Politics in Myanmar is traditionally the domain of older men, but women and youth have been prominent in resistance to the 2021 military takeover. Giving them a bigger voice could have a positive effect on the country's political culture, no matter how the crisis ends.
The African Union has more than a full plate of peace and security issues before it in the coming year. This briefing highlights eight conflict situations where its efforts can be of greatest help.
In a strategic shift, the Malian authorities have turned away from France and chosen Russia as their main military ally. Relations between Bamako and other Western and regional partners are also deteriorating. Mali and its partners should work to rebuild more balanced diplomatic relations.
Authorities are keen to return or resettle the millions of people who fled homes in Borno state, the epicentre of fighting with Islamist militants in north-eastern Nigeria. But risks abound. The government should slow down its effort, focusing on protecting the displaced from further harm.
After nearly eight years of war in Yemen, talks are under way between the Huthi rebels and Saudi Arabia. Yet, by themselves, these discussions cannot bring hostilities to a close. The UN should begin laying the groundwork for negotiations that include all the conflict parties.
Criminal gangs are wreaking havoc in Haiti, nudging public opinion toward accepting the idea of an international force that would help restore security. Outside powers should prepare a mission only with solid backing from the country’s politicians, including their pledges to form a transitional government.
Chadians’ growing use of social media could prove a boon for the country’s political transition, but it could also fuel violence offline. With donor backing, authorities, civil society, online platforms and influencers should work to ensure social media remains a space for democratic debate rather than an accelerator of conflict.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is taking a terrible toll. The Western response nonetheless remains the right one. NATO capitals should continue supporting Kyiv, while avoiding direct conflict with Moscow and keeping the door open to talks.
Barring an eleventh-hour compromise, Lebanon will soon be without a president. An extended vacancy could stall action needed to ease the country’s economic crisis, risking unrest. With outside help, politicians should strive to avert this outcome – and to find ameliorative measures for the interim.
A pre-election standoff between Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina has taken an ugly turn, with rhetoric from the 1990s war reappearing. Ideally, politicians would make the reforms needed to settle the quarrel but, if not, the internationally appointed high representative should do so.
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