Conflict and Peace

Stories related to violent conflicts, diplomatic tensions, and conflict prevention, mediation and resolution.

Violence rocks the Holy Land
Violence in Jerusalem, in Israel and in the Palestinian territories over the last days  has shaken the fragile peace in the Holy Land once more, despite calls for restraint by the international community. On Saturday (28 January), an assailant shot and wounded two people in east Jerusalem, Israeli medics said, hours after a Palestinian gunman killed seven outside a synagogue in one of the deadliest such attacks in years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that Israel's response to an attack by a Palestinian gunman attack that killed seven people on the outskirts of Jerusalem will be "strong, swift and precise" . The mass shooting unfolded as a 21-year-old resident of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem drove up to the synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood and opened fire during the Jewish Sabbath. The bloodshed, which unfolded on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked another dramatic escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nine people had been killed Thursday in what Israel described as a “counter-terrorism” operation in the Jenin refugee camp. It was one of the deadliest Israeli army raids in the occupied West Bank since the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, of 2000 to 2005. Israel said Islamic Jihad operatives were the target. Islamic Jihad and Hamas both vowed to retaliate, later firing several rockets at Israeli territory. Most of the rockets were intercepted by Israeli air defenses. The military responded with strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza. There were no injuries reported on either side, but Gaza’s armed groups vowed further action. After the synagogue shooting, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the attack proved “the resistance knows how to find the appropriate response” to Israeli “crimes.” At least 26 Israelis and 200 Palestinians were killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2022, the majority in the West Bank, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
dennis2020 Sun, 01/29/2023 - 05:53 Deployment of the EU monitoring mission to Armenia: A view from Azerbaijan

On January 23, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed to establish a civilian monitoring mission in Armenia’s border areas in order to “ensure an environment conducive to normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan”. The deployment of the mission has caused mixed reactions in the two countries and frustrated Russia, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for

patrickn97 Thu, 01/26/2023 - 14:53

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Under the Pall of War: Implications of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine for Peace Processes in the South Caucasus
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 shattered Europe’s security architecture, with far-reaching and unpredictable implications for conflicts in neighbouring regions where Russia plays a role. This discussion paper, just published by Conciliation Resources, focuses on the impacts of war in Ukraine on the peace processes of the South Caucasus, a region fractured by protracted conflicts dating back to the 1990s.
dennis2020 Sun, 12/18/2022 - 06:34
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warns of worsening human rights situation in Ukraine

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned on Thursday (15 December) that the ongoing attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure could cause a significant decline in living conditions and an increase in displaced people.

Millions of people are without heating, clean water or electricity as temperatures plummet. Some 18 million people are already dependent on government assistance or humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Maximiliaan va… Fri, 12/16/2022 - 05:26
Opinion: The end of the truce in Yemen: what are the next scenarios?

Attempts to extend the truce in Yemen failed because "the Houthis currently have the upper hand over the legitimate government and the coalition’s shaky military situation," writes Monif Aldarwish in this commentary for He adds that the current relative calm in Yemen "is not due to the parties' need for rest; they have rested enough during the truce. It is instead due to the Houthis' association with Iran's foreign policy, which is itself currently proceeding cautiously due to its domestic environment.

patrickn97 Thu, 12/15/2022 - 11:07
The Yemeni Diaspora: a case study analysis of the German and American Yemeni diasporas

In this second article in a series of three pieces about different aspects of the Yemeni diaspora, Hisham Almahdi discusses notable aspects and intricacies of the German and American diasporas. The first article can be read here and, the third article in this series will be published in due course.

patrickn97 Wed, 12/14/2022 - 14:00
Editor's choice
Unimpeded movement on the Lachin corridor should be restored immediately and Armenia and Azerbaijan should return to the EU mediated talks

Unimpeded movement on the Lachin corridor should be restored immediately and Armenia and Azerbaijan should return to the EU mediated talks

The Lachin Corridor, a road that connects the areas controlled by the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, has been blocked for several days. A group of Azerbaijani activists on Monday arrived in the area to show concern about exploitation of natural resources in the territory which is under Armenian control, but which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. A stand-off with Russian troops that have overall control over the corridor led to the closure of the road, effectively isolating the Armenian population in the territory. The issues are ofcourse deeper than simply control over some goldmines and other natural resources. In essence it is about the future of Karabakh. It is also about the Russian role in the region and in the wider South Caucasus. On 10 November 2020, Russia, in agreement with the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan,  deployed around two thousand soldiers as "peacekeepers" as part of an agreement that followed the Azerbaijani military victory in the 44 day war. Their mandate has always been thin, and their mission full of ambiguity. The current stand-off reflects these weaknesses. So far, serious incidents in this current stand-off have been avoided, but either side can easily escalate the situation, and unplanned incidents can also exacerbate the situation. Over the last twenty-four hours their have been expressions of concern voiced by the international community, including the US and the EU. Both want Armenia and Azerbaijan to return to menaningful negotiations and to move quickly with the signing of a peace agreement. What the Russians want is another matter. President Putin spoke to the leaders of the two countries separately on Monday, but clearly did not achieve much. Russia's priority is to maintain its military presence in the area, because it believes it gives it leverage on both Baku and Yerevan. Yet as this latest incident is showing the presence also puts on Russia responsabilities. Distracted by the war in Ukraine, and unsure how it really wants to proceed Russia may opt, for the moment at least for inaction. This does not serve the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh well. The Lachin corridor is a lifeline, and without it the community has no future - or at least none that it is ready to accept. It is not a humanitarian disaster yet, but it can become one quickly. The free and unimpeded movement on the Lachin corridor should be restored as soon as possible, and the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the mediation of the European Union, that looked so promising only a few months ago, need to be continued and the momentum regained.