Just over a month ago, on 1 July, the UN Security Council passed a resolution addressing COVID-19 that looked hugely ambitious on paper. Echoing an earlier initiative by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Resolution 2532 centres on a call for “all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause” lasting 90 days in response to the pandemic. This document will earn a footnote in histories of the UN, as it is the first time the Council has advocated such a global ceasefire. But beyond that, it seems unlikely to be widely remembered, as its practical effects have been all but nil.… Seguir leyendo »
Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados a partir del 1 de Julio de 2008.
¿Qué hay de nuevo? Bolivia celebrará elecciones presidenciales el 18 de octubre. Sumado al desafío de una jornada electoral en medio de la pandemia del COVID-19, el legado de las polémicas elecciones del 2019, que desencadenaron violentos disturbios y llevó al expresidente Evo Morales a abandonar el país, conduce a que ambas partes tengan una fuerte desconfianza del sistema electoral.
¿Por qué importa? A finales del 2019, un acuerdo para celebrar nuevas elecciones bajo una autoridad electoral reformada calmó los disturbios. Aun así, las elecciones del 2019 siguen siendo controversiales, al igual que el papel de los observadores de la Organización de los Estados Americanos, cuyas declaraciones determinaron la percepción de que hubo fraude.… Seguir leyendo »
El salvadoreño Nayib Bukele, ganó la presidencia en el 2019 tras prometer reducir las entonces astronómicas tasas de homicidios del país y ponerle freno a la corrupción. En efecto, las tasas de homicidios han caído significativamente desde su elección. Pero las políticas de Bukele han resultado controversiales. Los críticos dicen que las acciones del presidente, como recluir a pandilleros en celdas sin luz del día y forzar al Parlamento y a las altas cortes, vulneran los derechos humanos y erosionan la democracia. Al mismo tiempo, estas políticas lo han hecho más popular que nunca, y muchos salvadoreños atribuyen la disminución de los homicidios a su estilo eficiente y al punto.… Seguir leyendo »
After weeks of ratcheting up tensions on the Korean peninsula, including lodging near-daily threats against South Korea in reaction to some of its citizens sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border, North Korea has decided to pause. On 24 June, North Korean state media reported that Kim Jong-un opted to defer plans to take certain military actions, after considering an unspecified “prevailing situation” during a virtual preliminary meeting of the Worker’s Party Central Military Commission over which he presided.
For now, one can only guess at the reasons for the sudden pause. Did reported U.S. B-52 bomber flyovers near Japan on 24 June, coupled with three U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
Even in prolonged, protracted conflicts, one can from time to time discern potential tipping or inflection points – opportunities that, if seized, might offer a possible exit ramp, and risks that, if taken, could trigger deadly escalation.
That seemed to be the case this past month in Libya, where the tide of war turned once more. The see-saw battle between forces aligned with the internationally-recognised government in Tripoli and General Khalifa Haftar’s Arab Libyan Armed Forces for now has swung in the former’s favour, partly a result of a heavier Turkish military role. Casualties are mounting, the new front line has moved from the capital to the strategic town of Sirte and nearby oil fields, UN diplomacy is struggling and, most ominously, the risk of greater external involvement is growing.… Seguir leyendo »
Cinq ans après sa signature en juin 2015, où en est la mise en œuvre de l’Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali ?
En juin 2015, le gouvernement malien et deux coalitions de groupes armés issus du Nord du pays, la Plateforme, alliée au gouvernement, et la Coalition des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA), fédération de mouvements entrés en rébellion contre l’Etat, signaient à Bamako un accord pour restaurer la paix et la réconciliation au Mali. Après moins d’un an de négociations souvent indirectes, le texte définitif a été largement imposé aux acteurs, sous la pression d’une équipe de médiation internationale dont l’Algérie était chef de file et qui comprenait, entre autres, la Mission des Nations unies pour la stabilisation du Mali (Minusma), la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (Cedeao), l’Union africaine, l’Union européenne, ainsi que les Etats-Unis et la France, initialement inclus comme « amis de la médiation ».… Seguir leyendo »
In a ruling that was expected as much as it was feared, Venezuela’s government-controlled Supreme Court on 12 June dashed any slender hope that this year’s legislative elections, due in December, might be run by a balanced electoral authority and widely regarded as valid. Instead, declaring that the National Assembly – the country’s parliament – had once again failed to agree on the membership of the National Electoral Council’s (CNE) five-person board, the Court appointed its own, weighted in the government’s favour. The ruling’s immediate aftermath marked yet another low point for Venezuela’s battered democracy. While the opposition lambasted the decision as evidence that President Nicolás Maduro was perpetuating his grip on the electoral system and preparing to run another rigged poll, the Court proceeded to hand control of two (and potentially three) leading opposition parties to minority factions willing to participate in the elections.… Seguir leyendo »
The UN call for a global ceasefire in response to COVID-19 has lost momentum, but I would begin by saying that Secretary-General António Guterres deserves credit for coming up with a genuinely compelling appeal, and I think the resonance of his original proposal took a lot of us by surprise.
When we first heard he was calling for a ceasefire, cynical diplomacy watchers, such as myself, thought it might be a bit of a gimmick, and not have any concrete impact. What was interesting was that in the first week to ten days after he made the appeal, in late March, we saw quite a lot of armed groups and governments acknowledging the call and promising to consider it.… Seguir leyendo »
Iran inaugurated a conservative-dominated parliament (Majles) on 27 May, following an election that saw a historically low participation rate. Against the backdrop of recurrent domestic unrest, economic hardship, the COVID-19 pandemic and elevated tensions with the U.S., what happens in the new legislature could prove a bellwether for the 2021 presidential election and the direction of Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.
Shaping the 11th Majles
Three consecutive national elections – the presidential race that brought Hassan Rouhani into office in 2013, the 2016 parliamentary vote and Rouhani’s re-election in 2017 – yielded successive victories for the alliance of political camps that in Iran’s fluid factional landscape are labelled the reformist and pragmatist blocs.… Seguir leyendo »
As I write this column, a country whose internal politics Crisis Group habitually doesn’t cover is aflame. The pattern of events will be familiar to those who follow our work: a member of a long-oppressed minority is killed on camera without any justification by security forces, the latest in a series of such events. Picked up by social media, footage of the incident goes viral. In response, protests break out, in the course of which a police station is burned to the ground. Further protests erupt in major cities, the vast majority peaceful but with some violence and looting. Police reactions vary across the country, but far too many are heavy-handed, militarised and violent.… Seguir leyendo »
The Sri Lankan government has declared its intention to rule without parliamentary oversight for the first time in the country’s modern history, potentially sparking a serious constitutional crisis. Elected in November and without a majority in parliament, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa seized his earliest opportunity to dissolve the legislature on 2 March and schedule a general election for 25 April. As the COVID-19 emergency grew serious in late March, the National Elections Commission (NEC) delayed the vote indefinitely. With the constitution stating that parliament can remain dissolved for only three months pending fresh elections, Sri Lanka will head into dangerously uncharted territory unless the president or courts take decisive action before the deadline expires on 2 June.… Seguir leyendo »
Hasta el momento, Venezuela parece haberse salvado de lo peor de la pandemia de COVID-19, según informes del gobierno de mediados de mayo en los que reportan solo unos cientos de casos y un puñado de muertes. Pero la crisis económica mundial provocada por el coronavirus, sumada a la emergencia humanitaria existente y al impacto de las sanciones de los EE. UU., amenaza con producir una catástrofe, incluso si el precario sistema de salud del país logra palear la pandemia. El petróleo es el pilar de la economía venezolana y su precio ha caído por debajo del costo promedio de producción.… Seguir leyendo »
À l’approche de l’élection présidentielle prévue en octobre, les tensions en Côte d’Ivoire se matérialisent le long de lignes de fracture politiques et ethniques qui perdurent depuis de nombreuses années.
Même si le président Alassane Ouattara a contribué à désamorcer une crise potentielle lorsqu’il s’est officiellement retiré de la course à la présidence en mars, évitant ainsi un différend majeur sur la constitutionnalité de sa candidature pour un troisième mandat, les responsables politiques de l’opposition accusent maintenant son gouvernement de les empêcher de se mesurer au nouveau candidat du parti au pouvoir, le Premier ministre Amadou Gon Coulibaly. Ils se plaignent d’un climat de harcèlement et d’intimidation et du fait que les autorités œuvrent par l’intermédiaire des tribunaux à les mettre, eux et leurs partisans, derrière les barreaux pour des motifs fallacieux.… Seguir leyendo »
As a presidential election scheduled for October draws closer, tensions in Côte d’Ivoire are building along longstanding political and ethnic fault lines.
Although President Alassane Ouattara helped defuse a potential crisis when he formally withdrew from the presidential race in March, avoiding a major dispute over the constitutionality of his running for a third term, opposition politicians now accuse his government of hampering them from competing against the new ruling-party candidate, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. They complain of a climate of harassment and intimidation, and that the authorities are working through the courts to put them and their supporters behind bars on spurious grounds.… Seguir leyendo »
Venezuela has so far been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government reporting, by mid-May, only a few hundred cases and a handful of deaths. But the global economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus, on top of the existing humanitarian emergency and the impact of U.S. sanctions, threatens to produce a catastrophe even if the country’s threadbare health service is not overwhelmed by the disease itself. Oil is Venezuela’s fiscal mainstay, and its price has fallen below the average costs of production. An economy that has already shrunk by over 60 per cent since 2013 is now reeling from the effects of a nationwide quarantine and a critical shortage of fuel.… Seguir leyendo »
By easing access to basic services, schools and farms, and allowing civilians to travel once again between villages and towns, the South Sudan peace deal signed in September 2018 was a much-needed boon for the country’s population, whose lives had been decimated by years of brutal fighting and a man-made humanitarian crisis that claimed up to 400,000 lives.
Almost two years down the line, South Sudan’s leaders have formed a unity government — with critical support from South Africa — and should be commended for achieving progress towards peace. But the new government, formed in February of this year, remains shaky.… Seguir leyendo »
Every year Crisis Group publishes two additional Watch List editions that complement its annual Watch List for the EU, most recently published in January 2020. These publications identify major crises and conflict situations where the European Union and its member states can generate stronger prospects for peace. The Spring Edition of the Watch List 2020 includes entries on Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar, northern Syria, Yemen and Venezuela.Introduction
This is the first of two updates to Crisis Group’s 2020 EU Watch List. It identifies conflicts or crises where stronger European engagement could help prevent, mitigate or end violent conflict and strengthen prospects for peace.… Seguir leyendo »
Socio-economic problems are mounting in Chad, a country seen by foreign partners as critical to stability in the Sahel. In the capital Ndjamena and in the provinces, popular discontent appears set to grow as the cost of living in the oil-dependent central African country continues to rise. After a small economic improvement in 2019, Chadians are likely to see tougher times ahead with the drop in international oil prices and the global recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to control its spread.
Chad also faces new security problems and political uncertainty. Over the last year, the country’s north has been hit by both Chadian rebel incursions from southern Libya and, in another northern area, a spike in tensions between security forces and local self-defence groups.… Seguir leyendo »
Why was the Ghani-Abdullah agreement needed and what does it achieve?
President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, as well as their respective allies, had been locked in a dispute over the results of Afghanistan’s presidential election held on 28 September 2019. While preliminary numbers suggested that Ghani held a firm lead, official results were delayed for months as electoral bodies conducted recounts and, later, audits. Final results that gave Ghani just over 50 per cent, which would narrowly avoid a run-off against Abdullah, were abruptly announced in February, before the electoral complaints process was completed. Abdullah and his supporters declared the results invalid and announced their intent to establish a “parallel government”.… Seguir leyendo »
What is the political backdrop to these elections?
Burundi’s elections set for 20 May are expected to deliver a new president. The fifteen-year incumbent, Pierre Nkurunziza, is not running, thereby making way for Évariste Ndayishimiye as the ruling-party candidate. Few Burundians, however, expect a fair election, and many expect violent contestation of the results. In the last year, the government has stepped up its campaign of repression, deploying security forces and the ruling party’s Imbonerakure youth militia to crack down on the political opposition. The resulting climate of fear and resentment has been compounded by a prolonged economic crisis and a government-imposed system of forced contributions, which was ostensibly set up to finance the elections but is widely understood to have funded the Imbonerakure.… Seguir leyendo »