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塔吉克斯坦预警:内部压力和外部威胁
塔吉克斯坦预警:内部压力和外部威胁
Averting Violence around Nigeria’s 2019 Elections
Averting Violence around Nigeria’s 2019 Elections
Photo shows Tajik border guards checking identification documents of people crossing the Tajik-Afghan border on a bridge across the Panj River outside the city of Panj, August 2010. AFP PHOTO
Briefing 78 / Europe & Central Asia

塔吉克斯坦预警:内部压力和外部威胁

塔吉克斯坦如今正处于危险的重负之下——因其受暴力、腐败和经济困难所扰,苦其与阿富汗边境之漫长而不安全。拉赫蒙总统的专制破坏了1997年签署的和平协议,并助长了境内伊斯兰激进主义的发展。随着其国家愈加脆弱、且或波及周边列国,塔吉克斯坦应成为冲突预防中的优先对象。

概述

塔吉克斯坦数中亚贫困之最;于内于外,它都面临着巨大的压力。埃莫马利•拉赫蒙总统23年以来的统治充满了暴戾、问责制的缺失、腐败和大规模的移民返乡。劳工转汇和贩毒是国家收入的主要来源。他对宗教和反对派的控制——包括禁止温和的塔吉克斯坦伊斯兰复兴党(IRPT)——则助长了民怨。塔吉克斯坦与阿富汗所接壤的边境线长达1400公里,而沿线的安全即使在在最佳时期也难以保持一致;此外,阿富汗北部局势日益不稳,且中亚武装分子在此地和塔利班结盟,并对塔吉克斯坦、吉尔吉斯斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦造成了新的威胁。俄罗斯对塔吉克斯坦的支持是区域安全的一个重要组成部分,但莫斯科方面对塔吉克斯坦内部反对拉赫蒙一事则愈感担忧。欧盟和美国对塔吉克斯坦政府的影响甚微,但欧美、俄罗斯以及其他的国家却都应对拉赫蒙的领导方向、国家失败的风险和伊斯兰极端分子乘机而入的可能性保持警惕。

1997年的和平协议仅是掩盖了——但并为解决——其残酷内战后产生的紧张局面;而这一协议亦正在被瓦解。和平协议的核心是让伊斯兰复兴党能在议会中代表战争反对派,然而在2015年3月那场充斥着违规的选举后,拉赫蒙剥夺了该党的议会席位;同年8月拉赫蒙禁止了其参会权;并于9月宣布伊斯兰复兴党为恐怖主义组织。伊斯兰复兴党的命运和该国对宗教表达的限制都充满体现了塔吉克斯坦对政治多元化的蔑视。腐败和任人唯亲之行径四处蔓延,而这似乎在向伊斯兰主义者和世俗公民传递着一个信息:任何试图挑战拉赫蒙的政治进程都会被终止。

2016年5月,时任特警部队头领的Gulmurod Khalimov将军投诚了叙利亚的伊斯兰国(IS);他的叛变则揭露了安全部队精英内部的分裂,也暗示着拉赫蒙可能不再知道谁才值得被信任;同时这也反映了伊斯兰中暴力激进教派在塔吉克斯坦境内与日俱增的吸引力。拉赫蒙总统对此的回应主要是谈论他劫后余生之想,而非试图扭转民众对政府已在政治上和道德上破产的看法。

塔吉克斯坦的经济已陷入瘫痪,而俄罗斯的经济低迷更是雪上加霜;这是因为劳工汇款占塔吉克斯坦国内生产总值的40%以上,与此同时,在2015年,有三十至四十万劳工因就业难而返回故土。然而,如此恶劣的经济环境实则基本上是由政府一手所致:多年的地方性腐败榨干了当地企业,发展援助所产生的影响亦是寥寥无几。同时,来自阿富汗的毒品走私日益增多。尽管塔吉克斯坦获得了来自俄罗斯、欧盟和美国的资助和技术援助,其边境安全问题仍充满不确定性;这则一方面是出于塔吉克斯坦多山的地理环境,而另一方面则是因为非法贸易已腐蚀了塔吉克斯坦的安全结构。

鉴于其存在的问题,塔吉克斯坦应当被国际社会列为冲突预防的优先对象。尽管务实性对策应将重点放在防止进一步的压制、并鼓励在2020年拉赫蒙任期结束之时进行有序的政权交接之上,但在考虑政策之时,国际社会也应将塔吉克斯坦将持续暴戾——且其视正规政治进程于无物的——独裁制度的风险考虑在内。在经济危机和政治停滞的压力下,国家力量会被进一步削弱;这或许对边界问题的影响不大,但国家于内于外的脆弱或会导致不稳定,并最终对边界问题产生影响。边界安全薄弱使得塔吉克斯坦沦为伊斯兰武装分子夺取中亚其他地区的中转站。乌兹别克斯坦边境实力虽比较强大,但与吉尔吉斯斯坦相比则又显得薄弱。

对俄罗斯、由莫斯科领导的集体安全条约组织(CSTO)中的其他成员国,和中国——其不安宁的新疆省与塔吉克斯坦接壤,且长达414公里——而言,无论何种成因导致的塔吉克斯坦国家失败都将是个头疼的麻烦。集体安全条约组织的成员国身份以及俄罗斯在塔吉克斯坦的驻军都可被视为对入侵的威慑力量,然而集体安全条约组织却尚未能经实战考验。乌兹别克斯坦、吉尔吉斯斯坦和哈萨克斯坦,在维护塔吉克斯坦的和平与安全方面,都有着明确的利益,它们应优先保护各自与塔吉克斯坦接壤处的安全,而非仅仅关注塔阿边界的问题。

俄罗斯、欧盟和美国应当为增进边界和平提供支持。在参与该地区政治——包括正式的安全和人权对话框架——的过程中,欧盟及其成员国和华盛顿都应强调政治压迫、侵犯人权和长期不稳定性之间的紧密关系。俄罗斯、联合国和其他助力达成1997年和平协议的国家——包括美国和伊朗在内,则都应督促拉赫蒙为维持可持续稳定而遵守原则。否则,在北阿富汗和伊斯兰武装力量的煽动下,塔吉克斯坦和国际社会都将无力阻止昨日区域纷争的重现。

比什凯克/布鲁塞尔,2016年1月11日

Commentary / Africa

Averting Violence around Nigeria’s 2019 Elections

As election preparations get underway in Nigeria, conflict and insecurity in many parts of the country risk exacerbating intercommunal tensions and preventing a peaceful transfer of power. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018 annual early-warning update for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its members states to remain fully engaged during the election in order to curb violence and strengthen the country’s democratic institutions.

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2018 – Third Update.

Nigeria will hold national and state elections in February and March 2019. The presidential contest will pit incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against veteran politician and former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). A credible and peaceful vote could strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and help curb the violence blighting parts of the country. Yet Nigeria’s polls are traditionally fraught contests. Over 800 people died in post-election violence in 2011. Next year’s vote will take place amid conflict and insecurity in parts of the country that impede planning and deepen divisions among communities. Acrimony between the two major parties has delayed legislation and funds for the elections, which threatens to derail their smooth administration and raise risks of violence. Misgivings over the impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), particularly among the opposition and in the southern states, and concerns over the neutrality of security agencies could also contribute to disputes before and after polling.

Concerted, sustained international attention helped limit violence during the 2015 elections and was crucial to the peaceful transfer of power. The 2019 vote is likely to demand similar engagement. The European Union (EU) and its member states should:

  • Urge President Buhari to ensure that relevant offices of the executive speedily release all funds dedicated to INEC and the security agencies, urgently work with the National Assembly to approve the amended electoral bill and establish the Electoral Offences Commission (the body that will sanction electoral violations);
     
  • Call on all political parties to stop inflammatory rhetoric, subscribe to and respect the revised Code of Conduct for Political Parties – a voluntary instrument governing the behaviour of parties and their supporters;
     
  • Press parties to establish national, regional, ethnic and inter-faith forums in which candidates and their supporters publicly commit to peaceful campaigning and establish channels of communication and contingency plans to respond to inter-party violence;
     
  • Support the work of the National Peace Committee, a group of eminent Nigerians committed to mediate electoral disputes, to bring together the presidential candidates, especially President Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, to sign an accord ahead of the polls and publicly pledge to avoid violence, accept the election results or pursue grievances peacefully through lawful channels;
     
  • Create a diplomatic forum in Abuja to coordinate messaging of Nigeria’s foreign partners to President Buhari, political parties, candidates and security agencies, calling on them to act lawfully to prevent and mitigate violence and establish a high-level international working group, spearheaded by prominent statespersons with sway in Nigeria, that could intervene in the event of any major electoral crisis;
     
  • Deploy an observer mission with a long-term presence to monitor the campaign, voting, counting and results tabulation;
     
  • Consider threatening to impose travel and economic sanctions against political and other leaders engaging in or encouraging violence;
     
  • Urge and, if necessary, provide support to INEC to intensify its public education campaigns, particularly to encourage voters to collect their permanent voter cards and to exercise their franchise.

“Win or Die” Politics and a Tight Presidential Contest 

Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives polls are scheduled for 16 February 2019, in what will be Nigeria’s sixth round of national elections since the transition from military to civilian rule in 1999. Voting for 29 governors (seven are elected at other times) and House of Assembly (state legislature) members in all 36 states follow on 2 March.

Of the 91 political parties registered to contest the vote, two are dominant – the ruling APC and the opposition PDP, which held power for sixteen years until Buhari assumed office in 2015. The presidential election will likely be a close race between Buhari and the PDP’s candidate, Abubakar, who was vice president from 1999 to 2007. That it will pit two candidates from the north against one another tempers some risks. Were Buhari to lose to a southern candidate, many northerners might have felt short-changed (according to informal power-sharing arrangements, the Nigerian presidency is supposed to rotate around different regions and alternate between north and south; because the northern president before Buhari, Umaru Musa Yar Adua, passed away while in office, southerners have held the presidency for almost three out of every four years since 1999). That said, it remains unclear how either of the two candidates and their supporters will respond to losing.

Fraught relations between the two major parties, based not on ideological differences but largely on the struggle to capture power and access to state resources, pose several challenges. Disputes between President Buhari and leaders of the two houses of Nigeria’s legislature, who both defected from the APC to the PDP in July 2018, seriously delayed the legislature’s approval of funds for INEC and security agencies (though that approval has now been granted and Buhari should press relevant ministries to quickly release funds). Frosty relations also are continually stalling much-needed amendments to electoral legislation. The failure to adopt those reforms, particularly to enshrine in law the use of electronic card readers intended to curb fraud, would jeopardise the transparency of and confidence in polls, and heighten risks of post-election disputes.

Voters are sharply divided between Buhari’s supporters who believe his government is fighting corruption and delivering on its 2015 pledges, and those of Abubakar, who largely view Buhari’s performance as a catalogue of failed promises. Increasingly acrimonious exchanges between the parties, aggravated by hate speech, including from some party leaders, and fake news (particularly in social media), are progressively charging the atmosphere. A tight contest, with the candidates running neck-and-neck, would increase incentives to rig and to use violence to suppress the vote in rivals’ strongholds.  A close result, particularly one with no outright winner in the first ballot (a candidate needs 25 per cent of votes in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states to avoid a run-off), would significantly heighten the risk of violence.

Power struggles and resentments in several states could lead to heavy clashes among supporters of politicians and parties as elections approach.

As in the past, parties and candidates are approaching the elections with a “win or die” mindset, largely because of the huge financial rewards associated with holding political office in Nigeria. Recent state governor elections, particularly in Ekiti and Osun states, saw many instances of abuse of incumbency, widespread vote buying and other illegal voter inducements, dissemination of fake news and hate speech on social media, and acts of violence, as widely reported in the Nigerian media and also by election monitors. Incidents of political thuggery are likely to increase, with some candidates threatened with abduction and even rape of their relatives.

Local power struggles also threaten bloodshed in several states. In Kano state, former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (now a senator) has been in a fierce battle with his former deputy, incumbent Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. In Rivers state, a long-running rivalry between former Governor Rotimi Amaechi and incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike is compounded by local grievances within each of the three senatorial districts. Similar power struggles and resentments in several states could lead to heavy clashes among supporters of politicians and parties as elections approach.

Election Preparations and Institutional Neutrality

Building on its successful administration of the polls in 2015, INEC has taken important steps to further improve election preparations, notably by formulating its first Strategic Plan (2017-2021) to guide its work from an early stage. But its efforts face multiple challenges. Foremost among them are delays in finalising the legal framework for the vote, largely the result of the friction between the executive and legislature.

For instance, INEC remains uncertain whether several provisions in earlier versions of the electoral reform bill, which were intended to improve election administration and transparency, will be retained in the final bill that is still stuck between the federal legislature and President Buhari. This continuing uncertainty undercuts preparations for the polls. In addition, INEC’s commendable drive to increase voter participation has registered some 14 million new voters since 2015. But 10 million of them have not collected the cards they need for voting. The enthusiasm of many Nigerians who registered for the first time after the successful 2015 elections appears to have waned, with many now too apathetic to pick up their voter cards.

INEC and security agencies responsible for the elections also face questions regarding their independence and neutrality, though little evidence of bias has been produced. The fact that INEC’s leader, along with those of the police, domestic intelligence agency and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), are all northerners like Buhari – though from different states and with no direct ties to the president – has fuelled conspiracy theories, particularly in the PDP’s southern strongholds, about plans to manipulate the election’s outcome in Buhari’s favour. PDP stalwarts view actions of the EFCC and police, for example, as favouring Buhari’s ruling party and aimed at intimidating opposition leaders and charge these bodies with partisanship. That Abubakar is also a northerner helps counter these perceptions to some degree, but does not fully allay the opposition’s fears of institutions leaning in the APC’s favour, particularly in governorship and legislative contests. Such fears increase the likelihood of disputes and potentially violence. 

Security Challenges

Election preparations are taking place amid complex security challenges that are overstretching the Nigerian security forces. The long-running Boko Haram insurgency still plagues parts of the north east. While the fourteen local administrative units held by Boko Haram in early 2015 have been recaptured by government forces, some areas, especially in Borno state, remain under the group’s control or vulnerable to attacks. One branch of Boko Haram, calling itself the Islamic State of West Africa Province, has regrouped and in recent months launched a series of attacks, including on military targets in Borno.

Herder-farmer violence, which claimed over 1,300 lives in the first six months of 2018, has ebbed over the past few months. But tensions in parts of the north central and north eastern zones (particularly Benue, Plateau, Taraba and Adamawa states) continue. As of January 2018, the north central zone accounted for about 15 per cent of registered voters nationwide. Politicians are already exploiting herder-farmer frictions to mobilise support and divide communities. Similarly, while recent military operations have curbed rural banditry in Zamfara state in the north west, the area remains unstable.

General insecurity across the country (especially kidnapping for ransom) poses another challenge. With youth unemployment rate rising to an unprecedented 33 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, a higher number of youth are now vulnerable to recruitment into militias. As in previous elections, politicians can mobilise and arm youths – many already organised in criminal gangs and so-called “cults”, whose members are bonded by blood oaths and other rituals – to attack and intimidate opponents. This, coupled with the continuing influx of illegal arms (two major seizures were recorded in May and July) and the circulation of weapons from some of the country’s conflict zones, has created a more perilous environment ahead of next year’s polls.