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Conflict and Peace

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

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G7 explores ways to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine 

G7 explores ways to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine 

The G7 will explore ways to use future revenues from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the G7 and its allies froze around $300 billion in Russian assets. "We are making progress in our discussions on potential avenues to bring forward the extraordinary profits stemming from immobilized Russian sovereign assets to the benefit of Ukraine," the draft statement said. G7 negotiators have been discussing for weeks how best to use these assets, which include major currencies and government bonds held mainly in European vaults. The United States (US) has been urging its G7 partners - Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada - to support a loan that could provide Kyiv with up to $50 billion in the near term. The cautious language of the statement, lacking figures or specifics, underlines the many legal and technical issues that would need to be resolved before such a loan could be issued. A G7 source indicated that there would be no significant changes to the statement before the final version is released later on Saturday (25 May).

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Editor's choice
News
Houthis escalate confrontation in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, firing missile at US warship

Houthis escalate confrontation in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, firing missile at US warship

In an incident that is likely to further aggravate the already tense situation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Yemen's rebel Houthi Movement on early on Saturday (27 January) fired a missile at an American naval vessel patrolling in the Gulf of Aden. The group, which has been attacking commercial shipping off the coast of Yemen in response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, fired an anti-ship missile toward the U.S. destroyer USS Carney, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command. A terse statement from the US Central Command in Tampa said, On Jan. 26, at approximately 1:30 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired one anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) in the Gulf of Aden. The missile was successfully shot down by USS Carney. There were no injuries or damage reported.  On Friday, the Houthi rebels also struck an oil tanker with an anti-ship ballistic missile, according to the ships operator, Trafigura. "The crew is continuing efforts to control the fire in one of the ship’s cargo tanks with support from military vessels," the company said in a statement.
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Opinion
Opinion: Committing to doing what it takes for Ukraine to achieve victory

Opinion: Committing to doing what it takes for Ukraine to achieve victory

2024 started with an unprecedented number of Russian drones and ballistic missiles raining down on Ukraine. In this op-ed published this week on various media outlets, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, argues that Ukraine prevailing against the Russian aggression is the best security guarantee for Europe and that a paradigm shift is needed from supporting Ukraine for 'as long as it takes' to committing to 'what it takes' for Ukraine to achieve victory. Borrell argues that we must intensify our efforts to win the race against time with Putin’s Russia. "We cannot allow him to prevail. Our own security is at stake. Should Putin’s strategy prove successful, it would embolden Russia and other autocracies to pursue their imperialist agendas. We must at any cost prevent a world where might makes right, where powerful countries change borders at will, and the weak fall prey to the strong. Allowing such a scenario would cast a long shadow over our future for decades to come. Ukraine prevailing against the Russian aggression is the best security guarantee for Europe. A Russia that learnt to stay within its borders will lessen pressure on its neighbours, ease Ukraine’s path to EU membership and allow Europe and the world to shift attention to the many other challenges that need solving. With our assistance, Ukraine can consign Russia’s imperial ambitions to the pages of history. This must guide our actions and thinking."
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Yemen's legitimate government welcomes the designation of the Houthis as terrorists

Yemen's legitimate government welcomes the designation of the Houthis as terrorists

Yemen’s internationally recognized Presidential Leadership Council asked the world on Sunday to follow the US lead in labeling the Iran-backed Houthis as terrorists and impose stiffer penalties on the militia for jeopardizing international marine trade and perpetrating crimes in Yemen. At a meeting in Riyadh, the council praised Washington’s decision to designate the Houthis as international terrorists, encouraged the rest of the world to follow suit, and praised the international community’s joint response to the Houthi Red Sea raids. The council said in a statement it “welcomed the decision to designate the Houthi militias as a global terrorist organization and looks forward to additional sanctions against the rogue militias.” It reiterated a request to the international community to strengthen the military capabilities of Yemen’s coast guard and offer protection from the Houthis and other terrorist groups, according to the statement carried by the official news agency. The council warned that Houthi attacks in the Red Sea would result in the militarization of the crucial maritime route, raising shipping and insurance prices, and impeding the flow of critical supplies to the nation. Humanitarian groups have long resisted the labeling of Houthi terrorists, fearing it would disrupt the flow of aid through militia-controlled ports, which receive over 70 percent of essential supplies. There is also concern that designating the Houthis as  a terrorist group will complicate the process of trying to find a peaceful solution to Yemen's on-going civil war. The Houthis currently occupy large parts of northern Yemen, as well as the capital Sanaa and seem to be deeply entrenched there. The UN is involved in a long-running process to negotiate peace, but so far there has been little progress.
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EU, AU and US say crises in Sudan and in Ethiopia-Somalia relations threaten regional stability in the Horn of Africa

EU, AU and US say crises in Sudan and in Ethiopia-Somalia relations threaten regional stability in the Horn of Africa

The African Union, European Union, and United States called Thursday (18 January) for an immediate cease-fire and constructive dialogue between warring factions in Sudan. They also called for an end to tension between Somalia and Ethiopia over an agreement signed between Ethiopia and Somalia’s breakaway region Somaliland. Representatives of the AU, EU and US spoke in Kampala, Uganda, after the meeting of an East African regional bloc. They said the two crises are threatening regional stability in the Horn of Africa. Annette Weber, the EU special envoy for the Horn of Africa, said the two crises have a common link with Red Sea, which she called a critical waterway carrying 10 percent of global cargo. Weber also said there needs to be a collective response among Horn of Africa countries against attacks on ships by Yemen-based Houthi rebels. Regarding Somalia, the AU, EU and US said they recognize the country’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, including the breakaway region of Somaliland.