Reconciliation

Libya’s Unhealthy Focus on Personalities

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The surprise electoral defeat of one Libyan leader and the hospitalisation of a rival show the error of relying solely on individuals to achieve national reconciliation in Libya. All sides in Libya’s conflict should focus instead on making institutions more representative and improving governance. ICG What’s new? Two events have shaken up Libyan politics: the election of Muslim Brotherhood affiliate Khaled Mishri as president of the Tripoli-based High State Council, replacing Abderrahman Swehli, who had held the post since 2016, ... Read More »

Clock ticking for Cyprus reunification

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Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk says Cypriots need to find a way to reconnect Former South African President F.W. de Klerk is a man who knows how to read the warning signs of history and he urges Cypriot leaders not to miss another opportunity to make peace before it’s too late. Charlie Charalambous Knews “Timing is important, sometimes the time is right for something to happen and if you don’t see the opportunity and use it, the window ... Read More »

Cuba to host Colombia-ELN rebel peace talks

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Cuba will host peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist ELN rebels aimed at ending a five-decade conflict after Ecuador bowed out as host, negotiators said May 5. BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to conclude a peace agreement with the country’s 1,500-strong last active rebel group, similar to the one signed with the larger FARC guerrillas in November 2016. The FARC has since become a political party. Five other countries — Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Norway and Venezuela — ... Read More »

Mirror Images: The Standoff between Moscow and Western Capitals

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Russia and the West are mired in mutual mistrust, sinking deeper with each contretemps in the post-Soviet space and every round of sanctions punishing perceived Russian malfeasance. Magdalena Grono ICG A rapprochement appears unlikely soon, so both sides must open channels to avert confrontations where their interests collide. Relations between Russia and the West are at a perilous juncture. The two sides’ narratives on major issues of the day – for instance, the future of Crimea or the wars in ... Read More »

Eastern Mediterranean: International Arbitration for ‘Venus’

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Cyprus and Israel are expected to resume international arbitration in order to put an end to their seven-year dispute over the exploitation rights of the “Aphrodite” (“Venus”) field. By Nefeli Tzanetakou / ibna On May 8, a two-sided meeting in Nicosia is scheduled to take place, with the participation of Greece, where, among other things, the implementation plan for the East Med pipeline, which is expected to transport the… In 2010, Cyprus and Israel co-signed the demarcation agreement relevant to the ... Read More »

Pompeo puts onus on Palestinians to rejoin peace talks

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U.S. Secretary of State  Pompeo‘>Mike Pompeo wound up a three-day Middle East trip April 30 without having met any Palestinian, but nevertheless urged their leadership to rejoin the peace process. Hurriyet Washington’s newly appointed top diplomat received a warm reception in Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Amman, focusing his talks on Iranian interference in the region – despite the tensions once against rising between Israel and the Palestinians. Forty-five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border since the… Pompeo puts onus… Read More »

Korean Presidents’ Meeting is a Memorable Step Forward

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Symbolism and substance combined to make the 27 April meeting between the North and South Korean presidents a momentous occasion. Much needs to be done to overcome scepticism from past failures, but the concrete timeline the two countries laid out in the Panmunjom Declaration could lead to transformative steps. Christopher Green ICG What’s happening in Korea? The leaders of North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in met in the Korean War truce village of Panmunjom today. It was ... Read More »

“Velvet Revolution” Takes Armenia into the Unknown

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Massive street protests have brought down Armenia’s long-serving leader Serzh Sargsyan. Meanwhile, tensions persist in the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Both Armenia’s new leadership and Azerbaijan must pay attention to avoid triggering a new conflagration along that territory’s volatile front lines. Olesya Vartanyan ICG When opposition Member of Parliament Nikol Pashinyan led a knot of marchers through northern Armenia in April to protest the return to power of long-serving leader Serzh Sargsyan, no one guessed his campaign would ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis: How the Catholic Church Can Promote Dialogue

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The Anglophone crisis in Cameroon is growing deadlier. The Catholic Church could mediate between Anglophone militants and the state, but clergy have espoused clashing views on key issues. The Church should heal its divides so as to be a neutral arbiter that can broker peace. ICG What’s new? Fighting is spreading between security forces and militants from Cameroon’s English-speaking minority. The government largely rejects Anglophone grievances, while armed militants appear inclined to continue fighting. The Catholic Church, representing nearly a ... Read More »

The Youth Movement in Sahrawi Refugee Camps

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Refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, have long been run by the Polisario movement, which seeks an independent state in Western Sahara, also claimed by Morocco. But a new generation of Sahrawi refugees is growing fractious as aid dwindles and diplomatic efforts fail to deliver a settlement. Hannah Armstrong ICG Set deep in the desert outside Tindouf, Algeria, the Sahrawi refugee camps are a remote yet lively political hub. The camps are home to 173,000 refugees of a forgotten conflict: an ... Read More »

Iran says EU has ‘differing values’ but dialogue should continue

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Iran said April 16 that EU sanctions over its human rights record were due to “differing values” but that they should not derail dialogue with Europe. TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “We have certain differences of opinion with European countries and the European Union,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said at a press conference. “That is due in part to differing values between our region and the Islamic republic of Iran and the European Union, notably as concerns human rights,” ... Read More »

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

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More legally questionable and reckless military interventions are not what British people want from their government Jeremy Corbyn The Guardian These are serious times. Following the missile attacks on Syria, now is the moment for a powerful push for peace. Boris Johnson’s blithe acceptance on Sunday that the conflict will now continue on its current course and that peace negotiations would be an “extra” is an unconscionable abdication of… Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees ... Read More »

Somaliland poet jailed for Somalia reunification poetry

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A court in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail. BBC Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated. Somaliland self-declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised internationally. Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited ... Read More »

Turkey to Mediate Between US, Russia on Syria Tensions

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ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is assuming a mediator role, calling for a display of sensitivity by the U.S., Russia and other nations amid heightened tensions on Syria. Dorian Jones VoA U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to launch military strikes in response to Saturday’s (April 7) alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces that killed at least 40. Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin late Thursday on the phone after a separate call with Trump. “Erdogan ... Read More »

Berlin to change street names over brutal African colonial past

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Berlin is poised to strip the names of streets linked to atrocities committed during its occupation of Namibia and dedicate them to liberation fighters, part of a late reckoning with Germany’s brutal colonial history in Africa. BERLIN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet After more than a decade of debate, the three biggest parties in the Berlin Mitte district assembly voted Wednesday night to recommend new names for streets in the so-called African Quarter in the northwest of the German capital, spokeswoman ... Read More »

Puigdemont urges dialogue with Madrid after leaving German jail

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Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont called for immediate “political dialogue” to end the row with Madrid as he left a German jail on bail on April 6 after judges rejected his extradition to Spain on a rebellion charge. NEUMNSTER – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “The time for dialogue has arrived,” Puigdemont told reporters outside the Neumuenster prison, after he walked free on a 75,000-euro ($92,000-) bail while judges mull whether to extradite him on a lesser charge of corruption. “We have ... Read More »