Libya is once again stuck in a standoff between two rival executives. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2022 – Spring Update, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to host consultations among foreign ministers of countries engaged in Libya, push the UN Security Council to appoint a new special representative and encourage the opposing factions to reach agreement on a state budget.
Le régime d’exception instauré en juillet 2021 par le président Kaïs Saïed pourrait faire chavirer une Tunisie déjà en crise. Saïed devrait revenir à un ordre constitutionnel négocié à l’issue d’un dialogue national. Les partenaires internationaux devraient l’y inciter en offrant de nouvelles perspectives économiques au pays.
Discord about how to resolve a political impasse has once more put Libya in danger of fracturing in two. The priorities are for the camps to agree on a way forward and for outside powers to stay united in backing whatever peaceful option Libyans choose.
The fighting in Western Sahara, which broke out again in November 2020, remains of low intensity. Yet outside powers would be wrong to assume that it will not escalate. With U.S. support, the new UN envoy should pursue confidence-building measures that could facilitate negotiations.
Malgré un net déclin de la violence jihadiste en Tunisie depuis 2016, le gouvernement maintient des mesures de lutte contre le terrorisme répressives et trop peu ciblées. Les autorités tunisiennes devraient opérer des réformes dans le domaine de la justice et de la sécurité afin d’éviter une recrudescence de la violence.
Libyan politicians have moved with salutary speed in 2021 to reunify their divided country. With UN help, the new government should hasten to clear two last hurdles: establishing a legal framework for elections and clarity about who holds supreme command of the armed forces.
Clashes have broken out in Western Sahara, ending a 30-year ceasefire between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front. Fighting could intensify absent outside help. The UN should fill its empty special envoy post, while the U.S. leads international efforts to restart diplomacy.
Egypt is something of a special case vis-a-vis the West because of both its robust relations with Russia and being a key US partner in the Middle East.
None of the foreign actors backing the two Libyan sides want to compromise the rekindled dialogue for the sake of launching a war in Libya against the other side.
In the long term, the [Western Sahara] independence movement's diplomatic margin of maneuver is getting ever more narrow.
Israel's alliance with Morocco could mean that in the long-term Rabat becomes militarily superior to Algiers and dominant in the region.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood talks to Crisis Group’s Turkey expert, Nigar Göksel, about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent trip to Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Turkey’s involvement in conflicts in Syria, Libya and the Caucasus, and its wider foreign relations.
Tunisia faces multiple economic and social challenges following the suspension of parliament and the dismissal of the prime minister. This current state of emergency could fuel political turmoil and violence in the country. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2022, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to maintain bilateral cooperation with Tunisia and offer further economic incentives.
Originally published in World Politics Review
On 29 October, the UN Security Council will vote on the UN mission in Western Sahara’s renewal. Following last year’s resumption of hostilities and the appointment of a new envoy, Council members should signal their commitment to relaunching negotiations and an even-handed approach to the conflict.
Hugh Pope is joined by North Africa experts Intissar Fakir and Riccardo Fabiani to ask whether Morocco holds a winning hand in its conflict with the pro-independence Polisario Front in Western Sahara as Europe looks on timidly, wary of direct challenges to the regional power.