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Announcements and Recent Analysis

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  • A Progress Report on Peace Talks in Colombia

    An article in the Economist, “The Dogs Bark in Colombia,” details the intransigence of both Álvaro Uribe (a former president and the leader of right-wing opposition to the peace talks) and the FARC’s leaders, which has the potential to derail negotiations. Coupled with the slow pace of talks, evidence that elements of the Colombian military have been spying on human rights defenders, journalists, and politicians involved in the peace process, and continued armed confrontations between insurgents and the government, there remain formidable challenges to reaching a peace agreement that would end the conflict. There are, however, some positive developments to report.

  • Shifting Risks in Burkina Faso

    The man who ruled Burkina Faso for 27 years fell from office a few days ago, and the contours of the transition that will follow remain unclear. The Early Warning Project's statistical risk assessments suggest that this tumult has roughly doubled the risk of an onset of state-led mass killing in Burkina Faso for the next year or more, likely pushing it into the top 30 when those estimates are next updated in early 2015. The several area experts we consulted in the past 48 hours, however, all indicated that this worst-case scenario was highly unlikely to happen.

  • Ebola's Potential Effects on the Risk of Mass Atrocities in Guinea

    One of the countries hit hardest by this year's Ebola epidemic, Guinea, is also one of the countries most susceptible to an onset of state-led mass killing, according to our statistical risk assessments. This conjunction is not entirely accidental. And, while the Ebola epidemic almost certainly won’t lead directly to mass atrocities, the effects the epidemic is having on Guinea’s political economy could indirectly increase that risk in coming months.

  • Zimbabwe Simmers

    This week, the International Crisis Group issued a new briefing on Zimbabwe that portrays a country on simmer. "Zimbabwe is an insolvent and failing state," writes ICG Africa Program director Comfort Ero, "its politics zero sum, its institutions hollowing out, and its once vibrant economy moribund." Without significant changes of course in economic policy and elite behavior, the report warns, the risk of a sharper crisis and deeper collapse will continue to grow.

  • Rising Risk of State-Led Mass Killing in China's Xinjiang Region

    Xinjiang is China's westernmost region, far removed from Beijing and officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Most residents of the XUAR are Uyghurs, who are Turkic, speak their own language, and are largely Muslim. While the region has periodically been under Chinese rule for centuries, the people are culturally more similar to their Central Asian neighbors. Separatist activity and ethnic tension is not uncommon, but historically there have only been a few incidents of mass violence.

  • Moving the Needle on Prevention Through Improved Early Warning

    Yesterday, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 2717 (2014), ostensibly committing itself "to better utilizing all tools of the United Nations system to ensure that warning signs of impending bloodshed [are] translated into 'concrete preventative action.'" Among many phrases and clauses, that resolution included the following: