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Militia men loyal to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi loot the barracks of the Special Forces in the southern port city of Aden March 19, 2015.

Yemen at War

Middle East Briefing N°45, 27 March 2015

Yemen is now at war. Fuelled by Saudi-Iranian rivalry and a violent jihadi upsurge, fighting is fragmenting the country and could spread beyond if parties do not immediately de-escalate and – with the support of Gulf neighbours – return to negotiations on a compromised, power-sharing leadership.

Defeating the Iraqi State, One Victory at a Time


26 March 2015:What progress is being made against jihadi insurgents occupying large swaths of north-western Iraq is simultaneously undermining what is left of a state whose frailty and malfunctions created the environment in which jihadism was able to surge in the first place. This is particularly apparent in the battle for Tikrit, where much of the fighting is by Shiite militias under the guidance of Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders. For residual central authorities in Baghdad to make a comeback at this late stage and rebuild the state, they must reclaim a role in the immediate aftermath of tactical victories in places such as Tikrit by re-empowering local elites, providing services and establishing legitimate local security forces.

Clearing the Landmines from Iraqi Kurdistan’s Future

Kurdish Peshmerga forces stand guard near the town of Makhmur, south of Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan after Islamic State (IS) insurgents withdrew. 18 August 2014.

24 March 2015: When Islamic State jihadis erupted onto the Iraqi scene, they revealed the total fragmentation of the country’s political system. The military reaction that followed has prompted new problems, including foreign intervention that is deepening partisan divisions. In this blog, Crisis Group's Middle East and North Africa Director Joost Hiltermann looks at how Iraqi Kurds responded to the IS surge and discusses a possible long-term strategy against IS while strengthening Kurdish autonomy.

Managing Nigeria’s Election Tensions


24 March 2015: On 28 March and 11 April, Nigerian's will finally go to the polls to elect a new president. Nnamdi Obasi, Crisis Group's Nigeria Senior Analyst, discusses in this blogpost possible outcomes of the general elections rescheduled for 28 March and 11 April, and how the international community should prepare for post-election unrest that looks increasingly likely. As Nigeria has been so divided in recent years, particularly by the tensions stirred by the elections, whoever wins the presidential vote should recognise that a winner-takes-all approach cannot work and that the best way forward could be a government of national unity.

Nigeria’s Dangerous 2015 Elections


Nigeria’s Dangerous 2015 Elections: Limiting the Violence

21 November 2014: Nigeria’s postponed 2015 general elections, essentially between the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), have been a fierce contest. As Nigeria’s politics has been sliding dangerously towards violence, our last Nigeria report published on November 2014 examines the volatile environment in which electoral preparations are taking place and outlines urgent measures to curb the looming violence.

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