Africa

Energy and security in the Eastern Mediterranean

The discovery of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Basin has created new regional security dynamics. Petros Petrikkos Global Risk Insights The quest for power and influence hinders energy and economic cooperation. The growing ‘battle’ for the creation of a pipeline is not easily sustained due to the region’s unstable landscape. Research on the Levant Basin dates back to 2010 when the Leviathan block was first discovered by Ratio Oil. Following this, companies like US-owned Noble Energy and French giant ... Read More »

The strategic consequence of the Chagos Islands legal dispute

At the end of last month, the African archipelago nation of Mauritius secured an important legal victory in its territorial and maritime disputes against its former coloniser, the United Kingdom. Bec Strating Lowy Interpreter The International Court of Justice (ICJ) produce an advisory opinion that rejected the UK’s claims to sovereignty over the Chagos Islands, a small group of atolls in the Indian Ocean. It found instead that the UK had unlawfully separated the islands from the former colony of ... Read More »

Decentralisation in Tunisia: Consolidating Democracy without Weakening the State

The decentralisation process is polarising Tunisia and risks fueling social and political tensions. ICG In order to fulfill its promise – to reduce socio-regional inequalities and improve public services – all sides must compromise on a new understanding of decentralisation that includes strengthening state services nationwide. Executive Summary Tunisia’s decentralisation process is increasingly in disarray. Through this reform, mandated by the new constitution adopted in January 2014, the central state is to cede certain of its powers to actors and ... Read More »

Algeria opposition propose six-month political transition

A group of Algerian opposition parties and unions proposed on March 23 a “roadmap” to end a political crisis and weeks of protests sparked by the veteran president’s bid to stay in power. ALGIERS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said on February 22 he would run for a fifth term in April 18 elections, despite concerns about his ability to rule, triggering an outcry in the country which has since… The 82-year-old, who uses a wheelchair and has rarely appeared ... Read More »

Bridging the Gap in the Nile Waters Dispute

Ethiopia is building a mighty dam on the Blue Nile, promising economic benefits for both itself and Sudan. ICG But Egypt fears for its freshwater supply. The parties should agree on how fast to fill the dam’s reservoir and how to share river waters going forward. What’s new?  Ethiopia is moving ahead with construction of Africa’s largest dam, despite Egypt’s worry that it will reduce the downstream flow of the Nile, the source of around 90 per cent of its ... Read More »

Salvaging South Sudan’s Fragile Peace Deal

The truce in South Sudan is holding but could break down at any time. ICG To stave off renewed civil war, external actors should urge the belligerents to strike new bargains on security and internal boundaries – and accept a third-party protection force for the capital. What’s new? South Sudan’s new peace deal is nearing its first critical test: the formation of a unity government in May 2019. But steps toward key interim benchmarks – unifying a national army and ... Read More »

Diver almost swallowed by whale off South Africa coast can’t wait to get back in the water

A diver who was almost swallowed whole by a whale said the experience hasn’t put him off going back into the water. By Tom Livingstone 9News Staff South African man Rainer Schimpf was diving in waters off Port Elizabeth last month when a Bryde’s whale got a little too close for comfort. The 51-year-old was with a group photographing sharks when he said the water began to churn around him and everything went dark. The giant mammal was feeding on ... Read More »

Why Research on Gender and Conflict Matters

At Crisis Group, we believe the interaction of gender and conflict is of central importance. But we consider carefully what a gender perspective entails and the conceptual pitfalls we should avoid. Robert Malley ICG For instance, women are not just victims, but have agency and choice. Last October, Ethiopia appointed its first woman president, the only female leader of an African state today. In many national parliaments, from Mexico to Rwanda, women now match or outnumber men. One of the ... Read More »

The Politics of Selling Weapons to Algeria

Algiers looks to shift away from its dependance on Moscow. One of the biggest buyers of Russian weapons systems on the African continent wants the United States to revisit the restrictions that prevent it from buying military gear made in America. Maggie Ybarra The National Interest Algeria’s ambassador to the United States, Madjid Bouguerra, told the National Interestthat his country is looking expand its weapons acquisition program and improve its military-to-military relationship with the United States, which has been on a… ... Read More »

ExxonMobil makes biggest natural gas discovery in two years off the coast of Cyprus

ATHENS- Exxon Mobil announced on Thursday that it has made the world’s third-biggest natural gas discovery in two years off the coast of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean at the Glaucus-1 well. Nasos Koukakis CNBC The region is already know for some of the world’s largest such discoveries. It wants to become an alternative energy source for Europe. Based on preliminary interpretation of the well data, the discovery could represent a natural gas resource of approximately 5 trillion to 8 ... Read More »

The golden age of hydrocarbons has finally reached SA

JOHANNESBURG – There is is no gentle way of announcing it, or more telling, a more sophisticated way of avoiding saying it, that South Africa has officially entered its golden age of hydrocarbon extraction. Ambassador Bheki Gila In spite of the voices of sceptics, their disbelief not so much the fact that we have entered the age, but that it is golden, it would be naiveté of a disturbing kind that the country keeps walking into an age unbeknown to ... Read More »

Bashir Moves Sudan to Dangerous New Ground

Faced with the most serious protests against his 30-year rule, President Omar al-Bashir’s declaration of a state of emergency will not save his bankrupt, unpopular regime. ICG Instead, security forces must halt worsening violence, Bashir should step down and all sides should work on a broadly inclusive transitional government. President Omar al-Bashir’s address to the nation on the evening of 22 February attempted to defuse the crisis that has engulfed his administration in the longest wave of protests in decades. ... Read More »

UN court rejects UK’s claim of sovereignty over Chagos Islands

Judges advise Britain that separating archipelago from Mauritius in 1960s was wrong Owen Bowcott The Guardian The UK has been ordered to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible” after the United Nations’ highest court ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal. Although the majority decision by the international court of justice in The Hague is only advisory, the unambiguous clarity of the judges’ pronouncement is a humiliating blow to Britain’s prestige ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: Why Chagos Islanders should be hailed as heroes

UN court finding may open the way for Chagos Islanders’ to return home The Irish Times In The Hague last month, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the United Kingdom’s declaration in 2010 of a Marine Protection Area around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean was illegal. The decision endorsed the claim of the government of Mauritius that the UK did not have jurisdiction to make rulings relating to the status of the area. The finding ... Read More »

Bashir declares year-long state of emergency across Sudan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared a nationwide state of emergency on Friday and dissolved the government, in an effort to quell weeks of demonstrations that have rocked his iron-fisted rule of three decades. Khartoum – AFP Hurriyet “I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year,” Bashir said in a televised address to the nation from the presidential palace in Khartoum. “I announce dissolving the government at the federal level and at the provincial levels,” he added. Deadly protests ... Read More »