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Middle East & North Africa

Tunisia’s Elections: Old Wounds, New Fears

Middle East and North Africa Briefing N°44, 19 December 2014

A policeman stand out a school turned in a polling station during the country's first post-revolution presidential election in Tunis on November 23 2014.

Tunisia’s presidential election highlights the multiple divides that trouble the country and region. Unless the winner governs as a truly national leader, representing all Tunisians and not just his base, current tensions could escalate into violence.

Recent Reports

Tunisia’s Elections: Old Wounds, New Fears, Middle East and North Africa Briefing N°44, 19 Dec 2014

Tunisia’s presidential election highlights the multiple divides that trouble the country and region. Unless the winner governs as a truly national leader, representing all Tunisians and not just his base, current tensions could escalate into violence.

Iran Nuclear Talks: The Fog Recedes, Middle East Briefing N°43, 10 Dec 2014

When twelve months of intense negotiations between Iran and the P5+1/EU3+3 ended with yet another extension, sceptics saw this as confirmation that the talks are doomed. But it would be as grave a mistake to underestimate the real progress as to overstate the chances of ultimate success. A landmark agreement is still within reach if both sides adopt more flexible postures on enrichment capacity and sanctions relief.

Toward a Lasting Ceasefire in Gaza, Middle East Briefing N°42, 23 Oct 2014

To achieve a durable ceasefire, not only must Israel significantly change its policy toward Gaza, but, no less importantly, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation must take further steps to implement their reconciliation agreement in order to enable reconstruction and stabilise daily life in the Strip.

Tunisia’s Borders (II): Terrorism and Regional Polarisation, Middle East and North Africa Briefing N°41, 21 Oct 2014

The growing link between cartels and armed jihadi militants along Tunisia’s borders with Algeria and Libya, combined with heightened ideological polarisation, could form an explosive mix ahead of Tunisia’s legislative and presidential elections.

Bringing Back the Palestinian Refugee Question, Middle East Report N°156, 9 Oct 2014

With Palestinians increasingly doubtful that the refugee question can be resolved within a two-state framework, the Palestinian leadership should seek to reinvigorate refugee communities as well as to reclaim its representation of them. When diplomacy emerges from its hiatus, the leadership will be able to negotiate and implement a peace agreement only if it wins refugees’ support or at least acquiescence. 

Rigged Cars and Barrel Bombs: Aleppo and the State of the Syrian War, Middle East Report N°155, 9 Sep 2014

Syria is sliding toward unending war between an autocratic, sectarian regime and the even more autocratic, more sectarian jihadi group that has made dramatic gains in both Syria and Iraq. Without either a ceasefire in Aleppo or greater support from its state backers, the mainstream opposition is likely to suffer a defeat that will dash chances of a political resolution for the foreseeable future.

Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”, Middle East Briefing N°40, 27 Aug 2014

November’s deadline could be the last chance to avoid a breakdown in the Iran and the P5+1 nuclear talks. Compromise on Iran’s enrichment capacity is key to ending the impasse, requiring both sides to walk back from maximalist positions and focus on realistic solutions.

Gaza and Israel: New Obstacles, New Solutions, Middle East Briefing N°39, 14 Jul 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.

Iraq’s Jihadi Jack-in-the-Box, Middle East Briefing N°38, 20 Jun 2014

The jihadi surge is the tragic, violent outcome of steadily deteriorating political dynamics. Instead of a rash military intervention and unconditional support for the Iraqi government, pressure is needed to reverse sectarian polarisation and a disastrous record of governance.

The Huthis: From Saada to Sanaa, Middle East Report N°154, 10 Jun 2014

Continued fighting between Huthis and their various opponents could lead to a major conflagration, further undermining the Yemen’s troubled political transition.
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Latest Translations

Iran Nuclear Talks: The Fog Recedes
Middle East Briefing N°43
Now available in Farsi
La Tunisie des frontières (II) : terrorisme et polarisation régionale
Middle East and North Africa Briefing N°41
Now available in English
Bringing Back the Palestinian Refugee Question
Middle East Report N°156
Now available in Arabic
Toward a Lasting Ceasefire in Gaza
Middle East Briefing N°42
Now available in Arabic
Rigged Cars and Barrel Bombs: Aleppo and the State of the Syrian War
Middle East Report N°155
Now available in Arabic