Africa’s continental divide: land disputes

via Africa’s continental divide: land disputes / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com.

Land, at the very heart of security and survival, looms behind most of the African conflicts we’ve all heard of and dozens of others we have not. The Rwandan genocide, some argue, was as much about the dwindling land availability in Africa’s most densely populated country as it was about enmity between ethnic groups. The wars recounted in the movie “Blood Diamond” in Sierra Leone and Liberia saw land grabs by warlords eager to exploit commodities like diamonds and timber. The violence following Kenya’s 2007 election reflected generations of dissatisfaction with land policy that favored different ethnic groups over time. Beneath the genocide in Darfur is a broken land tenure system, full of fights over soil that climate change is making increasingly unproductive.

An increasing population spreads out over the land, and long-standing ways of life are increasingly at risk.  It is imperative that countries find ways to deal with the disputes over land before they turn into violent conflicts.

BBC News – North Korea fires near South sea border for third day

 

 

via BBC News – North Korea fires near South sea border for third day.

North Korea has fired artillery shells near its disputed maritime border with South Korea for a third successive day.

Tensions remain high, as N. Korea refuses to recongnize the sea border set at the 1953 armistice conference.  S. Korea believes the firings are part of a political tactic related to N. Korea’s withdrawl from the 6-party talks over its nuclear program.

Yemen: Geography Matters!

via ComingAnarchy.com » Yemen: Geography Matters!.

Yemen is probably the most misunderstood international story in the Western mass media since… well, Uganda in September 2009. As was the case during the Uganda uprising, I believe the problem originates in the ignorance of regionalism in Yemen, or as Professor Harm J. De Blij has written time and time again: geography matters.The US must only assist Yemen in eradicating Al Qaeda elements in the central and southern coastal region of the country, and must not get involved in the Saudi-Yemeni border conflict that originates in the Sunni-Shia tribal rivalry of Arabia.

It is imperative that US policy analysts understand the different forces in play in Yemen, and ensure that we are not dragged into one that is basically “none of our business.”

The article is a good explanation of both conflicts, and how we need to stay out of the border war

Hubris, Luxury and Disaster

via ComingAnarchy.com » Hubris, Luxury and Disaster.

For a century, businesses have been pushing the envelope of technology to wow the rich, which, as the Titanic and Hindeburg showed 90 and 70 years ago, can result in catastrophic disaster. Has the new age of opulence brought us closer to another Titanic?

The Atlantis, a 7-star hotel at the tip of Palm Island in Dubai, is sinking.

The Geography of Vietnam Through History

The Geography of Vietnam Through History

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from ComingAnarchy

Why Haiti is Poor

via Why Haiti is Poor II.

Two months ago, I was in the rugged hills near Cap Rouge in southern Haiti, with my friend of 15 years, the extraordinary guide Milfort Bruno. I was there to learn more about why Haiti’s coffee exports, which had once been significant and high-quality, had collapsed over the past couple of decades.

A short, partial analysis of the roots of Haiti’s unrelenting poverty.  More analysis (short) here.  The eradication of the Creole pigs seems to be a common thread in several articles I’ve read about the cycle of poverty that has doomed the people of Haiti to being the poorest in this Hemisphere.
And another excellent piece, written several years ago but very insightful.

Nigeria troops patrol in Jos after religious clashes

BBC News – Nigeria troops patrol in Jos after religious clashes.

Troops and riot police are patrolling the Nigerian city of Jos, after fighting between gangs of Muslim and Christian youths in the central city.

At least 12 people have reportedly died but the Plateau State authorities have yet to confirm a figure.

Houses, mosques and churches were set alight and a dusk-to-dawn curfew is now in force.

Global Security has a good analysis of the conflict between the mostly Moslem northern tribes and the predominately Christian south of Nigeria.  The UN has more information and links here.

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