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How can the dizzying changes, intersecting crises and multiplying conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa since the 2011 Arab uprisings be best understood, let alone responded to? This long-form commentary by MENA Program Director Joost Hiltermann and our team steps back for a better look and proposes new approaches.
The latest edition of Crisis Group's monthly conflict tracker highlights dangers of new conflict in Somaliland, Afghanistan and Syria. CrisisWatch also notes that February's winter Olympics on the Korean Peninsula represent a chance for peace against a great background risk of war.
Crisis Group’s early-warning Watch List identifies up to ten countries and regions at risk of conflict or escalation of violence. In these situations, early action, driven or supported by the EU and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. It includes a global overview, regional summaries, and detailed analysis on select countries and conflicts.
The Watch List 2018 includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh/Myanmar, Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Sahel, Tunisia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
Global Overview DECEMBER 2017
From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018.
It’s not all about Donald Trump.
Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in February 2017. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The Watch List Updates include situations identified in the annual Watch List and/or a new focus of concern.
This update includes entries on:
A recent dramatic decrease in migrants reaching Europe may be partly explained by payoffs to armed groups in Libya. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Libya, Claudia Gazzini, warns about the risks associated with this policy, arguing that while working with armed groups may be necessary in the short term, any durable solution requires putting Libya’s economy and politics back on track.
What are the latest migration figures from Libya?
The principal gateway into Europe for refugees and migrants runs through the power vacuum of southern Libya’s Fezzan region. Any effort by European policymakers to stabilise Fezzan must be part of a national-level strategy aimed at developing Libya’s licit economy and reaching political normalisation.
Crisis Group’s second update to our Watch List 2017 includes entries on Nigeria, Qatar, Thailand and Venezuela. These early-warning publications identify conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.
Nigeria: Growing Insecurity on Multiple Fronts
Moussa Faki Mahamat, nouveau président de la Commission de l’Union africaine (UA), prendra ses fonctions à la mi-mars alors que le continent est confronté à la plus grave série de crises humanitaires depuis les années 1990. La plus inquiétante se situe dans le bassin du lac Tchad où plus de 11 millions de personnes ont besoin d’une aide d’urgence.
Africa is experiencing the highest number of humanitarian crises since the 1990s. As the new chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, takes office, International Crisis Group suggests how he can strengthen the organisation’s response to threats to continental peace and security.
Whether unprecedented or not, the challenges currently facing our global security are immense and cause for considerable alarm. It is difficult to think of a time in recent history when there has been such a confluence of destabilising factors – local, regional and global – hindering collective capacity to better manage violence. These overlapping risks, unchecked, could coalesce into a major crisis – indeed we are currently experiencing a spike in global conflict violence – without the safety net of solid structures to deal with it.
Amid shifting global dynamics, the war in Yemen saw another serious escalation with the Saudi Arabia-led coalition launching a new campaign to regain territory, while fighting intensified in eastern Ukraine at the end of the month. The U.S. and China exchanged harsh rhetoric over the South China Sea, and the new U.S. administration’s decision to build a wall on its border with Mexico sparked tensions with its southern neighbour. Domestically Mexico also saw a swell of popular anger triggered by fuel price increases.
December saw fighting worsen between rival forces in Libya, including over oil facilities, which could escalate in January and upset the precarious political and economic balance. Turkey’s security deteriorated further following a series of violent attacks on civilians and security forces, including a twin bombing in the capital, Istanbul, claimed by an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ankara responded by intensifying its crackdown on alleged PKK supporters.
Political and social leaders are building a new network for women peace mediators in Africa. Crisis Group’s Director of Research Isabelle Arradon attended the African Union conference that debated the idea, and was inspired by the individual initiatives already pushing for change on the continent.
Director of Research and Deputy Director of Communications & Outreach
The United Nations has seldom faced so many challenges. International Crisis Group offers policy ideas on some of the most important strategic questions and crises confronting incoming Secretary-General António Guterres.
Global Overview NOVEMBER 2016
Turkey is under growing pressure from nearly three million Syrian refugees. To mitigate domestic tensions and spillover from regional conflicts, Ankara needs to develop, and find support for, new policies that open refugees’ routes to jobs, education and permanent legal status.