The European Business Council for Africa

The Week of 25 January – 1 February 2019

Three conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts

Cameroon: Opposition leader Maurice Kamto and 200 members of his party, Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC), were arrested and detained this week. Crisis Group expert Richard Moncrieff says the country has crossed a dangerous new line in the restriction of public liberties, and the opposition’s mounting frustration and anger could fuel further unrest on the streets.

Philippines: Following the 21 January plebiscite endorsing the new Bangsamoro Autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a cathedral bombing in Sulu province that killed at least 22 soldiers and civilians. Crisis Group expert Matt Wheeler says multiple actors have the capacity for such an attack and the bombing serves as a reminder that spoilers have haunted every major stride in the 40-year peace process.

Iran: European powers began the formal process of registering the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a financial mechanism aiming to preserve European trade with Iran in the face of unilateral U.S. sanctions. Crisis Group expert Ali Vaez says the SPV is a key component of Europe's efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, but it is neither a panacea nor likely to become fully operational upon its registration.

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