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Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map

Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Philippines’ oldest newspaper recently made what could be considered a provocative gesture towards China regarding its notorious nine-dash-line."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've shared some more substantial resources about maritime claims in the South China Sea than this flippant political cartoon.  Still, this cartoon beautifully illustrates a geopolitical perspective quite powerfully.  As always, use your own discretion when sharing resources in your own classroom (my college students love this). 

 

GeoEd Tags: borders, Political, conflict, water, Philippines, China.

Scoop.it Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, PhilippinesChina.

  

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Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities

Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“Mukul Kesavan, a perceptive Indian historian, sees this region-wide propensity for majoritarian nationalism as a sad if natural outcome of the awkward struggle to build new nation-states. The most egregious recent example is Myanmar, whose 90% Buddhist majority felt so threatened by a Rohingya Muslim minority of barely 1% that it sanctioned burning, pillage, murder, rape and enforced exile. Bangladesh chased non-Muslim tribes into India, and its once large and prosperous Hindu minority has dwindled alarmingly in the face of constant pressure. In the name of orthodoxy, extremists in Pakistan have viciously hounded not only Christians and Hindus but also Shia Muslims, Ahmadis and allegedly unorthodox Sufis. Sinhalese have historically dominated the island [of Sri Lanka], a fact forcefully reasserted in 2009 when the Sri Lankan army brought to a bloody end a 26-year-long insurgency by mostly Hindu ethnic Tamils, the largest minority group.”

 

Tags: religionethnicity, South Asiaregions, politicalconflict

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Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 7:13 PM
The printed version of this story was titled "They're all out to get us" which is very fitting. In the world today there is another swing on the pendulum towards nationalism and with that goes xenophobia. The fear of outsiders, of those different from yourself who are trying to take over the country. It is hard not to see the parallels between these South Asian countries and the United States where for the last few years we have seen a major increase in xenophobia and racial/religious dog whistling in politics. In South Asia, this is seen not as an anti-colonial blowback but as  "the majoritarian logic of ethnic nationalism".
 
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Teaching About the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar

Teaching About the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Why are hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar? Who are the Rohingya and why are they being persecuted? What responsibility does the world have to end what the United Nations is calling 'ethnic cleansing' and many are labeling 'genocide'? In this lesson, students will first learn about the crisis unfolding in Myanmar using Times reporting, videos, podcasts and photography. Then, we suggest a variety of activities for going deeper, such as tackling universal questions about national identity and minority rights, considering the responsibility of the world community, and going inside the squalid refugee camps sprawling across the border in Bangladesh."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This issue is not as firmly fixed in our minds as it should be.  So much of our media's attention is on less substantial issues, that when they compile resources for teachers on a subject like this, it deserves mentioning.  Even if you have already read your 10 free monthly articles from the NY Times, you can still watch the video embedded in the lesson. Attached is a worksheet that I will be using in my classes (feel free to adapt and use).

 

Tags: Rohingyagenocide, migration, politicalconflict, refugeesBurma, Southeast Asia.

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M Sullivan's curator insight, October 26, 2017 3:33 AM
Useful for linking 'Bamboo People' with current crisis in Myanmar
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, October 26, 2017 10:27 AM

Global challenges: Population

Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 9:22 PM
Resources such as this are extremely important for anyone that wants to teach about humanitarian issues going on around the world.  Giving a step-by-step on where to learn more about the crisis, activities to do to engage students, and the discuss the role of the media. This is important to talk about for anyone as ethnic cleansings as things we all should be watching for and combatting. 
 
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A History Of Sudan's Civil Wars & Conflict

This is the story of how Sudan became two nations, and of an ongoing conflict in the Nuba Mountains that has changed the lives of millions of people. In parts 2–5 of our VR series, We Who Remain, follow the lives of four people living through the war: http://ajplus.co/nuba360. Produced in partnership with Nuba Reports and Emblematic Group.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The first video in this 5-part video is a bit slow, but provides the historical and geographic context needed to understand the developmental, ethnic, and political issues that remain so difficult to resolve.  The Subsequent four videos provide a more human, personal glimpse into facets of the conflict. 

 

Tags: Sudan, politicalethnicity, Africa, war.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 1, 2017 12:58 AM
Global Challenges: political geography
Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 13, 2017 2:01 AM

The first video in this 5-part video is a bit slow, but provides the historical and geographic context needed to understand the developmental, ethnic, and political issues that remain so difficult to resolve.  The Subsequent four videos provide a more human, personal glimpse into facets of the conflict. 

 

Tags: Sudan, politicalethnicity, Africa, war.

Matt Manish's curator insight, May 3, 2018 4:47 AM
From this video one can see how crucial borders can be to neighboring ethnic groups, especially in Sudan. North Sudan is made up of mostly Arabs and Muslims, while mainly Christians live in South Sudan. Also, the majority of North Sudan is black while the majority of South Sudan is white. Due to these two ethnic groups being so different and previously being grouped into one country, much fighting and a devastating civil war has broken out over the past few decades. Recently within the last decade Sudan was officially divided up into two nations because of the ongoing fighting and cultural differences which seems to be a step in the right direction to reduce the amount of fighting between the two countries.
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Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

"China is building islands in the South China sea and its causing disputes among the other nations in the region; Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China claims they aren't military bases, but their actions say otherwise. The US has many allies in the region and uses its massive Navy to patrol international waters, keeping shipping lanes open for trade."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Last year this was an intriguing story but now the geopolitical drama is growing as more countries are literally building islands out of reef outcroppings to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea.  For some without geographic expertise, this might some baffling.  For those that understand Exclusive Economic Zones, maritime claims, and expanding geopolitical aspirations, this makes perfect sense. 

 

Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 11, 2018 6:33 PM
China is being very sneaky in their attempt to control the South China Sea and have decided they don’t want to listen to any international laws or court rulings that don’t follow what they want.  In order to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea and increase their land holdings, the Chinese have decided to literally build islands in the body of water.  These islands are then used as naval bases to help them take over other islands that are held by other countries in the South China Sea.  Their strategy for taking over these islands is called the “Cabbage strategy” where they quietly surround and blockade the islands from the countries who hold control over them in order to take them over.  As much as the other countries bordering the South China Sea do not like what China is doing, they are unable to challenge them too much because China’s navy is the most powerful in the region.  This is a situation that shouldn’t be so escalated because international maritime laws have established that countries can control the water 200 miles off their coasts, which would mean China would control part of the sea, other East Asian countries would control part of the sea, and the center of the sea would be international waters.  However, the natural resources in the sea are irresistible to China, so they have started literally building islands and taking over tiny islands that would normally have no one on them.  Other countries in the South China Sea have responded by building and settling on these ridiculously small islands as well.  China has now taken their claims a step farther and claimed airspace above the South China Sea.  The recent breakthroughs in technology have changed the way that governments can claim their borders and made geography more complicated.  The reason that China has been getting away with this is that no country except the U.S. can keep China in check.  However, it would be impossible to threaten China with the American Navy without causing a much bigger military conflict.  So for now, China quietly continues taking over the South China Sea.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 3:23 PM
The vast resources in the South China Sea and the benefits of the Exclusive Economic Zone make it clear why china wants and currently is building islands in the South China Sea. By occupying these newly created islands and claiming them for their own, they can extend their area of economic control by 200 nautical miles. For a nation that is rapidly industrializing and is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, these new areas of control are monumentally important.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 4:49 PM
China is attempting to extend their EEZ by building islands in the South China Sea so they can claim the area 200 miles off the coasts of these man made islands. This is a problem because of the other countries that have EEZ claims in the South China Sea because if China claims more land it takes away the EEZ zones of some of these other countries. 
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An Old King for Congo

An Old King for Congo | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"On December 20, the Democratic Republic of Congo, which had been a democracy for the past decade (flawed though it was), lost that distinction. The backsliding of democracy in the country was preventable; it unfolded slowly and under the watch of the international community. DRC President Joseph Kabila, faced with the end of his constitutional mandate, had two options: call elections or resort to repression to stay in power. He chose the latter. Kabila’s ultimate decision is not that surprising. He faces deep levels of unpopularity. A Congo Research Group poll of 7,545 Congolese showed that he would have only received 7.8 percent of the vote if elections had been held this year. Furthermore, the presidency guarantees his safety. As Brian Klaas of the London School of Economics has noted, 43 percent of African leaders have been jailed, exiled, or killed after losing power since 1960."

 

Tags: DR Congo, political, conflict, Africa.

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MARTIN'S Gonçalo Wa kapinga's comment, January 24, 2017 2:52 PM
Mr Dixon, after reading your intervention on Kabila and the DR Congo, I have understood that you are also victims of the post-truth! Some Western media, without even checking the facts on ground, they rely for talking about watered down by some opposition and some media which has the sole purpose of undermining national unity obtained at a high price in human life in order to succeed their dirty work, that of the Balkanization of the DR Congo! This be seen to yield parts of the DR Congo to Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda in order to establish the hegemony of the Nilotics peoples in Central Africa! Of course of the Balkanization of Congo-Kinshasa plans exist and were designed by then President Usa Bill Clinton and implemented by Condoleeze Rice, a plan until today ' today valid for USA administrations ! By checking the facts on ground, we discover an any other truth; the current president of Congo-Kinshasa says do not want to cling to power, but he wants a calm, different from the 2011 election where the opposition refused to recognize failure in accusing kabila of have stuffed the ballot boxes. This is the basis of all this instability in the country. On this Kabila suggested the Government to conduct a general population census as did all the other neighbouring countries. By the way, with these censuses of Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Zambia, etc, the population of Congo-Kinshasa has increased sufficiently by flows of the repressed Congolese of these border countries, then there is a 12. 000 000 of the new major and also there are more than 3. 000 000 other citizens who died, expatriate, disappeared in nature, etc. This prompted Kabila to request referral of the 2016 election at least for a year and a half in order to enlist the 12. 000 000 Congolese citizens without registration cards, record the mass of the repressed of the neighbouring country and cancel deaths, missing persons as well as migrants. Just so we can have peaceful and credible; However the opposition childish together at a Western media type played sounding board from around the world, managed to manipulate international public opinion. Kabila is not a saint, but the majority of the charges against him is that manipulation by the opposition and Western governments who want Kabila because he never tried to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors in this debt to the near the Breton Wood institutions. And especially the United States, Britain and the France keep a tooth inflamed against Kabila because he is the initiator of cooperation Cino-African, a mode of South-South cooperation that enabled China to capture almost all raw material contracts, what robusti growth Chinese compared to other global economies. Kabila came to power after elections in 2006, he found a moribund economy with inflation at 2000%, a GDP to $87, pro-capita, flat growth since 1990, etc. Today inflation is 2.5 percent, per capita income rose on average to $700, the economic growth of this last quinquennium rotates between 7. 5-10%! Unfortunately these latest events and violent demonstrations have made down the growth planned for this year below 5%! So, as Congolese living in the West, I can only see evil intent in the writings of several Western media! In April, I went back to the country, I opened a company in 3 days only paying $120! Something unimaginable other times.... Make a value judgment on the governance of African by taking Western values to measure deviate you from the reality! There people ethnically reason before thinking globally. Better taken into account!
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Amid ISIS and Syria, Let's Not Forget The Quest for Peace In Israel/Palestine

Amid ISIS and Syria, Let's Not Forget The Quest for Peace In Israel/Palestine | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has rarely been so far from finding a resolution. Since the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas during the summer of 2014, the desire to seek peace has been diminishing, and instead growing tensions have prevailed, punctuated by stabbings and car-ramming attacks by the Palestinians, and violent acts including arson by the settlers. Yet, the climate has rarely been so favorable to a resolution of the conflict. The chaos that is sweeping the Middle East has been a game-changer in relation to Israel and the Arab countries.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many Palestinians and Israeli are fearful of a possible breakout of ISIS out of Syria and into Gaza and the West Bank. According to the authors of the op-ed, Europe needs to come together and provide leadership and a plan to enforce so that these issues do not reoccur. The last 17 years have been filled with failed attempts but breaking this cycle of violence is not impossible. 

 

Tagsop-ed, Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, Middle East.

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Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:29 AM
Yes, Israel and Palestine are in a never ending conflict but yet face a bigger issue in the way of ISIS. The tensions in the Middle East are making everyone subside the issues happening in the "Holy Lands". We need to not only think about solving the tension in the Middle East but also the tension between Palestine and Israel. 
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China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands

China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New satellite imagery indicates that China has installed weapon systems on all seven artificial islands it has built in the contested waters of the South China Sea, a move that's likely alarm the country's neighbors.

 

Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, remote sensing, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: After this news, the Pentagon says a Chinese warship has seized a US Navy underwater drone collecting unclassified data in international waters in the South China Sea.

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Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, January 4, 2017 8:41 PM
With a new president on our horizon, how will this affect our relationship with China?
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The Dakota Access Pipeline Map

The Dakota Access Pipeline Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Thousands of Native Americans and their allies have gathered on unceded Sioux land delimited by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie to try and stand in the way of the “black snake” that could poison the Standing Rock Reservation’s water supply. Many have noted that the pipeline corridor was repositioned from its original route north of Bismarck after white citizens spoke up against the threat a spill would pose to their drinking water ― a threat duly recognized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Yet the Corps failed its federal mandate for meaningful consultation with the Standing Rock Tribe before signing off on a route that moved the pipeline to their doorstep."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Maps can tell truths, and maps can be used to obscure other truths. Creating a map, choosing what data to include (and exclude) is an inherently political act.  Maps have the power to convey geographic perspectives that might otherwise be muted.

 

Tags: industryconflict, economic, energy, resources, environmentindigenous, ecology.

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Liz Caughlin's curator insight, November 4, 2016 4:03 PM
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Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East

Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Without trying to defend or absolve U.S. policy, then, it is worth stepping back to ask what shared historical experiences might have left these four countries — Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — particularly at risk of violent collapse. The following maps help highlight how, at various points over the past century, historical circumstances conspired, in an often self-reinforcing way, to bolster the stability of some states in the region while undermining that of others."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

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Kelly Bellar's curator insight, October 22, 2016 2:30 PM

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 28, 2018 6:49 PM
From the western perspective, it's easier just to assume the Middle East is constantly in conflict purely out of their own fault.  However, the story is more complicated than that and much of the conflict in the area is due to involvement from the west.  These four maps show the different factors that impact the countries in the Middle East.  The first one shows that countries that were fully formed states for longer, tend to be more stable.  This makes sense because they haven't had outside influence for longer and have had more time to create stronger governments.  Looking at just this map, it seems like Iran and Egypt should be more stable than Saudi Arabia today.  However, this map doesn't tell the whole story.  The second map shows the types of colonial rule that each country was under in recent history.  Turkey was the only country in the region that was able to stay fully independent.  Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Israel are some of the countries that were under full colonization.  Not surprisingly, the struggles they had to gain their independence still effects the stability of these countries today.  This shows that the involvement from outsiders has had negative, long-term effects on the area and that the west is not free from blame of what is happening in the Middle East.  The third map differentiates between the countries that changed regimes after World War II and those that did not.  There is a correlation between which countries experienced the change and the countries that are the least stable today.  The final map shows which countries were pro-western, pro-Soviet, or shifted alignments during the Cold War.  Once again the outside influence of both the west and in this case the Soviet Union, lead to further divide in the region.  The history and shifting geography of the Middle East in just the last hundred years helps to give insight to how the region has become as conflicted in some countries, yet stable in others.
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This is where your smartphone battery begins

This is where your smartphone battery begins | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Workers, including children, labor in harsh and dangerous conditions to meet the world’s soaring demand for cobalt, a mineral essential to powering electric vehicles, laptops, and smartphones, according to an investigation by The Washington Post.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a land rich with minerals and resources vital for high end consumer goods (laptops, cellphones, electric cars, etc.).  This in-depth investigation from the Washington Post of the cobalt mining districts in the DRC (60% of global cobalt production) is incredible.  It has great videos, maps, and an detailed article that cuts across the geographic themes (exploited local labor, global commodity chains, political governance, polluted water supply, medical geography, etc.).  

 

Just two days ago, the United States pulled the families of all governmental officials out of the DRC amid political turmoil and violence in the streets of Kinshasa, highlighting the fact that the weakness of political institutions in the DRC are a major reason for this situation.  

 

Tags: Congolaborwatermedical, environmentpollution, political, conflict, resourcespolitical ecology, Africa.

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David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 29, 2018 8:36 PM
We take the luxuries that we have for granite and forget where it comes from, or who pays the physical price for us to have them. One example is electronics and the Congo. The Congo is a country filled with Colbolt which is critical to lithium batteries which powers majority of products that are rechargeable. The price they pay is unsafe mining conditions, indecent wages, and environmental hazards to local communities. 60 percent of the cobalt used today comes from the Congo, and while some companies track it to make sure its "clean" some companies do not check its origins. In 2010 there was a push to add cobalt to a list of resources that come from the Congo to be from a militia free mine. Individual companies have started to be stricter about where they get their Cobalt it's still not mandatory under international law. However with the demand for cobalt is increasing due to more electric power styling for vehicles and other products. In order to meet these demands the cobalt will continue to come from abused people until companies or international law limits and outlines how to deal with the cobalt question.
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Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 7:10 PM
Given the absurd amount of minerals present in the country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo should be basking in immeasurable wealth. However, as shown by this inetractive and enormously in-depth piece by the Washington Post, the country constantly struggles with child labor, water pollution, and widespread dangerous working condition because of the global demand for minerals like cobalt and copper. 
David Stiger's curator insight, November 10, 2018 9:05 PM
The Congo, like Venezuela, is another example of a post-colonial country rich in valuable natural resources whose people, ironically, live in abject poverty. The Congo is a victim of its own geographical blessings as the industrialized world's bottomless need for Congo's cobalt, copper, and other minerals has put this former colony of Belgium on the map. The Congo reportedly supplies half of the world's cobalt. With few other options for mineral sources, lithium-ion battery manufacturers turn a blind eye as Congolese "diggers" endure inhumane, dangerous, and unfair conditions to produce cheap cobalt. Companies have not reacted to this injustice because of a desire to maximize their profits. With Western consumers acting as indirect accomplices, China leads the pack of this neo-colonial process of exploiting the Congo for its valuable underground minerals. The Chinese companies offer so little money for the cobalt that workers are forced to put up with hazardous conditions and unbelievably low pay for their labor. 

The problem lacks an easy solution because it is highly complicated by the forces of globalization and geographical factors. Congolese diggers obtain the raw materials, who sell it to Asian middlemen, who then sell it to big Chinese manufacturers. These manufactures produce rechargeable batteries to sell to Western companies like Apple and Samsung. These products are then sold all over the world. The long supply chain makes it difficult for consumers to feel and see how their actions are impacting the lives of other people. The companies who should be held accountable justify their business decisions because there are not sources of cobalt to turn to. If there were other sources, companies like Huayou Cobalt could turn to other sources that treat their workers better, forcing Congolese suppliers to raise their labor standards. 

A short-term remedy, it seems, would be to classify Congolese-based cobalt as a conflict mineral. Western countries should fine and punish companies that are linked to the unjust cobalt trade, forcing these companies to raise their standards. 
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Introducing ISIS

"The invasion of Iraq was supposed to turn the country into a democracy that posed no threat to the United States, or the rest of the world. Thirteen years later, Iraq has collapsed into three warring states. A third of the country is controlled by ISIS, who have also taken huge amounts of territory in Syria. VICE correspondent Ben Anderson gains exclusive access to the three front lines in Iraq, where Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces are fighting for their lives. Anderson visits with the Russian military forces in Syria, meets captured ISIS fighters in Kurdistan, and interviews US policymakers about how the situation in Iraq spun out of control."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many young students are especially baffled at how a terrorist organization can seize control of large chunks of territory.  If you are looking for a good video introduction that explains how and why ISIS was able to gain power and than gain and maintain territory, this is it (it's classroom safe despite the source). 

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio

Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Feyisa Lilesa crosses his arms as he wins a silver medal - a gesture used by his Oromo people at home to protest against the government.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Olympics can bring to interesting cultural and political issues to a larger international audience.  The Oromo people in Ethiopia are off our collective radar, but this marathoner made the world pay attention and start to ask questions about a part of the world that rarely gets global attention.  Some other examples of how you can link students' interest in the Olympics to expand their understanding about the world include:

What was your favorite 'teaching moment' from the Olympics?

Tags:  political, conflict, sport.

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How to tell when criticism of Israel is actually anti-Semitism

How to tell when criticism of Israel is actually anti-Semitism | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Calling out human rights violations shouldn’t stray into bias against Jews.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very partisan article, but some of the ideas brought up in it are worth discussion in non-partisan settings as well.  The author takes a very liberal perspective critiquing Israeli policies, while loving Judaism, Jewish history, and the right of the Israeli state to exist.  Blanket "good guys" and "bad guys" narratives are always sloppy, but in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it may be even more pernicious.  

 

Tagsop-ed, Israel Judaism conflict, political, Middle East.

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David Stiger's curator insight, November 1, 2018 12:59 AM
Two things to take away from this well-written article. It is important for critics of the Zionist movement and of Israel (the nation-state) to always bear in mind that the Jewish people are very diverse in both their backgrounds and their views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No single entity, specifically the Israeli government or army, speaks on behalf of all Jewish people. The second takeaway is being on the lookout for coded language that guises itself as political rhetoric leveled against Israel the state but, in reality, the subtext is covertly anti-Semitic. In place of verbally attacking "the Jews" some people may state "the Zionists" or reference a global Zionist conspiracy theory. Zionism is a specific movement within Judaism advocating for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the ancestral land of Judea/Israel/Canaan/Palestine (or as the Romans called the region, the Levant). Considering these valid points, it must be said that it is okay to criticize the state of Israel and specific actions it has taken against Palestine. But, when doing so, critics must be careful in their choice of words so as not to accidentally encourage anti-Semitic ideas. It is important to note that some Israeli Jews, and some other Arab Jews, disapprove of Israel's human rights violations but still might support having a homeland of their own. It is also worth noting that a person can be a Zionist without condoning the current government and military forces of Israel. One can be a Zionist and pro-Palestinian. In being critical, it is important to monitor the passions and anger that may arise, and not paint the world in black and white. There is always nuance. And there is enough anti-Semitism in the world without liberals who are pro-Palestinian unintentionally adding any more fan to the flames. 
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Left For Dead: Myanmar’s Muslim Minority

In recent years, democratic reforms have swept through Myanmar, a country that for decades was ruled by a military junta. As the reforms took hold, however, things were growing progressively worse for the Rohingya, a heavily persecuted ethnic Muslim minority concentrated in the country's western state of Rakhine. The 2012 gang rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by three Muslim men ignited violent riots in which hundreds were killed as Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya attacked each other. In the following months, tens of thousands of Rohingya were rounded up and forced to live in squalid camps; Human Rights Watch deemed the attacks crimes against humanity that amounted to ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. Thousands of Rohingya have since attempted to leave the country, fueling the region's intricate and brutal human trafficking network.

 

Tags: Rohingyagenocide, migration, politicalconflict, refugeesBurma, Southeast Asia.

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Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:14 AM
This kind of ethnic conflict within a country is, in part, a result of colonial borders ignoring ethnic boundaries. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in a Buddhist majority country, and they are extremely vulnerable to the ethnic cleansing currently happening. The systemic destruction of villages, massacres, and gang rapes by Buddhist vigilantes and Myanmar's military is nothing short of genocide, wiping out the Rohingya by killing them or forcing them to flee the country.
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The Rohingya in Myanmar: How Years of Strife Grew Into a Crisis

The Rohingya in Myanmar: How Years of Strife Grew Into a Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Life has long been fraught for a Muslim minority in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, but the recent “ethnic cleansing” has sent Rohingya fleeing en masse.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many students have asked the question "Who are the Rohingya?" The Muslim minority group, concentrated near the Bangladeshi has a long history of marginalization. Its members lack full citizenship in Myanmar (Burma), and many in Myanmar deny that the Rohingya are a native ethnic group, claiming that they are recent Bengali immigrants. Now, fierce clashes between security forces and Rohingya militants left hundreds dead and entire villages torched to the ground. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled over the border into Bangladesh.

 

Tags: migration, politicalconflict, refugeesBurma, Southeast Asia.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 29, 2017 8:07 AM

Global challenges - Population - including Migration - refugees

David Stiger's curator insight, November 30, 2018 5:20 PM
It is often hard to imagine how a government sponsors or directly commits acts of genocide against its own people. When studying the geographic factors and history of a place, outsiders can begin to fathom how divisions and difference can turn into hate-fueled violence. But, genocides do not just spontaneously happen. There is a buildup overtime. The only way a genocide can occur is if some form of dehumanization takes place against a group of people. In the case of the Rohingya - an ethnic minority population in Myanmar - the government fails to recognize them as citizens. Denying rights and citizenship to people means they are not equal with others and that is a form of dehumanization. While the Rohingya are mostly Muslim in a Buddhist majority country, the divisions go much deeper. Myanmar's government believes that the Rohingya are refugees from Bangladesh who fled under British rule during the 1800s, negating any legitimate claim to the land they are living on. The Rohingya dispute this arguing their ancestors migrated to the land of Rohang (now called the Rakhine State of Myanmar) during the 1400s. Regardless of whose narrative is accurate, the Rohingya,  like the Gypsies in Europe, have been excluded and viewed as outsiders. By not being integrated into mainstream society, there has been a lack of social and economic advancement for the Rohingya leading to widespread poverty which creates a vicious cycle. The discriminatory and repressive practices against the Rohingya has led to violent backlash by some Rohingya against Buddhists. This in turn led to military crackdowns, destruction, and forced migration by Myanmar's government. The situation escalated when a Rohingya insurgency rose up and attacked military targets. This most recent episode is what has led to the current acts of genocide. Myanmar's government has justified its actions by espousing a war on terrorist groups. International watchdogs have observed the military operations are also targeting innocent Rohingya civilians, morphing into ethnic-cleansing. 

Powerful nations like the U.S. and the E.U. should sanction Myanmar until they own up to what they've done. After Myanmar is held accountable, the government should offer full rights and citizenship in exchange for the disbandment of the Rohingya insurgency. From there, health care services and educational programs need to be administered to help the Rohingya integrate into society. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 10:00 PM
An ethnic cleansing is occurring today in Myanmar. The Rohingya, a Muslim minority in the Rakhine state have been forcibly removed for their homes by soldiers and extremists.  Their homes are homes, villages and land destroyed. Many are leaving Myanmar all together and running to the border of Bangladesh for safety.  The President of Myanmar, Nobel Peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has stayed mostly quiet regarding the attacks, while the UN has also condemned the actions of the army.  A story to continue watching as it develops. 
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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why [Updated]

"After four-plus years of fighting, Syria's war has killed at least hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. And, though it started as a civil war, it's become much more than that. It's a proxy war that has divided much of the Middle East, and has drawn in both Russia and the United States. To understand how Syria got to this place, it helps to start at the beginning and watch it unfold."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Over a year ago I posted a previous version of this video highlighting the complexities behind the Syrian war.  Much has happened since then and this updated version adds more detail and includes a very helpful timeline to show how more internal and external forces became involved in the fighting.  This is an incredibly complicated geopolitical situation because of all the regional and international players involved.  

 

TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 29, 2018 1:37 AM
The war in Syria has been devastating to Syrian's inhabitants. After six years of this conflict it has become a mess and is divided into four sections or groups, all backed different foreign backers. The backers have know become so confused on who there fighting for and what there fighting for, that is how messy this war has gotten. The use of chemical warfare has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. As to why there is a major Syrian refugee crisis. The conflict started as an internal war against Assad and rebels. This small civil war has know turned into a global conflict. I wish I could say what foreign countries are backing who and why but the lines are very blurred and there has been many back stabbing. All these foreign powers entering this war has established Syria as a great power dispute. The Assad and rebels conflict also brew the other two sections that are fighting in this region the Kurds who want their own nation. The Kurds are the largest cultural and ethnic group without a country. The entrance of the Kurds in the fighting brought in more foreign countries to either support their efforts or squash the Kurds hopes of obtaining a nation of there own. Then you have ISIS who formed as a branch out of the original rebels because there was an internal dispute. Overall this war is bloody and will never end if all these four sections cant come to an agreement. If there is no determination for peace there will never be peace.
David Stiger's curator insight, October 31, 2018 10:59 PM
Hearing about the news in Syria is usually tragic and frustrating. It is also equally confusing and this video helped to sort out its causes and important transformations over time. Even with the video's succinct explanation, the conflict is still a quagmire to understand. The fighting began during the 2011 Arab Spring when peaceful Syrian protesters were gunned down by Assad's military forces. Instead of backing down and caving into the violent repression, the Syrian civilians retaliated with small arms fire and were joined by Syrian army defectors. The now belligerent protesters formed their own rebel army, causing Syria to erupt into a civil war. Then Islamic extremists, including a terrorist groups, joined the rebels. Countries like Turkey and Jordan began funding and arming the rebels while Iran - a Shiite country - provided support to Assad. Appalled by the out-of-control death toll, the United States began training and arming the rebels - some of whom were from Al Qaeda! Assad's chemical weapons attack escalated U.S. involvement while Russia came to the side of Assad. Putin most likely supports Assad to maintain its lease of a key geographic asset - a warm-water naval base -while also discouraging internal rebellion. At some point a group of ethnic Kurds in northern Syria succeeded (Putin's fear) and began attacking Assad. But, Turkey started attacking the Kurds! Then in 2014 ISIS broke away from Al Qaeda and started attacking the Kurds and the rebels prompting the U.S. to redirect its focus away from the Assad regime. This has to be the messiest conflict in modern history and is entirely defined by proxy wars. Because the war is so convoluted and complicated, there is no end in sight. The relentless destruction over years has caused millions of refugees to flee to Europe because it is the closest stable place to Syria. This unprecedented wave of migrations will surely transform Europe and cripple Syria in the long run.  
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:18 AM
Syria's war has gotten crazier and crazier and doesn't seem like there is a end in sight. The insane cross fighting between outside countries and the inner working of independence inside Syria itself is still an issue. A local protest has turned into an international fight against top countries of US and Russia.
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Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas

Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The president is expected to sign his new, more limited rule Monday.
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's hard to discuss this topic in detail without a partisan political views.  Underneath all of those opinions are geographic perspective about how the world works as well as geographical imaginations on how things should operate. 

 

Tags: migrationrefugees, war, political, terrorism, ISISMiddle East, conflict.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 2018 2:26 PM
One of President Trump's first acts as President was the  "Muslim Ban" as it was so often referred to.  In this article it explains the changes that the ban has gone through since it was first blocked and the differences between it and what the Obama administration did with it polices. We can also look at Europe and debate its policies as well on immigration and what polices they have enacted over the past few years as well. This is a hotly debated issue between both parties right now and into the future, not just an issue, but an issue I am sure will be debated in elections ahead. When looking at this issue we have to look beyond what the main political points will be and try use some of of our own sense on the issue. With so much upheaval in this area is it safe to take in people from it? It is a legit question one must pose especially with the increase in terrorist attacks over the past few years. Could the US or countries in Europe have avoided with a better process? Who really knows for sure. It is in everyone's best interest to make this area more livable for its current citizens. Since that would calm everyone on the immigration issue. How do major world powers get involved in this situation then? That becomes the issue as the the last elections in the US and other countries alike have pushed for more in house or in country work as opposed to overseas involvement.  This will not be the last time this comes up, just wait til 2018 and I am sure in 2020 elections. 
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Israeli settlements, explained

"Both sides claim the West Bank as legitimately belonging to them. Over time, and especially as Israeli politics has shifted rightward, the settler movement has become an institutionalized part of Israeli society. Support comes in the form of building permits, public investment, and even incentives for Israelis to move into the West Bank. While peace talks remain frozen, the settlements continue to grow, making any possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank faint."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, but since the U.S. has always vetoed sanctions in the UN security council, Israel had never been formally reprimanded.  Just last week, a UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.” 

 

Questions to Ponder: What is the two-state solution?  Who favors this plan?  What are some reasons why the two-state solution is so difficult to achieve?

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, territoriality, political, Middle East.

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David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 22, 2018 5:25 PM
The settlements started out has a religious spreading. However, that has dramatically changed over time due to economic reasons. Not only that the amount of government support for the people living in these lands are incredible, even in an outpost that is deemed illegal. The country occasionally goes into illegal areas and tear down houses to show a tough face on them. The government and its people theorized that more will come home and that the populations in the settlements will grow to half a million. The international community and Israeli must come up with a strategy before it gets to the point of no turning back. 
 
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 23, 2018 4:55 PM
This video gives some in depth background on how Israel and Palestine are severely intermingled. It goes into the history of the creation of Israel and it talks extensively about the West Bank region and who lives there and who controls what parts. The region is very intertwined and more Israelis are moving into the region and how it would become more and more difficult to separate the region into two states. 
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 9:34 PM
This shows how important clear and distinct boarders are for different countries. In this case, that is important because Palstine feels their land is justing getting taken, while Israel argues they are returning to their homeland. Either way, the rest of the world believes what Israel is doing is illegal and Palestine should have it's own autonomy as a state, in a two-state system.
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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016 | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that powerfully divides the international community.  Of those living within the state of Israel, Pew Research data shows that they are often deeply divided based on religious affiliation. Not surprisingly, those divisions extend into how they view the peace process, West Bank settlements and U.S. support.  Although the conflict is portrayed as a battle between religious groups, it can be more fairly assessed as two nationalistic groups competing for land.  Broadly speaking, the Muslim world has sided with the Palestinians, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have defended Israel.   In the United Nation’s Security Council, the United States’ veto power has been use to strike down resolutions that would condemn Israeli settlement in the militarily occupied lands of the West Bank.  The 2016 UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”

 

These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, and the UN has condemned them, but since the U.S. has always vetoed this, Israel has never been formally reprimanded.  Earlier this week, the U.S. abstained from the vote, and the many see the U.S. position as hypocritical, (Secretary of State John Kerry strongly defended the position).

 

Some highly partisan supporters of Israel do not see Israel’s actions as the problem, primarily because Israel’s neighbors have traditionally not recognized its right to exist, and attacked it many times.  Therefore, they see Israel’s actions as necessary for the security of Israel, and do not see Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as illegal since Palestine isn’t a state that was ever legally accepted. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, political, Middle East.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, January 9, 2017 7:14 AM
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016
David Stiger's curator insight, October 31, 2018 3:06 PM
While religion plays a crucial role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is important to note that it is not the central issue; disputes over land seem to be the bedrock of the conflict. It is also worth noting that this conflict only began in 1948, and that at several points in history, all three Abrahamic faiths peacefully coexisted and shared Jerusalem. It is essential to understand how sacred Jerusalem (on the border of the West Bank) is to both sides of the conflict and how both parties feel they have a divinely sanctioned right to the territory. Examining the history of this conflict illustrates how things simply spiraled out of control making compromise, specifically the means to share this special land, nearly impossible. The Zionist movement in relation to Holocaust, the Jewish War for Independence in 1949, the Six-Day War, and the First and Second Intifadas have culminated in two sides unwilling to work together in order to reach a lasting, mutually beneficial compromise. This deal would be in the form of an internationally recognized two-state solution, with Jerusalem serving as a shared city. Unfortunately, a large portion of Israelis are tired of the relentless conflict causing them to become apathetic. Having the upper-hand, Israel now lacks the collective willpower to implement change. On the other side are the Palestinians, who possess a sense of national identity but are blocked at every turn from establishing their own country. The rage and frustration in Palestine has pushed organizations like Hamas to employ terror tactics - resulting in Israelis to fight back harder. This process  of bloodshed creates a viscous cycle that is already highly complicated due to geography. A salient geopolitical point here is the unhindered spread and development of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. To me, this is where Israel stepped way over the line of morality and self-defense. They are no longer defenders but are now invaders, conquerors, and perhaps even colonizers. It is no wonder Palestinians are enraged. The physical act of rivals occupying land unjustly has become a humiliating usurpation of sacred rights. Although this would be extremely difficult, the Israeli government needs to pull its people out of the settlements and give all the land back to Palestine. In exchange, Hamas needs to be disowned and disbanded. Palestine should not have a military for 15 years, allowing Israel to manage its security. Jerusalem should be split in half and as a gesture of goodwill, Israel should give up a strip of land to Palestine in order to connect Gaza and the West Bank. 
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ISIS and the U.S. Presidential Election

The United States is already taking some steps to roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and restrict its resources and recruits, including airstrikes, armin
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a non-partisan post and a video that is fairly balanced; this video nicely lays out some of the cultural and political factors that the next president of the United States should consider when crafting foreign policy in the especially problematic Middle East.  

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 2018 2:47 PM
Since this video was made we have already had a Presidential election and policy made to deal with some of these key issues. Within the past year US policy (some continuation from the Obama Era) under President Trump has been to destroy ISIS and for the most part it has be done. ISIS has been displaced from the region, however that does not mean that the fighting in Syria has stopped. There are still many issues in the area and one that will not simply be rectified within a few years, this is a battle that we will see repeat over and over again. Much like Afghanistan, this area is one with much upheaval and when one power goes away another one rises and new problems can arise. It is an area in which, like the video states a major conundrum. How can we support one place and not make a country like Turkey angry (the Kurd's example  from the video)? So one could say well just stay out of the whole area, while that can make sense it is to important as a world leader (especially America) to not be involved in both a key geographical area for Russia and human rights area.  While there is no doubt there has been improvements in the last year, it is the same story in the Middle East, what is the end game? How do we get to the finish line and does anyone have the right answers. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, May 4, 2018 6:15 AM
The video was published before the last presidential election, but some of the information in it is still accurate regarding the crisis  in Syria. For example this video talks about how Syrian refugees are fleeing from ISIS to other nations in order to escape them. There are many refugees being displaced because of the violence ISIS is causing in the middle east. Refugees that need a place to escape to flee to neighboring countries to get away from ISIS. There is still some debate in America about whether or not Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter the U.S. as well. Ultimately something needs to be done about the terror havoc ISIS is reeking in the middle east.
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Who Likes Whom in The Middle East? Key players & Notable relationships

Who Likes Whom in The Middle East? Key players & Notable relationships | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An interactive network visualisation of key players & notable relationships in the Middle East region. Continually updated. Awesome looking.
Seth Dixon's insight:

News flash:the Middle East is complicated.  In a region where the enemy of an enemy can be your friend, keeping track of local, regional, and global interests can be a staggering proposition.  This flow chart is both incredibly complex, but also aids the user in making sense of the relationships that help to define the region.  

 

Tags: MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopoliticsregions.

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 24, 2018 8:40 PM
This infograph is fun to play with and it shows who like who and who hates who in the middle east. it is interesting when you only look at the "love" reationships and realize how many nations don't have any. Though there are nations that  have no "love" relationships every one, but Oman, has at least two hate relationships, this is a great learning tool. 
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 9:45 PM
In geography it is important to understand what countries are enemies, what countries are alibis, and what countries have strained relationships. Without this knowledge, you really are left clueless to important relationships or causes to wars, or how each place affects another economy, politics, etc.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:40 AM
This chart is interesting, in that it shows the complex webbing of how each region is back by a certain country. It such a mess that trying to view this chart is such an eye sore, which is exactly how this region is, just a huge mess of a spider's web. 
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Colombia rejects FARC deal: What's next?

Colombia rejects FARC deal: What's next? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A narrow win for Colombia's opponents to a government peace deal with FARC rebels has thrown the country into disarray, leading one journalist to starkly declare, 'Nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow.'  Likened to the fallout from the United Kingdom's 'Brexit' referendum, the vote's unexpected failure has left the Colombian political classes reeling and unsure how to respond in order to save four years of hard negotiation with the Marxist militia."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Colombian peace negotiations with FARC (the insurgent rebels in drug producing regions) were hailed as the key for Colombia to move past it's violent, drug-cartel past and move into the future.  As the Colombian population rejected the deal by the slimmest of margins (50.22% against), it leaves the government "without a Plan B." There are more questions than answers at this point about what might happen (if you are asking what's FARC?, then this primer will walk you through it). 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics, conflict.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 15, 2018 12:43 AM
This article highlights the amount of division that is occurring within Colombia.  The country is divided in two ways.  Those who are supporters and members of FARC who believe communism is how Colombia should be governed are in conflict with the rest of the population who want to maintain their democratic ways.  Even among the majority of Colombians who are not associated with FARC, making peace with them is a point of division.  A nationwide vote very narrowly rejected a deal that would make peace with FARC.  Those who voted no do not want to forgive FARC for the crimes they have committed and feel the only way to make peace is to lock up those in FARC.  The rest of the country, including the Colombian president simply wanted to establish peace in Colombia.  The country was unsure what would happen going forward when this article was written.  This example of Colombian conflict shows the effects of globalization.  FARC was inspired by the vision of communism that Lenin had back in the early 1900s and is still effecting a country far from Russia one hundred years later.  As the world became more connected, so too were ideas able to spread and take hold in regions far from their origins.  Another big source of conflict involving FARC is the drug trade, which was only made possible by the consumption and demand of Americans.  Many of the problems facing the world today are often very complex and involve exterior forces, much like the dilemma in Colombia.
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DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests

DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Three police officers and 14 civilians die in Kinshasa, capital of DR Congo, during protests calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The DRC is a land of great wealth but is impoverished.  This may seem strange to outsiders but the weakness of their social institutions pays a key role in keeping the economy from reaching it's potential.  Strong institutions matter more than resources for sustained economic development. The most important line in the article was the last one: "DR Congo has never had a smooth transfer of power since independence more than 55 years ago."  That is a staggering historical burden.  

 

Tags: Congo, political, conflict, Africa.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 24, 2016 12:46 PM
DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests
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FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized

FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Negotiators seeking to end the insurgency in Colombia, one of the world's longest-running conflicts, said they had reached a final peace deal.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Farclandia has long been an insurgent state where the Colombian government had no real power to enforce the rule of law and their sovereignty over this area that all the political maps say are Colombia.   This shadowy place became a place where drug cartels could operate freely and many of the concessions that Colombia is making for this deal to happen involve amnesty for past crimes. 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics. conflict.

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