Latest Articles

Salvaging Somalia's Chance For Peace

Published: 2002
On 27 October 2002, Somali political leaders gathered in the Kenyan town of Eldoret signed a new declaration that envisages an end to the protracted crisis in their country. After more than a decade as the only country in the world totally devoid of a functioning central government and no less than twenty unsuccessful national-level peace initiatives since 1991, the Eldoret Declaration has raised...

Negotiating a Blueprint for Peace in Somalia

Published: 2003
The peace process in Somalia is at a critical point. Talks that began with great promise are in danger of collapsing unless the mediators, the international community and the Somali factions themselves provide stronger leadership. The Somali public's flagging interest and support for the process needs to be revived, and improvements are required in the negotiating process or the parties will...

Biting the Somali Bullet

Published: 2004
Over thirteen years after the collapse of the Siad Barre regime, Somalia remains the only country in the world without a government, a classic example of the humanitarian, economic and political repercussions of state collapse, including a governance vacuum that terrorist groups can take advantage of for safe haven and logistical purposes. If peace is to be attainable, the regional Inter-...

Somalia-Continuation of War by Other Means?

Published: 2004
The declaration, in Kenya, of a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in October 2004 was heralded as a breakthrough in Somalia's protracted crisis of statelessness and civil strife. But the peace process has gone largely downhill since then. The Transitional Federal Parliament's choice for interim president, Colonel Abdillahi Yusuf Ahmed, is divisive and controversial. To many Somalis...

Peace in Northern Uganda-Decisive Weeks Ahead

Published: 2005
The eighteen-year insurgency in Northern Uganda by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)[1] -- whose extreme brutality has displaced 1.6 million people[2] and sparked an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) -- may finally be amenable to resolution. But if peace is to be achievable in 2005, the next few weeks will be decisive. The...

Northern Uganda-Understanding and Solving the Conflict

Published: 2004
For nearly eighteen years the insurgency of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, has produced great suffering in Northern Uganda, including some 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland recently termed the situation among the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. In February 2004, in one of the most...

The Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative- Imperilled at Birth

Published: 2004
The U.S. Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative (BMEI), in preparation since President George W. Bush announced seven months earlier that Washington was adopting a ?forward strategy of freedom? and would no longer accommodate friendly but authoritarian regimes in the region, will be launched at the G-8 summit of major industrialised nations on 8-10 June, then expanded upon at U.S.-...

The Algerian Crisis- Not Over Yet

Published: 2000
Since December 1991, Algeria has been seized by a wave of violence, which achieved, between 1992 and 1998, the status of virtual civil war. That war was fought between, on the one hand, a military-backed regime and, on the other, a complex, clandestine opposition derived from the country?s banned umbrella Islamist movement, the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS ? Jabha Islamiyya li?l-Inqadh). It was...

Sudan's Best Chance for Peace: How Not to Lose It

Published: 2002
On 1 September 2002, two weeks into the second phase of the peace negotiations in Machakos, Kenya, the Sudanese government suspended its participation in the talks being brokered by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). This followed the capture, after a series of battles, of the southeastern Sudanese town of Torit by the Sudan People?s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLA). The...

Sierra Leone- Managing Uncertainty

Published: 2001
The international community is ?cautiously optimistic? about the durability of the peace it has supported in Sierra Leone. There are indeed some reasons for growing optimism. The deployment of a more robust United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the disarmament of almost one half of the combatants, and the extension of government authority to almost all territory not controlled by the...

Shock Therapy for Northern Uganda's Peace Process

Published: 2005
The peace process aimed at ending the eighteen-year old conflict in Northern Uganda is in critical condition because neither the Ugandan government nor the insurgent Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) appears fully committed to a negotiated solution.[1] After the LRA increased its atrocities against civilians in February 2005 and ignored a request to demonstrate its good will, the government...

The Special Court for Sierra Leone- Promises and Pitfalls of a ?New Model?

Published: 2003
Nineteen months after its eleven-year civil war was declared over, Sierra Leone is attempting to bring to justice ?those who bear the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity?. On 10 March 2003, under the codename, ?Operation Justice?, the Special Court for Sierra Leone issued its first public indictments and carried out its first arrests, targeting top commanders of...

Congo Crisis: Military Intervention in Ituri

The district of Ituri, in Oriental Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been the theatre of spiralling violence bordering on genocide that urgently needs to be stopped. A French-led Interim Emergency Multinational Force (IEMF) is being deployed to restore peace and order in the administrative centre - Bunia - and facilitate humanitarian relief. However, this intervention, authorised...

Engaging Problem Countries

Publisher: The Brookings Institution
Published: 2000
U.S. policymakers have normally turned to military force, political and economic sanctions, and covert action in trying to dissuade so-called "rogue states" - notably Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and North Korea - from behavior that the United States finds offensive or counter to its interests. Despite continued reliance on these punitive measures to address issues such as support for...

Islamist Terrorism in the Sahel: Fact or Fiction?

The Sahel, a vast region bordering the Sahara Desert and including the countries of Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania, is increasingly referred to by the U.S. military as "the new front in the war on terrorism". There are enough indications, from a security perspective, to justify caution and greater Western involvement. However, the Sahel is not a hotbed of terrorist activity. A...

Counter-Terrorism in Somalia: Losing Hearts and Minds?

Nearly four years after 9/11, hardly a day passes without the "war on terrorism" making headlines, with Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia and now London holding centre stage. But away from the spotlight, a quiet, dirty conflict is being waged in Somalia: in the rubble-strewn streets of the ruined capital of this state without a government, Mogadishu, al-Qaeda operatives, jihadi extremists,...

The Challenge of Political Reform: Egypt After the Iraq War

This briefing is one of a series of occasional ICG briefing papers and reports that will address the issue of political reform in the Middle East and North Africa. The absence of a credible political life in most parts of the region, while not necessarily bound to produce violent conflict, is intimately connected to a host of questions that affect its longer-term stability.

Somaliland: Democratisation and Its Discontents

Recent developments have made the choice faced by the international community considerably clearer: develop pragmatic responses to Somaliland's demand for self-determination or continue to insist upon the increasingly abstract notion of the unity and territorial integrity of the Somali Republic - a course of action almost certain to open a new chapter in the Somali civil war.

Liberia: Security Challenges

Whether Liberia takes advantage of its best chance for peace in years and West Africa regains stability depends on bold action by the UN, which needs to shape a comprehensive regional security strategy while rapidly building its peacekeeping force up to strength.

Disarmament in the Congo: Jump- Starting DDRRR to Prevent Further War

The Democratic Republic of Congo remains a failed state, occupied by six foreign armies, tormented by militias and unable to meet the most basic needs of its people. The war, which began in August 1998, has not yet ended. The cease fire agreement signed at Lusaka in July 1999 is respected on the conventional front lines, but the underlying causes of conflict remain to be resolved, and people are...

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