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's Addict Economy

Somalia's economy is dominated by trade in khat, a narcotic banned in the U.S. and much of Europe.

Eye-popping, head-buzzing khat is loved by Somali men who chew the leaves for their stimulant effect. While most of war-torn Somalia's economy is moribund, khat does a bustling trade estimated at well over $50 million annually. Doctors warn, however, that the drug is not only a drain on limited Somali resources but is also destroying lives.

Remittances a Lifeline to Somalis

What began as a way for exiled Somalis to send money to relatives at home has become a company that almost single-handedly keeps the entire war-torn country afloat.

"Remittances are a lifeline to Somalis," said Abdirashid Duale, chief executive of Dahabshiil, at his Hargeisa headquarters. "They are the main income people here receive."

Dahabshiil, a family-owned money transfer company, is a household name among Somalis. It is also Somalia's economic linchpin connecting the wealthy diaspora with the impoverished homebodies.

Jason Motlagh on the war in Afghanistan

Jason Motlagh, who recently returned from a Pulitzer Center-funded trip to Afghanistan, talks to C-SPAN's Washington Journal about the current situation on the ground there. In this half-hour program he fields questions about the challenging terrain in Helmand province, the opium poppy industry and the US's long-term objectives in the war in Afghanistan. Watch the interview on C-SPAN's website.

Democracy Grows In the Desert

This September in Somalia, hundreds of thousands of people are due to take part in an election. At polling stations guarded by civilian police, they will stand in orderly lines beneath a scorching sun waiting to vote for a new leader.

Much of this country continues its relentless descent into mayhem and murder. But Somaliland, a small north-western chunk, has been trying for the past 18 years to free itself of its bigger, nastier neighbour, having declared independence when Somalia's last government, a violent military autocracy, collapsed in 1991.