Global Attention On Nigeria Loses Sight Of Civil War In Sudan

It is understandable why the tragedy of a hundred kidnapped girls in Nigeria has captured global attention. It is a compelling story and a cause which has been aggressively promoted throughout social media.

It is not the only tragedy stealing the lives of African children. In South Sudan, just days after a ceasefire were announced, it has collapsed and the violence has returned to the heart of Africa. Both sides have blamed the other, but reports that Sudanese government troops have bombed a hospital have many troubled,

The ceasefire was seen as an opportunity to bring critical food aid into the region and the UN called for action to assist the 1.5 million people displaced in the last six months. With the ceasefire ended, many fear – as they did when the civil war began – is a return to the mass starvation that occurred in Darfur.

One month ago, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned of “dire humanitarian conditions” in the area and the potential of millions of people starving to death.

Building On Africa’s Promise: A Continent At A Crossroads
Several African nations, including Nigeria, have made strides in terms of economic development. However, with political and democratic reform still deficient in many countries across the continent, sustaining that progress has been challenging.

CSIS fellows Jennifer Cooke and Richard Downie recently released a paper examining Africa’s development path, as well as the critical importance it will be to strengthen infrastructure, deepen regional integration, and build a skilled workforce.

Despite these challenges, they contend that opportunities for collaboration across corporate and public actors that may allow African governments to overcome these obstacles.

Upcoming Event: Regionalism In A Globalized World
The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a discussion on regional trade agreements and how innovation may spark idea-sharing about regionalism.

For more information on the participants and details of this event, please check CSIS’s website.

On A Lighter Note
For those who fear a return of the Russian bear, P.J. O’Rourke offers a consoling – and humorous – commentary in The Daily Beast.

O’Rourke travels through the rise and fall of Russian leaders over time dating back before Russia was Christianized in A.D. 988 to the present day.

One of the key weaknesses, however, is that Russia “never had a Renaissance, a Protestant Reformation, an Enlightenment, or much of an Industrial Revolution until the Soviet Union. Soviet industrialization produced such benefits to humanity as concrete worker housing built without level or plumb bob, the AK-47, MiG fighter jets, and proliferating nukes.”

O’Rourke also notes that while Russia technically was on the winning side in WWI, they did lose both sides of the 1917-22 Russian Civil War and “Russia might as well have lost World War II” since they lost between 18 million and 24 million Russians died.

O’Rourke may cloak his points in humor and sarcasm, rather than facts and figures, but he does have a point – “Now, because of what he’s doing in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has a higher smerd popularity rating than Ivan the Terrible or even Stalin. We certainly should have screwed him over. But Russian history is on our side. He’ll certainly screw himself.”


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