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Bi-weekly Press Review 1-15 February 2014

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Review no. 61
Press Review
1—15 February 2014
Table of Contents
Pages
African Union
- La MISCA condamne l’attaque perpétrée hier contre des civils à Bangui
- La MISCA réitère son engagement à continuer à sécuriser les convois humanitaires
et autres sur le corridor reliant la RAC à la frontière avec le Cameroun
- African Union determined to take action against the militia and other elements which
terrorize civilians in the Central African Republic
- Communiqué of the 418th meeting of the AU PSC on the conclusions of the High-Level Seminar on
Peace and Security in Africa held at the ministerial level, in Algiers, from 8 to 10 December 2013
- Communique de la 418ème réunion du CPS de l'UA sur les Conclusions du Séminaire de haut niveau
sur la paix et la sécurité en Afrique, tenue au niveau ministériel, à Alger, du 8 au 10 décembre 2013
- Strengthening of the African Union Border Management Programme
“From Barriers to Bridges” in Rwanda
- African Police Chiefs meet in Algiers
- Resumption of negotiations on the Sudanese States of South Kordofan and Blue Nile
- African Union, Government of Sudan and the United Nations Tripartite
Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID: Agreed Outcomes
- Mécanisme de Coordination Tripartite sur la MINUAD entre l’Union Africaine,
le Gouvernement du Soudan et les Nations Unies : Conclusions
5
6
8
10
11
12
13
14
15
17
ACSRT
- Workshop on the implementation of the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing
and denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by terrorists
- Workshop on Implementing the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing
and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists (opening ceremony)
- Sécurité au Sahel : Le « Mémorandum d’Alger » pour commencer
- Atelier du FGCT et du Caert sur les enlèvements
- Enlèvements contre rançons: plus de 35% des cas en Afrique en 2013
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21
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26
28
Terrorism in Africa
- Six Places at Risk Of Terrorism In Africa
- African and Middle East terrorism on 12 month surge
- Global terrorism, insurgency attacks surge 150% in 5 years – report
- Elephants slaughtered for trinkets and terrorism
- Fighting for African peace – Anansi
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33
36
39
Algeria
- Algeria leads effort against terror financing
- Atelier contre le terrorisme : l’Algérie affirme qu’elle n’a pas exclu le Maroc
2
42
44
CAR
- Killings still rock C. Africa two months after French troops deployed
46
Chad
- Terrorisme et piraterie au menu de la tournée africaine de Le Drian
49
Egypt
- L'Egypte et le Sinaï des ennuis
- Islamists spread terrorism in chaos of Egypt, target military to seize control
- Après l’attentat terroriste, le Musée d’art islamique du Caire a perdu 165 objets
51
54
56
Gabon
- Lutte anti-terroriste en Afrique : Actions préventives et droit de poursuite
58
Libya
- Elle refuse toute intervention militaire occidentale dans le sud de la Libye
60
Mali
- Menace jihadiste et terroriste de plus en plus pesante : Le Mujao refait surface
- Mali : retour du MUJAO qui enlève cinq membres du CICR à Kidal
- Jihadists claim to have kidnapped Red Cross team in Mali
- Security in the Sahel: Part I – Stabilising Mali in 2013-14
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64
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68
Mauritania
- African Union Summit Wraps up in Addis Ababa
75
Niger
- Le Niger demande à la France et aux États-Unis d'intervenir dans le sud libyen
77
Nigeria
- Boko Haram: The Nigerian Civil War As Religious War
- Nigeria’s Speaker seeks Cameroon support for war against terrorism
79
85
Somalia
- Severing Al Shabab's Lifeline
87
Tunisia
- Tunisie: méfiez-vous des niqabs
90
International Organizations
UN
- Somalia diverting arms to al-Shabab, UN report claims
92
Terrorism in the World
Afghanistan
- Jihad, Then and Now
94
France
- Les tribulations de trois apprentis djihadistes qui voulaient aller en Syrie
3
99
- Djihad : les deux lycéens toulousains mis en examen
102
Irak
- En Irak, une formation aux attentats-suicides tourne mal et fait 22 morts
104
Pakistan
- In Pakistan, we have a particular mindset about Islam
105
Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Arabia’s new anti-terrorism law to criminalize any form of dissent
108
Syria
- Jihad: Nora, 15 ans, a-t-elle quitté Avignon pour la Syrie?
110
United Kingdom
- Arms Trade Treaty: “There are weaknesses, but it's nevertheless a major step forward.”
112
USA
- France, US united against terrorism
- Obama's Visit to Saudi Arabia: A Good Opportunity to Set Things Right
- Media Coverage of Olympic Terror Threats Shines Spotlight on Wrong Players
- Les pays africains menacés selon les renseignements américains
4
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123
African Union
La MISCA condamne l’attaque perpétrée hier contre des civils à Bangui
Bangui, le 15 février 2014: Le Représentant spécial de la Présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine (UA) en République centrafricaine (RCA) et chef de la Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite africaine (MISCA), le
Général Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, condamne fermement l’attaque perpétrée
hier, à Bangui, contre des civils. Des individus non identifiés ont lancé une grenade
sur une foule dans le quartier du PK 12. La grenade a instantanément tué une personne et blessé trois autres. Les forces du contingent rwandais de la MISCA qui
couvrent la zone sont intervenues rapidement après avoir été contactées. Elles ont
pu ramener le calme, et ont évacué les trois blessés à l’hôpital.
Le Représentant spécial souligne à nouveau la détermination de la MISCA à neutraliser tous les éléments criminels qui terrorisent la population civile et tentent de
remettre en cause les acquis enregistrés, notamment à Bangui, dans le processus
de sécurisation et de stabilisation lancé par la MISCA avec l'appui de l'opération
française Sangaris. Les efforts engagés dans ce cadre seront intensifiés. Le Représentant spécial exhorte la population à continuer à soutenir l'action des forces internationales pour faciliter la mise en œuvre de leurs mandats et la restauration
durable de la sécurité.
5
La MISCA réitère son engagement à continuer à sécuriser les convois
humanitaires et autres sur le corridor reliant la RAC à la frontière avec
le Cameroun
Bangui, le 15 février 2014: La Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique
sous conduite africaine (MISCA) réaffirme encore une fois que la partie centrafricaine du corridor qui relie la République centrafricaine (RCA) au port de Douala, au
Cameroun, est totalement sécurisée. Elle souligne que cette voie peut être empruntée par les différentes agences humanitaires apportant une assistance aux populations affectées par la crise que connaît la RCA, ainsi que par les opérateurs
commerciaux et autres.
Depuis le 18 janvier 2014, la MISCA a mis en place un dispositif pour escorter les
véhicules qui utilisent cette voie, et ce suivant les modalités suivantes: les lundi,
mercredi et vendredi, de la localité de Beloko, à la frontière avec le Cameroun, à
Bangui; et les mardi, jeudi et samedi, de Bangui à la frontière camerounaise, pour
raccompagner les véhicules ayant déchargé leurs cargaisons. Avec l'accord des
autorités camerounaises, que la MISCA voudrait remercier très sincèrement pour
leur soutien et coopération, des éléments de la Mission se déploient dans la localité
de Garoua Boulaï, dernière étape avant de franchir la frontière avec la RCA, pour y
regrouper les véhicules à escorter et rassurer ceux des chauffeurs qui, sur la foi des
informations très parcellaires à leur disposition, évaluent mal la situation sur le corridor.
À ce jour, la MISCA a escorté, le long de cette voie, quatre convois comprenant un
total de quatre-cents seize (416) camions, dont quatre-vingt-dix (90) appartenant
au Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) et quarante (40) transportant des matériels pour l’opération française Sangaris, sans que la moindre difficulté n'ait été rencontrée. D’autres camions arrivés récemment à la frontière entre le Cameroun et la
RCA seront escortés par une unité de la MISCA, le 17 février 2014.
Ayant appris, par voie de presse, que le PAM a lancé, depuis le 12 février 2014, un
pont aérien pour acheminer des vivres aux populations touchées par la crise en
RCA au motif que la voie routière serait par trop aléatoire, la MISCA voudrait assurer les agences humanitaires que la composante militaire de la Mission est disposée à escorter et à protéger tous les convois humanitaires vers la RCA, ainsi qu'elle
l'a déjà fait à la grande satisfaction des différents acteurs concernés. La MISCA est
désireuse d'aider les agences humanitaires à éviter, autant que faire se peut, le recours à des ponts aériens coûteux à un moment où les ressources limitées disponibles devraient être utilisées aussi judicieusement que possible pour alléger les
souffrances des populations centrafricaines éprouvées par la crise. À cet égard, la
MISCA note avec une profonde préoccupation qu'en dépit de tous les efforts déployés, le financement effectif de l'action humanitaire reste encore très largement
en deçà des besoins. Aussi, la Mission, tout en saluant l'appui généreux fourni par
plusieurs partenaires internationaux, en appelle à une solidarité internationale
beaucoup plus agissante à l'endroit du peuple centrafricain, à travers le décaisse-
6
ment rapide des fonds promis et la mobilisation de nouvelles ressources.
La MISCA saisit cette occasion pour renouveler sa profonde appréciation du travail
remarquable qu'accomplissent le PAM et d'autres agences humanitaires dans des
conditions particulièrement difficiles. Elle loue le dévouement de leurs personnels
et leur engagement au service des populations civiles centrafricaines.
En portant une attention particulière à la sécurisation du corridor qui relie la RCA à
la frontière avec le Cameroun, conformément au mandat donné par le Conseil de
paix et de sécurité (CPS) de l'Union africaine (UA) et le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies dans sa résolution 2127(2013) et à son concept d'opération, la MISCA
vise, outre la facilitation de l'acheminement de l'assistance humanitaire en RCA, la
réalisation d’un autre objectif tout aussi essentiel pour la stabilisation de la RCA et
son relèvement économique: garantir la fluidité des échanges commerciaux, ainsi
que la maîtrise par l'État centrafricain de ses sources de revenu pour lui permettre
de financer les activités liées à l'exercice de ses fonctions régaliennes. À ce sujet, la
MISCA a initié des consultations avec le Gouvernement centrafricain pour étudier la
possibilité du paiement, à Douala même, dans le cadre d'un guichet unique, des
droits de douane et taxes connexes à acquitter sur les marchandises et autres biens
destinés à la RCA. La mise en œuvre effective de cette mesure renforcera aussi la
transparence dans la gestion des revenus de l'État. Il convient de rappeler que les
ex-Seleka et autres éléments armés avaient érigé de nombreux barrages sur la partie centrafricaine du corridor, prélevant, en toute illégalité, des taxes sur les usagers et commettant toutes sortes d'exactions contre les civils empruntant cette
voie vitale pour l'économie de la RCA.
La MISCA souligne qu'une réponse humanitaire plus vigoureuse et un soutien socio
-économique adéquat et diligent, notamment à travers la mise à disposition des
ressources requises pour le paiement des arriérés de salaire dus aux personnels de
la fonction publique et des pensions des retraités, contribueront grandement à la
consolidation des avancées enregistrées par la MISCA et l'opération française Sangaris dans la stabilisation de la situation sécuritaire et, partant, à l'aboutissement
du processus de transition en cours.
7
African Union determined to take action against the militia and other
elements which terrorize civilians in the Central African Republic
Addis Ababa, 12 February 2014: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African
Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, is deeply concerned by the violence perpetrated these days in Bangui and other places in the Central African Republic
(CAR). She notes, in particular, criminal attacks committed in recent days by armed
groups against innocent civilians belonging to the Central African muslim community members, as well as against Chadian nationals. She stresses that such acts will
only contribute to the worsening of community and religious divisions in the country, thereby undermining stabilization efforts undertaken by the Central African authorities with the support of leaders in the region, Africa and the rest the international community.
The Chairperson of the Commission also notes with deep concern the new phenomenon of deliberate attacks by elements of the said anti- Balaka militias against
uniformed personnel of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central
African Republic (MISCA). In this regard, three Rwandan soldiers and a policeman
of Formed Police Unit (UPC) of the Cameroonian in the MISCA were injured, some
very seriously, on 6 February 2014, to the north of Bangui, while they assured the
protection of Chadian nationals who were being repatriated to their country.
The Chairperson of the Commission strongly condemns these acts. She underlines
the commitment of the AU to ensure that the perpetrators and sponsors of these
8
acts are held accountable for their actions. She also underlines the commitment of
the AU to ensure the effective implementation of the mandate of the MISCA, including the protection of civilians and other activities essential for the stabilization
of the CAR, including the pursuit of securing the corridor which links the CAR to
Cameroon. In this context, and in coordination with the Central African authorities,
following the meeting of the Special Representative of the AU, General Jean-Marie
Michel Mokoko, with the CAR Prime Minister André NZAPAYEKE, on 9 February
2014, the MISCA will take all appropriate measures, including the use of force
against all militias and other armed elements which continue to commit abuses and
maintain a climate of insecurity and hatred in the country and against all those who
attack its staff.
The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the request made by the Peace and
Security Council (PSC) of the AU, at its meeting of 29 January 2014, for all concerned CAR stakeholders to make calls, unequivocally, for their supporters to put
to an immediate end attacks against civilians and any other action likely to undermine efforts for peace and reconciliation in their country. She emphasizes that the
Commission will seek to finalize as soon as possible, a list of persons against whom
targeted sanctions will be imposed in accordance with relevant decisions of the
PSC. She reiterated the commitment of the AU to cooperate fully with the United
Nations in the implementation of sanctions adopted by the Security Council against
individuals and entities that undermine peace efforts, as well as the fulfillment of
the mandate of the International Commission of Inquiry of the United Nations responsible for shedding light on the violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law in the CAR since 1 January 2013.
9
Communiqué of the 418th meeting of the AU PSC on the conclusions
of the High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa held at the
ministerial level, in Algiers, from 8 to 10 December 2013
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 418 th meeting held
on 11 February 2014, was briefed by the Commission on the Conclusions of the
High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa, held at the ministerial level, in
Algiers, from 8 to 10 December 2013, with a view to Assisting Incoming African
Members on the UN Security Council in Preparing to Address Peace and Security Issues on the Continent and adopted the following decision:
Council,
1. Welcomes the Report of the High Level Seminar. In this regard, Council underlines the need for effective articulation and promotion of Africa’s views
within the United Nations Security Council on peace and security issues of interest
and concern to the continent and its people;
2. Commends the Government of Algeria for launching this initiative
and welcomes with appreciation Algeria’s offer to host the second High-Level Seminar, to be held in Algiers towards the end of 2014;
3. Endorses the elements of the outcome of the High-Level Seminar
and requests AU Member States and relevant AU Policy Organs to consider them
for effective implementation in advancement of the African Peace and Security Architecture;
4. Requests the Commission, working closely with the African members of the UN
Security Council (A3) and other concerned actors, to take all necessary steps to
start the immediate implementation of the outcome of the High–Level Seminar. In
particular, Council requests the Commission to take immediate steps to strengthen
its capacity to manage peace and security issues in the UN Security Council processes as called for in the Conclusions. Council further requests the Commission to develop a matrix, with timeframe, for the implementation of the action-oriented recommendations as contained in the Conclusions of the High Level Seminar;
5. Further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this communiqué, together with the Report of the High Level Seminar, to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations for onward transmission to Security Council Members for
their information;
6. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
10
Communique de la 418ème réunion du CPS de l'UA sur les Conclusions
du Séminaire de haut niveau sur la paix et la sécurité en Afrique, tenue au niveau ministériel, à Alger, du 8 au 10 décembre 2013
Le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l'Union africaine (UA), en sa 418 ème réunion tenue le 11 février 2014, a suivi une communication de la Commission sur les Conclusions du Séminaire de haut niveau sur la paix et la sécurité en Afrique, tenue au niveau ministériel, à Alger, du 8 au 10 décembre 2013, en vue d’aider les nouveaux
membres africains du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies dans la préparation du
traitement des questions de paix et de sécurité sur le continent, et a adopté la décision qui suit :
Le Conseil,
1. Se félicite du rapport du Séminaire de haut niveau. À cet égard, le Conseil souligne la nécessité d’articuler et de promouvoir efficacement, au sein du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, les vues de l'Afrique sur les questions de paix et
de sécurité qui intéressent et préoccupent le continent et ses peuples;
2. Félicite le Gouvernement algérien d’avoir lancé cette initiative, et lui exprime
son appréciation pour son offre d'accueillir le deuxième Séminaire de haut niveau,
qui se tiendra à Alger vers la fin de l’année 2014;
3. Approuve les éléments des Conclusions du Séminaire de haut niveau
et demande aux Etats membres et aux organes délibérants compétents de l’UA de
les examiner en vue de leur mise en œuvre efficace dans le cadre de l’Architecture
africaine de paix et de sécurité;
4. Demande à la Commission, travaillant étroitement avec les membres africains
du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies (A3) et les autres acteurs concernés, de
prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires en vue de la mise en œuvre immédiate des
Conclusions du Séminaire de haut niveau. En particulier, le Conseil demande à la
Commission de prendre des mesures immédiates pour renforcer ses capacités dans
la gestion des questions de paix et de sécurité dans le cadre du Conseil de sécurité
des Nations unies, tel que requis dans les Conclusions. Le Conseil a également demande à la Commission d’élaborer une matrice, avec des délais de réalisation, pour
la mise en œuvre des recommandations orientées vers l’action telles que contenues dans les Conclusions de la Retraite de haut niveau;
5. Demande en outre à la Présidente de la Commission de faire parvenir le présent
communiqué, ainsi que le rapport du Séminaire de haut niveau, au Secrétaire Général des Nations unies, pour transmission aux membres du Conseil de sécurité, à
titre d’information;
6. Décide de rester saisi de la question.
11
Strengthening of the African Union Border Management Programme
“From Barriers to Bridges” in Rwanda
Kigali, 11 February 2014. The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation, Mary BAINE, together with the Ambassador of the Federal
Republic of Germany to Rwanda, Mr. Peter Fahrenholtz and the Head of the African
Union Border Programme, Ambassador Aguibou Diarrah, today launched Rwanda’s
participation in the African Union Border Programme AUBP through an official
handing over of equipment for border delimitation and demarcation.
Germany, through its assistance to the AUBP, supports both Rwanda and Uganda in
jointly delimitating and demarcating their common border. The AUBP has the
motto “From Barriers to Bridges”, which is to underline that international borders
should not be perceived as barriers but rather as bridges which enable cross-border
cooperation and international trade. Experts from the African Union and from the
German International Cooperation Agency GIZ advise and support the countries in
these activities. GIZ also aims to set up agreements with the two countries to support workshops, meetings, trainings, the purchase of construction materials, to
promote awareness in local population and to encourage cross-border cooperation.
The equipment will allow the Rwandan Surveyors to conduct delimitation and demarcation works along the Rwanda/Uganda international boundary. Borderworks
are always conducted jointly between the two countries, thus Rwandan surveyors
will work hand-in-hand with their Ugandan counterparts. This approach ensures
that both countries are involved, agree on the work conducted and finally agree on
the delimitation and demarcation of their common boundary. The equipment includes 4x4 vehicles, a large scale flatbed scanner for the scanning of maps as the
basis to determine the location of the border as well as high accuracy differential
GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers to be used in surveying activities along
the Ugandan/Rwandan border
12
African Police Chiefs meet in Algiers
Algiers, 10 February 2014: The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is hosting
the meeting of African Police Chiefs from 10-11 February in Algiers. The meeting is
held in support of the efforts towards the establishment of an African Union Police
Coordination Mechanism (AFRIPOL).
The meeting is attended by Police Chiefs from more than 40 AU Member States.
The aim of the meeting is to provide opportunity for Member States to consult on
the establishment of the continental mechanism of AFRIPOL.
The opening session featured statements by Mr. Abdelmalek SELLAL, Prime Minister of Algeria; Ambassador Smail CHERGUI, Commissioner for Peace and Security of
the African Union, and Mr. Abdelghani HAMEL, Major General, General Director of
National Security of Algeria.
The statements emphasized that policing is a critical component in the maintenance of law and order in stable societies, and re-establishment of the rule of law
in post-conflict and peace-building situations for purposes of stabilization, and that
it should, therefore, be considered core in the quest for peace, security and stability on the continent, and as a major support to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
13
Resumption of negotiations on the Sudanese States of South Kordofan
and Blue Nile
Khartoum, 10 February 2014. The African Union Liaison Office in Sudan is happy to
announce the resumption of negotiations on the situation in South Kordofan and
Blue Nile States.
These talks follow an invitation by the African Union High Level Implementation
Panel (AUHIP) extended to the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to attend the next round, scheduled to take place
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13 February, 2014. Both parties have received the
invitation and have accepted to attend.
The invitation indicates that the delegations should comprise nine representatives
each who shall be catered for by the African Union. However, both parties are at
liberty to have other individuals form part of their delegation.
The African Union strongly encourages the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N
to participate in the negotiations with the aim of speedily reaching a peaceful
settlement of the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
14
African Union, Government of Sudan and the United Nations Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID: Agreed Outcomes
1. On 2 February 2014, representatives of the African Union (AU), Government of
Sudan (GoS), United Nations (UN) and the African Union – United Nations Hybrid
Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the seventeenth
meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID.
2. The AU delegation was led by Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for
Peace and Security. The GoS Delegation was led by Ambassador Rahmatalla Mohamed Osman, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The UN delegation was jointly led by Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary General for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and Ms. Ameerah Haq, Under-Secretary General
for the Department of Field Support. Joint Special Representative Mohamed Ibn
Chambas led the UNAMID delegation.
3. In their opening statements, the UN and GoS delegations formally welcomed
Ambassador Chergui as the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU Commission and extended to him their full support and cooperation in his new functions. All participants recognized the utility of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism to address challenges to the effective implementation of the UNAMID mandate. In light of the findings of the Strategic Review of UNAMID, now more than
ever, the partnership between the Government and UNAMID was deemed critical
for UNAMID to contribute fully to the achievement of a stable and peaceful Darfur.
4. Participants discussed the current deployment of uniformed personnel to UNAMID and associated clearance of Contingent Owned Equipment (COE). It was
agreed that the GoS would work with UNAMID at the technical level to facilitate
the speedy deployment of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to UNAMID to avoid
operational gaps in Darfur. Participants also recognized that operational capacities
of some TCCs and Police contributing countries (PCCs) are a key challenge to the
effectiveness of UNAMID mandate implementation, especially with regard to implementing its protection of civilians’ mandate. They welcomed the agreement
reached between the GoS and UNAMID at the technical level to address delays in
clearances of COE. They reiterated that the export and import of COE, especially
highly sensitive items, will be coordinated in advance of deployment, so that troops
will not be without their COE at any time. The details of this process will be discussed and agreed at the technical level.
5. In discussion on freedom of movement, the UN and AU expressed their deep
concern about the deterioration in the security situation in Darfur during 2013, due
to the tribal conflicts and the serious consequences it has had for the protection of
civilians and delivery of humanitarian assistance. In order to improve the freedom
15
of movement and in light of the difficulties encountered, the AU and UN urged the
GoS to liaise with the local authorities of the five Darfur State to inform them on
GoS policies to ensure full freedom of movement for UNAMID.
6. In discussion of the comprehensive review of UNAMID, as called for under
United Nations Security Council resolution 2113 (2013), the participants agreed on
the need to take advantage of this exercise to enable UNAMID to re-focus on core
aspects of its mandate and to capitalize on the progress already made with the GoS
through the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism.
7. The participants thanked Amb. Rahmatalla for his active participation in the
Tripartite and wish him success in his new posting in New York.
8. At the request of the Government of Sudan the participants agreed that the
next meeting will take place in May/June 2014, in Khartoum, Sudan.
16
Mécanisme de Coordination Tripartite sur la MINUAD entre l’Union
Africaine, le Gouvernement du Soudan et les Nations Unies : Conclusions
1. Le 2 février 2014, les représentants de l'Union africaine (UA), du Gouvernement du Soudan, des Nations unies et de l’Opération hybride UA – Nations unies
au Darfour (MINUAD) se sont réunis à Addis Abéba, en Éthiopie, pour la dixseptième réunion du Mécanisme de coordination tripartite sur la MINUAD.
2. La délégation de l'UA était dirigée par l'Ambassadeur Smail Chergui, Commissaire à la paix et à la sécurité. La délégation du Gouvernement du Soudan était
conduite par l'Ambassadeur Rahmatalla Mohamed Osman, Ministre délégué aux
Affaires étrangères. La délégation des Nations unies était conduite par M. Hervé
Ladsous, Secrétaire général adjoint chargé du Département des opérations de
maintien de la paix, et Mme Ameerah Haq, Secrétaire générale adjointe chargée
du Département de l'appui aux missions. Le Représentant spécial conjoint, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a conduit la délégation de la MINUAD.
3. Dans leurs déclarations liminaires, les délégations des Nations unies et du
Gouvernement du Soudan ont souhaité la bienvenue à l’Ambassadeur Chergui
dans ses nouvelles fonctions de Commissaire de l’UA à la paix et à la sécurité, et
lui ont exprimé leur plein soutien et leur coopération dans l’exercice de ses responsabilités. Tous les participants ont reconnu l'utilité du Mécanisme de coordination tripartite pour relever les défis liés à la mise en œuvre effective du mandat
de la MINUAD. À la lumière des résultats de la Revue stratégique de la MINUAD,
le partenariat entre le Gouvernement et la MINUAD est plus que jamais crucial
pour permettre à la MINUAD de contribuer pleinement à la réalisation de l’objectif d'un Darfour stable et paisible.
4. Les participants ont discuté du déploiement actuel des personnels en uniforme de la MINUAD et du dédouanement des équipements appartenant aux
contingents (COE). Il a été convenu que le Gouvernement du Soudan travaillerait
avec la MINUAD au niveau technique afin de faciliter le déploiement rapide des
contingents des pays contributeurs de troupes à la MINUAD et, partant, d’éviter
des lacunes opérationnelles au Darfour. Les participants ont également reconnu
que les capacités opérationnelles de certains des pays contributeurs de troupes
et de personnels de police constituent un défi majeur à l'efficacité de la MINUAD
dans l’exécution de son mandat, en particulier en ce qui concerne la protection
des civils. Ils se sont félicités de l'accord conclu entre le Gouvernement du Soudan
et la MINUAD au niveau technique pour remédier aux retards accusés dans le dédouanement des COE. Ils ont réitéré que l’exportation et l’importation des COE,
particulièrement les équipements sensibles, feront l’objet d’une coordination
avant tout déploiement, de manière à ce que les troupes ne soient, à aucun mo-
17
ment, privés de leurs COE. Les modalités de cette coordination seront discutées et
déterminées au niveau technique.
5. Lors de la discussion sur la liberté de mouvement, les Nations unies et l'UA ont
exprimé leur profonde préoccupation concernant la détérioration de la situation
sécuritaire au Darfour en 2013, en raison de conflits tribaux, et les graves conséquences que cette situation a eues sur la protection des civils et l’acheminement
de l'aide humanitaire. Afin d’améliorer la liberté de mouvement, et à la lumière
des difficultés rencontrées, l’UA et les Nations unies ont exhorté le Gouvernement
du Soudan à assurer la liaison avec les autorités locales dans les cinq États du Darfour, afin de les informer sur les positions du Gouvernement du Soudan afin
d’assurer la pleine liberté de mouvement de la MINUAD.
6. Au cours de la discussion sur la Revue exhaustive de la MINUAD, conduite conformément à la résolution 2113 (2013) du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies,
les participants sont convenus de la nécessité de tirer avantage de cet exercice
pour permettre à la MINUAD de se recentrer sur les aspects fondamentaux de son
mandat et de capitaliser sur les progrès accomplis avec le Gouvernement du Soudan à travers le Mécanisme de coordination tripartite.
7. Les participants ont remercié l’Ambassadeur Rahmatalla pour sa participation
active au Mécanisme tripartite et ont formulé, à son intention, des vœux de succès dans sa nouvelle affectation à New York.
8. À la demande du Gouvernement du Soudan, les participants sont convenus
que la prochaine réunion aurait lieu en mai/juin 2014, à Khartoum, au Soudan.
18
ACSRT/CAERT
Workshop on the implementation of the Algiers Memorandum on
Good Practices on Preventing and denying the Benefits of Kidnapping
for Ransom by terrorists
The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) held, from 4 to
6 February 2014, at its Headquarters in Algiers, a workshop on the implementation
of the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by terrorists.
The workshop was organized for the benefit of 11 Sahelo-Saharan AU Member
States more directly exposed to the threat of Kidnapping for Ransom (KFR) by terrorists.
It was a platform for open discussion, awareness raising and exchange of experience between member states and other relevant stakeholders on the KFR problem,
the challenges it poses and the pernicious consequences of ransom payment. The
workshop sought to identify and formulate strategies and standard operating procedures for implementing the Algiers Memorandum.
This workshop is the first of the four planned regional workshops on the same subject: two dedicated to AU Member States in the North, Sahel and West African regions, and the other two for Member States in the East Africa and the Horn of Africa Region.
The workshop was attended by more than 80 participants from Algeria, Burkina
Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Libya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Tunisia,
19
as well as experts from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, USA, Canada, European Union Commission and the United Nations.
The 10 sessions of the workshop covered a broad range of issues including:
The reasons that lead terrorists and criminals to use KFR as tactics; the local and
regional vulnerabilities that favour terrorists’ use of KFR; Comparison and contrast
of trends in KFR tactics regionally and internationally; discussion on the broader
economic and societal effects of KFR; identification of KFR-relevant international,
regional, and other frameworks and agreements; discussion on the stipulations of
international and/or regional frameworks related to KFR and how they are being
applied; discussion on the challenges to the adoption or implementation of good
practices; evaluation of different approaches to public awareness and prevention of
terrorist use of KFR; explanation of the importance of developing security and
criminal intelligence sources in KFR networks pre-crisis; discussion on benefits and
challenges of sharing information with the private sector and methods for so doing; developing action plans and strategies for implementing or improving prevention efforts; discussion on interrupting kidnappings methods (e.g., tip lines) and
their successes / challenges; explanation of model processes and procedures for
investigations and interventions; comparison of different approaches of cooperation and coordination across disciplines and borders. Developing action plans to
help implement or improve integration and information sharing efforts; media Engagement Strategies and other communications management strategies; working
with Families and the Private Sector; prosecutions and Rule of Law.
AU delegates valued the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the frameworks, law enforcement mechanisms, type of military action and intelligence operations that may be resorted to to effectively combat the use of KFR by terrorists
and deny them the benefits of hostage taking.
20
Workshop on Implementing the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists
Ambassador Francisco Madeira
Ambassador Kamel Rezag-Bara
Today, 4 February 2014, a three day workshop on Implementing the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnap-ping
for Ransom by Terrorists kicked off at the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism in Algiers. This workshop will leverage training modules developed with the participation of members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum
and other partners. The workshop is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the AU Sahelo-Saharan Member States to counter hostage taking and deny terrorists the
benefits of kidnapping for ransom.
The workshop brought together delegates from 11 Sahelo-Saharan countries and
experts from Europe, North and South America and Australia to discuss cases to
share experience and to identify the most practical ways officials can implement
good practices.
H.E. Ambassador Francisco Madeira, AU Commission Chairperson’s Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation/ Director of the African Centre for the
Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) made a welcome statement followed by
the Statement of the US Ambassador to Algeria, Ambassador Henry Ensher and the
Canadian Chargé d’affairs, Mr. Tim Gorham, made a statement in his capacity as a
member of the GCTF Sahel Working Group.
The opening ceremony was concluded with an address delivered by the Algeri-an
Government Representative Ambassador Mohamed Kamel Rezag-Bara, special advisor to H.E. the president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.
The primary goals of this workshop are to:
Introduce relevant officials to existing, widely-accepted authorities, stand-ards,
tools, and processes for preventing and denying terrorists the benefits of KFR.
21
Increase the capabilities of states of the Sahelo-Saharian Region to imple-ment the
good practices outlined in the Algiers Memorandum.
Foster collaboration and cooperation within and among interested states to combat KFR.
By the end of the workshop, participants should be better placed to:
Compare and contrast approaches to kidnapping response and crisis manage-ment,
including methodologies for conducting investigations and prosecu-tions.
Outline the steps necessary to implement or improve coordination and communication mechanisms (inter- and intra-agency, state, region, and internationally) for KFR crisis response.
Adapt and implement good practices for denying benefits of KFR within their individual national/regional legal and regulatory contexts.
22
Sécurité au Sahel : Le « Mémorandum d’Alger » pour commencer
Ce n’est pas par chauvinisme qu’on est tenté, en tant qu’Algérien, de rappeler à
certains experts en terrorisme que le temps a fini par donner raison aux responsables algériens, et que leurs points de vue développés sur les questions du terrorisme et de la sécurité étaient justes.
08-02-2014
Ce n’est pas par chauvinisme qu’on est tenté, en tant qu’Algérien, de rappeler à
certains experts en terrorisme que le temps a fini par donner raison aux responsables algériens, et que leurs points de vue développés sur les questions du terrorisme et de la sécurité étaient justes.
Fondées également leurs craintes. Si l’Algérie n’a eu cesse de tirer la sonnette
d’alarme sur la menace régionale et internationale que les groupes terroristes représentait, ce n’est pas pour fanfaronner. Bien au contraire. C’était par prévention.
En effet, pour avoir été confrontés à ce fléau durant plus d’une décennie, les ser-
23
vices de sécurités algériens étaient les mieux placés pour dire quel était le véritable visage du terrorisme et ses desseins qu’il cachait à la face du monde par un
habillage politique . Il est vrai aussi que depuis le 11 septembre 2001, les grandes
puissances de ce mondeont revu leur perception du phénomène. Désormais, reconnait-on, le terrorisme est un fléau transnational. Pis, la jonction avec le crime
organisé et les narco- trafiquants a permis à ces groupes de se renforcer en se
créant de nouveaux intérêts, de nouvelles alliances. Aussi, pour perdurer, ils se devaient de trouver de nouvelles sources de financement. L’instabilité politique dans
la région du Sahel et la détérioration sécuritaire qui en a découlée aux frontières a
été exploitée par les groupes terroristes qui avaient en outre l’avantage de connaître la vaste région sahélo- sahélienne pour créer une nouvelle industrie criminelle, celle du kidnapping. Les touristes étrangers visitant le Sahara étaient de ce
fait une cible toute désignée. Le directeur du Centre africain des études et recherche en terrorisme (CAERT), Francisco José Madeira a indiqué à l’ouverture de
l’atelier régional sur la «réactivation du Mémorandum d'Alger portant sur la lutte
contre les enlèvements et le paiement des rançons» organisé il y a de cela
quelques jours, que plus de 35% des cas d'enlèvements commis par les groupes
terroristes, dans le but d’obtenir des rançons, ont été enregistrés dans le continent
africain. Plus précisément au Sahel. Une industrie qui a vite fait de prendre de l’essor, et ce, d’autant qu’elle s’est avérée très lucrative du fait que les gouvernements
occidentaux, dont sont issus les otages, et sous la pression de leurs opinions publiques respectives, finissaient par payer des rançons en contre partie de la libération de leurs ressortissants. Quelque 100 millions de dollars auraient été versés à
ces groupes criminels qui «investissaient » une partie de cet argent dans l’achat
d’équipements sophistiqués. Un armement disponible avec la mise en circulation
de l’arsenal militaire de l’ancien régime libyen. Pour preuve, dans un communiqué
rendu public jeudi, le MDN a annoncé la récupération par les éléments de l’ANP
d’un important lot d'armes de guerre dans la région de Bordj Badji Mokhtar (wilaya
d'Adrar). Mais d’autres armes aux mains des terroristes ont rendu plus compliquée
la tache des armées ou polices des pays de la région appelées à combattre le crime
et le terrorisme. Cette donnée du terrain n’est pas irréversible pour autant. Il faudra pour renverser la situation, outre, une coordination et une coopération régionale et internationale plus étroite dans le domaine sécuritaire, la mise en place
d’un arsenal juridique national dissuasif, en plus de l'application de mécanismes
internationaux adoptés à cet effet, dont notamment le «Mémorandum d'Alger». Le
consensus obtenu sur cette question est déjà en soit une grande avancée. Car désormais tout un chacun est convaincu que ce n’est qu’au prix de cette somme
d’efforts que l’accès des groupes terroristes au financement qui leur permet de survivre et de recruter sera coupé. L’Algérie pour sa part n’a eu de cesse de rappeler
son entière disponibilité à œuvrer pour atteindre cet objectif, indiquant qu’elle ne
manquera pas de partager son expérience et son expertise acquises dans la lutte
contre le terrorisme, tout en exhortant les partenaires extra-régionaux à assumer
leurs responsabilités en œuvrant aux renforcement des capacités des pays du Sahel
de manière à leur permettre de prendre en charge leurs priorités nationales de dé-
24
veloppement et de relever les défis liés à leur sécurité collective. Un engagement
réitéré jeudi à Bruxelles par le ministre délégué chargé des Affaires maghrébine et
africaine, Madjid Bouguerra, à l’occasion des travaux de la deuxième réunion ministérielle sur le Sahel abritée par la Commission de l'Union européenne.
http://www.elmoudjahid.com/
25
Atelier du FGCT et du Caert sur les enlèvements
Vers un consensus autour du Mémorandum d’Alger
05 Février 2014 09:50
Comment arriver à un consensus autour de la prise d’otage et du paiement des
rançons ? La problématique est d’une grande urgence, d’autant plus que la menace
est persistante et soutenue par l’attitude de certains pays qui tend à encourager
cette industrie des groupes terroristes.
Dans la quête de ce consensus, le Forum global pour la lutte contre le terrorisme et
le Centre africain d’études et de recherche sur le terrorisme (Caert) organisent, depuis hier à Alger, un atelier sur le kidnapping et le paiement de rançons.
Dans son allocution d’ouverture, l’ambassadeur du Caert, M. Madeira, a mis l’accent sur l’évolution de la nature des groupes terroristes, leur mutation, notamment
avec leur indépendance de la maison mère, Al-Qaïda, pour agir en autonomie. D’où
leur besoin de financement locaux et le passage aux activités violentes comme le
trafic d’armes, de drogue et les enlèvements. Des activités très lucratives. Un atout
pour financer des activités de déstabilisation des États. Le but de cet atelier est évidemment d’échanger les expériences, de débattre des défis de ce phénomène et
d’ébaucher une plateforme ou une stratégie pour le juguler. Il s’agit également de
discuter des 15 points du Mémorandum d’Alger relatif aux bonnes pratiques en
matière de prévention, a indiqué de son côté M. Rezag Bara. Le conseiller à la présidence a insisté sur l’importance de la prévention et sur le non-paiement des rançons ou les concessions politiques. Ce qui renforce, bien entendu, les capacités des
terroristes. Car l’impact des rançons est directement lié à la paix et à la sécurité des
États et des institutions. Il passera de son côté en revue les différentes avancées en
matière de législation, notamment les résolutions onusiennes, les condamnations
des prises d’otage, tout en saluant la dernière résolution du Conseil de sécurité de
l’ONU (21-33) qui renforce l’approche internationale adoptée par l’UA et le G8 relative à la prévention. Il a appelé à un consensus international élargi.
Pour sa part, le chargé d’affaires à l’ambassade du Canada à Alger, Tim Gorham, a
évoqué le travail du groupe Sahel dont l’objectif est d’identifier les problèmes qui
menacent la région et de mobiliser les moyens pour des formations sur la base de
l’expérience et des bonnes pratiques. Il est convaincu qu’avec la présence des experts régionaux et internationaux, on peut aboutir à une stratégie globale pour
lutter contre le kidnapping et le paiement des rançons.
En connaisseur des questions de sécurité, l’ambassadeur des États-Unis à Alger, M.
Ensher, a réitéré sa détermination à travailler (dans le cadre du Mémorandum d’Alger) pour réduire l’accès au financement des groupes terroristes. Tout en dénonçant le paiement des rançons qui contribuent à accroître la menace sur la stabilité
26
et la sécurité. Il a appelé, par ailleurs, l’Algérie, en tant que leader, à partager son
expérience, son savoir-faire avec les autres membres de l’UA. Il a plaidé pour une
stratégie globale à long terme. Il a été, cependant, le seul à évoquer les diplomates
algériens otages du Mujao. “Permettez-moi d’exprimer la préoccupation de mon
gouvernement au sujet de la sécurité et du bien-être des diplomates algériens pris
en otage. Les États-Unis condamnent fermement l’enlèvement et soutiennent pleinement le gouvernement algérien dans ses efforts constants pour assurer leur retour en toute sécurité. Nos pensées vont aux otages et à leurs familles”, a-t-il déclaré.
http://www.liberte-algerie.com/
27
Enlèvements contre rançons: plus de 35% des cas en Afrique en 2013
04 Février 2014
Plus de 35% des cas d'enlèvements commis par les groupes terroristes aux fins de
contre-parties financières ont été enregistrés dans le continent africain, a indiqué
mardi à Alger le directeur du Centre africain des Etudes et recherche en terrorisme
(CAERT), l'ambassadeur Francisco José Madeira.
S'exprimant à l'ouverture de l'atelier régional sur la "réactivation du Mémorandum
d'Alger portant sur la lutte contre les enlèvements et le payement
des rançons", le Directeur du CAERT a relevé la prédominance de ces actes en
Afrique, plus particulièrement dans la région du Sahel et ce, depuis que "le terrorisme international a pris une nouvelle forme avec la décentralisation d'El-Qaida en
plusieurs branches autonomes" qui "sont contraintes de chercher elles-mêmes
leurs sources de financement".
"Appelées à s'adapter à leurs propres besoins, ces branches sont armées en équipements sophistiqués si bien que les polices locales ne sont plus en
mesure de les combattre. Les groupes terroristes contrôlent des zones entières", a
ajouté, M. Madeira qui a qualifié "l'essor" de cette activité d'"industrie lucrative".
Il a expliqué le développement des activités de kidnappings en Afrique par plusieurs facteurs, notamment, l'absence des infrastructures ainsi que des
moyens financiers et humains, la propension élevée de la corruption et de la criminalité, le déséquilibre en matière de distribution des ressources et l'instabilité politique.
Annonçant la tenue, au courant de l'année 2014, de quatre ateliers régionaux en
Afrique (Nord, Ouest, Est et Corne de l'Afrique) en coordination avec le Forum
mondial de lutte contre le terrorisme, M. Madeira a rappelé que ce centre a des
missions dans 18 pays africains en vue d'"identifier les points faibles" qui favorisent
le développement des enlèvements contre payement de rançons.
Il a plaidé, à ce propos, pour la nécessité de mettre en place un arsenal juridique
national dissuasif, en plus de l'application de mécanismes internationaux adoptés à
cet effet, dont notamment le "Mémorandum d'Alger".
Evoquant les conséquences de ces pratiques sur les pays africains, l'ambassadeur
américain à Alger, Henry S.Ensher a estimé, pour sa part, à 99% le recul de l'activité
touristique dans certaines villes ayant pâti de la réputation de leur "instabilité",
avec ce que cela suppose comme retombées négatives sur les perspectives de développement de ces pays, a-t-il observé.
Source: http://www.lexpressiondz.com/
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Terrorism in Africa
Six Places At Risk Of Terrorism In Africa
Terrorist threats in Africa have diversified and become more severe in recent years.
Here is a risk forecast of six hotspots to watch in the months ahead.
East Africa
Terrorism in East Africa is likely to disproportionately affect Somalia and Kenya in
the coming months, though neighboring countries contributing to the African Union Mission in Somalia and Ethiopia also face an elevated threat. Advances against
al-Shabab in Somalia have slowed considerably over the past year as African Union
forces became increasingly overstretched. A temporary increase in troop numbers
will provide some relief in the short term, but is unlikely to limit al-Shabab’s ability
to stage further attacks.
Al-Shabab’s primary focus under its leader Ahmed Godane is likely to remain on
Somalia. However, as demonstrated by last year’s attack on the Westgate shopping
center in Nairobi, the group is willing to launch operations elsewhere in the region
if they are deemed to serve the goal of overthrowing the Somali government,
chiefly by undercutting neighboring countries commitment to the sustained provision of military assistance. Al-Shabab has a strong support network in Kenya, and
small-scale attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and along the Somali border are likely to
continue. There is little to suggest this threat will be mitigated in the near future.
The Sahel
Africa’s Sahel region remains at risk for high-profile terrorist attacks in the near future. The drawdown of French troops in northern Mali is likely to prompt a resurgence in militant attacks and kidnappings in both Mali and the wider Sahel-Sahara
region. These could potentially stretch into new areas, most notably in Chad. The
fragmentation of the local al-Qaida affiliate, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb
(AQIM), does not signal a weakening of the group’s capabilities. The organization’s
lack of cohesion probably has less to do with the arrest or killing of commanders
and more to do with the growing ambitions of local Islamist extremists tied to the
organization’s southern wing in the Sahel to disentangle themselves from the
group’s Algerian leadership in the northeast of that country. French counterterrorism operations in Mali will not eliminate the risk of attacks, particularly in desert
areas.
Nigeria
Sustained military operations in northern Nigeria have restricted the ability of Islamist extremist groups Boko Haram and Ansaru to operate with the same levels of
impunity that they once enjoyed. Attacks have become increasingly concentrated
in historic hotspots, notably in remote parts of Nigeria’s Borno and Yobe states and
around the city of Kano. However, the build-up to the 2015 election cycle is likely
29
to prompt a spike in violence as militant groups receive increased funding and look
to influence domestic politics with their activity. The incentives to carry out highprofile attacks will grow, raising the risk of isolated attacks in the capital Abuja.
However, security forces will likely prevent sustained violence outside the main
militant strongholds in the northeast.
Egypt
Militant attacks targeting the government, police and military are likely to occur
with greater frequency and across a broader geographic area, including further
high-profile operations in the capital Cairo. The now-banned Muslim Brotherhood
has condemned violence and urged peaceful protests and civil disobedience, yet
the country’s polarized political situation increases the likelihood that disaffected
supporters of the party will turn to militancy. Jihadist groups have been waging an
insurgency against police and the armed forces in the North Sinai since 2011. That
insurgency provides a standing militant infrastructure for attacks elsewhere. Most
targets will probably be political or governmental, but civilians, Christian sites and
commercial assets face an elevated risk in the months ahead.
Tunisia
The political crisis following the assassination of a secular politician last July precipitated a marked uptick in militant attacks. Since then, militants have increased their
use of suicide bombs and sought to target tourist areas frequented by Westerners.
This is likely a reflection, in part, of growing polarization between Islamists and secularists in the political arena. In the months ahead, terrorism in Tunisia will likely be
linked closely to political developments; should Islamist groups feel marginalized by
the political process, the tempo of attacks will increase. Elements of the al-Qaida
network will seek to influence events in Tunisia as well as the other democratizing
nations of North Africa – Libya and Egypt; providing guidance, funding and operational assistance to nascent jihadist factions.
Libya
Most militant attacks in Libya have taken place in the northeast and focused on domestic targets, though others, most notably the September 2012 attack on the US
consulate in Benghazi, have also been directed against diplomatic and humanitarian assets. Since the middle of last year, civilian and Western commercial interests
have come under increasing attack. A broad range of groups are capable of carrying
out such attacks, and militancy in Libya is not solely the province of Islamists such
as the State Department-blacklisted Ansar al-Sharia collectives. In addition, a host
of domestic actors: tribes, minority groups and members of security forces all have
the potential to carry out attacks in an attempt to influence Libya’s ongoing political transition.
http://www.forbes.com/
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African and Middle East terrorism on 12 month surge
Terrorist and insurgent attacks across Africa and the Middle East have rapidly increased in number over the last twelve months according to figures from IHS
Jane’s terrorism and insurgency centre.
14 Feb 2014
The spike has been led by Arab Spring territories, with attacks in Syria alone doubling in the last 12 months.
There have additionally been significant increases in both militant and non-militant
fatalities over the last 12 months, while the number of suicide attacks in Iraq quadrupled.
There have also been increased attacks in Tunisia and Egypt, with attacks in the
latter surging from 63 in 2012 to 431 in 2013.
In Tunisia, attacks more than tripled from 21 in 2012 to 72 in 2013, while in Libya,
there were 237 attacks recorded in 2013 and 81 in 2012.
31
"While the increases in Egypt and Tunisia were both somewhat attributable to the
emergence of Islamist militant groups, violent protests following the deposing of
President Muhammad Morsi in Egypt accounted for the majority of sub-state violence," said Matthew Henman, manager of IHS Jane's terrorism and insurgency
centre.
Figures also show that while attacks are increasing at a slower pace in sub-Saharan
Africa, those that do occur claim a higher number of fatalities.
In 2012 the IHS Jane's terrorism unit reported 1370 attacks with 3434 fatalities, but
while last year saw only slightly more attacks, deaths rose by almost 500.
"When we look at Nigeria specifically, attacks decreased from 305 in 2012 to 137 in
2013, but fatalities rose from 1,351 in 2012 to 1,447 in 2013," Henman explained.
"This was partly due to an intensification of violence by militant Islamist group
Boko Haram, but also a consequence of several high-profile instances of intercommunal violence across the country."
Henman also noted that the increases as part of a wider surge in attacks that has
been noticeable over a five year period across the region.
"In 2009, a worldwide total of 7217 attacks were recorded from open sources. In
2013, that number increased by more than 150% to 18 524," he said.
http://www.postonline.co.uk/
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Global terrorism, insurgency attacks surge 150% in 5 years – report
February 14, 2014 13:02
The number of terrorist and insurgency attacks worldwide has increased by more
than 150 percent since 2009, driven in large part by suicide attacks in Iraq and an
ongoing civil war in Syria.
Riding on a wave of violence, notably across a large swathe of the Middle East that
began with the so-called Arab Spring in December 2010, terrorism and insurgents
have witnessed a sharp increase in the last five years.
“In 2009, a worldwide total of 7,217 attacks were recorded from open sources. In
2013, that number increased by more than 150 percent to 18,524,” said Matthew
Henman, manager of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC), the organizers of the study.
The highest rate of violence last year was reported in the Middle East, with major “pockets of violence”moving like a contagion to parts of Africa and South Asia.
This movement led to a dramatic rise in the number of militant and non-militant
casualties.
In 2012, the deaths of 13,872 militants and 10,562 non-militants were recorded
from public sources. Last year, non-militants fatalities nearly doubled to 17,554,
while militant fatalities were reported at 21,490.
“These are some of the largest rises we have recorded in the past several
years,” Henman
said.
Jane’s defines an attack as any event in which a sub-state actor, whether an individual, individuals or organization, commits politically or ideologically motivated acts
33
of violence with the goal of coercing others to adopt or comply with their objectives or to submit to their authority, that results in death, damage, or disruption.
A single spark
It is tempting to blame at least part of the surge in regional violence on a single
individual, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor who immolated himself
on December 17, 2010 to protest what he believed was ill treatment at the hands
of local officials. His death became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution, which
stoked the fires of what came to be known as the Arab Spring.
Following the 2011 overthrow of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the
revolutionary fires spread to Egypt, where millions of protesters demanded the
overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his regime. Violent clashes
broke out between security forces and protesters resulted in 846 people killed
and tens of thousands injured.
Violence and political upheaval continues to plague both Arabic nations, the report noted
“In 2013, JTIC recorded a spike in activity by non-state armed groups in Tunisia
and Egypt. Attacks in Tunisia grew from 21 in 2012 to 72 in 2013. In Egypt, the
number of attacks recorded jumped from 63 in 2012 to 431 in 2013.”
Violent protests erupted once again in June 2013 following the toppling of President Muhammad Morsi, who replaced Mubarak just over a year earlier. Egyptian
violence accounted for “the majority of sub-state violence recorded by JTIC,”
Henman said.
In Libya, meanwhile, which suffered an 8-month civil war in 2011 that led to the
toppling of strongman Muammar Gaddafi, there were 237 attacks recorded in
2013, up from 81 in 2012.
Syria and Iraq smoldering
Syria, where rebel and Islamist forces have been attempting to oust the government of President Bashar Assad since March 15, 2001, has witnessed a two-fold
increase in attacks between 2012 and 2013.
“Due to a plurality of factors, the anti-government insurgency in Syria intensified
notably in 2013,” the report read. “Between 2012 and 2013, the number of
attacks recorded by JTIC almost doubled. In 2012, we recorded 2,670 attacks. In
2013, that number jumped to 4,694.”
Meanwhile, Iraq, struggling to get back on its feet after a nearly nine-year-long
occupation of its territory by US-led forces, is coming under a barrage of suicide
attacks.
“A key indication of the intensifying level of violence in Iraq was that the number
of suicide attacks in the country quadrupled from 2012 to 2013, with the 2013 total almost triple that recorded in neighboring Syria and almost double that record-
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ed in Afghanistan,” the report said.
In 2013, 207 attacks were believed to be carried out by Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI),
which represents a 160 percent jump from the 79 recorded in public sources in
2012.
The report pointed to the “AQI’s predominant role” behind the 52 percent increase in the recorded number of attacks in Iraq and the 148 percent surge in non
-militant fatalities.
“In 2012 there were 2,297 attacks in Iraq. At the end of 2013, that figure stands at
3,499,” the report said.
World of Warfare: Top 10 most active non-state armed groups in 2013
1. Barisan Revolusi Nasional (Thailand)
2. Taliban
3. Islami Chhatra Shibir (Bangladesh)
4. Communist Party of India – Maoist
5. Al-Qaeda in Iraq
6. Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabaab)
7. FARC (Colombia)
8. New People’s Army (Philippines)
9. Jabhat al-Nusra (Syria)
10. Unified Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist
Source: IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre
http://rt.com/news/terrorism-global-middle-east-janes-019/
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Elephants slaughtered for trinkets and terrorism
February 8, 2014
An elephant walks with her infant in the Amboseli Game Reserve in Kenya. The International Fund for Animal Welfare says 2012 had the highest toll of elephants'
lives in decades. Between January and March 2012, at least 50% of the elephants in
Cameroon's Bouba Ndjida National Park were slaughtered for their ivory. Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an
investment and is coveted as "white gold."
HIDE CAPTION
Ivory's tragic price
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Rob Portman: The world almost killed off elephants completely before the ban on
ivory in 1989
Portman: Poaching has returned with a vengeance, fueled by demand for ivory in
China
Ivory trade raises money for a wing of al Qaeda and Lord's Resistance Army terrorism
Portman: Tens of thousands of elephants killed a year; we need to strengthen legislation
Editor's note: Rob Portman, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Ohio.
(CNN) -- The African elephant, one of the world's most majestic animals, is in danger. In the early 1900s, 5 million elephants roamed the African continent. Then the
ivory trade drove them to the brink of extinction, with 90% of African elephants
36
killed for the ivory in their tusks.
In 1989, the world reacted, imposing a ban on the international trade in ivory
passed by the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Elephant populations stabilized. But today, driven by growing demand for ivory ornaments and carvings in Asia, particularly in China, elephant poaching has returned
with a vengeance.
The largest slaughter in one year since the 1989 ban was passed happened in 2012,
with up to 35,000 elephants killed. This adds up to nearly 100 a day. Tens of thousands are killed every year. Without action, the day may come when this magnificent creature is known only in history books.
Estimates say if elephants continue to be slaughtered at today's rates, the creatures could be extinct in a decade.Not only do elephants die. The wildlife rangers
who try to protect them from poachers are being killed.
The illicit trade in ivory -- "white gold" -- is a billion dollar industry, and because it is
illegal, it tends to attract some very bad actors. It is blood ivory: Al-Shabaab, a wing
of al Qaeda based in Africa that is responsible for continued instability in Somalia, is
known to finance its operations through the poaching of elephants. Al-Shabaab
raises an estimated $600,000 a month through the ivory trade. The Lord's Resistance Army, another terrorist group infamous for forcing children to fight in its
ranks, also engages in poaching and trafficking of elephant ivory.
Al-Shabaab raises an estimated $600,000 a month through the ivory trade.
Rob Portman
Stopping the ivory trade has become not only a matter of conservation but one of
national security and international stability.
Last year, the United Nations issued a report warning that elephant poaching is the
worst it has been in a decade, while ivory seizures are at their highest levels since
1989. Last summer, President Barack Obama issued an executive order recognizing
that the poaching of protected species and the illicit trade in ivory has become an
international crisis that the United States must take a leading role in combating.
Saving elephants and other threatened species is a cause that cuts across partisan
lines and international boundaries. We all have a part to play.
It starts in our personal lives.
The ivory trade prospers because there is a demand for luxury goods fashioned
from it. As consumers, we should never buy products made with ivory and should
encourage others to be mindful that their purchases are not illegally sourced
through trafficking. And we should continue to shine a spotlight on the problem of
illegal poaching and the threat it poses to African elephants and other species.
There are actions our government can take, as well. As co-chairman of the U.S. Senate International Conservation Caucus, I have worked with my colleagues on both
37
sides of the aisle to educate members of Congress on these ongoing problems and
introduce legislation that authorizes proven conservation programs and directs resources to the international effort to dismantle the machinery of illegal poaching.
The Conservation Reform Act is part of this effort. If passed, it would streamline
and increase the effectiveness of our existing international conservation efforts. I
am also working to reauthorize the Saving Vanishing Species Stamp, which raises
funds for the protection of threatened animals and their habitat at no cost to the
U.S. taxpayer.
Over the years, we have watched as the actions of a few shortsighted, malicious
and greedy people have nearly destroyed whole species. If we act now, we can
make sure that the African elephant doesn't become another sad entry on a long
list of animals we can never bring back.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/08/opinion/portman-elephants/
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Fighting for African peace - Anansi
07 February 2014
The ultimate contradiction in terms it may be, but there is a growing belief that
'fighting for peace' rather than apparently fruitless negotiations is the way to resolve some of Africa's long-standing conflicts.
Proselytisers of 'muscular peacekeeping' at the United Nations (UN) and the African
Union (AU) are now claiming successes in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mali.
The new militarism faces its sternest test in the Central African Republic, where
the stage is set for another tough military operation
A tougher military stance suits those in the AU who want to take the lead in peacekeeping operations in Africa. Western countries, chary of sending their own troops,
also back a tougher approach.
Yet advocates of mediation worry that this new militarism will derail difficult peace
talks and do no more than contain the problems that cause the conflict in the first
place.
Not so, the militarists fire back: a credible threat of the use of force can create a
space for serious negotiations and can encourage warring factions to respect the
terms of a peace deal.
Successive waves of militias, backed by Rwanda and Uganda, stormed through
eastern DRC, but neither the UN nor the DRC's army could restrain them, let alone
protect civilians.
The Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) seizure of Goma in November 2012 prompted
South Africa and Tanzania to put together an intervention brigade.
It worked with the DRC's army to force M23 to surrender and start negotiations in
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Kampala in November 2013.
When Mali's crisis started with a coup in March 2012, there was no appetite in the
UN or AU for a military intervention.
Lethargic political negotiations led by Burkina Faso's Blaise Compaoré were heading
nowhere.
The Economic Community of West African States was slowly preparing an intervention but would have needed heavy backing from the UN.
But the southward march of the jihadist forces after they took over the three biggest cities in the north in January concentrated minds.
Mali's President Dioncounda Traoré endorsed a plan from France's President
François Hollande for an intervention force of 5,000 soldiers to push the jihadists
out of northern Mali.
France retook the north but neither the UN nor the AU was keen to send in more
combat support.
The resulting compromise is that France will keep a counter-terrorism force in Mali
– now likely to be three times the 1,000 soldiers originally planned – while a UN
stabilisation force of mainly African troops consolidates government control over
the north.
Its success depends on what the political representatives can do to bring the fractious northern communities together, to break up criminal networks and to restart
the provision of state services.
In Somalia, the emergence of a new government with international backing under
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was mainly due to the AU-backed force of
troops from Uganda, Burundi and, more recently, Kenya.
Without it, the Islamist Al-Shabaab militia would still control Mogadishu and the
main port, Kismayo.
The AU force has taken serious casualties and countless civilians have died in the
crossfire.
The component forces of the AU mis- sion are pursuing their own political agendas,
along with Ethiopia, whose troops remain outside the AU command. Most of all, AlShabaab shows every capacity to continue with an insurgency, at least in southcentral Somalia.
The international sponsors of a new Somalia – from Qatar and Turkey to Britain and
the United States (US) – are struggling to agree on a common agenda. Political negotiations come a poor second to the campaign to take the fight to Al-Shabaab.
The new militarism faces its sternest test in the Central African Republic.
As France and the US warn of genocide there and the AU calls for robust action, the
stage is set for another tough military operation.
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So desperate is interim leader Michel Djotodia to preempt that intervention –
which could push him from power – that he is offering to hand over Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony to Uganda as his final negotiating card.
Intervention seems inevitable but it is equally leaving everyone to ask: where is the
political plan? ●
http://www.theafricareport.com/North-Africa/fighting-for-african-peaceanansi.html
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Algeria
Algeria leads effort against terror financing
13/02/2014
Algeria's initiative to criminalise ransom payments to terrorists is winning international and regional support.
Meeting in Algiers on February 4th, African and foreign officials agreed to implement the "Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the
Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom (KFR) by Terrorists".
The Group of Eight in the United Nations Security Council had already adopted the
Algerian memorandum, presidential advisor Kamel Rezzag-Bara said. The Security
Council also gave a directive to work on expanding international support for the
initiative.
*AFP/Philip Merle+ Algeria is at the forefront of efforts to stop terror funding
sources, from ransom payments to counterfeit cash.
For his part, African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (CAERT) Director Ambassador Francesco Jose Madeira said that more than 35 per cent of abductions committed by terrorist groups for ransom were recorded in Africa.
"International terrorism has taken a new form with the split of al-Qaeda into several independent branches, each trying to find its own sources of funding," he noted.
"Terrorist groups are in control of entire regions," he added, describing "the proliferation of this activity as a lucrative industry".
He attributed the prevalence of kidnappings in Africa to rampant corruption and
criminality, the disruption of the distribution of resources, political instability and
lack of development.
Although there is international consensus for an end to the payment of ransom to
kidnappers, the measure's translation on the ground is still hampered by the absence of enforcement mechanisms.
42
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra told Afrique-Asie last month that the
international consensus with regard to the condemnation of hostage-taking and
ransom had not yet been codified in an international legal form.
"Algeria intends to launch a new initiative, aimed at expanding the mechanisms of
trapping the payment of ransoms to kidnappers, be they terrorist groups or drug
traffickers. This came about after it became clear that there are strong links between terrorism, organised crime, and smuggling groups," the minister said.
Algeria will continue co-operation with its partners to start new talks at the United
Nations on the ratification of restrictive tools and mechanisms, he added.
Analysts confirm that drying up the sources of terror financing requires international co-operation.
Military expert Tahir ben Thamer said, "The fight against terrorism has become an
international issue due to the expansion of the scope of activity of terrorist groups
and the emergence of dozens of groups that embrace extreme takfirist ideologies."
"The transmission of abductions from the Sahel to other African countries stresses
the need to adopt a unified approach that can be implemented on the ground," he
added.
"Paying ransoms encourages terrorist groups," he said.
Source: http://magharebia.com/
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Atelier contre le terrorisme : l’Algérie affirme qu’elle n’a pas exclu le
Maroc
février 8, 2014 4:25
L’Algérie a tenu à réagir aux accusations d’exclusion de la délégation marocaine
de l’atelier organisé, mardi dernier à Alger, par le Centre africain d’études et de
recherche sur le terrorisme (CAERT).
La rumeur selon laquelle l’Algérie n’a pas convié le Maroc à cet atelier, a été lancée
par l’agence marocaine MAP. Or une «source diplomatique» a affirmé à l’APS,
l’agence officielle algérienne, que la décision d’inviter tel ou tel pays est du «seul
ressort d’une structure de l’Union africaine, en l’occurrence le CAERT». Cette
source algérienne affirme que le GCTF (Forum global de lutte contre le terrorisme),
co-organisateur de l’atelier avec le CAERT, qui avait dénoncé cette supposée exclusion, «ne citent pas une seule fois l’Algérie ou le gouvernement algérien», comme
l’a rapporté l’agence marocaine qui avait indiqué, dans une dépêche, que les EtatsUnis et la Turquie, qui assurent la co-présidence du GCTF, «ont fermement condamné la décision du gouvernement algérien d’exclure la délégation marocaine,
qui devait participer à une rencontre du GCTF».
La diplomatie algérienne ajoute que «les autorités algériennes ne sont nullement
concernées par cette affaire», car l’Algérie «n’est pas la partie invitante». Dans le
communiqué en question, les co-présidents du GCTF, Etats-Unis et Turquie en l’occurrence, ont été «profondément déçus par la décision de l’UA d’exclure un
membre de GCTF d’un atelier de GCTF».
Pour rappel, le CAERT est une structure qui relève de la Commission de l’Union africaine. L’exclusion du Maroc est, selon toute vraisemblance liée au fait que le
royaume chérifien n’est plus membre de l’Union africaine (UA) depuis 1984 lorsqu’il a protesté contre l’admission du Sahara occidental. A l’époque l’UA était appelé l’OUA (Organisation de l’union africaine). Le GCTF, quant à lui, est un forum mon-
44
dial créé en septembre 2011 à New York. L’Algérie figure parmi les 30 pays fondateurs du Forum aux côtés du Maroc, Egypte, du Nigeria et de l’Afrique du Sud, pour
le continent africain, ainsi que de plusieurs pays occidentaux comme les Etat-Unis,
l’Union européenne, le Royaume Uni, la France ou le Canada.
Source: http://www.algerie-focus.com/
45
CAR
Killings still rock C. Africa two months after French troops deployed
February 4, 2014
French Army Chief of Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud addresses soldiers on Febuary
3, 2014 at the Mpoko camp in Bangui/AFP
BANGUI, February 4- Two months after French military intervention in the Central
African Republic, French troops and African soldiers have largely disarmed Muslim ex-rebels in the capital, but major atrocities prevail.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday that “at the security level,
there are signs of pacification. The African troops are gaining strength. European
troops are going to join us.”
French chief of defence staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud has said in Bangui that “the
violence has been partly halted” by the 1,600 French soldiers who deployed on December 5 alongside the 5,500 troops of an African peacekeeping force (MISCA).
But the French and African troops operate largely in the capital, where the Red
Cross last week reported finding 30 bodies in three days, while the MuslimChristian bloodletting continues in the interior.
A priest in the town of Boda, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Bangui, on Monday
told AFP that his parish was sheltering 1,500 people after heavily armed Muslims
killed 75 Christians.
In Bangui, foreign troops have largely neutralised the mainly Muslim fighters of the
Seleka alliance that seized power in March 2013 and launched a campaign of killings, torture, rape and looting against the Christian majority.
46
Asked on Monday whether the time had come to also round up and confine the
Christian vigilante groups formed in response to the Seleka attacks, Guillaud replied
that “in Bangui, it’s not only Muslim civilians who are killed. There are atrocities by
both sides.”
Little by little, MISCA contingents, backed by French troops, have started to move
into dangerous areas where Christian “anti-balaka” (anti-machete) militia target
the remaining Muslim population, AFP reporters have seen.
But the foreign military presence has yet to stop killings, as in the capital’s Miskine
district where Burundian soldiers have a hard time preventing daily attacks on the
last Muslims to stay in their houses and shops, unwilling to join hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
Camp rife with weapons
Months of a reign of terror by Seleka forces has unleashed unprecedented animosity between the impoverished country’s religious communities, leading the United
Nations and the United States to warn that conditions are ripe for a potential genocide.
The main anti-balaka base known as “Boeing”, on the edge of a displaced people’s
camp housing 100,000 people near Bangui airport, is rife with weapons, according
to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“They have a thousand grenades, loads of rifles,” HRW’s Peter Bouckaert said.
General Francesco Soriano, commander of France’s Operation Sangaris, recently
told AFP that his men had seized more than 4,000 knives, clubs and machetes and
“hundreds of rifles” from both former Seleka fighters and the Christian vigilantes.
The general denied taking sides.
“In Boali (90 kilometres, 55 miles north of Bangui), we arrived at the height of a
massacre and we have stayed there since,” he said. French troops arrived in midJanuary and saved hundreds of Muslims for anti-balaka forces.
French Minister for Relations with Parliament Alain Vidalies said in Paris Tuesday
that lawmakers will vote on February 26 on prolonging the mandate of Operation
Sangaris beyond the four months stipulated by the constitution.
Between now and the vote, a parliamentary delegation will visit the CAR to assess
the situation on the ground, Vidalies said, amid growing opposition fears that the
soldiers may become bogged down.
On Saturday, African Union nations met in Addis Ababa to raise funds for MISCA.
Ethiopia pledged $500,000 (370,000 euros), while South Africa promised one million dollars. The EU has for its part offered 500 troops and $150 million in support
for security and an electoral process.
47
But in the meantime, most of the country remains out of the control of international forces.
At Sibut (180 kilometres north of Bangui), ex-Seleka forces agreed to be placed in
barracks when French and African troops arrived, but instead the former rebels
took advantage of a tremendous storm overnight on Saturday to flee.
Paris now appears to be counting on a UN mission. “There is a peacekeeping operation in prospect. Probably as of the summer, the UN will take up the baton,” with
10,000 soldiers, according to Fabius.
Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/
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Chad
Terrorisme et piraterie au menu de la tournée africaine de Le Drian
La présence française au Tchad devrait être renforcée de 300 hommes.
Le ministre français de la Défense a entamé ce dimanche 9 février une nouvelle
tournée africaine. Elle l’a d’abord mené à Ndjamena où Jean-Yves Le Drian s’est
notamment entretenu avec le président Déby sur la question du terrorisme dans
la région. Le ministre s’est ensuite rendu au Congo-Brazzaville. Une visite axée
cette fois sur la sécurisation des activités économiques en mer.
La première étape de la visite officielle de Jean-Yves Le Drian l’a conduit à Ndjamena.
Depuis décembre, il s’agit de la quatrième visite du ministre français de la Défense dans la capitale tchadienne. Avec le président Idriss Déby, le ministre de la
Défense a évoqué, entre autres, la situation dans le sud de la Libye, un pays avec
lequel le Tchad partage un peu moins d’un millier de kilomètres de frontières.
La France veut installer à Ndjamena son centre de commandement opérationnel
pour la zone sahélo-saharienne. Idriss Déby a renouvelé son accord ce dimanche.
Dans le cadre d’un mouvement de réarticulation des troupes françaises dans la
région, la présence française au Tchad devrait être renforcée de 300 hommes,
pour arriver à des effectifs proches de 1 400 soldats.
Au Tchad, les militaires français s’appuieront également sur la base de Faya Largeau, mais pourront aussi opérer de manière plus ponctuelle depuis la localité de
Zouar, au pied du massif du Tibesti.
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Plus à l’ouest, au Niger, Niamey sera le centre dédié au renseignement. Madama,
dans l’extrême nord du pays, près de la Libye, où se trouve un ancien fort français,
pourrait aussi devenir un autre point d’appui. Enfin, l’armée française restera à Tessalit, dans le nord du Mali, non loin de la frontière algérienne.
La piraterie, un problème endémique
Après Ndjamena, Jean-Yves Le Drian poursuit sa tournée au Congo-Brazzaville. Il
est arrivé ce dimanche à Pointe-Noire, la capitale économique. Cette fois, sa visite
est axée sur la sécurisation des activités économiques en mer, et notamment la
question pétrolière. Car l’exploitation pétrolière représente 60 % du Produit intérieur brut du Congo-Brazzaville.
Or, en mer, c’est l’or noir qui intéresse les pirates, qui utilisent la technique du
« bunkering » qui consiste à siphonner les bateaux-citernes pour revendre le carburant. Mais les équipages aussi servent parfois de monnaie d’échange. Un mode
d’action très courant dans le golfe de Guinée où 154 attaques ont été recensées en
2013. Mais fin janvier, un pétrolier grec, le mont Kerala, a, selon son armateur, été
attaqué au large de Luanda, en Angola. Une première.
Les marines de la région commencent à s’équiper en achetant des patrouilleurs. La
Chine a livré quatre navires de 46 mètres au Congo. La France a remporté un marché au Togo. Mais au-delà des moyens déployés en mer, les pays riverains doivent
mieux coopérer. À Pointe-Noire, Jean-Yves Le Drian visitera le futur Centre de coordination de l’action régionale, qui doit commencer à fonctionner en mars prochain.
Source: http://www.rfi.fr/
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Egypt
L'Egypte et le Sinaï des ennuis
Pourquoi une recrudescence du terrorisme dans la péninsule du Sinaï suscite des craintes pour le canal de Suez.
le 05/02/2014
Un navire traversant le canal de Suez / Reuters
La montée de l’insurrection dans la péninsule du Sinaï, dont l’objectif déclaré est
de s’attaquer au poumon économique du régime égyptien, soulève des craintes
quant à la sécurité du canal de Suez, l'une des principales voies commerciales
mondiales, en particulier pour le pétrole et le gaz entre l'Asie et l'Europe.
À la fin de l’été dernier, après une attaque à la roquette contre un cargo qui traversait le canal, de vives inquiétudes se sont faites entendre. En janvier, le centre
de lutte contre le terrorisme de West Point a publié un article sur l'insurrection
dans le Sinaï et les menaces éventuelles pour le canal.
Le canal de Suez est le principal point de départ pour la US Navy pour le transit
des navires entre la Méditerranée orientale et la mer Rouge.
Le groupe derrière les tirs de roquettes, les Brigades al-Furqan, a brandi la menace de nouvelles attaques sur le canal. Même si la plupart des analystes considèrent cette brigade comme un groupe hétéroclite de djihadistes. Seulement, dans
les mois qui ont suivi, la sophistication du terrorisme dans le Sinaï n'a fait que
croître.
Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, un groupe djihadiste proche d’al-Qaida et basé dans la région, a revendiqué des attentats meurtriers dans les commissariats égyptiens, fait
sauter plusieurs pipelines de gaz sur la péninsule, abattu un hélicoptère de l'armée égyptienne...
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Ansar Bait al-Maqdis a concentré ces attaques sur deux maillons essentiels de la sécurité en Egypte, la police et l’armée, en précisant qu'il vise à anéantir économiquement un régime qu’il considère comme apostat. Le groupe a revendiqué l’attaque
de janvier contre un pipeline qui exporte du gaz vers la Jordanie, en expliquant qu’il
s’agissait d’une campagne «visant les intérêts économiques du régime». Une autre
attaque contre un gazoduc, alimentant une usine de ciment de l'armée égyptienne,
a été revendiquée en des termes similaires.
«S’ils étaient vraiment déterminés à menacer les intérêts économiques du régime
égyptien, le canal de Suez serait leur principale cible», explique David Barnett, chercheur associé à la Fondation pour la Défense de la démocratie.
Le poids économique du Canal
Près de 150 ans après avoir été creusé dans le désert égyptien, le canal de Suez est
d’une importance cruciale pour les caisses de l'Etat égyptien et pour l'économie
mondiale. Les recettes égyptiennes du canal se chiffrent à environ 5 milliards de
dollars par an, sans compter l'aide annuelle fournie par les Etats-Unis à hauteur de
2% du PIB de l’Egypte. C’est la raison pour laquelle les autorités égyptiennes, que ce
soit sous le régime d’Hosni Moubarak, sous la présidence de Mohamed Morsi, et
aujourd'hui sous le régime militaire de transition, n’ont pas lésiné sur les moyens
afin d’assurer la sécurité dans le Sinaï et autour du canal.
L’importance du canal pour le commerce mondial est également énorme. En 2012,
la dernière année où l’on a pu disposer de statistiques fiables, près de 3 millions de
barils de pétrole par jour ont traversé le canal —soit environ 7% de tout le pétrole
brut négocié par navire, selon l’Agence américaine d’information sur l’énergie. Le
boom du gaz naturel liquéfié (GNL) dans le commerce ces dernières années a donné
au canal encore plus d'importance pour l'économie mondiale de l'énergie: environ
13% du commerce mondial du GNL traverse le canal.
L'importance du canal comme couloir énergétique est capitale pour l'Europe et le
bassin méditerranéen. Au cours des trois premiers trimestres de 2013, le pétrole et
les produits pétroliers représentaient environ un quart de l'ensemble du tonnage en
direction du Nord passant par le canal. Le transport de pétrole brut a augmenté de
25% en septembre par rapport aux trois premiers trimestres de 2012. Les cargaisons d'énergie en direction du Sud, en provenance de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée vers la mer Rouge et l'Asie, ont diminué en 2013, en raison des perturbations
en Libye et en Egypte.
Les failles du Sinaï
Mais le problème est le suivant: le canal lui est plat, creusé dans le désert au niveau
de la mer, et manifestement accessible aux malfaiteurs. La vidéo d'al-Furqan de
septembre, par exemple, montre deux djihadistes en train de marcher derrière un
arbuste bas avant de canarder un cargo avec un lance-roquettes.
Mais ce type d'attaques à petite échelle n’est pas la véritable menace pour le trafic
sur le canal.
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«Un RPG ne va pas bloquer le canal. Ils avaient besoin de faire un bombardement,
quelque chose le long des lignes de l'USS Cole», estime David Barnett, se référant à
l'attentat-suicide d'un navire de guerre américain amarré au Yémen 2000.
Les navires transitent par le canal à un rythme lent mais régulier, mais il y a
quelques endroits où ils s'arrêtent pour laisser les autres bateaux passer. Les navires à chaque extrémité du canal sont ainsi stationnés, attendant leur tour d’emprunter le passage à voie unique. Perturber ce principe bloquerait le trafic dans les
deux directions, étant donné l'étroitesse du canal.
Alors que le terrorisme maritime n'est pas aussi répandu ni aussi facile à réaliser
que les attaques sur terre, il a été utilisé par les djihadistes par le passé. En plus du
Cole, le Limburg, un navire pétrolier, a été attaqué par des kamikazes en 2002, et
un cargo japonais a été attaqué dans le détroit d'Ormuz en 2010.
«Le fait est que le canal est vulnérable —et en raison de sa charge symbolique, il
restera une cible pour les éléments extrémistes», a fait savoir, en décembre, le
groupe Soufan, une agence de conseil en sécurité.
Les conséquences d’une attaque
Les conséquences économiques d'une attaque seraient probablement sévères —et
pas seulement pour l'Egypte. Réacheminer des navires autour de l'Afrique nécessiterait alors de rajouter des milliers de miles de la traversée, l'augmentation des
coûts imposerait aux navires de transiter par les eaux les plus infestées de pirates.
La dernière fois que le canal de Suez a été fermé —entre 1967 et 1975— le commerce mondial avait chuté, la révolution du conteneur maritime avait à peine encore commencé, et le commerce mondial de GNL par voie maritime était anecdotique.
«Vous auriez une flambée des coûts de transport, s'il y avait un problème de fermeture grave», fait savoir Douglas Burnett, un avocat de Squire Sanders spécialise
dans les questions maritimes et de l'énergie.
En dehors des attaques à la roquette de la fin de l'été dernier, il n'y a pas eu
d'attaques réelles sur la navigation dans le canal, malgré la recrudescence de
l’insurrection dans le Sinaï. L'armée égyptienne a renforcé la sécurité autour du périmètre du canal, même si elle a intensifié les opérations de contre-insurrection
dans d'autres parties de la péninsule.
Steven Cook, spécialiste de l’Égypte au Council on Foreign relations, un think tank
américain, a déclaré que les Egyptiens ont renforcé la sécurité autour du canal en
renforçant la présence militaire, mais «ils admettent qu'il est difficile d'être vigilants
à 100% lorsque vous êtes sur la défensive».
http://www.slateafrique.com/
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Islamists spread terrorism in chaos of Egypt, target military to seize
control
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
CAIRO — Islamist militants in Egypt’s
volatile Sinai Peninsula have increased
the number and range of their attacks
on military targets as they push to undermine Egypt’s top army official, and
pursue an Islamist state.
Terrorist attacks throughout and beyond Sinai increased after newly promoted Field Marshal Abdel Fatah elSissi won the military’s endorsement
to run for president, analysts note. Because of the field marshal’s widespread popularity, he likely would win the election, which must be held by midApril, and would have a good chance of reuniting Egypt’s fractious population of 85
million.
Jihadists have been taking advantage of Egypt’s political and economic chaos,
which they see “as their opportunity” to undermine the interim government in
hopes of establishing an Islamist state, said David Barnett, who researches Sinai
militant groups at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“You’re going to see an increase in the rate of attacks in the mainland,” he said.
Violence in Sinai and elsewhere in Egypt has increased steadily since the militaryled coup against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July. Mr. Barnett said fresh
recruits were influenced by the failure of political Islam and the interim government’s violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Sinai-based jihadist groups Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (also known as Ansar Jerusalem or “Supporters of Jerusalem”) and Ajnad Misr (“Soldiers of Egypt“) have
claimed responsibility for a rash of car bombings and other attacks targeting military officials and sites in Egypt and Israel. Recent assaults include the bombing of a
police barracks and the assassination of a government official.
Both extremist groups say they aim to attack only military forces, not civilians. Still,
three civilians in the northern Sinai border town of Rafah were wounded Sunday
when a car bomb targeting Egyptian soldiers exploded.
“Their reach has gone far beyond the Sinai, and their ability to assassinate government officials and deliver vehicle bombs to downtown Cairo is far beyond anything
we have seen with past jihadist organizations operating from the Sinai Peninsula,”
said Scott Stewart, an analyst for the global risk assessment firm Stratfor.
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The 400 U.S. troops stationed in Sinai as part of an international peacekeeping
mission, so far, have not been targeted. The Multinational Force and Observers,
which includes an infantry battalion and a support battalion, monitors checkpoints and reports violations of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.
Still, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has demonstrated “increased levels of sophistication
and coordination,” Mr. Barnett said, and more of its attacks in recent weeks have
been outside Sinai.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for firing two rockets Friday at the
Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat in retaliation for Israel’s airstrikes on the Gaza
Strip.
Four improvised explosive devices were detonated in Cairo ahead of the third anniversary of Egypt’s revolution that ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak. One person
was injured when two homemade bombs exploded outside a police barracks in
Cairo.
Militant gunmen killed Gen. Mohamed Saeed, head of the Interior Ministry’s
technical office.
Little is known about the Sinai militants. Ajnad Misr, which issued its first official
statement Jan. 23, is the most recent addition to the growing Sinai-based jihadist
movement. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis called Ajnad Misr’s members its “brothers,” but
the level of cooperation between the two is unknown.
Concern has grown over their widening range and increased activity. On Jan. 26,
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis released a video of a militant using a shoulder-fired surfaceto-air missile to shoot down a military helicopter.
Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/
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Egypte: Après l’attentat terroriste, le Musée d’art islamique du Caire a
perdu 165 objets
Les militants islamistes portent une grave atteinte au patrimoine culturel de l’Egypte
Le Caire, 1er février 2014 (Apic) L’attentant terroriste du 24 janvier 2014, près du
Musée d’art islamique du Caire, a gravement endommagé les collections de cette
institution qui abrite depuis plus d’un siècle l’une des plus importantes collections d’art islamique du monde. L’explosion d’une voiture piégée, qui visait la Direction de la police, a causé la perte de 165 objets de valeur, a annoncé le 31 janvier le Ministère égyptien des Antiquités. Le groupe djihadiste Ansar Beit AlMaqdis, basé dans le Sinaï, a revendiqué l’attentat.
Egypte Musée d’art islamique du Caire
74 objets précieux ont été totalement détruits, dont des pièces en bois, en porcelaine et en verre, des manuscrits, des tapis et des pièces de textile. 26 autres ont
été endommagés, tandis que 64 autres sont facilement réparables. L’UNESCO, qui a
envoyé une délégation de spécialistes sur place, a promis par la bouche de sa directrice générale Irina Bokova, de soutenir l’action de «réhabilitation du Musée, de
ses salles et de ses vitrines».
«L’art islamique a été touché au cœur… »
«L’art islamique a été touché au cœur… Le terrorisme en Egypte a atteint de très
près la civilisation égyptienne. L’unique et superbe Musée islamique du Caire, l’un
des plus beaux d’Egypte, a subi (…) une importante destruction suite à l’explosion
d’une voiture piégée devant la préfecture de police du Caire située juste en face»,
peut-on lire sur le site en ligne «hebdo.ahram.org.eg».
Plus de 2’500 pièces exposées ont été trouvées éparpillées par terre. L’explosion a
aussi détruit une grande partie de la façade du musée, et a complètement démoli
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la porte principale, qui est une pièce historique. C’est la façade orientale du musée
qui est la plus endommagée. De nombreuses pièces à l’intérieur du musée ont été
pulvérisées et des vitrines ont été complètement brisées. «Les salles mamelouk et
fatimide ont été complètement détruites et leurs contenus n’y sont plus», a assuré
Mahmoud Abdel-Raou, inspecteur du musée, cité par Al-Ahram Hebdo.
Le musée est constitué de plus d’une vingtaine de salles abritant des œuvres d’art
de tout le monde islamique. Son exceptionnelle collection de plâtre, de textile, de
pièces de ferronnerie, de céramique, de verrerie ou de cristal en fait l’un des
musées d’art islamique les plus importants au monde, affirme le journal en ligne. Il
compte aujourd’hui plus de 100’000 pièces, dont 2’500 sont exposées.
Quatre mosquées historiques endommagées par la voiture piégée
De grande valeur artistique et historique, les œuvres proviennent des artistes et
artisans des dynasties musulmanes – omeyyade, abbasside, fatimide, mamelouke
et ottomane – qui ont régné en Egypte au fil des siècles. En plus de ces objets se
trouvent également des pièces venant de Perse, d’Afrique du Nord, d’Andalousie,
de Turquie, d’Inde ou de Chine. Le musée avait été fermé en 2003 pour restauration complète, selon les critères internationaux de muséologie et de sécurité.
Les dégâts de l’attentat commis par les militants islamistes ne se sont pas limités au
Musée d’art islamique et à Dar Al-Kotob (l’ancienne Bibliothèque nationale, la
«Maison des Livres», où des manuscrits rares et des papyrus ont été gravement
endommagés). Ils ont encore touché quatre autres mosquées historiques qui
remontent à l’époque mamelouke et qui se trouvent à proximité du Musée d’art
islamique et de la Maison des Livres. (apic/ahram/be)
http://www.kipa.com
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Gabon
Lutte anti-terroriste en Afrique : Actions préventives et droit de poursuite
01-02-2014 | 0:00
---Deux recommandations, l’une en amont et l’autre en aval ont constitué, jeudi
dernier, les recommandations phares de L’atelier « Police et Sécurité » qui s’est
tenu à Libreville, la capitale du Gabon, dans le cadre du développement d’une stratégie intégrée de lutte contre le terrorisme et la prolifération des armes en Afrique
centrale. Primo, La nécessité de mener des actions préventives en vue de « l’élimination des conditions propices à la propagation du terrorisme dans la région». Parmi ces actions les participants ont évoqué l’importance de la promotion de la
bonne gouvernance, de la démocratie, de l’éducation et de la prospérité économique « afin de lutter contre les éléments qui peuvent mener certaines personnes
à rejoindre le terrorisme ». Secundo, le droit de poursuite qui appelle à un renforcement des capacités des Bureaux nationaux d’Interpol pour doter cette organisation des moyens efficaces pour arrêter et traduire en justice les présumés terroristes.
Ces recommandations seront consolidées par un deuxième atelier thématique
(Douanes et Immigration) prévu à Bujumbura (Burundi) en avril prochain. Le rapport de ces deux ateliers sera présenté lors de la 38e réunion ministérielle du Comité consultatif permanent des Nations Unies chargé des questions de sécurité en
Afrique centrale (UNSAC) à Malabo (Guinée équatoriale), entre mai et juin prochain. En fait, les mesures préconisées s’articulent autour axes fondamentaux inspirés de la stratégie antiterroriste mondiale des Nations Unies qui prone « une analyse des risques, y compris en matière de circulation des personnes et de prévention de la mobilité des terroristes à travers les frontières ». D’où le caractère essentiel du renforcement de la sécurisation des papiers d’identité et des documents de
voyage, en prenant en compte les avantages qu’offre la biométrie dans les opérations de contrôle.
Sur le plan législatif, L’atelier de Libreville organisé par la Direction exécutive du
Comité contre le terrorisme, le Centre des Nations Unies pour la lutte contre le terrorisme, le Bureau régional des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique centrale et le Gouvernement gabonais est sorti avec une troisième recommandation estimée stratégique au vu de la réalité sur le terrain.
La mise en place, « des législations et politiques spécifiques de prévention de la radicalisation et du recrutement de terroristes, notamment dans les prisons, dans les
lieux de culte et dans les écoles ».Cet atelier « police et sécurité » qui a duré trois
jours était animé par des experts de plusieurs organisations sous-régionales, régionales et internationales ainsi que celle des représentants de la société civile. L’Angola, le Burundi, le Cameroun, le Congo, le Gabon, la République démocratique du
Congo (RDC), le Rwanda, Sao Tomé et Principe, et le Tchad ont envoyé des repré-
58
sentants, qui ont travaillé sous la conduite du Professeur Wullson Mvomo Ela,
Coordonnateur régional du Réseau de lutte contre le terrorisme et la prolifération
des armes en Afrique centrale.
Source: http://www.elmoudjahid.com/
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Libya
Elle refuse toute intervention militaire occidentale dans le sud de la
Libye
La lutte contre le terrorisme à double vitesse de Paris
Mardi, 11 Février 2014 09:50
La lutte contre le terrorisme que mène
la France en Afrique ne semble pas
obéir à des principes arrêtés, mais plutôt à des considérations politiciennes,
comme l’indique ce refus de Paris de
toute nouvelle intervention militaire
dans le sud de la Libye pour éradiquer la
menace terroriste contre tous les pays
de région.
Interpellé hier sur la récente déclaration du chef de la diplomatie nigérienne demandant une intervention militaire occidentale contre le “terrorisme” dans le sud
de la Libye, le chef de la diplomatie française, Laurent Fabius, a affirmé hier à la radio RTL qu’elle n'est pas à l'ordre du jour. “Non, une intervention, non”, a répondu
le ministre français des Affaires étrangères en réponse à la question du journaliste
désirant savoir si elle était envisagée. Il a détourné l’attention en ajoutant : “En revanche nous avons une réunion (internationale) début mars à Rome - toute une
série de pays - pour aider davantage la Libye, car c'est vrai qu'il y a des regroupements de terroristes dans le Sud.” Poursuivant dans le même ordre d’idées, Laurent
Fabius a indiqué : “J'ai eu récemment le Premier ministre (libyen) pour lui demander ce qu'on peut faire pour l'aider, quand je dis nous, c'est pas simplement les
Français, c'est les Britanniques, les Algériens, les Tunisiens, les Egyptiens, les Américains et beaucoup d'autres, les Allemands.” “Il faut combattre le terrorisme partout, ça ne veut pas dire qu'il faut avoir des gens au sol, ça veut dire qu'il faut aider
les gouvernements, c'est le cas du gouvernement (libyen) qui veut se débarrasser
du terrorisme”, a ajouté le chef de la diplomatie française, qui s’est cependant abstenu de préciser ce que pourrait être cette aide internationale. Pour rappel, le ministre de l'Intérieur nigérien Massoudou Hassoumi avait déclaré, mercredi dernier
sur Radio France Internationale, que “les puissances qui sont intervenues en Libye
pour renverser le colonel Kadhafi, à la suite de quoi la Libye est devenue aujourd'hui le principal sanctuaire terroriste, doivent faire le service après-vente. Il est
tout à fait légitime que la France, les Etats-Unis interviennent pour éradiquer la menace terroriste dans le sud de la Libye”. “Je pense que la prise de conscience de la
menace que constitue le Sud libyen est aujourd'hui assez forte”, et une intervention “entre dans l'ordre du possible”, avait-il souligné. Ceci étant, la question de la
lutte contre le terrorisme dans le Sahel et singulièrement dans le sud de la Libye est
à l'agenda de discussions que doit avoir en ce début de semaine le président fran-
60
çais François Hollande avec son homologue américain Barack Obama, lors de sa
visite d'Etat aux Etats-Unis.
Alors que la France et les Etats-Unis jugent indispensable leur partenariat en
Afrique, le ministre français de la Défense Jean-Yves Le Drian a présenté, le 24 janvier, à son homologue américain Chuck Hagel le nouveau dispositif des forces françaises au Sahel pour renforcer l'efficacité de sa lutte contre les groupes jihadistes
dans la région.
Source: http://www.liberte-algerie.com/
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Mali
Menace jihadiste et terroriste de plus en plus pesante : Le Mujao refait surface
Recrudescence de l’insécurité au nord du Mali : La Minusma, force de maintien
de paix ou du désordre ?
Le Mouvement pour l’Unicité et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (Mujao) est de retour dans le nord du Mali, plus d’un an après la déroute qu’il a subie suite à l’intervention musclée des forces armées maliennes aidées par l’opération Serval de
l’armée française et les forces de la Cedeao. Cette intervention engagée en janvier 2013 a permis de stopper la progression vers le sud du Mali des groupes terroristes Jihadites et de libérer les trois régions du nord du Mali qui étaient tombées sous le contrôle des groupes armés rebelles et terroristes au lendemain du
coup d’État du 22 mars 2012.
L’on se rappelle que le groupe Jihadite Mujao, allié du groupe terroriste Al-Qaïda
au Maghreb Islamique (Aqmi), a fortement pactisé avec le mouvement islamiste
Ançar-Dine d’Iyad Ag Ghaly dans son projet d’instauration de la charia (loi islamique) dans les régions du Nord. Un projet d’islamisation du Mali qui a fait plusieurs
victimes parmi les populations du nord : Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal/et une partie de
la région de Mopti. Cette intention d’islamisation du Mali a été contre-carrée à
Konna en janvier 2013 par les forces armées maliennes, soutenues par l’opération
Serval et les forces de la Communauté Économique des États de l’Afrique de
62
l’Ouest (Cedeao).
Ainsi, après cet affront subi, le Mujao, essentiellement constitué d’étrangers, s’est
lancé dans des actes de guérilla dans le grand nord. Le Mouvement Jihadiste a été
l’auteur d’une série d’attaques suicides et des opérations Kamikazes, visant les
grandes villes du nord.
Ces derniers temps, le Mujao commence à faire parler de lui encore en s’adonnant
à son jeu favori, consistant à commettre des actes criminels.
Le groupe rebelle Mnla attribue au Mujao la responsabilité de la mort des 30
touaregs tués à Tamkoutat dans la région de Gao. Si cet acte criminel n’a encore
été revendiqué, le Mujao revendiquerait l’enlèvement des 5 personnes du Cicr
portées disparues depuis le samedi dernier.
C’est dire que les autorités maliennes ont du pain sur la planche pour faire face
aux rebelles du Mnla toujours influents à Kidal, et prévenir la menace Jihadite et
terroriste qui devient de plus en plus pesante au nord
http://maliactu.net/
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Mali : retour du MUJAO qui enlève cinq membres du CICR à Kidal
11 FÉVRIER 2014
Alors que le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) avait indiqué être sans
nouvelles de son équipe depuis le 8 février, un responsable du Mouvement pour
l’unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) a affirmé ce mardi à l’AFP avoir
enlevé dans le nord du Mali les membres de l’ONG.
Alors que le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) avait indiqué être sans
nouvelles de son équipe depuis le 8 février, un responsable du Mouvement pour
l’unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) a affirmé ce mardi à l’AFP avoir
enlevé dans le nord du Mali les membres de l’ONG. diaporama
« Nous avons pris (...) un (véhicule) 4X4 des "ennemis de l’islam" avec leurs complices », a déclaré Yoro Abdoulsalam, responsable connu du Mujao, dans un bref
entretien téléphonique avec un journaliste de l’AFP à Bamako. S’agissait-il de
l’équipe du CICR ? Il a répondu : « Oui », avant de préciser qu’« ils sont en vie et en
bonne santé », sans donner plus de détails.
L’AFP relève que lundi, le CICR avait annoncé avoir « perdu le contact avec un de
ses véhicules, avec cinq personnes à son bord ». Le site précise que les cinq personnes sont quatre membres du CICR et un vétérinaire d’une autre organisation
humanitaire, tous des Maliens, et leur disparition remonte au 8 février, alors que le
véhicule effectuait le trajet entre Kidal (extrême nord-est) et Gao (nord-est),
d’après un porte-parole du CICR, Alexis Heeb, qui indique l’ONG est en contact ré-
64
gulier avec les autorités maliennes, ainsi qu’avec les divers groupes armés opérant
dans le nord du Mali. Selon le chef de la délégation du CICR au Mali, Christoph Luedi, tous « étaient partis de Kidal pour regagner leur base à Gao lorsque nous avons
perdu le contact ».
Le MUJAO est un des groupes alliés à Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (AQMI) qui
ont occupé le nord du Mali en 2012 avant d’en être en partie chassés par une intervention militaire internationale lancée début 2013 à l’initiative de la France, et toujours en cours. Ce mouvement était particulièrement présent dans la ville de Gao,
et dans sa région.
http://www.afrik.com/
65
Jihadists claim to have kidnapped Red Cross team in Mali
One of Mali's top jihadist groups on Tuesday claimed the kidnapping of a team of
Red Cross workers who had been reported missing in the country's north.
A leader for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), a splinter group of Al-Qaeda's regional franchise, told AFP the five Malians "are alive and
in good health".
"Thanks to God we seized a 4X4 (vehicle) of the enemies of Islam with their accomplices," MUJAO's Yoro Abdoulsalam said, contacted by telephone from Bamako.
He said his group was holding the five reported missing Monday by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Geneva-based organisation said it was
looking into the claim.
MUJAO is one of the groups that occupied the north of Mali in 2012 before they
were driven from the region's main cities by a French-led military intervention
launched in January 2013.
Cheick Oumar Diarrah, Mali's minister for reconciliation and development of the
country's north, told a news conference in Bamako that the government had
"launched the necessary actions... to find those who have been abducted."
ICRC spokesman Alexis Heeb told AFP on Tuesday he could not confirm the claim
but that his organisation was "in contact" with the group and several others in Mali.
Heeb had said Monday that four ICRC staff members and a veterinarian from another aid organisation went missing Saturday along with their vehicle on the road
between the towns of Kidal and Gao.
All five individuals are Malian citizens.
"At this stage we're exploring all possibilities. We're extremely worried and we're
contacting everyone to try to localise them," Heeb said at the time.
Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC Mali delegation, said in a statement that the
group was "on the way from Kidal to their base in Gao".
For security reasons, ICRC teams make regular contact every few hours with their
base when they are on mission, and the team had done so for part of its journey.
ICRC operations in Mali range from visiting people detained during the country's
conflict to providing aid to the hundreds of thousands of people made homeless by
fighting.
Mali descended into chaos when Tuareg rebels and Islamist groups took over the
north after a military coup in March 2012 far to the south in the capital Bamako.
The Islamists later routed the Tuareg who made a comeback following the French
intervention.
66
The humanitarian crisis sparked by the conflict came on top of years of drought in
the Sahel region that have left 800,000 Malians relying on food aid.
The Islamists started an advance on Bamako that led to a military intervention by
former colonial power France in January 2013.
France's 'key' role
French troops pushed the Al-Qaeda-linked militants out of northern towns early
last year and have kept up operations against residual groups of insurgents.
France is winding down its force from a peak of around 5,000 soldiers but is to keep
1,000 troops in Mali beyond the spring.
In Washington on Tuesday the US top diplomat for Africa, Linda ThomasGreenfield, praised France's role in helping to quell unrest and extremist violence in
Mali as well as in the Central African Republic.
"The French role has been key to achieving success in Mali," she said as French
President Francois Hollande was welcomed on a state visit.
The UN peacekeepers took over security in July last year from a pan-African military mission which had been supporting the French troops.
The UN mission played a key security role in presidential polls last year which saw
former premier Ibrahim Boubacar Keita become the country's first democratically
elected leader since the 2012 coup.
The kidnapping claim comes against the backdrop of tensions in the Gao region,
where several residents said the MUJAO is returning to the scene.
http://www.globalpost.com/
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Security in the Sahel: Part I – Stabilising Mali in 2013-14
1 February 2014
A Malian painted in flag colours dances during inauguration of Mali's new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta
Summary
One year after French and African military intervention recaptured northern Mali
from Islamist and separatist armed groups the stability of this Sahel region is still
heavily reliant on the presence of armed foreign troops. While the election of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his party in polls in the second half of 2013 has
established a relatively strong new government, its achievements so far have mainly related to reversing the effects of the March 2012 military coup in Bamako. Progress in reintegrating and reconciling the north, internally and with the rest of Mali,
has been partial. Apart from sporadic terrorist attacks, talks with Tuareg separatists
have foundered, inter-communal violence and urban protests have flared, and onethird of the north’s population, including many civil servants, still feel too insecure
to return home. Part I of this two-part special briefing analyses challenges for stabilising Mali. Part II will examine regional security challenges and the increasingly militaristic French and US response.
Context
On 11 January 2013 the French military, at the request of Mali’s transitional government, began a major intervention by air and land to counter an offensive by Islamist militia moving from northern to central Mali. West African and Chadian
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troops joined them in the second half of January. Eight NATO air forces plus Sweden and the UAE provided non-combat assistance with air transport, aerial refuelling and reconnaissance. Over four weeks, French-led forces recaptured all of the
towns in the northern half of Mali, which had been seized by Islamist and separatist
militia in March-April 2012.
French troops have continued to conduct security operations across northern Mali
to locate and ‘neutralise’ suspected Islamist militants. In late February, French and
Chadian troops captured the main Malian rear base of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), in the Ifoghas massif close to the Algerian frontier, killing its emir in
the Sahara, Abou Zeïd. Reduced numbers of French forces now support Malian and
African forces, rebadged in July as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated
Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Five Myths of the Malian Conflict
From the perspective of 2014, several myths and misconceptions are apparent concerning the nature of Mali’s 2012-13 crisis and conflict. The implication of these
five misrepresentations is that international terrorist networks are much more
deeply implanted in and threatening to the Malian state than they actually are.
Mali was a failed state in 2012: While the authority and capacity of the Malian
state collapsed completely in northern Mali in early 2012, life in the rest of Mali
(home to 90% of the population) was not greatly affected. There was no collapse in
public order elsewhere and the national government fulfilled almost all of its normal functions, suffering more from international aid sanctions than alienation of its
territory. Mali has never succeeded in governing and integrating its three northern
regions while otherwise administering a reasonably effective state. The challenges
of governing the north are as much related to geography (a small population widely
dispersed across an agriculturally unproductive terrain) as to social and political
differences between southern and northern populations.
‘Azawad’ separatists represent the mainstream northern perspective: While the
north fell rapidly under the offensive of the Azawad National Liberation Movement
(MNLA – a secular Tuareg separatist group) and was declared independent as the
State of Azawad in April 2012, support for northern separatism has never been
tested. In 2012, Malian Tuareg clans were split three ways, supporting the MNLA,
Islamist groups with a pan-Malian or regional agenda, and the Malian state or status quo. While most of the northern territory is dominated by Tuareg and Arab
clans, culturally and physically distinct from southern Malians, the majority of the
northern population resides along the Niger valley, where ‘black African’ ethnic
groups are numerous. These have been present for many centuries and are overwhelmingly opposed to separation. The implication is that autonomist solutions are
not necessarily the means to prevent future rebellions by Malian Tuareg and Arabs.
Many northerners favour closer integration given that the north has few of its own
resources to finance its development. Past efforts at decentralisation have often
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stoked conflict for control of local patronage networks.
Radical Islamism characterises Mali’s Tuareg and Arab populations: While Islamist groups rapidly displaced the MNLA in most of the north in mid-2012, these were
largely foreign groups concealed behind the façade of the Tuareg-led Ansar Dine,
which mobilised Malians more along clan than religious lines. Real power in Timbuktu region was exercised by AQIM and in Gao region by the AQIM-splinter Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). Unlike these foreign jihad groups,
Ansar Dine disintegrated under French assault. Most Malian ‘Islamists’ appear to
have been opportunistic, seeking access to al-Qaida funds and weapons, or anxious
to bypass caste hierarchies of Tuareg society.
AQIM aimed to take over the Malian state: The unexpected Islamist offensive into
central Mali of January 2013 was not intended to capture Bamako, as widely cited
by France and media. Rather, it was directed at seizing and neutralising the Malian
armed forces’ two frontline bases at Sévaré and Diabali, to prevent them being
used to attack the north by a planned West African intervention force. The AQIM
strategy for Mali, discovered by journalists in Timbuktu after the French intervention, is clear that heterodox Sufi Mali has little potential to become a Salafist state
and that the primary opportunity for al-Qaida in the vacuum of northern Mali was
to organise to infiltrate and attack Algeria and other North African states.
Northern Mali is a hub of ‘narco-terrorism’: The link between AQIM and transSaharan drug trafficking groups remains unproved. While smuggling has always
been a vital part of the regional economy, the evidence that the Malian Sahara constitutes a major route for cocaine to the Mediterranean is largely anecdotal or constructed by US prosecutors with geopolitical motives. The most obvious connection
between AQIM and organised crime is its role in kidnapping for ransom, by which it
has gained tens of millions of dollars from European governments, not least
France.
Drivers and Triggers of the 2012-13 Crisis
The security and governance vacuum that existed in northern Mali, especially in the
Kidal region, in 2012 was not new. Neither the Malian state nor France ever exercised much authority north of Timbuktu or east of Gao. The novel aspects (triggers)
were the surge in supply of light weapons and experienced Malian (often Tuareg)
combatants after the fall of Libya’s Gaddafi regime in October 2011, as well as the
sudden overthrow of the Malian civilian government in March 2012, itself linked to
the government’s failure to reinforce the army in the face of a major insurgency.
These were exploited opportunistically by a largely North African group (AQIM)
that was interested in denying state control over its Saharan safe haven, rather
than in creating its own state there.
The long-term drivers of conflict in northern Mali are essentially linked to the marginalisation of the region and especially its remoter Tuareg-populated areas. This is
more a question of economics than politics. Tuareg leaders win seats in parliament
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and cabinet, and even held the prime minister’s office in 2002-04. But ordinary Tuareg and Arab citizens feel discriminated against in seeking education or work outside of the north, especially in government jobs and the security sector. Many also
feel ill-treated by southern officials stationed in the north.
Northern Mali is very poorly integrated into the national and West African economy and sees little state social provision, development investment or livelihood opportunities. Climate change, desertification and recurrent droughts have particularly affected the Tuareg’s traditional pastoralist economy and brought them into conflict with agriculturalists or urban populations. Subsidised goods in Algeria and
markets for illicit goods and services (cigarettes, labour, drugs) around the Mediterranean make smuggling the most viable livelihood for many, including some government and security officials. Sporadic use of the military to tackle usually tolerated smuggling activities, often at the behest of foreign states, has frequently precipitated armed revolt by northern Malians.
Mali in 2014
Mali made progress in renewing its institutions in 2013. However, these gains were
disproportionately experienced in Bamako and the southern regions, which in 2012
suffered more from turbulence in government and the army than from the northern security crisis. Developments likely to improve human security nationwide include: a newly elected government, dialogue on reconciliation and decentralisation, pledges of massive foreign development aid, and wholesale reform of the security sector. However, the situation in the north remains precarious and unsustainable as of January 2014.
Security generally improved across the north in 2013, although the UN SecretaryGeneral described the final quarter of 2013 as being “characterised by a marked
deterioration in the security situation in the north. *…+ terrorist and other groups
had reorganized themselves and regained some ability to operate.” Suicide bombings, gun and rocket attacks and use of landmines have been sporadic in Gao, Kidal,
Ménaka, Tessalit and Timbuktu towns, linked to MUJAO and, to lesser extent,
AQIM. Communal violence and violent urban protests have flared.
Civil servants have been able to return to their functions in Timbuktu and Gao regions, although not all have done so, notably in the justice sector. In Kidal, where
Malian security forces were only able to redeploy in July and the MNLA continued
to occupy administrative buildings until November, the security situation is still too
unstable for the government to resume even its very basic ‘normal’ services.
Only one-quarter of the 560,000 Malians displaced in 2012-13 (nearly half of the
northern population) have so far returned. Many Tuareg and Arab refugees say
they will not return to Mali before a comprehensive peace agreement is in place. A
provisional agreement signed by the government, the MNLA and two other Tuareg
and Arab armed groups in late June has been poorly implemented. Peace talks
were supposed to resume in November but have been boycotted by the MNLA.
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There have been occasional clashes between the MNLA and Malian troops, particularly those from a loyalist Tuareg-led unit. Clashes between the MNLA and its Arab
rival, the Azawad Arab Movement (MAA), were recurrent in 2013, including as Tuareg and Arab clans fought for control of trans-border crossings. Human rights
groups have recorded numerous instances of Malian troops or loyalist northern
militia abusing, raping or killing Arab and Tuareg civilians. Thus, deadly violence
continues at a low-level as the conflict becomes increasingly intra-northern and
scores are settled.
Physical security in the north depends on 2,500 French troops with armour and
attack helicopters, 5,500 troops and 950 police from MINUSMA, and the presence
of the small, ill-equipped Malian army, rather than the police. MINUSMA is only at
half its authorised strength as non-regional states have been reluctant to commit
to keeping peace where suicide attacks occur. Staffing MINUSMA has been a huge
undertaking for West African states, which mostly lack suitable training and equipment. Ten have provided at least one company. Chad and Togo, the two largest
contributors, have very poor human rights records and had to deploy troops not
trained to UN standards. MINUSMA also lacks critical equipment, especially helicopters, and is dependent on French support. France wants to reduce its force to
1,600 in February and under 1,000 by April. This is a year behind Paris’ original
schedule. Nigeria withdrew most of its large contingent in August to bolster its domestic campaign against Boko Haram.
Elections in July and August chose a new President to replace the 17-month ineffective, military-influenced transitional government. A new parliament was elected in November and December, returning a large pro-presidential majority. Both
elections were organised fairly transparently by Malian authorities and held in all
areas without significant violence, although overall voter participation was low and
the MNLA organised a boycott in several Tuareg-populated areas. Even so, at least
five Tuareg and three Arab deputies were elected to the 160-seat Assembly, including several Tuareg clan leaders of the 2012 rebellion co-opted into the presidential
party.
The political challenges for Mali are now four:
The immediate challenge is to resume peace negotiations with the MNLA and MAA,
which have not yet agreed disarmament, demobilisation or reintegration (DDR) of
their cantoned forces. Implementation of DDR programmes following Tuareg rebellions in the 1990s and 2006-07 was unsatisfactory. The new government does not
believe it must offer serious concessions to the separatists and has pursued a policy
of dividing the armed opposition, co-opting elements of its leadership and slowly
increasing its own armed presence in the north.
Second is the concurrent challenge of translating nation-wide consultations on decentralisation into a practical process of reconciliation, especially in the north. This
process has begun in Gao region. However, the MNLA believes that reconciliation
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should only follow a peace settlement and believes Tuareg interests will be
squeezed out by region-level dialogues addressing wider issues.
Third is the need to confront Mali’s culture of patronage politics, which has historically generated consensus among a small elite in Bamako at the expense of accountability and service to the rest of the nation. The lack of antagonism between political leaders is encouraging but the meagre presence of opposition
parties in the Assembly is unlikely to be an effective check on the executive.
The final challenge is tackling corruption at all levels of government, a prerequisite
for many states to disburse aid. A start has been made on this but the emphasis
appears to be on vilifying the previous governments rather than putting better
systems in place for the future.
Security sector reform (SSR) has been an encouraging dimension of the 2013 transition. A large EU mission is retraining the Malian army as a basic infantry force.
Work to re-establish the security forces via a roadmap for reform began in December and will take several years. More importantly, the processes of reconciling divisions within the army caused by the 2012 coup and junta and of subordinating the
military to civilian control have made progress since President Keïta took office in
September. A civilian defence minister has been appointed and the heads of the
army, police and intelligence have been changed. The new head of the army is MajGen Mahamane Touré, widely respected as the former Commissioner for Peace
and Security at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Former junta leader Gen Amadou Sanogo was arrested on 27 November and
charged in relation to the disappearance of 23 rival soldiers in April 2012. Once
seen as the preferred candidate of the junta, Keïta has been definitive in demonstrating his independence. Nevertheless, serious questions remain over the professionalism, capacity and respect for rights of the security forces, especially in relation to Mali’s northern regions and population.
Development assistance to reconstruct the state, especially in the North, holds
promise now that the political transition is concluded. Donors pledged $4.2 billion
in May to fully implement the government’s recovery and reintegration plan. While
France claims that about $1 billion was disbursed in 2013, its impact was limited
other than financing the transition elections. The Malian government has a relatively good capacity to absorb aid but close attention will be required to see that
funds are spent transparently and wisely rather than to reinforce patronage networks. Northern infrastructure is more lacking by neglect than conflict-damaged.
Policy Implications
The conclusion of the electoral transition with the inauguration of the National Assembly this month presents an opportune time for Mali’s government and donors
to refocus on the challenges of state and nation-building. The new government
may welcome external expertise on several priority issues:
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DDR of northern combatants is a crucial sticking point in the stalled negotiations
with armed groups and must be informed by good practices elsewhere as well as
recognition of the failures of the 1990s and 2006-07 processes in Mali. Negotiating
the reintegration of Tuareg and Arab personnel will be critical as part of wider reconciliation within the security forces.
SSR should focus more on the policing and justice dimensions than simply reforming the army to fight in the north. Peace and justice in the north means having an
accessible police force and judiciary capable of upholding the law for all citizens.
Reform of the justice sector is also necessary to empower the fight against corruption that President Keïta has promised and is crucial to the effective utilisation of
reconstruction aid.
To facilitate the resettlement of displaced persons, reconciliation within the north
should precede but still link to national reconciliation and be separated from commitments to decentralisation, which are likely to exacerbate inter-communal tensions in the diverse north.
Author: Richard Reeve is the Director of the Sustainable Security Programme at Oxford Research Group. He has researched African peace and security issues since
2000, including work with ECOWAS and the AU.These briefings are circulated free of
charge for non-profit use, but please consider making a donation to ORG, if you are
able to do so.
Photo: A Malian painted with the colors of the Malian Flag dances during the official inauguration of Mali newly elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at the Stadium 25 of March in Bamako, MaliSource: Mission de l'ONU au Mali - UN Mission
in Mali (Flickr)
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Mauritania
African Union Summit Wraps up in Addis Ababa
2 FEBRUARY 2014
African leaders wrapped up their 22nd summit in the Ethiopian capital on Friday,
vowing to continue the push for a more peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa.
Newly appointed chairperson of the continental body, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, said Africa is fully aware of the tasks and challenges that
lie ahead of its development path, and would strive to build capacity to respond
to the tasks and challenges.
"We want to build a prosperous, democratic and inclusive Africa that places its
citizens at the heart of its activities. An Africa that is able to address problems by
itself," Abdel Aziz said in his closing remarks.
With many African countries confronted by conflicts, the AU Chairperson stressed
the need for expeditious operationalization of an African Standby Force to resolve
conflicts, and encouraged member states to contribute to the force.
The continent is currently dealing with conflicts in South Sudan and the Central
African Republic, among other hot spots in the continent. For Africa to achieve
development, Abdel Aziz said the continent needs to also tackle terrorism, transnational crime, human and drug trafficking.
Fostering of democratic and inclusive governance based on respect for rule of law
and human rights, particularly those of women and the minority groups is also
major imperatives for Africa, he said.
He said for the continent to succeed in addressing challenges like terrorism, more
attention should be paid to addressing needs of the youth who are often involved
in terror crimes.
He criticized Africa's education and blamed it for failing to address employment
and market needs of the continent.
Providing scientific and technical education would help youths to be fully involved
in development efforts of the continent and significantly reduce cases of extremism that were threatening peace and development on the continent, he said.
Abdel Aziz echoed frequently repeated calls for Africa to speak with one strong
voice in the international fora on issues like trade and climate change.
"Africa also needs to scale up efforts to have equitable representation at the
United Nations Security Council, the United Nations and other international fora,"
he said.
Addressing journalists later on the outcome of the 22nd AU summit, Abdel Aziz
said decisions made by the leaders at the summit were aimed at achieving a sta-
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ble, safer and developed Africa.
He refuted assertions that the African Union force in the Central African Republic
had failed to restore peace in the troubled nation, saying the force was in fact
"doing its best."
Source: http://allafrica.com/
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Niger
Le Niger demande à la France et aux États-Unis d'intervenir dans le
sud libyen
05/02/2014
Des combattants préparent des munitions lors des combats près de Zuwara le 4
avril 2012. © Reuters
Le ministre nigérien de l'Intérieur, Massoudou Hassoumi, a estimé mercredi qu'il
était "tout à fait légitime que la France (et) les États-Unis interviennent pour éradiquer la menace terroriste dans le sud de la Libye".
Se rapproche-t-on d'une intervention internationale dans le sud libyen? C'est en
tout cas le souhait des autorités nigériennes.
"Les puissances qui sont intervenues en Libye pour renverser le colonel Kaddafi, à
la suite de quoi la Libye est devenue aujourd'hui le principal sanctuaire terroriste,
doivent faire le service après-vente. Il est tout à fait légitime que la France (et) les
États-Unis interviennent pour éradiquer la menace terroriste dans le sud de la
Libye", a estimé, mercredi 5 février le ministre nigérien de l'Intérieur, Massoudou
Hassoumi, sur RFI.
"Je pense que la prise de conscience de la menace que constitue le sud libyen est
aujourd'hui assez forte, et une intervention entre dans l'ordre du possible", s'estil félicité.
Alors que le directeur des services de renseignement américains James Clapper a
qualifié le Sahel d'incubateur pour les groupes extrémistes, le ministre nigérien a
estimé "qu'il aurait dû de manière plus précise dire que le sud libyen est un incubateur de groupes terroristes".
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James Clapper avait souligné le 29 janvier que l'Afrique sud-saharienne était devenue un incubateur pour les groupes qui lancent des attaques de plus en plus meurtrières dans la région.
"Les gouvernements de la région du Sahel, particulièrement le Tchad, le Niger, le
Mali et la Mauritanie, courent le risque d'attaques terroristes, essentiellement en
représailles à leur soutien à l'intervention militaire française au Mali en janvier
2013", avait-il détaillé.
Selon plusieurs journaux français, Le Canard enchaîné et Le Figaro, des forces spéciales américaines et algériennes ont d'ores et déjà commencé à traquer les jihadistes. Côté américain, des forces spéciales Delta et des membres de la Special
Activities Division de la CIA ont pénétré dans le sud libyen, non loin des frontières
du Tchad, du Niger et de l'Algérie, a rapporté Le Figaro dans son édition du 1er février.
Le Canard enchaîné affirme de son côté que "des commandos algériens ont eux
aussi franchi la frontière libyenne pour des opérations ponctuelles uniquement".
Source: http://www.jeuneafrique.com/
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Nigeria
Boko Haram: The Nigerian Civil War As Religious War
February 4, 2014 by
By Osita Ebiem
“We are…calling on Muslims in this part of the world to be well prepared because,
very soon, we would launch a full scale war between the Muslims and the Christians.” – Abubakar Shekau declared in February, 2011.
In the interest of those who might believe differently, the above declaration is far
from being an empty boast. The war has been on ever since Shekau made the foregoing declaration and there is no sign of the war abating. Nigeria is engaged in its
first civil war. We have explained somewhere else why this is actually Nigeria’s first
civil war. Many people have sometimes mislabelled Biafra-Nigeria war as a civil war
which it was not.
Internationally and locally it has long been known that Nigeria has been engaged in
a brutal and protracted civil war which has been raging mostly in the northern part
of the country in the last three years. The key players in the war which has claimed
many thousands of civilian lives are members of the Armed Forces of the Nigerian
Government on one side and Northern Nigeria Islamic fundamentalists spearheaded by the Boko Haram group on the other side. There are also other organised Islamic groups like Ansaru, the sect that first made news in February, 2013 when
they kidnapped a vacationing French family with 4 children and 3 adults from
across the border in neighbouring Cameroun. The family was held for two months
till a ransom was paid.
The goal of the Islamic radicals is to establish a separate country in the northern
part of the country where sharia legal system is the rule of law. And that actually is
the plan B of the Muslims of Northern Nigeria. The plan A has always been to Islamise the whole country through a gradual process where the control of the instruments of state authority, leadership of government and other key positions would
remain the exclusive preserve of Northerners through which they would be able to
achieve the goal number A.
The ongoing fighting began substantively in 2011 when the Islamic fundamentalist
hardliner Muhammadu Buhari from the North lost the presidential election to the
incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan from the South. Buhari and other northern Islamic hardliners who are often referred to as born-to-rule cabals (those that
believe that the Muslim North should always produce the rulers of Nigeria) were
quoted to have said that they would make Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan
should he go ahead and win the election. Lawal Kaita is an important northern politician and a born-to-rule diehard and this is what he said about Jonathan just before the 2011 presidential election, “If we fail to stop him at the general election,
even if he wins he will not be able to rule we will make the country ungovernable
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for him.”
When the former president of Nigeria Musa Yar’Adua a Muslim from the North
died in office in May 2010, Goodluck Jonathan as the vice president served out
their term in office but the Northern Muslims were not happy. Some security reports have it that initially when Boko Haram sect resurfaced in 2010 after going underground in 2009, some past and serving army generals, politicians and business
moguls from the North financed heavily, provided logistics and supplies for the operations of Boko Haram and other Islamic terrorist outfits in order to destabilise
Jonathan’s government. From the same intelligence sources it is also known that
this arrangement and control by the local cabals worked up to a certain point. Up
to the time, the local cabals effectively controlled the strikers or the foot soldiers;
they struck targets as chosen by the paymasters. However, as the group’s jihadist
activities made headlines and gained international notoriety the international Al
Qaeda network and other branches of Islamic terrorism networks around the world
noticed the strategic position of the struggle and have since cashed in on the Nigeria scene. Ever since it is believed that the control of Boko Haram and others have
essentially spiralled out of the hands of the erstwhile local sponsors.
Though the local financiers and supporters have not completely stopped the
groups are now being adequately funded and supplied with equipment and logistics from outside Nigeria. Hardware stolen from Nigerian military armoury and ordnance had been their first source of supply. But it should also be recalled that the
terrorists’ strikes peaked around the time there was a lot of outflow of arms and
weapons from the then fast depleting Gadhafi’s Libya stockpile. When the source
of funds and logistics changed, of course, so did the source of much of the orders
for those carrying out the target strikes. It does not really make much difference,
from all indications the Nigerian scene has effectively become an important part of
the global Islamic agenda.
The United States of America has a bounty of $7 million dollars on Abubakar
Shekau while the Nigerian Government will pay 50 million naira, the equivalent of
about $300,000 to anyone who can help them find and deliver Shekau to Nigerian
authorities. It had been reported on several occasions that Nigerian troops fatally
wounded or killed Shekau in gun battles with the authorities only for him to resurface and inflict more deadly attacks on Nigeria and its installations. Abubakar
Shekau is the head of the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria. He is many
things to many people. Some people hate or dread him for some obvious reasons.
One of the reasons that some people would like to hate him is related to some of
the things he said in his recently released video. In the video which was translated
from his native Hausa language, he recounted and attributed the many victories his
group has had over the Nigerian Armed Forces to Allah’s help. He described how
the bodies of Nigerian soldiers and civilians were strewn everywhere on the ground
after his group’s Bama military barrack’s attack. He said; “Had Allah allowed us to
eat them we would have eaten them . . . As for killing, we will kill (for) Allah, if he
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says we should decapitate, we should amputate the limbs, we should mutilate.”
For the above statement and many others like that some people may accuse
Shekau of many unspeakable things but there is one thing that no one can accuse
him of; no one will accuse him of not being explicit enough on the goals of his sect
and by extension those of the Islamic North of Nigeria. He is not known to muddle
up his messages. His statement in the video under discussion is not an exception. In
it he reminded everyone of and re-emphasised what the issue is about in Nigeria.
He made it clear that Nigeria’s problem is religious, ideological or cultural divides
and not poverty, bad governance, incompetent leadership, political corruption or
any of those other things that have been used by some mischievous individuals as
veneer over the real issue in Nigeria.
In the video Shekau restated the fact that it is one Nigeria (a united Nigeria) that is
the problem of Nigeria. To some Nigerian Christians they would like to wish away
this reality and pretend that a religious war is not happening in the country.
Some Nigerian analysts consider David Oyedepo, the leader of one of Nigeria’s
evangelical prosperity-churches, Living Faith Church as one of those wishful thinking Church leaders in Nigeria.
In early November, 2013 when Oyedepo visited Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and called
on the Governor of the state Godswill Akpabio, he was quoted to have repeatedly
said that Nigeria will not break up. Some of his critics have taken him up on the
statement which they consider as insensitive and reckless. Even some members of
his congregation have taken offense with what they call a careless statement coming from their leader. Oyedepo’s critics say that he was merely exhibiting the usual
hypocrisy and insincerity typical and expected of most leaders in Nigeria, irrespective of whether they are of church or secular leadership. Oyedepo’s critics cite as
evidence of his hypocrisy the fact that he started his Living Faith Church in Kaduna,
Northern Nigeria about twenty years ago but had to move his headquarters to Lagos in Southern Nigeria after personally witnessing several deadly jihadist attacks
on churches and Christians in Kaduna. It is said that he moved not because his
church business was doing badly in Kaduna but because of fear for his life and
those of his family members.
However, since realities, facts and actual events should be the things that guide the
decisions of policy makers and the opinion of a correctly-informed general public;
we will go by them in this discussion rather than by the wishes of some Nigerian
“leaders.” In the video Abubakar Shekau restated, as always very clearly, for the
benefit of those who prefer to live in denial that the war he and others are waging
in Nigeria is more of a religious war than an ethnic war.
Let’s hear Shekau in his own words: “They try to brainwash the people that we are
fighting an ethnic war. No, we are fighting a religious war, we are fighting Jonathan,
we are fighting Christians.” Further down he repeated, “The battle is against Jonathan and the rest of his Christian brethren, not ethnic war.”
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For the benefit of doubters Shekau took time to clarify the nature of his war. Now,
this clarification is important and we will explain. The basic difference between an
ethnic and a religious war is that whereas a religious war is aimed at killing, defeating and subjugating the believers in the other religion, ethnic war is directed at
doing the same things but against a people of the other ethnic group.
Generally, the goal of the prosecutors of religious wars at all times, just like the
present one in Nigeria, is usually to convert non-believers and their lands to Islam.
Incidentally, it is only Islam among all the major world religions that is known to use
threat of violence and the devastations of war (terrorism) to convert and subjugate
people to the faith. This is mostly so because terroristic acts and outright war are
intrinsically built into the very fabrics of Islam. Violence against, war on and the killing of non-believers in Islam are part of the cardinal doctrines of the religion. The
critics of the religion reach this conclusion going by the teachings of the two most
important books of Islam; the Koran and hadiths. In the Koran and hadiths jihad or
holy war is about the most important pillar on which the Islamic religion stands.
Most analysts of Islam, based on some portions of these holy books and the teachings of all generations of imams and Islamic scholars, conclude that Islam with the
absence of intolerance and violence will be no Islam. Here below are some of the
portions of the Koran and hadiths that critics often cite when they argue that intolerance and terrorism are at the very core of the Islamic religion.
1. “Believers make war on the infidels (non-Muslims) who dwell around you, let
them find harshness in you” – Quran 9:123
2. “When the sacred months are over, kill the unbelievers wherever you find them”
– Quran 9:5
3. “Fight against Christians and Jews that do not believe in Allah or in the last day…
and do not embrace the true faith (Islam)” – Quran 9:29
4. “Fighting is obligatory for you (Muslims), even if you dislike it” – Quran 2:216
5. “Our Prophet (Mohammed), ordered us to fight you (non-Muslims) till you worship Allah alone or pay us Jizyah (extortion) in submission…Whoever amongst us is
killed as a martyr shall go to Paradise…and whoever survives shall become your
master” – Sahih Bukhari 4:53:386
Islamic terrorism or jihad both in Nigeria and elsewhere is not a conflict exactly between Islam and the Western world and its civilization as in terms of the literal
translation of Boko Haram (boko – books, Western Civilization books that is, are
haram, forbidden.) Rather the Islamic jihad is Islam versus the rest of the nonMuslim world. This position is not hard to defend when one takes a look at where
Muslims are involved in on-going conflicts around the world. Even a mere cursory
look reveals one consistent pattern. In Nigeria it is the Muslims against the Christians and all others that are non-Muslims. The Nigerian conflict is not different from
the one in Thailand which is Muslims against the Buddhists. And you go over to India it is Muslims against the Hindus. In the Middle East it is the entire Muslim na-
82
tions against the Jews in Israel. In the United States, Britain, France, Germany,
Spain and others that represent the Western world it is the Muslims against Christians and atheists.
The truth is that in the Islamic worldview all non-Muslim territories are classified as
Dar-ul harb (land of war.) By this teaching Muslims are not expected to be at peace
with non-Muslims. It is expected of every true Muslim to strive to conquer and subjugate the non-Muslims including their worldview and territory. This is the war that
is going on in Nigeria. Nigeria’s President Jonathan and what he represents: Christianity, make Nigeria a Dar-ul harb that must be conquered and subjugated or divided so that an infidel does not rule over the people of Islam.
Many analysts have been asserting that one major reason why Islamic jihadist terrorism has increased in the recent time is because of some technological advancement which Islamic clerics consider as existential threat to Islam. Other points worthy of mention here are the spread of the ideals of secular democracy, gender
equality, Human and Peoples’ Rights and religious freedom. Notably, these liberal
ideologies are being aided by many technologies that are mainly based off of personal computers and cell phones. The social and virtual interactive networks for
example are fast gaining popularity around the world including the Islamic countries, so Islam feels threatened. Incidentally, because these innovations are computer based, people communicate easily with one another privately with little censors and the trend is expected to continue for a long time to come since these technologies are still growing.
In Nigeria just as it is in other parts of the world, the religion (Islamic clerics) is
grappling with the issue of the eroding of faith in some of the dogmas of its core
teachings resulting from the effects of these technological and ideological innovations. So, the war in Nigeria is expected to be a long drawn out battle whose cost in
human and material resources will be very prohibitive.
In recommending a lasting solution for this problem we have to recognize that the
present world society guarantee’s the rights of all groups and individuals to preserve and maintain their own unique cultural/religious identities. The honest truth
is that Nigeria does not have the wealth and sophistication to effectively deal with
or much more defeat this ideological or cultural onslaught. So it will be a waste of
time trying to fight or wait it out. Fortunately, because of the nature of the demographic spread of the different ethnicities and religions in Nigeria, there is a less
expensive and smarter solution to the problem. In Nigeria the most reasonable and
quick solution to this seemingly endemic problem is the multistate solution through
the principles of Self Determination. We cannot solve the problem otherwise.
Let’s do a more detailed analysis of how the dividing lines are drawn in Nigeria. Igbo people and the other peoples of Southeast and South-South of Nigeria are Christians and Traditional African Religionists. The people in Southwest, the Yoruba are
Christians, Traditional African Religionists and Muslims. The people in the Middle
83
Belt region are mostly Christians, Traditional African Religionists and some Muslims. Hausa/Fulani make up the majority people in the Northern part of Nigeria.
They are mostly Muslims, Traditional African Religionists and Christians.
The people in the South-South and Southeast want to separate from the Nigerian
union and establish a democratic secular country. Yoruba people in the Southwest
would also want to separate from Nigeria to form a democratic secular country.
The people in the Middle Belt are anxious to leave Nigeria to run a separate country that is democratic and secular. The Northerners do not only want to walk away
from Nigeria, they are actually fighting a war to prove how serious they are about
their demand for independence. They want a separate country that is based on the
principles of the Islamic sharia, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Contrary to what a few elite individuals who profit from the present mess are saying, the Nigerian stage is set and well distributed to apply the multistate solution
with little or no complications. With bold thinking and bold action we can easily and
quickly solve the Nigerian problem by encouraging each section to embrace independence and self-determination and end the on-going civil war. To practically test
this water, we can start by organizing some government sponsored referenda to
prove how prepared the different components of the Nigerian union are to part
ways from one another.
•The subject of this article which is the need to apply multistate solution to Nigeria’s problem is discussed in full in the book coming out this February, 2014 by
this author. The book is offered in both ebook and hardcopy editions and will be
available worldwide from all major booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon,
Google Play, Apple’s iTunes, etc. The author can be reached at: [email protected] or phone +1 347 863 2375 EST)
Source: http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/
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Nigeria’s Speaker seeks Cameroon support for war against terrorism
2, 2014 21
Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives, Nigeria
WorldStage Newsonline-- The Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu
Tambuwal has sought Cameroon’s stronger support to Nigeria in fighting and
stamping out terrorist activities confronting the country.
Speaking over the weekend in Abuja at the maiden conference of Speakers /
Presidents of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) of member States, Tambuwal
said Cameroon has a big role to play in stemming terrorist activities in Nigeria.
The member countries of the commission include: Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon,
Centra African Republic (CAR) and Libya.
He said: "I want to use the opportunity of this forum to call on the Deputy Speaker
of the Cameroonian Parliament, Rt. Hon. Baoro Theophile, to prevail on the Speaker
to use his good office to ensure that the government of Cameroon gives stronger
support to Nigeria in fighting and stamping out terrorist activities confronting the
country."
He also noted that the forum was a veritable too to harness the resources of the
lake for the benefit of the member countries of the Commission.
The Speakers viewed with concern the violent political crisis in Southern Sudan and
Central African Republic (CAR). They appealed to the warring factions to put down
their arms and team up with the African Union in finding a lasting solution through
dialogue.
85
The Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe expressed concerns over the
receding waters of the Lake Chad, saying that the lake has receded from 25, 000 sq
kms in 1964 to 1,500 sq kms in 2014.
She called for cooperation in the management of water resources in other to avoid
conflict.
According to the minister, Nigeria granted $5 million out of the $6 million required
to carry out the feasibility study of the inter Basin Water Transfer from Ubangui
River to Lake Chad in over to recharge the receding lake.
Ochekpe said: “It is on record that the Lake Chad has shrunk from over 25, 000 sq
kms in 1964 to about 1,500 sq kms presently.
"Nigeria granted $5million dollars out of the $6million to carry out the feasibility
study of the inter Basin Water Transfer from Ubangui River to Lake Chad in over to
recharge the receding lake.
“I congratulate the Parliamentarians on their effort to restore the glory of the Lake
Chad Basin that will bring about sustainable development of the basin in general.
“It has been widely observed that water may be a potential source of world conflict
in future if not properly managed, hence the need for Trans – boundary water
cooperation amongst nations sharing common basins, notably, the Lake Chad Basin
Commission and Niger Basin Authority.”
http://www.worldstagegroup.com/worldstagenew/index.php?
active=news&newscid=13457&catid=3
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Somalia
Severing Al Shabab's Lifeline
January 30, 2014
By: Jeremiah Foxwell
Al Shabab, the Somalia-based militant regime, is dependent on the ivory trade to
finance its terrorist insurgency in eastern Africa. 40 percent of its revenue comes
from the illegal poaching practice. As a result, its ivory revenue is a source of vulnerability.
Over the past eight years, Al Shabab has driven the United Nations peacekeeping
forces, non-governmental humanitarian organizations, and NATO allies from its territories, and has withstood American Special Forces raids and Ethiopian and Kenyan
military campaigns. Despite international efforts, Al Shabab has become the de facto authority in Somalia and a regional hegemon in the Horn of Africa. An international counter-ivory campaign, however, could weaken Al Shabab’s power and
reign of violence.
Al Shabab challenges western-backed governments in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and
Somalia, launching offensive campaigns and defending its sovereignty with a military based in southern Somalia. Simultaneously, it conducts attacks with insurgency
networks that can strike throughout the disputed Somalia territories, the Horn of
Africa, and even America's airports. The organization maintains international clandestine networks in multiple countries for recruitment, information campaigns,
subversion, and sourcing for weapons material. The organization’s operatives often
serve as part-time insurgents. They melt back into the local communities and move
freely throughout the Horn of Africa, using the cover of refugee migrations to es-
87
cape capture.
For those living in territories controlled and contested by Al Shabab, subjugation is
arguably the best option for security and survival. Al Shabab has effectively used
improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide bombers (including children), and highprofile attacks to create an environment of fear. Al Shabab’s strategic weapons of
choice, IEDS, are cheap to use in isolated attacks. However, they are expensive to
deploy in sustained insurgency campaigns because of the needed materials and
networks to conduct target analysis, design innovative explosive devices, and emplace the weapons. The organization has the financial means to sustain an IED terror campaign in large part because of ivory wealth.
The Elephant Action League (EAL) traced a link between ivory and terrorism in its
report, Africa’s White Gold of Jihad: al-Shabaab and Conflict Ivory. In 2012, over a
period of 18 months, the NGO deployed clandestine researchers throughout Kenya
and Somalia to uncover the “links in the ivory trafficking chain leading to alShabaab.” The investigation revealed a complex network of “poachers, small and
big-time brokers, and informants” connected to Al Shabab’s ivory trade. EAL’s report concluded that the ivory trade is Al Shabab’s largest revenue source and funds
the organization’s terrorist operations. The research showed that Al Shabab takes
in an estimated $200,000 to $600,000 per month through ivory.
Al Shabab’s ivory economy is logically vulnerable to an information campaign that
targets the points of sale – chiefly in Asia. EAL’s undercover researchers witnessed
Al Shabab operatives loading ivory onto ships of Arabic, Chinese, Iranian, and Korean origin. Harvesting ivory in Africa is illegal; the international shipping of it is semilegal; by the time it reaches markets in Asia, it has become a legal commodity. These legal markets that exist far from the Horn of Africa can be targeted through information campaigns that diminish the status of owning ivory and educate potential consumers on its environmental and political impacts.
Remittances -- known colloquially as hawaladars -- provide Al Shabab’s second largest revenue source. Thousands of untraceable donations from the Somali diaspora
and global sympathizers flow into Al Shabab’s coffers and support both insurgency
networks and public works, including building roads and hospitals, which subsequently reinforces popular support. The more popular support Al Shabab has in the
Horn of Africa, the more money the diaspora gives. This international support
would likely diminish if, in the absence of a profitable international ivory market, Al
Shabab had to revert to overt criminal tactics, extortion, and human trafficking for
additional revenue streams. Without the ivory income, Al Shabab would also likely
become dependent on funding from organizations like Al Qaeda, which are not vulnerable to the local Somalia populations. Targeting ivory will directly reduce Al
Shabab’s income and indirectly reducing its popular support.
Similar arguments have been made about undercutting the market for cocaine that
fuels the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or eradicating the market for
opium that funds the Taliban in Afghanistan. For many reasons, these strategies
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have proven ineffective. Ivory, however, represents a different kind of commodity,
one that is elastic, rather than inelastic. Given that, to date, Al Shabab has proved
itself relatively immune to western-backed military campaigns, drone strikes, and
Special Forces raids, a non-military tactic is worth consideration. An international
anti-ivory campaign could work in concert with military efforts in the Horn of Africa
to counter Al Shabab, but military efforts alone without targeting Al Shabab's revenue stream could prove futile. Targeting ivory is a win for the international community, for the millions of people who are exposed to Al Shabab's terror, and for the
remaining elephants in Africa.
http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2014/01/30/severing-al-shababs-lifeline
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Tunisia
Tunisie: méfiez-vous des niqabs
Le voile intégral n'est pas seulement porté par certaines femmes: en
Tunisie, les terroristes le portent aussi.
10/02/2014
Femmes voilées a Sana au Yémen, REUTERS / Khaled Abdullah
Le niqab est devenu une véritable arme aux mains des terroristes, fait savoir le site
tunisien Kapitalis. Le voile intégral fait désormais office de camouflage pour les terroristes afin d'échapper au contrôle des forces de l’ordre.
Déjà, en octobre dernier, le portail Tunisie Focus relatait l’arrestation d’un terroriste recherché qui se cachait sous une burqa, afin d'éviter les contrôle de police.
Kamel Zarrouk, le n°2 d’Ansar al-Charia, aurait échappé à trois reprises à la police,
en étant déguisé sous un niqab. Cette situation remet en cause le port du niqab,
fait savoir Kapitalis.
Si en France la question est réglée depuis 11 octobre 2010, en Tunisie elle est encore taboue, mais les médias tels que le site Web Do semblent vouloir favoriser la
sécurité dans les espaces publics.
«Peut-on encore tolérer ce camouflage? Ne doit-on pas donner aux forces de l'ordre
le droit de regarder ce qui se cache dessous? N'ayant aucune sacralité véritable, le
niqab ne relève pas d'une justification religieuse et sa présence envahissante dans
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l'espace urbain devrait être remise en question. Comment tolérer que l'on puisse
circuler en public, sans corps et sans visage, alors que le pays entier est en état de
choc», pouvait-on lire en octobre dernier sur le site.
Source: http://www.slateafrique.com/
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International Organizations
UN
Somalia diverting arms to al-Shabab, UN report claims
Al
-Shabab claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on Mogadishu's airport on
Thursday.
A UN report has warned that "systematic abuses" by Somalia's government have
allowed weapons to be diverted to warlords and al-Shabab militants.
The report for the UN's sanctions committee calls for the restoration of an arms
embargo on Somalia that was relaxed last year.
It said a key adviser to Somalia's president has been involved in planning weapons
deliveries to militants.
Somalia's mission to the UN has questioned the report's validity.
The confidential 14-page report was compiled by the UN's Somalia and Eritrea
Monitoring Group, a panel of independent experts supervising compliance with the
sanctions regime.
It said the group had "identified a number of issues and concerns over current
management of weapons and ammunition stockpiles" by Somalia's government.
These, it said, "point to high-level and systematic abuses in weapons and ammunition management and distribution".
The Security Council imposed the embargo on Somalia in 1992 as the country descended into two decades of unrest.
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Information gaps
It was hoped that last year's easing of sanctions on light weapons such as assault
rifles and rocket-propelled grenades would enable an internationally-backed government to better arm its security forces against al-Shabab.
Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on Thursday near the international airport in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. At least six people were killed.
The new report outlines the difficulties faced by the monitors in gaining access to
weapons stockpiles in Somalia and obtaining information about its growing arsenal.
It said shipments of weapons from Uganda and Djibouti could not be accounted
for.
Many weapons were being diverted away from security forces and into the hands
of militias loyal to powerful clans or for sale in private arms markets in Mogadishu,
it added.
Within these clans, one key adviser to the president has been involved in planning
weapons deliveries to al-Shabab, the report said.
"Given the gaps in information... it is impossible to quantify what the scale of diversion of weapons stocks has been," it said.
"However, the Monitoring Group has obtained other pieces of qualitative evidence
that point towards systematic abuses by the (Somali army)."
It recommend the restoration of the full arms embargo, or at least stricter rules.
The Somali mission to the UN said the report contained "very serious allegations"
which will "cause damage to the legitimacy of the government."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/
93
Terrorism in the World
Afghanistan
Jihad, Then and Now
The Majalla speaks to Abdullah Anas
The son-in-law of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam and a former comrade of Osama Bin Laden
reflects on the differences between the struggle in Afghanistan in the 1980s and in
Syria today
Abdullah Anas speaks with The Majalla. (The Majalla/Tam Hussein)
As the situation in Syria grows worse and simultaneously more complicated day by
day, the fears of observers of the conflict have become more focused on the foreign jihadists who have travelled to the war-torn country to take part in the
fighting. With the chaos unleashed by some of the “Arab Afghans” who joined the
struggle against the former Soviet Union’s presence in Afghanistan in the 1980s still
fresh in the minds of the world’s intelligence and security services, it is worth looking back once more at the experiences of the members of this group. Few are more
familiar with the Arab Afghans and their struggle than Abdullah Anas.
The son-in-law of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam—who became Osama Bin Laden’s mentor
when he arrived in Afghanistan—Anas was second-in-command at the Bureau of
Services office in Peshawar that supported the Arab Afghans and Afghan Mujahideen. Today, Anas remains proud of the decade he spent involved in the Afghan
struggle, and counts Ahmad Shah Massoud and Osama Bin Laden as former comrades in arms.
94
Before meeting Azzam, Anas was already a founder of the Islamic movement in
southern Algeria and worked with Algeria’s leading Islamists Mahfoudh Nahnah
and Abbas Madani. He remains a part-time imam and a teacher of the Qur’an, having studied in Saudi Arabia and Algeria. Following his religious studies he took a degree in international politics in the UK. His journey to Afghanistan began when he
came across a legal opinion written by Azzam, who argued that it was obligatory for
Muslims to fight in Afghanistan. By chance he later met Azzam in Mecca and was
invited to travel to Afghanistan with him.
After the departure of the Soviets from the country and the assassination of Azzam
in 1992, Anas grew disillusioned by the takfirist ideas that had become increasingly
prominent thanks to new arrivals such as Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the current leader of
Al-Qaeda. Anas’s role had been to focus on the logistical needs of the Afghan Mujahideen, while the organization that came to be known as Al-Qaeda had a larger
agenda, which would become infamous in the years that followed. As infighting
broke out among the Afghan Mujahideen, Anas left for Algeria, though his affiliation to the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and the subsequent military crackdown that
followed its election success in 1992 forced him into exile in France and then the
UK.
Today, Anas says he is in the process of writing his memoirs, running a TV channel
and working with young people.
The Majalla: Why did the Arab Afghans get along with their local comrades so
much more successfully than the foreign fighters in Syria do today?
Abdullah Anas: We realised it was not about carrying Kalashnikovs and calling for
fighters. I remember when I came back from my first trip to Mazar-i-Sharif in 1984,
and writing a report to Sheikh Abdullah Azzam saying we needed a hundred Muslims with the following skills: aid worker, political *operative+, mentor and proselytizer, in addition to being a bridge between the Afghans and the outside world.
These men were to be like ambassadors in the twenty-nine provinces of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, we failed in this, otherwise the outcome might have been
different.
Q: In what ways were the Arab Afghan fighters different from the ones now in
Syria?
The difference is that most are going over *to Syria+ just to be martyred. I went to
Afghanistan to see it liberated—or to achieve martyrdom. This idea was shared by
Sheikh Azzam, Massoud and Bin Laden. We made a positive and constructive contribution to struggle. We didn’t go there just for martyrdom.
Q: How did you deal with prisoners? Did you behead them like we see on
YouTube videos from Syria these days?
Prisoners have full rights. We fed them the same food, gave them the same clothes
and the same quality of life. After several months, many of the Soviet troops start-
95
ed to believe that they weren’t prisoners because we were on such good terms
with them. Through our conduct we showed them we were not bloodthirsty people. Some of them became Muslims, others remain our friends to this day.
The argument that God will forgive you if you execute prisoners because of the
dangers is not acceptable. Killing prisoners is a big responsibility. They *the perpetrators+ need to stand trial and judgment—without understanding their case one
cannot decide if someone deserves to die or not. Unfortunately, this culture has
disappeared now. I think the number-one responsibility for this falls on Al-Qaeda.
Q: A lot of people justify the atrocities because they are a result of the trauma of
war. Do you agree?
I have heard the argument that we should understand fighters when they commit
atrocities because war does that to you. This is inexcusable. I am a fighter of eight
years’ experience, I know hundreds of fighters; some of them destroyed 300 tanks,
but they never behaved in such a way. They don’t experience post-traumatic
stress; they remain serene, forbearing and experience no nightmares. I don’t believe in it. The companions of the Prophet never experienced it.
Q: Some analysts blame the Arab Afghan for all the consequences that we are
seeing now. Do you agree with this assessment?
No. Before 9/11 Al-Qaeda used to be known as the Arab Afghans. I am the founder
of the Arab Afghans, and of the 3,000 to 4,000 people *there+ only 300 people
were permanently fighting. The majority of them were in Peshawar, driving, teaching, administrating and so on. In the eyes of our parents or the media you are
a mujahid! In Peshawar there are Americans, Brits, international consulates and
aid organizations, and we worked with them. Arab Afghans were misrepresented
because regimes like that of *former Egyptian President Hosni+ Mubarak didn’t
want to give people human rights and they cited us as a security risk.
Q: Al-Shaba’ab *in Somalia+ was created by the Arab Afghans, were they not?
We have to divide the period into three different eras. Afghanistan from 19791992 saw legitimate jihad. From 1996–2001 it was civil war, and from then on up
to now is the third era—a civil war. Afghanistan was not under occupation from
any foreigners. In situations of civil war, God commands us to resolve the crisis,
otherwise we must not be part of it.
Q: Could you explain the ideological differences between Azzam’s vision and AlQaeda’s?
Sheikh Azzam would never accept the things that are going on today. He said when
any Western journalist, aid worker, official or non-official came to Afghanistan with
a letter of invitation it was a trust that had to be honored. There were many Western and Arab governments in Peshawar and Sheikh Azzam told us never to bother
them, that they were there to help the Afghans and so were we. Even the communist consulates were never touched in Pakistan because the battle was in the
96
trenches. Houses, cars, women outside of the battlefield, were safe and secure. Unfortunately this is not the case with Al-Qaeda.
Q: Is Azzam’s name being misused?
Everyone who uses Azzam for recruitment will answer for it in the hereafter. They
are being selective with his message. I saw a clip on the Internet where Azzam says:
“Yes, if defending your homeland is terrorism, then yes, we are proud to be terrorists.” I was there at that lecture in a village in Panjshir *a province in Afghanistan+.
The Soviets were calling us terrorists for defending Afghanistan and he was responding to that in his one-hour lecture. This line was taken out of context and applied to all acts of terrorism that are being committed today. It breaks my heart to
see one’s best moment being hijacked. However, we must also remember that the
political circumstances all over the world support *Al-Qaeda’s+ message.
Q: Many who join Al-Qaeda now do so because of Azzam’s example, but do his
views apply now?
If someone told me that he wanted to fight in Somalia, Syria or Waziristan now, I
would discourage him. I went to Afghanistan when the circumstances were safe.
The leadership in Afghanistan had one enemy, the Soviets. We were friends with
the West, the Afghan Mujahideen had offices in all the capitals of the West and the
Gulf. The jihad was focused. The philosophy of hatred and bloodshed did not exist.
Azzam was recognized as the Emir of the Afghan Arab Mujahideen every year he
visited the US and Europe and participated in fundraising. He never ever thought
about hijacking *planes+ or blowing himself up. These circumstances no longer exist. So I fear that young Muslims going to Syria will not be safe, and focused on removing President Bashar Al-Assad. There are intelligence services playing with their
noble intentions and Al-Qaeda does not have the same methodology it started off
with. Why are they blowing up people in the UK, when jihad does not mean spreading hatred? In the past people would go and fight, and if he was not martyred he
would return to normal civilian life without hatred. Now there’s brainwashing, yes,
blowing oneself up outside the battlefield.
Q: What is the future of international jihad?
As the Prophet—peace be upon him—says, “Jihad will continue till the end of
time,” but the Jihad needs the right context. As Ibn Qayyum says, jihad is divided
into fourteen categories, including the jihad of speaking the truth, of studying, of
the pen and military jihad. The jihad of the Muslim Ummah *community+ is in many
of these fields, they want to be rid of dictatorial regimes, to exist in dignity among
other nations. This idea of being armed against your government before we start
discussing whether it is permissible or not—it has failed already. If you study the
past twenty years, all these armed groups, except for jihad in Afghanistan, have
failed.
Q: Is armed struggle allowed if governments shut down the democratic process,
as happened to the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Algeria?
97
Thirty years ago, *Egyptian+ Islamic jihad, under the leadership of Seyyed Iman *AlSharif+, argued that change can only be achieved through arms. But the Arab Spring
has shown that people want change peacefully. This is the jihad of the word, and I
am in that camp.
Q: Why does this not apply in Syria?
When you are compelled to defend yourself, it is totally different from believing in
*armed struggle+ as a methodology for change. Assad has admitted that for six
months the demonstrations were peaceful. This means that the Syrian revolution
was a started by civilians. Fighters such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria don’t
have the same agenda.
Q: A lot of Al-Qaeda followers refer to Bin Laden as a sheikh. Was he religiously
qualified?
Osama never thought he was a religious sheikh. Sheikh Azzam had three imams to
lead the prayer if he wasn’t there. One was Abu Hajir Al-Iraqi, the second Abu Ibrahim Al-Iraqi, and when neither of them could lead; I would step in. Osama never
led prayers or gave sermons. That didn’t mean that in Saudi Arabia he didn’t give
eloquent speeches full of poetry, but that was to raise awareness about Afghanistan.
http://www.majalla.com/eng/2014/02/article55248465
98
France
Les tribulations de trois apprentis djihadistes qui voulaient aller en
Syrie
30/01/2014
Trois hommes, présumés candidats au djihad en Syrie, comparaissent jeudi et
vendredi devant le tribunal correctionnel de Paris. Alors que le juge retrace leur
parcours, Youssef Ettaoujar, considéré comme l’émir du groupe, affiche son
aplomb.
Dans le box des accusés, Youssef Ettaoujar est en plein conciliabule avec son avocat. En attendant la cour qui doit le juger, le jeune Franco-Marocain semble détendu, et même souriant, derrière sa barbe. Les faits qui lui sont reprochés ne sont
pourtant pas sans gravité. L’homme âgé de 26 ans est poursuivi pour "association
de malfaiteurs en relation avec une entreprise terroriste", avec deux autres personnes, Fares Farsi, 21 ans, et Salah-Eddine Gourmat, 24 ans, tous deux FrancoAlgériens. Ils sont accusés d’avoir tenté de se rendre en Syrie pour y faire le djihad,
la guerre sainte. Youssef Ettaouar est le seul à comparaître détenu lors de ce procès devant le tribunal correctionnel de Paris, jeudi 30 et vendredi 31 janvier.
Pendant de longs mois, leur relation se noue via les réseaux sociaux. Puis arrive la
première rencontre entre les trois hommes. Elle remonte au 9 décembre 2011, à
Nice. Ils se rendaient tous les trois à l’invitation lancée via les réseaux sociaux par
un certain Omar qui, selon les trois compères, faisait simplement des montages de
vidéos. Interrogé sur le nom de famille du fameux Omar, Youssef Ettaouar ose rétorquer narquois : "Je ne sais pas, c’était pas Omar Sy ?", en référence au célèbre
acteur. Il s’agit en réalité d’Omar Diaby, un membre de Forsane Alizza, groupus-
99
cule islamiste dissout par le ministère de l’Intérieur en 2012. Arrêté le jour même
de la réunion, il avait réuni chez lui une trentaine de jeunes qu’il s’apprêtait,
comme le rapportait "Nice-Matin" au moment des faits, à acheminer en Tunisie ou
ailleurs, pour qu’ils y suivent des entraînements.
Une préparation minutieuse
A partir de ce jour Youssef, Fares et Salah commencent à fomenter le projet de
partir en terre de djihad. Aucun d’eux n’a d’ailleurs pris soin de cacher ses opinions : Ettaoujar a prénommé sa fille Djihad, les deux autres postent régulièrement sur leur profil Facebook des photos de combattants en armes ou encore des
vidéos louant les actes de Mohamed Merah. C’était sans compter les surveillances
policières dont ils faisaient l’objet, plus d’un mois avant leur tentative de départ,
et qui ont permis de mettre un terme à leur épopée. Interpellés le 14 mai 2012 au
comptoir d'enregistrement de l'aéroport d'Andrézieux-Bouthéon, près de SaintÉtienne, ils s'apprêtaient à prendre un vol pour Gaziantep, en Turquie.
À l’aide du compte-rendu des écoutes téléphoniques de la DCRI, le juge entreprend de remonter le temps et de retracer le fil des évènements, qui les ont conduit à vouloir se rendre en Turquie, pour ensuite aller en Syrie. Il apparaît que la
Syrie, déchirée par un conflit armé depuis presque trois ans, n’était pas leur idée.
"On pensait d’abord aller au Mali, via la Tunisie, ou encore en Libye. On a aussi
parlé du Yémen. Chacun disait son idée et essayait d’apporter sa pierre à l’édifice",
a expliqué à la cour Fares Farsi. L’examen des écoutes téléphoniques montrera
que neuf jours encore avant leur départ, les trois acolytes n’étaient toujours pas
fixés sur leur destination.
Mais si la destination reste floue, les conversations téléphoniques révèlent cependant un minutieux travail de préparation. Les trois hommes discutent beaucoup
du matériel qu’ils doivent se procurer : jumelles à vision nocturnes, gilets tactiques, boussoles, lampes frontales et autres Holster de cuisse, servant à transporter des armes. Ils évoquent même des machettes, mais finissent par renoncer à les
acheter, Youssef Ettaoujar les jugeant "pas assez aiguisées, ou en tous cas pas
suffisamment pour trancher une tête". Ils vont également acheter un véhicule
4X4, à l’époque où ils comptaient encore se rendre au Mali en voiture.
Djihad ou partie de pêche ?
Quant au but de leur voyage, les avis divergent. Malgré le matériel saisi lors de
leur arrestation, qualifié de "paramilitaire" par la cour, et le contenu accablant des
écoutes, Youssef Ettaoujar et Salah-Eddine Gourmat soutiennent qu’ils souhaitaient se rendre en Syrie "uniquement pour filmer ce qu'il s’y passe ",
"s’improviser journalistes". Soupçonnant à un moment donné qu’ils étaient surveillés, ils se sont mis à utiliser au téléphone des codes. Ils parlent notamment de
se procurer "des cannes à pêches". Si Salah-Eddine Gourmat avoue avoir compris
qu’il s’agissait d’armes, Youssef Ettaoujar, lui, soutient avec aplomb au juge qu’il
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partait en vacances et qu’il comptait pêcher.
Seul Fares Farsi a reconnu le projet djihadiste, expliquant avoir voulu faire marche
arrière après les assassinats commis par Mohamed Merah à Toulouse car il estimait "qu'un combattant de Dieu ne pouvait pas tuer des enfants". "On voulait aller
en Turquie dans des camps de réfugiés syriens pour y prendre des contacts afin
d’aller en Syrie et se joindre à la résistance contre Bachar al-Assad", a-t-il déclaré.
"Ça s’appelle le djihad", a poursuivit Fares Farsi. Selon lui, les caméras en leur possession étaient destinées à filmer leur djihad pour encourager la jeunesse française à les suivre, mais aussi à servir "d'alibi" aux frontières.
Avant même d’avoir pris la parole, Fares Farsi, le plus jeune du trio, se démarque
de ceux qu’il appelle néanmoins encore ses "camarades". Arrivé en avance accompagné de son avocat, il est tiré à quatre épingles, cheveux coupés courts, barbe
rasée de près, quand Youssef Ettaoujar et Salah Eddine Gourmat arborent tous
deux des survêtements de sport et des cheveux longs, retenus sur la nuque par
une élastique. Devant la cour, il affirme avoir été embrigadé par les deux autres et
notamment par Youssef Ettaoujar. Le divorce de ses parents et ses relations difficiles avec son père, qui le poussait à quitter la maison, ont favorisé sa chute dans
le fondamentalisme religieux. Il insiste sur le fait que lui ne voulait pas combattre,
seulement porter la caméra, et que c’était le rôle qu’Ettaoujar avait fini par lui assigner.
Les trois prévenus risquent jusqu'à dix ans de prison. Ce procès, qui se poursuit
vendredi, intervient quelques jours après l'interpellation en Turquie de deux adolescents de 15 et 16 ans, qui avaient eux aussi programmé de rejoindre la cohorte
des jeunes Français qui combattent en Syrie. Selon les autorités, au moins 700
Français ont rejoint les rangs des djihadistes en Syrie.
Source: http://www.france24.com/
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Djihad : les deux lycéens toulousains mis en examen
Publié le 31 janvier 2014
© Reuters
Les lycéens sont poursuivis pour "participation à une association de malfaiteurs
en relation avec une entreprise terroriste"".
POURSUITES. Les Toulousains de 15 et 16 ans, soupçonné d'avoir voulu se rendre
en Syrie pour y mener le djihade, ont été mis en examen vendredi par une juge antiterroriste, une mesure rarissime pour des mineurs. Ces mises en examen pour
association de malfaiteurs en relation avec une entreprise terroriste ont été assorties de contrôles judiciaires prévoyant des mesures éducatives, selon une source
judiciaire.
Les jeunes toulousains ont répondu durant deux jours aux enquêteurs de la Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI) sur le périple entamé le 6 janvier
qui les a sans doute conduits en Syrie via la Turquie. Des deux, c'est le plus jeune,
Y., qui est aussi le plus inséré dans le système scolaire, qui semble avoir été le plus
déterminé, a assuré une source proche du dossier.
Un contrôle judiciaire strict. Mis en examen pour "association de malfaiteurs en
relation avec une entreprise terroriste", le premier ado été placé sous contrôle judiciaire. Selon les informations recueillies par Europe 1, cette mesure comprend
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plusieurs contraintes parmi lesquelles l'obligation de répondre aux convocations de
la justice, l'interdiction de sortir du territoire, la remise de ses papiers d'identités,
l'obligation de suivre une scolarité ou une formation professionnelle, de se soumettre à des mesures de protection, de surveillance et d'éducation.
Le jeune homme a également l'interdiction d'entrer en contact avec son camarade
de "voyage". Une mesure qui laisse penser que les deux adolescents ne pourront
reprendre tous deux leur scolarité au sein du lycée des Arènes, à Toulouse, en
classe de seconde générale.
Ce que répondent leurs avocats. Cette mise en examen repose sur "des charges
ridicules", a répliqué un de ses avocats, Me Yassine Bouzrou. Selon lui, son client
"pensait bien faire en allant en Syrie" et met en avant le caractère "humanitaire" de
son voyage. Selon une source proche du dossier, Y. réfute s'être rendu dans un
camp d'entraînement lors de son passage en Syrie.
Une motivation pacifique relativisée par des sources proches du dossier, qui évoquent une photo avec une arme diffusée sur Facebook dont l'authenticité devra
être établie ou un appel à des proches où l'un des deux évoquait les combattants
comme ses "frères". Selon une source proche de l'enquête, le plus âgé des deux
n'évoque pas ce caractère "humanitaire". Les versions des deux garçons ne concordent d'ailleurs pas en tous points.
Source: http://www.europe1.fr/
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Irak
En Irak, une formation aux attentats-suicides tourne mal et fait 22
morts
LeMonde.fr – lun. 10 févr. 2014
Un groupe de djihadistes sunnites a été décimé dans une explosion accidentelle,
lundi 10 février, dans un camp d'entraînement situé au nord de Bagdad, dans une
zone rurale de la province de Samarra. Au moins 21 militants sont morts dans l'explosion. Selon le New York Times, qui cite des sources policières et de l'armée, un
instructeur du groupe djihadiste de l'Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant (EIIL) a fait
détonner une ceinture explosive alors qu'il en démontrait l'usage. Selon l'AFP, qui
cite également des responsables de sécurité locaux sans identifier le groupe, il
s'agissait non d'une ceinture mais d'un véhicule piégé, et l'explosion a eu lieu durant le tournage d'une vidéo de propagande.
L'explosion a retenti à 8 heures (6 heures à Paris) dans ces locaux situés dans la
zone rurale et agricole de Jilam, un fief insurgé au sud de la ville majoritairement
sunnite de Samarra, selon les mêmes sources. L'EIIL combat en Syrie et en
Irak essentiellement dans la province d'Anbar, contre le gouvernement dominé par
des chiites. Quinze autres militants ont été blessés dans l'explosion, selon le New
York Times, et huit ont été arrêtés dans leur fuite.
Dans le même temps, le président du Parlement, Oussama Al-Nujaifi, a échappé de
justesse à une tentative d'assassinat quand une bombe a explosé au passage de
son convoi dans sa ville de Mossoul, dans le nord du pays. M. Nujaifi, le plus haut
responsable sunnite du pays, est indemne, a annoncé son bureau. Mossoul, cheflieu de la province de Ninive, dont le frère de M. Nujaifi, Atheel, est le gouverneur,
est l'une des zones les plus violentes d'Irak, avec de fréquentes attaques contre les
forces de l'ordre, les responsables gouvernementaux et les civils.
L'Irak a renoué depuis 2013 avec des niveaux de violence proches de ceux de 2008,
et plus de 1 000 personnes ont été tuées durant le seul mois de janvier, selon le
gouvernement. Les (...)Lire la suite sur lemonde.fr
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Pakistan
In Pakistan, we have a particular mindset about Islam: anything affiliated or somehow linked with Islam is perceived to be holy, while
questioning that affiliation or linkage is considered a sin
February 05, 2014
With the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) still lingering in uncertainty, the new
year, so far, is proving to be disastrous for Pakistan. The recent bomb blasts in Rawalpindi, Bannu and Mustang show how important the developments of the new
year are for the security of this country. The regional geo-strategic political atmosphere is changing as the US is focusing on the complete or partial withdrawal of its
forces, depending on the signature on the BSA by Afghan President Karzai. The US
will either take off with all its forces or will leave 10,000 to 15,000 security personnel. A power vacuum will certainly be created and coping with this power vacuum
in Afghanistan will be the real challenge for regional countries.
The implications of this withdrawal can be severe for Pakistan since we not only
have a long porous border with Afghanistan but also a cultural proximity, safe havens and the linkage between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Afghan Taliban. With the withdrawal of the US forces it would be much easier for the insurgents to cross the Pak-Afghan border and threaten stability in Pakistan. The Afghan
Taliban have already denounced the BSA and they do not believe in having talks
with the Afghan government unless the US-led NATO forces completely withdraw,
thus signalling the disaster that can hit the region.
The solution to the problem of dealing with the terrorists lies somewhere between
the options of dialogue and a full-fledged military operation. The carrot and stick
approach has to be applied to deal with the TTP. Covert and targeted military operations, with the help of strong intelligence reports, have to be undertaken instead
of full military action. It is not only about killing the terrorists; rather, it is about killing the ideas that are the motivational force. The phenomenon of terrorism has to
be choked — the recruitment grounds of the terrorist organisations have to be cut.
The difference between terrorists and terrorism has to be understood as merely
killing the terrorists will not help, like using painkillers for appendicitis. We have to
figure out the root causes of terrorism in Pakistan and we have to understand that
the TTP is using a certain ideology to get sympathies and recruits. The insurgency,
which is fuelled by a religious ideology is seriously dangerous and can only be uprooted by a countering ideology approach and response. We should note that,
while the current crop of terrorist leaders can be killed, captured or even rehabilitated, the seeds have already been planted for the next generation. Hence, in the
longer term, counter-ideological responses are crucial in disrupting the recruitment
and regeneration cycle. There is quite a huge support base of the TTP even in the
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settled areas of the country because people think that the TTP stands for Islamic
sharia. As long as that support base and the mindset of the people are not
changed, we can never win this war against terrorism.
Today it is the TTP, tomorrow it can be any other organisation under the cloak of
Islamic sharia, challenging the writ of the state. In Pakistan, we have a particular
mindset about Islam: anything affiliated or somehow linked with Islam is perceived
to be holy, while questioning that affiliation or linkage is considered a sin. This particular mindset and mentality have to be changed since it is actually being used by
the terrorist organisations that declare themselves to be the torchbearers of Islamic sharia. In this way, they gain a support base even in the so-called educated class.
One reason for the increase in the support of terrorist organisations is the inefficiency of governments to tackle the problems of the people. People start thinking
about prevailing injustices and, for their countering, develop a soft corner for alternate forms of government. That is the reason why the Taliban were successful in
getting into power in the 1990s in Afghanistan, as the people welcomed them and
looked towards them as their saviours. The 2005 earthquake and the 2010 floods in
Pakistan, for instance, showed the inability of the government, providing a perfect
opportunity for the terrorist organisations, under different names, to play their
part, leaving thousands of people and children at the mercy of the terrorists.
Moreover, terrorism and sectarianism are two different phenomena; both have
different causes and targets, but recently what has happened is that the TTP has
been able to combine sectarianism with terrorism, making the security conditions
even worse. One major objective of terrorist organisations is to get publicity so that
they can have a strong impact on the government agencies, and for that they use
the print or electronic media, or their own pamphlets — Mullah Fazlullah used his
famous FM radio channel. To counter this hunger for publicity, the media has to be
controlled and should not be allowed to exaggerate news that terrorises the masses. Moreover, the flow of pamphlets belonging to terrorist organisations has to be
stopped and banned. Similarly, the use of loudspeakers in religious institutions
should be checked, as a majority of them spread hatred in society and glorify the
‘cause’ of the Taliban.
The areas that have been captured from the terrorists need to be developed in
such a way that they do not diverge from the culture and norms of that area; the
locals must want to accept such a change. The authorities will have to increase
their contacts with the locals, sit with them and listen to their concerns. The deteriorating picture of the state of Pakistan has to be cleaned up in the minds of the
tribal people who have to be assured that the government does care about them.
Collateral damage has to be controlled, as killing one innocent can result in producing several terrorists.
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Terrorist organisations always want an over-reaction from the authorities, which
helps in stamping them as innocent and thus getting them support from the masses. The TTP is full of thugs, murderers and dacoits, and does not even recognise the
constitution of Pakistan. They are playing their game very tactfully by using the
name of Islamic sharia to fulfil their hidden agendas. It is high time for government
agencies to carve out a detailed counterinsurgency policy so that growing militancy
and extremism can be checked, otherwise the scale of the sensitivity of this issue
has the ability to bring more chaos to Pakistan.
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/05-Feb-2014/tackling-terrorism
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Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s new anti-terrorism law to criminalize any form of dissent - including demanding political reform and exposing corruption
03 FEBRUARY 2014
The Saudi authorities will easily and eagerly use the law against peaceful dissidents
Saudi Arabia has put into effect a sweeping counter-terrorism law that human
rights activists say allows the kingdom to prosecute as a terrorist anyone who demands reform, exposes corruption or otherwise engages in dissent.
The law states that any act that “undermines” the state or society, including calls
for regime change in Saudi Arabia, can be tried as an act of terrorism. It also grants
security services broad powers to raid homes and track phone calls and internet
activity.
Human rights activists were alarmed by the law, and said it was clearly aimed at
keeping the kingdom’s ruling Al Saud family firmly in control. Demands for democratic reform have grown louder since the Arab Spring protests that shook the Middle East and North Africa region in 2011 and toppled long-time autocrats.
Abdulaziz Al-Shubaily , a Saudi activist, described the law as a “catastrophe”. Adam
Coogle, of Human Rights Watch, added: “The new law is draconian in spirit and
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letter, and there is every reason to fear that the authorities will easily and eagerly
use it against peaceful dissidents.”
The measure was approved on 16 December and was published in its entirety for
the first time on Friday, in the government’s official gazette, Umm Al-Qura.
In defence of the law, the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, Abdel Aziz
Khoja, was quoted in December as saying that the legislation strikes a balance between prevention of crimes and protection of human rights, according to Islamic
law.
SAUDI AUTHORITIES STOP TEXT-MESSAGE TRACKING OF WOMEN… FOR NOW
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s last absolute monarchies. All decisions are centred in the hands of 89-year-old King Abdullah. There is no parliament. There is
little written law and judges – implementing the country’s strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam – have broad leeway to impose verdicts and sentences. An attempt
to pass a similar counter-terrorism law in 2011 was shelved after rights groups in
Saudi Arabia and abroad leaked a copy online. Since then, dozens of activists have
been detained and a prominent rights group was shut down.
The new law defines terrorism as any criminal act that “destabilises the society’s
security or the state’s stability or exposes its national unity to harm”. It also states
that terrorist acts include “disabling the ruling system” or “offending the nation’s
reputation”.
Activists said that simply exposing corruption could be seen as a violation of the
law. Some also warned that Saudi women who get behind the wheel of a car in violation of the ban on female drivers could be tried under the new legislation. Other
worrying aspects, activists said, include an article that says police can raid homes
and offices on suspicion of anti-government activity without prior approval from a
judge or even a superior. Suspects can also be held incommunicado for 90 days,
and lawyers are not required to be present during the initial interrogation.
Mr Al-Shubaily is among 12 activists who founded the Saudi Association for Civil
and Political Rights. The group was shut down, eight of its founding members were
imprisoned, and he is facing trial. “If I call for the release of someone from jail for
being held longer than their sentence, I can be tried for ‘asking the state to take
action,’” Mr Al-Shubaily said. “When I call for a constitutional monarchy, I can now
be charged with terrorism. They characterise you as a terrorist because you ask the
kingdom to do something it does not want to do.”
AP
Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/
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Syria
Jihad: Nora, 15 ans, a-t-elle quitté Avignon pour la Syrie?
La disparition il y a huit jours d'une jeune lycéenne à Avignon est suivie de très
près par le parquet anti-terroriste de Paris. Sa famille a découvert après son départ sa radicalisation extrême.
Le 31/01/2014
Nora est-elle partie combattre en Syrie? La disparition il y a huit jours de cette
jeune adolescente studieuse de 15 ans, qui habite une cité sensible des quartiers
sud d'Avignon, a anéanti sa famille, convaincue que la jeune lycéenne est partie
faire le jihad.
Le parquet anti-terroriste de Paris s'est saisi de l'affaire en début de semaine et a
confié l'enquête conjointement à la sous-direction anti-terroriste, à la direction
centrale du renseignement intérieur et l'antenne de la police judiciaire d'Avignon.
Le jeudi 23 janvier, la jeune fille, élève en classe de seconde, n'a pas regagné le domicile familial en sortant du lycée, comme elle le fait d'habitude. Son frère prévient
le commissariat d'Avignon. Ses parents pensent à une fugue, même si cela ne lui
ressemble pas. Chez elle, Nora ne manque de rien, et est gâtée par ses parents, raconte Le Dauphiné.
Elle se trouverait à la frontière turco-syrienne
"Son frère a indiqué qu'il a découvert que depuis le mois de septembre, elle avait
radicalisé son comportement, avec un fort absentéisme scolaire, et était en liaison
via internet avec des personnes en région parisienne apparentées au jihad", a expliqué le procureur de la République à Avignon, Bernard Marchal.
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Selon les premiers éléments de l'enquête, la lycéenne aurait rejoint Paris par le
train, avant de prendre un premier avion pour Istanbul, en Turquie, puis un second
pour rejoindre la frontière syrienne. "On pense qu'elle est en Turquie, à la frontière", où elle aurait été prise en charge par un réseau, a précisé la source proche
de l'enquête. C'est en tout cas ce qu'elle a affirmé jeudi à ses parents, qu'elle a contactés par téléphone.
"Elle est sous leur emprise"
Son père, détruit, se confie au Dauphiné Libéré. "Je ne comprends pas. Je lui ai demandé de ne pas porter le foulard, mais elle a insisté pour continuer à le faire.
Dans notre famille, nous faisons la prière, mais nous n’imposons rien à nos enfants.
J’avais confiance en elle".
Sur BFMTV, son frère s'exprime également. "J'ai découvert qu'elle avait un deuxième profil Facebook, avec des contacts peu fréquentables. On fait tout pour
qu'elle revienne, eux font tout pour qu'elle reste. A chaque fois que je l'ai eue au
téléphone, j'entendais quelqu'un chuchoter derrière elle. Elle est sous leur emprise
Source: http://www.bfmtv.com/
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United Kingdom
Arms Trade Treaty: “There are weaknesses, but it's nevertheless a
major step forward.”
2014-02-05
David Martin
Some 740,000 women and children die every year because of the illegal and
poorly regulated arms trade, according to European Commission estimates. The
Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) sets out to regulate the international trade in
conventional weapons, but it can only enter into force if at least 50 countries
ratify it. On Wednesday 5 February, MEPs will vote to authorise EU countries to
ratify the treaty. We talked to David Martin, a British member of the S&D group
who drafted the recommendation.
The global arms trade is a $70billon a year business and many European countries
are major players. What would change with the ATT for Europe's arms industry?
Do you believe that the treaty could cause a reduction in arms production?
It wouldn't necessarily result in the reduction of arms production, but it should stop
arms getting into the hands of terrorists and should stop arms flooding into areas
that are unstable. For example, the Central African Republic for the moment would
not be a place where legitimately under the ATT you could sell weapons to. It
should also restrain people from selling arms to areas where instability is
perceived. So, perhaps two or three years ago, there may have been a ban on
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selling arms to Syria.
In the report you have mentioned that the treaty has some loopholes and a
limited scope in terms of defining weapons and the list of criteria to authorise
exports. Why despite this do you still recommend approval? Do you see any
possibilities for future improvements?
There are weaknesses in the treaty, but it's nevertheless a major step forward. This
is the first time that conventional weapons have been put under any sort of control
at all.
One of the weaknesses is that ammunition does not appear to be included in the
ATT. Another potential loophole is that the recording of weapons is still under the
control of the member states. But perhaps the biggest loophole is not in the treaty
itself, but in those who might not sign up for it. There are rumours that India, China
and Russia, that are either major importers of exporters of arms, may not sign up
for the treaty. We hope that all EU member states are signing up for this and that
this will put pressure on other countries.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/
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USA
France, US united against terrorism
12 February 2014
BOOSTING TIES: US President Barack Obama holds talks with his French counterpart Francois Hollande in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. (AFP)
WASHINGTON: The United States and France stand united on the fight against terrorism and nuclear proliferation, French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday
at the White House.
US praised France’s “key” role in helping to quell unrest and unending violence in
parts of Africa.
“The French role has been key to achieving success in Mali and the French role in
trying to bring about security and peace in CAR are very, very important,” the US
top diplomat for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.
Washington was “very supportive of their efforts” in Mali and the Central African
Republic (CAR), she said, as she denounced horrific reports of recent lynchings in
the latter country plagued by Christian and Muslim revenge attacks.
Hollande arrived Tuesday at the White House for talks with US President Barack
Obama.
He was greeted with a 21-gun salute and full military honors on the chilly South
Lawn of the White House, before a day of talks on issues ranging from Iran to climate change, trade to combating terror threats.
Washington also supported fresh moves to increase the number of European and
African forces working in Central Africa, the assistant secretary for Africa Thomas-
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Greenfield said.
The African peacekeeping-force MISCA has already sent some 5,400 of 6,000
planned troops, and some 1,600 French soldiers are on the ground in the CAR. The
EU has promised to deploy 500 troops to Bangui at the beginning of March.
“We agree that the number of troops in CAR needs to be increased to address the
very complex security situation that is existing in that country,” said ThomasGreenfield, in an online discussion with reporters from around the continent.
More security forces and in particular “foreign police units” were need to help secure the capital Bangui, she said.
“We hope to continue to work with the troops contributing countries and will continue to work with the French government and partners in the European Union to
ensure we bring about a level of support that will bring peace and security to CAR.”
While the United States has not provided any forces on the ground, it has helped
airlift French troops both into Mali and the Central African Republic.
It has given some $100 million to support the military efforts to end the violence in
CAR and also given some $45 million in humanitarian aid to the people.
http://www.arabnews.com/news/524551
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Obama's Visit to Saudi Arabia: A Good Opportunity To Set Things
Right
02/07/2014
There is a shared determination by the American and Saudi leaderships to mend
their historical bilateral relationship, and to
save it from deteriorating into a confrontation or declining to new lows. President
Barack Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia in the
second half of March is proof that Washington and Riyadh are aware of - and have admitted to - the need to repair the damage,
tension, and decay that has affected their
relations. This is an important opportunity
for showing mutual frankness, exchanging
points of view, and finding out what each
side has in mind. The senior members of the
Obama administration direly need to understand what is going on in the mind of the
Saudi leadership, and inquire about what had
led to Saudi Arabia's break with its traditional silence, and why Saudi stopped using
only back channels to express its dissatisfaction of U.S. policies on Iran, Syria, Iraq,
Egypt, Lebanon, and the Palestinian question. For their part, the pillars of the Saudi
leadership need to examine domestic and strategic U.S. dynamics that have led the
Obama administration to hold secret negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran,
and refrain from playing a leading role in Syria, leaving this arena wide open to Russia, China, and Iran to make their power plays in support of the regime in Damascus. Preparing for this visit is necessary, more than any previous visit, given its exceptional importance and its implications for regional issues and international relations. The starting point is to admit that a rough patch has affected U.S.-Saudi relations, and pretending that this is transient or that the visit itself will be sufficient to
bring water under the bridge again is not good enough to fix the problem. Indeed,
what happened was a serious blow that requires a realistic diagnosis, and a willingness to adjust to new realities.
One of the important things that the two sides should avoid is to turn Obama's visit
into an occasion to promote U.S.-made weapons in the Saudi market, as though the
sale and purchase of weaponry is the cornerstone of the relationship. For instance,
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had almost appeared like an arms dealer during the Manama Dialogue event back in December 2013, when he cited armaments
as the benchmark for U.S. policy, to deny that there was a gradual U.S. withdrawal
from the Middle East and the Gulf region in the direction of Asia Pacific. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took a different approach, starting in Davos during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum nearly two weeks ago, and then again
116
at the Munich international security conference. He wanted to emphasize that the
United States has solid alliances and vital interests with the Gulf nations, and that
Washington was not in the process of scrambling east. He clarified the prospects
and criteria for the desired relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Kerry
spoke the language of serious reassurance, and not just to appease allies, which is
exactly what Riyadh expects to hear from the U.S. president during his visit to the
kingdom, albeit in more detail.
It is no secret that U.S. President Barack Obama is no longer a popular figure in the
Arab region as a whole, and not just in Saudi Arabia. The main reason is his policy
on Syria, which contributed to the deterioration of the situation there into a humanitarian tragedy and a disaster for the country - at least from the Arab perspective. The Barack Obama of 2009 is different from Barack Obama in 2014, in the eyes
of those who had pinned so much hope on him, celebrated his advent, and saw him
as the torchbearer of empowerment, justice, and change. In 2009, President
Obama stopped in Riyadh on his way to deliver that famous speech in Cairo, which
opened a new chapter in U.S. policy towards the Muslim and Arab world. He tried
to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but failed. He had a taste of political realism. He understood that even people like him had limits, and are fettered by entrenched policy. He appeared either weak or naïve, when in his mind and heart he
wanted to be a bold leader and a maker of history. President Barack Obama
suffered an immediate setback at the beginning of his term, causing him to abandon any boldness he had, inviting blame and disillusion.
At the start of the Arab Spring, the young president dithered, before adopting a
stance on Egypt that saw him abandoning America's erstwhile ally former President
Hosni Mubarak, instead supporting the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power.
From the standpoint of the U.S. administration, this was in line with the popular
will and the youth revolution. But from the point of view of the youths themselves,
the U.S. position was astonishing because the Muslim Brotherhood had hijacked
the revolution, and began working on excluding others. The Brotherhood devoured
the presidency, the parliament, and almost also the constitution - all with U.S.
blessing.
Whether this was naïve or a deliberate policy, the outcome is the same, which is
that the U.S. president went on to lose many supporters who once adored him but
who now called him into question. Obama's halo was shattered, and he was now
seen as an American politician who had unconvincing - if not malevolent - goals.
This invited a cascade of questions about the intentions of the United States under
Barack Obama, not only as concerns Egypt, but also the entire Arab region. The
Saudi leadership has disagreed with the U.S. leadership over Egypt ever since Hosni
Mubarak was toppled. This time around, Riyadh did not content itself with anger,
resentment, and brooding. It made a strategic decision not to leave Egypt to fate,
and wait for U.S. policy to make up its mind. Saudi Arabia invested financially and
politically in Egypt, and made its investments together with those of the UAE and
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Kuwait a major cornerstone of its regional policy. Qatar continued to back the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, diverging with Saudi policy there. The United States prevaricated in its policy toward this major Arab country.
Egypt, then, will no doubt be on the agenda of the talks between President Barack
Obama and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. Egypt is of paramount importance
in the strategic policies of Saudi Arabia and the United States equally. For this reason, it is worthwhile for the Obama administration to listen carefully to the backdrop and goals of Saudi's Egypt strategy. It is important for the U.S. to look at that
relationship from the perspective of the balance of power in the Middle East as
well. For one thing, the Saudi-Egyptian relationship is fundamental for an Arab
presence in the Iranian-Turkish-Israeli-Arab balance of power in the Middle East.
President Obama wants to achieve a breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to seal his presidency with the fruits of the investments he had made when he
first entered the Oval Office. Saudi Arabia is a very important factor in this ambition, and perhaps one of the reasons he decided to visit Riyadh was the PalestinianIsraeli question. The Obama administration understood that isolating the Palestinians and Israelis from other actors to force them to make a peace deal - as had former President Bill Clinton done - would not work. It therefore resolved to seek help
from Arab actors, particularly Saudi Arabia, to help achieve the desired breakthrough by putting its weight behind U.S. efforts. Riyadh has expressed its readiness to cooperate, especially since one of the pillars of the U.S.-led effort is the Arab initiative for peace with Israel. Saudi diplomacy is throwing its weight behind the
revival of the Arab initiative, clarifying its terms to persuade Israel of the seriousness of the commitments contained in it, for example as regards full normalization
in return for ending the Israeli occupation and establishing the Palestinian state - as
stipulated during the Arab summit in Beirut, which had officially adopted the initiative.
President Obama understands the importance of the Saudi leadership in ensuring
that 22 Arab countries and 57 Islamic countries would implement the pledge to
normalize with Israel, in the event of a peace deal with the Palestinians. Obama will
no doubt put this issue at the top of his agenda in Riyadh - seeing that this is a personal mission for him that is part for his quest to have a historical legacy. Iraq will
also be discussed, but could also be a contentious issue. What Riyadh wants there
is something that Washington perhaps cannot deliver, namely, removing Iranianbacked Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki from power, who is also still backed by the
Obama administration. What Washington wants from Riyadh is for the latter to understand fully well that a U.S. military intervention in Iraq is out of the question, no
matter what happens. Washington wants Riyadh to accept that Iranian hegemony
in Iraq does not bother Washington enough to push it to make an exceptional
move like changing the equation there.
The U.S.-Saudi conversation about Iraq requires deep thinking in light of the likelihood that Iraq could fall prey again to sectarian infighting, terrorism, and prospects
118
for partition. Each of the two countries has a role to prevent the collapse of Iraq.
What is important in their talks is how to tackle Iran's overwhelming influence in
Iraq, and how to extricate Iraq from the equation of Sunni-Shiite strife by means of
a qualitatively new Saudi-Iranian decision with U.S. sponsorship.
One of the most important things President Obama can achieve, if he so wishes, is
to broker Saudi-Iranian accords that would help rescue the Middle East from the
inferno of sectarian war, from Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and beyond. This is the
most profound challenge for the U.S. president, if he wants to overturn his reputation in the Middle East, leave behind a historical legacy, and finish his term with an
outstanding achievement. The starting point will be the U.S.-Iranian relationship
and the U.S.-Saudi relationship. President Obama is in the process of ushering in a
historical era in U.S.-Iranian relationship, and therefore he has the means to influence Tehran. What he needs to do is adopt a comprehensive, firm, and bold policy,
instead of his diluted and hesitant approach that is limited to reaction rather than
action. The means to influence Saudi policy are also available to the U.S. president,
especially since he is visiting Riyadh to develop a special relationship with Saudi
Arabia, which would go beyond the traditional security-for-oil approach that has
characterized U.S.-Saudi-Iranian relations and Sunni-Shiite confrontation. He will
find receptiveness from both sides if he shows resolve and clarifies that U.S. policy
is not to fuel sectarian conflict, as many in the Middle East believe.
Syria remains a major component of any U.S. endeavor for a Saudi-Iranian détente.
This requires a new kind of American involvement, linking the willingness to turn a
new page with Iran to not only addressing the nuclear issue, but also the issue of
Iran's regional ambitions. Here, too, the United States has tools it can use, most
notably the ability to lift sanctions on Iran in return for a radical change in its foreign policy, especially in Syria and Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia has asserted that it is not seeking to achieve victory over Iran in Syria,
but at the same time, it will not cave in to an Iranian victory in Syria either. This
constitutes an opportunity for President Obama to extract a Saudi approval for an
accord with Iran, in the framework of a settlement in the Syrian issue, or as part of
the grand bargain that would involve international understandings that include
Russia.
Preparing the ground for a fateful breakthrough during President Obama's visit to
Saudi Arabia is absolutely necessary, especially since the visit is taking place on the
back of dramatic developments in the Iranian nuclear issue, the Syrian chemical
issue, the international process regarding Syria in the Geneva 2 talks, the Syrian
presidential election, and the efforts to curb the growth of Neo-Jihadists in Syria
and beyond.
What is ultimately indispensable for U.S.-Saudi relations is mutual frankness, rather
than papering over the differences. It is important for both sides to admit their respective failures in Syria, each for different reasons. What matters is for both sides
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to draft realistic and practical policies to contribute to shaping the future of Syria,
instead of leaving it hostage to Russian-Iranian sponsorship. Finally, it is important
for the leadership in Washington and Riyadh to acknowledge that radical reform is
needed for their bilateral relationship and regional policies, starting with the relationship each side has with the Iran of the Revolutionary Guard and the Iran of
moderation.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raghida-dergham/obamas-visit-to-saudiara_b_4747945.html
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Media Coverage of Olympic Terror Threats Shines Spotlight on
Wrong Players
The media's focus on the Olympic terror threats tells the bad guys
they can take home gold.
The 2014 Olympics haven’t even begun yet, but there is already one big winner: the
terrorists. They’ve captured the gold medal for the most Olympic media coverage
to date.
Let’s be honest: Can you name one US athlete who will be representing our country
in the 2014 Olympics? I doubt it. But I’m sure you’ve heard story after story about
the Olympic terror threat. And that’s exactly what the terrorists want.
Just look at some of the recent headlines about the Olympic games, which open
this Friday: “Upcoming Olympics Most Dangerous Due to Terrorist Threat,” “Urgent
Search for 'Black Widow' Suicide Bomber, May Be Already in Sochi”, and “U.S.
Olympic Athletes Warned Against Wearing Uniforms,”
Even US Senator Angus King declared, “I would not go and I don’t think I would
send my family.” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul
also suggested that if the security threat gets any worse, the games may need to
be cancelled.
The terrorists must be loving this. The more press they attract, the more powerful
they appear. The more powerful they appear, the more terror they can instill.
What is the world media saying about the upcoming Olympic Games in
Sochi?
Brigitte Nacos, a professor at Columbia University and the author of the book Terrorism and the Media, agreed via email that the excessive media coverage assists
the terror group in its mission of “spreading fear and anxiety.”
Paul Pillar, former senior CIA counterterrorist official and senior fellow at
Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies, echoed those sentiments,
noting that, “extensive media coverage…is part of what the terrorists are seeking.”
It was easy for Ali Soufan, former FBI Agent and CEO of The Soufan Group, to sum it
up succinctly: “Terrorists are PR hogs,” he said.
Sure, in today’s tech-friendly world terror groups can easily self-promote via Internet videos and websites. But as Pillar noted, these groups “still want coverage by
the mainstream media in order to realize their publicity goals.”
Let me be clear: I do not advocate disregarding or discounting the threat. In fact, all
three experts I spoke to pointed out that there are credible security concerns in
Sochi that must be addressed. “*The media+ can’t just ignore the significance of this
terrorism threat,” said Soufan.
But the media coverage is capable of doing more than just warn the public. In fact,
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they may actually enable terrorists to achieve their larger publicity goals. To this
regard, Nacos warned that, “news organizations should refrain from overcoverage.”
To date, security issues have been the media’s primary focus for the 2014 Olympics. We’ve seen profiles of the terror group involved. We’ve heard about their past
acts and their recent videos. At this point, there’s no doubt that the media has
more than adequately warned the public about the terror risk.
So I propose this to members of the media: Barring credible evidence of a new
threat, stop giving the terrorists free publicity and instead start focusing on the
Olympic athletes and the events who deserve it. I know scary headlines get viewers, but for the greater good, let’s move on.
Here’s an idea: Why not cover the twelve new events in this
year’s Olympics,including, say, “Snowboard slopestyle”? (I, for one, have no idea
what exactly it entails.)
Or let’s hear more about the over 200 US athletes who have trained, sacrificed and
dreamed for years about this big moment. Those like ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson
who underwent surgery last August to repair two torn ligaments (ACL and MCL) in
her knee. Some may have given up on the 2014 games after this injury, but she
fought on and made the US team.
The youngest member of the US luge team, 18-year-old Tucker West, deserves
some attention, too. He spent a year building a mini luge track with his father in
their backyard in Connecticut.
There’s also Steve Holcomb, who seven years ago was nearly blind due to a degenerative eye disorder, but overcome his condition and made the US bobsled team.
And I’d love the media to explain curling! How did it start, what’s going on and why
am I'm hypnotized by this event every time I see it on TV?
Those vowing to destroy the Olympic Games and kill innocent people are not the
ones who deserve media coverage. The athletes do; the participants from around
the world who have triumphed over great odds to proudly represent their respective countries in the Olympics, despite the safety threats that come with them.
So let the games begin—and let the media coverage begin to focus on those who
have rightfully earned it.
Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/
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Terrorisme : les pays africains menacés selon les renseignements
américains
2 février 2014
Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopie, Ouganda et encore le Kenya sont sous la menace d’une
attaque terroriste imminente des extrémistes somaliens d’ d’Al Shabaab, a averti
James Clapper, directeur national du renseignement des États-Unis.
Al Shabaab préparerait cette offensive terroriste contre ces pays en raison de la
présence de leurs troupes en Somalie où elles contribuent au maintien de la paix de
l’Amisom.
Selon le directeur du renseignement américain, Al Shabaab a récemment perdu
plus de 57 combattants suite à une frappe aérienne KDF dirigée contre leur site
d’entrainement situé dans la région de Gedo d’où les attaques terroristes se préparaient. Et cette lourde perte est la goutte d’eau qui a fait déborder le vase. Très
remonté, Al Shabaab planifie une action terroriste d’envergure pour venger ses
soldats tués.
Le Kenya demeure selon Clapper, la principale cible du groupe terroriste. Ce pays
estime-t-il, est dans une situation plus précaire que celle de la RDC. Les bureaux du
gouvernement et les intérêts du gouvernement somalien au Kenya pourraient être
ciblés.
Aucune précision sur le moment de l’attaque. Mais, à en croire les sources de Clapper, l’attaque est dans la dernière phase de préparation. Les citoyens américains
comme occidentaux, sont invités à la vigilance dans les zones résidentielles, dans
les activités grand public, les endroits symboliques et les zones surpeuplées.
Selon un rapport de la Grande Bretagne, 300 membres d’Al-Shabaab ont obtenu
leur certificat de fin de formation, peu avant l’attaque KDF et certains pourraient
être déployés en dehors de la Somalie.
L’Afrique subsaharienne est présentée comme une zone fertile à l’émergence de
groupes extrémistes et rebelles et selon Clapper, en 2014, des troubles politiques liées à la sécurité vont se produire en Afrique.
Source: http://www.lanouvelletribune.info/
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LA CARTE DES MENACES QUI PLANENT SUR LES USA
A Boston, Massachusetts, le 15 avril 2013. REUTERS/Dan Lampariello
Les renseignements américains ont publié le 29 janvier leur rapport annuel sur les
menaces planant sur le territoire américain. Le document, intitulé Worldwide
Threats Assessment of the US Intelligence Community détaille tous les points
chauds du globe, des plus traditionnels (l'Iran et son programme nucléaire militaire,
le terrorisme au Moyen-Orient ou la militarisation de la Chine et les attaques de
cyberterrorisme) aux plus épisodiques, à savoir les pandémies et les crises alimentaires et de ressources.
Le site DefenseOne a reporté ces menaces sur une carte interactive, permettant de
visualiser ce qui est attribué à chaque pays marqué d'une flèche jaune. Sur la liste
des pays menaçant directement les USA, on retrouve bien entendu la Corée du
Nord, l'Afghanistan, le Pakistan... Mais aussi Haïti et la Centrafrique.
La BBC, citant Gary LaFree, professeur de criminologie à l'université du Maryland et
directeur de recherches sur le terrorisme du groupe Start, note elle une évolution
dans les pratiques des terroristes, en comparant l'ETA aux groupes d'aujourd'hui:
«Il y avait une expression commune: les terroristes veulent que beaucoup de gens
regardent, pas que beaucoup de gens meurent. Ces jours-ci, l'intérêt n'est pas seulement que beaucoup de gens regardent, mais aussi que beaucoup de gens soient
tués».
Elle remarque également que si les attaques menacent des citoyens américains,
elles ont surtout lieu dans le sud de l'Asie, au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord.
Cette évolution du terrorisme est naturellement citée par James Clapper, directeur
des renseignements américains et auteur du rapport:
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«Pendant mon gros demi-siècle dans les renseignements, je n'ai jamais connu de
moment où nous étions encerclés par tant de menaces de par le monde. Ma liste est
longue. Elle inclut la peste et la diversification du terrorisme largement connecté et
maintenant globalement dispersé, jusque chez nous, comme l'a montré l'attentat
du Marathon de Boston».
Cependant, la BBC nuance ces propos: faire peur aux sénateurs est une stratégie
connue des agences de renseignement pour conserver leurs budgets.
Source: http://www.slate.fr/
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