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A boy runs in front of a mural that reads "Peace", in Timbuktu July 24, 2013.

Mali: An Imposed Peace?

Africa Report N°226, 22 May 2015

Fighting recently resumed in Mali, while a peace accord remains a façade. Both sides, with help from international mediators, need to re-open negotiations. They must go beyond prioritising security to include all belligerents and improve access to basic social services, jobs and justice.

Somaliland’s Guurti Sparks a Crisis

Somaliland Independence Day celebrations, 18 May 2014. CRISIS GROUP/Claire Elder

21 May 2015: The self-declared Republic of Somaliland is often described as an island of stability in a sea of conflict. Much of the security enjoyed by its estimated 3.5 million people is attributed to a “hybrid” governance system marrying traditional authority with modern Western style democratic governance. But Somaliland’s main donors have expressed concern over recent developments that beg the question whether its mixed political arrangements are robust enough. In this blogpost, Claire Elder and Cedric Barnes from Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Project discuss why a decision by the so-called Guurti – the Upper House of Elders – worries Somaliland’s international partners and risks causing a dangerous political and clan polarisation.

A new Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena (C) arrives for his swearing-in ceremony in Colombo, 9 January 2015. REUTERS/STRINGER

18 May 2015: Sri Lanka appeared to turn a new leaf with the election in January 2015 of President Maithripala Sirisena. This put an end to rule of this country of 21 million people by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is closely associated with a brutal 2009 victory over the Tamil Tiger insurgency and authoritarian government. In this blogpost, Alan Keenan discusses how much President Sirisena, previously a minor figure in Rajapaksa’s government, has changed politics on the South Asian island.

Raising the Stakes In the South China Sea

A satellite image from 16 March 2015 shows work on an emerging artificial island at Mischief Reef in the South China Sea. AFP/EyePress/Digital Globe

16 May 2015: A risky game of chicken is building up between China and the U.S. in the South China Sea. In the most recent development, it was reported that the Pentagon is considering a proposal to dispatch its navy for a close-up view of the man-made islands China is building there. In this blogpost, Crisis Group's Senior China analyst Yanmei Xie explains how both sides, and other regional countries, face potentially costly consequences if China and the U.S. set off on a collision course. But now that Washington appears to be signaling resolve, it might affect Beijing’s cost-benefit calculations.

The Fog of Peace

Fog of Peace

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