Central Sahel: Spike in violence leads to higher deaths, more than 1 million fleeing homes (14.09.2020)

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[1] 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.

CEDEAO – Communique Final: Session Extraordinaire de la Conférence Des Chefs d’Etat Et De Gouvernement de la CEDEAO (Par Visioconférence, le 23 avril 2020)

CEDEAO: Communique (27.02.2020)

CEDEAO: Communique (21.02.2020)

Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government: Communique (09.02.2020)

Ghana: Declaration by the Government of the Republic of Ghana on the Adoption of the ‘ECO’ by UEMOA (28.12.2019)

Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine: Communique de Presse de la Session Extraordinaire du Conseil des Ministres de l’Union (27.12.2019)

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.

CEDEAO: La Deuxieme Session – Ordinaire du Parlement de la CEDEAO se Tient a Abuja (21.11.2019)

Opinion: Francafrique is alive, as Paris axe Arikana Chihombori Quao!

Arikana Chihombori Quao, the African Union Ambassador to the United States, which was terminated on the 7th October 2019 after her open criticism of the Western Powers hold of the African Nation.

She’s been vocal and righteously so against the French hold of the former African colonies it has agreements with, military, monetary and direct trade enriching itself on the spoils of the African continent. Which is all true, that is why all the big-men from the previous colonies are favourable and steady visiting Paris and meeting the heads of state there. That is why, the interests of Paris comes before the needs of the citizens of the respective Republics. They are all Francafrique doing.

That is why Emmanuel Macron has no issues boosting dictators, standing by autocrats who secure the monetary gains of the Central African Francs (CFA). This is boosting the Reserves of France, they are earning on the printing and monetizing the currencies of these Republics. They are all in the hands of the French, controlling and monitoring the monetary policies and the economic policies made in the respective republics. This is how to keep the governments, either by the hook or by the crook.

Secondly, they are also kept by a military pact and a resource sharing agreements, which means the extraction industry of the French gets first deals, if it is Total or anything else. Will get a first rights to extract or be able to trade commodities. That is why you see in former North African Republic, which was colonizes you see Renaults, Citroen’s and so-on. You are not seeing so many American or British cars there, but French produced cars in abundant. That is because, the French still has a foothold and advantages, which the Republic have to abide too.

Therefore, what the axed and sacked AU Ambassador to US said about the French is true. It maybe hurt the pride of the French. But you don’t need to say anything substantial to hurt their pride. You can just dismiss their champagne and they will cry havoc. In addition, the French know they need Francafrique and they would miss out important market, funds and resources, which it cannot live without. The banks, the industries and military would suffer a hit. The French will not say this, but the reason for axing shows this.

The French is weak, the French isn’t as great or has the power to flex without its state under passive control through the measures of the CFA and other Post-Colonial agreements made with Big-Men in the Francafrique. That is just the way it is and because someone with a title said it. It had to be silenced.

However, if the French didn’t want it undressed or questioned their role on the continent. They should have maybe answered it with words or numbers. Instead, they are verifying her words by axing her and pushing the Chairman of AU to get rid of her. Peace.