Independent countries to aspire to?
AhDinnaeKen isn’t sure what to make of Salmond’s fantasy future epitomised by the so called 30 independent countries list – cited as justification for the recently SNP asserted Independence timetable. We* thought we’d* take a closer look and check for ourselves.
AhDinnaeKen never has been and never will be closed to the idea of indpendence for any country, including Scotland. But, we* will always scrutinise anything asserted by a wee parochial Nationalist snake oil huckster like Tricky Dicky Salmond.
We* did enquire of Tricky Dicky as to how these countries had fared post-independence, but he was too busy preparing bunting for the midnight handover of the Butcher’s Apron in exchange for the self righteous purity of the sanctified saltire in 2016. Therefore, we*’ve had a quick flick through some of these paragons of independence and, to put it mildly, we*’re embarrassed for the man who would be Sun King.
AhDinnaeKen is embarrassed to present Salmond’s dirty dozen (in terms of the debate):
The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. The envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict.
Niger became independent from France in 1960 and experienced single-party and military rule until 1991, when Gen. Ali SAIBOU was forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, which resulted in a democratic government in 1993. Political infighting brought the government to a standstill and in 1996 led to a coup by Col. Ibrahim BARE. In 1999, BARE was killed in a counter coup by military officers who restored democratic rule and held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year.
The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 by a military coup that ushered in a period of democratic rule. Malian returnees from Libya in 2011 exacerbated tensions in northern Mali and Tuareg ethnic militias started a rebellion in January 2012.
After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting led the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets, and fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence between 1992-98 resulting in over 100,000 deaths.
Jamaica gained full independence when it withdrew from the Federation in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence as rival gangs affiliated with the major political parties evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling and money laundering. Violent crime, drug trafficking, and poverty pose significant challenges to the government today.
Comoros has endured more than 20 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared independence from Comoros. In 1999, military chief Col. AZALI seized power in a bloodless coup.
Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti’s first multi-party presidential elections resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH; The present leadership has longstanding ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, but also has strong ties with the US. Djibouti hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war.
On 30 November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission remotely demarcated the border by coordinates and dissolved itself, leaving Ethiopia still occupying several tracts of disputed territory, including the town of Badme. Eritrea accepted the EEBC’s “virtual demarcation” decision and called on Ethiopia to remove its troops from the TSZ that it states is Eritrean territory. Ethiopia has not accepted the virtual demarcation decision. In 2009 and 2011 the UN passed sanctions resolutions on Eritrea after accusing it of backing anti-Ethiopian Islamist insurgents in Somalia.
Since 2004, the United States and 133 other nations have recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia. Some ethnic Albanians, angered by perceived political and economic inequities, launched an insurgency in 2001 that eventually won the support of the majority of Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian population and led to the internationally-brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting and established guidelines for the creation of new laws that enhanced the rights of minorities.
On 20 May 2002, Timor-Leste was internationally recognized as an independent state. In 2006, internal tensions threatened the new nation’s security when a military strike led to violence and a breakdown of law and order. At Dili’s request, an Australian-led International Stabilization Force (ISF) deployed to Timor-Leste, and the UN Security Council established the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), which included an authorized police presence of over 1,600 personnel.
Since independence South Sudan has struggled with good governance and nation building and has attempted to control rebel militia groups operating in its territory. Economic conditions have deteriorated since January 2012 when the government decided to shut down oil production following bilateral disagreements with Sudan.
Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands, along with a majority of Croatia’s ethnic Serb population. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.
So there you have it. Conflict, insurgency, extremism, economic deterioration, violence and organised crime. What possessed Tricky Dicky Salmond to refer to these countries as reasons why we should become independent?
We*’d call it shooting yourself in the foot.
[ NB: All notes on countries sourced from CIA factbook. ]