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

Part 1 - Battle for Basra

Basra is Iraq's economy – its Rumeila oil fields tap one of the largest pools of petroleum in the world, and without its revenues the central government in Baghdad would collapse. This wealth makes Basra the site of a battle for political control between the three largest Shiite parties in Iraq – al-Hakim's SIIC, Moqtada al-Sadr's 'Sadrist Current', and the Islamic Virtue Party, which controls the Basra governorate and is linked to the Oil Workers' Union.

Part 2 - Battle for Basra

Basra is Iraq's economy – its Rumeila oil fields tap one of the largest pools of petroleum in the world, and without its revenues the central government in Baghdad would collapse. This wealth makes Basra the site of a battle for political control between the three largest Shiite parties in Iraq – al-Hakim's SIIC, Moqtada al-Sadr's 'Sadrist Current', and the Islamic Virtue Party, which controls the Basra governorate and is linked to the Oil Workers' Union.

Dangerous Allies

New alliances with Sunni militias have reduced attacks on American troops in Anbar and elsewhere in Iraq, but will this new strategy lead to lasting stability, or is it feeding a sectarian civil war and exacerbating a growing refugee crisis?

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