Sudan: Hồi kết còn xa

SÁNG ÁNH – 07/05/2023 06:03 GMT+7

TTCTXung đột đang nổ ra tại Sudan là kết quả của không chỉ tranh đoạt quyền lợi phe phái hiện tại. Mâu thuẫn ở vùng đất này cũng lâu đời như chính nó vậy.

Tiếng súng vang lên từ ngày 15-4. Tại thủ đô Khartoum của Sudan, Lực lượng Yểm trợ nhanh chóng (RSF) do tướng Mohamed Dagalo cầm đầu dàn quân tại các khu vực nhiều dân lao động. RSF là lực lượng dân quân võ trang hùng hậu tới 100.000 tay súng. Họ chốt ở các trại lính và căn cứ của quân đội quốc gia, vốn dưới quyền tướng Abdel al-Burhan.

Xung đột vũ trang nhiều hình thức đã dai dẳng ở Sudan suốt một thời gian dài từ khi độc lập. Ảnh: AFP

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Why do Jerusalem tensions fuel regionwide unrest?

yesterday, April7, 2023 AP

Muslim worshippers perform Friday prayers outside the Dome of Rock Mosque at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Friday, April 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Muslim worshippers perform Friday prayers outside the Dome of Rock Mosque at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Friday, April 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

JERUSALEM (AP) — It’s become something of a grim, springtime tradition in the Holy Land.

Israeli police fire tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinians stockpiling rocks and fireworks inside one of the most bitterly disputed holy sites on Earth. The violence ripples across Israel and the occupied West Bank, and militants from as far away as Gaza and Lebanon respond with rockets.

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CFR – Daily News Brief April 3, 2023

ImageDaily News BriefApril 3, 2023
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OPEC+ Announces Surprise Cuts to Global Oil Output

International oil prices rose today (Bloomberg) after Saudi Arabia and other oil-exporting nations announced plans to reduce output (AP) by 1.15 million barrels per day between May and the end of the year. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, collectively known as OPEC+, had not previously signaled plans to slash output. Additionally, OPEC+ member Russia extended its ongoing cut of five hundred thousand barrels per day through the end of the year. The White House called the cuts ill-advised and pledged to work with producers and consumers to bring oil prices down.  The oil producers’ announcement comes as Australia, the European Union, and Group of Seven (G7) countries try to enforce a global price cap on Russian oil. However, Japan negotiated an exemption from the cap due to its energy needs, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. 
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CFR – The World This Week March 31, 2023

ImageThe World This WeekMarch 31, 2023
The Putin-Xi Summit Reinforces Anti-U.S. Partnership Thomas Graham

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony at the Kremlin on March 21, 2023. (Alexey Maishev/Sputnik)The meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Moscow helped both give the impression of a united front, but underlying tensions were also discernible. Get the quick take
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CFR – Daily News Brief, March 30, 2023

Image Daily News Brief March 30, 2023
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EU Chief Calls for Europe to ‘De-Risk’ From China

During a speech in Brussels today, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for the European Union (EU) to take a “bolder” stance (Politico) toward Beijing in response to China becoming “more repressive at home and more assertive abroad.” She said this would help Europe “de-risk” itself (Reuters) economically and diplomatically, but that economic decoupling from China is not possible. She also referred to the close relationship between China’s and Russia’s leaders and said China is responsible for advancing a “just peace” in Ukraine that includes the withdrawal of Russian forces. Von der Leyen will visit Beijing next week. 
European leaders have diverged in recent months (FT) over their views on China. While the United States has hardened its own China policy through controls on tech exports, trade officials at the European Commission have studied the possibility of controls on outbound European investment. 
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CFR: Daily News Brief, March 28, 2023

Image Daily News Brief March 28, 2023
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British, German Tanks Reach Kyiv as Ukraine Prepares for Spring Offensive

The first deliveries of British Challenger tanks and German Leopard 2 tanks reached the Ukrainian capital (FT), German and Ukrainian officials confirmed. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces completed training (The Guardian) in the United Kingdom on how to use the Challenger tanks. Poland sent tanks to Ukraine late last month, and Spain is expected to do so by the end of the week.
Ukraine’s spring counteroffensive against invading Russian forces will depend (BBC) on continued weapons support from the West, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said. He will give a virtual address today (AFP) to kick off U.S. President Joe Biden’s second annual Summit for Democracy. 
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Why did China help Saudi Arabia and Iran resume diplomatic ties?

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

Critical Questions by Jon B. Alterman, CSIS

Published March 10, 2023

On Friday, March 10, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced their agreement to reestablish diplomatic relations based on talks held in Beijing. China has portrayed itself as the broker of the agreement, and China’s senior diplomat congratulated the two countries on their “wisdom.”

Q1: Why did the two countries reestablish relations now?

A1: The agreement seems to have been moved forward during President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Beijing last month. For months, Saudi Arabia has put pressure on Iran through its reported support for Iran International, a foreign-based Persian-language broadcaster critical of the regime that is received in Iran. Since President Raisi took office in August 2021, he announced it was a priority to reduce tensions with regional neighbors. Saudi Arabia and Iran have had a wide variety of differences throughout the region, often fought through proxies. They span from Lebanon to Syria to Iraq to Yemen. Iran has supplied weapons to Houthi forces in Yemen that have threatened Saudi populations both on the border and in interior areas. Saudi Arabia has been increasingly interested in finding a way to end the conflict in Yemen, and this agreement is likely to move that forward.

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CFR Daily News Brief March 9, 2023

Daily News BriefMarch 9, 2023
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The Netherlands Announces Chip Export Curbs After U.S. Urging

The Dutch government announced that it will impose export restrictions (FT) on “the most advanced” semiconductor technology, citing security concerns. While it did not name China in the announcement, the restrictions come after U.S. officials urged the Dutch and Japanese governments to limit chip exports to China over fears that the tech could be used to make weapons and commit human rights abuses. Washington announced its own curbs on chip exports in October.  

U.S.-China tensions over technology access came up as U.S. intelligence officials testified to Congress yesterday during an annual hearing on security threats. CIA Director William Burns called tech innovation (Reuters) “the main arena for competition” with China. Additionally, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said China will increasingly try to undercut U.S. influence (CNN), though it will likely try to prevent tensions from spiraling into conflict.
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Annual Threat Asessment of the US Intelligence Community (Office of Director of National Intelligence)

February 6, 2023

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During the coming year, the United States and its allies will confront a complex and pivotal international security environment dominated by two critical strategic challenges that intersect with each other and existing trends to intensify their national security implications. First, great powers, rising regional powers, as well as an evolving array of non-state actors, will vie for dominance in the global order, as well as compete to set the emerging conditions and the rules that will shape that order for decades to come. Strategic competition between the United States and its allies, hina, and Russia over what kind of world will emerge makes the next few years critical to determining who and what will shape the narrative perhaps most immediately in the context of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which threaten to escalate into a broader conflict between Russia and the West. Second, shared global challenges, including climate change, and
human and health security, are converging as the planet emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and confronts economic issues spurred by both energy and food insecurity. Rapidly emerging or evolving technologies continue to have the potential to disrupt traditional business and society with both positive and negative outcomes, while creating unprecedented vulnerabilities and attack surfaces, making it increasingly challenging to predict the impact of such challenges on the global landscape.

These two strategic challenges will intersect and interact in unpredictable ways, leading to mutually reinforcing effects that could challenge our ability to respond, but that also will introduce new opportunities to forge collective action with allies and partners, including non-state actors. The 2023 Annual Threat Assessment highlights some of those connections as it provides the IC’s baseline assessments of the most pressing threats to U.S. national interests. It is not an exhaustive assessment of all global challenges. This assessment addresses both the threats from U.S. adversaries and functional and transnational concerns, such as weapons of mass destruction and cyber, primarily in the sections regarding threat actors, as well as an array of regional issues with larger, global implications.

Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine has highlighted that the era of nation-state competition and conflict has not been relegated to the past but instead has emerged as a defining characteristic of the current era. While Russia is challenging the United States and some norms in the international order in its war of territorial aggression, China has the capability to directly attempt to alter the rules-based global order in every realm and across multiple regions, as a near-peer competitor that is increasingly pushing to change global norms and potentially threatening its neighbors. Russia’s military action against Ukraine demonstrates that it remains a revanchist power, intent on using whatever tools are needed to try to reestablish a perceived sphere of influence despite what its neighbors desire for themselves, and is willing to push back on Washington both locally and globally. Besides these strategic competitors, local and regional powers are seeking to exert their influence, often at the cost of neighbors and the world order itself. Iran will
remain a regional menace with broader malign influence activities, and North Korea will expand its WMD capabilities while being a disruptive player on the regional and world stages.

At the same time, as the nations of the world strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, they are beset by an array of shared, global issues. The accelerating effects of climate change are placing more of the world’s population, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, under threat from extreme weather, food insecurity, and humanitarian disasters, fueling migration flows and increasing the risks of future pandemics as pathogens exploit the changing environment. Efforts by Russia, China, and other countries to promote authoritarianism and spread disinformation is helping fuel a larger competition between [ 5 ] democratic and authoritarian forms of government. This competition exploits global information flows to gain influence and impacts nearly all countries, contributing to democratic backsliding, threats of political instability, and violent societal conflict through misinformation and disinformation.

Regional and localized conflicts and instability will continue to demand U.S. attention as states and nonstate actors truggle to find their place in the evolving international order, attempt to navigate great power competition, and confront shared transnational challenges. Regional challengers, such as Iran and North Korea, will seek to disrupt their local security environment and garner more power for themselves, threatening U.S. allies in the process. In every region of the world, challenges from climate change, demographic trends, human and health security, and economic disruptions caused by energy and food insecurity and technology proliferation will combine and interact in specific and unique ways to trigger events ranging from political instability, to terrorist threats, to mass migration, and potential humanitarian emergencies.

The 2023 Annual Threat Assessment Report supports the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s transparency commitments and the tradition of providing regular threat updates to the American public and the United States Congress. The IC is vigilant in monitoring and assessing direct and indirect threats to U.S. and allied interests. As part of this ongoing effort, the IC’s National Intelligence Officers work closely with analysts from across the IC to examine the spectrum of threats and highlight the most likely and impactful near-term risks in the context of the longer-term, overarching threat environment. The National Intelligence Council stands ready to support policymakers with additional information in a classified setting.

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CFR – Daily News Brief – Feb. 17, 2023

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Munich Security Conference Focuses on Ukraine War Effort

Hundreds of Western officials are in Munich to discuss boosting support for Ukraine, which could include further military aid and stronger sanctions against Russia. In a video address to attendees, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed for accelerated weapons deliveries (NYT) to defend against Russian forces. A report issued by the chair of the conference warned that “revisionist actors” are threatening the international order, but also said that the order should better address (DW) the interests of countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The leaders of countries including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are expected to attend the security conference, while both Russia and Iran were uninvited (FT). Instead, the Belarusian and Russian presidents met separately to discuss their alliance. Meanwhile, Russian shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut killed five people (Kyiv Independent) yesterday, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said.
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CFR – Daily news brief Feb. 7, 2023

Daily News BriefFebruary 7, 2023
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WHO Predicts Death Toll in Syria, Turkey Quake Could Rise by ‘Thousands’

Syrian and Turkish officials said at least five thousand people were killed (NYT) by yesterday’s consecutive earthquakes at the Syria-Turkey border and their aftershocks, making the quakes one of the deadliest natural disasters to occur this century. As rescue efforts continue, an official from the Eastern Mediterranean office of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the death toll could rise by thousands and that there is a “substantial” risk of another aftershock.
Aid teams from more than sixty-five countries have arrived in southern Turkey to support relief efforts, Hürriyet reported, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared a three-month state of emergency in ten provinces. Meanwhile, the Syrian government is unable to receive direct aid from many countries because of sanctions on Bashar al-Assad’s government. Additionally, a border crossing used to deliver humanitarian aid to rebel-held northern Syria was damaged in the disaster. 
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CFR – Daily news brief Jan. 13, 2023

Editor’s note: There will be no Daily Brief on Monday, January 16, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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Japan’s Kishida Visits White House Amid Historic Military Buildup at Home

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and U.S. President Joe Biden will meet today (WaPo) in Washington, with Biden expected to praise Japan’s plans to dramatically boost its defense spending. Their meeting is expected to focus on the war in Ukraine, Chinese military aggression, the North Korean nuclear threat, and boosting security cooperation. Ahead of the visit, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told Nikkei that Washington is willing to help Tokyo gain the ability to launch missile attacks on enemy territory.
The two leaders are also expected to discuss U.S. export controls (Reuters) targeting China’s semiconductor sector. Tokyo supports the controls but has not matched them. Kishida’s visit caps off a weeklong tour of Western partner countries ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit that Japan will host in May.
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CFR – Daily news brief Jan. 12, 2023

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Putin Replaces Russia’s Top General in Ukraine After Battlefield Setbacks

Russia’s highest-ranking military officer, General Valery Gerasimov, was promoted to lead the country’s forces (FT) in Ukraine, replacing General Sergey Surovikin. Since Surovikin was appointed three months ago (CBS), Russia has lost control of the southern town of Kherson and struggled to provide basic equipment to the hundreds of thousands of troops it started conscripting in September. Surovikin has also faced criticism for housing hundreds of troops in a building that was bombed by Ukraine. He will now serve as one of Gerasimov’s deputies.
Meanwhile, tensions have reportedly flared between Russia’s military and its Wagner Group of mercenaries over which forces deserve credit for alleged territorial gains in the town of Soledar. An unnamed source told the Financial Times that Surovikin’s demotion could be linked to the Wagner Group’s apparent successes.
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Council on Foreign Relations – Daily news brief Jan. 10, 2023

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Leaders of U.S., Canada, Mexico Meet 

U.S. President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador are meeting in Mexico City (AP) for the North American Leaders’ Summit. Their discussions are expected to produce agreements (Reuters) on migration, semiconductors, climate change, and antidrug cooperation.
In a meeting between López Obrador and Biden yesterday, the two presidents pledged to step up cooperation (Reuters) on curbing fentanyl trafficking to the United States. Meanwhile, U.S. business leaders have voiced concern over López Obrador’s policies favoring state control in the economy. U.S.-Mexico trade increased by 19 percent (WaPo) in the first eleven months of 2022 as U.S. companies moved business away from China.
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Counci on Foreign Relations – Daily news brief Jan. 9, 2023

Daily News BriefJanuary 9, 2023
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Bolsonaro Supporters Attack Government Buildings in Brazil

Brazilian police arrested at least three hundred people after thousands of supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed and vandalized (AP) Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace yesterday in scenes reminiscent of the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The rioters protested the results of last year’s presidential election, which Bolsonaro lost to left-wing former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro has for years pushed false claims about the credibility of Brazil’s election system, and many of his supporters say the 2022 election was stolen from him.
Multiple world leaders condemned the events (NYT) and voiced support for Lula, who said there was “incompetence or bad faith” on behalf of police who allowed the events to unfold. Bolsonaro, believed to be in Florida, tweeted a condemnation (NYT) of the attack several hours after it began.
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