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 »
Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados a partir del 1 de Julio de 2008.
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 »
On the night of Friday, 1 May, the Islamic State (ISIS) launched one of its most ambitious operations in Iraq in recent memory. Several units of the jihadist group converged on Iraqi paramilitary forces securing a rural section of Salahuddin province, engaging them in an hours-long attack that ended with ten paramilitaries dead. The 1 May assault followed a month in which ISIS had become more direct and aggressive in its attacks on Iraqi security forces.
A military official in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the U.S.-led multilateral partnership that has supported Iraq’s fight against the group, noted the complexity of the Salahuddin attack and several others that weekend.… Seguir leyendo »
On 6 May, after five months and two earlier failed attempts, Iraq’s parliament confirmed the – still incomplete – government of the new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The country had been without a functioning government since the resignation of Adil Abdul-Mahdi in late November 2019 following weeks-long mass protests against the ruling elite. Just like his predecessor, Kadhimi will preside over a broad coalition government that must cater to the interests of nearly all the country’s major political forces. He will be highly constrained in his ability to initiate long-overdue reforms, but having so many constituencies to satisfy may help preserve the precarious balance between the U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
El año 2019 fue el más violento en la historia mexicana reciente, debido en gran parte a una escalada de enfrentamientos entre facciones del crimen organizado. Pero la atención prestada por los medios de comunicación a la suerte de capos del narcotráfico como El Chapo pasa por alto las realidades en terreno que parecen estar elevando las tasas de homicidios cada vez más. En general, las organizaciones criminales mexicanas se han vuelto cada vez más pequeñas y sus actividades se han restringido a lugares cada vez más específicos. Luchan por modestas fracciones de la economía, como la producción y distribución de tabaco, aguacates e hígados de marsopa, un manjar en la cocina china.… Seguir leyendo »
In late March, Afghanistan’s minister of public health publicly shared estimates that up to 25 million Afghans could eventually be infected with the novel coronavirus. This is out of a population of about 36 million. The Afghan government has announced a wide range of measures to contain the virus, mirroring global practices of physical distancing. But the weaknesses of health care infrastructure in a country weighed down by poverty and four decades of conflict render Afghanistan especially challenged to manage any major outbreak. Reports of COVID-19-related deaths remain low, but hospitals are straining and are beginning to lose staff: staff are not only falling ill, with some even dying of the disease, but many are simply refusing to work under conditions they deem hazardous.… Seguir leyendo »
In a short televised speech late on 27 April, Khalifa Haftar declared that he accepted the people’s “mandate” to scrap the 2015 UN-mediated Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and empower the General Command of the Arab Libyan Armed Forces (ALAF), the military force he heads, to take charge of the country’s governing institutions.
The LPA gives international recognition to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, against which Haftar has waged a deadly war since April 2019. While neither Haftar nor the allied Tobruk-based House of Representatives and its government has recognised the LPA, they have accepted it as the basis for negotiations.… Seguir leyendo »
The COVID-19 pandemic has struck the Sahel and West Africa at a time when the region is already under severe pressure from violent insecurity and the effects of climate change on its land, food and water resources.
By the end of April, there had been 9,513 confirmed coronavirus cases across the 17 countries of the region, and some 231 deaths, with the highest overall numbers recorded in Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Niger and Burkina Faso. Low testing rates mean than these numbers give only a partial picture.
The Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) forecast in early April that almost 17 million people in the Sahel and West Africa (7.1… Seguir leyendo »
Under-resourced health systems and poverty, along with the grassroots power of criminal groups and gangs, make Central American countries highly vulnerable to COVID-19 and the knock-on effects of national lockdowns on people’s livelihoods and security. But it is the region’s relentless migratory flows, whether legal or undocumented, forced or voluntary, that are shaping up to be the weakest links in virus prevention campaigns. Above all, deportations from the U.S. and Mexico now threaten to become leading vectors of southward transmission and could spark worsening unrest among fearful residents. Central American governments should respond by urging the U.S. either to pause deportations or to reform how they are handled, ensuring that strict health checks are in place before any more migrants are sent back.… Seguir leyendo »
On 25 April, the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared self-rule in areas of Yemen’s south that were part of an independent state prior to unification with the north in 1990. The declaration came on the heels of escalating tensions between the STC and the Yemeni government, nominal allies in the fight against Huthi rebels based in the northern highlands. It also came as the UN struggled to engineer a nationwide ceasefire and COVID-19 response plan. STC forces quickly took control of ministries, local government offices and the Central Bank building in Aden, the government’s temporary headquarters since the Huthis pushed it out of the capital Sanaa in 2015. … Seguir leyendo »
Au Niger, le gouvernement continue de lutter contre le virus Covid-19 mais certaines mesures prises pour contenir sa propagation suscitent le mécontentement voire le rejet d’une frange de la population. Alors que les Nigériens semblent s’accommoder de la plupart des restrictions, celles liées à la fermeture des mosquées et à la suspension des prières collectives, au nom des règles de distanciation sociale, alimentent une contestation de plus en plus importante. Dans ce pays où 98 pour cent de la population est de confession musulmane, de violentes manifestations ont eu lieu dans plusieurs localités pour dénoncer ces mesures que certains jugent contraires à la doctrine islamique.… Seguir leyendo »
The arrival of COVID-19 could not have come at a more sensitive time for Ethiopia, which was due to hold pivotal elections in August after five years of political turmoil. On 31 March, some two weeks after authorities announced the first coronavirus case in Africa’s second-most populous country, the electoral board suspended preparations for the vote due to the public health risk. Then, on 10 April, parliament approved a five-month state of emergency, giving authorities sweeping powers to battle the disease. As elections will not occur before parliament’s term ends in early October, an interim governing arrangement will likely be necessary.… Seguir leyendo »