Notebook

Burundi teeters on the brink of civil war

The president and his supporters may have defeated the coup – but if anything, the events over the past days and weeks have exposed the deep rifts in Burundian society that to fix will take more than arms.

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Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit – what next?

After all night talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, the outcomes of the four party talks in the so-called Normandy format have neither brought a major breakthrough or a complete disaster. As a deal, it is not a solution, but perhaps a step towards one.

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Ukraine sliding towards all-out war despite mediation efforts

For the time being, the discussions in the Ukraine Contact Group are the only mechanism that can potentially avert all-out war. But unless there is some credible follow-through by the opponents on the ground to the latest “agreement”, the window of opportunity that these ongoing discussions create may be closing fast – and with dire consequences.

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Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12

The deadly attack on a bus carrying civilians near Donetsk, killing at least 12 of them and wounding many more, comes in the wake of yet another round of failed talks among the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. It also follows a pattern of persistent violence between rebels and government forces that has made a mockery of a ceasefire agreement brokered between the two sides back in September 2014.

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Moldova’s future in the balance

Even in the best-possible scenario, Moldova has a long way to go before it sheds its reputation as one of the most corrupt and poorest countries in Europe. It will be up to the country’s political elites, as well as their respective external patrons, to decide whether these elections are the first step in this direction.

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Post-Soviet Confidence Games

Confidence-building measures can help to stabilize a conflict, but the stability they generate is often fragile and temporary. In an environment like that in Ukraine, there is a risk that such measures will sustain, not end, the conflict.

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