MinBane

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Archive for the tag “Mali”

African Union Open-Ended Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the International Criminal Court Convened its 6th Meeting on the Sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (27.01.2018)

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Opinion: We never learn, the conflicts doesn’t stop!

This year has been bloody and the doomsday switch is itching. The trigger fingers are used on dozens of battlefields. Some places with hope of peace and of just rule. It is other places, which is in dire need of change and quickly. The are continuation of wars and conflicts. Internally and across borders. There are possible new problems and making it more hectic. As so many nations have porous borders where militias and armies are floating in between. Since also even with supposed arms blockade to certain conflict zones, the merchants of death is delivering their loads.

The battles continues, the ramifications of innocent lives, villages burnt and kids disappearing. The utter violence and crimes against humanity. That get touched and burned for war-lords, generals and Presidents to stay in power. While AID and NGOs are afraid of sending help and often also stopped. The United Nations might have troops in the nearby area, but easier to get a towing vehicle, than armed supported of a IDP Camp. The insurgency and the escalations, the results is death.

It happens, as the world is looking at Premier League, NBA and Formula One. It is happening while Miss Universe is lost on a God-Forsaken Island. We never know why these innocent lives had to die. We just read the numbers in small notices in the papers and moves on.

That is not justice, that is not right. We didn’t learn anything. Nothing. It continues daily in South Sudan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Yemen, Burma, Burundi, Mali, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria and the list goes on. To many nations have internal conflicts or conflicts across their borders. Where merchants are securing the deaths of the innocent.

It happen all through the year. It didn’t stop. It continues and we just watch. We let it happen right under our nose for all sort of different reasons. This isn’t the big-man complex within me, this is the man who questions the world order and wonder when will it stop. We should not accept these deaths. It could be me and next time you. Who knows when conflicts will strike our shores and our clan. We never know, the future is not written yet, but we can make sure that doesn’t happen to them. That we shield and stop the aggressors. The endless violence and death. The destruction of society, of families and of basic functions.

Where the men and soldiers with the guns are respected and the law, where the respect and protocol is bypassed. Where the institutions and the general code of law is undermined at any moment. Where the bullet has the final say, where the use of weapons and ammunition; is the final outcome to any trade. The justice is what the guns say and the ones that uses them. The ones that is supplying it, is making sure the vote get heard and the War-Lord get signed off.

The determination and the lack of will, the mismanagement and the international community lack of acknowledge the reality. The blood-thirst and the power-hungry individuals who rule and who uses this to silence the public. Send them packing and fleeing. Take their lands and the resources. Secure their future, while the majority is in utter disgrace in foreign lands. They fear and wonder when peace will be in their village and around their home. If it is safe and if the government will promise their safety.

This is what we should be afraid of, that people are afraid of their homes and their lands. That they are afraid of returning, because they know that they might lose their lives and also their children. This is the evidence of the crime that is committed. What is taken from these people. We learned nothing in 2017, as the conflicts are continuing and no peace in sight. No justice and no respect for human dignity, as more innocent lives are taken away everyday before their time. Peace.

The Congress Report into the Niger Ambush says very little!

The Capitol Hill report or the Congress Report Service (CRS) who are making studies into wished subjects of the Congress, has recently dropped and made a report into the United States Armed Mission in Niger. Not that it says much and it is shown to be careful with dropping intelligence, as this is a continued mission against Islamist insurgents and militants together with allies of the American government. Therefore, dropping to much intelligence and to much information would spoil the mission themselves. That is why the CRS isn’t saying much new, but shows the state of affairs and the reasoning of United States to interfere on foreign soil. They are even proving the capacity of forces and planned army base in Niger. As they are clearly now cooperating with other armies and camps, where they are based. Since they are building one in the northern town of Agadez. Take a look!

Following the October 4 attack, DOD officials have publicly cited a larger figure of 800 U.S. military personnel in Niger. 17 These figures presumably comprise personnel stationed in the capital, Niamey, as well as those deployed in more remote areas. Notably, a U.S. Air Force facility is under construction in the northern city of Agadez (Figure 1), which the Air Force has described as supporting U.S. logistical and intelligence capacities in the sub-region, and which U.S. diplomats have described as supporting the Niger government’s capacity to secure its borders” (…) “U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) describes the U.S. military presence in Niger, as in most places in Africa, as a “light footprint,” suggesting that a more extensive and/or conventional military mission could require more extensive airlift, close air support capacity, and contingency planning” (CRS, P: 4-5, 2017).

Advisory activities in which U.S. personnel are embedded with local security forces, as was apparently the case in the mission that came under attack on October 4, according to DOD officials” (CRS, P: 7, 2017).

The “golden hour” is described as the first 60 minutes following trauma or the onset of acute illness, where chances of a patient’s survival are considered greatest if advanced trauma life support can be provided. DOD notes that, “historically, wound data and casualty rates indicate that more than 90 percent of all casualties die within the first hour of severe wounding without advanced trauma life support.”58 U.S. military medical support is generally structured to meet this standard of one hour or less” (…) “In the case of the October 4 Niger ambush, at least one Special Forces medic (see below) was present, but he was killed during the ambush. DOD stated the two U.S. soldiers wounded during the ambush were medically evacuated by French air assets to Niamey during the firefight, and that this medical evacuation was “consistent with the casualty evacuation plan that was in place for this particular operation” (CRS, P: 12-13, 2017).

Niger’s Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum stated in a media interview on October 19 that those who carried out the attack were “youths under the influence of Abu Walid al Sahrawi” who were based in the Niger/Mali border region. Possibly reflecting the extremely complex nature of militant allegiances in the sub-region, Bazoum also suggested that the assailants were loyal to Iyad ag Ghali, a Malian national who heads the Al Qaeda-aligned JNIM, although some analysts portray JNIM and IS-GS as rivals rather than allies. The Interior Minister indicated in his remarks that Niger’s government had yet to identify the precise assailants” (CRS, P: 16, 2017).

We clearly will not know everything now, but there is openings and questions to be asked. There have already been questions over how long it took to get the bodies of the fallen American soldiers from the place of fire. Also, the aftermath of the ambush opening a lot of questions.

That we will know more with time and hope this get investigated, as there are many leads and many more questions arising, as the Department of Defense should have own intelligence on the ambush and the days before. Since, they are there together with the Niger’s own military and French soldiers, these are all in the Sahel region to clear militant Islamist’s there. Clearly, there are some intelligence that is left our or clearly not studied. Since the CRS report are a stripped report. There has already been reported about the ambushes and local chiefs interfering on behalf Islamist’s in the area. This has been overshadowed in this report.

That this report also not look into the failure of human intelligence, because of this Niger ambushed could have been warned against and the troubles in Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali. Together with the ambush of motorcycles and other reports, that has been neglected. Proves that the CRS are trying to stifle information or not investigate it at all. Just going by the information of different sources in the days after, you could get more intelligence of it, than by the CRS. Therefore, the report didn’t tell much, just showing what official sources within the DoD. Peace.

Reference:

Congressional Research Service – ‘Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers’ (27.10.2017)

A look into the Niger Ambush!

Well, there is often now, when it comes to the assistance and the help from United States Army, it is less planned, but more erratic just like their President. The Commander-in-Chief, President Donald J. Trump is behind the mess created and the death, he is the last to order and sanction the violence. If the US Army is behind a mess in Yemen, it is on his hour, if its done bad in Niger, it is still on his watch.

Just like Hillary Clinton was in a mess in Libya, this is a story of how the United States might have inflicted much harm in Niger, without intelligence and backgrounds checks. Clearly, it must have been something gone wrong, when they are ambushed happen and there are conflicting reports of it. We cannot know everything now. Since the investigations of the different security organization will start. As well, as the Trump Administration are in high gear of deflections and trying to silence the story. Because, this is damaging reports. Not only his lack of compassion to the families of the lost soldiers in battle, but also the lack of collecting intelligence before striking at the enemies during conflict.

Here is some of the key aspects we can for now take from the Niger ambush. This is not the whole story, but some pieces of the puzzle, to make sense of the manner, the Special Forces operated and the AFRICOM Battalion that is stationed in Niger. Hope this gives you some sense of it all.

Context:

News reports indicate that the attack occurred near the town of Tongo Tongo (see Figure 1), in a border region where a number of armed groups are active. These include locally-led factions affiliated Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization, ethnic militias, separatist rebels, drug traffickers, smugglers, and bandits, with the lines between these categories often blurred. (See CRS In Focus IF10172, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Related Groups.) Islamist armed groups regularly conduct attacks against local targets—notably focusing on government officials, prisons, schools, and individuals accused of collaborating with the state or with French-led counterterrorism operations —and against U.N. peacekeepers in Mali. Some analysts assert that the often heavy-handed counterterrorism approach of local security forces has contributed to worsening instability” (Arieff, 2017)

First Official statement:

On Oct. 4, three (3) U.S. service members and one partner nation member were killed while the U.S. was providing advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations, approximately 200 km north of Niamey, in southwest Niger. Additionally, two U.S. service members were injured and evacuated in stable condition to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany” (U.S. Embassy in Niger, 2017).

Niger Ministry of Defense Statement:

On Tuesday, October 03, 2017, a patrol of the defense and security forces and US partners operating in the Mali-Niger border zone was ambushed by terrorist elements on board a dozen vehicles and twenty motorcycles. height of Tongo Tongo village located about 80 km northwest of Ouallam. After intense fighting during which the elements of the joint patrol showed courage and an exemplary combativeness, the balance is established as follows: FDS four (4) dead, eight (8) wounded, partners American three (3) dead, two (2) wounded. In this painful circumstance, the President of the Republic, Head of State, Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and the Government offer their deepest condolences to the families of the disappeared and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. They welcome the commitment of the American partners alongside our defense and security forces, they reiterate their strong support and encouragement to the entire defense and security forces in their mission of defending the integrity of the national territory and strategic partners for their continued support for peace and stability in the region” (FAN, 2017).

Report in LA Times the day after:

Officials hoped the missing U.S. Army Special Forces operative might still be hiding in the dense brush, rather than taken captive, and launched a massive search-and-rescue mission with aerial drones and other aircraft, as well as Nigerien ground forces. The death of four Green Berets in remote West Africa marks the worst single loss of U.S. forces under fire since President Trump took office. The president was briefed on the search and the discovery of the body, officials said. The casualties came as a heavy blow to the insular special operations community that increasingly shoulders the burden of America’s counter-terrorism operations overseas. The four fatalities, as well as two wounded Green Berets, were in the 3rd Special Forces Group based in Ft. Bragg, N.C” (Hennigan, 2017).

Chad Pulls out troops:

The development comes after the US slammed a travel ban on its citizens. Chad defence officials have not given a reason for this action, but it is believed that it could weaken the fight against the insurgents. Residents say the withdrawal of the troops had already impacted on Niger’s Diffa region, which has seen a series of attacks by Boko Haram crossing over from their base in Nigeria” (NAN, 2017).

Conflicting reports:

Eventually, after talking to the village chief, the troops got into their vehicles to return to their base, a two-hour drive. But less than five minutes after they drove out of the village, the convoy was ambushed by a group that outnumbered them two to one. About 100 armed insurgents, many of whom were on motorbikes — two or three people a bike — as well as others in about 10 sport utility vehicles, surrounded the convoy. They were armed with heavy weapons, including anti aircraft weaponry as well as rocket-propelled grenades, according to a Nigerien official. Soldiers in the joint patrol were riding in military vehicles as well as civilian Land Cruisers from the American Embassy. The firefight lasted two to three hours, the Nigerien official said, until a response unit from the military base arrived for reinforcements. French helicopters arrived to evacuate the dead and wounded as well as other soldiers” (Searcey, Cooper & Schmitt, 2017).

Lack of Intelligence in West Africa:

That very same evaluation additionally raised concern that solely 20-30 per cent of the US ISR’s intelligence, surveillance and recognition necessities have been met. UU. of the US (ISR). “This limits situational understanding, assist operations and presents no risk indications and warnings,” the command warned, including that the state of affairs is most severe in West Africa, the place the military of states United has roughly 1,000 individuals concerned in a dozen operations in a area of 9 nations. Nigerian officers have stated that the ambush on four October was on account of a “failure of human intelligence.” This useful resource hole “forces our workers to return to pricey and ineffective advert hoc options,” the command instructed lawmakers” (DrFeed, 2017)

I think these clips from different sources say a lot and shows that the neglect and the importance of collecting intelligence. As well, as knowing the intent of the locals and their loyalty towards the insurgents. Therefore, the joint-command brigade was ambushed. There will come more intelligence and more information, that will show the damaging information that is for now left out. Unless, the United States wants to hide their acts. The dead soldiers will not return, not matter what you do, but to see the causes and the reasons for their demise could be learning curve for the military and their operatives.

We cannot know everything now, but we will with time, as the investigations and the revealing intelligence will come to forward. Clearly, the White House wouldn’t touch this in the beginning, because they knew of the their misbehavior and has since tried to deflect it. Especially, since their own President has assaulted Clinton for her actions in Libya, this could be seen as similar and be alike. Therefore, the smear-campaign and questionable acts was taken to Congress in various committees, the same should appear in this case. But don’t expect it, because the Republican are still loyal to their President. However, if that turns and their show compassion and care for their Republic. They would have dozens of investigations and also look into the ambush. The reasons and the orders that was given, also why the people lost their lives in the village of Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali, inside Niger. Peace.

Reference:

Arieff, Alexis – ‘Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress’ (05.10.2017) link:https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IN10797.pdf

DrFeed – ‘Months Before Niger Attack, The US Military Warned Congress It Needed More Resources’ (20.10.2017) link: https://drfeed.com/months-before-niger-attack-the-us-military-warned-congress-it-needed-more-resources/

NAN – ‘Chad withdraws troops fighting Boko Haram in Niger’ (13.10.2017) link: https://www.google.no/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=16&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi0heD73YHXAhVFEpoKHTj5CMA4ChAWCEswBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecable.ng%2Fchad-withdraws-troops-fighting-boko-haram-niger&usg=AOvVaw3ux55sdZINC2y_S7jgE1zH

Hennigan, W.J. -’Missing U.S. commando found dead in Niger desert two days after deadly ambush’ (06.10.2017) link: http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-missing-soldier-found-20171006-story.html

Searcey, Dionne, Cooper, Helene & Eric Schmitt – ‘Conflicting Accounts in Niger Ambush Are Subject of Pentagon Investigation’ (20.10.2017) link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/world/africa/niger-ambush-conflicting-accounts.html

FAN – ‘Communiqué du Ministère de la Défense Nationale du Niger suite à l’attaque des FDS à Tongo tongo’ (05.10.2017) link: http://www.iciniger.com/communique-ministere-de-defense-nationale-niger-suite-a-lattaque-fds-a-tongo-tongo/

U.S. Embassy in Niger – ‘U.S. Africa Command Statement on Situation in Niger’ (05.10.2017) link: https://ne.usembassy.gov/u-s-africa-command-statement-situation-niger/

Did you know? That President Adama Barrow of The Gambia pardoned Yahya Jammeh!

There are some men of Nobel character out there, but they are usually hidden and in silence. Today, I will have to write of one of them. This has actually happen back-in-January of 2017, but only gotten a whiff of it this week.

The world knows of the democratically elected opposition leader and Presidential Candidate Adama Barrow of the Republic of The Gambia. That in the midst of January 2017 he was sworn-in on the 19th January, as President Yayha Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea. It didn’t look like he would leave, but international pressure and also resignation of his own cabinet members forced this. That ECOWAS sending forces from Senegal into Gambia, also gave the former President no-hope of a longevity of his presidency. Jammeh had a dictatorship for 22 years, even killed his opposition and harassed them.

But this is all well-known facts about the state of affairs in Gambia. That the one winning election and the who had to sworn-in in Senegal and needed Ecowas troops to get rid of the 1994 Coup d’etat General Jammeh who never wanted to leave his post. Even if someone else won over him with a coalition victory years after.

Now today after months in-charge and the dictator disposed. The act that the new president did, shows his character and his real quest to power. It shows that he can actually prove his manhood and bravery. Adama Barrow should never be underestimated. Because he came to Gambia after fleeing on the 26th January after swearing-in on 19th January 2017 in Dakar, Senegal.

So what was so noble and great happen on 30th January 2017, when Gambia Gazette No. 4. on 31st January says this:

Whereas by Section82(1)(a) of the 1997 of the Republic of The Gambia, the President may exercise his Prerogative of Mercy in respect of any person convicted of any offence” (…) “And Whereas His Excellency the President considers the circumstances of the convicted prisoners named in the schedule, as warranting the exercise of his Prerogative of Mercy” (…) “Now Therefore, I Adama Barrow, the President of the Republic of The Gambia, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section of 82(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, do hereby grant pardon to the persons named in the schedule hereto” (…) “Done at Banjul this 30th Day of January 2017” (Gambia Gazzette No. 4, 31.01.2017).

This here proves that someone was pardoned by the newly elected President, just days after he was returned and sworn-in. Just starting his rule and his first term in power. The peacefully elected President decided to pardon 39 people. Of these 39 people, one person is a standout, one person who has looted the Republic and been a torn in the flesh of the people. The one they couldn’t stand or be the head of state anymore. The 25th Person who was pardoned by Barrow, was no other than Yahya Jammeh!

Barrow who has nothing to win by doing this, who has nothing to gain, still gave way for Jammeh and even as he is in exile in Equatorial Guinea with his wealth. He still hasn’t have to fear the law or repercussions from law-officials and law-officers of Gambia. Since he is pardoned. He is a free and rich man in exile, that is the gift Barrow gave him, just days in power and as Commander-in-Chief. Barrow had no need to do this. He could have prosecuted him and tried every single way of freezing the accounts and get the tax-funds looted back to Gambia. Instead he pardoned him and let him go. So that Jammeh should have less grievances against the now ruler of Gambia. There shouldn’t be anything personal or anything that creates friction between them.

The one in exile should kiss his pinky-ring. He should watch over his estate and his wealth in joy. The people of Gambia should know what sort of man they have elected. There we’re no need to act this swift and give this pardon. But he did for his reasons. Clearly, the wise man forgives, but never forget. Barrow seems smart, but hopefully will not be conned. He was saved by ECOWAS and the International Pressure on Jammeh. Now he has showed his character and it deserves praise. Not because Jammeh deserved it. He didn’t he should been behind bars and paid-in-full. But Barrow gives way and shows hope of a better future. Since the leadership of this way. Gives hope for a tomorrow. Peace.

Documents:

Trump Administration proposed budget (FY-2018) to axe the ‘Economic Support Funds’ and the ‘Development Assistance’ on the African Continent!

Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.”Kwame Nkrumah

You should expect by a man blessed and gotten the support by the Christian Conservative in the United States of America, to care a little about the ones who has less and needs support. You would expect of a man who claims to be a Christian and a man of faith to support charity and good causes. But President Donald J. Trump isn’t like any other Christian Conservative, I know, as he has used his own Foundation to buy statutes of himself and also use it on his real-estate, as well as reports of buying celebrity memorabilia.

Well, why do I start with this? Because it was released yesterday the remarkable “Financial Year 2018 Control Levels by state bureau, operating unit and Account”, this are the planned budget for the AEECA, DA, ESF, GHP-State and GHP-USAID. This United States Government document is dated not further back than the 6th April of 2017. The effects of the planned cuts in some of the regional aid projects, development aid and economic support funds, is as astonishing as the Presidency itself. It is a disgrace to anything of humanitarian understanding and belief of goodness in the Trump Administration at all. This sort of acts of disregard of humanitarian assistance, proves that the Trump Administration is a selfish, disgusting and belittling state. Who cannot afford to help the ones in need or the continue to finish the projects they have put forward abroad. The development projects overseas will now fail over night. Just take a look!

The “Economic Support funds” and “Development Assistance”, who are slashed a total of 100% from 2017 to 2018 are in Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the African Union! Also the own offices and planning regional development all over the continent like the: USAID African Regional, USAID Central African Regional, USAID East African Regional, USAID Sahel Regional, USAID Southern Regional and the USAID West Africa Regional as well. That is 20 African countries being directly dropped by the Trump Administration and cutting needed funding of running expenses by these government. This happens without any consideration of finding alternative sources or taxing to cover the dropped direct support. That is apparent the act of the Christian Conservative President Trump, who is supposed to be a charitable and caring character. Clearly, he wants to send the African nations a message, that he doesn’t give two shits about their fate or their sustainability.

What is the meaning behind the ESF: “Economic Support Funds (ESF) is economic aid designated to promote economic or political stability in areas where the United States has special strategic interests. Authorized under Chapter 4, Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, ESF is a flexible assistance tool that can be structured to meet a diverse range of foreign policy and economic development objectives. The makeup of ESF programs are made on a country-specific basis, while the nature of ESF assistance to a particular country is determined by a combination of the needs of the recipient and U.S. foreign policy objectives. Among ESF’s diverse applications are the following programs (among others): advancing peace and stability, building accountable and transparent institutions, creating economic and educational opportunities for youth, countering extremist ideology, counter-terrorism and counternarcotics, governance, economic growth, anti-corruption, trade capacity building and democratic strengthening. The executive branch is responsible for policy decisions and justifications for ESF use, including country eligibility and funding levels” (Security Assistance Monitor).

What is the meaning behind the “Development Assistance”: “ … [for] sustained support of the people of developing countries in their efforts to acquire the knowledge and resources essential to development and to build the economic, political, and social institutions which will improve the quality of their lives.” (USAID, 2005).

So the Trump Administration apparently doesn’t see any Foreign Policy or Economic Development Objectives inside 20 African Nations in Financial Year of 2018. This is only in the African States and Republics, not all over the world. Clearly the values of quality of life, building economic, political and social institutions doesn’t matter to Trump. The monies saved are surely going to more ‘Mothers of All Bombs” or to expensive carriers to fight an unnecessary war. Since, President Trump is caring or considering about the acts of his time in office.

The USAID operations on the African continent is clearly sending a message, that he does not think off or has anything to offer them. That the U.S. plans to be their uncle or sugar-daddy, that their instead thinking of leaving them behind. The wealth of United States rather goes to building war-ships and bombers, than being used on Humanitarian projects building institutions abroad. Therefore, the United States as a power-player on the African continent is gone with this. As their forged relationship and patronage is gone with this sort of budget. The significant relationship between their development projects in the 20 nations who suddenly get brash cuts and stopped all funding off. Peace.

Reference:

Security Assistance Monitor – ‘Economic Support Funds’ link: http://securityassistance.org/south-asia/content/economic%20support%20fund

USAID – ‘U.S. Foreign Assistance Reference Guide’ (2005) link: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnadc240.pdf

Leaked U.S. Concept Note describes the wished changes in the UN Peacekeeping Operation Missions!

The United States delegation to the United Nations have leaked a document on planned discussion for the United Nations Security Council that are to be commenced in next month (April 2017). These notes are clearly setting the course and wish for the goals and ambition of the discussion in the UNSC. This concept note is supposed to be a Peacekeeping Operation Review. That would lead to certain decisions by the Member States and the Council Members.

The reason why the United States delegation to the UNSC about the Peacekeeping operation:

As of January 31, 2017, there were 99,034 uniformed personnel – including 85,408 troops and 12,786 police – serving in the 16 peacekeeping operations overseen by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with an approved budget of $7.87 billion. UN peacekeeping is a vital aspect of the organization. However, a significant number of PKOs have mandates conceived years – in some cases decades – ago that are no longer supported by a political environment conducive to achieving the Council’s aims. It is crucial that missions contribute to increased safety and security, but they can also create a subsidized and unsteady peace that can quickly become a dependency that discourages long-term solutions. The UN becomes trapped in these frozen conflicts and peacekeeping missions that were initially conceived to provide temporary security to allow space for political solutions to take hold instead deploy for years without clear mandates or exit plans”.

Because of the cost, the longevity of the peacekeeping operations as they are creating a vacuum between the government hosts, the peacekeeping mission and the hostile forces. This is a consuming and makes it hard to generate any sort of sustainable peace, as the peacekeepers keeps a buffer and stops the need for a strong foundation of central government and their own security forces. They can always trust on the Blue Helmets to appear when needed and serve the citizens.

The United States has certainly ideas as this is their core idea for the discussion in the UNSC: “We encourage Council Members to consider whether current peacekeeping operations continue to be the best suited mechanisms for meeting the needs of those on the ground and achieving the Council’s political objectives, or if changes are needed”. So the US Mission to the UN wants the Peacekeeping Operations to achieve the political objectives and not be a stalemate operation that keeps the upkeep of unstability and uncertainty in the host nation. That is certainly a noble quest, but with that the UN Peacekeepers need to revise their missions, their mandate and their will of force, as their peacekeeping missions has been done in such diplomatic ways.

The United States delegates outcome of the review:

While no product is envisioned, we encourage the Council to apply the lessons and methods discussed in this meeting to our regular mandate review process to ensure that conditions still justify the missions and that political processes conceivably lead towards realistic, achievable solutions”.

That this is a quest and wishful thinking for the US mission, the United Nation needs votes and make sure the Members would strike agreement on the possible idea of changing the Peacekeeping Operations. The Blue Helmets are clearly on the loosing end of the stick, as their missions are not seen as fruitful, more like a costly operations not creating the effect and stage the peaceful transition in the host nations.

The UNSC and the Members should be hopeful to change the political climate and use the force to create the peace they are to make. If they weren’t peacekeepers than they wouldn’t be an issue, as if they we’re regular army on a territory, they should keep their citizens safe and the borders. The Peacekeepers has a mandate and mission, still they haven’t always been able to comply with that. Also, they have obligations not only to the United Nations, but to the host nations regime. Therefore, if the UNSC wants a bigger mission or extend their mandate, they still have to negotiate with the host nations.

The US Mission and the UNSC have to work on it and it is about time, as the AMISOM, MUNISCO, UNAMID, UNMISS and MINUSMA, who all should need a change of mandate and level of force if they should be properly creating the peace and make way for the central government. Peace.

Joint Declaration by the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the United Nations on the Political Situation of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia (23.01.2017)

jammeh-21-01-2017

ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commend the goodwill and statesmanship of His Excellency former President Jammeh, who with the greater interest of the Gambian people in mind, and in order to preserve the peace, stability and security of The Gambia and maintain its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the dignity of the Gambian people, has decided to facilitate an immediate peaceful and orderly transition process.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 23, 2017 –

1.    Following the Decision of the Summit of the ECOWAS Authority taken on 17th December 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria, Mediation efforts, including visits to Banjul, were undertaken by the Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, HE President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Mediator, HE  President Muhammadu Buhari and Co-Mediator on The Gambia, HE former President John Dramani Mahama, along with HE President Ernest Bai Koroma to mediate on the political impasse with Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh.

2.    Following further mediation efforts by HE President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and HE President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea Conakry with HE Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, the former President of the Republic of The Gambia, and in consultation with the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, the Chairperson of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, this declaration is made with the purpose of reaching a peaceful resolution to  the political situation in The Gambia.

3.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commend the goodwill and statesmanship of His Excellency former President Jammeh, who with the greater interest of the Gambian people in mind, and in order to preserve the peace, stability and security of The Gambia and maintain its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the dignity of the Gambian people, has decided to facilitate an immediate peaceful and orderly transition process and transfer of power to President Adama Barrow in accordance with the Gambian constitution.

4.    In furtherance of this, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it assures and ensures the dignity, respect, security and rights of HE former President Jammeh, as a citizen, a party leader and a former Head of State as provided for and guaranteed by the 1997 Gambian Constitution and other Laws of The Gambia.

5.    Further, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it fully guarantees, assures and ensures the dignity, security, safety and rights of former President Jammeh’s immediate family, cabinet members, government officials, Security Officials and party supporters and loyalists.

6.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that no legislative measures are taken by it that would be inconsistent with the previous two paragraphs.

7.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN urge the Government of The Gambia to take all necessary measures to assure and ensure that there is no intimidation, harassment and/or witch-hunting of former regime members and supporters, in conformity with the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia.

8.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to prevent the seizure of assets and properties lawfully belonging to former President Jammeh or his family and those of his Cabinet members, government officials and Party supporters, as guaranteed under the Constitution and other Laws of The Gambia.

9.    In order to avoid any recriminations, ECOWAS, the AU and the UN commit to work with the Government of The Gambia on national reconciliation to cement social, cultural and national cohesion.

10.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN underscore strongly the important role of the Gambian Defence and Security Forces in the maintenance of peace and stability of The Gambia and commit to work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that it takes all appropriate measures to support the maintenance of the integrity of the [Defence and] Security Forces and guard against all measures that can create division and a breakdown of order.

11.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN will work to ensure that host countries that offer “African hospitality” to former President Jammeh and his family do not become undue targets of harassment, intimidation and all other pressures and sanctions.

12.    In order to assist a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power and the establishment of a new government, HE former President Jammeh will temporarily leave The Gambia on 21 January 2017, without any prejudice to his rights as a citizen, a former President and a Political Party Leader.

13.    ECOWAS, the AU and the UN will work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that former President Jammeh is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state.

14.    Pursuant to this declaration, ECOWAS will halt any military operations in The Gambia and will continue to pursue peaceful and political resolution of the crisis.

Opinion: How can the world be surprised that Yahya Jammeh took the State Coffers with him to Exile?

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The brother has had control of the whole Gambian Republic since 1994, been eating of the Central Institutions, the donor aid and all sorts of tourism schemes for two decades. He would not have accumulated 13 Luxurious cars in a hot minute. That takes time to invest, find out which that matches his wardrobe and, which that is decent for his wife. Yahya Jammeh has been living lavish and extended that lavish lifestyle to Equatorial Guinea.

Surely, the fellow soldiers who was with him on the day of coup d’état that he would turn into the one they got rid-off. Well, history tends to repeat itself and it has ambushed Jammeh. What surprises me is not that he looted the state coffers, emptied the accounts and allocated it all into the safe haven of Equatorial Guinea. He and his acts in charge of the Republic expect that, Jammeh follows his own modus operandi and that should be sufficient.

I am not defending the acts, but more wondering where the others has been while covering men like him. I am surprised that the local currency isn’t depleted, that the food-stocks is empty, that the army has only knock-offs from the Soviet Army and is barely having more than pangas as working weapons. That is what I would expect of man like Jammeh. That he would leave all institutions flat-out broke and without work force or educated peers to steer the ship. To keep the Central Government that he put into ‘State of Emergency’ on track after a hazardous year, where he finally lost an election to Adama Barrow.

Why should he leave Gambia in a well estate and well-funded with working institutions when he is not running it anyway? He cannot even live in the country and stay in the country that he had been running for two decades. With this in mind, why should he leave anything else than that. Not that his record and reputations would be saved by him graciously leaving. He has already starved opposition in prisons, keep dissenters at bay and used all kind of tricks to control the state. So not like, he will offer mercy and give the people loafs of bread after he is not there. This is coming from the man who said this: “if you didn’t vote for me, don’t expect anything”; I know I am paraphrasing, but the emotion and the reality is the same!

Certainly, the outcome is good, the elected President Barrow get to start his reign in a broke, but free nation. A nation who has support from fellow ECOWAS nations and can find proper ways to fill the coffers and start to rebuild it immediately.

We should expect that he emptied the National Treasury and the Consolidation Funds or whatnot the call it in Gambia. That is what person’s like him do that and that is how they do their trade. Not that it is about justice or rule of law; it is their way and their way of earning their profits. This is not nostalgia or any sorts well he deserves to empty the state coffers. More, well he done it for 20 years already, one more emptying the coffers would not make the giant difference. Not that it justify it, it is morally and legally wrong to steal the taxpayers monies. No doubt, but when he has done so with impunity, you can ask yourself if he would change on the way out the door? Because when he been running the meetings and been the Chairman of the Board he has obliged himself with the state funds.

Certainly, Barrow and the Gambian Republic wished it otherwise, but the republic can now start all over without a torn in their flesh. As Jammeh even leaves with parts of court and his elite. Therefore, some of his loyal leadership that he has created is not there anymore. The men, who ate of Jammeh plate, will not be there to haunt the new regime and administration. Surely, I will without a doubt not be surprised even if he tries to install new party regime in Gambia from a far and use the funds to destabilize the Gambian Republic. Therefore, he can hope to become the Gambian saviour for the second time, with his second coming. This time on a plane from Malabo and Equatorial Guinea. That is for the future to happen and to appear. For now, we can certainly know that the Jammeh Regime, ended where it started, with looting the state coffers in the sake bringing down a dictator in 1994. While installing himself as another one.

Now, it is time for the International Community to support Barrow, give him space to build together create and support peaceful transition of power, from Jammeh and to the citizens of Gambia. Peace.

Ex-President-for-life Jammeh finally into Exile after Peaceful transition yesterday!

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“a :  the state or a period of forced absence from one’s country or home

b :  the state or a period of voluntary absence from one’s country or home”

(Meriam-Webster – Exile)

Yesterday was a special day in Banjul, as the incumbent President of 22 years we’re embattled and was besieged by ECOWAS troops, even Senegalese troops had driven around in the The Gambian Republic. This after ECOWAS had tried to mediate with the President Yayha Jammeh as he lost the election in the end of last year. The Declaration of 2nd December gave the Opposition Coalition winner Adama Barrow, as the President we’re left more and more alone, as his legal advisors and cabinet resigned when the President himself order nation into ‘State of Emergency’ days before he was told to leave.

It must be a day of reflection today how the ECOWAS leadership mediated with Executive; they could be more violent and less straight forward. The reasoning with the other President in Alpha Conde from Guinea to mediate and be there as the leaving the republic where near. The conversation and discussion these big-men had must be legendary as Adama Barrow we’re waiting for the time for him to rein as the troops of ECOWAS was all around the Gambia.

The press and pundits we’re waiting all day, there we’re dozens of people waiting on the Yundum International Airports, as the convoy left the State House and then the Hotel. A Hotel the stayed at for hours. As the Opposition and now ruling regime that we’re in Dakar we’re obligated to say, that Jammeh we’re leaving and the final details we’re ironed out for him to go. Jammeh wouldn’t leave without his stolen wealth and gains for the two decades of rule. Ex-President Jammeh had to leave with the gravy and promises of not getting his crimes tried in court. That just the way the Executives execute their wishes, just the way Executives that lead business into bankruptcies as still getting heavy end-packages from the failing companies.

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All of this was happening as the South African government and Botswana government didn’t recognize Jammeh as the Executive of Gambia anymore. The waiting yesterday was so long, like the man was thinking people wouldn’t execute the idea and get rid of him. Like he could salvage himself and still be the man. He leaves with wealth and security in a foreign nation. Where a fellow dictator can be his friend and can get use of his investment power. Surely Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea will enjoy having a golfing buddy that has also silently left the opposition in the wind in his days in power. Two friends who knows how to deal with dissident voices, difference is that Obiang still lingers on after a direct coup d’état against his Uncle, Jammeh left after keeping power since 1994.

Barrow will have to work hard to make sure procedure and government institutions are strengthen, as Jammeh has been all about him and his will. Now its different age and the longevity of somebody else should matter on consensus and building institutions of governance, accountability and transparency. None of that is easy, but that is the wishful tale of the Gambian Democracy.

Jammeh into exile isn’t new, that previous Presidents has ended that fate is old. Their hunger for power is eating nations into they are depleted and tired. Therefore the wish for any kind of other leadership ends with them either ending the life of the leader or them sending them far away. Jammeh is lucky who skate off to Equatorial Guinea. That he gets his wealth and his life. That he is not Courtside either in Banjul or at International Criminal Court in Hague in Netherlands. Jammeh could quickly get visitation cards and travel to answer for his crimes against humanity, as only in 2015 he let an opposition leader die inside his prison. That on his orders and his will. We the world will not forget the ones that died so you could stay in power. No matter what sort of island or what sort of lifestyle you have outside of Gambia.

We could look at others who had the same fate and see how easy Jammeh came out of it yesterday, he could have harder outcome and more costly. Some people might say it had been fair as he stole a nation for decades and ruled with an iron fist, with no mercy and therefore, why should the people show him mercy back?

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Mengistu in Zimbabwe:

“Shockingly, Mengistu is alleged to have personally murdered opponents by garroting or shooting, saying that he was leading by example” (…) “Still, after his ouster, the government of Zimbabwe readily offered Mengistu sanctuary. Citing the Ethiopian dictator’s long standing friendship with President Robert Mugabe, Harare made it clear it would not extradite the exiled leader” (…) “For several years after first landing in Zimbabwe, Mengistu reportedly lived a lavish but reclusive life, amid fears over his safety. He resided in a posh Gunhill suburb in Harare. Much as Mengistu kept a low profile, many detested the fact that he was reportedly unrepentant about his past” (…) “In fact, in the very few interviews he gave to the Zimbabwean media, Mengistu said he had no regrets about his rule, arguing that he tried his best for Ethiopia. As matters turned out, not everybody agreed or was happy with Mengistu’s past and he constantly had to look over his shoulder” (Mwagiru, 2015).

Ahidjo in Senegal:

“Also to die in exile was former Cameroonian president Ahmadou Ahidjo, who after being deposed by President Paul Biya spent his remaining years moving between France and Senegal. He died of a heart attack in Dakar on November 30, 1989 and was buried there” (Mwagiru, 2015).

Just as you should know Jammeh took with 13 expensive luxurious cars in a Chadian Cargo Plane yesterday, as token for his gracious years in power of the country. He took with him other needed advisors too like: “Lt. Gen. Saul Badjie, head of the Republican National Guard; Lt. Gen. Umpa Mendy, Personal Protection Officer; Amadou Joof, a senior aide to First Lady Zineb Jammeh; Jimbe Jammeh, Senior Protocol Officer, some few soldiers and other officials who may be wanted” (…) “Those traveling with Jammeh are also taking their immediate families with them in exile” (Phatey, 2017). Surely this opens the window of further plans in the future to gain power again, if not make a Gambian village in Equatorial Guinea. This certainly proves that Jammeh elite has run with him and had to be covered in the agreement made between ECOWAS and Jammeh for him to able to step down.

What is positive is that even if Jammeh leaves with a lavish lifestyle he hasn’t been promised or signed an agreement offering immunity. Therefore his past can hunt him in the island paradise with his fellow elite. Jammeh can also by fellow allies of Gambia get him warranted to be tried in Banjul. That is depending on cases or filing of cases towards his time as the President.  That is only time can tell, but now the importance is what Barrow and his regime will do. What Barrow will put in play and how he will be leading the Gambian Republic! That is up to Barrow and what sort of leader he is. Peace.

Reference:

Mwagiru, Ciugu – ‘The often sordid history of toppled and exiled African leaders’ (23.04.2015) link:   http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/Exiled-African-leaders–A-curse-or-justice-/434746-2694838-256568/index.html

Phatey, Sam – ‘Gen. Badjie, other close aides gone into exile with Jammeh’ (21.01.2017) link: https://gambia.smbcgo.com/2017/01/21/gen-badjie-close-aides-gone-exile-jammeh/

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