The European Business Council for Africa

Three conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  

➤ Democratic Republic of Congo: The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency on Wednesday after confirming Ebola in a person visiting the eastern city of Goma. Some 1,600 people have died during the current outbreak, centred in the Ituri and North Kivu provinces. Crisis Group expert Nelleke van de Walle says the WHO's action might bring more funding for controlling the outbreak, which has been difficult due to local conflict and distrust of health workers. 

➤ Pakistan: President Imran Khan arrives in Washington on Saturday, days after Pakistani police arrested Lashkar-e Tayyaba leader Hafiz Saeed on terrorism financing charges. The U.S. and India accuse Saeed of organising the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which killed 160. Crisis Group expert Laurel Miller says Khan’s government will need to build a strong case so that the courts do not release Saeed. 

➤ Syria: The dreaded regime offensive in the north-western zone of Idlib has hit a wall as Islamist rebels put up strong resistance. Fighting has killed over 2,000 people and displaced more than 330,000 civilians toward the Turkish border. Crisis Group expert Sam Heller says the insurgents and their backer Turkey have demonstrated to the regime and its allies that retaking Idlib would be terribly costly.

➤ Turkey: U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the NATO ally is banned from buying American F-35 fighter jets, shortly after it began taking delivery of the Russian-made S-400 air defence system. Members of Congress are pressing the administration to apply sanctions, saying they are required by law. Crisis Group expert Nigar Göksel says the fallout will depend on how the U.S. handles the sanctions issue. Turkish leaders, who have framed the matter in national sovereignty terms, will likely calibrate their response accordingly.

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