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Countering Violent Extremism: Falling Between the Cracks of Development and Security

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
Police stand guard during a mass burial of victims of religious attacks in the Dogo Nahawa village, about 15 km (9 miles) to the capital city of Jos in central Nigeria, March 8, 2010. Soldiers patrolled the central Nigerian city of Jos on Monday and aid workers tried to assess the death toll after attacks on outlying communities in which several hundred people were feared to have been killed (Reuters/ Akintunde Akinleye) Police stand guard during a mass burial of victims of religious attacks in the Dogo Nahawa village, about 15 km (9 miles) to the capital city of Jos in central Nigeria, March 8, 2010. Soldiers patrolled the central Nigerian city of Jos on Monday and aid workers tried to assess the death toll after attacks on outlying communities in which several hundred people were feared to have been killed (Reuters/ Akintunde Akinleye).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Dr. Khalid Koser, executive director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) and Amy E. Cunningham, an advisor with GCERF. Here they discuss how a global policy shift to tackle violent extremism is exposing tensions between the development and security sectors.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Obama in East Africa, Democratic Backsliding, and Diplomatic Openings

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Wycliff Madegwa prepares to display a t-shirt newly printed with the image of U.S. President Barack Obama, ahead of his scheduled state visit, in Kenya's capital Nairobi July 23, 2015. Obama will land in Kenya on Friday with a mission to strengthen U.S. security and economic ties, but his personal connection to his father's birthplace will dominate a trip that Kenyans view as a native son returning home (Noor Khamis/Reuters). Wycliff Madegwa prepares to display a t-shirt newly printed with the image of U.S. President Barack Obama, ahead of his scheduled state visit, in Kenya's capital Nairobi July 23, 2015. Obama will land in Kenya on Friday with a mission to strengthen U.S. security and economic ties, but his personal connection to his father's birthplace will dominate a trip that Kenyans view as a native son returning home (Noor Khamis/Reuters).

This is a post in a new series on the Development Channel,“This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each weekCFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program will highlight noteworthy events and articles.

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Underground Railroad to Save Yazidi Women from the Islamic State Could Offer Critical Intel

by Catherine Powell
Yazidi refugees stand behind fences as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, June 20, 2015 (Umit Bektas/Reuters). Yazidi refugees stand behind fences as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, June 20, 2015 (Umit Bektas/Reuters).

It has been nearly a year since the self-proclaimed Islamic State kidnapped an estimated three thousand Yazidi women and children during an attack on their villages in northern Iraq. The Islamic State views these attacks, kidnappings, and killings as justifiable because they consider the Yazidi people—a religious minority group—infidels and devil-worshipers.

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Can the Chibok Girls Be Held Accountable for Boko Haram’s Atrocities?

by Catherine Powell
Children rescued from Boko Haram in Sambisa forest react at a clinic at the internally displaced people's camp in Yola, Nigeria, May 2015 (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters). Children rescued from Boko Haram in Sambisa forest react at a clinic at the internally displaced people's camp in Yola, Nigeria, May 2015 (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters).

It has been nearly fifteen months since Boko Haram abducted nearly three hundred girls from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria, sparking the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on Twitter. Since then, reports have surfaced that the girls have been sold, forcibly converted to Islam, and married to terrorist group members. Dozens of the girls managed to escape, but despite efforts to secure the release of the remaining 219 captives, no agreement has come through.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: African Progress, EU Transparency, Term Limits, Foreign Aid, and War Crimes

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala greets upon his arrival to take part in the International Conference of Nepal Reconstruction in Kathmandu, June 25, 2015. According to the local media report the government expects big aid pledge from the donors taking part in the conference for rebuilding Nepal after the earthquake. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters) Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala greets upon his arrival to take part in the International Conference of Nepal Reconstruction in Kathmandu, June 25, 2015. According to the local media report the government expects big aid pledge from the donors taking part in the conference for rebuilding Nepal after the earthquake. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

This post is part of the series, “This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each Friday, CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program, will highlight the week’s noteworthy events and articles.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Corruption in China, Mediterranean Migrant Crisis, Child Labor, and Turkish Elections

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A group of 300 sub-Saharan Africans on board a boat are seen next to an Italian marine ship (top) during a rescue operation by the Italian Finance Police vessel Di Bartolo (not pictured) off the coast of Sicily, May 14, 2015. Around 1100 migrants were rescued off the coast of Sicily, about 130 miles from Lampedusa, according to the police. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters) A group of 300 sub-Saharan Africans on board a boat are seen next to an Italian marine ship (top) during a rescue operation by the Italian Finance Police vessel Di Bartolo (not pictured) off the coast of Sicily, May 14, 2015. Around 1100 migrants were rescued off the coast of Sicily, about 130 miles from Lampedusa, according to the police. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)

This is the third post of a new series on the Development Channel, “This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each Friday, CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program, will highlight the week’s noteworthy events and articles.

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Reframing the Conversation: Inclusive Security

by Catherine Powell
Female members of a Philippine peacekeeping force bound for Liberia stand at attention during a send-off ceremony at the military headquarters in Manila, January 2009 (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters). Female members of a Philippine peacekeeping force bound for Liberia stand at attention during a send-off ceremony at the military headquarters in Manila, January 2009 (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters).

This fall marks both the fifteenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security and the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action: two momentous and pivotal moments for women and women’s rights. Among other things, these two documents called for women to be included in decision making and leadership positions. Resolution 1325 in particular demands that women be viewed not only as victims of war, but also as agents of change—leaders in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.

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Holding Sudan to the Gold Standard

by Catherine Powell
Military personnel walk past women in Tabit village in North Darfur, Sudan. The joint peacekeeping mission in the region known as UNAMID visited Tabit in November 2014 to investigate media reports of an alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls (Courtesy Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters). Military personnel walk past women in Tabit village in North Darfur, Sudan. The joint peacekeeping mission in the region known as UNAMID visited Tabit in November 2014 to investigate media reports of an alleged mass rape of 200 women and girls (Courtesy Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters).

Although it may have slipped from headlines, the conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur has not disappeared. Indeed, the region has seen almost unabated violence for over a decade, notably spiking in January 2013. In February of this year, a Human Rights Watch report shed light on the violence, documenting mass rape and other atrocities committed by forces loyal to the Sudanese government from October 30 to November 1, 2014.

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Helping Afghan Women Help Themselves

by Catherine Powell
Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament, hands out leaflets during her August 2005 election campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. Barakzai later survived a suicide bombing attack in December 2014 (Courtesy Zohra Bensemra/Reuters). Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament, hands out leaflets during her August 2005 election campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. Barakzai later survived a suicide bombing attack in December 2014 (Courtesy Zohra Bensemra/Reuters).

Progress toward women’s rights and empowerment cannot be made without actors on the ground willing to fight for it. This is particularly true in Afghanistan as the United States begins to transition out of its on-the-ground presence and the Afghan government takes on more responsibility for security and stability. Local women’s rights movements will be more important than ever in ensuring Afghan women and girls maintain the strides they have made since the fall of the Taliban.

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India as Regional Power: Promoting Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

by Catherine Powell
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) speaks as Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani watches during the opening session of 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 26, 2014 (Courtesy Narendra Shrestha/Pool/Reuters). India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) speaks as Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani watches during the opening session of 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 26, 2014 (Courtesy Narendra Shrestha/Pool/Reuters).

Last month’s decision by President Obama to extend the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is an important step in securing the substantial American investment there. This extension—which is and should be temporary—is crucial to allow the Afghan government and security forces to build their capacity to maintain stability on the ground.

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