Conflicto armado

Le 19 juin, les forces du régime de Bachar Al-Assad ont brisé le cessez-le-feu en vigueur dans la province de Deraa pour reprendre le contrôle des territoires encore rebelles, dans le sud de la Syrie.

Plus que le terrible fracas des raids aériens de l’allié russe, ce qui interpelle est le silence assourdissant dans lequel se fait le retour des crimes et des drames qui, depuis sept ans, détruisent le pays : villes et hôpitaux bombardés, civils tués, cortèges de réfugiés, expropriations en masse des exilés, recomposition ethnique et confessionnelle (« chiitisation ») du pays.

En guise de réaction de la communauté internationale, les Nations unies (ONU) ont, par prudence, suspendu leurs convois humanitaires depuis la Jordanie et le secrétaire général Antonio Guterres, « profondément alarmé », a appelé « toutes les parties » au respect du droit international et de leurs engagements.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man carries a child rescued from rubble after Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes in the rebel-held town of Nawa, Syria, on June 26. (Ahmad al-Msalam/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States promised it would take “firm and appropriate measures” to protect the cease-fire in southern Syria. However, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with the Russians and Iranians, are advancing toward the southern part of the country. Assad’s army has been pounding the southern region with airstrikes. Regime forces are on track to repeat the same human catastrophes that happened in Aleppo last year and Eastern Ghouta this March. Southern Syria is the liberated zone; the besieged city of Daraa is the cradle of Syrian revolution, and it hasn’t fallen yet. But 1 million Syrians, living for now in relative security outside the control of the regime known for its vengeance, are feeling nervous.…  Seguir leyendo »

Assad’s army is moving south. In recent weeks, elite forces that led offensives such as the capture of Eastern Ghouta have been massing at the edges of rebel-held areas in Quneitra and Daraa. These frontlines have been quiet ever since the United States, Russia and Jordan agreed to establish a de-escalation zone there in early July 2017. Last week, the Syrian army resumed its attacks against the southern rebel areas, while holding out the offer of so-called “reconciliation” – which the rebels reject as surrender by a different name. This week the U.S. signalled passivity: it told southern rebels they should not expect U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Taliban fighters visit the government-controlled areas to greet people and celebrate Eid together during the recent cease-fire in Kandahar, Afghanistan.CreditMuhammad Sadiq/Epa-Efe, via Rex, via Shutterstock

About half of Afghanistan’s population — around 33 million — is young enough to have never seen a day of peace. The milestones of their young lives have been marked by loss and violence. For 38 years now, peace in my country has remained a dream, a prayer on our lips.

On June 15, on the festival of Eid, our prayers were answered. A few days earlier, as the month of Ramadan was coming to an end, almost 3,000 Islamic scholars convened in Kabul and issued a fatwa reminding us that the quest for peace is a commandment of Allah and a national imperative.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yemenis, displaced from their homes in the war-torn port city of Hodeida, at a refu­gee camp in the northern district of Abs on June 22. (Essa Ahmed/AFP/Getty Images)

The brutal war in Yemen may be moving toward a tipping point following a controversial siege of the port of Hodeida by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A U.N. mediator and a top diplomat from the United Arab Emirates both expressed hope Thursday for a negotiated deal with Houthi rebels that could relieve pressure on the city. But they disagreed about details, and humanitarian groups warned that the assault is choking relief supplies for the country’s tormented civilian population.

Yemen is caught in a proxy war between the Saudi-UAE coalition, which backs the Yemeni government, and Iran, which supports the Houthis.…  Seguir leyendo »

Des réfugiés syriens franchissent la frontière entre la Turquie et la Syrie, le 22 juin 2015, pour retourner chez eux dans la ville de Tal Abyad. UYGAR ONDER SIMSEK /AFP

Les histoires atroces qui nous arrivent quotidiennement de Syrie obscurcissent une stratégie de longue date dont le dénouement finira par déterminer le sort du pays, la stabilité de la région et bien plus encore. Au centre : les droits de 13 millions de Syriens déracinés. Le gouvernement d’Al-Assad s’est engagé dans une politique d’expropriation systématique visant à récompenser ses propres alliés et à empêcher le retour de millions de réfugiés. L’Union européenne et les Nations unies doivent désormais agir, non pas tant par devoir que dans leur intérêt vital.

Treize millions de personnes, voilà qui représente la moitié de la population syrienne d’avant la guerre.…  Seguir leyendo »

Des forces pro-gouvernementales yéménites tirant une mitrailleuse lourde au sud de l'aéroport de Hodeida, dans la province de Hodeïda au Yémen, vendredi. Photo AFP

La guerre au Yémen est considérée comme la pire catastrophe humanitaire actuelle. Mohammad, travailleur humanitaire de l’ONG Care (1) à Hodeïda, témoigne de la terreur des habitants alors que l’offensive militaire, lancée il y a deux jours, se rapproche de la ville. Les impacts humanitaires risquent d’être catastrophiques.

«Hodeida, j’y vis depuis toujours. J’aime cette ville. Mais aujourd’hui, j’ai peur de ce qui peut nous arriver. Depuis ce matin, nous entendons les avions voler très bas dans le ciel. Les bombardements ont débuté il y a deux jours autour de la ville. Mercredi matin, plus de trente frappes aériennes ont eu lieu en trente minutes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-government fighters in Yemen carrying explosives thought to have been dropped by Houthi rebels, around Al Hudaydah, this month.CreditNabil Hassan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Last-ditch diplomatic efforts could not stop the Saudi Arabian and Emirati coalition’s offensive on the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah this week. With no real prospect for peace talks of any kind, the city, a fief of the Houthi rebels who control much of the country and a hub for humanitarian assistance for millions of desperate Yemeni civilians, could fall within days.

If the offensive goes according to the Saudis’ and Emiratis’ plan, promptly after that, the Houthis, who also control the capital Sana, will sue for peace. The maritime blockade in place since 2015 could then be lifted. After that, a vast humanitarian operation could unfold, saving Yemen from a devastating famine.…  Seguir leyendo »

La Coupe du monde, qui commence cette semaine en Russie, est une mascarade pour nous tous. Depuis jeudi, Vladimir Poutine, l’homme à la tête du gouvernement qui a le plus endommagé l’ordre international que n’importe quel autre depuis des décennies, sera l’hôte du plus grand événement sportif du monde.

L’homme qui a passé des années à soutenir et armer le régime brutal de Bachar al-Assad, à s’emparer par la force du territoire d’un pays voisin et interférer dans nos élections, va briller au sein d’un tournoi sportif probablement obtenu grâce à des pots-de-vin.

On dit que le football rassemble et que la Coupe du monde devrait être un moment de fête où les fans du monde entier applaudissent leurs équipes. …  Seguir leyendo »

A Yemeni soldier in Al Hudaydah. The United Nations says that a planned assault led by the United Arab Emirates on that city and its port, which are held by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, would endanger hundreds of thousands of people.CreditNabil Hassan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

More than three years into its pitiless war, the specter of more death, displacement and hunger is looming over Yemen. More than 600 people have been killed in the past few days as the forces backed by the United Arab Emirates have come within six miles or so of the Red Sea port of Al Hudaydah and the so-named city of 600,000 people, which is held by the Houthi rebels allied with Iran.

An all-out assault by emirates-backed forces on Al Hudaydah, the primary gateway for getting food, medicines and other essential supplies to Yemen, is expected any moment. The attack on the port and the adjacent city is expected to lead to a protracted and bloody confrontation.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yemeni women and children wait during food distribution in the province of Hodeida on May 30, 2018. Hodeida port, Yemen's largest entry point for aid, is now in the crosshairs of the Saudi-led coalition which is intent on cutting off the Huthi rebels from alleged Iranian arms shipments. The United Nations has warned that any operation aimed at seizing Hodeida itself would disrupt the entry of aid shipments to Yemen, 70 percent of which flow through the rebel-held port. / AFP PHOTO / ABDO HYDER

After more than three years of fighting, Yemen is teetering on the cusp of an even fiercer war. The Saudi Arabian-led coalition is poised for an offensive on the Red Sea port of Hodeidah that could plunge Yemen into greater turmoil, deepen its humanitarian crisis, and provoke a surge in cross-border missile attacks by the Houthi rebels.

The European Union and its member states have a chance to stop the conflict from sliding into a lethal new stage; now is the time to take action. All sides have declared a readiness to engage in talks (with various conditions), but they need to be nudged towards the table before a full-fledged battle for Hodeidah breaks out.…  Seguir leyendo »

En pénétrant dans les ruines de Raqqa, ravagée par les bombes, nous savions que nous trouverions une ville dévastée. Ce que nous avons vu dépassait nos pires craintes, même après avoir passé des semaines à écouter les témoignages atroces des civils qui étaient parvenus à s’en échapper.
Cette fois-ci, l’expérience ne nous a pas aidés. Nous n’étions pas prêts pour ces scènes d’apocalypse, aboutissement d’une campagne intensive de quatre mois de bombardements aériens et de tirs de barrage conduite par la coalition menée par les Etats-Unis, de juin à octobre 2017. La guerre contre le groupe armé autoproclamé «Etat islamique» (EI) était censée «libérer» Raqqa.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un soldat camerounais patrouille dans les rues de Buea, dans la région du Sud-Ouest, une des deux régions anglophones en crise, le 26 avril. Photo Alexis Huguet. AFP

Le 20 mai, le Cameroun a célébré la 46e édition de la fête de l’unité nationale, sur fonds d’affrontements entre milices séparatistes et forces de défense dans les régions anglophones (Sud-Ouest et Nord-Ouest). La crise en cours depuis presque deux ans s’est transformée en conflit armé. Son bilan est difficile à tirer, mais des centaines de personnes seraient mortes depuis un an, 160 000 sont déplacées et 35 000 réfugiées au Nigeria voisin. Les milices «ambazoniennes», défendant l’indépendance de cet ancien territoire sous tutelle britannique (1918-1961) ciblent les représentants de l’Etat, principalement les forces de sécurité et de défense mais aussi les gouverneurs, préfets, sous-préfets, enseignants.…  Seguir leyendo »

Flag of the former state of South Yemen, in Boureiqa, in February 2018. CRISISGROUP/April Longley Alley

For now, there is little fighting in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. But it takes me more than a year to arrange my journey. Everything about getting there drives home how deeply three years of war have broken and divided the country.

I start by seeking a visa at a consulate of the Yemeni government headed by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. My first application in January 2017 languishes in bureaucratic limbo. Unofficially, I am told that Aden is too unsafe for me.

I press for help from the upper reaches of Hadi’s administration, which, far from the complications of life in Aden, are mostly located in exile in Saudi Arabia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le Cameroun fait face à une insurrection qui ne cesse de croître. La situation dans les régions anglophones (Nord-Ouest et Sud-Ouest) continue de se détériorer. L’Est, l’Adamaoua et le Nord subissent quotidiennement la violence des coupeurs de route, voleurs de bétail et braconniers, et Boko Haram, même affaibli, n’accorde aucun répit aux populations de l’Extrême-Nord. À l’approche de l’élection présidentielle prévue cette année, les clivages ethniques s’accentuent et la tension politique atteint son paroxysme.

Il y a un an et demi, même les Camerounais les plus pessimistes n’imaginaient pas que la crise dans les régions anglophones, où résident 20% des 24 millions d’habitants du pays, puisse aboutir à une insurrection armée qui menace à présent de se muer guerre civile.…  Seguir leyendo »

An Israeli soldier stands on Mount Bental in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border. Photo: Getty Images.

Israel’s retaliatory attack on Iranian military targets inside Syria represents the biggest direct confrontation between the two countries in their history. It came after rockets were launched from Iranian bases in Syria towards the Golan Heights. This escalation has caused widespread concern that war might be imminent between Israel and Iran.

But neither wishes to engage in all-out war with the other. Iran’s Golan Heights rocket launch was the product of the growing pressure it faces in the Syrian conflict. Unless the United States steps in with a plan for Syria, Israel and Iran will continue to clash there.

Iran regards its presence in Syria as crucial for its influence in the Levant.…  Seguir leyendo »

A U.S. soldier capturing North Korean prisoners of war in 1953.CreditUniversal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

No, the Korean War still is not over. While an armistice in 1953 ended active fighting, it was never followed by a peace treaty. This is why during their recent meeting, Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, in addition to jointly calling for the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, also pledged to formally conclude the war.

Much ambiguity remains about what exactly it would take to accomplish what Mr. Kim and Mr. Moon vowed to do, and many analysts have expressed skepticism about this diplomatic overture, pointing to a number of other supposed breakthroughs in the past that petered out.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rusia, Irán y Turquía conforman una inesperada, compleja y frágil alianza en Siria. Sus posiciones en asuntos clave como la continuidad de Bashar al-Asad, la integridad territorial del país, el papel de otros actores locales y regionales o el reparto de contratos de reconstrucción, o bien difieren o bien son ambiguos en su coincidencia. Pero las opciones de resolución de la guerra en su fase actual descansan en buena medida en la agenda e interacción de Moscú, Ankara y Teherán. Las tres capitales han impulsado el llamado proceso de Astaná, foro paralelo que difumina, cuando no anula, el diálogo en Ginebra auspiciado por Naciones Unidas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Remnants of an unidentified rocket that fell in Hasbaya, Lebanon, near the Israeli and Syrian borders, in February. Israel has responded to Iranian drone attacks in the border areas.CreditZyad Shoufi/European Pressphoto Agency

The government of President Bashar al-Assad is resurgent in Syria, steadily retaking terrain lost to the rebels. This may bring to an end one set of conflicts, but it could spark newer, potentially more dangerous confrontations.

The key to preventing the Syrian civil war from splintering into an even more chaotic and deadly phase will be Russia, whose September 2015 military intervention gave it control of Syrian airspace and placed it politically in the driver’s seat. But the United States, too, could still play an important role in preventing matters from getting worse.

To understand how perilous the situation in Syria is, look at the map: In the northwest, in Idlib Province, a “de-escalation zone” that is monitored by the Turkish Army remains tenuous.…  Seguir leyendo »