Reconciliation

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 »

DR Congo: A Recount and Talks to Find a Way Out of the Crisis

The DR Congo is facing a major political crisis over the 30 December election’s result. ICG A recount would allow subsequent negotiations to take place on the basis of a clear understanding of who won. A dispute over the results of the DR Congo’s 30 December election cast a dark shadow over what should be a historic transition of power but a surprisingly robust reaction by regional actors offers a genuine chance for a course correction. According to official tallies, ... Read More »

The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever

At least one of Israel’s occupations will be permanent, whether anyone else likes it or not. Steven A. Cook FP Should the United States recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights? The question has come up in the last few weeks, because Israel is having an election in April. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel’s 1981 annexation of Syrian territory. There’s plenty of reason to suspect this diplomatic ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan calls for revision of Bosnia peace accords

ANKARA, Turkey Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a revision of the 1995 peace agreement that ended the Bosnian War, saying they failed to address the former Yugoslav republic’s future. Miami Herald The Associated Press Erdogan said the United Nations should take “a stronger step” in a possible revision of the international Dayton Accords that established a complex government system designed to heal an ethnic divide after the… The Turkish leader made the comments during a news conference ... Read More »