Reconciliation

After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea’s nuclear blasts may be exhausted

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Tokyo: Have North Korea’s nuclear tests become so big that they’ve altered the geological structure of the land? Anna Fifield Washington Post The Sydney Morning Herald Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 2200-metre-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”. The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, an enormous detonation that was recorded as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast. Since then, the area, which is not ... Read More »

How conversation can solve contemporary issues

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Premium content Modern philosophers dissect the ‘racist statue’ debate and focus on the very real and divisive issue which Australians face: our colonial past. * Andrea Simpson In August, the issue of Australia’s colonial past hit boiling point when a statue of Captain Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park was defaced. ArtsHub Australia ‘Change the date’ and ‘no pride in genocide’ were spray-painted across the monument. Statues of Governor Macquarie and Queen Victoria were also graffiitied. <img src=’//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5201223&Ver=2′ height=’0′ width=’0′ style=’display:none; ... Read More »

Managing the Disruptive Aftermath of Somalia’s Worst Terror Attack

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The 14 October 2017 twin bombings in Mogadishu mark the deadliest attack in Somalia since 2007 ICG As Somalis unite in their disgust at the most likely perpetrator Al-Shabaab, President Farmajo must immediately provide care for victims and use surging support for the government to redouble efforts aimed at overcoming the divisions in Somalia’s society that make Al-Shabaab such a… What happened? On 14 October 2017, twin truck bombings in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killed upwards of 300 people. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist insurgency, was ... Read More »

PA dismisses Israeli threat of talks freeze if Hamas in government

Fatah's Azam al-Ahmad (R) and Saleh al-Aruri (L) of Hamas talk to journalists after signing a reconciliation deal in Cairo on October 12, 2017, as the two rival Palestinian movements ended their decade-long split following negotiations overseen by Egypt.
The new Hamas deputy leader and the head of Fatah's delegation struck the deal which was described by Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas as a "final agreement" to end their crippling division, which has at times erupted into deadly conflict over the past ten years. / AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI

Abbas spokesman says reconciliation deal with terror group will help establish Palestinian state; Hamas says it rejects ‘Israeli intervention’ By Alexander Fulbright and Dov Lieber The Times of Israel The Palestinian Authority brushed off Israel’s decision to suspend peace talks over the reconciliation accord reached between PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and the Hamas terror group, saying it would have “no bearing” on the implementation of the unity deal. “What was agreed in Cairo, under the auspices of Egypt, ... Read More »

Hamas, Fatah sign deal on Palestinian reconciliation

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Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement yesterday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a “final” accord. Hurriyet Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by Dec. 1, according to a statement from Egypt’s intelligence agency, which oversaw the talks. Abbas welcomed the deal in comments to Agence France-Presse and said he considered it a ... Read More »

Discord in Yemen’s North Could Be a Chance for Peace

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Since August, a public rift has surfaced between the two main partners on the northern front of Yemen’s war – the forces loyal to the Huthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh. ICG Rather than fostering its rivals’ discord, key powerbroker Saudi Arabia should seize this rare chance to resolve the two-and-a-half year war by championing a new regional initiative. 1. Overview A public rift between Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party (GPC) and the Huthis (aka Ansar Allah) may change ... Read More »

How to Turn Battleground Ukraine Into a Success Story

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If the West manages to talk Kiev out of any hasty ill-judged decisions and convince it to accept Moscow’s peacekeeper proposal as it is, then the world will finally see a win-win Anna Tikhonova, Cyril Fokin The National Interest Putin’s early September suggestion that a UN peacekeeping force be sent to the Donbass region triggered a skeptical reaction from the Western block To a certain degree, the Kremlin’s acceptance of the deployment of UN peacekeepers signifies a diplomatic victory of the ... Read More »

How to Ensure a Credible, Peaceful Presidential Vote in Kenya

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Following the annulment of August’s historic vote, Kenya must hold repeat presidential elections by 1 November. But rising tensions and the threat of an opposition boycott could result in missing the vote’s deadline and risk a constitutional crisis Both political camps must move away from harsh words and find mutually acceptable electoral reforms to allow elections to proceed. ICG 1. Overview Kenya must hold repeat presidential elections before 1 November, after the country’s Supreme Court annulled a first vote that ... Read More »

In Ireland, Israel’s Religious Right Engages with Ideas for Peace

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Our Israel Senior Analyst Ofer Zalzberg joins nine leaders of Israel’s national religious community as they seek ideas for peace in meetings with the architects of Northern Ireland’s peace process. Unexpectedly, he finds the trip inspires subtle shifts in their thinking – and in his own. Ofer Zalzberg ICG BELFAST, Northern Ireland – So much is stuck in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that it makes sense to question habitual premises and take a new approach. For me, that means deepening ... Read More »

Restoring UN Leadership of Libya’s Peace Process

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Efforts to reunify Libya after six years of internal strife have drifted. Global and regional powers should seize the opportunity of a high-level UN meeting on Libya and a new UN special envoy to speak with one voice and act to build an effective and inclusive peace process. ICG On 20 September, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, will chair a high-level meeting on Libya on the side-lines of the General Assembly. After a long period of drift ... Read More »

Double-edged Sword: Vigilantes in African Counter-insurgencies

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Vigilante groups have been successful in providing local security. But subcontracting security functions to vigilante groups for counter-insurgency purposes is a dangerous option for fragile African states. African leaders should set clear objectives and mandates when enlisting vigilantes and invest in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs. ICG Executive Summary As weak African states face growing insurgencies, they do what weak states tend to do: subcontract certain security functions to non-state actors or vigilante groups, many of which had taken up ... Read More »

India Should Learn the Right Lesson from China Standoff

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Why the India-China standoff near the Sikkim border happened at all and how it ended on August 28 after seventy one long and anxious days will never be fully known MELKULANGARA BHADRAKUMAR Strategic Culture The Indian government maintains cryptically that «following diplomatic communications, expeditious disengagement of border personnel of India and China at the face-off site at Doklam» took place. It falls far short of claiming any mutual agreement or understanding – or of any mutual withdrawal as such. And ... Read More »

World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

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World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in MyanmarPersecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s security forces has escalated to its worst level in years, becoming one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. Editorial The Age So extreme is the systematic brutality against this stateless, downtrodden and demonised minority of 1.1 million people in a nation of 54 million, 90 per cent of whom are Buddhists, that the United Nations is suggesting it is tantamount to ethnic cleansing ... Read More »

Kenya: A Historic Decision, A Tough Road Ahead

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Kenya’s Supreme Court decision to annul the 8 August presidential election is bold and historic, but the path ahead will be fraught. A successful rerun within 60 days will need compromise on a better electoral commission, more accountable policing and more effective management of the high-stakes vote. ICG The 1 September decision by Kenya’s Supreme Court to annul the results of the 8 August presidential election and order a fresh vote was at once unexpected, historic, bold and – by ... Read More »

Siege: Envoy insists Qatar will not bow down

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The daily lives of Qataris and residents have not been affected although the blockade was a surprise and in violation of international humanitarian law and all the customs of the region and of humanity as a whole, said a Qatari… The Peninsula Qatar has been able to recover swiftly by seeking alternative markets to import goods and avoid shortages because of the siege imposed by Saudi-led bloc, said Sultan Al Mahmoud (pictured), Qatar’s ambassador to… In an interview with the ... Read More »

Colombia’s FARC rebels reborn as legal party

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Colombia’s FARC former guerrilla group has re-launched itself as the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, sealing its transformation into a leftist political party following its disarmament after a half-century civil conflict. Hurriyet The name controversially retains the same acronym and the revolutionary spirit of the communist guerrilla group, which fought a bloody 52-year campaign against the state before signing a peace deal last year. The party was set to hold a formal launch ceremony on Sept. 1 on Bolivar Square, near ... Read More »