Age of Anarchy: From Syria to Mexico, nations facing growing violence and tensions that could tear them apart

Posted on January 24, 2012
by The Extinction Protocol

January 24, 2012RUSSIAPrime Minister Vladimir Putin, warning ethnic tensions could tear Russia apart, said on Monday he would toughen migration rules and keep a tight rein on Russia’s regions to prevent it following the Soviet Union into oblivion. In a newspaper article and an address in southern Russia, Putin used the danger of ethnic discord to call for limits on electoral reforms. “With the collapse of the country (the Soviet Union), we were on the edge — and in some regions over the edge — of civil war,” Putin wrote in Nezavisimaya Gazeta. “With great effort, with great sacrifice we were able to douse these fires. But that doesn’t mean that the problem is gone,” he wrote in the second of a series of articles promoting his leadership goals ahead of a March 4 presidential election. Putin, in power since 2000 and favored to win a six-year presidential term in March, described a Soviet-style vision of a country in which the rights of ethnic minorities would be respected but Russian language and culture would dominate. “The Russian people, the Russian culture is the glue holding together the unique fabric of this civilization,” Putin wrote. Putin is steering a fine line between Orthodox Christian ethnic Russians, some of whom fear labor migration and higher birth rates among Russia’s Muslims, and ethnic tensions which could challenge his vision of a centralized, united, Russia. Thousands of nationalists have protested in Moscow over migration and state subsidies to the mostly Muslim North Caucasus, where an Islamist insurgency rooted in the Chechen wars persists. Comparing nationalism to a disease, Putin took aim at ethnic Russian nationalists, who have been among the 59-year-old prime minister’s most vociferous critics. -Reuters

Nigeria unraveling in violence: Fresh attacks blamed on Islamist separatists in northern Nigeria on Sunday killed nine people and damaged two churches as doctors warned as the death toll from earlier multiple bombs could rise to 250. Explosions rocked two churches in Bauchi state before dawn, destroying one and causing extensive damage to another, residents said. Both churches were empty at the time and there were no reports of casualties. In a separate attack in Bauchi state, which has been the scene of several sectarian attacks by Islamists in recent weeks, 11 people were killed and 12 injured during a raid by unknown gunmen. Bukata Zhyadi, traditional elder of a Christian ethnic group, said the victims had been found at dawn on Sunday in the town of Tafawa Balewa. “We are going around the town checking [for more],” he said. Twelve people were wounded, he said, adding that witnesses blamed the attack on a Muslim ethnic group. -Telegraph

Drug violence in Mexico: Mexican officials said recently almost 13,000 people died in drug violence in the first nine months of 2011, pushing the toll since the start of a five-year military crackdown above 47,000. Drug-related killings in 2011 were up 11% compared with the same period in 2010, the federal attorney general’s office said, noting it was a slower rise than in previous years. Drug-related killings rose 70 percent in 2009-2010, 63% in 2008-9 and 110% in 2007-8, a statement said. The Attorney General’s Office said 12,903 people were killed between January and September 2011, including 1,206 in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez and almost 800 in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco. –National Post

Tensions turning Iraq into police state: Violence and political instability have escalated across Iraq since the withdrawal of American forces, as political and sectarian factions have fought for power and influence in a struggle that, within weeks, has threatened to undo the stability that allowed the pullout in the first place. The most recent turbulence came over the weekend when a Shiite governor threatened to blockade an important commercial arterial road from Baghdad to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north if Kurdish officials did not hand over Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi to government authorities. The Shiite-led national government has accused Mr. Hashimi, a Sunni, of running a sectarian death squad. On Sunday, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said the Americans had left behind a “budding police state,” with the country’s Shiite leadership increasingly ruling by force and fear. Insurgent attacks have surged across the country, and as security forces loyal to the Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, have pressed a campaign against Sunni politicians, arresting several in the past week. –NY Times

Famine in Sudan as bullets fly: Tribal fighting in South Sudan has left 120,000 people in need of emergency food aid, twice the previous estimate, the United Nations said on Friday. The organization was in a race against time to reach people displaced by fighting between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes in Jonglei state, said U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Lise Grande. The fighting, in which women and children have been targeted, has escalated following tit-for-tat raids to steal cattle. In late December, 6,000 armed Lou Nuer tribesmen attacked the main Murle town of Pibor, killing as many as 2,000 people, according to local authorities. The United Nations, which says the death toll is likely to be much lower, initially said around 60,000 people needed food aid after fleeing into surrounding bush and seeing many of their grain stores destroyed. But Grande told a news conference in the South Sudanese capital Juba that the humanitarian situation in Jonglei – an area the size of Bangladesh – was worsening as a result of continued fighting, including attacks on health facilities. “Only two weeks ago we launched a massive emergency operation to help 60,000 people. As a result of recent attacks, we now estimate that double that number will need help,” Grande said in a statement. -Reuters

Age of Anarchy: From Syria to Mexico, nations facing growing violence and tensions that could tear them apart | The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond