As Ukraine Builds a Church Independent of Russia, It Must Prevent Violence

As Ukraine Builds a Church Independent of Russia, It Must Prevent Violence

Monday, March 18, 2019

By: USIP Staff

News from Ukraine is focused on its startling presidential election, in which the leading candidate is a comedian whose political role before now has been to play a fictional president in a TV series. Less visible alongside that drama is the country’s process of consolidating the new independence of its Orthodox church after centuries of control by Moscow. Ukraine’s religious independence from Russia is a high-stakes step, one that the Russian government actively opposes, toward a fully independent Ukraine following 300-plus years of Russian domination. In the struggle over control of the church, news accounts and a new U.N. Human Rights Report suggests that Ukraine is mainly—but perhaps not perfectly—preventing acts of intimidation that could increase the risk of violence.

Religion

Marking Progress on International Women’s Day

Marking Progress on International Women’s Day

Thursday, March 7, 2019

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.; Mena Ayazi

The annual celebration of International Women’s Day engages citizens from all corners of the globe to recognize how far women have come in society—and how much more needs to be done. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, a time for the international community to analyze the impact of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.

Gender

Bougainville: Is the Delayed Independence Referendum a Next Step Toward Peace?

Bougainville: Is the Delayed Independence Referendum a Next Step Toward Peace?

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

By: Jack Stuart

The autonomous region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is entering a new phase in its quest for peace, almost 20 years after a peace agreement ended a 10-year civil war. Later this year the island will vote in a referendum on greater autonomy or independence from PNG. Unresolved tensions, an unclear referendum timeline, and fears of a return to violence will all impact this tense election process.

Electoral Violence

We Need a New Approach to Prevent Violent Extremism

We Need a New Approach to Prevent Violent Extremism

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

By: Gov. Thomas Kean; Rep. Lee Hamilton

Sidi Bouzid and Metlaoui are similarly sized towns in Tunisia’s interior, alike in many respects. They suffer from similar social and economic problems, have a shared tribal heritage, and are centers of political resistance and unrest.

Fragility & Resilience

Nigeria: Poll Postponement Offers Opportunity to Enhance Election Integrity

Nigeria: Poll Postponement Offers Opportunity to Enhance Election Integrity

Thursday, February 21, 2019

By: Oge Onubogu ; Idayat Hassan

Last weekend’s sudden, one-week postponement of Nigeria’s presidential and state elections—to February 23 for the general elections and March 9 for the state elections—escalated public anxiety amid an already tense political environment. The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) last-minute announcement, hours before voting was set to commence, cited logistical problems. The delay and its aftermath demonstrate that INEC must immediately improve its transparency and communications. Despite the tensions caused by the delay, the election commission now has the opportunity to rectify flaws and deliver a more credible election.

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence

South Sudan: Recent Sexual Violence Fits a Dismal Pattern

South Sudan: Recent Sexual Violence Fits a Dismal Pattern

Thursday, February 21, 2019

By: Alicia Luedke

The irony is stark. Just as U.N. bodies, NGOs and civil society groups started to “Orange the World” in November with activities to mark “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” in South Sudan, young men dressed in civilian and military clothing attacked and raped an estimated 150 women and girls. The attack, whose victims included children and the elderly, occurred as the victims headed to a food distribution site in the north of the country near Bentiu in the former Unity state.

Gender

Colombia's Peace Experiment: 'Collective Reincorporation'

Colombia's Peace Experiment: 'Collective Reincorporation'

Monday, February 11, 2019

By: Maria Atuesta

Up an unpaved track, about a two-hour drive from the nearest town in the eastern Andes, sits a small village that could be mistaken for a Colombian hamlet of crude dwellings and vegetable gardens. But appearances aside, something extraordinary is going on here. The outpost’s population, comprised entirely of former guerrillas who fought for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC, is engaged in an unplanned experiment in building peace.

Reconciliation; Peace Processes

How Did Martial Law Affect the Upcoming Election in Ukraine?

How Did Martial Law Affect the Upcoming Election in Ukraine?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

By: Jack Stuart

On November 26, 2018, Ukrainian President Poroshenko enacted martial law—for 30 days—in response to Russian naval ships ramming Ukrainian vessels in the Azov Sea and seizing the strategic Kerch Strait. The decision led to concerns that voter rights and civil liberties would be constrained, just a few months before a critical election. Now that the period of increased military preparedness has officially ended, it is time to evaluate the impact martial law had on the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for March 31. USIP recently published an assessment of these elections, identifying conflict drivers, scenarios for violence and recommendations for election violence prevention.

Electoral Violence