Sunday, December 9, 2018
Ukraine is in a long, busy election season. Six months before presidential elections in March, posters of Yulia Tymoshenko already dominate the streets of Kyiv, indicating that campaigning is well underway. Parliamentary elections will follow next October. International analysts and Ukrainian media have widely reported on the fear of Russian interference—whether through cyber attacks, other forms of meddling or even military movements in the Donbas.
Over the summer, police in Niamey, Niger agreed to participate in a live radio call-in show to discuss security concerns, including complaints about police behavior. The police previously had declined to participate in similar activities but had come to see the value of direct communication with the community. In Niger and throughout Africa’s Sahel region, small steps like this toward communication and accountability, and larger changes in policy, are needed to encourage communities to work with security services.
Darine Abdulkarim is Generation Change fellow and a medical doctor from Sudan who works on the physical and psychological rehabilitation of internally displaced women and their reintegration into society. She is one of 25 young civil society leaders from a dozen nations facing violent conflict whom USIP gathered in 2017 for training and mentorship with the Nobel peace laureate and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Seventeen years ago today, we experienced the gravest attack on our nation since World War II. Everything we thought we knew about protecting the safety of American citizens and security of our shores changed overnight. Americans came face-to-face with an unfamiliar enemy: violent extremists.
Extremists have attempted to achieve their ideological objectives in different ways. Islamist militants in Algeria and Egypt waged bloody but unsuccessful insurgencies during the 1990s to overthrow those countries' regimes. Osama bin Laden blamed their failure on Western support for secular Middle Eastern states. He created al-Qaida to attack the United States and force it to withdraw from the region.
Under congressional mandate, USIP has convened the bipartisan Task Force for Extremism in Fragile States to design a comprehensive new strategy for addressing the underlying causes of violent extremism in fragile states. But what is a fragile state? And how does state fragility in the Middle East, Horn of Africa and the Sahel threaten American interests? In this excerpt from the Task Force’s forthcoming report, we dive into the conditions of fragility and how they seed the ground for extremism to take root.
The Syrian regime’s impending assault on Idlib, the last rebel-held enclave in Syria, could be among the bloodiest battles in Syria’s civil war with significant humanitarian and geopolitical consequences. The regime’s retaking of Idlib would mark a significant milestone in Bashar al-Assad’s campaign to re-establish his control over the war-torn country.
Sighs of relief resounded throughout Central Africa and far beyond when Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), announced his decision to take a step back in the December 23 presidential elections. His support of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari (former interior minister and loyalist of Kabila’s PPRD) as the ruling party candidate removes the possibility that Kabila would ignore or eliminate term limits, which would further destabilize the fragile country.
The U.S. Institute of Peace mourns the loss of Ambassador Princeton Lyman, the Institute’s first advisor emeritus. Princeton was a lifelong public servant of the highest integrity and a tireless advocate for peace, who made immense contributions to U.S. foreign policy as well as the Institute and its work to prevent violent conflict.
For several weeks, speculation has abounded in Afghanistan about whether the extraordinary Eid al Fitr cease-fire this past June would be repeated for Eid al-Adha, the Islamic holiday which in Afghanistan began on Tuesday. The Taliban maintained a studious silence on the matter, then launched a major assault on the city of Ghazni.