Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Africa, Problemi militari, Senza categoria, Unione Europea

Olanda. Mrs Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Ministro della Difesa, si dimette.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-04.

Mali 001

Nessuno si scandalizza se nel corso di esercitazioni a fuoco dei militari perdono la vita: queste infatti sono di utilità quanto più rappresentano la realtà operativa.

Ma una cosa è la dolorosa constatazione di un incidente imprevisto ed imprevedibile, ed una totalmente differente la morte di soldati a causa dell’incuria governativa.

«The soldiers died when a mortar grenade exploded unexpectedly during target practice. A third was gravely injured.»

*

«The Dutch Safety Board said last week that the military had been using old, defective grenades that had not been tested or stored correctly»

*

«General Tom Middendorp, the top Dutch military commander, also stepped down over the failures»

*

«The defence ministry did not follow its own procedures to check they were safe»

* * * * * * *

Non c’è scusa o ragione che tenga.

Mandare in zona operativa reparti equipaggiati con granate vecchie, difettose, non testate a dovere e conservate non allo stato dell’arte è cosa criminale, che non ammette scuse di sorta.

E, diciamolo francamente, le dimissioni sono ben poca cosa.


Bbc. 2017-10-04. Dutch minister resigns over deaths of Mali peacekeepers

The Dutch defence minister has resigned over the deaths of two soldiers during a training exercise in Mali in 2016.

*

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert stepped down after a report denounced “serious shortcomings” by her ministry.

The soldiers died when a mortar grenade exploded unexpectedly during target practice. A third was gravely injured.

The Dutch Safety Board said last week that the military had been using old, defective grenades that had not been tested or stored correctly.

In its report, it said the shells had been bought in 2006 “with the help of the US Department of Defence amid a pressure of time”. The defence ministry did not follow its own procedures to check they were safe.

“I am politically responsible and am taking that responsibility,” Ms Hennis-Plasschaert told the lower house of parliament in The Hague on Tuesday.

She had been expected to play a key role in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s new government.

General Tom Middendorp, the top Dutch military commander, also stepped down over the failures.

They pair had come under increasing pressure over the deaths of Kevin Roggeveld, 24, and Henry Hoving, 29, in Kidal, in north-west Mali in July last year.

The men were serving as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali – described as the most dangerous in the world.

The country’s security has gradually worsened since 2013, when French forces repelled allied Islamist and Tuareg rebel fighters who held much of the north, including Timbuktu.

The UN says attacks by militant Islamists against government forces, UN peacekeepers and French troops have dramatically increased in recent months. There were 75 attacks between June and September – double the total of the previous four months. Malian troops suffered the heaviest casualties.

The UN mission in Mali (Minusma) employs more than 12,000 uniformed personnel and 1,350 civilians, at an annual cost of $1bn (£0.75bn).

The Dutch contingent is mostly involved in reconnaissance missions, police training and intelligence, according to the Netherlands defence ministry.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Africa, Problemia Energetici

Nigeria quasi fuori dalla recessione. Pil +3.2%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-09-08.

Niger e Nigeria 001

La Nigeria ha 191 milioni di abitanti, aveva nel 2012 un  pil nominale pro capite di 2,743 Usd, pil ppa pro capite 6,108 Usd, pil nominale pro capite sceso a 1,976 Usd nel 2016 a seguito di una severa crisi economica, determinata in gran parte dalla crisi petrolifera.

Ancora una volta si è dovuto assistere al ripetersi della Dutch disease, proprio come se la storia non avesse insegnato nulla.

*

Con tutto quello che ci sarebbe da dire, la quasi totalità delle banche dati occidentali si affretta a far notare come la Nigeria sia uno dei tanti stati ove l’omosessualità sia reato punito con la sentenza capitale, tipicamente la lapidazione. Ma una cosa è saziare gli appetitti sessuali, ed una, del tutto differente, quelli degli stomaci.

*

2017-09-06__Nigeria__001

«Signs continue to suggest a timid economic recovery after the economic contraction eased in Q1. The PMI rose to a two-year high in July thanks to a robust domestic market, while the FX window introduced in April is succeeding in attracting portfolio investment and propping up international reserves. However, credit conditions remain restrictive due to tight liquidity, despite an improvement in Q2, and the IMF recently highlighted concerns regarding the implementation of policy measures designed to diversify the economy. In addition, there is uncertainty in the oil sector, after communities in the oil-rich Niger Delta threatened to pull out of peace talks unless their demands regarding poverty reduction are met; this threatens to shatter the fragile peace which has reigned in recent months. The government’s willingness to cap oil production at 1.8 million barrels per day as part of OPEC’s efforts to reduce global supply could also hamper the return of the industry to full strength.»

*

«The economy should pick up speed this year thanks to stronger oil and agricultural sectors and solid public capital spending. However, continuing foreign exchange distortions and policy uncertainty will dampen the expansion, which will remain too meagre to dent unemployment and poverty. Panelists participating in the FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast expect the economy to grow 1.2% in 2017, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.8% in 2018.»

*

Adesso sembrerebbe notarsi una uscita dalla recessione.

«L’economia nigeriana è ufficialmente uscita dalla recessione, facendo registrare una crescita del Pil pari al 3,23 per cento»


Agenzia Nova. 2017-09-05. Nigeria: Pil in crescita del 3,2 per cento, paese fuori dalla recessione

Abuja, 05 set 12:37 – (Agenzia Nova) – L’economia nigeriana è ufficialmente uscita dalla recessione, facendo registrare una crescita del Pil pari al 3,23 per cento. Lo rende noto l’Ufficio statistiche nazionale, secondo cui il dato è dovuto a una maggiore produttività nei settori petrolifero, agricolo e finanziario. La scorsa estate, per la prima volta in un quarto di secolo, la Nigeria è entrata in recessione, registrando contrazioni del Pil per i primi nove mesi del 2016 e perdendo (a vantaggio del Sudafrica) lo scettro di prima economia del continente. Il calo dei prezzi del petrolio sui mercati internazionali, iniziato nel giugno 2014, ha rappresentato un duro colpo per il paese, che conta sui prodotti petroliferi per il 90 per cento delle esportazioni.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Africa, Geopolitica Europea, Unione Europea

Macron. Lo avete appoggiato ed aiutato? Bene: tenetevelo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-07-22.

Aquila_001__Mangia_Topo__

Poche ore or sono La Stampa ha pubblicato la seguente notizia:

Libia, la spallata di Macron all’Italia. A Parigi l’incontro fra Haftar e Sarraj

*

« Macron tenta di scalzare l’Italia nella partita libica facendo entrare a gran voce la sua Francia nel complicato dossier del Paese maghrebino. E lo fa con la pretesa di far incontrare il presidente del Governo di accordo nazionale (Gna), Fayez al-Sarraj, e il generale Khalifa Haftar, l’uomo forte della Cirenaica, in un vertice fissato a Parigi per martedì 25 luglio, per puntare tutto sulla creazione di un esercito nazionale unitario. 

Il neopresidente francese si candida a mediatore privilegiato nel processo di riconciliazione del Paese cercando di ridimensionare il ruolo svolto dall’Italia che per prima paga le ricadute, specie in termini di afflusso di migranti, del caos che ha caratterizzato gli ultimi sei anni di storia libica. 

Oltre un lustro di guerre e conflitti seguiti alla caduta di Muhammar Gheddafi con l’intervento della Nato fortemente sostenuto dalla Francia dell’allora presidente Nicolas Sarkozy. E di cui Macron vuole rilanciarne l’attivismo per assicurarsi una «golden share» nella Libia del futuro, nei suoi asset sotto embargo e soprattutto nel suo petrolio. Forte anche del ruolo dicotomico, o meglio ambiguo, svolto dalla Francia. Nella doppia veste di membro dell’Unione europea e quindi sostenitore del Consiglio presidenziale del Gna guidato da Sarraj e al contempo di interlocutore privilegiato in Occidente di Haftar.  

Fonti diplomatiche arabe parlano di «una sorta di riconoscimento della posizione del generale sul terreno e della legittimità della guerra che ha condotto contro i gruppi radicali». Non a caso l’iniziativa francese ha raccolto il plauso di Emirati Arabi Uniti ed Egitto, i due principali sponsor del generale, specie nei suoi sforzi bellici a Derna, Bengasi e nel Sud della Libia. Si tratta dei Paesi che fra l’altro già avevano organizzato bilaterali tra Sarraj e Haftar, al Cairo lo scorso febbraio concluso con un nulla di fatto, e il secondo a Doha con il primo faccia a faccia tra il generale e il presidente di aprile.  

Parigi si candida quindi ad ospitare un altro giro di colloqui, mettendo sul piatto una posta molto alta: creare una forza armata unita che operi al servizio di tutto il Paese, dalla Tripolitania alla Cirenaica passando per il Sud dove è in corso un confronto militare per procura tra Ovest ed Est. 

Il progetto è ambizioso ma ricco di incognite. In primis per il ruolo che dovrebbe rivestire Haftar, il quale si è detto sempre contrario ad avere incarichi politici. Il secondo per il rischio che una svolta col generale da parte di Sarraj possa avere contraccolpi interni, specie dalle fazioni più legate a Misurata, come accaduto dopo l’incontro di Doha. Se il generale sembra infatti aver già dato risposta positiva a Macron – spiegano fonti libiche – il suo potenziale interlocutore nicchia per non compromettere i recenti progressi politici e militari compiuti dentro e fuori Tripoli.  

Occorre infine considerare che la notizia del vertice arriva dopo il bilaterale tra Macron e Donald Trump tenuto in occasione delle celebrazioni del 14 luglio a Parigi. Non è chiaro se i due presidenti ne abbiano parlato, ma è certo che l’attivismo del titolare dell’Eliseo coincide con l’incontro di Amman del 9 luglio tra l’ambasciatore Usa in Libia, Peter William Bodde, e lo stesso Haftar. «L’obiettivo è creare pressioni sul generale per un accordo con Tripoli», spiegano fonti vicine al Gna. Col rischio che l’operato dell’amministrazione Trump, per cui il dossier libico ha un posto più ridimensionato rispetto a quella Obama, pur puntando a una soluzione unitaria per il Paese, con la logica delle deleghe ai partner europei, apra spazi di intermediazione insidiosi ad attori diversi dall’Italia.»

* * * * * * *

E così Mr Macron scavalca non solo l’Italia ma anche la Unione Europea nel proporsi come unico interlocutore plenipotenziario nelle trattative con la Libia.

«Il neopresidente francese si candida a mediatore privilegiato nel processo di riconciliazione del Paese cercando di ridimensionare il ruolo svolto dall’Italia che per prima paga le ricadute, specie in termini di afflusso di migranti, del caos che ha caratterizzato gli ultimi sei anni di storia libica»

*

«Non a caso l’iniziativa francese ha raccolto il plauso di Emirati Arabi Uniti ed Egitto»

*

Questa iniziativa denota come Mr Macron abbia ben altra tempra del suo predecessore Mr Hollande.

Nel contempo non può fare altro che metterlo in rotta di collisione con Frau Merkel, che al G20 aveva proposto il suo Piano Africa.

E l’Italia? A tutti quelli che qui esultavano per lui non ha concesso nemmeno una caramella.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Africa

Cina. Prima base militare permanente a Djibouti in Africa. Prima non c’era.

iuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-07-16.

2017-07-14__Cina_Gibuti__

«China has dispatched troops to Djibouti in advance of formally establishing the country’s first overseas military base.»

*

«Two Chinese Navy warships left the port of Zhanjiang on Tuesday, taking an undisclosed number of military personnel on the journey across the Indian Ocean»

*

«China joins the US, France and Japan, among others, with permanent bases in Djibouti, a former French colony with a population of less than one million residents»

*

«Though small in both population and size, Djibouti’s position on the tip of the Horn of Africa offers strategic access to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait»

*

«The strait, which is only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, connects the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean beyond»

*

«The US military has some 4,000 troops at Camp Lemonnier, a 100-acre base for which it signed a 10-year, $630 million lease in 2014»

* * * * * * * *

2017-07-13__Cina_Gibuti__

Negli ultimi anni la Cina ha compiuto uno sforzo non indifferente per ristrutturare le proprie forze armate.

Nel 2009 la Cina aveva un budget militare di 98.8 miliardi Usd, salito a 145.8 miliardi nel 2015, ed arrivato a 215.7 miliardi Usd nel 2016.

Negli ultimi anni ha dispiegato un grande impegno nel riarmo delle proprie forze di mare.

Tutto ciò associato ad una intensa attività diplomatica ed economica di penetrazione nel continente africano

Kenya. Nuova linea ferroviaria Nairobi – Mombasa finanziata dalla Cina.

«Cost comparisons have been made between this line and Ethiopia’s 756km Addis Ababa-Djibouti line launched last year»

*

Cina. C919 ed An-225. Si sviluppa l’industria aeronautica cinese.

«La Cina ha rilevato i progetti relativi all’An-124 ed all’An-225. Sono aerei da trasporti di progettazione e costruzione russa. Il primo è un quadrimotore turboventola per il trasporto strategico che volando alla velocità di crociera di 850 km/h può trasportare 150 tonnellate per circa 5,000 kilometri. Il secondo è un esamotore turbofan che ad una velocità di crociera i 860 km/h può trasportare 250 tonnellate di materiali per 15,000 kilometri.»

*

Militari, armi e basi: così la Cina mostra i muscoli in Africa

«Negli ultimi cinque anni la presenza militare cinese in Africa è cambiata. Fino al 2012 si limitava a fornire supporto di basso profilo nelle operazioni internazionali di peacekeeping, preferiva mandare ingegneri e medici che militari. Oggi non è più così. Di fatto la Repubblica popolare è l’ottavo paese per numero di unità militari che partecipano alle operazioni dei Caschi blu in Africa e il primo in assoluto tra i cinque membri permanenti del Consiglio di sicurezza Onu.»

*

Cina e Myanmar. Un possibile sbocco sull’Oceano Indiano.

Cina ed Africa. Una politica di rapporti internazionali paritetici.

Cina. Consolida il suo impero in Africa.

Pirateria. Fregata cinese abborda nave piratata e la libera.

*

Nell’aprile di questo anno una fregata cinese che pattugliava il Golfo di Aden ha liberato una nave da carico dai pirati che la avevano assalita.

«Giornali cinesi locali avrebbero riportato che molti dei pirati sarebbero morti dopo diversi giorni di atroci agonie, amorosamente accuditi da cinesi specializzati nella bisogna».

La pirateria somala è quasi svanita nel nulla per carenza di volontari. I metodi cinesi sono maieutici.

*

Una unica considerazione.

Prima i cinesi non c’erano, ma oggi ci sono.

Nota.

Abbiamo riportato un articolo persino della Cnn, emittente americana che ha dovuto licenziare numerosi suoi giornalisti per aver riportato notizie false ed altre falsificate. Tranquillizziano i signori Lettori: abbiamo controllato con cura che, almeno in questa occasione, non raccontassero troppe frottole, pur essendo la Cnn uno dei sacri templi liberal democratici.


Bbc. 2017-07-12. Djibouti: Chinese troops depart for first overseas military base

Ships carrying Chinese troops are heading to Djibouti to set up Beijing’s first overseas military base, reports state media.

China says the support base will be used for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and West Asia.

It will also be used for military co-operation, naval exercises and rescue missions, Xinhua said.

China has ramped up investment in Africa, as well as rapidly modernised its military in recent years.

The Xinhua report said the ships departed from the port city of Zhanjiang in China’s southern Guangdong province on Tuesday.

It did not specify the number of troops or ships that departed for Djibouti, nor when the base would start operations.

The report said the Djibouti base came after “friendly negotiations” between the two countries. Previous reports said construction began last year.

The base is widely seen as a move by China to stake its military presence in the region.

But an editorial (in Chinese) on Wednesday in the state-run Global Times said that the “essential purpose of China’s development of its military might is to protect ‘China’s safety’, and is not about seeking to control the world”.

The newspaper pointed out that the US, Japan and France also have military bases in Djibouti.

Djibouti, a tiny country at the Horn of Africa, is favoured for its location as it sits near a busy shipping route. It is also seen as a stable country in an otherwise volatile region.

In 2015, at a major summit with African nations, China pledged to invest $60bn (then £40bn) in Africa’s development.

Besides becoming the continent’s largest trading partner, it has also poured in funds and manpower for infrastructure projects.

Many of them are railways linking up African countries, including one that connects Djibouti with the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as well as railways in Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.

In return, Africa supplies China with natural resources, minerals and energy.

China also embarked on its first foreign peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2015.


Cnn. 2017-07-12. China sends troops to Djibouti, establishes first overseas military base

China has dispatched troops to Djibouti in advance of formally establishing the country’s first overseas military base.

Two Chinese Navy warships left the port of Zhanjiang on Tuesday, taking an undisclosed number of military personnel on the journey across the Indian Ocean.

An editorial Wednesday in the state-run Global Times stressed the importance of the new Djibouti facility — in the strategically located Horn of Africa — to the Chinese military.

“Certainly this is the People’s Liberation Army’s first overseas base and we will base troops there. It’s not a commercial resupply point… This base can support Chinese Navy to go farther, so it means a lot,” said the paper.

The Global Times said the main role of the base would be to support Chinese warships operating in the region in anti-piracy and humanitarian operations.

“It’s not about seeking to control the world,” said the editorial.

Chinese military presence

At a regular press briefing Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang described the base as part of ongoing efforts to help bring peace and security to the region.

“China has been deploying naval ships to waters off Somalia in the Gulf of Aden to conduct escorting missions since 2008,” said Geng. “The completion and operation of the base will help China better fulfill its international obligations in conducting escorting missions and humanitarian assistance … It will also help promote economic and social development in Djibouti.”

China has expanded its military ties across Africa in recent years. According to a report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), cooperation with Africa on peace and security is now an “explicit part of Beijing’s foreign policy.”

In 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping committed 8,000 troops to the UN peacekeeping standby force — one fifth of the 40,000 total troops committed by 50 nations — China also pledged $100 million to the African Union standby force and $1 billion to establish the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund.

More than 2,500 Chinese combat-ready soldiers and police officers are now deployed in blue-helmet missions across the African continent, with the largest deployments in South Sudan (1,051), Liberia (666), and Mali (402), according to the ECFR.

“Blue-helmet deployments give the PLA a chance to build up field experience abroad — and to help secure Chinese economic interests in places such as South Sudan,” said the ECFR report.

Africa is home to an estimated one million Chinese nationals, with many employed in infrastructure projects backed by the Chinese government.

“China’s involvement in African security is a product of a wider transformation of China’s national defense policy. It is taking on a global outlook … and incorporating new concepts such as the protection of overseas interests and open seas protection,” said the ECFR report.

US ‘strategic interests’

China joins the US, France and Japan, among others, with permanent bases in Djibouti, a former French colony with a population of less than one million residents.

Though small in both population and size, Djibouti’s position on the tip of the Horn of Africa offers strategic access to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

The strait, which is only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, connects the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean beyond.

One of the world’s most important sea lanes, millions of barrels of oil and petroleum products pass through the strait daily, according to GlobalSecurity.org.

US Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, stressed Djibouti’s location during a visit to the US Camp Lemonnier garrison there earlier this year.

“This particular piece of geography is very, very important to our strategic interests,” Waldhauser said in joint appearance with US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

The US military has some 4,000 troops at Camp Lemonnier, a 100-acre base for which it signed a 10-year, $630 million lease in 2014, according to media reports.

Elsewhere in Djibouti, the US military operates the Chabelley Airfield, from which the Pentagon stages drone airstrikes, likely into Somalia and across the Bab el-Mandeb Strait into Yemen, according to the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in New York. The Pentagon is investing millions in the base, and satellite photos show several construction projects, the center reported last year.

‘Get-rich-quick scheme’

Japan, which has seen tense relations with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea, has established what it calls an “activity facility” to support its anti-piracy efforts there.

A spokesperson for the Japan Self Defense Forces said 170 troops are at its 30-acre facility in Djibouti.

Lease terms would not be released, but Japan will spend about $9 million to operate the facility this fiscal year, the spokesperson said.

Edward Paice, director of the London-based Africa Research Institute, said a base in Djibouti makes a lot of sense for China, just as it does for Japan or the US.

“It (China) has cited its desire to play a greater role in peacekeeping, and it has combat troops in both South Sudan and Mali. It’s logical that it needs an actual base somewhere in Africa, which is really no different from the Americans saying that they need Camp Lemonnier as a headquarters for operations in Africa, whether in peacekeeping or counterterror or whatever,” Paice said on The Cipher Brief website.

Paice points out that China made a substantial investment in Djibouti — about $500 million, according to reports — to build the Djibouti portion of a rail line to the capital of neighboring Ethiopia.

“It’s a confluence of these factors — trade, military, and stability in the host country’s government” that brought China to Djibouti, Paice said.

Meanwhile, for Djibouti, it’s all about money, Paice said. “This is a fantastic get-rich-quick scheme — to rent bits of desert to foreign powers. It’s as simple as that.”

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Geopolitica Africa

Kenya. Nuova linea ferroviaria Nairobi – Mombasa finanziata dalla Cina.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-06-11.

2017-06-09__Kenya__001

«Kenya’s new railway at a glance:

– Cost $3.2bn (£2.5bn)

– Funding for the 472km (293 mile) project was provided by China

– It took three-and-a-half years to build, using Chinese track-laying technology

– The line is supposed to eventually connect land-locked South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean

– It cuts the journey time between Mombasa and Nairobi to four-and-a-half hours, compared with nine hours by bus or 12 hours on the previous railway

– An economy class ticket costs 900 Kenyan shillings ($9; £7), slightly cheaper than a bus ticket. A business class ticket is $30» [Fonte]

2017-06-09__Kenya__002

*

La differenza è lampante.

Obama lectures Kenyan president on gay rights [Cnn]

«President Barack Obama on Saturday lectured Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta about his country’s gay rights record.

“When you start treating people differently not because of any harm they are doing to anybody, but because they are different, that’s the path whereby freedoms begin to erode,” Obama said at a joint press conference with the Kenyan leader in Nairobi. “And bad things happen. …. Obama equated legalized discrimination of gays to legalized racism in America”»

bad things happen“: se il Kenya non accetta la teoria del gender non avrà nessun aiuto economico dall’Occidente. Ed ecco che il Kenya è stato gettato a viva forza nel’orbita politica ed economica cinese.

*

Cina ed Africa. Una politica di rapporti internazionali paritetici.

Cina. Consolida il suo impero in Africa.

Belt and Road Forum. L’alternativa a Davos ed al G20.

Cina. Una diplomazia alla conquista del mondo.

Cina. La diplomazia ferroviaria.

Cina – Pakistan. Inaugurata la strada Gwadar – Kashgar.

Prosegue e si allarga la rivolta all’impèrio mondiale. Gambia.

Kenyatta: Gay rights is a non-issue for Kenya

Rifugiati. Uganda un milione in un anno, e tutti zitti.

*

Al contrario degli Stati Uniti e dell’Occidente in genere, massimamente le Nazioni Unite, la Cina non vincola i propri investimenti alla soddisfazione di propri modi di vedere e sentire i problemi etici e morali. Accetta le altre realtà così come esse siano e richiede solo rapporti paritetici. La Cina investa in Africa ed Asia soprattutto in progetti infrastrutturali, quali ferrovie e strade.

Il solo progetto Belt and Road è dotato di un budget di 124 miliardi di Usd.

«China has touted what it formally calls the Belt and Road initiative as a new way to boost global development since Xi unveiled the plan in 2013, aiming to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.»

*

Nulla da stupirsi quindi che la Cina stia intrattenendo rapporti cordiali con la totalità dei paese africani e moltissimi asiatici: le infrastrutture rimangono ed alla fine producono indotto e prosperità.

Gli africani hanno bisogno di poter vivere in pace, poter mobilizzare le proprie risorse, potersi guadagnare quello che loro occorre per vivere, essere trattati da esseri umani.

Dovrebbero essere ben chiari i motivi dei fallimenti delle politiche occidentali in Africa.

Senza Realpolitik si fanno solo guai.


Bbc. 2017-06-08. Will Kenya get value for money from its new railway?

The first major new railway line in Kenya for more than a century, running between the capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa, faces an immediate challenge of justifying its relatively high cost.

*

At $5.6m per kilometre for the track alone, Kenya’s line cost close to three times the international standard and four times the original estimate.

So it is perhaps not surprising that Kenyans have been asking why they seem to have paid so much.

Kenya’s new 472km (293 mile) railway is the country’s biggest infrastructure investment since its independence in 1963. Built to a modern “standard gauge”, it runs parallel to the now-dilapidated metre gauge railway line from the colonial era.

While everyone agrees that Kenya desperately needs more infrastructure, not everyone agrees that this was the most economically sensible solution.

Cost comparisons have been made between this line and Ethiopia’s 756km Addis Ababa-Djibouti line launched last year.

Both are Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) projects financed by Chinese loans, costing $3.4bn (£2.6bn) for Ethiopia and $3.2bn for Kenya.

Ethiopia’s line is more than 250km longer and is electrified, which is typically more expensive; trains running on Kenya’s line will be diesel-powered.

The Kenyan government has said the reasons for this high cost include the terrain that required many bridges and tunnels, land compensation and a need for specifications that would handle greater cargo volumes than Ethiopia’s line.

Therefore, it says, the two projects are not directly comparable.

About 80% of the money for the new railway came through loans from China.

The loans are the country’s biggest yet – amounting to roughly 6% of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is a measure of a country’s economic activity, including all the services and goods produced in a year.

Before Kenya started building the railway, government advisers Canadian Pacific Consulting Services (CPSC) challenged its economic viability in a 2009 study.

It concluded that the benefit of building a new standard gauge railway would be marginal. It was considered “cost prohibitive” using “even the most optimistic” traffic and income projections, it said.

But Transport Minister James Macharia has said the Kenyan government expects the new line to boost GDP by 1.5%, allowing the Chinese loans to be paid back “in about four years”.

That projection runs counter to recent fears that Kenya may soon become unable to pay the large amounts owing on existing loans.

Heavy borrowing has seen public debt rise to more than half of GDP in the last four years, yet there has been no corresponding growth in revenue.

Most of the railway’s revenue is expected to come from transporting cargo. Only 5% of cargo is currently being transported on the old railway line while 95% goes by road, but Kenya Railways is aiming to push its share to 40% by 2025 with the new track.

It is possible that a law will be passed requiring certain goods to be transported by rail to ensure a massive transfer of freight away from the roads.

The new railway also faces a regional contest. Tanzania and Kenya compete to serve the transit trade of landlocked Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

A 2013 World Bank study predicted that freight traffic on the entire East Africa Community rail network would grow to approximately 14.4 million tonnes per year by 2030.

The same study found that investment in a standard gauge railway appeared “only to be justified if the new infrastructure could attract additional rail freight in the order of 20-55 million tonnes per year”.

By that measure, the railway would need to win all of the freight currently trucked to and from Mombasa – and more. According to the Kenya Ports Authority, Mombasa port handled a total of just over 26 million tonnes of cargo in 2015.

Pubblicato in: Criminalità Organizzata, Geopolitica Africa

Rifugiati. Uganda un milione in un anno, e tutti zitti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-03-28.

South_Sudan-CIA_WFB_Map

«Il nome Sudan deriva dall’espressione araba Bilād al-Sūdān, ossia “Paese degli uomini neri”. ….

La popolazione del Sudan ha una lunga storia fin dall’antichità, che si intreccia con la storia dell’Egitto. Il Sudan ha sofferto diciassette anni di guerra civile, durante la guerra civile sudanese (1955-1972), seguita dalla seconda guerra civile sudanese (1983-1998) tra il governo centrale del Sudan e il SPLA/M del Sudan del sud. A causa delle continue lotte politiche e militari, il Sudan è stato sequestrato in un incruento colpo di Stato dal colonnello Omar al-Bashir, nel 1989, che si proclamò presidente del Sudan. La guerra civile si è conclusa con la firma di un accordo globale di pace che ha concesso l’autonomia a quella che allora era la regione meridionale del paese. A seguito di un referendum tenutosi nel gennaio 2011, il Sudan del Sud si separò il 9 luglio 2011 con il consenso del Sudan.» [Fonte]

*

«Nel dicembre del 2013 è scoppiato un conflitto etnico tra le forze governative del presidente Kiir di etnia dinka e quelle fedeli all’ex vicepresidente Machar di etnia nuer. ….

Il 9 luglio 2011 il Sudan del Sud è diventato uno Stato pienamente indipendente, anche se permangono alcune controversie con il Nord, quali la ripartizione dei proventi del petrolio i cui giacimenti si trovano all’80% nel Sudan del Sud: questo potrebbe rappresentare un incredibile potenziale economico in un’area fra le più povere al mondo. La maggior parte degli impianti di raffinazione si trova invece al Nord. La regione di Abyei rimane ancora disputata fra Nord e Sud e lì si dovrebbe tenere un referendum nel corso del 2011 per decidere a quale dei due stati l’area debba appartenere.

Nel dicembre del 2013 in Sudan del Sud si è verificato un tentato colpo di Stato nel quale le forze leali al presidente Salva Kiir di etnia dinka si sono scontrate con quelle fedeli all’ex vicepresidente Riech Machar di etnia nuer, esonerato a luglio a causa dei forti contrasti con Kiir. Si suppone che almeno 50.000 persone siano state uccise nel corso di questo conflitto etnico.» [Fonte]

*

Il problema dovrebbe essere evidente.

Il Sudan del Sud è uno dei paesi più miseri del mondo.

La scoperta dei grandi campi petroliferi avrebbe potuto cambiare radicalmente la sua situazione: non si dice ricchi, ma quanto meno non più alla fame.

Ma gli appetiti sono smodati, insaziabili. Poi, buona parte delle forze internazionali ha fatto tutto ciò che è stato possibile per fomentare dapprima la guerra civile e di religione, quindi, per cacciare più benzina possibile sul fuoco, aizzando una guerra etnica in una popolazione che da secoli se ne viveva in santa pace.

Il risultato è una distruzione di tutto quel poco che c’era ed un esodo di massa, per lo più indirizzato verso l’Uganda.

Intendiamoci: non che l’Uganda sguazzi nel benessere, ma

“At least here, there are no sounds of gunshots at night.”

Ha accolto quasi più di 800,000 profughi: ed adesso non ce la fa più.

La comunità internazionale finge di non vedere e non sentire. Manda rifornimenti di armi e munizioni alle fazioni in lotta e qualche cassa di preservativi ai rifugiati.

Poi, piangono se un cane è stato abbandonato in autostrada oppure se si estinguono le foche monache.

Per quei morti e per quel milione di migranti, nulla: nulla di nulla.

*

È una situazione che grida vendetta a Dio ed agli uomini.


Agenzia Nova. 2017-03-26. Cooperazione: Grandi (Unhcr), in Uganda la peggiore crisi migratoria.

Ginevra , 24 mar 10:09 – (Agenzia Nova) – La peggiore crisi migratoria riguarda l’Uganda, dove ogni giorno arrivano mille rifugiati sudsudanesi. Lo scrive sul suo profilo Twitter l’Alto commissario delle Nazioni Unite per i rifugiati, Filippo Grandi, che insieme al governo ugandese ha lanciato un appello alla comunità internazionale chiedendo supporto per i migliaia di rifugiati che quotidianamente arrivano nel paese. “L’Uganda ha continuato a tenere aperti i suoi confini, ma questo flusso di arrivi senza precedenti sta mettendo sotto pressione i servizi pubblici e l’infrastruttura locale”, ha detto il primo ministro Ruhakana Rugunda, citato in un comunicato dell’Alto commissariato Onu per i rifugiati (Unhcr). “Siamo a un punto di non ritorno”, ha commentato da parte sua Grandi, “l’Uganda non può gestire da sola la più grande crisi di rifugiati in Africa”. Ad oggi il paese ha accolto più di 800 mila rifugiati sudsudanesi. Di questi 572 mila sono arrivati in Uganda da luglio 2016. Di questo passo, avverte l’Unhcr, il dato supererà presto il milione.


Aljazeera. 2017-03-26. South Sudan: ‘There are only dead bodies’

South Sudanese who have fled to Uganda – escaping rape, murder, assault and torture – share their stories.

*

Moyo, Yumbe, and Adjumani, Uganda – Edina Itaya shakes under the scorching sun in northern Uganda . Mechanically, she describes her oldest son’s final day in South Sudan . “They came to our house and took my son, drowned him in the river. That is why I fled,” Edina whispers calmly, before describing the four days in September when she was raped by government soldiers.

In the Bidibidi settlement in northern Uganda – one of the largest refugee settlements in the world – Edina is surrounded by clay huts, filled latrines and naked children. The settlement is home to 272,000 South Sudanese; some of the  800,000 who, according to the United Nations, have escaped to Uganda.

Fleeing south from their home, Edina and her three remaining children made it to the town of Baji, where they, along with other women and children, were captured by government soldiers. “They took us to a pile of bodies. The soldiers took off our clothes and raped us, the soldiers were everywhere,” she says.

For four days, Edina and the other women were kept locked in a room, separated from their children. Every day, women were picked out, taken to the bush and raped by multiple soldiers.

In March 2016, the UN documented more than 1,300 rapes in just one of South Sudan’s 10 regions, describing how rape is used in lieu of salary in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), South Sudan’s army.

The SPLA formed as an armed movement in the 1980s and helped South Sudan obtain independence from Sudan in 2011. But civil war broke out in 2013 when President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe and commander-in-chief of the SPLA, claimed that Vice-President Riek Machar from the Nuer tribe was plotting a presidential coup, throwing the country into a state of civil war and Machar into exile.

A peace deal was reached in April 2016 and Machar was reinstated as vice-president, but in July conflict broke out again.

Today, the same army that fought for the independence of the people of South Sudan commits crimes against them.

“My husband is still in South Sudan, he fights for the SPLA,” says Edina. “I don’t sleep at night, I just think,” she says, staring blankly. 

Nothing but bodies

The war in South Sudan was previously concentrated in the north, but has recently moved further south, reaching the town of Kajo Keji in the Central Equatoria state, forcing thousands to flee across the border to Uganda. Most say they fled in fear of the government forces as they hunt for rebels.

Anyik Chaplain left Kajo Keji only a few days ago, after witnessing four people being killed when rebels clashed with government forces near his home after attacking a police station. “It was at night, at 6am, when I heard the gunshots,” he says. “Half an hour later I was told that the police officers were dead. Then we watched the fighting with our own eyes. We had to move.”

He says that he feared both the government forces mistaking him for a rebel and the rebels suspecting him of helping the army.

“There is no schooling, no food, no services, no authorities, no market – it is a ghost town,” Anyik says.

Luka Lemi, 43, also escaped Kajo Keji last week. “On Sunday, during prayers, they came,” he says. “A person came in and said, ‘The soldiers are coming’. Both rebels and government forces. We left while they were fighting. Four people were killed.” 

Many refugees cross the border illegally, escaping the patrolling government soldiers, whom they say demand one last sacrifice before the civilians can leave South Sudan: three American dollars.

Refugees say they try to avoid the soldiers, travelling through the bush, down the hill, across the dried out Kaya stream separating the two countries, up the hill, and into safety.

“They [soldiers] beat me when they came looking for rebels,” says Moses  Nyaya . Moments earlier, Moses and his family had registered at the temporary reception centre in the town of Afoji, five kilometres from the border.

Thousands of South Sudanese crossed into Uganda each day in February,  peaking on February 1, when about 6,700 crossed over, explains Babar Baloch from the UNHCR. Baloch says that the levels of migration are comparable with when fighting broke out in July 2016.

“I have no hope of going back, even if the situation changes. There are only dead bodies in that country,” Moses says as he waits to be transported to a nearby refugee settlement. Soon, a truck is filled with people, bicycles, pots and pans.

The lorry will go to one of the refugee settlements in the region. Moses will build a new home there on a plot of land –   in theory 30 square-metres  –   that the Ugandan government provides for each refugee. The UN and the international community deliver aid, of which 30 percent must go to the local hosting community.

However, plots of 30 square-metres are hard to spot. Houses and tents are in close proximity. Holes in the ground serve as toilets – not far apart.

War-driven famine

Refugees describe how the aid provided by the UN and the international NGOs does not suffice. Last year the rations were cut in half and the diet is meagre and repetitive.

In February the UN declared a famine in South Sudan – the first anywhere in six years. It is a direct result of the conflict.

Roughly 5.5 million people, or about 50 percent of South Sudan’s population, are expected to become severely food insecure and at risk of death in the coming months, said the UN report.

Organised rapes, mass killings of civilians, and recruitment and use of child soldiers has caused Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein,  the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to describe the situation in South Sudan as one of the most dire human rights situations in the world.

South Sudan’s refugee crisis is, according to the UN, the biggest in Africa and the third largest globally, as 1.5 million have left the country. Another 2.1 million are internally displaced. Only Syria and Afghanistan produce more refugees.

For men who have fought in the conflict and then fled, there is no escaping their past – regardless of allegiance.

The deserter

Gunshots occupy Emmanuel Malice’s dreams, and sometimes the bullets hit him. “I joined the government forces when I was 11,” he says, at a safe distance from his neighbours in the Bidibidi settlement.

He is one of several former SPLA soldiers in the settlements, who fled the war they previously fought in.

“I entered the army in 1997 and left when the fighting erupted in July 2016,” says Emmanuel. What should have brought peace to his country turned into an ethnic conflict. “I killed when we liberated South Sudan, but never civilians,” he says.

His last memory from South Sudan is of the murder of his brother. “He was a priest, he was killed by government forces,” Emmanuel says.

He has no physical scars from the war. “All my injuries are in my mind, my family was killed,” he says, regretting that he ever fought in the war. He finds moments of peace under a makeshift awning, shared with neighbouring refugees.

The rebel

Frazer Lucky’s handshake is firm, even though the fingers on his right hand are missing most of their joints. They were blown off during battles in the South Sudanese town of Yei in 1997.

Frazer –   a pseudonym he uses, fearing the SPLA will find and kidnap him –   fought in the government forces before changing sides to the rebels.

“I joined the SPLA when I was 11,” he says. There were many boys his age in the war; the children’s faces haunt him in his dreams.

“I fired my weapon many times in the name of freedom,” says Frazer. He left the government army in 2008 as he was dissatisfied with going unpaid and with how he says members of the Dinka tribe were favoured. “It is all about power, I have seen tribes being slaughtered,” he says.

He joined the rebels – forces loyal mainly to the former vice president, Riek Machar. But his will to fight was gone. “In the middle of a fight, I gave my weapon to my commander and said; I have had enough, I am tired of fighting, I have fought since 1990. Now I will leave this country.”

Frazer, his wife and their seven children walked 150km to the border. “South Sudan is moving backwards,” he says,  drawing in the sand with a stick.  “My future is in Uganda.”

His children surround him, while his wife gathers water along with the other women in the camp.

The 86 percent

Rose Tamaka is due to give birth to her sixth child any day now. Her husband is still in South Sudan. He went back to get his mother, but Rose has not heard from him in a month. She reminisces about her home. “We had land back there,” she says quietly.

Rose and her children are among the 86 percent of South Sudanese refugees who, according to the UN, are women and children.

“Here, I have a bit of land to cultivate but water remains a challenge and the boreholes are broken,” she says, cooking one of two meals the family shares a day.

The many long-drop toilets in the area – basically holes in the ground – have to be moved monthly, making it hard to plant crops. When combined with water shortages, land cultivation becomes a challenge.

“We are not reaching our 20 litres a day per person target, we are at 14.6 [litres] right now,” says Joao Sobral, team leader of the UN unit in the region.

Rose rises at 6am every morning, cleans her small plot and cooks flour porridge for her children.

“I am bored during the day, and I cannot sleep at night. I am tortured by thoughts of home,” she says. “[The children] used to ask: Why are we here? We want to go home. I told them about the violence and killings in South Sudan, and then they understood,” says Rose, as the sun starts to set on the thousands of families in the settlement.

Open borders

After the Bidibidi settlement in Uganda closed to new refugees on December 8, having filled up in only four months, the Palorinya settlement opened in the Moyo region. Palorinya’s population grew to 111,000 people in only two months.

Uganda’s ongoing open-door refugee policy has received praise from the international community, especially from the UN, for being progressive and forward-thinking.

At a reception centre in Yumbe, local UN representative Frederick Jackson Oculi labels the Ugandan refugee policy “second to none”.

The east African nation is among the 10 countries in the world with the highest refugee population – hosting around 865,000 by December 2016.

Robert Baryamswesiga, Uganda’s Bidibidi settlement administrator, describes how attempts are made to put the refugees to work. One of the working refugees is Charles Moro, who proudly shows off some of the 754 shelters he helped to build. “It feels good to do something, to contribute,” he says. Other men are digging holes in the ground that will serve as toilets or boreholes.

“They are like gasoline to our economy,” Robert says.

He explains how refugees, in principle, have free movement. “We have gotten them to safety, now they must live,” he says.

However, Chris Dolan, director at the Refugee Law Project at Makerere University in Uganda, says there are limitations. “Those living in settlements are supposed to seek permission to travel inside Uganda, and for many of them who do not have experience in farming, being caught in the settlements up north is a problem,” he says.

Dolan asks, rhetorically, what choice Uganda had when South Sudanese initially sought safety: “How are you going to stop one million refugees crossing an extensive land border?”

The process is not entirely smooth, Titus Jogo, an administrator responsible for implementing Uganda’s open-door policy in the Adjumani region, admits. “We are struggling with poverty here, we need support,” he says.

According to the World Bank, Uganda is one of the world’s poorest countries and about 20 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day.

Most of the poorest Ugandans live in the country’s northern region, which shelters hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Despite the challenges, Titus Jogo insists local businesses have benefited, and a 2016 study conducted by researchers from Davis University and the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) backs Jogo’s claims. The study found that “when a refugee household receives cash from the WFP, the annual income in the Ugandan economy increases by $1,100 – and by $850 when the assistance is given in the form of in-kind food”.

It took time before the local community felt the benefits. Isaac Vuchiri lives in Egge – a village bordering the Adjumani settlement. “There is improvement, like in medicine and healthcare, and lots of schools constructed. There was one school before, now there are 15,” he says.

Beatrice Eimani, another villager, describes how hunger has come to Egge. “We used to get porridge for breakfast, and then dinner. Now it’s only one meal a day.”

“The hunger affects us a lot. My children do not get enough to eat and they ask for food. I try and calm them down and give them just a little bit,” says Beatrice – pointing to where she previously harvested crops on fields that are now populated by Adjumani settlement inhabitants.

Isaac describes how water shortages were exacerbated as the refugees arrived, explaining how recently constructed boreholes – paid for by the UN and the international community, like all aid in the area – have improved the situation. 

More boreholes will soon be needed. On February 23, the Imvepi settlement opened in the Arua region, and will accommodate another 110,000 South Sudanese refugees – some of the 925,000 the UN expects will arrive in Uganda this year.

Everyone suffers

In December 2016, then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “the risk of these mass atrocities, which include recurring episodes of ethnic cleansing, escalating into possible genocide is all too real”.

In a letter seen by Reuters news agency and sent by a former government army general, Thomas Cirillo Swaka, he described the military raping and killing civilians, and a network of secret prisons where torture is endemic.

According to Swaka, the government has systematically transformed the SPLA into a tribal army, while “terrorising their opponents, real or perceived, has become a preoccupation of the government”.

The  former general  describes how  the government has used decrees to de-populate oil-rich regions, some of which are Nuer tribal heartlands.  The military, police and other security branches systematically recruit and post Dinkas to support a policy of land occupation, he wrote.

Some point out that it is not only members of Nuer tribe who are suffering from government violence. 

“The politicians talk about Dinkas and Nuers, but I only see South Sudanese being killed,” says Simon Marchiek, a member of the Dinka tribe and one of 160,000 inhabitants of the three-year-old Adjumani settlement.

“Everyone complains about the government army, including the Dinkas. South Sudanese are suffering under President Kiir’s rule,” says Marchiek .

While the South Sudanese government has not responded to Al Jazeera’s request for comment, Ateny Wek Ateny, a spokesman for the presidency, told the South Sudanese newspaper, the Sudan Tribune, that reports of genocide and violations of human rights are merely an attempt to garner international sympathy for sanctions and embargoes on the country. 

The victims say they have no means of reporting the assaults, murders and rapes by the government forces. “There is no justice,” says Edina Itaya, back at the Bidibidi settlement.

She scans the settlement when asked what the future holds. “My children might have a future, but I do not have one. I do not know how long I will be on this earth. Not for long I think.”

Edina is in pain when she eats – the beatings she received while being gang raped have given her chronic kidney problems and an ulcer.

As long as the killings continue in South Sudan, Edina does not want to return. She would rather live here, in a temporary structure, with the stench of urine, faeces and sweat, among hundreds of thousands of compatriots, she says. 

“At least here, there are no sounds of gunshots at night.”

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Africa, Medio Oriente, Terrorismo Islamico

Russia. Inviati reparti militari in Egitto.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-03-14.

Egitto 011

«Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days»

*

«The U.S. and diplomatic officials said any such Russian deployment might be part of a bid to support Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar»

*

«the United States has observed what appeared to be Russian special operations forces and drones at Sidi Barrani, about 60 miles (100 km) from the Egypt-Libya border»

*

«Russia also used another Egyptian base farther east in Marsa Matrouh in early February»

*

«Russian military aircraft flew about six military units to Marsa Matrouh before the aircraft continued to Libya about 10 days later»

*

«Several Western countries, including the U.S., have sent special operations forces and military advisors into Libya over the past two years»

*

«Questions about Russia’s role in north Africa coincide with growing concerns in Washington about Moscow’s intentions in oil-rich Libya, which has become a patchwork of rival fiefdoms in the aftermath of a 2011 NATO-backed uprising against the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was a client of the former Soviet Union»

*

«A force of several dozen armed private security contractors from Russia operated until February in a part of Libya that is under Haftar’s control»

*

«It is pretty clear the Egyptians are facilitating Russian engagement in Libya by allowing them to use these bases»

* * * * * * *

A quanto sembrerebbe, i russi avrebbero dislocati in Egitto solo un modestissimo numero di militari e, sempre apparentemente, senza particolari armamenti.

Di certo, lo hanno fatto con il consenso, o forse anche su richiesta, dell’Egitto. Secondo Izvestia i russi starebbero allestendo una base aerea.

La Libia è tuttora un teatro turbolento ed instabile. Sembrerebbe quasi che lo sport in gran voga nei paesi occidentali sia quello di fomentare torbidi e guerre civili in quella povera nazione.

I russi sono già impegnati in Siria ed hanno stretto rapporti privilegiati con l’Iran.

Questa mossa potrebbe anche essere l’inizio di un loro impegno non solo nel Medio Oriente, ma anche in Africa del Nord.


Reuters. 2017-03-14. Exclusive: Russia appears to deploy forces in Egypt, eyes on Libya role

Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days, U.S., Egyptian and diplomatic sources say, a move that would add to U.S. concerns about Moscow’s deepening role in Libya.

The U.S. and diplomatic officials said any such Russian deployment might be part of a bid to support Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, who suffered a setback with an attack on March 3 by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) on oil ports controlled by his forces.

The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States has observed what appeared to be Russian special operations forces and drones at Sidi Barrani, about 60 miles (100 km) from the Egypt-Libya border.

Egyptian security sources offered more detail, describing a 22-member Russian special forces unit, but declined to discuss its mission. They added that Russia also used another Egyptian base farther east in Marsa Matrouh in early February.

The apparent Russian deployments have not been previously reported.

The Russian defense ministry did not immediately provide comment on Monday and Egypt denied the presence of any Russian contingent on its soil.

“There is no foreign soldier from any foreign country on Egyptian soil. This is a matter of sovereignty,” Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said.

The U.S. military declined comment. U.S. intelligence on Russian military activities is often complicated by its use of contractors or forces without uniforms, officials say.

Russian military aircraft flew about six military units to Marsa Matrouh before the aircraft continued to Libya about 10 days later, the Egyptian sources said.

Reuters could not independently verify any presence of Russian special forces and drones or military aircraft in Egypt.

Mohamed Manfour, commander of Benina air base near Benghazi, denied that Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) had received military assistance from the Russian state or from Russian military contractors, and said there were no Russian forces or bases in eastern Libya.

Several Western countries, including the U.S., have sent special operations forces and military advisors into Libya over the past two years. The U.S. military also carried out air strikes to support a successful Libyan campaign last year to oust Islamic State from its stronghold in the city of Sirte.

Questions about Russia’s role in north Africa coincide with growing concerns in Washington about Moscow’s intentions in oil-rich Libya, which has become a patchwork of rival fiefdoms in the aftermath of a 2011 NATO-backed uprising against the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was a client of the former Soviet Union.

The U.N.-backed government in Tripoli is in a deadlock with Haftar, and Russian officials have met with both sides in recent months. Moscow appears prepared to back up its public diplomatic support for Haftar even though Western governments were already irked at Russia’s intervention in Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad.

A force of several dozen armed private security contractors from Russia operated until February in a part of Libya that is under Haftar’s control, the head of the firm that hired the contractors told Reuters.

The top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, told the U.S. Senate last week that Russia was trying to exert influence in Libya to strengthen its leverage over whoever ultimately holds power.

“They’re working to influence that,” Waldhauser told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Asked whether it was in the U.S. interest to let that happen, Waldhauser said: “It is not.”

REGAINING TOE-HOLD

One U.S. intelligence official said Russia’s aim in Libya appeared to be an effort to “regain a toe-hold where the Soviet Union once had an ally in Gaddafi.”

“At the same time, as in Syria, they appear to be trying to limit their military involvement and apply enough to force some resolution but not enough to leave them owning the problem,” the official added, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Russia’s courting of Haftar, who tends to brand his armed rivals as Islamist extremists and who some Libyans see as the strongman their country needs after years of instability, has prompted others to draw parallels with Syria, another longtime Soviet client.

Asked by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham whether Russia was trying to do in Libya what it did in Syria, Waldhauser said: “Yes, that’s a good way to characterize it.”

A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia was looking to back Haftar, although its initial focus would likely be on Libya’s “oil crescent.”

“It is pretty clear the Egyptians are facilitating Russian engagement in Libya by allowing them to use these bases. There are supposedly training exercises taking place there at present,” the diplomat said. 

Egypt has been trying to persuade the Russians to resume flights to Egypt, which have been suspended since a Russian plane carrying 224 people from the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh to St Petersburg was brought down by a bomb in October 2015. The attack was claimed by an Islamic State branch that operates out of northern Sinai.

Russia says that its primary objective in the Middle East is to contain the spread of violent Islamist groups.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pledged this month to help unify Libya and foster dialogue when he met the leader of the U.N.-backed government, Fayez Seraj.

Russia, meanwhile, is also deepening its relations with Egypt, which had ties to the Soviet Union from 1956 to 1972.

The two countries held joint military exercises – something the U.S. and Egypt did regularly until 2011 – for the first time in October.

Russia’s Izvestia newspaper said in October that Moscow was in talks to open or lease an airbase in Egypt. Egypt’s state-owned Al Ahram newspaper, however, quoted the presidential spokesman as saying Egypt would not allow foreign bases.

The Egyptian sources said there was no official agreement on the Russian use of Egyptian bases. There were, however, intensive consultations over the situation in Libya.

Egypt is worried about chaos spreading from its western neighbor and it has hosted a flurry of diplomatic meetings between leaders of the east and west in recent months.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Africa

Cina. Finanzia in Guinea-Bissau la ristrutturazione dello stadio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-02-27.

guinea-001

La Guinea-Bissau è uno staterello africano di circa un milione e mezzo di anime, con un pil pro capite di 521$. È uno dei venti paesi più poveri del mondo. Fino a dieci anni or sono vivacchiava esportando anacardi, poi fu invaso dalle locuste che vi fecero gran banchetto.

Non ha rete ferroviaria. Questo handicap è un severo ostacolo allo sfruttamento delle risorse minerarie, prevalentemente bauxite e fosfati.

L’idea che la Guinea-Bissau possa rendere un debito pregresso è talmente remota che nessuno presta qualcosa a questa nazione.

*

Cina. Consolida il suo impero in Africa.

Perché alla Cina interessa l’Africa

*

Domandiamoci quindi perché la Cina sia così popolare e ben accolta in Africa, mentre gli occidentali sono fortemente malvisti.

«Politici e accademici cinesi ritengono che il ruolo della Prc in Africa si basi su principi di rispetto reciproco, parità e amicizia in campi che non riguardano solo l’economia. Nonostante l’enfasi sulla “non interferenza” e sulla depoliticizzazione delle relazioni, Pechino impone ai paesi africani una condizione preliminare per lo sviluppo di qualsiasi rapporto: l’accettazione del principio “una sola Cina”, che implica il riconoscimento diplomatico esclusivo della Prc e non di Taiwan.»

*

«Il sine qua non della non interferenza ha due effetti principali: il primo impone ai governanti africani di astenersi dal criticare la Cina per le sue politiche interne o per i suoi modi di realizzazione degli investimenti nei loro paesi; il secondo consente alla Prc di sottrarsi a interventi di risoluzione delle frequenti e complicate crisi africane. Dalla prospettiva cinese, i diritti umani sono intesi come sviluppo economico del singolo piuttosto che come libertà individuali o partecipazione politica. Le critiche occidentali agli abusi cinesi sulle popolazioni locali sono viste da Pechino come un tentativo di demonizzazione delle sue politiche di sviluppo in Africa.»

*

Si dovrebbe anche aggiungere come la Cina abbia una visione strategica degli investimenti, ossia di lungo – lunghissimo termine, e privilegi gli investimenti nelle infrastrutture. Ossia proprio in ciò in cui i paesi africani sono carenti.

Poi, oltre il rapporto meramente economico, come nel caso in allegato sono pronti anche a fare dei regali, denari elargiti a fondo perduto.

* * *

«China’s popularity in Africa is strong. Its policy of not linking aid and investments to human rights and good governance has made Beijing many friends on the continent, beyond its authoritarian governments.»

Questa frase tratta da un articolo di Deutsche Welle spiega alla perfezione cosa abbia reso odiosi gli Occidentali o, meglio, americani e tedeschi.

Nell’ormai celebre visita in Kenya fatta dal Presidente Obama, questi vincolò rapporti politici e commerciali, nonché aiuti all’accettazione da parte kenyota di un modello gestionale a tipo occidentale e, soprattutto, alla piena e totale ammissione dei così detti “human rights“. In cosa essi consistano è ben espresso dalla risposta data, pubblicamente in sede di conferenza stampa, da Mr Kenyatta:

«Kenyan president describes gay rights as a non-issue after Obama calls for equality for gays and lesbians in Africa»

*

«South Africa is the only country on the continent to have legalised gay marriage. Most African countries have made it illegal to be gay or lesbian»

* * *

Sarà molto difficile che i paesi occidentali riescano a recuperare il terreno perso a favore della Cina.


Nova. 2017-02-27. Guinea-Bissau, la Cina finanzia i lavori di ristrutturazione dello stadio di calcio della capitale.

Bissau, 26 feb 15:30 – (Agenzia Nova) – Sono termini i lavori di ristrutturazione del sistema elettrico dello stadio “24 de Setembro”, nella capitale guineana di Bissau. Gli interventi, riferisce la stampa locale, sono stati effettuati in virtù di un appalto da circa 810 mila dollari finanziato dal governo cinese e si sono resi necessari dopo che, nel marzo del 2015, erano stati diversi i cavi che assicuravano l’illuminazione allo stadio. Ad eseguire la riparazione, su una struttura costruita negli ani 90 sempre con capitale di Pechino, sono stati ingegneri arrivati dalla Cina. Oltre ad ospitare incontri di calcio, la struttura da 15 mila posti è anche servita per altri grandi eventi tra cui la cerimonia di insediamento dei presidenti della Guinea Bissau.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Africa, Medio Oriente

Il colpo di stato turko potrebbe contagiare l’Egitto.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-07-20.

 Egitto 001

Il concetto di “democrazia” così come usualmente inteso in Occidente è alieno al mondo islamico: è introvabile nel suo retaggio storico, religioso e culturale. Anche il termine arabo ha radice importata.

Non si direbbe poi che abbiano perso molto.

È quasi di norma la confusione tra cosa significhi “democrazia” e cosa sia il “suffragio“, universale o censuale: uno dovrebbe essere il fine e l’altro il mezzo. Non sono sinonimi.

Il suffragio universale ha permesso la scalata del potere del nazionalsocialismo in Germania e, del tutto recentemente, abbiamo dovuto assistere alle “elezioni all’austriaca“, ossia ad una serie mostruosa di brogli elettorali che alla fine hanno esitato nell’annullamento delle elezioni presidenziali. Ma solo perché una parte politica ha preso una severa posizione. Non sono due esempi che incoraggino sulla strada democratica.

Nei paesi islamici è di norma che il chaos segua la rimozione violenta del dittatore di turno. Basterebbe solo considerare la situazione dell’Iraq oppure quella degli stati del Nord Africa dopo la così detta primavera araba.

*

Troviamo del tutto sequenziale che Aljazeera si interroghi sull’effetto che avrà il colpo di stato turko sull’Egitto, paese in situazione altamente metastabile.

«On the micro-level, the solid civil resistance by Turkish citizens was impressive in 2016 as it was in the Egyptian case of 2011 and 2013.»

*

«It was perhaps the first time in the history of civil resistance to coups when civilian cars have attempted to block fighter-jets’ runways to prevent them from bombing an elected parliament.»

*

«It is also one of the rare times when civilians just duck – not run – under bullets, before they stand up and chant again, once the shooting stops.»

* * * * * * *

Tutto il mondo islamico è in fermento.

Ciascuna nazione con i suoi problemi religiosi, culturali e politici, nonché, realtà troppo spesso dimenticata in Occidente, tribali.

Sarebbe un errore, prima ancora che una ingiustizia, pretendere che ne possano emergere a tempi rapidi.

Nota.

Riportiamo in toto l’articolo di Aljazeera anche se non si condividono taluni passaggi.

Riteniamo tuttavia utile e necessario cercare di comprendere il punto di vista arabo.

 


Aljazeera. 2016-07-20. What Egyptians can learn from Turkey’s failed coup.

The lessons for Egypt are numerous and they will certainly affect the future of democratisation in that country.

*

“The Turkish Army Topples Erdogan”, said the red headline of Al-Ahram’s front page, the leading state-owned Egyptian newspaper on July, 16.

It reflected the wishful thinking of the ruling regime in Egypt, which came to power after plotting a brutal coup against the first democratically elected Egyptian president three years ago.

According to some reports, the representative of the regime in the United Nations Security Council attempted to block a statement to respect the democratically elected government of Turkey. There were no surprises there.

Egypt’s putschists

Both Egypt and Turkey have suffered from many coups and serious coup attempts since the establishment of their republics.

In Egypt, a 1952 coup ended the constitutional monarchy and a 1954 one ended a fragile transitional period and established an “officer’s republic” (PDF).

In 1971, a coup by Nasserist generals was foiled by President Anwar Sadat loyalists. But the last three military interventions in Egypt were quite successful.

A 2011 coup by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ended Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship and cleared the path for a transitional period following an 18-day popular uprising.

The SCAF maintained the special prerogatives of the military, including their veto in high politics, their independent, off-budget military-economic complex, and their legal immunity from civilian courts.

In 2012, a less recognised coup was received with neither local resistance nor international condemnation. The SCAF dissolved the parliament and announced a constitutional declaration to further empower its mandate.

But the 2013 coup was the bloodiest. It revoked the two main gains of the transitional period: unprecedented basic freedoms and unprecedented free and fair elections. It certainly divided the country, perhaps permanently.

Turkey’s dark past

Turkey’s trajectory was quite different. A 1960 coup ended Turkey’s first democratic alternation of power with a resounding tragedy: the execution of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and two others.

The junta of 1960 purged 235 generals, more than 3,000 officers, 500 judges and hundreds of university professors.

A 1971 was a “gentler” coup; by a memorandum rather than murder and purges.

But perhaps the 1980 coup was the bloodiest of all successful ones: 50 executions and more than 500,000 arrests.

Like 1971, the 1997 coup was also by memorandum. Both politicians and public complied.

But the trend started collapsing as of 2007. A coup attempt in the disguise of an e-memorandum published by the military was averted by a combination of early elections and threats to raise the coup costs.

Turkey was certainly changing. And this did not register with the 2016 putschists.

Why did it fail in Turkey?

So, why were the last coups successful in Egypt and utter failures in Turkey? There are about six solid differences.

On a macro-level, Turkey is usually in the second quarter of the Human Development Index. Egypt is usually in the third or the bottom quarter (XLS). The level of social and institutional development mattered.

History also had its impact. The 1980 coup left deep scars on Turkish society. Only the 2013 coup in Egypt had a similar – but quite recent – effect.

On a meso-level, the Turkish political class showed much higher levels of maturity and vision than their Egyptian counterparts.

Generally, most of electoral losers in nascent democracies would opportunistically side with the putschists – a pattern established in Egypt in 1952 and 2013, in most of South American coups of the 1970s, and elsewhere (PDF). In 2016, Turkey was an exception.

The quality of leadership also mattered. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s charisma, tenacity and clarity has been inspirational.

This is in comparison with Mohamed Morsi’s tendency to call the military commanders “men made of gold” and the police as the “heart of the January Revolution”, while they were plotting against the presidency with clear signs as early as March 2013.

The balance of hard power was a fifth critical factor. The Turkish military, security forces and intelligence directorate were instrumental in countering the putschists from the first hour.

“We will fight till the last bullet” was an unusual statement from the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). It did fire up national resistance sentiments, not just among the ranks of the security and military forces, but also among the general population.

The quick anti-coup strategies and tactics employed by the First Army commander, the security special forces, and the MIT were overall quite effective.

None of that occurred in the Egyptian case. Government loyalists and pro-democracy officers could not coordinate a counter-coup strategy, mainly owing to their limited numbers and resources.

But also, in 1954, their forefathers had both numbers and resources. They still failed to counter the coup against Egypt’s first president, Muhammad Naguib.

Civil resistance

On the micro-level, the solid civil resistance by Turkish citizens was impressive in 2016 as it was in the Egyptian case of 2011 and 2013.

It was perhaps the first time in the history of civil resistance to coups when civilian cars have attempted to block fighter-jets’ runways to prevent them from bombing an elected parliament.

It is also one of the rare times when civilians just duck – not run – under bullets, before they stand up and chant again, once the shooting stops.

The quick mobilisation on the streets of Istanbul and Ankara were critical, but – as shown from Argentina to Indonesia – this is never a decisive factor on its own.

Egypt had probably one of the longest and most resilient sit-ins in its modern history in Rabaa and Nahda squares.

They did end up in a bloodbath committed by the military, owing to the lack of the aforementioned factors.

Almost every component of the Turkish nation successfully resisted the 2016 coup attempt, including the military, the police, the intelligence, the political class, the media and the citizenry.

To the bitter dismay of Egypt’s putschists, the coup was unsuccessful. But the lessons learned for Egypt are numerous and they will certainly affect the future of democratisation in that country.

 

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Geopolitica Africa, Sistemi Economici

Bankitalia. Debito Sovrano a 2,230.845 mld.+59.17 mld.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-06-15.

 2016-06-15__Debito_Sovrano__001

 

Banca di Italia ha pubblicato il Supplemento al Bollettino Statistico – Indicatori monetari e finanziari. Finanza pubblica, fabbisogno e debito, n. 32, 2016.

*

«Questa pubblicazione mensile riporta i dati relativi al fabbisogno e al debito lordo delle Amministrazioni pubbliche suddivise nei sottosettori: Amministrazioni centrali; Amministrazioni locali; Enti di previdenza.

Il debito delle Amministrazioni pubbliche è consolidato tra e nei sottosettori (in linea con la definizione adottata ai fini della Procedura per i disavanzi eccessivi dell’Unione economica e monetaria europea) e ne viene fornita anche la composizione per creditore (settori detentori), scadenza originaria, vita residua e valuta. Inoltre, sono fornite informazioni sul sostegno finanziario ai paesi della UEM e sui depositi attivi delle Amministrazioni pubbliche.

Le serie storiche relative alle informazioni pubblicate in questa sezione sono disponibili nella sezione Base Dati Statistica (BDS) del sito

*

Al 31 dicembre 2015 il Debito delle Amministrazioni Pubbliche ammontava a 2,171.670 miliardi di euro.

A fine aprile il Debito delle Amministrazioni Pubbliche ammontava a 2,230.845 miliardi di euro.

*

In quattro mesi il Debito sovrano è aumentato di 59.170 miliardi di euro.