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

Somaliland: The Pirate Hunting Coast Guard

Until pirates showed up on the world's media radar few people would have been able to point to Somalia on a map. That all changed in April when a gang of pirates attempted to hijack a US-flagged ship with an American crew. They failed but took the ship's captain hostage.

The days-long stand off ended with the deadly sniping of three pirates by US Navy SEALS.

Somaliland: A Land in Limbo (Part II)

The road to the port town of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden drops thousands of feet through a landscape of white sun-bleached rock, brittle thorn bushes and bone-dry riverbeds set against a backdrop of mountains sliced by desiccated ravines cut when the rain occasionally comes. It is an unremitting kind of beauty.

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.