Europe / Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
The conversations from 1eh April last year, at video conference between the Russian and Ukrainian envoys, did not allow any tangible progress towards a possible resolution of the conflict. The Russian representatives, led by negotiator Vladimir Medinski, reaffirmed that their positions on Donbass and Crimea, regions that could be subject to a special status, had not changed. High-intensity fighting is still taking place in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in accordance with the intention of the Russian forces to concentrate their presence in the eastern and southern part of Ukrainian territory. On April 2, the Ukrainian authorities announced that the entire province of Kiev had now been liberated from Russian forces, but some local reports mention continued clashes in this area. In addition, mass graves have been found in the town of Boutcha (25 kilometers northwest of the Ukrainian capital) and their qualification as “war crimes” of many countries could lead to new international sanctions against Russia.
Hungarian and Serbian citizens had an agreement at the polls on Sunday 3 April. In Hungary, Prime Minister Victor Orban’s party won a fourth consecutive victory in the parliamentary elections, while outgoing Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is likely to be re-elected based on preliminary results. As a reminder, the first round of the French presidential election will take place on Sunday 10 April and the second on 24 April. The rallies expected in the country’s largest cities on the sidelines of the ballot paper should take place without major clashes.
The A2 motorway, which runs from the south to the north of the country, is one of the most criminogenic in Nigeria, exposed to highway robbers. To this end, military operations have been launched throughout Kaduna State (in the center of the country, about one hundred kilometers north of the capital Abuja) to try to counter the armed bandits operating on this route. . These operations are part of a climate of high security tension, symbolized by the attack on a train about 25 km from Rigasa station, which connects Kaduna with the federal capital. A dozen dead and nearly thirty injured were registered after assailants planted explosives on the rails and then surrounded the train, which was transporting hundreds of passengers. In addition to the numbered victims, several passengers are still missing to this day. On March 26, Kaduna International Airport was attacked by the same armed gangs, neutralizing its operational capacity. In parallel with the strengthening of security arrangements, rallies should soon be held to condemn this recurring insecurity.
North Africa / Middle East
As a result of a third postponement, the federal Supreme Court has set April 6 as the new deadline for the election of the Iraqi head of state. The outgoing Kurdish president, Barham Salih, is running for re-election. In Iraq, the President of the Republic is elected by indirect election of the 239 members of the Council of Representatives for a four-year term. As a reminder, since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, this post of president has necessarily passed to a Kurd, the post of Speaker of Parliament to a Sunni Muslim, and the post of Prime Minister to a Shiite Muslim. This period continues to be conducive to acts of violence, such as the supporters of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest authority for Shiite Islam in the country, who burned the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the Karrada district of Baghdad on March 28.
Israel / Palestinian Territories
New waves of violence have been mourned since the end of March in this sensitive area of the Middle East. On March 22, the Israeli city of Beer-Sheva (the southern part of the country) was the site of a car bomb attack and a shooting that left four people dead and two wounded. On March 28, the city of Hadera (in the north, between Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Haifa) was hit by an armed attack that killed two law enforcement officers and injured ten civilians. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for these two attacks, a sign of its intentions for potential attacks on Israeli soil. On March 29, a lone killer opened fire in two neighborhoods of Bnei Brak (a northeastern suburb of Tel Aviv), killing five people before being shot and killed by police. This new event sparked protests in several Israeli cities. Finally on the 1steh April, security forces killed three Palestinians after opening fire at a checkpoint near Jenin in the West Bank. Four police officers were injured on this occasion. In such a context, tensions between Arab and Jewish communities are likely to worsen with the heightened security during the month of Ramadan, which began in early April.
The forthcoming dissolution of Parliament was announced by President Kaïs Saïed on 30 March. This decision confirms the authoritarian operation of the Tunisian head of state, who already has strangleholds on all organs of power in the country. After freezing Parliament’s activities on 25 July 2021, the Tunisian president surprised himself with the possibility of legislating by decree indefinitely since September 2021. Recently, he also announced the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council (CSM) on 6 February . This new situation risks triggering new demonstrations, especially in the capital.
Yemen and Saudi Arabia
The two-month ceasefire between Yemeni-based Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition took effect on April 2. This unprecedented ceasefire signals a possible desire for de-escalation following a series of recent attacks by Yemeni rebels against strategic Saudi infrastructure. If this period of relaxation remains very fragile, it could nevertheless mark a break in cross-border attacks, allow eighteen ships of fuel to dock at the port of Hodeida (west coast of Yemen) and two international flights to operate Sanaa International Airport, the Yemeni capital.
Since the election as Peruvian president in July 2021, Pedro Castillo has remained under pressure from his opponents, driven by socio-economic difficulties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and resurfaced following recent allegations of electoral irregularities against several members of government. However, this question of the president’s power does not seem to be shared by Parliament, which on March 28 rejected a no – confidence vote against Pedro Castillo, the second since he became president.
Asia and the Pacific
The country is undergoing a major political crisis after the Vice-President of the National Assembly – Qasim Suri, a loyal supporter of Prime Minister Imran Khan – refused to put the no-confidence motion against Mr Khan to a vote in parliament. The prime minister, who had just lost his parliamentary majority, immediately decided to dissolve parliament and convene new elections within 90 days, accusing the opposition of participating in a foreign conspiracy. In response, the opposition called on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to sit in front of parliament in the capital Islamabad. Clashes with police and between rival supporters can also be expected in the coming weeks.
Already facing a severe economic crisis, Sri Lanka has had to deal with strong political instability since the 26 ministers who make up the government have all resigned on April 3rd. The latter thus intend to express their disagreement with the establishment of a weekend curfew, which was intended to prevent demonstrations against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. While a temporary cabinet is expected to be formed immediately, further large-scale demonstrations are expected, while several opposition parties, including the Muslim League and Pakistan’s Democratic Movement, have called on their supporters to protest.