The no name nation

I haven’t seen Beasts of No Nation, so I’ll reserve judgement until I have. But here’s something that will niggle. Why is the setting not named? Fictional countries are possibly even worse. So that’s a step forward. But here’s the rub…  What we see is awful, but the vagueness of the setting blunts the film’s … More The no name nation

The IMF and Ebola

The IMF is frequently the target of critics who accuse its reform, rationalisation and liberalisation policies of holding back the developing world. The recent Lancet paper on how its demands for cuts to public spending and for decentralised healthcare were hindering the Ebola response in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is typical. Chris Blattman, assistant professor of political science … More The IMF and Ebola

Another African genocide….

France, the United Nations and the African Union dispatched some 4,000 troops soon after the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, warned that the C.A.R. was “on the verge of genocide.” Yet the country doesn’t face genocide; it is experiencing state collapse and limited intercommunal killings after a military takeover by a coalition of undisciplined militiamen … More Another African genocide….

The trouble with Somalia (pt 63)

There’s a chicken and egg problem with this analysis and all failed states… Pouring foreign aid into Somalia without good accountability mechanisms in place will only worsen these negative dynamics, just like it did in Afghanistan. Yes, reconstruction is sorely required and in addition to improving security, the Somali government badly needs to start delivering … More The trouble with Somalia (pt 63)

On Afrighanistan

Laura Seay – better known to me as @texasinafrica –  has rightly taken issue with simplistic coverage of Mali and comparisons with other conflicts involving Islamist movements: Among the most egregious — and inaccurate — claims about the crisis to emerge is the idea that Mali could become France’s Afghanistan. Apparently based on the understanding … More On Afrighanistan