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Conflict Weekly
Protests in China and the end of TTP's ceasefire in Pakistan

  IPRI Team

Conflict Weekly #152, 1 December 2022, Vol.3, No.35

An initiative by NIAS-IPRI and KAS-India Office

Avishka Ashok and Abigail Miriam Fernandez


China: Sudden rise in COVID-19 cases leads to sporadic protests across the country

In the news

On 24 November, Apple’s Taiwanese supplier Foxconn apologized for a technical error in the hiring process that caused industrial unrest in the Zhengzhou plant. The workers complained of overdue pay, forced cohabitation with COVID-19-positive colleagues, inadequate quality of meals, and other frustrations caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.

On 25 November, Chinese citizens in Urumqi protested against the COVID-19 lockdown which had continued for more than 100 days. It followed the death of 10 residents in an apartment fire in the city. The protests spread across cities in China in a span of one week. Protestors in Shanghai held a vigil for the residents who lost their lives in Urumqi.

On 29 November, the protests in Guangzhou escalated as the people clashed with the riot police, opposed the government’s zero-COVID policy, and demanded President Xi Jinping step down.

Overseas Chinese nationals in Sydney, Toronto, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, and Massachusetts also protested against the lockdowns in China, calling for an end to the censorship in the country. Protestors within and outside China are using blank white placards as a symbol of dissent, expressing their inability to communicate their discontent.

On 29 November, the US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns remarked that the protests should not be suppressed as the people held the right to protest peacefully. The US Freedom House’s China Dissent Monitor estimated 27 protests while Australian think-tank ASPI calculated 43 protests across 22 cities in China this past week.

The Strait Times reported that the state had begun using force to quell the protests; videos of the police escorting handcuffed protestors to an unknown location and using tear gas to disperse the crowds were circulated on Chinese social media. The police also used surveillance tools, facial recognition, location tracking, and QR code scans to track protestors and confront them about their participation.

The incessant and rising unrest also led the government to ease the COVID-19 regulations. On 29 November, authorities in Guangzhou and Chongqing agreed to allow the first contacts of COVID-19 patients to quarantine at home. In Zhengzhou, the authorities announced the slow and cautious reopening of businesses, supermarkets, gyms, and restaurants. Most cities have now discontinued the requirement of PCR reports to access public spaces. On 30 November, Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, in charge of the COVID-19 policies, attended the National Health Commission meeting with health experts and hinted at easing the pandemic regulations. Her statements mark the first public acknowledgement by a Chinese official that the virus is no longer as severe. The meeting also stressed increasing the number of the vaccinated older adult population in China to 90 per cent . However, despite Sun’s comments, the CPC’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission promised to crack down on “the infiltration and sabotage activities of hostile forces” and explained the country’s intolerance towards “illegal and criminal acts that disrupt social order.”

Issues at large

First, China’s zero-COVID policy. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China was one of the few countries to have quickly controlled the increasing numbers of cases within the mainland. In August 2021, while cases were rising uncontrollably in Italy, the US, Spain, India, and other countries across the world, China fared comparatively better because of its strict policies and lockdown measures. Although authoritarian in nature, the officials in China successfully restricted the spread of infections and ensuant deaths. China depended on high-tech tools such as facial recognition, location tracking, surveillance measures, COVID-19 apps, and payment apps to track and prevent the movement of people. With the introduction of the zero-COVID policy, the Chinese government further fortified its control over the daily lives of the common man in China; preventing people from commuting to work, reopening businesses, restricting movement by blocking their travel cards and passes, and more.

Second, economic losses and slowdown. The zero-COVID policy resulted in financial losses, not just to the individual, but also to the state. Even though the Chinese economy marked growth when other countries remained stagnant or dropped lower, the rate of growth was extremely slow and significantly lower than the expectations of the Chinese government. In 2019, the GDP grew by 6.2 per cent, whereas in 2020, the GDP marked a growth of 2.3 per cent. Although the economy fared well in 2021, the growth rate dipped again in 2022 to 3.9 per cent. The government introduced several measures to strengthen the economy such as increasing liquidity, resuming businesses, restaurants, and public spaces, restarting the tourism industry, and boosting industrial output. However, many businesses shut down during the harsh zero-COVID policies. Many foreign companies also moved out as they were unable to keep up the productivity. The regulations also enable the government to blame the pandemic for suppressing protests and dissent within the country.

Third, the growing intensity of the protests in 2022. The recent protests are not the only time Chinese citizens have expressed their discontent against the CPC and President Xi Jinping. Over the past three years, the strict policies and economic issues have strained the people’s trust in the government. The Chinese people have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the government since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the protests in 2022 have been visibly more intense with the authorities being unable to control them. In March 2022, Shanghai residents protested against the long lockdown and food insecurity. In May, students at Peking University in Beijing protested against the restrictions on movement within the campus. In June and July, people protested in Zhengzhou after they were unable to withdraw money from their bank accounts. Protestors accused the authorities of using the health crisis to prevent them from accessing the city’s public transport and spaces. In October, Tibetans protested against the lockdown which had lasted for more than three months. Prior to the 20th Party Congress, protestors sporadically left banners criticizing the CPC’s policies, calling for an end to the lockdown and demanding Xi to step down.

Fourth, the efficacy of the Chinese vaccines. The sudden surge in COVID-19 cases raises questions about the efficiency of the Chinese vaccines and the vaccination drive in the country. On 23 November, the International Monetary Fund reviewed China’s economic policies and recommended boosting the vaccination drive to sustain economic productivity and growth in 2022. Towards the end of 2020, Sinopharm was the only Chinese company to have publicized the research from its phase II and phase III trials. The lack of full transparency further raised questions about the efficacy and safety of the Chinese vaccinations. Another worrying factor is China’s vaccination drive which has left millions of people vulnerable. The older adults in the country are at a higher risk as only 60 per cent have received three doses, and only 40 per cent of those over 80 years have received a minimum of three doses.

Fifth, comparisons with the Tiananmen protests. Analysts from Western countries have been connecting the events of the past weeks to the patterns observed before the Tiananmen crackdown of protests in China in 1989. Before the government violently suppressed the protests in 1989, a similar series of social upheavals shook China. The unrest was caused by poor economic conditions, increased corruption in Chinese politics, and the lack of transparency. The death of former Party Secretary Hu Yaobang in 1989 further pushed the people to gather and demonstrate against the government. Political analysts have been connecting former President Jiang Zemin’s death to the sudden explosion of protests across China.

In perspective

For the first time in three years, the protests have continued for more than two days. The authorities have been unable to control the crowds demonstrating against the policies of the government. The Chinese government, however, is extremely capable of suppressing the protests using force. Given the short span of social movements in China, the week-long protests have been a surprising turn of events.

The reach of the social movement is unclear as most sources only mention the names of major cities such as Beijing, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Urumqi. It is unknown if the anti-government, anti-Xi Jinping, and anti-zero-COVID policy protests are spread across the country. There is a possibility that the uprisings are limited to cities with large populations that have been subjected to strict lockdown guidelines for a long period of time.

Nonetheless, it is unlikely for the CPC to tolerate a defying population at a time when it struggles to maintain economic growth and deal with the consequences of a volatile property sector. The growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country is a cause of concern for the economy and the government is, therefore, likely to undertake all necessary steps to bring down the cases. Even if the country decides to temporarily pacify the people by easing the restrictions, the complete removal of the zero-COIVD policy seems unlikely in the immediate future.


Pakistan: TTP ends ceasefire with the government
In the news
On 28 November, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended the ceasefire agreed with the government in June and ordered its militants to stage attacks across the country. The statement from the group said: “As military operations are ongoing against mujahideen in different areas [...] so it is imperative for you to carry out attacks wherever you can in the entire country.” The TTP claimed that its decision followed a series of incessant attacks launched by the military in Bannu's Lakki Marwat district. The group also claimed that it had repeatedly asked the people of Pakistan to be patient so that the negotiation process is not sabotaged. However, with the continuing attacks by the army and intelligence agencies, the group claimed they have decided to initiate retaliatory attacks across the country.

Following the end of the ceasefire, the TTP carried out a suicide attack in Quetta’s Baleli area, leaving four individuals, including a police officer and three civilians dead and over 20 wounded. The suicide bomber targeted a police vehicle carrying security personnel deployed to protect polio vaccination campaign workers in Quetta.

Issues at large

First, the resurgence of the TTP. Since 2021, the TTP has made a steady comeback into parts of Pakistan. There are several reasons for this resurgence. For instance, the negotiations with the government, which to an extent has tried to mainstream the group by allowing members of the group to return to Pakistan. As a result, hundreds of TTP fighters have been returning to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including its former stronghold Swat. This has angered the people who in recent months have staged protests against the rise of militancy in the region. In addition, the Taliban’s takeover and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan have given the TTP more space to operate in the region. Moreover, the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan allows TTP militants to move across the border easily. Yet, it is not all good for the TTP as its major setback comes with the killing of its prominent leaders, including its intelligence chief in August 2022.

Second, ceasefire violations, surge in violence and the threat of militancy. The recent ceasefire agreement between the TTP and the federal government came into effect on 2 June 2022. A previous ceasefire was agreed upon on 29 April 2022. However, there were frequent breaches. Attacks by the TTP have been on the rise since September 2022. Most of the attacks took place around South Waziristan and North Waziristan districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), the TTP has claimed responsibility for 87 attacks in 2021, an 84 per cent increase in attacks in comparison to 2020. Additionally, the threat of sub-groups that are close to the TTP such as the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, Lashkar-e-Khurasan, and IMAM group has emerged as a matter of concern. The TTP has supported those who have carried out the attacks while it keeps its hands clean during the ceasefire period.

Third, the lack of political consensus and stalled negotiations between the TTP and the government. The incumbent government and opposition in Pakistan have divergent views on how to deal with the TTP. While the previous Imran Khan government took on a softer position, the coalition government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken on a harder stance in dealing with the group. Additionally, there is no political consensus on the threat posed by the TTP as the politics seem to be focused on Islamabad and not on issues such as the TTP. Meanwhile, all the ceasefire agreements have been called amid peace negotiations between the federal government and the TTP. The talks first started in October 2021 but broke down in December after the Ministry of Interior claimed to have been in talks with the group for more than a year. The talks failed as the TTP accused the Pakistani government of failing to fulfil its main demand including the reversal of the merger of former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as continuing to detain TTP members while a truce was still being negotiated. Meanwhile, there have been several criticisms of the government against entering into peace talks, fearing that this would legitimize the group and make it difficult to contain the militancy.

Fourth, the military’s position on the TTP. The military has conducted several operations in the region to flush out militancy. In the last decade, there have been three military operations – Operation Rah-e-Nijat in 2009, Operation Zarb-e-Azb in 2014, and Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in 2017. These operations have had some success, but the threat of militancy has not been removed completely. In turn, the military operations have resulted in strong resentment among the people against the army and the government. The latest attack comes as General Syed Asim Munir takes over as Chief of Army Staff and General Qamar Javed Bajwa retires. Through the attack, the TTP might be signaling the new army chief to revive the negotiation process which had stalled since the transfer of Lt General Faiz Hameed.

In perspective

First, the TTP has become an existential crisis for Pakistan. It is unlikely that TTP will hold back on the violence given that the group is disgruntled with the position of the government and army. Additionally, the regional and domestic situation has emboldened the group which seems to have re-strategized and come back stronger. Thus, the TTP is likely to assert itself as an entity of its own not just in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but also in Balochistan and Karachi specifically.

Second, the state’s incoherent strategy. This past year, the state took on a different narrative on the TTP, from terming it a threat to negotiating and considering amnesty for its members to calling them a “menace” to the state. These confusing and often contradicting narratives have emboldened the TTP and have left the Pakistani public ill-informed and confused about the nature of the threat the TTP poses. Additionally, the state is also left in a difficult position between taking a hard or soft stance on dealing with the group. However, without a concession, the issue is unlikely to be resolved; but by doing so, other militant groups in the country would raise similar demands, pushing the state into a tight spot.  

Third, the military will take a hard stance against the TTP. The military has been carrying out intelligence-based operations across the region in which several terrorists have been reportedly killed. Although a full-fledged operation has not been launched to flush out the militants, the increasing operations highlight the hard stance that the military has taken to address the threat of the TTP and militancy at large.


Also from around the World
by Avishka Ashok, Pranav Jayakumar, Joel Jacob, Sethuraman N, Bhoomika Sesharaj, Farhan Hussain, Abigail Miriam Fernandez, Apoorva Sudhakar, Padmashree Anandhan, Madhura Mahesh

East and Southeast Asia

China: Young protestor from 2019 Hong Kong protests detained for six years

On 30 November, a Hong Kong court judge sentenced a Chow Pak-hwan, a protester who was shot by the police during the 2019 demonstrations, to six years in prison on charges of attempted robbery, obstructing a police officer and attempting to escape custody. Chow sustained injuries to his liver and spine and lost his kidney when a police officer fired at him while he was unarmed. Human rights activists and political analysts often cite Chow’s incident to highlight the extreme use of violence against citizens in Hong Kong. The judge, however, justified the lengthy sentence, claiming that Chow’s actions of attempting to grab the officer’s gun could have inflamed the crowd’s emotions and resulted in more violence and destruction.

China: Hong Kong government prevents and postpones Jimmy Lai’s trail

On 1 December, the Strait Times reported that a court in Hong Kong delayed Jimmy Lai’s National Security trial at the request of the government. The trial was scheduled to begin on 1 December; the court will meet on 13 December to plan a timetable for the trial. On 28 November, Hong Kong’s Chief John Lee announced the government’s decision to invoke the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s ruling on allowing foreign lawyers to take part in National Security cases. The delay in Lai’s ruling is considered to be the government’s tactic to prevent Lai’s British lawyer from representing him in the trial.

South Korea: Chinese and Russian joint patrol creates frenzy in East China Sea

On 30 November, the South Korean and Japanese military dispatched military jets as six Russian and two Chinese strategic warplanes entered their air defence identification zone without prior notice. The entourage of warplanes included the Russian Tupolev-95 long-range “Bear” bombers and the Chinese XIAN H-6K. The Russian Defence Ministry referred to the action and explained that the carriers entered the air space over the Japanese waters and the East-China Seas as the Russian military was conducting a joint patrol with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The Ministry further claimed that the activities were in accordance with the international law and rejected the claims of violating any foreign airspace.

Myanmar: Junta informant ex-colonel assassinated in Yangon

On 24 November, retired colonel and regime informant Zaw Naing Win was shot dead by unknown gunmen at his residence in Thingangyun Township in Yangon region. Win hailed from Thuwanna Ward which is also known as ‘Bogyoke Ywar’ meaning  ‘general’s village.’ He was reportedly residing there with fellow military personnel. Residents of the township said Win was a well-known informant of the regime and reported that he was shot dead at his residence.

Myanmar: Eighth Border Conference between Bangladesh and Myanmar held

On 24 November, the five-day long border conference between the Border Guard Bangladesh and the Border Guard Police of Myanmar commenced in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar. The discussion included the de-escalation of the tense situation at the border due to internal conflict in Myanmar, violation of the air border, combating inter-state terrorism, preventing  activities of cross-border criminal gangs, drug and human trafficking illegal infiltration, conducting joint patrolling, repatriation of detained citizens of both the countries among other pressing issues.

South Asia

India: Protesters in Shillong burn effigies of prominent politicians amid violence in the state

On 26 November, protesters in Shillong burned effigies of union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, and State Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui amid violence in the state since the police firing incident at Mukroh village in Meghalaya earlier in the week. Five pressure groups under the ‘Save Hynniewtrep Mission” (SHM) banner surrounded Sangma’s residence and protested the killing of six Mukroh village residents. The protesters got into a scuffle with security forces outside the Meghalaya Chief Minister’s bungalow when they tried to burn effigies of the politicians. The protesters then relocated to about 100 metres away from the CM’s residence and burned the effigies. On 26 November, Assam continued to restrict the movement of people and private vehicles to Meghalaya following the incident on 22 November where six people were killed at Mukroh village. Meanwhile, on 26 November, Meghalaya extended the suspension of internet services in the seven affected districts for 48 hours.

Bangladesh: Rohingya insurgents charged with murder of intelligence officer

On 27 November, Bangladesh’s main military agency charged the leader of a Rohingya insurgent group along with 60 others for the murder of an intelligence officer. The police said that the leader, Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi is the founder of the Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army (ARSA) was present during an attack and that he is the chief accused in the murder. The police claimed that 31 other individuals, including ARSA members, were also charged with murder. This marks the first time that Ataullah has been charged with any offense by Bangladesh.

Nepal: China’s role in Nepal and Bangladesh’s river projects worries India

On 27 November, the Supreme Court shelved the award of the road building contract amounting to NPR 1,500 crores by the Nepal Army to the China First Highway Engineering company and pushed all the parties for a discussion on the same. The order comes as concerns regarding the transparency of the bidding of the Kathmandu Terai-Madhesh Expressway strike heavily in India, which has been a familiar partner to Nepal’s road-building projects in the past. The Chinese side has also been scouting the Bangladesh government for a greater role in the Teesta River Project and said that China would “take it under very positive consideration” if Bangladesh and Nepal cooperate with them. 

Sri Lanka: NBRO says there is an unusual drop in air quality

On 30 November, Sri Lanka’s National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) said that the air quality in several districts had dropped and issued a purple alert for Colombo’s Battarmulla, which recorded an air quality index of 75.  Mannar, Vavuniya, Dambulla, and Kegalle issued red alerts, with Jaffna, Puttalam, Polonnaruwa, and Mullativu showing deteriorating air quality as well. According to the NBRO, the air quality in these areas is unhealthy, and the public has been warned of the potential health effects. The World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines mention that the acceptable level of air quality is 15 micrograms of air pollutants per cubic meter averaging over 24 hours. However, Sri Lanka’s air contains approximately 30-40 micrograms or more air pollutants per cubic meter.

Pakistan: One killed in attack on a school in South Waziristan; 10 terrorists killed in Hoshab

On 1 December, one man was killed in an attack on a girls’ school in the Azam Warsak area of the South Waziristan district. According to the police, the attack took place after unknown militants opened fire from a nearby mountain during Parents’ Day celebrations at the Army Public School for Girls. This attack comes as militants have continue to target police and security forces in the area. In the past 40 days, six attacks have been carried out on Azam Warsak Police station. In a separate incident on 29 November, security forces killed 10 terrorists in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in the Hoshab area of Balochistan. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the terrorists “opened fire” on the security forces while they were establishing blockades, and that “heavy exchange of fire” led to 10 killings and one terrorist enduring injuries.

Afghanistan: 19 people killed in a bombing at a madrassa in Samangan

On 30 November, an explosion occurred at a Jahdia seminary during afternoon prayers leaving 19 people dead and over 25 wounded. The Taliban’s interior ministry spokesperson said that security forces were investigating the attack and promised to “identify the perpetrators and punish them for their actions.” Additionally, the head of the provincial department of information and culture said: “This was not a suicide attack but a mine blast and was placed there.” No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Central Asia, Middle East and Africa

Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan: Presidents sign border agreement into law

On 30 November, the presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan signed two documents ratifying their mutual border and management of water resources in the Kempir-Abad reservoir also known as the Andijan reservoir. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said: “Thanks to the political will of the heads of state, the mutual respect and good neighborly relations between the two fraternal peoples are strengthening, and an agreement is reached on issues that have remained unresolved for 30 years.” Through the agreement, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will receive the 4,957 hectares on the reservoir sits as well as an additional 19.5 hectares for the maintenance and protection of the dam, while Kyrgyzstan will receive 1,019 hectares of pastureland plus 12,849 hectares in a separate section of the border as compensation. Additionally, the two have agreed to jointly manage the reservoir’s water. 

South Sudan: County commissioner orchestrated gangrape, says UN panel

On 28 November, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said that it had reasons to believe that the Unity state’s county commissioner oversaw the gangrape of several women and girls at a military camp. A commission member said that sexual violence related to conflict resulted from impunity and that it had become systematic. The Commission quotes witnesses who said the commissioner had planned the sexual violence and his deputy carried it forward; patterns like the above offence were observed in other places. However, the Information Minister dismissed these claims accusing the UN officials of falsely reporting the above to make money. On 29 November, BBC reported that the chairperson of the Commission had called on the government to prosecute the officials involved in the crime. The news report quoted the chairperson: “Nowhere in the world do you find so many women who experience conflict by being repeatedly gang raped... while the men responsible are promoted and rewarded.” 

Somalia: Hotel siege by al Shabaab leaves eight dead

On 28 November, security forces ended a siege by al Shabaab of a hotel near the president’s residence in the capital Mogadishu. A police spokesperson said eight civilians and a policeman had been killed and 60 rescued. The spokesperson said one of the al Shabaab terrorist blew himself up and security forces killed five after the attack began on 27 November. The environment minister was residing in the hotel; he said the government would not give up the fight against al Shabaab.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: 50 civilians killed by M23, says army

On 1 December, the army released a statement accusing the M23 rebels of killing 50 civilians in North Kivu province’s Kishishe town and violating a ceasefire signed the previous week. An army official termed the attack a massacre. Further, the statement said the army had maintained the ceasefire despite attacks on government positions.

Europe and the Americas

Serbia and Kosovo: Sign agreement over the licence plate dispute

On 24 November, Kosovo and Serbia, under EU facilitation, reached an agreement over the licence plate dispute. The agreement outlines that Serbia will cease registration and re-registration of cars with the Kosovo cities’ denomination and Kosovo will cease the imposition of fines and reprimands. Serbia’s Chief Negotiator Petar Petković said that while Serbia will not issue new KM licence plates, but those Serbs already holding KM plates will be eligible for registration and extend the validity of their vehicles. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell urged Serbia and Kosovo to come together to discuss the next steps towards normalisation of  ties.

Serbia-Hungary: 600 illegal migrants rescued by Serbian police

On 25 November, Serbian Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic said 600 illegal migrants had been rescued at the Serbia-Hungary border. This comes after Gasic ordered an investigation into the killing of a 20-year-old at a shootout. Simultaneously,  Serbia, Hungary and Austria signed a deal to deploy joint border patrols and adopt EU policies to decrease the flow of illegal migrants to the rest of Europe through the Western Balkans.

France: National Assembly approves bill to constitutionalise abortion rights

On 24 November, France’s National Assembly passed a bill to constitutionalise abortion rights. The ruling centrist coalition and the left-wing party La France insoumise proposed the bill to “guarantee the effectiveness and equal access to the right to voluntarily end a pregnancy.” The bill was passed with 337 votes in favour and 32 against and will now be sent to the Senate for consideration. According to the left-leaning lawmakers of France, this bill was a result of the US Supreme Court ruling to overturn abortion rights. Abortion in France was legalised in 1974 and women have access to abortion for up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Germany: Government announces military aid for Ukraine

On 1 December, Germany’s Federal Government released a statement on the list of military aid to Ukraine given so far. It includes unmanned surface vessels, border protection vehicles, three BEAVER bridge-laying tanks, and eight unmanned surface vessels, 12 border protection vehicles, spare parts for Mi-24 helicopters, 28 anti-drone sensors and jammers, 28 anti-drone sensors and jammers in partnership with the Netherlands. The total export of military goods as of 28 November amount to EUR 1,933,456,163.

Brazil: Landslide in Parana kills two and cuts off major transport route

On 30 November, heavy rains in Parana caused a landslide stranding 30 and killing two. The landslide closed the BR-277 road which is a major transport route to Paranagua and Antonia ports. The Paranagua port is Brazil’s second largest port transporting exporting grains, sugar, soybeans, and corn. The trucks delivering the goods to the port have now been delayed due to the road blockade. While this has not affected exports, port authorities have warned that any further delay in shipments will lead to additional charges levied by exporters. 

Haiti: Gang violence erupts in Cabaret killing 12

On 1 December, Port-au-Prince’s Mayor Joseph Jeanson Guillaume reported that over 12 people were killed in Cabaret as gangs fought to control more territory. The violence broke out on 29 November night and gangs stormed into the town with machine guns overpowering the people and reportedly setting fire to 20 homes. Guillaume has urged residents to help those fleeing from Cabaret and has called upon the Haitian National Police to increase the presence of officers and resources in the now “lawless” region. 


About the authors

Abigail Miriam Fernandez, Apoorva Sudhakar, Avishka Ashok and Padmashree Anandhan are Project Associates at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. Anu Maria Joseph and Joel Jacob are Research Assistants at NIAS. Madhura Mahesh, Bhoomika Sesharaj, Sethuraman N, and Farhan Hussain are Research Interns at NIAS.

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