Issue

Conflict and Peace Building

Nearly 30 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 Conflict and Peacebuilding 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.

 

Conflict and Peace Building

The Dostum Chronicles: How I finagled my way into the compound of Afghanistan's most notorious warlord

Shiberghan, Afghanistan (one day before the election)—There was no mistaking the general's "castle." Its pastel-colored two-storey walls and lapis cupolas shocking amidst the drabness of the surrounding neighborhood. Somewhere inside the compound was General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the most notorious of Afghanistan's warlords. In almost three decades as a militia leader, Dostum has earned a reputation for ruthless brutality towards enemies, as well as an opportunist's disregard for alliances, which have shifted without notice.

Taliban attacks in north Afghanistan spike

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan | Eight years ago, this northern flood plain was the scene of the Taliban's last stand.

Now, it's the locus of a resurgent militancy in a region that is fast becoming a new front in the Afghan war - with troubling consequences for coalition supply lines and U.S. allies whose will to stay and fight is being tested by rising casualties.

Target Germany: A Second Front in Afghanistan?

The details of a deadly coalition airstrike near the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan are yet vague. However, the attack has potentially deep military consequences as well as political ramifications far away — in Germany. NATO said in a statement that Friday's airstrike targeted militants who had stolen two fuel tankers the day before. It said that most of those killed were Taliban. But Afghan authorities are saying that civilians who had flocked to collect free fuel at the behest of insurgents died among them — with an overall death toll estimated as high as 70.

Afghanistan: A Stolen Election?

Jason Motlagh has been reporting from Afghanistan throughout the past year, including on military missions assigned to try and make the country safe enough to hold elections on August 20. Most recently, he has spent weeks covering the upheaval resulting from those elections. He shares his images and insights with iWitness.

Motlagh's coverage from Afghanistan is funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and is part of a joint reporting venture between the center and FRONTLINE/World.

Somaliland's Perplexing Limbo

This month in a country that doesn't exist an election is due to be held to choose a government that will not be recognized. This is not a hypothetical puzzle, it is the actual state of Somaliland.

Somalia is the world's most glaring example of a failed state: For the past 18 years Somalia has not had a functioning government and has been marked by widespread violence and chaos.

Did the Pentagon Blacklist Journalists in Afghanistan?

Journalists covering the Afghan war rely heavily on coalition forces to gain access to a hardscrabble backcountry populated by Taliban militants. So the reaction was far from muted when the news broke last week that the Defense Department was paying a controversial private firm to profile reporters seeking to accompany — or "embed" — with troops. Reporters quickly complained that it was tantamount to building a blacklist and that the U.S. military was deliberately working to sideline journalists critical of its mission.