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  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In late March 2007, arrests by Densus 88, the police counter-terror unit, netted seven detainees in Central and East Java (an eighth was killed); a huge cache of explosives and weaponry; and documents that seemed to suggest a new military structure for Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the region's largest jihadist organisation. The arrests followed directly from information obtained from operations in Poso, Central Sulawesi, in late January.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Taiwan, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Fourteen years of negotiation, led alternately by the UN and Russia, have done little to resolve the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. There have been some successes on the ground: ceasefire violations are rare, approximately 45,000 internally displaced (IDP) Georgians have returned to homes in the Gali region, the two sides cooperate on operating the Inguri power plant, and a strategic railway through Abkhazia may restart. But the sharp deterioration in Russian-Georgian relations and a Georgian military adventure in the Kodori valley have contributed to a freeze in diplomacy over Abkhazia since mid-2006. In the absence of a new initiative, new violence is a real possibility. Because prospects are bleak for an early comprehensive settlement of the key political issues, in particular final status, the sides and international facilitators should shift their focus in 2007 to building confidence and cooperation in areas where there are realistic opportunities.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Georgia, Abkhazia
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: UN Security Council Resolution 1701 halted the month- long fighting between Israel and Hizbollah but did little to resolve the underlying conflict and, if poorly handled, could help reignite it. The resolution has held remarkably well, with only limited violations. However, the temptation by either party to overreach could trigger renewed fighting. The greatest threats would be attempts by Israel or UN forces (UNIFIL) to use 1701 as a blunt means of disarming Hizbollah in the south or by Hizbollah to test UNIFIL's resolve. 1701 should be seen as a transitory instrument that can stabilise the border by containing both sides' military impulses until bolder action is taken to address both domestic Lebanese matters (reforming and democratising the political and electoral systems; building a strong sovereign state and army; resolving the question of Hizbollah's armaments) and, especially, regional issues (in particular re-launching the Syrian track and engaging Iran). In short the international community must be modest in implementing 1701 for as long as it is not prepared to be ambitious in its regional diplomatic efforts.
  • Topic: Security, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Security is the core challenge for new President René Préval and the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSTAH). Violence and impunity, rooted in the state's weakness, are pervasive, especially in Port-au-Prince. Haiti's five- month-old government must confront the illegal armed gangs, break the international crime/political power at ports and borders and cope with rising drug trafficking and kidnapping. Armed gangs and criminals, including elements of the Haitian National Police (HNP), perpetrate the violence but it is also fostered by the worst poverty in the Western Hemisphere. Dismantling the gangs and pursuing serious police reform are critical to every broader goal of the new administration, from education reform, infrastructure, private sector investment, jobs and agriculture to governance.
  • Topic: Security, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Central America, Haiti
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Bangladesh faces twin threats to its democracy and stability: the risk that its political system will founder in a deadlock over elections and the growing challenge of militant Islamism, which has brought a spate of violence. The issues are linked; Islamic militancy has flourished in a time of dysfunctional politics, popular discontent and violence. The questions of whether Bangladesh's traditional moderation and resilience will see it through or whether escalating violence and political confrontation could derail its democracy are vital ones. Serious instability in the world's third most populous Muslim country could not fail to have wider implications. The situation does not justify great anxiety about the outbreak of major conflict domestically or the nurturing of significant extremism and terrorism internationally but there are elements of fragility in the system which need close watching and engagement. The international community can help to address the graver risks but only if it takes Bangladesh seriously as a strategic partner and moves towards more mature political engagement.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Indonesian police are closing in on Noordin Mohammed Top, South East Asia's most wanted terrorist. In a dramatic pre-dawn raid on 29 April 2006 in Wonosobo, Central Java, they shot and killed two members of his inner circle and arrested two others. If and when they capture Noordin, they will have put the person most determined to attack Western targets out of commission. But the problem of Noordin's support structure will still have to be tackled.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The legacy of “losing” Timor-Leste (East Timor) continues to haunt Indonesia, affecting attitudes toward Aceh and Papua, heightening suspicions about foreign intervention, complicating relations with Australia and perpetuating fears for territorial integrity. Despite this legacy, the shared land border has been mostly peaceful: the policy focus there should be as much on establishing the infrastructure for legal trade as on improving security.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Australia, Southeast Asia, Papua
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Instability in the South Caucasus is a threat to European Union (EU) security. Geographic proximity, energy resources, pipelines and the challenges of international crime and trafficking make stability in the region a clear EU interest. Yet, the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflicts have the potential to ignite into full-fledged wars in Europe's neighbourhood. To guarantee its own security, the EU should become more engaged in efforts to resolve the three disputes. It can do so by strengthening the conflict resolution dimension of the instruments it applies. As the EU is unlikely to offer membership to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan even in the medium term, it must identify innovative means to impose conditionality on its aid and demonstrate influence. This is a challenge that Brussels has only begun to address.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Azerbaijan, Georgia, South Caucasus, Brussels
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Pakistan government's ill-planned and poorly executed emergency response to the October 2005 earthquake highlighted the inadequacies of authoritarian rule. As the government now embarks on three to four years of reconstruction and rehabilitation, the absence of civilian oversight and inadequate accountability and transparency could seriously undermine the process. Should jihadi groups that have been active in relief work remain as involved in reconstruction, threats to domestic and regional security will increase.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: There is growing concern that the short postponement UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari announced in November 2006 for presentation of his Kosovo final status proposals to take account of Serbia's 21 January elections may not be the last delay in a process that now could extend into the second half of 2007. Nervous Kosovo Albanian leaders worry they may not be able to contain public pressures beyond March. With Russia's position hardening and Serbia as obstinate as ever, EU unity is vital – but far from assured – to keep the status process on track, first in the small Contact Group that has managed Kosovo affairs since 1999, then in the Security Council where ultimate decisions should be made.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The North Korean nuclear standoff entered an even more troubling phase with Pyongyang's test of a nuclear device on 9 October 2006. Condemnation was nearly universal, and the UN Security Council moved quickly to pass Resolution 1718 unanimously less than a week later. The test stirred China to take an unusually strong line against its ally, joining UN sanctions and dispatching a senior envoy to Pyongyang. On 31 October, after talks in Beijing with the U.S. and China, Pyongyang agreed to return to the six-party talks. The resumption of a diplomatic process is welcome but will likely face the same pitfalls as earlier rounds in which progress was undermined by a lack of clear understandings between North Korea and the U.S. While the six-party talks are a useful forum, resolving the nuclear issue will also require committed bilateral negotiations that address in detail North Korea's security concerns and U.S. demands for complete disarmament and intrusive verification. China's strong response may prove to be a major new factor pressing North Korea to offer more concessions in the talks, but only if the U.S. is prepared to set the table with a far more specific and appetizing menu than it has thus far.
  • Topic: Security, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After the indiscriminate killing of civilians by Uzbek security forces in the city of Andijon in 2005, the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on the government of President Islam Karimov. EU leaders called for Uzbekistan to allow an international investigation into the massacre, stop show trials and improve its human rights record. Now a number of EU member states, principally Germany, are pressing to lift or weaken the sanctions, as early as this month. The Karimov government has done nothing to justify such an approach. Normalisation of relations should come on EU terms, not those of Karimov. Moreover, his dictatorship is looking increasingly fragile, and serious thought should be given to facing the consequences of its ultimate collapse, including the impact on other fragile states in Central Asia such as Kyrgyzstan.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Germany
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Somalia has been drifting toward a new war since the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was formed in late 2004 but the trend has recently accelerated dramatically. The stand-off between the TFG and its Ethiopian ally on the one hand, and the Islamic Courts, which now control Mogadishu, on the other, threatens to escalate into a wider conflict that would consume much of the south, destabilise peaceful territories like Somaliland and Puntland and possibly involve terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries unless urgent efforts are made by both sides and the international community to put together a government of national unity.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A potent cocktail of poverty, crime and corruption is fuelling a militant threat to Nigeria's reliability as a major oil producer. Since January 2006, fighters from a new group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), have fought with government forces, sabotaged oil installations, taken foreign oil workers hostage and carried out two lethal car bombings. MEND demands the government withdraw troops, release imprisoned ethnic leaders and grant oil revenue concessions to Delta groups. The Nigerian government needs to forge far-reaching reforms to administration and its approach to revenue sharing, the oil companies to involve credible, community-based organisations in their development efforts and Western governments to pay immediate attention to improving their own development aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As all eyes are turned toward efforts to stabilise Iraq, the conflict that has been percolating in Kirkuk remains dangerous and dangerously neglected. That struggle is equal parts street brawl over oil riches, ethnic competition over identity between Kurdish, Turkoman, Arab and Assyrian-Chaldean communities, and titanic clash between two nations, Arab and Kurd. Given the high stakes, the international community cannot afford to stand by, allowing the situation to slip into chaos by default. It needs to step in and propose a solution that addresses all sides' core concerns without crossing their existential red lines. The most viable negotiated outcome, which a special UN envoy should mediate between leaders of Kirkuk's communities as well as representatives of the federal government and the Kurdish federal region, would rest on the following provisions: Postponing the constitutionally-mandated referendum on Kirkuk's status which, in today's environment, would only exacerbate tensions; Designating Kirkuk governorate as a stand-alone federal region falling neither under the Kurdish federal region nor directly under the federal government for an interim period; Equitable power-sharing arrangements between Kirkuk's four principal communities; and continued reversal of past abuses, including managed return of those who were forcibly displaced by previous regimes; facilities and compensation for those brought by previous regimes (including their offspring) who agree to leave voluntarily; resolution of property disputes via the established mechanism; and a process by which former Kirkuk districts can either be restored to Kirkuk governorate or remain where they are.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kurdistan, Kirkuk
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Muslim-majority region of southern Thailand continues to experience a relatively low-level insurgency but a state of emergency imposed on three provinces is no solution to the conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives since January 2004. The decree has deepened mistrust of the security forces, worsened public discontent with the government's approach to the insurgency and heightened the risk of human rights abuses. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra should take immediate steps to moderate the decree or risk plunging the area into worse violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: More than two years into the transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the peace process remains at risk. As many as 1,000 people a day still die from war-related causes -- mainly disease and malnutrition, but also continuing violence. While the main belligerent leaders are all in the transitional government, their corruption and mismanagement threaten stability during and after the forthcoming national elections, now postponed from June 2005 to March 2006. The international community needs to maintain pressure on a wide front, making specific security sector reform, transitional justice and good governance measures prerequisites for the elections, not allowing them to be postponed until there is a new government.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the wake of a second terrorist attack on Bali, the need to understand Indonesia's violent jihadist networks is greater than ever. Two incidents in May 2005 -- the execution of paramilitary police in Ceram, Maluku, and the bombing of a market in Tentena, Poso -- offer case studies of how those networks are formed and operate. Weakening the networks is key to preventing further violence, including terrorism. In Maluku and Poso, sites of the worst communal conflicts of the immediate post-Soeharto period, one place to start is with programs aimed at ex-combatants and imprisoned mujahidin due for release. These men are often part of networks that extend beyond the two conflict areas, but if they can be "reintegrated" into civilian life, their willingness to support mujahidin elsewhere in Indonesia and engage in violence themselves might be lessened. Addressing broader justice and security issues would also help.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The international community has properly decreed that Kosovo's final status must not involve division of its territory. But this declaration has not been followed by sufficient action. Belgrade's policy of pursuing some form of partition is far advanced in the restive northern city of Mitrovica and its hinterland, and a major security, political and financial effort is required to save the situation. Capacity should be built immediately, and its implementation should begin once the Contact Group has declared its support for Kosovo's future as a functional, conditionally independent state within its present borders.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Massive technical, political and security obstacles must be overcome very quickly or Haiti's elections -- municipal and local in October, parliamentary and presidential in November -- will have to be postponed. In particular the UN mission (MINUSTAH), other international actors and the transitional government need to move faster at registering voters, persuading the failed state's citizens that the exercise is meaningful, and disarming both urban gangs and former military. Otherwise, turnout is likely to be unsatisfactory, credibility of the outcome will suffer, and the government's legitimacy will be in question.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The report analysis the UN's role in the provision of four different forms of security – national, societal, human and environmental security – both in general terms and with regard to Africa. It also contacins brief surveys of the UN's collaboration with regional and subregional organisations and of envisaged UN reforms.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the present report, the focus is placed on the European Union (EU) and its security policy. It commences with some context-setting, i.e. with clarifying the EU's place in the global and European security “architecture” and its relations with the United Nations, the OSCE and NATO, finding the latter to be more controversial than suggested by official declarations. It then proceeds with the analysis of the EU, finding its main contribution to regional security to be related to what the EU is and represents rather than to what it is andre presents rather than to what it is does. An analysis of the latter, i.e. the directly security-related institutions and activities of the EU under the auspices of the CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy) and the ESDP (European Security and Defence Policy) is also provided as well as an account of the “neighbourhood” programmes of the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: HIV/AIDS prevention and conflict prevention should go hand in hand. They are the two blades of the scissors required to cut the strangler's cord choking Africa. Some 2.5 million Africans will die of AIDS in 2004. One in four African countries presently suffers from the effects of armed conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization, Poverty, War
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In February 2004, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the major insurgent group, announced creation of a three-member negotiation commission and a "diplomatic offensive" aimed at obtaining the release of hundreds of its imprisoned members in exchange for about 60 military and political hostages it holds. This has raised hope among the relatives of hostages and kidnap victims that a "humanitarian exchange" could happen in the not too distant future.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Liberia is a collapsed state that has become in effect a UN protectorate. Whether its political and economic reconstruction can begin depends on how quickly security spreads throughout the country. Squabbles over jobs by leaders of the armed factions have caused near-paralysis in the transitional government. Faction leaders tried to block disarmament until they received more jobs, boding ill for the peace process. The display of cynicism and greed by fighters and political leaders alike has undermined international confidence ahead of the donors' conference that meets in New York, 5-6 February 2004.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Liberia
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: When delegates to Afghanistan's Constitutional Loya Jirga assemble in Kabul on 13 December 2003, they will begin debating and ultimately deciding upon a draft document that is intended to establish a strong presidency while accommodating the other dominant figures at the country's centre. It is a constitution, however, that for the most part would fail to provide meaningful democratic governance, including power-sharing, a system of checks and balances, or mechanisms for increasing the representation of ethnic, regional and other minority groups. The manner in which the draft has been prepared and publicised, as well as its content, raise serious questions about whether it can become the first constitution in Afghanistan's history to command genuinely deep popular support and, therefore, contribute to national stability.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Kabul
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: More than five decades after independence, Pakistan is no closer to a resolution with India of the dispute over Kashmir. Pakistan and India have fought three wars, two of them over the status of Kashmir. They have been on the brink of war on several other occasions, including in Siachen in 1987 and in Kargil in 1999. From December 2001 to October 2002, the nuclear-armed protagonists came close to war once again when India mobilised along its international border with Pakistan following the terrorist attack on the parliament in New Delhi. Intense diplomatic and political pressure by the U.S., in coordination with other G-8 countries, averted what could have been a catastrophic clash.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Regional Cooperation, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia, India, Kashmir, New Delhi, Islamabad
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: For half a century Kashmir has been the major issue of contention between India and Pakistan. In India's view, the conflict in the state of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a major internal security threat and is driven by Pakistani interference. No solution is possible, according to the Indian leadership, until Pakistan ceases its support for militants there.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Kashmir, New Delhi
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While its roots predate Indian and Pakistani independence, the Kashmir conflict's current directions can best be understood in the light of the nationalism and state building that followed the end of British colonial rule. Domestic factors, including the imperatives of regime legitimacy and consolidation, remain important influences in both countries.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Kashmir
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: For the foreseeable future, Iraq's security will be in the hands of Coalition forces. As a result, how the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) chose to deal with the country's former military and how it is now going about starting up a new army may not have immediate security implications. But both courses have decisive political implications, and both appear, at a minimum, to have been poorly thought out and recklessly implemented. They heighten the risk that the Sunni population will be further alienated, that the military will be perceived as a prolongation of, rather than a substitute for, the occupation and that, far from helping to forge a new collective national identity, it will become an arena for renewed internal political, sectarian and ethnic conflict. A significant course correction is required in order to lay the foundations for a stable, and stabilising, indigenous security structure.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics, Sovereignty, Population
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Albanian-majority Presevo Valley in southern Serbia is one of the few conflict resolution success stories in the former Yugoslavia. Yet tensions linger, and a series of violent incidents in August and September 2003 demonstrated that the peace can still unravel. Serbia's stalled reform process is preventing the political and economic changes that are needed to move forward on many critical issues in the area, and there is a general sense among local Albanians that peace has not delivered what it promised: an end to tensions with Serb security forces and prosperity.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: With the signing on 25 September 2003 of a framework agreement on security arrangements, the Sudanese government and the insurgent Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLA) are closer to peace than at any time in the past twenty years. However, considerable hurdles remain before any final deal is signed, and a separate, intensifying war in the west already threatens to undermine it. As the parties press forward with the last phases of negotiation, the international community's engagement should intensify in support of the final deal, in preparation for helping with implementation if successful, and in ensuring coordination between the main peace process and the conflict in the west.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Ethnic Conflict, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Sudan, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: More than any of his predecessors, President Alvaro Uribe has made combating the insurgents the overriding priority and defining objective of the Colombian government. Through modest achievements on the ground a sense of public security has begun to be re-established. However, Uribe's "Democratic Security Policy" (DSP), the long-term strategy promised to lend coherence to the security effort, has been stalled for nearly a year by political infighting and fundamental arguments over how best to bring the 40-year conflict to a close. Without some serious modifications, it is doubtful that it will achieve its goal.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: "The war is not yet over", an ICG mission to Côte d'Ivoire repeatedly heard in November 2003. There are ominous signs that the Côte d'Ivoire peace process initiated in January 2003 has broken down. If the country goes back to war, it could well take all West Africa with it, endangering even recent progress in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The UN Security Council needs to take a leading role in the peace process, initially by upgrading its current presence to a full peacekeeping mission. This could include subsuming some 1,400 West African troops under the umbrella of an expanded operation. The UN should also step up cooperation between its ongoing peace operation in Liberia and its Ivorian peace mission, MINUCI.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Liberia, Sierra Leone
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi, a courageous human rights lawyer, has focused renewed attention on the deep divisions and tensions within Iran. How these work out, and how Iran defines its role in the world, will have a critical impact on a range of wider security issues, from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the future of nuclear non-proliferation.
  • Topic: Security, Demographics, Development, Economics, Politics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Recent events require that policymakers revise substantially the conventional assessment that Macedonia is the foremost political “success story” of the Balkans. In fact, it is an underperforming post-conflict country still very much at risk, unable to tackle – operationally or politically -- its security challenges without upsetting an uncertain ethnic balance. Clear-eyed analysis of the dynamics driving unrest, from criminality and weak policing to an equally weak economy and corruption, is needed if a country that narrowly avoided war in 2001 is to secure long-term stability. Specifically, Macedonia cannot yet safely do without the presence of an international security force.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans, Macedonia
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Eighteen months after the rupture of peace talks between its predecessor and the main insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Uribe administration has entered upon a high risk-high gain negotiating process with the main paramilitary group, the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), that will test its skill and its good faith.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A new Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), former Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri, has taken up his post at the helm of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). While UNMIK is in its fourth year, the current period is one of the most sensitive since the war. The province's elected Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) are gradually gaining more responsibility, and final status discussions are approaching. However, recent security incidents, including the killings of a UN police officer and two Kosovo Serb teenagers in August 2003, are a stark reminder that stability is not yet deep-rooted. Frustration is growing with the poor state of the economy and the delay of the international community in addressing status. In the midst of these challenges, the crucial relationship between UNMIK and the PISG has become dangerously strained. Holkeri will need to come quickly to terms with the legacy of confrontation and tension left by his predecessor, Michael Steiner, and instil in his team a new attitude of respect for PISG and a reflex for consultation rather than unilateral action.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This ICG report argues that it is paramount that much more decisive action be taken immediately to confront Colombia's humanitarian crisis. Massive human hardship and suffering has become a constant feature of life as the armed conflict has expanded and intensified. The government's humanitarian policy has encountered many difficulties, largely because of the magnitude of the crisis, the lack of state capacity, the reluctance to divert fiscal resources from military to social programs, and the wide gap between policy planning and reality.The launching of the Inter-agency Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) by the UN in 2002 reflects a growing international awareness that more coordinated and effective action is urgently needed. But even more needs to be done, including achieving better coordination between the government and humanitarian organisations and increasing current levels of international humanitarian aid.
  • Topic: Security, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Migration
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The reformist zeal displayed by the Serbian government following the 12 March 2003 assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic appears to have dissipated. A number of important and positive steps were taken while the shock of that political murder was still fresh. Increasingly, however, their impact is being counterbalanced by actions that bring into question the government's ability to press decisive political and economic reforms home so as to achieve the goal of integration with wider European institutions.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In late April 2001, lethal provocations by elements of Algeria's National Gendarmerie triggered protracted and deadly rioting in Kabylia. That the unrest from Kabylia's Black Spring continues to this day reflects the political system's nation-wide failure to adopt reforms that address its deficit of democratic representation. Neither the regime, nor the Kabyle political parties nor the so-called "Coordinations" that lead the protest movement in the region has to date proposed a serious formula for ending the impasse. The recent invitation by the new head of the government, Ahmed Ouyahia, to the protest movement to engage in dialogue over its platform is a welcome, if belated, development. But more will be needed to enable the Algerian polity to resolve what is much more a national problem than the local or ethnic disturbance it is often mistakenly portrayed as.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In June 2001, ICG wrote of the situation in Aceh: “The military solution is certain to fail as long as the security forces are incapable of exercising the degree of control and discipline over their troops necessary to prevent behaviour that alienates ordinary Acehnese”.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While the Colombian armed conflict has deep roots in history, increasingly it is fuelled by the inflow of weapons, explosives and chemical precursors and financed by an outflow of drugs. The tentacles of instability criss-cross the 9000 kilometres of land and water that separate Colombia from and link it to its five neighbours, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela and Panama. Those borders are largely uncontrolled, and the Colombian government has stepped up its demands for fuller regional cooperation. The neighbours are greatly reluctant, partly because of internal crises and partly because of their view of the conflict. Yet, Colombia needs more help from them to make progress in ending that conflict, while peace in Colombia would give them a better chance to solve their own serious domestic problems.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Colombia, South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In successive incidents over eight days in November 2002, the city of Maan in the south of Jordan was the scene of intense armed clashes between security forces and elements of the Maani population. What began as a routine police operation rapidly escalated into incidents in which thousands of police, soldiers, and special forces fought militants in and around the town before subduing them. The clashes left six dead, many more wounded, over 150 arrested for questioning or prosecution, and property destroyed. As of early February 2003, over 45 people remained in custody and several others were still being sought.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Arabia, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Emerging slowly from decades of civil war, Angola stands at a crossroads between a spectacular recovery or further cycles of instability and crisis. The government that won the fighting must now move on a number of fronts – with international support – to win the peace.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Welfare, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Angola
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 3 November 2002, an unmanned U.S. “Predator” aircraft hovering in the skies of Yemen fired a Hellfire missile at a car carrying a suspected al- Qaeda leader, four Yemenis said to be members of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, and a Yemeni- American who, according to U.S. authorities, had recruited volunteers to attend al-Qaeda training camps. All six occupants were killed. Almost two months later, three American missionaries were shot and killed in the Yemeni city of Jibla. These incidents, only the latest in a series involving Yemen, reinforced its image as a weak and lawless state with porous borders, a sanctuary for al-Qaeda operatives, a country with tenuous government control over vast parts of its territory and dominated by a culture of kidnappings and endemic violence. The October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, the arrest earlier in 2002 of several Yemenis in the United States and Pakistan suspected of membership in the al-Qaeda network, the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibah, a Yemeni citizen accused of being a key plotter of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the U.S., and the attack on the French oil tanker Limburg in October 2002 have all contributed to this perception. Indeed, during the past year, the U.S. has sent special forces to Yemen and neighbouring countries, with the purpose of pursuing presumed members of the al-Qaeda network and associated organisations in Yemen.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Yemen, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Alvaro Uribe was inaugurated President of Colombia on 7 August 2002 with a strong electoral mandate to fulfil his pledge to enhance the state's authority and guarantee security. In his inaugural address, Uribe promised to search for a negotiated solution to the long-standing armed confrontation with both insurgent groups, the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as well as with the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC). However, in stark contrast to his predecessor, Andrés Pastrana, he conditioned new negotiations on a ceasefire and complete suspension of hostilities.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 10 March 2002, little more than two weeks after the end of the peace process with the insurgent Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC), Colombians elected a new House of Representatives and Senate. Despite heightened apprehension among the electorate and the government about violent interference by the guerrilla and paramilitary organisations, the polls took place in an atmosphere of relative calm and good order. In part this was due to the large-scale deployment of military and police forces across the country to guarantee voter security.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As this briefing paper went to press, all eyes were on the United States and United Nations, the weapons inspectors, war preparations and the Iraqi regime's posture toward them. Yet, as has been true throughout this crisis, the unknown variable in the equation is the view of the Iraqi population. Living under a highly repressive and closed regime and bereft of genuine means of expression, the Iraqi people have largely appeared to the outside world as passive bystanders in a crisis that is bound to affect them more than anyone else. Speculation about how Iraqis view the current crisis has varied widely, with assessments often tailored to buttress political arguments regarding the wisdom of a U.S.-led war.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Arabia, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As the Indonesian-led investigation proceeds, the Bali attack on 12 October 2002 looks more and more like the work of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). But what exactly is Jemaah Islamiyah and how does it operate? It is one thing to describe, as many have by now, a network of Islamic radicals extending across Southeast Asia, led by Indonesian nationals, with a loose structure characterised by four territorial divisions known as mantiqis that cover peninsular Malaysia and Singapore; Java; Mindanao, Sabah, and Sulawesi; and Australia and Papua respectively.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Asia, Australia, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Papua