Jordan’s attempt to prioritize Syrian and Iraqis refugees leaves its other asylum seekers underserved.
The likely vote for secession by south Sudan on January 9 raises questions about whether the two sides will be able to work out viable border arrangements, whether the south can remain politically cohesive and become economically viable, and how the north will handle other separatist movements.
With a referendum on southern independence scheduled to take place in less than 100 days, concern is rising in the international community about a possible looming disaster in Sudan. But one asset the country has is that none of the major outside players has an interest in destabilizing it.
The April elections approach as the country grapples with questions about the referendum, Southern independence, border demarcation, and above all the stability of a Southern state.
With President Omar al-Bashir facing an ICC indictment, will Sudan join the community of nations or remain a pariah state characterized by coercive relations between the government and the governed?
Is America serious about democracy and political reform in the Arab world? Does the neo-Wilsonian dimension of the Bush administration's policy toward the region presage a decisive departure from the longstanding realist policy of "regime maintenance"?
There is broad consensus in Washington that a "war of ideas" is a central component of the larger war on terror. And in this war, a prime target is the "poisonous" Arab media environment, particularly the new satellite television channels , which are blamed for spreading anti-American sentiment.
The January 2005 peace agreement has improved Sudan's standing in the international community, as demonstrated by $6 billion in economic support raised at a donors' conference in Oslo in April 2005. Inside Sudan, however, the agreement has revealed new sources of instability.
The second of June marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese writer Samir Qasir, with no indication of who ordered the car bombing that silenced one of the loudest Arab voices criticizing autocratic Arab regimes, particularly the Assad family in Syria.
Until recently Western assistance programs aimed at strengthening political parties were less present in the Arab world than in almost all other areas of the developing world. As part of the heightened U.S. and European interest in promoting Arab political reform, however, such programs are multiplying in the region.
Foreign democracy assistance organizations working directly with political parties have come into the line of fire as some Arab governments have pushed back against democratization initiatives over the past two years. In Algeria, Bahrain, and Egypt in particular, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) have been among the first to feel pressure.