Monday, February 11, 2019
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.
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.
December 9 is International Anti-Corruption Day, and this year’s theme emphasizes unity and mobilizing fellow citizens. Nothing could be more appropriate. While the scale of corruption globally makes for a grim outlook, citizens working together around the world have demonstrated time and again that “people power” is an effective means for confronting fraud and abuse.
Elections in Bangladesh are traditionally a violent affair, and the general elections on December 30 will be no different. The leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zhia, is imprisoned for alleged corruption, while recent confrontations between her supporters and the police led to widespread destruction and several dozen injuries in the first violent marches of the election season.
Kenya and Liberia held elections in 2017 that were closely watched by the international community, as both countries’ history of violence led to fears over election security. Although Liberia’s election was largely peaceful, Kenya’s was marred by intense violence. What worked in preventing election violence in Liberia that didn’t work in Kenya?
This November 11 marks 100 years since the World War I armistice that Americans commemorate as Veterans Day. With the nation, the U.S. Institute of Peace honors those who have served in America’s armed forces and, especially, their sacrifices in times of war. These men and women know better than most of us the terrible costs we face when human conflict turns violent.
The simple fact that Afghans participated in the recent parliamentary elections is no small sign of their commitment to democratic values and determination to have a say in the future of their country. Despite a recent, significant increase in attacks by violent extremist groups, a deteriorating...
Let's be honest, “peace” is a word that sometimes gets a bad rap. People attach skeptical connotations to it. It can sound idealistic, even utopian when compared to the violence we see in the news every day. But peace is also something very practical. It is urgent, and something we can all choose to work toward.
On October 20, Afghanistan held its third parliamentary election since the fall of the Taliban, after a three-year delay. Several USIP Afghan staff members observed the process at polling centers in Kabul after casting their own votes. Their observations provide a snapshot of the process.
On October 20, 2018, Afghanistan held parliamentary elections amid very challenging circumstances. Despite significant voter turnout in several provinces, local officials and police were unable to realize a fully credible and peaceful election. The increased engagement of women in the election process presents one of the few bright spots.