The Conflict Path Series In The Middle East And Africa Issue No.12 Septemper 2022
Conflicts in the Middle East and Africa are a reflection of the complexity of protracted conflicts; The way in which they interact, their longevity, the behaviour and demands of the perpetrators, the parties’ terms of settlement, the dynamism of which they are characterized, and the intensity of their competition reflect their complexity.
This complexity increases as these conflicts interact with global changes s interests become more overlapping and complex, and the challenges surrounding political settlements increase in order to increase the importance of careful follow-up and analysis of such interactions as to enable us to set the record straight for choosing the most appropriate policies and preparing for the scenarios presented, In this number, together with tracking regional conflicts, we are approaching their internal interlinkages and international and regional interaction.
The eleventh issue of the Shaf Centre’s monthly Conflict Trail Report highlights the Middle East and Africa arena of conflict States, tracking important issues, highlights and local, regional and international interactions. The report covers the conflict situation in 10 States (Ethiopia, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon and Mali)
Before we shed light on developments in the situation of conflict in the regions to be dealt with, the situation of conflict in the 10 States of concern is broadly presented before proceeding to the detailed report.
- Ethiopia: Ethiopia is experiencing a volatile security and political climate of instability, and it is expected that the Ethiopian Union’s mediation will not contribute to stopping the conflict between the Tigray and the central government, especially since the African Union headquarters is Addis Ababa and its decisions will therefore be biased towards the central government and this is a situation that Tigray rebels will never allow. as well as the central government’s negative attitude towards Eritrea’s attack on the Tigray. With regard to the file of the Renaissance Dam, discussions must be held to establish a legal agreement that guarantees the interests of both downstream States and makes Ethiopia take into account both Egypt and the Sudan before any action is taken on that file. No decision must be taken without the consent of the downstream States.
- Sudan: In September, the Sudan witnessed several signs of heightened hopes for a political breakthrough in the Sudanese landscape, but in contrast, the lack of confidence among the Sudanese actors continued, threatening the possibility of a national consensus that would pave the way for a new political equation in the Sudan, considerations that increase the country’s political, economic and security threats.
- Somalia: In September, Somalia witnessed a continuation of Somalia’s relative stability, following the start of the Government’s work and formation, in accordance with the political aspect, and is moving towards supporting its relationship with its African neighbours in particular, as reflected in continued movements in Kenya and Ethiopia, following Eritrea’s prior visits.
- On the security side, Al-Shabaab’s movements continue to expand within Somali territory, as well as within the Ethiopian border. It can be said that there has been a qualitative development in the movement to confront Al-Shabaab, namely the declaration of a full-scale war against terrorism, and that a number of actors from neighbouring States are likely to enter the line of this war.
- Iraq: Numerous moves during September by both actors and institutions, although they have not helped to make any tangible progress, and it can be emphasized that attempts at polarization continue by the main actors in the scene
- Syria: The Syrian landscape continues to suffer from a great deal of complexity as a result of the multilateralism of the conflict and the conflicting interests of each of these parties. Except for the agreement of many actors in this crisis and regional and international forces that a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis should be found, the military confrontations on the ground do not herald a near political breakthrough of the Syrian crisis.
- Yemen: The six-month armistice in force in Yemen ended after the Yemeni government and the Ansar Allah movement failed to reach an agreement to extend it, raising fears of a resumption of fighting in the country experiencing a deadlock, especially after the movement threatened to re-start the war immediately after the end of the armistice.
- South Sudan: The country will face many difficult challenges in order to reach the political status it seeks, owing to the consequences of the floods that hit the country, which result in many diseases and water epidemics that annihilate its people in the face of extreme food and medicine poverty. On the other hand, the growing waves of violence in the country further aggravate the situation and fail political orientation. The South Sudan’s elite must therefore make the fight against violence and crime the primary thrust of their policies by working to reduce flood footprints.
- Lebanon: Lebanon’s future is foreshadowing uncertainty, owing to the government vacuum in Lebanon and the sectarian conflict that has always taken its own interests above the national interest, as well as international interventions, economic crisis and political and institutional corruption, all of which put Lebanon on the brink and make it so fragile that it cannot overcome its obstacles. It should be noted that Lebanon’s crises are not the precedent of its time, they are not new to Lebanon’s history, they have been experienced previously, but the inaction and division elites make it even more complicated.
- Libya: The continuing crisis in Libya and the worsening divide between Libyan factions to date appear to reflect that the settlement of differences is hampered by a security and military crisis in the presence of armed militias and mercenaries, where weapons spread outside the control of the State and deviate from the lines of solution agreed by Libyans and the international community at the Berlin Conference.
Accordingly, the Berlin outputs and the solution pathways must be restored, particularly the security and military path of Libya’s Joint Military Commission 5 + 5, which has signed the ceasefire agreement and made significant progress in this regard.
Everything agreed by the Military Commission, in particular the removal of mercenaries and foreign forces, the disbanding of militias, the demilitarization of militias and their removal from towns, the rehabilitation and reintegration of reformed affiliates, and the unification of the military institution to fulfil its mandated role, must be implemented.
- Mali: Bamako is witnessing a continuation of terrorist acts as well as increased violence towards civilians by the ISIL group “A strategy of terror” does not stop with the goal of raising money, but with the broader objective of controlling northern Mali and declaring it a subordinate emirate. We are witnessing a breakthrough in the file of the Azawad through the outcome of the sixth meeting of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, which, once implemented on the ground, is expected to contribute to the effective fight against terrorism in the north of the country.