Weekly Bulletin USIP

To End Nigeria’s Violence, Civic Leaders Urge Officials: Seek Wider Citizen Guidance

As Nigeria struggles to calm its varied violent conflicts, including the Boko Haram insurgency, 11 eminent civil society leaders are urging government officials to seek an unprecedented degree of citizen input. The religious, military, academic and diplomatic leaders in Nigeria’s Senior Working Group will ask state legislatures to hold public hearings, not a common Nigerian practice, on the country’s violent disputes.

Pakistan Frees U.S. Hostages: Can That Ease Strained Ties?

Pakistan’s rescue this week of a U.S.-Canadian family could open a door to easing the strain in U.S.-Pakistan relations. But maybe not. The basic disconnect—notably over the continued operation in Pakistan of the Haqqani network, a Taliban faction that held the hostages—remains unresolved. Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said at USIP last week that his country’s real sacrifices against terrorist groups still go too little recognized.

Colombia’s reintegration of ex-rebels lags. That’s a problem.

While Colombia’s year-old peace accord has led to the former FARC rebels surrendering more than 8,000 weapons, the process of reintegrating ex-fighters into civilian livelihoods has stalled. The support promised to help ex-rebels start new careers has not materialized and thousands of ex-fighters have left transition camps to seek their families or to join dissident factions or criminal groups. That is creating dangers for the peace process.

The U.S. just eased sanctions on Sudan. Is that wise?

The Trump administration has eased sanctions on Sudan, which the United States once accused of pursuing genocide. USIP’s Princeton Lyman, a former U.S. envoy on Sudan, tells NPR the change could bolster those Sudanese seeking change. Static sanctions lose their effectiveness he says. But human rights groups say the relaxation risks undermining efforts to get Sudan to stop repression, imprisonment and torture of dissidents.

How Pakistan Deradicalizes Hundreds of Taliban Fighters

When Pakistan’s army captured young Taliban fighters in 2009, it called psychologist Feriha Peracha to figure out what to do with them. Since then, Peracha has become the ex-fighters’ “grandmother,” helping nearly 200 return from radicalization to work and family in their communities. As ISIS pours thousands of ex-fighters into countries from Europe to the Middle East, Peracha’s success offers lessons the world needs.