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A general views shows the opening of peace talks on September 1, 2014 in Algiers between the Malian government and armed rebels.

Mali: Last Chance in Algiers

Africa Briefing N°104, 18 November 2014

As the last phase of negotiations resumes on 20 November, the Algeria-led talks between the Malian government and the armed groups in the north should not be rushed as they offer a unique opportunity for a sustainable peace agreement.

DNI Clapper’s Rescue Mission to the DPRK
U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, accompanied by his sister Terri, speaks to the media during a news conference, 8 November, 2014.

14 November 2014: On 8 November 2014, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea released U.S. citizens Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller into the custody of James Clapper, the director of national intelligence (DNI), for a return flight to the United States. Bae had been detained for two years after being convicted by a DPRK court for committing “hostile acts against the DPRK”.Bae, a Christian missionary, was suspected of having proselytised against the regime, calling for a “religious coup d’état”. Miller was arrested in April 2014 and convicted in September 2014, also for committing “hostile acts against the DPRK”. Miller reportedly tore up his tourist visa upon arrival at Pyongyang’s Sunan International Airport and asked for political asylum.

Mounting Tensions: Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade
Dome of the Rock shrine, Jerusalem, 4 November 2014

10 November 2014: Violence in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods, and particularly in and around the Holy Esplanade – the focus of a full policy report by Crisis Group later this month – has surged amid a massive crackdown by Israeli police. In recent weeks an assassination attempt against activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick, and the subsequent killing in a police raid of Mutaz Hijazi, the alleged would-be assassin, further escalated tensions. In this Q&A, Ofer Zalzberg, Crisis Group’s senior analyst for the Middle East, discusses the growing controversies concerning the Holy Esplanade.

CAR: The Fate of Refugees in Southern Chad
central african republic, OCHA

10 November 2014: Since the March 2013 coup, the Central African Republic (CAR) crisis has driven approximately 240,000 people from their homes to Cameroon and Chad. This is, of course, not the first time the region has witnessed a refugee crisis. In the last two decades, many Central Africans have sought refuge in Southern Chad from violence perpetrated either by CAR’s infamous presidential guard or by armed groups and bandits. However, the violence in this current conflict, with its deeply worrying intercommunal tensions, could spill into southern Chad itself. Already, the influx of CAR refugees, mostly Muslims, some coming with their cattle to a region mostly populated by farmers, increases competition over natural resources and makes cohabitation between locals and newcomers ever more difficult.

With or Without Compaoré, Times of Uncertainty

UN PHOTO/Marco Castro

31 October 2014: Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaoré has announced his resignation, following violent protests at his attempt to extend his 27-year rule. This Crisis Group report from July 2013, Burkina Faso: With or Without Compaoré, Times of Uncertainty, warned of the dangers if Compaoré failed to manage his departure well, and helps understand today's crisis.

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