The European Business Council for Africa

Three conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  

➤ Korean Peninsula: A joint Russian-Chinese air exercise on Tuesday entered the airspace over a group of islets in the East Sea controlled by South Korea but also claimed by Japan. Crisis Group expert Christopher Green says the decision by South Korea’s air force to fire hundreds of warning shots is unprecedented. Seoul feels threatened by the regional military postures adopted by Moscow and Beijing, but the incident also offered South Korea a chance to assert its sovereignty over the islets at a time of rising tensions with Japan.

➤ Nigeria: Clashes in Abuja between police and members of the Shi'ite group Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) demanding the release of their leader, who has been detained since 2015, killed over a dozen people on Monday. Crisis Group expert Nnamdi Obasi says IMN agitators are unlikely to relent so long as the government ignores court orders for their leader’s release. The violent repression by security forces is increasing the likelihood of the group’s radicalisation.

Turkey: Ankara suspended its 2016 readmission agreement with the EU in which Turkey agreed to accept the return of irregular migrants and asylum seekers who crossed from its territory to Greece after 20 March 2016. Crisis Group expert Nigar Göksel says that since there has been only a small number of returnees under the deal, the announcement is rather a symbolic move that reflects Turkey’s broader grievances toward the EU, including the lack of progress on visa liberalisation and EU sanctions related to oil drilling near Cyprus. 

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