Q&A

Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

Curtain Falls on Guatemala’s International Commission against Impunity

President Jimmy Morales has made good on his promise to shut down a UN-backed commission fighting rampant crime and impunity in Guatemala. Though it leaves a vital legacy, the commission’s exit risks strengthening the hand of criminal networks that operate with state complicity.

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Q&A / Asia

Afghanistan Diplomacy Gathers Steam Even as Attacks Increase

This week the Afghan government and Taliban met publicly for the first time – albeit informally – for a peace dialogue. Crisis Group’s Senior Afghanistan Analyst Borhan Osman explains what the talks mean and what may lie ahead.

Crackdown Raises Stakes as Honduran Protesters March On

Ten years after a coup, Honduras remains deeply polarised. Mass protests and the government’s heavy-handed response have damaged the economy and sparked deadly violence. Crisis Group Northern Triangle Analyst Tiziano Breda explains the origins of the intense public discontent that is roiling the country.

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La represión fomenta la inestabilidad en Honduras mientras la protesta continúa

A diez años del golpe de Estado, Honduras permanece profundamente polarizado. Las manifestaciones masivas y la dura respuesta del gobierno han perjudicado la economía y desatado una grave violencia. El analista de Crisis Group para el Triángulo Norte Tiziano Breda, explica los orígenes del intenso descontento popular que está asolando al país.

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Q&A / Africa

Moïse Katumbi’s Return Portends Shifting Alliances in Congolese Politics

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.

The Deadly Political Paralysis behind the Gaza Flare-up

Fighting in Gaza killed 25 Palestinians and four Israelis on 3-6 May. In this Q&A, our Israel/Palestine Analyst Tareq Baconi links the violence to a continuing failure to ease restrictions on Gaza as agreed in a November ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Gaza’s dominant Palestinian group.

Israel’s Upcoming Elections and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israel’s parliamentary elections on 9 April seem set to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu return to lead a fragile, more right-wing coalition, an outcome unlikely to prompt a dramatic change in the country’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza.

Q&A / Global

UN Strengthens Peacekeeping Despite U.S. Scepticism

This Friday, the UN hosts the 2019 Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference, an opportunity for politicians and diplomats to fill gaps in blue helmet missions. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan previews the agenda.

Stopping an Unwanted War in Gaza

As in 2014, Hamas and Israel appear close to a conflagration that neither party desires – though now a shaky ceasefire seems to have taken hold. Crisis Group’s Israel/Palestine analyst Tareq Baconi explains how the parties got to the brink and how they can step back.

Q&A / Africa

Central Mali: Putting a Stop to Ethnic Cleansing

An attack against Fulani communities in the Mopti region on 23 March killed at least 134 people, the latest episode in a series of violent intercommunal clashes. In this Q&A, our Sahel Project Director Jean-Hervé Jézéquel calls on the Malian authorities to curb the spiral of ethnic cleansing. 

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Q&A / Africa

Centre du Mali : enrayer le nettoyage ethnique

Une attaque visant des populations peul dans la région de Mopti a fait au moins 134 morts le 23 mars, dernier épisode d'une série de violences intercommunautaires. Dans ce questions-réponses, notre directeur du projet Sahel Jean-Hervé Jézéquel appelle les autorités maliennes à enrayer l'engrenage du nettoyage ethnique.  

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Algeria’s Pre-election Protests Put Ageing Regime Under Pressure

Protests against Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika have seized the country since he announced his candidacy for a fifth term ahead of the April election. In this Q&A, our analyst Michaël Ayari looks at the causes of an unprecedented uprising and examines future scenarios.

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En Algérie, la rue met le pouvoir face à ses contradictions

Une série de protestations contre « le mandat de trop » s’est emparée du pays depuis l’annonce de la candidature du président Bouteflika à l’élection d'avril. Dans ce questions-réponses, notre analyste Michaël Ayari, de retour d’Algérie, se penche sur les ressorts d’une mobilisation inédite et examine les scénarios possibles.

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A Thaw or a Trap? Nicaragua’s Surprise Return to Negotiations

Nicaragua has launched a second round of national dialogue to negotiate a way out of the political and economic crisis that erupted last year. Both the opposition and international actors should demand results, but avoid the animosity that contributed to the first round’s failure.

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¿Calma después de la tormenta o trampa? El sorpresivo regreso de Nicaragua a las negociaciones

Nicaragua ha iniciado una segunda ronda de diálogo nacional para negociar una salida a la crisis política y económica que estalló el año pasado. Tanto la oposición como los actores internacionales deberían exigir resultados, pero evitar la hostilidad que contribuyó al fracaso de la primera ronda.

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Q&A / Asia

Calming India and Pakistan’s Tit-for-Tat Escalation

Reciprocal airstrikes by India and Pakistan have been accompanied by shelling, troop reinforcements and small arms fire. In this Q&A calling for restraint between the nuclear-armed neighbours, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director Laurel Miller notes that the airspace violations alone were the worst for 50 years.

Q&A / United States

All Eyes on Tangible Results from U.S.-North Korea Summit

The North Korean and U.S. leaders enter their second summit under pressure to achieve concrete progress toward their respective goals, sanctions relief and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Crisis Group Senior Adviser Christopher Green suggests risk reduction measures each side can take.

Q&A / Asia

Deadly Kashmir Suicide Bombing Ratchets up India-Pakistan Tensions

A 14 February suicide attack by Pakistan-based militants was their bloodiest strike in Indian-administered Kashmir in over three decades. In this Q&A, our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller warns that even a limited Indian retaliatory strike could spark a sharp escalation in conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours. 

High Noon over Humanitarian Aid at Venezuela’s Border

Venezuela’s constitutional crisis continues to unfold, with the opposition amassing food and medicine on the borders with the stated intent of turning the military against President Nicolás Maduro, who is refusing the aid. In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Venezuela Phil Gunson explains the standoff.

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El álgido pulso sobre la ayuda humanitaria en la frontera venezolana

La crisis constitucional de Venezuela continúa desarrollándose, con la oposición acumulando alimentos y medicinas en las fronteras y la declarada intención de poner a los militares en contra del presidente Nicolás Maduro, quien se niega a recibir la ayuda. En estas preguntas y respuestas, nuestro analista senior para Venezuela, Phil Gunson, explica el enfrentamiento.

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Q&A / Africa

Winning Back Trust in Nigeria’s Rescheduled Elections

Only hours before polls were to open, Nigeria’s electoral commission postponed elections scheduled for 16 February by one week. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Nigeria expert Nnamdi Obasi says the commission and other authorities must act now to win back trust and reduce risks of violence.

Q&A / Africa

Rebel Incursion Exposes Chad’s Weaknesses

An early February incursion by the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) into Chad from Libya was halted by French air strikes, conducted in coordination with the Chadian army. This most severe security threat for several years highlights the weakness of the country and President Idriss Déby’s rule.

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Q&A / Africa

Au Tchad, l’incursion des rebelles dévoile les fragilités du pouvoir

Une incursion de l’Union des forces de la résistance (UFR) en territoire tchadien depuis la Libye, début février, a été arrêtée par des frappes aériennes françaises, en coordination avec l’armée tchadienne. Cette menace sécuritaire inédite depuis plusieurs années met en relief les fragilités du Tchad et du pouvoir en place.   

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Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine.

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La nueva neutralidad de México en la crisis de Venezuela

Divergiendo de los Estados Unidos y de los demás estados latinoamericanos influyentes, México no ha reconocido la proclamación de Juan Guaidó como presidente de Venezuela y, en cambio, ha abogado por negociaciones para poner fin a la crisis del país. Como lo explica el analista senior de Crisis Group, Falko Ernst, esta posición está arraigada en una nueva doctrina de política exterior mexicana.

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Q&A / Asia

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved.

In Venezuela, a High-stakes Gambit

The Venezuelan National Assembly’s chairman, Juan Guaidó, has declared himself interim president, with the support of several foreign governments. Unless the Venezuelan military backs his move, it is unlikely to topple incumbent President Nicolás Maduro and could unleash greater repression and even outside military intervention.

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Una Táctica de Alto Riesgo en Venezuela

El presidente de la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, se ha declarado presidente interino con el apoyo de varios gobiernos extranjeros. A menos que el ejército venezolano respalde su movimiento, es poco probable que derroque al presidente en ejercicio Nicolás Maduro y podría desencadenar una mayor represión e incluso una intervención militar externa.

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Bogotá Bomb Shatters Peace Talks with Colombia’s Last Guerrillas

After Bogotá’s deadliest bombing since 2003, the government is likely to crack down hard on Colombia’s last guerrilla group, the ELN. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Colombia Kyle Johnson says any new military campaign should distinguish between ELN factions and is unlikely to inflict a lasting defeat on the rebels.

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Q&A / Africa

Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to hike fuel prices has sparked fierce opposition. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Consultant Piers Pigou explains how economic hardship is driving ordinary citizens to unprecedented acts of resistance.

Q&A / Middle East & North Africa

Making Yemen’s Hodeida Deal Stick

On 17 December, the UN announced a ceasefire in the contested governorate of Hodeida. Thus far, after some initial wobbling, it has held. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s senior Yemen analyst Peter Salisbury unpacks the ceasefire and assesses its prospects.

Q&A / Middle East & North Africa

Yemen: Giving Peace a Chance?

Preliminary peace consultations on Yemen are scheduled to start in Stockholm on 6 December. This is the second attempt in three months to jump-start talks. Crisis Group consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Sweden talks are so important and what could go wrong.

Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico’s New President Squares Up to High Hopes for Peace

On 1 December, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will assume Mexico’s presidency. He won pledging to end a drug war that has killed tens of thousands. But, as Crisis Group’s Mexico Senior Analyst Falko Ernst argues, he faces formidable challenges that will make it hard for him to uphold his promises.

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Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

El nuevo presidente de México llega con grandes esperanzas de paz

El 1 de diciembre, Andrés Manuel López Obrador asumirá la presidencia de México. Él ganó prometiendo poner fin a la guerra contra las drogas que ha cobrado la vida de decenas de miles de personas. Pero como argumenta Falko Ernst, analista senior de Crisis Group en México, enfrenta enormes desafíos.  

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Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

A Rising Tide of Murder in Venezuela’s Mineral-rich South

Dead bodies are appearing across the Orinoco river basin of southern Venezuela. In this Q&A, Crisis Group consultant Bram Ebus explains how the killings are linked by jostling among criminals, guerrillas and soldiers for mineral wealth amid the country’s wider socio-economic meltdown.

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Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

Una creciente marea de asesinatos en la zona minera del sur de Venezuela

Cadáveres están apareciendo a lo largo de la cuenca del Río Orinoco en el sur de Venezuela. En estas preguntas y respuestas, el consultor de Crisis Group Bram Ebus, explica cómo los asesinatos están conectados debido a las pugnas entre grupos criminales, guerrilleros y soldados por la riqueza mineral en medio de la mayor crisis socioeconómica del país.

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Q&A / Africa

Uncertainties Deepen in Cameroon after Divisive Election

Cameroon went to the polls on 7 October amid several crises, notably the conflict between the government and Anglophone separatists. Crisis Group’s expert Hans De Marie Heungoup, in Cameroon during the vote, says it has compounded the country’s problems but also offered reason for hope.

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Q&A / Africa

Les incertitudes se renforcent au Cameroun après une élection contestée

Le Cameroun s’est rendu aux urnes le 7 octobre, dans un contexte marqué par plusieurs crises, notamment le conflit entre le gouvernement et les séparatistes anglophones. Selon l’analyste de Crisis Group Hans De Marie Heungoup, présent au Cameroun lors de l’élection, le scrutin a aggravé les problèmes du pays mais a aussi donné des raisons d’espérer.

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Tunisia’s Political Polarisation Worsens after First Big Terrorist Attack in Two Years

A 29 October suicide bombing in the heart of Tunis dealt a blow to much-improved security since the last violent jihadist attacks in 2015-16. In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Tunisia Michael B. Ayari says it has also hammered a new wedge into Islamist-secularist political divides.

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La polarisation politique s’aggrave en Tunisie après le premier attentat d’envergure en deux ans

L’attentat-suicide perpétré le 29 octobre au cœur de Tunis marque un coup d’arrêt à l’amélioration du contexte sécuritaire depuis les dernières attaques jihadistes de 2015-2016. Dans cette série de questions-réponses, notre analyste principal pour la Tunisie, Michael B. Ayari, souligne que cette attaque renforce également les divisions entre islamistes et séculiers.

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Q&A / Asia

Kandahar Assassinations Show Rising Taliban Strength in Afghanistan

The Taliban have claimed the assassination of an influential Afghan police chief and another official in an attack that narrowly missed the head of U.S. forces. Senior Analyst Borhan Osman and Consultant Graeme Smith explain the repercussions for political stability in southern Afghanistan.

Q&A / Middle East & North Africa

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Regional Elections Test a Brittle Status Quo

The fallout continues to settle after Iraqi Kurdistan’s fraught independence referendum one year ago. In this Q&A, our Iraq Senior Adviser Maria Fantappie surveys the political landscape ahead of the first regional legislative elections since the plebiscite.

Q&A / Middle East & North Africa

Is the Yemen Peace Process Coming Back to Life?

The UN special envoy to Yemen has invited the principal parties in the country’s civil war to Geneva for “consultations”. With the war rapidly approaching its fifth year, Crisis Group Consultant Peter Salisbury explains why any such Geneva talks are important and what should happen next.

Q&A / Africa

Land Reform in South Africa: Fact and Fiction

U.S. President Donald Trump touched off a diplomatic row with South Africa by repeating an erroneous broadcast about land reform there. In this Q&A, our Southern Africa Senior Consultant Piers Pigou sets the record straight about the land ownership and expropriation debates that are really underway in South Africa today.

Q&A / Africa

Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections

On 30 July Zimbabwe will hold elections. For the first time since independence Robert Mugabe is not a candidate. His successor presents himself as a reformer – but many doubt the polls will be clean. The opposition warns that Zimbabweans will not tolerate another stolen election.

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