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August 2023 Report: Monthly Briefing on Countries of Operation


 3rd August: Delegation of British Imams return from humanitarian mission in Afghanistan 

On 3 August 2023, a delegation of British Imams and Muslim scholars concluded an 8-day humanitarian visit to Afghanistan with Human Aid & Advocacy. The Muslim leaders travelled from Britain in order to better understand the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people and witness some of the current aid projects established by Human Aid & Advocacy in the country. During their stay they visited an orphanage, a widow’s skills training centre, and a vocational skills centre.  

15th August: Afghanistan marks 2 years since the end of war with a public holiday 

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan make the 15th of August a national holiday to commemorate the end of the US and NATO led war and occupation. They celebrate the restoring of peace and security after two decades of war and violence. Commentators also reflect on positive developments which have been made within the two years such as the reduction of corruption and abolishment of narcotics cultivation.[6]


10th Anniversary of the Ghouta chemical weapons attack 

The US State Department released a statement on 22nd of this month marking 10 years since the Ghouta chemical attack. Earlier in the month, representatives from the US, several allied countries and human rights activists spoke at the UN Security Council to highlight the attack.[7] 

8th August: A deal between the Syrian government and the UN will see the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Türkiye to Syria reopened for the delivery of humanitarian aid for another six months.  

The opening of the Bab al-Hawa crossing will facilitate ease in transfer of aid as it has been used for 85% of deliveries to the northwest Idlib region.[8] Idlib hosts 4.1 million Syrians who were forcefully displaced from their homes due to the civil war which has taken the lives of approximately half a million people. The people now live in rough conditions in refugee camps, dependent on humanitarian aid.  

9th August: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Warns of water shortage affecting millions 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned that Iraq's water crisis could deprive millions of people who rely on water from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, which run through Syria. He blamed the crisis on global warming and drought, poor water management, violence and “oil industry excesses”, and condemned attacks on journalists and activists highlighting these issues.[9] 

The UN to adopt a resolution to investigate missing persons in Syria following the ongoing civil war 

The NGO Syrians for Truth and Justice called for a new national law on disappeared persons to oblige the government to assist families to find loved ones. The new law, they said, must contain a detailed definition of both missing and forcibly disappeared persons that aligns with the ICC’s Rome Statute[10]. The exact number of missing persons is unknown, however it is estimated to be more than 100,000. 

Anti-Assad regime protests break out following economic crisis  

Assad doubled public sector wages and pensions as the Syrian pound’s value against the dollar dropped to a new low[11]. Meanwhile, food and fuel prices continued to soar, prompting a wave of anti-government protests in the Druze region of Sweida in the south, which seized 11 cities.[12]  


As security conditions worsen, UN troops in Mali hasten their withdrawal 

The impending exit of UN forces has heightened tensions between Mali's military administration and the insurgent Coordination of Azawad Movements. In response to an escalation in hostilities, the United Nations' peacekeeping mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, has accelerated its retreat from the northern city of Ber. MINUSMA conveyed in a statement on Sunday that the intensifying security situation necessitates their swift departure.[13] 

27th August: Leader of Russian Wagner group Prigozhin, who is responsible for atrocities in west and central Africa dies in plane crash 

The confirmed death of Yevgeny Prigozhin holds significant implications for the ongoing conflict in Mali and the broader geopolitical landscape. The Wagner Group, a private military organisation, has been known to operate in various conflict zones as a mercenary force with alleged ties to the Russian government. Its involvement in Mali has raised concerns about Russia’s influence in the region and its role in shaping the course of the conflict. Prigozhin’s demise could lead to a potential power vacuum within the Wagner Group and its operations in Mali. The Wagner Group’s activities in the country have been criticised for aggravating the conflict by supporting various factions, including the Malian government, with whom they have committed various war crimes. Naturally after the emergence of this news, many questions will arise about the group’s continued cohesion, leadership structure, and operational capabilities.[14]   


31st July 2023: China using families as 'hostages' to quash Uyghur dissent abroad 

China pressures Uyghurs living abroad to spy on human rights campaigners by threatening families back home. Dr David Tobin at the University of Sheffield has conducted some of the most comprehensive research on this topic interviewing and surveying more than 200 members of the Uyghur diaspora in several countries. He says all Uyghurs living outside China are victims of transnational repression. In the UK alone, Dr Tobin surveyed or interviewed 48 Uyghurs, from a population of about 400 people. Of those, two-thirds reported having been contacted directly by Chinese police - and pressured to spy, refrain from advocacy work, or stop speaking to the media.[15] 

1st August 2023: China, UAE air forces to hold first joint exercise in Xinjiang 

The Falcon Shield 2023 training, the first between China and the UAE, was announced by Beijing’s defence ministry. The exercise seeks to "deepen pragmatic exchange and cooperation" between the Chinese and UAE militaries and "promote mutual understanding and trust", the ministry said in a statement. The air forces will train together in August in “Xinjiang” province where East Turkestani Muslims have been subjected to a genocide over the last decades.[16]  

1st August 2023: US blacklists two Chinese firms over Uyghur forced labour accusations  

Two Chinese firms have been sanctioned by the US over their labour practices particularly involving the Muslim ethnic groups residing in the Chinese occupied East Turkestan (Xinjiang) region. In a statement, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said goods produced by battery manufacturer Camel Group and Chenguang Biotech Group, a spice and extract manufacturer, would be prohibited from entering the country. According to the statement, the recent decision aimed to “eliminate the use of forced labour practices in the US supply chain”.[17]  

8th August 2023: How MIT Helped Develop Tech for a Chinese Company That Surveils Uyghurs 

According to a Washington Free Beacon review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used funding from a twice-sanctioned Chinese company to advance components of facial recognition technology, which its Chinese benefactor has then used to track, persecute and imprison Uyghurs in East Turkestan. China’s largest facial recognition company, SenseTime, donated an undisclosed amount of money to MIT in 2018.[18]  

10th August 2023: China is threatening Uyghurs in Türkiye to spy on diaspora 

A new report highlights the extent of Chinese government’s transnational repression of Uyghurs living in Turkiye. Interviews with over a hundred Uyghurs in Türkiye made evident how Beijing seeks to monitor and control Uyghurs living overseas through the use of established networks in both countries. One of these networks involves police and Neighbourhood Working Groups in China and Chinese mission staff and informants in Türkiye. The transnational repression of Uyghurs living overseas is one element of a wider programme of longarm policing by the Chinese state.[19]  

20th August 2023: OIC Delegates Praise Xinjiang's 'Prosperity and Development' 

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has made peculiar statements during their official visit to China and the Xinjiang region. Despite well documented human rights abuses amounting to genocide against the East Turkestani Muslims, OIC’s delegate from Pakistan, Syed Mohammad Fawad Sher, said that the visit showed the “remarkable transformation” of Xinjiang, adding that it will “help to address the misconceptions attached with the region.” Furthermore, head of the delegation, Dya-Eddine Bamakhrama, praised “the prosperity and development of China’s Xinjiang under good governance”.  

Human rights activists around the world condemned the OIC visit and questioned its role in whitewashing the ongoing genocide taking place in the Xinjiang region in exchange for economic and political interests.[20]  


August 21: Saudi Arabia refutes allegations of being responsible for the deaths of Ethiopians at the Yemeni border.  

In a documented account, Human Rights Watch levied allegations against Saudi border guards, asserting that they deployed excessive force and explosive weaponry to fatally harm Ethiopian migrants endeavoring to traverse from Yemen into Saudi territory. Contrary to these accusations, an official representative of the Saudi government refuted the claims made by Human Rights Watch, vehemently denying any involvement of Saudi border guards in the reported deaths of numerous Ethiopian migrants. According to the Saudi government source speaking to Agence France-Presse, these allegations lack substantiated evidence and cannot be traced back to credible sources.[21] [22] 


August 2023: Severe Flooding affects Cox Bazar refugee camps 

Floods in the Bangladesh Cox bazaar have left many Rohingya refugees vulnerable to disease and without adequate shelter leaving approximately over 2000 people displaced.[23]  

August 2023: Refugee boat sinks leaving 17 Rohingya refugees' dead and a further 30 missing 

17 people have been found dead after a refugee boat sunk that was on route to Malaysia. Unfortunately, there are still 30 people missing whose bodies have not been found.[24]  

August 2023: Rohingya refugees face further hostility in India 

Rohingyas in India who have fled persecution in Myanmar are being met with hostility and conflict in India, with many being falsely imprisoned under false pretence of being a part of the riots occurring by the Indian Muslims and Hindus. This is despite most refugees refusing to leave camps upon advice from the United Nations who have told Rohingya refugees to avoid leaving camps to avoid involvement in riots.[25] 




15th -16th August: Israeli occupation cause deaths and Injuries of Palestinians during multiple raids 

On Tuesday 15th August, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians during a raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Jericho.[1] On August 16th at least 85 Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation during an Israeli raid on Nablus's eastern side.[2]  Israeli soldiers accompanied by a military bulldozer raided the Balata refugee camp, forcing families to evacuate a residential building and then blew it up.[3] 

18th August: Israeli police burn Palestinian man with ‘Star of David’ 

A Palestinian man was detained by Israeli forces in occupied Jerusalem, he stated that he had been physically abused by Israeli officers, who brutally beat him and branded the Star of David on his cheek.[4] The incident has been described as “a grave case of intentional violence and humiliation of a detainee by police”.[5]



[1]Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians in raid on occupied West Bank | Conflict News | Al Jazeera

[2]Dozens injured as Israeli forces raid Nablus, blow up building | Occupied West Bank News | Al Jazeera

[3]Dozens injured as Israeli forces raid Nablus, blow up building | Occupied West Bank News | Al Jazeera

[4]Israeli police arrest and brand Palestinian with ‘Star of David’: Report | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera

[5] Israeli police arrest and brand Palestinian with ‘Star of David’: Report | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera








[13]: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/8/13/un-forces-in-mali-speed-up-withdrawal-as-security-deteriorates

[14]Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin confirmed dead in crash | Russia-Ukraine war News | Al Jazeera









[23] Rohingya Refugee Camp in Cox Bazaar devastated by floods (islamchannel.tv)

[24] At least 17 dead as boat carrying Rohingya refugees sinks in Bay of Bengal | Rohingya News | Al Jazeera

[25] Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar only to ‘live in fear’ in India | Rohingya News | Al Jazeera

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