Reconciliation

Setback for Rohingya refugees as Bangladeshi repatriation plan stalls

Cox’s Bazar: Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis are set to be stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programmes only likely be revisited after year-end general elections, a… Zeba Siddiqui Brisbane Times More than 720,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to UN agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on… Rohingya refugees say soldiers and Buddhist civilians killed families, burned many villages and carried ... 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 »

Brexit deal EXPLAINED: What we know about Theresa May’s 500-page Brexit deal

THERESA May has completed a draft Brexit deal with the European Union and now must seek the approval of her Cabinet at a crunch meeting in Westminster this afternoon. Joe Barnes Express The Prime Minister’s latest proposals have already become deeply controversial with rumours of more ministerial resignations and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party ready to vote down the… But in what is considered largely as a victory by Brussels and Downing Street, Mrs May has secured a UK-wide Irish ... Read More »

Bangladesh-Myanmar: The Danger of Forced Rohingya Repatriation

Bangladesh and Myanmar have struck a deal for the involuntary repatriation of over 2,000 Rohingya refugees. ICG But the agreement is rushed and threatens stability on both sides of the border. Myanmar and Bangladesh should halt the plan and instead work to create conditions conducive to a safe and dignified return. What’s new?  Bangladesh’s government is preparing to return several thousand Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. Under pressure from China, the two countries have agreed to start implementing a repatriation agreement ... Read More »

Muslims Surround Toronto Synagogues With Protective ‘Rings Of Peace’

“We want them to know that we will always be there for them.” Liz Haq HuffPost People from various faiths came together in a moving act of solidarity for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, as well as a show of strength and protection for Jewish people across Canada. Numerous “Rings of Peace” were formed around Toronto synagogues on Friday night and Saturday morning, made up of multi-faith worshippers standing shoulder-to-shoulder and ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia’s uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria’s upcoming… ICG This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace. Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short Libya has seen… Watch List 2018… Read More »

Kandahar Assassinations Show Rising Taliban Strength in Afghanistan

The Taliban have claimed the assassination of an influential Afghan police chief and another official in an attack that narrowly missed the head of U.S. forces. ICG Senior Analyst Borhan Osman and Consultant Graeme Smith explain the repercussions for political stability in southern Afghanistan. What happened? At least one gunman attacked a gathering of Afghan and U.S. officials inside the Kandahar governor’s compound on the afternoon of 18 October. The shooter, believed to be one of the governor’s guards, killed the most powerful ... Read More »

Turkey Frees U.S. Pastor in Move Long Sought by Trump and Pence

A Turkish court set free U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson after holding him in prison for almost two years, removing a key source of tension between Turkey and the United States. By Cagan Koc, Onur Ant, and Nick Wadhams Bloomberg The court in Izmir convicted Brunson, 50, an evangelical pastor from North Carolina, and sentenced him to three years, 1 month and 15 days in jail, but lifted all judicial controls and released him after accounting for penalty reductions and time served. Brunson had ... Read More »

Building Peace in Mexico: Dilemmas Facing the López Obrador Government

With hopes for change sky-high, Mexico’s president-elect confronts endemic violent crime and state corruption. ICG To make good on his campaign promises, his team should pursue justice in killings by state personnel, reform the civilian police and give robust mandates to truth commissions with victim participation. What’s new?  Mexico’s left-leaning president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will take office on 1 December after a landslide win. He promises to fight graft and reverse the militarisation of public security. But he inherits ... Read More »

Secret deal with Turkey paves way for American pastor’s release

North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson is expected to be released in coming days after two years of detention in Turkey. Carol E. Lee and Courtney Kube NBC news WASHINGTON — The White House expects North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson to be released by the Turkish government and returned to the U.S. in the coming days, two years after he… Under an agreement senior Trump administration officials recently reached with Turkey, Brunson is supposed to be released after certain charges against ... Read More »

Cameroon: Divisions Widen Ahead of Presidential Vote

The risk of violence around the 7 October vote is greatest in Anglophone regions, but other parts of Cameroon could also be affected. ICG The government should take steps to curb divisive rhetoric and declare a ceasefire, even if only temporary, with Anglophone armed groups. What’s new?  Cameroon’s presidential election on 7 October comes at a tense moment. The country is torn between the fight against Boko Haram in the Far North and the Anglophone conflict in the Northwest and ... Read More »

Restore the Parthenon marbles to their full beauty in Athens

Janet Suzman wants the marbles joined to their other half in Athens, Benedict Birnberg also argues for their return from London, and Pete Eiseman-Renyard reflects on their care. Letters The Guardian Re the letter from Richard Lambert, chair of the British Museum trustees (Trust us to look after the Parthenon marbles, 27 September), I understood that the museum was there for the people as well as the… As an ordinary person, albeit interested in the return of the Parthenon marbles to their original home, I ... Read More »

Major hurdles – and rewards – as China and Philippines try to forge deal to share South China Sea resources

If the two sides manage to reach an agreement, an outcome that is far assured given the myriad political and legal complexities, it could radically alter the dynamics of a vexing geopolitical dispute. South China Morning Post Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to Manila in November, the Philippines and China have taken a major step towards resolving their maritime disputes. Last month, the Philippine government announced the formation of a technical working group to iron out the legality ... 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 »

The Australian war film Jirga is a lesson in Afghan forgiveness

It is cathartic when a war movie takes us far beyond the horror of bullets, bomb and blood into the other side of the battlefield — the emotional impact on individuals. Ehsan Azari Stanizai The Conversation The Australian production Jirga mines the depth of the heartache and guilt experienced by an Australian ex-soldier whose conscience has caught up with his participation in a night raid on a… In doing so, it moves away from run-of-the-mill cinematic depictions of this war, ... Read More »