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IPSI's Peace & Security Report (PSR) is a concise weekly e-publication intended to brief busy students, academics, advocates, and practitioners in the conflict management community on pertinent global news, events, and trends.  Meticulously researched and written by IPSI, the PSR empowers us all to take a step back from our immediate deadlines each Friday and gain a greater understanding of the week's global events.
Featured Article   

Kony 2012: An Opportunity, Not a Burden

PSR BannerThe newfound celebrity of Joseph Kony and the LRA among those who until this week knew little about the over two decades-old conflict should be viewed as an opportunity by our community, not a burden. We have the resources and knowledge to push beyond the simple narrative currently in circulation and collectively do our part to educate the newly-initiated about the complex history, current geopolitical realities, amazing local actors, tenuous "reconciliation" processes, and the rocky path forward. As I recently stated at a joint IPSI/Johns Hopkins University event titled The End of the LRA: Establishing Security & Justice for Northern Uganda: "Although neutralizing Joseph Kony would be a positive first step, it would only be just that - a first step. The real work will be fostering peace and security for the traumatized populations, as well as bringing those responsible for the worst atrocities to justice."

To do our part in educating the "Facebook generation" about the scourge of the LRA, yesterday IPSI uploaded the video from that event to YouTube. In it, some of the world's most well-informed experts on the topic (John Prendergast, Cameron Hudson, Veronica Bichetero) answer these two questions:

1. What effect will the Obama administration's strategy, when combined with the efforts of the EU and AU, have on the conflict dynamics of the region?

2. What needs to be done and by whom to foster a lasting peace and a sense of justice for ALL Ugandans touched by this horrific chapter in their history?

It is our hope that those just discovering a passion for understanding the stark realities of our world will not be turned away by divisive debate, even if that passion was discovered through a campaign with which many in our community are uncomfortable. Instead, we should celebrate the energy of our new recruits and guide them to becoming responsible and well-informed global citizens. IPSI would be honored if our efforts in programming The End of the LRA: Establishing Security & Justice for Northern Uganda plays a small role in that education.

Cameron M. Chisholm
Watch "The End of the LRA" here: 
IPSI End of the LRA
ETHIOPIA: Rebels release captured tourists
On Tuesday, the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) stated it released two captured German tourists to local elders on Monday. The tourists were first kidnapped with two Ethiopians in an attack on northern Ethiopia's Afar region on January 17. The attack left two Germans, one Austrian, and two Hungarians dead and one Hungarian wounded. German and Ethiopian government authorities have not confirmed the release. Comment: ARDUF says it is fighting for greater autonomy from the central government, claiming 'political marginalization and economic deprivation' of the Afar people. Immediately after the January incident, Ethiopia blamed Eritrea, which borders its Afar region, for backing the ARDUF rebels and said the tourists were held across the border in remote desert areas of Eritrea. (BBC, Reuters, Reuters, Afrique en ligne)

REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Arms depot fire in Brazzaville
On Wednesday, the UN humanitarian office said it deployed a team to the Republic of Congo to support authorities after explosions at a munitions depot in Brazzaville on March 4 left at least 200 dead and injured some 1,500. On Tuesday, authorities brought the fires under control and said they were caused by an electrical short-circuit. Firefighters stopped the flames from reaching a second arms depot, as shells have been exploding around the site. Rescuers say it is still too dangerous to approach due to unexploded weapons. Comment: At least 5,000 people are also thought to be homeless due to the Sunday's explosions, which hit the eastern suburb of Mpili in Brazzaville. According to the Mines Advisory Group, Congolese authorities had been warned about the dangers of storing munitions in densely populated residential areas; however, due to stability issues in the region, the Congolese Army prefers to keep arms nearby in case of violence. (All Africa, Al Jazeera, BBC, France 24) 

SUDAN: UN Security Council demands end to hostilities
The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday issued a presidential statement demanding an end to fighting on the border of Sudan and South Sudan. It expressed "grave concern" about reports of troop movements and airstrikes along the poorly-defined Sudan-South Sudan border, and demanded that all parties cease military operations in the area and honor the non-aggression pact signed last month. The African Union is mediating what are scheduled to be 10 days of talks between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa. The council also urged Khartoum and Juba to return to the negotiating table for talks on ending the war in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Comment: The UN and other aid agencies have warned of a potential famine in parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan has refused to allow aid groups into the states and insisted that the humanitarian situation there is stable despite UN and international assertions to the contrary. (Sudan Tribune, Voice of America, Radio Netherlands)

UGANDA: LRA resurfaces after lull in violence
On Tuesday, UNHCR reported that thousands of people have fled from a recent spate of attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) northeastern Orientale province. In January, the United Nations and the governments of the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda and the DRC agreed to allow their troops to cross borders without interference if they were pursuing LRA forces. Comment: Since 2008, LRA attacks have displaced an estimated 320,000 people in the Orientale province; 30,000 Congolese refugees have reportedly fled to the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The LRA, which emerged in northern Uganda in the late 1990s, is believed to have killed, kidnapped and mutilated tens of thousands of people. Its leader Joseph Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court and the African Union has designated the LRA as a terrorist group. (Reuters, Voice of America, All Africa)

Researched/Written by James Asuquo-Brown III
BRAZIL: Opposition rallies against controversial bill, voting postponed
Environmental activists and small-scale farmers rallied in front of Brazil's National Congress on Wednesday, protesting against a controversial bill that would lessen environmental regulations in the Brazilian Amazon. Voting on the bill was postponed by Congress on Tuesday for the government to "gain support for the current text." The bill reduces restrictions on deforestation by permitting areas illegally logged before July 2008 to now be legally farmed, as well as agricultural activity along "environmentally sensitive riverbanks." Additionally, it calls for amnesty to be granted to developers who were engaged in illegal logging in the past. Comment: The new proposed Forestry Code awaits voting in the lower house of Congress after receiving approval from the Senate, and is considered a more "eco-friendly" version than the previous proposal. Environmental groups, alongside indigenous communities and small farmers, fear an increase in deforestation if the bill passes, and are demanding President Rousseff to veto any changes to Brazil's existing forestry code. Climate Observatory estimates the new code would affect nearly 690,000 km (266,000 m) of vegetation. Approximately 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, and an estimated one fifth of the land has been deforested since 1970. (AFP, CNN)

PERU: Protests against illegal mining law
5,000 Peruvians took to streets of Puerto Maldonado on Monday after the Peruvian government passed a law increasing punishments for illegal gold mining in the country. Approximately 50,000 miners operate without licenses, and under the new law, illegal miners could face 10 years in prison. Miners and family members who depend on mining for their livelihood claim thousands will be unemployed, and those engaged in illegal mining have attempted to acquire authorization permits but have been unable to do so due to bureaucratic obstacles. The Peruvian government stated the new law will decrease air pollution and mercury levels in local water sources. Comment: Miners speculate the government is attempting to encourage large multinational companies to mine, as Peru is one of the largest gold producers in the world. (BBC, AFP, Peru This Week)

REGIONAL: Biden affirms drug legalization is not an option
During official visits to Mexico and Honduras, Vice President Biden asserted that the United States will not consider drug legalization, despite increasing pressure from regional governments. Biden pledged U.S. financial and political support in combating the illicit drug trade and drug-related violence in the region. Biden stated the United States provided USD 361 million since 2008 through a regional security initiative; the Obama Administration will request USD 107 million for 2013 and is expected to focus on training programs regarding drug consumption. Comment: Guatemalan President P�rez Molina has been a strong advocate for the decriminalization of drug production and consumption; Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, and Honduras stated a willingness to engage in dialogue with Costa Rica and Nicaragua regarding decriminalization. The governments of Central America have been combatting increases in drug-related violence; Honduras has the highest murder rate in in the world of 82.1 murders per 100,000 people, according to figures by the UN Office and Drugs and Crime. Biden's trip occurred prior to the sixth summit of the Americas, scheduled for next month. (BBC, NY Times, CNN)

Researched/Written by  Melissa Mahfouz
East Asia
CHINA: Military Budget to top USD 100bn
On March 4, Beijing announced that its military budget would rise 11.2 percent in 2012, causing the budget to exceed USD 100bn for the first time. The defense budget for 2011 was USD 91.5 billion, which was a 12.7 percent increase over the 2010 budget. This new budget comes as China's neighbors are increasingly uneasy about the country's growing assertiveness in pressing territorial claims. Officials at the Pentagon have said that they are aware and not surprised of China's burgeoning defense budget. Comment: Despite the increase, China's defense budget is about one-fifth of the United States' defense budget. (Economic Times, Washington Post, BBC)

NORTH KOREA: Threatens South with "sacred" war
On March 2, government officials at a rally in Pyongyang threatened "merciless" war against South Korea. Thousands of chanting North Koreans rallied vowing to "wipe out" South Korean "traitors" whom they accused of "defaming" their new leader, Kim Jong-un, and of staging inflammatory war games with the United States. Analysts and observers believe this is Pyongyang's way of demonstrating that despite the deal made between North Korea and the United States, ties between the two Koreas will remain strained. Comment: While the deal between North Korea and the U.S. is hailed as a major breakthrough, Washington has noted that improved inter-Korean relations are crucial for real success. (Guardian, Al Jazeera, Reuters)

THAILAND: Four soldiers killed in roadside bombing in restive south
Late Wednesday night, a roadside bomb exploded on a rural road in the southern region of Narathiwat killing four soldiers and seriously wounding another. The soldiers were returning from escorting Buddhist worshippers attending a candlelight procession at the Wat Ratsamosorn temple when the bomb was detonated. Thai officials suspect Islamic militants as the culprits in the attacks. Comment: Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's three southernmost provinces since an Islamist insurgency materialized in 2004.The militants have targeted civilians and businesses, as well as symbols of the state, including soldiers and government officials. (Bangkok Post, ABC, MCOT)

Researched/Written by Jared Bell

Europe & Central Asia
MOLDOVA: Pedophiles to be chemically castrated
New legislation introduced Tuesday in Moldovan Parliament mandates that anyone convicted of sexually abusing children will be chemically castrated. The law, which will go into effect July 1, will apply to both Moldovans and foreigners convicted in Moldova. Moldova has in recent years become a destination for "sex tourists" and five of the nine people convicted in the past two years on pedophilia charges have been foreigners. The legislation is criticized by human rights advocates, including Amnesty International and Council of Europe, who see it as undermining the right of control over one's own body. Comment: Chemical castration involves the intake of testosterone-suppressing drugs, which lower the sex drive. The process is reversible. (BBC, Washington Post, RFE/RL)

NORWAY: Terror charges for Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik, who admitted to carrying out attacks that killed 77 people on July 22, was charged on Wednesday with committing acts of terror. The charges against Breivik are the first under Norway's anti-terror laws; Breivik is specifically being charged with "performing an act of terrorism involving murder, with the intention of destabilizing the basic functions of society." The maximum prison sentence is 21 years, but Breivik is likely to be prosecuted as criminally insane, in which case he would be committed to psychiatric care rather than prison. The trial is expected to begin April 16. Comment: Breivik maintains that his actions were based on rational choices and were necessary in order to defend Norway against a threat from Muslim immigrants. (BBC, Norway Post, Telegraph)

RUSSIA: Amidst protests, Putin wins presidential election
Sunday's elections in Russia gave Putin the expected victory, with the two-time Russian president regaining the seat with nearly 64 percent of the vote. Voter turnout was estimated to be approximately 62 percent of eligible voters. On Monday, demonstrators took to the streets to protest what they believed to be a fraudulent election; hundreds of protesters were arrested after refusing to leave the squares where the protests were taking place. Moscow has announced it will allow up to 50,000 protesters take to central squares this coming weekend to demonstrate against Putin. Comment: The presidential term in Russia is four years, with a limit to two consecutive terms. Putin served two consecutive terms from 2000-2008, but his stint as prime minister during the past four years made him eligible to run for president again in this election. (BBC, RFE/RL, Telegraph, Moscow Times)

Researched/Written by Kate Elci

Middle East & North Africa
LEBANON: Syrian refugees flood Lebanon as violence continues
The UN claimed on Wednesday that an estimated 10,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon in the past weeks in response to continued violence, with an estimated 3,000 arriving on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Lebanese president, Michel Suleiman, dismissed the issue last Thursday, saying: "The influx of some Syrian families as a result of the turbulence in Syrian does not constitute a major problem because they can stay with their relatives." Refugees in Lebanon are referred to as "those fleeing the unrest," a designation disallowing employment or permits to travel around Lebanon. Comment: The refugee crisis may spark sectarian unrest in Lebanon as the Maronite Christian leadership has allied itself closely with the Assad leadership, with Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rah stating "the closest thing to democracy (in the Arab world) is Syria." Refugees have also fled to other neighboring states, with Jordan claiming about 80,000 and Turkey housing an estimated 11,000. (BBC,  Washington Post, Guardian)

LIBYA: Eastern Cyrenaica region declares semi-autonomy
Tribal leaders and militia commanders in the oil-rich Eastern Cyrenaica region made a bid for semi-autonomy on Tuesday in Benghazi. The conference announced that it wanted to have its own parliament, police force, courts and capital in Benghazi, but foreign policy would be left to the federal government in Tripoli. The National Transitional Council remains committed to a unified Libya, and thousands marched on the Benghazi courthouse on Monday to protest the proposed autonomy. Comment: The Cyrenaica region was one of three federal regions within Libya that enjoyed federal power from Libya's independence in 1951 until the country became a unitary state in 1963. The population in the East accused Gaddafi of neglecting the region as he concentrated power in the Western capital of Tripoli. The anti-Gaddafi revolution originally centered in Benghazi. (BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera)

SYRIA: Deputy Oil Minister resigns in support of rebels
Deputy Oil Minister Abdo Hussameddin announced his defection from the Syrian regime on Wednesday, March 7 in a YouTube video released by his supporters. In the video he stated "I... announce my defection from the regime and my resignation... I am joining the revolution of the people who reject injustice and the brutal campaign of the regime, which is seeking to crush the people's demand for freedom and dignity." He is the highest ranking civilian to abandon President Assad since the uprising erupted a year ago. The Syrian government has not publicly commented on Mr Hussameddin's announcement. Comment: The resignation came hours after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that no options, including military action, had been ruled out to end the violence in Syria, although he also stressed that the U.S. still preferred a diplomatic solution. The former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, is due to hold talks with Syrian government officials in Damascus on Saturday as joint special envoy for the UN and the Arab League. (BBC, AFP, Al Arabiya)

Researched/Written by Colleen Michelle Rossmiller 

South Asia
AFGHANISTAN: Suicide attacks in Kabul region
On Monday, a suicide attack claimed by the Taliban in the northern province of Parwan killed at least three civilians and wounded several more; the target of the attack was reportedly a truck near Bagram Air Field belonging to NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The Taliban justified the attack through one of their Twitter accounts: "Invaders confirmed revenge for the desecration of the Holy Quran and other religious books by the Americans in the base." Earlier in the day, a separate, unclaimed suicide bombing in Jalalabad killed one member of the Afghan Army and wounded 12 civilians. Comment: This week, Pakistan's Parliament unanimously condemned the burnings that took place at Bagram Base on February 22, and they called on all Muslim nations to pressure the U.S. to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. (Al Jazeera, BBC, Dawn)

NEPAL: Mass arrests made during Hindu holiday celebration
Over 665 "drunks," "cannabis-users," and "water-balloon throwers" were arrested in Kathmandu leading up to the culmination of the Hindu festival of Holi on Wednesday. Kathmandu authorities said that in recent years the spring festival has become increasingly volatile, and within the past week, several outbreaks of violence occurred between worshippers and young men throwing balloons filled with dirty water at women. An additional 500 police officers were stationed throughout Nepal's capital to quell disruptive behavior; however, two deaths were reported as a result of "playing Holi in an indecent manner." Comment: Holi is celebrated annually in the spring by millions of Hindus across South Asia to mark the end of winter. The celebrations are known for the throwing of colored perfumes and dyes. (MSN, Haveeru, AFP, Zee News)

PAKISTAN: Afghanistan agrees to help Pakistan quell Baloch resistance
According to Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik, negotiations between the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan earlier this week to close down military camps in Afghan territory being used to train Baloch separatists were successful. "President Karzai has promised to stop the infiltration [of separatists] from Kandahar to Balochistan," said Senator Malik in Islamabad on Sunday. Senator Malik has expressed frustration in the past over nearly 6,000 missing persons from the Balochistan region, whom the Pakistani government fear have traveled to Afghanistan for training. Despite these allegations, the Pakistani government expressed interest in opening a "political dialogue" with Baloch tribal leaders, like Bugti, in order to mitigate sectarian violence inside Pakistan. Comment: The frequency of Balochistan separatist movement attacks has recently increased. On Tuesday, seven Baloch militants were killed by Frontier Corps troops after the militants attacked a military convoy. On Wednesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudry criticized Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslan Raisani for perceived inaction in the troubled region. (The Nation, Dawn, Dawn, Tribune)

Researched/Written by Tarek J. Nasser

March 9, 2012
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In This Issue
Featured Article
East Asia
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & N. Africa
South Asia
IPSI News 
Want to attend an IPSI Symposium this summer in Bologna or The Hague, but need financial aid?  You have TWO WEEKS until the application deadline!
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IPSI News 
IPSI Jan Eliasson
IPSI Advisor Jan Eliasson named UN deputy Secretary General by Ban Ki-moon.  Details >>


IPSI News 
IPSI Juan Mendez
Juan E. M�ndez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and faculty at The Hague Symposium, says evidence of torture in Syria.  Watch Video >> 


IPSI News 
IPSI Jerry White
 Jerry White, Nobel Laureate and IPSI contributor, discusses transforming his personal trauma of losing his leg to a landmine to a global force for banning the weapon.  Watch video >>


IPSI Leadership 


Cameron M. Chisholm

Dr. I. William Zartman 
Dr. P. Terrence Hopmann 
Alexander Little 
George Foote
Pamela Aall 
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah
Betty Bigombe 
Jan Eliasson
Gareth Evans 
Dr. Ted Robert Gurr
Amb. Jacques Paul Klein
Peter Kyle 
Dr. Jean Paul Lederach
Jeffrey Mapendere
John Marks 
Susan Collin Marks 
Dr. Joyce Neu

Dr. Valerie Rosoux 
William Stuebner 
Dr. Ruth Wedgwood

Dr. Craig Zelizer


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