Crisis Group

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados a partir del 1 de diciembre de 2008.

Michael Kovrig, an adviser with the International Crisis Group, is interviewed in Hong Kong on March 28, 2018. (AP Photo)

Just under one year ago, on Dec. 10, China arrested our colleague Michael Kovrig in Beijing. Since that time, Michael — who is the International Crisis Group’s North East Asia adviser — has remained in detention without being allowed to see a lawyer or family member.

Although China has never spelled out the reasons for Michael’s imprisonment, it is clear that he is merely a pawn in a larger geopolitical game. A Canadian citizen and former diplomat, he was detained — along with another Canadian, Michael Spavor — nine days after Ottawa, acting upon a U.S. request under an extradition treaty, arrested Meng Wangzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sri Lanka's new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaks after taking oath of office during his swearing-in ceremony at the Ruwanwelisaya temple in Anuradhapura on November 18, 2019. AFP/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi

What happened?

On 16 November, Gotabaya Rajapaksa – who served as defence secretary during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war – won a decisive victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential election.

Although Rajapaksa’s victory was not a surprise, the margin of his win exceeded expectations among many analysts. The candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya (who, like Mahinda, is widely known by his first name) captured 52.25 per cent of the vote. His main rival, Sajith Premadasa, candidate of the ruling United National Party (UNP), came in second with 42 per cent.…  Seguir leyendo »

A supporter of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), former secretary to the Ministry of Defence and presidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, holds election posters at the party's election office in Biyagama, in the outskirts of the capital Colombo. AFP/ISHARA S. KODIKARA

As Sri Lankans head to the polls to elect a new president on 16 November, Gotabaya Rajapaksa stands as the widely acknowledged front runner. As defence secretary during his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decade-long presidency ending in 2015, he was a leading figure in a government that many minority Tamils and Muslims, as well as opposition politicians, blame for terrible political violence and repression. During that period, dozens of journalists were killed or forced into exile, prominent Tamil politicians were murdered, and thousands of Sri Lankans were forcibly disappeared; no one has since been held accountable for those crimes. Gotabaya is expected to name his brother prime minister, as Mahinda is constitutionally term-limited from seeking the presidency.…  Seguir leyendo »

New U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft casts a vote during her first U.N. Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., 12 September 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Security Council diplomats have a chance to engage in some self-criticism this week. On Thursday and Friday, representatives of the Council’s current members will attend a workshop with their counterparts from the five elected members joining it in 2020 (Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). This event, convened by Finland, is one of two annual opportunities for Council insiders to discuss their collective efforts – the other, a retreat with the Secretary-General, took place in May – and their talks can be quite frank.

According to a detailed summary of last year’s workshop, “a participant lamented that there was a prevailing image of the Security Council as an organ that was becoming less effective and less influential over time”.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Hassan Rouhani visits the exhibition of nuclear technology on April 9, 2019. Office of the Iranian President.

Iran announced on 5 November that it is moving ahead with incremental breaches of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to President Hassan Rouhani, as of 6 November, Tehran will start “injecting [uranium hexafluoride] gas into the centrifuges in Fordow”, a bunkered enrichment facility that under the deal is meant to be converted “into a nuclear, physics and technology centre”.

This move is the latest in a series of staggered steps toward downgrading Tehran’s adherence to the nuclear agreement. The process began in May 2019, when the Rouhani administration set a 60-day rolling ultimatum for the agreement’s remaining parties (France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China) to deliver the deal’s expected economic dividends in the face of unilateral U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mohamed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Salman witness the signing of the Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, at the Saudi Royal Diwan. SPA/Riyadh and Mohamed Bin Zayed Twitter account

The Riyadh Agreement, signed on 5 November, has averted a war within Yemen’s civil war, at least for the time being. The deal prevents a collapse of the fragile alliance of Yemeni forces that Saudi Arabia has supported since intervening in Yemen in March 2015 to prevent Huthi rebels from taking over the country. The question now is whether the agreement can act as a bridge to a nationwide political settlement or if it simply marks a pause before another round of violence.

By signing, the two parties to the agreement – the internationally recognised government of Yemen, led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC) – have ended a three-month standoff that threatened to split the anti-Huthi bloc.…  Seguir leyendo »

Eteringbang, es un poblado de una calle junto al río Cuyuní. Eteringbang no se encuentra en los mapas de Google, pero está ubicado al otro lado de San Martín de Turumbán, del lado venezolano del Cuyuní. CRISISGROUP/Bram Ebus

Justo en las afueras de Etheringbang, un pequeño puesto fronterizo guyanés en medio de la selva en la frontera venezolana, el río Cuyuní que separa a Guyana de Venezuela corre por orillas llenas de maleza. En el lado norte, me dicen los lugareños, se encuentra un campamento de guerrilleros colombianos, viviendo a unos 700 km. de su país natal, mientras otros grupos armados también operan cerca. Desde mi posición junto al agua no puedo distinguir el campamento, pero veo a tres hombres vestidos de negro, uno con un arma de alto calibre, parado en un pequeño claro. Mantengo una distancia prudente y veo cómo al pasar un bote de pasajeros los hombres de negro le exigen al capitán que se detenga.…  Seguir leyendo »

Campaign banners crowd the street corners ahead of 27 October local elections, in Monteria, Cordoba. CRISISGROUP/Zaida Marquez

El 27 de octubre Colombia celebrará sus primeras elecciones regionales desde la firma del acuerdo de paz de 2016 entre el gobierno y los rebeldes de las FARC. En estas preguntas y respuestas, la experta de Crisis Group, Elizabeth Dickinson, explica qué está en juego políticamente y por qué la campaña electoral ha estado acompañada de tanta violencia.

¿Qué nos dicen estas elecciones sobre cambios en la política colombiana?

La antesala a las elecciones regionales de este año, que ha estado marcada por un aumento en la violencia, permite dar una mirada a la evolución de la política colombiana tres años después del histórico acuerdo de 2016 entre el gobierno y las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).…  Seguir leyendo »

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir take part in a tripartite summit regarding a dam on the Nile River, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 10 February 2019. AFP/ANADOLU AGENCY/Handout /Presidency of Egypt

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are set to meet on the margins of an ongoing two-day Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in an effort to ease tensions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Ethiopia is building the dam on the main tributary of the Nile, and Egypt fears that the project will imperil its water supply.

Experts from those two nations and Sudan, the third country directly involved, had neared a technical consensus last year on how fast Ethiopia would fill the dam’s reservoir. But the past few months have seen Addis Ababa and Cairo move further apart amid feisty exchanges of rhetoric.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yemeni supporters of the Houthi movement take part in a rally in Sanaa on Sept. 21. Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

With all of U.S. President Donald Trump’s troubles at home and abroad, his administration could use a win. There is low-hanging fruit in Yemen, and the ripple effects of success there could go far beyond the impoverished and war-torn country. Houthi rebels (who prefer to be called Ansar Allah) have made an offer of de-escalation that, if built on quickly, could help extract the United States from the bloody and unwinnable war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. It would reduce threats to Saudi Arabia and its oil infrastructure at a time of rising tensions with Iran. And it would open a door to wider de-escalation inside Yemen and possibly across the region.…  Seguir leyendo »

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2019 – Third Update.

A year and a half since the eruption of mass anti-government protests that paralysed the country, Nicaragua is edging toward protracted, low-intensity conflict. Sparked by controversial social security reforms in April 2018, last year’s demonstrations were met with a ferocious crackdown by police and para-police forces, resulting in more than 300 dead, chiefly on the protesters’ side, while hundreds more were detained. The government and protesters, gathered under the umbrella opposition group Civic Alliance, have twice tried negotiating a peaceful way out of the crisis. In March they struck two agreements on releasing political prisoners and upholding citizens’ rights, although the government has only partly complied.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Huthi suspension of hostilities in Yemen and an apparently positive Saudi Arabian response offer a chance to avoid regional conflagration. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 – Third Update for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to encourage inclusive dialogue between the warring factions, which can lead to intra-Yemeni negotiations.

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2019 – Third Update.

As 2020 approaches, Yemen confronts two acute security challenges: avoiding further entanglement in the wider regional conflict between the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Iran, and preventing a war within a war among anti-Huthi forces. On 14 September, the Huthis claimed responsibility for an attack on Saudi oil facilities that temporarily cut off nearly 50 per cent of the country’s oil production capacity.…  Seguir leyendo »

Negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban collapsed in September, but there have been signs that they could soon resume, paving the way for crucial intra-Afghan talks. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 – Third Update for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to encourage the resumption of these talks and to establish a regular channel to the Taliban.

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2019 – Third Update.

The war in Afghanistan was the world’s deadliest in 2018, and it has stayed that way. Battle deaths thus far in 2019 nearly outnumber the combined toll in Syria and Yemen.…  Seguir leyendo »

Following the ouster of Sudan’s strongman Omar al-Bashir, sustained pressure yielded a power-sharing agreement between the military and opposition alliance. But the settlement is fragile and the economy is in deep distress. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 – Third Update for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to support the civilian cabinet during the country’s delicate transition.

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2019 – Third Update.

Against long odds, a protest movement triggered the ouster of Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir, one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders. He was finally deposed by military coup on 11 April 2019.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudanese protesters take part in a rally in the capital Khartoum to mourn dozens of demonstrators killed last month in a brutal raid on a Khartoum sit-in, on July 13, 2019. AFP/ASHRAF SHAZLY

Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. 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 third update to the Watch List 2019 includes entries on Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Sudan and Yemen.

Afghanistan: Cause for Anxiety and Optimism

The war in Afghanistan was the world’s deadliest in 2018, and it has stayed that way. Battle deaths thus far in 2019 nearly outnumber the combined toll in Syria and Yemen. The number of civilian casualties is poised to reach, or even surpass, the country’s previous records since 2001.…  Seguir leyendo »

How is Kelly Knight Craft doing as U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations?

It is almost exactly one month since Craft presented her credentials to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sept. 12. It has been an eventful period, including the annual General Assembly jamboree and Security Council crisis talks on North Korea and Syria. To top it off, Guterres warned this week that the U.N. is about to run out of operating funds because over 60 members have not paid their annual dues. The U.S. has accumulated over $1 billion in arrears, equivalent to a third of the U.N.’s regular budget, putting Craft in a tricky spot.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iraqi demonstrators gather during an anti-government protests against unemployment, corruption in Baghdad, Iraq on 7 October 2019. AFP via Anadolu Agency/Murtadha Sudani

Street protests have engulfed Baghdad and southern cities such as Nasiriya and Diwaniya since 1 October, causing a staggering death toll of at least 110 victims in seven days. This deadliest outburst of violence from popular protests since the 2003 U.S. invasion has shaken the foundations of the already fragile government led by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The prime minister is on thin ice. In the aftermath of the May 2018 elections, a drawn-out tug of war over government formation produced broadly acceptable but politically weak office holders. Neither the prime minister nor any of his cabinet members belong to the main parliamentary blocs (al-Fatah, a Shiite Islamist coalition with links to paramilitary groups and Iran, and Sairoun, an alliance between followers of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr and the Communist Party).…  Seguir leyendo »

Olga Oliker participated in the 10th EUREN meeting on «The EU, Russia and the future of European security». Based on her presentation, this paper was first published by EU-Russia Experts Network on Foreign Policy (EUREN).

The US and transatlantic relations are an essential part of the European security order. However, attitudes and policies in the US are in flux. The transitional nature of US approaches needs to be taken into account when we are discussing European security today (see also EUREN Chronicle 1, February 2017).

The absence of any single American perspective on Europe is not new. But the reality of many perspectives has become especially clear since Donald Trump’s inauguration as the US President.…  Seguir leyendo »

The latest edition of Crisis Group’s monthly conflict tracker highlights dangers of escalating conflict in Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Tunisia. But there are resolution opportunities in Sudan.

In September, U.S. President Trump suspended talks with the Taliban, curtailing prospects for peace in Afghanistan, while an attack on Saudi oil facilities prompted a sharp rise in tensions between Riyadh and Washington on one side and Iran on the other. Cross-border attacks between Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Huthis could multiply unless they agree on steps to de-escalate, and fighting in Yemen’s south could also pick up. In Egypt and Algeria, security forces cracked down on opposition protests, and Tunisia’s second round of presidential polls could stir tensions.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hezbollah supporters in Beirut, September 2018 Aziz Taher / Reuters

The war that now looms largest is a war nobody apparently wants. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against the United States’ entanglement in Middle Eastern wars, and since assuming office, he has not changed his tune. Iran has no interest in a wide-ranging conflict that it knows it could not win. Israel is satisfied with calibrated operations in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza but fears a larger confrontation that could expose it to thousands of rockets. Saudi Arabia is determined to push back against Iran, but without confronting it militarily. Yet the conditions for an all-out war in the Middle East are riper than at any time in recent memory.…  Seguir leyendo »