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Abstract: This is a transcript of an event held on 5 October at Chatham House. The panellists, drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts, examined the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict was embarked on in September 2010, the regional ramifications of the much-interrupted peace process have never appeared more important. State actors close to the conflict such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and non-state actors such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, all have a stake in the outcome of the peace talks. Together with the wider Arab League membership and Iran, not all of them wish the process to succeed, or succeed on the terms envisaged by the US and its allies in the European Union.
This panel drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts will examine what is at stake for the regional neighbours of Israel and the Palestinians. What influence have they had over the initial progress of the negotiations? Are their actions critical in helping or hindering the outcome of the bilateral talks? What alternatives or reactions might they envisage should this latest attempt at peace fail?
Abstract: The popular protests in Egypt have signalled major political change but also uncertainty. What lies on the road ahead?
Amongst other issues, Shadi Hamid explored the wider implications of unrest in this region, Ginny Hill examined the knock-on effect in Yemen and Dr Maha Azzam addressed the role of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Abstract: This Policy Brief examines the real and imagined influence of al-Qa‘ida in North Africa and the Sahel. Despite a perception of the transnationalization of terrorist movements in North Africa under al-Qa‘ida’s banner, robust evidence of an effective al-Qa‘ida’s expansion in the Maghreb and the Sahara/Sahel region remains elusive at best. Rather, doubts about al-Qa‘ida’s actual threat and the efficacy of international response in the context of pervasive state failure in the Sahel raise questions regarding the policy objectives of US-led counter-terrorism in the region.
Abstract: Multiple threats to Libya's stability and public order could emerge if the Qaddafi regime falls. Scenarios range from Qaddafi loyalist forces launching a violent resistance to internecine warfare breaking out among the rebel factions. This instability in Libya could lead to a humanitarian disaster, the emergence of a new authoritarian ruler, or even the country’s dissolution. Given these potential consequences, Daniel Serwer recommends in this Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum that the European Union lead a post-Qaddafi stabilization force in Libya. The force preferably should fall under the United Nations umbrella with modest participation from the African Union and Arab League. The United States should support the stabilization effort with the aim of helping to establish a united and sovereign Libya with inclusive democratic institutions.
Abstract: In February the conflict was sparked by anti-Government protests which drew a Government of Libya response. Since then, the
conflict has moved back and forth across Libya. The humanitarian and protection situation remains of utmost concern to the
humanitarian community. Over 686,422 migrants have fled the violence, including 261,118 third-country nationals. Hundreds of thousands of Libyans are internally displaced. At least 40,000 are refugees in neighbouring
Tunisia. Humanitarian partners have provided over 5,180 metric tons of aid including food, medical supplies, shelter
and non-food items. Over 12,800 people have been evacuated from Misrata so far. The humanitarian community is in
contact with all parties to carry out assistance. By far the greatest impact has been wrought on Misrata, a city of 300,000
people, which has seen the bloodiest fighting with thousands of casualties. Precise numbers of civilians killed or injured are unknown.
Abstract: The recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations.
Abstract: This policy brief focuses on a case study. It is suggested that an environmental disaster during the summer of 2010 in the Black Sea region triggered in winter 2011 a food crisis in the Arab World; in turn, this led to massive riots, revolts, political instability, a NATO operation and, alas, an oil crisis that accentuates an already suffering global economy. Coextensively, it may be suggested that an environmental crisis triggered a political crisis, which escalated in a series of conflicts that are of major concern for traditional security structures in Europe and beyond. In sum, the argument is made that as a result of this experience, the human security agenda must have a direct effect on our traditional security agenda. The question addressed at this point is how these interrelated chains of events affect the security establishment and our notions of a ‘high strategy.’
Abstract: The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has witnessed
unprecedented civil unrest since 16 February
2011. As the security situation deteriorated and
casualties mounted, many countries called on
their citizens to leave the country.
Before the crisis, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
reportedly hosted over 2.5 million migrant workers
from neighbouring countries, as well as Africa and
Asia. Thousands of these workers have fled the
country since the outbreak of violence, and many
governments have requested assistance from the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) to
ensure the safe and timely return home of their
nationals. As of 28 May, over 885,600 persons,
including Libyans, have crossed the Libyan border,
with thousands more waiting to cross the border
or stranded at sea and in airports.
The purpose of this report is to provide a cumulative
overview of the evacuation operations of IOM and
its partners over the past three months through
28 May, supplemented with graphs and photos to
provide more detail. In addition to the macro-level
information, highlights of activities and caseload at
the country level are also presented in subsequent
sections. The report’s final section gives a human
face to the crisis through the personal accounts
of migrants and TCNs who benefited from IOM
Abstract: This briefing paper examines progress made in reforming the political-electoral legal system in Egypt following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak on 12 February 2011. It also points to enduring weaknesses and ambiguities in the electoral framework. A full report, which explores these questions in detail and backs up the findings of this briefing paper, is available upon request from DRI.
Abstract: This is Security Council Report’s fourth Cross-Cutting Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Nine months have passed since our third report came out in late October 2010, but much has happened in the area of protection of civilians during this period. The crisis in Libya and the post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire stand out as two of the most important protection challenges for the Security Council. But there were also continuing protection concerns in other situations such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan. Most recently, the situations in Syria and Yemen have caused growing concern among many Council members.
The present report involves a change to our cycle of reporting. Our previous cross-cutting reports were published every 12 months towards the end of the year. The rationale for changing the cycle flows from the fact that our statistical analysis compares calendar years, so it seemed that an earlier publication date each year would make more sense and be more useful to our readers. Our intention had also been to publish this report in time for the Security Council’s open debate on protection of civilians in May. But unfortunately this became impossible when the date of the debate was moved forward at the last minute. The result of this change in timing is that the present report covers less ground than our previous ones on this issue, although the statistical analysis still covers one full calendar year. In the future, we will be publishing a report every 12 months. Our next cross-cutting report on protection of civilians can therefore be expected in the first half of 2012.
Abstract: Over 759,003 migrants have fled the violence, including 267,940 third-country nationals. In February the conflict was sparked by anti-Government protests which drew a Government of Libya response.
Since then, the conflict has moved back and forth across Libya.The humanitarian and protection situation
remains of utmost concern to the humanitarian community. Over 759,003 migrants have fled the violence,
including 267,940 third-country nationals (TCNs). Hundreds of thousands of Libyans are internally displaced.
At least 40,000 are refugees in neighbouring Tunisia. Humanitarian partners have provided over 5,180 metric
tons of aid including food,
medical supplies, shelter
and non-food items. Over
12,800 people have been
evacuated from Misrata so
far. The humanitarian
community is in contact with
all parties to carry out
assistance. By far the
greatest impact has been
wrought on Misrata, a city
of 300,000 people, which
has seen the bloodiest
fighting with thousands of
numbers of civilians killed
or injured are unknown.
Abstract: Where does Tunisia, the unlikely igniter of the Middle Eastern upheavals, stand on the democratic transition scale three months after the overthrow of the long reigning autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali? And can the country, which stood mostly by choice at the margins of Arab political life since achieving independence in 1956, serve as a democratizing exemplar for other Arab states?
Abstract: On June 2, 2011, Peacebuild, with the financial support of the International Development
Research Centre, convened a day-long discussion on the tumultuous changes taking place in the
Middle East and North Africa.
Objectives for the roundtable were to share up-to-date information on current and longer-term
political issues and dynamics, to assess areas for possible support for democratic transitions in
the region, identify areas of relevant Canadian expertise – diaspora, NGO, academic, business
sector, governmental -- and, based on the discussion, generate a set of policy options and/or
recommendations for people-to-people support, NGOs, academics and the Government of
Participants in Cairo, Ottawa and Montreal were linked into a wide-ranging discussion, which
first focused on hearing activist and expert views from the epicentre of regional change – Egypt.
Among the questions explored with human rights activist Hossam Baghat, strategic analyst
Mustafa El-Labbad, activist author May Telmissany and IDRC regional expert Roula El-Rifai were
the makeup of the reform movements in the region and their objectives, what is the real extent
of political Islam’s influence in the Middle East and what has been the role of the armed forces
in the transitions?
Abstract: On the initiative of the Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement (CF2R) and of the Centre international de recherche et d’études sur le terrorisme et d’aide aux victimes du terrorisme (CIRET-AVT), a delegation of international experts went to Tripoli and Tripolitana, and to Benghazi and Cyrenaica, in order to assess independently the Libyan conflict and to to meet representatives of both sides. This is the final report.
Abstract: This document reformats the latest annual US State Department country reports on terrorism (http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2009/index.htm), to provide a single source showing the reports for the entire Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia.
This report provides an overview of US government assessments of the role of given state and non-state actors in sponsoring or conducting terrorist activities. It also describes the role of other states in fight internal terrorism and in cooperating in the international struggle against terrorism.
As such, it provides both a useful overview of official unclassified US government views, and a basis for discussing ways to improve cooperation in counterterrorism and conduct a dialogue on different US, other country, international organization, and independent expert views of terrorism and who should be designated as a terrorist.
Abstract: There are many definitions of terrorism and many ways to count it. The key, from a US policy viewpoint,
is how the US government makes that count and what data it uses for measuring the threat and shaping its
counterterrorism policies. With this in mind, the Burke Chair has compiled a set of tables showing
terrorist attacks in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia from 2007-2010.
Abstract: The Obama administration prepared this report for Congress regarding the U.S.' military activity in Libya. In response to complaints from members of Congress that Obama needed Congressional authorization to engage militarily in Libya, the report states that, "Given the important U.S. interests served by U.S. military operations in Libya and the limited nature, scope and duration of the anticipated actions, the President had constitutional authority, as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive and pursuant to his foreign affairs powers, to direct such limited military operations abroad. The President is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision."
Abstract: The conflict in Libya is complex, and it is often hard to find the data that best describe key aspects of the war. Varun Vira of the Burke Chair has developed a background analysis of the war. The analysis draws upon official NATO reporting and open-source analysis, tracks the conduct of the fighting, and identifies some trends that will be crucial to plan for in shaping a post-war Libya. It also warns that planning for the post-Qaddafi period has been inadequate, and that any end – however, prolonged – could come very quickly. Whether this will take days or months remains unclear, but some form of change is imminent in Libya, and will require careful accommodation.
A successful transition will necessarily require international assistance, but for true sustainable success, post-war planning must be Libyan-led and heavily involve the participation of regional countries. Many challenges will persist, but it is important to remember that war, and particularly revolutions, transform society in ways that are not easily foreseen, and the dynamics of the Libyan uprising offer good reasons to be optimistic for Libya’s future.
Abstract: North Africa is bracing itself. Not since Algeria’s brutal civil war a generation ago has the region witnessed so much turmoil and uncertainty. Angry and frustrated masses demanding improved governance and greater socioeconomic opportunities present regimes with new challenges. The need for governments to address these grievances is urgent. Failure to respond will intensify public pressure and heighten the risk of more violence.
Abstract: This is a transcript of an event on Libya held at Chatham House on 8 June 2011. The panel discussed the challenges and prospects facing the Libyan regime, the opposition and the international community.
Abstract: The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence.
This volume contains the following articles:
- The Death of Usama bin Ladin: Threat Implications for the U.S. Homeland, By Philip Mudd
- Terrorist Tactics in Pakistan Threaten Nuclear Weapons Safety, By Shaun Gregory
- The Syrian Uprising: Evaluating the Opposition, By Mahmud Hasan
- Can Al-Qa`ida Survive Bin Ladin’s Death? Evaluating Leadership Decapitation, By Jenna Jordan
- Hizb Allah’s Position on the Arab Spring, By Benedetta Berti
- Israel, Hizb Allah, and the Shadow of Imad Mughniyyeh, By Bilal Y. Saab
- The Taliban’s Conduct of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, By Ben Brandt
Abstract: The level of women’s participation in armed violence in Africa is determined by the nature and
typology of conflict. Using prior research as a data source, the article examines the nature of
women’s participation in on-going and recently-concluded armed conflicts in 15 countries in Africa.
Based upon data that show variations, and similarities in the contextual conditions under which
women become war participants, this article presents three kinds of wars, and the conditions that
distinguish them from one another, as a theoretical framework in analysing women’s involvement in
Africa’s armed conflicts. The findings show that in ‘resources/opportunistic’ driven wars, women’s
participation is higher and more complex when compared to ‘ethno-religious’ and
‘secessionist/autonomy’ driven wars. Moreover, this paper finds that women’s participation can be
active and passive; coerced and voluntary.
Abstract: The character of the Libyan crisis today arises from the complex but so far evidently indecisive impact of the UN-authorised military intervention, now formally led by NATO, in what had already become a civil war. NATO’s intervention saved the anti-Qaddafi side from immediate defeat but has not yet resolved the conflict in its favour. Although the declared rationale of this intervention was to protect civilians, civilians are figuring in large numbers as victims of the war, both as casualties and refugees, while the leading Western governments supporting NATO’s campaign make no secret of the fact that their goal is regime change. The country is de facto being partitioned, as divisions between the predominantly opposition-held east and the predominantly regime-controlled west harden into distinct political, social and economic spheres. As a result, it is virtually impossible for the pro-democracy current of urban public opinion in most of western Libya (and Tripoli in particular) to express itself and weigh in the political balance.
At the same time, the prolonged military campaign and attendant instability present strategic threats to Libya’s neighbours. Besides fuelling a large-scale refugee crisis, they are raising the risk of infiltration by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, whose networks of activists are present in Algeria, Mali and Niger. All this, together with mounting bitterness on both sides, will constitute a heavy legacy for any post-Qaddafi government.
The present conflict clearly represents the death agony of the Jamahiriya. Whether what comes after it fulfils Libyans’ hopes for freedom and legitimate government very much depends on how and when Qaddafi goes. This in turn depends on how – and how soon – the armed conflict gives way to political negotiation allowing Libya’s political actors, including Libyan public opinion as a whole, to address the crucial questions involved in defining the constitutive principles of a post-Jamahiriya state and agreeing on the modalities and interim institutions of the transition phase. Instead of stubbornly maintaining the present policy and running the risk that its consequence will be dangerous chaos, the international community should act now to facilitate a negotiated end to the civil war and a new beginning for Libya’s political life.