Thursday, March 31, 2011

Colombia’s Struggle to Secure a Democratic State

The realization of democracy in Columbia has been hampered since the 1960’s due to drug trafficking and institutionalized racism.  Newly elected Colombian president, Jaun Manuel Santos has an ambitious plan to stop the vicious cycle of drug trafficking to focus on eliminating racism and ushering in a new era of democracy,  but can he succeed?

In order to succeed, President Santos will need to address the gross human rights violations that plague the country and lead the government to face the painful truth that it has committed human rights violations – a fact that it still refuses to admit. 

Read more. 

Encouraging South Sudan to Take the Reins of Development

South Sudan has waited more than 50 years to gain its independence from the North. In 2005, following two civil wars, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed, giving South Sudan six years of autonomy. In January 2011, a referendum on secession was held and an overwhelming majority voted in favor of independence. The referendum will usher in statehood for Southern Sudan, even though formal independence will be declared on July 9, 2011.

South Sudan faces a long road ahead before a sustainable independence can be achieved. The legacy of the CPA is a litany of unsolved problems, including the lack of an agreed-upon border between South and North and the lack of a dispute mechanism to solve long-standing disagreements over oil and grazing rights.

South Sudan must overcome many historical problems before it can move forward with development initiatives, which are so crucial to the success of both countries. 

Read more.