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Tunisian guards confront a group of Egyptians at the border crossing of Ras Jdir, southeast of Tunis, August 1, 2014.

Tunisia’s Borders (II): Terrorism and Regional Polarisation

Middle East and North Africa Briefing N°41, 20 October 2014

The growing link between cartels and armed jihadi militants along Tunisia’s borders with Algeria and Libya, combined with heightened ideological polarisation, could form an explosive mix ahead of Tunisia’s legislative and presidential elections.

The Implications of Turkey’s Turn Towards Fighting ISIS
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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.

Why ISIS Is Gaining Ground – and So Hard to Beat
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14 October 2014: In this interview, Noah Bonsey, Syria Senior Analyst, answers Syria Deeply's questions about why the Islamic State (IS) has had so much success in Syria and the challenges ahead for degrading its influence. IS now controls roughly one-third of Syrian territory and has recently seized 40% of the strategic Syrian border town of Kobani, raising questions about the success of U.S.-led airstrikes meant to stem the group’s advance. The U.S. had said it would rely on moderate rebel groups in Syria to fight IS on the ground. Noah argues that, partly due to the U.S. support coming so late, these rebel forces lack the capacity and organisation to take on IS.

Central African Republic: A Transition at Risk
Central African Republic: A Transition at Risk

7 October 2014: On 26 September 2014, the United Nations Secretary-General convened a high-level meeting on the Central African Republic. The meeting aimed to identify the next steps for the restoration of peace and stability in the country, following the signing of the Brazzaville Cessation of Hostilities agreement on 23 July, the appointment of a new transitional government on 24 August and the transfer of authority from the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 15 September. The meeting was attended by CAR’s President Catherine Samba-Panza and representatives of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council, regional states, regional organisations and international financial institutions. The International Crisis Group sent the following letter to the participants ahead of the meeting.

Global Briefing 2014

Global Briefing

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