ReliefWeb Maps & Graphics for Country Office

Yemen: Damage Assessment of Taiz City, At Ta'Ziah District, Yemen (as of 3 Jul 2015)

Yemen - Maps - 4 July 2015 - 1:02am
Source: UNOSAT Country: Yemen

This map illustrates satellite-detected areas of destruction in a portion of the town of Taiz, Yemen, as seen by the WorldView-3 satellite on 26 June 2015. UNOSAT identified a total of 194 damaged buildings (34 destroyed, 52 severely damaged, 74 moderately damaged, 34 possibly damaged) as well as 257 areas with significant amounts of debris. This is a preliminary analysis & has not yet been validated in the field. Note that satellite imagery analysis will not capture all damage to buildings and instead only detects significant or catastrophic amounts of structural damage.

Nepal: Nepal Central Region - Access Constraints as of 3rd July 2015

Nepal - Maps - 4 July 2015 - 12:11am
Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster Country: Nepal

World: World Events - ECHO Daily Map | 3/7/2015

Yemen - Maps - 3 July 2015 - 11:43pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: China, Guam, Iraq, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands (The United States of America), Philippines, World, Yemen

Iraq - Conflict

• Lack of access to safety remains a grave concern as internally displaced persons (IDPs) from AlAnbar governorate are being prevented from leaving insecure areas.

• Threats of forced evictions, displacement and return movements in central Iraq are multiplying.

• Residents of Al Riyadh sub-district, in southwest Kirkuk, were requested by ISF to leave their village on 2 July.

• ECHO calls on all parties to the conflict, reminding that under no circumstances, IDPs should be encouraged or compelled to return or relocate to areas where they would be at risk.

• Sources: ECHO, NGOs, UN

Nepal – Severe Weather

• Heavy rain affected several areas of Nepal over the last week, causing floods and landslides.

• As of 2 July at least four people have died (two in Kailali, one in Doti and one in Kanchapur), one has gone missing and over 2 000 homes have been damaged in western Nepal. Floods and landslides killed two people also in eastern Nepal (Ilam and Morang districts), destroyed hundreds of houses and caused evacuations.

• Sources: WMO, DHM-MFD, Media (1,2)

China - Earthquake

• An earthquake of magnitude 6.4M at a depth of 20km hit Xinjian region on 3 July at 1.07 UTC. The epicenter was located about 20km south-west of Pishan and 164km west-northwest of Hotan.

• As of 3 July three people have died and 42 have been injured, 10 000 homes have been damaged and an airport has closed.

• Sources: GDACS, USGS, Chinese Gov., Media (1,2,3)

Guam, Northern Mariana Islands – Tropical Cyclone CHAN-HOM

• CHAN-HOM is moving north-west towards Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. On 3 July at 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 490km south-east of Guam and it had max. sustained winds of 83 km/h.

• Over the next 24h it is forecast to continue moving northwest strengthening and its centre may reach Saipan on 5 July as a Typhoon.

• As of 3 July a Typhoon Watch is in effect for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands of Rotan, Tinian and Saipan.

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NOAA, JMA, Media

Yemen - Conflict

• On 1 July, the Emergency Directors of the InterAgency Standing Committee raised the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the highest level L3. According to the UN an estimated 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

• Fighting in densely populated cities like Aden and Taiz has led to large numbers of civial casualties and displacement over the last few months.

• According to WHO the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse. So far in Aden a total of 8 000 cases of dengue fever have been reported with 590 deaths.

• Since the start of the conflict a total of 4.4 million people have received humanitarian asssistance • Sources: ECHO, U

Philippines – Ferry disaster

A ferry with 173 passengers on board was reportedly hit by large waves and capsized on 2 July near the island of Leyte.

• As of 3 July 41 people have been reported dead and five people are still missing.

• Sources: NDRRMC, Media (1,2,3,4,5)

Philippines – Tropical Cyclone LINFA

LINFA (“EGAY”) formed over the Philippine Sea on 1 July and started moving north-west strengthening. On 3 July 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 415 km south-west of Cagayan province.

• Over the next 24h, it is forecast to continue moving north-west towards north-eastern Luzon intensifying. It may reach Cagayan province on 4 July as a Tropical Storm.

• As of 3 July morning a Public Storm Warning Signal #1 is in effect for Northern Aurora,
Quirino, Isabella and Cayagan provinces (Luzon)

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NDRRMC, PAGASA, JMA, Media

World: World Events - ECHO Daily Map | 3/7/2015

Philippines - Maps - 3 July 2015 - 11:43pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: China, Guam, Iraq, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands (The United States of America), Philippines, World, Yemen

Iraq - Conflict

• Lack of access to safety remains a grave concern as internally displaced persons (IDPs) from AlAnbar governorate are being prevented from leaving insecure areas.

• Threats of forced evictions, displacement and return movements in central Iraq are multiplying.

• Residents of Al Riyadh sub-district, in southwest Kirkuk, were requested by ISF to leave their village on 2 July.

• ECHO calls on all parties to the conflict, reminding that under no circumstances, IDPs should be encouraged or compelled to return or relocate to areas where they would be at risk.

• Sources: ECHO, NGOs, UN

Nepal – Severe Weather

• Heavy rain affected several areas of Nepal over the last week, causing floods and landslides.

• As of 2 July at least four people have died (two in Kailali, one in Doti and one in Kanchapur), one has gone missing and over 2 000 homes have been damaged in western Nepal. Floods and landslides killed two people also in eastern Nepal (Ilam and Morang districts), destroyed hundreds of houses and caused evacuations.

• Sources: WMO, DHM-MFD, Media (1,2)

China - Earthquake

• An earthquake of magnitude 6.4M at a depth of 20km hit Xinjian region on 3 July at 1.07 UTC. The epicenter was located about 20km south-west of Pishan and 164km west-northwest of Hotan.

• As of 3 July three people have died and 42 have been injured, 10 000 homes have been damaged and an airport has closed.

• Sources: GDACS, USGS, Chinese Gov., Media (1,2,3)

Guam, Northern Mariana Islands – Tropical Cyclone CHAN-HOM

• CHAN-HOM is moving north-west towards Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. On 3 July at 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 490km south-east of Guam and it had max. sustained winds of 83 km/h.

• Over the next 24h it is forecast to continue moving northwest strengthening and its centre may reach Saipan on 5 July as a Typhoon.

• As of 3 July a Typhoon Watch is in effect for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands of Rotan, Tinian and Saipan.

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NOAA, JMA, Media

Yemen - Conflict

• On 1 July, the Emergency Directors of the InterAgency Standing Committee raised the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the highest level L3. According to the UN an estimated 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

• Fighting in densely populated cities like Aden and Taiz has led to large numbers of civial casualties and displacement over the last few months.

• According to WHO the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse. So far in Aden a total of 8 000 cases of dengue fever have been reported with 590 deaths.

• Since the start of the conflict a total of 4.4 million people have received humanitarian asssistance • Sources: ECHO, U

Philippines – Ferry disaster

A ferry with 173 passengers on board was reportedly hit by large waves and capsized on 2 July near the island of Leyte.

• As of 3 July 41 people have been reported dead and five people are still missing.

• Sources: NDRRMC, Media (1,2,3,4,5)

Philippines – Tropical Cyclone LINFA

LINFA (“EGAY”) formed over the Philippine Sea on 1 July and started moving north-west strengthening. On 3 July 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 415 km south-west of Cagayan province.

• Over the next 24h, it is forecast to continue moving north-west towards north-eastern Luzon intensifying. It may reach Cagayan province on 4 July as a Tropical Storm.

• As of 3 July morning a Public Storm Warning Signal #1 is in effect for Northern Aurora,
Quirino, Isabella and Cayagan provinces (Luzon)

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NDRRMC, PAGASA, JMA, Media

World: World Events - ECHO Daily Map | 3/7/2015

Nepal - Maps - 3 July 2015 - 11:43pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: China, Guam, Iraq, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands (The United States of America), Philippines, World, Yemen

Iraq - Conflict

• Lack of access to safety remains a grave concern as internally displaced persons (IDPs) from AlAnbar governorate are being prevented from leaving insecure areas.

• Threats of forced evictions, displacement and return movements in central Iraq are multiplying.

• Residents of Al Riyadh sub-district, in southwest Kirkuk, were requested by ISF to leave their village on 2 July.

• ECHO calls on all parties to the conflict, reminding that under no circumstances, IDPs should be encouraged or compelled to return or relocate to areas where they would be at risk.

• Sources: ECHO, NGOs, UN

Nepal – Severe Weather

• Heavy rain affected several areas of Nepal over the last week, causing floods and landslides.

• As of 2 July at least four people have died (two in Kailali, one in Doti and one in Kanchapur), one has gone missing and over 2 000 homes have been damaged in western Nepal. Floods and landslides killed two people also in eastern Nepal (Ilam and Morang districts), destroyed hundreds of houses and caused evacuations.

• Sources: WMO, DHM-MFD, Media (1,2)

China - Earthquake

• An earthquake of magnitude 6.4M at a depth of 20km hit Xinjian region on 3 July at 1.07 UTC. The epicenter was located about 20km south-west of Pishan and 164km west-northwest of Hotan.

• As of 3 July three people have died and 42 have been injured, 10 000 homes have been damaged and an airport has closed.

• Sources: GDACS, USGS, Chinese Gov., Media (1,2,3)

Guam, Northern Mariana Islands – Tropical Cyclone CHAN-HOM

• CHAN-HOM is moving north-west towards Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. On 3 July at 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 490km south-east of Guam and it had max. sustained winds of 83 km/h.

• Over the next 24h it is forecast to continue moving northwest strengthening and its centre may reach Saipan on 5 July as a Typhoon.

• As of 3 July a Typhoon Watch is in effect for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands of Rotan, Tinian and Saipan.

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NOAA, JMA, Media

Yemen - Conflict

• On 1 July, the Emergency Directors of the InterAgency Standing Committee raised the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the highest level L3. According to the UN an estimated 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

• Fighting in densely populated cities like Aden and Taiz has led to large numbers of civial casualties and displacement over the last few months.

• According to WHO the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse. So far in Aden a total of 8 000 cases of dengue fever have been reported with 590 deaths.

• Since the start of the conflict a total of 4.4 million people have received humanitarian asssistance • Sources: ECHO, U

Philippines – Ferry disaster

A ferry with 173 passengers on board was reportedly hit by large waves and capsized on 2 July near the island of Leyte.

• As of 3 July 41 people have been reported dead and five people are still missing.

• Sources: NDRRMC, Media (1,2,3,4,5)

Philippines – Tropical Cyclone LINFA

LINFA (“EGAY”) formed over the Philippine Sea on 1 July and started moving north-west strengthening. On 3 July 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 415 km south-west of Cagayan province.

• Over the next 24h, it is forecast to continue moving north-west towards north-eastern Luzon intensifying. It may reach Cagayan province on 4 July as a Tropical Storm.

• As of 3 July morning a Public Storm Warning Signal #1 is in effect for Northern Aurora,
Quirino, Isabella and Cayagan provinces (Luzon)

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NDRRMC, PAGASA, JMA, Media

World: World Events - ECHO Daily Map | 3/7/2015

Iraq - Maps - 3 July 2015 - 11:43pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: China, Guam, Iraq, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands (The United States of America), Philippines, World, Yemen

Iraq - Conflict

• Lack of access to safety remains a grave concern as internally displaced persons (IDPs) from AlAnbar governorate are being prevented from leaving insecure areas.

• Threats of forced evictions, displacement and return movements in central Iraq are multiplying.

• Residents of Al Riyadh sub-district, in southwest Kirkuk, were requested by ISF to leave their village on 2 July.

• ECHO calls on all parties to the conflict, reminding that under no circumstances, IDPs should be encouraged or compelled to return or relocate to areas where they would be at risk.

• Sources: ECHO, NGOs, UN

Nepal – Severe Weather

• Heavy rain affected several areas of Nepal over the last week, causing floods and landslides.

• As of 2 July at least four people have died (two in Kailali, one in Doti and one in Kanchapur), one has gone missing and over 2 000 homes have been damaged in western Nepal. Floods and landslides killed two people also in eastern Nepal (Ilam and Morang districts), destroyed hundreds of houses and caused evacuations.

• Sources: WMO, DHM-MFD, Media (1,2)

China - Earthquake

• An earthquake of magnitude 6.4M at a depth of 20km hit Xinjian region on 3 July at 1.07 UTC. The epicenter was located about 20km south-west of Pishan and 164km west-northwest of Hotan.

• As of 3 July three people have died and 42 have been injured, 10 000 homes have been damaged and an airport has closed.

• Sources: GDACS, USGS, Chinese Gov., Media (1,2,3)

Guam, Northern Mariana Islands – Tropical Cyclone CHAN-HOM

• CHAN-HOM is moving north-west towards Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. On 3 July at 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 490km south-east of Guam and it had max. sustained winds of 83 km/h.

• Over the next 24h it is forecast to continue moving northwest strengthening and its centre may reach Saipan on 5 July as a Typhoon.

• As of 3 July a Typhoon Watch is in effect for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands of Rotan, Tinian and Saipan.

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NOAA, JMA, Media

Yemen - Conflict

• On 1 July, the Emergency Directors of the InterAgency Standing Committee raised the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the highest level L3. According to the UN an estimated 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

• Fighting in densely populated cities like Aden and Taiz has led to large numbers of civial casualties and displacement over the last few months.

• According to WHO the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse. So far in Aden a total of 8 000 cases of dengue fever have been reported with 590 deaths.

• Since the start of the conflict a total of 4.4 million people have received humanitarian asssistance • Sources: ECHO, U

Philippines – Ferry disaster

A ferry with 173 passengers on board was reportedly hit by large waves and capsized on 2 July near the island of Leyte.

• As of 3 July 41 people have been reported dead and five people are still missing.

• Sources: NDRRMC, Media (1,2,3,4,5)

Philippines – Tropical Cyclone LINFA

LINFA (“EGAY”) formed over the Philippine Sea on 1 July and started moving north-west strengthening. On 3 July 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 415 km south-west of Cagayan province.

• Over the next 24h, it is forecast to continue moving north-west towards north-eastern Luzon intensifying. It may reach Cagayan province on 4 July as a Tropical Storm.

• As of 3 July morning a Public Storm Warning Signal #1 is in effect for Northern Aurora,
Quirino, Isabella and Cayagan provinces (Luzon)

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NDRRMC, PAGASA, JMA, Media

Colombia: Colombia - Informe Flash MIRA - Derrame de crudo en ríos Mira y Caunapí en Tumaco (Nariño) 01/07/2015

Colombia - Chad - 3 July 2015 - 8:53pm
Source: UN Country Team in Colombia, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Colombia

Desde 2009, las comunidades que se abastecen de los ríos Caunapí, Rosario y Mira han reportado afectaciones debido a contaminación causada por ataques contra la infraestructura petrolera y la instalación de válvulas ilegales en el Oleoducto Trasandino. El 22 de junio se presentó un nuevo ataque de las FARC-EP contra la infraestructura petrolera, causando un derrame de crudo sobre la quebrada Pianulpí que desemboca en el río Mira, que a su vez abastece el acueducto de Tumaco. El Ministerio de Ambiente estima que fueron derramados 410.000 galones de crudo. Ante la llegada de la mancha de crudo a las bocatomas del acueducto de Tumaco, estas fueron cerradas limitando el acceso a agua potable para al menos 160.000 habitantes de la cabecera municipal y 20.000 de zonas rurales. El 24 de junio se declaró la emergencia sanitaria y ambiental en el municipio de Tumaco. La mancha de petróleo llegó al océano pacífico y brazos de los ríos de la zona, causando graves consecuencias medioambientales y en los medios de vida de la población.

Según los resultados de las entrevistas MIRA (MultiCluster Initial Rapid Assessment) realizadas en comunidades de los ríos Mira y Caunapí, los sectores identificados con mayor afectación son: i) Agua, saneamiento e higiene: las comunidades obtienen agua de fuentes contaminadas por crudo, poco aptas para el consumo, preparación de alimentos e higiene personal; ii) Salud: la limitación de acceso a agua segura está generando enfermedades diarreicas (EDA), enfermedades respiratorias y de la piel, esto se suma a la precaria atención de servicios básicos de salud, la poca disponibilidad de medicamentos y ausencia de promotores de salud; iii) Seguridad alimentaria: se evidencia daño a ecosistemas acuáticos como los manglares, mortandad de peces, moluscos y otras especies acuíferas propias de la alimentación diaria de las comunidades. La población manifiesta angustia ante la pérdida de cultivos de pancoger y productos tradicionales de comercialización como cacao, palma y coco. Se requieren evaluaciones en profundidad en los tres sectores priorizados.

Intervenciones clave recomendadas:

 Agua, saneamiento e higiene: Se requiere implementar sistemas de abastecimiento de agua comunitario, incluyendo tanques de almacenamiento, adecuación/instalación de pozos de agua superficiales y dotación de filtros. Jornadas de formación en educación ambiental y saneamiento básico comunitario, según estándares mínimos definidos por ESFERA. Es indispensable monitorear la calidad del agua de manera recurrente en diferentes puntos, especialmente en las comunidades que usan el agua directamente de los ríos.

 Salud: Se requiere hacer seguimiento a los problemas presentados por falta de acceso y disponibilidad de agua segura, poner en marcha programas de atención primaria en salud, así como brigadas para atender las EDA, enfermedades de la piel, entre otras. Se necesita implementar un programa de mejora de prácticas de higiene y educación socio sanitaria. Gestionar con la alcaldía la permanencia de profesionales de la salud en las zonas afectadas.

 Seguridad alimentaria y nutrición: Se requiere implementar programas de transferencias de efectivo para la complementariedad de las ayudas alimentarias. Entrega de alimentos por participación en actividades de formación y recolección de residuos de hidrocarburo en las orillas de los ríos. Implementación de programas de medios de vida agropecuarios.

Colombia: Colombia – Limitaciones a la movilidad y al acceso en el sur de Bolívar (Municipios Achí y Tiquisio) - Flash Update No. 1 (03/07/2015)

Colombia - Chad - 3 July 2015 - 8:05pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Colombia

Por imposiciones del grupo armado posdesmovilización Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, al menos 32.000 habitantes de zona rural de los municipios de Achí y Tiquisio –región del Corcovado (sur de Bolívar), sufren graves limitaciones de movilidad y desarrollo de actividades diarias. Se estima que estas restricciones se presentan desde 2014, según misiones recientes a la zona, esta situación se ha agravado en los últimos meses. El grupo armado estaría imponiendo restricciones horarias para la movilidad de la población, forzando el cierre de comercios cuando el Ejército hace presencia en la zona y limitando el transporte fluvial. Estas restricciones limitan el acceso y presencia institucional, y tienen consecuencias en la economía y el acceso a bienes, servicios y asistencia humanitaria.

Se ha reportado también la imposición de reglas de conducta, multas, amenazas, riesgo de reclutamiento de menores de edad, extorsiones, homicidios selectivos y desplazamientos forzados individuales. Estos hechos violentos podrían estar relacionados a retaliaciones contra la población civil tras recientes capturas de miembros del grupo armado.

Por otra parte, preocupa la situación del sector educativo en zona rural de ambos municipios. Los profesores contratados para 2015 no han iniciado actividades, los que están en la zona deben cubrir este vacío, lo que afecta significativamente la calidad y cobertura del servicio.

La UARIV ha focalizado ocho corregimientos de zona rural de Achí para atención. Entre el 28 y 29 de marzo, se entregó asistencia alimentaria a 1.187 familias pertenecientes estos corregimientos, para un mes. A final de mayo, la UARIV lideró jornadas interinstitucionales en Puerto Pajón y en el casco urbano de Achí, incluyendo actividades del SENA y prevención de reclutamiento. La UARIV (Bolívar) y el Ministerio Público (Magdalena medio), realizan esfuerzos para responder a la problemática de la zona, sin embargo la dimensión de la afectación y las débiles capacidades locales, dificultan la respuesta oportuna e integral.

Considerando que la situación de riesgo para la población civil se mantiene, se prevé que se agrave la ya precaria situación humanitaria de estas comunidades. Se alerta además sobre la posibilidad de eventos de desplazamiento masivo, en particular en el corregimiento La Ventura (Tiquisio). En este contexto, es fundamental que se fortalezcan acciones de incidencia que desde diferentes organizaciones ya se adelantan con instituciones del nivel nacional, para que se dé cumplimiento urgente a las recomendaciones del informe de riesgo emitido por el SAT de la Defensoría del Pueblo en agosto de 2014. Con el fin de hacer un acercamiento con autoridades locales, civiles y comunitarias, en pro de visibilizar la situación y gestionar respuesta a las necesidades de las comunidades, se espera realizar misiones conjuntas a la zona para mantener presencia, evitar el cierre del espacio humanitario y minimizar situaciones de riesgo para la población civil. Es necesario garantizar el seguimiento a las necesidades humanitarias y que se mantenga la respuesta a las necesidades más urgentes, en particular en seguridad alimentaria y medios de vida.

Organismos internacionales que cubren la región del Corcovado desde el magdalena medio, realizan intervenciones puntuales en algunas comunidades, el Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados (SJR) realiza monitoreo de la situación en Tiquiso. Miembros del Equipo Humanitario Local de Córdoba (EHL) hacen seguimiento a esta problemática, de ser requerido apoyarán misiones de acompañamiento, evaluaciones o acciones de respuesta humanitaria.

En julio de 2014, en Achí se presentó una situación de confinamiento durante tres meses que afectó a cerca de 3.200 personas. Miembros del EHL de Córdoba realizaron una evaluación de necesidades humanitarias (MIRA) en el corregimiento de Río Nuevo (Achí), evidenciando la situación humanitaria y necesidades en los sectores de seguridad alimentaria y nutrición; agua, saneamiento e higiene, y salud5 . Los hallazgos de esta misión siguen siendo vigentes en el contexto actual.

Históricamente, el sur de Bolívar ha sido una zona con presencia de cultivos de uso ilícito y corredor estratégico de actores armados (FARC-EP, ELN, GAPD) que se disputan el territorio y el control de las economías ilícitas. Esta situación tiene graves consecuencias en las condiciones de vida de las comunidades, sumadas a los niveles de necesidades básicas insatisfechas y la escasa presencia de autoridades municipales. Estos factores estarían configurando una emergencia crónica desde 2014, por la vulneración de los derechos humanos de los habitantes de este territorio, muchos de ellos víctimas del conflicto armado.

Colombia: On Thinner Ice: The Final Phase of Colombia’s Peace Talks

Colombia - Chad - 3 July 2015 - 1:16pm
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Colombia

OVERVIEW

The peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) enter their toughest stretch both vulnerable and resilient. The former quality was displayed on 22 May, when the collapse of the guerrillas’ five-month old unilateral ceasefire triggered the worst escalation of violence in years. Evidence for the latter came two weeks later, when negotiators ended a year’s drought without major advances by agreeing to establish a truth commission. A separate agreement on reparations also appeared to edge closer. Yet, despite the advances, the talks are on thinner ice than ever. To get them safe to land, the parties must return to an effective de-escalation path, one that moves toward a definitive bilateral ceasefire, once negotiations on the crucial transitional justice issue are sufficiently consolidated. Such gradualism is the best bet to protect the process from unravelling in violence, flagging public support and deep political rifts.

Even if neither side considers abandoning the talks, the broader environment has risks. Ongoing violence causes new humanitarian emergencies, emboldens spoilers and strengthens hardliners. With political patience increasingly thin, it would take only a spark to suspend the process or trigger its break-up. Even anticipating an early reparations agreement, negotiators face highly contentious, interconnected issues, including judicial accountability for serious international crimes committed by both sides, a bilateral ceasefire and final agreement ratification. Sharply-contested local elections in October could further weaken the centre ground upon which a durable peace agreement will need to rest.

Manoeuvring the talks through these perils defies easy fixes. Calls for acceleration or a deadline have grown louder. With business as usual no longer an option, the parties should consider ways to move more vigorously, including by splitting the discussions on victims and transitional justice into smaller, partial agreements, adopting a more compact calendar and involving international partners more closely. But acceleration for its own sake has risks. Hastily hammering out a deal might satisfy political demands, but the resulting accord could easily be impossible to implement and of limited effectiveness. The measured pace reflects real problems, including internal tensions on both sides and an adverse political environment. With the parties already struggling to ratify and start implementing the final agreements before President Santos’ term ends in 2018, a deadline would add little and could throw the process into limbo if missed.

The escalating violence has also intensified calls for an immediate, bilateral ceasefire. This would eliminate the threats ongoing hostilities pose, but the time for it has not yet come. A consensus on what such a ceasefire might look like is still not on the horizon, and, as the breakdown of FARC’s unilateral truce shows, a definitive end of hostilities will not be viable if the mechanisms and protocols to sustain it are not fully accepted by both leaderships. Meanwhile, even if the parties could swiftly agree on these, there are few signs the arrangement could be quickly implemented. Neither the government nor FARC will likely be able to accept the costs of a definitive end of the hostilities while vital concerns are still being negotiated. A bilateral ceasefire will probably only become realistic after there is an agreement on the transitional justice framework.

The first step out of the present difficulty should be more modest. The parties urgently need to halt the escalation of hostilities, starting by showing maximum battlefield restraint, including strict respect for international humanitarian law. This should be accompanied by a new push for bilateral de-escalation, including broadening the demining scheme and exploring the space for discreet, reciprocal hostility reduction. Joint de-escalation would give the negotiators room and foster the mutual trust required to sustain an eventual bilateral ceasefire. Simultaneously, the parties should accelerate technical talks in Havana on the “end of the conflict”, so as to elaborate a proposal for implementing an early bilateral ceasefire after a transitional justice agreement. That ceasefire will need to include both some form of regional concentration of FARC and international monitoring; full cantonment and the “leaving behind of weapons” (disarmament) should follow ratification of the final agreements.

Such an early but not immediate bilateral ceasefire would make it easier to accelerate the process, enabling the parties to save time by starting to implement some agenda issues, while leaving others to the broader political process, including the truth commission. Importantly, it would also help the process put out much deeper political roots. The government has real scope for more consistent, convincing messages, while international community backing will remain vital amid crumbling domestic support. But overcoming widespread disengagement, scepticism and indifference is hard as long as hostilities continue. A ceasefire would create new possibilities to broaden the talks’ political base. At a late stage, this could include moving them, or parts of them, from Cuba to Colombia.

Amid new violence and deflating political support, it is easy to forget what has been achieved. Negotiators have made substantial headway on the conflict’s root causes and main effects. More than three years of confidential and public talks have built a shared sense that the transition is possible. Rather than overhauling what works well, leveraging these gains and strengths is the most promising way forward.

Bogotá /Brussels, 2 July 2015

Nepal: Nepal Central Region - Access Constraints as of 3rd July 2015

Nepal - Maps - 3 July 2015 - 12:14pm
Source: UN Joint Logistics Centre, World Food Programme Country: Nepal

South Sudan: The SPLA offensive, Unity state, April - June 2015

Sudan - Maps - 3 July 2015 - 9:11am
Source: Small Arms Survey Country: South Sudan, Sudan
Syndicate content