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

Somaliland: A Land in Limbo

Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, is Africa’s only fully unrecognized country. After breaking away from Somalia and claiming independence in 1991, the Somaliland government, in stark contrast to the failed state of Somalia, has constructed many facets of a functioning, stable state. Somaliland has carried out several Presidential elections and peaceful transfers of power.

Afghanistan: Civilians Under Siege

In 2008, there were over 2,100 civilians casualties across Afghanistan. US airstrikes accounted for 552 deaths, up more than 70% compared to the year before. Militants were responsible for more than half the overall total. The bitter truth is that most of these incidents could be avoided. And yet they...

Human Terrain: The New Counterinsurgency?

Since 2007, an experimental Pentagon program has been sending teams of civilian anthropologists and other social scientists into the hardest-fought regions of Iraq and Afghanistan to pursue a mission that's both deeply controversial and increasingly important to U.S. military strategy.

Social scientists work within frontline combat units...

The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Eastern DRC

The 2006 election in the Democratic Republic of Congo was supposed to usher in a new period of peace and stability for the beleaguered, exhausted Congolese people. Instead, it made one of the country's most intractable problems worse. After the election, the small but powerful Tutsi community in Eastern Congo...

Afghanistan: Failure of Expectation

The Taliban is not the only threat facing Afghanistan. The rise in poppy cultivation places the country at risk of moving from narco-economy to narco-state, and as eradication efforts continue to prove wildly unsuccessful, the threat increases. Yet the reasons for poppy's growing influence in the country are not...

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