International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently allocated an additional 12 million Swiss francs (about $13.2 million) to its operational budget for the Sahel region.
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 14, 2020 – Increasing violence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger has led to a 62 percent spike in deaths and more than a million people being forced to flee their homes over the last year. This rise in fighting is jeopardizing access to basic services, including health care, and affecting a fragile economy even as COVID-19 poses new threats, International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer said during a trip to the region.
Civilians are paying the highest price for the surge in violence. More than 4,660 people died in the first six months of 2020, according to data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The ICRC is extremely concerned about the level of violence and recalls that, under international humanitarian law, the civilian population must be protected and spared.
Climate change effects add a complicating layer to an already dramatic humanitarian situation. Record hot spells and unpredictable weather patterns such as the current floods tend to exacerbate inter-communal tensions and violence.
“The combination of rising violence and deaths, shuttered health care facilities, climate change effects and the COVID-19 pandemic make this a complex and multilayered crisis,” said Mr Maurer, who visited Niger and Burkina Faso over the last week. “People here are facing a battering ram of challenges leading to intense suffering for families.”
Healthcare access is essential amid conflict and during a global pandemic. But in Mali, an estimated 20 percent of health centres are partially damaged or destroyed. In Burkina Faso, 14 percent of health centres are closed or working at limited capacity.
Military confrontations and forced displacements are increasingly limiting access to agricultural fields, depriving households reliant on agriculture of food. Humanitarian access to communities affected by the fighting is becoming more difficult in some areas, exacerbating the vulnerability of those in need.
Given the challenges, the ICRC recently allocated an additional 12 million Swiss francs (about $13.2 million) to its operational budget for the Sahel region. These funds will be dedicated to seeking enhanced protection for civilians, backing the provision of essential services and supporting conflict-affected communities to restore their livelihoods.
“Government budgets are strained globally due to the health and job repercussions of COVID-19, but it’s clear that this region of the world needs assistance to alleviate the crippling consequences of both armed conflict and climate risks,” said Mr Maurer.
The World Bank working paper named ‘Elite Capture of Foreign Aid – Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts’, which was finally released yesterday is a devastating read. Not because of the facts in it, but because of the extent of the misuse and theft of aid money. The World Bank are now proving by small samples how much of their loans, grants and funds, which is given by donors to the WB, which happens to be moved to tax havens by the regimes that needs it. That is eating of the plate of the poorest and living lavish on others people’s dime.
Just in the Annex, the truth really comes forward, where it is only a small samples, but showing the distasteful enterprise still. Like from table one. You can see that a certain amount of African countries have taken out huge funds into havens deposits and non-haven deposits.
The report explains this about the table one: “The table shows the 22 countries in our main sample and presents summary statistics for the main variables in our analysis. The sample includes all countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are equivalent to at least 2 percent of annual GDP on average. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).
|Nation||Haven (million USD)||Non-Haven (million USD)|
|Sao Tome and Principe||4||8|
When you add into the A6 Table of the modestly aid-dependent countries. You see yet more African countries, where the money a flowing out of the coffers. Where surely not all aid is going where its supposed too.
The report explains table A6 like this: “The table shows the 24 countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are between 1% and 2% of annual GDP on average. is the average of the 24 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. WB aid disbursements is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).
|Nation||Haven (million USD)||Non-Haven (million USD)|
|Central African Republic||18||53|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||910||93|
Without going into deep technicalities of these operations, neither how the World Bank came through these numbers. We can see there is a staggering amount of funds that disappear and goes missing. Which was supposed to go to development or directly to support the state functions. Which happens to end up in tax-havens, surely by someone closely associated with the state or heads of state. Since, these sorts of amounts couldn’t have left the nations without the approval of the executive or head of state.
We can also clearly see, that some aid is directly feeding the rich and keeping tax-havens alive. Giving them financial stimulus and also covering the expenses of the elites in the respective places. There is certainly a mismanagement and a need for more oversight from the World Bank. But also more mechanisms to stop the misuse of aid. If it is supposed to help and not just create a very vastly elite in the nation in question. Because, with this sort of operations, they have clearly achieved that. Peace.
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.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations’ full support in the humanitarian, security and the human rights areas.
NEW YORK, United States of America, September 25, 2017 – The Secretary-General met with H.E. Mr. Hassan Ali Khayre, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
The Secretary-General commended Somalia for the progress made in advancing state-building. The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also discussed efforts related to security sector reform and revenue generation.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations’ full support in the humanitarian, security and the human rights areas, as well as in the implementation of Somalia’s development plans. The Secretary-General also reiterated support to AMISOM and to the creation of Somali institutions.
John Rambo: “[alternate line from Director’s Cut] You’re not going anywhere. And there isn’t one of us that doesn’t want to be someplace else. But this is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something. Your call” (John Ramo, 2008).
The world is spinning in circle and things are continuing sometimes without any change. But the situations are still uncertain. There are fleeing civilians from the Democratic Republic of Congo, continues civil-war inside South Sudan, oppression in Burundi and Rwanda. Grand issues in regions of Somalia as AMISOM fiercely goes after Al-Shabaab. The continued civil-war infused with control from Saudi Arabia and United States in Yemen. The war inside Syria with the fleeing refugees from there. The international complications this all assess. The massive amounts of people who are inflicted in this conflicts.
This is also the issues created by and their national alliances, like Syria are also in hot-bed with Russia, United States, Turkey and Iran. The same can be said with the international implications to the stalemate between Qatar and the rest of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). That the Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and so on are all blocking, so many nations has cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar.
With all the conflicts and bigger diplomatic spats, the world needs Rambo’s. Especially considering that the deaths where it doesn’t counts is showed when it comes to mud-slides in Sierra Leone. The importance of Hurricane Harry, which is credible storm in Texas, but the world should have cared of the 500 deaths in Western Africa.
That the world is significant fragile is with the President Trump and the nuclear codes, the vicious attacks of both representatives and international leaders like Merkel and President Kim Jung-Un. The threats between North Korea and United States are clearly flaring up the tensions in South-East Asia, as the rockets keep shooting-up and testing.
Therefore, with this we need Rambo, someone to come in with confidence. Rambo needs to come into the problems and sort them out. So that the diplomatic disputes gets sorted out, as his spring fears into the ones who are in the same room. If Rambo came with his weapons and his rhetoric, maybe Trump wouldn’t such and ass. Maybe Putin would try out other tricks, than actually using methods of deception. As so many other world leaders would seek peace instead of wars and refugees. Rambo could come in and make a change.
The nice talk of Bono, the ethical codes of United Nations has not worked. The non-peaceful atmosphere is steady in too many places, to many deaths should be examined and not die without any consideration. Rambo could have helped, made sure the council and the world forums would actually not talk, but act. The crisis in South Sudan, DRC, Burundi, Syria, Yemen, Middle East and so on.
The world needs Rambo, the world needs a hero who can actually give a damn, not just make the world a place for multi-national companies who rob the resources and would not care for kids working for militias, so the world can cobalt for the smart-phones production. Rambo needs to come and make change, he might not be perfect. But something has to change. Someone has step-in, Rambo needs to come and significantly change in the world. Times change, but Rambo might sort it out!
“Murdock: Rambo, you can feel totally safe because we have the most advanced weapons in the world available to us.
Rambo: I’ve always believed that the mind is the best weapon.
Murdock: Times change.
Rambo: For some people” (Rambo: First Blood Part II, 1985).
The supposed centrist and progressive French President Emmanuel Macron, he newly elected President who we’re to be a fresh air. Aren’t apparently so, not if he believes what he said this week during the G-20 Summit in Hamburg. It is a disgrace of a modern European President to reflect this sort of sentiment. Especially, since this wasn’t said by some rascals associated with Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders, but actually out of Macrons own mouth. It is time to erase the saint-hood and the prestigious placing among the hopeful leaders. Because when he says these words, it hurts, and it proves that the French still feels superior towards the African Nations and their people. Macron clearly feels so when explaining himself and addressing development on the continent. The words in italic are proving his sentiments. Just take a look at a badly translated Press Conference on the 8th July 2017!
“I do not share that kind of reasoning. There were several envelopes that were given. Either we change the target with the addition of billions. We have been deciding to help Africa for decades and we did. If it were that simple, you would have noticed it. The Marshall Plan is a plan for material reconstruction, in countries that had their equilibrium and stability. The challenge of Africa, it is totally different, much deeper and civilization today. What are the problems in Africa? “He asked” (…) “It is through rigorous governance, fighting corruption, a struggle for good governance, successful demographic transition. In countries that still have 7 childbirths per woman, you can spend billions of euros, you do not stabilize anything. The plan of this transformation that we must conduct together must take into account the African specificities by and with African Heads of State. It is a plan that must take into account our own commitments on all the projects I have just mentioned, better associate public and private; And it must sometimes be more regional and even national. That is the method that has been adopted and that is what we do wherever we are engaged. I will have the opportunity next week to come back in much more detail” (Macron, 08.07.2017).
It seems like he knows and understands the African experience, that he can precisely blame the mothers of Africa for the bad demographics. That he can say the failed planned parenthood is the problem. Because, the French has no interfering in the African affairs with their armies, with their control through their Central Bank and Central African Franc (CFA), and also their ideals of a Francafrique. Dr. Lansine Kaba said these words a few years ago and they still ring in my ear!
“Francafrique involves a complex web of relations that have made France a major player in the affairs of many African countries and even of the African Union. Through the networks of this largely “opaque conglomerate”, France, a founding member of the UN Security Council and the World Bank, can boast a significant global influence that extends far beyond the French-speaking states. The term Francafrique suggests several facts and ideas, ranging from the politics of cordial exchange and cooperation to that of covert actions and violent military intervention that the French have been known for perpetrating in different parts of Africa since the 1960s” (…) “It involves an effective style of diplomacy that is not necessarily staffed with well-seasoned accredited diplomats, but energetic and daring doers. Francafrique builds relations that rely on close personal connections woven between the French leadership (the president and his close aides) and individual African leaders who depended on French assistance and security forces. Francafrique excelled in channelling funds to electoral campaigns of some prominent French politicians too” (Al Jazeera, 2013).
Than you have the WikiLeaks cable leaked from 2009, that even speaks volume of the way Macron views Africa as well: “Gompertz admitted that France’s Africa policy does have problems, most notably, that France continues to focus most of its efforts on its former colonies, even though they are not necessarily the most strategically important. Gompertz hopes to push for a stronger engagement with Anglophone and Lusaphone Africa. (Note: GOF officials frequently cite Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa as three of France’s key emerging partners in Africa. Gompertz was departing the same afternoon for Morocco and South Africa. End note.) Similarly, too much of France’s political and cooperation resources in Africa are designed to reinforce its partnerships within the international “Francophonie” organization. Gompertz cited the example of Burundi, where English is replacing French as the most popular foreign language, but he said this is understandable given Burundi’s important trade links in the East African Community. At the same time, he related that while he was Ambassador to Ethiopia, there was a strong demand for French language teachers, but France was not responsive in helping meet this need” (WikiLeaks, 2009).
So when Macron claims the missing envelopes and development, for various reasons, that he can understand. Even his own former Ambassador to Ethiopia Stephane Gompertz saying the projects was more for political gain and French own interest in Africa. Therefore, that the French President says what he says about the envelopes are bit disgusting. Knowingly the only intent the French has in Africa, isn’t directly developing the continent, but to extend their power there. Than he later claims the demographic and planned parenthood issues is behind it all. When the French interference and misuse of funds to keep their friendly leaders at bay. Clearly, are the program the French run under their Francafrique project.
So, when a French President should know what the French has known. That the French can spend billions and envelopes a not see development. When the interests are more of Paris, than of Dakar or Bamako, even the shores of Tunis. Usually if the Fancafrique are more for the gain of its own than the ones in need. More for the Paris elite or the friendly leaders instead of development. Therefore, it is an own created monster of French influenced based on patronage and clientele served from Paris. Macron must know this as the Ivorian and other leaders have nice houses on the boulevards of Paris. These are made of the patronage created by the French.
It is therefore, disgusting, that he blames the African woman and their parenthood for the lacking development. When lots of French own influence on the continent is for personal gain and for patronage. Not for development itself. To overlook this, is to forget the French acts and also superior belief in themselves. That is why Macron said what he said. The belief and understanding of grand strength. That they are one of the greatest civilizations on planet earth.
President Macron words: “In countries that still have 7 childbirths per woman, you can spend billions of euros, you do not stabilize anything”. Macron need some sense and need to step-up from his Le Pen ways. He need to fix his mind and should rethink French strategy on African soil, before talking about stabilization. Parts of the problems still on the continent is the problems left behind from the French. That they have never left wealth, but left behind petty dictators who spends fortune on Champs Elysee! Peace.
Al Jazeera – ‘Q&A: France’s connections in Africa’ (15.08.2013) link: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2013/08/201381584025929212.html
WikiLeaks – ‘”FRANCAFRIQUE” — MFA DISPUTES REPORTS ON A RETURN TO BUSINESS AS USUAL’ (19.11.2009) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09PARIS1534_a.html