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Africa in Crisis- The Merged Superthread

daftandbarmy

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Be very very skeptical of such claims coming from the Nigerian military. More often than not, it is for local or regional PR purposes or to regain lost trust by the local governments/civilians?

Remember those 250 school girls that were allegedly kidnapped from school at gunpoint, by Baka Harem fighters? The international community raced to offer whatever help they could - even Transport Canada offered to deploy its high-tech wizard plane to assist.

Yet, not much of that help ever materialized…

The media portrayed it as yet another example of empty promises from the west. A racist world system in which Africa is neglected and forgotten, and western powers are all talk with no walk.

Turns out, after some very aggressive intelligence gathering by several affiliated agencies/countries, there were substantial doubts as to whether or not that had even happened at all. Doubts shared even by the locals.

And in the 24hr news cycle, and some dumb nonsense they need to waste people’s time with… that story faded into the ether…


Or when another Nigerian general said they had completely defeated Boko Harem. Completely. All gone. Done. Dead or fled!! Turns out…naaahhhhh…not really….


This news? Hope it is true, genuinely. But best to see how it turns out a week or two from now.

0.02

An interesting example of how to play the international media for your own purposes, leading to (false as it turned out) claims that there were no kidnappings at all:

Viewpoint: Global media's Nigeria abductions coverage 'wrong'​


Some international security experts suggested that while direct Boko Haram involvement seems to have been discounted, Boko Haram training, help and encouragement were involved.

Many Nigerians believe that Boko Haram took interest only after the international media covered the story. The government insisted no ransom was paid to the kidnappers, who it continued to describe as "bandits".

Media coverage of such heinous acts is important: governments need to be encouraged to act, victims need to be remembered and memorialised and the public needs to be warned.

But all this can be done without inspiring more criminals and without providing them tutorials.
 

The Bread Guy

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Mali: Welcome, Russian friends!
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 ...
 

OldSolduer

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daftandbarmy

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Meanwhile, in Ethiopia:

U.N. plane aborts landing as air strike hits Ethiopia's Tigray​


  • Summary
  • Friday's strike hits university campus, say humanitarian sources
  • Strike forced government U.N. plane to abort landing in city
  • Air campaign comes amid heavy fighting in Amhara region
  • Nearly a year of war has killed thousands
  • Thousands fleeing fighting in Amhara
ADDIS ABABA, Oct 22 (Reuters) - An Ethiopian government air strike on the capital of the northern Tigray region on Friday forced a U.N. flight carrying aid workers to abort a landing there, the United Nations said.
Humanitarian sources and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the area, said a university in Mekelle was hit by the strike.

Government spokesperson Legesse Tulu said a former military base occupied by TPLF fighters was targeted, and he denied the university was hit.
Reuters was not able to independently confirm either account. Tigrai TV, controlled by the TPLF-led regional administration that is not recognised by Addis Ababa, reported that 11 civilians were wounded in the air strike. It was the fourth day this week that Mekelle had been attacked.

The U.N. suspended all flights to Mekelle after Friday's incident. U.N. global aid chief Martin Griffiths said the U.N. had not received any prior warning of the attacks on Mekelle and had received the necessary clearances for the flight.
The incident raises serious concerns for the safety of aid workers trying to help civilians in need, Griffiths said in a statement, adding that all parties to the conflict should respect international humanitarian law including protecting humanitarian staff and assets from harm.

The 11 passengers on board Friday's flight were aid workers travelling to a region where some 7 million people, including 5 million in Tigray, need humanitarian help, another U.N. official told reporters in New York.

TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda accused the government of putting the U.N. plane in harm's way. "Our air defence units knew the UN plane was scheduled to land (and) it was due in large measure to their restraint it was not caught in a crossfire," he said in a tweet.

Legesse, the government spokesperson, rejected the TPLF accusation. "I can assure you that there is no deliberate or intended act that put the efforts of UN humanitarian staff and their plan of delivering aid to the disadvantage (sic) group," Legesse said in a text message to Reuters.
Ethiopian army spokesperson Colonel Getnet Adene did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

PEOPLE FLEEING IN AMHARA

The two sides have been fighting for almost a year in a conflict that has killed thousands of people and displaced more than two million amid a power struggle between the TPLF and the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's central government.

The TPLF dominated Ethiopia's ruling party for decades before Abiy, who is not a Tigrayan, took office in 2018.

The government has stepped up air strikes on the Tigray capital as fighting has escalated in Amhara, a neighbouring region where the TPLF has seized territory that the government and allied armed Amhara armed groups are trying to recover.

Residents in Dessie, a city in Amhara, told Reuters people were fleeing, a day after a TPLF spokesperson said its forces were within artillery range of the town.

"The whole city is panicking," a resident said, adding that people who could were leaving. He said he could hear the sound of heavy gunfire on Thursday night and into the morning, and that the bus fare to the capital Addis Ababa, about 385 km (240 miles) to the south, had increased more than six-fold.

There are now more than 500,000 displaced people in the Amhara region and that number is growing rapidly due to the latest fighting, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission told Reuters.
Seid Assefa, a local official working at a coordination centre for displaced people in Dessie, said 250 people had fled there this week from fighting in the Girana area to the north.

"We now have a total of 900 (displaced people) here and we finished our food stocks three days ago."

 

Colin Parkinson

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An interesting talk arguing the lack of harbours and navigable impacting the development of Africa.

 

Humphrey Bogart

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An interesting talk arguing the lack of harbours and navigable impacting the development of Africa.

It's not only lack of harbours, it's also lack of any real infrastructure. This is a picture of Africa's railway network:

400px-Africa_railway_map_gauge.jpg


Not only is it not comprehensive, many of the railroads don't share the same gauge and those outside South Africa have fallen in to disuse.

Now compare this to other systems and places:

North_American_Rail.gif

1280px-High_Speed_Railroad_Map_of_Europe_2011.svg.png

500px-Rail_map_of_PRC.svg.png

1-s2.0-S2213624X16300451-gr2.jpg
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Things are getting really interesting!


French ambassador expelled from Mali​

31 January 2022
A French soldier patrols the streets of Gao, 4 December 2021

IMAGE SOURCE,AFP
Image caption,
A French soldier on patrol in Gao, Mali, last month
Mali's military leaders are expelling the French ambassador over what they called "outrageous" comments made by the French foreign minister about the transitional government.
The French missions in Africa appear to be Collapsing. The new Junta in power in Mali is being backed by Russian Mercenaries.
 

Halifax Tar

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Maybe because we created a good number of their problems in the first place?

It doesn't seem like they are interested in us helping to fix thing no matter how much "guilt" some may have. Leave them to their own devices I say.
 

Altair

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Why do we (the west) keep putting any effort into Africa ?
Some of the biggest populations and economic growth are going to be coming from Africa in the next 30-50 years, and those best positioned to exploit it are going to have the advantage.
 
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Humphrey Bogart

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Well the Chinese are quite willing to "help" them with that.
TBH, I think the French are "tired" of Africa. A lot of the historic connections are gone, the average French person wouldn't be able to point out the Sahel on a map and probably thinks it's another variant of COVID if you asked them about it. They are also overwhelmed with domestic issues.

I also get the distinct feeling that US/Canadian Interests in the region aren't exactly in step with the French/Europeans and that it might actually be some Mining Companies that are pulling the strings in West Africa. I've seen a bunch of jobs pop up for security gigs with Mining Companies in Mali, Burk Faso, etc.

Barrick Gold, as well as other major mining companies, have major interests in the region and operations have been seemingly unaffected by these Coups. In fact, some have even boosted production since the various Juntas seized power in West Africa.

Having these Military Dictatorships in power clearly benefits the mining industry and undermines the ability of these Countries to have free and fair elections. Consequently, they are unable to track where exactly all the money is going.
 

KevinB

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TBH, I think the French are "tired" of Africa. A lot of the historic connections are gone, the average French person wouldn't be able to point out the Sahel on a map and probably thinks it's another variant of COVID if you asked them about it. They are also overwhelmed with domestic issues.

I also get the distinct feeling that US/Canadian Interests in the region aren't exactly in step with the French/Europeans and that it might actually be some Mining Companies that are pulling the strings in West Africa. I've seen a bunch of jobs pop up for security gigs with Mining Companies in Mali, Burk Faso, etc.

Barrick Gold, as well as other major mining companies, have major interests in the region and operations have been seemingly unaffected by these Coups. In fact, some have even boosted production since the various Juntas seized power in West Africa.

Having these Military Dictatorships in power clearly benefits the mining industry and undermines the ability of these Countries to have free and fair elections. Consequently, they are unable to track where exactly all the money is going.
There are always jobs for guys with guns in Africa...

Most aren't the type of jobs that require a great deal of ethics -- I wonder if they are hiring CAF GOFO's
 

daftandbarmy

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Things are looking up. in some ways, for the African economy:



Africa is projected to recover in 2021 from its worst economic recession in half a century.

Economic activity in Africa was constrained in 2020 by an unprecedented global pandemic caused by COVID–19. Real GDP in Africa is projected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2021, after contracting by 2.1 percent in 2020. This projected recovery from the worst recession in more than half a century will be underpinned by a resumption of tourism, a rebound in commodity prices, and the rollback of pandemic-induced restrictions. The outlook is, however, subject to great uncertainty from both external and domestic risks.

 
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