Reconciliation

Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Associated with Boko Haram

Women are streaming home from Boko Haram’s domain in north-eastern Nigeria, some having escaped captivity and others having left jihadist husbands behind. ICG The state should safeguard these women from abuse, so that they stay in government-held areas and encourage men to come back as well. What’s new? The Nigerian military’s battle with Boko Haram has led tens of thousands of women formerly associated with the group to return to government-held towns across the north east. While prejudice against them ... Read More »

Of Tanks and Banks: Stopping a Dangerous Escalation in Libya

An under-reported banking crisis threatens to exacerbate deadly fighting in Tripoli, ignite a protracted resource war and deepen the country’s east-west divide. ICG A way out requires agreeing to a ceasefire in Tripoli and ending the four-year split between the Central Bank’s rival branches. What’s new?  A neglected banking crisis in Libya is coming to a head just as forces under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar are trying to capture Tripoli. A protracted conflict will hinder efforts to reunify the divided ... Read More »

Picturing Sri Lanka’s Undead War

Ten years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka Project Director Alan Keenan and Photographer Julie David de Lossy travelled 1,500km through ex-combat zones. ICG They found a population finding ways to cope with their traumatic experiences and an extraordinary array of monuments to the war. Ten years have passed since Sri Lanka’s 26-year war came to an end on 18 May 2009. A decisive victory over the Tamil Tigers placed the Sinhalese-majority government firmly ... Read More »

Cyprus escalation could drill hole in Irish sacred cow of neutrality

Europe Letter: Danger of war of words escalating into military conflict remains real Patrick Smyth The Irish Times The publication by the Institute of International and European Affairs of a new analysis of Irish neutrality by Prof Patrick Keatinge is timely. It comes just as fellow EU member Cyprus looks to its partners for solidarity – at this stage just political – over the illegal incursion by Turkish drilling ships into its Aegean territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The move, which has ... Read More »

Getting Aid to Separatist-held Ukraine

The front lines in eastern Ukraine are slowly freezing in place, as is civilian deprivation in the conflict zone. Anna Arutunyan ICG An embargo, bureaucracy and distrust conspire to keep humanitarian aid out. Russia and Ukraine should find politically neutral ways to unblock the flow of assistance. After five years of war, a humanitarian crisis drags on in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (L/DPR), the parts of eastern Ukraine nominally governed by Russian-backed separatists. More than 3.5 million ... Read More »

Strains Emerge in North Macedonia’s Alliance With Turkey

People walk by the flag of North Macedonia in Skopje, North Macedonia. Closer ties to Greece and the EU – and disputes over the activities of so-called Gulenists – are putting Skopje’s old friendship with Ankara to the test. Ivan Nikolovski BalkanInsight On April 3, just one day after the historic visit of Alexis Tsipras to Skopje, the first-ever official visit by a Greek prime minister to North Macedonia, Skopje also hosted Turkish Defence Minister General… During his visit, Akar ... Read More »

ITLOS to make decision on Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia on May 25

(MENAFN – UkrinForm) The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which on May 10 heard Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia regarding the illegal seizure of three Ukrainian military vessels and… MENAFN ITLOS President Jin-Hyun Paik said this at a hearing on Friday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. At the end of the hearing, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal announced Ukraine’s demand that Russia immediately release the vessels and return them to Ukraine, suspend… Russia refused to participate ... Read More »

A Critical Six Months for South Sudan

South Sudan’s rival parties have temporarily salvaged prospects for peace, agreeing a six-month deadline extension to allow for the formation of a unity government. ICG But the country’s external partners must sustain pressure on both sides to preserve a ceasefire and maintain consensus on a path forward. On 3 May at a summit in Addis Ababa, South Sudan’s rival parties agreed to a six-month extension of the deadline to form a unity government. A consensual delay had become the best ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis: How to Get to Talks?

After twenty months of clashes, the government and the separatists are both refusing to give ground. ICG Both sides must explore compromise solutions aimed at a level of regional autonomy somewhere between the secession the separatists yearn for and the fake decentralisation proposed by Yaoundé. What’s new? The conflict in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon is deadlocked. There is no dialogue between Yaoundé and the separatists, who are both refusing to give ground: the government is counting on a military ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Venezuela’s Quashed Uprising

A failed uprising by Venezuelan National Assembly Chair Juan Guaidó has emboldened President Nicolás Maduro and deepened the country’s political deadlock. ICG However difficult, outside actors should continue to press the two sides to form a transitional cabinet, stabilise Venezuela’s economy and hold elections. The events that shook Caracas on 30 April remain shrouded in mystery, but their immediate impact seems clear: further polarising a political stand-off and raising the likelihood of domestic or… They began with the… Picking Up ... Read More »

Sudan protesters, army rulers in breakthrough talks over civil rule

Sudanese protesters April 28 welcomed a breakthrough in talks with army rulers who agreed to form a joint civilian-military council, paving the way for a civilian administration as… KHARTOUM – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The agreement would replace the existing 10-member military council that took power after the army ousted veteran leader Omar al-Bashir on April 11 amid massive protests. “What happened yesterday is a step to have a civilian authority,” said Mohamed Amin, one of thousands of demonstrators who have been ... Read More »

Addressing the Rise of Libya’s Madkhali-Salafis

Adherents of a Salafi school, the Madkhalis, are gaining prominence on both sides of Libya’s divide, causing concerns about puritanical agendas imposed through military and… ICG Negotiators should ensure that rebuilt security forces are politically neutral and secure the Madkhalis’ pledge to respect pluralism. What’s new? Madkhali-Salafis, followers of an ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim doctrine originating in Saudi Arabia, have gained great influence across Libya, including in key armed groups and… Although they helped fight ISIS and provide security, their rise ... Read More »

‘Love in the face of bigotry’: woman takes smiling stand against Islamophobic protesters

Shaymaa Ismaa’eel says she wanted demonstrators in Washington to see ‘how happy I was to be me’ Kari Paul The Guardian While attending an Islamic conference in Washington DC on Sunday, Shaymaa Ismaa’eel, a 24-year-old Muslim woman, passed by a group of angry protesters holding signs against Islam and shouting that she and her friends were going to hell. In response, she crouched in front of them and flashed a… The resulting photo, posted on Instagram, has prompted an outpouring of support ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings: Peaceful Coexistence Under Attack

The lethal Easter bombings in Sri Lanka have stunned a country still recovering from decades of internal war. Alan Keenan ICG Political and religious leaders alike should reject the rhetoric of collective blame and reaffirm the island’s strained but living tradition of intercommunal amity. Sri Lankans from all ethnic and religious groups – Sinhalese and Tamil, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian and Hindu – lived through terrible violence during the decades of war and terrorism that ended ten years ago. Still, no ... Read More »

Greece to ask Germany for billions in war reparations

MPs vote to put pressure on Berlin as European parliamentary elections loom Helena Smith The Guardian Greece is poised to send Germany a formal diplomatic note detailing its demand for billions of euros in wartime reparations after MPs voted overwhelmingly for the emotive issue to be raised officially. In a move bound to stir sentiment ahead of crucial European parliament elections, Athens vowed to pile pressure on Berlin, taking legal and diplomatic steps that will throw the spotlight on crimes committed during ... Read More »

Peace hopes suffer setback as Taliban-Afghan talks derailed

Hopes for a breakthrough in a push to end Afghanistan’s grueling conflict suffered a major setback on April 19 after a key summit between the Taliban and Afghan officials was indefinitely postponed. Doha Hurriyet The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, due to take place in Doha this weekend, fell apart at the last minute in a row over the large number of delegates Kabul wanted to send. The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed. The Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan ... Read More »