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Sudan and South Sudan on the brink of war
April 27, 2012 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Gwynne Dyer article today on Sudan/South Sudan situation. South Sudan just got independence last July.
posted by Listener (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
War between countries is not the norm in Africa: there are 52 African countries, and only two pairs have gone to war with each other in the past twenty years. Internal wars are much more common...

Whilst the divorce between Sudan and South Sudan has not been without complications, the lack of conflict between countries contrasted by the large number of internal conflicts suggests that the African continent may well be better off more divorces.
posted by three blind mice at 9:04 PM on April 27, 2012


Sudan achieved its independence in 1956. Fifty six years of independence. It's been in a state of civil war for (depending on who you talk to) between thirty nine and forty six years.

If an alien race ever comes to see if we're worthy of joining some galactic federation they'll take a long look at all the atrocities that we as a species let happen in Sub-Saharan Africa. Shortly after that they're going to tell us we're too fucking stupid to join the rest of the galaxy and set off some weapon that will stop us from ever attaining FTL travel.
posted by Talez at 9:07 PM on April 27, 2012


>There has been a profound change in attitudes to war not just in Africa, but all over the world. Most people no longer see war as glorious, or even useful.

Somehow I missed this. Was this all over the world except in America?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:35 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somehow I missed this. Was this all over the world except in America?

Despite what has been going on in Afghanistan and Iraq there has actually been a fairly sharp decrease in international war. America, and Americans-in-general have been a bit behind the curve, but when you are steering the giant ship of a country that we inhabit it doesn't really turn on a dime.

This is not to say we are necessarily seeing a sea-change as of yet, but rather that we are seeing some encouraging signs.

We may also be moving into a period where intra-governmental actors start becoming a much higher concern to global stability than governmental actors. At times I have pretty complex thoughts about this, and why it is so which is more conducive to having a beer in the hand, suffice to say I also believe strongly that we are in the middle of a change of scale, from a global to a much more trans-global scale (part of the reason there is so much social volatility currently). What that is going to end up looking like is in flux, it really could be the best of times and the worst of times.
posted by edgeways at 11:08 PM on April 27, 2012


Think Again: War
The early 21st century seems awash in wars: the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, street battles in Somalia, Islamist insurgencies in Pakistan, massacres in the Congo, genocidal campaigns in Sudan. All in all, regular fighting is taking place in 18 wars around the globe today. Public opinion reflects this sense of an ever more dangerous world: One survey a few years ago found that 60 percent of Americans considered a third world war likely.

In fact, the last decade has seen fewer war deaths than any decade in the past 100 years.


Steven Pinker on the myth of violence
A History of Violence, by Steven Pinker

For some counterpoint:
Africa's Forever Wars: Why the continent's conflicts never end.
But low-intensity conflicts have a way of sustaining themselves for years and sometimes decades.
posted by dhartung at 12:14 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Despite what has been going on in Afghanistan and Iraq there has actually been a fairly sharp decrease in international war.

That's good if it's true; I don't know one way or the other, but I'll accept the premise. The quote that interested me, though, said there was a change in attitudes towards war, that it was no longer seen as glorious. Also good if it's true, but my personal sampling of anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise. I see a worshipful attitude towards the military, held by a lot of people who could sing the Tom Lehrer line about how they love us everywhere we go without a trace of irony. But maybe I just don't get out enough. I'd love to be wrong on this point.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:30 AM on April 28, 2012


East Africa at the Brink: Hidden Hands behind Sudan’s Oil War
3 ways to defuse the deadly Sudan conflict; opinion from Council on Foreign Relations, Independent, + Guardian.
Al-Jazeera thinks the Sudan endgame could be negotiations.
posted by adamvasco at 5:10 AM on April 28, 2012


War between countries is not the norm in Africa: there are 52 African countries, and only two pairs have gone to war with each other in the past twenty years.

This is an odd statement. The recent Congo war involved 8 countries according to wikipedia. That war lasted from 1998 to 2003 but its effects are still felt in the region.

The Economist has ongoing coverage.
posted by euphorb at 7:18 AM on April 28, 2012


Also odd because there are actually 54 recognized countries in Africa?
posted by lullaby at 6:01 PM on April 28, 2012


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