Ethiopia: A new TDF offensive into the Afar region!

As the Tigray Defence Force (TDF) did a tactical retreat in December 2021. Now, it is reported that the TDF has started to attack and invade several of districts within the Afar Region. Where the ARed Sea Afar Forces, Afar Regional Special Forces and Eritrean Defence Forces are defending the region. That is very clear, as well as Afar People’s Force (APF) are countering the TDF.

The TDF is reported to have gotten as far as Abaala, as the TDF targeted the districts of Magale, Abaala, Dalol and Barahle. There was also reports that the TDF tried to advance in Erebti located north of Teru, but they were defeated north of Magale. The latest front the TDF has created is around Konnaba, at a place called Mayrami.

There unconfirmed reports that the spiralling conflict in Afar Region have created 250,000 Internally Displaced People’s (IDPs). However, that is not yet verified or proven. Nevertheless, with the advance of TDF into Afar region. There should be expected ramifications of this warfare. Just like the conflict has lingering effects in other regions as well.

The TDF is clearly doing this, as they know the Federal Government of Ethiopia has no interests in negotiating or creating lasting peace. As the Generals and High Ranking Officials been stating the will to annihilate and pursuit the final end of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Therefore, the conflict was just ceasing for a moment and sooner or later, the ENDF would strike.

Nevertheless, the TDF has now advanced and has a new offensive. If they are trying to get to Mille or any other strategic town is unknown. What is obvious… is that the war isn’t over and the Tripartite Alliance isn’t over either. As the EDF, RSAF, APF and ARSF are fighting against the invasion. Peace.

Burkina Faso: G5 Sahel – Communique (24.01.2022)

Muhoozi’s one-day affair in Kigali: When diplomacy is set to die…

You can wonder sometimes… if blood is so important that state affairs and diplomatic agencies loose all values. Because, the Government of Uganda has a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it has a diplomatic corpse in Kigali and has a Ministry of Interior, which all could have enforced and ensure protocol on the matter. However, the GoU sent Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga, the first son of the President and Commander of the Land Forces in the National Army to represent and negotiate with the Rwandan President Paul Kagame. That says it all… and that’s brazen, if anything.

The National Resistance Movement, the State House and the whole “yes-men” will call it an achievement and proclaim whatever the son of the old man with the hat brings home. He could have brought stray-cats from Kigali and they would called him an environmentalist. However, there is no joint-communique or joint statement on the matter. None of the parties have let out much information, if any of substance.

Rwandan Government friendly press New Times states this about the meeting: “Details of the meeting between the two were not immediately made public but the Office of the President described the talks as cordial and productive. “President Kagame and General Muhoozi Kainerugaba had cordial, productive and forward looking discussions about Rwanda’s concerns and practical steps needed to restore the relationship between Rwanda and Uganda,” according to Presidency” (Edwin Ashimwe – ‘Kagame, Gen. Muhoozi discuss mending Rwanda-Uganda ties’ 23.01.2022, New Times Rwanda).

While the Ugandan Newspaper Daily Monitor reported this: “However, following his one-day working visit to Rwanda on Saturday to meet President Paul Kagame in what seems to mark warming relations between the neighbouring countries after years of tension, Lt Gen Kainerugaba who doubles as UPDF Commander Land Forces said Pte Arinda had been released” (Job Bwire – ‘Rwanda releases SFC soldier after Muhoozi’s visit’ 22.01.2022, Daily Monitor Uganda).

This shows that both nations are happy with the meeting, but the ties are not totally mended. We know the Rwandan government have come with clear stipulations to open up border and get back on good terms. However, even with the former meetings and negotiations it hasn’t gotten further.

What is only proof of goodwill is the return of a Ugandan repatriated after being arrested a few month ago. The challenge now… is to use the momentum and continue the talks. Since, the parties and neither state has shown true progress. If there was any progression, the would be a written communique or a statement saying something. There would be a possible Memorandum of Understanding to work to a new diplomatic agreement. However, that seems far away…

The first son can bring home a soldier, which has belonged to a unit and outfit, which he used to be commander of. Therefore, he can boost his ego and make himself look smart. However, that meant nothing to Kagame. Only a few positive headlines, which he didn’t pay anything for. While he gave no way or indicated for changes. As the stalemate and tensions aren’t resolved. That’s because the parties, presidents and authorities haven’t given way to each other.

Lt. Gen. Muhoozi wants to be seen as a diplomat and politician, capable of the big-league, but this meeting hasn’t proven that. The only thing this has proven, is that he can take a few snaps and return home nearly empty-handed. The release of a SFC soldier isn’t anything in the greater scheme of things. There been people wrongly arrested on both sides of the dispute, which has been dumped on the borders to return home. That has been the practice of both parties over the last few years and this isn’t changing anytime soon. Especially, when anyone becomes a dissident in Kampala, they are easily being maligned to counter espionage for Kigali. So, as long as this is happening. We know the things aren’t changing or becoming for the better.

Muhoozi couldn’t win this one and Kagame wouldn’t let him either. That would infuriate the elites and be a shallow one. Therefore, maybe it was for the better, that they only got a token of goodwill and the real diplomats can resolve the issues between them. Since, this was just a publicity stunt to boost the ego of an aspiring son of the President for Life in Kampala. Peace.

African Union (AU): Communique of the 1057th meeting of the PSC held on 14 January 2022, on the situation in Mali (21.01.2022)

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 1057th meeting held on 14 January 2022, on the situation in Mali;

The Peace and Security Council, 

Recalling its previous communiques and press statements on the situation in Mali and in the Sahel region, in particular Communique PSC/PR/COMM.1027(2021) adopted at its 127th meeting held on 02 September 2021; Communique PSC/PR/COMM. (1001(2021)) adopted at its 1001st meeting held on 01 June 2021; and Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (M)] adopted at its 1000th meeting held on 25 May 2021; 

Also recalling the Communique of the Sixtieth Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government, held on 12 December 2021, in Abuja, Nigeria and the Communique of the 4th Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government held on 9 January 2022 in Accra, Ghana;

Takes note of opening remarks by H.E. Ambassador Amma Adomaa Twum-Amoah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ghana to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for January 2022 and the presentation made by H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; also taking note of the remarks made by the High Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and Head of the AU Mission for the Sahel (MISAHEL), H.E. Ambassador Maman Sidikou and the statements made by the Representative of the Chair of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), the Republic of Ghana, and H.E. Ambassador Salah Francis Elhamdi, Permanent Representative of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, in its capacity as a neighboring country, as well as the representative of the United Nations Office to the AU;

Mindful of the provisions of all relevant AU normative instruments, including the AU Constitutive Act; the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; and the Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government, adopted by the 36th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Lomé, Togo, July 2000 (the Lomé Declaration);

Reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the AU to respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali, as well as the AU’s solidarity with the people and Government of Mali.

 

 

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1. Endorses the Communique of the 4th Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government which took place on 9th January 2022 in Accra, Ghana, which among others, imposed additional economic and financial sanctions against Mali; further endorses Communique of the Sixtieth Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority, held on 12 December 2021, in Abuja, Nigeria, which reiterated the need for the Transition Authorities in Mali to respect the deadline of the elections without which additional sanctions would be imposed accordingly;

2. Expresses full support to all efforts aimed at creating the necessary conditions to foster a return to constitutional order in Mali, including the efforts of ECOWAS and the ECOWAS mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan;

3. Takes note of the Conclusions of the Assises Nationales de la Refondation which outlined important recommendations on political, institutional and security measures vital for the peace and stability of Mali; and calls for restraint and the need for all Malian stakeholders to engage in dialogue and to continue to work together within the framework of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, which emanated from the Algiers process, as the only means to ensure an inclusive approach to address challenges facing Mali which are fundamentally structural and security related;

4. Expresses regret over the failure of the Malian Transition Authorities to abide by the originally stipulated 18 months’ transitional period in line with the commitment set out in the Transitional Charter and organize free, fair and credible democratic elections on 27 February 2022 as called for by the PSC at its 1001st meeting held on 1 June 2021;

5. Strongly rejects the calendar submitted to the ECOWAS Mediator by the Malian Transition Authorities scheduling to conduct the presidential elections by end of December 2025, setting the duration of the transition for a period of five and half years which is undue elongation of the transition process in Mali; and stresses that this deems unconstitutional, impermissible, inappropriate and a grave obstruction to democratic processes in the country;

6. Calls on the Malian Transition Authorities to respect the Transition Charter and the decisions of the PSC and ECOWAS and organize free, fair and credible elections within a reasonable time to be agreed by all stakeholders; and underscores the imperative of early restoration to civilian led constitutional and democratic order, which is the fundamental roadmap to sustainable stability and development in Mali and the broader Sahel region;

7. Welcomes the proposal made by the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to accompany the Republic of Mali and the ECOWAS on the salutary path of mutual understanding, and appeals to the Transitional Authorities in Mali and ECOWAS to engage together in this initiative in order to address the outstanding areas of difference with a view for facilitating the return of Mali to constitutional order within an appropriate and feasible period of time, not exceeding sixteen (16) months;

8. In this context, indicates that the implementation of the pertinent provisions of the aforementioned ECOWAS communiques will be considered by the PSC in conjunction with the outcome of the efforts to be deployed by Algeria, in accordance with paragraph 7 above;

9. In this connection, reiterates its strong condemnation on any form of Unconstitutional Change of Government in line with the cardinal AU normative frameworks including the Lomé Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa (2000), the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and reaffirms the urgency for Malian transition authorities to swiftly move towards the return to democratic dispensation;

10. Expresses its grave concern on deteriorating security situation and absence of state authority in Central Mali and calls upon all actors to ensure restoration of security and stability in the area; takes note of the meeting of the Follow-up Committee on the implementation of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, which emanated from the Algiers process and reiterates the need for a decision-making meeting among Malian signatories to be held, to enable progress, notably on global disarmament, demobilization and reintegration based on the Government’s concrete offer to integrate 26,000 combatants in the next two to three years;

11. Expresses deep concern at the increased violation of human rights and lack of effective mechanisms for the protection of civilians including women and children, urgently calls on the Government to put in place reliable and efficient mechanisms to ensure civilian protection especially within the regions;

12. Condemns the continued arrest and unlawful imprisonment of Malian Political Personalities and former leaders by the Transition Authorities and demands their unconditional release, protection of their unalienable human rights and whenever needed to undertake judicial process for those facing allegations of offenses according to the laws of the country;

13. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to swiftly and directly engage with the Malian Transition Authorities and all stakeholders, inclusive of ECOWAS, with a view to finalizing a more practical election timetable that will be acceptable to all Malian stakeholders and which will culminate to a swift return to civilian-led government; also requests the AU Commission to immediately conduct consultations among the direct neighboring countries of Mali and to subsequently present a report on the outcome of the consultations; further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to deploy a technical assessment mission to engage with the Transition Authorities with a view to identify areas which need support in order to expedite early restoration of constitutional order;

14. Commends the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and pays tribute to peacekeepers who lost their lives promoting peace, security and stability in Mali, while reiterating AU’s readiness to actively collaborate with the UN in maintaining peace, stability and security in Mali;

15. Appeals to the United Nations Security Council to equally support the implementation of the ECOWAS Summit decisions and ensure adequate compliance by its institutions, and further calls on all AU Member States to support the efforts of ECOWAS until the restoration of constitutional order in Mali;

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Ethiopia: A fresh OCHA Report states the continued blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Tigray region

Northern Ethiopia – Access Map of January 2022

The humanitarian preparedness and response operations in Northern Ethiopia continue to be significantly restricted by several factors, including conflict and bureaucratic impediments such as the inability to bring sufficient supplies, fuel, and cash to Tigray, the high number of people in need, limited access to people in hard-to-reach areas due to insecurity, limited presence of partners on the ground, especially in Afar, and lack of funding” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

No surprise here after months upon end with little to no efforts from the state to patch the hurt or the damages done in the northern Ethiopia. This is deliberate actions of the Prime Minister and his Tripartite Alliance, as they are punishing a whole region and nearby areas in the conflict started in November 2020. The weaponized famine and starvation is clearly tabled by the authorities and their allies, as they are pinning all blame on the victims, as they are doing it.

The OCHA report of 20 January 2022 is as dark and grim as these has been. There is little to no movement and it isn’t becoming better. Just a few statements from the OCHA report shows the efforts and what is achieved by the state in this region. They are only allowing certain humanitarian assistance to get to Amhara and Afar regions, but not to reach the battle-torn Tigray region. Therefore, the “unity” of Ethiopia is half-assed or not a legit concern of those in power at this point. As it seems the rest of Ethiopia is their citizens, but the Tigray can suffer, because they have the ability to harm them as whole.

OCHA further states: “UNHAS continues to operate two flights per week between Addis Ababa and Mekelle in Tigray. No humanitarian workers were cleared to travel by road from Semera to Mekelle since 28 October. A limited amount of operational cash was transferred on UNHAS flights, but this remains below the amount of cash needed to support operations and programs and provide a meaningful response at the required scale. The limit of ETB 2 million per agency per week remains in effect. Between 6-12 January, about 10,500 people were reached with food assistance in Adet and Naeder woredas in Tigray under the current food distribution cycle. Cumulatively, partners have assisted about 495,000 people in Tigray in the last three months (from mid-October-12 January) under the current round, whereas 870,000 people need to be reached every week so that the 5.2 million people targeted receive food during the six weeks food distribution cycle” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

It also states: “The transport of humanitarian supplies into Tigray, via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor, remain on halt since 14 December due to the ongoing fighting in Abala. Meanwhile, 68 trucks of humanitarian supplies are in the dry port in Semera waiting to proceed to Mekelle. This includes more than 2,400 metric tons (MT) of food, nutrition, WASH, NFI, health, and protection items such as dignity kits for women and adolescent girls. Trucks are offloaded in the warehouse in Semera until convoys’ movement resumes. Overall, 1,338 trucks have entered the region since 12 July, which represents less than 10 per cent of the required supplies needed to meet the vast scale of humanitarian needs of 5.2 million people, or 90 per cent of the population in Tigray. Four tankers carrying more than 155,000 liters of fuel are also awaiting approvals in Semera. No fuel for humanitarian operations has been allowed into Tigray since 2 August, except for two WFP trucks. As partners are unable to receive sufficient fuel loans locally, they have no choice but to reduce, postpone or cancel critical distributions such as food, medicine, and nutrition interventions. Consequently, the scale of food distributions has reached an all-time low in Tigray as food stocks and fuel have almost been entirely exhausted. Food assistance partners are facing severe fuel shortages with less than 5,000 litres of fuel (excluding contingency stock) available as of 18 January. Partners who had been forced to suspend dispatch more than a month ago were only able to resume on 15 January with some limited amount of fuel they received locally. Other partners have suspended food dispatch as their transporters could no longer access fuel locally. As of 18 January, partners reported around 1,200 MT of food commodities available within Tigray, out of which, there is only enough stock to feed around 28,400 people with a complete three-commodity common food basket for one round. WFP reported that stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted, while the last cereals, pulses and oil are distributed” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

When you read those texts from OCHA and their reports. The efforts, the thwarted transports and the hurdles made by the state is very obvious. This is done in such a speed and lack of concern. That people are dying and the humanitarian assistance isn’t reaching. The levels of assistance and transports cannot even contain the bare minimum. That shows the sinister and brutal side of the Federal Government of Ethiopia. They want people to die and not feed the citizens of the Tigray region. This is the message it sends and this should be made war-crimes cases for. As innocent civilians in need dies, because of bureaucratic hurdles created by the Addis Ababa elite. That is the truth here and millions are pawns in a political gambit of one warlord and Prime Minister.

They are stopping people from eating and getting treatment… and that is done for months on end. This is an reaction to the besieged region and war-torn Tigray region, which is drone-and air-strikes on the daily too. The state is never giving it peace or ability to heal. They are not even letting petrol or any other basic commodities enter there too. We know the PM hates “wheat-aid” and he clearly wants to punish anyone who doesn’t have blind loyalty to him. That’s why his punishing the Tigray region…

That’s how I read this deliberate act of the state and it’s disgrace… it should be illegal and be internationally sanctioned to do this to the ones in need. There should be mechanisms, which not only charge, but punish leaders who does this out of spite and acts with such evil against own civilians. Peace.

South Sudan: Sudan Embassy Juba – Press Release (13.01.2022)

Ghana: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration – Press Release (18.01.2022)

UNITAMS: First week of UN-facilitated consultations on a political process for Sudan brings together wide range of Sudanese stakeholders (17.01.2022)

These consultations are aimed at understanding the various perspectives and positions on the way forward to end current political impasse and develop a path towards democracy and peace.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, January 17, 2022 – Since its launching on January 8, the UN-facilitated consultations on a political process for Sudan continued to engage a wide range of Sudanese stakeholders, including civil society (the and women’s groups, representatives from academia and lawyers as well as representatives from the FFC Central Committee, the Sudanese Communist Party, the Sudanese Congress Party, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA)and some Juba Peace Agreement signatories, including Malik Agar and Al Hadi Idriss.

These consultations are aimed at understanding the various perspectives and positions on the way forward to end current political impasse and develop a path towards democracy and peace.

Consultation participants presented several practical suggestions for moving the process forward while discussing the scope and parameters of the process, including priority issues that need to be tackled immediately. All participants have welcomed the UN role in facilitating consultations, noting that their timing is critical as an urgent solution to the ongoing crisis is needed.

During the meetings held so far, Sudanese stakeholders urged UNITAMS to broaden consultations beyond Khartoum and organize sessions with constituencies in all states. Participants condemned scalation of violence and stressed that violence must end before dialogue with the military could be possible.

The SRSG will continue his consultations with political parties, resistance committees, women’s groups, and armed groups in the coming week. He continues to receive requests from other groups and entities who are interested in contributing to the consultations. The SRSG welcomes and will strive to accommodate every request to engage with the process.

Opinion: Will Col. Goïta be able to get Mali out of the clenches of Paris?

The recent ECOWAS sanctions put on Mali has had effects of which has sparked more diplomatic ruckus of which we haven’t seen in the Sahel Region or where the French is operating with their Operation Barkhane. The French is without any issues moving troops and military outfits as it deems fit. Without nearly any consideration and only as it’s own “intelligence” serves best.

That why there was lots of demonstrations in December 2021, as moving troops from Bukina Faso across the region caused not only fatalities, but also damaged the French reputation in the region. It killed civilians and didn’t take into account the growing anti-French sentiment in the region. They met locals who disregarded them in Burkina Faso, Niger and such. Which is a story we cannot forget this January 2022.

Colonel Assimi Goïta is now thriving on the anti-French, which was there before his reign. The Colonel is getting the popularity behind this. As his predecessor and former President Keita was not only friendly with the French, but defended their presence in Mali. That was intolerable, as the French has continued their neo-colonial policies in the region and not only fought “terrorists”.

We know perfectly well that the French are there out of business and enriching Paris. They are not there out of charity or humanitarian interests. That’s why the former French colonies has been bound by a Neo-Colonial currency and financial statutes based in Paris. Therefore, the French could easily use their influence and power to sway the ECOWAS to target Mali for their insubordination this time around.

Goïta who in a short time has achieved to not only become temporary head of state and take power of Mali. He can become even more popular by feeding of the righteous anti-French sentiments in the Republic. Since, that was bound and there was a popular protests going on before he had any office or becoming a high ranking official in the Republic. Therefore, we can now see that him and the current administration is wise on thriving on it.

It might cost currency and they get rebuked. The government of Mali might feel a pinch and get declined for grants or direct aid. As the French might stop certain programs or efforts of which it has supported for some time. They might even use their power over International Monetary Fund (IMF) and influence the World Bank as well. Who knows, but the French shouldn’t take this too easy.

The Malian government and administration is right in leaving the colonial master behind. Let the French on the back-burner and the French should be blessed that it has less ramification. Since, the French hasn’t paid a price for it’s practices and violence to get mineral exploitation in the former colonies. It is not like the French was in Western Africa or the Sahel region out of their kindness in their heart. No, they where there to elevate and profit on the plight of the Western African nations. That is just a mere fact and they cannot excuse in 2022.

Goïta shouldn’t just close the airspace and make it worse for air-travel. He should order decrees and try to forge himself out the West African CFA and the whole monetary union, as that is the death-grip of which the French holds over the former colonies.

If Goïta wants true independence and not only words. He should take a step to distance and have own currency. That’s what is necessary, since the French would only feel the pinch and the hurt, if it hits their pockets and takes away their mandates. A mandate it has misused and arrogantly stood for over the years.

Mali deserves this and so does the other nations of West Africa, heck the whole Sahal region deserves that. They shouldn’t bend their knee and be bound by a neo-colonial currencies or monetary policies. That is what it does now, plus it uses it’s muscles with military flexing to defends it’s interests too. Peace.

Republique Centrafricaine: Tôngôlô Ti Beafrika – Communique suite a la table ronde “La necessite de lever l’embargo sur les armes” (13.01.2022)

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