A retrospective look at the conflicts dominating the headlines in 2014 presents a grim picture of escalating conflict and human suffering. Underneath the headlines is a common thread connecting the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Ukrainian protesters in the Maidan, and the Nigerian families still desperately seeking someone to #BringBackOurGirls.
That common thread is corruption.
Corruption contributed to the collapse of the Iraqi military, allowing the expansion of ISIS. It led to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s announcement that at least 50,000 “ghost soldiers” were discovered on the Iraqi payrolls, at a cost of approximately US$400 million in bogus salaries per year.
Corruption fueled ethnic and religious tensions in Nigeria and created a vacuum in leadership, allowing Boko Haram to gain a foothold and expand. And greed at the highest levels of leadership, institutionalized as kleptocracy, sparked the outrage and protests that have toppled regimes from Ukraine to Burkina Faso.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Mark News. Click here to view the full article.
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Mary Beth Goodman