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Smoke and flames are seen following what witnesses said were Israeli air strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 7, 2014. REUTERS

Gaza and Israel: New Obstacles, New Solutions

Middle East Briefing N°39, 14 July 2014

To break the violent impasse, Israel must change its policy toward Hamas and work toward a lasting ceasefire, recognising how much its own stability depends on the stability of Gaza.
Civil Society and the South Sudan Crisis
CRISIS GROUP/Jérôme Tubiana

14 July 2014: The inclusion of civil society in efforts to defuse the South Sudan crisis has so far been fraught. The parties to the conflict (see our recent report South Sudan: A Civil War by Any Other Name) all have their own ideas about what civil society is; and each party tends to believe the most legitimate civil-society representatives are those that think just as it does. Most recently, unresolved questions of what civil society is and what role it should play helped cause the suspension late last month of talks between the major warring parties.

Afghan Elections Statement
Voters hold up their identity cards, as they wait in line at a polling station in Kabul to cast their ballots, 5 April 2014. UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

11 July 2014: Afghanistan has reached a critical moment in the development of its democratic system. In the coming days, the behaviour of the two candidates in the presidential contest – and the conduct of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) – will determine the credibility of what is meant to be the first peaceful handover of power in the country's history.

Conflict Alert: Halting South Sudan's Spreading Civil War
South Sudan

7 July 2014: The war between the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA) government and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) that began in Juba in December and spread to the three Greater Upper Nile states (Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity) is in danger of escalation, including more atrocities and famine. As Crisis Group warned in April, conflict has broken out in Greater Bahr el Ghazal, and rising tensions threaten to drag in the relatively peaceful Equatorian states. The Security Council, in emergency session, should instruct the UN mission (UNMISS) to use its good offices to prevent further cessation of hostilities violations and violence against civilians; establish an international contact group and arms embargo; and better delineate roles between UNMISS and humanitarians on the ground. Concurrently, the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) must better link its stuttering peace process with communal dialogues inside South Sudan and reach out to excluded constituencies.

Crisis Group announces next President & CEO

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

Brussels, 7 July2014: Crisis Group is pleased to announce Jean-Marie Guéhenno will be the organisation’s next President & Chief Executive Officer.

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