The balance of power between strong states was for decades the dominant issue in discussions of international security. But today, it is fragile states that are seen by many as posing potentially greater threats. Weak infrastructures, internal conflict, and lack of economic development provide fertile ground for trafficking, piracy, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, disease pandemics, regional tensions, and even genocide.

As a result, there is a growing movement in the international community to find comprehensive ways to promote stronger states, as well as more effective solutions to deal with those that are already on the brink of failure.

In Governance, you'll find reporting from around the world—from East Timor to Haiti, from Guinea Bissau to Afghanistan. The reporting demonstrates the dangers weak states pose—and also the international interventions that appear to be making a difference.



Yemen: Peace breaks out in Saada

President Ali Abdullah Saleh's July declaration that the four-year, stop-go guerrilla war in the northern province of Saada was "over" took everyone in Yemen by surprise.

Now, rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi has agreed to come down from the mountain.

In a letter publicised by Yemen's state-run media today, al-Houthi accepted Saleh's peace terms. The rebels will surrender their strategic mountaintop positions and hand over their heavy and medium weapons to the authorities.

Yemen: Reform or bust

Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world. Its 22 million-strong population is set to double by 2035 at the current rate of growth, but it's fast running out of water – and oil. Yemen's state structures are weak and incomplete, and the country faces substantial development challenges.

I reported from Yemen for a year – from 2006 to 2007 – and now I'm back to see whether recent reforms are diffusing social, political and economic pressures in this fragile state.

Sudan: From Rebels to Soldiers? The SPLA's Transformation

At the new headquarters of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), some 10km north of Juba town, signs mark the finance, administration and operations directorates.

Laminated name plates with Southern Sudan's official colours line the desks in the new air-conditioned offices. Laptops and internet service are coming soon.

It is a new look, and a new way, for the former rebel movement that fought for liberation in the forests of Southern Sudan for two decades.

Cattle Raids and Clashes Still Plague Jonglei

Forced by civil war to flee her village in Southern Sudan, Rebeka James Galwak found her way to the northern capital of Khartoum and lived there until the conflict formally ended.

With a peace agreement signed in Nairobi in January 2005, Galwak thought her Nuer village in Jonglei state would be safe enough for her to return. But within a year of returning, she said, fighters from the Murle community attacked her home.

Sudan: The Road North

I had been in Sudan one week when I set off up north to see just how widespread neglect in Sudan really is. One of the reasons behind the problems in Darfur, of course, is long-standing marginalization of the area. Darfurians are mostly black Africans and the government is dominated by Arabs.That is often portrayed as part of the reason for their neglect. Other ethic groups - Christians and animists in the south and the Beja in the east - have also complained of marginalization. But nobody ever hears about the Arabs in the north. I guess the assumption is that they are in good hands, since many government ministers come from the far north. I went to see just how true that assumption is.

David Enders on Iran's Press TV

On July 28, 2008, Iran's Press TV conducted a live interview with David Enders about his perspectives on the war in Iraq.

Enders is currently reporting from Baghdad on Iraq's upcoming elections, the issue of U.S. detention of Iraqis and continued U.S. pacification efforts in Sadr City and Falluja.

Enders also plans to travel to Syria to examine the continuing struggle for Iraqi refugees there.