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Middle East & North Africa

Yemen: Is Peace Possible?

Middle East Report N°167, 9 February 2016

yemen-9feb16

Yemen's outlook is bleak. It is crucial that the opposing blocs and their regional allies commit to a political process to resolve the conflict, but there is no end in sight. The immediate priority should be an agreement on humanitarian aid and commercial goods for areas where civilians are under siege.

Recent Reports

Yemen: Is Peace Possible?, Middle East Report N°167, 9 Feb 2016

Yemen's outlook is bleak. It is crucial that the opposing blocs and their regional allies commit to a political process to resolve the conflict, but there is no end in sight. The immediate priority should be an agreement on humanitarian aid and commercial goods for areas where civilians are under siege.

Iran After the Nuclear Deal, Middle East Report N°166, 15 Dec 2015

Some in the West hope the nuclear deal with Iran will empower the country’s moderates. But playing Iranian domestic politics directly could backfire. The West should recognise that any change will be gradual, best supported by implementing the nuclear accord, resuming trade, and diplomacy that balances Iranian and Arab interests in the Middle East.

The Prize: Fighting for Libya’s Energy Wealth, Middle East and North Africa Report N°165, 3 Dec 2015

The imminent collapse of Libya’s economy could impoverish millions, foster chaos and more radicalisation. At the heart of Libya’s misery is frenzied competition for control over the country’s oil resources. Ongoing UN-led talks should urgently prioritise economic governance, local ceasefires and armed defence of oil facilities.

Algeria and Its Neighbours, Middle East and North Africa Report N°164, 12 Oct 2015

Algeria has emerged as an indispensable broker of stability in North Africa and the Sahel. But, especially as it enters a generational transition in domestic politics, it needs better strategies to deal with financial pressures, a neighbourhood in turmoil, cross-border jihadi threats, and ongoing tensions with France and Morocco. It should also resolve a presidential succession that is paralysing institutions.

New Approach in Southern Syria, Middle East Report N°163, 2 Sep 2015

Syria’s civil war is stuck in a vicious cycle, and the U.S. is best placed to change the appalling status quo. Washington should take advantage of opportunities in southern Syria to launch a new policy to improve the chance of a political settlement, chiefly by deterring regime aerial attacks on rebel-held civilian areas.

No Exit? Gaza & Israel Between Wars, Middle East Report N°162, 26 Aug 2015

Both Israel and Hamas recognise that another war is only a matter of time if Gaza’s fundamental problems are not addressed: the economy is a shambles; the acting government lacks the ability to collect or otherwise obtain the revenue necessary to pay salaries and provide services; and most residents cannot access the outside world.

Reform and Security Strategy in Tunisia, Middle East and North Africa Report N°161, 23 Jul 2015

Tunisia’s security apparatus is dysfunctional, at once fragmenting, asserting authority over democratic institutions, and failing to block significant jihadi advances. Without a comprehensive new strategy including reform of Tunisia’s internal security forces, the country will continue to stumble from crisis to crisis, and to​ swing between chaos and renewed dictatorship.

Lebanon’s Self-Defeating Survival Strategies, Middle East Report N°160, 20 Jul 2015

Lebanon is surviving internal and regional strains remarkably well, but this resilience has become an excuse for tolerating political dysfunction. If the Lebanese political class does not take immediate steps like holding long-overdue elections, fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law, its complacency will only make an eventual fall harder and costlier.

The Status of the Status Quo at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, Middle East Report N°159, 30 Jun 2015

Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade remains at the epicentre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With the holy month of Ramadan underway and the Jewish high holidays soon to follow, tensions are likely to increase. Calming the conflict’s symbolic core requires more support for the site’s status quo, including Palestinian participation and encouraging religious dialogue.

עברית

Arming Iraq’s Kurds: Fighting IS, Inviting Conflict, Middle East Report N°158, 12 May 2015

The US-led coalition’s military assistance to Kurdish forces against the Islamic State (IS) is inadvertently accelerating intra-Kurdish fragmentation. The West should coordinate its aid better, build upon Iraqi Kurdistan’s past efforts in transforming its peshmergas into a professional military, and encourage Kurdish coordination with Iraq’s central government in the fight against IS.

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Latest Translations

Iran After the Nuclear Deal
Middle East Report N°166
Now available in Arabic
The Prize: Fighting for Libya’s Energy Wealth
Middle East & North Africa Report N°165
Now available in Arabic
New Approach in Southern Syria
Middle East & North Africa Report N°163
Now available in Arabic
Algeria and Its Neighbours
Middle East & North Africa Report N°164
Now available in Arabic