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

Somaliland: Electoral Hiccups

Unlike every other breakaway state in the world Somaliland is more functional than the territory it wants to decouple from. The fact that Somalia is the country it wants shot of makes its case even more compelling because today it is impossible to find a better example of a failed state.

Somaliland's argument for recognition rests on two pillars: peace and democracy, but both are more fragile than they seem.

From Corporate America to the Horn of Africa, Money Makes the World Go Round

The dusty, potholed streets of Hargeysa in Somaliland are filled with battered cars and ambling pedestrians. The tangled birds' nests of wires that cling to every telegraph pole are testament to a boom in telephony, informal stalls line the roads, selling imported goods and Ethiopia-grown khat, a plant chewed as a stimulant - and behind bricks of local currency sit the money changers.

Foreigners are the Real Pirates, Says Former Somali Fisherman

The first time Farah Ismail Eid set out to hijack a ship off the coast of Somalia his boat was easily outrun. On the second occasion he kept pace but his boarding ladder was too short. On the third attempt he was captured.

Eid, 38, from Eyl on the Somalia coast, is one of an estimated 1,500 fishermen-turned-pirates who have made the seas between the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean the most dangerous shipping route in the world.

Interview with a Pirate

The slight figure of Farah Ismail Eid is a far cry from the swashbuckling, murderous image of a pirate of the high seas.

The scourge of piracy along the Horn of Africa's coastline has caused shipping firms to pay millions of dollars in ransoms and has taken several lives. The mighty U.S. Navy and other major powers have deployed warships and frigates to patrol the waters of the Gulf of Aden, but still the pirates succeed in hijacking cargo ships.

Somaliland: A Land in Limbo (Part I)

It's a disconcerting experience to report from a place that doesn't exist. 18-years ago Somaliland broke away from Somalia, its bigger, nastier neighbor. While that benighted nation has continued its descent into chaos, death and mayhem Somaliland has kept the peace and built a likeness of democracy.

But as Somalia's anarchy is showered with money Somaliland is diligently ignored. In April donor nations pledged another $213-million to the besieged Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, that's roughly seven times the annual budget of Somaliland's entire government.

Roadside Bombs: An Iraqi Tactic on the Upswing in Afghanistan

The highway that runs between Kabul and the southeastern city of Kandahar is the most brutal evidence of the Taliban's IED offensive. The road is a showcase U.S.-funded project, meant to connect two of the country's most vital commercial centers. But today it is an automotive graveyard, littered with burned-out carcasses of vehicles and disrupted by crumbled bridges.