The Fund for Peace
Promoting Sustainability Since 1957
The Central African Republic: A Failing State in Free Fall
Published November 27, 2013 | By Patricia Taft
Every year, when the Failed States Index is published, we are asked to provide an example of a state that is failing “quietly.” A state that, except perhaps for a handful of concerned parties and outside business interests, does not make most international priority lists. And every year we mention the Central African Republic (CAR). This impoverished, deeply underdeveloped, diamond-rich country is in a very bad neighborhood indeed. Now, however, the country has become a fulcrum of instability in its own right. One that, without some immediate efforts to stop what has been rightfully termed by the International Crisis Group as a “free fall,” is bound to set off a new wave of catastrophe in beleaguered Central Africa. Read More...
Liberia’s Political Wildcard: A Profile of Mary “General” Broh
Published November 26, 2013 | By Katherine Carter
Ten years into recovery from a horrific civil war, Liberia’s political leadership is often held up as a model of gender equality in West Africa. Elected in 2006, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is one of only two female African heads of state – President Joyce Banda of Malawi being the other. In 2011, President Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize alongside another Liberian politician, Leymah Gbowee, for advancing women’s rights to participate peace-building work. In keeping with the recent tradition of having strong female peacemakers as politicians and heads-of-state, Sirleaf’s long-time friend and close political ally, Mary Tanyonoh Broh, seems poised to become Liberia’s next political magnate. Read More...
Liberia: Ten Years On
Published November 18, 2013 | By Patricia Taft
Monrovia, Liberia: Nearly ten years ago last month, in October of 2003, I first visited Liberia. Back then, the war that had consumed the country and killed and maimed thousands was only weeks in its ending. In the capital, Monrovia, children as young as six were standing on the side of the road holding rusted out AK-47s with twitchy fingers, eyes bloodshot from whatever combination of drugs their “commanders” had given them to compel their participation in horrible actions. Back then, the FFP was researching the willingness and ability of African nations to undertake peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention missions. Liberia was one of the early test cases and, by most lights, was a successful one. Read More...
Conflict Bulletins Now Available for All Niger Delta States
Published November 15, 2013 | By Nate Haken
The Fund for Peace is pleased to advise that we now have Conflict Bulletins available for all nine of the states that make up Nigeria's Niger Delta region, as well as Plateau state. These Bulletins provide an overview of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, Plateau, and Rivers states. These Conflict Bulletins draw upon data from ACLED, AOAV, Nigeria Watch, CFR's Nigeria Security Tracker, FFP's UNLocK, WANEP, and CSS/ETH Zurich. P4P compiles state and LGA-level conflict bulletins to highlight patterns and trends in conflict and peacebuilding. Read More...
Youth Unemployment and Stability
Published November 8, 2013 | By Katherine Carter
Reports frequently cite fragile states (in particular, those in North Africa and the Middle East) as areas susceptible to a breakdown in social cohesion and security when unemployment rises. Disenchanted young citizens initiated the revolts of the Arab Spring in 2011, as both a protest against political oppression and lack of economic opportunity. Such reactions were not confined to the Arab world -- that same year, British unions staged anti-austerity protests throughout the year and riots broke out in the summer; in New York, the Occupy Wall Street movement erupted in the autumn and spread to other cities; and in Greece, riots occurred in the summers of 2010, 2011 and 2012 against austerity measures and rising unemployment. Read More...
Behind the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize: What is the OPCW?
Published October 11, 2013 | Patricia Taft and Jacob Grunberger
This morning the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This decision seems to be consistent with last year’s decision-making calculus to award the prize to an institution for the purpose of boosting its notoriety and to lend legitimacy to future endeavors. According to the committee, the OPCW was chosen for its 16 years of implementing the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) “through inspections, destruction efforts, and by other means,” as stated in its implementing. Read More...