The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as part of the Trump Administration has clearly been working hard. Since the revamp of the Department of State, the Secretary has letter explaining cuts in the Department to the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations at the United States Congress, Bob Corker. The United States government has clearly shifted their foreign policy and care for former allies. Their engagement are moving, but not as ready-made policy!
Tillerson wrote in his letter about this shift in African diplomacy or foreign relations:
“The titles for following positions will be removed and the functions and staff assumed by the Bureau of African Affairs (AF):
U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa & Democratic Republic of Congo. The Special Envoy position currently is organized in AF, however the authorized staff positions and associated funding are currently in the Office of the Secretary and will be reprogrammed to AF. This will involve realigning 4 positions and $957,000 in support costs within D&CP from the Office of the Secretary to the Bureau of African Affairs (AF).
U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan. This will involve realigning 6 positions and $4,408,000 in support costs within D&CP from the Office of the Secretary to the Bureau of African Affairs (AF). We intend to request that Congress repeal the statutory provision for this special envoy position, since a deputy assistant secretary in AF already fulfills the responsibilities” (Rex Tillerson to Bob Corker on ‘Special Envoys and Special Representatives’).
So the Department of State will remove the Special Envoys to the Great Lakes and Democratic Republic Congo, also to the Sudan and South Sudan. These are all nations where the United States has been involved and been important part of the development. Their sanctions and acts within these republics has been vital. That is why the opposition in the DRC has asked for stronger sanctions and travel bans on the Kabila government.
The others are the South Sudan, where the US are parts of the Troika, who is also major donors to the South Sudanese government. The newly independent republic, that got massive help from the Americans for their independence from Khartoum and Sudan. The Sudan has also been important for the Americans as they have tried to solve the crisis in Darfur and it has also worked well with them for their oil. The reasons for why usually the Americans has involved itself in foreign countries.
The US now clearly doesn’t see the value in Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the other countries of Great Lakes. These are now undervalued, as the Special Envoys and their functions are now moved to others. The African Affairs staff gets more functions, as the Special Envoys will not create relationship it used to have.
The Envoy will have the same close work with Burundi, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Sudan. All of these Republic will not be represented in a fashion that the United States has done before. This proves that the American government doesn’t care about the state of affairs or wanting to engage in the conflicts, the internal problems and the totalitarian governments. The US neglects its place and purpose in these republics.
So when the United States comes to the crisis in South Sudan and other places. They will not have the same connections or understanding of the republics. This will second-sourced information, instead of getting it directly.
The United States are downgrading their diplomatic leadership to all these nations, as the Special Envoys will be shelved by the force of the State Department. The Americans are clearly not caring or bothered by the conflict, the refugee crisis or the oppressive behavior against opposition. The United States are now distant and not engaged there. They will be far away and only there when it fits their interests. Peace.
I hate to say it, but the magical pens from the Bank of Uganda (BoU) wasn’t a fairy-tale as expected. It was a cheap corporate pen, that was bought for astronomical sums. They are not so expensive after all. It is Cross Rolling Ball Pen Nor Onyx AT0155-1, the price of this not as high as the Bank paid for it. Unless, they wanted to pay of their importers major profits, however, the Bank must have connections with the traders who sold it to them. If not, why did they pay so much for Cross Ball Pen in the first place.
First, the social commentary from earlier this month:
“Hey, Bank of Uganda, the glorious BoU, if you ever need any sort office equipment. I can sell it to you and at lesser cost. It will be fraction of the 357,000 Uganda Shillings per Pens or 125m shillings for 350 pens. At the dollar-rate, you paid $105 United States Dollar for each pen, they must be magnificent and the best pens ever made for the mankind” (Minbane – ‘ Opinion: Bank of Uganda must have bought magical pens!’ 16.08.2017 link: https://minbane.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/httpwp-mep1xtjg-5gh/ ).
Than, by the price of $105 USD for every single Cross Ball Pen, which was made in China. These Ball Pens are really overpriced. On the American Amazon.com price are $36.62. The Amazon product explanation: “Onyx black resin finish with polished chrome appointments – Click off cap accented by a wide chrome band and a sophisticated perforated clip design – Includes one black gel ink rollerball refill (#8523) in pen – Cross Rollerball pens can be converted into a ballpoint pen or creamy porous felt-tip pen by changing the refill to desired type of tip (Refills sold separately) – Presented in a gift box” (Amazon – ‘Cross Aventura Onyx Black Rollerball Pen (AT0155-1)’ link: https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Aventura-Black-Rollerball-AT0155-1/dp/B0017UGOZC).
So if the Bank of Uganda are importing the pens, than the price would go up. Both most like not cost more than maybe around $60 USD a pop. Clearly, the BoU are liking the idea of the overpaying the pen. The Bank might have bought it from places like Corporate Gifts Pens, there they would get discounted for amounts of pens they would by. That is like if they buy over 100 pens, around $24,79, so the price of pens would be cheaper. Even engraved pens cost added on that page $5 each, that means the price would be around $29,79.
Still, with that the price difference are $70-75, which has to paid extra to the providers or suppliers. The government and the Bank of Uganda must be really proud of who they bought it from. If not, the Chairman or the leadership of the BoU really know the family or written-off the profits to paid their mortgage.
This here was not about quality or unique pen. Just a very ordinary pen. Not even in the quality of the Parker Pens. The BoU has really scammed the people and the Bank doesn’t care about the misuse of state funds. Peace.
Just as the National Resistance Movement Primaries (NRM) prepared for the By-Election in the Kiryandongo District, in the county of Kibanda North. The July 2017, the primaries was filled with irregularities in favor Taban Idi Amin, who won it for the second time in two years. The one running against him could have taken this to court, but Sam Amooti Otada Owor sent an injunction into the High Court in Masindi. Clearly, this didn’t go well, since on the 9th August 2017. The other candidate and second placed in Kibanda North Otada Owor notified the Electoral Commission he withdrew his candidacy, the day before the 10th August, when the By-Election appeared.
Even if the Primaries still states like this:
“The NRM Primary Declaration Form 14th July 2017 says that Taban Idi Amin won with 12,812 votes and had 73,6 percentage, while in second Sam Amooti Otado Owor got 2,761 votes and 15,9 percentage. In third and last George Maiteki Baitera Bigirwa got 1,472 votes and 8,5 percentage. While the total annulled votes are 367 and 2.1 percentage. Where the total votes of the whole Primary election we’re 17,412 votes and a 100 percentage” (Minbane – ‘Kibanda North County – NRM Primaries filled with irregularities as Tanga Odoi’s Declaration Form shows!’ 16.07.2017, link: https://minbane.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/httpwp-mep1xtjg-540/ ).
Clearly, Taban Idi Amin’s Primary election was flawed when the sheets and forms are so shady, the records for the electorate and the history will be remembered for the irregularities, not for a free and fair internal-party election.
Why you suddenly didn’t hear anything about the By-Election, since Sam Amooti Otado Owor did back-down on the 9th August, the need for casting ballots was pointless. There was no other candidate standing in the way of Taban Idi Amin. He could walk back to Parliament without having the ballots cast and counted through electoral process. The Electoral Commission said it wasn’t needed. That is why the whole By-Election has suddenly disappeared, because their was no competition. Not like it ever was, since the NRM Electoral Commission had handpicked Taban Idi Amin and wanted his candidacy, as their forms was a charade of facade and not a real deal.
So on the 10th August, the Museveni preferred candidate got his blessings, as the NRM was alone in the race, the were non UPC, DP, FDC, UFA or Independent that gave Taban any race. Therefore, no need for ballots and by-election. Just swearing-in and getting it over with. There was some reporting that Museveni forgave Otoda Owor over his rebellion against the party. Even if it was justified. Still, this made it easy to get another crony and stooge in the Parliament. Peace.
President Joseph Kabila Kabange who has been president since 21st January 2001. Kabila has been elected twice and last in December 2011, also his term ended in November 2016. The Democratic Republic of Congo government has now been 252 days since the last date of the term. There was supposed to be an election, but that never happen.
President Kabila has been registered twice, the United Kingdom and other states has supported aid and donor funds to the Commission Electorale Nationale Independante (CENI) who has also postponed the elections. Kabila has used any sort of problem and militias for his own gain. Even the rebels who are using force to export minerals for weapons, these are bloody cobalt and rare earth minerals.
The Kabila government are afraid of stepping down because of the businesses it owns. The family who are entailed in all sorts of schemes and has made a vast fortune. Kabila doesn’t want it to be taken away and also lose it all. So many other Presidents who has stepped down has lost their fortunes and businesses as the power will go away.
There are reports that Kabila the CENI planning the new date for the election in April 2019, the other estimates are already put into April 2020. The Congolese Authorities are really planning to let the Kabila government be on at least be 833 days of overtime, if the polls are on 1st April 2019. But if it is on the 1st April 2020, the 1199 days overtime are really extreme.
The President is clearly long over his mandate, just like he waited from 2001 to 2006, before he was elected into his first term. So it is not like the President or CENI really cares about the citizens or their rights to be represented by their elected official. Right now, they are hostages to the authorities being in the hands of Kabila. Without an election or polls, without any succession, without honoring the CENCO Agreement of 31st December 2016. The CENCO agreement that states the DRC government was supposed to organize an election during the 2017. An install a new government before 31st December 2017.
The Parti du Peuple pour la Reconstruction et la Democratie (PPRD), the ruling party of the President, are clearly not interested holding the election in 2017, as the President hasn’t signed the CENCO agreement. Therefore, the President will use anyway possible to postpone the election. Kabila wil not hold the election this year. The rumors of either 2019 or 2020 seems likely. It will be like the President get two free terms without elections, as it was with “first” term from 2001 to 2006. Instead, he got elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2011. So the term ended on 20th December 2016.
Still, President Kabila are not elected anymore, he is using the military and the government to his personal gain, instead of being a representative of the people. He is sole president, who should not have the office and has no rights to it. The Congolese people deserves better and also he has no rights to stay over 1199 days without being elected. Peace.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have been in-charge and had a pivotal role in the peacemaking in South Sudan. Not that it has stopped the civil-war that has escalated since June 2016. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army In-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), also between more rebel fractions inside the Republic, as the Ugandans are trying to enforce unite inside the SPLM. This as there are different states that the rebels and opposition have been strong, while the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has not had the leadership to secure the Protection of Civilians sites in the Republic. Therefore, the interview of Mahboub Maalim of IGAD in New Vision was exposing something dire. Take a look!
Ambassador Mahboub Maalim on IGAD:
“First of all, I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house. But this is on a light note. President Kiir has been told a lot by his compatriots, heads of state from the region and African Union (AU), and those in the international community circles. People know that the South Sudanese do not have to continue dying after having achieved what they fought for. The situation in South Sudan is very unfortunate, and like you have said, IGAD has done a lot to try to stay on top of it. Recently, the heads of state of IGAD appointed a special IGAD envoy for South Sudan. Hopefully, we will see a lot of changes in the run-up to the operationalisation of the peace agreement in South Sudan” (…) “If the people in South Sudan are saying that we have failed them, I would not get surprised. If I was in their shoes, I would say the same. If I was like them, sitting in a sewage-logged UN camp in my own country, I would feel the same. But just to encourage them, IGAD has tried very much to ameliorate the problems in South Sudan since the problems started in 2013. In 2014, IGAD heads of state had a special meeting to just discuss South Sudan. It has never happened in our history that over 14 heads of state convene to discuss one subject. South Sudan is at the heart of everybody. Of course, whether this will be solved today or tomorrow depends on the goodwill of the South Sudanese themselves” (Lumu, 2017).
That the Ambassador said one vital thing, that he could not push the member states around. Since he could not tell what was wrong in someones else house, like to President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his South Sudan. The Ambassador also wasn’t shocked if the they felt the IGAD had failed. They have really failed since ARCISS (Agreement for a Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, 2015). Doesn’t seem to be revived or anywhere near being fulfilled.
President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar of SPLM/A-IO are really battling for supremacy. Together with all the deflectors and deserters from both major armies that are making the situation more problematic. Since the IGAD has not made the peace-agreement work, nor had the capacity to make a successful negotiations between all parties. The South Sudanese should feel betrayed, when the Ambassador Mahboub Maalim are saying: “I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house”.
So it is not like the IGAD wants to rock the boat, as it is an entity respecting its member states and their direct leadership. Peace.
Lumu, David – ‘IGAD boss applauds Uganda on South Sudan’ (23.08.2017) – New Vision Article