As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, troubling developments about how security forces are responding have been reported from places already mired in violence and conflict. In the Middle East and Latin America, police are using mandates to keep people at home to crack down on human rights. And in Africa, peace processes are at risk of breaking down as peacekeepers become restricted in their movements. Meanwhile, local activists and peacebuilders everywhere cannot easily come together to organize and push back on abuses. Urgently addressing the interaction between virus and conflict is crucial if we want to help communities emerge from COVID-19 with resilience and hope.
On April 15, USIP hosted an event that looked at creative solutions on how to respond to the confluence of coronavirus and conflict. USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg shared lessons from her experience responding to Ebola in West Africa and discussed why COVID-19 is a unique challenge to conflict-affected regions. This was followed by a panel discussion with experts from around the world on how security sectors are responding to coronavirus, how local communities are making their voices heard, and what practical interventions we can take now to stem unnecessary suffering later.
Nancy Lindborg, introductory remarks
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace
Frances Z. Brown
Fellow for Democracy, Conflict, and Governance, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Justice and Security Dialogue Program Coordinator, Nigeria, U.S. Institute of Peace
Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
Regional Director, Syria Relief & Development
Dr. Albrecht Schnabel
Head of the Asia-Pacific Unit, DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance
Sarah Holewinski, moderator
Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace