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Migrants sit on the open cargo of pick-up trucks, holding wooden sticks tied to the vehicle to avoid falling from it, as they leave the outskirts of Agadez for Libya, from where they will try to reach Europe, 1 June 2015. AFP/Issouf Sanogo

The Central Sahel: A Perfect Sandstorm

Africa Report N°227, 25 June 2015

The Sahel’s trajectory is worrying; poverty and population growth, combined with growing jihadi extremism, contraband and human trafficking constitute the perfect storm of actual and potential instability. Without holistic, sustained efforts against entrenched criminal networks, misrule and underdevelopment, radicalisation and migration are likely to spread and exacerbate.

A Truth Commission for Colombia


9 June 2015: As they move toward a final peace agreement, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have agreed to form a truth commission. Announced as the two sides met in the Cuban capital in talks aimed at ending Latin America’s longest war, the initiative, which is to be independent and impartial, will be implemented once the long-awaited peace agreement has been signed.

See the Spanish version of this blog post to read Crisis Group’s Storify on the issue.

Islamic State Threatens Central Asia
Tajikistan commander Gulmurod Khalimov, chief of Tajikistan’s paramilitary police unit (OMON), appeared on an ISIS propaganda video released on 27 May 2015.

8 June 2015: The appearance of Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov in an Islamic State (IS) propaganda video on 27 May has sent a chill across Central Asia. The head of Tajikistan’s Special Assignment Police Unit (OMON), a key element in President Emomali Rahmon’s security apparatus, had disappeared shortly before. A trained-in-Russia-and-America veteran of brutal Tajik government operations, Khalimov has the qualifications. And Tajikistan, a desperately poor country ruled by a venal elite, is a vulnerable target. In this blogpost, Crisis Gorup's Central Asia Project Director, warns that if other security figures in Central Asia follow Khalimov’s lead, the bill to pay could be steep, and there will not be credit left to pay it with.

Nepal’s Political Faultlines
A man walks along the street near a collapsed house following Saturday's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal 1 May 1 2015. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

26 May 2015: Nepal's earthquakes have ripped apart the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and the landscape in which they live, but they could also open up Nepal’s political and diplomatic faultlines. International Crisis Group worked regularly on Nepal from 2003-2012, publishing 33 reports in the period leading up to and following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the country’s decade-long civil war. Since 2012, Crisis Group has maintained a watching brief on the country. In this log-form essay, Anagha Neelakantan, who was deputy director of Crisis Group's Asia program until 2013, described the political consequences of the Earthquake and advises that the reconstruction efforts have to be handled with care, if the humanitarian disaster is not to presage dangerous political confusion.


Eritrea Briefing, August 2014  

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