The global surge in humanitarian emergencies related to violent conflict, including looming famines in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, are on the agenda of world leaders meeting at the United Nations General Assembly this week. With 20 million people across four countries on the brink of starvation...
The U.S. plans to continue diplomatic and military support for African nations but expects its counterparts to step up significantly in areas ranging from fighting corruption to countering terrorism and stopping arms purchases from North Korea, U.S. officials said during a symposium at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
In Nigeria, a radio call-in show with local Islamic scholars provided an alternative to extremist propaganda. In Somalia, training youth in nonviolent advocacy for better governance produced a sharp drop in support for political violence. In the Lake Chad region, coordinating U.S. defense, development and diplomatic efforts helped push back Boko Haram and strengthened surrounding states. Such cases illustrate ways to close off the openings for extremism in fragile states, experts said in a discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict-Affected Societies is an invaluable resource for anyone battling serious crimes in societies seeking to avoid conflict, to escape from violence, or to recover and rebuild. Packed with practical guidance, this volume includes real world examples from more than twenty of today’s conflict zones, including Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colombia.
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. Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on "Flashing Red: The State of Global Humanitarian Affairs."
Four years after the formation of a federal government in Somalia, the country has built nascent institutions, but it will need years of financial and security support to make the new state effective, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said April 20 at USIP. The country’s next critical step will be to hold national elections before September, a vote that Mohamud said will be less democratic than he and other Somalis had hoped—but an improvement in a country that has not elected any government since 1969.
Peacebuilders in the Horn of Africa and across the larger Middle East are likely to get better outcomes with a greater understanding of the region’s “political marketplace,” where loyalties based on financial and economic means seem to create more stability than classic institution-building, according to Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation and a professor at Tufts University. But rather than succumbing to illegitimate patronage, some experts say the answer may lie i...
A Somali master poet reconnects citizens to their government. A Lebanese filmmaker collects fighters' stories to dramatize the cost of war. Police in Northern Ireland adopt symbols of peace to signal a new ethos. In places simmering with long-standing social tensions and alienation, common cultural understandings can help ease hostility, suggesting a potentially powerful role for a mechanism still under-used in peacebuilding: the arts.
In an increasingly globalized, super-connected world, violent conflict moves faster and less predictably than a generation ago, with less regard for national borders. It combines dangerously with cyber networks, social media, environmental degradation and disease.