Human rights abuses can spur violent conflict, or vice-versa. Effective protection of human rights underpins the legitimate governance and rule of law that establish the conditions for a state to resolve conflicts and grievances without violence. The U.S. Institute of Peace provides grants, fellowships, education and publications to deepen understanding of the critical role of human rights protection in preventing and managing violence.
The 2011 famine in Somalia, caused by a prolonged drought, killed an estimated 260,000 people. But this was more than a natural disaster. Amid the starvation, food shortages prompted rebels of al-Shabab, the armed group fighting Somalia’s government and spreading terror abroad, to attack local farmers to seize their food reserves, causing even more civilian deaths. It’s a pattern that plays out in rural regions across the developing world.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons, back from a recent trip to South Sudan, urged the Trump administration to make the conflict and humanitarian crisis in the African nation a priority. He also suggested that a special envoy might spur a peace process among the country’s warring factions.
Amb. Princeton N. Lyman testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights & International Organizations