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North Kosovo: Dual Sovereignty in Practice

North Kosovo: Dual Sovereignty in Practice

PUBLICATION: International Crisis Group

DATE: 2011.03.14

INFORMATION:http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/europe/balkans/kosovo/211-north-kosovo-dual-sovereignty-in-practice.aspx

The dispute between Kosovo and Serbia is most acute in Kosovo’s northern municipalities. The North has not been under effective control from Pristina for two decades; its sparse and predominantly rural Serb population uniformly rejects integration into Kosovo. Though small and largely peaceful, it is the main obstacle to reconciliation and both countries’ European Union (EU) aspirations. A Kosovo-Serbia dialogue mediated by the EU began on 8-9 March 2011 and is likely over the coming months to look at some of the consequences of the dispute for regional cooperation, communications, freedom of movement and the rule of law. For now, however, Belgrade, Pristina and Brussels have decided that tackling the North’s governance or status is too difficult before more efforts are made to secure cooperation on improving the region’s socio-economic development, security and public order. For some time, the North will remain in effect under dual sovereignty: Kosovo’s and Serbia’s. Kosovo seeks to rid the region of Serbian institutions, integrate it and gain control of the border with Serbia. It is willing to provide substantial self rule and additional competencies as suggested under the Ahtisaari plan, developed in 2007 by the then UN Special Envoy to regulate Kosovo’s supervised independence. But local Serbs see the North as their last stand and Mitrovica town as their centre of intellectual and urban life. Belgrade will continue to use its influence in the North to reach its primary goal, regaining the region as a limited victory to compensate for losing the rest of its former province…

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Myanmar’s Post-Election Landscape

Myanmar’s Post-Election Landscape


PUBLICATION: International Crisis Group

DATE: 2011.03.07

INFORMATION: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/B118-myanmars-post-election-landscape.aspx

The November 2010 elections in Myanmar were not free and fair and the country has not escaped authoritarian rule. Predictably, in such a tightly controlled poll, the regime’s own Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won a landslide victory leaving the military elite still in control. Together with the quarter of legislative seats reserved for soldiers, this means there will be little political space for opposition members in parliament. The new government that has been formed, and which will assume power in the coming weeks, also reflects the continued dominance of the old order with the president and one of the two vice presidents drawn from its ranks and a number of cabinet ministers recycled. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to conclude that nothing has changed. The top two leaders of the former military regime have stepped aside, and a new generation has taken over…

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Yemen between Reform and Revolution

Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (II): Yemen between Reform and Revolution


PUBLICATION: International Crisis Group

DATE: 2011.03.10

INFORMATION: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/iran-gulf/yemen/102-popular-protest-in-north-africa-and-the-middle-east-II-yemen-between-reform-and-revolution.aspx

Even before the popular wave from Tunisia and Egypt reached Yemen, President Saleh’s regime faced daunting challenges. In the north, it is battling the Huthi rebellion, in the south, an ever-growing secessionist movement. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is showing mounting signs of activism. Sanaa’s political class is locked in a two-year battle over electoral and constitutional reforms; behind the scenes, a fierce competition for post-Saleh spoils is underway. Economic conditions for average Yemenis are dire and worsening. Now this. There is fear the protest movement could push the country to the brink and unleash broad civil strife. But it also could, and should, be a wake-up call, a catalyst for swift, far-reaching reforms leading to genuine power-sharing and accountable, representative institutions. The opposition, reformist ruling party members and civil society activists will have to work boldly together to make it happen. The international community’s role is to promote national dialogue, prioritize political and economic development aid and ensure security aid is not used to suppress opposition…

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Flashpoint: Abyei

Flashpoint : Abyei


PUBLICATION: Enough Project

DATE: 2011.03.04

INFORMATION: http://www.enoughproject.org/publications/flashpoint-abyei

The human security situation in the Abyei region of Sudan has rapidly deteriorated in the past week due to renewed violence. Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed through the analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery that buildings consistent with civilian infrastructure appear to have been intentionally burned Maker Abior and Todach villages. Some 100 people in the Abyei region have reportedly died in the clashes to date. According to the humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), tens of thousands of civilians have either been displaced by fighting or fled due to fear of further attacks…

human-rights-watch

Yemen: Excessive Force Used Against Demonstrators

Yemen: Excessive Force Used Against Demonstrators


PUBLICATION: Human Rights Watch

DATE: 2011.03.09

INFORMATION: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/03/09/yemen-excessive-force-used-against-demonstrators

Yemeni security forces repeatedly used excessive, deadly force on largely peaceful protesters in the southern city of Aden in February 2011, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces fired weapons that included assault rifles and machine guns at the protesters, killing at least nine and possibly twice that number, and injuring more than 150, some of them children.

The 20-page report, “Days of Bloodshed in Aden,” documents attacks on protesters in the strategic port city of Aden from February 16 to 25. Human Rights Watch found that police and military forces also chased and shot at protesters trying to flee the assaults. The forces stopped doctors and ambulances trying to reach protest sites, fired at people who tried to rescue victims, and removed evidence, such as bullet casings, from the shooting scenes…

human-rights-watch

Zimbabwe: No Justice for Rampant Killings, Torture

Zimbabwe: No Justice for Rampant Killings, Torture


PUBLICATION: Human Rights Watch

DATE: 2011.03.08

INFORMATION: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/03/08/zimbabwe-no-justice-rampant-killings-torture

The failure of Zimbabwe’s government to investigate and prosecute killings, torture, and politically motivated violence since the 2008 elections is fueling further human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on March 8th.

The 40-page report, “Perpetual Fear: Impunity and Cycles of Violence in Zimbabwe,” examines the lack of justice in several illustrative cases of political killings, torture, and abductions by government security forces and their allies during and after the presidential election run-off in 2008. Human Rights Watch called on Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government to conduct immediate, credible, impartial, and transparent investigations into serious human rights abuses and to discipline or prosecute those responsible, regardless of their position or rank…

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The Right Way to Resolve the Libya Crisis

A Ceasefire and Negotiations the Right Way to Resolve the Libya Crisis


PUBLICATION: International Crisis Group

DATE: 2011.03.10

INFORMATION: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2011/a-ceasefire-and-negotiations-the-right-way-to-resolve-the-libya-crisis.aspx

A complete ceasefire to be followed by negotiations to secure a transition to a post-Qaddafi, legitimate and representative government should be the immediate objectives of the international community’s approach to the Libyan crisis. Military intervention should be viewed as a last resort, with the goal of protecting civilians at risk, and nothing should be allowed to preempt or preclude the urgent search for a political solution.

At the outset of the anti-Qaddafi protests, the international community reacted to widespread abuses against civilians by adopting measures (asset freeze, arms embargo, threat of prosecution of war crimes) which Crisis Group had called for and publicly supported as necessary to prevent a humanitarian disaster. But the situation has since evolved. It is now becoming a full-scale civil war.

In Tunisia and Egypt, the army, by playing a neutral buffer role, was decisive in avoiding civil war and facilitating an orderly resolution of the political crisis. In both countries, the state had an existence independent of the president and his regime, and the army could see that the protesters were opposing the latter but not the state itself. This distinction between state and regime is absent in Libya. Qaddafi built a power structure centered around him and family members and dependent in part on tribal alliances rather than modern structures. As a result, the army and security forces could not remain neutral; they have split between forces loyal to one side or the other. The country also appears to be dividing along tribal and regional lines…

GSPIA

Public lecture: The Fourth Stage of the Arab-Israel Conflict

University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs presents a public lecture: The Fourth Stage of the Arab-Israel Conflict, with Dr. Alan Dowty


DATE: 2011.03.21 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm

LOCATION/LIEU: Desmarais Building, Room 3120, 55 Laurier avenue East

INFORMATION: Email api@uottawa.ca for more information. Registration is not required.

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has passed through three major stages since its origins in nineteenth-century Ottoman Turkey: from a collision between two communities in Palestine, to an interstate conflict between Israel and Arab states, to the re-emergence of the Palestinians as the major actor opposite Israel. Since the turn of the 21st century a fourth stage appears to be emerging, rooted in religious militancy, the rise of non-state actors, and changes in the nature of warfare. This development complicates chances of reaching a two-state settlement of the conflict. The talk will analyze the nature and challenges of the “Fourth Stage” and will also address the impact that recent events in the Middle East might have on the Arab-Israeli peace process.

Alan Dowty is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, and Senior Associate for Middle East Studies of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, at the University of Notre Dame. In 1963-1975 he was on the faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, during which time he served as Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Chairman of the Department of International Relations. Professor Dowty has published widely on the Arab-Israel conflict, Israeli politics, U.S. foreign policy, weapons of mass destruction, international freedom of movement, and international enforcement. He has published over 130 scholarly and popular articles and reviews, and has delivered over 500 public lectures in 19 countries.

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Côte d’Ivoire: Is War the Only Option?


Côte d’Ivoire: faut-il se résoudre à la guerre?


PUBLICATION: International Crisis Group

DATE: 2011.03.03

INFORMATION: http://www.crisisgroup.org/fr/regions/afrique/afrique-de-louest/cote-divoire/171-cote-divoire-is-war-the-only-option.aspx

La Côte d’Ivoire est au bord d’une nouvelle guerre civile. La tragédie ne peut être évitée que si l’Afrique et plus largement la communauté internationale soutiennent fermement le président élu Alassane Ouattara et si ce dernier prend l’initiative de proposer un accord de réconciliation et un gouvernement d’union nationale.

Côte d’Ivoire : faut-il se résoudre à la guerre?, le dernier rapport de l’International Crisis Group examine l’escalade de la violence politique et des confrontations armées depuis que Laurent Gbagbo a refusé d’accepter sa défaite lors de l’élection présidentielle de novembre dernier et s’évertue à conserver le pouvoir par la manipulation des institutions et le recours à la violence. Le rapport indique que la guerre est imminente, comme en témoignent les affrontements entre les forces armées et les milices de Gbagbo et les anciens rebelles des Forces nouvelles à Abidjan et dans l’ouest du pays, près de la frontière avec le Liberia…

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South Sudan’s Militias

South Sudan’s Militias


PUBLICATION: Enough Project

DATE: 2011.03.04

INFORMATION:http://www.enoughproject.org/files/SouthSudanReport.pdf

South Sudan’s remarkably peaceful referendum momentarily assuaged concerns about violence in the region, but outbreaks of intense fighting in Jonglei on February 9 and 10 that left hundreds dead, and in the flashpoint town of Malakal on February 4, provide stark reminders of the tensions that remain. This report, based on extensive interviews conducted in Upper Nile state in January and February 2011, provides an overview of the state of play among South Sudan’s militias, which continue to be a critical challenge to securing a peaceful separation between North and South Sudan, and to the formation of a stable new state.

One reason why the referendum took place relatively peacefully in flashpoint regions was the concerted effort on the part of the South Sudanese government to reconcile with breakaway militia leaders beforehand. The olive branch that was offered appeared to be accepted by a number of key militia leaders. But just weeks after the announcement of the South’s overwhelming preference for secession, intense fighting broke out once more, amid allegations of support from Khartoum for the dissidents.

Significant hurdles remain before peace in South Sudan can be assured for the long-term. Any future peace agreements between the South Sudanese government and dissident elements will face serious challenges in their implementation and remain vulnerable to security threats from spoilers—both from Khartoum and from splintering within the militias themselves. Operationally, integrating militia members into the SPLA is complex and will come at a long-term cost for a government that must eventually reduce the size of its military and disarm its civilian population…