Reconciliation

Managing Ethiopia’s Unsettled Transition

Ethiopia’s charismatic new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has generated great excitement with initiatives breaking with the past. ICG But he faces challenges as formidable as his promises are bold: he urgently needs to halt communal strife, smooth the road to elections and boost the ailing economy. What’s new? Ethiopia’s new premier, Abiy Ahmed Ali, has made peace with Eritrea, extended a conciliatory hand to opponents, and promised moves to free and fair elections, expanded political space and economic reform. But ... Read More »

China’s Growing Military Presence Abroad Brings New Challenges

Increasing contributions to UN peacekeeping and the rising presence of Chinese security forces abroad are pushing Beijing to engage with questions of international law it has not previously had… Harriet Moynihan and Dr Wim Luller Chatham House China’s involvement in UN peacekeeping contributions has been on the rise for some time. China is also stepping up its own military and security operations abroad to protect its commercial and strategic interests, particularly in Africa. In doing so, China is exposing itself ... Read More »

A peace agreement in Afghanistan won’t last if there are no women at the table

Over the past weeks, the US government has been in peace negotiations with the Taliban. Susan Hutchinson The Conversation It has been 17 years since US and allied troops first deployed to Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and support a democratically elected government. The current peace negotiations have progressed further than any other attempted during the conflict. But they have two serious problems. Firstly, they have have not included the democratically elected government of Afghanistan, led by President Ashraf Ghani. ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #3

This is Crisis Group’s third weekly update published as part of our Yemen Campaign. ICG The trend we identify in this edition is new hope for a political compromise to end the four-year-old civil war and ease the country’s grave humanitarian crisis. Trendline: A Shift to the Political in 2019? After a year of unrelenting military pressure along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, there are some indications that the Saudi-led coalition may be pivoting toward a greater recognition that a political ... Read More »

What We Heard in Caracas

President Trump’s tough talk and actions opened the door for change in Venezuela. Now the U.S. must avoid hardline inflexibility that could close it, ending the chance of achieving internal peace through an… ICG It’s hard for the two sides in Venezuela’s political conflict to agree on virtually anything, what with dueling presidents, competing institutions, and diametrically opposed visions. But in a brief visit to Caracas this week, we found broad consensus on one point: It all depends on Donald… The Venezuelan ... Read More »

Old Conflict, New Armenia: The View from Baku

The April 2018 “velvet revolution” in Armenia has brought new meetings and helped improve the dynamics of the three-decade-long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Zaur Shirivev ICG Much more needs to happen to reach peace, but Azerbaijan’s old scepticism is giving way to cautious hope in diplomacy. A series of direct contacts between Azerbaijan and Armenia have brought hope to the two countries’ decades-long impasse over Nagorno-Karabakh, a conflict that began as the Soviet Union collapsed. But while these meetings, on the heels of ... Read More »

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine. What is Mexico’s position on the fast-developing events in Venezuela? Mexico has declined to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, and has adopted a… Mexico’s New ... Read More »

China calls for harmony as it welcomes Qatar emir amid Gulf dispute

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a return to “unity and harmony” on Jan. 31 as he welcomed gas-rich Qatar‘s emir to Beijing, amid a festering dispute that has seen some Arab states lead by Saudi Arabia severing… BEIJING – Reuters Hurriyet Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017. They accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and cultivating ties with Saudi Arabia’s regional foe, Iran. Qatar, which denies the charge, says the boycott seeks to curtail its ... Read More »

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. ICG Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved. How significant were the U.S.-Taliban talks? Last week’s six-day talks between the U.S. and Taliban were the clearest sign yet that the U.S. is intent on withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, and that the ... Read More »

Taliban and U.S. claim significant progress in talks but no agreement

The duration and scope of the talks in Doha between U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and senior Taliban figures was unprecedented, former diplomats and experts said. By Dan De Luce, Ahmed Mengli and Mushtaq Yusufzai rbcnews U.S. and Taliban representatives say six days of talks have produced progress toward a potential agreement that would see Washington withdraw American troops within 18 months and the insurgents commit to preventing al Qaeda or other extremists to use the… The duration and scope of ... Read More »

Trump climbs down in wall row, Congress passes bill ending shutdown

President Donald Trump on Friday brought a temporary end to the longest government shutdown in US history, while dropping his previous insistence on immediate funding for… Washington – AFP Hurriyet The announcement in the White House Rose Garden on the bipartisan deal marked a retreat by Trump, suspending a row that paralyzed Washington, disrupted air travel, and left more than 800,000… The top Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, said he hoped Trump had “learned his lesson.” The Senate and House of Representatives both passed the deal by unanimous consent Friday. The White House later… Trump climbs down… Read More »

A New Dimension of Violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Ethnic Rakhine insurgents have attacked four police stations in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, provoking a military counteroffensive. ICG Escalation could imperil both prospects for Rohingya repatriation and the country’s transition toward civilian rule. All sides should step back from confrontation and pursue talks about Rakhine State’s future. What’s new? Arakan Army attacks on remote police outposts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State left thirteen officers dead, prompting the government to order military “clearance operations” against the ethnic Rakhine insurgents. The looming violent… ... Read More »

Do truth and reconciliation commissions heal divided nations?

As long as unresolved historic injustices continue to fester in the world, there will be a demand for truth commissions. Bonny Ibhawoh The Conversation Unfortunately, there is no end to the need. The goal of a truth commission — in some forms also called a truth and reconciliation commission, as it is in Canada — is to hold public hearings to establish the scale and impact of a past injustice, typically involving wide-scale human rights abuses, and make it part ... Read More »

Immigration advocates to meet with Pence on deal to protect Dreamers, end shutdown

WASHINGTON – A group of immigration advocates is planning to meet Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence and top adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to see if there is a… Franco Ordoñez Miami Herald Trump may also “pop in” to the meeting being organized with officials from the League of United Latin American Citizens, Libre Initiative, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and… On Saturday, Trump spoke from the Oval Office and offered Democrats a three-year extension of protections ... Read More »

My Australia: The woman tackling workplace ignorance about Indigenous Australians

Djiribul woman Shelley Reys has spent her career trying to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Today she counts Microsoft, Qantas and Telstra as clients. Matt Connellan SBS My Australia is a special series exploring cultural heritage and identity, and asking what it means to be Australian in 2019. When Shelley Reys was a little girl, she watched her father win ‘the race that stops a nation’. Frank Reys became the only Aboriginal jockey to win the Melbourne ... Read More »

Bogotá Bomb Shatters Peace Talks with Colombia’s Last Guerrillas

After Bogotá’s deadliest bombing since 2003, the government is likely to crack down hard on Colombia’s last guerrilla group, the ELN. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Colombia Kyle Johnson says any new military campaign should distinguish between ELN factions and is unlikely to inflict a lasting defeat on the rebels. What happened? On 17 January, a car drove into the General Santander police academy in Bogotá and exploded, killing 21 police officers and injuring 68 more. Though the perpetrator also died, the ... Read More »