How a Child is Made into a Suicide Bomber

April 13, 2016

From suicide bombers in the Middle East to drone operators in the United States, youth-on-youth violence has become epidemic. In 1954, a single book destroyed the popular notion that children are innocent souls. In that book, a plane of such innocent souls crashes on a deserted island. There, in...

Africa This Month: A Welcome Time For Change

March 31, 2016

Benin’s successful elections and peaceful transfer of power along with the ICC’s first conviction for rape as a war crime set new precedents for Africa. In times of crisis, two heads are usually better than one. It seems that leaders of the two largest African economies, Nigeria and South...

How Piracy Saved Somalia

March 20, 2016

Somali piracy has had unintended positive consequences—from the economy to international cooperation. In 2009, piracy off the coast of Somalia splashed onto the global stage at near epidemic levels. The impact of Somali piracy affected the entire international community as shipping expenses...

Somalia is Tired of Conflict and Destruction

June 05, 2015

A brighter future for Somalia requires a narrative of peace that restores social trust, reinforces government institutions and instills hope. In 2015, Somalia entered its 25th consecutive year of instability, fragmentation and economic decline. The world has witnessed the impact of Somalia’s...

Kenya Remains Unbowed and Unshaken

April 07, 2015

In wake of the Garissa attack, Kenyans mourn the victims and dream of a brighter future. On April 2, four gunmen from al-Shabab stormed into Garissa University College in Kenya, killing 148 students and injuring 79 others. Among the dead was my high school friend, Agnes Mwende Muthama, a...

The World This Week: Romeo Kisses Juliet

April 03, 2015

The multilateral deal the world’s great powers have cut with Iran is wise, courageous and the right thing to do. In a week blighted by tragedy and violence, there were two remarkably positive developments. First, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany concluded a...

New Approaches Are Needed for State-Building in Somalia

November 19, 2014

In order to maintain the momentum in Somalia’s transition, policy space needs to be opened up to advance the country’s state-building process. Having reached a milestone with the installation of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in September 2012, hope and optimism for a Somali future...

Al-Shabab: A Revenue Rebirth?

August 15, 2014

Al-Shabab’s economic strategy is dipping into new wealth, making the group ever more dangerous. By late 2008, it was estimated that al-Shabab controlled most of south-central Somalia. Although it took years of putting forces together and placing footholds in the country, the international...

Somalia’s War: The Al-Shabab Threat

August 13, 2014

Al-Shabab is no longer dominated by young nationalists, and its objectives have become blurred. Background Al-Shabab, a Somali militia, originated as a radical Islamist movement seeking to create a “Greater Somalia.” In 2006, it became a militant wing of Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union...

Countering Al-Shabab: Somalia Needs a Change of Plan

July 31, 2014

By introducing anti-terrorism and counterterrorism measures, al-Shabab can be prevented from controlling East Africa. Harakat Shabab al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as al-Shabab, originated and operates in East Africa and is very influential along the Horn of Africa in Somalia. The terrorist...

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