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  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The reformist zeal displayed by the Serbian government following the 12 March 2003 assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic appears to have dissipated. A number of important and positive steps were taken while the shock of that political murder was still fresh. Increasingly, however, their impact is being counterbalanced by actions that bring into question the government's ability to press decisive political and economic reforms home so as to achieve the goal of integration with wider European institutions.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The return of the nationalist parties to power after the October 2002 general elections in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) was widely assessed as a calamity. Some observers went so far as to claim that it signified the failure of the international peace-building mission over the previous seven years. But the new High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, refused to be downcast. Not only was the nationalists' victory narrow, but he was confident he could work with them if they proved faithful to their pre-election pledges to embrace the reform agenda he had been charting since taking office in May 2002. This agenda seeks to make up for lost time: implementing the economic, legal and governance reforms required both to make BiH a prosperous, lawful and peaceable state and to set the country on track for European integration. Lord Ashdown aims to put himself out of a job by putting BiH on the road to the EU.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In April 2001, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister of Security and Political Affairs, gave a long interview on Aceh to Media Indonesia, a Jakarta newspaper. The interview appeared just after a presidential instruction had been issued authorising military action as part of a comprehensive strategy to address the Aceh problem. Yudhoyono stressed that social discontent was at the heart of any insurgency and that winning hearts and minds of the local population was the primary goal of a counterinsurgency strategy, so as to reduce local support for the separatists. “Our brothers and sisters in Aceh want respect, justice, and prosperity”, he said.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Jakarta
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What has been the impact of Indonesia's radical decentralisation program, launched on 1 January 2001, on conflict prevention and management? This case study of the district of Luwu in South Sulawesi finds results that have thus far been positive. But it remains an open question whether these results are sustainable – and whether Luwu's success is transferable to other parts of the country.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Indonesia
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: To avoid future instability, Central Asian states need to re-examine their policies towards Islam and step back from reliance on repression. Seventy years of Soviet rule in Central Asia did not crush Islam but it had a profound effect in secularising society and political elites. Nevertheless, after independence there was a surge of interest in Islam, including the emergence of political Islamist groups seeking to challenge the secular nature of these new states. The heavy-handed repression of early manifestations of political Islam led to confrontation, violence, and the appearance of extremist and terrorist groups.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Central Asia
34576. Sudan Endgame
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Sudan peace process is in its endgame. One year ago, the parties signed the Machakos Protocol, a provisional "grand bargain" that effectively traded a southern self-determination referendum for Sharia in the North. It is time for a second "grand bargain" on the remaining issues such as the status of the national capital, the presidency and the security arrangements to close the deal. This requires major tradeoffs - or new solutions - to meet the bottom lines of the parties and protect the original Protocol as well as incentives for implementation. Commitments on the U.S.-Sudan bilateral relationship and assurances that the U.S. will remain closely involved in the post-agreement process are the glue without which a deal is unlikely to stick. With them, peace has a chance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Sudan, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Change is in the air in Zimbabwe. Its citizens no longer talk about whether it will come, but rather when. All acknowledge, however, that the road will be dangerous, possibly violent. South Africa is the single country with ability to help its neighbour through the roughest patches if it is willing to engage with sufficient determination to persuade the government of President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party to sit down with their challenger, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and then facilitate and mediate negotiations for a transitional government and new elections. A range of other international players need to play supporting roles, including the EU, the Southern Africa Development Commission (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth, but most directly and prominently the U.S. The visit of President Bush to South Africa on 8 July is a unique opportunity to chart action that could lead to a negotiated solution and an end to the crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Recent developments have made the choice faced by the international community considerably clearer: develop pragmatic responses to Somaliland's demand for self-determination or continue to insist upon the increasingly abstract notion of the unity and territorial integrity of the Somali Republic - a course of action almost certain to open a new chapter in the Somali civil war.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Democratization, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: North Africa, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In late April 2001, lethal provocations by elements of Algeria's National Gendarmerie triggered protracted and deadly rioting in Kabylia. That the unrest from Kabylia's Black Spring continues to this day reflects the political system's nation-wide failure to adopt reforms that address its deficit of democratic representation. Neither the regime, nor the Kabyle political parties nor the so-called "Coordinations" that lead the protest movement in the region has to date proposed a serious formula for ending the impasse. The recent invitation by the new head of the government, Ahmed Ouyahia, to the protest movement to engage in dialogue over its platform is a welcome, if belated, development. But more will be needed to enable the Algerian polity to resolve what is much more a national problem than the local or ethnic disturbance it is often mistakenly portrayed as.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Eight weeks after victoriously entering Baghdad, American forces are in a race against the clock. If they are unable to restore both personal security and public services and establish a better rapport with Iraqis before the blistering heat of summer sets in, there is a genuine risk that serious trouble will break out. That would make it difficult for genuine political reforms to take hold, and the political liberation from the Saddam Hussein dictatorship would then become for a majority of the country's citizens a true foreign occupation. With all eyes in the Middle East focused on Iraq, the coming weeks and months will be critical for shaping regional perceptions of the U.S. as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia, Arab Countries