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A new arrival looks at a UN peacekeeper upon her arrival at the Zam Zam IDP camp, near Al Fashir in North Darfur, April 9, 2015. The new arrivals at the IDP camp were fleeing from clashes in East Jebel Marra and Tawilla. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

The Chaos in Darfur

Africa Briefing N°110, 22 April 2015

The two-year-old flare-up of violence in Darfur continues, adding 100,000 people this year to more than 2.5 million who have lost their homes since war began in 2003. Sudanese, regional and international peace processes have stalled. They should restart with parallel initiatives that take into better account all of Darfur’s communities and armed groups.

Statement on a Syrian Policy Framework
Residents inspect a damaged site after what activists say were four air strikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Douma, eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus September 24, 2014. Picture taken September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

27 April 2015: On its current trajectory, and with no military or diplomatic breakthrough on the horizon, the Syrian war will worsen. Four years into a popular uprising that gradually degenerated into civil strife and regional proxy war, the conflict’s Syrian protagonists – the regime and its loyalist militias versus the broad spectrum of armed rebel factions and the external political opposition – are too fractious, fragile and heavily invested in their current courses to break with the status quo. They are also, as should be clear by now, incapable of military victory in a war rapidly fuelling the growth of a third category of protagonists: Salafi-jihadi groups. The sides’ respective state backers are better positioned to change tack and so affect the course of events, but they are prisoners of their own shortcomings, fears and wishful thinking.

Colombia: A Dangerous Setback
colombia-16apr15

16 April 2015: Colombia’s attempt to end five decades of bloodshed could be at risk, after local Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) units appeared to have breached a four-month-old unilateral ceasefire by ambushing a military patrol 14 April, reportedly killing eleven soldiers and wounding another twenty. The deadliest guerrilla action since the peace negotiations began two and a half years ago is not likely to lead to a collapse of the talks, but the parties and the international community must now move quickly to prevent them from unravelling.

Al-Shabaab's Kenyan Ambitions
Members of the hard line al Shabaab Islamist rebel group parade during a military training exercise in Huriwaa district, southern Mogadishu. 5 September, 2010. Reuters. 

15 April 2015: Al-Shabaab’s 2 April attack in Kenya that killed 147 people at a university in Garissa, 120km from the border with Somalia, has again cast doubt on the Kenyan government’s ability to keep its citizens safe. Three members of Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa staff consider in this Q&A the implications of Al-Shabaab’s longstanding ambition to broaden its campaigns from Somalia into the wider East Africa region.

In Pursuit of Peace Award Dinner

International Crisis Group Save the Date

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