Archive for category Egypt

depends who you know

1. Sahara becomes desert of terrorism. CIA supported terrorism. also notice however, the illusion that  France and the EU are presented as “opposite” to the US by the expert. the “good” West vs the “bad” West. haha! sorry the same people own all of The West.

Senegal’s president Abdoulaye Wade urged African leaders and the West to join forces in the fight against al-Qaeda’s North African branch, saying it has to be done to prevent the Sahara from becoming a “terrorism desert.” Abdoulaye Wade’s appeal came as African Union heads of state gathered to tackle the continent’s crises and conflicts at the bloc’s summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Wade was supported by his colleagues from other African countries. They were united in their opinion that African counties could not fight al-Qaeda on their own. Wade said it was an “international issue.”

Americans spent over 0.5 billion dollars for the anti-terrorism struggle. Yet, the situation has only worsened with the increased number of terrorist attacks.

The situation has particularly worsened in the past two years. These years were marked both with the increased frequency of attacks as well as their impudence, i.e., police station attacks and embassy shootings. The leaders of the Maghreb Muslims appeal for jihad against ruling governments of North African countries. All this attests to the fact that the officials cannot properly control the situation even in their own capitals.

Last year, media released alarming information stating that the Islamist group was developing biological weapons, and in particular, was experimenting with plague agents. The war on terror affects the well-being of local residents increasingly more each year. According to experts, the struggle with al-Qaeda caused rise in basic consumer goods prices in Algeria, including potatoes prices.

…In other words, the participants of the Pan African summit had good reasons to be alarmed. On the other hand, as mentioned above, so far the US military aid has not yielded positive results in the struggle against several hundred militants. Under the circumstances, the opinion of an Algerian expert Jamal Gessel shared with was quite surprising.

He said that there was very reliable information suggesting that the Islamist group was supported by CIA. Analysts of the French and Algerian Special forces (e.g., DGSE, France) are convinced that this is done to destabilized the situation in North African countries rich in natural resources (both oil and uranium). The other goal is to force French and Spanish oil-extracting competitors out of the area. The expert believes this is precisely why the Islamist group’s attacks are aimed against the French and Spanish, and why the American presence in the region is not effective.

Additionally, the expert does not rule out the situation when the US declares the region its strategic zone, like it happened in the Persian Gulf, and instills its hegemony in the area. The conclusion is the following: the hopes of North African countries to receive aid from the West greatly depend on what they mean by “West”, the USA or EU.

more @ pravda

2. despite problems with al qaeda, not to worry! Algeria is connected: looking to cooperate with South Africa on nuclear technology. oh hey Algeria signed the NPT, so no problem. um, didn’t Iran sign that thing too? yes. but that’s different.

Algeria has shown a keen interest in South Africa’s pebble bed technology, South Africa’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) company said on Monday.

CEO Jaco Kriek said in a statement that Algeria’s interest in PBMR technology “opens a real opportunity for two African countries to co-operate on nuclear.” The statement said a high-level delegation under the leadership of Mohamed Derdour, chairman of the Algerian Atomic Energy Commission (Comena), was in South Africa. “Algeria is, amongst others, exploring the possibility of building nuclear reactors the size of PBMR near inland villages to provide electricity and desalination,” Kriek said.

According to Comena, Algeria was seriously pursuing nuclear technology as a means to diversify its energy sources and as a vehicle to reduce its dependency on a hydrocarbons economy….Derdour pointed out that Algeria, like South Africa, had signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. “Algeria has atomic energy agreements with Argentina, China, France and the United States. “We also have two research reactors, which were built by Argentina and China respectively”. Kriek said South Africa had a long relationship with Algeria, including the signing in 2003 of a memorandum of understanding on co-operation in the field of nuclear and radiation sciences between Comena and South Africa’s department of science and technology.

more @ iafrica

3. Egypt recalls ambassador from Algeria for “consultations” after some sports fans get rowdy

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt recalled its ambassador in Algeria for consultations on Thursday after attacks against Egyptian football fans in Sudan and businesses in Algiers, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. An Egyptian foreign ministry official confirmed to AFP that the ambassador was recalled for “consultations”. Earlier in the day, Egypt summoned the Algerian ambassador in Cairo to protest against the disturbances.

The foreign ministry said that it informed the ambassador of “Egypt’s extreme displeasure with the assaults on Egyptian citizens who went to Khartoum to support the Egyptian team.”

It was the second summons in a week for ambassador Abdel Qader Haggar, who was called to the foreign ministry last week after Algerian fans attacked Egyptian businesses and homes in Algiers.

more @ yahoo news

4. Nigeria finally transfers power to Goodluck Jonathan

NIGERIA’S parliament empowered vice- president Goodluck Jonathan to run Africa’s most populous nation in place of an ill and absent president. It is hoped the move will provide a political end to a crisis that has ground the government to a virtual halt and triggered the resumption of an insurgency in the vital oil sector. But the move is not contemplated in the constitution, legal experts say, and could cause more friction between the Christian south, which gains the presidency at least temporarily, and Muslim north, which finds itself out of the seat of power.

more @ scotsman

5. NEXT: we told you so

This newspaper took the bold step of publishing a daring story on January 10 that President Umaru Yar’Adua is brain damaged and will not return to office. Titled,”Yar’Adua is brain-damaged”, the story detailed how some people that surround Mr. Yar’Adua were preventing others including the vice president from having access to the president.

“President Umaru Yar’Adua is seriously brain damaged, is not able to recognise anyone… and can no longer perform the functions of the office of the president, according to multiple sources who have spoken to NEXT on Sunday,” the story declares.

While we double checked and confirmed our sources over and over, some newspapers went to town that our story was not true. Indeed there were stories that we spun a tale that cannot be substantiated. Amazingly, while these media houses buried their heads in the sand, NEXT stood up to be counted among the worthy elements of our society, and despite the furious denial even from some people in government, the story could not be counteracted.

Curiously, some folks in government were asking NEXT editors for what was going on with Mr. Yar’Adua showing the level of secrecy concerning his health.

Subsequently, a man claiming to be Mr. Yar’Adua granted an interview to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on January 13 on the eve of a planned protest by eminent Nigerians like Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka and Tunde Bakare, the pastor of Latter Rain Assembly under the aegis of Save Nigeria Group.

Thereafter, seeing that the game was up, others now shifted gear, and joined the train of those asking that the Constitution be upheld. We are happy we started this.

source: next

6. MEND rebels watching the ‘drama’ unfold..will they continue to warn the oil company personnel to get out of the way so they can “attack?” do they still need to attack? maybe not. we’ll have to wait and see what this Goodluck Jonathan fellow has in mind for divvying up Nigeria’s oil resources.

LAGOS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The main militant group in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta said on Wednesday it was monitoring developments after Vice President Goodluck Jonathan assumed presidential powers, but declined to comment further.

“We are monitoring the unfolding drama and will react at the appropriate time,” the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an email to Reuters. The group last month said it was ending a unilateral ceasefire and threatened renewed attacks on Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry amid delays to an amnesty programme caused partly by the absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua.


7. polluted water in Niger Delta — home of OIL COMPANIES — the cause of estimated 60% of deaths and 90% of disease in local communities. yes they can get oil out of a swamp but they can’t deliver clean water to poor people who insist on being IN THE WAY of their amazing oil production feats of engineering

Lack of access to safe water is a major source of poor health for millions of residents of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, a NEXT investigation has shown. Majority of the citizens of the area affirm one of their most critical needs is safe drinking water.

Public health officials say water accounts for an estimated 80 per cent of all diseases and one-third of all deaths in the developing world. In the Niger Delta area, where the natural water sources have been polluted by oil production activities, they estimate that water could account for over 60 per cent of all deaths in the oil communities, and some 90 per cent of all diseases there.

Although the oil region is largely riverine, oil production activities appeared to have polluted the region’s natural water sources, making them increasingly unsafe for human consumption.

more @ next

8. Al Jazeera floats video of police killing unarmed civilians, from seven months ago. picked up widely. kind of confusing — if you don’t pay close attention you might think this is happening now.

google results show major coverage

Aster Van Kregten, a Nigeria expert with rights group Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera that the group’s research suggested extra-judicial killings were widespread in Nigeria.

“Our research shows that the Nigerian police are getting away with murder, they killed hundreds of people a year without any investigation - any investigation on whether the use of force was lawful or not,” she said.
“What we saw on the footage happened seven month ago and we haven’t heard anything from the government whether they have arrested anyone and how far the investigation is going.”

Among those killed in the aftermath of the clashes between Boko Haram and the police, was Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf.

more @ al jazeera

out of africa

Click here for political map of Africa (source: UTexas).

A quick news tour of the African continent:

Northern Africa:

Ten suspected terrorists killed in northeastern Algeria on Saturday night. Police seized an “important quantity” of weapons during the ambush, the result of a tip off.

Morocco politely turns down US requests to detain and arrest Guinean President Dadis Camara, trying to stay out of other countries’ affairs while maintaining a “terror-free atmosphere.” Good luck with that.

West Africa:

Confusion over Guinea’s interim leader, Sekouba Konate, as multiple news outlets reported that he was flown out for emergency medical treatment (for cirrhosis of the liver), which was later denied.

It is reported that when Dadis Camara was declared leader of the 32-member junta in December 2008, Konate who was then head of an elite unit of specially trained commandos did not even appear on the list. Someone who witnessed the event at the main barracks said Konate initially challenged Camara over the presidency, which led to Konate, Camara and a third officer agreeing to draw lots from a mayonnaise jar to settle who would get to be president. Camara won but disputed the mayonnaise-jar story, saying soldiers threatened him and Konate with death unless they agreed to lead the country. Konate was then named vice president, and in a period of one year moved through the military ranks from colonel to general, while Dadis Camara remained a captain.

Be our leader or we kill you? O-kay. Who am I to argue with such logic?

Moving right along to Nigeria…

The radical Jamaican cleric who was deported to Gambia last week has been spotted in Kenya, officials reported on Sunday. Abdullah Al-Faisal, a Jamaican Muslim cleric was flown to Lagos, Nigeria, on Thursday in a private jet after airlines decline to have him board their planes. It was the second time the east African nation had tried unsuccessfully to deport the cleric. On Tuesday, the Kenyan authorities reportedly drove him to the border of Tanzania because he had entered Kenya from there, but Tanzania refused him entry as well. According to a Muslim and human rights group in Kenya, Al-Faisal is being held in a remand prison in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. How he found his way back in Kenya remains un-clear….Kenyan officials have said Al-Faisal had traveled to Kenya from Nigeria through Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Mozambique and Tanzania. Kenyan Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang pointed out that Al-Faisal is in the watch-list of persons not allowed to visit the East African nation since 2007. Mr. Faisal was convicted in Britain in 2003 of inciting racial hatred for urging his followers to kill Hindus, Christians, Jews and Americans. Britain deported him to Jamaica in 2007.

Hmm. I bet we haven’t heard the last of him.

French metals firm Eramet will spend almost $300 million and employ 1,000 people in Gabon to build a manganese plant in the central African country, it and the Gabonese government said on Friday.

Southern Africa:

Angolan rebels attack Togo soccer team “by mistake.”

Rodrigues Mingas, secretary general of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (Flec), said his fighters had meant to attack security guards as the convoy passed through the Angolan province of Cabinda, which sits wholly inside Congo. Today, Angolan state media reported two arrests in connection with Friday’s attack, which came as the Togo team travelled to the Africa Cup of Nations. Three people were killed ? the team’s assistant coach, its official spokesman and the bus driver….Through a spokesman Zuma dismissed ­speculation that the incident raised ­questions over security for the World Cup in South Africa five months from now. Sajjan Gohel, the international security director of the Asia-Pacific Foundation, a London-based thinktank, said many ­people had been looking to the Angola tournament as a litmus test for the World Cup. “Although it is not in South Africa it is in southern Africa, so I suppose many people were looking at it in a similar light,” he said.

I suppose.

An opinion of Angola:

The profile of Angola’s new elite are people who studied abroad, in Europe or the USA, who have no connection whatsoever with the people they are supposed to represent and who turn their backs on their African origins, native languages and culture. Yet despite the flagrant lack of democracy in Angola, despite the dreadful living conditions of vast swathes of the population while the corrupt elite perpetuates its existence through a system of bribes and commissions (in collusion with Europeans), countries and companies are lining up to sign lucrative contracts with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Zimbabwe’s liberation fighters demand 20% cut of land, residential and business stands in all cities, and mineral resources.

Beta says it is their right to claim 20 percent of all national resources claiming that the “war veterans are some of the poorest people around despite the work that they have done for this country.”…In the last decade, the veterans were in the forefront of farm invasions that left scores of people, mostly white’s, dead.

Long time ruler President Mugabe started the often-violent seizure of white-owned farms in 2000, after he suffered his first defeat at the polls over a referendum to entrench his presidential powers. He said the farms would go to poor blacks but many of the 5,000 seized farms went to his friends and cronies, however. The seizures touched off an economic collapse in the southern African country that used to thrive on exports of food, minerals and tobacco….During colonial times, white settlers who came to what was then called Rhodesia to seek their fortunes in agriculture and mining forced blacks off ancestral lands. Mugabe insists he is trying to correct the wrongs of Zimbabwe’s colonial past.

East Africa:

Al-Qaeda’s proxy in Africa stationed in Somalia, Al-Shabaab, has suffered a big blow as one of its top-ranking commanders has been reportedly executed by another rebel group in the fight for control of the central regions of Somalia….Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf a spokesman for the group told reporters “We don’t normally kill al Shabaab members. We arrest them and make them understand that Islam means peace. We have detained and then released many of them,”

The Spokesman went on to say “This commander insisted that all people were infidels except his group, We will execute Al-Shabaab members who insist that it can be right to kill the innocent. What else are we supposed to do to those who believe they will go to paradise for killing us and the whole human race?” This was the first known execution by the Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca which is aligned with Somalia’s pro-west government.

US embassy raises coy warning for aviation travel between Sudan and Uganda:

A warning has been issued by the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, Sudan that terrorists in the East Africa region were planning a deadly attack on Air Uganda flights that ply the routes between southern Sudan and Uganda. Embassy officials in Khartoum did not name the potential attackers but has said in the past that terrorist groups were active in Sudan. They published a warning late on Friday on the embassy website of potential threats against commercial aviation transiting between the two countries.

Returning to North Africa:

Egypt is the latest country to purchase large tracts of Ethiopian agricultural land:

Ethiopia’s policy shift made last year, allowing foreign entities to grab huge commercial farmlands, has attracted a lot of attention from both foreign companies and countries. The Government of Djibouti was the first to obtain 3,000 hectares of farmland in Bale, a suitable agricultural zone in the Oromia region located some 400 kilometers south of Addis Ababa. Karaturi, an Indian company, and Saudi Star, established by Sheik Mohamed Al Amudi, a Saudi national billionaire, have equally obtained lands with the aim of growing export crops for their respective countries. The land deals were made directly with the central government.

Regime School

I am just getting back into the swing of things after having spent most of the last couple of weeks finishing a deep edit for a book on Egyptian politics. The very charming gentleman who wrote it tells me he’ll probably have to move to Canada soon, because his writing will eventually drop him into “troubles he cannot carry.”

Imagine that. Sadly, I can totally imagine that. All during this project, reading about the Mubarak regime, and Sadat and Nasser, and how wily and clever they are at staying in power, I kept thinking Rove has studied this stuff, and so has Cheney, and so have all the other scumbags who scurry around in Washington think tanks figuring out ways to get power and keep power. And Bush learned everything he knows while walking around holding hands with Saudi Princes. Our current group of corrupt psychopathic ‘leaders’ has learned from the masters, the Arab dictators, the people who have perfected Regime Management over decades of authoritarian rule. It is seriously impressive in a deviant sort of way.

And you know what is so scary? It’s this. At least if you live under an Arab dictatorship, you know where the lines are. You know when you’re going to cross one. They’ll just tell you: you can’t criticize the president. But not so here. Our government knows where the lines are, but you don’t get to know unless you are paying very close attention, and even then you can’t be sure. It’s a secret. Are you on the terrorist watch list? Who knows. How do you get on or off? Who knows. By the time you ever find out, it’s much too late, like the poor dog running into the invisible fence. Yes, the Bush regime has set up their secret little dictatorship right here in the USA, trashing our Constitution with his signing statements, torturing people, making preparations for martial law, presiding over financial ruin, and tapping his fingers. Waiting…waiting. Waiting for the day when he can Be the Dictator, in Real Time, Live, Bursting out of the Oval Office in his Superpower Dictator Tights and Cape. Not Secret Anymore. Oh yeah.

And I’ll say one more thing. Israel is nothing without the USA. These Arab leaders are exceedingly astute. Without the US running interference, Israel would quickly find itself in a diplomatic figure four, forced to behave. Violence would hardly be required. Our continued unqualified support of Israel prevents peace in the Middle East. If we got out of the way, they would all somehow figure it out with Israel. After that, the Arab dictatorships would eventually fall, and there would come a time of equilibrium and peace, which all people of good will desire. I don’t know how long it would take or via what route, but it would happen.

Disconnections Everywhere

Evidence emerges that the Arab street is getting fed up with the Occupation and with Arab leaders’ mealy-mouthed responses to it. Egyptians have begun to express their disgust that the Rafah border continues to be sealed up tightly. Patience runs thin in Cairo.

On Monday and Tuesday (Mar. 3, 4), demonstrations were held throughout the country by student groups and opposition political associations of all stripes, including the Muslim Brotherhood opposition movement and the pro-democracy group Kefaya. Numbering in the hundreds in many cases, protestors condemned the perceived inability of Arab capitals — particularly Cairo — to stem Israeli aggression in Gaza.

The popular mood was summed up in the Mar. 3 headlines of independent weekly al-Dustour: “Israel burns Gaza…and where are the Arabs? You spineless sons of….!”

In the capital, demonstrations were quickly cordoned off by police and security forces. At Cairo University — precariously located not far from the Israeli embassy — limited clashes broke out between protesters and police, reportedly resulting in several injuries.

In parliament, more than 100 opposition MPs staged a 24-hour sit-in on Sunday (Mar. 2) in solidarity with the beleaguered Palestinian residents of Gaza. An attempt by the parliamentarians to lead a protest march through downtown Cairo the following day, however, was thwarted by security services.

“As the people’s representatives, we expressed the anger of our constituents,” Hamdi Hassan, an MP for Muslim Brotherhood, which numbers roughly one-fifth of the assembly, told IPS. “The Arab regimes are keeping quiet while the Zionists are perpetrating a holocaust in Gaza.

“The latest events prove that the Arab governments are totally out of touch with the will of the people,” added Hassan, who participated in the parliamentary sit-in. “Arab regimes are merely following the dictates of U.S. policy in the region, while the Arab people want to see the liberation of Palestine.”

Hassan went on to enumerate the opposition’s demands, namely, “greater efforts by President Mubarak in his capacity as head of state to stop Israeli aggression against Gaza; the halt of Egyptian energy exports to Israel; the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador to Israel and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Egypt; and an official reassessment of the 1979 Egypt-Israel Camp David peace agreement.”

The Labour Party’s Hussein was no less critical of Cairo’s feeble response to Israeli belligerence.

“Official reactions to the Israeli massacres in Gaza have hardly been appropriate, and betray an allegiance to Washington and Tel Aviv,” he said. “And by keeping the border closed to the besieged Gazans, Cairo has become a partner to Israel’s crimes.”

Critics also point to the government’s muted response to the slaying of a 13-year-old Egyptian girl in the town of Kerem Abu Sallim near the border with Israel on Feb. 28, reportedly the result of cross-border Israeli gunfire. According to reports in the local press, the girl succumbed to injuries after being shot in the head not far from an Israeli watchtower.

“The foreign ministry threatens the Gazans — using very tough language — not to approach the border,” said Hussein. “But when an Egyptian child is killed by an Israeli bullet, there isn’t a word of official condemnation.”

According to the Brotherhood’s Hassan, popular anger over continued Israeli aggression in Gaza is fast approaching boiling point.

“If the massacres continue, reactions by the opposition will move beyond demonstrations and sit-ins,” he said. “While one phase of Israeli violence in Gaza has just ended, I fear another will soon begin.”

Sure enough, Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles rolled into the Gaza Strip again on Tuesday (Mar. 4) night in what Israeli defence officials described as “pinpoint operations” against local resistance fighters.

While Arab leaders have made some tentative steps away from Washington’s control in the past few months, apparently they still have far to go before connecting with their populations’ desires. It’s the same thing here. What Americans want and what Americans get are two different things, even when we elect our ‘opposition’ party into power. A great many leaders seem to be heavily insulated from the masses, insulated by layers and layers of blood-soaked capital.

I don’t see this ending well.