The European Business Council for Africa

Three conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  

➤ Israel-Iran: Syrian state media on Thursday reported Israeli airstrikes in Quneitra province. Crisis Group expert Naysan Rafati says this incident may be the latest in a series of frequent and often unacknowledged Israeli operations against Iran and Iran-linked targets. Recent unconfirmed reports that the high-risk cat-and-mouse game could also be playing out in Iraq underscores growing tensions in what one Israeli official described as a “quasi-state of war” with Iran.

➤ Nigeria: A Boko Haram attack on a funeral and villages near Maiduguri in north east Nigeria on Saturday killed over 70 people. Crisis Group expert Nnamdi Obasi says despite the government’s insistence that it has defeated Boko Haram, this incident, amid a recent surge of attacks, underscores the insurgency’s resilience, the military's deficiencies and the need for a broader strategy that addresses the factors that contribute to the insurgency, including weak governance and a lack of basic services.

➤ Sudan: Protests erupted Monday in the city of El-Obeid in response to an incident in which security forces opened fire on demonstrators protesting fuel and bread shortages, killing six, including four children, and injuring 60. Crisis Group expert Murithi Mutiga says the repeated violent crackdowns on protesters appear to be attempts by elements of the ruling junta to derail the transition and underscore the need for concerted international pressure to push the ruling Transitional Military Council to back down, finalise outstanding details of a power-sharing deal agreed in July and accept a civilian-led transition.