Welcome to “Global Conflict This Week,” a series that highlights developments in conflicts across the world that you might have missed this week. Stay up to date on these conflicts and others with the online interactive, the Global Conflict Tracker, from the Center for Preventive Action (CPA).
Peace Deal Prospects Dim in South Sudan
On July 9, rebels in South Sudan rejected a peace plan that would have reinstated insurgent leader Riek Machar as vice president, claiming it would leave President Salva Kiir with too much power. Then on July 12, South Sudan's parliament voted to extend President Salva Kiir's term until 2021, a move opposition groups have claimed would be illegal.
Separately, a UN investigation revealed that South Sudan government troops and allied forces killed at least 232 civilians and carried out mass rapes of women and girls in attacks on opposition-held villages in the country’s north in April and May.
Revisit CPA’s report Ending South Sudan’s Civil War and CFR’s The Internationalist blog post, “Salvaging South Sudan’s Sovereignty (and Ending its Civil War),” for proposals on bringing peace to South Sudan.
More on the civil war in South Sudan »
UN Envoy Warns Israel Over Ban on Goods into Gaza
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered an immediate closure of the primary cargo crossing, Kerem Shalom, between Israel and the Gaza Strip on July 9 in response to incendiary kites and balloons launched into Israel by Palestinians. The following day, UN Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov urged Israeli officials to reverse the decision. “Everyone must step back from the trajectory of confrontation and escalation,” Mladenov said.
More on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict »
Developments Across Afghanistan
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit on July 9 to Kabul, where he promised support for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s push to initiate peace negotiations with the Taliban. The next day, more than two hundred religious scholars from fifty-seven countries convened in Saudi Arabia to discuss ways to end the conflict in Afghanistan.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), some 13,700 Afghans returned voluntarily or were deported from Iran in the first week of July, bringing the total number of returnees from the country so far this year to more than 370,500. The IOM cited “deteriorating protection space” in Iran and Pakistan as push factors.
Separately, a U.S. service member was killed and two others wounded on July 7 in a so-called insider attack at a small outpost in Uruzgan Province.
CFR’s Courtney Cooper argues that the recent cease-fires underscore the importance of confidence-building measures in building peace in Afghanistan. More on the war in Afghanistan »
Over One Thousand Ceasefire Violations in Ukraine
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine reported 1,200 ceasefire violations last week, as fighting between the Ukrainian armed forces and separatists in the east continues.
More on the conflict in Ukraine »
Bombing at Campaign Rally in Pakistan Kills More Than Twenty
A suicide bomber attacked a campaign rally held by the secular Awami National Party (ANP) in Peshawar on July 10, killing twenty-one people including provincial assembly candidate Haroon Ahmed Bilour. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which wounded sixty-five other people, vowing more attacks and warning people to stay away from ANP rallies. Nationwide elections in Pakistan are scheduled for July 25.
More on Islamist militancy in Pakistan »