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Archive for the category “Army”

RDC: Nord-Kivu – Communique de Presse – “Reaction dese Communautes de Walikale face aux Differents Mandats d’Arrets lances contre les Enfants de Walikale Responsables des Groupes Locaux d’Autodefense” (09.07.2019)

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On anniversary of South Sudanese independence, UNHCR urges leaders to deliver lasting peace (09.07.2019)

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley to whom quoted text may be attributed at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Exactly eight years ago South Sudan gained independence and became the world’s youngest nation. Since then, the country has tragically seen more war than peace. Today UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is appealing to its leaders to speed efforts to end what has become Africa’s largest displacement crisis.

The Revitalised Peace Agreement, signed by the warring parties on 12 September 2018, established a foundation for peace. Progress has been made but with key areas of tension still unresolved, peace is far from certain.

UNHCR believes is essential that representatives from the refugee and internally displaced communities are active and meaningful participants in the peace process. Any convincing agreement must include clear and transparent provisions for reconciliation. Mechanisms for seeking justice must be clear and they must be trusted. Many South Sudanese have been displaced repeatedly. Their faith in these processes are vital to their success.

Provisions must also be made for young people. The crisis has disproportionately impacted children, who make up nearly two-thirds of the refugee population. Ensuring that young South Sudanese – including refugees – have access to a proper education and opportunities to fulfil their potential is essential if South Sudan is to become a prosperous and peaceful nation.

More than 2.3 million South Sudanese are currently living as refugees in neighbouring countries, while 1.9 million have been internally displaced inside the country. Through the South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan, UNHCR and partners have appealed for $1.4 billion to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees. With only 21 per cent of funding received, refugees’ needs far outweigh available resources.

African Union: Communique of the Meeting of the AU High-Level Ad Hoc Committee for South Sudan at Ministerial Level, Niamey, Niger 6 July 2019 (09.07.2019)

Opinion: Bosco aka the Terminator is now charged, but what about the big-men supporting him?

Today, the International Criminal Court sentenced warlord Bosco Ntaganda of 18 counts on crimes against humanity. This is a victory for the victims of his crimes and the things he did while being a general of militias within the Democratic Republic of Congo for years. However, even with him in the Hague, the sins his committed are still being done by someone else.

That is why the downfall of Bosco aka the Terminator haven’t had much affect. It isn’t like this has stopped militias from robbing, stealing, controlling, child-soldering and raping civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because, the same ones that supported Bosco is still lingering around and have new henchmen to do their bidding. The same minerals are taken through the same routes to the same sort of illicit trade and securing that another warlord their cut. The only thing that changed was that Bosco went to Europe and had to testify in Court.

Just a friendly reminder of who he is: “Bosco Ntaganda was born in 1973 in Kinigi, which is a small village located in the Virunga mountains in Rwanda. Shortly after, his family moved to Ngugu in Masisi in North Kivu. In 1990, at the age of 17, Bosco Ntaganda joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebellion whose military wing was led by the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Bosco Ntaganda will then successively be used in the Rwandan army (1990-1995), AFDL (1996), RCD (1999), UPC (2003), CNDP (2003), the Congolese army (2004) and finally M23 (2012). He knows too much about Kagame’s organized crimes in the African Great Lakes region. Peace and security in this sub-region require first an end to impunity” (FDU-Inkingi – ‘The transfer of warlord Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court and the deployment of the special intervention brigade in Eastern DRC are two most priorities’ 22.03.2013).

So, its not like Bosco don’t have handlers behind him or had a support system for his tricks and trade. No, Bosco had a powerful ally, someone whose been meddling in the DRC for years. Someone who has sent his troops and earned fortunes on the minerals in the DRC, Mr. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Therefore, it is not like nobody was giving him weapons and letting him get rich of the spoils. It was the man who trained him and gave him the military education for later using him as a militia man in the DRC.

Just to put in more in perspective, Mondiaal nieuws reported: “But Ntaganda is of use to Kabila as well. Berwouts: ‘With the CNDP, Kabila won the support of the only power that could somewhat stabilize East Congo and moreover serves his electoral interests. In the run-up to the election, only Kabila was able to campaign in CNDP areas.’ What was not part of the agreement, is that the CNDP remained a state within a state, establishing a proper administration in Masisi and considered a threat rather than bringing security by large portions of the population. So Ntaganda is taking care of both Kagame’s and Kabila’s interests. That explains how he became a general of the Congolese army in 2009, in spite of the International Court of Justice issuing an arrest warrant against him three years earlier for crimes against humanity, mainly because of child soldier recruitment” (Stefano Valentino, John Vandaele & Anneke Verbraeken – ‘The killer king of North Kivu’ March 2012).

This shows the world how connected the Warlord and General was in his time. It wasn’t like he was in a vacuum doing his deeds. No, he was connected to Kagame and Kabila, they both endured and earned fortunes on his services. They accepted his crimes and promoted him for what he did. Therefore, it is striking that none of them had to pay for his crimes, but only him. Like he is the only one who committed this and did these acts.

We should wonder why Kagame and what he offered in return for the surrendering of Ntanganda. Why the ICC didn’t get Laurent Nkunda and others, whose become forgotten or not worthy criminals for the Courts. Surely, there must have been something for Kagame and Kabila to offer the Terminator to let him go and let him answer for these crimes. Because, surely, they didn’t want it all uncovered, especially they didn’t want their secret shady agreements done in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This would all stain their political future and also their standing among their peers. That is something, Kabila and Kagame couldn’t have. Therefore, without certainty, the leaders must have offered Bosco something in return, as he did rat them out and is now eating the charges. Peace.

South Sudan: Gunshot injuries remain high despite peace deal (08.07.2019)

Ninety-seven percent of admitted patients over a recent six-month period suffered gunshot wounds, an indication of the high prevalence and easy access to fire arms.

JUBA, South Sudan, July 8, 2019 – The number of patients admitted to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)-supported surgical units in South Sudan with injuries from violence remains high ten months after the signing of a peace agreement.There has been only a small drop-off in the number of injuries from gunshot and other weapons at two ICRC-supported facilities (comparing the same six-month period year-on-year) since the signing of the latest peace deal in September 2018. Ninety-seven percent of admitted patients over a recent six-month period suffered gunshot wounds, an indication of the high prevalence and easy access to fire arms.

“We have seen a drop in fighting between parties to the conflict, a very hopeful sign. However, intercommunal violence—mostly linked to cattle raids and revenge killing—continues to threaten lives at an alarming level,” said James Reynolds, ICRC head of delegation in South Sudan.

Women and children remain particularly vulnerable; about 10 percent of patients seen from October 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 were children under the age of 15, while just over 10 percent were women.

South Sudan marks eight years of independence on Tuesday. In recent months, many residents have returned home from abroad or other parts of the country. At the same time, intercommunal violence has forced thousands of South Sudanese to flee their homes. More than 50,000 families have received seeds and tools from the ICRC since the beginning of the year, but those who left home for reasons of safety will not be able to harvest their crops. Millions of South Sudanese are already facing severe food insecurity.

“Stability will be key for South Sudanese to recover from years of conflict. Any form of violence again prevents them from a normal, peaceful life,” Reynolds said. “We will continue to deliver emergency assistance to communities affected by violence, but we hope to put more of our efforts into helping people recover and prosper, not just survive.”

Note on the numbers: From October 2017 to March 2018 there were 392 patients admitted to ICRC-supported medical facilities in Ganyliel and Juba with gunshot/weapon-related injuries. From April to September 2018 (the rainy season), there were 291 patients. From October 2018 to March 2019 there were 382 patients.

Opinion: I been told with time things will be better, but does it?

Well, in troubling times, as things are moving both forward, backward and sideways. It seems that we can defer from enterprising the idea, that everything gets better with time. Surely, this doesn’t mean we as folk doesn’t change, broaden our minds and expand our patterns of thought. No, we might do this, but this doesn’t change the narrative nor the times we are seeing passing by.

We are not a single leaf in the wind. Neither are we a recycled raindrop, awaiting next part of its existence to become evaporated before becoming clouds and be rained down upon us, yet again. Even if life goes in cycle and we as human beings are repeating history, sometimes even without knowing.

The ignorance of out times, as we are silent to the death of immigrants, as we are deaf to the pleas of separated kids in camps in the United States. The silence and lack of outcry, as the US tried to start a war in Iran and tried to enforce an coup d’etat in Venezuela. This is all happening, but no worries. As well, as the European Union have favourable deals with the Libyan, Egyptian and Sudanese Governments to stop immigrants from coming to the shores of Italy, Spain and Greece. That is just we do to each other, instead of giving a helping hand in need, we let people drown with excuses of nationalism, border security and fear of the unknown.

We are living in a time, where there is no problem to silence the media, weaponize social media and misuse state resources to suppress dissidents. This is happening all over, not only in dictatorships, but also in the “free world”. Where leaders are using their means and using their techniques to sophisticated silence and letting the ones defying their stance suffer. There are plenty of journalists in the recent time died by poison, being arrested and tortured. Plenty of opposition leaders in exile and struggling to regain their vitality. That is all happening, but nothing contemplating on the reasons for this.

The weaponization of social media with bots and big media, where the hacking, leaks and misuse of information combined with blind narrow-minded followers, who doesn’t think of the consequences of the acts nor they think of what the message they are spreading. The parties, the leaders are letting their camps all go out into the battlefield. Build their borders filled with landmines, barbed-wire and trenches. In this field, everyone who disagrees is traitors, radicals or even stupid individuals who has no sense. While the bombs, the hypocrites and the vilified commentators should just be blocked or silenced. Because, they are just fake and frauds, while the almighty leader is the ones to listen too.

While this is happening, the wars are steady, they are not stopping. The trade-wars, the Brexit is pumping in its sketchy way. The troubles of Yemen, Syria and Ukraine continues, like wars of old. The slavery trade of Mauritania continues as well as possible slave-ships on the outside of Libya. While, the Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, appeal to the International Community, the Western Sahara is still a punchline for the Pan-African Political Parties, but the world is not caring about the plights of the people there, as long as the big-companies can fish outside the coast there.

The peacekeeping missions are lacking funding, as the missions are staying and lingering, also paying off dictators to send military forces to conflict zones in Sahel, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and so on. The former colonial powers of France, Belgium, United Kingdom and others are still holding their grips of former colonies, as they have new units to treat the new leadership and “open markets” for their products. If they need, they will kiss the rings of dictators and others, to just get the needed resources for a dime.

We are living in fabulous times, we are living times of adventures of freedom, liberty and justice. Where labels of Fairtrade, trade-unions and others are continuing to pushing the envelope, but still not seeing thing true. As the illicit trade practices continues in many markets and by plenty companies, multi-national earning fortunes on their production units paying little or none to its contractors. This wouldn’t been acceptable in the industrialised world, but in the developing world it is dandy. Some in our time, even says these people should be grateful to even have a job. That is how dark our time is.

They says things are getting better with time, are they? There was a promising generation of leaders in the 80s and 90s, but they became alike the former dictators and militaristic regimes of the past. There are little resemblance of the past positive movement. While we are celebrating mediocrity and lacklustre approach to the future problems. We are supposed to be content and think this spoils of our times is good.

While we are not even able to solve the crimes of the 70s and 80s, while struggling with the aftermath of the politics done in the 90s and 00s. We are supposed to be all smiles, as the first decade of this millennium is here. The millennial’s can vote and we are supposed to promise them a greater future. When we are leaving behind the same old issues, with the same old greed and the lack of will to accept the mantle given to us.

Things was supposed to get better time, but apparently they are not. Maybe I am in a dark place today, but I do not see it. Because, we didn’t make it better, we didn’t push it to a greater place, we just let it be and watched a game of football. We didn’t care and didn’t sign up for a party, NGO or even go in a demonstration. We just looked and wonder, when is our turn?

Well, it isn’t given to us, just like the leaders of our day wasn’t given to them either. They fought and took it. If we want change, maybe we need to do the same. Because, things aren’t getting better. I see darkness, I see sinister acts going unpunished and the innocent dying for no fucking reason. Peace.

Sudan: Did the International Community legitimize the TMC to soon?

Well, it is a hard bargain to ask this question, if the international community, the troika, United Nations, European Union and United States; Did they in an combined effort legitimize the Transitional Military Council with their 5 July 2019 Agreement with the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC)?

Because, everyone has jumped on the bandwagon and praised the deal as an effort to get peace and stability. But what sort of peace and stability will it be? Will the NISS and RSF still be in the streets to create fear and intimidation for the citizens? Will the generals and warlords of the TMC really respect the civilians in the Sovereign Council or are they just stalling for time?

I do not have the answers and do not intend to have them either. I am just wondering if this was happening to fast. As I saw even the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) saluting the agreement. IGAD and African Union all joined the league of favourable partners like the TMC and FFC had to get it done. So, that the Ethiopian and AU Joint Mediation looked good or something. Because, they couldn’t loose now and see more demonstrations.

This is all post National Congress Party (NCP) and Post- Al-Bashir, alas, even as the henchmen of him is lingering around in the TMC and is most likely in corridors of power as long as the three year and 6 months transitional period is lingering on. This is all done in an effort to stop the demonstrations and protest only to get things to go back to “normal”. Whatever that means and at what cost.

We can wonder if the NCP and TMC plans to hijack the process, ensure the most juicy parts of the Sovereign Council, take the parts where they are initially in control and give minor positions to FFC to ensure stability. This all being done in backdoor deals and negotiations, as they don’t really intend to proceed to civilian rule. They are just using the three years and 6 months to buy time and hope international community forgets it all and continues to buy their petroleum. Don’t be amazed if that is the trick of the current arrangement.

Don’t expect the United Nations Experts to cry havoc for long, the IGAD are working for their member states, not challenging them. The AU will only make a fuzz, but not directly support regime change. Unless, the donors of the AU and AU Commission pushes it in that direction. The EU will support the Sudanese regime as long as it stops the refugee flood passing through the borders of the Republic. That it will do at any cost and the US will continue to support it, as long as they trade oil with them. This is just the way the world operates, and the Russians will be happy to trade military hardware and mercenaries to eager foreign currency into their Federation.

Therefore, was the world to quick to assess and scream of joy over the Peace Agreement between the two parties, making the TMC a friendly associate, whose still has the upper-hand but really not given up much after a massacre and continued oppression of the public. Because, the lack of internet, electricity and masses silenced by NISS/RSF continues. The case is still open to see a practical change in ways to operate from the TMC.

Maybe the TMC got the get-go from Saudi Arabia and therefore, just let it go. So, that they can do their ills in silence and have less public scrutiny, because they made a deal. Then, the NGOs and the UN will not be as persistent on their tail. They can run around with their bad acts and no one will act upon it. Only a few minor actors, but they cannot really change anything.

The TMC got legitimized, maybe to quickly for comfort… Who knows, maybe I am wrong. I hope I am, but these tend to trickle down with time. Peace.

Burundi: Red-Tabara – Communique (05.07.2019)

Sudan: Dimming light of hope for a possible civilian rule..

Yesterday, the news was broken that the Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) had agreed to peace deal. This deal certainly is a made in way, that gives way for both parties, but surely betray a lot of the ideals that the FFC had and the public had in the demonstrations. Maybe, the FFC soften it up and trying to sell it out. In hope for a negotiated and secured future, even putting trust in the TMC.

The reason why I say that is that the deal per now is a 3 years and 3 months of temporary leadership. Where it will first get 6 months to secure the peace. Than as a part of these 6 month, the Military will lead the new Council for 21 months, while the Civilian leadership will after this get a period of 18 months.

The Sovereign Council, which it has been named, will consist of 5 people from the FFC and 5 members from the military, as well as one civilian member agreed upon by both parties. Making it a Sovereign Council of 11. There will be a Legislative Council and a Council of Ministers, which will be formed after the new structure of government.

There will now be a joint technical committee made by African Union lawyers and the mediators of Ethiopia to finalize this agreement, as it will be finished by Saturday. Certainly, this is all a win for the military, as they will be by the table and no just co-exist with the civilian rule. They will have a say and possible have one man more than the FFC. This meaning, the FFC and the civilian will still be at the mercy of the army.

That is why this is possible a hard bargain, if the TMC have done this to buy time. They have really bought a lot for very little, as they seems like reasonable, while the foreigners are praising the deal. While the TMC don’t have to pay the price for the violence or the killings of demonstrators. Neither, the arrests nor challenged on the silence of the internet or electricity elsewhere. The TMC have gotten very much and legitimacy by doing very little. Even as these negotiations has been going on, the men of civilian leadership have been arrested and intimidated. Clearly, that has not cost the TMC anything and they have even gotten a sweet deal.

Even today, the day after the power agreement in Rabak, White Nile State, the Rapid Support Force (RSF) used their trucks on civilians, who after prayers went around chanting and celebrating in public places. Then the RSF came with 5 trucks and dispersed all off them. This is what the TMC does, while they are making nice to the world.

Let see if the TMC will backtrack or even try to overpower the Sovereign Council, as there are even expectations that the TMC will get the First President of the Council in question. This will surely avoid possible bloodshed, but if the TMC doesn’t get the will. Than, the RSF might be used by the TMC again. That might be the reason why the FFC accepted this half-baked peace-deal, as they saw the stalemate as troublesome. Since, the TMC have not shown their trustworthiness of late.

Time will tell, even if they get the PR shots and the showing of the world of a declaration and peace agreement tomorrow. At this point, I am not sure if this is good or bad, as time will tell if the TMC will honour the deal or not. If they will slowly try to overpower and misuse the legitimacy the Sovereign Council gives them. That is what worries me, but that is because I have a hard time trusting war-lords, as they want to grab as much as possible and uses negotiations only to buy time. Peace.

African Union: Statement of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the situation in Sudan (05.07.2019)

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