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Giorgio Cafiero

Understanding the Standoff in Mali

[Fighters from the NMLA (National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad) in a market in Timbuktu, Mali, 14 April 2012. Image by Anonymous/AP Photo]

The standoff between Mali’s government and the armed Islamists who control two-thirds of the country is unlikely to resolve peacefully, and the prospects for a new war in the Sahel appear increasingly probable. In January, a disciplined Tuareg separatist group, the Movement for the National Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), initiated a rebellion that eventually forced Mali’s corrupt and weak military to withdraw from the northern part of the country in April.  Militant ...

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Beyond Libya's Election

[Libyan rally against federalism and division. Image from Flickr.]

On July 7, 2012, 1.7 million citizens participated in Libya’s first democratic election with multiple parties in nearly half a century, marking a historic achievement. Approximately 60 percent of Libya’s registered voters cast their votes to elect a 200-member national assembly that will replace the unelected interim government, the National Transition Council (NTC). 0 0 1 2954 16841 ASI 140 39 19756 14.0 ...

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Will Syria Cause a Divorce Between Iran and Turkey?

[Image from Flickr/]

Turkey and Iran are two of the Middle East’s oldest and most powerful states, and both aspire to play a greater role in a new regional order. Major geopolitical developments in the Middle East—the rise of Kurdish nationalism, the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, the Israeli-Hezbollah war of 2006, and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008-2009—have aligned Turkish and Iranian interests during the post-Cold ...

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Is Qatar's Foreign Policy Sustainable?

[Doha, Qatar. Image from Creative Commons/Google Images]

Qatar, home to only 225,000 natives and 1.7 million foreign workers, has emerged as an influential regional actor in recent years. Emir Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has ruled Qatar since 1995, when he replaced his father in a bloodless palace coup, and has pursued an ambitious foreign policy for his statelet. Natural resource wealth, ownership of Al Jazeera, and a carefully constructed web of foreign alliances have allowed Doha to project itself throughout the Middle ...

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Giorgio Cafiero

Giorgio Cafiero is a Research Assistant at Foreign Policy in Focus, the Institute for Policy Studies.