Crisis Group (Continuación)

An Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) agent seals a ballot box in front of observers in the Lubumbashi's Mapala district on December 30, 2018, following the close of polls in DR Congo’s presidential, provincial and national elections. CAROLINE THIRION/AFP

The Independent Electoral Commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo will likely declare results of the 30 December elections this week. Already there are worrying signs of divisions among international actors, after a statement by the Catholic Church, which fielded the largest election observation mission, indicating an opposition victory. Failure to respect the electoral result would risk throwing the country into a major political crisis. If there are indications the electoral commission has attempted to manipulate results, international actors, starting with the UN Security Council which plans to meet on Friday, should call for thorough and credible investigation before those results are accepted as definitive.…  Seguir leyendo »

Lawmaker of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD) Henry Ramos Allup, Venezuela's opposition leader Henrique Capriles and Lilian Tintori, wife of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez attend a meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, on 8 March, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello

¿Qué hay de nuevo? La oposición venezolana está dividida en facciones aparentemente irreconciliables que no se ponen de acuerdo sobre la estrategia a seguir para acabar con la crisis de su país. Discrepan sobre si deberían participar en las elecciones y cuándo hacerlo, sobre si deberían negociar con el gobierno, y sobre si deberían apoyar la posible intervención militar planteada implícitamente por potencias extranjeras.

¿Por qué importa? Sin unidad entre al menos las principales facciones opositoras, las perspectivas de resolver la crisis son escasas, ya que esto exige negociaciones genuinas entre la oposición y el gobierno y probablemente algún tipo de autoridad transicional que incluya elementos de ambos.…  Seguir leyendo »

In this photo taken on 7 October 2018 Cameroon's incumbent President Paul Biya looks on as he votes at the polling station in Bastos neighbourhood in the capital Yaounde during Cameroon's presidential election. ALEXIS HUGUET / AFP

On 22 October Cameroonian authorities declared incumbent Paul Biya winner of the presidential election with a score of 71 per cent. What happened?

The presidential election was held amid the worst insecurity since 1992. In the Far North, Boko Haram continues small scale attacks, and the fallout from nearly five years of conflict continues with 240,000 currently displaced. Violence by armed groups from the Central African Republic is affecting the East. In the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions, a growing insurgency has seen almost daily fighting with security forces.

On the day of the vote, no major security incident was reported in Francophone areas, where about 55 per cent of registered voters cast ballots.…  Seguir leyendo »

A member of the Tunisian security forces stands guard at the site of a suicide attack in the Tunisian capital Tunis on 29 October, 2018. AFP/Fethi Belaid

What do we know about what happened, and who was behind the attack?

On 29 October, a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device in her backpack on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis – the city's best-known thoroughfare, a few hundred metres from the ministry of interior and the French embassy. The explosion killed her and wounded twenty bystanders, including fifteen policemen who appear to have been the intended target. For now, no group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. The 30-year-old woman – an unemployed graduate with an English degree from a small village near Mahdia, on the Mediterranean, who occasionally worked as a shepherdess – left no indication as to her motive.…  Seguir leyendo »

Guatemala's former Vice-President Roxana Baldetti arrives to a hearing at the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on charges of conspiracy, customs fraud and bribery charges, on 28 March 2016. REUTERS/Josue Decavele

El presidente Jimmy Morales ha prometido que pondrá fin el próximo año al mandato de la Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad de Guatemala apoyada por la ONU. La comisión, que es enormemente popular, ha ayudado a reducir las terribles tasas de homicidio en el país. Para mantenerla, sus simpatizantes deben reenfocarse en combatir los crímenes violentos más graves.

¿Qué hay de nuevo? La investigación realizada por International Crisis Group ha cuantificado por primera vez el impacto positivo de la Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (CICIG) de la ONU. Este informe muestra cómo las actividades de reforma a la justicia de la CICIG contribuyeron a una reducción promedio anual del 5 por ciento en las tasas de homicidios en el país.…  Seguir leyendo »

Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short

Libya has seen two major confrontations in recent months: a standoff between the east-based Libyan National Army and the west-based internationally-recognised government over the control of revenues from oil installations in the Gulf of Sirte in June-July, and recurrent attacks on Tripoli by militias from outside the capital since August. Both were sparked by conflict actors’ desire for greater control over economic institutions and the perception that a handful of militias and interest groups in the capital have disproportionate access to the country’s wealth. Though in September, the Government of National Accord.

adopted the first economic reform package since the Qadhafi regime fell in 2011, the fight over resources will remain a central feature of the crisis.…  Seguir leyendo »

Afghan General Abdul Raziq (C), police chief of Kandahar, poses for a picture during a graduation ceremony at a police training centre in Kandahar province on 19 February, 2017. JAWED TANVEER / AFP

What happened?

At least one gunman attacked a gathering of Afghan and U.S. officials inside the Kandahar governor’s compound on the afternoon of 18 October. The shooter, believed to be one of the governor’s guards, killed the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan, Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Raziq. The provincial chief of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence service, was also killed. Kandahar Governor Zalmai Wesa was wounded but survived. The NATO-led mission said that three of its personnel were wounded but that the top U.S. commander in the country, General Austin Miller, who was in the meeting with Raziq, escaped unharmed.…  Seguir leyendo »

Smoke rises above rebel-held areas of the city of Daraa during reported airstrikes by Syrian regime forces on July 5, 2018. AFP

Crisis Group’s second update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on seizing a chance for peace in Mali, avoiding escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh, mitigating conflict in Syria’s peripheral regions, and helping Somalia overcome obstacles to reform. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

Mali’s Elections Are an Opportunity to Reboot the Peace Process

Only days before Mali’s presidential election, large parts of the country remain wracked by violence. Jihadist insurgencies plague rural areas in the centre and north east. Predation by ethnic militias, often mobilised by local politicians and community leaders to fight jihadists and in some cases tacitly backed by the Malian authorities and the French military mission, Operation Barkhane, fuel animosity among communities.…  Seguir leyendo »

Voices of Idlib

The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught.

Delayed elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the stalled transition risks provoking a major crisis, are one of three critical African polls: the DRC crisis, the recent vote in Kenya and Zimbabwe’s election next year all have important implications for democracy and stability on the continent.

Crisis Group’s recent publications on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including our 4 December 2017 report, examine the crisis provoked by President Joseph Kabila’s determination to hold onto power and repeatedly delayed elections. The DRC is only one of three African countries we cover whose future course could depend in part on the holding of credible elections: one vote past, in Kenya; one future, Zimbabwe’s 2018 polls; and one deferred, in the DRC.

These polls have had – or will have – important implications for democracy and stability not only in the three countries themselves but for the region as a whole.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mexican Secretariat of Government

Undocumented Migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America

Flows of undocumented migrants from Central America, through Mexico and toward the U.S. have given rise to a humanitarian emergency, albeit one that at present is largely treated by Washington as a national security menace and a justification for tougher border control. Originally driven by economic hardship, this northbound migration owes its intensity and longevity to multiple causes that make controlling or reducing it extremely hard. Mass victimisation of vulnerable migrants in transit has become the norm and could well be aggravated by Washington’s growing anti-immigration agenda. In this context, the European Union (EU) should adapt its current strategies in Central America to promote a more comprehensive approach to the protection of migrants.…  Seguir leyendo »

Polling station officials count the ballots at a polling station in Archers Post, Samburu County, in Kenya on 8 August 2017. AFP/Cyril Villemain

Despite claims of irregularity and the continuing risk of unrest, Kenya’s pivotal national and local elections on 8 August passed off in a largely peaceful manner. Millions of voters braved the elements and long queues, turning out to elect their representatives in an orderly fashion and, in so doing, demonstrating faith in their democratic system. This is an achievement that now must be protected and fortified.

The vote in one of Africa’s major democracies was fraught with danger, as Crisis Group has documented. A history of election-related violence, ethnic divisions and high stakes made for a potentially explosive combination. The world was watching closely, sending more than 5,000 foreign observers, drawn from all major regional and international organisations. …  Seguir leyendo »

Nigeria: Growing Insecurity on Multiple Fronts

Nigeria is facing a time of uncertainty and peril. President Muhammadu Buhari’s failing health – he has spent more than 110 days battling an undisclosed illness in the UK – is prompting intense manoeuvring regarding who will run for president in 2019, particularly among loyalists and others seeking to preserve Northern rule. The eight-year-old insurgency by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram persists. An older problem, Biafra separatist agitation in the South East, is provoking dangerous domino effects in the north and Niger Delta, while deadly clashes between herders and farmers are escalating across the central belt and spreading southward.…  Seguir leyendo »

Men unload boxes of nutritional supplements from a helicopter prior to a humanitarian food distribution carried out by the United Nations World Food Programme in Thonyor, Leer county, South Sudan, on 25 February 2017. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola.

The last time the UN declared a famine was in 2011, in Somalia. The last time it faced more than one major famine simultaneously was more than three decades ago. Today we are on the brink of four – in Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan.

The spectre of famine is primarily the result of war, not natural disaster. According to the UN, more than twenty million people, millions of them children, are at risk of starvation. This is happening in man-made crises and under the Security Council’s watch. In some places, the denial of food and other aid is a weapon of war as much as its consequence.…  Seguir leyendo »

Terrorism and Counter-terrorism: New Challenges for the European Union

Over the past few months, military operations have eaten deep into the Iraqi and Syrian heartlands of the Islamic State (ISIS). Much of Mosul, the group’s last urban stronghold in Iraq, has been recaptured; Raqqa, its capital in Syria, is encircled. Its Libyan branch, with closest ties to the Iraqi leadership, has been ousted from the Mediterranean coastal strip it once held. Boko Haram, whose leaders pledged allegiance to ISIS, menaces the African states around Lake Chad but has split and lost much of the territory it held a year ago. Though smaller branches exist from the Sinai to Yemen and Somalia, the movement has struggled to make major inroads or hold territory elsewhere.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the fate of Yemen hangs in the balance, the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia that supports the government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is about to escalate its two-year-old war by launching a new offensive in the key Red Sea port of Hodeida. The move aims to throttle Hadi’s enemies, Houthi rebels aligned with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, but it is more likely to choke the country’s population, tipping it from hunger and starvation into outright famine.

Hodeida, the country’s busiest and most important port, is responsible for 80 percent of northern Yemen’s imports. If the Saudi-led coalition proceeds with an offensive against Houthi and pro-Saleh forces ensconced in the port, it will cut a lifeline sustaining the bulk of Yemen’s population, including in the capital, Sanaa.…  Seguir leyendo »

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.

When Crisis Group was founded, its premise was that bringing field-based expert analysis to the attention of (principally) Western policymakers could effect positive change in both preventing and ending situations of deadly conflict.…  Seguir leyendo »

A boat with 158 migrants is spotted by the Italian coast guard in Lampedusa, Italy, on 8 July 2011. MAGNUM/Patrick Zachmann

When world leaders meet in New York next week for summit meetings hosted by the UN and the U.S. to tackle the global refugee crisis, they must redouble their efforts to resolve those conflicts driving the global exodus and to prevent new conflicts before the emergency is compounded. Additionally, leaders should commit to resettle at least 10 per cent of the world’s refugees annually, share responsibilities more equitably, increase support for front-line states facing the greatest challenges, and respect fully the rights of refugees.

The number of refugees and internally displaced now stands at more than 65 million, the largest figure ever recorded.…  Seguir leyendo »

Crisis Group prepares an early warning Watch List identifying up to ten countries or conflicts which are of particular concern to the European Union and its member states and are vulnerable to an outbreak or intensification of violent conflict or crisis in the following six to twelve months.

The Watch List includes a short overview for each country or conflict identified, outlining recent developments and forthcoming events that may increase risks. It also lays out opportunities for action for national, regional and international actors, particularly the European Union and its member states.

Published in December 2015, the EU Watch List includes the following countries:

  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Somalia
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

Read the full Watch List here.…  Seguir leyendo »