Twelve actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated in August 2008 and only one improved, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s (ICG) monthly bulletin CrisisWatch, released Sept. 1. he outbreak of war between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia had enormous geopolitical implications. Tbilisi’s early August offensive in South Ossetia prompted a massive ground, aerial and naval response from Russia, whose forces later advanced further into Georgia. The crisis also sparked violence in Abkhazia, where separatist forces, assisted by Russian planes, captured the Georgian-controlled Kodori gorge. Heavy international engagement followed, including wide condemnation of Russia’s “disproportionate” response and subsequent recognition of the independence of the two regions. Deteriorated situations were also noted in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Fiji, Georgia, Kashmir, Mauritania, Philippines, Somalia, and Sudan.

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