Reconciliation

Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?

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The Australian republic ought not be so divorced from the cry out of Uluru last May for an Indigenous voice to parliament and truth-telling Paul Daley The Guardian Most of us old enough to vote will remember where we were when our republic, with Malcolm Turnbull as helmsman, burbled down a whirlpool of acrimony and division to the rock bottom of public consciousness for almost a generation. I was on my way to East Timor. Indonesia and its proxies had ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi urges nation to stay united amid ‘challenges’

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Yangon:  Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called  for her people to remain united, saying the South-east Asian country faces “challenges” at home and abroad, as she marked two years since her party swept to power in a… Shoon Naing WAtoday In a televised speech, Suu Kyi made only a passing reference to the crisis in Rakhine state, where her government faces mounting international condemnation for a military operation against Rohingya Muslims that has sent nearly 700,000 ... Read More »

ISIS Returnees Bring Both Hope and Fear to Chechnya

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The return of ISIS fighters to Chechnya could pose a security challenge for the war-torn Russian republic. The authorities may respond true to form, with repression, but efforts to repatriate women and children stranded in Syria and, in some cases, to reintegrate foreign fighters should not be discounted. Anna Arutunyan ICG The victories over ISIS in Mosul and Raqqa pose a dilemma for states whose citizens travelled to join the Islamic State’s (ISIS) ranks and who may now seek to return ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia opens airspace to Israel for first time ever for Air India flight bound for Tel Aviv

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‘You know, they said the Saudis wouldn’t let any flight pass. So here, the Saudis are permitting it. It is a process, I think’ Alexander Cornwell and Ari Rabinovitch The Independent Saudi Arabia opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel with the inauguration of an Air India route between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. Flight 139 landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport after a seven-and-a-half hour journey, marking a diplomatic shift for Riyadh that Israel says was fuelled by shared concern over Iranian influence in ... Read More »

Brexit: A managed surrender

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London talks tough but gives Brussels what it wants. Forget red lines, bellicose declarations and rhetoric about the United Kingdom taking back control — Brexit so far has been a process of managed surrender. Paul Taylor Politico British officials acknowledge that Prime Minister Theresa May has mostly had to accept the European Union’s terms for the divorce and a transition period to avoid a cliff-edge rupture in economic ties that could have crippled business. However, the Brits insist, the real negotiation starts now and ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan warns Europeans ‘will not walk safely on the streets’ if diplomatic row continues

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It comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned war of rhetoric must stop Samuel Osborne The Independent Europeans across the world will not be able to walk the streets safely if they keep up their current attitude towards Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned. Turkey has been mired in a diplomatic row with Germany and the Netherlands after they banned Turkish officials from campaigning in support of an April referendum on boosting the… “If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the… Turkey’s ... Read More »

To Reunite Ukraine, Kyiv Must Overcome Its Own Prejudices

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Four years after Russia’s invasion, psychological barriers are compounding the physical divisions of Ukraine. While many Ukrainians have turned to the West, millions of conflict-affected citizens are being excluded, creating new obstacles to any eventual reintegration of the country. Katharine Quinn-Judge ICG It is common for Ukrainian officials and their international backers to say that Russia’s 2014 invasion, which was partly motivated by Moscow’s anger at Ukraine pivoting toward Europe and the U.S., has unified the country and turned it ... Read More »

Somalia clans secure peace with death sentences and hefty fines

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Two rival Somali clans have signed up to a groundbreaking peace deal which aims to end the cycle of revenge killings. Will Ross BBC Following three weeks of mediation, the rival Sa’ad Yoonis and Ba’iido clans in the disputed Sanaag region reached an agreement on harsh new rules. Now, anyone found guilty of carrying out a revenge killing or vendetta will face a death sentence. The family of the perpetrator will also have to pay fine a $100,000 (£72,000). There ... Read More »

End the Weaponisation of Water in Central Asia

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Four Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – have argued over their water resources since the collapse of the Soviet Union. At times these disputes have seemed to threaten war. The forthcoming presidential summit in Astana can help banish that spectre. Alina Dalbaeva ICG On 15-16 March there is a landmark opportunity to promote peace and prosperity in Central Asia when the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan meet in the Kazakh capital of Astana. It ... Read More »

After Kenya’s Leaders Reconcile, a Tough Path Ahead

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The meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga was an important step toward ending the protracted crisis over last year’s disputed election. To build on the progress, consensus is required on concrete steps that can help safeguard against future polarisation and violence.​ ICG I. Overview The meeting on 9 March 2018 between Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga was as unanticipated as it is significant. In their joint statement issued after the talks, they promised ... Read More »

Colombia right wing falls short of majority

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Right-wing parties opposed to a peace deal with the FARC won historic elections in Colombia on March 11 but fell short of a majority in polls that saw the former rebels enter the Congress. BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The hardliners’ victory raises questions about the future of the peace agreement signed with President Juan Manuel Santos in November 2016. Santos said the polls were “the safest, most transparent elections” in the country’s recent history, with the FARC spurning jungle ... Read More »

U.S. moving to repair relations with Turkey, endangering ties with Kurdish allies

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In an effort to repair tattered relations, the Trump administration has told Turkey it will move to rein in Kurdish fighters who have been the backbone of the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State in Syria, according to U.S. and… By Karen DeYoung and Kareem Fahim The Washington Post The first step and “the crux of the matter,” a senior Turkish official said, is to withdraw the Kurds from the Syrian town of Manbij and relocate them east of the ... Read More »

Cautious Hope Ahead of U.S.-North Korea Meeting

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President Trump’s 8 March acceptance of an invitation to meet his counterpart Kim Jong-un marks a first in U.S.-North Korea relations and a rare opening for diplomacy. ICG To maximise the chance of a successful summit, all sides will have to prepare a realistic agenda and align their expectations. Developments on the Korean peninsula have been dizzying, from talk of war, to hints of diplomacy, to symbolic gestures and now this: the acceptance by U.S. President Donald Trump of Democratic ... Read More »

Is Trump falling into Kim’s trap?

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Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s most serious problems. But could he be part of some solutions? Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The news that he’d agreed to meet North Korea’s dictator is something new in dealing with an old problem. No US president has ever met his North Korean counterpart while in office. Till now, the US has always set preconditions too onerous for the North Koreas to accept. It’s not entirely clear, but it doesn’t seem that ... Read More »

Kim’s initiative: The breakthrough the world has been waiting for?

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North Korea has offered every precondition Seoul and Washington set for talks. But while the spectrum of opportunity has dramatically expanded, so, too, have the risks Andrew Salmon Asia Times The Korean Peninsula is arguably the world’s most dangerous geopolitical flashpoint, but rarely – if ever – in inter-Korean relations has one side offered so much so swiftly. According to South Korean officials who returned from two meetings in Pyongyang on Tuesday and delivered a press briefing in the South, ... Read More »