ICG

Keeping the Calm in Southern Syria

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As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. ICG The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement. What’s new? Having retaken the last rebel-held areas in Syria’s western interior, the Syrian regime is turning southward. Regime forces are massing in preparation for a reconquest of the “de… Why does it matter? The south ... Read More »

After the Trump-Kim Summit: Now Comes the Hard Part

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Last week the world watched the first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a U.S. president. Crisis Group offers a 360-degree view of how the summit played in the U.S., the Korean peninsula, China and… ICG Doubts and questions swirled before the momentous 12 June summit in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Could any good come of a meeting for which preparation seemed to be last-minute and inadequate? Was one of the ... Read More »

DR Congo: The Bemba Earthquake

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The ICC’s acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba comes at a critical point in DR Congo elections. President Kabila and his opponents will have to recalibrate strategies ahead of Bemba’s likely return. ICG Outside powers should keep pressing Kabila to stand down and allow opposition candidates to… What’s new? On 8 June Jean-Pierre Bemba, a charismatic Congolese leader and fierce rival of President Joseph Kabila, was acquitted by the International Criminal Court’s appeals chamber of a 2016 war crimes conviction. His likely ... Read More »

Turkey’s Election Reinvigorates Debate over Kurdish Demands

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Ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, opinion polls suggest a tighter race than many anticipated. ICG The country’s Kurds could be kingmakers, prompting politicians of different stripes to court their votes and… What’s new? Snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey appear likely to be more closely fought than anticipated. The country’s Kurds could affect the outcome of both contests. Politicians, especially those opposing President Erdoğan and… Why does it matter? Debate on Kurdish issues has ... Read More »

The Niger-Mali Border: Subordinating Military Action to a Political Strategy

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The Nigerien government and its allies’ use of military force and non-state armed proxies to curtail jihadist groups along the Niger-Mali border is stoking intercommunal conflict. ICG Niger should instead adopt a political approach which includes reconciliation, dialogue and… Executive Summary What’s new? A new insurgency is developing along the Niger-Mali border. Jihadist groups, including a local Islamic State branch, have established a foothold in the region, exploiting recent instability in neighbouring Mali and… Why does it matter? Efforts to… ... Read More »

Yemen: Averting a Destructive Battle for Hodeida

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More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. ICG International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s new? Three years into Yemen’s destructive war, a battle is shaping up for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the bulk of Yemen’s population. Forces backed by ... Read More »

Deep Freeze and Beyond: Making the Trump-Kim Summit a Success

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The greatest risk to the 12 June summit between the U.S. and North Korea is mismatched expectations. ICG To avoid a return to escalatory rhetoric, both parties should keep hopes modest and adopt an action-for-action approach as part of a four-step plan for denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. What’s new? The on-again, off-again summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is upon us. The parties are in the throes of preparation for the historic 12 ... Read More »

Increasing the Stakes in DR Congo’s Electoral Poker

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A moment of waning international attention has led some in President Kabila’s camp to revisit the idea of an internationally-opposed third presidential term. Nairobi/Brussels ICG African and Western leaders must maintain unity, redouble efforts to dissuade Kabila from pursuing this course and ensure preparations for elections in 2018 continue apace. What’s new? Allies of President Joseph Kabila suggest increasingly overtly that he could seek a third term in office; international actors, led by Angola, firmly reject that idea. Meanwhile, preparations ... Read More »

Somalia and the Gulf Crisis

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The quarrel between Gulf monarchies has spilled into Somalia, with the fragile state now caught between the rival interests of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. ICG The competition has already aggravated intra-Somali disputes. All sides should take a step back before these tensions mount further. What’s new? The rivalries underpinning the June 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis – particularly between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the one hand and Qatar and, by extension, Turkey on the other ... Read More »

Misery as Strategy: The Human Cost of Conflict

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In conflicts across the world, levels of displacement and hunger are increasing. The tactics used by leaders, governments and non-state armed groups have much to do with that misery. Caroline Flintoft ICG From Syria to Yemen, from South Sudan to Venezuela, war and political crisis are causing human anguish on a scale unseen in a generation. That conflict and crisis take a high human toll is hardly new, of course. Yet the scope of suffering today is striking. The number ... Read More »

Making the Best of France’s Libya Summit

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Four main Libyan leaders meet in Paris on 29 May to sign a roadmap to peace, including 2018 elections with united international backing. ICG But with Libya’s UN-backed peace process at risk from the meeting’s format and the accord that France has brokered, the sides should instead commit to a broader declaration of principles. What’s new? On 29 May France will host a summit on Libya bringing together the country’s four principal competing leaders to sign an agreement on a ... Read More »

Colombia’s Peace at Stake in Polarised Election

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Colombians head to the polls on 27 May to choose a new president. The frontrunners have starkly different views on peace talks with guerrillas and how to handle Venezuelan refugees. Kyle Johnson ICG In this Q&A, our Colombia Senior Analyst Kyle Johnson surveys the field of candidates. What’s at stake in the 27 May election? That day will see the first round of voting to decide who will be Colombia’s next president. Two outcomes are possible. The first is that no ... Read More »

Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Time to Talk Trade

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Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Trade alone cannot transform the parties’ core political differences. But talks among them on mutually beneficial commerce could open lines of communication long cemented shut. ICG What’s happening?  Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Formalising aspects of this trade is ... Read More »

The Contested Iraqi Parliamentary Elections in Kirkuk

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Widespread perceptions of fraud in May 2018 elections to Iraq’s Council of Representatives have triggered demonstrations in Kirkuk and fears of inter-ethnic violence. Crisis Group is calling for a vote recount in Kirkuk to restore confidence in the institutions vital to manage deeper divisions over the contested, oil-rich area. The International Crisis Group is deeply concerned about developments in Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic governorate in northern Iraq. Contested election results, and the widespread perception that ballot boxes were tampered with, have ... Read More »

Eight Days in Aden – a Forgotten City in Yemen’s Forgotten War

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Two and a half years after the last major fighting in the southern port city of Aden, officially Yemen’s “temporary capital”, our Arabian Peninsula Project Director April Longley Alley finds a patchwork of rival armed forces, buildings in ruins and political groups’ effective steps toward autonomy, if… April Longley Alley ICG ADEN, Yemen – For now, there is little fighting in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. But it takes me more than a year to arrange my journey. Everything ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia: Back to Baghdad

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Saudi Arabia has been forging links to Iraq since reopening its Baghdad embassy in 2016. Its adversary Iran has strong Iraqi ties. ICG If Riyadh avoids antagonising Tehran, invests wisely and quiets anti-Shiite rhetoric, Iraq can be a bridge between the rival powers – not a battleground. What’s new? After a quarter-century of estrangement, Saudi Arabia has re-opened diplomatic relations with Iraq in an attempt to counter strong Iranian influence. The kingdom seeks a role in post-ISIS reconstruction and has ... Read More »