South Sudan’s Pitfalls of Power Sharing

South Sudan’s Pitfalls of Power Sharing

Friday, February 16, 2018

By: USIP Staff; Susan Stigant; Aly Verjee

This week, a new proposal for a power sharing government was tabled at the ongoing Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) peace talks for South Sudan. An earlier, 2015 peace deal also contained a formula for power sharing; that arrangement failed and the civil war re-ignited a year later. Power sharing arrangements are appropriate if certain conditions are met, but not enough has been done to ensure the latest proposal will overcome the obstacles present in South Sudan, according to Susan Stigant, USIP’s director for Africa programs and Aly Verjee, a visiting expert at USIP and a former senior advisor to the IGAD mediation, who comment on the proposal and suggest how it could be improved.

Democracy & Governance; Fragility and Resilience; Global Policy

Iraq’s Impasse with Kurds Puts Post-ISIS Stabilization at Risk

Iraq’s Impasse with Kurds Puts Post-ISIS Stabilization at Risk

Thursday, January 11, 2018

By: Andrew Snow

The impasse between Iraq’s central government and its Kurdistan Region is building into an economic problem, and both sides need to quickly find a way to negotiate a solution. While political conflict between the authorities in Baghdad and the regional capital of Erbil has been quieter since Iraqi troops ousted Kurdish forces from disputed territories in October, the Kurdish region’s economy is unraveling, with risks for both sides.

Economics & Environment; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Democracy & Governance

Electing Peace in Liberia

Electing Peace in Liberia

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

By: Jonas Claes; Inken von Borzyskowski

The day after Christmas Liberians went to the polling stations to elect George Weah, a former international soccer player, as the new President of Liberia. Weah beat the former vice president and chief opponent, Joseph Boakai, in a run-off election. The risk of election-related violence was substantial given...

Electoral Violence; Democracy & Governance

Tunisia: Democratic but Precarious

Tunisia: Democratic but Precarious

Friday, December 22, 2017

By: James Rupert

Amid central Tunisia’s dry farmlands, the city of Sidi Bouzid bustled one recent day under warm autumn sunshine. Street vendors and shoppers jostled under the roof of a new, open-air market, selling and buying produce or cheap clothes. Seven years after an impoverished street vendor in this city immolated himself and ignited the Arab Spring revolutions, his homeland has achieved a precarious stability. By many measures the Arab world’s only democracy, Tunisia remains hobbled by corruption, unemployment and violent extremism.

Democracy & Governance; Violent Extremism

The Middle East: Divided, Dysfunctional

The Middle East: Divided, Dysfunctional

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

By: Garrett Nada

Even before President Donald Trump upended a core U.S. policy recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, late 2017 has been tumultuous in the Middle East. The Islamic State (ISIS) “caliphate” collapsed. Syria’s Assad regime all but won the six-year civil war, consolidating Iranian and Russian influence. Saudi Arabia purged...

Violent Extremism; Global Policy; Democracy & Governance; Fragility and Resilience

Déby’s Chad

Déby’s Chad

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

By: Jérôme Tubiana; Marielle Debos

Since gaining its independence from France in 1960, Chad has evolved from a one-party state into a multiparty regime, endured successive rebellions, and become an interventionist regional actor. Thanks to both an oil boom and corruption, segments of the Chadian elite have become very rich, but most of the population is...

Democracy & Governance; Economics & Environment

Iraq After ISIS: Sunni Leader Says It’s Time to Heal

Iraq After ISIS: Sunni Leader Says It’s Time to Heal

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

By: USIP Staff

With ISIS on the ropes in Iraq, now is the time to put in place political solutions that will reduce sectarian strife and prevent the resurgence of ISIS or similar groups, according to the speaker of Iraq’s parliament. “Military victory alone is not sufficient to confront terrorism,” said Saleem al-Jubouri, one of the highest-ranking...

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance; Reconciliation

Zimbabwe Crisis: USIP Experts on What You Need to Know

Zimbabwe Crisis: USIP Experts on What You Need to Know

Thursday, November 16, 2017

By: USIP Staff

In Zimbabwe, the military has taken control and detained its longtime leader, President Robert Mugabe. Despite what appears to be a coup, shops and banks remain open and there has been no violence or resistance. The world is keeping a careful eye on Zimbabwe as Mr. Mugabe’s four decades of ironclad rule are seemingly coming to an end and the immediate future of the country is perilous and uncertain.

Democracy & Governance

Local Governance Reform in  Afghanistan and the 2018 Elections

Local Governance Reform in Afghanistan and the 2018 Elections

Thursday, November 9, 2017

By: Frances Z. Brown

This summer, Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Commission announced that its long-delayed elections to launch district councils will be held in July 2018. The international community has formally welcomed the statement, noting that district councils are both long overdue and a manifestation...

Democracy & Governance