In this edition of the Global Risk Bulletin, we explain the consequences of France’s waning security influence in the Sahel, discuss how a dispute triggered by car licence plate rules is reigniting tensions in the Balkans, and assess the prospects for a sustained resolution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.
France loses its footing in the Sahel
As France has reduced its military presence in the Sahel region, others have moved in to seek new opportunities for influence and commercial gain. China, Turkey and Russia have all taken steps to increase engagements with countries in the region, though the approaches they have taken differ.
What’s in a letter: Can a dispute over licenCe plates ignite war in the Balkans?
Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo have risen following changes in vehicle licence plate protocols in Kosovo. The underlying dynamics are complex, and have a long history, and while both parties seem willing to de-escalate tensions, this recent spat speaks to the fragility of the peace that exists between the two countries.
A battle of wills: Renewed clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan
A series of clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan in mid-September served as a reminder of the unresolved tensions between the two states. The dispute has a long history, and while a tentative ceasefire has been agreed, the prospect of further military action remains a distinct possibility before any permanent peace agreement will be reached.