Mali and Niger have been dealing with constant problems of violent jihadis in the last years, especially since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. As this article helpfully explains, however, the reasons for turning to jihad often have more to do with herding rights or lack of government capacity than religion.
Similarly, this piece delves into South Sudan’s economic structure, and how the ongoing peace talks likely will not address the issues of cows, important for political, economic, and social reasons.
In addition, this piece, on a different region entirely, nevertheless echoes the same sorts of problems: climate change is changing entire societal structures, which has important mental health effects linked to public health and violence in populations around the world.
Colombia’s peace process may have been out of the news for a few months, but the peace process is slowly moving along. Unfortunately, however, protests against FARC’s inclusion as a viable political party have only continued. This could spell trouble for the successful completion of the peace process, as ability to contest elections politically is one of the key requirements the FARC made in signing the peace deal.
Must-read piece that delves into the current humanitarian crisis around Lake Chad, recently escalated by Boko Haram, but caused by much more deeply rooted problems in the idea of Chad as a state itself.
A fascinating new study looks at how vestigial Neanderthal DNA may affect modern humans.
This innocuously named department is in charge of stunningly vast array of important areas. This great article gets down into the details with people who understand what the department does, and how that might be changing under the current administration. Also, banana bread.
South Africa’s President Zuma has been in trouble for months, and it will all likely come to a head at the ANC leadership conference next month. Allegations have been growing against him, as have popular protests, that he has essentially sold influence over the government to a secretive business family: the Guptas.
Fascinating look at a small town in middle America that is doing well: economically and socially. How have these Dutch descendents managed it?