A controversial referendum in Central African Republic could allow President Faustin-Archange Touadera to run for a third term. International media has focused on the role Russia, Rwanda and CAR’s other international partners play in the political standoff. But ultimately local actors will determine if Touadera succeeds or fails.
War & Conflict Archive
It makes sense that a continent that is home to 54 countries and 1.2 billion people would also house many contradictory developments. Africa features several of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a burgeoning middle class. But much of the continent remains mired in debt, burdened by conflict and beset by elites clinging to power.
After weeks of mounting pressure for the West to deliver heavy tanks to support Kyiv’s war effort, German Leopards, U.S. Abrams, British Challengers and more are now heading to Ukraine. While all of them will be helpful to a degree, the Leopards will be particularly vital and should be the focus of Western efforts.
Over the past decade, the use of smartphones to check the latest news updates has become the first reaction of many people to crisis. But as debates over the lessons that militaries can learn from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have shown, the fragmented nature of digital information flows can distort perceptions of events.
Last year was a strange mix of chaos and continuity for the United Nations. Yet, despite the general rancor between the West and Russia, a lot of U.N. business ground on much as before. Now, U.N. officials and diplomats remain uncertain if the months ahead will involve more chaos or more business-as-usual. Three questions stand out.
The ADF, regarded as an Islamic State affiliate, claimed responsibility for a bomb attack at a church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Jan. 15 that killed at least 17 people and wounded 39 more. It’s the latest high-profile incident in Congo’s eastern region, where a complex security challenge threatens regional stability.
The Russia-Ukraine war will drag on for some time more, but it will end someday. So, what will that ending look like? It’s appalling to think that Ukraine should ever grant anything to Russia in order to end the war. But in all likelihood a deal ending the war will be brokered, with both sides making concessions.
The political and humanitarian crises that have sent Venezuela into a death spiral for the past several years has now spilled over into neighboring countries and become a flashpoint in international affairs. But the protracted fight for control of the country has only meant additional suffering for its citizens. Is there any end in sight for Venezuela’s crisis?
Vladimir Putin has worked diligently to thwart any threat to his rule from liberal critics, using intimidation and exile to clear his left flank. The real threat to his hold on power, and to the cohesion of the Russian state, now comes from active and outspoken players on the far right with their own battle-hardened militias.
Throughout the EU’s history, the “Franco-German engine” has been viewed as central to European integration. But Germany’s weakness on defense means that European strategic autonomy hinges on France’s ability to develop close partnerships with other member states, similar to the Franco-German engine, but in the realm of security.
Libya remains stuck in an intractable crisis, as efforts by the United Nations Support Mission there have so far failed to bridge the divide between the internationally recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, or GNU, and its rival, the Sirte-based Government of National Stability, or GNS.
In early January, the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. And a once unthinkable meeting between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Assad is now also in the works. Clearly, 2023 has begun with the momentum for normalizing ties with the Assad regime growing.
What drives the disproportionate amount of aid going to Ukraine compared to crises outside Europe? One answer often given is racial bias, because many Ukrainians are white Europeans. But geographical proximity and Western publics’ perception of the nature of this particular crisis could also be playing a role.
The Syrian civil war that has decimated the country for more than decade, provoking a regional humanitarian crisis and drawing in actors ranging from the United States to Russia, has been drawing inexorably to a conclusion for years now. President Bashar al-Assad, with the backing of Iran and Russia, has emerged militarily victorious from the conflict, which began after his government violently repressed civilian protests in 2011. But is the crisis in Syria really over?
Last year, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio warned before the outbreak of war in Ukraine that a full-scale invasion would force Japan’s hand on supporting economic and political efforts to isolate Moscow. Since then, Japan’s opposition to the war in Ukraine has only sharpened, with a lasting impact on bilateral relations.
The process leading to Kevin McCarthy’s election as speaker of the House lent itself to jokes, but it could have serious negative consequences. The debacle placed U.S. national security in jeopardy in the short term. It is also a bad omen for the functioning of the U.S. government, and for the world, over the next two years.
The war in Ukraine took a significant turn this week with the announcement that France is sending tanks to Ukraine, something that NATO members, including the U.S. and U.K., had long resisted. The move comes amid concerns that a Republican-controlled Congress in the U.S. may significantly cut aid to Ukraine.