ICG

Kabila Shows His Hand in DR Congo’s Electoral Poker

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As election preparations in the Democratic Republic of Congo proceed, President Joseph Kabila has announced he will not run for re-election. He may hope this important move will relieve outside pressure for free and fair elections. International actors should keep up the scrutiny. Hans Hoebeke ICG On 8 August 2018, the filing deadline, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s ruling majority coalition announced that Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari would be its candidate in the presidential election slated for 23… The announcement ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

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The Cameroonian government should aim at encouraging more Cameroonian Boko Haram members to surrender. ICG Community service, public confessions, symbolic ceremonies and vocational training can help reintegrate those who do not pose a threat. The government should also prepare for the demobilisation of some vigilantes. What’s new? As fighting between government forces and the Boko Haram insurgents in Cameroon’s Far North diminishes, a lasting peace depends on how the government deals with former members of the… Why does it matter? A well-designed policy toward ... Read More »

After the Showdown in Libya’s Oil Crescent

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A renewed struggle this summer over Libya’s main oil export zone cut sales in half, squeezing hard currency supplies amid outcry about mismanagement of hydrocarbon revenues. ICG To build trust, Libyan and international actors should review public spending and move toward unifying divided financial institutions. What’s new? Fighting in June in Libya’s “oil crescent”, a coastal area home to most of its oil export terminals, led to a brief military takeover of oil installations and, subsequently, an attempt to deepen ... Read More »

Restoring Public Confidence in Tunisia’s Political System

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Whether Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will remain in his post or resign has been at the heart of a political crisis for several weeks. Should major political parties and trade unions fail to find a compromise, putting in place a technocratic government could help shore… ICG What’s new? Tunisia is going through a governmental crisis sparked chiefly by a dispute between political forces about whether the prime minister, Youssef Chahed, should resign and by a struggle for control of ... Read More »

Iraq’s Paramilitary Groups: The Challenge of Rebuilding a Functioning State

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A struggle looms in Iraq over the future of paramilitary groups assembled to help the state defeat ISIS. These units remain under arms and autonomous. ICG Baghdad should strengthen the interior and defence ministries so they can absorb the paramilitaries now undercutting the state’s authority. What’s new? Iraq’s three-year battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) empowered an array of armed actors that operate autonomously from state security forces. As the country’s focus on security decreases, these paramilitary groups – the ... Read More »

Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections

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On 30 July Zimbabwe will hold elections. For the first time since independence Robert Mugabe is not a candidate. Piers Pigou ICG His successor presents himself as a reformer – but many doubt the polls will be clean. The opposition warns that Zimbabweans will not tolerate another stolen election. What’s so important about the credibility of these polls? On 30 July 2018 Zimbabweans will go to the polls to elect a president, parliamentarians and local councillors. The elections are an ... Read More »

Dialogue is Essential to Unite Cameroon’s Disparate Voices

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In March 2018, Crisis Group’s Giustra Fellow, Tanda Theophilus, travelled for four weeks to the cities of Buea and Douala, which are at the heart of the Anglophone crisis that pits separatists against the government of Cameroon. Tanda Theophilus ICG He gauged the atmosphere in the Anglophone Southwest and Francophone Littoral regions ahead of the October presidential election. DOUALA, Cameroon – On the way from Douala to Buea, my vehicle slows at the toll gate on the bridge across the ... Read More »

Stopping Nigeria’s Spiralling Farmer-Herder Violence

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Rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram’s insurgency. ICG To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans. What’s new?  Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers has escalated, killing more than 1,300 people since January 2018. The conflict has evolved from spontaneous reactions to provocations and now to deadlier planned attacks, particularly ... Read More »

Building on Afghanistan’s Fleeting Ceasefire

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The end-of-Ramadan truce in Afghanistan was brief but encouraging, demonstrating that both Afghan government soldiers and the Taliban rank and file will respect ceasefire orders from above. ICG Both sides, alongside the U.S., should now seize the opportunity to edge closer to meaningful talks about peace. What’s new? The Afghan government, international forces, and Taliban insurgents all observed a temporary ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The truce was unprecedented in Afghanistan’s long war, brought a remarkable decline in violence ... Read More »

Philippines: Addressing Islamist Militancy after the Battle for Marawi

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The Philippine city of Marawi, on Mindanao island, remains in ruins more than a year after a five-month jihadist takeover. ICG To avoid fuelling militancy, Manila must involve locals in reconstruction, implement a 2014 deal with Mindanao separatists and go beyond efforts to counter jihadist ideology. In May 2017, Muslim militants acting in the name of the Islamic State (ISIS) seized Marawi, a lakeside economic hub in the Lanao del Sur province of Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines. ... Read More »

Voices of Idlib

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Humanitarian Fallout of Conflict ICG The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught. Voices of Idlib… Read More »

Patriotic Mobilisation in Russia

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The Kremlin is fostering a culture of military-tinged patriotism, partly to rally support for armed interventions abroad. ICG The sentiment springs from pride in Russia’s past as a global power and desire to reclaim that status. Its possible co-optation by far-right nationalists, however, should worry Moscow. What’s new? In recent years, the Kremlin has pursued a policy of patriotic mobilisation – encouraging national pride, commemorating past military victories and promoting a vision of Russia as a reborn global power. While ... Read More »

Improving Prospects for Peace in South Sudan at the African Union Summit

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Talks between President Salva Kiir and former First Vice President Riek Machar in the Sudanese capital Khartoum offer the only, albeit slim, hope of a breakthrough in South Sudan’s brutal civil war. ICG African leaders should offer cautious support during the Nouakchott AU summit. On 27 June 2018, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former First Vice President Riek Machar, the principal adversaries in South Sudan’s civil war, signed a Declaration of Agreement in Khartoum. The declaration does not resolve ... Read More »

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Opportunities and Risks

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The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, opened in 2015, could bring needed jobs and investment to Pakistan. But many projects also risk widening social divides and heightening political tensions along the route. With Beijing’s support, Islamabad should seek the… ICG What’s new? Pakistani leaders say the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), launched in 2015, is a “game changer” for the country’s ailing economy. But opaque plans for the corridor, the upheaval likely to affect locals along its route, and profits flowing mostly to ... Read More »

Averting War in Northern Somalia

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A dispute between Puntland and Somaliland over the contested areas of Sool and Sanaag risks escalating into open war. ICG The UN, supported by states with influence on the two sides, should renew diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire and press both to enter negotiations. What’s new? The self-declared republic of Somaliland and Puntland, an autonomous Somali region, are engaged in a perilous standoff over long-contested areas Sool and Sanaag. After repeated deadly clashes since the… Why does it matter? ... Read More »

Yemen Conflict Alert: Last Chance to Prevent a Destructive Hodeida Battle

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The fate of Hodeida hangs in the balance as UAE-backed Yemeni forces poise for what will be a prolonged and destructive battle to expel Huthi rebels. ICG A real but fleeting opportunity exists to avert catastrophe through a UN-mediated solution that safeguards all sides’ interests. The battle for Hodeida is reaching the point of no return. UAE-backed Yemeni forces are poised to begin operations to take this Red Sea port and city of 600,000 from Huthi rebels. This is the ... Read More »