ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 26/10/2017

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Al-Monitor—A. Mardasov / Moscow eyes working with tribes as its next move in Syria

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Russia’s vision of the ongoing peace effort in Syria, saying, “It’s gaining positive momentum,” and praising the contributions of Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel. He also spoke highly of the role that the United States is playing behind the scenes.
  • Putin said, however, that current negotiations between the opposition and the Syrian government are “moving very sluggishly”. “There is an idea to call a congress of the Syrian people, bringing together all ethnic and religious groups, the government and the opposition.”
  • According to a retired officer from the Russian Defense Ministry, “the strategy seems to be to continue to engage [...] tribes and their leaders who reside in oil-and-gas-rich territories freed from IS and who are now fighting the Syrian Democratic Forces, hoping the tribes will join those who prove to be stronger [on the ground].”

Politico—G. Hervey / Human rights group to take unprecedented legal step against Azerbaijan

  • The Council of Europe (CoE) on Wednesday formally agreed to take legal action against Azerbaijan over its refusal to release an opposition politician from jail.
  • The CoE’s Committee of Ministers notified Azerbaijan of its intention to trigger Article 46.4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which has never been used and could ultimately lead to Azerbaijan being expelled from the organization.
  • In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the detention of the opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov was a human rights violation — but he is still in prison three years later.
  • The Committee of Ministers gave Azerbaijan until November 29 to set out its response in writing — and unless the country agrees to release Mammadov, the committee will send the case back to the European Court of Human Rights.

Foreign Policy—T. McCormick / Kenya is barreling toward an ‘illegal’ election

  • Incumbent Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August 8 re-election victory was nullified by the Supreme Court soon after, and a revote was called for today.
  • Since August, tensions have mounted over how to reform the country’s independent election commission, which the court deemed responsible for multiple “irregularities” and “illegalities” on August 8.
  • Less than 24 hours before voting was due to begin, huge questions loomed over the process, including who would be on the ballot and whether the increasingly embattled commission would be able to administer the vote.
  • Less than two months after they defied the executive branch in what many hailed as a democratic milestone in Africa, all but two of Kenya’s Supreme Court justices declined to rule on perhaps the most consequential petition in years: to delay the country’s fraught presidential rerun.
  • Supporters of the opposition have clashed repeatedly with security forces, and nearly 70 people have been killed since the original election took place.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

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