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Weekly Update
The Week of 19 – 26 October 2018


Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia's uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria's upcoming elections. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.
Video Explainer: Watch List 2018 
Crisis Group's EU Relations Manager Giuseppe Famà introduces the third update to our Watch List 2018, which includes entries on Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Nigeria and Colombia.


Saving Guatemala’s Fight Against Crime and Impunity
Next year, President Jimmy Morales vows he will end the mandate of the UN-backed Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. Hugely popular, the commission has helped reduce the country’s terrible murder rate. To keep it going, its supporters should refocus on fighting the worst violent crime.

Also available in Español
Video Explainer: Impact of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
Crisis Group's Economics of Conflict Fellow Renard Sexton explains the impact in Guatemala of the CICIG, a UN-backed commission set up to fight crime and impunity.


China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa
At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent.
"Frogs" and ''Geckos'': Syria's Jihadists Speak the Language of Rebellion
Sam Heller, Senior Analyst for Non-state Armed Groups, War On The Rocks


Afghanistan’s Long-delayed Election Rocked by Violence
In an interview with Global News, Consultant for Afghanistan Graeme Smith discusses the state of affairs in Afghanistan and why this vote was crucial.
Responding to Crises in Colombia and Venezuela
Robert Malley, President & CEO, talks to Radio Colombia about Colombia's peace process and a way out of the humanitarian emergency in Venezuela.


In Conversation with Colombia’s President Iván Duque Márquez

At a Crisis Group event this week in Brussels, President & CEO Robert Malley and President of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez discussed Colombia's peace process and Venezuela's humanitarian emergency. You can watch the recording or browse the Facebook photo album.

Europe and its Neighbourhood: Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management in the 21st Century

International Crisis Group is hosting its fourth annual conference in partnership with Chatham House, Al Sharq Forum, and Institut Montaigne in London on 6 December.


“There is an emerging civil war [in Cameroon]. Anglophones feel completely disenfranchised, but they didn’t need the elections to tell them that”.

Richard Moncrieff, Project Director for Central Africa, Foreign Policy

“[Kandahar's Chief of Police Abdul Raziq] was a larger than life charismatic military figure who had escaped death so many times that he wore an aura of invincibility. The Taliban had been making slow territorial advances [in Afghanistan's Kandahar], and his death will accelerate the pace”.

Graeme Smith, Consultant for Afghanistan, The Guardian

“[Iran’s leaders are] following the age-old dictum that when your enemy is making a mistake, get out of its way. Iranians are also hoping that their relative restraint could open the door to de-escalation with Riyadh, especially if [the Khashoggi] affair leads to political changes in [Saudi Arabia's] leadership”.

Ali Vaez, Project Director for Iran, The Wall Street Journal

U.S.-China relations have deteriorated to their worst point. It may not be a clash of civilizations, but it is a long-festering conflict of national, political and economic interest and systems that has reached a point of rupture”.

Michael Kovrig, Senior Adviser for North East Asia, Miami Herald
“For the Syrian government, reopening the Nassib [crossing] is a step towards normalisation with Jordan and the broader region, and a blow to US-led attempts to isolate Damascus”.

Sam Heller, Senior Analyst for Non-state Armed Groups, The Nationnal
« Le roi [de Jordanie] a dû passer outre des votes répétés au Parlement, ce qui l'a fait apparaître comme un défenseur d'Israël. Ce geste lui permet d'envoyer un signal en faisant payer un prix aux Israéliens pour l'éloignement de la solution à deux Etats et leur comportement unilatéral sur le lieu saint de l'esplanade des Mosquées. »

Ofer Zalzberg, Senior Analyst for Israel/Palestine, Le Monde
“Trump may also be attempting to put more pressure on China on multiple fronts in order to gain negotiating leverage on trade. If so, this kind of linkage between issues is a risky tactic that could backfire by deepening the rift between the U.S. and China”.

Michael Kovrig, Senior Adviser for North East Asia, CNBC


Crisis Group is currently seeking candidates for the following positions: 



Danny Anderson​
+32 (0) 2 536 00 71


Karim Lebhour
+ 1 202 785 16 06​

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