Monday, December 31, 2012

Central African Coup

"Rebels near Central African capital" by Lydia Polgreen and Josh Kron  |  New York Times Syndication, December 28, 2012

JOHANNESBURG — Rebels on Thursday inched closer to the capital of the Central African Republic, threatening to topple an elected government that has had an unsteady grip on power for nearly a decade.

Thousands of civilians fled cities and towns into dense forest as embassies and humanitarian aid organizations evacuated many of their staff members from the capital, Bangui.

The rebel group, an amalgamation of several factions fighting under the name ‘‘Seleka Coalition,’’ is trying to remove President Francois Bozize, a military officer who seized power in 2003 and has been elected president twice since.

The rebels accuse Bozize of failing to live up to the terms of peace agreements signed beginning in 2007 to quell several uprisings.

The rebels have trounced government forces in the country’s central and northern regions, taking numerous towns and chopping away at the distance between them and a potential overthrow in Bangui, the seat of one of Africa’s weakest governments.

Central African Republic is sandwiched between some of the most unstable nations on the continent: Chad and South Sudan sit to its north and east, and just south is the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What I remember most about them is they accepted Aristide of Haiti the second time he was exiled. 

Caught in the middle of this maelstrom are the country’s nearly 5 million civilians, who have been forced to flee their homes for the deep cover of the dense forest dozens of times over the past five decades.

“The population is extremely worried, because the rebel advance has moved quickly in a short matter of time, and the army is moving backwards,’’ said Sylvain Groulx, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Bangui.


"Peace plan for Central Africa offered" Associated Press, December 31, 2012

BANGUI, Central African Republic — The leader of the African Union, Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi, proposed a government of national unity on Sunday to resolve the rebel conflict in Central African Republic.

Boni Yayi, who arrived in the capital city of Bangui Sunday, met with President Francois Bozize and then made an appeal to the rebels.

‘‘I beg my rebellious brothers, I ask them to cease hostilities, to make peace with President Bozize and the Central African people,’’ said Boni Yayi. ‘‘If you stop fighting, you are helping to consolidate peace in Africa. African people do not deserve all this suffering. The African continent needs peace and not war.’’

Boni Yayi said that Bozize had pledged to have an open dialogue with the rebels with the goal of establishing a government of national unity, which would include representation from the rebels and the Bozize government.

Bozize also addressed the conference and said, although he plans to stay in power until his term ends in 2016, he is not against having the rebels enter a coalition government with him.

‘‘We’ll probably be able to set up a national unity government. I apologize to the suffering Central African people,’’ said Bozize.

The African Union’s leader arrived amid fears there would be a fight over Bangui, a city of 600,000.

According to several families in Bangui, members of the presidential guard have kidnapped people suspected of supporting the rebels, who have seized 10 cities in the country’s north over the past three weeks.

“We warn the head of state and his family to stop abducting our parents,’’ said a rebel spokesman, Colonel Juma Narkoyo.


Crisis in the Congo

Related(?): Around Africa: Calling the Congo

"Congo leader says Rwanda aids revolt" Associated Press, July 30, 2012

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo — Congo’s president accused Rwanda of backing a new rebellion in Congo’s east and called their support an open secret.

President Joseph Kabila told journalists late Saturday that the government will investigate accusations that Uganda may also be backing the M23 rebellion in the east, though the country said it was not involved.

The uprising has brought the worst violence in years to the already volatile Congo. It has forced more than 260,000 people from their homes in the past three months, and it is draining the resources of an already overstretched $1.5 billion-a-year UN peacekeeping mission in Congo....

A report by UN experts last month accused Rwanda of helping create, arm, and support the M23 rebel movement in violation of UN sanctions. Rwanda denies the charges.

Rwanda has come under increasing pressure, however, to halt the alleged support with the Netherlands, United States, and Germany suspending some aid and Britain delaying a payment for budgetary support.

While the amounts involved are small, the actions are considered a major rebuke of Rwanda, a darling of Western donors dependent on aid for nearly half its budget.

Congo’s president admitted the army has lost some territories to the rebels, but said they will recover other localities and the major objective is to restore lasting peace in the east.

‘‘There are several possible solutions to end the crisis, political, diplomatic or military,’’ he said.


RelatedPraise, protests in Boston greet Rwandan president

"Rwandan opposition leader sentenced to 8 years" Associated Press, October 31, 2012


KIGALI, Rwanda — Genocide denial....

Related: Rhode Island Will Always Remember

She asked why Hutus killed in the violence were not recognized like the minority Tutsis were....

See: Eisenhower's Holocaust

More than 500,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. In the wake of that violence, the government set out to deemphasize ethnicity. Many in the country now identify themselves simply as a Rwandan, not a Hutu or Tutsi....


"Oxfam says hundreds being killed in east Congo" by Michelle Faul and Rodney Muhumuza  |  Associated Press, August 08, 2012

GOMA, Congo — With Congo’s army diverted to fighting a new rebel group in eastern Congo, new militia groups have arisen and older ones are reasserting themselves, killing hundreds of defenseless civilians, the British charity Oxfam said Tuesday.

Underscoring the severity of the situation, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos arrived in Goma on Tuesday and is to visit some of the 280,000 people who have fled their homes since mutinying soldiers  launched the M23 rebellion in April. But security is so poor that Amos was forced to cancel planned trips to the mining town of Walikale and the seat of the rebellion in Rutshuru, 50 miles north of Goma.


As the 150,000-strong Congolese army and 20,000 UN peacekeepers have redeployed against M23 rebels in North Kivu province, fighting has spread to villages and towns, with the combatants often aiming to gain control of mines.

“We support the efforts of the [Democratic Republic of Congo] and we urge all the states in the region,  including Rwanda, to work together to cut off support for the rebels in the M23, to disarm them, and to bring their leaders to justice,” US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said.

Responding to the escalating crisis in the mineral-rich area, regional leaders met in Uganda on Tuesday, where they may seek a change in the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission. The option is one of three under consideration as presidents forming the 11-nation International Conference on the Great Lakes Region pursue a solution to the crisis.

Other options include incorporating a neutral force drawn from around Africa into the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, an idea that appears to be favored by the Congolese, or establishing a force from regional armies, a more desirable situation for Uganda and Rwanda, according to officials monitoring deliberations.


"Gunmen attack physician who aids Congo rape victims" by Saleh Mwanamilongo  |  Associated Press, October 27, 2012

KINSHASA, Congo — Gunmen killed a guard and fired at a renowned Congolese doctor who has helped thousands of women after violent rapes.

Four armed assailants killed a security guard and shot at Dr. Denis Mukwege at his home in Bukavu Thursday night and stole the medic’s car, the South Kivu Province Governor Marcellin Cishambo said Friday.

The intruders held Mukwege’s family at gunpoint and waited for the doctor to return home from work, according to Physicians for Human Rights. When Mukwege arrived they forced him out of his car and shot dead the security guard who tried to intervene. Shots were fired at Mukwege but he succeeded in ducking from them. The gunmen drove off in the doctor’s car, but quickly abandoned it.

Security has been increased at the doctor’s home, the governor said.

Mukwege is a gynecologist devoted to the cause of women victims of rape in Congo.

He founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. Mukwege, 57, and his team have treated more than 30,000 victims of violent rapes during the last 10 years. Many of the women and girls were gang-raped and needed surgery for their injuries.

The attack on Mukwege’s home highlights the increasingly volatile and violent situation in eastern Congo.


Related: Globe Gives You Congo 

You might need a rape kit.

"Forty-four people were killed in fighting between the Congolese Army and M23 rebels Thursday, ending a two-month cease-fire, said Congolese officials. Each side blamed the other for starting the fighting."

"Rebels believed to be backed by Rwanda fired mortars and machine guns Monday on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Goma, threatening to capture one of the largest cities in eastern Congo in a development that could drag this Central African nation back into war."

"Ignoring UN peacekeepers, rebels seize key Congolese city" by Sudarsan Raghavan  |  Washington Post, November 21, 2012

NAIROBI — Rebel forces in Congo seized control Tuesday of Goma, a strategic provincial capital in the nation’s resource-rich east, despite the presence of UN peacekeepers in the area.

RelatedThe Quietest Holocaust You Never Heard Of

Despite the presence?

The takeover sent tens of thousands fleeing and triggered fears of a regional conflict, according to officials and witnesses....

By Tuesday afternoon, the M23 rebels, formed earlier this year, had taken control of many of Goma’s streets and the international airport, according to news reports.

This nook of Africa has been in a state of perpetual instability for many years.

Related: Cutting Through the African Bush

That clear things up for you?

Congo has been besieged by conflict since the fall of its longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997.

Different groups of rebels and the armies of several nations have fought over the eastern part of the country and its resources, including vast deposits of tin, gold, and tantalite, a mineral used in cellphones and laptops.

The fighting has left millions dead, mostly from disease and starvation.

The International Crisis Group, a respected think tank, said in a statement Tuesday, ‘‘The past week has shown history repeating itself in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, with the same tragic consequences for civilians in the region.’’

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called the situation ‘‘ very dangerous, very worrying.’’

‘‘We condemn the ongoing violent assault of M23 and the fact that it’s now taken Goma in violation of the sovereignty of the DRC,’’ she said.

The M23 is mostly made up of soldiers from a previous rebel movement that threatened to seize control of Goma, a city of one million people, in 2008. The rebels and the government signed a peace deal on March 23, 2009, that called for the rebels to be integrated into the national army.

The M23 is named for that agreement.

But the pact fell apart in April, and as many as 700 soldiers, most former rebels, defected from the military and launched the M23 movement. This time they did not stop on the outskirts of Goma, as in 2008.

Are they trying to tell us 700 men beat the Congolese army and tens of thousands of U.N. troops?

The renegades are led by Bosco Ntaganda, wanted on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court at The Hague. The United Nations has accused him and other senior commanders of summary executions, rape, and the use of child soldiers.

Related: ICC Sentences Convicted Congolese Warlord

Also seeHague verdict frees Congolese rebel

UN officials have also accused neighboring Rwanda of backing the rebels, which Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, has denied.

A 44-page UN report by specialists monitoring an arms embargo in Congo found that Rwandan officials have played a leading role in the rebellion, including financing the insurgents and providing them with sophisticated military equipment.

For years, the United Nations has had thousands of peacekeepers in Congo, the largest such force in the world, yet they have failed to prevent successive rebel movements from gaining territory. This time around, the UN force, known by its acronym MONUSCO, did not have a mandate to fight the M23 rebels.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France declared that it was ‘‘absurd’’ that a few hundred rebels were able to seize Goma....

It sure seemed that way to me. 


"Rwanda leads rebels, UN report says; Report alleges military provides troops, weapons" by Alexandra Olson and Peter Spielmann  |  Associated Press, November 22, 2012

UNITED NATIONS — The Rwandan military is commanding and supporting the rebel force that overtook a ­major city in eastern Congo this week, a United Nations report released Wednesday said.

Uganda is also providing more subtle but nonetheless decisive backing to the M23 rebels, the report said.

The report’s release, just one day after the violent takeover of Goma, is sure to increase pressure on the international community to confront the two eastern African countries over their role in neighboring Congo’s conflict. Both Rwanda and Uganda have repeatedly denied supporting the M23 movement and have faced little international criticism over the allegations.

The highly anticipated ­report from the UN Group of Experts said both Rwanda and Uganda have ‘‘cooperated to support the creation and expansion of the political branch of M23 and have consistently advocated on behalf of the rebels. M23 and its allies include six sanctioned individuals, some of whom reside in or regularly travel to Rwanda and Uganda.’’

The document said that Rwanda is funneling weapons, providing troop reinforcements to the M23 rebels, facilitating recruitment, and encouraging desertions from the Congolese armed forces. The de facto chain of command of M23 ends with Rwanda’s defense minister, General James Kabarebe, the report said.

M23 is ‘‘a Rwandan creation,’’ said Steven Hege, a member of the Group of Experts. He said Rwandan soldiers and commanders embedded with M23 take orders from Rwanda, not the rebels....

The report puts the UN in an uncomfortable position. Rwanda has been elected by the UN General Assembly to serve a two-year position on the 15-member Security Council beginning in January, which will complicate efforts by the council to come to grips with the country’s intervention in Congo.

The Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to impose travel bans, assets freezes, and other sanctions on the leaders of M23, and called for an end to external support for the rebellion, but without naming Rwanda or Uganda.

Rwanda’s representative spoke to the council after the vote to deny that his country is involved in the Congolese rebellion. Uganda has previously denied involvement and said it would pull its troops out of UN peacekeeping operations if it were named in the report.

Timothy Longman, director of Boston University’s African Studies Center, said the United States and other countries have been reluctant to confront Rwanda out of lingering sympathy for its 1994 genocide and because the country is considered a successful model for development. He said Rwanda has become a key international player under President Paul Kagame, including supplying troops for the African Union mission in Darfur.

‘‘The international community needs to stop pretending like Kagame is a benign leader and realize that the green light given to his unacceptable behavior in the past is allowing him to get away with literally murder,’’ said Longman, a former director of the Human Rights Watch office in Rwanda.

The United States suspended its military aid — albeit only $200,000 — to Rwanda after parts of the UN preliminary report were leaked last month. Other European countries followed suit, suspending humanitarian aid to Rwanda.

The US Mission to the United Nations did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

The M23 movement, which formed in April when hundreds of troops defected from the Congolese armed forces, now has some 1,250 troops, according to the report. Thousands of Congolese soldiers and policemen defected to M23 Wednesday as rebel leaders vowed to take control of all Congo, including the capital, Kinshasa.

The UN report accuses the M23 commanders of recruiting hundreds of young boys and girls as soldiers and ordering the extrajudicial executions of dozens of recruits and prisoners of war.


"Congo rebels fight for town" by Edmund Kagire and Melanie Gouby  |  Associated Press, November 23, 2012

GOMA, Congo — Soldiers and rebels battled for hours over the eastern town of Sake on Thursday, forcing thousands of people to run as militants seeking to overthrow the government vowed to push ahead despite mounting international pressure.

Meanwhile, the leader of the M23 rebel group went to neighboring Uganda where emergency talks were held this week between the presidents of Congo and its neighbors Uganda and Rwanda.

Fighting erupted Thursday in the town of Sake, which the rebels had seized Wednesday after capturing the strategic provincial capital of Goma, about 17 miles away.

Rebel spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Vianney Kazarama vowed Thursday that the fighters would press toward seizing the strategic eastern town of Bukavu, which would mark the biggest gain in rebel territory in nearly a decade if it were to fall.

The presidents from Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda who met in the Ugandan capital of Kampala have called on the fighters to give up the territory they now control.

Joseph Kabila, the Congolese president, later said he was willing to talk with rebel representatives.


"Congo fires army chief over sales of arms to rebels" by Jerome Delay and Pete Jones  |  Associated Press, November 24, 2012

SAKE, Congo — Congo’s president has suspended the army’s chief of staff, following the publication of a United Nations report that reveals that General Gabriel Amisi oversaw a criminal network selling arms to rebels in the country’s troubled east.

The firing of the general indicates that Congo is finally getting tough on its notoriously dysfunctional and internally divided army. It comes as an eight-month-old rebel group pushed beyond Goma, the bustling regional capital of eastern Congo, which fell to the fighters earlier this week.

On Friday, M23 rebels patrolled Sake, the next town on the road south from Goma. They manned checkpoints, drank vodka in bars, and let the corpses of Congolese soldiers rot in the streets. One of the soldier’s bodies bore an execution-style bullet wound to the temple.

The rebellion is led by soldiers who defected from the Congolese Army. Before their recent defection, their commanders benefited from a privileged relationship with Congo’s government, despite mounting evidence of their complicity in grave abuses. The leader of the M23 is believed to be General Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.

Tens of thousands of civilians could be seen fleeing along a 6-mile stretch of the road to Goma, carrying mattresses and cooking pots, as well as live chickens, goats, and babies bundled on their backs. Sake was nearly deserted. A lone father returned to his empty house. He had fled on Thursday when the shooting erupted, but lost track of his four children in the scramble to get out of town. The youngest are just 2 and 4 years old, he said.

‘‘We heard shots from the hills,’’ said Timothe Mashamba. ‘‘We fled, but now I have returned. I lost my four children when we fled and haven’t found them. I am waiting for them here. I can’t leave. They won’t know where to find me.’’

The president of neighboring Uganda was acting as a go-between for the two sides, and on Friday, one of the leaders of M23, Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga, was in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, for talks, said deputy rebel spokesman Amani Kabasha. Earlier in the week, both Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who is accused of arming the rebels, met in Uganda for an attempted mediation.

The two presidents agreed on certain principles and are now discussing them with M23, said the rebel spokesman.

‘‘[Kagame and Kabila] took decisions in Kampala and now they want to talk to Bishop Runiga about them. Joseph Kabila said in his communique that he would talk to us, and that is what we want,’’ said the rebel spokesman.

Congo’s troubled east has been plagued by decades of violence, and the latest rebellion is a reincarnation of a previous conflict.

The rebel group that took Goma dubs itself M23, a reference to the March 23, 2009, peace deal that paved the way for fighters from a now-defunct rebel group to join the army. Charging that the peace accord was not implemented, soldiers defected from the Congolese Army in April to form M23. Both M23 and the previous rebel group, known as the CNDP, are widely believed to be backed by Rwanda, which has fought two wars against its much-larger neighbor.

Numerous reports by the United Nations Group of Experts have shown the extent of Rwandan infiltration in the rebel groups based in Congo, as well as in Congo’s armed forces, but it was not until the release of the most recent findings that Congo took decisive action.

A statement released by the office of Kabila said that the UN report published on Nov. 21 made clear that Amisi’s behavior was contrary to the rules of military behavior.

‘‘The President of the ­Republic has decided to suspend him immediately of all his functions, while an investigation is ongoing,’’ the statement said.


RelatedCongo Slips Into Chaos Again as Rebels Gain

Congo and M23 rebels negotiate in Uganda

"Rebels keep control in key Congo city" November 27, 2012

GOMA, Congo — Rebels widely believed to be backed by Rwanda and Uganda held their positions in this key eastern Congolese city that they seized last week, letting a midnight deadline for their withdrawal expire in the early hours of Tuesday.

Trucks loaded with fighters belonging to the eight-month-old M23 rebel group patrolled the empty streets of this regional capital, as the ultimatum issued by the regional bloc representing nations in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa came to an end.

Earlier in the day, the rebels announced plans to move their headquarters to this city of 1 million later this week, another sign that they do not intend to respect the demands of mediators.

For the first time since the fall of Goma eight days ago, the Congolese government acknowledged that it had entered talks with the rebels who handed Congo’s military its most humiliating defeat since Goma was last overrun by fighters nearly a decade ago. The two sides were meeting in Kampala, the capital of neighboring Uganda. On Monday, the head of the M23 rebels confirmed that he was en route to Uganda to join in the negotiations.


Fear taking control in Congo

Congo rebels begin slow retreat from Masisi

"Congolese city remains on edge as rebel group begins pullout" by Jeffrey Gettleman  |  New York Times, December 02, 2012

NAIROBI — The rebel group that recently captured Goma, a strategic city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, pulled out hundreds of troops on Saturday, but Goma was still waiting to exhale.

Residents packed the streets to watch the rebels chug out of town in big trucks, with rebel soldiers belting out victory songs as they left.

“We saw combat, and the enemy ran away,’’ the rebels cheered.

Another verse: ‘‘We’re leaving, but we’ll be back soon.’’

The rebels, called the M23, were under intense international pressure to leave Goma after inflicting a humiliating defeat on Congolese forces and setting off a national crisis with anti-government protests erupting across Congo. As much as Goma was a coveted prize — it is one of Congo’s most vital trade hubs — many rebel leaders said that holding the city and trying to administer it would have been too much trouble.

On Saturday afternoon, UN officials in Goma confirmed that the rebels were finally leaving.

Still, many of Goma’s residents were frightened about what lies ahead. Lawlessness has been increasing in the past week, with home invasions, carjackings, and killings on the rise.

“Some people are worried that the army might be even worse than the M23 and that when the army returns they will start stealing,’’ said one Goma resident who did not want to be identified because of the risk of reprisals.

Goma’s residents, like people in many other parts of Congo, have been trapped for years between marauding rebel groups that rape, pillage, and kill with complete impunity and a dysfunctional government army that often does the same.

With the world'slargest U.N. peacekeeping force standing by just down the road?

Under a peace plan brokered by Congo’s neighbors, the M23 rebels are supposed to withdraw all their troops from Goma except for one company that will be allowed to stay at the airport along with government troops.

A ‘‘neutral force’’ composed of soldiers from other African countries will also help keep the peace in Goma, a sprawling city of several hundred thousand people — maybe a million, no one really knows.

On Saturday, Goma residents said they saw Ugandan and Tanzanian military officers in the city, possibly the vanguard of the neutral force.

The M23 group is widely believed to be backed by Rwanda, and a UN document leaked to The New York Times on Friday said that Rwandan troops had actually helped capture Goma.

Several of Rwanda’s staun­chest allies, including the United States and Britain, have cut back on aid to Rwanda because of the growing evidence that it has fomented yet another rebellion in Congo.

Under the peace deal for Goma, the Congolese government has agreed to ‘‘listen, evaluate, and resolve the legitimate grievances of M23.’’

Many analysts say that because of the weakness of the Congolese government, the M23 commanders will be given top positions in the army and that rebels will gain an even tighter grip on eastern Congo, home to gold, coltan, and other mineral riches as well as several other equally brutal armed groups.


RelatedRebels in Congo demand negotiations

Congo rebels to go to Uganda for negotiations

Official wants Congo rebels to disband

Also see: U.S. Military and Corporate Recolonization of the Congo

And as if that weren't enough for the Congolese to put up with? 

"Congo refugees face cholera threat" Associated Press, August 04, 2012

GOMA, Congo — The first case of cholera has emerged among thousands of people in an impromptu refugee camp in eastern Congo, where they fled to after fighting between a new rebel group and government forces backed by UN peacekeepers, Doctors Without Borders said.

Dr. Patrick Wieland said Doctors Without Borders has set up an isolation clinic tent at Kanyaruchinya outside the provincial capital of Goma, where between 10,000 and 20,000 people have taken refuge in a school, a church, and nearby grounds.

Cholera is a contagious disease caused by filth and lack of hygiene. Wieland said humanitarian agencies are delivering water to the camp but people probably are collecting the water in dirty containers. He said there are not enough toilets for those who fled fighting last week in Rutshuru and neighboring Kiwanja, about 50 miles north of Goma.

Rebels last week attacked Congolese army troops and UN peacekeepers, firing mortars at the peacekeepers’ base at Kiwanja, which was surrounded by more than 2,000 displaced people at that time. Wieland said the fighting was much heavier than any his team has seen in the three-month-old rebellion.

‘‘We’re treating people with arms and legs blown off by grenades and other heavy arms,’’ said Wieland. He also said that for the first time they treated many more civilians than combatants.

Angola's Election

And why they are important enough to appear in my paper:

"Angola’s ruling party wins 73 percent of vote" Associated Press, September 03, 2012

LUANDA, Angola — President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s ruling party has won 73 percent of the national vote assuring his government, in power for 32 years, another five years in power....

Both opposition parties criticized the elections for not being free and fair.

The elections were largely peaceful and relatively well-organized in this former Portuguese colony of 21 million that is Africa’s second largest oil producer, a diplomatic observer said.

The African Union observers declared the election to be ‘‘free, just, transparent and credible,’’ said Pedro Pires, chief of the mission.


Eulogizing Ethiopia's Prime Minister

War criminals always receive the kindest words.... 

"Ethiopia gives Meles Zenawi state funeral" Associated Press, September 03, 2012

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Thousands of mourners gathered near a public square in Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday to pay their final respects to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who was praised for lifting many out of poverty but vilified by some for restricting freedoms.

It's the war crimes against the Somalis and the Ogaden that I find vilifying.

Meles, who ruled for 21 years, died Aug. 20 of an undisclosed illness in a Belgian hospital. He was 57. During his rule Ethiopia was a strong ally of the United States on counterterrorism issues, particularly in Somalia, and some saw him as Africa’s intellectual leader in efforts to fight poverty.

Ethiopian officials said the state funeral in Addis Ababa was attended by hundreds of dignitaries from Africa and around the world. Regional leaders praised Meles’s record, saying he provided leadership to the whole of Africa. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa said Ethiopia had lost ‘‘a patriot and a visionary.’’

See: South Africa's New Apartheid

‘‘His was a life of immense courage, vision, and enterprise which he devoted to the advancement of his fellow citizens in this country and across Africa,’’ said President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

The US delegation was led by Susan Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, who described Meles as ‘‘unpretentious and direct.’’

Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is acting as prime minister. It remains unclear when he will be sworn in, but Ethiopian officials say no elections are planned.

Meles became president in 1991 after helping to oust a communist military junta that had been responsible for hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian deaths.

Meles became prime minister in 1995, a position that is both the head of the federal government and armed forces. The US saw him as a strong security partner and gave hundreds of millions of dollars in aid over the years. US military drones that patrol East Africa — especially over Somalia — are stationed in Ethiopia.

And thus all the war crimes and other things are overlooked. 

In the mid-2000s, the country saw strong economic growth, which won Meles international praise. The International Monetary Fund in 2008 said Ethiopia’s economy had grown faster than any non-oil exporting country in sub-Saharan Africa.

But Ethiopia under Meles was criticized by human rights groups for the government’s strict control, especially of independent political groups and the press.

Yeah, but let's not let those things spoil the illusory legacy presented by the agenda-pushing AmeriKan media.  


Related:  Meles Zenawi, 57, prime minister of Ethiopia, US ally

Also seeBlack Sunday: Ethiopia's Egregious Export

And you wonder why there is famine in Africa?

Saying Goodbye to Ghana's President

His death was unexpected, huh? 

"Mourners gather for Ghanaian president’s funeral" Associated Press, August 11, 2012

ACCRA, Ghana — World leaders joined thousands of Ghanaians on Friday for the funeral of President John Atta Mills, who came to symbolize Ghana’s maturing democracy in a region long plagued by coups and disputed votes.

Atta Mills, 68, came to power in 2009 after winning the closest election in the country’s history. The peaceful transition of leadership after that vote was lauded as was the swift and orderly inauguration of the country’s vice president last month following Atta Mills’s death.

On Friday, visiting dignitaries paid their respects as Atta Mills’s body lay in state at the country’s State House before the burial service. Ghanaians dressed in red and black lined the streets as a procession brought Atta Mills’s flag-draped casket through the capital.

The funeral service took place at Accra’s Independence Square, near where Atta Mills had taken the oath of office less than four years ago. More than 20 African heads of state and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were in attendance.

The vice president, John Mahama, was sworn into office hours after the president’s death and is finishing out his term.

‘‘The late President Mills was humble, honest, and peace-loving. It would therefore be expedient on all Ghanaians to immortalize him by forging ahead for the development of Ghana,’’ Mahama said Friday, urging unity.

Ghana is regarded as one of the most robust democracies in West Africa, having held two successive handovers of power following elections.

Atta Mills spent much of his career teaching at the University of Ghana. He earned a doctorate from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies before becoming a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

He also served as vice president under Jerry Rawlings, a coup leader who was later elected president by popular vote and surprised the world by stepping down after the 2000 election.


Related: John Atta Mills, Ghana’s president pushed for change; at age 68

Election underscores Ghana’s democratic reputation

There were biometric glitches in the vote? 

A rigged vote? I expect nothing less in a democracy. 

Yeah, "Oil was discovered in 2007 and the country began producing it in December 2010. But a deep divide still exists between those benefiting from the country’s oil, cocoa and mineral wealth, and those left behind financially."

Ivory Coast Investigations

"New mass graves found near site of Ivory Coast attack" by Robbie Corey-Boulet  |  Associated Press, November 07, 2012

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Up to 10 new mass graves have been discovered near the site of a July attack on a camp for displaced people, officials said Tuesday, amid allegations that initial casualty totals were downplayed to mask killings carried out by the national ­army.

I don't think they have to worry. 

Related: World Court Whitewashes Ivory Coast War Crimes

Going nowhere for the obvious reasons. 

Rights groups claim summary executions were carried out by the Republican Forces of ­Ivory Coast. Last month, officials found six bodies in a well close to the former campsite in the western town of Duekoue.

Government, army, and UN officials toured 10 more graves in the same area on Saturday, said Paul Mondouho, vice mayor of Duekoue. He said the graves had first been identified by civilians, and that officials did not know the number of bodies they contained.

‘‘People were suspecting the presence of bodies in these graves because of the smell coming out of them and because of the shoes we saw nearby,’’ Mondouho said.

Prosecutor Noel Dje Enrike Yahau, who is based in the commercial capital of Abidjan, confirmed that multiple new graves had been discovered but could not provide details. UN officials and the local prosecutor in charge of investigating the suspected killings could not be reached Tuesday.

UN spokeswoman Sylvie ­van den Wildenberg confirmed that UN forces helped Ivorian authorities secure a perimeter around 10 wells ‘‘similar to the one in which six bodies were found,’’ and that ‘‘some of those wells are suspected mass graves.’’

She stressed that Ivorian ­authorities were leading the investigation but that the UN was able to provide assistance.

Army spokesmen could not be reached Tuesday. The Justice Ministry has previously vowed to investigate the discovery of the initial grave.

On the morning of July 20, a mob descended on the UN-guarded Nahibly camp, which housed 4,500 people displaced by violence in Ivory Coast, burning most of the camp to the ground. Officials said at the time that six people were killed.

Why is it the U.N can't protect shit?

The attack was prompted by the shooting deaths of four men and one woman on the night of July 19, according to local officials and residents. In response a mob of some 300 people overran the camp on July 20 after the perpetrators reportedly fled there.

The victims in the July 19 ­attack lived in a district dominated by the Malinke ethnic group, which largely supported President Alassane Ouattara in the disputed November 2010 election. The camp primarily housed members of the Guere ethnic group, which largely supported former President Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo’s refusal to cede ­office despite losing the election sparked months of violence that claimed at least 3,000 lives.

Albert Koenders, the top UN envoy to Ivory Coast, said one week after the attack that UN security forces had been inside and outside the camp at the time but that no Ivorian security forces were present. He said the UN forces decided not to fire at a large group of people that were attacking the camp in order to avoid ‘‘a massacre.’’

Several witnesses have said soldiers and traditional hunters, known as dozos, participated in the attack on the camp. Both military and dozo leaders have denied the claims, saying they had tried to protect the camp.

In a statement released Friday, the International Federation for Human Rights said it had information confirming that the six bodies found in ­October were men who had been summarily executed by the army.

‘‘The disappearance of dozens of displaced persons after the attack, as well as confirmation of cases of summary and extra-judicial executions, suggest a much higher victim rate than the official figures report,’’ said the organization.

Duekoue was one of the hardest-hit towns during the post-election violence. The UN has established that at least 505 people were killed in and around the town.


"Amnesty International says Ivory Coast is torturing detainees" by Robbie Corey-Boulet  |  Associated Press, October 27, 2012

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Ivory Coast security officials are torturing dozens of detainees by administering electric shocks and other forms of abuse, Amnesty International alleged Friday.

The victims include people charged with endangering state security in the wake of a recent spate of attacks targeting military installations. Since early August, unknown gunmen have carried out roughly 10 attacks at installations throughout the country, including in the commercial capital of Abidjan.

United Nations officials have said that more than 200 people have been detained on suspicion of involvement in the attacks, and that torture has been documented at multiple detention facilities.

Gaetan Mootoo, West Africa researcher for Amnesty, said an investigation team received reports of a range of abuses during a recent monthlong visit.


"Britain urged to investigate Trafigura scandal" by ROBBIE COREY-BOULET, Associated Press /  September 25, 2012

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — The British government is urged by Amnesty International and Greenpeace to investigate possible criminal charges against the multinational firm Trafigura, over the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast that is blamed for several deaths and sickening thousands.

It's also a well-known but seldom-publicized fact that the industrial nations of the west and north use African waters as a dumping ground. That's one motivation behind the Somali pirates. 

The 2006 waste disposal in Abidjan has come here to represent the arrogance of the western world toward the African continent.


"On December 12, 1991, while serving as chief economist for the World Bank, Summers authored a private memo arguing that the bank should actively encourage the dumping of toxic waste in developing countries, particularly "under populated countries in Africa," which Summers described as "UNDER-polluted."

Just wanted to provide you an example of arrogance. 

A three-year-long investigation by Amnesty International and Greenpeace published Tuesday points to ‘‘clear evidence that at least part of the decision-making process on export of the waste from Europe and delivery to Abidjan emanated from London,’’ making U.K. prosecutions feasible.

The report calls for the United Kingdom to undertake criminal investigations against Trafigura. It also urges Ivory Coast to review a 2007 decision that gave Trafigura immunity from prosecution on Ivorian soil, and to probe how compensation from an out-of-court settlement in the U.K. was allowed to be misappropriated.

Britain’s government responded Tuesday, saying it would be inappropriate for the U.K. to launch an investigation because the vessel involved was not registered in the U.K. and the waste wasn’t loaded in or originating from the U.K.

‘‘We condemn incidents such as occurred in Abidjan where toxic waste was dumped, with such devastating effects on human life and the environment,’’ a spokesman from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said. ‘‘Controls are in place in the UK to help prevent such incidents occurring, including controls on ships waste and on the import and export of hazardous waste.’’

More than 100,000 people sought medical treatment in the first five months after the waste was dumped in Abidjan in 2006, according to Ivorian authorities. A national commission of inquiry reported 15 deaths, though an Ivorian court put that number at 17. Trafigura has disputed those figures, saying the waste could only have caused ‘‘low level flulike symptoms and anxiety.’’

The new report says the dead included a 6-month-old baby and an inmate at Abidjan’s main prison said to be 12 or 13 years old. Waste had been dumped just a few meters from the prison’s juvenile block.

Six years ago on a morning burned into the collective memory of this West African nation, Abidjan residents awoke to a smell that was a mixture of rotten eggs and gasoline fumes.

Overnight on Aug. 20, 2006, toxic waste from the ship Probo Koala had been dumped in at least 18 locations throughout the city, including near houses, schools and crops.

Before long, residents reported symptoms including nausea, respiratory problems and burning skin, and the lack of information on what was causing the smell and symptoms created panic.

The new report describes how Trafigura purchased large amounts of an unrefined gasoline called coker naphtha, then subjected it to a refining process known as ‘‘caustic washing,’’ which is known to create hazardous waste. The caustic washing was initially carried out on land in the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia, but Tunisian authorities suspended the process in April 2006 after workers became ill, and the rest of the process was carried out at sea, according to the report.

The multinational attempted to offload the waste in Gibraltar, Malta, France and Italy without success, the report says. An agreement was then reached with a Dutch company to offload the waste in Amsterdam, but the company raised its price after tests showed the waste would require more specialized treatment than had originally been expected. After failing to offload the waste in Lagos, Nigeria, a Trafigura subsidiary arranged for it to be offloaded in Abidjan in August by Compagnie Tommy, a firm that had received its operational license the previous month.

Fabrice Gbangbo, 37, who lives near the open-air Akouedo dumpsite, the initial offloading point for the waste, described to the AP how he woke up the morning after the waste had been deposited to see large blisters forming on his skin.

‘‘Everybody was panicking here,’’ he said. ‘‘No one knew where the smell was coming from.’’

Although the case has received much attention, the new report contends that Trafigura’s role in the dumping ‘‘has never been subject to a full court proceeding.’’ It also says Trafigura has blocked attempts to obtain full information about the nature of the waste.

For example, Gbangbo said that without this information, residents of his village would never know if they were completely safe. ‘‘I don’t know if I'm still affected because we never had a good medical analysis,’’ he said. ‘‘We think we are OK, but maybe we’re suffering inside. I don’t know.’’

Responding to the report in a letter addressed to Amnesty Africa Director Audrey Gaughran, Trafigura said the report contains ‘‘significant inaccuracies and misrepresentations,’’ but does not specify them.

‘‘The report oversimplifies difficult legal issues, analyzes them based on ill-founded assumptions and draws selective conclusions which do not adequately reflect the complexity of the situation of the legal processes,’’ reads the letter, signed by Eric de Turckheim, a member of Trafigura’s supervisory board.

‘‘Courts in five jurisdictions have reviewed different aspects of the incident, and decisions and settlements have been made. It is simply wrong to suggest that the issues have not had the right judicial scrutiny.’’

Trafigura agreed in February 2007 to pay roughly $200 million to Ivory Coast for compensation and clean-up. This was the same settlement that gave Trafigura immunity from prosecution in the country. However, it is unclear whether all victims deemed eligible by the government for compensation had received any money, said Amnesty’s Gaughran, who added that the government’s list of victims was likely incomplete.

An additional $45 million in compensation was paid by Trafigura as part of a 2009 settlement in a case brought in the U.K. by 30,000 victims, but the distribution process was corrupted when an organization falsely claiming to represent victims effectively robbed some 6,000 victims of the money they were due to receive.

Ivory Coast’s Minister for African Integration Adama Bictogo resigned in May over his alleged role in the scandal, though a prosecutor said in July that charges would not be brought against him.

The letter from Trafigura says the apparent misappropriation of compensation payments was ‘‘regrettable,’’ but that this was ‘‘entirely outside our control.’’

Gaughran said it was important for Ivory Coast to review past problems with compensation and to continue to distribute money to victims who were not able to access previous compensation schemes.

One of the main lessons of the case, she added, was how difficult it was to ensure accountability for actions taken in multiple countries, but she said it was important that Trafigura be held responsible. ‘‘We can’t end up in the position that just because three or four countries are involved that somehow nobody can get to grips with the problem,’’ she said.



"Stampede after fireworks kills 61 in Ivory Coast" by Inza Bakayoko  |  Associated Press, January 02, 2013

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — This is not Ivory Coast’s first stadium tragedy. In 2009, 22 people died and over 130 were injured in a stampede at a World Cup qualifying match at the Houphouet Boigny stadium, prompting FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, to impose a fine of tens of thousands of dollars on Ivory Coast’s soccer federation.

The government organized the fireworks to celebrate Ivory Coast’s peace....

State TV showed traumatic scenes....


Related: Globe Says Goodbye to 2012

"Unofficial barriers blamed in deaths" by Inza Bakayoko  |  Associated Press, January 03, 2013

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Local newspapers are speculating that thieves put up the roadblocks so that pickpockets could steal money and mobile phones from the packed-in people.

President Alassane Outtara ordered three days of national mourning and launched an investigation.


I don't think I've seen a word since.

"Pirates seize tanker in Ivory Coast" Associated Press, January 22, 2013

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Armed men have hijacked a tanker carrying 5,000 tons of oil from an Ivory Coast port and taken it off the coast of Ghana, though its precise whereabouts are unknown, government authorities and maritime officials said Monday.

The vessel ITRI was seized Wednesday as it was preparing to deposit oil at the port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, according to the Ivory Coast government, which communicated for the first time on the case Monday....

Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s pirate reporting center in Malaysia, could not release information about the nationalities of the crew, but said in many previous cases, the pirates released the crew after they had siphoned out the oil and obtained any valuable cargo.

The ship initially had trouble docking because a sand storm reduced visibility, a government statement said....

Most hijackings in the region occur near oil-rich Nigeria. The first recorded vessel hijacking off Ivory Coast was in October, when 14 men armed with knives and AK-47s boarded a tanker carrying 30,000 tons of gasoline.

The crew was later released unharmed.


Kenyan Chaos

I'll bet they need some help, 'eh?

"48 slain in attack on village in Kenya" Associated Press, August 23, 2012

MOMBASA, Kenya — Hundreds of farmers attacked a village, killing at least 48 people in southeastern Kenya in an escalation of ongoing clashes between the farming and pastoral communities over land and resources, an official said Wednesday.

Some people were burned to death in their houses, while others were hacked to death or shot with arrows, said Tana River region police chief Joseph Kavoo.

The majority of those killed were women and children, said area resident Said Mgeni. He said the attacks began Wednesday at dawn when a group of about 200 people belonging to the Pokomo ethnic group raided a village in the Riketa area and torched all the houses belonging to the Orma, a pastoralist community.

Three Orma men and a woman who survived the attack with wounds to the head, stomach, and hands said the attackers were also armed with guns. The four were admitted to the Malindi district hospital.

Ali Algi, who had injuries on his head and a broken hand, said that they were attacked by hundreds of men.

‘‘Most of us were asleep and others had woken up when the men came chanting ‘kill them, kill them’ towards our village at about 7 o’clock. They shot many people and then attacked others with pangas,’’ long, wide knives. “I was also shot on my right hand and then attacked with a panga on my head,’’ he said.

Algi said that he witnessed men, women, and children being shot and then beheaded and others being locked and burned inside their houses.

‘‘I witnessed the whole ugly scene. They shot us and then attacked us with pangas to ensure that we are completely dead,’’ he said.

Mgeni, who is in charge of a government fund for development in the constituency, said it was a retaliatory attack sparked by incidents last week.

First the Pokomo protested over Orma grazing their cattle on their farms, and farmers attacked the pastoralists and injured hundreds of their livestock. The Orma then retaliated and killed two Pokomos over that episode, Kavoo said.


"Cleric’s killing sparks riots in Kenya" by Tom Odula  |  Associated Press, August 28, 2012

NAIROBI — Gunmen in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa shot and killed a Muslim cleric accused by Washington and the United Nations of supporting Al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia, sparking rioting by youths in which one person died and at least one police car was burned.

Looks like a targeted assassination to me. 

The killing of Aboud Rogo on Monday fits into a pattern of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of suspected terrorists that is allegedly being orchestrated by Kenyan police, say Kenyan human rights groups.

I'm sure they are doing on behalf of and with the help of certain western intelligence agencies.

Rogo was shot as he drove with his family in Mombasa, said Rogo’s lawyer, Mbugua Mureithi.

Rogo’s killing sparked protests by hundreds of Muslim youths who went on the rampage in Mombasa.

The Muslim Human Rights Forum condemned Rogo’s murder, calling it an ‘‘extrajudicial killing’’ and calling for an ‘‘an end to targeted killings and enforced disappearances of terrorism suspects.’’


"38 people reported killed in Kenya clashes" Associated Press, September 11, 2012

NAIROBI — Clashes between farmers and herders in southeastern Kenya escalated Monday with 38 people killed, including nine police officers, and a government official and the Kenya Red Cross suggested the military should be deployed to the area.

The cycle of retaliatory killings may be related to a redrawing of political boundaries and next year’s general elections, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Kenya, Aeneas C. Chuma, said late last month.

Amazing how most of this stuff is related to land and resources and not religion and all the other distractions and diversions the agenda-pushing, war-promoting paper suggests.

But on the surface the violence seems driven by competition for water, pasture, and other resources, he said....

It's the way of the world, if that helps provide some order for you. 

At least 100 people have died in the clashes, which started three weeks ago, according to an Associated Press count....


RelatedAt least 30 die in Kenya tribal attacks

"Rights group: Politicians tied to Kenya clashes" by Tom Odula  |  Associated Press, September 14, 2012

NAIROBI — Kenyan authorities should expand investigations into the alleged roles of four politicians in clashes in the country’s southeast that killed 110 people in three weeks, an international human rights group said.

President Mwai Kibaki late Wednesday fired assistant Livestock Development Minister Dhado Godhana after he was charged in court with inciting the violence.

Kibaki chaired a Cabinet meeting Thursday. The group later issued a statement saying that ‘‘tough measures’’ should be used to quell the violence.

The police force held a press conference earlier asking for clear directions from the Cabinet on what kind of measures they should use so that they are not accused of brutality and prosecuted. Human rights lawyer Harun Ndubi criticized the vague Cabinet announcement, saying that it amounts to giving police tacit approval to shoot to kill.

Yeah, that will create order!


RelatedKenyan torture victims can sue UK

Also seeKenya hits Somali militants’ base

That's when the criticism seemed to stop.

"Kenyans fear reprisal in police killings" by Tom Odula  |  Associated Press, November 14, 2012

NAIROBI — Hundreds of people fearing a government backlash over the killing of at least 32 police officers are fleeing their homes in northwestern Kenya as the military prepares to help police pursue the bandits who carried out the attack, officials said Tuesday.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said a ‘‘serious’’ operation has begun to find those responsible for the deaths of the officers over the weekend.

‘‘We cannot allow such things to happen. I think they were testing the waters and in due cause they will know the depth of the river,’’ he said....

Residents in Baragoi, the main town in Samburu North district, said there was massive buildup of police officers in the town....


"13 shot, shops razed in Kenyan town" by Daud Yussuf  |  Associated Press, November 21, 2012

GARISSA, Kenya — More than a dozen people were shot, one woman died, and hundreds of shops were burned to the ground in this eastern Kenyan town amid rising Somali-Kenyan tensions, officials said Tuesday.

The violence follows a lethal attack in the town on Monday in which three Ken­yan soldiers were killed. Local sympathizers of al-Shabab — a Somali Islamist extremist group that Kenyan troops are battling in Somalia — are suspected to be responsible for the soldiers’ deaths, said a military spokesman, Colonel Cyrus Oguna.

I wonder what school they attended.

Once you learn the lesson that all terrorism is created, funded, and directed by western intelligence agencies you have graduated.

Witnesses in Garissa, where most of the population is ethnic Somali, said Kenyan troops responded to Monday’s killings with force, opening fire at random. The town’s main market was also torched by the soldiers, said the witnesses.

Isn't that a war crime?

Oguna denied allegations that Kenya’s military was involved in indiscriminate shooting and destruction of property. He said such reports are meant to antagonize local residents against the army.

The military camp in Garissa is a transit point for Kenyan troops being deployed to Somalia, where they join African Union troops to fight the al-Shabab rebels.

The three officers killed were part of group of five who had stopped at the camp on their way to Somalia. They were killed at a garage where they had gone to change their vehicle’s punctured tire, said Oguna....


Friday, December 28, 2012

Moving on Mali

Related: Sunday Globe Special: AmeriKa Loses Mali

Did they?

"Mali Islamists cut off suspected thief’s hand; The man's hand was chopped off for stealing a sheep" ASSOCIATED PRESS,  August 10, 2012

BAMAKO, Mali — Officials in Mali condemned Islamist militants on Friday for chopping off a man’s hand for allegedly stealing sheep, the punishment underscoring hardliners’ tightening control over northern Mali....

“After the Islamists cut off the young man’s hand, they put his arm in boiling oil,” said a witness at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

That's to cauterize the wound, right?

Authorities expressed outrage over the latest punishments the Islamists have said are in accordance with strict Shariah law. Late last month, they stoned an adulterous couple to death.

Also see: Mali Goes Islamist

“It’s a horror what is happening in our cities,” said El Hadj Baba Haidara, a member of the Malian parliament.

The Malian government issued a statement condemning the amputation, calling it a “a new horrible act to add their long list.” The statement said the government is open to accelerating plans with neighboring nations to recapture the north from rebel hands.

Mali’s north was overrun by a mix of armed groups — including several allied with al-Qaida — following a coup in Mali’s capital, Bamako, in March. Since June, Islamists have exerted full control of the northern half of the country and have imposed Shariah law.

Also see: Wild West Africa

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon this week warned of worsening security and humanitarian crises in Mali and asked the Security Council to consider financial and travel sanctions on rebels and Islamist fighters, including several allied with al-Qaida.

That is where my printed Globe cut it. 

A 3,000-member military intervention force assembled by the Economic Community of West African States is awaiting a formal request for intervention from Mali’s interim president, who recently returned from exile, an ECOWAS official said Wednesday....

Resistance by Mali’s military has hindered the deployment of the ECOWAS force.


RelatedIslamists conduct amputations in Mali

North Mali robber describes Shariah amputation

Maybe the Mali way could be employed against banksters. 

"Man lashed 100 times in Timbuktu rape case" by Baba Ahmed  |  Associated Press, September 01, 2012

BAMAKO, Mali — A man accused of rape in the Malian city of Timbuktu received 100 lashes Friday, according to witnesses, as a radical Islamic group controlling the country’s northern half continued its campaign of applying strict Islamic law known as Sharia.

The latest punishment after a visit to Mali by investigators from the International Criminal Court who are studying whether the country’s armed groups have committed crimes against humanity.

The man who was whipped, identified as a Burkina Faso citizen named Boubacar El-Bourkinabiyoune, was brought into Timbuktu’s public square Friday morning, witnesses said. Members of the radical Ansar Dine group, which seized control of the city in April, said that if the accused had been married, they would have stoned him to death, said resident Aboubacrine Yattara.

Contacted by phone, a second witness Mohamed Toure confirmed that he had also seen the lashing.

Northern Mali fell into the hands of a mixture of Islamic groups in March and April, after a coup in the capital, Bamako, 700 miles away.

About 30,000 people have fled fighting in northern Mali and are desperately in need of food aid, according to Valerie Amos, United Nations undersecretary and emergency relief coordinator.

She was in Mali two days and said that in addition to those who fled the north, there are 4.6 million people who are affected by food shortages. She said the United Nations sought $213 million in relief aid, but less than half that amount has been provided.


That sure is a switch from the misogynistic Muslims we have been told about. 

"Sixteen moderate Muslim clerics killed" Associated press, September 10, 2012

BAMAKO, Mali — Sixteen Muslim clerics from a moderate sect were fatally shot in central Mali as they traveled to a religious conference, the Malian and Mauritanian governments said Sunday. Early reports said the men’s beards aroused the suspicion of Mali’s military, which confused them with extremists who have taken control of the north. They were executed

And no one lost any sleep over it, either. 


Who are the "terrorists" again? 

"Mali militants say they will not give up harsh law" by BRAHIMA OUEDRAOGO By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI  |  Associated Press, November 15, 2012

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — One of the three Al Qaeda-linked groups controlling northern Mali said Wednesday it would not give up its harsh form of Islamic law, appearing to offer little ground in last-ditch talks meant to avert a military intervention to take back the region. 

Well, when you consider that "Al-CIA-Duh" exists to advance the empire's agenda it's not surprising at all, is it?

Members of Ansar Dine said they are willing to allow the rest of Mali to be governed by a different set of rules, but spokesman Mohamed Ag Aharib told reporters that asking his group to relinquish ­Sharia law in the area under their control is like asking them to give up being Muslim.

Ansar Dine is believed to be the most moderate of the three groups. Representatives have been meeting with Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, who has been appointed as a mediator, but the group’s unbending stance on Sharia casts doubt on whether the effort can make headway.


And what do the Malians think of all this?

"Malians rally for unity government" Associated Press, August 13, 2012

BAMAKO, Mali — A member of the Islamic High Council in Mali said about 50,000 people are marching in the capital to pressure the government to form a ­transitional unity government.

Bamako resident Mahamane Maiga said he participated in the march because the government is losing time to regain the north, which has been taken over by Islamist groups trying to impose Shariah law.

Moussa Ba, the president of the council’s youth league, said that the prime minister’s decision to not step aside for the transformation of a unity government is hampering efforts to reclaim the north, and he must work with the president to form such a transition.

A 3,000-member military intervention force assembled by the West African regional bloc is awaiting a formal request for intervention from Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, who will make the request once the unity government is formed, according to officials.

The bloc gave the country until Aug. 10 to form a unity government. 


And since that didn't happen.... 

"France to send drones to Mali region" Associated Press, October 23, 2012

PARIS — France will move surveillance drones to West ­Africa and is holding secretive talks with US officials in Paris this week as it seeks to steer international military action to help Mali’s feeble government win back the northern part of the country from Al Qaeda-linked rebels. 

I'm sorry, readers, but I've got to go the the crapper after seeing that term so much.

France and the United ­Nations insist that any invasion of Mali’s north be led by ­African troops.

But France, which has six hostages in Mali and has ­citizens who have joined Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, is playing an increasing role behind the scenes.

Related: Militants say hostages imperiled in Mali

Many in the West fear that northeast Mali and the arid Sahel region could become a no-man’s-land where extremists can train, impose hard-line Islamic law, and plot terror attacks abroad.

That's what it will become once the drones start dropping missiles. 

As for the plotting and plans, pfffft. 

And France, former ­colonial ruler to countries across the Sahel, is a prime target. 


‘‘This is actually a major threat — to French interests in the region, and to France itself,’’ said Francois Heisbourg, an expert at the Foundation for Strategic Research, a partially state-funded think tank in Paris. 

Translation: If a FALSE FLAG occurs in FRANCE it will be blamed on Mali! 

Cui bono?

‘‘This is like Afghanistan 1996. This is like when [Osama] bin Laden found a place that was larger than France in which he could organize training camps, in which he could provide stable preparations for organizing far-flung terror attacks.’’

I wonder if the Eiffel Tower will drop into it's own footprint like the WTC.



"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought Algeria’s assistance on Monday for any future military intervention in Mali, pressing the North African nation to provide intelligence — if not boots on the ground — to help rout the Al Qaeda-linked militants across its southern border."

Just building up to it. 

"Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra's resignation comes as the United States, European countries, and regional powers are readying a military force to intervene in Mali’s north, where radical Islamists have created a jihadist haven for Al Qaeda militants and other extremists."

Also see:  UN OK’s military action to oust Al Qaeda cohort in Mali

You know, I have had enough of war propaganda from an intelligence agency asset we call a newspaper. Time to put on the sunglasses and get a different view:

[Re:  UN Security Council approves Mali intervention force]

After witnessing the same deadly, hypocritical scenario unfold over and over, I am just now beginning to see the real genius that went into the Pentagon’s “Take-over-the-World Plan.”   This is how you manage to wage war upon the entire world, more or less simultaneously, with nothing more than an all-volunteer force and implied threats.  When Pentagon/CIA agents, or their corporate counterparts control all news, then it becomes possible to hide entire real wars, or to “simulate” non-existent conflict.  It is no wonder that the world has become accustomed to the idea of universal conflagration, when we think that we see new Pentagon fires rising all around us on a daily basis.  The Pentagon loves to play with fire, especially when it has so many playmates.  It is these playmates that the Pentagon relies upon whenever the time seems ripe to seek UN authorization for another “Just War” against another imaginary “Islamist threat.”  There is no limit to the depravity of American “Warfighters,” who will do anything, or kill anyone, to advance their glorious mission to establish a new Global Reich–Hoo-Rah!

This latest playing of the “Islamist” card in Mali occurred just when Russian moves in the Mediterranean had made it obvious that we were flirting with Armegeddon in Syria.   The Pentagon/CIA’s “Islamist” pals always manage to pop-up in some obscure corner of the world like Mali whenever one of the Pentagon’s major limited conflicts like Syria, or Afghanistan threaten to turn into real war.   (You remember when the Pentagon wasn’t afraid to fight real armies, don’t you?)  Whenever these Islamists manage to stir-up enough trouble that they successfully ignite some sort of real conflict, they give the State Dept. goons what they need to go to the UN for “humanitarian” relief. If the rest of the American people only knew the cold truth, which most of us in the alternative media already understand, that ALL ISLAMIST TERROR is American created terrorism, then the hypocritical self-blindness would be stripped-away, and we would recognize our Fascist government for what it is, the new Nazi Reich reincarnated.

After all, the essence of all American government mind-manipulation science is a continuation of the illegal Nazi concentration camp studies, which have been merged with the infamous Strategic Bombing Survey made by the Brits and American sociologists at the end of WWII.  Where the Nazi scientists were perfecting a primitive mind-control science, the British and Americans were perfecting the art of mass-terror as the basis for mass mind-manipulation.  They perfected the art of strategic bombing as the basis of a new kind of political terrorism, giving them the capability to move huge “herds” of terrorized human beings as a primary instrument of Western foreign policy.  World planners now understand that it is far easier and cheaper to immobilize vital targets and strategic connections by overwhelming transportation grids using masses of refugees, instead of massive carpet-bombing and siege tactics.  Just look to the case of Pakistan in its simulated warfare in the tribal region, by flushing entire tribes upon the roadways before announced offensives, they have created the impression of real war, even though the actual campaigns are made impossible, or obscured by the masses of frightened refugees (internally displaced persons) clogging the limited roadways.

The merger of the two streams of the outlawed pseudo-sciences has empowered American political and social scientists with a working ability to effect limited mind-control through mass-suggestion over broad segments of the human race, even giving them the ability to pursue multiple separate streams of auto-suggestion in different war theaters, simultaneously.  The combined American-Nazi black arts are an unwelcome reality, but they are a new, artificial form of reality.

This brings us back to the point of this particular commentary, the Pentagon’s self-labelled “whack-a-mole strategy,” aptly describes the new “Warfighting” strategy, which underwent its trial run in Afghanistan and Iraq, before going live globally with the strategy, such as we are witnessing today.   The name of the new game is “incrementalism,” a game at which Obama has proven to be a master player.  Pump-up the fear level in one outbreak, while backing it off a bit in another conflict (such as Pakistan’s tribal region) which threatened to boil over.  The concept of “conflict management” requires that the manager never allow any conflict to escalate out of control, while the corresponding “strategy of tension” requires the apparent escalation of conflict, in order to achieve the proper level of terror.

This terror can theoretically be maintained indefinitely, unless credible resistance (like the Russian Navy) arises to challenge the Manager’s control, such as in the case in Syria.  When the war on Syria began to fall apart, due primarily to Russian resistance, the Western media employed its usual sleight of hand, diverting our attention with an  announcement to the court of world opinion that an army of  ”Islamists” was poised to takeover northern Mali.  While harping on our “humanitarian” obligations to prevent another domino from falling to the “Islamist menace,” the controlled Western news leaders have stuck to their government-approved scripts and assiduously avoided any mention of the obvious fact that Western governments were empowering the same “Islamists/Al-Qaeda” everywhere else.

The Pentagon’s secret private armies were perfectly suited for producing justification for “whacking” the latest “moles” (even though the “moles” were all Pentagon/CIA-trained terrorists), but they had zero capabilities for actually destabilizing or overthrowing any government on their own.  The Pentagon was very successful at parlaying its Saudi/Qatari petrodollars into a “global war on on terrorism,” all they had to do to set their plan for total global domination into motion was to kill 3,000 Americans, or facilitate their murder, while their controlled news cameras maintained a steady broadcast of their manufactured horrors into every American home.  That is the ultimate bottom line in all of this, anyway, the Pentagon has slaughtered thousands of men, women and children in order to become the center of world Fascism, and there are no limits as to how far these evil killers will go, to finalize their long-term plans to subjugate every single human mind.

The scariest and possibly the most disheartening of all of this, is that every government on earth is playing along with these evil bastards, hoping for their own piece of the pie, even Russia.  The new Mali Security Council initiative was approved unanimously–no Russian or Chinese veto on this one.  I guess that if Putin is really the world’s best hope for resistance to Imperial aggression, that he doesn’t give a shit if we slaughter another few hundred thousand black Africans." -- UN Security Council Unanimously Approves Another Armed Intervention Against Another American “Islamist” Terror

Also see: Mali militants seek peace after UN backs force

That's a surprise. 

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said recently he does not expect a military operation to begin until September or October of next year
The mayor of Timbuktu, which is controlled by the Islamist group Ansar Dine, has described conditions there as ‘‘a living hell.’’ 

That is not.