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Pakistan’s Jihadist Heartland: Southern Punjab

Asia Report N°279, 30 May 2016

Once-tolerant southern Punjab has become a base for jihadist groups. Socio-economic grievances, political alienation and poor education provide a near endless source of recruits. To reverse the tide, the government must end a climate of impunity, block hate speech, improve rule of law, and refocus counter-terrorist action to target all jihadist groups.

Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge
Nigeria’s newly elected President Muhammed Buhari gives a speech during a press conference, in Lagos, Nigeria, on 1 April 2015. Anadolu Agency/Stringer

30 May 2016: The peaceful election in March 2015 of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing security problems could soon be tamed. One year later, the new government has struck at the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency. But Nigeria is sliding deeper into other difficulties.

Sudan’s Islamists: From Salvation to Survival
AFP/Ashraf Shazly

27 May 2016: In this podcast, Crisis Group's Horn of Africa analyst Magnus Taylor discusses with our Director of Communications & Outreach Hugh Pope the main findings of our recent report Sudan’s Islamists: From Salvation to Survival. The wide-ranging discussion covers Sudan’s domestic political balances amid continued conflicts in peripheral areas, the regime’s new foreign policy pragmatism and Middle Eastern orientation, and how the West can have a more constructive relationship with Khartoum.

Iraq: On the Edge of Chaos
Followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protested inside the Iraqi parliament building after storming into Baghdad’s Green Zone on 30 April 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

17 May 2016: The recent storming of Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone by protesters led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr brought to the surface a long-standing dilemma: the system which has governed the country since 2003 is in need of radical reform, but because the ruling political class has in many ways come to embody the system, it is highly resistant to genuine change. Street protests and recalcitrant politicians have created a combustible formula, paralysing state institutions and threatening to bring them down. Meanwhile, the security situation is dire, as evidenced by a series of attacks in Baghdad this week claimed by the Islamic State.

Violent Extremism & Modern Conflict


Our recent report “Exploiting Disorder: al-Qaeda and the Islamic State” launches a Crisis Group project on Violent Extremism and Modern Conflict, looking at how to counter the evolving threat posed by these groups and their ideology.

Read the full version of this report alongside videos, podcasts, and photos.

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