“Liberians decry ‘mockery of justice’ in Charles Taylor verdict” is a piece by Geoffrey York in Canada’s Globe and Mail that portrays a country outraged by the result of Taylor’s trial. The fact that Charles Taylor is reviled in the West but loved in Liberia is a fun thing to report on. It hints at the idea that Liberians have a very different world view, a mystical one where power is celebrated for its own sake, except it’s not really true.
Lesley Anne Warner: “Does War Serve Political Interests in Sudan and South Sudan?”
Roving Bandit, meanwhile, looks at media coverage of South (and north) Sudan during the current conflict.
Dr. Michael Nelson on the possible intervention by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) in Mali and Guinea-Bissau:
Guinea-Bissau might be a harder case. On the one hand, G-B’s problems are a little more straightforward: this is “just” a coup. But on the other hand, the prospects for a peaceful and democratic path are really pretty bad here. No president has ever finished their term in office. And, as Lesley Anne Warner notes, G-B is indeed quite coup-prone. The country has had twice as many coup incidents (10, including failed and alleged plots) as any other country in Africa since 2000. And that doesn’t even include the assassination of President Vieira in 2009! Reuters has a nice timeline of just a few of the events in their violent past.
All of that leads me to wonder: how will ECOWAS gauge success here? What is the exit strategy? Or are West African leaders trying to send some sort of hard signal to the elites in G-B that business-as-usual (coups every few years) cannot be tolerated?
What are you reading today?