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.
After reading a Forbes article on Illicit Financial Funds leaving Ethiopia, as they question the need for and the use of donor aid to Ethiopia. I had to read the reports that it partly was based and make my own assumptions. The difference is that I want to focus on the East African Nations and their Illicit Financial Funds that leaves the States. So that the values and the amounts show’s lack of governance and regulation of finance gives way for the African governments and corporations to get away with transferring funds without legal bounds. This is a way of misusing funds and also money laundering through lacking revenue service and authorities to keep up the upkeep of the states. Take a look!
“IFFs are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another. GFI classifies such flows as illicit if the funds crossing borders are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilized. If the flow breaks a law at any point, it is illicit” (GFI, 2015).
“African governments have a political interest in IFFs because these flows impact their national development aspirations and encroach on state structures. They therefore have law enforcement and regulatory agencies whose duties include preventing IFFs. Among these are the police, financial intelligence units and anti-corruption agencies. Governments also have customs and revenue services and other agencies whose purposes are thwarted or hindered by IFFs” (IFF, P: 35, 2016).
“The widespread occurrence of IFFs in Africa also points to a governance problem in the sense of weak institutions and inadequate regulatory environments. IFFs accordingly contribute to undermining state capacity. To achieve their purposes, the people and corporations behind IFFs often compromise state officials and institutions. Left unchecked, these activities lead to entrenched impunity and the institutionalization of corruption” (IFF, P: 51, 2016)
“Most African countries do not have enough highly trained lawyers, accountants and tax experts to carry out the oversight functions to prevent or punish perpetrators of illicit financial outflows. The few that exist are often overworked and unable to prepare sufficiently to take on top-class representing large corporations” (IFF, P: 72, 2016).
Illicit Financial Funds ranking in the years of 2004 – 2013:
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
Total IFFs in the years of 2004 – 2013 (GER+HMN)
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
* “Trade misinvoicing (GER) dominates measurable illicit outflows, averaging 83.4 percent of total illicit outflows during the years 2004 to 2013. However, there has been a noticeable growth in the hot money narrow (HMN) estimate of balance of payment leakages over those years as well. Though initially only accounting for 6.9 percent of illicit outflows in 2004, HMN rose to 19.4 percent of illicit flows by 2013” (GFI, P: 10, 2015).
If you look at the charts there are some monies that is missing and gone away on all sorts of schemes and tax exemptions, all sort of added invoicing or other types of financial instruments to make sure the monies doesn’t end where they are supposed to be. The East African states have misused giant amount of funds.
Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda are topping the list. What is weird for me and the report it is not specifying the Sudan as the Khartoum republic or putting South Sudan alone! So the report and the values put on South Sudan, which was independent in 2011, there do not know what of part of Sudan who has illicit funds. Still, the values and the amount of million dollars Illicit Financial Funds (IFFs) from Ethiopia for instance. You can wonder how much of the government budget that is eaten by this sort of financial mismanagement and misuse of public funds. The reserves and state coffers have to be hit when it is these amounts of dollars that are lost. Uganda have also gotten rid of giant amount of funds, these is 10 higher than the revelation during the Oil Probe with the 2.4 Trillion shillings, which is about $640-700m dollars. That we’re oil revenue that has not been remitted to the state, just these values is ten-times of what was revealed in the Ugandan courts. So there is other revenue that the State House, Bank of Uganda and Uganda Revenue Authority not have complied to or have registered as there is a loss of $7,149 million dollars.
These is just two financial instruments as the HMN and the GER that is explained under the table, the other ways of misusing funds, I haven’t even covered. This is just how much that is miss-invoicing and Hot Money Narrow, the others can be shown at another time. The numbers shown here alone show the extent of misuse of funds in a decade. That is the public loss and the state coffers that been looted by the regime and their lack of will of following and regulating the financial markets. Therefore, the state and institutions does not have the will or capacity to follow the money. This shouldn’t be evident, but it is and not a good look. Peace.
Illicit Financial Flows iff – ‘Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa’
Global Financial Integrity – ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013’ (December 2015)