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A Pashtun man passes a road sign while pulling supplies toward the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing in Chaman.

Resetting Pakistan’s Relations with Afghanistan

Asia Report N°262, 28 October 2014

As Pakistan seeks to consolidate its fragile democracy, it should seize the moment to improve relations with its Afghan neighbour. Its biggest challenge comes from within. The civilian government has to regain control over national security and foreign policy from the military.

Conflict Alert: Looming Military Offensives in South Sudan
South Sudan

29 October 2014: Warring parties in South Sudan’s civil war are preparing for major offensives as seasonal rains ease. Hardliners in both the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) are entrenching their positions, and think, as one opposition commander declared, “we will settle this with war”. Renewed conflict is likely to be accompanied by widespread displacement, atrocity crimes and famine.

Rajapaksa ‘politically vulnerable’ ahead of early Sri Lanka polls
srilanka-blog-28oct14

Photo: Sudath Silva

28 October 2014:  In this interview with Deutsche Welle, Alan Keenan, Senior Sri Lanka Analyst, explains the situation before Sri Lanka polls next January, with the current president Mahinda Rajapaksa set to run for a third term; a move likely triggered by the President’s fading popularity. With a growing discontent at the high cost-of-living and lack of an economic peace dividend in Sri Lanka, Keenan argues that while Rajapaksa is still the clear favourite, the longer Rajapaksa delays the next election, the smaller are his chances of victory.

The Implications of Turkey’s Turn Towards Fighting ISIS
syria-turkey-140ct14

14 October 2014: In this interview with Syria Deeply, Didem Aykel Collinsworth, Turkey Senior Analyst, explains why Turkey has stepped up its cooperation with the international community in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). Didem stresses that this move is a defensive measure and that direct involvement in the war in Syria would be extremely unpopular in Turkey. Turkey is very much aware of the risk IS poses, but it sees the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as the largest domestic security threat. The key here is to move as fast as possible with the peace process and confidence building measures between Turkey and the PKK , so that there are the grounds to cooperate in Kobani.

With or Without Compaoré, Times of Uncertainty

UN PHOTO/Marco Castro

31 October 2014: Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaoré has announced his resignation, following violent protests at his attempt to extend his 27-year rule. This Crisis Group report from July 2013, Burkina Faso: With or Without Compaoré, Times of Uncertainty, warned of the dangers if Compaoré failed to manage his departure well, and helps understand today's crisis.

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