Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Spirit, Same Old Problems

The new year has provided me a refreshed spirit. I have high hopes for what the new year will bring. I purchased plane tickets to England, continued my running regimen and enjoyed a few short days off of work. In Michigan, we welcomed a new Governor who is calling for a culture change; It's hard to go more than a few hours without hearing about new positive economic indicators and the US markets started the new year at highs not seen for years.

Unfortunately international news is not as encouraging. The post election turmoil in Côte d'Ivoire and the rumors of impending genocide serve as reminders of how good things are in the west. Really, it makes uprisings in Greece and France seem trivial.

And we find ourselves six days out from the South Sudan referendum on independence. I'm all about national self-determination and I'm pro-South Sudan independence but I cant help but worry about what will happen in the aftermath of the vote. From oil revenues to delineation, voter eligibility and race relations one is reminded of the challenges of democracy and sovereignty.

One area of concern in the news a lot as of late is the Abyei region. It is a complete microcosm of Sudan, exhibiting the same issues affecting the country.

More to come on what will be the biggest change in maps since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Happy New Year!

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