President Paul Biya has proposed a national dialogue aimed at resolving the Cameroonian government’s conflict with Anglophone separatists. But the mooted dialogue will include neither separatists nor, it appears, other important English-speaking constituencies. Biya should allow greater Anglophone participation and neutral facilitation for the dialogue.
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Democratic Republic of Congo
The UN General Assembly kicks off on 17 September amid general scepticism about the world body’s effectiveness in an era of rising great-power competition. But the UN is far from paralysed. Here are seven crisis spots where it can make a positive difference for peace.
Talks about ending Burundi’s crisis – sparked by the president’s decision to seek a third term – have fizzled out. With elections nearing in 2020, tensions could flare. Strong regional pressure is needed to begin opening up the country’s political space before the balloting.
A deal to end six years of war in the Central African Republic could come unglued if not strengthened. The government should hold signatory armed groups accountable to criteria for improved behaviour and back local peace initiatives. Neighbours should push armed groups to cease provocations.
Les tensions croissantes entre le gouvernement, les chercheurs d’or et la population teda du Tibesti font craindre une escalade sécuritaire au Nord du Tchad, dans un contexte régional fragile. Les autorités devraient desserrer l’étau autour de la localité de Miski, éviter les discours réducteurs et rechercher le dialogue.
Après vingt mois d’affrontements, Yaoundé et les séparatistes campent sur leurs positions. Entre la sécession voulue par les séparatistes et la décentralisation en trompe-l’œil que propose le gouvernement, des solutions médianes doivent être explorées pour conférer plus d’autonomie aux régions.
Les relations entre une frange de la jeunesse sahélienne et le gouvernement tchadien se détériorent, ce qui risque de nourrir les insurrections tchadiennes hors des frontières. Pour y remédier, les autorités devraient lutter contre l’impunité, y compris s’agissant des proches du pouvoir, et éviter les amalgames entre émigration et rébellion.
[In Burundi] the government is pushing back on international pressure, trying to convince international actors that everything is alright. Meanwhile, its population is suffering in silence.
[President of DR Congo] Tshisekedi's swearing-in is often sold as selling out democracy in favor of stability. But it’s pragmatic and based on developments on the ground.
Seeking the leadership of the Francophonie is clearly part of Rwanda's goal for a greater continental and global role.
We are not yet in a civil war [in Cameroon], but all the ingredients for a potential civil war are already assembled.
Russia is intensifying its relationships in Africa and [the Central African Republic] is one of their entry points. The government is weak so it’s an easy target.
The main issue for Ambazonian groups [in Cameroon] is that they really lack finance. If they had money to buy weapons, train and feed their people, they could raise an army.
President Paul Biya has proposed a national dialogue aimed at resolving the Cameroonian government’s conflict with Anglophone separatists. Arrey E. Ntui, Crisis Group Senior Analyst for Cameroon, explains the reality on the ground in Anglophone areas and offers recommendations on how the government can make efforts to resolve the crisis.
African heads of state should press Burundi to open the political space, in particular letting opposition politicians campaign freely and safely and allowing in international observers, in order to prevent a reprise of past violence or worse.
Originally published in The East African
On 20 May prominent opposition leader and businessman Moïse Katumbi returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo from exile. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Deputy Project Director for Central Africa Nelleke van de Walle discusses the possible impact on Congolese politics, five months after Felix Tshisekedi’s controversial election as president.