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South Sudan is Not Africa


South Sudan is Not Africa

Gwynne Dyer

This is not an article on South Sudan, which is just as well because the conflicts there are almost fractal in their complexity. The mini-war last weekend between the forces of President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar, which killed more than 270 people and saw tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships used in the capital, Juba, is part of a pattern that embraces the whole country.


Of COURSE it is Africa. The situation there is emblematic of what is continually going on all over Africa... All the time. Sometimes it is overt sometimes it is just simmering under the surface. Pretending otherwise is singularly unhelpful in changing the patterns. As usual the tribal conflicts, centuries old and generally dealt with with some degree of rational resolution by both sides after spilling a little blood then talking and tamping things down, were blown up into monster endlessly storming hurricanes by the vicious colonialism of the Europeans.
Europeans have destroyed the natural rhythms and cycles of dominance on the entire African continent and they keep on doing it.... Always wrongly. A vicious still colonialist in nature cycle, which I do not foresee coming to any sort of good end any time soon....


Is Mr. Dyer's optimism warranted? While I appreciate the analogy that Africa has 3 nations, rather than more than 50 "at war," the analogy to Ukraine is not a good one.


Because the neocons always anxious FOR war have set their sights on potentially instigating a conflict with the great Russian (thus far sleeping) bear. And rousing a bear from its hibernation is both foolish and dangerous.

Ukraine marks the border with Russia, and Russia is none too pleased with NATO and the U.S. playing war games right there. Similarly, China is none too pleased with the new "Asian Pivot" and war games taking place in its neck of the woods.

As Paul Craig Roberts and others have put it, how would U.S. military leaders feel if suddenly Russia engaged in war games in Mexico or within the U.S. Gulf of Mexico?

Playing with dynamite close to a dry forest can set off a spark that ignites an entire region.

Fortunately, in Africa, there are no nuclear weapons... yet!


We know that there are something like 54 different countries in Africa of which maybe 15 or 16 are experiencing general violence and civil wars at this time. That is still a large number for one continent.


Yup. True enough.