeeping operation rather than a political mission that supports AFISMA. According to the report, the fifteen-member states are focused on balancing security and robust stabilisation programmes with respect for the interim government andMalian-led initiatives.
1
Cantonment refers to the temporary housing of troops. Cantonment camps are typically provided to former combatants during the second stage of the disarmament,demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process, according to the UN Integrated DDR Standards(IDDRS).
2
 
Chapter VII peacekeeping missions take “action with respect to peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression”. Althoug
h rare in the past, they became morecommon under the current and previous Secretaries-General (1997-present). Chapter VII  peacekeeping forces are authorised to use force in the protection of civilians and maintenance of peace, and they often incorporate robust political goals that relate to re-establishing the integrity of the state.
 
 
3
09 April 2013On 03 April, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a grim report onhumanitarian conditions 
in Mali. “Thehumanitarian situation in Mali remains extremely fragile”. Since March 2012, over 470,
000 people have been displaced, the majorityfleeing to southern Mali, further straining limited resources. An estimated 177,000 refugees fled to Mauritania, Niger and BurkinaFaso; meanwhile, 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) stranded near the Algerian border require urgent assistance. Many pastoralist refugees fled with their herds,complicating their return and possibly endangering populations in neighbouring Sahel countries due to local-level skirmishes erupting from resource disputes and disruption of transhumance corridors.Displaced  populations fleeing Mali due to insecurity are not inherently safer abroad, notes the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR). On 05 April, UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters, 
“Reception conditions are very precarious”. In Niger,
the two primary refugee camps lack health facilities and the drinking water contains clay. The fragility in Malithreatens regionalneighbours as distressed populations compete for limited resources. FAO noted that in 2013, 10.3 million people in the Sahel couldfacefood shortages and 1.4 million children might suffer malnutrition. Additionally, US Agency for International Development (USAID
)’s
 FEWS NET 
service predicts that northern Mali could precipitate into a food crisis in April. Gao will likely be affected,
while Timbuktu and much of the country’s south will fare better. Final
ly,
 BBC 
cited concerns voiced by aid groups in Mali andelsewhere over recent US budget cuts
.The US is the world’s largest donor and in March it slashed its foreign operations budget by
USD 2.7 b
illion, reducing the scale of its humanitarian operations by 5 per cent or more. “At this point we are facing an acute number 
 
of crises”, said Jeremy Kadden of InterAction, a consortium representing hundreds of non
-governmental organisations.
S
yria
 
Ghassan Hitto, the newly elected Syrian opposition prime minister,began talks on 06 April to form an interim government of eleven
 
ministries, reports
 Agence France-Presse
(
 AFP)
. The Syrian National Coalition indicated that nominees for ministry positions must
willing to work from within Syrian borders and, “[t]he nominee cannot be a pillar of the current regime (of President Bashar 
al-Assad)
or have committed crimes against the Syrian people”. The opposition continues to be
divided over both the need for an interim
government and Hitto’s election as prime minster at a March meeting in Istanbul.
Major differences are emerging among rebel groups as the Syrian war drags on, according to
UPI 
. Islamist and secular rebel forces are
increasingly at odds and observers fear that the “defining conflict will be a showdown between rebel factions rather than bat
tling the
Damascus regime” and that the country will ultimately split between north and south. “A full
-blown civil war among the rebels is not
out of the question”, said journalist and analyst Victor Kotsev. In a Turkish television interview, President Assad pre
dicted that if theon-
going conflict in Syria results in “the partitioning of the country, or if terrorist forces take control…the situation
will inevitablyspill over into neighbouring countries and create a domino effect 
throughout the Middle East and beyond”, reports
 Reuters
. FreeSyrian Army forces report the capture of the Um al Mayathen post along the Damascus-Jordan highway after heavy fighting on 05 April, according to
Voice of America (VOA).
The post is only several kilometres from the Nassib border crossing with Jordan.Diplomatic and regional intelligence indicate that in recent rebel advances, opposition forces seized large amounts of weaponsammunition and vehicles. The seizures allowed the rebels to maintain the offensive in the southern border area. Jordan has stepped up
security and deployed more troops to the border while diplomatic and regional intelligence report that Amman was “allowing li
mitedsupplies of light arms to moderate
rebel groups opposed to the Nusra front”, deemed a terrorist group by the US.
Jordan took steps to  bolster security along its border with Syria on 05 April after Syri
a’s President Bashar al Assad stated “Jordan was playing with fire”, by allowing US and other countries to undertake the training of Syrian rebel forces on Jordanian soil, re
 ports
 Al  Jazeera.
Assad’s comments came after US and
other Western and Arab officials revealed that Jordan has been facilitating armsshipments to opposition forces and hosting training camps for Syrian rebels since October 2012. With a burgeoning refugee population and summer quickly approaching, Jordanian officials are concerned that water supplies within the country are insufficient to support populations, reports
Time
. Jordan continues to be one of the world’s most wate
r-stressed countries and growing demand for water, along with electricity and food, may create instability in the country. Also,
The
 
Guardian
reports Jordanian officialsimplemented additional security measures at the 
 after an increased number of thefts, fires and riots.In Lebanon, fuel trucks travelling to Syria continue to be attacked by anti-Assad militants in Lebanon, according to
The
 
Washington Post 
. With Lebanon’s government doing little to stop the on
-going fuel transfers, militants feel justified in their attempts to stem thedaily delivery of an estimated 250,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Anti-Assad militants contend the fuel transfers help to sustain the Assadwar effort. The most recent attack came on 03 April when several Syrian tanker  trucks in the northern city of Tripoli came under  gunfire, reports
The
 
 Daily Star.
On the same day, a Syrian helicopter  travelled 20 kilometres into Lebanon and fired on a known opposition safe-haven in the Bekaa Valley, reports
 Al Jazeera
. Arsal, the Lebanese village that came under Syrian fire, reported noinjuries from the Syrian breach of sovereignty. On 08 April,
UPI 
reports that Israeli leadership fear jihadists will use the GolanHeights to launch an attack  on the country now that the Assad government has withdrawn troops from the area. Israeli Military Chief 
Lieutenant General Benny Gantz states, “[w]e are seeing terror organisations gaining footholds increasingly in the territory”
, adding,
“[f]or now, they are fighting Assad. Guess what? We’re next in line”.
In other regional events, Assad accused the Turkish Prime

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