Robert Mugabe has died at 95.
Robert Mugabe has died at 95.
Since the US Military has established a base on the continent for Africa Command, violence and terrorism has exploded on the continent:
Since U.S. Africa Command began operations in 2008, the number of U.S. military personnel on the African continent has jumped 170 percent, from 2,600 to 7,000. The number of military missions, activities, programs, and exercises there has risen 1,900 percent, from 172 to 3,500. Drone strikes have soared and the number of commandos deployed has increased exponentially along with the size and scope of AFRICOM’s constellation of bases.
The U.S. military has recently conducted 36 named operations and activities in Africa, more than any other region of the world, including the Greater Middle East. Troops scattered across Africa regularly advise, train, and partner with local forces; gather intelligence; conduct surveillance; and carry out airstrikes and ground raids focused on “countering violent extremists on the African continent.”
There are now roughly 24 “active militant Islamist groups” operating on the continent, up from just five in 2010, the analysis found. Today, 13 African countries face attacks from these groups — a 160 percent increase over that same time span. In fact, the number of “violent events” across the continent has jumped 960 percent, from 288 in 2009 to 3,050 in 2018, according to the Africa Center’s analysis.
While a variety of factors have likely contributed to the rise in violence, some experts say that the overlap between the command’s existence and growing unrest is not a coincidence.
“The sharp increase in terrorist incidents in Africa underscores the fact that the Pentagon’s overly militarized approach to the problem has been a dismal failure,” said William Hartung, the director of the arms and security project at the Center for International Policy. “If anything, attempting to eradicate terrorism by force may be exacerbating the problem, provoking a terrorist backlash and serving as a recruiting tool for extremist groups.”
It’s not a failure, it’s just that the US military is not in it to succeed. Their goal is to generate sortees, theater ribbons, promotions, and a justification for an ever increasing budgets.
Bleeding hearts will call this a failure, but there are military careers to be made here, baby.
Seriously, this has got to be the most wastefully run empire ever.
As Mark Ames so pithily stated, There is, “Nothing cynical at all about Sarkozy’s reasons for wanting Gaddafi dead.”
But let us not be cynical. Just because the overthrow of Gadaffi resulted in a hell-hole where slave markets have been established doesn’t mean that it was a failure:
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been taken into police custody for questioning over allegations that he received campaign funding from the late Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.
Police are investigating alleged irregularities over the financing of his 2007 presidential campaign.
Police have questioned him previously as part of the probe. Mr Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing.
The centre-right politician failed to return to power in 2012.
Judicial sources said he was being questioned in Nanterre, a suburb in western Paris.
In 2013, France opened an investigation into allegations that his campaign had benefited from illicit funds from Gaddafi.
Please, don’t let him out ……… EVER!!!
Facebook failed to prevent its platform being used to auction a 16-year-old girl off for marriage in South Sudan.
Child early and forced marriage (CEFM) is the most commonly reported form of gender-based violence in South Sudan, according to a recent Plan International report on the myriad risks for adolescent girls living in the war-torn region.
Now it seems girls in that part of the world have to worry about social media too.
Vice reported on the story in detail yesterday, noting that Facebook took down the auction post but not until after the girl had already been married off — and more than two weeks after the family first announced the attention to sell the child via its platform, on October 25.
Facebook said it first learned about the auction post on November 9, after which it says it took it down within 24 hours. It’s not clear how many hours out of the 24 it took Facebook to take the decision to remove the post.
A multimillionaire businessman from South Sudan’s capital city reportedly won the auction after offering a record “price” — of 530 cows, three Land Cruiser V8 cars and $10,000 — to marry the child, Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang.
The more than two-week delay between the auction post going live and the auction post being removed by Facebook raises serious questions about its claims to have made substantial investments in improving its moderation processes.
Human rights groups had directly tried to flag the post to Facebook. The auction had also reportedly attracted heavy local media attention. Yet it still failed to notice and act until weeks later — by which time it was too late because the girl had been sold and married off.
This is a feature of the monster that Mark Zuckereberg created, not a bug.
Al Shabab, the Islamist terrorist group, has banned plastic bags:
Over the years, the Shabab, a terrorist group in East Africa that has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, have banned music, cinemas, satellite dishes and humanitarian organizations.
This week, they added a new item to the prohibited list: plastic bags.
Residents of areas controlled by the terrorist group, which operates out of Somalia, will no longer be able to use plastic bags, out of respect for the environment.
The announcement — by a group better known for suicide attacks that have killed and maimed thousands — prompted a flurry of mocking memes on the internet, some calling the Shabab the first eco-friendly terrorist organization.
The statement banning the use of plastic bags was published on Somalimemo.net, a pro-Shabab website that is believed to be run by the terrorist group’s media office. The website aired an audio recording from Mohammed Abu Abdullah, the Shabab’s governor in the Jubaland region, who said that plastic bags “pose a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike,” a statement that was repeated in a Twitter message posted on a Shabab-associated account.
This is the New York Times, not the Onion.
Truth be told though, the difference is increasingly hard to discern.
The Chinese built a headquarters building for the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethopia.
It seemed like a generous thing, until they discovered that everything in the building was engineered to spy on its occupants and then phone home.
Seriously China, who do you think you are, the United States?
In 2012, the Chinese government “graciously offered” African States a gift and constructed the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa. The act of soft diplomacy proved to be a rather self-serving maneuver to spy on the activities and discussions being conducted by leaders of the exclusive continental group.
In Addis Ababa, ministers and heads of states meet twice a year to discuss major continental issues. While strict security measures give the impression that that building is closely monitored and secured, an unseen security threat was present from 2012 until 2017. The threat was from none other than those who built the headquarters: the Chinese. An investigation conducted by “Le Monde Afrique” exposed Chinese espionage efforts.
According to the report, for five years, between midnight and 2 a.m., computer servers were reaching a peak in data transfer activity. A computer scientist noticed the oddity of the situation. The organization’s technical staff later discovered that the AU servers were all connected to servers located in Shanghai.
Every night, the secrets of the AU were being stored more than 8,000 km away by what was thought to be a diplomatic ally of Africa.
I am reminded of the adage about social media, “If the product is free, you are the product .
Robert Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and once proclaimed that “only God will remove me,” resigned as president on Tuesday shortly after lawmakers began impeachment proceedings against him.
The speaker of the Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, read out a letter in which Mr. Mugabe said he was stepping down “with immediate effect” for “the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and the need for a peaceful transfer of power.”
Lawmakers erupted into cheers, and jubilant residents poured into the streets of Harare, the capital. It seemed to be an abrupt capitulation by Mr. Mugabe, 93, the world’s oldest head of state and one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Zimbabwe,” Perseverance Sande, 20, said in central Harare minutes after news of the resignation began spreading, as crowds of people started singing around her. “I’ve been waiting so long for this moment.”
It is widely expected that Emmerson Mnangagwa, his former VP, whose firing precipitated the coup, will succeed him, so I’m not expecting much in the way of political change.
Mnangagwa was, after all, hip deep in the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland in the early 1980s.
I figured that nothing would change, and I felt that I had nothing to add.
Well, it appears that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have deposed Robert Mugabe in a coup.
I’m not sure if this actually constitutes a change, or if it will lead to change:
Zimbabwe — After ruling Zimbabwe for nearly four decades, leading the country from the triumph of its independence struggle to economic collapse, the world’s oldest head of state became a prisoner of the military he once commanded.
Robert Mugabe, 93, was detained along with his wife, according to a military announcement Wednesday. The move appears to end one of Africa’s most controversial political dynasties while raising questions about what might come next — military rule, a transitional government or a settlement that would allow Mugabe to return to power.
No matter what happens, this appears to be a watershed moment for Zimbabwe and southern Africa, which have suffered from the tumult of Mugabe’s reign, even as his hold on power sometimes seemed unshakable.
Zimbabweans awoke early Wednesday to a televised announcement from an army general promising that there was “not a military takeover,” although Mugabe had been detained and armored vehicles were rolling into Harare, the capital.
Mugabe recently purged some key officials from the ruling party, ZANU-PF, paving the way for his 52-year-old spouse, Grace, to succeed him. Many see that move as a major miscalculation, alienating Mugabe from the civilians and military leaders on whom he had long depended.
Seeing as how the military is part and parcel of the corruption and human rights disaster that is today’s Zimbabwe, I do not expect this to usher in an era freedom, prosperity, and democracy.
Parliament has released a report on the decision to depose Muammar Gaddafi by the British and French, and they pillory David Cameron’s actions.
I think that it is no accident that this happened months after the former PM announced his resignation:
David Cameron’s intervention in Libya was carried out with no proper intelligence analysis, drifted into an unannounced goal of regime change and shirked its moral responsibility to help reconstruct the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, according to a scathing report by the foreign affairs select committee.
The failures led to the country becoming a failed a state on the verge of all-out civil war, the report adds.
The report, the product of a parliamentary equivalent of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, closely echoes the criticisms widely made of Tony Blair’s intervention in Iraq, and may yet come to be as damaging to Cameron’s foreign policy legacy.
Situation has deteriorated since David Cameron’s upbeat visit after Gaddafi fell, with latest administration on the brink
It concurs with Barack Obama’s assessment that the intervention was “a sh%$show”, and repeats the US president’s claim that France and Britain lost interest in Libya after Gaddafi was overthrown. The findings are also likely to be seized on by Donald Trump, who has tried to undermine Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy credentials by repeatedly condemning her handling of the Libyan intervention in 2011, when she was US secretary of state.
This has been known for some time, but it is interesting how his former Tory colleagues have been so eager to throw him under the bus, even while half of the Labour party continues to try and shield Tony Blair from the consequences of his even more heinous acts.