To the People

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Greater Africa and Balkanization

Listening to BBC World Service this morning I was shocked to hear a rather optimistic forecast for African development due to high commodity prices and relative peace. What is the BBC thinking? While they do acknowledge that corruption is still a major retardant of growth, they seem to overlook the fresh wave of violence that has enveloped eastern and central Africa.

Kenya is still a mess and the failure of it's leaders to reach an agreement will only result in deeper societal divisions and ethnic violence. Furthermore, as a nation that boarders an ocean, it holds the nations of Uganda and Burundi hostage because their goods are unable to reach a port to engage in global trade. Story from the BBC.

The New York Times published an excellent story today on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This could be called World War III, but is just lost in the seemingly endless cycle of violence in that has pulled in a half dozen other nations. Here too violence is largely based upon ethnic groups.

Perhaps Africa would be better off if a wave of Balkanization swept through the continent. Smaller, ethnically homogeneous nations, are more peaceful on the whole. The lines Europe drew on a map haven't worked, so it is worth a try...

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