As it enters Ghardaia, the road divides two communities -- the Chaamba Arabs and Mozabite Amazigh -- who’ve been clashing for five months, leaving several dead and hundreds wounded. Riot police guard the road that’s lined by scorched shops. 'There are plenty of grievances there for people to tap into,' said Jon Marks.
In crossfire of cross words over Ukraine, we should be careful what we read into statements from all sides as Russian, Ukrainian and American foreign ministers, together with EU representatives, arrive in Geneva for talks on Thursday. Neither side has a good track record with accuracy or the truth, writes James Nixey.
'There is a real likelihood that this could get out of control. It’s a very dangerous game they’re playing,' said John Lough. 'By upping the stakes, what they (Russia) want to do is get the US and EU to the table, persuade them that only Russia has a realistic solution to these problems,' he said.
'It is difficult to try to link what drives the different separatist movements around the world,' says Sir Andrew Wood. 'But it broadly narrows down to language, religion and history – and even, in certain cases, a fondly remembered insult.'
The current crisis in the peace negotiations may deliver a mortal blow to the chances of reaching a peace agreement, leaving both sides taking unilateral actions, writes Yossi Mekelberg.
'They [Russia] have many more levers than the EU and US to influence Ukraine. They care very deeply about the future of Ukraine... whereas there are a lot of people in European capitals who have only just woken up to the fact that Ukraine is a very big country that is now very unstable,' said John Lough.
'No serious analyst ever really believed,' that the military had managed to trap Boko Haram in the northeast, said Alex Vines. The Abuja bombing 'isn't a surprise,' he told AFP. 'It's just a reminder that the threat remains. It is completely consistent with what we know about Boko Haram.'
'Putin's behaviour suggests he believes that the US and the EU have neither a concept for stabilizing Ukraine nor the appetite to bail it out economically,' said John Lough. 'He also does not appear to take seriously the threat of strong Western economic sanctions.'