- John Stupart
Nearly a year on, there is no end in sight to Yemen’s war. The conflict pits Ansar Allah (Huthi) rebels and military units allied with ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh against a diverse mix of opponents, including what remains of the government of President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by a Saudi-led coalition supported by the U.S., the UK and France. Ending the war requires negotiations leading to an interim settlement that must include security arrangements providing for militia withdrawal from cities, a return to the political process pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and agreement on a transitional leadership. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
East of the European Union remains a potential source of instability for the continent, with five of six designated ‘neighbourhood partners’ locked in sovereignty disputes. Russia, of course, is playing a significant role. But while power politics is often framed as a winner-takes-all scenario, the truth is that no one benefits from an extended stand-off. By Magdalena Grono for the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
The fight between Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party's nomination has increasingly become one for the soul of their party. Will its voters choose someone who says he is a progressive and wants a political revolution, or someone who also labels herself a progressive, but says she is someone who gets things done? J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a look at the history of what a 'progressive' really means.
It’s no secret that Rome has been reaching out to Beijing. Francis has already got Cuba and the United States talking to each other. He has established himself as a man who wants to enter into dialogue – inside and outside the Church. China is a “great country,” the world should not “fear” China’s growing power, and the “true balance of peace is realized through dialogue,” Pope Francis said in an exclusive interview published on Tuesday in the Asian Times. By RUSSELL POLLITT.
Lebanon has been without an executive head of state since President Michel Suleiman’s mandate ended in May 2014. In the past few months, however, key Lebanese political players have switched partners, undermining the two blocs that have polarised Lebanon’s government for the past decade. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Lebanon Analyst Sahar Atrache assesses what the suddenly shifting alliances mean for this country of about four and a half million people, perched perilously close to the Syrian war and now host to more than one million Syrian refugees. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
While South Africa is up in arms over virginity testing for female students, intense discussions over reproductive rights are underway in Nusa Dua, Indonesia. It’s the annual International Conference on Family Planning, a global think-tank where scientists, researchers, policymakers and advocates assemble to try to create a better future for girls and women. This year, they have the particularly tough task of trying to meet the Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the United Nations General Assembly last year, with the ultimate target of eradicating poverty. Wish them luck. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
The South China Sea’s hydrocarbon resources are hotly contested though its reserves are unproven. While their potential economic benefit may be considerable, their foremost significance is political, as their division has implications for sovereignty and fundamental law of the sea principles. Exploration frictions have deepened geopolitical fault lines. Competition once framed by verbal warnings and diplomatic pressure today frequently takes the form of physical confrontation. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Christine Lagarde has been endorsed to serve a second five-year term as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. The endorsement, by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, came almost immediately after the IMF announced the start of a three-week nominating period for candidates. Lagarde’s current five-year term ends in July, and she is widely considered a sure bet for the second mandate. By ISMAIL LAGARDIEN.
Over the past year, violent extremist movements have made striking gains. ISIS has consolidated its control over a large swathe of Iraq and Syria, attracting tens of thousands of foreigners, establishing footholds elsewhere, and perpetrating terrorist attacks across the Middle East and beyond. Al Qaeda affiliates from Yemen to Syria to Somalia appear resilient, in some cases stronger than ever. ISIS’s attacks in the West – apparently centrally coordinated in the case of Paris, perpetrated by lone wolves elsewhere – have upped pressure on Western powers to respond more forcefully. Certainly, more can be done to fight ISIS. But any action must be informed by an accurate diagnosis of the problem and must avoid the mistakes of the past. By JEAN-MARIE GUÉHENNO for the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Below is an excerpt from “Diary of My South African Years”. The “Diary” includes various notes, fragments, unfinished texts (some of them hand written), public interventions, interviews and other material accumulated over many years. The excerpt published here was written last year. It is not a formal analysis of current events. It is an exercise in sympathetic critique, a tradition of reading one’s own times that is much rooted in various versions of Black and Jewish thought. By ACHILLE MBEMBE.
Wealth is simply not trickling down; it is being sucked up by a powerful and wealthy minority. Once there, an elaborate system of tax havens and an industry of wealth managers ensure that it stays there – far from the reach of ordinary citizens and their governments. This has to be stopped. By WINNIE BYANYIMA.
The Mexican public remain deeply sceptical about the state, and its ability stamp out drug-related crime and violence in the country. An estimated 63% of people surveyed said Joaquín Guzmán Loera’s own mistakes led to his re-arrest, only 29% believed that the state should take credit for the arrest. In general, most of the population have not changed their view of the government, and have almost no confidence in security forces. By MARY SPECK for the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.