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

Six Alternative Ways to Measure Peace in Nigeria

Six Alternative Ways to Measure Peace in Nigeria

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

By: Yagana Bukar; Aly Verjee; Chris Kwaja

When measured by the death toll, Nigeria seems beset by violence. By some accounts, the COVID-19 pandemic has made experiences of violence even more common — notably, Nigeria recorded a 169% increase in abductions between 2019 and 2020. While quantifying violence is relatively straightforward, defining what peace means to ordinary Nigerians has been largely overlooked, even if such definitions may be more meaningful. By exploring more nuanced understandings of peace, how these vary between and across communities, and finding which indicators of peace are most valued, peace might be better pursued. We went in search of how people in the states of Bauchi, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Plateau define peace. Here are six of our most important findings.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Fragility & Resilience

Five Steps to Sustain a Cease-Fire in Northern Ethiopia

Five Steps to Sustain a Cease-Fire in Northern Ethiopia

Friday, July 2, 2021

By: Aly Verjee

After months of war and amid an intensifying humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, the Ethiopian government unilaterally declared a “humanitarian cease-fire” on June 28. If Ethiopia wants this truce to end the war it needs to persuade Tigrayan forces, which have so far vowed to keep fighting, to agree to a deal. As a prelude to wider negotiations, the odds of ending the conflict would improve if confidence building measures are urgently undertaken and five key areas of a truce expanded. U.S. and international partners can promote these steps while recognizing that Ethiopians must own any cease-fire process.

Peace Processes

Why Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections Matter

Why Ethiopia’s 2021 Elections Matter

Thursday, June 17, 2021

By: Aly Verjee; Terrence Lyons

Facing numerous technical difficulties, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) delayed parliamentary elections from June 5 to June 21, postponing the vote for the second time. Some major opposition parties are boycotting, and no voting will take place in civil war hit Tigray or in several other areas facing insecurity. Elsewhere, deficiencies in election administration have meant voting has already been postponed in many constituencies, and some of the logistical arrangements to underpin the vote are still to be implemented. Although there are risks of electoral violence, any incidents are unlikely to be especially significant in a context of high levels of ongoing political violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence

Ethiopia: Contemplating Elections and the Prospects for Peaceful Reform

Ethiopia: Contemplating Elections and the Prospects for Peaceful Reform

Thursday, April 29, 2021

By: Lidet Tadesse Shiferaw; Terrence Lyons; Aly Verjee

Ethiopia is approaching parliamentary elections on June 5. This will be the first vote since the process of reform launched in 2018 by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and the stakes are extremely high. Elections to the next national parliament, the House of People's Representatives, may determine future decisions about the structure of the country and consolidate the ruling party’s power. While the short-term outlook for the vote is unlikely to change, the election may offer opportunities to support political dialogue which could sustain important reforms and decrease polarization.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence

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

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