Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Africa, Russia

Mali. Macron si è trovato in casa più di mille mercenari russi. Mr Putin lo ha sfregiato.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-09-16.

Mali 002

«Russian mercenaries are closing in on a deal to send a 1,000-strong force to shore up the junta in Mali in a move that has alarmed France, the former colonial power.

The Wagner Group would earn approximately $10.8 million a month for deploying to the west African state, according to diplomatic sources. Its mission would be to train troops and protect the regime’s senior figures in a country that has suffered two coups in the last year and faces an ongoing Islamist insurgency in the vast Sahel region.

Reports of the deal come after President Macron announced in June the winding down of Operation Barkhane, France’s 5,000-strong Mali-based military effort against the insurgents.» [The Times]

* * * * * *

«Deal allowing Russian mercenaries into Mali close»

«Paris wants to prevent deal being enacted»

«At least 1,000 mercenaries could be involved»

«A deal is close that would allow Russian mercenaries into Mali, extending Russian influence over security affairs in West Africa and triggering opposition from former colonial power France»

«Paris has begun a diplomatic drive to prevent the military junta in Mali enacting the deal, which would permit Russian private military contractors, the Wagner Group, to operate in the former French colony»

«A European source who tracks West Africa and a security source in the region said at least 1,000 mercenaries could be involved»

«Four sources said the Wagner Group would be paid about 6 billion CFA francs ($10.8 million) a month for its services»

«One security source working in the region said the mercenaries would train Malian military and provide protection for senior officials»

«France’s diplomatic offensive, the diplomatic sources said, includes enlisting the help of partners including the United States to persuade Mali’s junta not to press ahead with the deal, and sending senior diplomats to Moscow and Mali for talks»

«France is worried the arrival of Russian mercenaries would undermine its decade-old counter-terrorism operation against al Qaeda and Islamic State-linked insurgents in the Sahel region of West Africa at a time when it is seeking to draw down its 5,000-strong Barkhane mission to reshape it with more European partners»

«An intervention by this actor would therefore be incompatible with the efforts carried out by Mali’s Sahelian and international partners engaged in the Coalition for the Sahel for security and development of the region»

«Public opinion in Mali is in favour of more cooperation with Russia given the ongoing security situation»

«Having Russian mercenaries in Mali would strengthen Russia’s push for global prestige and influence, and be part of a wider campaign to shake up long-standing power dynamics in Africa»

«As relations with France have worsened, Mali’s military junta has increased contacts with Russia, including Defence Minister Sadio Camara visiting Moscow and overseeing tank exercises on Sept. 4»

* * * * * * *

Cina penetra economicamente l’Africa subsahariana.

Cina. Consolida il suo impero in Africa.

Cina ed Africa. I rapporti collaborativi si stanno consolidando.

Cina ed Africa. Una politica di rapporti internazionali paritetici.

*

Macron accusa Russia e Turchia di voler scalzare la Francia dall’Africa Centrale.

Russia. Penetrazione in Africa costruendovi centrali atomiche.

Russia. Dispiegati cacciabombardieri in Libia. La strategia russa in Africa.

Putin. La Russia alla conquista dell’Africa.

*

Macron in visita nel Burkina Faso. Per poco lo accoppano. Incidente diplomatico.

* * *

E così o russi hanno messo un piede ben fermo nel Mali: ci sono e non hanno nessuna intenzione di andarsene.

*


Deal allowing Russian mercenaries into Mali is close – sources.

– Deal allowing Russian mercenaries into Mali close- sources

– Paris wants to prevent deal being enacted, sources say

– At least 1,000 mercenaries could be involved – two sources

*

PARIS, Sept 13 (Reuters) – A deal is close that would allow Russian mercenaries into Mali, extending Russian influence over security affairs in West Africa and triggering opposition from former colonial power France, seven diplomatic and security sources said.

Paris has begun a diplomatic drive to prevent the military junta in Mali enacting the deal, which would permit Russian private military contractors, the Wagner Group, to operate in the former French colony, the sources said.

A European source who tracks West Africa and a security source in the region said at least 1,000 mercenaries could be involved. Two other sources believed the number was lower, but did not provide figures.

Four sources said the Wagner Group would be paid about 6 billion CFA francs ($10.8 million) a month for its services. One security source working in the region said the mercenaries would train Malian military and provide protection for senior officials.

Reuters could not confirm independently how many mercenaries could be involved, how much they would be compensated, or establish the exact objective of any deal involving Russian mercenaries would be for Mali’s military junta.

Reuters was unable to reach the Wagner Group for comment. Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who media outlets including Reuters have linked to the Wagner Group, denies any connection to the firm.

His press service also says on its social networking site Vkontakte that Prigozhin has nothing to do with any private military company, has no business interests in Africa and is not involved in any activities there.

His press service did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment for this story.

                         POTENTIAL THREAT TO COUNTER-TERRORISM EFFORT

France’s diplomatic offensive, the diplomatic sources said, includes enlisting the help of partners including the United States to persuade Mali’s junta not to press ahead with the deal, and sending senior diplomats to Moscow and Mali for talks.

France is worried the arrival of Russian mercenaries would undermine its decade-old counter-terrorism operation against al Qaeda and Islamic State-linked insurgents in the Sahel region of West Africa at a time when it is seeking to draw down its 5,000-strong Barkhane mission to reshape it with more European partners, the diplomatic sources said.

The French foreign ministry also did not respond but a French diplomatic source criticised interventions by the Wagner Group in other countries.

“An intervention by this actor would therefore be incompatible with the efforts carried out by Mali’s Sahelian and international partners engaged in the Coalition for the Sahel for security and development of the region,” the source said.

A spokesperson for the leader of Mali’s junta, which took power in a military coup in August 2020, said he had no information about such a deal.

“These are rumours. Officials don’t comment on rumours,” said the spokesperson, Baba Cisse, who declined further comment.

Mali’s defence ministry spokesperson said: “Public opinion in Mali is in favour of more cooperation with Russia given the ongoing security situation. But no decision (on the nature of that cooperation) has been made.”

Russia’s defence and foreign ministries did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the Kremlin or the French presidency.

The mercenaries’ presence would jeopardise Mali’s funding from the international partners and allied training missions that have helped rebuild Mali’s army, four security and diplomatic sources said.

                         RIVALRY IN AFRICA

Having Russian mercenaries in Mali would strengthen Russia’s push for global prestige and influence, and be part of a wider campaign to shake up long-standing power dynamics in Africa, the diplomatic sources said.

More than a dozen People with ties to the Wagner Group have previously told Reuters it has carried out clandestine combat missions on the Kremlin’s behalf in Ukraine, Libya and Syria. Russian authorities deny Wagner contractors carry out their orders.

Mali’s military junta has said it will oversee a transition to democracy leading to elections in February 2022.

As relations with France have worsened, Mali’s military junta has increased contacts with Russia, including Defence Minister Sadio Camara visiting Moscow and overseeing tank exercises on Sept. 4.

A senior Malian defence ministry source said the visit was in “the framework of cooperation and military assistance” and gave no further details. Russia’s defence ministry said deputy defence minister Alexander Fomin had met Camara during an international military forum and “discussed defence cooperation projects in detail as well as regional security matters related to West Africa.” No further details were released.

The French foreign ministry’s top Africa diplomat, Christophe Bigot, was dispatched to Moscow for talks on Sept. 8 with Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s point person on the Middle East and Africa. Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed the visit.

France’s foreign ministry declined to comment on the visit. Bigot could not immediately be reached for comment. The Russian foreign ministry did not respond to a Reuters request for comment from Bogdanov.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Africa, Russia

Russia. Putin sta penetrando militarmente l’Africa, scacciandone americani e francesi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-09-15.

Putin Vladimir 012

Mr Putin sta tessendo tutta una serie di accordi militari strategici bilaterali con tutti quegli stati africani che più non tollerano l’ossessione americana di voler imporre la visione liberal dei così detti ‘human rights’ quale elemento propedeutico ad aiuti ed accordi.

Come suo solito, e con rara maestria, Mr Putin sfrutta tutti gli errori degli occidentali e di Joe Biden per scalzarli politicamente, economicamente e militarmente.

Se è vero che al momento attuale l’Africa sia misera, sarebbe altrettanto vero considerare le sue ricchezze minerarie e come sarà nel corso di una generazione.

Domani, invece, pubblicheremo lo sfregio che Mr Putin ha fatto a Mr Macron.

* * * * * * *

«Russia is building its military influence in Africa, challenging U.S. and French dominance»

«In the past two months alone, Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with Nigeria and Ethiopia, Africa’s two most populous nations»

«The U.S. has pledged to reignite its economic and commercial engagements in Africa, but a planned drawback of troops is giving way to extensive spending»

«France maintains the largest presence and troop numbers of any former colonial power in Africa»

* * *

«Russia is challenging the status quo in Africa, using insecurity and diplomatic disputes with Western powers as a springboard to expand its presence on the continent»

«From Libya to Nigeria, Ethiopia to Mali, Moscow has been building key strategic military alliances and an increasingly favorable public profile across Africa in recent years»

«→→ Central to this effort is offering alternatives to countries that have grown disgruntled with Western diplomatic partnerships ←←»

«Russia was not going to participate in a new ‘repartition’ of the continent’s wealth; rather, we are ready to engage in competition for cooperation with Africa»

«Via the U.N., Russia has also provided aid in the form food and medical assistance alongside its growing commercial, economic and military support across the continent»

«Africa accounted for 18% of Russian arms exports between 2016 and 2020»

«Russian mercenaries have also provided direct assistance to governments in Libya and the Central African Republic»

«A group of Russian instructors was sent to the CAR at the request of its leaders»

«U.S. lawmakers had stalled a planned $1 billion weapons sale to Nigeria over allegations of human rights abuses by the government»

«Less than a month later, Russia signed a deal with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to supply military equipment, training and technology to Nigerian forces»

«This confluence of factors paving the way for Russian influence-building was also at play in Ethiopia. Russia has provided support for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government after Western governments balked at his forces’ military response to an insurgency in northern Tigray»

«Moscow proceeded with the deployment of election observers to Ethiopia, whereas the EU withdrew its observers, citing “ongoing violence across the country, human rights violations and political tensions, harassment of media workers and detained opposition members.”»

«Russia has supplied strategic weapons both as a potential defense against any Egyptian strike on the GERD and to aid government forces in Tigray»

«Ethiopia and Russia signed a military cooperation agreement in July, focused specifically on knowledge and technology transfers»

* * *

«The U.S. has pledged to reignite its economic and commercial engagements in Africa, but a planned drawback of troops»

«the “creeping build-up” of U.S. military on the continent was accompanied by mixed messaging, accusing both the U.S. and African governments of a lack of transparency»

«France maintains the largest presence and troop numbers of any former colonial power in Africa, particularly in the form of 5,100 troops in the Sahel, where the border area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet has become a hotspot for violence»

«Paris is inconsistent in its treatment of friendly regimes, indulging an unconstitutional transfer of power in Chad but taking a harder line following a coup in Mali»

«when Colonel Assimi Goïta established military rule in Mali, Macron denounced the coup and suspended a joint military operation with the Malian army»

«Protests in the aftermath were also hostile toward France, while Russian flags and posters were visible»

* * * * * * *

Gli occidentali stanno pagando a duro prezzo la pulsione coatta dei liberal di voler imporre la loro ideologia.

Gli africani proprio non ne vogliono sapere e sono arcistufi degli americani che salgono in cattedra ed impartiscono loro lezioni: vogliono essere sé stessi, senza condizionamenti. Questo è il motivo della felice penetrazione nel continente di Russia e Cina.

*


Russia is building its military influence in Africa, challenging U.S. and French dominance.

– In the past two months alone, Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with Nigeria and Ethiopia, Africa’s two most populous nations.

– The U.S. has pledged to reignite its economic and commercial engagements in Africa, but a planned drawback of troops is giving way to extensive spending on operational bases and longer-term plans to sustain a strategic presence.

– France maintains the largest presence and troop numbers of any former colonial power in Africa.

*

Russia is challenging the status quo in Africa, using insecurity and diplomatic disputes with Western powers as a springboard to expand its presence on the continent.

From Libya to Nigeria, Ethiopia to Mali, Moscow has been building key strategic military alliances and an increasingly favorable public profile across Africa in recent years. 

Central to this effort is offering alternatives to countries that have grown disgruntled with Western diplomatic partnerships.

The second Russia-Africa Summit is scheduled for 2022. At the inaugural summit in Sochi in 2019, President Vladimir Putin vowed that Russia was “not going to participate in a new ‘repartition’ of the continent’s wealth; rather, we are ready to engage in competition for cooperation with Africa.”

Via the U.N., Russia has also provided aid in the form food and medical assistance alongside its growing commercial, economic and military support across the continent.

                         Russia’s bilateral push.

In the past two months alone, Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with Nigeria and Ethiopia, Africa’s two most populous nations.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that Africa accounted for 18% of Russian arms exports between 2016 and 2020.

Russian mercenaries have also provided direct assistance to governments in Libya and the Central African Republic, according to the U.N. However, the Kremlin has denied links to the Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization alleged by the U.N. to be aiding human rights abuses in the region.

“A group of Russian instructors was sent to the CAR at the request of its leaders and with the knowledge of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on the CAR established by Resolution 2127,” a Russian foreign ministry statement said in July. “Indicatively, none of them has taken part in combat operations.”

Reuters reported in July that U.S. lawmakers had stalled a planned $1 billion weapons sale to Nigeria over allegations of human rights abuses by the government.  

Less than a month later, Russia signed a deal with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to supply military equipment, training and technology to Nigerian forces.

Although historically a key diplomatic and trade partner of the U.S., Buhari’s government found itself at odds with Washington amid the #EndSARS protests in 2020, and again after a recent fallout with Twitter.

Meanwhile, Islamist militant groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State’s West Africa Province have cotinued to wreak havoc in the northeast of the country. 

This confluence of factors paving the way for Russian influence-building was also at play in Ethiopia. Russia has provided support for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government after Western governments balked at his forces’ military response to an insurgency in northern Tigray. 

Ethiopia felt the U.S. in particular was aligning with Egypt in the ongoing dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken further evoked the ire of Addis Ababa in March by accusing forces in Tigray of “ethnic cleansing.” 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov then met with Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen in June. Moscow proceeded with the deployment of election observers to Ethiopia, whereas the EU withdrew its observers, citing “ongoing violence across the country, human rights violations and political tensions, harassment of media workers and detained opposition members.”

Russia has supplied strategic weapons both as a potential defense against any Egyptian strike on the GERD and to aid government forces in Tigray. 

“Gains by the Tigray Defence Force (TDF), which has captured parts of the Afar and Amhara regions in recent weeks, make the provision of desperately needed weapons all the more important for Addis Ababa, and Moscow is likely to oblige to such a request, possibly on a buy-now-pay-later basis,” said Louw Nel, senior political analyst at NKC African Economics.  

In what Nel flagged as a “sign of things to come,” Ethiopia and Russia signed a military cooperation agreement in July, focused specifically on knowledge and technology transfers. However, Nel noted that Ethiopia will be “wary of allowing Russian personnel to be deployed there in anything other than a training capacity.” 

Russia’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

                         U.S. ‘creeping build-up’. 

The U.S. has pledged to reignite its economic and commercial engagements in Africa, but a planned drawback of troops is giving way to extensive spending on operational bases and longer-term plans to sustain a strategic presence, according to a recent report from risk intelligence firm Pangea-Risk. 

In 2018, then-U.S. national security advisor John Bolton singled out Russia’s expansionist “influence across Africa,” and Washington has been keen to retain a foothold on the continent.

The Biden administration is set to maintain the U.S. military’s 27 operational outposts on the continent, while the country’s Africa Command (Africom) is prioritizing counter-terrorism objectives in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel regions.

The U.S. is also establishing a presence in other strategically important regions, such as the Red Sea and the Gulf of Guinea. Some $330 million is reportedly being spent by 2025 on U.S. military base construction and related infrastructure projects, while Africom is drawing up a 20-year strategic plan. 

This will focus on counterterrorism, special forces operations and humanitarian support, along with safeguarding U.S. commercial interests in the face of growing Chinese and Russian presence. 

The report noted that Cape Verdean authorities have since July 2020 agreed a Status of Forces Agreement with the U.S. military to allow U.S. troops to operate from its archipelago. 

“Such an agreement makes sense given global geo-political competition in the West African region and the need to counter the growing risk of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, both of which pose an existential threat to U.S. commercial interests,” Pangea-Risk CEO Robert Besseling said. 

“However, the one-year-old SOFA with Cape Verde raises questions over broader U.S. diplomatic and judicial engagements in the country, and whether this sets a pattern for U.S.–Africa relations going forward.” 

International Crisis Group Africa Program Director Comfort Ero, has said the “creeping build-up” of U.S. military on the continent was accompanied by mixed messaging, accusing both the U.S. and African governments of a lack of transparency. 

The U.S. is likely to phase out its direct military presence in insecurity hotspots, but continues to seek SOFA deals with countries of strategic importance, Pangea-Risk said, adding that Washington will be reluctant to withdraw entirely due to Chinese and Russian presence. 

France struggles in the Sahel. 

France maintains the largest presence and troop numbers of any former colonial power in Africa, particularly in the form of 5,100 troops in the Sahel, where the border area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet has become a hotspot for violence. 

“Paris is inconsistent in its treatment of friendly regimes, indulging an unconstitutional transfer of power in Chad but taking a harder line following a coup in Mali,” said NKC’s Nel. 

French President Emmanuel Macron supported a military-led transition from Chadian President Idriss Deby, who was killed in battle with rebel forces in April, to his son. This violated the country’s constitution and led to anti-French protests and the vandalism of a Total petrol station. 

However, when Colonel Assimi Goïta established military rule in Mali, Macron denounced the coup and suspended a joint military operation with the Malian army. Protests in the aftermath were also hostile toward France, while Russian flags and posters were visible. 

“Given the clear negative trend in political stability in Mali, there is reason to consider the danger that it might end up looking like the CAR, where President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s weak government is essentially kept in place by Russian muscle: the mercenaries of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group,” Nel said.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Spagna, Marocco, Unione Europea e migranti, i quali sono usati come arma impropria.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-20.

Marocco Ceuta 001

L’unica cosa davvero certa è che i migranti non interessano a nulla ed a nessuno, in una montante marea di cinismo agghiacciante.

Ceuta, 8.000 migranti entrano in Spagna. Crisi tra Madrid e il Marocco.

«Ottomila migranti hanno assaltato le barriere tra il Marocco e l’enclave spagnola di Ceuta. Tra loro almeno 1.500 minori»

«Improvvisamente, come per un ordine, migliaia di migranti dal Mali, dal Niger, dal Senegal, ma anche tantissimi marocchini sono partiti a nuoto per aggirare le barriere che si spingono nel mare per decine di metri»

«La maggior parte però è stata tenuta con i piedi in acqua per evitare che, anche simbolicamente, toccassero il suolo europeo»

«A sera meno della metà degli 8mila era già stata espulsa verso il Marocco in base ad un accordo in vigore»

* * *

«Voglio comunicare agli spagnoli, specialmente a quelli che vivono a Ceuta e Melilla, che ristabiliremo l’ordine con la massima celerità. Saremo fermi di fronte a qualsiasi sfida. L’integrità di Ceuta come parte della nazione spagnola sarà garantita dal governo con tutti i mezzi disponibili»

«Prende posizione anche la Commissione Ue. «Non ci faremo intimidire da nessuno, l’Europa non sarà vittima di tattiche» dice il vicepresidente Margaritis Schinas»

* * *

«L’ondata di ieri arriva al culmine di una crisi diplomatica tra Spagna e Marocco che dura da mesi»

«L’ambasciatrice del re Mohamed VI a Madrid, Karima Benyaich, non si è nascosta: «Ci sono azioni che hanno delle conseguenze». Si riferiva alla presenza in un ospedale spagnolo di Brahim Ghali, il leader del Fronte Polisario per l’indipendenza del Sahara Occidentale»

«Ex colonia spagnola, la regione è occupata dal Marocco da trent’anni»

«Pur di aumentare il numero dei Paesi musulmani che riconoscono Israele (Accordi di Abramo), Washington ha accettato la sovranità marocchina sul Sahara Occidentale»

«La diga marocchina contro la migrazione si apre e chiude a comando»

* * * * * * *

Il Marocco è in rotta di collisione con la Spagna e l’Unione Europea.

Unione Europea per la quale il traghetto dei migranti in Italia è cosa buona, giusta e doverosa, mentre, al contrario, l’ingresso di migranti in territorio spagnolo è un vile atto intimidatorio da reprimersi ricorrendo all’esercito.

*


Migranti in Spagna, la «vendetta» del Marocco: in 8mila a Ceuta

Crisi a Ceuta, Pedro Sánchez vola nell’enclave: «Ristabiliremo l’ordine con la massima celerità. La sua integrità come parte della Spagna sarà garantita», dice il primo ministro. La Commissione Ue: non ci saremo intimidire da nessuno.

Ieri, a metà giornata, il primo ministro spagnolo Pedro Sánchez annulla un viaggio a Parigi, vola a Ceuta e parla al Paese. Usa toni gravi, decisi. «Voglio comunicare agli spagnoli, specialmente a quelli che vivono a Ceuta e Melilla, che ristabiliremo l’ordine con la massima celerità. Saremo fermi di fronte a qualsiasi sfida. L’integrità di Ceuta come parte della nazione spagnola sarà garantita dal governo con tutti i mezzi disponibili». Prende posizione anche la Commissione Ue. «Non ci faremo intimidire da nessuno, l’Europa non sarà vittima di tattiche» dice il vicepresidente Margaritis Schinas. Cos’era successo? Ottomila migranti hanno assaltato le barriere tra il Marocco e l’enclave spagnola di Ceuta. Tra loro almeno 1.500 minori. La città costiera, come la gemella Melilla, è l’ultimo frammento dell’impero su cui non tramontava mai il sole. Pochi chilometri quadrati che per il Marocco sono fastidiosi, per la Spagna costosi, per chi tenta di lasciare l’Africa vie d’accesso all’Ue.

Certo più sorvegliate, ma meno letali rispetto a Lampedusa o alle Canarie. La Spagna ha costruito muri alti 20 metri, piazzato filo spinato, posto barriere subacquee e, di solito, la collaborazione della polizia marocchina basta a evitare infiltrazioni. Lunedì e ieri no. Improvvisamente, come per un ordine, migliaia di migranti dal Mali, dal Niger, dal Senegal, ma anche tantissimi marocchini sono partiti a nuoto per aggirare le barriere che si spingono nel mare per decine di metri. Molti sono abitanti della città confinante che, dalla chiusura dei valichi per il Covid un anno fa, hanno perso il lavoro nelle enclavi. Un’ottantina ha tentato lo stesso anche a Melilla. Un centinaio è riuscito ad entrare a Ceuta all’alba di ieri e a disperdersi tra gli 80 mila spagnoli. La maggior parte, invece, è stata fermata sulla spiaggia.

Ci sono state scene strazianti e altre più degne. Qualche blindato militare di Madrid è arrivato sulla sabbia scaricando soldati in giubbotto antiproiettile, elmetto e manganello. Alcuni migranti erano sfiniti e sono stati soccorsi. Tra loro un neonato. I minorenni sono stati separati. La maggior parte però è stata tenuta con i piedi in acqua per evitare che, anche simbolicamente, toccassero il suolo europeo. A sera meno della metà degli 8mila era già stata espulsa verso il Marocco in base ad un accordo in vigore. Gli altri, tranne i minori, dovrebbero essere mandati indietro oggi. Nella notte un migrante è morto annegato. L’ondata di ieri arriva al culmine di una crisi diplomatica tra Spagna e Marocco che dura da mesi. L’ambasciatrice del re Mohamed VI a Madrid, Karima Benyaich, non si è nascosta: «Ci sono azioni che hanno delle conseguenze». Si riferiva alla presenza in un ospedale spagnolo di Brahim Ghali, il leader del Fronte Polisario per l’indipendenza del Sahara Occidentale.

Ex colonia spagnola, la regione è occupata dal Marocco da trent’anni. A dicembre, però, gli Stati Uniti hanno cambiato gli equilibri. Pur di aumentare il numero dei Paesi musulmani che riconoscono Israele (Accordi di Abramo), Washington ha accettato la sovranità marocchina sul Sahara Occidentale. La Spagna ha protestato e quando Ghali ne ha avuto bisogno l’ha ricoverato. La tregua nel Sahara è rotta. Come a suo tempo fece il leader libico Gheddafi, come ha fatto la Turchia di Erdogan, anche il Marocco ha fatto capire che può usare i migranti come merce di scambio. La diga marocchina contro la migrazione si apre e chiude a comando. Tra i due estremi del Mediterraneo la guerra israelo-palestinese e quella del Sahara Occidentale si sono così collegate alla crisi migratoria che preoccupa l’Europa. La Spagna e l’Europa tutta sono avvertite.

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.