In Ethiopia, Former U.S. Diplomats See Promise in Reform

In Ethiopia, Former U.S. Diplomats See Promise in Reform

Thursday, June 13, 2019

By: Fred Strasser

In Ethiopia, political prisoners are free and the security services revamped. Women now comprise half the cabinet, and serve as ceremonial head of state, chief justice, and chair of the electoral commission. Significant steps have been taken toward resolving a 20-year conflict with neighboring Eritrea and reforms to unleash the economy—already one of Africa’s fastest growing—are ostensibly on the way. Elections are slated for next year. Under Abiy Ahmed, the nation’s popular new prime minister, Ethiopia is changing in ways long desired by American policymakers, agreed four former U.S. ambassadors to the country. Yet the most the U.S. is likely to do is offer encouragement and a bit of support, they said.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Zimbabwe Crisis: USIP Experts on What You Need to Know

Zimbabwe Crisis: USIP Experts on What You Need to Know

Thursday, November 16, 2017

By: USIP Staff

In Zimbabwe, the military has taken control and detained its longtime leader, President Robert Mugabe. Despite what appears to be a coup, shops and banks remain open and there has been no violence or resistance. The world is keeping a careful eye on Zimbabwe as Mr. Mugabe’s four decades of ironclad rule are seemingly coming to an end and the immediate future of the country is perilous and uncertain.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Surprise Election Ruling Raises Tension Over Kenya Vote

Surprise Election Ruling Raises Tension Over Kenya Vote

Friday, September 1, 2017

By: USIP Staff; Johnnie Carson; Susan Stigant; Aly Verjee

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called for calm after the country’s Supreme Court annulled his re-election, citing “irregularities.” He said he would accept the court’s order for a new election, similarly to the decision last month by his opponent, Raila Odinga, to challenge the election results in court...

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Top Civic Leaders Aid Nigerian Fight to Curb Extremism

Top Civic Leaders Aid Nigerian Fight to Curb Extremism

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

By: Fred Strasser

Nigeria’s Roman Catholic cardinal urges his flock to embrace diversity. The spiritual leader of the country’s Muslims leads efforts to prevent radicalization and condemns Boko Haram. A former United Nations envoy advocates for professionalism among civil servants. A retired army chief of staff presses for the government to reach out more to alienated groups. These leaders and seven other prominent figures form a new high-level advisory group helping northern Nigeria’s powerful state governors address the social, religious and political forces that fuel extremist violence.

Type: In the Field

Fragility & Resilience; Violent Extremism; Religion; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Nigerian Governors on Ways to Halt Crises, Boko Haram

Nigerian Governors on Ways to Halt Crises, Boko Haram

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

By: USIP Staff

A dozen governors from northern Nigeria say their region’s crises—warfare, poverty and millions of uprooted people—can be ended only with initiatives for education, reconciliation among rival groups, and the political inclusion of minorities and women. As Nigeria works to repair and build relations between police and communities, several governors said, the country’s federally run police system should be complemented with state or local police forces. The elected state governors, who wield im...

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Economics & Environment; Reconciliation

Nigerian Governors Set to Discuss Paths to Progress

Nigerian Governors Set to Discuss Paths to Progress

Thursday, October 13, 2016

By: Fred Strasser

The urgent challenges for Nigeria’s powerful northern state governors range from addressing a humanitarian crisis sparked by Boko Haram’s insurgency to boosting economic growth with alternatives such as agriculture to make up for declining oil revenue, Johnnie Carson, a senior advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said ahead of a governors’ symposium to be held at the Institute next week. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Economics & Environment; Civilian-Military Relations

Nigeria’s Powerful Governors Eye Roots of Boko Haram

Nigeria’s Powerful Governors Eye Roots of Boko Haram

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

By: USIP Staff

Governors from northern Nigeria, where the U.S. military is helping quell the Boko Haram militant group, will convene at the U.S. Institute of Peace for the second time this October to agree on civilian actions they can take to address the root causes of violent extremism and help ensure that efforts to stabilize this vital region will stick. Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, a USIP senior advisor helping organize the gathering, said Nigerian governors are some of the m...

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Religion; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Somalia Seeks Best Possible Elections, More Security Aid

Somalia Seeks Best Possible Elections, More Security Aid

Thursday, April 21, 2016

By: USIP Staff

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.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Economics & Environment; Electoral Violence