Showing posts tagged as "NEWS"

Showing posts tagged NEWS

1 Oct
Crisis Group Says Zimbabwe May Become Failed State | Blessing  Zulu
WASHINGTON DC—The International Crisis Group (ICG) says mounting tensions in Zanu PF over President Robert Mugabe’s succession, First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entrance into mainstream politics, the dire economic crisis and related issues could see Zimbabwe sliding into a failed state.
In its latest report titled ‘Zimbabwe: Waiting for the Future’, the ICG says Zimbabwe’s politics and economy are precarious raising the need for Zanu-PF to address  on President Mugabe’s successor at the party’s elective December congress.
The report says despite “visibly waning capacities, 90-year-old Robert Mugabe shows no sign of wanting to leave office.
"The succession battle within his party is presented as a two-way race between Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, but the reality is more complex. Public battles have intensified, with intimidation and violence a disquieting feature."
FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)
Photo: Gregg Carlstrom/flickr

Crisis Group Says Zimbabwe May Become Failed State | Blessing  Zulu

WASHINGTON DC—The International Crisis Group (ICG) says mounting tensions in Zanu PF over President Robert Mugabe’s succession, First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entrance into mainstream politics, the dire economic crisis and related issues could see Zimbabwe sliding into a failed state.

In its latest report titled ‘Zimbabwe: Waiting for the Future’, the ICG says Zimbabwe’s politics and economy are precarious raising the need for Zanu-PF to address  on President Mugabe’s successor at the party’s elective December congress.

The report says despite “visibly waning capacities, 90-year-old Robert Mugabe shows no sign of wanting to leave office.

"The succession battle within his party is presented as a two-way race between Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, but the reality is more complex. Public battles have intensified, with intimidation and violence a disquieting feature."

FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)

Photo: Gregg Carlstrom/flickr

30 Sep
Turkey shifts tone on Islamic State. Will it join US-led coalition? (+video) | Dominique Soguel
ISTANBUL, TURKEY — When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned home from the United Nations last week, he said Turkey was ready to play a more active role in the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition that has drawn new members both from across the West as well as the Arab world.
Just how active may become clearer Thursday when the Turkish parliament meets to take the “necessary steps” cited by President Erdogan, who was lobbied intensively by US leaders while in New York.
The Turkish lawmakers are expected to decide whether to expand the scope of two existing mandates authorizing the government to take military action in Iraq and Syria, where the jihadist Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS, has sought to create the seed of an Islamic caliphate.
Turkey shares a 206-mile-long border with Iraq and a 544-mile-long border with Syria, where IS thrived unchecked for months. Already a temporary home for more than a million refugees fleeing the 3-1/2-year civil war in Syria, Turkey has just opened its borders to a fresh wave of more than 200,000 mostly Kurdish refugees fleeing the latest IS offensive in Syria.
FULL ARTICLE (The Christian Science Monitor)
Photo: UN/Eskinder Debebe/flickr

Turkey shifts tone on Islamic State. Will it join US-led coalition? (+video) | Dominique Soguel

ISTANBUL, TURKEY — When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned home from the United Nations last week, he said Turkey was ready to play a more active role in the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition that has drawn new members both from across the West as well as the Arab world.

Just how active may become clearer Thursday when the Turkish parliament meets to take the “necessary steps” cited by President Erdogan, who was lobbied intensively by US leaders while in New York.

The Turkish lawmakers are expected to decide whether to expand the scope of two existing mandates authorizing the government to take military action in Iraq and Syria, where the jihadist Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS, has sought to create the seed of an Islamic caliphate.

Turkey shares a 206-mile-long border with Iraq and a 544-mile-long border with Syria, where IS thrived unchecked for months. Already a temporary home for more than a million refugees fleeing the 3-1/2-year civil war in Syria, Turkey has just opened its borders to a fresh wave of more than 200,000 mostly Kurdish refugees fleeing the latest IS offensive in Syria.

FULL ARTICLE (The Christian Science Monitor)

Photo: UN/Eskinder Debebe/flickr

The Evolving Risks of Fragile States and International Terrorism | Brookings
Even as today’s headlines focus on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) and violent extremism in the Middle East, terrorist activities by Boko Haram in Nigeria, al Shabaab in Somalia, the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and competing militias in Libya show the danger of allowing violent extremism to flourish in fragile states. Continued threats emerging from ungoverned spaces underline the need to address the relationship between weak states and international terrorism – a need that has grown significantly in the past three years. Of particular urgency is the need to focus on comprehensive responses including the most effective preventive measures to address extremism and instability before they lead to international terrorism.
On September 29, the Project on International Order and Strategy (IOS) hosted the first public remarks in Washington by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the new president of the International Crisis Group and former undersecretary-general of the United Nations for peacekeeping. Guéhenno discussed the conditions in fragile states that provide fertile ground for conflict and for risks of international terrorism.
A discussion followed with World Bank Special Adviser Sarah Cliffe, a former assistant secretary-general of the U.N. and an expert on fragile states and conflict zones. Bruce Jones, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings and director of the IOS project, moderated.
FULL DISCUSSION (Brookings)
Photo by International Crisis Group

The Evolving Risks of Fragile States and International Terrorism | Brookings

Even as today’s headlines focus on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) and violent extremism in the Middle East, terrorist activities by Boko Haram in Nigeria, al Shabaab in Somalia, the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and competing militias in Libya show the danger of allowing violent extremism to flourish in fragile states. Continued threats emerging from ungoverned spaces underline the need to address the relationship between weak states and international terrorism – a need that has grown significantly in the past three years. Of particular urgency is the need to focus on comprehensive responses including the most effective preventive measures to address extremism and instability before they lead to international terrorism.

On September 29, the Project on International Order and Strategy (IOS) hosted the first public remarks in Washington by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the new president of the International Crisis Group and former undersecretary-general of the United Nations for peacekeeping. Guéhenno discussed the conditions in fragile states that provide fertile ground for conflict and for risks of international terrorism.

A discussion followed with World Bank Special Adviser Sarah Cliffe, a former assistant secretary-general of the U.N. and an expert on fragile states and conflict zones. Bruce Jones, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings and director of the IOS project, moderated.

FULL DISCUSSION (Brookings)

Photo by International Crisis Group

29 Sep
Reconciliation in Central African Republic ‘a distant prospect’ | Mark Caldwell
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is opening a new investigation into atrocities committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the last two years.
Months of fighting between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and the Christian anti-Balaka militia have left at least 5,000 people dead. The atrocities to be probed include murder, rape, forced displacement, persecution, pillage and the use of children under the age of 15 in combat.
DW: Can you see the process of reconciliation between the warring factions becoming easier if justice is seen to be done and perpetrators of atrocities are brought to justice?
Thierry Vircoulon: I think right now we are very far away from the prospect of reconciliation in CAR. A lot of massacres happened last year and there is unfortunately still fighting going on so reconciliation seems to be a very far away prospect. I think it’s very welcome that the ICC has finished its preliminary investigation and that the conclusion is that they will definitely investigate further the crimes that have been committed and that are still being committed in Central African Republic. We must not forget that this is a request that has made to the ICC by the transitional government, it is not the initiative of the ICC.
FULL INTERVIEW (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: Pierre Holtz for UNICEF/hdptcar/Flickr

Reconciliation in Central African Republic ‘a distant prospect’ | Mark Caldwell

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is opening a new investigation into atrocities committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the last two years.

Months of fighting between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and the Christian anti-Balaka militia have left at least 5,000 people dead. The atrocities to be probed include murder, rape, forced displacement, persecution, pillage and the use of children under the age of 15 in combat.

DW: Can you see the process of reconciliation between the warring factions becoming easier if justice is seen to be done and perpetrators of atrocities are brought to justice?

Thierry Vircoulon: I think right now we are very far away from the prospect of reconciliation in CAR. A lot of massacres happened last year and there is unfortunately still fighting going on so reconciliation seems to be a very far away prospect. I think it’s very welcome that the ICC has finished its preliminary investigation and that the conclusion is that they will definitely investigate further the crimes that have been committed and that are still being committed in Central African Republic. We must not forget that this is a request that has made to the ICC by the transitional government, it is not the initiative of the ICC.

FULL INTERVIEW (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: Pierre Holtz for UNICEF/hdptcar/Flickr

26 Sep
Central Asia’s Coming Winter of Discontent | Deirdre Tynan
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Germany and like-minded Western donors like Switzerland and the Netherlands have poured millions into trying to solve Central Asia’s chronic water problems. But Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have wasted this opportunity. A new strategy is called for, both in the region and by those who would help it.
After more than two decades of political independence, millions of people still have inadequate access to clean water. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan face chronic energy shortages this winter, despite huge potential as producers of hydroelectric power. Water supplies have even triggered cross-border skirmishes in the Ferghana Valley. These have been limited so far. But they have the potential to trigger a chain reaction that brittle Central Asian governments would struggle to contain without significant loss of life.
FULL COMMENTARY (Crisis Group Blog: In Pursuit of Peace)
Photo: Max De Haldevang/Crisis Group

Central Asia’s Coming Winter of Discontent | Deirdre Tynan

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Germany and like-minded Western donors like Switzerland and the Netherlands have poured millions into trying to solve Central Asia’s chronic water problems. But Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have wasted this opportunity. A new strategy is called for, both in the region and by those who would help it.

After more than two decades of political independence, millions of people still have inadequate access to clean water. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan face chronic energy shortages this winter, despite huge potential as producers of hydroelectric power. Water supplies have even triggered cross-border skirmishes in the Ferghana Valley. These have been limited so far. But they have the potential to trigger a chain reaction that brittle Central Asian governments would struggle to contain without significant loss of life.

FULL COMMENTARY (Crisis Group Blog: In Pursuit of Peace)

Photo: Max De Haldevang/Crisis Group

"One year after the Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi, Al-Shabaab is more entrenched and a graver threat to Kenya. But the deeper danger is less in the long established terrorist cells that perpetrated the act – horrific as it was – and more in managing and healing the rising communal tensions and historic divides that Al-Shabaab violence has deliberately agitated, most recently in Lamu county."

—From Crisis Group’s latest Africa Briefing Kenya: Al-Shabaab - Closer to Home

Crisis in Venezuela worsening | Mark Schneider
The lull in the street battles that raged across many of Venezuela’s cities this spring belies the violent civil conflict still threatening the country. From February to June, dozens of people died, hundreds were wounded and several thousand more were detained during conflict between protesters and government security forces.
Repression, exhaustion and disorganization have quieted protesters for the moment, but they will certainly return given the government’s failure to address the causes of the country’s polarization. With its vast oil reserves — by some measures the world’s largest — and its complex network of regional relations, Venezuela’s meltdown would be a disaster not only for its people but for the entire hemisphere.
FULL COMMENTARY (Miami Herald)
Photo: andresAzp/flickr

Crisis in Venezuela worsening | Mark Schneider

The lull in the street battles that raged across many of Venezuela’s cities this spring belies the violent civil conflict still threatening the country. From February to June, dozens of people died, hundreds were wounded and several thousand more were detained during conflict between protesters and government security forces.

Repression, exhaustion and disorganization have quieted protesters for the moment, but they will certainly return given the government’s failure to address the causes of the country’s polarization. With its vast oil reserves — by some measures the world’s largest — and its complex network of regional relations, Venezuela’s meltdown would be a disaster not only for its people but for the entire hemisphere.

FULL COMMENTARY (Miami Herald)

Photo: andresAzp/flickr

25 Sep
"The Ebola health crisis threatens to become a political crisis that could unravel years of effort to stabilise West Africa. The hardest-hit countries now face widespread chaos and, potentially, collapse. Adding social breakdown to the epidemic would create disaster perhaps impossible to manage."

—From Crisis Group’s latest Statement on Ebola and Conflict in West Africa

Why Turkey is reluctant to join U.S-led coalition against ISIS | Mark Gollom
The launch of airstrikes in Syria by a U.S.-led coalition as part of the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has placed Turkey in a delicate position of needing to thwart the militant group’s growing threat while not wanting to raise its ire and face retribution.
"It`s obviously very careful on how it handles ISIS," said Didem Ackyel Collinsworth, the International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Turkey. "In terms of signing on to the coalition and taking part in airstrikes and so on, [it] would be very cautious about that."
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was considering expanding support for Western and Arab operations against the Islamic State group to include everything, “both military and political.”
The remarks signalled a possible shift by Erdogan, who has so far not committed to a U.S.-led coalition to take on the militants.
FULL ARTICLE (CBC News)
Photo: Eboni Everson-Myart, U.S. Army/DOD/flickr

Why Turkey is reluctant to join U.S-led coalition against ISIS | Mark Gollom

The launch of airstrikes in Syria by a U.S.-led coalition as part of the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has placed Turkey in a delicate position of needing to thwart the militant group’s growing threat while not wanting to raise its ire and face retribution.

"It`s obviously very careful on how it handles ISIS," said Didem Ackyel Collinsworth, the International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Turkey. "In terms of signing on to the coalition and taking part in airstrikes and so on, [it] would be very cautious about that."

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was considering expanding support for Western and Arab operations against the Islamic State group to include everything, “both military and political.”

The remarks signalled a possible shift by Erdogan, who has so far not committed to a U.S.-led coalition to take on the militants.

FULL ARTICLE (CBC News)

Photo: Eboni Everson-Myart, U.S. Army/DOD/flickr

Germany to offer South Korea tips on reunification | Julian Ryall
Berlin and Seoul set up advisory panel to pass on the foreign policy lessons Germany learned from reunification in 1990, although analysts suggest hurdles are much higher for a divided Korean peninsula.
Not many aspects of German reunification passed off without a hitch when the process began nearly a quarter of a century ago, with numerous bumps in the road only visible after the nation had set out on the journey to bring the two sides back together. But the lessons that were learned still have resonance today and some of the politicians, academics and bureaucrats who steered Germany through those difficult times are sharing their knowledge and experience with another country that has been divided for decades.
On September 18, Markus Ederer, a German foreign ministry secretary, and Kim Jae-shin, South Korean ambassador to Germany, signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin on the creation of a group to offer advice specifically on foreign policy as the two Koreas move closer to reunification.
FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: ores2k/flickr

Germany to offer South Korea tips on reunification | Julian Ryall

Berlin and Seoul set up advisory panel to pass on the foreign policy lessons Germany learned from reunification in 1990, although analysts suggest hurdles are much higher for a divided Korean peninsula.

Not many aspects of German reunification passed off without a hitch when the process began nearly a quarter of a century ago, with numerous bumps in the road only visible after the nation had set out on the journey to bring the two sides back together. But the lessons that were learned still have resonance today and some of the politicians, academics and bureaucrats who steered Germany through those difficult times are sharing their knowledge and experience with another country that has been divided for decades.

On September 18, Markus Ederer, a German foreign ministry secretary, and Kim Jae-shin, South Korean ambassador to Germany, signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin on the creation of a group to offer advice specifically on foreign policy as the two Koreas move closer to reunification.

FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: ores2k/flickr