Issue

Governance

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.

 

Governance

Yemen Faces New Jihad Generation

The deadly car bombing outside the US embassy in Yemen represents an escalation in attacks against Western targets and shows al Qaeda-inspired jihadis are growing in ability and determination.

Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 16 people, but it is possible that other groups will come forward in the next few days.

There is a complex network of over-lapping splinter cells and claims of rival leadership within Yemen.

Yemen: The rhythms of Ramadan

Ramadan mornings are strangely muted. When I left Yemen last Friday at 8am, the streets were deserted. Even at midday, the shops are quiet and government ministries are running on empty.

The normal swing of things doesn't really get going til afternoon when workers in the juice bars and restaurants pull back the shutters, string up their bunches of mangoes and start setting out tables and chairs in preparation for the evening meal.

Yemen: Raindrops

Here's the husband and wife team that's taking Yemen's water sector by storm.

Rowyan is the brainchild of hydrogeologist Dr Michael Klingler, who runs the Integrated Water Resources Management Project for German development organization GTZ. Dr Klinger's team worked closely with Yemen's National Water Resources Authority to bring the cartoon characters to life and build a comprehensive national awareness strategy, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.

Comic Answer to Yemen Water Crisis

Yemen is projected to be the first Arab country that will use up all of its groundwater, but no-one knows exactly when the water table will dry out or fall beyond a viable level for human use.

In a race to shape public opinion, the government has developed a national mascot to encourage water conservation.

Rowyan is an animated raindrop, a cheery cartoon character with moustache and headdress. His wife, Rowyana, has curling eyelashes. She carries a handbag and wears a veil and full-length black robes.

Yemen: Doctors on the beaches

Night after night, from September to May, Yemen's wild, remote southern beaches provide the backdrop for a slow-burn humanitarian crisis.

Somali refugees stagger from the black sea in weak starlight. Some collapse on the sand flats, weak and exhausted. Others paddle in the silvery surf looking for plastic bags – thrown from the boat – containing their few belongings.