You are here

Diplomacy & Crisis News

Quand la gomme arabique fait tanguer l'Amérique

Le Monde Diplomatique - Tue, 10/09/2019 - 19:05
Pendant que le Sud-Soudan prépare son indépendance et le délicat partage des ressources pétrolières, un commerce moins exposé prospère dans la région : celui de la gomme arabique, une substance qui entre dans la composition de nombreux produits, dont le Coca-Cola… / États-Unis (affaires extérieures), (...) / , , , , , , , , , , , - 2011/04

Au Kosovo, la «<small class="fine"> </small>sale guerre<small class="fine"> </small>» de l'UCK

Le Monde Diplomatique - Tue, 10/09/2019 - 17:29
Douze ans après le conflit qui devait conduire la province serbe à majorité albanaise sur la voie de l'indépendance, enquêtes et témoignages révèlent l'ampleur des exactions commises par des membres de l'Armée de libération du Kosovo (UCK). Les victimes se comptent aussi bien parmi les civils serbes que (...) / , , , , , , , , , - 2011/03

L'école publique à l'encan

Le Monde Diplomatique - Tue, 10/09/2019 - 15:29
« Placer l'élève au centre du système éducatif », « respecter son rythme propre », « ouvrir l'école sur l'extérieur », le tout sur fond de « projets » et autres « partenariats »... Telle est la nouvelle idéologie qui occupe le devant de la scène scolaire française. Introduite par la loi d'orientation de 1989, (...) / , , - 1998/11

Le régime de Khartoum bousculé par la sécession du Sud

Le Monde Diplomatique - Mon, 09/09/2019 - 19:23
Inédite en Afrique, cette partition « à l'amiable » au Soudan vise à mettre un terme à des décennies de conflits. Mais elle laisse en suspens des éléments clés de la stabilité régionale : le partage de la rente pétrolière et la délimitation des frontières. / Afrique, Soudan, Christianisme, Islam, (...) / , , , , , , - 2011/02

Les apprentis sorciers de la retraite à points

Le Monde Diplomatique - Mon, 09/09/2019 - 17:22
Dans le récent débat sur la réforme des retraites, un thème a progressivement fait consensus : il faut une grande réforme systémique, celle du système par points. C'est ce que préparent le Parti socialiste et la CFDT, au risque d'accentuer les inégalités. / France, Entreprise, Parti politique, (...) / , , , , , - 2010/12

Foreign Affairs Quiz

Foreign Policy Blogs - Mon, 09/09/2019 - 16:43

 

http://www.quiz-maker.com/QTEEGR0

The post Foreign Affairs Quiz appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

Hongkong dans l'étau chinois

Le Monde Diplomatique - Mon, 09/09/2019 - 15:22
L'effondrement boursier et les faillites en cascade qui ont frappé la plupart des pays asiatiques n'ont pas épargné Hongkong, rentré dans le giron de la Chine en 1997. De plus, longtemps considéré comme la porte d'entrée du marché chinois, l'ancien « dragon » a vu son rôle se restreindre au fur et à (...) / , , - 2003/06 Contestations

Oublier les «<small class="fine"> </small>Nobel<small class="fine"> </small>» et... vaincre le chômage

Le Monde Diplomatique - Sun, 08/09/2019 - 19:19
La Banque de Suède a remis, le 11 octobre, son prix en mémoire d'Alfred Nobel. Les lauréats ont déployé toute la sophistication théorique de la science économique pour démontrer… qu'il n'est pas si facile de trouver un emploi. / Capitalisme, Économie, Finance, Idées, Idéologie, Inégalités, Science, (...) / , , , , , , , , , , , - 2010/11

Comment la Chine a gagné la bataille des métaux stratégiques

Le Monde Diplomatique - Sat, 07/09/2019 - 19:17
Pour asseoir son contrôle sur « terres rares » – des métaux indispensables à la fabrication des appareils de haute technologie –, la Chine a mis en œuvre ce que le capitalisme occidental rejette : une politique industrielle de long terme. / Chine, Géopolitique, Industrie, Politique, Matières premières - (...) / , , , , - 2010/11

Hongkong vers un modèle singapourien<small class="fine"> </small>?

Le Monde Diplomatique - Sat, 07/09/2019 - 17:17
Vue de Pékin, la rétrocession de Hongkong à la Chine apparaît comme un événement hautement symbolique. Elle marque la fin de la période coloniale occidentale sur le territoire et le début d'une ère de complète parité avec les grands pays industriels. Le rendez-vous du 1er juillet 1997 mobilise la (...) / , - 1997/05

Insecurity in Somalia: Is Mogadishu’s ‘Green Zone’ Part of the Problem?

Foreign Policy Blogs - Fri, 06/09/2019 - 20:35

Naturally broken nations like Somalia that require intervention from the international community require a safe area where diplomats and other officials representing key governments and organizations could be hosted. Hence Somalia’s heavily guarded “Green Zone”, or Halane as it is commonly known.

As a compound dominated by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldiers, mostly from Uganda, and a network of guerilla diplomats who respect no diplomatic boundaries and which is infested with “economic hitmen”, foreign intelligence, counter-intelligence, counter-insurgency and counter-stability (mercenaries) agents, Halane became a mega bazaar for political exploitation and zero-sum trade.

Twelve years after becoming the artificial nerve center of Somali politics, it became clear that Halane needs to undergo a detoxification process in order to serve its original objective: to help Somalia re-emerge as a nation-state capable of protecting itself and running its own affairs.

The Halane I knew

To contrast the past with the present, allow me to take you on a personal tour. In 1979, immediately after graduating from high school, I had to report to Halane – an old Italian colonial relic turned to a military training camp – for 6 months mandatory boot camp before starting one year of a mandatory “national service” program.

I remember those long march drill sessions under the scorching Mogadishu sun. I remember that pitch-black night when I was placed on guard duty in the area where the airport’s only runway kissed the Indian Ocean. In those days, no flights landed after sunset. And legend had it that that area was the playground of some hoof-legged, man-donkey soldiers. Throughout the night, my senses remained on hyper-alert. Even the gentle wind of the night stirred the spookiest waves of emotions in the heart.

I also remember the day when a few of us were lined up for singing loud. One by one we were taken out of the room to be handed our punishments. When it was my turn, a guard led me to another room with a door wide open where I was surprised by another soldier hiding behind the door with a cable piggin’ string. The rest was a brief painful episode of kicks, curses and screams.

But, despite all that seemingly traumatic experience, I left Halane a better man and a better citizen.

Today’s underground Halane

Today that Halane compound has expanded immensely. Though there are some good things, such as training sessions that take place inside the compound, unfortunately, it has become a place where Somalia’s top leaders are subjected to various levels of humiliation and psychological subjugation. It’s where the carrots are dangled to coopt Somali officials and where sticks are wagged so that the self-confident among them are psychologically broken down until they accept behaving like guests in their own country. It is where the elite with political ambitions are required to go to get their blessings and a few power-projecting pictures for social media. It is where resolutions that undermine Somalia’s central government authority and legitimacy are concocted despite the fact that Somalia’s transition period ended in 2012.

Resolution 2472, adopted by the Security Council on 31 May 2019, is peppered with language that affirms, as I have been arguing for a while, that Somalia is in a stealth trusteeship. Despite the opening diplomatic pacifier of “reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and unity of Somalia” the Resolution commands the Federal Government of Somalia to expedite its settlement with federal states on “resource and power-sharing to be enshrined in the revision of the Provisional Federal Constitution” and “generation of affordable Somali forces.”

In other words, 3,000 independently commanded troops per federal state as spelled in the so-called National Security Architecture. Enough to protect a number of questionably acquired foreign projects while keeping Somalia in state of perpetual security dependence. The federal state of Galmudug became the first to offer its contingent or the Ahlu Sunna Wa Jama (ASWJ) militia. Though this is set to intensify intra-clan sensitivity, IGAD wasted no time in praising the effort.

Shifting current paradigm

While certain elements within the international community use counter-terrorism to justify having AMISOM troops in Somalia or bankrolling covert mercenary operations, these foreign forces are neither aligned with the Federal Government of Somalia and AMISOM’s strategy to fight Al Shabaab nor are they part of the command structure that is accountable to either one. Because, as I argued in Straight Talk on Somalia Insecurity, Al Shabaab’s deadly escapades provide priceless cover, if not legitimacy, to their presence.

Benevolent predators who are quick to offer one mini unsustainable project or another to improve perception are plenty. Funding is often delivered through various international NGOs that charge hefty overheads and subcontract local ones that become the funders’ indigenous detractor. Though the funding comes with strings attached, seldom is it used to pressure the government to meet its obligations, such as completing the constitution and getting it ratified, establishing a constitutional court, and refraining from consolidation of power by the executive branch that made the parliament irrelevant.

The more UN officials and AMISOM continue to hide behind heavily fortified bunkers at the airport area – the de facto extension of Halane – the more there will be militarization of Mogadishu and the more the old routine of holding international conferences at Mogadishu’s international airport or in Nairobi will continue to be justified.

Is Mogadishu safe enough for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and AMISOM to be decommissioned? The one thing that we know is that as long as both are there Somalia will remain in a state of perpetual dependency, insecurity, and fragmentation. As I wrote in a number of my previous articles, AMISOM contributed a lot to Somalia in the earlier months and years. But everything changed when armies from the frontline states of Ethiopia and Kenya were allowed to join AMISOM. That is when the original peacekeeping objective became blurred.

Flushing all questionable elements out of Halane is impossible if UNSOM remains the de facto institution under which Somalia’s government is governed. And there is no end to UNSOM if the UK remains the “pen holder” that spearheads all Somalia-related issues at the United Nations. The Federal Government of Somalia must take an unequivocal stance on UNSOM. The Security Council cannot legitimately impose its will on a state that is neither oppressing its citizens nor is hostile toward its neighbors. UNSOM is there because the Somali government imprudently endorses its mandate.

Could a change in UNSOM’s status expedite the departure of AMISOM? Sure.

Despite the narrative of the security void that might be created, AMISOM, along with the various mercenary companies roaming around Somalia, have been the main causes of the hemorrhaging of security-related funding for more than a decade. That is the reason why Somalia does not have a unified, robust, highly trained and well-equipped army.

Ending AMISOM would end their widely covered corruption, rape, and extrajudicial killings. Not to mention the conflict of interest generated by the presence of Kenyan and Ethiopian troops who are in the thick of Somalia’s internal politics. Perhaps stopping reliance on AMISOM could motivate the Somali government and the various armed militias around the country to take security more seriously and to unite against their common enemy – Al Shabaab – for their own survival. Without AMISOM escorts, it may also compel the government to reduce the weekly travels to foreign destinations for one powwow or another and spend the saved funds on various basic public services, which are sorely lacking.

The warning signs

Good politics is the willingness to engage in transparent, benevolent, and ethical negotiations with others to find a middle ground on issues of mutual interest. It is to enter from the front door in good faith while respecting each other’s spaces and rights.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing business or creating partnerships with foreign nations so long as those relationships are mutually in the best interest of all sides. Those seeking genuine economic or strategic partnerships must be willing to refrain from making matters worse, and be willing to give the government the critical space it needs to make peace with the peripheral authorities, and establish total control of Somalia’s territories.

Unfortunately, at this frail stage, before a genuine Somali-owned reconciliation, corrupt Somali leaders at all levels and their partners in Halane continue signing duplicitous land, oil and maritime deals in ways that outrage common sense before decency and integrity. With the current high tension and growing volatility within various federal states resulting from territorial disputes and other contentious issues, these corrupt deals are only going to lead to perpetual clan-based wars.

Somalia cannot afford to sleepwalk into the growing volatility of the region, the political and economic pitfalls of a rapidly changing world, and the systematically shifting world order. Somalia’s survival depends on being a step ahead of those who wish her ill or who are bent on ruthlessly exploiting its dysfunctional political condition for their zero-sum ends.

Halane is where the instruments of political compulsion are currently concentrated. Somali leaders must radically change their ways and govern in ways that protect Somalia’s national interest and resources.

Those who are positioning themselves to replace the current government in 2021 must not ignore the groundswell of public discontent regarding Halane politics. They must forge a viable strategy to advance the will of the people.

 

 

The post Insecurity in Somalia: Is Mogadishu’s ‘Green Zone’ Part of the Problem? appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

Malcolm X, inépuisable mythe en temps d'extrême adversité

Le Monde Diplomatique - Fri, 06/09/2019 - 19:15
Quand, le 21 février 1965, Malcolm X tombe sous les balles, nombreux sont ceux qui pensent qu'il ne représentera plus aucun danger. Aujourd'hui, l'Amérique est loin de cette tranquillité. Malcolm X s'est remis à hanter le présent et à parler. / États-Unis (affaires intérieures), Identité culturelle, (...) / , , - 1993/02

De mauvaises fées sur le berceau de l'Europe de la défense

Le Monde Diplomatique - Fri, 06/09/2019 - 17:14
Loin d'être un accident, ce que l'on a appelé, en France, l'« affaire Clearstream-EADS » révèle l'évolution du marché de l'armement sur le Vieux Continent. Depuis vingt ans, sous l'égide de l'Union européenne, la dérégulation et l'appât du gain ont modelé le paysage industriel. La « guerre au terrorisme » (...) / , , , , , , - 2006/10 L'ère des paradoxes

En Ardèche, les résidences secondaires ont remplacé les lopins de terre

Le Monde Diplomatique - Fri, 06/09/2019 - 15:14
« Ils quittent un à un le pays pour s'en aller gagner leur vie loin de la terre où ils sont nés », chantait Jean Ferrat, Ardéchois d'adoption mort en mars dernier. Mais certains restent, coûte que coûte. / Agriculture, Économie, Entreprise, Industrie, Politique, Tourisme, Travail - (...) / , , , , , , - 2010/10

Sheikh Mirza: “Yezidi girl murdered inside UN camp”

Foreign Policy Blogs - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 21:34

Yazidi refugee women hold a banner as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, Turkey, on June 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Yezidi leader Sheikh Mirza, who heads the Yezidi International Human Rights Organization, reported that a Yezidi girl was recently murdered by ISIS in the Hol camp in Syria: “A young Yezidi girl tried to escape from the UN refugee camp in Hol, Syria, where reportedly 73-80,000 are among over 30,000 Iraqis, the majority of whom are ISIS members and their families, who are being given refuge and protection – the same as their victims!  These ISIS members are enslaving Yezidis inside the camp.  Some Yezidis have managed to escape but this girl was caught.  The Moslem ISIS women inside the camp learned of her plan and then they beat her to death, so she was murdered.”

“Why is the UN giving cover and help to ISIS women,” Sheikh Mirza pondered.   “The ISIS women are reportedly just as brutal as their men.  The Yezidi’s still don’t know where the young woman’s body has been taken to.  The camp authorities?  Or someone else, like ISIS supporters?  We don’t yet know the name of the young woman who was murdered or other details.  We don’t know if her family is alive or if they were murdered or enslaved.  ISIS changes the names of their slaves to Muslim names.”

Sheikh Mirza chastised international media outlets for ignoring this important story: “This information about the young Yezidi girl who was murdered by ISIS was not reported in mainstream media outlets.  It is only on Yezidi social media websites and on Samaria news.”  However, Israel Hayom did conduct an interview with Sheikh Mirza, where he proclaimed: “According to our information, there are hundreds of Yazidi slaves being held by their ISIS captors who are now being cared for in camps run by the UN and local governments.” He says that he went to the UN and pleaded for their help but so far, no help has arrived: “All Muslim groups have been helped but not the non-Muslim ones, who are the greatest victims and are suffering from genocide.”

Ismail emphasizes that ISIS is still being welcomed in Turkey and other Muslim communities: “We know of at least two refugee camps which welcomed and are supporting ISIS families. One is built to accommodate about 20,000 refugees and since March, the population has swelled to about 80,000 people. The population is mainly consisting of ISIS families. We know of another UN refugee camp in Syria. It used to have a population mainly of Yazidis.” But now, ISIS has been welcomed into the camp and the Yazidis are trying to flee. They are being abused by local Muslims. This camp is now populated mainly by ISIS families and the few Yazidis who are remaining.

“Several weeks ago, a group of Yezidis pleaded to go into the al-Hol camp to try to connect with the other Yezidi slaves, who we know are there in order to try to free them,” Sheikh Mirza noted.  “These Yezidi pleading to enter know that they also may be killed or kidnapped by the ISIS members, who fill the camp!  But they are willing to do this and risk their lives.”  They believed that the greater good of trying to save lives outweighed any potential risks that they might personally face.  However, the camp authorities refused their request to enter.  Same goes for the Central Government and the UN.  

According to Sheikh Mirza, sometime ago, another Yezidi girl who was able to escape from the same camp (Hol refugee camp) said that she was very lucky she made it on time; and said if she had not been able to, she was on the list to be transferred to Idlib, Syria and then to Turkey in order to suffer organ harvesting: “According to many of the escaped Yezidi women and girls, 600 – 700 young Yezidi boys and girls have been transferred to Turkey.  The international community is totally silent on the issues of the Yezidi slaves in the Al Hol camp; we are hoping that this is not an international plan to keep the silence until the Hol camp is emptied from the Yezidi slaves!”  

 

 

The post Sheikh Mirza: “Yezidi girl murdered inside UN camp” appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

Etats-Unis, république des avocats

Le Monde Diplomatique - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 17:07
Aux Etats-Unis, poste avancé de la judiciarisation de la vie publique, les avocats forment une classe à part. Souvent démocrates, ils comptent au nombre des rares privilégiés que les républicains n'hésitent pas à fustiger. / États-Unis (affaires intérieures), Élections, Justice, Parti politique, (...) / , , , , , - 2010/09

France-Rwanda, le prix d'une réconciliation

Le Monde Diplomatique - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 15:07
Réélu triomphalement le 9 août dernier, sur fond de violences et d'atteintes aux libertés, le président rwandais Paul Kagamé durcit son régime. Mais, depuis février, c'est la spectaculaire réconciliation avec la France qui alimente les interrogations. / France, Rwanda, Génocide, Politique, Relations (...) / , , , , , - 2010/09

How the World Treats Brazil

Foreign Policy Blogs - Wed, 04/09/2019 - 21:33
Protesters in Sao Paulo called for more action from the country’s president – Skynews Aug 28 2019

Brazil is unique in Latin America as much as it is unique in the world. When working in Washington DC many years ago, the largest events were always the ones where the voice of Brazil was present via their Ambassador to the US. While Latin American allies of the US were often seen as almost cousins to the US due to cultural and social ties, Brazil was seen as the hedgehog of the region. Everyone from the USTR to the Secretary of State knew that while relations were good, Brazil would be the one that would push back for the rest of Latin America against the US if needed. Due to their population size and economic weight, Brazil was always respected because Brazil would always stand up for their place in the world.

With increasing economic stability in the pre-Olympic era, Brazilians thought that a past filled with economic uncertainly may have ended. Unfortunately, when Brazil’s elite political and economic leaders took public funds for personal gain or spent it to please international friends and remove much needed social spending to invest in stadiums and games, the economic fortunes for the average Brazilian declined rapidly. The corruption scandal that brought down a few Presidents grew partially out of the realisation that the Olympic Games and World Cup were run with corruption tainting many of the contracts, and that Brazil’s public money went to already wealthy international interests when the people needed it most. When asked by the Brazilian government to help with the debt in 2017, the IOC avoided giving funds back to Brazil during an severe recession in the country.

China’s foreign policy has earned some acceptance in Africa and Latin America as Chinese investment and promotion seeks to place funds in foreign countries without any restrictions or open criticism of local policy. While there should be a moral limit to investment, the view by China, BRICS countries and many other former colonised nations is that interference in local politics is harmful to the country. With the history of European and American interventions in Latin America, and even recent policy that lead to Olympic sized debt and corruption problems in Brazil, recent pressure by European leaders on Brazil’s environmental policy is seen by some in Brazil as interference in their sovereignty, even if it is for a positive cause. While France’s and Brazil’s Presidents are not on friendly terms these days, the international community and the European Union must acknowledge that the history of relations between Brazil and the international community is not one without friction.

Brazilians are responsible for their territory because it is their country, and they will elect those who they believe can manage it to their benefit. They will change their minds, alter their views on policy, debate furiously and even criticize their judicial leaders when they charge ex-presidents with corruption, but it is not up to foreign countries to decide how their democracy should work as international interference has cost the Brazilian people a great deal over several generations. With a recent G7 that invited other non members to the forum, but sought to address issues in Brazil without inviting them to a seat at the table, the credibility of actions by the group may be seen skeptically by many in Brazil. Before any actions are taken, perhaps they should return some Olympic money cashed out of Brazil by the IOC and other European interests, it might make for a more productive dialogue for Brazil and G7 powers in facing the current crisis.

The post How the World Treats Brazil appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

Populistes flamands, loin de l'extrême droite

Le Monde Diplomatique - Wed, 04/09/2019 - 19:05
Après son succès électoral, le 13 juin 2010, le patron du parti nationaliste flamand N-VA va-t-il devenir le premier ministre de Belgique ? Rien n'est moins sûr. Pourtant sa formation a pris la première place, en Flandre comme dans l'ensemble du pays. / Belgique, Élections, Nationalisme, Parti (...) / , , , , , - 2010/07

Algérie : femmes émancipées dans le piège de Hassi Messaoud

Le Monde Diplomatique - Wed, 04/09/2019 - 17:05
En 2001, de nombreuses femmes de Hassi Messaoud, dans le Sahara algérien, ont été victimes d'un déchaînement de violence. En 2010, la situation reste tendue. / Algérie, Économie, Femmes, Société, Travail, Ville, Violence, Droits des femmes - (...) / , , , , , , , - 2010/06

Pages