Tag Archives: borders
Tuareg rebels have declared the independence of the territory under their control in northern Mali, calling their country “Azawad.” Here are best links to information on the area available online: (more…)
The Nordic Africa Institute has published an excellent paper on one of the world’s most conflict prone regions: the Horn of Africa (which, broadly defined, encompasses Somalia/Somaliland, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and parts of Kenya, Sudan, and Southern Sudan).
Kidane Mengisteab, the author, does an especially good job analyzing “the core and contextual factors” that underlay the large number of “inter-state, intra-state and communal” conflicts that have long plagued the region. By examining history, social relationships, the fragmentation of institutions, and regional politics, the paper is able to get at the driving forces that have created vicious cycles of social exclusion, weak government, and zero sum competition for resources. It correctly articulates that any solution will have to include simultaneous efforts on “diversity management, nation-building, democratization, and institutional reform at all levels.” (more…)
Cross-posted from Global Dashboard.
If people in the Middle East could democratically choose what country they lived in, would they choose the one they are in now?
Amidst all the talk of an Arab Spring, the fragility of the Arab state is often forgotten.
Whereas developed countries are almost always the product of an organic, internally driven process, in the Middle East’s case, the countries are mostly the product of a British-French agreement made in 1916 (Sykes-Picot) that paid little attention to local sociopolitical realities. As a result, few possess the historical roots, social cohesion, and legitimacy necessary to nurture the complex institutions that are a prerequisite for development and democracy. On the contrary, most suffer from both sectarian divisions and weak government—the causes of state fragility. (more…)
What can you do with US$1.2 billion? Treat over one million HIV/AIDS patients in Africa for one year. Build 200 new university campuses in places such as Ghana. Provide core funding for hundreds of developing country think tanks. Or organize an election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Which is likely to improve the most number of lives?