Archive | Africa

“Civil War” and Geopolitics in South Sudan

NOVANEWS

A Western Journalist Killed in South Sudan – What Really Happened? A number of major geopolitical moves are currently afoot in Africa. Make no mistake about it: neocolonialism is alive and well on the continent.

Featured image: US freelancer Christopher Allen killed while reporting in South Sudan (Source: Twitter)

Last week, Christopher Allen, a young American journalist was killed on the 27 August by South Sudanese government forces near the Ugandan border of South Sudan.

Allen’s death is tragic and unfortunate and so are the deaths of the two government soldiers and 16 rebels that were also killed in the firefight. All of these deaths are unnecessary and tragic for all the families concerned who will be mourning the loss of fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.

But there are no good guys in this story and no bad guys. The government of Salva Kiir and the rebels under opposition leader Riek Machar are both constructs of Empire in Africa. Salva Kiir became president in 2011 and one of his first acts of the new South Sudan was to hand over nearly 50% of the oil rights to Rothschild’s Glencore.

It doesn’t require a great imagination to see this as payment for Empire’s role in funding and armingJohn Garang’s SPLA. Garang probably underestimated the malevolence of his benefactors. He for his part, had a genuine mission to improve the lot of his people. He was dispatched in a helicopter crash. Coincidentally (or not), the helicopter was owned by President Museveni.

South Sudan has been at civil war which is described as a tribal conflict between Nuer and Dinka. Such an anthropological dissection of society is itself one of Empire’s constructs and has been the modus operandii of warfare in Africa for at least half a century. It is a strategy of war written about in a book called Gangs and Counter-Gangs by British General Sir Frank Kitson; a strategy first used to full effect in Kenya during the Mau-Mau Rebellion of the 1950s. The strategy is simple – divide and rule. Once again Riek Machar is being used as the tool to continue South Sudan’s destabilization, to justify western soft power disguised as humanitarian intervention. Quite why he is being used to topple Salva Kiir is not clear. Salva Kir has perhaps been looking East towards China and Russia instead of West.

Earlier this year the government raised the fees for foreign aid workers permits from $100 to $10 000. There are 2 ways of looking at this. The government could be profiting from international aid as famine once again threatens the region and an influx of aid workers is expected.Or this is the government’s attempt to reduce foreign intervention from the humanitarian soft power complex.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has begun refusing visas for Washington’s humanitarian aid workers many of whom can be regarded as spies and trouble makers, an act which is highly commendable. High-profile American journalist and UN-affiliated operative Jason Stearns also had his visa denied last year, as did Human Rights Watch journalist, Ida Sawyer.

A number of serious questions have been raised about Stearn’s role acting as a US gatekeeper in Rwandan and Central African affairs.

As to the role of the young journalist Christopher Allen, it is unfortunate. Interestingly, he had also been sent to the Ukraine as a journalist. However, instead of recognizing the situation in 2014 as a CIA sponsored coup, he chose to report the western favoured ‘color revolution’ narrative. Ukrainians now find themselves with a government of fascist NeoNazis who are CIA tools and puppets. The story of Ukraine is similar to that of so many African countries, like in Libya to mention only one. How much longer can the fake liberal American missionary-like zeal for intervening in other countries, fool itself?

Unfortunately for the multitude of well-meaning people worldwide fighting for “human rights” in Africa is really not what it appears to be.

Meanwhile, the western mainstream media continues with a standardised narrative, effectively begging for some form of UN or western/NATO intervention. It’s an all too familiar pattern:

‘The war has created the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis and both sides of the conflict have been accused of abuses.’

We leave you with the definitive article on this subject written by journalist Keith Harmon Snow and entitled:

EXPOSING U.S. AGENTS OF LOW-INTENSITY WARFARE IN AFRICA: The “Policy Wonks” Behind Covert Warfare & Humanitarian Fascism

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Attempted Political Coup Underway in Kenya

NOVANEWS

Supreme Court in 4-2 majority nullifies August 8 presidential election

 

In an unprecedented legal decision four members out of seven within the Kenyan Supreme Court struck down the results of the presidential elections which were held on August 8.

Four members voted in favor of nullification, two were dissenting, while one chief justice was in hospital and did not participate in the decision.

This is the first time in Africa’s 66-year history of electoral politics where such a significant occurrence has taken place.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, was declared the winner of the poll carried out less than a month ago with 54 percent of the votes counted. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 72, who ran on behalf of the opposition coalition known as the National Super Alliance (NASA), garnered 44 percent.

The Supreme Court has mandated that a revote be held within 60 days. Supporters of the NASA coalition began to celebrate what they perceived as a ruling which will provide Odinga yet another opportunity to seek the highest office in the East African state.

Odinga ran for the presidency against Mwai Kibaki in 2007. Disagreements over the outcome led to internecine conflict resulting in the deaths of over a thousand people.

Later in 2013, Odinga lost to Uhuru Kenyatta by a substantial margin. Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) rejected the results and later filed a legal challenge in the Kenyan courts. This attempt to overturn the elections in 2013 failed.

“Unascertained” Evidence Lead to the Nullification

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the majority opinion delivered by Chief Justice Daniel Kenani Maraga was that it lacked any substantial findings documenting the claimed violations of the Kenyan constitution. The chief justice said that such proof would be presented within the next 21 days.

Therefore, with campaigning for the revote getting underway immediately, there will be a gap in the initial messaging since the basis for the nullification has not been spelled out by the majority members of the Supreme Court. President Kenyatta in a statement to the media on September 1 said that he emphatically disagreed with the decision to designate the election results invalid although he would respect and abide by the ruling.

Kenyatta said that it was:

“important to respect the rule of law even if you disagree with the Supreme Court ruling. Your neighbor will still be your neighbor, regardless of what has happened. My primary message today to every single Kenyan is peace. Let us be people of peace.”

The president referred to the four justices in Kiswahili as “wakora”, meaning crooks. He asserted that their decision was politically motivated in deciding to “cancel the elections.”

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses crowd on Sept. 1, 2017 (Source: Abayomi Azikiwe)

Later the Jubilee party leader and president reminded Chief Justice Maraga that he was still the head-of-state in Kenya. Furthermore, Kenyatta warned his opponents within the Supreme Court that they would be monitored closely by the government.

Kenyatta asked during the press conference:

“Do you understand me? Maraga should know that he is now dealing with the serving president. We are keeping a close eye on them. But let us deal with the election first. We are not afraid.”

A summarized dissenting opinion from Justices Jackton Boma Ojwang and Njoki Susanna Ndungulaid out eight points of disagreement. Their arguments point to the failure to cite any specific instances of electoral practice which run contrary to the Kenyan constitution.

The minority summary emphasizes in point three that:

“Whereas the substance of the case founded on illegality and irregularity rests on the voting-results electronic transmission process, there is substantial information showing that, by law, the conduct of the election should have been mainly manual, and only partially electronic. Hardly any conclusive evidence has been adduced in this regard, which demonstrates such a manifestation of irregularity as to justify the invalidation of the election results.” (Standard article by Fredrick Obura, Sept. 1)

Moreover, the most revealing sections of the dissenting opinion are located in points five and six which notes:

“Much of the evidence which the majority opinion adopts is largely unascertained, apart from standing in contradiction to substantial, more credible evidence. In such a marginal state of merits in the case challenging the conduct of elections on 8th August, 2017, it is clear to me beyond peradventure, that there is not an iota of merit in invalidating the clear expression of the Kenyan people’s democratic will, which was recorded on 8th August, 2017.”

In other words it is unconscionable when four members of a high court can reverse the popular will of the millions of Kenyan voters who elected President Uhuru Kenyatta to a second term of office. The nullification of the presidential election is providing further political ammunition to the NASA coalition in their efforts to question the legitimacy of the Kenyan Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IBEC). Odinga is also calling for the resignation and prosecution of the IBEC Chair Wafula Chebukati and other officials for alleged crimes committed against the people.

Moreover, this Supreme Court ruling could open up legal challenges to other office holders whom secured their positions as a result of the August 8 elections within the parliamentary and county governmental structures. Therefore, the potential for widespread destabilization utilizing the electoral process remains an ominous threat.

An article published by the Daily Nation on September 1 warned:

“The judgment by the Supreme Court on the presidential results petition has put the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission at the mercy of candidates who lost in the elections. Legal experts on Friday (Sept. 1) argued that Chief Justice David Maraga’s judgment will set precedence for hundreds of similar petitions at the lower courts. Lawyer Gordon Ogolla said the candidates who contested various seats were waiting to hear what the court would decide before lodging their appeals. According to Mr. Ogolla, the judgment poked holes in almost all the stages of the electoral process, giving other candidates a reason to think they lost unfairly and thus head to the court and use those grounds to protest their loss.”

International Impact of the Supreme Court Ruling

The elections were subjected to a rigorous outside monitoring process involving the African Union (AU), the United Nations, Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Carter Center from the United States, European Union (EU), among others. These observer missions unanimously agreed that the election process was free and fair saying it represented a landmark in democratic practice for the continent.

Consequently, such a ruling by the Supreme Court has grave implications for Kenya’s relationship with the broader global community. Since the country has the largest economy in the East Africa region, this decision could impact its interactions with its neighbors as well as trading partners internationally.

After the announcement voiding the elections by the Supreme Court, volatility in the Kenyan stock market resulted in a temporary suspension of trading. Also the value of the national currency, the shilling, fell against the U.S. dollar.

Kenya has maintained an annual growth rate of five percent. The nation is largely dependent upon agricultural production, commodity export and tourism. In recent years with the discovery and exploitation of oil, prospects for exponential development are on the horizon.

According to CNN Money as it relates to the current situation:

“Observers are worried that the ruling could result in a repeat of 2007, when the country plunged into widespread violence following elections. John Ashbourne of Capital Economics estimated before the vote that a similar crisis would cut roughly three percentage points off quarterly economic growth.” (Sept. 1)

It is important to recount that in 2013, both the U.S. and Britain, the former colonial power, threatened retribution if Kenyans elected Kenyatta as president. The president and his Vice-President William Ruto were investigated by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible trial related to events stemming from political violence during the post-election period of late 2007 and 2008.

The cases against both Kenyatta and Ruto were dropped by the ICC for lack of evidence. The ICC has almost exclusively been preoccupied with events in Africa and has failed to investigate any of the war crimes and other atrocities committed by the western imperialist countries particularly the U.S. and Britain.

During the May 2013 fiftieth anniversary summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor to the AU, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU held extensive discussions on whether to withdraw as a continental group from the Rome Statute, the ostensible legal document which underpins the validity of the ICC.

Efforts by three African states to reject the Rome Statute have been thwarted. In Gambia, a state which withdrew from its jurisdiction had its government overthrown in early in 2017.

The Republic of South Africa, whose President Jacob Zuma, announced its intentions to withdraw from the oversight of the ICC, was subjected to a Constitutional Court ruling which said that it could not implement such a policy decision absent of the passage of legislation by parliament. South African opposition forces have utilized the courts to obstruct the capacity of the African National Congress (ANC) government to enact measures which adhere to the protocols of the AU and other policy imperatives related any semblance of genuine sovereignty and national independence.

Burundi, which made a similar declaration regarding the ICC, has been largely isolated by former colonial powers and neo-colonial governments due to a domestic constitutional court ruling granting the ability of President Pierre Nkurunziza to serve for a third term. During the Pentagon-NATO war of regime-change against the North African state of Libya in 2011, the ICC began an investigation into the now deceased former leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi and other high-ranking officials within the previous government.

These events in Kenya must be viewed within the broader context of the current post-colonial political conjuncture on the African continent. Despite the existence of liberation struggles throughout the region since the post-World War II period, the imperialist states led by the U.S. remain committed to the political and economic domination of the AU member-states.

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Mossad agent who infiltrated Daesh arrested in Libya

NOVANEWS

Image of Ephraim Benjamin, a Mossad agent [masralarabia]

Libyan security forces have arrested a Mossad agent who held a leading position in Daesh in the north-eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, the Israeli website Inian Merkazi reported.

The Hebrew website whose name translates to “Central Issues”, added that Ephraim Benjamin is a Jewish spy and that he mingled with Libyans following the 2011 revolution that resulted in the ouster of Leader Moammer Ghaddafi.

Masr Alarabia website described him as one of Mossad’s “Arabists” who are characterised by Arab features and who speak Arabic fluently in local dialects.

Nazi Mossad Arabists are known for infiltrating Palestinian protests and arresting demonstrators, as well as assassinating anti-occupation Palestinian activists, according to Masr Alarabia.

Nazi spy Benjamin had reportedly become a prominent imam of a large mosque in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, then he became a Daesh leader who commanded 200 fighters from the militant group.

Read: Hundreds of Daesh corpses await repatriation from Libya

The spy, who was known in Libya as Abu Hafs, was arrested two months ago and accused by the Libyan authorities of gathering intelligence information on Daesh for Mossad.

The Zionist website cited the incident as evidence used by Arab media to justify the common conspiratorial argument propagated in some Arab circles about the Jewish Nazi regime being behind the rise of Daesh in the region.

Libyan media outlets describe Benjamin as the “Mossad sheikh” who was arrested by local authorities.

Daesh began to operate in Libya in 2015. Many believe that the video posted by the group on 12 February of the same year from the city of Sirte, featuring the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, as the official announcement of the militant group’s emergence in the north African country even if militant operations were believed to have been committed by Daesh prior to that date.

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Trudeau’s pal in Rwanda a ruthless dictator

NOVANEWS
By Yves Engler 

Why is the Trudeau government supporting Africa’s most ruthless dictator?

After amending the constitution to be able to run indefinitely Paul Kagame recently won 98.63 per cent of votes in Rwanda’s presidential election. In response, Canada’s High Commissioner Sara Hradecky tweeted “Congratulations to Rwandans for voting in peaceful presidential election” and “Canada congratulates Paul Kagame on his inauguration today as President of Rwanda.” The latter tweet was picked up by the state propaganda organ New Times in a story titledHeads of State, diplomats laud Kagame’s ‘visionary leadership’.”

If garnering 99 per cent of the vote wasn’t a clue that Kagame is a dictator, the High Commissioner could’ve taken a look at Canada’s ‘paper of record,’ whose Africa bureau chief has shined a critical light on Rwanda in recent years. At the start of 2016 The Globe and Mail reported on two new books describing the totalitarian nature of the regime.

“Village informers,” wrote South Africa-based Geoffrey York.Re-education camps. Networks of spies on the streets. Routine surveillance of the entire population. The crushing of the independent media and all political opposition. A ruler who changes the constitution to extend his power after ruling for two decades. It sounds like North Korea, or the totalitarian days of China under Mao. But this is the African nation of Rwanda — a long-time favourite of Western governments and a major beneficiary of millions of dollars in Canadian government support.”

In 2014 York wrote an investigation headlined “Inside the plots to kill Rwanda’s dissidents,” which provided compelling evidence that the regime had extended its assassination program outside of east Africa, killing (or attempting to) a number of its former top officials who were living in South Africa. Since the initial investigation York has also reported on Rwandan dissidents who’ve had to flee Belgium for their safety while the Toronto Star revealed five individuals in Canada fearful of the regime’s killers.

On top of international assassinations and domestic repression, Kagame has unleashed mayhem in the Congo. In 1996 Rwandan forces marched 1,500 km to topple the regime in Kinshasa and then re-invaded after the Congolese government it installed expelled Rwandan troops. This led to an eight-country war between 1998 and 2003, which left millions dead. Rwandan proxies have repeatedly re-invaded the mineral rich eastern Congo. In 2012 The Globe and Mail described how “Rwandan sponsored” M23 rebels hold power by terror and violence” there.

The Rwandan government’s domestic repression and violence in the Congo is well documented. Yet I couldn’t find a single tweet or comment by Hradecky critical of Kagame since she became High Commissioner in January. Yet she found time to retweet Kagame’s International Women’s Day message that “Realizing women’s full aspirations is inextricably linked to achieving whole nation’s potential.”

Re-tweeting a tyrant’s message or applauding spurious elections are clear forms of support for the “butcher of Africa’s Great Lakes.” But, Hradecky has offered less obvious backing to the regime.

On July 4 Hradecky tweeted “From the Canadian High Commission, we wish Rwandans a Happy Liberation Day!,” which was picked up by the New Times in a story titled “Messages of solidarity as Rwanda marks Liberation Day.”

The Ugandan-sponsored Rwandan Patriotic Front officially captured Kigali on July 4, 1994. Trained at a US military base in Kansas, Kagame’s forces apparently waited to take the capital so their Liberation Day could coincide with their US backers’ Independence Day, a public relations move that continues to pay dividends as demonstrated by a July NPR story titled In Rwanda, July 4 Isn’t Independence Day — It’s Liberation Day.”

Four years after 3,000 Ugandan troops “deserted” to invade their smaller neighbour the force of mostly exiled Tutsi took Kigali. Today, Rwanda continues to be ruled by largely English-speaking individuals who often are descended from those who had authority in a monarchy overthrown during the 1959–61 struggle against Belgian rule. The Guardian recently pointed to “the Tutsi elite who dominate politics and business” and the Economist detailed “The Rwandan Patriotic Front’s business empire” in the country.

Underpinning the “liberation” story is a highly simplistic, if not counterfactual, account of the 1994 genocide. Widely hailed as the person who ended the killings, Kagame is probably the individual most responsible for the mass slaughter. His RPF invaded Rwanda from Uganda, engaged in a great deal of killing and blew up the presidential plane, an event that unleashed the genocidal violence.

As Hradecky should know, last year the Globe and Mail described two secret reports documenting Kagame’sdirect involvement in the 1994 missile attack that killed former president Juvénal Habyarimana, leading to the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people died.”

Echoing Kigali’s narrative, Hradecky published a half dozen tweets (or retweets) in April commemorating the Genocide. “Canada stands with Rwanda to commemorate the victims of Genocide,” read one. Hradecky also retweeted a Government of Rwanda statement: “Today marks the beginning of the 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.”

Promoting simplistic commentary on the subject effectively strengthens a regime that derives much of its legitimacy from purportedly stopping the genocide.

From commemorating Liberation Day to applauding questionable elections, Canada’s High Commissioner has provided various forms of ideological support to Africa’s most ruthless dictator. That should embarrass everyone who wants this country to be a force for good in the world.

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An Off-the-Record Genocide: Global Resource Extraction Economy Destroys DR Congo Indigenous Groups

NOVANEWS
 

On April 27, 2017, a hapless cow wandered off-course during a seasonal cattle drive in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and ended up over the campfire of some Indigenous hunters. The traditional lands of these groups (Batwa and related groups) are routinely trampled by cattle, cut for old-growth timber, or grabbed for mineral resources including diamonds and coltan — generally illegally. As their wild game diminishes from these impacts, the Batwa have come to view cattle as fair game. 

The cattle herders followed their cow’s tracks, and upon learning her fate, agreed to share the meat with the Batwa. But when they returned to their village, a local self-appointed “defense militia” was infuriated, returning to kill and mutilate eight of the Batwa.

The global economy’s demand for hard-to-obtain minerals and tropical timber, coupled with a long history of contempt and exploitation by neighboring tribes, have made these Batwa hunter-gatherers easy targets for land grabs and violence. Specifically targeted during a massive regional conflict to gain control over resources, in the early 2000s, an estimated 70,000 Batwa were tortured, killed and even cannibalized in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to American University’s Inventory of Conflict and Environment Case Studies.

There is only one word for the attempted eradication of an entire group of people through the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children, whatever the reason. That word is genocide.

The conflict is now heating up again, this time in southeastern DRC. Since September 2016, volunteer investigators on the ground have been gathering names and numbers of Indigenous community members killed, injured, raped and displaced. These numbers, no doubt gross underestimates, show that well over 1,200 Batwa have been killed in the past 12 months — primarily in skirmishes with non-Indigenous neighboring communities intent on expanding their access to land and resources.

In one recent case, on July 4, 2017, a national online news source in DRC said that daylong clashes between Batwa and other ethnic groups were triggered after the Batwa killed two adversaries near the provincial capital of Kalemie. No casualty list was provided in the news article, but according to our sources, 189 Batwa people were killed that day, including men, women and children.

In the worst attack we have documented so far, on the night of January 13-14, 2017, there was a nighttime attack against the Batwa near a town called Moba. Six hundred Batwa people were slaughtered outright; at least 1,600 women and girls were brutally raped, and were being cared for using traditional medicines because there are no health centers. No pain-killers; no antibiotics; no urgently-needed surgeries; no forensic evidence; no psychological counseling. More than 40 of those women and girls had already died or were on the verge of death several days after the attack.

A desperately inadequate RFI news report on the event, translated from French, says,

“On 13 January, clashes took place … 25 kilometers from the city of Moba. Four villages were partially or totally burned down and the population fled to Moba. In total, 24 people — four Bantus and twenty [Batwa] — lost their lives in one week.”

Is this destined to be an off-the-record genocide?

Knowledgeable sources on the ground say that neighboring tribes are intent on exterminating (yes, a dehumanizing term) the Indigenous people, and that the DRC government is determined to prevent word of this massacre from becoming known internationally. This is to be expected: President Joseph Kabila, who refuses to hold elections as required by DRC’s constitution, prefers to get rid of anything that stands in the way of enriching elites in his kleptocracy. Indigenous people’s traditional land rights are an impediment to uncontrolled resource extraction.

Less expected is the lack of forthright information by the UN’s peacekeeping force in DRC. The UN’s radio station in DRC routinely downplays these incidents, and fails to distinguish between deaths of Indigenous peoples and others. A July 11, 2017, article in IRIN, which reports on crises for the UN, left the dangerous misimpression that conflict and large-scale internal displacements of people in this region are instigated primarily by Indigenous Batwa militias. Without providing any objective breakdown of casualty statistics or detailed descriptions of incidents, the article presents, unchallenged, the anti-Batwa statements of individuals, primarily from the very tribal groups who are engaged in driving the Batwa off their lands.

This opacity is a major contributing factor to the ongoing crisis, providing cover for those looking to profit from the chaos. Local news sources fail to provide acceptable coverage, and international media are (rightly) afraid to send reporters in. The DRC government’s information cannot be trusted. UN investigators have been killed. Local journalists have been killed. Human rights advocates have been killed or barred from entering the country. International NGOs have sounded the alarm about conflicts and conflict minerals in the region, but only one organization has paid close attention to the genocide against the Indigenous Batwa. And on July 19, 2017, the UN announced plans to shut down five of its monitoring and peacekeeping bases in DRC, courtesy of the Trump administration’s refusal to meet US funding commitments.

There is, however, a way to obtain accurate and timely information on the situation: from the locals. My organization works with a network of local groups and individuals who are already on the ground and can tap into sources of information from the various ethnic communities and factions. Their cross-verified Field Reports provide one of the only current sources of insight into the devastation faced by the Batwa in eastern DRC.

With awareness comes the possibility of transformation. On January 16, 2017, just two days after the Moba massacre, delegates from organizations across the region convened along the shores of Lake Kivu to form a multi-ethnic coalition to defend the survival and rights of the Batwa people. With strong Batwa leadership, they developed a plan of action to monitor human rights violations and violent conflict, undertake legal interventions, launch a region-wide public awareness campaign on behalf of Indigenous rights, and implement genuine conflict resolution mechanisms (unlike the feeble government efforts led by Emmanuel Shadary, an internationally sanctioned human rights violator, which have failed to bring necessary issues and actors to the table).

We have a choice: we can either look away in horror, or we can take action to help stop the killing. If Congolese people of all ethnic backgrounds can join together to defend Indigenous rights, despite the horrendous civil and regional conflict of the past two decades, the least we in the international community can do is to back them up where we have influence. We need to educate ourselves and others, then support civil society efforts on the ground, demand that African Union and United Nations peacekeepers do their jobs, and block multinational resource extractive companies from providing financial incentives for genocide.

My colleagues in DRC end many of their communications with the exhortation, “Courage!” Let’s follow their lead.

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Still Spinning On Libya

NOVANEWS
By James W. Carden 

In recent weeks, the Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan has published a series of remarkable dispatches from war-torn Libya, which is still reeling from the aftermath of NATO’s March 2011 intervention and the subsequent overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

On July 2, Raghavan reported on what amounts to Libya’s modern-day slave trade. According to his report, Libya is “now home to a thriving trade in humans. Unable to pay exorbitant smuggling fees or swindled by traffickers, some of the world’s most desperate people are being held as slaves, tortured or forced into prostitution.”

The numbers help tell the tale. “The number of migrants departing from Libya is surging,” writes Raghavan, “with more than 70,000 arriving in Italy so far this year, a 28 percent increase over the same period last year.”

On August 1, Raghavan returned to the pages of the Post with a disturbing portrait of life in Tripoli, reporting that: “Six years after the revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, the mood in this volatile capital is a meld of hopelessness and gloom. Diplomatic and military efforts by the United States and its allies have failed to stabilize the nation; the denouement of the crisis remains far from clear. Most Libyans sense that the worst is yet to come.”

Raghavan notes that “Under Gaddafi, the oil-producing country was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations.” Under his rule, “Libyans enjoyed free health care, education and other benefits under the eccentric strongman’s brand of socialism.” It would be difficult not to see, Raghavan writes, “the insecurity that followed Gaddafi’s death has ripped apart the North African country.”

Taken together, Raghavan’s reports should come as a rude shock to stalwart supporters of NATO’s intervention in Libya. Yet the embarrassing fervor with which many embraced the intervention remains largely undiminished – with, as we will see, one notable exception.

An Upside-Down Meritocracy

Anne Marie Slaughter, who served as policy planning chief at the State Department under Hillary Clinton, emailed her former boss after the start of the NATO operation, to say: “I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have never been prouder of having worked for you.”

Five months after the start of NATO operation against Gaddafi, Slaughter went public with her approval in an op-ed for the Financial Times titled “Why Libya Skeptics Were Proved Badly Wrong.” Proving, if nothing else, that the foreign policy establishment is a reverse meritocracy, Slaughter holds an endowed chair at Princeton and is also the well-compensated president of the influential Washington think tank New America.

President Obama’s decision to intervene received wide bipartisan support in the Congress and from media figures across the political spectrum, including Bill O’Reilly and Cenk Uyghur.

Yet the casus belli used to justify the intervention, as a U.K. parliamentary report made clear last September, was based on a lie: that the people of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi were in imminent danger of being slaughtered by Gaddafi’s forces.

The report, issued by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, states that “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

The report also noted that while “Many Western policymakers genuinely believed that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered his troops to massacre civilians in Benghazi … this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as ‘an intelligence-light decision.’”

Even as it became clear that the revolution had proved to be a disaster for the country, the arbiters of acceptable opinion in Washington continued to insist that NATO’s intervention was not only a success, but the right thing to do. It is a myth that has gained wide purchase among D.C.’s foreign policy cognoscenti, despite the judgment of former President Barack Obama, who famously described the intervention as “a shit show.”

Still Spinning

A full year after the commencement of NATO’s campaign against Gaddafi, former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder and NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stravidis took to the pages of that reliable bellwether of establishment opinion, Foreign Affairs, to declare that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.”

According to Daalder and Stravidis, “the alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime.”

In 2016, a Clinton campaign press release justifying the ill-starred intervention, claimed “Qadhafi and his regime made perfectly clear what their plans were for dealing with those who stood up against his reign, using disgusting language in urging his backers to cleanse the country of these rebels. This was a humanitarian crisis.”

Astonishingly, the campaign “Factsheet” goes on to assert that, “there was no doubt that further atrocities were on the way, as Qadhafi’s forces storming towards the county’s second biggest city.” Yet there is, as both the U.K. parliamentary report and a Harvard study by Alan J. Kuperman found, no evidence for this whatsoever.

“Qaddafi did not perpetrate a ‘bloodbath’ in any of the cities that his forces recaptured from rebels prior to NATO intervention — including Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and much of Misurata — so there was,” writes Kuperman, “virtually no risk of such an outcome if he had been permitted to recapture the last rebel stronghold of Benghazi.”

Nevertheless, the myth persists. Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid, the author of Islamic Exceptionalismcontinues to insist, against all evidence, that the intervention was a success.

“The Libya intervention was successful,” says Hamid, “The country is better off today than it would have been had the international community allowed dictator Muammar Qaddafi to continue his rampage across the country.”

In this, Hamid is hardly alone. Left-activists in thrall to a Trotskyite vision of permanent revolution also continue to make the case that NATO’s intervention was a net positive for the country.

In a recent interview with In These Times, Leila Al-Shami claimed that “If Gaddafi had not fallen, Libya now would look very much like Syria. In reality, the situation in Libya is a million times better. Syrian refugees are fleeing to Libya. Far fewer people have been killed in Libya since Gaddafi’s falling than in Syria. Gaddafi being ousted was a success for the Libyan people.”

 

 Full article

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Still Spinning On Libya

Police Reject Diplomatic Immunity for Robert Mugabe’s Wife Over Model ‘Assault’

NOVANEWS

Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe addresses party supporters at an event on the outskirts of Harare, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.

© AP Photo/ Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace has gone to ground after being arrested for allegedly beating up a model who was cavorting with her sons in a hotel room in South Africa. The incident could prove to be a hugely embarrassing diplomatic incident for South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.

President Zuma narrowly survived a vote of no confidence earlier in August, and the incident with the wife of President Mugabe — who is a close ally — is the last thing he needs.

​Gabriella Engels, 20, showed off pictures of her injuries on social media after the incident at a swanky hotel in the Sandton suburb of Johannesburg at the weekend.

She had a gaping cut in her forehead which she claimed to have suffered when she was hit by a plug on an extension lead brandished by Mrs. Mugabe.

Although he is 93, Mr. Mugabe retains a vice-like grip on Zimbabwe and last year he was confirmed as the ruling ZANU party’s candidate for next year’s presidential election.

Mrs. Mugabe, who is 41 years younger than her husband, used diplomatic immunity in a bid to escape prosecution for the incident. ​She reportedly became angry when she found Miss Engels in a room at the hotel with her sons Robert Mugabe junior, 25, and Chatunga Mugabe, 21.

Miss Engels, who is South African, claimed Mrs. Mugabe’s bodyguards did nothing to stop the attack.

“What is a girl compared to a women beating you and 10+ body guards standing back leaving her to do this s***,” she wrote on social media.

“She split my head open in 3 places with an extension cord and used the plug to hit me,” claimed Miss Engels, who pointed out that as a model her looks is her livelihood.

https://twitter.com/aliiwostreet9/status/897184216705847302/photo/1

Miss Engels contacted the police on August 14, about the incident. On Wednesday, August 16, the South African Ministry of Police published a statement in which they said “the suspect” made arrangements to be interviewed at a police station at 10am on Tuesday, August 15.

“The time scheduled was changed several times. By end of business yesterday she had failed to present herself as arranged,” said the statement, which added that Zimbabwean government representatives did come to the police station.

“The suspect’s lawyers and government representatives made verbal presentations to SAPS (South African Police Service) investigators that the suspect wished to invoke diplomatic immunity cover,” said the police.

The police said the Zimbabwean government had then formally submitted a document invoking diplomatic immunity on behalf of the president’s wife.

“The suspect remains in South Africa and has not departed the republic. We are advised her itinerary includes amongst private matters her attendance and participation at the scheduled SADC heads of state/governments summit and bi-lateral diplomatic meetings already underway in Pretoria,” they added.

But the statement went on to say that arrangements are taking place with the Zimbabwean High Commission to make sure she is “processed through the legal system,” which suggests her diplomatic immunity has not been accepted by the police.

The Police Minister, Mbalula Fikile, has come under intense pressure on social media in South Africa to prosecute Mrs. Mugabe, but his boss, President Zuma, may not want to disrupt the good relations he has with the Zimbabwean leader.

Mr. Mugabe’s sons were previously living in Dubai, but moved to South Africa earlier this year after their parents reportedly became concerns about their partying habits.

Related:

Impoverished Zimbabwe Name $1.3Bln University After 93-Year-Old Robert Mugabe
UK ‘Ignored’ Zimbabwe Massacre to Further Own Interests, New Documents Claim
President Mugabe Confirmed as Ruling Party Candidate in Zimbabwe’s 2018 Election
South African Opposition Says Zuma No-Confidence Vote Means ANC Party ‘Death’

Posted in AfricaComments Off on Police Reject Diplomatic Immunity for Robert Mugabe’s Wife Over Model ‘Assault’

Nazi regime to occupy Africa

NOVANEWS

Nazi Prime Minister Naziyahu greets people during his arrival at James Spriggs Payne Airport in Monrovia, Liberia on 4 June 2017
By Helmi Al-Asmar | Al-Araby Al-Jadeed*

With the exception of the popular efforts made by the Conference for Palestinians Abroad to hinder the rabid Israeli efforts to hold a major conference next October entitled the Israeli-African Summit in Togo, we have barely seen any official or popular Arab efforts in this direction. This is despite the great danger posed by convening such a summit, which Israel has been laying the foundations for for several years, in light of the almost complete absence of the Arabs, which is an unprecedented development in Israel’s tireless efforts to bypass the wide wall of isolation and moral rejection it faces in Africa. It aims to present itself as a trusted partner for the continent’s nations.

The Conference for Palestinians Abroad viewed this summit, rightly so, as an insult to the struggles of the African nations and a disregard for their generations’ fair fight for liberation from colonisation and racism. It is also an attempt on the occupation government’s part to portray itself as a trusted partner for the African countries in order to fabricate its reality. It is not coming to Africa in order to spread love and unity, but instead aims to make Africa a market for the lethal products it produces and a place to export its mercenaries to help the dictators of the continent.

This is despite the fact that the African nations’ true interests and their efforts towards sustainable development, prosperity and growth do not align with the colonial racist occupation government in Palestine, given its record of hostility and terrorism. This is documented by several international and independent reports, including the ESCWA report regarding the escalations of the Israeli apartheid policies issued this year.

In addition to this, Israel, which commits war crimes, mass killings, flagrant violations and intimidation methods, as well as confiscates the Palestinian people’s land and resources and sponsors illegal extremist settler gangs, does not have the right to be a partner to developing nations seeking advancement, prosperity and the combat of terrorism.

The efforts of the Conference for Palestinians Abroad are focused on mobilising governments, official and popular institutions, parties, civil society organisations, public figures, community leaders and the media across Africa and the entire world, in order to rally the efforts against the Israeli government’s actions. These actions are an attempt on Israel’s part to promote itself in the continent in a misleading manner, ignoring the principles of justice, the peoples’ rights and international laws and conventions. The conference summoned its efforts and began taking action, contacting concerned parties, especially the influential forces in the African nations in order to confront Israel’s attempts of exploitation and deception.

These are commendable efforts but of course they are not enough to stop this hateful and racist emergence in Africa. Putting an end to the conference is the duty of all African countries, organisations, committees, and people specifically, and generally the duty of the Arab and Muslim countries. This is because Israel’s presence in the continent will not be in the best interest of the African people, but rather in Israel’s interest as it exports death, mercenaries and tyranny to all the countries of the world. It also supports the totalitarian regimes that commit the ugliest forms of aggression, looting and pillage. Therefore, resisting this conference and sabotaging it by all means available is the duty of all nations on Earth.

It is worth mentioning in this regard that the only Arab action against the convention of this summit was by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, during his visit to Khartoum in July 2016. In his meeting with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, Abbas raised the issue of developing the Arab strategy in the African continent and cooperating in order to stop Israel’s attempts to achieve a breakthrough in Africa.

We do not expect Sudan or the PA to do anything now, as it is too late and their political/diplomatic capabilities are limited. Moreover, their problems and misfortunes are too many to count, according to the former Egyptian Ambassador to Angola, Sao Tome and Niger, Belal Al-Masry, who, in an important article published on the Democratic Arab Centre website, listed five reasons why the Israeli summit in Africa is dangerous. These points should be considered and reflected upon, the most important of which is the fact that the conference’s purpose is to restore and develop the African voting bloc in order to use it to support Israel’s international status.

Israel views the countries of the African continent as a voting bloc consisting of at least 50 votes. This was confirmed by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seven African leaders with whom he met in Rwanda in July 2016. He also reiterated this in his speech to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Monrovia in June 2017. Hence, his statement regarding Israel having a bright future in the UN during his speech before the UN General Assembly at its regular session in September 2016, wasn’t too far from the truth. He also stated that his main diplomatic goal was to stop the African states from automatically voting against Israel at the UN and that the day he would achieve this isn’t too far. Therefore, holding the Israeli summit in Africa will mark the end of the Egyptian and Arab role, in general, in Africa and Israel will join the international forces competing for influence in the African continent. These countries include China, the United States, France, India, Russia, Iran and recently, Turkey.

It is not an overstatement to say that the Israeli conference in Togo will pave the way for Israel to reoccupy Africa, or at least a large part of it, politically, economically and militarily. This will further strengthen Israel’s international and regional standing and increase the suffering of the Palestinian people, who are paying the price for the fragmentation of the Arab system and their preoccupation with resisting the effects of the Arab Spring revolutions.

Posted in Africa, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazi regime to occupy Africa

‘Africans will be biggest losers after letting foreign military into their continent’

NOVANEWS

Africa has become a staging ground where foreign countries can show off their military capabilities against one another away from their country of origin at the expense of Africans, says African affairs expert Ayo Johnson.

Turkey is gearing to open its largest overseas military base in Somalia.

The United Arab Emirates are building a military base at the port of Berbera, in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland.

Africa is an attraction to foreign militaries: China opened its first overseas military base on August,1 in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. Djibouti is also currently housing Americans, Japanese and French troops.

RT discussed why Africa has become so popular with the foreign military with Africa affairs expert Ayo Johnson who believes the world powers are turning the continent into the latest theater of military confrontation.

“Back in colonial days, we saw Africa being cut up and carved up by the Western nations. Now we are seeing Africa again being the center ground for the new verge of a proxy war because all these different countries which are founding military bases on the African continent. It is a huge worry,” Ayo Johnson told RT.

In Johnson’s opinion, “it is showing that Africans can’t protect themselves and it is also showing that Africans can’t control their own affairs and ultimately it is finders keepers.”

“We have China who already has a military base of its own, the excuse is that it ultimately wants to protect its own investment which we know it has on the African continent. Also, it says it wants to prevent piracy and to be able to launch against such events,” Johnson said.

“The Americans have similar bases, not to mention the Europeans. So, on the ground itself, ultimately the African continent is becoming the staging ground for the next possibly violent confrontation between the superpowers of the world in their so-called proxy battles,” he continued.

According to Johnson, such interest in the continent might be explained by its strategic location.

“The Horn of Africa is the gateway for many shipping lanes, the protection of that area because of long term standing piracy issues. But others would say it is about land grab, control; it is about influence.”

“The Americans, the British and other Europeans, not to mention the Chinese most recently, all seem to have a huge stake and might show their muscles and their military capabilities against one another. Africa has now become a staging ground from which they can exploit those opportunities away from their own individual countries, a place where they can prowess their military might at the expense of Africans,” Johnson noted.

Despite the increased foreign military presence, the problem of piracy in the region remains unsettled.

“One thing for sure is that piracy still exists and it will continue and is unlikely to stop or to be slowed down.”

“Again in terms of terrorism, Al-Qaeda and ISIS still have strongholds and control, influence in that part of the world and the military bases that are physically positioned there. If they are there to prevent such attacks, I think in the short term or more long term it could create antagonism, create a problem for locals who may want to join those organizations to attack the military powers that are there. So the protection of Africa becomes the reverse, becomes an area where everyone wants to show each other what they are capable of doing and that is the worry, be it terrorist or be it an American, European or even most recently the Turks are also considering having bases there,” he told RT.

Johnson claimed “that comes at the expense of every single African nation – ultimately the biggest losers will be every single individual on the African continent.”

Posted in AfricaComments Off on ‘Africans will be biggest losers after letting foreign military into their continent’

Kenya deports 1 American and 1 Canadian for election meddling

NOVANEWS
By Ricky Twisdale 

Kenya has decided it doesn’t need western assistance to ensure it has “free and fair” elections.

The African country is holding a national vote for president, deputy president, and parliament on 8 August.

But the election will have to go forward without the help of two foreign advisors.

John Phillips, a US citizen and chief executive of political consultancy Aristotle, and Canadian citizen Andreas Katsouris, a senior executive at the same firm, were arrested on Friday and deported from Kenya on Saturday, according to Reuters.

The two men were providing political consulting services to opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his National Super Alliance party. Polls show Odinga and incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta neck-in-neck in the race for the Kenya State House.

Kenya’s last two presidential elections were marred by violence and charges from the losing side of vote rigging. Unrest following the 2007 vote left hundreds dead.

Here’s more from the Reuters report regarding the arrests of Phillips and Katsouris:

“They handcuffed me and put me in the hatchback of a car,” Phillips said by phone from Frankfurt.

Katsouris said they were manhandled after the police arrived.

“One man had a picture of me on his mobile phone,” he said, speaking by phone from Delft, the Netherlands. “Another guy grabbed me by the arm and grabbed my glasses from my face.”

After being bundled into separate cars they were driven around for several hours, while being questioned, and then taken to holding cells at the airport, they said…

Phillips said one of Aristotle’s jobs was to monitor the transparency of the election. The two had been in Kenya for around two months and were doing polling, data analysis and monitoring the election process…

Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said via a text message on Sunday that Phillips and Katsouris had “contradicted the terms of their visa”. When asked how, he replied “ask them”.

Whatever Kenya’s political problems, it appears Nairobi doesn’t believe US-Canadian meddling in their elections is the way to solve them.

Posted in AfricaComments Off on Kenya deports 1 American and 1 Canadian for election meddling

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