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.
State of the Field
In many countries, elections are a flashpoint for violence. Far too often, programs designed to prevent election violence are based on intuition instead of evidence, or efforts concentrate solely on logistical or technical support on election day. When prevention efforts fail and violence erupts, officials may respond with a counter-productive crackdown, citizens lose trust in the ability of government and the rule of law to protect them, and years of development efforts are reversed.
Colette Rausch; Tina Luu
Derived primarily from the author’s field research and experience, this report focuses on community-based programs and interventions in rural Afghanistan. Fundamental assumptions that underlie these interventions, however, are flawed. With an eye to worldwide relevance, the report analyzes these assumptions and suggests ways to better understand the realities of rural Afghan society so that the government in Kabul can more effectively implement programs in rural areas, engage rural participation, deliver needed services to that population, and administer the country more generally.
As U.S. Presses Military on Reforms, Policies Need Consistency, Patience
Monday, March 20, 2017 / BY: USIP Staff