Aly Verjee is a nonresident senior advisor to the Africa program at the U. S. Institute of Peace and was formerly a visiting expert at USIP. 

While a visiting expert at USIP, he led research efforts in the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Sudan. In 2019, he received the Oslo Forum PeaceWriter Prize “for bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges,” for his work on reforming and innovating cease-fire monitoring. Prior to joining USIP, he was deputy and then acting chief of staff of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, overseeing the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan. From 2014-2015, he was senior advisor to the chief mediator of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-led peace process for South Sudan. 

He lived and worked in Sudan from 2005-2010 and returned in 2011 as chief political analyst for the European Union (EU) observation of the South Sudan independence referendum. He was chief political analyst for the EU election observation missions to Zambia (2016) and Tanzania (2015); directed Free Press Unlimited’s media development initiatives in Pakistan and Afghanistan (2011-2012); directed Democracy International’s election observation mission to Djibouti (2011); was deputy director of the Carter Center’s political and electoral observation mission to Sudan (2008-2010); helped manage the first-ever election observer network established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2006) comprising some 7,000 Congolese observers; and managed international election observation missions in Somaliland (2005, 2010, and 2012).

Verjee has provided expert testimony before the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, the British Parliament and the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is also the author of more than eighty publications. 

Publications By Aly

The South Sudan Peace Process Archive: A Window into Mediation

The South Sudan Peace Process Archive: A Window into Mediation

Monday, March 29, 2021

By: Zach Vertin; Aly Verjee

As part of its commitment to learning from peace processes, the U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to launch the South Sudan Peace Process Archive, which aims to provide South Sudanese citizens, mediators, policymakers, academics and other interested readers a window into the 2013-2015 negotiations that attempted to end the conflict that began in South Sudan in late 2013. Documents for this archive were first assembled and organized in 2016. Now, archive curators and former peace process advisers Zach Vertin and Aly Verjee discuss their motivations for assembling and organizing the documents and what they hope the archive can contribute to future peace processes.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

South Sudan: From 10 States to 32 States and Back Again

South Sudan: From 10 States to 32 States and Back Again

Monday, March 1, 2021

By: Matthew Pritchard; Aly Verjee

Last year, South Sudan reintroduced 10 subnational states in South Sudan, in place of the 32 states controversially created in 2017. Far from being an obscure matter of administrative organization, the initial, dramatic redivision of territory in the midst of protracted violence and large-scale displacement had a significant impact on representation, as well as social, economic, and political relations throughout the country. In 2018-19, researchers commissioned by USIP sought to better understand the decision-making process behind the creation of the 32 states in South Sudan. Researchers Matthew Pritchard and Aly Verjee discuss their findings in light of current developments.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Nigeria's Security Failures: The Link Between EndSARS and Boko Haram

Nigeria's Security Failures: The Link Between EndSARS and Boko Haram

Thursday, December 17, 2020

By: Aly Verjee; Chris Kwaja

At first glance, the October state-led killings of protesters in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, seem to have little in common with the November Boko Haram massacre of at least 43 farmers in Nigeria’s northeast, or the December 11 abduction of hundreds of school students in Katsina State. With vastly different circumstances, motivations, and perpetrators—and separated by hundreds of miles—all three episodes could easily be recorded as just further tragic installments in Nigeria’s long history of violence. However, these incidents underscore the wider failure of the state to provide security for its citizens, only deepening the trust deficit felt by Nigerians.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Fragility & Resilience

Ethiopia’s Problems Will Not End with a Military Victory

Ethiopia’s Problems Will Not End with a Military Victory

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

By: Aly Verjee

As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. Achieving the federal government’s security objectives in Tigray is unlikely to resolve both new and entrenched political challenges, and already delayed national elections, now expected in 2021, may prove a severe test of Ethiopia’s political order, and consequently affect broader regional stability. Reconciling the electoral process with efforts for reconciliation and national dialogue is now even more imperative.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

What Ethiopia’s Brewing Conflict Means for the Country—and the Region

What Ethiopia’s Brewing Conflict Means for the Country—and the Region

Thursday, November 12, 2020

By: Aly Verjee; Susan Stigant

Violent conflict between the federal government of Ethiopia and the federal state of Tigray, in the country’s north, began November 4 and quickly escalated. USIP’s Aly Verjee and Susan Stigant discuss the crisis and identify what could be done to avoid further violent conflict in east Africa’s most populous country.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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