Libyan City, Primed for War, Answers Mother’s Plea with Peace Pact

Libyan City, Primed for War, Answers Mother’s Plea with Peace Pact

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

By: Nate Wilson; Abigail Corey

When Eaz Aldin Jaray was shot dead in September in the southern Libya city of Ubari, what initially followed was typical—unfortunately—of conflicts in the lawless region in the post-Qaddafi era. The trouble had begun after Jaray, a young member of the Tebu tribe, was accused of joining tribal confederates in taking weapons from a member of the Tuareg tribe. His killing, in turn, prompted Tebu youth to kidnap a Tuareg elder, which was followed by a reprisal snatch of two elders from the Tebu. As tensions mounted in the city, which had endured a tribal war five years ago, both the Tuareg and Tebu began stockpiling weapons and scouting strategic positions for a battle.

Type: Blog

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

A Veteran Who Came Home from Nagasaki to Build Peace

A Veteran Who Came Home from Nagasaki to Build Peace

Thursday, November 7, 2019

By: James Rupert

The U.S. Institute of Peace will join next week in America’s 100th annual remembrance of those who have served our nation in its armed forces. USIP also honors a special debt to veterans who 35 years ago led Congress in founding the Institute. In large measure, this national institution for building peace was created by those Americans who most painfully understood the costs of war. Dozens of these were World War II veterans who rose to service and fame in Congress. But we also recall less acclaimed veterans like Milton (“Mike”) Mapes, who led a citizens’ campaign to strengthen America’s capacity to build peace.

Type: Blog

Peace in Nigeria Will Require Accountable Governance

Peace in Nigeria Will Require Accountable Governance

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

By: Oge Onubogu

The security crisis seizing Nigeria these days is kidnappings for ransom. A year ago, the spotlight was on violent conflict between farmers and herders. Before that, it was Boko Haram. Even earlier, it was the tensions in the Niger Delta, and so on. As Nigeria lurches from one violent conflict to another, the country’s leaders and its international supporters become easily—and perhaps understandably—fixated on the latest manifestation of insecurity. The larger problem, however, is that none of this will ever change unless the focus turns more firmly and consistently to the thread that runs through all of that upheaval: the failures of governance.

Type: Blog

Democracy & Governance

Forging Connections Between Students and Peacebuilders

Forging Connections Between Students and Peacebuilders

Thursday, October 31, 2019

By: Allison Sturma

While speaking to middle- and high-school students as part of the USIP and Inspired Classroom Challenge, Osama Gharizi, USIP’s senior program advisor for Iraq, said, “Next time you hear anything in the news about Iraq, which will most likely be bad, just remember that there are good stories, there is a sense of normalcy, there are positive things that are happening.”

Type: Blog

Education & Training

The Missing Piece: Fathers’ Role in Stemming Youth Radicalization

The Missing Piece: Fathers’ Role in Stemming Youth Radicalization

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

By: Jeremy Moore

In countries across East Africa, youth radicalization by violent extremist groups is an ongoing threat. But the strategies and methods used to address it have been relatively narrow and the role of parents—especially fathers—is not well understood. In order to build better approaches to preventing youth extremism, we need to examine what personal and cultural factors are holding East African fathers back from engaging in prevention efforts, as well as how we can empower them to overcome these hurdles and take on a more pivotal role.

Type: Blog

Violent Extremism; Youth

Afghans Want U.S.-Taliban Talks to Resume, But with New Approach

Afghans Want U.S.-Taliban Talks to Resume, But with New Approach

Thursday, October 3, 2019

By: Belquis Ahmadi

Just days before U.S.-Taliban talks were put on freeze earlier in September, I was in Istanbul for a negotiations workshop with 25 Afghan women leaders. These women were expected to play an integral role in intra-Afghan talks that would follow a U.S.-Taliban deal. Even though a deal seemed imminent that week, the Taliban intensified their attacks on Afghan civilians and security forces. Meanwhile, these women were hard at work strategizing for peace. But they, and other Afghans I spoke with in a subsequent trip to Kabul, revealed deep trepidation over what a U.S.-Taliban deal would mean for them, their hard-won rights, and the impact a begrudging peace could have on Afghan society.

Type: Blog

Human Rights; Peace Processes

Central Asia Leads the Way on Islamic State Returnees

Central Asia Leads the Way on Islamic State Returnees

Friday, September 13, 2019

By: Gavin Helf, Ph.D.

Beginning in January of this year, Kazakhstan began repatriating its citizens from Syria on dedicated mass flights in what it calls “Operation Zhusan.” Zhusan literally means sagebrush, but significantly, it evokes the unique scent of the Kazakh steppe—something along the lines of “the green, green grass of home.” Within months, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan followed suit, and Kyrgyzstan is expected to soon begin facilitating the exodus of its citizens who were involved with the Islamic State.

Type: Blog

Fragility & Resilience; Reconciliation; Violent Extremism

Reflecting on 9/11: It’s Time for a Policy of Prevention

Reflecting on 9/11: It’s Time for a Policy of Prevention

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

By: Nancy Lindborg

Like most Americans, I know exactly where I was on 9/11: in a meeting just blocks away from the White House, where I was slipped a note that didn’t make any sense. We continued the meeting until the second note confirmed we were facing an enormous tragedy. Today, many millions of us will be reflecting on this somber anniversary and the difficult ground we have traveled since. We have learned many hard lessons in the last 18 years, and the question is whether we are ready to act on those lessons by moving beyond reacting to violent extremism and instead investing in prevention.

Type: Blog

Fragility & Resilience; Violent Extremism

Here’s What Afghan Women Have to Say About Peace and Extremism

Here’s What Afghan Women Have to Say About Peace and Extremism

Thursday, September 5, 2019

By: Marjan Nahavandi

It’s been nearly a year since U.S.-Taliban talks renewed hope that a broader Afghan peace process could set the country on the path to end its decades of conflict. Now, as the U.S. and Taliban are potentially on the cusp of a deal, the stakes for Afghan women are particularly high. Often treated as a monolith, a forthcoming USIP-commissioned study found a diverse range of views on the ongoing peace process, peacebuilding at the local level, extremism, and the barriers women face. Their views and experiences differ greatly—that’s why a diverse array must be represented in intra-Afghan talks.

Type: Blog

Gender