Africa Slipping Away
By Douglas Farah
Secretary of State is reportedly uneasy over the faltering peace efforts across Africa, an unraveling that will have direct strategic and security implications for the United States.
Among the top three problem spots, mostly ignored over the past decade, are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sudan.
These are at the top because they are ongoing, armed conflicts. The Sudanese regime (surprise, surprise) stood Rice up on her recent trip to the region; the president of Ethiopia is ailing, and Somalian leaders refuse to create a truly inclusive government that could embrace everyone except the radical Islamist factions. So that conflict drags on.
The DRC, with its vast mineral resources, has uranium, a strong North Korean presence, Hizbollah (and possibly al Qaeda) diamond networks and is a long-standing center for weapons trafficking and other smuggling activities. The endless wars against new warlords rage on, in part because the central government has no legitimacy and the DRC's neighbors make a killing by raping the natural resource base of the country.
But the hot wars are hardly the only issues to resolve.
One could add South Africa, a growing haven for radical Islamist groups; Zimbabwe, a destabilizing factor that is dragging down several other countries; Angola and Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Cameroon, all despotic but oil-rich regimes with a vast network of criminal pipelines crisscrossing them; and many other trouble spots. My full blog is here.
December 6, 2007 10:20 AM Link http://www.douglasfarah.com/article/283/africa-slipping-away.com