¿Qué hay de nuevo? Honduras celebrará elecciones generales a fines de noviembre en medio de una polarización política y crisis humanitaria. Ya que el presidente saliente podría enfrentar una investigación judicial, y los organismos electorales recientemente creados no han sido puestos a prueba, el país corre el riesgo de que se repitan protestas desestabilizadoras como las que siguieron a las disputadas elecciones de 2017.
¿Por qué importa? Las crisis humanitarias y la inestabilidad han azotado a Honduras desde el golpe de Estado de 2009 que sacudió el establecimiento político. Unas elecciones polémicas podrían provocar disturbios postelectorales y acelerar la salida de migrantes y solicitantes de asilo hacia México y EE.… Seguir leyendo »
What’s going on at the border between Belarus and Poland?
Since the late summer, women, men and children, most of them Kurds from northern Iraq, have gathered at the Polish-Belarusian border. They are hoping to cross into the European Union (EU) in Poland and, in most cases, move on to Germany, where many have relatives or acquaintances. In the last month, most of the migrants made camp near the Bruzgi Kuznica crossing in the Grodno region of Belarus. Poland has refused to let them cross into its territory and declared a state of emergency in its border areas. Brussels has backed Warsaw.… Seguir leyendo »
What happened and who is allegedly involved?
On 16 November, a trio of suicide bombers targeted Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, one detonating his vest outside police headquarters and two more blowing themselves up near parliament. The attacks killed at least four other people, according to official reports, and wounded 37 more, 27 of whom were police officers. As the city reeled from the blasts, security forces hunted down a fourth bomber in north-western Kampala, shooting him before recovering his suicide vest. The police said they had recovered more explosive materials from a safe house the fourth attacker was using in a nearby suburb and were continuing to track other possible members of the “terror groups”.… Seguir leyendo »
The U.S. Senate recently heard testimony from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who left the company’s civic integrity team with a trove of documents that she delivered to the Wall Street Journal. The leaked documents and her testimony support what many, including Crisis Group, have reported – that Facebook has exacerbated conflict in a number of places, and too often does not do enough to manage the fallout.
Haugen’s central criticisms in her testimony focus on Facebook’s algorithm, the particular set of rules that determine the content that users see, including where a post appears in the “news feed”. Facebook’s algorithm is designed to give users what the company believes is the best possible experience, to keep them coming back to the platform.… Seguir leyendo »
On 3 November, at the end of a three-day visit to Venezuela, Karim Khan, the new Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced that he will launch an investigation into crimes against humanity in the country. These include allegations of systematic human rights violations during the massive demonstrations that engulfed Venezuela between April and July 2017, when the confrontation between the Maduro government and the opposition hit a peak. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 124 protesters died and over 5,000 were detained.
To cap off his visit, the Prosecutor signed a memorandum of understanding with President Nicolás Maduro.… Seguir leyendo »
When Russian peacekeepers arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh as part of a ceasefire deal between Azerbaijan and Armenian, they found it empty, blanketed in a thick November fog. After 44 days of brutal war, most [people] had fled, not believing the fighting was over. A year later, the region’s main city of Stepanakert is no longer a ghost town. Most of its residents have returned, followed by thousands of Armenians displaced from territories won over by Azerbaijani forces in the conflict. The scars of war are everywhere — damaged buildings, craters caused by missiles, and photos of the dead and missing hung for passers-by — but elders gossip on city stoops while children are playing in the streets once again.… Seguir leyendo »
What is behind the current crisis in Bosnia?
Bosnia and Herzegovina (commonly referred to as Bosnia) is facing a dual challenge that threatens to undo the agreement that ended a war between Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks). The war was marked by the worst atrocities on European soil since World War II, with more than 100,000 people killed and more than two million displaced. By way of talks in Dayton, Ohio, the U.S. brokered peace agreements that brought the fighting to a close and established a Bosnian state composed of two self-governing regions: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Republika Srpska.… Seguir leyendo »
What has been the reaction to the coup over the past two weeks?
The Sudanese people have mobilised swiftly and peacefully against the 25 October coup, recalling the protests that toppled the dictator Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Since the generals wrested full control of government from the civilian-military power-sharing arrangement made to oversee the post-Bashir transition, men and women in the capital Khartoum and other towns have taken to the streets, culminating in coordinated countrywide demonstrations numbering hundreds of thousands on 30 October. Many Sudanese workers are meanwhile striking, paralysing the country’s economy, though banks and key businesses such as pharmacies have occasionally reopened as organisers sought to ease the burden on the public.… Seguir leyendo »
After two years of diplomatic deadlock, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed a new envoy for Western Sahara, a territory disputed between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front, which represents the ethnic Sahrawi population of the territory. The recent designation of seasoned Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura marks a much-delayed and critical step forward in a standoff that, if left untreated, risks spreading instability elsewhere in the region.
The temperature has been rising of late in this often-overlooked conflict. In November 2020, fighting flared up between Morocco and the Polisario Front. A month later, President Donald Trump threw fuel on the fire and jeopardized the traditional U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
What have we learned so far from COP26, the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change?
We have learned, sadly, that global leaders were right to lower expectations over the past few weeks. COP26 is not yet over, of course, but its opening days have provided plenty more evidence that governments are not going to do what is necessary to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control. Moreover, even if they can agree on how to do so in the remaining days, and then follow through with it, the effects of climate change are already here, as seen across the world in recent years with one heat record broken after another, as well as floods, droughts and other extreme weather.… Seguir leyendo »
What happened and why is it important?
On 28 October, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a bill postponing the first parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from 2022 to 2025, thereby extending the political transition in the region for another three years.
The law amends Philippine Republic Act No. 11054, better known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, that had formally created the new autonomous entity in the southern Philippines in early 2019, providing for a three-year interim period before holding the BARMM’s first parliamentary elections that would formally mark the end of the transition.… Seguir leyendo »
The resumption of hostilities in Western Sahara exacerbates the plight of tens of thousands of Sahrawi refugees and fuels conflict in North Africa, the Sahel and Europe. The UN Security Council, months after fighting has restarted, has yet to take a clear stance to address the crisis. It is time now for Washington to act and place a higher priority on resolving the conflict. Given its influence over both parties, the U.S. has a special responsibility ahead of an important Council meeting on the disputed territory this month.
Morocco and the Polisario Front have been locked in a conflict over Western Sahara since 1975.… Seguir leyendo »
Sudan is in peril. On 25 October, just weeks after a failed coup attempt, the country’s generals removed the civilian-led government that had been piloting a transition after an uprising unseated long-serving ruler Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Soldiers surrounded Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s residence in the capital Khartoum, detaining him and other senior officials. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who headed the Sovereign Council, a joint civilian-military body that has governed the country since August 2019, announced its dissolution, declaring a nationwide state of emergency. Reaction to the coup from the street was swift. Thousands of protesters massed in Khartoum and across the country, raising the spectre of a reprise of past crackdowns on dissent.… Seguir leyendo »
What are Security Council members negotiating about?
UN Security Council members are discussing a draft resolution on climate security tabled by Ireland and Niger at the end of September. If it passes, it will be the first resolution of its kind, although the Council has held sessions on climate change and its implications for peace and security since 2007. These discussions, which were sporadic at first, have become much more frequent in the last five years. But aside from one statement (which lacks the stature of a resolution) in 2011, the Council has never formally put its concerns about climate change on paper.… Seguir leyendo »
Who was Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahraoui?
Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahraoui was the nom de guerre of a prominent jihadist leader in the Sahel, Lehbib Ould Ali Ould Said Ould Yumani, who was born in 1973 in Laâyoune, Western Sahara. He spent part of his youth in Algeria, notably in the Tindouf refugee camps and at the University of Constantine, where he studied the social sciences. He was also reportedly a member of the Polisario Front, the political paramilitary movement that campaigns for Western Sahara’s independence, before joining jihadist insurgents in northern Mali around 2010.
As a high-ranking member of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), in 2012 he took part in the conquest of vast territories in northern Mali, including several major towns, in particular Gao, where he was among the most important leaders during the city’s occupation.… Seguir leyendo »
Qui était Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui ?
Dirigeant jihadiste de premier plan au Sahel, Lehbib Ould Ali Ould Saïd Ould Joumani, qui avait pour nom de guerre Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui, est né en 1973 à Laâyoune au Sahara occidental. Il a passé une partie de sa jeunesse en Algérie, notamment dans les camps de réfugiés de Tindouf et à l’université de Constantine, où il a étudié les sciences sociales. Il aurait été aussi membre du Front Polisario, le mouvement politico-militaire qui milite pour l’indépendance du Sahara occidental, avant de rejoindre le maquis jihadiste du nord du Mali vers 2010.
Cadre du Mouvement pour l’unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO), il a participé, en 2012, à la conquête de vastes territoires du nord du Mali, dont plusieurs grandes villes, notamment Gao où il figurait parmi les dirigeants les plus importants de la ville lors de son occupation.… Seguir leyendo »
A new round of violence in Lebanon has claimed seven lives and called into question the viability of an independent judicial investigation into the causes of the devastating August 2020 Beirut port blast. Shooting broke out in Beirut on 14 October when supporters of the Shiite parties Hizbollah and Amal marched to the Palace of Justice, located in a Christian neighbourhood, to demand that a judge investigating the port explosion be replaced. Resort to arms by those parties, as well some of their opponents, and the increasingly sectarian nature of violence in Lebanon evokes the divisions of the country’s 1975-1990 civil war.… Seguir leyendo »
What is the outcome of the court ruling?
After seven years of bitter wrangling between Kenya and Somalia for control of contested Indian Ocean waters, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 12 October issued an eagerly awaited judgment demarcating the two countries’ maritime boundary, ruling mostly in Somalia’s favour. The main disagreement between the parties had centred on how the maritime border should be drawn. Kenya argued that it should run in a straight latitudinal line from the point on the coast where the countries’ land borders meet. Somalia contended that the sea border should run south east, perpendicular to the coast at the point where its land border with Kenya meets the sea.… Seguir leyendo »
What is happening?
The first days of October brought a significant spike in Chinese military aircraft entering into the south west corner of Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). The number of such aircraft in the ADIZ broke records three times, on Friday 1 October with 38 planes, Saturday 2 October 39 planes and Monday 4 October 56 planes. Prior to this streak, the record for the largest number of Chinese military planes to enter Taiwan’s ADIZ in one day was set on 15 June 2021, when 28 entered.
The area that the planes flew through is not Taiwan’s territorial air space, which starts twelve nautical miles from its coast.… Seguir leyendo »
Every year Crisis Group publishes two additional Watch List updates that complement its annual Watch List for the EU, most recently published in January 2021. These publications identify major crises and conflict situations where the European Union and its member states can generate stronger prospects for peace. The Autumn Update of the Watch List 2021 includes entries on Afghanistan, Burundi, Iran, Nagorno-Karabakh and Nicaragua.
Thinking Through the Dilemmas of Aid to Afghanistan
Afghanistan is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis – driven by displacement, drought, the COVID-19 pandemic and a struggling economy – that has sharply worsened since the Taliban’s takeover and the prior government’s collapse on 15 August.… Seguir leyendo »