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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Simulation


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Comootros Background (crisis location – not actual)

Comootros is an ethnically divided, resource-rich island state in the South Pacific. It is home to two ethnic groups, the majority Tumbili, and minority Bandar (adj: Bandari),which respectively constitute 70% and 30% of the population. In the early 19th century, Comootros was colonized by the British, who were attracted to its strategic location and multitude of natural resources. The British favored the Bandari ethnic group, installing them as local leaders in the colonial state.

This resulted in chronic structural inequality favoring the Bandars that has lasted into modern day. After a brief period of democracy post-independence, a military dictator from the Bandars came to power. He maintained a largely symbolic two-party parliament, with representation of both ethnicities. Real control remained under the control of the dictator and his cronies.

In recent years, an armed resistance group, the “Pikipiki Rebels,” has begun to violently contest military rule. The Pikipiki Rebels claim to represent Tumbili interests, but in fact,their small membership base consists mostly of disaffected Tumbili youth. Though they are not yet widely supported by the rest of the Tumbili, the Comootros military government has used the Pikipiki Rebels’ emergence as a justification to clamp down on Tumbili civilians.

Immediate Pre-Scenario

On the 25th anniversary of military rule, the dictator is assassinated. Though the perpetrators have not been identified, the Comootros Military is responding by targeting Tumbili civilians. The Pikipiki Rebels are also taking advantageof the lawlessness for their own gain. The politicians scramble to form the first legitimate parliament in years.

Meanwhile, the increased fighting and targeting of civilians from both sides has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands, most of whom have taken refuge in an IDP camp administered by international NGOs on the outskirts of the capital.

With a growing humanitarian and political crisis, the United Nations Security Council has authorized a peacekeeping mission, UN Operations in Comootros(UNOCOM).

Crisis Mappers

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University organized a crisis mapping working group in anticipation of the 4th annual International Conference on Crisis Mapping (ICCM). The goal of the working group is to put together a series of presentations for ICCM on their findings and recommendations. Specifically, the meeting is geared towards analyzing the use of crisis mapping tools in conflict and post-conflict scenarios. There are representatives from a variety of humanitarian agencies together for one weekend to discuss these issues and ways to move forward. Two members of the Crisis Mapping Network as moderators, but the working group has no hierarchal structure, as it is being a meeting of peers.

On the second day of the meeting, crisis in Comootros strikes – the military dictator is assassinated and the regime responds with force. Instead of writing about abstract ideas, the working group decides to respond to the evolving conflict by setting up a communication system with the ground (in an effort to increase situational awareness.)