Violent extremism has become one of the major challenges to stability in fragile states, characterized by weak, non-inclusive institutions, and lack of economic opportunity. Youth are often perceived as particularly vulnerable to recruitment into extremist groups. The U.S. Institute of Peace has funded several impact evaluations of peacebuilding interventions over the last few years, including two rigorous evaluations of Mercy Corps’ youth programming in Afghanistan and Somalia aimed at reducing support for armed opposition groups.
On December 5, to mark the Fifth Annual Arab-American Day, the League of Arab States and the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion with Arab women leaders, academics and policymakers, including the newly-elected Minnesota House Representative and Somali American, Ilhan Omar, on how education and economic opportunities can engage women and men in supporting women’s voices, equality and success.
More than 100,000 peacekeepers deployed in Africa make up three-quarters of such United Nations troops worldwide, and they illustrate the frequent response of the African Union to defuse violent conflict with military forces. But the AU has another strength: political power. On September 12, researchers Alex de Waal and Mulugeta Gebrehiwot of the World Peace Foundation offered recommendations from their new report on how the AU can harness its unique advantage to advance peace and security.
The president of Somalia, His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, gave a public address on April 20 at USIP on political and security developments in his country. As Somalia works toward planned national elections this year, President Mohamud highlighted current efforts by his government and discussed strategies by which the Somali people, government and international community can move the country forward.
On January 28, a panel of regional experts, including Alex de Waal, author of The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power, discussed the complex interplay between politics and money in the region and the implications for the international community.
On August 18th, USIP held a Twitter discussion with the Times’ lead reporter on the series, Ian Urbina, about impunity at sea and the connected issues of justice, international security, and human rights.
As President Obama visits Kenya and Ethiopia this week, USIP hosted a discussion on Twitter to examine the growing political and security issues affecting the broader region.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman discussed a new U.S. policy to advance peace, stability and development in Somalia at USIP on June 3rd.
The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, discussed the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia’s progress in executing key governance and security goals at the U.S. Institute of Peace on April 22, 2014.
USIP convened a discussion of recent developments and international engagement in Somalia featuring Mary Harper, author of the new book "Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State."