- A group of soldiers seizes the studios of the state (and only) broadcaster and make their announcement about having come to save us
- The entire population falls into line and members of parliament and ministers of state give themselves up to be locked up in police stations and prisons for months and even years
"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Nazis chasing butterflies, South Sudanese Insects, West African Coup Disease
What I'm reading today:
The former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has ruled South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011.
President Bashir described the SPLM as "insects" that needed to be eliminated.
Fighting between the two countries has now spread to another area, further adding to fears of all-out war.
South Sudan seized the Heglig oil field - generally recognised as Sudanese territory - eight days ago. On Tuesday fighting broke out north of Aweil in South Sudan, about 100 miles (160km) west of Heglig.
Generally recognized by whom? What lazy reporting! I know for a fact that SPLA leadership would dispute this "general recognition".
Secret files from British colonial rule - once thought lost - have been released by the government, one year after they came to light in a High Court challenge to disclose them.
Some of the papers cover controversial episodes: the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, the evacuation of the Chagos Islands, and the Malayan Emergency.
In particular, the first batch of papers reveal:
Official fears that Nazis - pretending to catch butterflies - were plotting to invade East Africa in 1938
It took a while but we in West Africa learnt the very hard way that, given the opportunity, uniformed men are certainly more cruel and just as corrupt as their civilian compatriots.
The surprising thing was how easily the coups were accepted:
Mauritania is experiencing a vibrant protest movement touching many sectors of political and civil society. Each day seems to bring fresh reports of demonstrations or rallies, sit-ins or gatherings. A member of the 22 states that make up the Arab League, with a complex mix of issues stemming from political, social and financial inequality, Mauritania was naturally caught up in the wave of uprisings that have swept across the region since 2010.