Stratfor’s Global Interactions Forecast for Q2 2024

The international system is witnessing many major challenges and problems. At the political level, the international system appears to be in a period of instability in light of the ambitions of many parties to change the existing structure of the regime and undermine American hegemony over the regime. The ongoing wars in Ukraine as well as the Gaza Strip, as well as the frozen conflicts in more than one region, are also pressure factors on international interactions. Moreover, many countries suffer from various economic, security and political challenges, which threaten political and societal stability in different countries, and consequently affect regional stability.

In March 2024, Stratfor published a report on its most prominent forecasts for a number of regions and regions during the second quarter of that year.

Key trends

The report presented the main global trends expected, focusing on the following points:

1- Declining inflation in many advanced economies: Inflation in advanced economies is expected to continue to decline in the context of stable economic activity, and major central banks are close to starting interest rate cuts, especially in the United States, and in light of the country’s continued economic growth. By contrast, while inflation in Europe will also continue to decline under restrictive monetary policy, growth on the continent will remain very weak and may even slow further due to challenges for its largest economy, Germany.

2- Banking sector fears of commercial real estate losses: In the US and European banking systems, losses associated with commercial real estate will remain a concern due to weak demand for office space after Covid-19, especially due to the large lending provided by medium-sized and non-banking financial institutions to the sector. However, the risk of a crisis in the overall banking sector involving important banks remains low because large systemically important banks still have good capitalization, and because their commercial loans related to real estate are relatively small.

3- Continuing China’s moves to overcome the risk of economic contraction: The uncertainty surrounding China’s economic and financial prospects will continue, but the authorities will take the necessary measures to protect against the risks of negative growth, deflation, and especially financial risks, prompting the government to provide continuous and gradual support to stabilize the real estate market, especially since the Central Bank has enough room to increase fiscal spending and reduce interest rates to support economic growth in the event of a significant slowdown in growth.

Low inflation or deflation would also increase exports, leading to higher trade surpluses and increased trade tensions with China’s main trading partners (the European Union and the United States) without necessarily prompting them to take concrete action against Beijing. However, failure to address economic uncertainty will affect foreign investment, and non-Chinese and Chinese companies will try to re-engineer their supply chains against the backdrop of diplomatic tensions with Beijing.

4- Global shipping disruptions continue due to Middle East tensions: A possible Israeli attack on Rafah and its long occupation of Gaza is pushing the Houthis to maintain a relatively high cadence of rocket and drone attacks targeting ships crossing the Red Sea, further congestion of ports, delays of ship voyages, and keeping shipping costs relatively high, with most Western shipping companies, especially ships with ties to the United States and Israel, using longer routes to avoid attacks. Houthis.

As the United States and Britain weaken the Houthis’ capabilities through an ongoing air and naval defense campaign, this will gradually reduce the Houthis’ ability to maintain the pace of their attack, but in the second quarter of the year the impact of this effort will be limited to moderately reducing the overall threat to ships, as the Houthis will continue to fire dozens of missiles and/or drones.

5- Aid to Ukraine affected by the course of the US elections: With former US President Donald Trump focusing his election campaign on confronting President Biden, he will work to convince Republicans in the House of Representatives to oppose any measures supported by the latter, especially with regard to the foreign and border policy of the state, and this will make it difficult for Washington to approve the level of aid provided to Ukraine, which will undermine Kiev’s ability to withstand the expected Russian military offensive in the spring.

6- The difficulty of reaching a US political consensus on the border issue: Trump and the Republicans in the House of Representatives are unlikely to reach an agreement with Democrats on immigration and border security, as this would give Biden victory in the border crisis that Republicans have long accused Democrats of causing it. A lack of bipartisan cooperation on the immigration crisis will also make border trade disruptions more likely, as the Republican-led Texas government could reintroduce border inspection requirements that delay shipments from northern Mexico, potentially affecting trade in agriculture, automobiles and electronics.

Eurasia conflicts

Conflicts will remain a key feature of interactions in the Eurasian region, which can be addressed as follows:

1- Russia makes tactical gains against Ukrainian forces: Based on Kiev’s delay in unpopular mobilization measures, and its suffering from a lack of ammunition amid declining Western support, Russian forces will take new offensive measures, and are likely to make tactical progress along the Ukrainian front, particularly in areas where Ukrainian forces are resisting, such as villages outside Avdiyevka, and this is likely around Robotin to end the gains made by Ukraine during its counteroffensive in the summer. 2023, and succeeded “Avdiyivka” to take advantage of the weak Ukrainian defenses in the region, and turned “Kobyansk” to threaten the “Kharkiv” region in the coming period.

While the strategic value of these territorial gains will be minimal, they may reduce the West’s willingness to support Ukraine in the coming months and demoralize Ukraine’s people and military. Even if a new U.S. aid package for Kiev is approved this quarter, it will not be disbursed quickly enough, nor will it be large enough to strengthen Ukraine’s position during the quarter. This picture means that Kiev will increasingly focus on taking the war into Russia, intensifying attacks on energy and transport infrastructure.

2- The Russian regime’s moves to consolidate control over the home front: In preparation for a protracted conflict, Russia will make internal changes, especially after Putin’s big victory in the presidential election, the absence of a major domestic or international reaction to the killing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny last February, and the terrorist attack that took place on March 22, and the Russian government will resort to repressive measures and measures aimed at limiting access to external information and suppressing critics of the regime.

The Kremlin will also consider further manpower and economic mobilization measures (such as forcing men to join the military, or civilian industries to switch to military production) so that it can escalate its threats, or secure a de facto military victory over Ukraine in the coming years. However, Moscow may abandon a major adjustment to its mobilization policy this quarter, believing that its current strategy is already working, and to avoid exacerbating the associated economic shortcomings.

3- The dilemma of military mobilization inside Ukraine continues: Ukraine is likely to pass a new mobilization law to increase the equipment of the army after months of deliberations between the Ukrainian Supreme Council and the presidential administration. But any legal changes are likely to last weeks and months, with newly mobilized forces needing at least two months of training, meaning a significant increase in Ukrainian forces on the front lines will not happen during this quarter. As a result, internal fatigue from the war in Ukraine will increase, affecting President Volodymyr Zelensky’s popularity and somewhat hurting the country’s fragile economy, but without widespread protests over its lack of broader popular support.

4- Continuation of “frosty” Armenia-Azerbaijan peace talks: Peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan will continue, with the two countries holding high-level contacts and exchanging draft possible peace treaty, and the bilateral border demarcation commission will continue its meetings, as the Armenian government continues to raise the controversial possibility of changing its constitution and other internal legal documents to remove references to reunification with Nagorno-Karabakh.

But with the possibility of escalatory attacks leading to a small number of deaths to assert its influence against Yerevan, and with Armenia’s reluctance to meet Azerbaijani demands, this will keep the possibility of violence between the two sides, though a return to large-scale hostilities will remain unlikely because Baku is confident that it can achieve its demands without another full-scale war.

On the other hand, Armenia will continue to seek arms deals and enhanced military cooperation with India and various NATO countries outside the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, with which Yerevan continues to freeze high-level cooperation, further cooling relations with Moscow.

5- Belarus makes structural changes to consolidate the pro-Russian path: Belarus will hold next April the first meeting of the All-Russian People’s Assembly since the body acquired new constitutional powers in 2022, and where the assembly, which will consist of 1,200 pro-government individuals, aims to strengthen the power of President Alexander Lukashenko for short and long-term periods, by allowing him to head the body, allowing him to retain his influence later leaving his presidential position, and through the enhanced powers of the assembly, which include confirming The legitimacy of elections, the removal of the president, the imposition of martial law, the appointment of judges of the Constitutional and Supreme Court and members of the Central Elections Commission, and many other new functions. The council will also pass new directives confirming the pro-Russian trajectory in the country, and to ensure this institutional political orientation and beyond Lukashenko’s personal preferences after the end of his presidential term.

Asia Pacific

The report presented the most prominent expected developments in the Asia-Pacific region through the following points:

1- Continued competition between the United States and China: With the forty-fifth anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act on April 10, and the inauguration of Taiwanese President-elect William Lai on May 20, this may prompt the intensification of high-level legislative visits between the United States and Taiwan, and the issuance of US bills to accelerate arms sales to Taipei, prompting China in return to take new coercive measures and activities towards Taiwan. Chinese reactions could include increasing tariffs on Taiwanese imports, intensifying military exercises around Taiwan, moving the Chinese coast guard around Taiwan’s Kinmen or Matsu Islands, or attracting more of the few remaining countries that still maintain diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.

Chinese provocations over Taiwan are unlikely to provoke conflict or even disrupt major business, but they will keep national security concerns at the top (before economics) of U.S. policy toward Asia.

Meanwhile, the U.S. election season will see a rise in anti-China sentiment between the Republican and Democratic parties, along with intensified U.S. economic restrictions on China (and Chinese trade retaliation) in response to Beijing’s moves against Taipei, such developments hindering the completion of existing U.S.-China cooperation (e.g., China’s willingness to reduce fentanyl supply chains or cooperate with Washington on climate goals), and declining U.S. investor confidence in Beijing’s policies.

2- Kishida’s ability to overcome political tensions in Japan: Despite the decline in popularity of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, due to the bribery scandal within the party, Kishida’s skillful administration – especially as he dissolved the main factions in the party – did not allow opposition parties to block the passage of the 2024 budget. This is likely enough to prevent the LDP from ousting Kishida before the party’s leadership election in September, as Kishida could win that election and remain prime minister if he can balance the party’s factions, and hold by-elections for three seats in the House of Representatives on April 28, which will serve as indicators of Kishida’s prospects of victory in the coming months.

3- Escalating maritime tensions on the Korean Peninsula: The spring fishing season from April to June threatens to increase maritime clashes on the Korean Peninsula, with North and South Korean boats fishing in waters that overlap the maritime boundary of the disputed northern boundary line, while the governments in Seoul and Pyongyang will continue to pursue maximum military deterrence strategies towards each other, increasing the risk of a deadly clash between coast guards, and intensifying military exercises. across the land border between the two countries, which could also exacerbate security and economic differences between regional blocs centered around the United States and China.

4- Strengthening the authority of the new Indonesian president: Indonesia is expected to enjoy political continuity, both internal and external, during the second quarter of the year, despite accusations of irregularities in the presidential elections held last February, as the comfortable victory achieved by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto in the elections, means that Indonesian stakeholders, both domestic and foreign, will have the necessary degree of certainty, and after the president campaigned on the promise of the continuity of the policies of outgoing President Joko “Jokowi”. Widodo.

This will include foreign policy, as evidenced by the February 23 announcement that Indonesia aims to sign a security agreement with Australia, negotiations that Subianto personally leads as defense minister, who will also assume a key role in strengthening his country’s security relations with the United States, especially by signing contracts for the purchase of modern weapons, such as fighter jets and helicopters, and against the backdrop of a 20% increase in defense spending for 2024. From an economic perspective, Jokowi’s distinctive policies (such as nationalizing resources, forcing the nickel industries and refineries to operate in Indonesia) will continue under the new government.

Middle East Crises

The report assumes that the current crises in the Middle East will remain an important determinant in the region’s interactions in the coming period, which can be addressed as follows:

1- Israel will continue its military moves to control Rafah: With Hamas-controlled territory shrinking amid Israel’s ongoing military offensive, it is expected that by the end of this quarter Israel will take control of Rafah along the Egyptian border, either by force or through a diplomatic agreement stipulating the withdrawal of Hamas, allowing Israeli forces to redeploy north to confront Hezbollah.

2- Maintaining Israeli pressure on Hezbollah: Israeli forces will steadily escalate against Hezbollah in an attempt to force it to withdraw from the border area, which will be met with resistance from Hezbollah, and this confrontation would increase the risk of an Israeli incursion or invasion of southern Lebanon.

3- Growing divisions within the Israeli government: In parallel with the war in Gaza and the conflict with Hezbollah, divisions within the Israeli government will also increase over the future of conscription exemptions for religious Jews, trends that would end the Knesset’s wartime unity policy and portend major turmoil in the government.

4- The possibility of Iran’s proxies resuming their activities at a controlled pace: In order to avoid a wider war, Iran will try to limit the activities of its allied militias in Iraq and Syria, since the January 28 Tower 22 attack in Jordan, which killed three Americans, Iranian security officials have tried to rein in militias in Iraq and Syria in anticipation that the U.S. military response to the attack will provoke a regional war between the United States and Iran, and Tehran is likely to continue this position. During the first weeks of the second quarter of the year.

But as the Israeli military operation in Gaza and the West Bank continues, Iran-backed militias are likely to resume attacks on U.S. forces, especially if talks between the Iraqi government and the U.S. military on the future of the U.S. military presence in Iraq stall. Even if attacks resume, their frequency would be significantly lower than the average of 150 attacks seen in the three months leading up to Tower 22 because of Iran’s concern about re-escalation.

5- Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) looks to make gains in municipal elections: Turkey’s municipal elections will show whether the opposition can recover from its electoral defeat in 2023 while helping to define the ruling Justice and Development Party’s political strategy to secure power after the end of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s term in 2028. In this regard, the ruling party is setting its sights on the mayor positions it lost in 2019, especially in the cities of Istanbul and Ankara, as the CHP’s popularity rises there.

European Politics

Policymakers and political parties will increasingly call for a more interventionist political direction from the bloc ahead of the EU elections in June, heralding prioritizing industrial and defense policies over the green agenda after the vote. According to the report, the European Commission will seek to finalize outstanding legislation in areas such as corporate sustainability, industrial policy, cybersecurity, and the environment ahead of the European Parliament elections in June. Among the most important possible forecasts for Europe in the second quarter of this year are the following:

1- Call for support for industrial strategies in the European bloc: Anti-“greenwashing” regulations or proposals to reform the EU’s pharmaceutical legislation are unlikely to be reached by the last plenary session of the European Parliament from 22 to 25 April. In the run-up to the European elections, Brussels technocrats and political parties across the ideological spectrum will increase their calls for more ambitious industrial strategies for the EU to achieve its climate, defense, and strategic independence goals, while maintaining economic competitiveness.

  1. Increased competition between right-wing and mainstream parties in Europe: Over the second quarter of this year, the main political parties will also seek to compare themselves with the rising right-wing parties by promising to balance climate action, with more support for traditional sectors such as industry and manufacturing.

3- Shift towards supporting the conservative trend in France: The report predicts that the French government will seek to win conservative and rural votes away from right-wing parties through stricter immigration policies, such as the proposed suspension of citizenship acquired by birth in the French province of Mayotte, and the implementation of measures aimed at appeasing protesting farmers by cutting costs.

4- Exacerbating internal division in Germany: Germany’s divided coalition government is likely to face difficulties in implementing legislation, as political calculations exacerbate internal division. The FDP will increasingly harden its position within the coalition, leading to a potential delay in approving measures aimed at decarbonizing the economy, boosting growth and supporting German businesses.

5- Potential for increased internal political turmoil in Italy and Belgium: A decline in Italian government cohesion is expected this quarter, as the struggling League party takes a tougher stance on issues such as migration, law and order and relations with the EU. The party’s very weak electoral result in June could challenge the internal leadership, potentially destabilizing the ruling majority, but not to the extent that the coalition would dissolve. In Belgium, national elections will see nationalist and separatist parties gain more influence. But at the federal level, a broad centrist coalition with a similar political agenda to the previous government is likely to take power after lengthy negotiations.

6- The possibility of increasing internal crises for the Conservative Party in Britain: According to the report, in the United Kingdom, local elections will provide an electoral test for the government ahead of a nationwide vote later this year, which could lead to increased political turmoil within the ruling Conservative Party and political uncertainty. The local elections scheduled for May 2 in England will provide an early indication of voting trends ahead of the widely expected general election in the fall, and test the success of the pre-election tax cuts unveiled by the government in March.

The report predicts that internal disputes between the UK’s Conservatives will continue throughout this quarter, especially if the Conservatives perform poorly in local elections, adding to the country’s political uncertainty. A particularly poor electoral performance would further deteriorate with no confidence in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s leadership.

7- Internal political tensions continue in Poland: Internal political tensions in Poland will continue to affect policy implementation and undermine the stability and functioning of key institutions, increasing uncertainty and negatively affecting market sentiment despite improved relations with the EU.

Amid these tensions, the government will remain accommodative to the demands of Polish farmers, seeking exemptions from EU environmental legislation as well as trade liberalization with Ukraine in order to maintain its support during the quarter in light of local elections on April 7, and EU elections in June despite the tensions this could cause with Brussels and Ukraine.

Southern Asia

According to the report, the most important forecasts in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka during the second quarter of this year are as follows:

1- Modi’s party is likely to win a simple majority in India’s elections: Opinion polls suggest the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will get a simple majority in the House of Representatives. India’s parliament will hold general elections from April 19 to June 1. If not, the BJP is likely to rely on its allies within the National Democratic Alliance to stay in power.

2- Indian government pressure to implement the country’s unified civil law: After the elections, the government is likely to urge BJP-led states, such as Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, to implement the Unified Civil Code, a series of laws governing marriage, relations and inheritance, which replaces religious personal laws. While the anti-corruption commission may work to combat discrimination against women by banning child marriage and ensuring equal inheritance, it may generate a backlash from religious minorities and tribal communities who view the anti-corruption commission as an attempt to enforce Hindu-centric laws.

3- Pakistan negotiates with the IMF on a new financing program: The report predicts that the Pakistani government will prioritize negotiating an agreement with the IMF, which is likely aimed at a new loan of more than $6 billion. With Shahbaz Sharif returning to the post of prime minister, Pakistan is likely to seek IMF assistance given its previous administration’s commitment to reforms.

The IMF’s conditions will likely require Islamabad to implement unpopular policies (such as ending energy subsidies, raising taxes, and raising electricity and fuel prices) that threaten public discontent. Social unrest is likely to continue with allegations of election manipulation, potentially weakening investor confidence, risking Pakistan obtaining financing from bilateral sources and increasing the risk of default.

4- Growing political defections in Pakistan: Despite their shared goals of economic recovery and countering the influence of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, political and personal differences among coalition members could hamper reform efforts, threatening to destabilize the government. The authorities are likely to suppress the protests, and the military will maintain its political role amid continued instability. In the short term, the military will strive to maintain coalition unity for fear that its collapse would pave the way for Khan’s return.

5- Prioritizing Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring: According to the report, Sri Lanka is likely to prioritize finalizing agreements with formal and informal creditors, as the country reiterated the IMF’s call for timely implementation of program commitments. The government has indicated its intention to establish a debt restructuring framework by the spring and to conclude agreements with all major creditors, including bondholders, by May. However, Sri Lanka may find it difficult to achieve the debt restructuring goal due to disagreements over legal terms and the need to secure consensus among all creditors. Failure to reach an agreement would increase the risk of default, as Sri Lanka is unable to pay the scheduled interest payments on its debt.

6- Supporting U.S.-Bangladesh relations: After months of political turmoil in late 2023 and early 2024, Bangladesh is now experiencing relative calm, which could lead to reduced U.S. scrutiny and sanctions and allow Bangladesh to focus on attracting foreign investment. These efforts include enhancing transparency in the banking sector to align with the interests of U.S. and foreign investors, and are likely to be a major topic of discussion during diplomatic visits.

Strong ties with Bangladesh remain crucial for the United States amid rivalry with Beijing and escalating conflicts in neighbouring Myanmar. Despite these improved relations, any escalation in violence or a perceived government crackdown could negatively affect the U.S. position and possibly lead to targeted human rights sanctions.

Issues of the Americas

With regard to the Americas, the report foresees that:

1- Pushing for controversial reforms ahead of Mexico’s elections: The report notes that ahead of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for June 2, the Mexican government will work to pass a package of 18 constitutional reforms to increase pensions, raise the minimum wage beyond the inflation rate, and reduce the size of both houses of Congress, among others. According to the report, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador introduced reforms in early February to guide the national dialogue ahead of elections and win votes. The opposition may agree to some reforms, such as wage and pension increases, for fear of electoral backlash if they reject them. But it will strongly oppose institutional reforms, such as restructuring the Supreme Court.

2- Possible protests over the election result in Mexico: While opinion polls suggest that the candidate of the left-wing ruling party will win the election by a comfortable margin, there may be challenges in the final vote count and protests from the losing side. Such a scenario could create challenges at the governance level immediately after the elections.

3- The Argentine government continues its austerity plans: The Argentine government is likely to continue to cut government spending unilaterally, and although inflation is likely to fall and the primary budget surplus grows, the consequent decline in domestic consumption would lead to a sharp slowdown in economic activity and keep the risk of social unrest high.

  1. The possibility of a merger between Milley and Argentina’s right-wing Republican Proposal Party: After Congress blocked the major reform package in February, Milley’s party is likely to seek to support a coalition with the right-wing Republican Proposal Party. But the report predicts that this coalition will be fragile given the opposition Milley faces among some members of the Republican Proposal leadership. Moreover, even if the two parties decide to form a coalition, their combined representation in Congress will still fall far short of what is required to approve the laws.

5- Prioritizing the organization of tax reform in Brazil: The report predicts that the main priority of the Brazilian Congress during the quarter will be the passage of complementary laws surrounding the tax reform passed at the end of 2023. This will include choosing a basic basket of goods and services that will be tax-exempt and those that will face higher taxes, and balancing federal tax collection between states and municipalities. While the government is likely to decide on these benchmarks during the quarter, the new tax system will not go into effect until at least 2026.

6- The possibility of reimposing US sanctions on Venezuela: As elections on July 28 approach, the Venezuelan government will continue to suppress internal dissent. The electoral ban on the main opposition candidate, Maria Corina Machado, is likely to prompt the United States to reimpose oil and gas sanctions on Venezuela in mid-April.

7- The possibility of escalating tensions between Venezuela and Guyana: If U.S. sanctions occur, the loss of oil revenues is likely to exacerbate Venezuela’s economic crisis, increasing migration. This could prompt Maduro to rally his supporters by escalating rhetoric against Guyana over the ongoing territorial dispute in the Isequibo region. This could take the form of harassing international oil exploration vessels off the coast of Guyana, mobilizing military assets directly at the border, or even incursions into disputed territories. While a ground invasion is unlikely, Venezuelan intimidation would provoke international condemnation. At the same time, Guyana will try to de-escalate by continuing talks mediated by Latin American partners.

African Developments

The gloomy outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa for the second quarter of this year is as follows:

1- The possibility of the South African National Congress Party losing its absolute electoral majority: According to the report, South Africa’s May elections will be the most competitive in the country in 30 years, testing the dominance of the ruling African National Congress Party. Opinion polls suggest the party will win between 39% and 48% of the vote, down from the 57.5% it won in the previous election.

In a possible scenario, where the ANC receives less than 50% of the vote, it would be forced to either remain in power as part of a coalition or as a minority government. While the party can still re-elect President Cyril Ramaphosa with the support of a small number of opposition politicians, no opposition party represents a clear option for an alliance with the ANC.

This means that Ramaphosa is likely to form case-by-case coalitions to pass legislation, which would increase political uncertainty among a volatile majority. In a less likely scenario, the ANC could build a formal coalition with a major opposition party, forcing the former to make political concessions ranging from more aggressive land reform to cuts in social services.

2- The decline of the authority of the ECOWAS: The report predicts that the authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will continue to decline amid the withdrawal of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso from the bloc. In light of this, the report expects ECOWAS to take a more lenient approach to respect for democratic norms among member states in the hope of securing the return of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, but this will make it difficult for ECOWAS to encourage compliance with democratic standards.

3- Insurgencies are undermining Ethiopia’s economic recovery: Ethiopia is likely to see ongoing ethnic rebellions in both Amhara and Oromia despite Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to pacify the two regions. While the Paris Club’s extension of Ethiopia’s debt freeze agreement beyond March 31 shows creditors’ resilience, rising tensions in Amhara and Oromia could prompt bilateral creditors to roll back more of these extensions, especially if a support package with the IMF is not agreed during the second quarter. Ethiopia’s repeated failure to secure a deal with the IMF would pave the way for a debt crisis in the medium term, further destabilizing the country.

  1. Potential escalation of border tensions between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu: Absent a retreat by Ethiopia’s prime minister regarding the Somaliland agreement, tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia will continue. Weaker bilateral counterterrorism cooperation would increase the likelihood of occasional military clashes along the border between the two countries, potentially leading to sporadic skirmishes, and increasing the likelihood of a broader escalation of tensions in the region.
  2. Continued fighting in eastern Congo between government forces and rebels: Heavy fighting is likely to continue in eastern DRC. Fighting between pro-government Congolese forces and M23 rebels will be concentrated on the regional capital Juma, where rebels are likely to look to tighten their siege with the aim of forcing the government of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi to participate in peace talks.

6- Exacerbating tensions between Congo and Rwanda: Continued fighting in Congo will exacerbate tensions between Congo and Rwanda, which are widely seen as supporting the March 23 movement, which could lead to possible skirmishes on the border separating the two countries. If the Congolese people consider the Tshisekedi government’s response to a high-profile incident in Rwanda inadequate, anti-government protests could erupt in Kinshasa, prompting some of Tshisekedi’s allies to exit the coalition government. Tshisekedi’s concerns about his grip on power raise the prospect of his government retaliating forcefully against Rwanda, raising the risk of a major military escalation between the two sides.

In summary, global interactions during the second quarter of this year will continue to be governed by a conflict pattern, whether at the level of international relations or at the level of interactions within countries, in light of the continuation of wars and military confrontations in different regions, and the failure to settle many historical conflicts, not to mention the continued wave of economic and political turmoil in a number of countries.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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