In Syria, fighting has intensified in October with the Government gaining control of strategic areas around Damascus and south of Aleppo. Meanwhile, while the number of Syrian refugees has reached almost 2.2 million people, parties to the conflict and international actors are increasingly focused on the Geneva II conference scheduled to take place in November after having been postponed several times. Although the Syrian National Council has not yet made a decision on its participation to the peace talks, several armed groups fighting the Government have already publicly rejected the idea of travelling to Geneva. Meanwhile in mid-October, WHO confirmed 10 cases of wild poliovirus out of 22 suspected cases detected since the beginning of the month in Deir-ez-Zor governorate. This is the first outbreak of polio in the country since 1999.
In Nigeria, heavy fighting continues between the Government troops and Boko Haram Islamist insurgents, focusing on the northeastern border states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. According to an interagency assessment conducted in September, an estimated 5.9 million people, including 3 million women and children, were severely affected by the conflict across seven states. Borno state is reportedly the most affected area with over 4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
A major political crisis is growing in Bangladesh with violent protests escalating since 25 October. Throughout the country, street battles have left at least 16 dead and over 500 people injured. Thousands of supporters of the authorities clashed with the opposition, which is demanding the resignation of the prime minister and the establishment of a caretaker government until the general elections in January 2014.
Updated: 29/10/2013 Next Update: 5/11/2013