EWER Trimester Report 6 (Oct-Jan 2011)

February 11, 2011

EWER Trimester Report 6 (Oct-Jan 2011)


Executive Summary

This report presents an analysis of the monitoring conducted by BELUNai??i??s conflict Early Warning and Early Response Program (EWER). Between October 2010 and January 2011, local monitors in 39 target sub-districts ai??i?? three in each district across the country ai??i?? returned reports measuring 63 indicators of situational change and incidents of violence, gauging the level of community tension. Analysis of data reveals that there has been a slight increase in the total number of violent incidents, from 205 in the previous trimester to 224 in this trimester.

A number of concerning themes were identified during this reporting period. Of particular significance was a rise in martial arts group activity and youth violence that was witnessed this trimester, accounting for seven out of eight recorded deaths. Creating viable opportunities for youth engagement and employment is evidently an ongoing challenge. Resultant capricious youth behavior, often exacerbated by the liberal consumption of alcohol during the holiday season, appears to have taken its toll.

The trimester revealed that several disputes emerged surrounding the distribution processes of payments for pensions for the elderly and veteransai??i?? compensation. The latter, a new phenomenon, often arose within families due to disagreements regarding the appropriate use of the funds. In addition, several recipients were targeted and threatened by armed assailants attempting theft; of especial concern in LiquiAi??a district.

Conflict regarding religious identity is an issue that has been consistently identified by the EWER system and continues to appear this trimester. Evidence of tension was seen most acutely in Maliana Vila, Bobonaro district and Pante Makassar, Oecusse district. These tensions have been observed to arise between existing and new religious groups, though relationships are often more symptomatic of broader social dynamics than specific theological differences.

Challenges over access to natural resources including land, water and woodland continue to be commonly observed throughout the territory. Even development interventions that attempt to improve the distribution of resources can upset the balance of existing relationships surrounding their allocation. In the district of Oecusse for example, disputes over access to water were reported in communities where water projects had recently been implemented.

EWER monitoring also detected the beginnings of a rise in political activity in a number of sub-districts. Its potential to create political discord within communities was shown to be dependent on the degree to which joint activities involving multiple political parties were conducted.

While citizens in general are enjoying a general sense of public security, some sub- districts continue to display a muted level of confidence in security sector actors. There is an ongoing concern as members of the security forces continue to be found to be initiating confrontations, albeit in small numbers: four PNTL and two F-FDTL members were reported to be assailants during this period.

Finally, situational data highlights the frailty of capacity for effective conflict resolution in the sub-districts monitored by EWER. While 95% of violent incidents are promptly met by a response by local actors, structural as well as relational issues tend to remain unresolved in a large number of cases.