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Articles in War and Strife News

India to Send Tank Brigades to the China Border

By Martin W. Lewis | September 20, 2012 |

India’s military recently announced that it would deploy two tank brigades to guard the country’s border with China, one to be stationed in Ladakh (in northeastern Kashmir), and the other in the north Sikkim Plateau. As Business Standard reports, “Such formations, equipped with main battle tanks and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles, are traditionally used for striking into enemy territory.”

Puntland’s Security Offensives and the Growing City of Galka’yo

By Martin W. Lewis | August 23, 2012 |

The most recent version of the ever-changing and always excellent Wikipedia map of the political situation in Somalia shows the internationally recognized Federal Republic of Somalia controlling roughly half of the country, with most of the rest falling under the power of the Islamic Emirate of Somalia, closely aligned with the Al-Shabaab radical Islamist Group (in the southeast) and the self-declared independent state of Somaliland (in the northwest). What the map fails to adequately convey is the fact that several of the regions that acknowledge the Federal Republic are actually fully autonomous political entities

Fighting Flares in Bodoland

By Martin W. Lewis | July 25, 2012 | One Comment

Eastern Assam in northeastern India has been engulfed in ethnic violence for the past five days, with the indigenous Bodo (pronounced BO-RO) pitted aginst Bengali-speaking Muslims. Fighting flared July 20th after four unidentified men killed four Bodo youths; in retaliation, Bodo gangs attacked local Muslims. Before long, tit-for-tat carnage resulted in some 32 deaths and the burning of approximately 60 …

Strife in Ethiopia over an Anti-Radical (or Is It Radical?) Muslim Sect

By Martin W. Lewis | July 23, 2012 |

The Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa has been recently shaken by violent clashes between the police and Muslim protestors. According to Shabelle News, “The protesters, some wearing masks, blocked the entrance of the Anwar Mosque in the west of the capital and hurled stones at riot police who had surrounded the compound after noon prayers.” The protestors were angered by the government’s alleged interference in the practice of their religion, claiming that it has been trying to foist the Al Ahbash sect on the Ethiopian Muslim community.

The Nasa (Páez) People Take on the Colombian Military and the Leftist Rebels

By Martin W. Lewis | July 20, 2012 |

A recent article in the Chinese news site CRI notes that the indigenous Nasa people of southwestern Colombia have “lashed out at a Colombian Army outpost in southwestern Cauca province, as the military refused to leave their land as requested.” The report goes on to note that some 1,000 people surrounded a military outpost and literally tried to drag the soldiers away. As reported elsewhere, Colombian riot police soon evicted the Nasa demonstrators, and later shot and killed a member of the movement who allegedly refused to stop at an armed checkpoint

Flood and Political Conflicts in Northeastern India

By Nicholas Baldo | July 3, 2012 |

Flooding in Northeastern India and its sometimes-fraught political backdrop.

Heightened Unrest in Venezuela’s Zulia State

By Martin W. Lewis | June 30, 2012 |

In recent weeks, Zulia has experienced mounting troubles. Several leaders of the indigenous Yukpa and Wayuu communities were murdered, reportedly by wealthy ranchers infuriated at indigenous peoples moving into their prime grazing lands (Zulia is a major beef and dairy—and oil—producer)

Religious and Racial Strife in Western Burma

By Martin W. Lewis | June 6, 2012 |

Although Burma (Myanmar) has seen substantial reform over the past few months, several deeply entrenched conflicts create major obstacles for the country’s transition. According to The Irrawaddy, tensions in the western Arakan region recently exploded into violence when “300 people stopped a bus carrying Muslims from a religious gathering, dragged out the 10 occupants, beat them to death and burned the vehicle in Taunggup…” The attack occurred in retaliation for the alleged rape and murder of a Buddhist girl by three Muslim youths.

Rioting Threatens Zanzibar’s Tourist Economy

By Martin W. Lewis | June 2, 2012 | 3 Comments

Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous island in the country of Tanzania, is still reeling from widespread rioting in late May. At that time, members of an Islamist separatist movement allegedly set fire two churches and clashed with the police. The Zanzibar government accuses the leadership of Uamsho, or the Islamic Revival Forum, of ordering its followers into the streets to cause havoc.

Flame Malware Spreads through the Middle East

By Martin W. Lewis | May 28, 2012 |

In 2010, the Stuxnet worm made global headlines as it attacked the Iranian nuclear program. Described by the Wikipedia as “the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems,” Stuxnet was identified by the Belarussian antivirus software vendor, VirusBlokAda. Currently, a vastly larger and more powerful malware program called Flame (or sKyWIper) is infecting computers in Iran and neighboring countries.

Smuggling Children into Somalia for their Safety?

By Martin W. Lewis | May 3, 2012 | 4 Comments

The notion of smuggling toddlers into Somalia in order to enhance their safety and increase their opportunities in life might seem utterly ludicrous, yet such an event seems to have recently occurred. According to a credible news report, nine toddlers were brought into the country from Yemen by a couple that was “apprehended … when they failed to produce proper documents for the all nine toddlers.”

Continuing Tension in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip

By Martin W. Lewis | April 23, 2012 | 5 Comments

Namibia is generally regarded as one of the most successful states of sub-Saharan Africa, with a stable, relatively democratic government, a high degree of press freedom, and a political-economic system that successfully translates wealth in natural resources (diamonds particularly) into broad-based gains in human wellbeing. Just this month, for example, Namibia announced that that it will be able to bring electricity to all rural schools in the country within five years, which would be a significant accomplishment in such a large, sparsely settled country.

Airlift of Tourists from Gilgit in Pakistan

By Martin W. Lewis | April 11, 2012 |

Until recently, remote Gilgit-Baltistan (formerly the Northern Areas) was regarded as the safest part of Pakistan, a place where foreign tourists could still travel. Peace came to an end earlier this year with violent Sunni-Shia sectarian clashes. Mounting tension led to the establishment of an “indefinite curfew” in the town of Gilgit on April 3, as well as the suspension of traffic on the Karakoram Highway that links the region to the rest of the country.

The Ethnic Diversity of the Self-Declared State of Azawad

By Martin W. Lewis | April 7, 2012 | 7 Comments

On April 6, 2012, the Tuareg rebels declared the independence of the territory under their control in northern Mali, deeming the country “Azawad.” Within hours, the Wikipedia had posted an article on The Independent State of Azawad,

U.S. Drone Base on Australia’s Cocos Islands?

By Martin W. Lewis | March 30, 2012 |

Australia recently announced that it might allow the United States to establish an airbase on its remote Indian-Ocean Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Such a base would be used primarily for a fleet of surveillance drones, but it has been suggested that it could potentially serve as a partial replacement for the massive U.S. military complex on the island of Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, which is leased from the United Kingdom.

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