Stories: Conflict

  • Killing our fathers, raising our sons

    GBARNGA, Liberia — The Liberian civil war killed more than 200,000 people and displaced half the population. Fighters wore wedding gowns, Halloween masks and outlandish wigs. Some went into battle naked, saying that magic would protect them from bullets. Drunk on cane juice and palm wine or high on drugs, they gave themselves names like Rambo and Chuck Norris and put...

  • Blowback in Africa

    Ever since Chad gained independence 46 years ago, it has been a world-class model of political dysfunction. In the 1970s, Chad's president, François Tombalbaye, compelled civil servants to renounce Western customs, undergo a tribal initiation rite known as yondo and profess belief in a nationalist creed he called Chaditude. He was executed in 1975.In the 1980s, a rebel leader...

  • War in the Greatest Desert, Part Two of Two: Arming the ‘Camel Corpsâ€&

    In April 2004, while MDJT rebels kept Saifi handcuffed in a small cave near one of their mountain encampments, General Wald gave a talk at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington. Saifi was still technically at large, but Wald was optimistic about what the U.S. had done in Chad and Niger to pursue him. In his speech, Wald sketched...

  • War in the Greatest Desert, Part One of Two: Hunting Ammari Saifi

    In the early months of 2004, a lone convoy of Toyota pickup trucks and SUVs raced eastward across the southern extremities of the Sahara. The convoy, led by a wanted Islamic militant named Ammari Saifi, had just slipped from Mali into northern Niger, where the desert rolls out into an immense, flat pan of gravelly sand. Saifi, who has been called...

  • Unrest in Southern Thailand

    Islamic insurgents renewed a campaign of violence in Thailand's three border provinces early in 2004. More than 650 people have since been killed in Thailand's southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala. Most of the victims have been government employees, security forces, Buddhist monks, and Muslim leaders regarded as collaboraters with the state. The military brass attributes the violence to Islamic militants...

  • The Cost of Freedom

    BEIRUT, Lebanon — Nabil Bou Monsef has a new daily commuting routine. As before, he leaves the house and gets into his car; but now, before he turns on his car radio, he searches under the driver’s seat for bombs, checks to make sure he’s not being followed, and then drives to work at An-Nahar, where...

  • Jordan, the Day After

    AMMAN, Jordan — Any resident of Baghdad or Tel Aviv knows it well: the grim symphony of sound that signals a terrorist bombing. First comes the familiar kind of muffled boom, accompanied by the clamor of wailing car alarms. Then the echo effect: waves of passing sirens and the chorus of a city's worth of ringing cell phones. When terror...

  • Nepal Maoist Leader: Women Driving Movement

    Xaykaothao interviews Maoist soldiers in Nepal. Nepal's Maoist insurgency is unusual not just for its ideology but also for the many women in its ranks -- estimated at 30 to 50 percent. The most senior woman in the insurgency is known as Comrade Parvati. She mostly stays across the border in India, making occasional clandestine trips back to Nepal. Xaykaothao interviews Maoist...

  • Women, Children Feel Effects of Nepal’s Insurgency

    Children in the Rolpa district in western Nepal, a Maoist stronghold. Behind the children is a slogan calling for the overthrow of the royal government. In the Kingdom of Nepal, a communist group calling themselves Maoists have been waging a war against the palace for the last 10 years. A visit to the heartland of the Maoist rebellion in Nepal reveals...

  • Nepalese Political Parties Explore Links with Maoists

    Strikes and protests continue in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. The king has fired the government and refuses to talk to the major political parties. There is an emerging alliance between those parties and Maoist insurgents. Click here to listen to the story on NPR