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 Long Vote Count in Afghanistan: Room for Mischief?

The frantic run-up to Afghanistan's presidential elections has given way to a bitter anti-climax. Even as results trickle in, they are in danger of being overwhelmed by mounting counter-claims of fraud from the leading candidates, who appear to be increasingly less likely to back down should the final verdict not go their way.

Tensions Rise in Post-Election Afghanistan

In the days since millions of Afghans braved Taliban threats at the polls, President Hamid Karzai and his leading challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, have waged their own offensive, trading accusations of fraud and impending victory. It may look like politics as usual. But against a volatile backdrop of resurgent militancy and ethnic faultlines, the consequences for Afghanistan's fragile democracy are harder to predict.

Fraud charges raised in Afghan election

KABUL, Afghanistan | Abdullah Abdullah, the leading challenger to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, accused his rival on Saturday of using his power to manipulate the war-torn country's second-ever presidential election.

Mr. Karzai's former foreign minister also said he was in contact with other campaigns about forming a coalition against the incumbent should he not get 50 percent of the votes needed to win outright, a scenario that appears likely. He would not specify with whom he spoke or any further details.

Karzai, Abdullah claiming Afghan election victory

KABUL, Afghanistan | President Hamid Karzai and leading challenger Abdullah Abdullah both claimed to be ahead Friday in Afghanistan's second presidential election, after a vote marred by sporadic violence and low turnout.

In Washington, President Obama congratulated the Afghan people for conducting the presidential election amid violent threats from Taliban militants, but cautioned that more difficult days are ahead.

Afghan voters brave rockets, bombs

SHIBERGHAN, Afghanistan | In the months leading up to Afghanistans second presidential election, there was growing optimism the country was shifting away from ethnic patronage toward a newer kind of issues-based politics.

As Afghans went to the polls Thursday amid reports of low voter turnout, sporadic violence and fraud, anecdotal evidence suggested that former warlords still wield heavy-handed influence that could ultimately decide who wins.

Afghanistan: The Courage to Vote. But Twice?

In the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, Amina, 32, says she was awoken by the explosion of rocket propelled grenades at the edge of her neighborhood on election day. It was one of at least nine rockets that targeted polling stations around the city. She waited several hours troubled by second thoughts before she finally setting out to vote, her four-year-old daughter in tow. "I was very afraid. But I voted because it's my right, just like men do," she says. "Our democracy is young and we must be brave."