Since Afghanistan’s first presidential election in 2004, massive election fraud and malpractices have been the rule. Confidence in the electoral process among the population is correspondingly low. As this Peace Brief explains, a new biometric voter registration system has recently been suggested by the Independent Election Commission to radically reduce voter registration risks. If it is to be effective, however, training of registration officials in using the envisaged technology is essential, as is ensuring acceptance of it among stakeholders.
Parliament Speaker Saleem al-Jubouri Visits Paul Ryan, USIP
By: Nancy Lindborg
One rainy afternoon in early January 2014, I met with a group of Syrian women in a Geneva café as the latest rounds of Syria peace talks were getting underway. They had organized a nearly country-wide network of women who were already working on resolving conflicts at the local level in Syria and had come to Geneva to bring their voice to the talks. However, sadly, they were shut out of any participation by the Syrian government, the opposition delegations and the UN.
First Lady Rula Ghani and USIP Visit Reveal Ways Women Seek to Reduce Violence
Amid a spate of recent Taliban attacks across Afghanistan, I heard a different but equally important story during a visit to Kabul last week: women from major cities to rural villages are taking action to defuse local tensions with the militants, prevent recruitment to extremist groups and, at the national level, to pave the way for peace with the Taliban. It’s a trend that Afghanistan’s first lady, Rula Ghani, highlighted during a discussion at USIP in Washington today.
By: Philippe Leroux-Martin
By: Derek Brown
For 70 years, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has affected the Middle East landscape and defied the international community’s peacebuilding efforts. Tensions escalated after the most recent negotiations collapsed, spurring additional violence, hardening public attitudes, and threatening prospects for a negotiated settlement. Facing these challenges and their impact on broader U.S. national security interests, the current administration has identified this conflict as a diplomatic priority.
Liberia will hold presidential and legislative elections on October 10. The run-up to the vote has been primarily peaceful, and the country has engaged in ongoing efforts to prevent election violence. This Peace Brief, based on USIP research, assesses the risk of election violence and the scope of violence prevention efforts, and provides recommendations for ongoing prevention.
STATE OF THE FIELD
Violent conflict upends and polarizes societies, disrupting social structures and gender roles.
Projects and policies intended to assist communities that are fragile or affected by violence are more successful if they consider conflict’s different effects on men, women, boys, and girls.
Approaches to conflict resolution that account for gender issues and include a broader array of society reduce gender-based violence, enhance gender equality, defuse conflict, and lead to more sustainable peace.
BY: Aly Verjee
Regional leaders have endorsed the creation of a new peace initiative in South Sudan: the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF). The HLRF is intended to revive the stalled 2015 peace agreement in the country. This Peace Brief offers recommendations for the international community in anticipation of the launch of the HLRF, suggesting its success hinges on clarifying serious ambiguities that exist in its design, including the questions of who will participate and the extent of the agenda.
By Jack Froude; Michael Zanchelli
By: Sadaf Lakhani ; Julienne Corboz
Based on qualitative surveys and focus group discussions with communities in four Afghan provinces, this Peace Brief analyzes how nonstate actor control over small-scale mining sites and illegal extraction contributes to conflict, the local political economy, and the incentive structures that support illegal extraction.
Experts Consider Resilience for Reducing Conflict Risks in Fragile States
By: Linwood Q. Ham, Jr.
Sixteen years after the start of the international intervention in Afghanistan, the country remains beset by a debilitating array of conflicts, undermined political stability, an economic and security decline since the withdrawal of a majority of international forces, and a divided government since the 2014 elections. As the US government, its partners, and NATO consider a revised military strategy for Afghanistan, it is essential to recognize that politics has been, and remains, at the center of that conflict.
By: Ethan B. Kapstein
In the context of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security, this report examines collaborations between youth and religious leaders in conflict-affected states. Using case studies, surveys, and interviews, it highlights the gaps, challenges, and opportunities for how religious actors and youth can and do partner effectively in the face of violent conflict.
•More than 80 percent of the world identifies as religious, and most of the world’s most violent conflicts occur in countries with the most youthful populations.
Friday, May 26, 2017 / BY: Katherine "Kay" Spencer; Rachel Vandenbrink
On the Issues with Kay Spencer and Rachel Vandenbrink
Burma's national dialogue, stalled for months, advanced this week with the opening of the second round of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference in Naypyitaw, the capital. The five days of political talks focus on working out a federal system to resolve the country’s ethnic tensions.
Study Pinpoints Link Between Food Shortages and Attacks by Extremists, Insurgents
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 / BY: Ore Koren
By: Elizabeth Murray
Plagued by successive coups and waves of violent conflict since its independence in 1960, the Central African Republic managed to hold its first peaceful elections in late 2015 and early 2016. Fears of widespread violence proved unfounded. This report focuses on what went right in those elections and how those conditions have not held a year later, allowing violence to return to the country.