Dispatch

Quotes from the Quran decorate the walls outside the mosque in Mamichang village in Yunnan province, China, on Jan. 4. (Li Yuwei for Foreign Policy)

Love Allah, Love China

Chinese Muslims are struggling to follow their faith amid a growing crackdown.

Local fishermen’s boats moor at Berbera port, in the breakaway territory of Somaliland, on July 21, 2018. (Mustafa Saeed/AFP/Getty Images)

For Somaliland and Djibouti, Will New Friends Bring Benefits?

Interest in the Horn of Africa from foreign powers has always been a double-edged sword.

A woman sits in front of a riot police cordon after a standoff during a demonstration against Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic outside the presidential building in Belgrade, on March 17, 2019.

Serbia’s Protests Aren’t the Beginning of a Balkan Spring

Demonstrations against Aleksandar Vucic’s authoritarian government won’t achieve anything until the opposition can present a coherent alternative.

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 7, 2018. (Greg Baker-Pool/Getty Images)

Nazarbayev Is Giving Up Presidency, Not Power, in Kazakhstan

The long-time autocrat's shock resignation kicks off an opaque succession process.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2nd R) and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe (R) shake hands in front of a shinkansen train during their inspection at a bullet train manufacturing plant in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture on November 12, 2016.(JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

Modi’s Bullet Train Dreams Are Hitting Rural Roadblocks

With elections coming soon, land rights are getting in the way of an easy political win.

Election billboards of Angela Merke and Gregor Gysi, top candidate of the Left Party, on Sept. 16, 2005 in Berlin. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany’s Cold War Enemies May Become Partners

In eastern Germany, center-right Christian Democrats are considering teaming up with far-left former Communists.

Serikzhan Bilash, the head of Atajurt Eriktileri, holds up a photo during a press conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 21. (Reid Standish for Foreign Policy)

Astana Tries to Silence China Critics

Head of watchdog organization detained for work on Xinjiang camps.

Milorad Dodik, president of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Republika Srpska entity, addresses media after casting his vote, on September 25, 2016, at one of local voting stations in Western-Bosnian town of Laktasi.

Journalists Are Living in Fear in Republika Srpska

Bosnia has a thriving media sector, but those who refuse to become mouthpieces for the government increasingly find themselves in exile or under police protection.

Gulnur Kosgeulet shows a photo of her husband, Ekpor Sorsenbek, whom she believes is in a re-education camp in Xinjiang, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 21. (Reid Standish for Foreign Policy)

Kazakhs Won’t Be Silenced on China’s Internment Camps

Activists are speaking out for those imprisoned in Xinjiang—even if their own government doesn’t like it.

An elderly woman casts her ballot in a mobile ballot box in Bardar, Moldova on Feb. 24, 2019. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

People of the World, Stop Looking at Moldova!

Politicians in this corner of Eastern Europe insist their country is a stage for geopolitical rivalry between the West and Russia—the better to profit from the attention.

Afghan border policemen walk past a bunker destroyed during clashes with Pakistani troops in Nangarhar province on May 8, 2013. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghans Are Cheering for an Indian Win

For Kabul, India is a vital counterbalance to an aggressive neighbor.

Pakistani Wing Commander Bilal presents sweets to Indian Border Security Force Commandant Sudeep during a ceremony to celebrate Pakistan's Independence Day at the India-Pakistan Wagah border post on Aug. 14, 2018. (Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)

New Delhi and Islamabad Don’t Want Fire and Fury

As hostilities between India and Pakistan escalate, leaders in both countries are very aware of the risks of a nuclear catastrophe.

Kolbars carrying smuggled goods return from Iraq down the Kuh-e Takht mountain in Iran on Dec. 12, 2018. (Sergio Colombo and Andrea Prada Bianchi for Foreign Policy)

For Kurdish Smugglers, Iran Sanctions Are Starting to Bite

The kolbars brave subfreezing temperatures and border guards’ bullets to carry heavy loads over the mountains in an unemployment-plagued region that Iran’s government has all but forgotten.

Migrants camp on the road in the vicinity of the Maljevac border crossing with neighboring Croatia, near the northern Bosnian town of Velika Kladusa, on Oct. 24, 2018. (Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images)

In Bosnia, a Migrant Way Station Is Becoming a Winter Prison

For years, the country remained untouched by the global migrant crisis, but now, even in a place where many people were once refugees, tensions are on the rise.

A prostitute waits for clients behind her window in the red light district of Amsterdam on Dec. 8, 2008.

It’s Legal to Sell Sex in Amsterdam, But Don’t Expect the Same Rights As Other Workers.

The famously permissive Dutch city is cracking down on prostitution, relocating sex workers, and discriminating against those employed in the industry.

Pro-Biafra supporters shout slogans in Aba, southeastern Nigeria, during a protest calling for the release of a key activist on Nov. 18, 2015. (Pius Utomi Ekepi/AFP/Getty Images)

Slouching Toward Secession in Nigeria

Apathetic voters are planning to boycott this weekend’s election—and may inadvertently boost the country’s most fervent separatists.

Princess Ubolratana of Thailand at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, in 2008. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)

Thai Politics Has a Princess but No Storybook Endings

With elections coming, the junta still fears the specter of Thaksin Shinawatra.

Retired Israeli Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz in the city of Rishon LeZion, south of  Tel Aviv, on Feb 1. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

The Bibi Slayer?

By advocating clean and courteous politics, a retired general is giving Netanyahu a run for his money.

Undocumented migrants climb on a train known as La Bestia in Las Patronas, Veracruz state, Mexico, to travel through Mexico to reach the United States on Aug. 9, 2018. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Mexico Isn’t Helping Refugees. It’s Depriving Them of Their Rights.

The humanitarian visas offered to migrants don’t allow them to work, study, or receive benefits while letting the Mexican government duck its responsibilities under international law.

Members of the mostly Kurdish People’s Protection Units, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, gather in the Syrian town of Shadadi on Sept. 11, 2018. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

Kurdish Commander Laments American Betrayal, Urges U.S. to ‘Be Loyal’

Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Syria leaves U.S. ally at the mercy of old enemies.

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