With its research, analysis and field work, USIP is on the ground in key African nations working to prevent conflicts from turning deadly and to build local capacity to stop disputes from escalating into violent conflict.

Updated: March 28, 2012

With its research, analysis and field work, USIP is on the ground in key African nations working to prevent conflicts from turning deadly and to build local capacity to stop disputes from escalating into violent conflict.

In the run up to Sudan’s recent historic elections, USIP held electoral and referendum violence prevention workshops across the country to prepare people for the vote. As the international community warned about the high potential for deadly violence in the election and referendum, USIP’s team of trainers then developed a North/South network of Sudanese trainers to spread the program content more widely and sustainably in a short period of time. The election and referendum were both peaceful and a relative success. USIP continues to be active in “the Two Sudans” by supporting the development of new constitutions in both countries, and helping stabilize the volatile border area between the two countries.

USIP also actively assists in the State Department’s Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, teaching conflict mediation and negotiation techniques for African security personnel for peacekeeping missions across the continent.


The Next Decade: Seizing Opportunities from a Transforming Africa
March 28, 2012

USIP’s chief peace economist Raymond Gilpin talks to Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman about the economic, political and social transformations underway in Africa – and how to strengthen the strategic partnerships between African nations and the United States.
Learn more



Cote d'Ivoire

August 2, 2011
African Presidents at USIP Couple Democracy, Security

The elected presidents of four Francophone countries in West Africa, appearing at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on July 28, called for consolidating democratic advances in their countries after what for most has been a debilitating period of conflict, dictatorship and political struggle.
Read the News Feature

May 19, 2011
Next Steps in Cote d'Ivoire: Economic Costs and Consquences

USIP expert Raymond Gilpin testifies before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the economic costs and consequences of the recent post-election crisis in Cote d'Ivoire.
Read the Congressional Testimony

April 21, 2011
African Union Commission Chairman at USIP

With various conflicts in Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Cote D’Ivoire and elsewhere, Africa presents as major a policy challenge as an area of critical importance for the United States and the world. “Africa has emerged as a region that can no longer be ignored in the global quest for peace and security,” said Dr. Jean Ping, the head of the African Union Commission, who was a featured guest April 20 at USIP’s Washington headquarters.
Read the News Feature

March 2010
Education and Conflict in Côte d’Ivoire

This report studies the relationship between conflict and education in Côte d’Ivoire, and suggests policy and program approaches for analysts and those engaged with education and peacebuilding in societies affected by conflict.
Read the Special Report


Democratic Republic of Congo

September 2011
Leadership, Peace, Stability, and Prosperity in the DRC

In 2009 and 2010, the U.S. Institute of Peace sponsored a series of dialogue sessions between members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo diaspora community and those of the international community.
Read the Special Report

May 2010
Rape in War: Motives of Militia in DRC

This report reflects a key goal of USIP's Gender and Peace Initiative, which seeks to inform policy through analytical and practitioner work. The report presents the results of qualitative research conducted with combatants from the Mai Mai militia in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as part of a project by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). Interviews conducted at three field sites provide insight into soldiers' motivations and their attitudes toward sexual violence in their group. However, soldiers' responses also reveal potential areas for intervention.
Read the Special Report



September 2010
Internal Displacement and Local Peacebuilding in Kenya

This report, sponsored by the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, follows a June 17, 2008, U.S. Institute of Peace panel discussion on displacement in Kenya and is based on extensive local research, including monitoring work before the 2007 election.
Read the Special  Report


June 28, 2011
Liberian President Optimistic on Country’s Outlook

If there is a Cinderella story in sub-Saharan Africa, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would argue it belongs to Liberia. Years of civil war, economic mismanagement and staggering debt all conspired to bring an already-ravaged economy to its knees by 2005.
Read the News Feature

November 2009
Looking for Justice: Liberian Experiences with and Perceptions of Local Justice Options

This report presents the research findings and analysis of ten months of field study as part of the United States Institute of Peace and George Washington University project titled "From Current Practices of Justice to Rule of Law: Policy Options for Liberia's First Post-Conflict Decade."
Read the Peaceworks



January 6, 2012
From Nigeria to Iraq: USIP Mediation in Conflicts

David Smock is currently the senior vice president for USIP’s Centers of Innovation. He has worked on African issues for more than 30 years and lived in Africa for 11. Smock discusses examples of USIP helping to manage or resolve conflicts by directly intervening with some kind of mediation effort.
Read the Q&A

September 30, 2011
Nigerian Foreign Minister Lays Out Ambitious New Agenda for Country

Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, visited the U.S. Institute of Peace on September 29 to lay out President Goodluck Jonathan’s agenda.
Read the News Feature

July 27, 2011
Empowering Women Peacemakers in the Niger Delta

In the Delta, women are well-placed to act as agents of change and lead efforts to restore peace and security. In most cases, however, women lack the skills and the confidence to play such a role. With USIP support, the IANSA Women’s Network-Nigeria, is working to change this.
Read the Grant Highlight

July 2011
NGOs and Nonstate Armed Actors: Improving Compliance with International Norms

This research was undertaken as part of a project on nonstate conflict management and the opportunities and limits of NGOs engaging nonstate armed groups, funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF).
Read the Special Report

April 7, 2011
USIP Does “Peace Multiplication” in Nigeria

United States Institute of Peace trainers in March completed a five-day exercise in Nigeria for Nigerian Army peacekeepers who are preparing to deploy across the continent for a host of missions.
Read the In the Field

May 18, 2011
'B Some 1, Vote 4 Peace'

The African Union dubbed Nigeria's 2007 elections as “the worst they had seen anywhere in the world.” To help Nigerians get it right, USIP has developed and begun to implement a comprehensive approach to reducing and, to the extent possible, preventing violence associated with elections.
Read the In the Field



September 12, 2011
Déjà vu: Famine and Crisis in Somalia

Mary Hope Schwoebel, a senior program officer in USIP’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, has extensive experience in Somalia. Here, she discusses the latest crisis in Somalia and how it impacts security in the region.
Read the Q&A

January 2010
International Engagement with Somalia

The Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006, supported by the U.S, had the unintentional consequence of fueling splinter insurgent groups including Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam.
Read the Peace Brief

July 2009
Counting the Costs of Somali Piracy

The upsurge in attacks by Somali pirates dating from 2005 reflects decades of political unrest, maritime lawlessness and severe economic decline. This paper, from our sustainable economics expert, offers practical strategies to mitigate the rising costs of Somali piracy and lay the foundation for lasting peace.
Read the Working Paper



February 27, 2012
Training in the Bush

A ground-level view of the training provided to Tanzanian troops to help them tackle the important but difficult tasks of peacekeeping in Darfur and perhaps elsewhere.
Read the In the Field

February 3, 2012
Lizards, Geckos, and Training for Peacebuilding

Training for most militaries around the world requires good instruction, lots of practice, and a large amount of remote territory. The 4th battalion of the Tanzanian military was no exception. Jeff Helsing and Alison Milofsky of USIP’s Academy provide an account of their recent ACOTA program training in Tanzania.
Read the In the Field

December 8, 2011
USIP: Teaching African Peacekeepers How to Keep the Peace

Trainers from the USIP have completed 17 training workshops this year as part of the State Department’s African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program, or ACOTA. African peacekeepers’ mission is to prevent the outbreak or spillover of violent conflict.
Read the News Feature

The Two Sudans

March 30, 2012
Ongoing Tensions in the Two Sudans

USIP’s Jon Temin discusses the recent clashes and ongoing tensions between South Sudan and Sudan – and what can be done to prevent more violence.
Read the Q&A

March 19, 2012
Oil, the Two Sudans and a USIP Roundtable: Whither South Sudan's Oil?

USIP hosts an online roundtable among three experts on the crisis with oil in Sudan and South Sudan and how it might unfold.
Read the Q&A

March 14, 2012
USIP's Jon Temin Testifies Before the Senate on the "Two Sudans"

Drawing on the expertise of USIP’s Jon Temin, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee invited him to testify on “Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity” on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.  The hearing focused on unresolved issues following South Sudan’s secession last July, including humanitarian access and an impasse over oil transit.
Read the Congressional Testimony

February 27, 2012
Training in the Bush

A ground-level view of the training provided to Tanzanian troops to help them tackle the important but difficult tasks of peacekeeping in Darfur and perhaps elsewhere.
Read the In the Field

December 23, 2011
USIP Supports Peacemaking Efforts in the Two Sudans

Director of USIP's Two Sudans program, Jon Temin, reflects on the birth of the world's newest nation, South Sudan, and looks ahead to 2012 and USIP's continued impact in the region.
Read the Q&A

May 25, 2011
Building South Sudan's First Peace Library

The University of Juba is South Sudan's flagship institution of higher  education. During the war years in Sudan, when Juba was a garrison town, the University was located in Khartoum. It is now midway through the long process of relocating back to Juba. To help remedy this situation, USIP provided a grant in January 2011 to the Centre to establish the first peace library in South Sudan.
Read about the Grant



December 11, 2011
Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson Explains the U.S. Military Mission in Uganda
The deployment of about 100 American military personnel to combat the enduring brutality of the Lord’s Resistance Army and its charismatic leader, Joseph Kony, is to play a “supportive role” with the Ugandan army, said Ambassador Johnnie Carson at USIP on Dec. 7.
Read the News Feature

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