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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:51 PM

The fighting between the Republic of Sudan and south Sudan belongs to a different category of armed conflict, a product of internal politics and external pressures suspisons both real and imagined that launched an uncontrollable war, a war that could have been prevented.   

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 28, 2013 11:53 PM

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided

Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

 

Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

These stories are never pleasant.  It seems Europe after World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union were left in a strange middle ground.  With so many cultures, religions, languages all on one continent, its not hard to believe that Europe has been the stage of so much conflict all throughout history.  People are and always have been intermingling between countries.  Many of the countries in Europe are easy to travel throughout, such as a car or bus ride which may only take a few hours in some cases.  This gives easy access for immigration in which history shows that people try to flock to opportunity or to where there are people similar to them.  These patterns can sometimes be unwelcoming to current citizens and lead to violence and cleansing in extreme cases, all because of disagreements based on beliefs and traditions.

After all the wars fought, looking at Europe as a whole is tricky.  Though the countries all have political boundaries and jurisdictions, the lifestyle and what goes on within the borders can be very segregated.  Even in the 21st century, the divisions of people in the same country, holding the same citizenship, shows that things aren't always as good as they seem.

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Derek Ethier's comment, October 11, 2012 1:59 AM
It's unbelievable that ethnic crimes continue to be committed in the world today, even after the atrocities performed by Hitler. When Yugoslavia collapsed, the power vacuum left behind caused hundreds of thousands to lose their lives. In Africa even in the present day, these kinds of things continue. It makes you wonder what kind of a world we are really living in.
Devon marzo's curator insight, February 6, 2014 12:37 PM

This article show political because the population is protesting against the government 

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NYTimes: Russian Anger Grows Over Chechnya Subsidies

NYTimes: Russian Anger Grows Over Chechnya Subsidies | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Resentment over the lavish federal subsidies paid to Chechnya and other regions in the North Caucasus could become a liability for Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

 

Multi-ethnic states, political geography and Russia's geopolitical complexities. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The article brings back memories of this past year and the Boston Marathon where the two bombers were found out to be from the Chechen region.  Due to social networks and word of mouth, many people jumped to assume that the attack was because of "the Russians".  Little was known about Chechnya and the people within the area, but it showed that in America at least, there was quite a bit of ignorance and assumption floating around.  Even political figures and in news reports there was confusion of the exact boundaries and ethnic backgrounds that the region possessed.  It shows the media gives people what they want to hear, and the listeners are seldom to do their own research to understand the truth.

Russia and its surrounding region has constantly been changing since the fall of the Soviet Union.  New countries form and more ethnicities arise constantly and with all these new developments form even newer confusion.  Many of these areas intertwine various languages, religions, cultures, and at times putting a barrier between them is nearly impossible.  As reports unravelled, they showed actual conflict between Chechnya and those of the Russian capital, Moscow.  There had been hostage situations and terrorist plots carried out by people suspected to be from the Chechen region and even the Russian president Vladimir Putin had grown angry about being apart of Chechnya.  With all these events and learnings, it shows that some countries still have people and areas within its boundaries that have little known about them.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:56 PM

Vladimir Putin was once a symbol of efficiency in Russia, but now that tensions are growing due to the subsidies that are being paid to Chechnya. As the article states, Putin's policies are starting to seem like a dead end and will only get more expensive as time goes on.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:23 PM

We don't usually hear about Chechnya subsidies usually it has to do with growing tensions or terrorism. In Russia there are so many ethnic and political divisions that it make sense the Russians feel allegiance to their ethnic group rather than Russia and there for when the government subsidizes Chechnya they see it as Russia subsidizing a population that really isn't "Russian".

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Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting

Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
architectural conjecture :: urban speculation :: landscape futures...

 

In the 1960s when the island of Surtsey (literally) erupted onto the scene off the coast of Iceland, it's national sovereignty was not really called into question.  The seamount, or near island named Ferdinandea in the Mediterranean is not even an island yet and countries are already positioning themselves to claim it.  Only 6 feet below sea level, this seamount is incredibly valuable real estate because is a country can successfully came this territory, they could also lay claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone, extending up to 200 nautical miles beyond the coast.


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

These soon-to-be island would sure make one interesting auction.  Many of the small landforms in the world, and especially Pacific have always been contested by powerhouses such as China, Japan, or other smaller countries.  Having control isn't for the island itself necessarily but for what the ocean waters surrounding the landform may contain.  It could be fishing, trade routes, or even oil or natural gas settlements.  It makes it even more intersting when many of these underground landforms are possible volcanoes considering the majority of active volcanoes are underwater and near the ring of fire.

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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 1:25 PM

This isn't an article from Oceania necessarily, but one that pertains to it. In an area made up of small island nations, the literal overnight emergence of new ones can change the politics of the surrounding countries, and even the number of seats at the United Nations in the far future.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 8:23 PM

When I read something like this all I can think is maybe this is what happened to Atlantis.  What if Atlantis was an island like this that existed just long enough for people to build a society on and then it sank beneath the sea.  Another think this makes me think of is the novel “Jingo” by Terry Pratchett, in it an island rises from the sea and leads to a war over which country owns it.  This is just an interesting phenomenon that leads to world arguments.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:29 PM

The EEZ policy that exist has made every space up for contentious conflict. The miles off the coast of Surtsey and other small islands have become valuable because of EEZ and conflict exist over islands that are uninhabited and useless. Economic geography can influence political geography when it comes to these small island and their exclusive economic zone.

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

When you take in the way that the British Empire controlled many colonies and tried to spread their culture to such diverse regions, it is no suprise that Pakistan was named essentially by a game of Scrabble.  I suppose the naming is somewhat creative and certainly unique compared to how other countries get their names, yet just picturing a group of colleagues naming a country is strange.  Though the U.K. did grant them independance, how independant were they really if they weren't even given the right to name their own land.

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 14, 2013 9:06 AM

It is interesting to learn how particular countries got their names.  Pakistan was a British colony until 1947 and it was given the name Pakistan as an acronym for the 8 homelands in the country.  Pakistan is so ethnically divided that religion is really important for the country to stay together.

James Hobson's curator insight, November 11, 2014 12:55 PM

(South Asia topic 5)

The name "Pakistan" can be thought of as more of a "Mexicali" or "Calexico" than an "Afghanistan" or "Turkmenistan." In other words, it is an acronym, which I was surprised to learn. Though is can also be translated as "land of the Paks", there is no specific group by that name. Relating back to a previous Scoop, this shows the importance of validation and reasoning, as opposed to 'blind belief.'

I think the use of an acronym for the new nation's name (a toponym) was a very intuitive option to choose; no ethnic group could complain that their name didn't make it into the name of their nation while others' did. This seems to be a form of equal representation.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:28 AM

This article is very interesting as it explains the origin of the name Pakistan. Like many people I assumed that the name had to do with some old ethnic group but in reality its something of an acronym. Interestingly enough Pakistan is incredibly diverse and really only held together by the common Islamic religion. Names which are acronyms are more common place in government plans or cheesy infomercial products rather than the names of countries.