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Archive for the tag “France”

Burkina Faso: Ministere de la Communication et des Relations avec le Parlement – Communique (24.12.2019)

Benin: 18 mois de prison ferme pour 3 tweets (24.12.2019)

Opinion: The ECO seems like halfbaked CFA

By my reckoning, the rebranding of Central African Franc (CFA), which was the relic of the colonial French rule in Western African states. During the last few 48 hours, there is news of a new currency, which has implications, but also imperfections.

The ones praising this move is naive. The reason is simple, Emmanuel Macron or the French is still not giving way to power nor influence. They are still having their hand in the cookie jar. They are still involved with the inner-works of the financial sphere of the former colonies. They are maybe stopping the control directly from the National Bank of the French.

This move is to ease the pain of the past, but still the French and the European Union will have their stakes in it. As the pegged currency will be accordingly traded towards the Euro. A Euro, which the French has influence over in the EU. Therefore, the former colonies and the ones accepting this “ECO” Currency are accepting control from Paris and Brussels still.

They are maybe done with the regulations of CFA and the banking system as known today. But the ECO will be measured after the Euro. This is all a condition, that still benefits the former colonizer. If it wouldn’t, he wouldn’t have accepted it. Not like the French wants to loose influence nor the ability to easy trade with former colonizes. Why do you think most of the cars in Tunisia is French and not a random Skoda?

With that in mind, the ECOWAS was not launching this, but Macron was. Therefore, the whole thing seems like ploy to leave one relic behind, hoping people would be so happy that they don’t look into the mechanisms of the new currency. Not like the French would ever drop influence nor their strong hand over Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal & Togo. All of these will still be semi-controlled by Paris.

I have a hard time believing the intent of the French is to give way. No, this is just a shift to extend their power and find new measures to secure it. By remaking the former currency and the monetary union these nations have. Not like they are suddenly creating their own or having 8 separate ones. If they did that, then it might been significant. Where the own national banks, together with Ministry of Finance would make and ensure the safety of own national currency accordingly and necessary for their own Republic.

To remake and rename, only questions the motives behind the move. Other, than trying to clean the dirt of your hands and call it good days work. After years of questioning the currency and the stranglehold of these Republics. By having appointed men in their National Banks and having their gold in Paris.

I lack faith, but I am also very cynical about it. I’m not easily buying into it. I am hopefully wrong. Until the measures, until the mechanisms are all out and the proof of a vital change. It just seems like a small ploy to trigger hope for a difference, when its really just a new name and the same landlord over it. Its still the same farm and the same output, but the master just renamed the land differently. Peace.

Burkina Faso: Etat-Major General Des Armees – Cabinet – Objet: Securisation de l’espace aerien (15.11.2019)

Opinion: Wouldn’t be shocking if their suddenly came a coup d’etat against Talon…

Not that I wish this on Benin nor anywhere else. But when President Patrice Talon is seeking to end the Central African Franc and let the reserves of Benin out of the Banque de France. Expect that Paris, France gets into a stir and a hiccup will end up happening in Cotonou. They can already play the facade of the acts of one-party local elections and dissidents out of that. That a small infringed and demoralized group of activists, military soldiers and a few high ranking officials, suddenly came into play.

That would fit Paris so wisely, as the French doesn’t want to loose their hold on their former colonies. Fracafrique is too important to loose. The French cannot stomach anyone challenging them or even crossing them. That will not happen in 2019. They rather have more power and more friends on the continent, then lose one of them.

Benin’s “new” President Talon will stop the dependency with the French. Where the Republic of Benin can decide more of their own. If the Republic would leave the CFA it would really show force. Now, they are just preparing to withdraw the foreign reserves. That is a hit on the Banque de France. This must hurt the pride of the French and their glorious colonial history, which the CFA is reminder and a relic of.

Talon is daring the powers to be. His powerful in Cotonou, that’s why he could dismiss and stop the opposition from running in the local elections, but he is now going up against the ones whose running the IMF and has leverage in the United Nations and the World Bank. All of these can hurt the economy of Benin.

And if the French continues their exploits, they would use the previous President Thomas Boni Yayi. Who was the President of Benin between 2006 to 2016. Even with his health defects and struggle. He might muster some courage, if he knew that his previous partners of Paris would reinitiate him in power. As he lost to Talon in 2016. All of that wouldn’t be surprising at all.

If not, the French find a collective of “progressive” and “dissidents” who happens to work some mercenaries and they just suddenly takeover the radio, TV and the Parliament. They put road-blocks into the Capital. Therefore, announcing the resignation of Talon and his regime, as they want a democratic government and they are in transition to another one. So, that they as soldiers will bring a fundamental change. But in reality, the new government will continue the CFA and the French influence. They will secure the French industrial exports and everything else. As long, as the elite can shop and do the kneeling in front of the neo-colonial masters of France.

That would be a real life thing and another story in the tale of French dominance on the continent. Peace.

EFF welcomes Benin’s Decision to Withdraw its Foreign Currency Reserves from France and Calls on all other African Countries to do the same (09.11.2019)

Opinion: 37 years of oppression under President [Tyrant] Paul Biya

Some days you wonder why people are celebrated. It is not like President Paul Biya of Cameroon have made himself awarded to be celebrated. His been in power for over 37 years now. Biya has ruled as the President in Cameroon since 6th November 1982. That is before most of the citizens was even born.

While Biya and his wife is living lavish most of the year in Switzerland. Using the army to oppress the Anglophone and the regions on the daily. Many is mourning the rule and reign of the President. Whose destroy anyone trying to take away his crown. If htat was Ahidjo, Fru Ndi or Kamto. All of them are within the ring of fire. They are getting into legal jeopardy or arrested for standing up to the tyrant. Because, the rule of Biya can only be associated with a tyrant. Everything else seems to be to friendly. His not an giving uncle or grand-pa, no he takes and eats, starve the public, but let his loyalists die in office.

Ahidjo warning:

The central figure in the emergence of an independent Cameroon was Ahmadou Ahidjo, who negotiated independence in 1960 and, as president, presided over unification in 1972. He retired in November 1982, and was immediately replaced by Prime Minister Paul Biya. In August 1983 President Biya disclosed a plot ”against the security of the republic.” Less than a week later, Mr. Ahidjo quit as head of the Cameroonian National Union and accused Mr. Biya of creating a police state” (Paul Lewis – ‘CAMEROON RADIO SAYS AN ATTEMPTED COUP HAS FAILED’ 07.04.1984, The New York Times).

Assessment of Biya:

First, the Biya regime has continued to control the (shrinking) state resources, which enables it to buy the loyalty of the state elites and to co-opt some of the Opposition leaders into the hegemonie alliance. It also continues to control the forces of law and order, which enables it to intimidate and oppress the Opposition. Moreover, it continues to monopolize some pivotal mass communication media like the television, which enables it to preclude the Opposition parties from presenting their leaders and programmes to the public. Second, the Biya regime has continued to enjoy the firm support of the Beti elite who feared that their privileged access to state resources would come to an end with the Opposition parties’ seizure of power. Third,the Opposition parties seem hardly to differ from the ruling party, using similar ethno-client networks for the expansion of their power base. And, above all,their leadership is divided by personal and ethnic animosities” (Piet Konings – ‘The Post-Colonial State and Economic and Political Reforms in Cameroon’ 1996).

What the public will see of the 37 years:

As Biya celebrates his 37th year in power today, millions of Cameroonians are mourning and cursing the hour to which they were born to such a destiny. Unemployment, diseases and corruption have blighted many lives in CRepuameroon. The country’s hospitals have been reduced to consultation clinics and the total lack of infrastructure in the country has made life very challenging for Cameroonians. Death and destruction seem to be constants in Cameroon” (Kingsley Betek – ‘Biya’s 37 Years in Power: How is the scorecard?’ 06.11.2019).

Cameroon has had two dictators Ahidjo and Biya, first two decades of Ahjidjo, then his successor Biya for 37 years. The people of Cameroon deserves someone who serves them and represent them. The President and his elite is self-serving. Biya is using the army and the police force to silence the ones standing up to him. His using the army to stop the Ambazonia and the Anglophone ones for speaking up. That is why ghost villages and ghost towns continues. Just like it did in the crisis of the early 1990s.

Biya doesn’t care and shouldn’t be celebrated. He learned from his predecessor and was his Prime Minister. His been the boss the all his life and his close to 90 years old now and doesn’t care how many people lives he hurts. As long as his wife gets expensive luxuries. That what matters to him. The Cameroonians are his peasants and France is supporting him, because they need him. That is why his not really criticised or questioned, because his loyal to Paris. That’s why Macron isn’t acting out, because his doing the bidding of the French in Cameroon. Even if it means destroying regions as a token of that.

Biya should have resigned a long time ago. His robbed the public from Fru Ndi John and Maurice Kamto. He will continue to rob people and expect people to praise him. That is the joyful tyranny of Biya. Peace.

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.

Djibouti: World Bank Approves $6 Million to Ensure Refugees and Host Communities Access Healthcare Services (03.05.2019)

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2019—The World Bank today announced an additional US$6 million additional financing for the continuation of its Improving Health Sector Performance Project in Djibouti. Since its approval in April 2013, 143,000 women and children have received essential health, nutrition and population services in Djibouti. The program has supported improvements in access to quality health care services for maternal and child health and communicable disease control programs (HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis). The additional financing will allow the program to continue serving all of Djibouti, including refugee populations.

The additional financing includes US$1 million in International Development Association (IDA) credit, the World Bank’s arm for the poorest countries, and a US$5 million grant from the IDA18 Sub-Window for Refugees and Host Communities. Djibouti is one of 14 countries eligible to access this financing. The IDA18 Sub-Window for Refugees and Host Communities was created in response to demands from refugee-hosting countries, like Djibouti, as a mechanism for development assistance and concessional financing from the WBG.

“The Government of Djibouti has been committed to addressing the increasing health needs of refugees and host communities,” said Atou Seck, World Bank Resident Representative in Djibouti. “The capacity of health centers throughout Djibouti is under severe strain. In certain communities in Djibouti, displaced populations including refugees make up to 40% of the health service users.”

The new financing will support the Government of Djibouti’s efforts to mitigate the negative health impacts of the protracted refugee crisis and ensure that refugees and host communities have access to quality and equitable health services. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Health.

This is the second additional financing to the project. The first additional financing came in the form of a grant US$7 million from the Health Results and Innovation Trust Fund. The original project, approved in April 2013, was a five-year results-based financing project funded by a US$7 million IDA credit. The program is performance-based, whereby funds are disbursed directly to health care providers based on the number and quality of services delivered. The aim of this design is to encourage healthcare service providers to improve child health services such as immunization, management of childhood illnesses, and treatment of malnutrition. In addition, there is a focus on maternal health services such as prenatal care, family planning, and skilled birth attendance. “With six years of experience with the results based financing in Djibouti we have seen a marked increase in the utilization of maternal and child health services. The increased autonomy of health facilities has led to improved health worker performance and an overall increase in the quantity and quality of health services,” said Elizabeth Mziray, World Bank Task Team Leader for the program. “With the additional financing, the support will extend to reach more vulnerable populations and those most in need.”

The large influx of refugees from neighboring countries into Djibouti and the protracted humanitarian crisis have strained an already fragile health system and have further stretched the limited capacity of the health system to provide basic health and nutrition services. The limited coverage of health services and the absence of essential nutrition and water and sanitation facilities have increased the risk of disease outbreaks.

Contacts

Ghanimah AlOtaibi
202-458-8406
galotaibi@worldbank.org

Kadar Mouhoumed Omar
+253-21 35-1090
kmouhoumedomar@worldbank.org

London Tribunal rules that Djibouti has breached Doraleh Container Terminal’s rights (04.04.2019)

Tribunal orders Djibouti to pay DCT $385 million plus interest for breach of Doraleh Container Terminal SA (DCT)’s exclusivity.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, April 4, 2019 –  Doraleh Container Terminal SA (DCT), a Djibouti port operator owned 33.34% by DP World Group, and 66.66% by Port de Djibouti S.A., an entity of the Republic of Djibouti, has been successful in the London Court of International Arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Djibouti. The Tribunal has found that by developing new container port opportunities with China Merchants Holdings International Co Limited (China Merchants), a Hong-Kong based port operator, Djibouti has breached DCT’s rights under its 2006 Concession Agreement to develop a container terminal at Doraleh, in Djibouti, specifically, its exclusivity over all container handling facilities in the territory of Djibouti.

The Tribunal ordered Djibouti to pay DCT $385 million plus interest for breach of DCT’s exclusivity by development of container facilities at Doraleh Multipurpose Terminal, with further damages possible if Djibouti develops a planned Doraleh International Container Terminal (DICT) with any other operator without the consent of DP World. The Tribunal found that “In respect of the development of the Djibouti Multipurpose Port (DMP) facility, the facts are clear. At no stage before the decision was made to go ahead with that facility with China Merchants did … Djibouti … offer … DCT … the right to develop the proposed container facilities at the DMP. Djibouti was therefore in breach of clause 3.6.3 of the [Concession Agreement]”. China Merchants also operates a $3.5 billion free trade zone it developed pursuant to an agreement with Djibouti, in contravention of DP World’s exclusive right to develop and operate such a free zone under its own concession, which is the subject of other litigation proceedings.

The Tribunal also ordered Djibouti to pay DCT $148 million for historic non-payment of royalties for container traffic not transferred to DCT once it became operational. Djibouti is also ordered to pay DCT’s legal costs.

The Tribunal’s Award recognises that the 2006 Concession Agreement remains valid and binding, as has also been confirmed by another LCIA arbitration tribunal and the London courts. This is the fifth substantial ruling in DCT and DP World’s favour on disputes relating to the Doraleh terminal. DCT and DP World continue to seek to uphold their legal rights in a number of legal fora, following Djibouti’s unlawful efforts to expel DP World from Djibouti and transfer the port operation to Chinese interests. Litigation against China Merchants also continues before the Hong Kong courts. DP World has previously issued public notices, following the confirmation of the validity of the 2006 Concession Agreement in a judgment in 2018, warning others against interfering with its and DCT’s concession rights.

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