World View: U.S. and Britain Evacuate Citizens from South Sudan as Unrest Spreads

World View: U.S. and Britain Evacuate Citizens from South Sudan as Unrest Spreads

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Corruption probe throws Turkey’s government into crisis
  • U.S. and Britain evacuate citizens from South Sudan as unrest spreads
  • Sectarian atrocities escalate in Central African Republic

Corruption probe throws Turkey’s government into crisis

Police found a banknote counter in the home of the Interior Minister's son (Zaman)
Police found a banknote counter in the home of the Interior Minister’s son (Zaman)

In Turkey, 52 people, including bureaucrats, well-known businessmen,and the sons of three ministers, were arrested on Tuesday in a massivecorruption investigation that threatens the government of primeminister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The corruption investigation extendsdeep into the police department, as 29 senior police officials in theIstanbul and Ankara police departments were forced to step down fromtheir posts for “abuse of office” related to the investigations. 

The corruption charges are broad. Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab isaccused of paying bribes to Cabinet members to protect his allegedcrime gang, and to coverup a range of illegal transactions, includingsmuggling $150 million in cases from Turkey to Russia. Meanwhile,police searching the home of detained Halkbank general managerSuleyman Aslan have found $4.5 million in cash hidden in shoe boxes inhis library. 

The corruption charges are thought to have come about because of asplit within Erdogan’s AK political party, pitting himself against aformer ally, Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic cleric, currentlyliving in the United States. Erdogan himself has denounced thecorruption investigation as a “dirty operation” by political enemiesof his government. Hurriyet (Istanbul) and Zaman (Ankara) and BBC

U.S. and Britain evacuate citizens from South Sudan as unrest spreads

The United States and Britain on Wednesday began evacuating theirpersonnel from their embassies in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.The evacuations come three days after gun battles broke out in Juba.Some reports indicate that the gunbattles are between membersof warring Dinka and Nuer tribes. 

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is really aremarkable story. What’s really panicking people is not thegun battles in Juba, but other battles in the nearby provincialcapital Bor. Those fights triggered a mass exodus of citizens, andmore than 20,000 civilians are now sheltering at two U.N. compounds inJuba. 

Now, there’s nothing pleasant about nearby gun fights, but whywould those cause 20,000 people to flee their homes and takea dangerous trip to Juba, where they risk not even being welcome? 

To answer that question, we have to look back to November 15, 1991,when the “Bor Massacre” began. Over the next three months, 2,000civilians were killed, thousands more wounded, and at least 100,000 peoplefled the area. Famine followed the massacre, as looters burntvillages and raided cattle, resulting in the deaths of 25,000 morefrom starvation. 

Nothing like that could possibly happen today, because the survivinggenerations won’t permit it. But people in the same survivinggenerations are afraid that it WILL happen again, and so they’refleeing their homes and running to the U.N. in anticipation of anothermassacre, which likely won’t occur. VOA and London Post (2011)

Sectarian atrocities escalate in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) is quite a different story. Aseach day goes by, it becomes clear that the violence between Muslimsand Christians is spiraling out of control, despite the attempt byFrench forces to disarm both. Most of the victims so far havebeen Christians, but the massacres and atrocities are escalatingon both sides. 

Last week I asked readers to help me out with the history of CAR, andseveral people wrote to me to point out that the last generationalCrisis war was the 1928-31 Kongo-Wara Rebellion (“War of the HoeHandle”), targeting the French colonialists. I thank the people whowrote to me with that information. 

The general rule in generational theory is that a new generationalcrisis war can only occur when the survivors of the previous crisiswar have disappeared (died or retired), all at once. Thisgenerational change happens about 58 years after the climax of theprevious crisis war. It’s almost impossible for a new crisis war tobegin less that 50 years after the previous climax, but theprobability goes up each year, reaching a peak at the 58 year mark(the statistical “mode”). However, there are many examples wherethe new crisis war begins 60 or 70 or more years after theprevious crisis. 

So going back to the southern part of South Sudan, the previous crisiswar climaxed with the Bor Massacre in 1991. So now, 22 years later, anew crisis war is impossible, despite the fact that almost every newsreport says that it might happen at any time. (As an aside, thenorthern part of South Sudan had a more recent crisis war thatclimaxed in 2009 with the secession of South Sudan from Sudan.) 

The reason that a new crisis war in the South Sudan is impossibleisn’t rocket science. When any population goes through the horrors ofa generational crisis war, which is the worst kind of war known toman, then the survivors vow that they will devote their lives tomaking sure that nothing like that ever happens to their children orgrandchildren. And their efforts are successful, until they passaway, and then a new crisis war can begin. 

So in the case of C.A.R., it’s now 82 years after the end of thepreceding crisis war, so the mood is very, very ripe for a new crisiswar, and it’s extremely likely that the current conflict betweenMuslims and Christians will spiral into full-scale war and thatFrance’s army will be overwhelmed. 

While I’m on this subject, the last crisis war for Mali was the Tuaregrebellion that climaxed in 1963. So now, 50 years later, a new crisiswar is almost impossible, and in fact the fighting in Mali appears tohave simmered down, except for invading al-Qaeda linked militias inthe north. Human Rights Watch

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fethullah Gulen,South Sudan, Juba, Dinka, Nuer, Bor, Bor Massacre of 1991,Central African Republic, Kongo-Wara Rebellion,Mali, Tuareg Rebellion 

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