Issue

On War and Peace

Nearly thirty years after the Rwandan genocide, thousands of maimed amputees remind us of the war that took 500,000 lives in 100 days. War leaves marks that cannot be erased—not only in Rwanda, but on every continent.

Reporting from On War and Peace examines the roots of conflict, whether it be religious hatred, sectarian rivalry, a security vacuum, the struggle for natural resources, or the desperation that results from poverty.

Pulitzer Center journalists also cover war’s aftermath: the transitional governments that result in chaos, diplomacy that goes awry, peace talks that never end, and the people who suffer the consequences, young and old. We see the children who go hungry, lose their homes, leave school, become combatants, or join the jihad.

Often the end to conflict leaves turmoil in its wake while the road to peace seems circuitous: In South Sudan, rebel-commanders-turned politicians plunge the country into civil war. In the U.S., troops return home from one war only to be re-deployed to another. But everywhere, in every conflict, there are also voices crying out for peace, determined to heal the divide.

On War and Peace

Security ramps up for Afghan election

KABUL, Afghanistan | As Afghanistan's second-ever presidential campaign season came to a close Monday, authorities moved to tighten security in the face of Taliban threats to disrupt the vote with attacks on polling stations.

Fears persist that militant violence could affect balloting in the Pashtun-dominated south with adverse results for President Hamid Karzai, the Pashtun front-runner. Mr. Karzai needs more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

The Taliban Threat to Disrupt Afghanistan Election

For months, residents of the southern frontier city where the Taliban was born have awoken to "night letters" left on their doorsteps and pasted on walls ordering them to boycott Afghanistan's second-ever presidential election, on Aug 20. Those letters have now turned into death threats. The latest, seen by TIME, is purportedly authored by Mullah Ghulam Haider, the alleged Taliban commander in Kandahar city. It says those who vote will be considered "enemies of Islam" and could "become a victim" of "new tactics." It does not offer details.

The Don Quixote of Afghanistan: A Long Shot's Quest

When he's not canvassing the Afghan backcountry in his beat-up Toyota mini-bus, Ramazan Bashardost, 48, arrives at his presidential campaign headquarters — a gray tent — at 5:30 each morning. It sits across the street from the Afghan parliament and is open to the public, without the gun-wielding bodyguards that surround other high-profile candidates. "My name means 'friend of humans'," he offers, by way of explanation. "I am here for everyone."

Karzai challenger hopes for runoff

JAGHORI, Afghanistan | Swaying from the sunroof of a dirt-streaked 4x4, Abdullah Abdullah could only grin.

In his first visit to this poor, ethnic-Hazara enclave in east-central Afghanistan, the Tajik-Pashtun candidate for president was received by more than 1,000 people who jostled to get a clear look at him, snatched pictures with cell phone cameras and killed a cow in his honor.

Crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls the sexual violence in eastern Congo "one of mankind's greatest atrocities." An update on the security crisis and what the U.S. and other nations can do to help stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Guests

John Prendergast, co-chair of the ENOUGH Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity

Mvemba Dizolele, former Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee and national fellow, Hoover Institution