A rarely seen occurrence happened in Europe this week: a humbled China apologized to Europe, after the country’s ambassador to France questioned the sovereignty of post-Soviet countries. It has renewed the conversation about what could happen if Europe, armed with a unified China policy, went toe-to-toe with Beijing.
In a rare move, China’s Foreign Ministry has publicly distanced itself from statements made by a sitting ambassador after the PRC’s top envoy in Paris, Lu Shaye, suggested that none of the former Soviet republics are recognized under international law. His remarks sparked outrage in several European countries.
Sudan has been gripped by violence since fighting broke out just over a week ago between rival military factions vying for control in Khartoum. With the situation deteriorating, the plight of civilians has been in the spotlight, but protective infrastructure is scarce. For Sudanese civilians, the only option has been “self-protection.”
More than 300 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in the week since intra-regime fighting among Sudan’s military rulers broke out in Khartoum. In addition to creating a humanitarian crisis in Khartoum, the conflict now risks drawing in regional actors, with potential fallout for neighboring states.
A week of fighting in Sudan between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group, has left more than 300 people dead and thousands more injured. The violence is now spreading to other parts of the country, raising fears of a wider conflict that could destabilize the already delicate Horn of Africa region.
Tensions are mounting in Brussels after four EU member states unilaterally banned grain imports from Ukraine. The moves are technically illegal, as trade policy can only be set at the EU level. But the Eastern European countries in question are panicking over a glut of grain that is starting to have domestic political consequences.
For years, Russia analysts have tried to make sense of President Vladimir Putin’s rule by reaching for comparisons with key moments in Russian history. Yet a more useful approach than looking to Russian history would be to compare the Putin regime with similar regimes over the past 70 years in Egypt, Pakistan and Yemen.
Could a coalition of non-Western countries find a pathway to peace between Russia and Ukraine? Brazilian President Lula da Silva talked up this prospect on a visit last weekend to Beijing. Along with China’s own 12-point “position paper” on ending the war, that has focused attention on non-Western powers’ potential to broker peace.
Ten years after France launched its military intervention in Mali to oust jihadist militants, its influence in West Africa’s Sahel region is waning. Against this backdrop, French President Emmanuel Macron outlined a new “framework for security cooperation” last month as part of a new approach to relations with African countries.
Classified U.C. intelligence documents revealing secret plans related to the Ukrainian military were leaked across social media channels last week, taking U.S. government officials by surprise. While it will likely have no influence on the course of the war, the leak offers insights into how the war is playing out.
Mali’s government is struggling to assert its authority as more communities fall to various Islamist groups. After a decade of faltering counterinsurgency efforts, it might be time to take a closer look at the biggest obstacle to stability —the Malian state’s chronic inability to counteract shadow governance structures.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s gradual emergence from diplomatic isolation has gained further momentum with his country’s reestablishment of official relations with Saudi Arabia. But Syria’s isolation may not be over quite yet, despite the seeming progress Damascus has made in engagement with its regional neighbors.
A recent report from the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan documented terrible human rights violations taking place in the country, named individual perpetrators and called for prosecutions. But certain obstacles could prevent the International Criminal Court from being the venue for such a trial.