The European Business Council for Africa

Three conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts   

➤ Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani was declared winner of contested presidential elections after a five-month delay and accusations of election-rigging. His chief rival Abdullah Abdullah and supporters now claim that they will form a parallel government. Crisis Group expert Andrew Watkins says the result has increased the potential for civil unrest. However, maximalist rhetoric has been a facet of domestic politics for years and even after rare instances of violence in the past, Afghan politicians have managed to de-escalate tensions.

➤ Libya: EU foreign ministers agreed to revamp the EU’s naval mission in the Mediterranean by redeploying naval assets to monitor the UN’s arms embargo. Crisis Group expert Giuseppe Famà says a renewed naval presence off Libya’s coast could increase the EU’s ability to name and shame violators and deter some arms transfer to the warring parties. But it remains to be seen how the embargo can be monitored elsewhere in Libya and whether, in the event that migrant flows surge, member states will succumb to domestic pressure by swiftly withdrawing naval assets. 

➤ South Sudan: President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to form the long-awaited unity government after major concessions from both parties. Crisis Group expert Alan Boswell says Kiir reverted the country to ten states, firing 32 governors and reversing much territorial gerrymandering, and Machar accepted to return to Juba without his own security forces. Much work remains on many fronts but the deal offers a real chance to end the long civil war.