Saturday 25 January 2014

The death of a dream

"We travelled to New York and talked to UN ambassadors, including the US's Susan Rice. We told them, please don't ignore the frictions that were hidden due to the war for independence. But they thought about development and the economy taking off and said: 'Let's just throw money at it.'
"The voices urging governance were in the minority and neglected and not heard," he says. "The media focused on development and service provision. Governance is the key challenge in South Sudan. After independence, we have not given ourselves time to look at it. We have not learned from the mistakes of Sudan." 
The Guardian: South Sudan: the death of a dream, January 20, 2014 
For Clark, the donor focus on the technical aspects of state-building, such as service delivery, crucially overlooked more fundamental issues including reconciliation and political dialogue. She sees parallels between South Sudan and Timor Leste, which suffered a similar political breakdown, albeit on a smaller scale, after it became independent from Indonesia in 1999.
The UN declared victory and drew down its peacekeeping mission, but in 2008-09 returning refugees and internally displaced people destabilised the country's fragile peace. 
The Guardian: South Sudan failed by misjudgment of international community, says UN chief, January 22, 2014 
And more: Documents have appeared that show "the systematic killing of about 11,000 detainees" in Syria, as the Syrian peace conference continues without much hope for success, openDemocracy analyzes the impact of the conflict on Israeli-Syrian relations, IRIN on "the politics of preventing genocide", the historic deal between Iran and the P5+1 group reached in November is in danger of not making it through the U.S. Congress, The New York Review of Books on Russian security in the light of recent bombings and the Olympic Games starting in two weeks, this NY Times op-ed argues for foreign troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 deadline, and David Remnick portrays President Obama in this very detailed article, and an article that puts Kinofil, a recent film about the fate of dogs in the Bosnian capital into perspective:
The fate of these dogs appears to be a suitable metaphor for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina: if the state apparatus doesn't function on the level of dogs, it can't function on the level of people either. Ignoring the law creates conditions in which inhuman behaviour goes unpunished and, therefore, becomes habitual. The attitude towards the dogs reflects the attitude towards all who are weak, defenceless, different. 
Eurozine: The dogs of Sarajevo, January 2014

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