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Four conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  
 

➤ Algeria: Following six weeks of popular unrest and growing pressure in recent days from Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah, President Bouteflika resigned on Tuesday. Crisis Group expert Michaël Ayari says if protesters maintain the same levels of determination at demonstrations on Friday and thereafter, the army itself will come under increasing pressure to give clear signs that the political system that Algerians oppose is being dismantled.

➤ China-Taiwan: On Sunday two Chinese fighter jets crossed a tacit maritime border separating Chinese and Taiwanese waters. Crisis Group expert Laurel Miller says the latest incident has heightened tensions in Beijing and Taipei's already fraught relationship and appears to have increased Taiwan's resolve to respond to any future incursions.

➤ Libya: Defying international admonitions against advancing into western Libya, on Wednesday the Libyan National Army (LNA) seized the town of Gharian, 100 km south of Tripoli. Crisis Group expert Claudia Gazzini warns that the advance risks triggering an escalation as apprehension grows among forces allied to the Tripoli-based government and could jeopardise the UN-hosted National Conference scheduled for 14-16 April.

➤ Venezuela: The pro-government Constituent Assembly stripped opposition leader Juan Guaidó of his parliamentary immunity on Tuesday, accusing him of defying a travel ban and usurping presidential functions. Crisis Group expert Phil Gunson says the move is a further tightening of the noose, following the arrest of Guaido's chief of staff, but that the government may yet hold off from detaining him, preferring to wait for his popularity to decline.

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