The European Business Council for Africa

The Week of 23 – 30 November 2018

Five conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  

➤ Ukraine-Russia: Russia engaged in its first acknowledged use of force against Ukraine since the 2014 Crimea annexation. Crisis Group experts Katharine Quinn-Judge and Anna Arutunyan say the incident was Moscow’s show of strength in what it claims are sovereign waters and Kyiv's response to this aggression was partly informed by Ukrainian President Poroshenko's desire to bolster support ahead of March elections. 

➤ Afghanistan: One day after a Taliban attack killed three U.S. personnel – the deadliest day for U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year – President Ghani announced a new plan for peace that would require at least five years. Crisis Group expert Borhan Osman says the rising death toll and mounting costs of the war are pushing Western allies to seek a faster route to peace.

➤ U.S.-Mexico: Pressure mounted at the Mexico-U.S. border on 25 November after U.S. guards fired tear gas at around 500 Central American migrants. Crisis Group expert Sofía Martínez says that even if the main push factor to migrate from their home countries is the economy, many asylum-seekers are also escaping political instability and gang violence

➤ Cameroon: A suicide bomber wounded at least 29 people on Wednesday in Amchide in Cameroon’s restive Far North. Crisis Group expert Hans De Marie Heungoup says that while some degree of normality has returned to Amchide since Boko Haram’s large-scale attacks in 2014-2015, the bombing is a reminder that the jihadist group remains a potent threat.

➤ U.S.-China: The U.S. Navy on Wednesday sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait for the third time this year. Crisis Group expert Michael Kovrig says tensions over Taiwan will continue as the Trump administration steps up shows of support for Taipei in the face of Chinese pressure.


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