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DNI - Annual Threat Assessment 2010

DNI - Annual Threat Assessment 2010

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Published by: Silendo on Feb 02, 2010
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The mass killing of civilians—defined as the deliberate killing of at least 1000 unarmed
civilians of a particular political identity by state or state-sponsored actors in a single event or
over a sustained period—is a persistent feature of the global landscape. Within the past three
years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Sudan all suffered mass killing
episodes through violence, starvation, or deaths in prison camps. Sri Lanka may also have
experienced a mass killing last spring: roughly 7,000 civilians were killed during Colombo’s
military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), according to UN estimates.

The risk for mass killing is driven by the presence of ongoing internal conflict or regime
crises, combined with relatively poor socioeconomic conditions, international isolation, recent
protest activity, discriminatory policies, or frequent leadership turnover. In such contexts, mass
killings are typically deliberate strategies by new or threatened elites to assert state or rebel
authority, to clear territory of insurgents, or to deter populations from supporting rebels or anti-
government movements.

Looking ahead over the next five years, a number of countries in Africa and Asia are at
significant risk for a new outbreak of mass killing. All of the countries at significant risk have or
are at high risk for experiencing internal conflicts or regime crises and exhibit one or more of the
additional risk factors for mass killing. Among these countries, a new mass killing or genocide
is most likely to occur in Southern Sudan.

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