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Quarterly ForecastsMar 26, 2020 | 18:27 GMT
2020 Second-Quarter Forecast
Many of the trends identified in our annual forecast will slow down or be on hold as governments scramble to adapt to a post-COVID reality.
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Regions & CountriesJanuary 23, 2020 | 18:40 GMT
Sudan
Sudan
Sudan is a huge country between Northern and Central Africa which, prior to the independence of South Sudan, was the continent's largest country. Its position has long drawn the attention of outsiders, and once facilitated the birth of powerful empires and city-states. Since declaring independence from the United Kingdom in 1955, Sudan has struggled to manage its expansive territories and ethno-regional divisions. Khartoum, the country's capital, can be viewed as a relatively isolated city-state that must command the vast spaces and people that surround it. Such a mentality helps explain Khartoum's disastrous management of the country's various rebellions and insurrections. Until recently, the country's leadership has preferred to adopt a belligerent approach to dealing with the country's many outstanding conflicts. Because Sudan's borders do not fully align with its various ethnic groups, its internal ethnic conflicts have fueled regional conflict as well. Ethnic groups in the Darfur region of eastern Sudan spill over into neighboring Chad, driving the two countries to wage proxy warfare against each other for years by arming and financing rebels intent on revolution. Sudan's proximity to the Middle East — as well as its cultural and religious makeup — has allowed it to build ties with powers there. Though this has benefitted Sudan by allowing it to attract investment from companies such as Saudi Arabia, it has also engendered greater scrutiny.
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Regions & CountriesJanuary 23, 2020 | 18:42 GMT
South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan is a landlocked state in East-Central Africa whose capital is Juba. The country is bordered by Sudan to the north, Ethiopia to the east, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, as well as the Central African Republic to the west. South Sudan is also the youngest country in the world. Since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, it has experienced ongoing instability, including civil war and famine. Amid the nascent country's many problems, South Sudan's main challenge is the management of its various ethnic groups. Indeed, much of the nation's civil war has stemmed from battles for power between its major ethnic groups. The country's lack of sea access has also restricted its economic prospects because of the associated high cost of imports and exports. As it is, transport links throughout Central and East Africa are poor, but South Sudan's logistical problems are naturally exacerbated by its instability and violence. Still, South Sudan does boast proven oil reserves – something that has driven foreign interest in the area for decades. Nevertheless, the unlikelihood that hostilities will end anytime soon, coupled with the further erosion of Juba's control over territory, has greatly complicated investment in the oil industry. Accordingly, there appears little chance that South Sudan will rectify its deep structural deficiencies and end the fighting among its major ethnic groups anytime soon.
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AssessmentsDec 20, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
Tribesmen loyal to the Houthis ride in the back of a vehicle during a gathering to mobilize more fighters on Nov. 1, 2016, on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen.
In Yemen, Saudi Arabia Takes the Path of Pragmatism
After close to half a decade involved in Yemen's conflict, Saudi Arabia appears to be changing tack. No longer as determined to vanquish the Houthis, the desert kingdom is increasingly trying to protect itself economically and security-wise from a conflict that Riyadh cannot realistically hope to win militarily. In adjusting
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AssessmentsNov 21, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
During the latest protests, the government of Iran has shut off access to the internet in most of the country.
The Growing Power and Threat of Government-Imposed Internet Blackouts
Amid the recent bout of nationwide protests in Iran, government-enforced blackouts have taken more than 90 percent of the country's internet offline and blocked most Iranians from communicating with the outside world. The move has drawn substantial international media attention, and #Internet4Iran has been a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
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