Peace Talks

Former Pakistan PM Sharif sentenced to seven years jail for graft

Former Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison for corruptionMonday, state media reported, the latest conviction in a series of allegations which saw him ousted from power last year. ISLAMABAD – AFP Hurriyet Sharif, a three-time prime minister, has denied all the charges against him and claims he is being targeted by the country’s powerful security establishment. Monday’s conviction, centred on family businesses in the Middle East, is his second stemming from a corruption investigation spurred by the Panama Papers leak, and ... Read More »

Rebuilding the Gaza Ceasefire

A ceasefire agreement has brought Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas back from the cusp of yet another calamitous war. ICG However fragile, it offers a rare opportunity for all parties to finally break the cycle of recurring hostilities that has killed thousands since 2007. What’s new?  For the first time since the 2014 war, a plan for a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel started to take hold in early November, only to be disrupted by the… The ceasefire ... Read More »

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny prohibited from leaving country

Alexei Navalny says he was given no reason for being barred from boarding a flight from Moscow to Frankfurt. He intended to appear at the ECHR, which is ruling on the legality of his numerous detentions. DW Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday said that he had been prohibited from boarding a flight from Moscow’ Domodedovo airport to Frankfurt that morning. Navalny planned to continue on to the European Court of… The ECHR is expected to hand down a ... Read More »

Yemen’s Hodeida Offensive: Once Avoidable, Now Imminent

When the plan for consultations between Yemen’s warring parties, scheduled to begin in Geneva on 8 September, collapsed, the frozen battle for the Red Sea port of Hodeida resumed. Peter Salisbury ICG It could prove fatal for many of the millions already on the brink of starvation. Over the last two weeks, the latest attempt to set Yemen on the path to peace has collapsed, triggering what could become the bloodiest battle of a war approaching its fourth anniversary. In ... Read More »

Is the Yemen Peace Process Coming Back to Life?

The UN special envoy to Yemen has invited the principal parties in the country’s civil war to Geneva for “consultations”. ICG With the war rapidly approaching its fifth year, Crisis Group Consultant Peter Salisbury explains why any such Geneva talks are important and what should happen next. First of all, what is happening and why does it matter? After two years of political inertia, we should be cautious about what can be achieved. Given the lack of diplomatic progress since ... Read More »

Serbia, Kosovo presidents broach border changes for historic deal

Balkan leaders seek to calm fears that plan could reignite ethnic violence. Andrew Gray Politico ALPBACH — The presidents of Serbia and Kosovo made clear on Saturday they are considering border changes to reach a historic peace settlement and called on the European Union to provide crucial… The declarations by Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaçi at a panel discussion in Austria place the EU in a difficult position. EU leaders have long opposed such changes on the basis ... Read More »

Averting War in Gaza

Israel and Hamas stand on the brink of another full-scale confrontation in Gaza. The only viable exit from the ongoing cycle of escalation is for international actors to use carrots and sticks to bring about intra-Palestinian reconciliation, thereby allowing the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern the Gaza Strip. ICG What’s new?  What is new is that little is new: despite repeated claims that efforts are being made to address the situation in Gaza, Israel and Hamas once again are sliding ... Read More »

Building on Afghanistan’s Fleeting Ceasefire

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 »

The Missing Peace: Colombia’s New Government and Last Guerrillas

Talks in Havana with the ELN, Colombia’s last insurgency, are advancing at a slow pace. ICG Backed by international actors, the current government and guerrilla negotiators should aim for rapid progress in negotiations to minimise the chance of a… What’s new? Peace talks with Colombia’s last guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), could be under threat after the election of Iván Duque as the new president. Tangible short-term results are essential to ensure negotiations continue when Duque… Why does ... Read More »

Justice for Cyprus: The Goal should be Freedom from Occupation

Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974. Turkey’s false excuse for its presence on the island is the “protection of Turkish Cypriots from Greek violence.” Uzay Bulut * H Fusion     However, in 2017, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş revealed the real reason behind Turkey’s control of Cyprus:  “There is this misinformation that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there is a Turkish society there… Kyrenia Harbour Even if no Turks lived in Cyprus, ... Read More »

South Sudan: Confusion over power-sharing deal agreed to by president, rebel leader

Talks to reach a power-sharing deal in South Sudan have ended with conflicting accounts. Some reports have stated that rebel leader Riek Machar has agreed to return to his position as vice president. DW South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar (photo) met for peace talks in Uganda on Saturday in an attempt to end a civil war that has gone on for more than four years. The discussions, mediated by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Sudanese President ... Read More »

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

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 »

More time needed to achieve peace, South Sudan rebels say

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudanese rebels said on Thursday that more time is needed to secure lasting peace in the country and it would be necessary to address the root causes of a civil war. Denis Dumo “There is no shortcut to peace,” the group said in a statement after peace talks in Ethiopia between its leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, the first time the two men had met since… SPLM/SPLA (IO) said the solution to the five-year ... Read More »

Risky Business: The Duque Government’s Approach to Peace in Colombia

Colombia’s president-elect campaigned on a pledge to “modify” the 2016 peace with the FARC guerrillas, despite its goal of reducing the rural inequality underlying that insurgency. T he new government should steer clear of hardline policies that alienate the countryside and hinder the ex-guerrilla’s path to civilian life. ICG What’s new? Iván Duque, from the Democratic Centre party, won Colombia’s presidential election and assumes office on 7 August 2018. His party and… Why does it matter? Colombia’s transition from war ... Read More »

NATO welcomes ceasefire with Taliban, calls for peace talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed on Thursday Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban, and he called on the militants to lay down their arms and negotiate a peace… “The announcement of a ceasefire shows the seriousness of President Ghani and the Afghan government … I call on the Taliban to join the ceasefire,” Stoltenberg told… “The Taliban will not win on the battlefield. The only way for them to achieve a solution is to ... Read More »

Making the Best of France’s Libya Summit

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 »