Opinion: A junta stays a junta

Breaking News: Colonel Assimi Göita takes over as President of Mali , Interim President and Prime Minister dismissed Less than 48 hours after dismissing the Interim President of the transition, Bah N’Daw, and his Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane, Colonel Assimi Goïta becomes the new President of the transition. Col Assimi Goïta says President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane failed in their duties and were seeking to sabotage the country’s transition. On Wednesday, May 26, Bah N’Daw submitted his resignation and that of his Prime Minister to the man who had previously been his Vice President. The government, whose composition had been unveiled on 24 May a few hours before the military coup, was dissolved” (Red Lion Media, 26.05.2021).

There are sometimes the reality have to hit hard. There is sometimes a need to address things the way they are. This isn’t only for what’s happening in Bamako, but elsewhere. Let’s be clear. A junta stays a junta. No matter, if you appoint a civilian or a few technocrats to a “council” or a “cabinet” doesn’t make it a civilian government. It is still a junta government and the military is still in-charge.

That is what is happening these days in Bamako. This is what’s been happening in N’Djamena, Naypyidaw and Khartoum for instance. They have military government or junta’s, which Merriam-Webster defines like this: “a council or committee for political or governmental purposes especially : a group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary – ‘Junta’ 26.May 2021).

We shouldn’t be shocked that Colonel Göita takes over power. That he sacks the ones who appointed a new cabinet without communicating or taking the CNSP into account. This is why the colonel did his second coup within a year. He used the army to topple the previous President and now he toppled another one. That’s because the civilians and the ones in transition didn’t follow the orders or act within the range of the military leadership.

This is just an act of an junta. Just because the junta appointed a former defence minister to President and allowed another civilian to become the Prime Minister. The main part of government was run by military commanders. This is why the underlings are still only there to create another image and be there to make the regime more feasible. The military leaders have no plans to leave power or give it away. They took power and has only selfish reasons to stay in office.

The junta will stay a junta. This will be the deal in Mali, Tchad, Sudan and Burma. These regimes are like this and they will not be accountable to anyone. They might seek to have some civilians within the transitional government or council. Just to make it legit and easily to sell to the international community.

It is just army commanders who wants to be the Executive and the Head of State. That is the reality. They didn’t need to win an election or get popular. These folks just used the guns and took power with their profession. The CNSP, the Sovereign Council and others are doing the same. They are boosting a transition. Hoping people are forgetting who they are and what sort of role they play. Putting in a few lucky technocrats (civilians) masking the cabinet/council. While promising after a long while to turn it into a civilian government.

The army says it saved the nation from corrupt individuals, tyrants and unpopular heads of state. The price is making them kings without any election. That’s why this is junta’s and they act like junta’s. We shouldn’t be surprised and just go after a few, but all of them. They are all using the mighty army in their favour. Instead of getting a government, which represent the general public in their republic.

We can either accept the trick or talk about it sincerely. Since, this isn’t a case only for Bamako. It is a problem and a way of governing, which happens across the world. Where the military and army commanders take control of the governing bodies and becomes the Head of State.

If you throw shade at Göita, do the same to General Kaka, President Al-Burhan and all the other fellas who has taken power this way. There is no difference, other than the way they have played it and making “mechanisms” for a transition. Which in the end favours them and gives them an advantage for a future election. That is it really.

A junta stays a junta. It doesn’t matter if they give a few plum jobs to a few technocrats. They are still army commanders running government and without a popular mandate from the public. Peace.

Opinion: Special Envoy Feltman is not the right man for the Horn of Africa

A career diplomat and a man who is controversial. Is not the sort of figure you send to fix or amend issues. An outspoken and ideological man like Jeffrey Feltman will only configure the conflicts and the situations at hand for the benefits of American interests. That is what he has done in his position most of his life.

Except for his stint under Ban Ki-Moon in United Nations and prolonged under Antonio Guterres. He has been a career diplomat across the Northern Africa and Middle East. His role in Lebanon and elsewhere is where his most noteworthy from.

Feltman is a person that take sides. When he actively takes sides in divided landscapes as a senior career diplomat. What will he do as Horn of Africa Envoy? I doubt he will wind beneficial middle-ground or emphasis on the common grounds between the parties. He is afraid of the Iranian and possible Turkish involvement in the region. As he also seeks to promote and secure the American interests first.

That means we know that this Special Envoy will be partial and be affected by his allegiance. He will not come with a clean slate or be working accordingly to the problems at hand. This man will not solve the issues or come with clear mediation. No, this man will further U.S. interests. These words are taken from Karim Makdisi who teaches at the American University in Beirut. Who assessed Feltman’s role in the area as an ambassador.

When you are known for things like this and going into the Horn of Africa at his very moment. The person should be less questionable. Joe Biden appointed him since his been a person trusted in the Obama Administration and has a diplomatic record spanning over years. This is a token recognition of that. However, his still a man peculiar fella who suddenly going into a mine-field.

A person who believes in “non-interfering” but interfering to avoid “enemies” interfering. Therefore, that split-personality trait doesn’t make much sense either. Except he lives in a cold-war paradigm with Iran. Which clearly could be shifted to anywhere in the world.

Feltman will pick sides whether it is in Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia or Sudan. This man will also pin-point and look after the U.S. interests. That is why this man isn’t just a random a dude travelling and taking a safari. No, this man will not be the best diplomat. A man who could easily ask for a military government in Lebanon (wikileaks leaked cables proved that). He could easily assess a situation and confess to the sustainability now. Just to buy peace and the comfort of having a U.S. ally on the throne.

As a Special Envoy he is supposed to mediate in Tigray conflict, which has been going on since 4th November 2020. There he will by default have to intervene with the Tripartite Alliance and get vouched by them for talks. However, Abiy haven’t been in favour of any real talks or outsiders looking into it. As that would devastate his image and tarnish his “reformist” mind.

The Special Envoy is also supposed to mediate in the Al-Fashaqa triangle. Where the Sudanese have sent more forces and secured their border points. While the Ethiopian with their Tripartite Alliance have entered in here as an escalation of the Tigray conflict. Abiy have held small talks with Al-Burhan, but nothing sincere. It seems likely that the Special Envoy needs a miracle and I wonder, if he would booster the new ally in Khartoum or try to appease Addis Ababa. Hard to know, but with the likes of Feltman will have to be calm and figure out what matters here.

The last piece of trouble ahead is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Nile dialogue between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. The three has held negotiations and talks, but haven’t landed on a agreement to settle the shared water. This here is both a talk of sovereign use of water sources and how that will affect the up-stream nations. This is why the Special Envoy have to dwindle into colonial agreements and newer ones as well. While being able to play ball with Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa. His career task alone to finalize and be able to please all parties. Someone has to give, but we can wonder who will do that.

The GERD negotiations and talks alone will be more hostile. As the Ethiopian claims in the Al-Fashaqa region/triangle and their skirmishes inside Sudan. The relations has soured over this. That will not help the Special Envoy before even entering. As well, as his intervention or possible mandate hasn’t been granted by any of the parties involved. Who hasn’t a favourable view of American touches here. As the previous administration was taken Egypt’s side and this feeling might linger on.

Therefore, the likes of a Special Envoy in the first place is a noble idea of Biden. Nevertheless, taking a career diplomat should been seen as a positive. However, the history of Feltman and his manners. He can be seen as a spinster for American interests over the needs to salvage peace. This man isn’t the one who should have been sent. Maybe, Biden should have tried to get someone appointed through the African Union or boost IGAD itself. Even though these mechanisms are weak, but joint ventures with United Nations has helped in the past. Therefore, if Biden and UNSC had intervened with a UN-AU prospects into both Tigray, GERD and Ethiopian-Sudan tensions. The possible outcome could have been better and properly monitored by the International community.

However, a Feltman will only serve Washington D.C. and their needs. While being a token American interfering for these interests. He will not be there to be a peacemaker. Just like Abiy isn’t a man of peace either by any stretch of imagination. Al-Burhan and the Sovereign Council is also military men. When there is very civilians and more soldiers on the ground. There is little stopping more conflict. There is a need for mediation and talks between the leaders who orders the battalions.

Nevertheless, Feltman isn’t the man and just by the mere history. It is a flawed enterprise to send him now. Especially, when I cannot see or heard any of the parties have really asked of this of late. The need for local solutions is clear. There is a need for salvaging hope in the midst of the conflict. Feltman isn’t the man to interfere here.

He is getting a false start, as he comes as a forced surprise on all stakeholders and governments. It is not like he has been vetted or accepted by anyone else than Biden and Blinken. They have handpicked him and vouched for him. Now, he has to drop his credentials at all the mentioned capitals and after that pick a leaf for possible talks about the advanced weaponry and silence them as well.

I wouldn’t want to be in Feltman’s shoes at this point in time. First his not the man for the job. No matter about his long career. The reputation he has follows him and makes him questionable at best. Secondly, he has a mandate from Washington D.C. but not from the any of the sovereign nations his supposed to interfere in. Third, the U.S. isn’t that favourable or a “neutral” in these conflicts. Therefore, he has throw a curveball to be able to wing it here.

Feltman is in battles where he cannot win and I cannot see it coming Unless, there is a sudden miracle or a moment of nostalgia … where they changes their stances and gives way. However, that happens in movies, but not in the real world. Peace.

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: Sudan requests UNISFA to kick-out Ethiopian Peacekeepers from Abyei

Since December 2020 the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), Amhara Paramilitary Group ‘Fano’ and Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) have all been spotted and attacked border points on Sudanese soil. They have gone after border points in and around Al-Fashqa region. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been reported to retake these and stationed more soldiers there.

Just to prove the levels of insincerity from Addis Ababa towards Khartoum. The Sudanese Authorities even intercepted illegal arms export to the rebel outfit of SPLM-N in Blue Nile State. That is what they have been doing and shows how sinister the Tripartite Alliance in Ethiopia is at this current stage. As well, as doing what they have been doing on the border of Sudan and trying to annex Sudanese land.

Clearly, the Sudanese has taken this seriously and sent their Rapid Support Force (RSF) – Desert Shield Force to the borders .They have sent the ones who has tormented Darfur for ages. These folks are the ones who they trust to stop the Tripartite Alliance on the border. That says a lot about their will to defend their borders.

Now the Sudanese has taken it a further step and escalating it further, which is only natural.

Sudan Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Mahdi stated this yesterday:

““Sudan has requested the United Nations to replace the Ethiopian troops present in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA) with peacekeepers from other countries,” Mariam Al-Mahdi added.“It is not conceivable to accept Ethiopian forces deployed in the strategic depth of Sudan while the Ethiopian troops are massing on the eastern borders of Sudan,” she said. The minister said that Sudan is now reviewing its relations and cooperation agreements with Ethiopia but stressed that this will not affect the Ethiopian residing in Sudan including refugees” (Koang Pal Chang – ‘Sudan wants Ethiopian peacekeepers out of Abyei’ 07.04.2021, Eye Radio).

When Addis Ababa have been as insincere and been as violent on the border. When they have used all the various alliances to go and attack Sudan. It is only natural that the sovereign state of Sudan doesn’t trust Ethiopian soldiers on their soil. When they have attacked them, illegally armed rebels and been dishonest about their skirmishes as well.

The Ethiopian authorities is calling the neighbours their brothers, but they are coming with weapons and soldiers. That is why the Sudanese see it as a danger to have the Ethiopians as Peacekeepers. That says how much the Ethiopians has destroyed their credibility or trust. The distrust now is shattered and the Khartoum administration only see it fit to “kick them” out.

What will also happen with the changes of Peacekeepers means that the Ethiopian state will not get the profits or the foreign currency for the UN services in Abyei. That is the second price of this. Not only are they demoted and sent home. The Ethiopian state will also loose funds by this action. That is the double strike against Addis Ababa.

The Sudanese authorities are in the right here. How can someone who attacks you on the regular and makes reasons for you to deploy the RSF and more SAF brigades on the borders. A trusted ally to create peace in one of their states. That doesn’t make sense and is a sensible reason to kick Ethiopia out. Peace.

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: The tormentors of Darfur sent to the border region

Since 13th December 2020 the Ethiopian and Sudanese troops have had skirmishes at the border-regions. The Ethiopian army and Amhara Para-Military Group ‘Fano’ have attacked Sudanese territory. This have been amplified and the state are hardening its stances.

Now, the Sudanese are even amping up more. After they have said to retaken border points and their claimed Al-Fashaqa region. This is further extending the warfare from the Law Enforcement Operation in the neighbouring Tigray Region inside Ethiopia. The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) is stretching their battle-lines and also their manpower in their newest quest.

However, to go against the Sudanese is a risky game. As they will now meet a conning and warlord of Darfur. The Sudanese isn’t just sending new recruits to the borders. No, they are now sending the Janjaweed aka Rapid Support Force (RSF). The state militia co-ordinated and controlled by the Vice President of Sovereign Council Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemiti”.

Hemiti isn’t just anyone. His a ruthless warlord and a someone who has no issues with sending his enemies to their demise. Now, that the RSF is sending its ‘Desert Shield Force’ to the Eastern Borders towards Ethiopia. Expect horrific reports and striking images from the region. The Janjaweed have been a click of murderous mercenaries. These will use all means to settle the score and they will not come with mercy.

This is why the usage of RSF into this operation. Shows that the Sudanese is amplifying their operation in the border region to Ethiopia. There will be more conflict and they will use guerrilla tactics to conquer the Ethiopians from entering.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali should be concerned about this. His ‘Fano and ENDF haven’t met the capabilities of RSF yet. The RSF is another breed than what his used too. The Janjaweed have gone after their own and been a violent force for decades. The ENDF will clearly meet their end here.

That Hemiti and the Al-Burhan is calling them in. Shows their resolute act to defend its border. They are taking it further now. After Ethiopia have breached their borders for months. This is really signalling to the world. That the tension is spiralling out and a full out war between the neighbours.

Its not just a few skirmishes or small brigades going to far on a whim, but deliberate warfare. This is worrying. What is striking that Abiy is willing to have so many conflicts going at one time and not worried about the strain it causes to his troops. He clearly have the idea that his able to overcome any challenge. If not his “Yes-Men” is telling lies to keep his moral high.

This conflict in Sudan is a fools mission. It is now a bloodbath in the waiting. The Janjaweed have been deadly force for years in Darfur. To bring them here is only a sign of future death. There is nothing good coming out of this.

Abiy will indirectly challenge Hemiti, but I don’t think he knows what is coming his way. He should study the Darfur conflict. However, don’t expect him to do so. Because, he will only order the demise of his men on the front. Peace.

Sudan: The Sovereign Council serves Al-Bashir to the ICC

The Sovereign Council, the transitional government in Sudan has finally done the big act of sending their former head of state for 30 years and former dictator, Omar Al-Bashir to answer his charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

Now his final reckoning. Even after being charged with grand corruption in December 2019. This after being overthrown on the 11th April 2019. That after months of demonstrations and continued protests, a revolution where the public had the slogan “We’re All Darfur”. Meaning they are all victims of the atrocities and genocide in Darfuf, which Al-Bashir and his henchman did on his orders. All those years of violence, killings and looting. The President had his end.

Now, 9 months since his fall from power. His been charged and detained. The Sovereign Council partly with military cadres of Al-Bashir and technocrats from the Forces of the Freedom and Change Declaration (FFC) are now ending his “quarantine” and limbo. They are sending their former master to the lions. The ones whose collected evidence and charged him. The ones who has hunted for him and wanted him for years. They have even condemned other nations for hosting the President and Head of State. As they violated the charges and the ICC arrest warrant on him.

Now, nine months after they are doing this. Surely to get some goodwill. You can beg to question: Why now? Are the banks empty again? Are the Sovereign Council running out of fiscal cash and needs some foreign exchange to run government?

Because, giving away and sending him to the ICC. Would give international goodwill. Would be a leap of progression. That would be deemed as a positive step in respecting international law, but also co-operate with an entity respected across the globe. However, it adds questions, which is unresolved.

It also begs the ICC, will they indict and give arrest warrants for people connected with Al-Bashir in the Sovereign Council or the Janjaweed (Rapid Support Force)? Because that would make sense. That the other men who followed orders and on their watch did the atrocities in Darfur and Blue Nile State would answer for it. Not only the Head of State alone in the Hague.

Al-Bashir was a tyrant and a grand dictator. However, he didn’t do this acts a vacuum and alone. He did it with the people around him. That was done deliberate by him and his security organizations. If that was NISS, RSF or anyone else. They did that to enemies, activists or anyone else who dared the regime.

Therefore, his day of reckoning is here now. The Sudanese is sending him to the lions. The big-man, the former leader of men, will be court-side and answering for his actions. He will be humiliated further and even beg for mercy. Only if the ICC does technical glitches or doesn’t follow protocol he will win. Also, only the Sudanese doesn’t comply and intimidate victims and witnesses. Than Al-Bashir will get of the hook.

Nevertheless, it is a historic day. That the man ruling with an iron fist and with a trigger happy army , his now awaiting a new trial, a new court and answer for his misgivings. Which is about time. Who wonders what will happen with the charges in Sudan itself. If they will be followed and actually followed through.

What we do know, is that one man is down and his lost it all. The Sovereign Council has lifted one of their burdens. Maybe there is a pay-off, but that is just mere speculation for now. Peace.