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Bi-weekly Press Review 16-28 February 2014

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Review no. 62
Press Review
16-28 February 2014
Table of Contents
Pages
African Union
- The African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic condemns
the killing of innocent civilians in Bangui
- La Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite africaine condamne
l'assassinat de civils innocents à Bangui
- AMISOM condemns attack on Villa Somalia
- Operational conclusions: Fourth meeting of the heads of intelligence and security services
of the countries of the Sahelo-Saharan region
- Conclusions opérationnelles: 4ème réunion des chefs des services de renseignement
et de sécurité des pays de la région Sahélo-Saharienne
- 3rd ministerial meeting on the enhancement of security cooperation and the operationalisation
of the APSA in the sahelo-saharan region, Niamey, 19 february 2014
- 3ème réunion ministérielle sur le renforcement de la coopération en matière de sécurité
et l’opérationnalisation de l’APSA dans la région sahélo-saharienne, Niamey, 19 février 2014
- Communique de presse de la 420ème réunion du CPS sur les droits et le bien-être de l'enfant
- Press statement of the 420th meeting of the PSC on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
- La MISCA riposte à une attaque d’éléments armés sur un convoi et démantèle
un barrage routier à Beloko
4
5
6
7
11
15
20
25
27
29
Terrorism in Africa
- L’Afrique de l’Est sous la menace des terroristes islamistes?
- Sahel/terrorisme : onze pays africains affinent leurs stratégies de lutte contre le terrorisme à Niamey
- West Africa: Terror and Other Challenges in the Sahel - Don't Ignore the Local
30
33
35
Burkina Faso
- BURKINA FASO’S ‘WEST AFRICAN SPRING’ – ANALYSIS
38
CAR
- Pourquoi la France doit être soutenue en Centrafrique
- The Muslims of the Central African Republic Face a Deadly Purge
42
44
Egypt
- Terrorists Target Egypt's Red Sea Tourism -- And It's Working
- Taba terror attack sends dual murderous message
- Tourism targeted
- Égypte : quatre morts dans un attentat visant un bus de touristes sud-coréens
47
51
54
57
Libya
- Pas de lien entre la guerre en Libye et l'armement des terroristes au Mali (expert)
- The stillbirth of the new Libya
2
60
62
Mali
- Les jihadistes toujours présents dans le nord du Mali
- Mali: Kidal region still waits for resolution
64
68
Nigeria
- Le Nigeria impuissant face à la terreur de Boko Haram
- Nouveau massacre de Boko Haram : le Nigeria appelle à plus de coopération
71
73
Somalia
75
- Al-Shabab: Rising From the Ashes of the Phoenix
South Africa
- Kidnap for ransom: to pay or not to pay?
77
Sudan
- "New" Sudan: back to the future
80
Tunisia
- Attentat de Jendouba : La stratégie antiterroriste doit changer
- Médias et terrorisme: La difficile équation
85
86
International Organizations
UN
- Stop paying al-Qaeda ransoms, UN experts urge
- Al-Qaeda: Younger men take up leadership roles - UN study
88
90
Terrorism in the World
- Opinion: Terrorism in Sochi
92
Bangladesh
- Qaeda for intifada in Bangladesh?
95
France
Deal entre la France et le Mnla 99
Iraq
A Comprehensive Strategy Against Terrorism 101
Ukraine
- With President’s Departure, Ukraine Looks Toward a Murky Future
108
USA
113
- What Might Terrorists Do Next?
Yemen
- Yemeni ‘global terrorist’ says he has counterterrorism advice for Washington
- In Yemen, a woman's life entangled with Al Qaeda
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116
119
African Union
The African-led International Support Mission in the Central African
Republic condemns the killing of innocent civilians in Bangui
Bangui, 23 February 2014: The African-led International Support Mission in the
Central African Republic (MISCA) condemns the cold blood killing of three innocent
civilians yesterday in the 4th district of Bangui, in an area called 'Combatant'.
According to witness accounts, six individuals took a taxi from the city center of
Bangui to run their errands. On the way to their initial destination, the taxi driver,
who seemed to be an accomplice to this murder, went in a different direction and
called other individuals who came to attack the passengers aboard the taxi. The
attack resulted in the death of three of the passengers. Two other passengers were
able to break away and fled the area; one was severely injured and was treated by
elements of the Sangaris operation who arrived later at the scene of the incident.
It appeared that all the passengers were Muslims, and the driver has been used by
unknown groups as a disguised taxi driver to help commit this crime.
MISCA would like to reiterate that impunity will not be tolerated and those who
use religion to incite violence and cause harm to innocent civilians will be dealt
with firmly. MISCA urges the population to continue to work closely with their community leaders and the forces of MISCA and the Sangaris by providing any information that could lead to the arrest of those involved in yesterday's criminal attack
and by reporting any suspicious acts or incidents that can lead to loss of human
lives.
MISCA reassures the population that, at this critical juncture when security is
slowly improving and the people are once again beginning to resume their daily
lives, efforts will continue to be made to enhance the measures that have been put
in place to protect them. Regular patrols across the city will be reinforced by robust
security operations such as those conducted in the area of Boye-Rabe, in Bangui, a
week ago, to root out those who continue to commit acts of violence.
MISCA and partners will also continue to work with the Government so that those
who are bent on terrorizing the population face justice for crimes committed.
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La Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite
africaine condamne l'assassinat de civils innocents à Bangui
Bangui, le 23 février 2014: La Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique
sous conduite africaine (MISCA) condamne le meurtre de sang froid de trois civils
innocents, perpétré hier dans le 4ème arrondissement de Bangui, dans une zone appelée «Combattant».
Selon les témoignages qui ont été recueillis, six personnes ont pris un taxi du centre
de la ville de Bangui pour faire des courses. Alors qu’elles se dirigeaient vers leur
destination initiale, le chauffeur de taxi, qui semble être complice de cet assassinat,
est allé dans une direction différente et a appelé d'autres individus qui sont venus
attaquer les passagers à bord du taxi. L'attaque a causé la mort de trois des passagers. Deux autres passagers ont pu fuir la zone, cependant qu’un autre a été grièvement blessé et a été traité par des éléments de l'opération Sangaris, arrivés plus
tard sur les lieux de l'incident.
Il est apparu que tous les passagers étaient musulmans, et que le conducteur de la
voiture, utilisé par des groupes inconnus, s’est présenté comme un chauffeur de
taxi pour aider à commettre ce crime.
La MISCA voudrait souligner que l'impunité ne sera pas tolérée et que ceux qui utilisent la religion pour inciter à la violence et causer du tort à des civils innocents
seront traités avec la fermeté requise. La MISCA invite la population à continuer de
travailler en étroite collaboration avec les responsables communautaires, ainsi
qu’avec les forces de la MISCA et de Sangaris, et ce en fournissant toute information pouvant conduire à l'arrestation des personnes impliquées dans l'attaque criminelle d'hier et en signalant tous actes ou incidents qui peuvent conduire à des
pertes de vies humaines.
La MISCA voudrait assurer la population qu’à ce moment critique, marqué par une
amélioration progressive de la sécurité et la reprise d’une vie quotidienne normale, des efforts continueront à être déployés pour renforcer les mesures déjà en place pour protéger les civils. Les patrouilles régulières à travers la ville seront renforcées par des opérations de sécurité robustes telle que celle qui a été menée dans la
zone de Boye-Rabe, à Bangui, il y a une semaine, pour neutraliser les éléments engagés dans des actes de violence.
La MISCA et les autres partenaires concernés continueront également à travailler
avec le Gouvernement, afin que ceux qui s’emploient à terroriser la population
soient soumis à la rigueur de la loi pour les crimes commis.
5
AMISOM condemns attack on Villa Somalia
Mogadishu, February 21st 2014 – The Special Representative of the Chairperson of
the African Union Commission (SRCC) Ambassador MahamatSalehAnnadif has condemned the cowardly attack on Villa Somalia today.
As people gathered for Friday prayers, a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) went off at the entrance of the Presidential palace and was followed
by ground al shabaab fighters. The Somali National Army soldiers supported by
AMISOM troops bravely fought off the attackers.
“I commend the actions of the brave security forces who fought off the attackers,
hell-bent on shedding the blood of innocent Somalis. The attack was against, the
Somali people, their institutions and their religion.
Ambassador Annadif added, it is unconceivable to believe that people who say they
are Muslims can choose a Friday which is a Holy Day in Islam to carry out this
senseless attack.
He appealed to the Somali people to help the Somali armed forces and AMISOM in
their efforts to defeat al shabaab and its supporters.
6
Operational conclusions: Fourth meeting of the heads of intelligence
and security services of the countries of the Sahelo-Saharan region
17 FEBRUARY 2014, NIAMEY, NIGER
OPERATIONAL CONCLUSIONS
The 4th meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services of the countries
of the Sahelo-Saharan region was held in Niamey, Niger, on 17 February 2014. The
following countries participated in the meeting: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote
d’Ivoire, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. In addition to the Commission of the African Union (AU), the AU Mission for Mali and the Sahel
(MISAHEL), the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT),
the Committee of the Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), the Fusion
and Liaison Unit (UFL), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
and the Community of the Sahelo-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), as well as the United
Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the UN Multidimensional Integrated
Mission for Stabilization in Mali (MINUSMA), also participated in the meeting.
The meeting was held within the framework of the Nouakchott Process on the Enhancement of Security Cooperation and the Operationalisation of the African
Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahelo-Saharan Region, as a followup to the previous meetings of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services of
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the countries of the region, held respectively in Bamako, on 18 April 2013, in Abidjan, on 20 and 21 June 2013, and in Ndjamena, on 10 September 2013.
The opening ceremony was marked by the statements made by the Minister of Interior, Public Security, Decentralization and Customary and Religious Matters of
the Republic of Niger, Mr.AssoudouHassoumi, and Ambassador SmailChergui, AU
Commissioner for Peace and Security, as well as by the representative of the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr.KadréDésiréOuédraogo.
The meeting reviewed the security situation in the region and the measures taken
for the implementation of the Operational Conclusions adopted in N’Djamena, on
the basis of the 2nd Progress Report on the Nouakchott Process submitted by the
AU Commission, as well as the presentation on the overall situation in the Sahel
made by the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, former President Pierre Buyoya.
Participants welcomed the progress made during the period under consideration, stressing that the Nouakchott Process had made it possible to significantly
enhance security cooperation among the countries of the region. They congratulated the countries of the region which have taken specific steps as part of
the implementation of the Ndjamena Conclusions, including the combating of
radicalization, the prevention of infiltration of terrorist elements into the Malian refugee camps in the neighboring countries and the establishment of interMinisterial structures to deal with specific issues. Participants encouraged the
Commission, the ACSRT, CISSA and UFL to facilitate, in cooperation with the
countries concerned, the dissemination of these best practices.
Participants stressed the need to pursue and intensify the efforts made, particularly in the light of the persistence of the terrorist threat, as evidenced by the resumption of the attacks and other acts perpetrated by the terrorist groups operating in northern Mali and the continued acts of terrorism perpetrated by Boko
Haram and Ansaru in Nigeria.
Participants exchanged on the difficult situation in Libya and agreed on the need
for renewed efforts to assist that country address the challenges at hand, including
through exchange of information.
Participants noted the exploitation by the terrorist groups of inter-communal tension and conflicts, stressing that this situation calls for specific measures and the
active involvement of the local authorities and Governments in the border areas.
They also noted the links with cross-border criminal activities, including drug trafficking (cocaine and cannabis) and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, as well as the threat posed by the return to the region of terrorist elements
who were involved in fighting in other parts of the world.
Participants, noting the delay sometimes experienced in the exchange of intelligence among Services, agreed to take appropriate measures to expedite the communication of operational information, bearing in mind their urgent nature. Simi-
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larly, they recognized the need for the Member States to equip themselves with
strengthened capacity in terms of personnel and equipment, including the establishment of special units to be able to address more effectively the challenge of
terrorism and transnational crime. Recalling the relevant provisions of the communiqué adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its 249 th meeting
held on 22 November 2010, participants encouraged the Commission to expedite
the elaboration of an African arrest warrant for persons charged with or convicted
of terrorist acts.
Participants were updated about the efforts for the establishment of a secure communication system among the services of the countries participating in the Nouakchott Process. They were informed that a solution for the operationalization of this
system would be found very soon. In the meantime, they welcomed the offer made
by the UFL to extend its secure communication system to the three member countries of the Nouakchott Process which are not members of the UFL (Côte d’Ivoire,
Guinea and Senegal), as well as to ACSRT, CISSA and MISAHEL.
Participants noted with satisfaction the activities carried out by the ACSRT in the
field of capacity building, through the organization of training workshops and the
conduct of assessment missions to some countries of the region. They congratulated the ACSRT on the growing role it is playing with respect to national capacity
building. They also welcomed the initiatives taken by the CISSA and the UFL, and
called for the pursuit of all capacity building efforts on the basis of the matrix prepared by the ACSRT, CISSA and UFL. Within that framework, they stressed the need
for the AU Member States to contribute financially, according to the most appropriate modalities, to the implementation of the envisaged programs.
Regarding the operationalization of the APSA in the Sahelo-Saharan region, participants stressed the need to expedite the efforts exerted in this respect, taking into
account the decisions adopted by the January 2014 AU Summit on the assessment
of the African Standby Force (ASF) and the operationalization of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC). They noted, in this respect, the proposals made by the Commission in its progress report to the attention of the ministerial meeting, namely the convening of meetings of the Chiefs of Defense Staff
and the Ministers of Defense to consider the generic concepts of operation for joint
patrols and mixed units and the modalities for the enhancement of the existing
structures for security cooperation, as well as the establishment in Niamey of a
lean Secretariat under MISAHEL leadership.
Participants reaffirmed the commitment of their respective countries and organizations to continue to work towards the enhancement of the Nouakchott Process.
They noted in this respect the proposal made by the Commission for the convening
of a Summit of the countries participating in the Process. They also encouraged the
concerned Regional Economic Communities to own the Nouakchott Process and to
support its implementation.
Participants were briefed by MISAHEL on the AU Strategy for the Sahel region,
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which will be submitted to the ministerial meeting of 19 February 2014, for consideration and validation.
Participants welcomed the offer by Burkina Faso to host the 5 th meeting of the
Heads of Intelligence and Security Services, at a date to be agreed upon through
consultation between the Commission and the relevant Burkinabe authorities.
Participants expressed their gratitude to the Government and the people of the
Republic of Niger for the warm reception accorded to them and for all the arrangements that ensured the smooth holding of their meeting.
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Conclusions opérationnelles: 4ème réunion des chefs des services de
renseignement et de sécurité des pays de la région Sahélo-Saharienne
NIAMEY, NIGER, 17 FEVRIER 2014
CONCLUSIONS OPÉRATIONNELLES
La 4ème réunion des chefs des Services de Renseignement et de Sécurité des pays de
la région sahélo-saharienne s'est tenue à Niamey, le 17 février 2014. Les pays suivants ont participé à la réunion: Algérie, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Libye, Mali,
Mauritanie, Niger, Nigeria, Sénégal et Tchad. Outre la Commission de l'Union africaine (UA), la Mission de l’UA pour le Mali et le Sahel (MISAHEL), le Centre africain
d'Étude et de Recherche sur le Terrorisme (CAERT), le Comité africain des Services
de Renseignement et de Sécurité (CISSA), l’Unité de Fusion et de Liaison (UFL), la
Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) et la Communauté des États sahélo-sahariens (CEN-SAD), ainsi que le Bureau des Nations unies
pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest (UNOWA) et la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des
Nations unies pour la Stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA), ont également pris part à la
réunion.
La réunion a eu lieu dans le cadre du Processus de Nouakchott sur le renforcement
de la coopération sécuritaire et l'opérationnalisation de l'Architecture africaine de
paix et de sécurité (APSA) dans la région sahélo-saharienne. Elle a fait suite aux précédentes réunions des chefs des Services de Renseignement et de Sécurité des
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pays de la région, tenues respectivement à Bamako, le 18 avril 2013, à Abidjan, les
20 et 21 juin 2013, et à Ndjamena, le 10 septembre 2013.
La cérémonie d’ouverture a été marquée par les allocutions prononcées par Monsieur MassoudouHassoumi, Ministre de l’Intérieur, de la Sécurité publique, de la
Décentralisation et des Affaires coutumières et religieuses de la République du Niger, et l'Ambassadeur Smail Chergui, Commissaire à la Paix et à la Sécurité de l'UA,
ainsi que par le représentant du Président de la Commission de la CEDEAO, M. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo
La réunion a procédé à une revue de l'évolution de la situation sécuritaire dans la
région et des mesures prises pour la mise en œuvre des Conclusions opérationnelles adoptées à Ndjamena, sur la base du 2ème rapport intérimaire soumis par la
Commission de l’UA sur le Processus de Nouakchott, ainsi que de la présentation
d’ensemble de la situation au Sahel faite par le Haut Représentant de l’UA pour le
Mali et le Sahel, l’ancien Président Pierre Buyoya.
Les participants se sont félicités des progrès accomplis au cours de la période considérée, relevant que le Processus de Nouakchott avait permis de renforcer significativement la coopération sécuritaire entre les pays de la région. Ils ont félicité les
pays de la région qui ont pris des dispositions spécifiques dans le cadre du suivi des
Conclusions de Ndjamena, y compris en ce qui concerne la lutte contre la radicalisation, la prévention de l’infiltration d’éléments terroristes dans les camps de réfugiés maliens dans les pays limitrophes et la mise en place de structures interministérielles pour faire face à des problèmes spécifiques. Les participants ont encouragé la Commission, le CAERT, le CISSA et l’UFL à faciliter, en coopération avec les
pays concernés, la diffusion de ces bonnes pratiques.
Les participants ont souligné la nécessité de la poursuite et de l’intensification des
efforts déployés, particulièrement au vu de la persistance de la menace terroriste,
comme l’attestent la reprise des attaques et autres actes perpétrés par les groupes
terroristes opérant au Nord du Mali et la poursuite des activités terroristes des
groupes BokoHaram
Les participants ont échangé sur la situation difficile qui prévaut en Libye et sont
convenus de la nécessité d’efforts renouvelés pour aider ce pays à faire face aux
défis auxquels il est confronté, y compris à travers l’échange de renseignements.
Les participants ont noté l’exploitation par les groupes terroristes des tensions et
conflits communautaires, soulignant que cette situation appelle des mesures spécifiques et une implication active des autorités et des collectivités locales dans les
zones frontalières. Ils ont aussi noté les liens avec les activités criminelles transfrontalières, y compris le trafic de drogue (cocaïne et cannabis) et la prolifération d’armes légères et de petit calibre, ainsi que la menace liée au retour dans la région
d’éléments terroristes partis combattre dans certaines parties du monde.
Notant les retards quelquefois accusés dans l’échange d’informations entre servi-
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ces, les participants ont convenu de prendre les mesures appropriées pour raccourcir les délais de communication d’informations opérationnelles, ayant en vue leur
caractère urgent. De même, ils ont reconnu la nécessité pour les États membres de
se doter de capacités renforcées en hommes et en équipements, y compris la constitution d’unités spéciales, pour pouvoir relever plus efficacement le défi du terrorisme et de la criminalité transnationale. Rappelant les dispositions pertinentes du
communiqué adopté par le Conseil de paix et de sécurité (CPS) de l’UA, lors de sa
249ème réunion tenue le 22 novembre 2010, les participants ont encouragé la Commission à accélérer l’élaboration d’un mandat d’arrêt africain pour les personnes
accusées d’actes terroristes, ou condamnées pour de tels actes.
Les participants ont suivi une mise à jour sur les efforts visant la mise en place d’un
système de communication sécurisé entre les services des pays participant au Processus de Nouakchott. La réunion a été informée de ce qu’une solution sera trouvée dans de très brefs délais pour l’opérationnalisation de ce système. Dans l’intervalle, les participants se sont réjouis de l’offre faite l’UFL d’étendre son système de
communication sécurisé aux trois pays du Processus de Nouakchott qui ne sont pas
membres de l’UFL (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée et Sénégal), ainsi qu’au CISSA et à la MISAHEL.
Les participants ont relevé avec satisfaction les activités entreprises par le CAERT
dans le domaine du renforcement des capacités, à travers l’organisation d’ateliers
de formation et la conduite de missions d’évaluation dans certains pays de la région. Ils ont félicité le CAERT pour le rôle croissant qu’il joue dans le renforcement
des capacités nationales. Ils se sont également réjouis des initiatives prises par le
CISSA et l’UFL, et ont appelé à la poursuite de tous les efforts de renforcement des
capacités sur la base de la matrice élaborée par le CAERT, le CISSA et l’UFL. Dans ce
cadre, ils ont souligné la nécessité pour les États membres de l’UA de contribuer
financièrement, selon les modalités les plus appropriées, à la mise en œuvre des
programmes envisagés.
S’agissant de l’opérationnalisation de l’APSA dans la région sahélo-saharienne, les
participants ont souligné la nécessité d’accélérer les efforts déployés à cet effet, en
prenant en compte les décisions prises par le Sommet de l’UA de janvier 2014 sur
l’évaluation de la Force africaine en attente (FAA) et l’opérationnalisation de la Capacité africaine de réponse immédiate aux crises (CARIC). Ils ont noté, à cet égard,
les propositions soumises par la Commission dans son rapport intérimaire à l’attention de la réunion ministérielle, à savoir la tenue de réunions des chefs d’État-major
et des Ministres de la Défense pour examiner les concepts d’opération génériques pour les patrouilles conjointes et les unités mixtes et les modalités de renforcement des structures de coopération existantes, ainsi que la mise en place, sous la
direction de la MISAHEL, d’un Secrétariat réduit à Niamey.
Les participants ont réaffirmé l’engagement de leurs organisations et pays respectifs à continuer à œuvrer au renforcement du Processus de Nouakchott. Ils ont noté
à cet égard la proposition faite par la Commission en vue de tenir un Sommet des
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pays participant au Processus. Ils ont aussi encouragé les Communautés économiques régionales concernées à s’approprier le Processus de Nouakchott et à en accompagner la mise en œuvre.
Les participants ont suivi une présentation de la MISAHEL sur la Stratégie de l’UA
pour la région du Sahel, qui sera soumise à la réunion ministérielle du 19 février
2014, pour examen et validation.
Les participants se sont félicités de l’offre faite par le Burkina Faso d’accueillir la
5ème réunion des chefs des Services de Renseignement et de Sécurité, à une date
qui sera arrêtée après consultations entre la Commission et les autorités burkinabés compétentes.
Les participants ont exprimé leur gratitude au Gouvernement et au peuple de la
République du Niger pour l'accueil chaleureux qui leur a été réservé, ainsi que pour
toutes les dispositions prises pour assurer le bon déroulement de leur réunion.
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3rd ministerial meeting on the enhancement of security cooperation
and the operationalisation of the APSA in the sahelo-saharan region,
Niamey, 19 february 2014
CONCLUSIONS
1. The 3rd ministerial meeting of the countries on the Enhancement of Security Cooperation and the Operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahelo-Saharan region was held in Niamey, Niger, on 19 February 2014, within the framework of the Nouakchott Process, initiated by the African
Union (AU), in March 2013. The meeting was held in follow up to the ministerial
meetings held in Nouakchott and Ndjamena on 17 March and 11 September 2013,
respectively, and took place on the heels of the 4 th meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services held in Niamey on 17 February 2014.
2. Ministers and other representatives of the following countries participated in
the meeting: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the acting Secretary-General of the
Community of the Sahelo-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), as well as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Special
Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for Mali and Head of
the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission for Mali (MINUSMA), also
participated in the meeting. In addition, the Director of the African Centre for the
Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), the Executive Secretary of the Committee of the Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), the Coordinator of
the Fusion and Liaison Unit (UFL) and the Deputy Executive Secretary of the North
Africa Regional Capability (NARC) also participated in the meeting. The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) were also in attendance.
3. The opening ceremony was marked by statements made by Ambassador Smail
Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security; Mr. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo,
President of the ECOWAS Commission; Mr. Ibrahim Abani, acting Secretary-General
of CEN-SAD; Ambassador Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the UN SecretaryGeneral for West Africa; and Mr. Mohamed Bazoum, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Abroad of the Republic of Niger.
4. Participants exchanged views and agreed as follows:
Overall situation in the Sahelo-Saharan Region and enhancement of security cooperation
15
5. Participants reviewed the political and security situation in the region since
their last meeting, held in Ndjamena, on 11 September 2013. In this regard, they
welcomed the positive evolution of the political situation in Mali, marked by the
completion of the transition process, through the successful holding of the legislative elections whose first and second rounds were held on 24 November 2013 and
15 December 2013, respectively. They also welcomed the recent progress made in
the implementation of the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement of 18 June 2013,
particularly the conclusion, with the support of MINUSMA, of an agreement on the
encampment of the elements of the armed groups. They urged for the continuation
of the efforts made within this framework, and encouraged all countries participating in the Nouakchott Process, as well as the relevant international organizations,
to continue to lend the necessary support to the Malian Government and other
stakeholders, on the basis of national ownership and leadership. Participants also
took note of the progress made in the deployment of MINUSMA, and welcomed
the prospects for the enhancement of the Mission both in terms of strength and
logistical capability.
6. Participants also noted with satisfaction the continuous efforts aimed at building confidence and promoting good neighborliness in the Sahelo-Saharan region.
Within that framework, they welcomed the visits which President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali undertook to Mauritania and Algeria in January 2014. They encouraged the pursuit of such initiatives. They urged the AU High Representative for
Mali and the Sahel and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for
West Africa to continue to support the efforts of the countries of the region, including through continuous interaction with their leaders.
7. With regard to the security situation in the region, participants, while welcoming the overall positive developments recorded during the period under consideration, expressed concern at the persistence of the terrorist threat, as evidenced by
the recent events in northern Mali and the attacks that the Boko Haram and Ansaru
groups continue to carry out in Nigeria. They noted with deep concern the growing
magnitude of the scourge of transnational crime and its linkages to terrorism. Participants also stressed the difficult situation obtaining in Libya, which calls for an
increased engagement of the region and the continent as a whole, to help this
brotherly country overcome the challenges facing it, in a spirit of African solidarity.
8. Participants, cognizant of the need to pursue and intensify the efforts made,
endorsed the operational conclusions of the 4th meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services of the countries of the region, held in Niamey, on 17
February 2014, noting with appreciation the offer made by Burkina Faso to host the
5th meeting. They stressed their determination to implement the measures agreed
upon. They requested the Commission to take all the necessary steps to ensure ef-
16
fective follow-up, including through the preparation of a matrix identifying all the
measures to be taken, as well as the actors concerned. They also requested the
Commission to ensure the necessary follow-up, at the regional level, of the conclusions of the workshop, organized by the AU in collaboration with the 1540 Committee and with the support of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, on the implementation, in Africa, of resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction to non-state actors, adopted by the UN Security Council on 28
April 2004. Participants noted with appreciation the efforts made by ECOWAS and
CEN-SAD in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime. In this regard, they
called for the pursuit of the efforts undertaken by the Inter-Governmental Action
Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), established by the
ECOWAS Summit in 2000, as well as those exerted within the framework of the
Praia Political Declaration and Plan of Action on Drug Trafficking in the region,
adopted by ECOWAS in 2008. Finally, participants called for the development of
close cooperation between the Intelligence and Security Services of the countries
of the region and the Intelligence Cell that MINUSMA intends to put in place.
9. Participants also welcomed the establishment in Algiers, on 9 February 2014, of
a structure bringing together, under AU aegis, the police institutions in the continent (AFRIPOL). They stressed that AFRIPOL is a valuable tool for enhancing police
and judicial cooperation in Africa.
10. Participants welcomed the invitation extended by Libya to the AU for it to
conduct an assessment mission that would include relevant structures of the Union, to better identify the challenges at hand in southern Libya and make recommendations on the collective action to be undertaken by Libya and the neighboring
countries within the framework of the Nouakchott Process. Participants looked forward to the meeting to be held in Rome on 6 March 2014, under the auspices of
the Italian and Libyan Governments, to mobilize more effective international support for Libya, in the light of the security challenges facing the country. Participants
agreed that the neighboring countries invited and Libya would hold consultations
prior the Rome meeting, in order to harmonize their positions and facilitate the attainment of the set objectives. They requested Niger, with the support of the AU
Commission, to facilitate the holding of the planned consultation as soon as possible.
11. Participants welcomed the measures envisaged regarding the operationalization, as soon as possible, of the secure communication system among the intelligence and security services of the Sahelo-Saharan countries. They also welcomed
the offer made by UFL to extend in the meantime its secure communication system
to three countries of the Nouakchott Process that are not members of the UFL, as
well
as
to
ACSRT,
CISSA
and
MISAHEL.
17
12. Furthermore, participants requested the Commission, in cooperation with the
United Nations and other actors concerned, to set up a team of experts to map out
the different threats to security in the region, with a particular focus on terrorist
and other armed and criminal groups operating in the region. The outcome of this
mapping exercise will be presented at the next ministerial meeting of the countries
participating in the Nouakchott Process.
Next steps in the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture
13. Participants reaffirmed the commitment of their respective organizations and
countries to work towards the continued implementation of the Nouakchott Process, acknowledging that this Process provides a unique framework for a common
approach to the security challenges facing the region on the basis of shared vision
and collective responsibility.
14. In this respect, participants, having welcomed the decisions on the assessment of the African Standby Force (ASF) and on the African Capacity for Immediate
Response to Crises (ACIRC), agreed on the following measures aimed at facilitating
the operationalization of the APSA in the Sahelo-Saharan region:
(i) the convening of meetings of the Chiefs of Defense Staff and Ministers of Defense to consider the generic Concepts of Operation for joint patrols and mixed
units, as well as the modalities for strengthening the existing cooperation structures and all other modalities of collaboration between and among the countries of
the region. In this respect, participants welcomed the offer by Mali to host these
meetings at a date to be agreed upon with the AU Commission. They requested the
AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, Pierre Buyoya, in consultation with
all concerned actors, to undertake consultation missions to the countries of the region to facilitate this process;
(ii) the convening of a Summit of the countries participating in the Nouakchott
Process, to mobilize further political support for the Process and enhance ownership by the countries of the region; and
(iii) the establishment, under MISAHEL leadership, of a lean Secretariat in Niamey,
to better coordinate the implementation of the Nouakchott Process, pending its
possible transformation into an Executive Secretariat linked to MISAHEL.
On strategies and initiatives regarding the Sahel
15. Participants stressed that the Nouakchott Process is one of the components
of the integrated and holistic approaches to the challenges facing the SaheloSaharan region. In this respect, they welcomed the elaboration by the AU of a
Strategy for the Sahel region and commended the AU High Representative for Mali
18
and the Sahel and his team for the efforts made. They validated the document in
light of the observations made, notably those relating to the issue of coordination
with existing initiatives and the recognition of the role of the relevant regional organizations in the implementation of the Strategy. Similarly, the participants
stressed that the Strategy should foster the implementation, within the SaheloSahara region, of the major continental initiatives, particularly those conducted by
NEPAD, on infrastructure and development. They agreed that all the observations
made would be reflected in the final text of the Strategy. Participants urged AU
Member States and international partners to extend support for the effective implementation of the AU Strategy.
16. Participants also noted with satisfaction the measures taken by the UN system, under the leadership of the UN Special Representative for West Africa, towards the implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. They welcomed the ECOWAS efforts, as well as those of other international institutions, notably the European Union (EU). Acknowledging the need for close coordination of
all initiatives, in support of the countries of the region and on the basis of regional
ownership, participants hailed the efforts being deployed by the Office of the UN
Special Representative for West Africa and MISAHEL towards the establishment of
the Technical Secretariat for the Coordination Platform of the different strategies
for the Sahel, notably through the preliminary meeting organized, in Bamako, on 28
January 2014, and the meeting scheduled for 21 February 2014, also in Bamako.
Vote of Thanks
17.
Participants thanked the Government and the people of Niger for having
hosted the ministerial meeting and the preparatory meeting of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services, as well as for their hospitality and the arrangements
made to facilitate the smooth holding of these meetings. In particular, they expressed deep gratitude to President Mahamadou Issoufou, for his personal and
continued commitment in fostering peace, security and development in the region.
19
3ème réunion ministérielle sur le renforcement de la coopération en
matière de sécurité et l’opérationnalisation de l’APSA dans la région
sahélo-saharienne, Niamey, 19 février 2014
CONCLUSIONS
La troisième réunion ministérielle des pays de la région sahélo-saharienne sur le
renforcement de la coopération sécuritaire et l’opérationnalisation de l’Architecture africaine de paix et de sécurité (APSA) a eu lieu à Niamey, au Niger, le 19 février
2014, dans le cadre du suivi du Processus de Nouakchott, initié par l’Union africaine (UA), en mars 2013. Elle a fait suite aux réunions ministérielles tenues respectivement à Nouakchott et à Ndjamena, les 17 mars et 11 septembre 2013, ainsi qu’à
la 4èmeréunion des chefs des services de renseignement et de sécurité, qui a eu lieu
à Niamey, le 17 février 2014.
2. Les Ministres et autres représentants des pays ci-après ont pris part à la réunion: Algérie, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Libye, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger, Nigeria,
Sénégal et Tchad. Le Président de la Commission de la Communauté économique
des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO), le Secrétaire général par intérim de la
Communauté des États sahélo-sahariens (CEN-SAD), ainsi que le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations unies au Mali et chef de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations unies pour la stabilisation pour le
Mali (MINUSMA), ont également pris part à la réunion. En outre, la réunion a vu la
participation du Directeur du Centre africain d’Étude et de Recherche sur le Terrorisme (CAERT), du Secrétaire exécutif du Comité des Services de Renseignement et
de Sécurité de l’Afrique (CISSA), la Coordinatrice de l’Unité de Fusion et de Liaison
(UFL), et le Secrétaire exécutif adjoint de la Capacité régionale pour l’Afrique du
Nord (NARC). Le Commissaire à la Paix et à la Sécurité de l’UA et le Haut Représentant de l’UA pour le Mali et le Sahel ont également pris part à la réunion.
3. La cérémonie d’ouverture a été marquée par les allocutions prononcées par
l'Ambassadeur Smail Chergui, Commissaire à la Paix et à la Sécurité de l'UA ; M. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, Président de la Commission de la CEDEAO ; M. Ibrahhim
Abani, Secrétaire général par intérim de la CEN-SAD ; l’Ambassadeur Saïd Djinnit,
Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations unies pour l’Afrique de
l’Ouest ; et M. Mohamed Bazoum, Ministre des Affaires étrangères, de la Coopération, de l’Intégration africaine et des Nigériens de l’Extérieur de la République du
Niger.
4. Les participants ont échangé sur les questions ci-après et convenu des conclusions suivantes:
Sur la situation d’ensemble dans la région sahélo-saharienne et le renforcement de
la coopération sécuritaire
20
5. Les participants ont passé en revue la situation politique et sécuritaire dans la
région depuis leur dernière rencontre tenue à Ndjamena, le 11 septembre 2013. À
cet égard, ils se sont réjouis de l’évolution positive de la situation politique au Mali,
marquée par l’aboutissement heureux du processus de transition, grâce à la tenue
réussie des élections législatives dont les premier et second tours ont eu lieu, respectivement, le 24 novembre et 15 décembre 2013. Ils se sont également réjouis
des avancées récentes enregistrées dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord préliminaire
signé à Ouagadougou, le 18 juin 2013, notamment la conclusion, avec le soutien de
la MINUSMA, d’un accord sur le cantonnement des éléments des groupes armés.
Ils ont exhorté à la poursuite des efforts entrepris dans ce cadre, et ont encouragé
tous les pays participant au Processus de Nouakchott, ainsi que les organisations
internationales compétentes, à continuer à apporter l’appui requis au Gouvernement et aux autres parties prenantes maliennes, sur la base de l’appropriation nationale et du leadership du Mali. Les participants ont également pris note des progrès accomplis dans le déploiement de la MINUSMA et des perspectives de renforcement de ses capacités humaines et logistiques.
6. Les participants ont aussi relevé avec satisfaction les efforts continus visant à
promouvoir la confiance et le bon voisinage dans la région sahélo-saharienne. Ils se
sont félicités, dans ce contexte, des visites que le Président Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
du Mali a effectuées en Mauritanie et en Algérie, en janvier 2014. Ils ont encouragé
la poursuite de ce type d’initiatives. De même, ils ont exhorté le Haut Représentant
de l’UA pour le Mali et le Sahel et le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des
Nations unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest à continuer à appuyer les efforts des pays
de la région, y compris par une interaction continue avec leurs dirigeants.
7. S’agissant de la situation sécuritaire dans la région, les participants, tout en se
félicitant de l’évolution globalement positive enregistrée au cours de la période
sous examen, se sont inquiétés de la persistance de la menace terroriste, ainsi
qu’en témoignent les incidents récemment survenus au Nord du Mali et les attaques que les groupes Boko Haram et Ansaru continuent de commettre au Nigeria.
Ils ont noté avec une profonde préoccupation l’ampleur croissante du fléau de la
criminalité transnationale et ses liens avec le terrorisme. De même, les participants
ont relevé la situation difficile prévalant en Libye, qui appelle, dans un esprit de solidarité africaine, à une mobilisation de la région et du continent dans son ensemble pour aider ce pays frère à surmonter les défis auxquels il est confronté.
8. Les participants, conscients de la nécessité de poursuivre et d’amplifier les efforts entrepris, ont entériné les Conclusions opérationnelles adoptées par la 4ème
réunion des chefs des services de renseignement et de sécurité des pays de la région, tenue à Niamey, le 17 février 2014, notant avec appréciation l’offre faite par
le Burkina Faso d’abriter la 5ème rencontre de ce genre. Ils ont souligné leur détermination à mettre en œuvre les mesures convenues. Ils ont demandé à la Commis-
21
sion de prendre toutes les dispositions nécessaires pour assurer un suivi effectif, y
compris à travers l’élaboration d’une matrice identifiant toutes les mesures à prendre, ainsi que les acteurs concernés. Ils ont demandé à la Commission d’assurer
également, au niveau de la région, le suivi des conclusions de l’atelier d’experts,
organisé par l’UA en collaboration avec le Comité 1540 et avec le soutien du Bureau des Nations unies chargé des Affaires de désarmement, sur la mise en œuvre
en Afrique de la résolution 1540 sur la non-prolifération d’armes de destruction
massive aux acteurs non-étatiques adoptée par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations
unies, le 28 avril 2014. Les participants ont noté avec appréciation les efforts déployés par la CEDEAO et la CEN-SAD dans le cadre de la lutte contre le terrorisme et
la criminalité transnationale. À cet égard, ils ont appelé à la poursuite des efforts
engagés par le Groupe Intergouvernemental d’Action contre le Blanchiment d’Argent en Afrique de l’Ouest (GIABA), établi par le Sommet de la CEDEAO en 2000,
ainsi que dans le cadre de la Déclaration politique et du Plan d’action de Praia sur le
trafic de drogues dans la région, adoptés par la CEDEAO en 2008. Enfin, les participants ont appelé au développement d’une coopération étroite entre les services de
renseignement et de sécurité des pays de la région et la cellule de renseignement
que la MINUSMA envisage de mettre en place.
9. Les participants ont, par ailleurs, favorablement accueilli la mise en place, à Alger, le 9 février 2014, d’une structure regroupant, sous l’égide de l’UA, les polices
du continent (AFRIPOL). Ils ont souligné qu’AFRIPOL constitue un outil précieux
pour le renforcement de la coopération policière et judiciaire en Afrique.
10. Les participants se sont félicités de l’invitation faite par la Libye en vue de la
conduite d’une mission d’évaluation de l’UA, comprenant les différentes structures
compétentes de l’Union, pour mieux identifier les problèmes qui se posent au Sud
de la Libye et faire des recommandations sur l’action collective à mener par la Libye
et les pays voisins dans le cadre du Processus de Nouakchott. Ils ont indiqué attendre avec intérêt la réunion qui sera organisée, à Rome, le 6 mars 2014, par les Gouvernements italien et libyen, pour mobiliser un soutien international plus effectif
en faveur de la Libye, au regard des défis sécuritaires que connaît le pays. Les participants ont convenu que les pays voisins invités et la Libye se concerteraient en
amont de la réunion de Rome pour harmoniser leurs positions et faciliter la réalisation des objectifs poursuivis. Ils ont demandé au Niger, avec le soutien de la Commission de l’UA, de conduire cette consultation dans les plus brefs délais.
11. Les participants se sont félicités des dispositions envisagées en ce qui concerne l’opérationnalisation, dans de très brefs délais, du système de communication
sécurisé entre les services de renseignement et de sécurité des États sahélosahariens. Ils se sont aussi félicités de l’offre faite par l’UFL d’étendre, dans l’intervalle, son système de communication sécurisé aux trois pays du Processus de
Nouakchott qui ne sont pas membres de l’UFL, ainsi qu’au CAERT, au CISSA et à la
MISAHEL.
22
12. En outre, les participants ont invité la Commission, en collaboration avec les
Nations unies et d’autres acteurs concernés, à mettre en place une équipe d’experts pour cartographier les différentes menaces à la sécurité dans la région, avec
un accent particulier sur les groupes armés terroristes et autres qui y opèrent. Les
résultats de cette cartographie devront être présentés à la prochaine réunion ministérielle des pays participant au Processus de Nouakchott.
Sur les prochaines étapes de l’opérationnalisation de l’Architecture africaine de
paix et de sécurité
13. Les participants ont réaffirmé la volonté de leurs organisations et pays respectifs d’œuvrer au renforcement continu du Processus de Nouakchott, reconnaissant
que celui-ci constitue un cadre unique pour une approche collective des défis sécuritaires que connait la région, sur la base d’une vision et d’une responsabilité partagées.
14. Dans ce cadre, les participants, après s’être réjouis des décisions adoptées par
le dernier Sommet de l’UA tenu en janvier 2014 sur l’évaluation de la Force africaine en attente (FAA) et la Capacité africaine de réponse immédiate aux crises
(CARIC), se sont accordés sur les mesures suivantes destinées à faciliter l’opérationnalisation de l’APSA dans la région sahélo-saharienne :
(i) la tenue de réunions des chefs d’État-major et des Ministres de la Défense
pour examiner les concepts d’opération génériques pour les patrouilles conjointes
et les unités mixtes, sur la base des expériences africaines et internationales pertinentes, ainsi que les modalités de renforcement des structures de coopération
existantes et de toutes autres formes de collaboration entre les États de la région.
À cet égard, les participants se sont félicités de l’offre faite par le Mali d’abriter ces
réunions à une date qui sera convenue avec la Commission de l’UA. Ils ont demandé au Haut Représentant de l’UA pour le Mali et le Sahel, Pierre Buyoya, en consultation avec tous les acteurs concernés, d’entreprendre des missions de consultation auprès des pays de la région pour faciliter ce processus;
(ii) la tenue prochaine d’un Sommet des pays participant au Processus de Nouakchott, pour mobiliser un soutien politique accru au Processus, et renforcer son appropriation par les pays de la région; et
(iii) la mise en place, sous la direction de la MISAHEL, d’un Secrétariat réduit à
Niamey, pour mieux coordonner la mise en œuvre du Processus de Nouakchott, en
attendant sa transformation éventuelle en un Secrétariat exécutif rattaché à la MISAHEL.
Sur les stratégies et initiatives portant sur le Sahel
23
15. Les participants ont souligné que le Processus de Nouakchott est l’une des
composantes des approches intégrées et holistiques des défis auxquels est
confrontée la région sahélo-saharienne. Dans ce cadre, ils se sont réjouis de l’élaboration par l’UA d’une Stratégie pour la région du Sahel, et ont félicité le Haut Représentant de l’UA pour le Mali et le Sahel et son équipe pour l’effort déployé. Ils
ont validé le document à la lumière des observations faites, y compris en ce qui
concerne la question de la coordination avec les initiatives existantes et le rôle des
organisations régionales compétentes dans la mise en œuvre de la Stratégie. De
même, les participants ont souligné que la Stratégie devrait favoriser la mise en
œuvre, au sein de la région sahélo-saharienne, des grandes initiatives continentales, notamment celles conduites dans le cadre du NEPAD, sur les infrastructures et
le développement. Il a été convenu que l’ensemble de ces observations seraient
reflétées dans la version finale de la Stratégie. Les participants ont exhorté les États
membres de l’UA et les partenaires internationaux à apporter leur contribution à la
mise en œuvre effective de la Stratégie de l’UA.
16. Les participants ont aussi noté avec satisfaction les mesures prises par le système des Nations unies, sous la direction du Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations unies pour l'Afrique de l'Ouest, en vue de la mise en œuvre de la
Stratégie intégrée des Nations unies pour le Sahel. Ils se sont félicités des efforts de
la CEDEAO, ainsi que de ceux d’autres institutions internationales, notamment l’Union européenne (UE). Reconnaissant la nécessité d’une coordination étroite de
toutes les initiatives, en appui aux pays de la région et sur la base de l’appropriation régionale, les participants ont salué les efforts déployés par le Bureau du Représentant spécial des Nations unies pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et la MISAHEL, en
vue d’établir le Secrétariat technique de la Plate-forme de coordination des différentes stratégies pour le Sahel, à travers notamment la réunion préliminaire organisée, à Bamako, le 28 janvier 2014, et celle prévue, également à Bamako, le 21 février 2014.
Remerciements
17. Les participants ont remercié le Gouvernement et le peuple nigériens pour
avoir abrité la réunion ministérielle et celle préparatoire des chefs des services de
renseignement et de sécurité, ainsi que pour l’hospitalité et les dispositions prises
en vue bon déroulement des travaux. Ils ont, en particulier, marqué leur profonde
gratitude au Président Mahamadou Issoufou, pour son engagement personnel et
continu en faveur de la paix, de la sécurité et du développement dans la région.
24
Communique de presse de la 420ème réunion du CPS sur les droits et
le bien-être de l'enfant (CAEDBE)
Le Conseil de paix et de sécurité (CPS) de l'Union africaine (UA), en sa 420 ème
réunion tenue le 18 février 2014, à Addis Abéba, a consacré une séance pour une
consultation avec le Comité africain des experts sur les droits et le bien-être de
l'enfant (CAEDBE), en tant qu’organe de l'UA.
La réunion a été tenue en vertu de la décision du Conseil exécutif EX.CL/Dec.712
(XXI) qui a été adoptée en juin 2012, lors de sa 21ème session ordinaire , tenue à Addis Abéba , dans laquelle le Conseil exécutif a demandé au CPS de tenir compte des
droits de l'enfant dans son ordre du jour et de coopérer activement avec le Comité,
dans ses efforts visant à promouvoir le bien-être des enfants en Afrique .
Le Conseil a souligné la nécessité pour le Comité de promouvoir des initiatives aux
niveaux national, régional et continental, afin de sensibiliser davantage diverses
parties prenantes sur les droits et le bien-être des enfants.
Le Conseil s'est félicité de l'appel à l’institutionnalisation de la collaboration entre
lui-même et le CAEDBE en engageant les États membres de l'UA à prendre les mesures et les initiatives nécessaires afin d’assurer la protection des droits des enfants
dans les conflits armés. Le Conseil a demandé que les autorités des pays touchés
facilitent le signalement des faits de recrutement et d’utilisation des enfants dans
les situations de conflit au CAEDBE, conformément à la résolution 1216(2005) du
25
Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies mettant l’accent un mécanisme de surveillance et de rapports sur l'utilisation des enfants soldats. A cet égard, le Conseil a souligné la nécessité pour les autorités dans les pays touchés de prendre des mesures
contre ceux qui recrutent et utilisent les enfants dans les conflits armés et a exhorté le CAEDBE à convenir de modalités pour assurer le suivi et la réception de rapports sur des cas de recrutement et d’utilisations des enfants dans les conflits armés.
Le Conseil a discuté de la possibilité d'institutionnaliser ses interactions avec le
CAEDBE dans le cadre de l'Article 19 du Protocole relatif à la création du Conseil de
paix et de sécurité de l'Union africaine, qui prévoit une coopération étroite entre le
Conseil et la Commission africaine des droits de des droits et des peuples (CADHP).
Le Conseil a en outre discuté de l’opportunité pour le CAEDBE d’étendre son interaction au niveau national, ainsi qu’au niveau régional, afin de renforcer sa coopération au niveau local.
Le Conseil a également convenu d'étudier la possibilité d'organiser une réunion de
haut niveau consacrée à la paix, à la sécurité et aux droits et au bien-être des enfants en Afrique, ainsi que de la nécessité d'élaborer des mécanismes appropriés à
travers lesquels les Secrétariats des deux organes peuvent institutionnaliser leur
collaboration et renforcer davantage leur engagement en faveur des enfants.
Le Conseil a convenu de tenir chaque année une session publique consacrée aux
questions des enfants sur le continent.
Le Conseil a appelé les Etats membres, qui ne l’ont pas encore fait, à signer et ratifier la Charte africaine sur les droits et le bien-être de l’enfant (CADBE).
26
Press statement of the 420th meeting of the PSC on the Rights and
Welfare of the Child (ACERWC)
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 420 th meeting
held on 18 February 2014, in Addis Ababa, devoted a session to a consultation with
the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC),
in its capacity as an Organ of the AU.
The meeting was held pursuant to the Executive Council Decision EX.CL/Dec.712
(XXI) that was adopted in June 2012, at its 21st Ordinary Session, held in Addis
Ababa, in which the Executive Council requested the PSC to take into account the
rights of the child in its agenda and cooperate actively with the ACERWC, in its efforts aimed at promoting the welfare of children in Africa.
Council emphasized the need for the ACERWC to champion initiatives at national,
regional and continental levels, to bring more awareness on children’s rights and
welfare to various stakeholders.
Council welcomed the call for an institutionalized collaboration between itself and
the ACERWC in engaging AU Member States to take necessary measures and initiatives to ensure the protection of the rights of children in armed conflicts. Council
required the authorities of the affected countries to facilitate reporting on incidence of recruiting and use of children in conflict situations to the ACERWC; in accordance with the UN Resolution 1216 (2005) centering on monitoring and report-
27
ing mechanism on the use of child soldiers. In this regard, Council stressed the need
for authorities in affected countries to take measures against those found recruiting and using children in armed conflicts, and urged the ACERWC to come out with
modalities for ensuring monitoring and receipt of reports of cases of recruitments
and use of children in armed conflict.
Council discussed the possibility of institutionalizing its interactions with the
ACERWC within the framework of Article 19 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, which provides for
close cooperation between the Council and the African Commission on Human and
Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Council further discussed the opportunity for the ACERWC
to extend its interaction to national, as well as regional level, to enhance its cooperation from the grassroots.
Council also agreed to look into the possibility of organizing a high-level meeting
devoted to peace, security and children’s rights and welfare in Africa, as well as the
need to devise appropriate mechanisms through which the Secretariats of the two
Organs can institutionalize their collaboration and further strengthen their engagement in favor of children.
Council agreed to hold, each year, an open session of the PSC, devoted to issues of
children on the continent.
Council called all AU Member States, who have not yet done so, to sign and ratify
the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC)
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La MISCA riposte à une attaque d’éléments armés sur un convoi et démantèle un barrage routier à Beloko
Bangui, le 17 février 2014: La Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique
sous conduite africaine (MISCA) a riposté à une attaque d’un convoi par des éléments armés illégaux, dans la soirée du 16 février 2014, aux environs de l’agglomération de Beloko, sur le corridor reliant la capitale Bangui à la frontière avec le Cameroun.
Comme indiqué dans son communiqué de presse daté du 15 février 2013, la MISCA
a, depuis le 18 janvier 2014, mis en place un dispositif pour escorter les véhicules
empruntant 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.
C’est dans ce cadre que le cinquième convoi escorté par la MISCA a quitté Bangui le
samedi 15 février 2014, avec soixante-douze (72) véhicules, dont soixante-deux
(62) camions et dix (10) véhicules de transport d’usagers, rejoints, le dimanche 16
février 2014, dans la ville de Bouar, par dix-sept véhicules (17) supplémentaires,
portant ainsi le nombre de véhicules à quatre-vingt-neuf (89). La colonne ainsi
constituée a essuyé une attaque d’éléments armés du groupe dit des anti-balaka et
de coupeurs de route. Ces derniers, équipés d’armes à feu, ont attaqué les militaires de la MISCA escortant le convoi, cependant que d’autres , également armés,
tentaient de monter à bord des véhicules d’usagers, pour commettre des exactions
sur les civils à bord.
Les éléments de la MISCA ont dû faire usage de la force appropriée, en position de
légitime défense ainsi que pour protéger les civils en danger imminent. Le bilan de
l’affrontement est de onze (11) assaillants armés neutralisés et de douze (12) civils
légèrement blessés. Les civils ont immédiatement été pris en charge par l’équipe
médicale de la MISCA insérée dans le convoi. L’escorte de la MISCA a récupéré 3
fusils automatiques, des fusils de chasse de calibre 12, ainsi que de nombreuses
machettes, épées, arcs et flèches.
La MISCA réitère, encore une fois, sa détermination, à mettre en oeuvre, en toute
impartialité et de façon robuste, son mandat de protection des populations civiles,
ainsi que de soutien à la restauration de l’autorité de l’État centrafricain sur l'ensemble de son territoire, y compris par la protection du corridor vital qui relie la
RCA au Cameroun.
29
Terrorism in Africa
L’Afrique de l’Est sous la menace des terroristes islamistes?
attentats du Westgate en septembre dernier à Nairobi, le Kenya est en état d’alerte. Le conseil de sécurité du pays a donc acté une intensification des dispositifs
de sécurité, eu égard à la menace terroriste émanant des radicaux islamistes.
Marc Lavergne, spécialiste de la Corne de l’Afrique, tempère les raccourcis entre
terrorisme et fait religieux.
Les miliciens islamistes du Shebab, en Somalie - Photo EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection /
Flickr cc
JOL Press : Le gouvernement kenyan a annoncé ce mercredi 26 février vouloir renforcer son dispositif de sécurité à cause de « risques accrus de radicalisation d’islamistes et de factions locales ». Est-ce un problème d’insécurité locale et de violences urbaines, ou existe-t-il un vrai danger régional grandissant ?
Marc Lavergne : Avant tout, le problème de cette région est le chômage des jeunes. Ils n’ont pas d’autres débouchés que l’agriculture. A l’heure du village mondial, ce n’est pas très attirant pour eux. Ils préfèrent être connectés… Ce désœuvrement et ce désenchantement se traduisent par un durcissement religieux.
Mais même chez les Shebab, ce n’est qu’un affichage. Il n’y a pas aujourd’hui de
regain de la religiosité en Afrique, que ce soit chez les chrétiens ou les musulmans.
Néanmoins, cela dépend évidemment de chaque région, de chaque pays. Le Kenya
est assez fragilisé : il est en proie à la désertification, à la surpopulation. Le pouvoir
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y est détenu par une oligarchie corrompue, parfois incompétente, et surprotégée
par l’Occident. En outre le pays est miné par des guerres ethnico-tribales, spécialement à chaque élection. Elles ont d’ailleurs conduit l’actuel Président Uhuru Kenyatta à être sous mandat d’arrêt de la CPI. Il y a un affrontement entre les ethnies
Kikuyu et Luo, principalement.
Cette dimension ethnique cache une réalité sociale, qui est la désertification du
territoire, due à l’urbanisation des populations. Ces migrants se retrouvent dans les
bidonvilles, qui sont les pires d’Afrique. L’ancrage religieux y est certes plus facile.
Mais il est surtout l’épouvantail qu’agite le gouvernement pour augmenter la surveillance, en vue d’endiguer l’insécurité urbaine…
JOL Press : Le risque terroriste lié à l’islamisme radical n’est donc pas pour vous,
plus important qu’il y a 10 ans ?
Marc Lavergne : Il l’est dans la mesure où l’islam progresse : c’est une religion expansive. Cependant, la radicalisation est un phénomène qui est moins certain.
D’ailleurs, je ne crois pas vraiment à un lien direct, de cause à effet, entre radicalisme et déstabilisation.
A mon sens, le lien tient aux conversions à l’islam. Ces hommes y viennent parce
qu’ils estiment que l’islam n’est pas une religion coloniale, d’exploiteurs, de blancs.
Les prêcheurs islamiques appuient donc là-dessus. En outre, cette religion est simple, et fournit facilement un guidage à ceux qui sont un peu perdus.
Le terrorisme, qui vient par-dessus ce phénomène, n’est finalement qu’un moyen
parmi d’autres. Il est question de rapport de force et d’efficacité. Mais hormis les
croyances autour du paradis des djihadistes, la religion n’influe pas forcément sur
le terrorisme. En atteste les attentats du Westgate en septembre 2013 à Nairobi :
ses auteurs ont tenté de s’enfuir, ce n’étaient pas des kamikazes, ils n’avaient aucune vocation au martyr.
Source: http://www.jolpress.com/
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JOL Press : La menace terroriste serait donc plus liée à des facteurs ethnico-sociaux
que religieux, selon vous ?
Marc Lavergne : Oui, je le pense. Mais ça ne change rien : le regain de menaces
islamistes dans certaines régions, réel ou supposé, est utilisé pour attirer la compassion et le soutien des Occidentaux. Ceux-ci sont tétanisés par le danger islamique. Les islamistes sont le symbole des empêcheurs de tourner en rond de la
mondialisation.
JOL Press : On ne peut pas non plus nier le danger islamiste en Afrique de l’Est.
Avec l’intervention kenyane en Somalie, la piraterie maritime, les actions du Shebab (dont l’attentat du Westgate en septembre dernier), la menace est bien réell
e
…
Marc Lavergne : La menace islamiste est évidemment réelle. Mais cette réalité
n’enlève rien à celle de la déstabilisation de l’Afrique entière.
JOL Press : Peut-on voir une collusion entre les différents troubles religieux en Afrique (le Shebab, Boko Haram, les conflits religieux en Centrafrique, les groupes islamiques dans le Sahel…) ? Le fait religieux est-il en train de déstabiliser l’ensemble
du territoire africain ?
Marc Lavergne : Je ne dirais pas cela. Cette déstabilisation est naturelle, inéluctable. Elle est beaucoup plus due au fait que l’Afrique n’est pas sortie de la période
coloniale.
Le Kenya, par exemple, est une vitrine occidentalisée, qui paraît fonctionner. Nairobi semble être une ville fonctionnelle. Pourtant, vous ne sortez pas dans les rues
après 8 heures le soir. Vous ne vous arrêtez pas au feu rouge avec vos vitres baissées. Nairobi a beau être un centre névralgique de l’ONU, le hub africain pour l’Occident, la criminalité y est extrêmement élevée. Le Kenya tient, aujourd’hui, par la
présence occidentale. Et par le bâton plus que la carotte.
JOL Press : L’Afrique de l’Est, en dépit du terrorisme et de l’éclatement de la Somalie, est le nouveau terrain de jeux des pétroliers. La bulle de prospection y est forte,
les découvertes prometteuses, les chantiers et aménagements titanesques. La menace terroriste, liée entre autres au Shebab et à d’autres groupuscules, risque-t-elle
d’impacter ce développement autour du pétrole ?
Marc Lavergne : La Somalie a éclaté il y a 25 ans. En outre, la situation n’y est pas
inéluctable : le Somaliland, bien que non reconnu, est assez stable.
Les perspectives pétrolières ne sont pas en elles-mêmes un facteur de déstabilisation. La déstabilisation précède l’arrivée du pétrole. Les ressources ne créent pas la
guerre. Elles peuvent simplement l’accélérer.
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Sahel/terrorisme : onze pays africains affinent leurs stratégies de lutte
contre le terrorisme à Niamey
19 fév 2014 - 5:47
Les ministres des Affaires étrangères des pays membres de l’Unité de fusion et de
liaison ( UFL) sont réunis mercredi à Niamey afin d’étudier les voies et moyens les
plus appropriés pour la lutte contre le terrorisme et le crime organisé dans la région du Sahel.
Au cours de cette réunion d’une journée, les ministres qui sont assistés par des
chefs des services de renseignements et de sécurités de leurs pays respectifs, ainsi
que des représentants de l’Unité africaine et de la Communauté économique des
Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO), échangeront sur la situation politique et
sécuritaire dans la région sahélo-saharienne, le renforcement de la coopération
sécuritaire et l’opérationnalisation de l’architecture africaine de paix et de sécurité,
entre autres.
L’UFL est un organisme de lutte contre le terrorisme et le crime organisé créé en
avril 2010 par les sept pays concernés par la question terroriste dans le Sahel, l’Algérie, la Mauritanie, le Niger, le Burkina Faso, la Libye, le Mali et le Tchad auxquels
se sont joints le Nigeria, le Sénégal, la Guinée et la Cote d’Ivoire.
Elle coordonne l’action de lutte contre le terrorisme et mène une propagande
contre ses méfaits.
« Les récents événements survenus à Gao au Mali, portant sur l’enlèvement d’une
équipe du CICR revendiqués par le MUJAO, démontrent à suffisance l’état de précarité de la situation sécuritaire dans notre région et doivent nous interpeler davantage sur l’urgence et la nécessité d’une coopération renforcée entre les acteurs
compétents », a préconisé le ministre nigérien des Affaires étrangères, Bazoum
Mohamed, présidant l’ouverture de la réunion.
Selon le chef de la diplomatie nigérienne, son pays qui subit « les impacts collatéraux des crises libyenne et malienne » s’est très tôt investi dans la recherche des
voies et moyens de sécurisation de ses frontières extracommunautaires à travers
un partenariat qui garantisse les droits humains et la libre circulation des personnes.
« La situation en Libye, tant au plan politique que sécuritaire, reste marquée par
des tensions plutôt inquiétantes, nous devons y réfléchir de façon à contribuer à
générer une dynamique nouvelle », a-t-il suggéré.
Pour Bazoum Mohamed, l’adhésion du Niger à la stratégie intégrée des Nations
unies pour le Sahel et son entrée au Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’Union africaine constituent une autre illustration de l’engagement des plus hautes autorités
du Niger à servir la cause de la paix partout où cela s’avère nécessaire.
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« Le processus de Nouakchott est en effet un processus d’évaluation, nos réunions
sont donc des occasions pour mesurer avec précision l’état de la sécurité dans notre espace. Les choses évoluent à cet égard incontestablement dans le bon sens, au
Mali notamment où le processus de cantonnement des groupes armés sera bientôt
amorcé », s’est réjoui le chef de la diplomatie nigérienne.
Le président de la Commission de la CEDEAO, Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, a, pour sa
part, fait cas de la stratégie de lutte contre le terrorisme élaborée par son institution qui vise à renforcer les capacités opérationnelles des états membres pour une
réponse effective au terrorisme.
Selon lui, cette stratégie repose sur trois piliers principaux, à savoir la prévention, la
répression et la reconstruction.
« Il ne fait aucun doute que les stratégies initiées par diverses organisations, si celles-ci sont bien coordonnées, devraient contribuer, de manière significative, au développement socio-économique et à la stabilité dans la région du Sahel, conformément aux principes de démocratie, de bonne gouvernance et de l’état de droit, de
manière à prévenir la survenance des nouvelles crises dans le futur », estime Kadré
Désiré Ouedraogo.
Le même optimisme est partagé par la Communauté des Etats sahélo-sahéliens
(Cen-Sad) représentée par son secrétaire général par intérim, Ibrahim Sani Abani,
qui a estimé que « la volonté politique forte existe ».
« Il reste à donner un contenu opérationnel et donc à créer les synergies nécessaires, en ayant à l’esprit notamment le rapport du secrétaire général des Nations
unies en date du 1er août 2013 sur le causes des conflits et la promotion d’une paix
et d’un développement durable en Afrique », a-t-il soutenu.
« Nous devons éviter la dispersion des efforts en faisant fonctionner, tant au niveau des Etats que des organisations internationales, la règle de la complémentarité », a conseillé M. Abani, ajoutant que « la Cen-Sad reste ouverte à tous les partenariats pourvu qu’ils concourent à la restauration et la culture de la paix singulièrement dans l’espace sahélo-saharien, cet espace qui aujourd’hui focalise toutes les
attentions ».
Source: http://maliactu.net/
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West Africa: Terror and Other Challenges in the Sahel - Don't Ignore
the Local
17 FEBRUARY 2014
ANALYSIS
"THE CHALLENGES FACED IN THE SAHEL DO NOT RESPECT BORDERS AND, THEREFORE, NEITHER CAN
THE SOLUTIONS," UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON HAS CORRECTLY OBSERVED.
NARCOTICS
AND WEAPONS SEEP ACROSS SAHELIAN BORDERS EFFORTLESSLY, AS DO SOME OF THE
BALEFUL CONSEQUENCES, ESPECIALLY POPULATION DISPLACEMENT, HUMANITARIAN CRISES AND
ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS.
Mr. Ban visited the Sahel region in late 2013 along with World Bank President Jim
Yong. While his observation might be true in the case ofterrorism, trafficking and
armed conflicts leading to the spillover of refugees in neighboring countries, the
structural fragilities of the governments of this region do in fact respect borders.
Before becoming debilitating regional threats to the stability of the Sahel, issues of
terrorism and armed conflicts started as poorly managed domestic challenges.
While keeping this in mind, the quest for sustainable results in the Sahel may imply
revisiting the roots of its seemingly unsolvable crises.
Fragile democracies, low and precarious standards of living, a harsh climate jeopardizing livelihoods, weak and corrupt governments, artificial and porous borders,
security threats in the forms of human trafficking, drugs and arms smuggling and
radical religious factions are some of the most prominent difficulties encountered
in this region of approximately 150 million inhabitants.
Located between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanese Savanna to the
south and extending from the West African coast to the Horn of Africa, the strategic and geopolitical importance of this region has become undeniable to Washington and its European partners.
When the Community of Sahel-Saharan states (CEN-SAD) was established in 1998,
its initial goal was the creation of an economic union based on an integrated development plan among and between all member states. Seven years later,
the United States launched theTrans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP)
enhancing the capacities of the Sahel states to cooperate and combat terrorism.
Exclusively focused on security, the TSCTP differs remarkably from the most recent European Union Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel (2011)
and the United Nations Regional Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (2013).
The latter have designed comprehensive "integrated" approaches tackling the de-
35
velopment-humanitarian-security nexus specifically in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina
Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Chad. Unfortunately, as sophisticated as these strategies
might be, the people of the Sahel have had very little input or influence in their development.
Worth noting is the strategies' quasi-exclusive focus on external threats, potentially
undermining key internal dynamics and overlooking country particularities, which
must in fact determine successful implementation of any comprehensive strategy.
The March 2012 military coup that toppled the democratically elected President of
Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré, was a direct consequence of the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi a few months earlier.
The ensuing loss of two thirds of Mali's northern territory to Al-Qaeda linked Islamists and separatist rebels triggered a multidimensional French-led military intervention which soon enabled the transitional government of Bamako to regain two
out of three lost territories.
The intervention has yet to bring home the last rebel stronghold of the northern
region of Kidal. A categorical refusal to cooperate, long-time grievances and a lack
of recognition of the central government on the part of rebel groups testify to the
intricacy of endemic, country-specific problems.
The structural complexities of Mali, a vast, landlocked country hosting a multitude
of ethnic groups, certainly contributed to this great divide between its northern
population and its central government.
Whether Boko Haram, the infamous Nigeria-based terrorist group, is affiliated to
jihadist groups outside of Nigeria has long been disputed. The Sunni militant group
has caused thousands of deaths in one of the most populated countries of the Sahel and the U.S. State Department has recently labeled it a terrorist organization.
The group has often asserted that it is in the midst of a "war against the government of Nigeria," the world's eighth largest oil exporter. The Nigerian government's
inability to distribute wealth and services in its northeast region is, in reality, one of
the main drivers of insecurity.
The problems facing the Sahel are enormous and complex. They will only be resolved, if at all, by sustained, indigenously-tailored efforts over time. The large size of
most Sahel countries, as well as the multitude of ethnic and religious groups in the
region, also calls for carefully implemented decentralization efforts providing greater autonomy to local governments.
With a fast growing population, the Sahel promises to become ever more important. As massive donor funding targets the region, donors risk promoting a misconceived one-size-fits-all approach, overlooking country specificities and root causes.
36
If the crises that have more recently haunted the Sahel did anything, they laid bare
the fragility of its states. Creating more responsive local governments within bigger
states and generating greater democratic control will necessarily lead to more secure borders, better local management, and eventually, greater socio-economic
development.
Source: Allafrica.com
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Burkina Faso
BURKINA FASO’S ‘WEST AFRICAN SPRING’ – ANALYSIS
FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Sustained anti-government rallies inThailand,Ukraine, andVenezuela have captured
the attention of millions. But large pro-democracy demonstrations in Burkina Faso
last month largely escaped the Western media’s radar.
Since January, tensions have flared between the West African country’s authoritarian government and the impoverished masses yearning for democratic reforms.
Depending on how developments unfold, the protests in Burkina Faso could serve
as a catalyst for further uprisings in the region.
On January 18, over 10,000 Burkinabe citizens rallied in the nation’s capital, Ouagadougou (WAH-gah-DOO-goo), and other cities to protest the concentration of political power in one man — President Blaise Compaore, who has ruled Burkina Faso
since 1987. While Compaore claims democratic legitimacy, the opposition demands
his departure from power, maintaining that Compaore’s past electoral victories were fraudulent and rigged.
The demonstrators, led by opposition leader Zephirin Diabre, have taken to the
streets to protest Compaore’s plans to revise Article 37 of the country’s constitution. This provision, incorporated in 2000, limits the president to two five-year
terms. After winning presidential elections in 2005 and 2010, Compaore’s final
term is set to end in 2015. Although Compaore has issued no official statement
concerning his intention to seek another term, his critics contend that he is laying
the groundwork for a constitutional amendment to extend his rule beyond 2015.
38
Calling January 18 a “historic day,” Diabredeclared that the thousands of protestors
were “taking a stand in this free and republican protest to send Compaore into retirement in 2015.”
Compaore’s failure to improve living standards for average Burkinabes also factors
into popular resentment of the government. Despite being rich with gold reserves,
Burkina Faso remains one of the world’s poorest countries. Nearly half of the 18
million citizens who inhabit this landlocked nation live below the poverty line, and
GDP per capita hovers around a paltry $1,400. Fewer than 30 percent of adults are
literate and the nation’s infant mortality rates rank ninth globally. Recurring floods
and droughts in recent years have exacerbated all of these dismal conditions.
The perception that Compaore’s cronies in power have usurped the nation’s resource wealth at the public’s expense has further fueled the opposition’s determination to end his presidency.
Historical Tensions
Compaore’s reckoning reflects tensions that have accumulated gradually since the
country’s independence.
Burkina Faso’s Cold War experience was marked by violent instability. Following its
independence from France in 1960, power changed hands frequently through a
series of bloody coup d’états, including a Marxist-inspired revolution in 1983 that
installed the Communist leader Thomas Sankara as president.
Sometimes likened to “Africa’s Che Guevara,” Sankara implemented radical social
reforms, ranging from efforts to abolish gender inequality to the collectivization of
agricultural land. He even renamed the republic, replacing its previous name
(Upper Volta) with its current name, Burkina Faso, or “Land of Upright Men.” Such
reforms drew some support from the poorer sectors of society, but they also created enemies among the economic elite.
Under Sankara’s leadership, Burkina Faso faced numerous challenges on the international stage. Burkina Faso and Mali went to war during December 1985 in a
conflict referred to as the “Christmas War.” The brief war resulted from a territorial
dispute between the two countries over a 100-mile-long portion of desert, rich
with minerals, referred to as the Agacher strip. Both militaries engaged in aerial
bombings before a truce was reached.
More generally, Sankara pitted Burkina Faso against the interests of Western superpowers and their African allies. Sankara was anoutspoken opponent of South
Africa’s apartheid system and military raids against the African National Congress
(ANC) in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Additionally, the Burkinabe leaderexpressed solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Nicaragua’s Sandinistas. Burkina Faso’s ties with Libya and Ghana prompted the United
States and France to fear that the “Burkinabe model” would spread throughout
Africa. From 1983 to 1990, Paris canceled foreign assistance to Ouagadougou.
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On October 15, 1987, Sankara was killed in a coup that the United States, France,
and Liberia are widely suspected of helping to orchestrate. Blaise Compaore, who
served in the upper echelons of Sankara’s government and was a childhood
friend of Sankara himsef, was one of the major leaders behind the coup. Compaore
continues to deny that Sankara’s death was intentional.
Compaore moved quickly to undo many of the social reforms of Sankara’s government, working to build a neoliberal economy that was integrated into the global
marketplace. Burkina Faso returned to its former colonial master France for international support as opposed to countries like Cuba or the Soviet Union. These reforms allowed the country to export its ample natural resources and created a stable political climate for investment. But they also allowed for the enrichment of a
small elite, which stoked a growing resentment of the privileged governing class.
Burkina Faso and Washington
Western capitals have eyed the current protests warily, viewing Burkina Faso as a
strategic ally in the post-9/11 era. Certainly, the country’s stability contrasts markedly with the ethnic conflicts, insurgencies, and civil wars that have destabilized the
Central African Republic, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, among
other countries.
The government has managed to keep the region’s extremist jihadist forces at bay
even as bloody insurgencies are waged in neighboring countries. Burkina Faso has
remained a steadfast U.S. ally in the “war on terrorism” and is lauded by the State
Department as a cooperative partner in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), a U.S.-led initiative in North and West Africa designed to confront
al-Qaeda. The State Department has not made any major pronouncements about
the recent rallies or the possibility of Compaore’s re-election. On the contrary, the
United States has remained more concerned with continuing military co-operation
through the TSCTP than bringing up the issue of political unrest.
Given the potential for Islamist extremists — such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Boko Haram, and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa
(MUJAO) — to exploit any power vacuum that could emerge in a post-Compaore
era, it is doubtful that the United States or France will side with the Burkinabe protestors demanding that Compaore relinquish power.
Compaore has also taken credit for mediating conflict resolutions in war-torn
neighboring countries. In June 2013, Compaore’s government hosted talks between the Malian government and two Tuareg rebels groups — the Movement for
the National Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the High Council for the Unity of
Azawad (HCUA) — in Ouagadougou. The Ouagadougou Accords that resulted were
a preliminary agreement aimed at resolving the lingering tensions between the Malian government and Tuareg rebels following last year’s French-led military operation (Operation Serval) that dispersed AQIM and MUJAO from northern Mali. In
2011, Compaore hosted AU-sponsored talks in Burkina Faso to help mediate the
40
Cote D’Ivoire crisis. Two years earlier, the Burkinabe president secured the release of two Canadian envoys for the United Nations whom AQIM had kidnapped in
Niger for 130 days. During the 2008 coup in Guinea, Compaore helped mediate
the aftermath. And in 2006, Compaore played a role in brokering negotiations
that ended a crisis in neighboring Togo.
Compaore’s opponents, however, are unimpressed. They contend that the president’s efforts to mediate regional conflicts and focus on international terrorism
are guided by an interest in deflecting criticism over corruption and cronyism within his own government.
Numbered Days?
Burkina Faso’s relationship with Western superpowers cannot easily sustain Compaore’s presidency into its 27th year. Even if Compaore maintains his hold on power this year, he will face new pressures that were not in play earlier in his rule,
such as an energized and better connected opposition.
At the beginning of the year, 75 politicians from Compaore’s Democracy and Progress Party published a letter that announced their resignation, citing that democracy had “disappeared” from the ruling party. The president’s former allies formed a new party, the Movement of People for Progress, which claims to represent the will of the demonstrators who took to the streets and used non-violent
measures to demand an end to Compaore’s presidency.
Burkina Faso’s future is naturally uncertain, and the regional climate will bring
unique challenges to a post-Compaore political order. However, this new party’s
formation and the demonstrators’ peaceful tactics justify cautious optimism
about what may yet become a “West African Spring.”
Source: http://www.eurasiareview.com/
41
CAR
Pourquoi la France doit être soutenue en Centrafrique
27.02.2014 à 13h09
L'union nationale autour des missions militaires engagées sur des théâtres extérieurs est une spécificité française. Le Parlement n'a pas failli à la tradition en approuvant massivement, le 25 février, la prolongation indéfinie de l'opération « Sangaris » en Centrafrique. L'Assemblée nationale a donné son feu vert au maintien
des forces françaises par 428 voix contre 14 et 21 abstentions, suivie par le Sénat,
qui s'est prononcé dans le même sens par 328 voix pour, 3 contre et 15 abstentions.
C'est un vote remarquable, lorsque l'on sait l'état des divisions politiques
enFrance et la frilosité de nos partenaires européens. Il est également remarquable
eu égard au peu d'enthousiasme de l'opinion publique française : selon un sondage
IFOP, le soutien à l'opération « Sangaris » est passé de 51 % début décembre, au
moment où la mission a été lancée, à 42 % ces derniers jours.
Comme l'opposition, les Français sont conscients des dangers d'enlisement dans un
pays africain où la violence intercommunautaire opposant musulmans et chrétiens
est explosive. Ils s'inquiètent aussi du coût financier de cette intervention, actuellement entièrement à la charge de Paris, alors que les troupes françaises sont déjà
engagées dans un autre conflit africain, au Mali.
Sans se priver de critiquer la gestion présidentielle de cette affaire, les parlementaires ont choisi la responsabilité ; il faut saluer leur sagesse. Le soutien du Parlement
est important au moment où le président François Hollande se rend au Nigeria,
pour discuter, notamment, de sécurité régionale.
Le problème de la solitude de la France en Centrafrique reste néanmoins entier.
Une opération présentée par François Hollande comme « rapide », lorsque les premiers soldats sont partis, le 5 décembre, avec un mandat de l'ONU, s'est transformée en une mission de plus en plus complexe. Celle-ci présente, de l'aveu du premier ministre, Jean-Marc Ayrault, « des difficultés considérables ». Les effectifs de
la force Sangaris, portés à 2 000 soldats, auxquels s'ajoutent 6 000 hommes des
forces africaines de la Misca, sont insuffisants. Les pays européens ont promis de
500 à 1 000 hommes, qui tardent à arriver. A l'ONU, Ban Ki-moon s'active
pour monter une opération de maintien de la paix, mais ce processus
peutprendre de cinq à neuf mois.
Il y a pourtant urgence. Les forces françaises et africaines ont évité l'embrasement
général en Centrafrique, mais elles n'ont pu empêcher le nettoyage ethnique. Bangui s'est vidée de ses musulmans, et le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés a tiré le signal d'alarme sur la situation désespérée de 15 000 musulmans encerclés dans
l'ouest du pays.
Croire, comme semblent le faire plusieurs pays européens, que la Centrafrique se
42
limite à une crise locale dans le pré carré de la France est une profonde erreur. Cette république est entourée de pays instables, situés sur un arc de tensions qui va
du Nigeria à la Somalie. En laissant la France seule, la communauté internationale,
et l'Europe en particulier, encourage le risque d'une déstabilisation régionale accrue, avec, pour conséquences, l'immigration illégale et le terrorisme.
Source: LE MONDE
43
The Muslims of the Central African Republic Face a Deadly Purge
This fragile African nation is witnessing unprecedented sectarian strife. Here's why.
Feb. 20, 20141
Eric Feferberg / AFP/ Getty Images
Chadian civilians in the PK12 district of Bangui climb on a military truck to go back
to Chad on Jan. 15, 2014.
The anti-balaka have outgrown their name. These militias in the Central African Republic, once united under a moniker meaning “anti-machete” in the local Sango
language, are exacting their own vicious revenge upon the mainly Muslim rebels
who overthrew the government last March and waged months of terror against the
Christian population. They are now accused of atrocities far worse than what first
prompted them to take up arms.
An Amnesty International report on Feb. 12 said attacks on Muslims in January by
anti-balaka militias, made up of Christians and animists, had amounted to “ethnic
cleansing.” Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court at
The Hague, has already opened a preliminary investigation into crimes against humanity, saying some “victims appeared to have been deliberately targeted on religious grounds.” A top U.N. official issued similar warnings during a recent visit to
the ravaged capital, Bangui, telling reporters: “There is an ethnic-religious cleansing
taking place. It must be stopped.”
44
The campaign of looting and murder in recent weeks has led to an alarming demographic crisis in the Central African Republic. About 1 million of its 4.6 million people have been displaced and at least 2,000 have been killed. Muslims account for
15 percent of the population, or about 690,000 people; Médecins Sans Frontières said in a conference call with reporters on Feb. 18 that at least 80,000 had
already left.
Entire neighborhoods in Bangui and towns in the northwest have emptied as a
mass exodus pours into neighboring countries Cameroon and Chad. Aid
groups fear the fleeing of Muslim traders and cattle herders, who are crucial to the
country’s food production and distribution, may spark a famine.
The scene today vastly differs from last year. “If you drove across the country in
November, you would have been impressed by the power of the Séléka,” says
Joanne Mariner, a senior crisis adviser with Amnesty in Bangui, referring to the impact of the rebels’ offensive that began in late 2012. “Now if you drive across the
country, you find anti-balaka everywhere. They are the people who are in control
of the roads and the majority of the towns.”
William Lacy Swing, director-general of the International Organization for Migration
and a young U.S. envoy to Bangui in the mid-1970s, was “shocked” by the scenes
there during a trip in early February. “The Central African Republic that I knew at
the time, this element now of inter-religious conflict was absent,” he told TIME,
“and now it is at the heart of some of the problems.”
How political payback turned into a sectarian purge isn’t entirely understood. Experts gesture to spillover from conflicts throughout the region as well as the legacy
of decades of poor governance in the former French colony.
But the country has no such precedent of religious strife. Louisa Lombard, a postdoctoral fellow and Central Africa expert at the University of California-Berkeley,
said a main cause was the systemic marginalization of Muslims that ramped up after former President François Bozizé won power in 2003. Muslims, many of whom
live in the isolated and underdeveloped northeast, were largely neglected and
treated like “foreigners.”
This dispossession eventually led to Séléka’s formation. The rebels, supported by
Chadian and Sudanese fighters, overran the state’s decayed army in late 2012 and
quickly gained control of much of the country. Bozizé appointed a prime minister
from the opposition and signed several peace dealswith Séléka in Libreville, Gabon,
the following January. But when he failed to honor the agreements, Séléka toppled
his government and installed Michel Djotodia as the country’s first Muslim president.
The rebels favored Muslim civilians and bands of fighters terrorized Christian communities; mistrust grew as Muslims were viewed as complicit in Séléka’s rampages.
Djotodia dissolved Séléka in September but the rebels continued their attacks,
45
prompting the formation of the anti-balaka squads and an uptick in tit-for-tat violence. In early December, two days of carnage left hundreds dead.
Amadou Sy, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative,
said the immediate arrival of French and African Union peacekeepers was a turning point. Anti-balaka saw the wind changing and went underground. By early
January, with Séléka in retreat and Djotodia forced out by regional powers, antibalaka had reemerged with uncontrollable fury. After weeks of killing, Lombard
said, “whatever social fabric that was once there has been torn to shreds.”
The turnaround led interim President Catherine Samba-Panza to declare war on
anti-balaka and France to commit more troops. Even after the security situation is
resolved, easing the humanitarian crisis and maintaining global attention on this
ignored nation will be difficult. As thousands more Muslims look to flee their own
country, it may already be too late.
The Muslims of the Central African Republic Face a Deadly Purge
Source: http://world.time.com/
46
Egypt
Terrorists Target Egypt's Red Sea Tourism -- And It's Working
February 18 2014
A bus targeted by a suicide bomber burns in Taba, Egypt, Feb. 16, 2014. Reuters
CAIRO, Egypt -- When a yellow tourist bus full of South Korean pilgrims traveling
from St. Catherine’s Monastery to Israel exploded on Sunday in Taba, near the Israeli border, at least four people were killed and 17 wounded.
Beyond that personal tragedy, the terrorist attack could be the death knell of Red
Sea tourism in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.
According to Egyptian interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif, a suicide
bomber pushed himself inside the bus and detonated the explosives. It was the first
time that jihadists’ attacks have targeted Sinai tourists, but the tourism industry
was already reeling due to previous attacks on military and security targets.
“Striking tourists is a big jump,” said David Barnett, research associate at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Ansar Beit Al Maqdis, a Sinai-based group that has claimed responsibility for most of
the recent attacks, also claimed responsibility for the Taba explosion.
"We will target [the Egyptian regime's] economic interests everywhere to paralyze
its hands from what they do to the Muslims,” the group said in a statement on
Monday.
The
Muslim
Brotherhood
condemned
47
the
Taba
attack,
according
to
a statement posted on its website on Monday.
While the latest attack represents a significant departure and a potential radicalization of the group’s strategy, the troubles for Egypt’s tourism industry began long
before the Taba explosion.
Since the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi and the
military’s crackdown on Islamists in July, Egyptian businesses have been struggling
in general, and since the January 2011 uprising the inflow of tourists has declined
to a record low.
Suspended Flights
Mick Hargreaves and his wife, Jill, told International Business Times that, driven by
declining tourism and dwindling business, they moved their Puddleduck restaurant
from Luxor, an ancient city in Upper Egypt, to El Gouna, an upscale Red Sea coastal
town, at the end of 2013.
“At the end of July, problems in Cairo completely killed us [in Luxor],” Mick Hargreaves said. Direct flights from the U.K. to Luxor were suspended in July. But Luxor
is about 450 miles from Cairo. “People tend to associate, and they don’t realize
how far Cairo is from Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh,” he said.
Now, the troubles have followed the Puddleduck to the Red Sea coast.
By the end of 2013, the number of tourists still coming to Egypt declined by 31 percent to 678,000, compared with December 2012, according to the state statistical
agency CAPMAS.
The turmoil and ongoing instability have resulted in sluggish economic growth, increasing unemployment and poverty, and a sharp depreciation of the Egyptian
pound by 19 percent in December 2013, compared with December 2010 -- before
the January uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
The resulting rocky transition and political instability, with two former leaders
jailed within a period of two years, have hit foreign direct investment and led to
massive capital flight during the past three years. Egypt’s foreign reserves fell from
$35 billion in 2010 to less than $15 billion in 2012.
“The tourism sector remains the most affected by the political scene in Egypt,” said
Omneia Helmy, director of research at Egyptian Center of Economic Studies.
“Security concerns are considered a main business constraint.” At the end of last
year, Egypt’s tourism revenue declined to $6 billion for the year, compared to $10
billion the previous year.
The tourism sector, long an Egyptian mainstay, is among the hardest hit, and 70
percent of the industry focused on South Sinai and the Red Sea, according to
Egypt’s tourism data. After investors began pulling out, construction was halted on
massive tourist resorts, leaving unfinished hotels and resort towns all along the Red
Sea coast.
48
Business in Egypt’s main tourist hubs along the Red Sea coast, which range from
budget diving centers to upscale golf resorts, were biding their time, hoping for a
turnaround. Sunday’s bus attack will inevitably worsen the prospects for those
businesses.
“In Gouna it’s a quiet winter period, but there are more locals here, there are Europeans who live here,” Hargreaves said, noting the recent increase in attacks and
violence that already had a negative impact on tourism.
“There is a faithful customer base, but new customers and the all-inclusive clients
are not coming back,” said Aron Daniel Arngrimsson, co-owner of Dahab Divers
Technical.
Across Egypt, the number of hotel bookings declined by 63.1 percent, with 5.1 million bookings at the end of 2013 compared to 13.9 million bookings in December
2012, according to CAPMAS data.
In an interview with local Al Hayat newspaper, Egypt’s Tourism Minister Hisham
Zazou called 2013 the “worst year on record” for the tourism industry.
Well-Funded Jihadists
The latest wave of bombings and attacks by Sinai-based jihadist groups on military
targets in Cairo increased the potential threat of a wider jihadist movement, further encouraging tourists to stay away from Egypt.
Even before the bus attack, Sinai-based jihadist groups had in recent weeks demonstrated an increasing ability to stage and coordinate attacks on military and security
targets beyond the peninsula.
According to Stratfor analysts, the Sinai-based jihadists appear to be better funded
and have secured outside international support since the ouster of the Muslim
Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
“Based on recent operations, especially the progression of attacks that began in
mid-2013 and accelerated over the past quarter of the year, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis
now appears to be sufficiently armed,” wrote Scott Stewart in a research note on
Jan. 30. “This may indicate that the group has found a new source of revenue either from foreign donors or from willing or extorted local sources.”
In response to declining tourism revenues, the Egyptian government has stepped
up its efforts to bring tourists back to Egypt.
“Tourism is of course related to safety and security,” says Rasha Azaizi, press adviser to the minister of tourism, adding that the government has “a strategic plan
to recover this, to attract 12 million tourists in 2014.”
The Egyptian government planned to step up advertising and PR campaigns outside
Egypt to bring tourists back, including what it calls the “Egypt Now” project, which
will distribute 25 cameras in resort locations to show tourists sunbathing, diving
49
and otherwise enjoying themselves in real time. The government plans to double
the number of cameras in 2014 and invite international celebrities to demonstrate
Egypt is safe and open for business.
“The Egyptians are determined to counter terrorism,” Azaizi said. “We are at war
against black terror.”
The government sees the Sinai-based jihadists and its own anti-terror efforts as a
part of a broader crackdown on Islamist extremists and supporters of the Muslim
Brotherhood, outlawed in 2013.
“There are elements in the Muslim Brotherhood that don’t support violence, but
the Muslim Brotherhood has not cut the umbilical cord with the jihadist groups,”
argued Mohamed Gomaa, an analyst with the regional studies unit at Al Ahram
Institute in Cairo.
Increasingly, both Egyptian and U.S. officials have sought to link Sinai-based jihadist groups with al-Qaida’s growing regional presence. Though al-Qaida’s emir,
Ayman Zawahiri, praised Sinai jihadists’ attacks in late January, there is currently
no evidence of cooperation between al-Qaida and any of the Sinai groups beyond
ideological affiliation.
“The car bombings have features of al-Qaida -- it indicates they have experience,”
Gomaa said. In addition, he pointed to al-Qaida’s latest strategy and increased
presence in the Middle East and North Africa. “The purpose now is to fight close
enemies, not the far ones,” he said. “We see more activity of al-Qaida now in
Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt.”
Top U.S. intelligence officials echoed this assessment of al-Qaida as a franchise
and its shifting regional focus at Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
The “core al-Qaida -- the central leadership -- picks and chooses who is among the
wannabes or are actually knighted, if you will, so designated as an al-Qaida organization,” said Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper.
Given the groups’ fluid organization and sources of financing, analysts say the rate
of attacks against strategic targets, including tourists, is likely to continue.
"While the Taba attack is an extremely worrying development that will likely result in a harsh response from Egypt’s rulers, it is too early to deem this a gamechange," said Barnett. "Targeting tourists on a regular basis will over the long run
likely do more harm to the group and its attempts to garner greater support."
However, he noted "further attacks against tourists cannot be ruled out now that
that line has been crossed."
Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/
50
Taba terror attack sends dual murderous message
The Islamists’ blast reverberated across the border — a fatal strike on Egyptian
tourism, and a symbolic message to Israel
February 17, 2014
Foreigners wait to cross to Egypt at the Israeli side of the Taba crossing near the
Red Sea resort of Eilat, Sunday, Feb 16, 2014. An explosion ripped through a tourist bus Sunday near the border crossing between Egypt and Israel, killing at least
three South Koreans and an Egyptian driver in an attack that stoked fears Sinai
militants have resumed a bloody campaign against tourists. The targeting of foreign tourists was the first in the area in nearly a decade. (photo credit: AP Photo/
Tsafrir Abayov)
There were, it would seem, two goals to Sunday’s terror attack in Taba, one symbolic, one concrete.
The attack, which killed three South Korean tourists and an Egyptian bus driver,
was carried out, apparently with a remote-control explosive device, only 100
yards from the border with Israel. The blast, as intended, reverberated across the
territorial divide. It was a symbolic reminder to Israelis that the global jihad, once
relegated to far flung corners of Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan, has taken root
in the heart of the Levant, half a day’s drive from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“It is very hard for them to penetrate into Israel,” said Maj. (res.) Aviv Oreg, formerly the head of Al Qaeda and Global Jihad desk at the IDF’s military intelligence
directorate. But for jihadist organizations in the Sinai Peninsula, this sort of attack
is ”very sufficient in order to pinpoint that Israel is their target in their aspirations.”
More concretely, it targeted tourists on Egyptian soil. Last year, in the wake of
51
president Mohammed Morsi’s ouster and the ongoing attacks in Sinai and the
Egyptian mainland, tourist revenue in Egypt dropped by 41 percent. The $10 billion
earned in 2012 dwindled to $5.9 billion in 2013, Reuters reported in January. This,
the first attack against tourists since Morsi was pried from power, will further cut
into the foreign cash flow. It will also push Egypt, and certainly the Sinai Peninsula,
one more step in the direction of anarchy, the ecosystem in which terror thrives.
The wreckage of the bus blown up near the Taba crossing on the Egypt-Israel border, February 16,
2014 (photo credit: AFP)
Oreg, who today heads Ceifit, a company that analyzes global jihad threats, suggested two possible perpetrators – the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis or
Majlis Shura al-Mujahedin Fi Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis, a group that was once based in
Gaza, he said, but which was forced to operate in Sinai and to target Israel from
there “because it is not convenient for Hamas.”
The group more likely responsible, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the most dominant jihadist group in the Sinai, “is very close to al-Qaeda,” Oreg said in a conference call
with journalists Sunday evening. So much so that al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri
has been heard, “in his own voice,” claiming Ansar Beit al-Maqdis attacks.
Although Oreg said that not a great deal is known about the terror organization’s
“layout and infrastructure,” it is clear that it possesses a vast array of weapons.
“They have everything,” he said, including thousands of mines that can be made
into IEDs and advanced missiles that came from Libya after the fall of Muammar
Ghaddafi. In late January, the group downed an Egyptian military helicopter, killing
all five soldiers onboard. “Name whatever weapons you need, and you can find it in
the Sinai Peninsula,” he said.
In recent months, ever since Morsi’s ouster, cooperation between Israeli and Egyp-
52
tian authorities “has been largely enhanced,” Oreg said, moving from the tactical
and operational level to the intelligence realm. The Shin Bet, too, has been
forced, over the course of the past two years, to realign itself in order to address
the growing threats from the Sinai.
But, as Oreg noted, there is no foolproof defense and this attack, which may have
been largely aimed against General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and his supporters, will
also deter some of the 1.8 million Christians who visit Israel annually, many of
whom enter the country via the Sinai Peninsula.
Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/
53
Tourism targeted
Security experts say the Taba blast marks a dangerous escalation in terrorist tactics. Ahmed Morsy reports
Three Korean innocent visitors were killed along with their Egyptian bus driver on their way back
from St Catherine Monastery. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion
near the Egyptian border crossing with Israel in Taba. South Korean sightseers said that they
would brave the journey to the Sinai Peninsula proving that terrorist tactics do not cow tourists
Sunday’s bomb on a bus carrying 33 tourists in Taba which killed three South Koreans and their Egyptian bus driver and left 16 injured is the first major terrorist
attack targeting tourists in Egypt in eight years.
The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for a host of recent attacks targeting security forces, masterminded the
blast. The bomber used an explosive belt weighing 5-10kg in the attack, according
to security sources.
Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, terrorist attacks targeting
police stations, military checkpoints and other government facilities have left dozens of security forces dead. The majority of attacks have taken place in the Sinai,
a leading tourist destination. In response the army launched an anti-terrorism
operation in the peninsula. Dozens of militants have been killed, hundreds arrested, and smuggling tunnels linking Gaza to Sinai have been closed.
Injured bus passengers are being treated in hospitals in Taba, Nuweiba and
Sharm Al-Sheikh.
Security officials say the bus arrived at the Taba crossing from St Catherine’s in
54
central Sinai where the tourists had been visiting the monastery.
Minster of Health Maha Rabat, accompanied by Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou, visited the injured in the Sharm El-Sheikh International Hospital. The ministers
also met with the deputy Korean ambassador and Khaled Fouda, the Governor of
South Sinai.
“The targeting of a tourist bus in Taba is a qualitative change in terrorist tactics,”
says security expert Tharwat Okasha.
Many experts see the attack as a harbinger of a new wave of violence.
“Terrorist groups will now target any object in their attempts to undermine the
Egyptian state,” says Major General Fouad Allam, a former deputy head of state
security. “They now have the tourism industry in their sights.”
These are opportunistic attacks, he added, and whenever an opportunity arises
the terrorists will take it.
Zaazou told state TV that the Taba explosion was a deliberate attempt to halt the
slight recovery in tourist numbers visiting Egypt. In the wake of the attack a number of countries issued travel warnings for Sinai.
Seoul issued a special travel alert “on the inland areas of the Sinai Peninsula and
the coastal areas of the Gulf of Aqaba” and urged South Korean nationals “to pay
special heed to their safety and head to a safer country as soon as possible”.
Egypt’s tourism industry, which once employed four million, has been struggling to
recover since the 2011 revolution. It deteriorated further following the political
upheavals of summer 2013.
“Tourism is a major source of income and therefore a target in the eyes of terrorists seeking to destroy the stability of the state,” says Major General Magdi Bassiouni.
The last major terrorist attack in Egypt took place in April 2006 when three explosions in Dahab left 23 and more than 80 wounded. Responsibility for the attack
was claimed by the militant group Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad.
In 2005 the group detonated a bomb in Sharm El-Sheikh that killed 88 people and
injured 150. In October 2004 three bombs went off in Taba leaving 34 dead and
171 injured. An attack in Luxor carried out by Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya killed 60 tourists in 1997.
“It will not be the last terrorist attack,” warns Allam. “It will take longer to uproot
terrorism than most people expect.”
A number of commentators have drawn comparisons with the late 1980s and early
90s when Egypt was rocked by a spate of bomb attacks targeting tourist sites
across the country.
55
“I’m confident that Egypt is going to eliminate terrorism. The national security apparatus and other security agencies did so before, in the 1990s, and will do so
again,” says Allam.
Sunday’s blast was condemned at home and abroad. Prime Minister Hazem AlBeblawi conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims on Monday.
Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam described the incident as “evil” while the United
Nations, the Arab League and the United States unequivocally condemned the
bombing.
Source: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/
56
Égypte : quatre morts dans un attentat visant un bus de touristes sudcoréens
16/02/2014
L'autobus transportant les touristes sud-coréens près de la station balnéaire de Taba. © AFP
Une bombe visant un autobus de pèlerins chrétiens sud-coréens a fait quatre morts
dimanche dans le Sinaï, dans le premier attentat contre des étrangers en Egypte
depuis que l'armée a destitué le président islamiste Mohamed Morsi.
Mis à jour à 17h50.
Trois Sud-Coréens ainsi que le chauffeur égyptien ont été tués dans cette attaque
menée au poste-frontière de Taba, une station balnéaire sur la frontière avec
Israël, qui a également fait 14 blessés, selon le gouverneur du Sinaï du Sud Khaled
Fouda.
L'autocar transportait 31 membres d'une église chrétienne de la province méridionale de Jincheon en Corée du Sud ainsi que leur guide, a précisé Séoul. L'attaque
n'a pas été revendiquée dans l'immédiat.
Les attentats sont devenus fréquents en Egypte depuis que l'armée a destitué et
arrêté M. Morsi le 3 juillet, mais ils ne visaient jusqu'à présent que les forces de
l'ordre.
La plupart ont été revendiqués par Ansar Beit al-Maqdess, un groupe jihadiste basé
dans le Sinaï, disant s'inspirer d'Al-Qaïda et assurant agir en représailles à la répression sanglante menée par le nouveau pouvoir dirigé de facto par l'armée contre les
partisans de M. Morsi.
57
La bombe a explosé à l'avant du bus alors que le chauffeur attendait au passage
frontalier de Taba, a annoncé le ministère de l'Intérieur, sans préciser si les touristes arrivaient ou repartaient d'Egypte.
Le haut de l'autocar jaune a été littéralement dévasté par la déflagration et l'incendie qui a suivi. Le porte-parole du ministère de la Santé, Ahmed Kamel, a précisé à
l'AFP qu'il était impossible de reconnaître les corps.
Fuite des touristes
L'attaque de dimanche risque de pousser un peu plus l'économie de l'Egypte vers le
gouffre, le pays des pyramides et des célèbres spots de plongée de la Mer Rouge
étant déserté par les touristes depuis la révolte populaire de 2011 qui a chassé le
président Hosni Moubarak du pouvoir.
Aucun attentat n'avait plus visé des étrangers en Egypte depuis février 2009, quand
une Française avait été tuée par l'explosion d'une grenade en bordure du souk de
Khan el-Khalili, au coeur du Caire historique. Il s'agissait alors de la première attaque terroriste contre des Occidentaux en Egypte depuis 2006.
Entre 2004 et 2006, nombre d'Egyptiens et de touristes étrangers avaient péri dans
des attentats dans les stations balnéaires du Sinaï.
Et en 1997, un commando d'insurgés islamistes avaient mitraillé des touristes sur le
site des célèbres temples de l'Egypte antique à Louxor, dans le sud, tuant 58 étrangers, des Suisses pour la majorité.
La sécurité s'est considérablement dégradée en Egypte depuis que le général Abdel
Fattah al-Sissi, chef de la toute-puissante armée, a destitué le premier président
démocratiquement élu du pays. Depuis plus de sept mois, le pouvoir dirigé de facto
par le nouvel homme fort de l'Egypte réprime dans un bain de sang toute manifestation des partisans de M. Morsi.
Ansar Beït al-Maqdess
Plus de 1.400 personnes, des manifestants islamistes pour la plupart, ont ainsi été
tuées par la police ou l'armée, selon Amnesty international, dont la moitié au cours
de la seule journée du 14 août au Caire.
Depuis le 3 juillet également, les attentats et attaques visant la police et l'armée se
sont multipliés dans tout le pays, mais surtout au Caire. La plupart ont été revendiqués par Ansar Beït al-Maqdess, mais le gouvernement accuse les Frères musulmans, la confrérie de M. Morsi, de les avoir commandités ou organisés.
Plusieurs milliers de membres de cette organisation désormais déclarée
"terroriste" ont été arrêtés, dont la quasi-totalité de leurs dirigeants. Ils encourent,
à l'instar de M. Morsi en personne, la peine de mort dans divers procès, dénoncés
comme "politiques" par les accusés mais aussi par des organisations internationales de défense des droits de l'Homme.
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M. Morsi est d'ailleurs apparu dimanche à l'ouverture du troisième procès --pour
"espionnage"-- sur les quatre qui lui sont intentés. A la barre, il a dénoncé une
"farce" de la part du régime issu selon lui d'un "coup d'Etat militaire".
Promu récemment maréchal, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ne cache plus ses intentions de
se présenter à l'élection présidentielle prévue pour 2014, qu'il est assuré de remporter compte tenu de sa popularité et de l'absence d'autres candidats pouvant
sérieusement le défier.
Source: Jeuneafrique.com
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Libya
Pas de lien entre la guerre en Libye et l'armement des terroristes au
Mali (expert)
2014-02-28
Dakar, 28 fév (APS) – L'expert américain
en diplomatie Nicholas Kralev réfute la
thèse selon laquelle l'armement des groupes terroristes au Mali serait liée à la
guerre en Libye en 2011.
"En 2011, il y a eu des frappes de l'OTAN
(Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique
nord), avec un objectif très précis. […] Je
ne pense que l'instabilité en Libye ait quoi
que ce soit à voir avec l'instabilité au Mali. Et je ne vois pas comment on peut établir un lien entre les deux", a fait valoir M.
Kralev, ancien journaliste au Financial Times et au Washington Times.
Il a rendu visite à l'APS vendredi, à l'occasion d'un déplacement qu'il effectue au
Sénégal.
"Les frappes aériennes de l'OTAN étaient limitées. […] Je ne pense pas que ces frappes aient quelque chose à voir avec la rébellion" au Mali, a-t-il soutenu.
"Je viens de Washington, mais cela ne m'empêche pas d'être objectif autant que je
pourrai, en vous disant que l'OTAN n'a armé personne", a-t-il encore dit, répondant
à une question portant sur les liens présumés entre la guerre en Libye (2011-2012)
et le l'armement des djihadistes au Nord du mali.
Interrogé sur l'absence de Washington au plan militaire en Afrique de l'Ouest, Nicholas Kralev a dit que "les Etats-Unis ne peuvent pas être partout".
"Au Mali, la France joue un rôle depuis des années", a-t-il affirmé, laissant entendre
que son pays n'a pas à entrer en concurrence avec la France, en matière d'intervention militaire en Afrique de l'Ouest.
M. Kralev, d'origine bulgare et diplômé de Harvard Kennedy School of Gouvernement (Etats-Unis d’Amérique), signale par ailleurs que "le développement économique est un volet important de la politique américaine, durant les 10 dernières
années".
"Les Etats-Unis considèrent davantage l'aide étrangère comme un investissement
qui doit aider les pays bénéficiaires à parfaire leur gouvernance et contribuer en fin
de compte à leur stabilité", a-t-il expliqué, en évoquant l'approche américaine
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consistant à financer le développement économique dans certains pays africains,
pour les aider à se maintenir dans la stabilité.
Mais, "en dernier ressort, a souligné M. Kralev, il revient aux gouvernements de
ces pays d'utiliser ces ressources de façon sage, pour pouvoir donc garantir la sécurité et la stabilité, et apporter une meilleure qualité de vie aux citoyens."
Source: http://www.aps.sn/
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The stillbirth of the new Libya
Britain’s Guardian newspaper has an excellent editorial on the unfolding crisis in
Libya – or perhaps it would be more accurate to describe it as the unravelling of
Libya as a state. You can read it here, but here’s one passage:
The hard truth is that power in Libya has been captured by armed militias, who control much of what goes on in each region. Some are tribal or local. Others are the
armed wings of political parties which did not do well in elections but insist, at the
point of a gun, in having their say in all decisions. They do not govern or administer
in any full sense of the word. That is work for which they have neither the inclination nor the capacity, expecting the task of keeping the streetlights on and the water running to be done by others, but reserving the right to intervene in an arbitrary
or predatory way whenever they wish to do so.
A few days after the demise of the Gaddafi regime, in an article entitled “Libya between tyranny and an uncertain future”, we expressed cautious optimism about
the ability of Libyans to overcome the political and psychological challenges of a
truly pluralistic society.
Rather optimistically, we argued that “Libyans are becoming normal”, and that in
this normality
differences of opinion will be expressed and different social and political trends will
emerge. People not used to arguing their case will turn to emotion and, regrettably,
sometimes even to violence. Others will be frightened and upset by the very fact
that an opinion different to theirs is being expressed and given airtime on television
and radio and space in newspapers.
Back then, we said that Libyans will have to get used to the art of persuasion, and
that they “will have to learn that theirs is not the only opinion worth listening to
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and that nobody, whether Islamist or liberal, holds a monopoly over the truth”.
This, we added, “will take time and in Libya, where there is a total absence of civil
society institutions and no political sophistication, and where a primitive education
system and the defunct Gaddafi regime discouraged people from using their critical
faculties, it will not be easy”.
…militias now haunt all Libyans. A Frankenstein’s monster has been created and it
may not be possible to bring it under control quickly enough before the country falls
apart completely.
As it turned out, our cautious optimism was too optimistic. Virtually without exception, Libyans have failed to match even the lowest standard of civilized political
interaction found among the most debased democratic pretenders in the Third
World.
To make matters worse, the various post-Gaddafi authorities, from the National
Transitional Council to the present government of Prime Minister Ali Zidan, have
adopted a uniquely idiotic security concept: building an army composed of a coalition of “approved militias”. Those militias now haunt all Libyans. A Frankenstein’s
monster has been created and it may not be possible to bring it under control
quickly enough before the country falls apart completely.
And now there’s an added problem. As the Guardian editorial states, the failure
of the various administrations that succeeded Gaddafi to bring about security and
build a law-governed state – or any state – has left a vacuum which has allowed
Islamist groups, notably Ansar al-Sharia, to establish themselves. That, in turn, has
attracted other undesirables.
Ever since it became plainly clear that Libyans cannot get their house in order on
their own, we have advocated international military intervention
(see here, here and here). For that to work, it would have to be massive and include ground forces – no half measures such as drones or aerial bombardment.
Moreover, it would have to be undertaken by competent forces from countries not
associated with the recent failed imperial adventure in Iraq.
However, the US and NATO attention and surveillance we are getting instead is
unlikely to solve the plague of militias and lawlessness. On the contrary, it can only
add to the sewer in which the Islamists and their armed goons thrive.
http://www.redressonline.com/
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Mali
Les jihadistes toujours présents dans le nord du Mali
28/2/2014
Un représentant du HCUA avec le commandant de la Minusma, Jean Bosco Kazura, en juillet.Reuters/Joe Penney
Dans Appels sur l’actualité, Moussa, un auditeur de Gao, revient sur la «sécurité au
Sahel ». Il a appris sur des radios libres que la plupart des jihadistes présents lors
de l’occupation du nord du Mali sont à nouveau visibles ces derniers temps.
Des roquettes ont encore été lancées la semaine dernière sur les villes de Gao et
de Tombouctou.
Moussa : Compte tenu de la forte présence des forces internationales sur le territoire malien, par quels moyens les jihadistes ont-ils réussi à retourner dans le
nord du pays?
D’abord, il faut rappeler quelles sont les forces internationales actuellement présentes au Mali. Il y a laMinusma – ou Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des
Nations unies pour la stabilisation au Mali – qui est une Opération de maintien de
la paix qui compte moins de 6 000 hommes, soit la moitié des effectifs prévus, à
savoir 11 000 soldats. Il reste aussi un peu plus de 1 000 militaires français. Cet effectif de 6 000 hommes peut paraître important. Néanmoins, il n'est pas suffisant
pour couvrir tout le territoire malien. Ces contingents déployés dans le nord du
pays permettent de patrouiller en ville à Tombouctou, Gao ou Kidal, et de sécuriser les lieux stratégiques : check-points, aéroports, bâtiments administratifs. Mais
c'est tout. Il n'y a pas de patrouilles à l'extérieur, très peu de mission « militaire »
en brousse.
Autre problème, le matériel. La Minusma ne dispose pas de moyens techniques,
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par exemple des hélicoptères, des systèmes d'écoute, en quantité suffisante pour
être efficace. Enfin, la majorité de ses soldats africains, sauf les Tchadiens appelés
en RCA et les Nigérians repartis chez eux se battre contre Boko Haram - ne sont
pas formés pour les dures conditions du nord du Mali. Et le constat est le même
pour l'armée malienne : une armée en plein reconstruction, qui dispose de
moyens limités et dont les hommes ne sont pas aguerris dans ces zones arides…
Qu’en est-il des jihadistes ?
Au contraire, les jihadistes connaissent le nord du Mali. Les hommes d'AQMI sont
dans la région depuis 2003-2004. Adaptés, habitués à vivre dans les massifs montagneux, comme la vallée d'Amettetaï qu'ils ont eux-mêmes aménagée, protégée.
Les combattants touaregs d'AQMI et d'Ansar Dine, le mouvement d'Iyad Ag Ghali,
sont originaires de la zone. Ils sont dans leur fief et ils ont la faculté de se fondre
dans la population, de passer inaperçus.
Une anecdote. Lorsque les militaires français ont attaqué la vallée d'amététaï située dans le massif du Tigharghar (au nord de Kidal), ils ont utilisé des caméras
thermiques, de nuit, depuis des avions, pour voir les déplacements humains. Mais
les jihadistes avaient compris que la nuit, les rochers rejetaient la chaleur du jour
et rendaient inefficaces ces caméras.
Un an après le début de l’opération Serval, le nord du Mali est loin d'être sécurisé.REUTERS/Joe
Penney
Autre histoire. Les otages français enlevés à Arlit au Niger racontent que lorsqu’ils
ont été exfiltrés du même massif en janvier 2013 par des jihadistes, ils sont passés
au cœur de combats, déguisés en nomades… Tout près, parfois, des soldats fran-
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çais. Cela montre la connaissance du terrain de ces combattants. Mais le plus intéressant, quelques mois plus tard, c’est quand les otages ont été ramenés - c'est ce
que raconte Daniel Larribe - exactement au même endroit…. Les Français n'étaient
plus là. Et les jihadistes avaient repris leurs quartiers. Donc, aujourd'hui, et pas seulement au Mali - leur zone d'action s'étend jusqu'au sud de la Libye -, ces mouvements armés ont la faculté, les compétences et les moyens de se déplacer dans
La Minusma monte la garde devant le siège du gouverneur de Kidal. 15 novembre 2013.Reuters/Stringer
toute la zone.
Quelles sont les mesures prises par la communauté internationale pour assurer la
sécurité au Sahel ?
Vaste question… Un an après le début de l’opération Serval, les régions de Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal sont loin d'être sécurisées. Il y a un soutien international
pour que les Etats africains créent cette force d'intervention rapide proposée au
sommet de l'Union africaine à Addis-Abeba, mais il faudra du temps, des moyens
financiers importants pour que celle-ci voit le jour et soit active sur le continent. En
attendant, la France et les Etats-Unis sont les pays les plus actifs dans ce dossier sur
la « sécurité au Sahel » et leur collaboration paraît de plus en plus importante. Le
sujet a été abordé lors des récentes visites à Washington du président François Hollande et du ministre français de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian. Sur le terrain, les
deux pays sont en train de se déployer à Niamey au Niger.
Une présence qui n'est pas nouvelle mais qui se développe en vue de lutter contre
66
le terrorisme. Les Américains possèdent d'importants moyens d'écoute, les Français une base pour leurs forces spéciales. Récemment, ils ont acheté deux drones
aux Américains, drones, ce n'est pas un hasard, qui ont été basés à Niamey. Mais si
le nord du Mali est scruté de près, la zone qui intéresse ces deux pays est le sud de
la Libye, une région présentée par différentes autorités comme un incubateur des
groupes jihadistes. Le Niger a clairement demandé à la France et aux USA d'intervenir dans la zone pour assurer le service après vente de l'opération militaire contre
Mouammar Kadhafi.
Au niveau régional, pour s'atteler à ce dossier sécuritaire, les présidents du Burkina, du Niger, de la Mauritanie, du Mali et du Tchad ont annoncé récemment la
création du G5. La communauté internationale a promis 8 milliards d'euros d'investissements dans ces 5 pays dans le domaine du développement et de la sécurité.
L'idée, c'est de travailler dans des zones à l'abandon… La création de cette nouvelle
instance doit aussi permettre d'accroître les collaborations entre les armés de ces
pays, les échanges d'informations sécuritaires, etc. Certains se sont félicités car les
relations entre ces Etats ont toujours été compliquées… D'autres regrettent déjà
que le Maroc et l'Algérie ne soient pas également dans cette structure. A suivre.
Source: http://www.rfi.fr/
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Mali: Kidal region still waits for resolution
17 February 2014
Bamako (Mali) - Despite international efforts to restore peace in Mali, the
northern region of Kidal remains an MNLA stronghold. While the rest of Mali
slowly recovers from the rebel takeover and Islamist occupation, officials worry
the distrust and enmity lingering in Kidal could destabilize the country.
"Sandy" El Hadj Baba Haïdara, who has just lost his seat as the National Assembly
representative for Timbuktu, says Mali's destiny is tied up with Kidal, a former
garrison town in the remote Adrar des Ifoghas region.
"You find people saying that Kidal is just a stone in the shoe, or a thorn in the
foot, but a thorn in the foot can damage the whole body," Haïdara argued. "Kidal
has to be resolved. It will allow everyone to breathe again, and then we can move
on to the other things."
Military solution
Insecurity persists in the northeast. The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West
Africa (MUJAO) this week announced it captured four International Committee of
the Red Cross staff and a veterinarian on the road between Gao and Kidal.
The MNLA, whose members are from the Tuareg ethnic group, has denounced
such incidents in the past, arguing that part of its purpose was to push Islamist
militants out of the north.
Haïdara endorses a Malian military solution. Malian troops are present in Kidal,
along with troops from the UN's Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the
French army. But there are not enough of them to secure the vast area, say observers.
Increased presence in Kidal by the Malian army, promised before the elections by
interim President Dioncounda Traoré, never happened.
Despite the return of the governor to Kidal Region in July 2013 and the MNLA's
grudging handover of key buildings, the government's writ does not run in Kidal.
MNLA warned a reporter in 2013, that "to plant a Malian flag in Kidal is an act of
war".
Haïdara says the UN and French should step aside and let a strengthened Malian
army step in. These views are echoed by many politicians and commentators in
Bamako, the capital.
Turning against Paris
Although France's military intervention, staged in early 2013, helped remove the
country's Islamist occupiers, Malians' gratitude has diminished in recent months.
It is increasingly argued in Bamako that, although the French forces dislodged the
Islamists from their strongholds in Timbuktu, Gao and elsewhere, they adopted a
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"hands-off" approach when it came to Kidal. The French troops worked with
Chadian soldiers there, pointedly excluding the Malian army.
France left the MNLA in place, hoping the group's knowledge of the desert terrain
would make it an ally in hostage negotiations and military operations against the
residual threat posed by jihadists.
Malians critics believe France was duped on both counts. They say the French government sees as MNLA as an indigenous movement with legitimate grievances
while viewing the Islamists as opportunists mainly from outside Mali - a distinction
they say is wrong-headed.
"This is not the MNLA we had at the beginning," argued Haïdara. "Under this flag
you will find all the jihadists who lost their own battles."
Ali Nouhoum Diallo, former president of the National Assembly and current head of
COMODE, the Malian coalition of democratic organisations, a broad-based alliance
and parties and pressures groups that have called for the liberation of Kidal, told
IRIN:
"Up until now, I don't understand what France is really about when it comes to the
north," Diallo told IRIN. "If you are serious about the protection of territorial integrity, you cannot let another flag fly in Ardrar. To us, that is just incoherent."
Dealing with the MNLA
Diallo says he has watched with concern as the MNLA has kept the flag of Azawad
raised around Kidal, organized demonstrations against government delegations and
avoided talk of handover.
Previous rebellions and peace settlements have left many people sceptical, says
Diallo. He says separatist commanders have signed deals, assuming senior civilian
and military posts, only to later back further insurgencies. Diallo says that to be
taken seriously, the MNLA has to disarm.
The MNLA has told intermediaries and reporters a very different story, highlighting
civilians killed by Malian security forces while demonstrating, accusing France of
leaving the movement exposed and isolated in Kidal, and registering disappointment that current President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, widely known by the initials
IBK, has brought nothing new to the table.
IBK is adamant that the north must be Mali's main priority. Since taking office, he
appointed Cheikh Oumar Diarra, former ambassador to the US, as minister of national reconciliation and development of the northern regions. He also convened a
national court for northern Mali in Bamako and established a revamped truth, justice and reconciliation commission whose work is expected to focus on the origins
of the crisis and the abuses that came in its wake.
Losing momentum
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But many fear the peace process has lost momentum.
The Ouagadougou Agreement of 18 June 2013 stipulated that an "inclusive dialogue" should begin 60 days after the naming of a new government. That has not
happened.
Meanwhile, the MNLA and the government have accused each other of reneging
on agreements on security arrangements in Kidal.
Observers point out the Ouagadougou Agreement is one of several, including the
1992 National Pact and the 1996 Algiers Accords, to attempt to bring peace to Kidal.
Mohamed Ag Ossade, director of the Tumast Tuareg Cultural Centre in Bamako,
says both sides have a responsibility to develop a settlement that will not simply
crumble after a couple of years. If the Ouagadougou Agreement were to fail, he
said, "that would be pointless".
Ag Ossade has been sceptical about the MNLA, arguing that its campaign for an
autonomous Azawad is backed by idealists and opportunists. But he is equally wary
of those calling for a military solution.
"Send the Malian army in and you would kill 90-year-old people or two-year-old
children. What is more, the army would be crushed. Everyone there is MNLA," he
said.
He is adamant that Mali can be a tolerant melting pot - if there is proper leadership.
Proving this point, he says, is the concert hosted by Tumast, featuring a Tuareg
band whose members mostly hail from Kidal. Tuareg audience members share the
dance floor with dignitaries, diplomats and music enthusiasts of all races.
"We can get through all this," Ag Ossade tells IRIN. "But only if the Malian government loves all its children and treats them equally."
http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/24825.html
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Nigeria
Le Nigeria impuissant face à la terreur de Boko Haram
27.02.2014
François Hollande a promis, à l'occasion de sa visite les jeudi 27 et vendredi
28 février, l'aide de la France au Nigeria dans le combat contre la secte islamiste
Boko Haram. Quelques heures plus tard, des autorités locales annonçaient qu'au
moins 32 personnes avaient été tuées au cours de trois attaques menées par des
islamistes présumés dans le nord du pays.
MASSACRE D'UN LYCÉE
Impavide, Boko Haram poursuit ainsi sa campagne de terreur, lancée en 2009 dans
le nord-est du pays. Mardi 25 février, des membres présumés de la secte sunnite –
dont le nom signifie littéralement « l'éducation occidentale est un péché » –
avaient lancé une attaque meurtrière dans l'Etat de Yobe, placé sous état d'urgence
en mai 2013 au même titre que les Etats de Borno et d'Adamawa. Leur cible ? Le
lycée fédéral de la ville de Buni Yadi.
Le bilan de ce massacre était particulièrement lourd : quarante-trois élèves, âgés
de 8 à 11 ans, ont été tués en pleine nuit dans leur dortoir, parfois à l'arme blanche, rapportent ThisDay et Leadership. Seuls les garçons ont été visés. Les filles, elles, auraient reçu l'ordre de « rentrer chez elles, de se marier et derenoncer à l'éducation occidentale, jugée contraire aux préceptes de l'islam ».
C'est la quatrième fois en moins d'un an qu'un établissement scolaire est la cible
des sicaires de Boko Haram, rappelle le New York Times, pour qui cet accès de violence délibérée accroît un peu plus la pression sur l'armée nigériane et sur le président Goodluck Jonathan, un chrétien originaire du Sud, au pouvoir depuis mai
2010.
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« ABSENCE DE SYNERGIE »
Dans un communiqué, le chef de l'Etat a fustigé « un meurtre haineux, brutal et insensé d'étudiants innocents par des terroristes fous et des fanatiques ». « Les forces armées du Nigeria et les autres agences de sécurité vont poursuivre leur combat
contre la terreur avec vigueur et détermination », a-t-il assuré, tout en appelant ses
voisins francophones à œuvrer à ses côtés contre le terrorisme – au premier rang
desquels le Cameroun, avec lequel le Nigeria partage près de 2 000 kilomètres de
frontières particulièrement poreuses.
De fait, pour l'éditorialiste Olusegun Adeniyi, le Nigeria est sans aucun doute « une
nation en guerre ». Et « le fait est que, sur le terrain, les insurgés islamistes remportent certaines batailles stratégiques », estime-t-il, insistant sur « les sacs mortuaires,
non seulement de civils mais aussi de soldats, qui s'empilent de jour en jour ».
Selon le décompte du Nigerian Tribune, leur croisade macabre aurait déjà coûté la
vie à deux cent quarante-cinq personnes depuis le 14 janvier 2014. Dans ce contexte volatil, le pouvoir, par ses « silences » récurrents, n'inspire plus confiance, déplore Bala Liman, spécialiste de Boko Haram, sur Think Africa Press.
Pis, il est engagé dans une « guerre de mots » avec le gouverneur de l'Etat septentrional de Borno, Kashim Shettima. Lequel s'est attiré les foudres du porte-parole
présidentiel en suggérant que, faute de troupes et de ressources supplémentaires,
Boko Haram serait « impossible à battre ». Une « absence desynergie » contreproductive, conclut ThisDay, à l'heure où la coopération est plus que jamais nécessaire.
Source: http://www.lemonde.fr/
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Nouveau massacre de Boko Haram : le Nigeria appelle à plus de coopération
25.02.2014
En pleine nuit ils ont pénétré dans le dortoir, lancé des explosifs et ouvert le feu sur
les pensionnaires. L'attaque d'un lycée nigérian par les islamistes de Boko Haram a
fait au moins quarante-trois morts, mardi 25 février, à Buni Yadi, dans le nord-est
du pays. Selon un responsable d'un hôpital de Damaturu, la capitale de l'Etat de
Yobe, les élèves étaient âgés de 8 à 11 ans, et seuls les garçons ont été visés.
Les écoles sont l'une des cibles privilégiées de Boko Haram, dont le nom signifie
« l'éducation occidentale est interdite », depuis le début de son insurrection
en 2009, qui a fait au moins quatre mille morts dans le nord et le centre du pays.
Boko Haram veut créer un Etat islamiste dans cette région à dominante musulmane, et s'y oppose à l'armée. L'état d'urgence y a été proclamé en mai 2013.
Dans une vidéo récente, le chef de Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, a promis
depoursuivre la campagne de son groupe et a menacé de l'étendre au sud pétrolier
du Nigeria, région à majorité chrétienne.
« NOUS AVONS BESOIN D'UNE COOPÉRATION INTERNATIONALE »
Mardi, le Nigeria a lancé un appel à la France et à ses voisins francophones de
l'Ouest africain pour combattre à ses côtés l'insurrection du groupe islamiste. Une
déclaration qui survient juste avant la visite au Nigeria du président François Hollande, qui sera jeudi et vendredi l'invité d'honneur du centième anniversaire de
l'unification du pays.
« Je pense que nous avons besoin d'une coopération internationale avec les Français, avec les pays francophones d'Afrique de l'Ouest, de travailler ensemble
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pour régler ce problème avant qu'il ne devienne un problème majeur pour la France, pour les intérêts occidentaux en Afrique de l'Ouest, a déclaré le ministre de l'information, Labaran Maku. Les intérêts français seront anéantis si nous permettons
à ce terrorisme de prospérer. »
Le ministre a insisté sur les récents problèmes à la frontière avec le Cameroun,
dans le Nord, estimant qu'aucune solution ne serait trouvée « tant que nous n'aurons pas accru notre partenariat avec le Cameroun ». La participation de ce pays à
la force militaire internationale surveillant les frontières est « un peu faible », a-t-il
jugé ; ce qui permet aux insurgés de se replier et de se réfugier de l'autre côté de la
frontière camerounaise quand ils sont poursuivis.
Cette force internationale, composée de soldats du Nigeria, du Tchad, du Niger et
du Cameroun, a été établie pour surveiller les activités criminelles aux frontières
des pays participants. Le Nigeria, qui a fermé la semaine dernière une partie de sa
frontière nord-est avec le Cameroun, assure que les islamistes ont établi des bases
dans des zones peu peuplées du Cameroun, du Tchad et du Niger.
Source: http://www.lemonde.fr/
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Somalia
Al-Shabab: Rising From The Ashes of The Phoenix
Feb 22, 2014
Soldiers and forensic photographers at the scene of the attack. Photograph: Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images
Today’s heavy explosion on Villa Somalia reminds me of a story I read when I was a
child. The phoenix is an immortal bird that when it dies, bursts into flames and is
reborn from its own ashes.
Less than two years Al-Shabab militants were driven out of the capital city of Mogadishu, today Mogadishu residents witness a series of suicide bomb attacks that
echo throughout the city. On Friday, February 21, al-Shabab has attacked the heavily-fortified Somali presidential palace compound, blowing up through a gate with a
car loaded with explosives and engaging in a fierce gun battle with guards. Such
these attacks against government targets have shattered hopes of peace and generate terror among Somalis. The attack shows government’s vulnerability to the
threat and thus questions the government’s legitimacy and its military weakness.
The latest strike is another reminder of the threat still posed by this group, the
question we need to ask now is what will the Somali government do to mitigate the
mounting suicidal attacks that brought the country to a standstill?
In this section, I will underscore the existing security problems and how the government can close the security gap.
60 percent of Mogadishu population is youth under the age of 25. Many of those
who were born during the conflict have no basic education and jobs. The mounting
crisis has led many youth to join al-Shabab.
When I was visiting in Mogadishu, some residents whom I spoke reported unem-
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ployment and lack of education caused some of the young people to join the network. In order to meet an atmosphere conducive to a shift in strategy away from
conflict, the government should offer the youth jobs and education.
The main challenge to this government is that it is weak and heavily reliant on African Union peacekeeping troops, but that doesn’t mean they can’t negotiate with its
adversaries. Since the government can’t end the scourge of the militancy though
military force, therefore they should seek other means other than the use of force.
In order to get durable peace, the Somali government should consider engaging in
a series of track II diplomacy with members of al-Shabab. To further explain what
track II diplomacy is. This type of discussion refers informal and unofficial activities
between civil society or a groups of people. Such negotiation can facilitate contacts
among adversaries who couldn’t otherwise meet.
Somali Ulema Council who is religious scholars and clan elders are the two credible
groups in Somalia who can help the Track II diplomacy to take place between the
government and its arch rival, al-Shabab.
To draw people’s attention about the role the religious leaders played. One of the
endeavors in conflict transformation by the Somali Ulema Council took place when
they mediated between the interim government headed by Ali Mahdi and his rival
Mohamed Farah Aideed in 1992. This is a clear demonstration the religious scholars
and clan elders will bring peace through the use of Track II diplomacy should they
are given a chance to go ahead with their nonjudgmental and non-coercive approach.
Somali government should enter into an informal dialogue with al-Shabab. This will
offer al-Shabab incentives that are alternative to their violent policies. Somali government should have a clear approach to reintegrate the youth back into the community, at the present, there is no a mechanism in place to promote the return and
rehabilitation of ex combatants. If the current militants realize the government is
not stigmatizing and dehumanizing them, the chance of defection among the current radical militias will likely be high.
http://www.somalicurrent.com/
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South Africa
Kidnap for ransom: to pay or not to pay?
18 February 2014
It is one of the best-kept secrets in the world. As freed hostages step on the tarmac after being released by terror groups in places like Mali, Nigeria or Yemen, no one dares
to reveal whether a ransom had been paid to the kidnappers. Invariably, governments
deny having handed over the huge sums requested by terrorists. Too much is at stake.
Lately, more and more governments are advocating for a ban on such payments. Yet
experts believe that, faced with a moral dilemma and pressure of public opinion, many
governments still pay millions of dollars in ransom money to terror groups.
As South Africans continue to wait for news of schoolteacher Pierre Korkie, who was
kidnapped along with his wife in Yemen last year, analysts indicate that there is a worrying new trend of kidnappers increasingly targeting locals in the African countries
where they operate. In its latest risk report, consultancy Control Risk Management cites
Mali, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan as the having the highest risk for kid-
77
napping worldwide.
In Africa, Nigeria, Mauritania, Niger, southern Algeria, Kenya and parts of Sudan are
also on the list of high-risk places where terror groups engage in kidnapping. Other
studies also indicate that Nigeria and Mexico still top the list when it comes to the number of kidnappings for ransom that are carried out annually.
Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Senior Researcher Martin Ewi says kidnapping for
ransom has become one of the most important sources of income for terror groups.
‘They use the money to buy sophisticated weapons and to expand their terrorist operations,’ he explains. A declassified August 2013 report by the UK government states that
at least US$70 million was paid to terrorists in the previous three to four years, and that
al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which operates in the Sahel, has collected at
least US$45 million in ransom payments from various governments. ‘It is the single largest source of income for a number of key groups, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula [AQAP] and AQIM,’ the report states.
"Invariably, governments deny having handed over
the huge sums requested by terrorists"
Ewi says that the governments of the United Kingdom and Algeria have been particularly steadfast in their efforts to crack down on and prohibit the payment of ransoms to
terror groups. Yet, this remains a very difficult moral choice, as governments could be
accused of failing to assist citizens who become kidnap victims.
France, in particular, has been accused of dishing out millions of euros to secure the
release of its many nationals held hostage over the last few years, mostly in Mali, Niger
and northern Nigeria. If this is true, is France encouraging hostage taking?
Ewi says this moral dilemma, which is faced by governments all over the world, is one
of the reasons why this is such a sensitive issue. ‘Even former hostages won’t talk
about it, because keeping this issue a secret is often part of the conditions of their release,’ he says.
The South African government seems to be taking a case-by-case approach on the issue – sometimes with a high-profile approach and at other times discreetly participating
in negotiations. The government has consistently denied paying any ransom for its citizens. In June 2012, a South African couple held hostage by Somali pirates was released after intervention by the South African government. A ransom of US$500 000
was demanded for their release, but the government never admitted to paying it. Despite this denial, South African citizens are increasingly being targeted for ransom.
The Korkie case has created unprecedented media interest, particularly after the involvement of charity organisation, Gift of the Givers. A deadline to pay a ransom of over
US$3 million expired on 8 February, but unconfirmed reports indicate that Korkie, who
78
was reported gravely ill, is still alive.
"The kidnapping could be seen as an act of
desperation by a group whose funds may be running
out"
His wife, Yolande, who was released by the kidnappers and returned to South Africa on
17 January, made an emotional appeal, together with her two children, for his release.
South African Deputy Minister in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, also travelled to Yemen in January in an attempt to secure
Korkie’s release. In an open letter to the kidnappers he appealed to their sense of humanity and stated, ‘Islam enjoins us to show mercy.’
While fewer foreigners might now be travelling to the dangerous zones in the Sahel,
local workers of foreign companies and NGOs are still at risk, says Ewi. Earlier this
month, five Malians working for the Red Cross were kidnapped in Gao in northern Mali.
The Islamist Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) claimed responsibility
for the kidnapping, which could be seen as an act of desperation by a group whose
funds may be running out.
Ewi says that the kidnapping of locals could also be used to put political pressure on
African governments – who are not likely to pay for their citizens’ release – to yield to
certain terrorist demands such as the release of prisoners, or even to abandon certain
policies.
‘Depending on the response, this could become a trend,’ says Ewi. In Nigeria, groups
such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have notoriously used kidnapping not only for financial gain, but also to get their political message
across. This has abated somewhat since the 2009 amnesty offered to MEND by the
Nigerian government, but Ewi says that the kidnapping of foreign and local oil workers
in that country continues. The issue is just not receiving the same media attention it had
in the past.
Lately, foreigners in northern Nigeria and parts of Cameroon have also become victims
of kidnapping by Islamist organisation Boko Haram and its breakaway group, Ansaru.
Two high-profile cases last year – one of a French family kidnapped in Cameroon and
another of a French priest, who had managed to escape his attackers – have been
linked to Boko Haram. Ewi says that while the organisation had initially distanced itself
from kidnapping for ransom, considering it a ‘dirty business,’ it now engages with this
practice because of the potential profits involved.
The group’s biggest ransom thus far is believed to be a payment of US$3 million for the
release of the French family kidnapped in February 2013. According to the UK government report, 19 people have thus far been kidnapped by Boko Haram and Ansaru.
Could the tracking of financial transactions be of some assistance in fighting this problem? The fight against piracy has been aided, for example, by tracking the financial
79
Sudan
"New" Sudan: back to the future
February 15, 2014 - The sight of Hassan al-Turabi in his impeccably white jellabiya,
socks and shoes, seated in the front row next to Sadiq al-Mahdi and Ghazi alAttabani, awaiting President Bashir to ascend the podium and deliver his ‘surprise
speech’ on 27 January, was sufficient to signal to Khartoum’s political pundits that
a grand bargain was underway in the capital’s saloons. Seated in the comfortable
Chinese-built hall were essentially all the President’s love victims: Sadiq al-Mahdi
the prime minister deposed in the 1989 coup; Hassan al-Turabi, the veteran sheikh
evicted from power in the 1998/1999 showdown; Ghazi al-Attabani, the aspiring
Islamist moderniser disciplined out of the NCP last November into the wilderness
of an abortive sectarian split; Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and Nafie Ali Nafie, the
sacrificial lambs of the NCP’s reform agenda, effectively purged out of government
in the company of allies last December, in addition of course to the honourable
Mahdi and Mirghani juniors, Sadiq al-Mahdi’s oldest Abd al-Rahman and Mohamed
Osman al-Mirghani’s youngest Jaafar al-Sadiq, training on the job as assistants to
the President. Order prevailed in the first and second rows, but from the third
backward hierarchy was hard to ascertain, the scene closer to male congregations
in a Sudanese bika (mourning house) than the audience of a state sovereign. Indeed, the event only took off when the President finished speaking and the guests
could mingle at will, the well-ironed jellabiyas swooshing in tandem in the glow of
the neon lamps.
The seventy years old President strained to read what his cooks had prepared, a
speech written in the artificial Arabic of themuthagafattiya, a dismissive term used
to refer to pretentious intellectuals obsessed with convoluted form, and peppered
with words dug out of a medieval dictionary as a measure of Islamic ornamentation. Had the President been in the class of an Arabic teacher of an old mould he
would have surely failed ‘reading’, the vexing sentence structures and demanding
grammar had him almost prostrating were it not for the intensive air-conditioning.
Turabi, grimly composed, could not hide his disregard for the dyslexic officer seated
above at presidential distance, grimacing in his distinctive manner in response to
the embarrassing flow of errors. The backbenchers just chatted the time away undeterred by the passage of the cameras. The press had primed the public for a
‘surprise’, speculations founded on a remark by the former US president Jimmy
Carter during his visit to Khartoum a week before and actively nourished by the
NCP’s high priests. Carter told reporters after meeting President Bashir that the
President would soon make “important” decisions. Predictions were that the President would resign and pass the baton to his new deputy Bakri Hassan Salih as head
of a ‘transitional’ all-parties government. Apart from the injunction to place national interests above petty partisan concerns, ripped out of the pages of the
‘patriotic education’ curriculum that Sudanese pupils had to endure under Nimayri’s reign, the President offered the political club gathered under his watch an
abstract invitation to dialogue with the ruling party on reform of the political sys-
80
tem through the drafting of a new constitution and multi-party elections scheduled
for 2015, peaceful resolution of armed conflicts in the country, economic reform,
and closure on the contentious issue of Sudanese identity.
The President’s speech brought “nothing new”, lacked a diagnosis of the country’s
problems and offered no fundamental solutions, Turabi told the press afterwards,
comments that were notably carried by the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA).
NCP enthusiasts hailed the speech an “intellectual breakthrough” and the declaration of a new regime of peace and prosperity. The NCP’s deputy chairman, Ibrahim
Ghandoor, who sat next to the reading President offering corrections, said President Bashir would deliver a follow-up talk to the less equipped masses to explain
the first intended for a superior political audience once he returns from the African
Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, but retracted the statement a day later. The
best argument however was made by Amin Hassan Omer who said President Bashir
did not wish to dictate dialogue mechanisms or outcomes on the political parties
with the conviction that concrete propositions should be allowed to emerge from
the very process of dialogue. Since the ‘surprise speech’ the chatter of the political
class in Khartoum has been conducted predominantly in ‘dialogese’. Ghazi alAttabani accompanied by trusted captains in his newly formed NCP-breakoff, aptly
named the ‘Reform Now Movement’, trotted from one meeting to another as if on
commission, first Hassan al-Turabi and his Popular Congress Party (PCP); then Sadiq
al-Mahdi and his National Umma Party (NUP); leaders of the Unionist Movement, a
runaway faction of Mirghani’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that refused alliance in government with the NCP; the sheikhs of the pre-Turabi Muslim Brotherhood, and a new umbrella organisation christened the ‘National Movement for
Change’ led by the presidential uncle Tayeb Mustafa. Attabani’s propagandists
made sure that each meeting produced an official statement of consensus and a
stylised photograph of the ‘leaders’ posing standing and seated in two neat rows in
good old effendiya fashion.
The surprise, if any, came with the PCP’s declaration that it accepts unconditional
dialogue with the NCP in line with the President’s reform agenda. Kamal Omer, the
party’s political secretary and spokesman of the opposition alliance, the National
Consensus Forces (NCF), slipped as if on a banana peel from the antics of
‘overthrowing the regime’ to slick ‘dialogese’. Kamal accused the allies of yesterday, primarily the Communist Party and fractured remnants of the Nasserite and
Baathist parties, of unwarranted recalcitrance and wished for a reunion of the parties of the historic Islamic Movement, the NCP and the PCP, in a heavenly gush of
Islamic accord. Turabi’s deputy, Abdalla Hassan Ahmed, went further stressing that
the PCP holds no grudges against the fellow ikhwan ([Muslim] brothers) of the NCP,
not even against Taha and Nafie. Reporters close to the PCP ‘leaked’ stories of reconciliation bids between the eighty two years old Turabi and his most capable disciple, the seventy years old Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, the latest victim of the dyslexic officer, followed by reports that preparations for a meeting between Turabi
and President Bashir were diligently pursued by keen mediators. NCP jellabiyas
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sought Turabi’s counsel in the dark of night but made sure to leave Manshiyya (the
Khartoum neighbourhood where Turabi resides) before the break of light, it was
claimed.
President Bashir did eventually deliver a follow-up speech in free style but to the
NCP’s Shura (Consultative) Council in the humbler ‘Martyr Zubeir Hall’ where he
reiterated commitment to dialogue with the political parties and the armed opposition. The NCP instructed its coalition partners, an assortment of breakoff factions
from almost the entire political spectrum, on the requirements of the new era; and
a few days ago President Bashir received Sadiq al-Mahdi and a high-level delegation of his party joining the opposition-hardened Sara Nugdalla, chairwoman of the
party’s politburo and a favourite of the gender-sensitised activists crowd, in the
presidential guesthouse. The two sides agreed to deliberate on a mechanism and
agenda for dialogue, said a statement after the meeting. The seventy eight years
old Sadiq al-Mahdi, on his part, boasted to European Union (EU) ambassadors in
Khartoum of taming the aging regime into democracy, and in similar fervour dismissed calls to step down from leadership of the NUP, a throne that he jealously
occupies since the 1960s, as the fantasies of “spiteful and corrupt detractors”.
The NCP’s calculation, it seems, is to entice the ‘Islamic’ opposition, primarily the
PCP, the Reform Now Movement of Ghazi al-Attabani and the NUP, in addition to
its minor Islamist allies in the cabinet, the pre-Turabi Muslim Brothers and Ansar alSunnah, into a broad alliance that would eventually determine the terms of a new
constitution and form a safe majority in the upcoming elections. With this approach, the NCP in all likelihood wishes to proceed with a managed democracy, i.e.
consensually partitioned constituencies in the upcoming elections, which would
satisfy international beholders without running the risk of surrendering power.
Such an arrangement of forces would confront the insurgent Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement in North Sudan (SPLA/M-N) and the holdout Darfur
armed movements with a consolidated mainstream political class committed to
some form of sharia rule and resistant to any substantive transformation of power,
but would nevertheless allow the government to claim the desired fruits of
‘democratisation’, namely relief of Sudan’s international debt, lift of sanctions and
definitive rapprochement with Western countries, primarily the US. The SPLA/M-N,
in talks with the government in Addis Ababa, responded with a similar rationale
inviting disenchanted stars of the opposition parties and armed movements as
‘experts’ irrespective of the position of their home organisations in a bid to stretch
its national mantle and forge a counter-bloc to the NCP and its mainstream dialogue partners. Expectedly, the government announced that it is not in Addis
Ababa to negotiate with ‘experts’ but with the SPLA/M-N proper over South Kordofan and the Blue Nile and tabled an offer that fell short of admitting a national
mandate for the SPLA/M-N pushing the aspirant contender of central power to the
local squabbles against NCP-allies in the two areas.
If the SPLA/M-N’s perspective is to wind back to the six years relay of the CPA
82
where it had the opportunity to invent the politics of the ‘New Sudan’ but failed,
the NCP’s fantasy is to resurrect a political order that it has aggressively dismembered through the long years of its reign. A bloc joining the historic Islamic Movement and the NUP with Sadiq al-Mahdi and Hassan al-Turabi as bedfellows guarded
by a president of military stock, whether Bashir or Bakri, seems an echo of Prime
Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi’s third and fourth coalition cabinets (May 1988 – February
1989) between the NUP and the National Islamic Front (NIF) under Hassan alTurabi and his able deputy Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, the NCP’s immediate ancestor. The coalition that flouted the opportunity to engage the SPLA/M under John
Garang in negotiations with a constitutional process as their favoured channel preferring instead tactical rounds of sharia blackmailing. This time around, if such an
alliance does materialise, Sadiq al-Mahdi enters the calculation as the junior partner and the SAF command preserves a presidential veto over its products.
In fact, the SPLA/M-N in the long run might prove the ‘tamed’ partner that the NCP
and its allies should actively welcome into the political club when compared to the
more than real armies of the Sudanese hinterlands. As the President and his guests
were exchanging niceties after the ‘surprise speech’ militia forces hired by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to fight against the SPLA/M-N in
South Kordofan and the Blue Nile had camped outside al-Obeid, the capital of
North Kordofan State, seeking recuperation and reward. The state governor, Ahmed Haroun, organised on 12 January a welcome celebration for the gallant fighters, rebranded the Rapid Response Forces, to showcase their victories. SUNA identified the commander of the fighters as Brigadier-General Mohamed Hamdan
Dalgo, better known as Himeidti, the lean commoner who announced himself back
in 2010 a war chief of the Rizeigat of North Darfur. When asked how he ended up
fighting the government’s counter-insurgency war in Darfur Himeidti said his herds
had been rustled and his kin taken hostage by rebels while en route to Libya. I
traded between Sudan, Chad, Libya and Egypt, and as far as Nigeria, he said at the
time, the standard itinerary of the adventurous smuggler in Sudan’s western
realms. By 2013 Himeidti had established himself as commander of the Darfur
‘Border Guards’, furniture businessman and prominent real estate owner in Nyala.
He served as security advisor to three consecutive governors in South Darfur, Ali
Mahmoud Abd al-Rasoul, Abd al-Hameed Musa Kasha and Hammad Ismail until his
dismissal under the latter, a decision that Hammad was to regret considering the
havoc Himeidti allegedly unleashed in Nyala forcing the central government to intervene and replace the besieged governor with the military officer Adam Mahmoud Jar al-Nabi.
Himeidti’s Rapid Response Forces, five thousands according to conservative estimates, had troubles managing anger as they waited for pay, rather bored in alObeid’s dry environs. Gangs of militia fighters attacked their host villages in the
first February week, looted a local market, and managed to kill at least four people,
including a shopkeeper who refused to hand over the cash-starved fighters the
money they demanded by the gun. Ahmed Haroun, rather struck by the fiasco, of-
83
fered the people of North Kordofan an apology announcing that the Rapid Response Forces were not regular troops force but a rogue militia of “herders” resistant to discipline, recruited by the NISS operations department. President Bashir,
while still in Addis Ababa, reportedly had to communicate his displeasure to
Himeidti and offer a satisfactory price for restraint. Accordingly, Haroun announced
to the aggrieved kin of the slain shopkeeper, who carried the body of the deceased
to the government’s headquarters in al-Obeid in protest, that the Rapid Response
Forces would withdraw from North Kordofan within seventy two hours. Government media reported nervously that the the Rapid Response Forces are about to
withdraw, have started withdrawing, are in the process of withdrawing, but never
where to, until the deputy governor of South Darfur Mahdi Bosh declared on 12
February that the government in Nyala had completed preparations to receive the
militia, news that signalled coming disaster for the crime-stricken city. If precedent
is any measure, South Darfur is likely to witness a surge of ‘tribal’ battles, considering Himeidti’s main complaint. We don’t have land, he told an interviewer in 2013.
In South Darfur, we are hosted by the Fur chief Abbakar Issa, whom we protect
with our gunfire. I wonder whether Himeidti and his men, come the 2015 elections,
would surrender to the authority of a NUP envoy to South Darfur, or rather carve
an own autonomous space with their Fur ally and continue the business of selling
their fighting power at the best price available.
The political class in Khartoum might succeed in forging a future of mutual accommodation under a SAF sovereign, plagiarised from its past endeavours, but it is by
all means a brittle one, much like time travel, precarious and full of surprises,
Himeidti’s land hunger aside, the government, no less eager to appropriate land for
its own rent purposes, declared recently a plan to form a national land authority
with the power to acquire ’unregistered’ land, trade it off to investors, and adjudicate on land disputes between locals claimants and foreign investors supported by
a separate prosecutor office and police force. The last time the government attempted to grab worthwhile land, namely the Jebel Amir gold mines in North Darfur, it precipitated a months-long war that eventually had even Musa Hilal,
Himeidti’s cousin and role-model, calling for ‘reform’.
The author is a fellow of the Rift Valley Institute. He publishes regular opinion articles and analyses at his blog Still Sudan. He can be reached at
[email protected]
http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article49969
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Tunisia
Attentat de Jendouba : La stratégie antiterroriste doit changer
17-02-2014
Suite à l’opération terroriste qui a qui a coûté la vie à trois agents de sûreté et à un
citoyen dans la région d’Awled Mannaâ , du gouvernorat de Jendouba, le responsable des affaires juridiques au sein de l'Union Nationale des syndicats des forces de
sécurité intérieure, Sahbi Jouini, a imputé aux dirigeants du ministère de l’Intérieur
la responsabilité de l’embuscade de Jendouba.
Le syndicaliste a, à ce propos, appelé à la révision de la stratégie de lutte contre le
terrorisme, tout en alertant contre le blanchiment du terrorisme, précisant que l’opération de Jendouba ne vient pas en réaction aux événements de Borj Louzir, mais
il s’agit plutôt d’un projet terroriste bien délibéré. Et de confirmer qu’elle s’inscrit,
dans le cadre d'un projet terroriste prenant pour cible les citoyens.
Pour sa part, Issam Dardouri, président de l'Organisation Tunisienne des Forces de
Sécurité et du Citoyen , a fait savoir qu’il s’agit d’une opération de représailles et de
vengeance, et ce suite à la victoire des agents de sûreté en matière de la lutte
contre le terrorisme et la mort des chefs terroristes dans les dernières événements
de Raoued-Plage. Et d’ajouter que cette opération est bien planifiée, ce qui atteste
que le terrorisme se développe davantage en Tunisie.
Le président de l'Organisation Tunisienne des Forces de Sécurité et du Citoyen, a en
outre, affirmé que les opérations terroristes en Tunisie ressemblent beaucoup au
scénario algérien des années quatre-vingt dix. Et d’ajouter qu’il faut continuer à
combattre le terrorisme et anticiper les dangers et les éventuels actes de représailles des terroristes qui pourront frapper de nouveau pour venger la mort de leurs
chefs.
Une méthode plus sophistiquée utilisée par les terroristes algériens
Pour sa part, Mazen Cherif, l'expert des affaires sécuritaires et responsable du département de la lutte contre le terrorisme dans le Centre tunisien pour l'étude de la
sécurité globale, a affirmé que cette opération terroriste est un acte de représailles
visant à déstabiliser les agents de sécurité tunisiens. Il a considéré la méthode utilisée dans cette opération est plus sophistiquée et très proche de celles utilisées par
les terroristes algériens.
Il convient de rappeler que dimanche 16 févier2014, vers 01h00 du matin, une unité de la Garde nationale s’est dirigée vers la localité de Aouled Manaa à la suite
d’informations qui lui sont parvenues, indiquant que des individus ont bloqué la
route et procédé à des opérations de vol. Dès l’arrivée de l’unité de la garde nationale, quatre terroristes ont ouvert le feu en direction des agents qui se trouvaient
encore à l’intérieur de la voiture tuant les martyrs, les agents de la Garde nationale
et le citoyen, tous décédés sur place et blessant un officier et un autre agent de la
Garde nationale.
http://www.africanmanager.com/
85
Médias et terrorisme: La difficile équation
17/02/2014
"Le terrorisme existe essentiellement grâce aux médias", déclarait en août dernier
le colonel retraité Mokhtar Ben Nasr sur les ondes de radio Mosaïque FM. "Le terrorisme n'a pas de sens sans les médias", selon ses termes. La presse doit-elle faire
un black out total sur ce qui se passe pour éviter de répandre ce climat de terreur?
Les évènements survenus ce week-end à Jendouba, et les opérations antiterroristes à Raoued et Borj Louzir, ont relancé le débat sur le traitement médiatique et la lutte contre le terrorisme.
Rendre compte du terrorisme n'est pas un soutien au terrorisme
Selon le sociologue français Raymond Aron, "le terroriste ne veut pas que beaucoup de gens meurent, il veut que beaucoup de gens écoutent". Les médias seraient en ce sens un des outils utilisés par les "terroristes" grâce auquel ils espèrent
avoir un grand impact.
Comment alors informer sans servir le terrorisme? Faut-il imposer une restriction
pour les médias sous prétexte de lutter contre le terrorisme? Certains tendent à le
penser, mais ce serait contraire autant au principe de liberté de la presse et des
médias qu'au droit du citoyen d'être informé.
Pour l'assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe, "le terrorisme ne doit pas
affecter la liberté d’expression et d’information dans les médias en tant qu’un des
fondements essentiels de toute société démocratique. Cette liberté comprend le
droit du public à être informé des questions d’intérêt général, notamment des actes et des menaces terroristes, et des réponses qui y sont données par l’Etat et les
organisations internationales."
Mais pour certains observateurs et représentants de forces de sécurité, en se faisant l'écho des actes terroristes, les médias "répandent un climat de terreur", objectif atteint pour les "terroristes". La presse doit-elle alors faire un black out total
sur ce qui se passe pour éviter de répandre ce "climat de terreur"? Pas sûr.
Aujourd'hui, les médias n'ont plus le monopole de l'information. La problématique
ne touche donc pas uniquement '"l'information", mais le traitement médiatique.
D'après le chercheur à l'IRIS, François Bernard Huyghe, "le terroriste tente de retourner les médias de l’adversaire contre lui (..) pour exercer une contrainte, pour
recruter de futurs disciples." Là encore, il reviendrait au journaliste de faire attention dans le traitement de ces sujets.
Affaire Samir El Wafi
Au lendemain de l'opération anti-terroriste à Raoued, Samir El Wafi invite dans son
émission "Pour celui qui ose seulement" ((
sur la chaîne Ettounsiya, le
père de Kamel Gadhgadhi, présumé meurtrier de Chokri Belaïd, ainsi qu'un prédica-
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teur salafiste, Khamis Mejri. Le premier a considéré son fils, mort dans l'opération
sécuritaire de Raoued, comme "une victime" et "un martyr", le second a qualifié
Oussema Ben Laden de héros.
Largement critiqué par ses confrères, le présentateur a été convoqué par la Haute
Autorité Indépendante de la communication audiovisuelle (HAICA) et s'est engagé
à ce qu'il n'y ait pas de rediffusion du numéro en question. Dans un communiqué,
l'instance a énuméré deux infractions: non respect des dispositions de la convention internationale des droits civils et politiques, et particulièrement l'article 6 relatif au droit à la vie, et non respect de la pluralité des avis et des positions.
Dans un communiqué rendu public le 10 février, le Syndicat national des Journalistes Tunisiens (SNJT), " rappelle aux confrères qu'il n'y a pas de neutralité avec le
terrorisme et les terroristes, ennemis de la Tunisie, de la liberté et de la démocratie", et " appelle à être prudent dans le traitement du dossier terroriste". Le communiqué du SNJT note que "les abus commis par Samir El Wafi lors de son émission, au cours de laquelle il a cherché à présenter les terroristes comme des victimes, ont contribué à orienter l'émission pour justifier le terrorisme, offensant profondément les familles de martyrs et le peuple tunisien."
En plus de la corporation, l'émission a fait réagir le syndicat des forces de sûreté.
"C'était une émission orientée, cherchant à avoir la sympathie de personnes en
particulier", déclare Imed Belhaj Khalifa, secrétaire général du syndicat sur Mosaïque FM. Le syndicaliste refuse même qu'on remette en cause le mode opératoire
des forces de sécurité, s'indignant du contenu de l'émission.
Face à la grande polémique et la vague d'indignation, Samir El Wafi a admis "des
erreurs" et a présenté des excuses à "toutes les familles des martyrs" et "agents de
sécurité". "L'erreur est humaine", dit le présentateur. "La liberté est nouvelle, le
terrorisme est nouveau", se justifie-t-il, expliquant qu'il a voulu "avoir tous les
points de vue" sur le plateau.
Comment informer sans servir le terrorisme?
L'équation est difficile pour les médias. Intervenant sur Nesma TV dimanche 16 février, le chargé des affaires juridiques au sein de l'Union nationale des syndicats
des forces de sécurité intérieure, Sahbi Jouini, a estimé que mise à part "les spécialistes" avec lesquels la police collabore, "les autres doivent se taire et (nous) laisser
travailler".
Un discours agressif qui fait craindre des dérives sécuritaires au nom de la lutte
contre le terrorisme, ou pousser indirectement les médias à pratiquer l'autocensure
http://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/
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International Organizations
UN
Stop paying al-Qaeda ransoms, UN experts urge
Radical Islamist terror group finances jihadist operations by taking hostages,
earned $120 m. in eight years
February 20, 2014, 8:46 am 1
Warren Weinstein, a US contractor taken hostage by al-Qaeda in Pakistan in August 2011.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — UN experts are urging a halt to hefty ransom payments
that have made kidnapping a core tactic for al-Qaeda and its affiliates in recent
years.
In a report to the Security Council late Wednesday, the panel monitoring sanctions
against al-Qaeda also recommended reinforcing a travel ban against affected individuals by using biometrics and improving government lists of “inadmissible” passengers.
The experts say improvised explosive devices are “the primary weapon of choice of
al-Qaeda and its affiliates” and recommend that all countries include explosives
and the raw materials and components to make IEDs under the al-Qaeda arms embargo.
According to the experts, al-Qaeda has engaged widely in kidnapping to finance its
operations. They cited a US estimate that $120 million in ransom was paid to terrorist groups between 2004 and 2012.
“A total of 1,283 kidnappings motivated by terrorism were reported in 2012, and a
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single hostage could deliver a seven-figure ransom into the hands of terrorists,” the
experts said.
The experts said Africa and the Asia-Pacific accounted for 53 percent of kidnappings recorded worldwide in 2012, an increase from 18 percent in 2004, while the
Middle East accounted for 19 percent of kidnappings, up from 4 percent in 2008.
Noting that governments worldwide have condemned ransom payments to terrorist groups, the experts urged an end to payouts, stressing that this is a violation of
UN sanctions on individuals and groups subject to an asset freeze because of their
al-Qaeda links.
Overall, the panel said al-Qaeda “remains a threat, even though it has not been
able to recover its former strength.”
Its leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is “relatively ineffective,” and affiliates are disregarding his operational instructions, it said.
At the same time, the panel said “multiple al-Qaeda affiliates are evolving, often
autonomously.”
The experts cited a “generational change” in some al-Qaeda affiliates, with leaders
shifting away from figures in their late 40s to 70s to younger men in their late 30s
and 40s.
Al-Qaeda affiliates have taken advantage of conflicts in Syria and northern Yemen,
and gaps in governance in parts of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, the report said.
They have also found new space to operate when pushed back, it said.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, or AQIM, for example, is no longer “anchored” in
Mali or its original sanctuaries in Algeria but many fleeing militants have regrouped
in southern Libya, the experts said.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press
Source: The Times of Israel
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Al-Qaeda: Younger men take up leadership roles - UN study
Feb 21,2014
The leadership of some al-Qaeda
affiliates is witnessing a generational shift from older men to
men in their 30s and 40s, a UN
report says.
The study also found some cells
were now recruiting members as
young as 12.
It warned of new international
networks emerging from foreign
militants in Syria meeting the local al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
Ayman Alzawahiry
The report concluded that the
global terror organisation remained "a threat" despite losing "its former strength".
"The ideas, inspiration and networks generated by al-Qaeda continue to reverberate," according to the report submitted to the Security Council by the UN's Analytical and Sanctions Monitoring Team.
'Different perspective'
The study on al-Qaeda trends observed a global generational change away from
leaders in their late 40s to 70s in recent times.
"Mid-level commanders, in particular, are shaped by a different historical experience than their predecessors," it said.
The report added that "those gaining the most operational terrorist experience today are younger in age, primarily consisting of individuals in their teens through to
early 30s".
"Younger commanders and fighters have a different perspective on international
affairs, have the potential to generate propaganda that chimes with their generation more easily, and can also challenge their own leadership on tactics and targets," the UN experts found.
They noted that this was particularly evident in groups fighting in Somalia, Yemen,
Nigeria, Mali, and Syria.
With regard to Syria, the experts warned claims that the al-Nusra Front had no interest in launching attacks outside the country could "not be taken for granted, as
they are an al-Qaeda affiliate in a rapidly evolving conflict".
The panel of experts also said the group's Middle East affiliates had begun to ignore
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instructions by the nominal al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is currently at
large.
Ayman Zawahiri was appointed head of the organisation in 2011 following the
death of Osama bin Laden, but has become "relatively ineffective" since, the UN
report said.
http://yemenonline.info/news-3909.html
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Terrorism in the World
Opinion: Terrorism in Sochi
19 February 2014
The world has been clutching its heart since a Dagestan-based terrorist group declared its intention to target the athletes competing in the Winter Olympic Games
in Sochi. The irony here is that one of the reasons the Olympic Games were introduced was to avert violence between nations and societies. They provided an opportunity for peaceful competition while creating a space for compulsory peace.
This was the logic of the ancient Hellenic founders of the Olympics and the idea
was revived with the Olympic tradition in the modern era.
This is not to suggest that politics or even political confrontation were absent,
merely that there would be a kind of temporary truce. In the Cold War era, the
Olympics offered a window for political propaganda. Communist nations, for example, paraded the notion that Olympic victories reflected the superiority of an entire
political order. The Cold War has ended, of course, while the Olympic Games remain a space for athletic competition and human ingenuity. Moreover, whereas
before they were held once every four years in the summer, we now have the Winter Olympics, held in countries endowed with heavy snowfalls, a phenomenon unfamiliar to most Arab countries.
This year, it was Sochi’s turn to host the Winter Olympics. Russia’s political circumstances and the many small civil wars waged by “Islamist” groups of various stripes
based in former Soviet republics with majority Muslim populations would inevitably
cast their shadow over the games. This time the threat came from Dagestan. Oddly
enough, it took the form of a publicized threat. Generally, the major instrument of
terrorism is the element of surprise that can create the largest possible reverberations.
In fact, the question at hand is far broader and more complex than the nervous apprehension that has descended upon Sochi. Along a broad global front there appears to be a major “awakening” of terrorist groups inspired by or working directly
with Al-Qaeda. This resurgence comes after a lull in Al-Qaeda’s operations following the American execution of Osama Bin Laden.
At one point, many believed the Arab Spring revolutions had been a major setback
for Islamist terrorist movements. It was argued that these revolutions cleared the
way for alternative drivers for change in Arab and Islamic states and societies aside
from the mechanism of violence disguised in a religious cloak. This contention has
turned out to be groundless. What has happened is that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates
and their clones have reorganized themselves and have begun to move along two
parallel lines. One was to regroup and deploy their forces along a broad front extending from the borders of Morocco and northern Mali to Afghanistan; the other
was to exploit Muslim minorities to create terrorist cells in other countries. One of
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those cells surfaced in faraway Boston in the US; another has today reared its head
against Sochi in Russia.
In fact, these movements benefited greatly from the Arab Spring revolutions that
they exploited in various ways. Above all, the revolutions weakened states in the
Arab and Islamic world along with their security forces—the police and armed
forces. These countries were, therefore, easily penetrable, enabling terrorist
groups to establish new bases, as has occurred very visibly in Libya, Yemen and
Egypt. In Syria, these groups also succeeded in weakening a peaceful and democratic revolution, furnishing the fascist Bashar Al-Assad regime with a golden opportunity to survive.
The revolutions also opened the way to power—or something resembling it—for
the Muslim Brotherhood that found in groups linked with and inspired by Al-Qaeda
a handy weapon to wield against civil and democratic political forces. The Muslim
Brotherhood, therefore, cooperated with these groups. It is well known that the
Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt made a deal with the Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis group for
the latter to cease its bombardment of Egyptian natural gas pipelines in exchange
for the release of imprisoned members of terrorist groups and for permission for
Islamist militants abroad to return to Egypt. That deal marked the beginning of the
Muslim Brotherhood–Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis alliance that we see in operation in
Egypt today.
Thirdly, the revolutions generated enormous arsenals of advanced weaponry that
gave Islamist terrorist groups a major material and logistical boost. These groups
had never previously dreamed of the abundant arms sources they would find in
Libya, Syria and Iraq.
This alarmingly broad scope of terrorist movements with their various guises and
interpretations of fundamentalism received powerful blows when the Muslim
Brotherhood regime in Egypt fell and when the Syrian resistance decided it could
ally itself terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in order to
establish a civil democratic government in a unified Syrian state. However, the
great clash between terrorism and the Arab state is still in its initial phases. Some
strategic thinking of the first order will have to be brought to the fore, as the battle
not only takes place in streets and squares but also in hearts and minds. There is
also a danger of setbacks due to the circumstances of the socioeconomic classes
these groups seek to exploit. Nevertheless, the battle that is unfolding in Egypt has
brought some initial benefits. Not only did it prove how the Muslim Brotherhood
and its allies failed in their management of the state, it also showed how they failed
to win the support of the majority of the people behind the false religious banners
they wielded for the purposes of deception, tyranny and aggression.
A complex and multifaceted battle such as this also requires intensive and coordinated regional and international action. Various forms of cooperation between the
security agencies of the countries concerned probably already exist. However, co-
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operation must be closer, not only with respect to direct confrontation against terrorist groups but also with respect to addressing “Islamist thinking” and the socioeconomic classes these groups prey on and from which they draw their recruits,
brainwashing them until they become savage killing machines that murder
women, children and the elderly without a moment’s hesitation, and who become
so bloodthirsty that they wrench the hearts out of their victims and brandish them
in front of TV cameras.
Clearly there must be closer coordination in intelligence gathering and border controls, and the most sophisticated technology available must be put to use. The deteriorating situations in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Sudan cannot be allowed to
continue, as they increasingly threaten the stability and security of other countries
in the region that have managed to defeat the onslaught of the blend of extremism and terrorism.
Arab national security as a whole and that of individual Arab states is facing a terrifying danger. Its roots do not only exist in this part of the world; they extend to
other countries where it extends its networks of hatred and hostility. Its threat
against the Olympic Games in Sochi is not the first manifestation of this peril, nor
will it be the last. Once, several years ago, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak proposed an international anti-terrorism conference. Its purpose was to set
into motion an international campaign to unify efforts in the fight against terrorism and to establish systems for tracking and monitoring the funding, armament
and training operations of terrorist groups. Is anyone out there ready to take up
this proposal?
http://www.aawsat.net/2014/02/article55329142
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Bangladesh
Qaeda for intifada in Bangladesh?
Message posted last month; authenticity not confirmed; govt cautious
Star Report
An audiovisual message purported to be from al-Qaeda chief Ayman alZawahiri has urged the Muslims in Bangladesh to wage an intifada (popular uprising) to confront the “crusader onslaught against Islam”.
Posted in Jihadology.net, the message alleged thousands of people were being
killed in the streets of Bangladesh for protesting the “collusion of the anti-Islam
secular government with a bunch of transgressing secularists”.
"I invite you to lead the masses in a vast and inclusive popular uprising (intifada)
whose tide dose not recede, nor its dynamism subsides, until the Shariah of Islam
governs the land of Islam, instead of being governed over,” it went on.
Titled “Bangladesh: A Massacre behind a Wall of Silence”, the message was released on January 14, but it surfaced in the media only yesterday.
In it, the voice of an unseen narrator is placed over still images including Zawahiri's
and video clips along with English subtitle. Not a single shot does show the alQaeda chief speaking on camera.
Jihadology, which describes itself as a clearinghouse for Jihadi source materials,
said this was a new message of Zawahiri and it was presented by As-Saḥab, known
as the media house of al-Qaeda.
The Daily Star could not independently verify the authenticity of the message.
The government was communicating with counterterrorism partners like the US
and the UK to verify whether the voice was indeed of Zawahiri, State Minister for
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Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam told this newspaper yesterday.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian physician, took the helm of the much-feared global militant
organisation after US Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.
The audiovisual material starts with photographs from the May 5, 2013 Hefajat-e
Islam rally in Dhaka and the subsequent crackdown by law enforcers on it.
"A massacre of Muslims is being carried out these days, and the Muslim world is
totally oblivious to it. The western media is colluding with the killers to belittle its
significance and hide the facts," the message said.
“Hundreds of callers to the religion and scholars are also facing hardships, manhunts, imprisonment, trials, death sentences and life imprisonments without any
guilt,” it said.
"My Muslim brothers in Bangladesh, I invite you to confront this crusader onslaught against Islam, which is being orchestrated by the leading criminals in the
subcontinent and the West…
The release went on, "Bangladesh is the victim of the conspiracy in which the
agents of India, the corrupt leadership of the Pakistan army, and treacherous
power hungry politicians of Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are always prepared to
sacrifice everything for the sake of fulfilling their ambitions and desires, were all
equal participants."
Turning to the Liberation War, 1971, the message said, "Their purpose was not independence from Pakistan, stopping the aggression against the people of Bangladesh, or getting rid of military rule in Pakistan." The real purpose was weakening
the Muslim Ummah in the subcontinent, the release claimed.
Bangladesh is being turned into "a subjugated surrogate of India", it also said.
"Those who massacred the Muslims in Bangladesh only yesterday are the same
people who are massacring the Muslims in Pakistan today. Similarly, those who allied with India against Pakistan by claiming that they sought to defend the honour
and sanctities of Bengalis are the same people who are attacking the sanctities, beliefs, honour, lives and properties of Bengalis today."
While accusing the media for downplaying the alleged attacks, he also criticised the
West for remaining "unmoved".
The events in Bangladesh enjoy the blessings of both India and America, "since
their interests in fighting Islam overlap, and this is why their bilateral relations are
becoming stronger day by day".
When people of Afghanistan, Mali, and Somalia "decide to implement” Shariah",
"they are then met with a full-fledged military onslaught, in which the leading international criminals and their local surrogates take part".
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"But when Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin and Ali Rajib Haider insult Islam, the
Prophet of Islam (pbuh), and the beliefs of Islam, they are treated as heroes who
must be defended, honoured, and given awards," said the al-Qaeda chief.
Comparing the situation in Bangladesh with the attacks on Muslims in Myanmar,
he said, "The events in Bangladesh and Burma are not too distant from the oppression and killings of Muslims in Kashmir or the racial cleansing in Assam, Gujarat and
Ahmadabad either."
'GOVT NOT FRIGHTENED'
Bangladesh has worked with different countries to combat terrorism and gradually
built its capacity to deal with the issue in the last five years, State Minister Shahriar
told The Daily Star.
"Our efforts and successes in the arena of counterterrorism have been praised by
many countries and international platforms. I hope that our partners will continue
cooperating with us in this regard."
He alleged the BNP-Jamaat alliance was making political efforts to belittle Bangladesh and it has been instigating international terrorist organisations like al-Qaeda
by its irresponsible comments and activities.
The opposition alliance has chosen the path of terrorism as it failed to do anything
democratically, Shahriar said. "They carried out terrorist activities before the parliamentary election and now they are issuing threats through the international terror
groups like al-Qaeda."
BNP leaders in Brussels urged the European Union to suspend Bangladesh's trade
privileges in the market but their effort went futile, said the state minister.
The recent filing of a complaint against Bangladesh with the International Criminal
Court (ICC) was also not by coincidence, he added.
British lawyer Toby Cadman, who represented the Jamaat-e-Islami, filed the complaint on February 14, urging the ICC to conduct an investigation into "the persecution of political foes by the government".
The complaint was filed 10 days after BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a press briefing cited imaginary figures of unnatural deaths. "The complaint quoted those
imaginary figures," Shahriar said.
Asked about the government's next course of action regarding the complaint, he
said, "We have learnt about it unofficially and are preparing to respond to it. We
will prove that the accusation is false once the ICC informs us of it formally."
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said the government was neither taking the
so-called al-Qaeda threat lightly nor giving it too much importance. "The government is not frightened by the threat."
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Meanwhile, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan told the BBC Bangla service that he had not heard of the audio message but "I would say regarding this
that we are always alert to the matter and that we will never allow the rise of terrorism in our country."
Asked about the post, Senior Home Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed said they are
looking into it.
Also, Director General of the Rapid Action Battalion Mokhlesur Rahman said the alQaeda chief's so-called statement did not go with the real picture in Bangladesh.
“The situations in Bangladesh and Afghanistan are not the same."
The law enforcement agencies are always ready to deal with such threats, the official added.
http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/qaeda-for-intifada-in-bangladesh-11575
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France
Deal entre la France et le Mnla
17 Février 2014
Que faut-il retenir, depuis toujours, du Mouvement national de libération de l’Azawad ? Y’a t-il une complicité entre la France et ce groupuscule ?
Tout le monde sait que le Mouvement national de libération de l’Azawad a mis en
péril le Mali et empoisonné la vie d’Amadou Toumani Touré. Avec ses acolytes jihadistes et narcotrafiquants, il s’illustre en plus dans les crimes contre l’humanité.
Qui soutient le Mnla ? Et pourquoi ? Personne n’ignore que l’existence de ce groupe de mécréant, tout comme sa pérennité, c’est du bluff sous la houlette de la
France, la Communauté internationale et l’Occident avide de richesses, surtout celles de l’Azawad. Un flash back en apporte la preuve tangible à partir d’un bref retour sur le passé !
L’histoire officielle du Soudan français -avare en impasse ou en falsification- n’indique pas comment l’administration coloniale, mécontente des velléités du peuple
soudanais développa dans la conscience des touareg la supériorité raciale sur des
concitoyens jugés indignes, esclaves.
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Las et déboussolé de voir ses intérêt s’effriter, après avoir vendu leurs grands au
Américains, le maudit colon, encouragea, pour retourner à sa source de vie, une
révolte cinglante au Mali indépendant. La première se déroula sous Modibo Keita.
Elle ne reposait sur rien dans une nouvelle nation éprise de paix.
Mais, elle a été sévèrement réprimée avec ses relents ethnocentristes et séparatistes. Car, elle constituait une réelle menace pour la cohésion nationale. Alors, il fallait, à tout prix l’éradiquer pour ne pas compromettre le développement du Mali.
Source: http://www.malijet.com/
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Iraq
A Comprehensive Strategy Against Terrorism
Iraq is using all the political, economic, and military tools at its disposal in its effort to defeat al Qaeda.
FEBRUARY 18, 2014
BAGHDAD — When al Qaeda and other terrorist groups attacked Anbar province in
late December and temporarily took control of parts of the cities of Fallujah and
Ramadi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, "This is a fight that belongs to the
Iraqis."
Indeed this is our fight. More than two years after American troops left Iraq, with
violent extremist groups such as al Qaeda resurgent, Iraq accepts that it is our responsibility to defeat them militarily, to isolate them politically, and to create the
social and economic conditions that will deny them any local support in the future.
While the battle against al Qaeda in Anbar province is Iraq's fight, it is part of a larger struggle against terrorism that threatens our neighbors in the Middle East and
North Africa and also endangers the United States and the entire world community. The terrorism we face is transnational in nature, and defeating it will require
international collaboration, including a strong partnership between the United
States and Iraq. As President Barack Obama emphasized in his State of the Union
address, we need to work together as partners to "disrupt and disable" terrorist
networks. Both the United States and Iraq, then, have much to gain by making the
shared effort against our shared enemies.
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In order to defend and rebuild our country, Iraq needs American equipment and
American know-how, as well as private investment in our own country and strategic coordination in our region. Such common efforts against common enemies in
pursuit of common goals are the object of the Strategic Framework Agreement that
the United States and Iraq signed before the withdrawal of American troops in
2011.
Iraq is not a protectorate; we are a partner. Iraqis are grateful to the U.S. troops
who served in our country, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. But today
Iraq is a sovereign country that does not need American boots on the ground.
In that spirit of partnership, I want to share the thinking behind our efforts to defend our country against terrorism. Over the last decade, the Iraqi people and their
elected leaders have learned many lessons. We understand that a purely military
approach will not succeed in stopping terrorism, much less in healing the sectarian,
ethnic, and regional rifts that are exploited by violent extremism.
We also understand that terrorism is not solely an Iraqi problem but an international problem. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of the Syrian civil
war: Time and again, I have cautioned against the spillover of terrorism from that
conflict to our own country, and now it has happened. With logistical support from
their bases in Syria, al Qaeda and other extremist forces have re-established their
presence in western Iraq and increasingly are able to send suicide bombers into our
country to cause death, destruction, and disorder. These groups have renewed
their campaign to foment sectarian violence and have sought to drive a wedge between our people. The spillover from Syria is the most important factor in the upsurge of violence in Iraq over the past year.
But make no mistake: What we are witnessing is not sectarian strife -- it is indiscriminate slaughter. Al Qaeda kills Shiites. Al Qaeda kills Sunnis. And, on Christmas,
the terrorists bombed Christian neighborhoods in Baghdad, murdering more than
two dozen people on their holiest day.
Because al Qaeda believes in blowing people up, not in winning people over, it can
be beaten, must be beaten, and will be beaten. Iraq has defeated al Qaeda before,
and we have a holistic strategy to defeat al Qaeda again.
We aim not only to defeat terrorists when we find them, but also to diminish the
discontent on which they feed. We are pursuing a comprehensive, multifaceted
strategy of constitutional governance, social inclusion, security operations, diplomatic outreach, and economic development to accomplish this. We want to work
in partnership with the United States on all these efforts, especially as we move
forward toward a crucial milestone in Iraq's progress from dictatorship to democracy -- our fourth parliamentary elections since 2003.
We are committed to conducting these elections by April 30, 2014, and to providing a secure environment across Iraq that will encourage voter participation,
thereby enhancing the legitimacy of the democratically elected government and
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diminishing the appeal of the extremists.
Al Qaeda understands the importance of our elections, and so should Iraqis and
Americans. By trying to sow disorder and chaos less than three months ahead of
the vote, the terrorists are seeking to reignite divisions within Iraqi society and undermine our emerging democratic institutions. We cannot and will not allow this to
happen. It is our duty to ensure that communities can exercise their right to vote
freely without intimidation or fear.
Security Operations
Winning the support of the people we defend is central to our strategy for defeating terrorism. Because al Qaeda is targeting all Iraqis -- whether Shiites, Sunnis,
Kurds, or Turkmen, among other groups -- we are seeking to unite all Iraqis against
the forces of extremism
An effective counterterrorism strategy requires us to harness the full capacity of
our security forces. Because of our outreach efforts, many Sunni tribes and clans
have been fighting alongside the security forces in Anbar, Ninevah, and other troubled provinces.
As during the American "surge" beginning in 2007, the security forces have the support of the Sons of Iraq. These groups of local citizens -- which started among the
Sunni tribes in Anbar province and expanded nationally -- help to protect their
communities by serving as auxiliary police forces.
We are also empowering local tribesmen, who fight alongside Iraqi police forces, to
help eradicate the scourge of al Qaeda. We are providing these tribesmen with the
weapons, money, and logistical support to take on the challenge -- and where local
forces require extra assistance, we have sent in special forces that are trained in
counterterrorism operations. The national army is also pursuing terrorist camps in
the remote desert areas of Anbar, in addition to securing our borders.
We have also listened to the concerns of the local provincial council and have refrained from ordering the Army into Anbar's towns. We know that al Qaeda uses
civilians as human shields -- because of our desire to avoid civilian casualties, we
have sought to empower local forces to tackle this threat from within.
These operations may take time, but they are the surest way of reducing the suffering of local residents, who have endured much over the years, while ensuring that
the security gains can be sustained and consolidated. That is why we plan to build
upon our effort to incorporate the Sons of Iraq movement into the security forces
so that they can take primary responsibility for their own areas -- and to eventually
position Army units outside the provinces, as stipulated by the constitution.
Our government has also sought to reinstate army and police officers who had
been unfairly dismissed after the collapse of the former regime. We have held five
rounds of reinstatements to encourage former officers to rejoin the security forces.
U.S. support for Iraq's security is still important -- especially military equipment and
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intelligence cooperation, which allows us to track down and eliminate terrorist networks. We have also begun discussions with our American counterparts on resuming training for our counterterrorism forces. We are not asking for American foreign aid. Thanks to our rapidly growing economy, we are able and willing to pay for
all the military equipment we need. That is why the Obama administration offered
to sell us Apache helicopters, and we are grateful that Congress has now approved
that sale.
Social Inclusion
Open, inclusive politics is an integral part of our security strategy. A society where
every community has a voice and no one feels excluded will deny extremists the
support they require for their violent aims.
As a testament to our progress, Freedom House recognized that opposition parties
were able to organize freely during last year's provincial elections. For this and
other reasons, Freedom House upgraded Iraq's rating on political rights. We are
striving for a society where grievances can be heard and differences can be resolved through open debate and peaceful protests.
However, we cannot allow extremists to undermine our country by taking advantage of our democratic freedoms. Once it became clear that terrorists in Anbar
were attempting to hijack the lawful demands of civilian protesters and infiltrating
their protest camp in Ramadi to foment sectarian tensions, in addition to blocking
the main highway to Jordan and Syria for several months, we moved to work with
the local provincial council and tribal elders to end the protests peacefully. We
knew that given the opportunity to address their concerns peacefully, local leaders
would reject those who preach divisiveness and practice violence.
When security forces eventually moved to close down the camp, there was not a
single instance of violence. As our past elections have shown, the overwhelming
majority of Iraqis embrace ballots, not bullets. From our recent history, Iraqis have
concluded that no single faction -- whether ethnic, religious, regional, or political -should dominate our country. The only way for our government to succeed is to be
inclusive, in every way.
In all these efforts, it is essential to empower local governments to settle local
grievances. By decentralizing governmental authority, we aim to promote the social
inclusion that discourages people from resorting to, or even tacitly supporting, violent rebellion. Decentralization may not be the easiest way to govern, but it is the
most empowering because everyone has a stake in the system.
Iraq is led today by a government of national unity. All the major political blocs in
parliament are represented at the cabinet level. This is the antithesis of the kind of
single-party government that we endured under Saddam Hussein. We may have
our differences, but we are resolving them through dialogue and understanding
within our constitutional institution. While inclusiveness and dialogue may not be
the speediest ways to make decisions, they are the best ways to ensure that deci-
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sions are accepted across ethnic, regional, and religious lines.
International Support
Complementing our domestic outreach, we have called on the international community, including the United States, the European Union and the Arab League, to
tackle the transnational nature of terrorism.
Much of our effort has focused on working with our neighbors to find a just end to
the civil war in neighboring Syria, which has had a direct impact on our security. We
have insisted from the very beginning of the conflict that only a negotiated political
settlement can offer hope for ending the cycle of violence, and we have fully supported the United Nations' initiatives, such as the Geneva process, which provides
a framework for talks between the Syrian government and the opposition.
We are also cooperating closely with Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and other
countries in the region to address the crisis in Syria. Such cooperation is critical to
demonstrating moderate Arab solidarity and countering growing sectarian polarization. In the face of extremism and terrorism, we need an axis of moderation with
our Arab brothers.
Our region requires a concerted effort to cut off regional sources of funding that
are sustaining al Qaeda and other extremist groups. We also need to address the
worrying rise of recruitment by jihadists who incite hatred and sectarianism by
glamorizing their evil acts of violence. Throughout the Middle East, governments
and civil society need to be more vocal in countering the sectarian narrative of jihadists who seek to pit the people of our region against each other.
Iraq is reaching out diplomatically to all our neighbors in order to build strong relations and resolve any outstanding political issues, which will involve tackling the
sources of regional instability upon which al Qaeda thrives. Turning the page from
the previous regime, we have a policy of noninterference in our neighbors' affairs.
We do not want to have differences with any country in the region -- not Turkey,
not Saudi Arabia, not Iran, and not Syria.
And our policy is working. Under Saddam, Iraq was isolated internationally and regionally. Today, 17 nations from the Middle East and North Africa have embassies
in Iraq, and we have good relations with almost all Arab countries.
Where we still have disagreements, we are moving forward to resolve them
through constructive dialogue. We are resolving our outstanding issues with Kuwait
-- a legacy of the former regime. The recent official visit to Baghdad by the prime
minister of Kuwait and the restoration of air travel for the first time in 23 years are
significant developments in resolving our differences. As a consequence of our improved relations with Kuwait, the U.N. Security Council has lifted the crippling sanctions against our country. Our diplomatic progress is also reflected in our having
hosted the Arab League summit in Baghdad in March 2012.
Today our neighbors see us as the partner that we are, not the pariah that Saddam
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Hussein once was.
Economic Development
Economic development dampens support for extremist violence by offering better
lives for all our people and opportunities for the young men targeted by extremists
for recruitment. On Saturday, Feb. 15, I visited Anbar and discussed with local
council officials and tribal leaders our plan to defeat terrorism and rebuild the province. We agreed to integrate some 10,000 tribal fighters into the local security
forces and announced plans to allocate a multimillion-dollar reconstruction package for Anbar in this year's federal budget. By providing jobs and stimulating investment, we can begin to undo the damage that has been inflicted upon our people in
Anbar by terrorists.
On the national level, we have made significant strides in bolstering our economy.
The Economist Intelligence Unit recently listed Iraq as one of the 10 countries
whose economies are expected to grow the most in 2014.
On the energy front, our oil production has increased by 50 percent since 2005.
And it is poised to grow further: We produced 3.2 million barrels a day last year
and expect to increase our oil production to 4.5 million barrels per day by the end
of 2014 -- and then to 9 million barrels per day by 2020.
This translates into $5 trillion in oil revenue for the Iraqi government through 2035,
and we are investing this money in our people, our communities, and our infrastructure. We are rebuilding roads, bridges, highways, railroads, and airports. We
are restoring our electric power, water supply, and sanitation systems. And we are
improving our schools and health-care facilities.
Americans can provide what our nation needs through investment and trade, not
charity and aid. Iraqis want to partner with every segment of society -- not only the
government, but also the business sector.
Iraq offers American companies tremendous opportunities to design and build
schools, bridges, highways, hospitals, water treatment facilities, telecommunications systems -- and much more.
These investments are potentially lucrative and play an important role in our strategic plan to fight terrorism and promote reconciliation. Major American companies, including Citibank, Ford, Boeing, and General Electric are doing business with
Iraq, and we hope that many more will seize the opportunities of our expanding
economy. Iraq's recent purchases from American companies have soared into the
billions of dollars -- notably 41 Boeing planes, contracts with General Electric to rehabilitate our power grid, and purchases of military hardware to equip the Iraqi security forces. These are just a sign of our potential as a partner and market.
Our determination to build a united and prosperous Iraq that is a beacon of stability and democracy in the region has not waned. The threat of al Qaeda has rallied
Iraqis behind our security forces at this crucial historic moment.
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Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much in our common struggle against our
common enemy -- terrorism. With a comprehensive strategy against violent extremism, we are determined to build an Iraqi future worthy of our shared sacrifices.
Source: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/
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Ukraine
With President’s Departure, Ukraine Looks Toward a Murky Future
FEB. 22, 2014
Launch media viewer
Deputies entered the Parliament building in Kiev. President Viktor F. Yanukovych
fled the capital, taking with him any trace of a peace deal that had sought to freeze
Ukraine’s tumult. Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
KIEV, Ukraine — As ranks of riot police officers, Interior Ministry troops and even
the president vanished Saturday from the capital, Ukraine slipped, with ofteneerie calm after months of tumultuous protests and a week of bloody mayhem,
into the hands of revolution.
Gone along with President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who had fled to eastern Ukraine,
was any trace of a Friday peace deal that had sought to freeze the country’s tumult by trimming the powers of the president while allowing him to stay in office
until the end of the year.
At the president’s mist-shrouded residential compound just outside the capital in
Mezhgorye, Sergey Belaus, a major in Ukraine’s State Protection service, said he
had handed over control of Mr. Yanukovych’s living quarters and his tennis court
to the head of a small band of antigovernment militants at 9 a.m.
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“He came. We talked, and we agreed that he would now be in charge,” said Mr.
Belaus, recounting that helicopters and cars had fled the compound, on a bluff
overlooking the Dnieper River, overnight. He said he did not know where Mr.
Yanukovych had gone.
n A New Order in Ukraine
Also unknown is what now fills the vacuum left by Mr. Yanukovych’s departure:
perhaps an orderly new leadership headed by established opposition parties, perhaps a chaotic cacophony of voices driven by the passions of the street or, most
ominously of all, perhaps the establishment of two or more rival power centers
pushing the fractured nation into a Yugoslav-style disintegration.
Fear of the establishment of rival power centers gained ground on Saturday when
Mr. Yanukovych, having left the capital, popped up on television from Kharkiv, a
Russian-speaking and strongly pro-Russian city in the east of the country near the
Russian border. He said he had not resigned, had no plans to do so and was consulting with supporters in the east about what to do next.
“I am a legitimately elected president,” he said defiantly. “What is happening today, mostly, it is vandalism, banditism, and a coup d’état.”Kharkiv has strong ties to
Russia. Early Soviet leaders — doubtful of Kiev’s loyalty, fearful of Ukrainianspeaking regions farther west but determined to anchor Ukraine under Moscow’s
control — chose Kharkiv as the capital of their newly established Ukrainian Soviet
Socialist Republic, a nominally autonomous entity but entirely controlled by Moscow.
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Southern Ukraine, especially the region of Crimea, also has strong ties to Russia.
Pro-Russian politicians in Crimea have been demanding autonomy from Kiev and
even “protection” for their aspirations from Moscow, which has a large military
presence in the Black Sea region, notably in Sevastopol, a port city with a huge Russian naval base.
If Mr. Yanukovych sought to rally the east of Ukraine to his side, the west of the
country, long a bastion of fierce Ukrainian nationalism, would almost certainly respond by mobilizing its own forces to protect the idea of a single nation.
All this presents an unwelcome distraction for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia,
who has been busy at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi trying to present a softer,
friendlier image of his country to a suspicious world. But, with the Olympics set to
end on Sunday, Mr. Putin will no doubt turn all his attention to a drama that has
driven a key Russian ally from Kiev and now threatens to install a new government
dominated by people Moscow has characterized as extremists, terrorists and even
Nazis.
The east-west divide has bedeviled Ukraine since it first emerged as an independent state after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. In each election since, voters
have split along a line running roughly through the middle of the country.
But these divisions have grown into a gaping chasm in recent months as the Ukrainian-speaking west has rallied unambiguously behind protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square while many in the east, their views shaped in part by doom-laden reports on widely watched Russian television, have recoiled in horror at what they
saw as an attempt to oust a legitimate, democratically elected leader viewed as
one of their own.
Mr. Yanukovych built his political career in Donetsk, an eastern coal-mining and industrial center whose bleak Soviet-era urban landscape is a world away from the
elegant and proudly European splendor of western cities like Lviv.
These stark divisions, rooted in history, language and culture, have put Ukraine on
a fault line that has shaped not only the country’s domestic politics but also a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West at the heart of Ukraine’s current
tumult. The protests in Independence Square began in November after Mr.
Yanukovych rejected a sweeping trade and political deal with the European Union
and turned to Moscow for help.
Culturally and Politically Divided
Ukraine’s political split reflects a deeper cultural divide in the country. In the 2010
presidential election, the opposition won in all of Ukraine’s western provinces,
where most people speak Ukrainian rather than Russian and many call for deeper
economic and political ties with Europe.
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Looming over this struggle, and over the prospects of survival for whatever government emerges in Kiev, is a stark question: Who will help fill the depleted coffers of a country on the brink of bankruptcy and crippled by arguably one of the
most troubled economies in the world?
Russia was willing back in December, offering $15 billion and cheap natural gas.
But the price Moscow exacted in return, a future in the Russian orbit, only inflamed the protests. A rejection of Russian aid seems to have been one of the conditions set by European diplomats who helped mediate the now-moribund political deal on Friday between Mr. Yanukovych and three opposition leaders.
Russia’s envoy at the talks, unlike the Europeans, refused to sign the final agreement. And while Washington and European capitals cheered the accord as a
breakthrough that could end a lethal spiral of violence, Moscow raised niggling
legal points about constitutional changes.
Europe’s determination to force a deal was captured by a television camera that
filmed Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, giving a blunt warning to opposition leaders. “If you don’t support this, you will have martial law, the army,”
Mr. Sikorski said as he hurried out of a room at the presidential administration.
“You’ll all be dead.”
With protesters now in control of the presidential compound in Mezhgorye and
the government district of Kiev, the deal lies in ruins. It is now Mr. Yanukovych
who risks being killed if he shows his face in Kiev. But the economic mess that
drove much of the anger against him remains, only now it is Europe and America
that must help Ukraine.
The agreement signed Friday did not explicitly reject money from Russia, but
Europe and the United States have been leaning heavily on Kiev to accept that
only a Western aid package led by the International Monetary Fund can rescue
Ukraine’s economy.
“The United States view — and I believe this view is shared by our European allies
and partners — is that the only viable route back to sustainable economic health
for Ukraine goes through the I.M.F.,” said a senior state department official speaking on the condition of anonymity on Friday.
To this point, however, neither Washington nor Brussels has figured out how exactly to come to the aid of one of the most corrupt and inefficient economies in
the world without being dragged into the sinkhole with it.
“Nobody wants to end up owning all the problems that Ukraine faces,” said Mark
Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “The country is
bankrupt, it has a terrible, broken system of government and insane levels of corruption.”
With this in mind, Europe and the United States have largely subcontracted the
job to the I.M.F., which has been negotiating with Kiev for months over an aid
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package that, unlike the money offered by Moscow, has numerous strings attached, notably requirements that Ukraine scythe a thicket of bureaucratic regulations and cut subsidies that keep domestic energy prices low — and cripple the
government’s finances.
American and European officials have indicated that the I.M.F. might be ready to
relax conditions that, if imposed on Ukraine’s new government, would only stoke
public anger and jeopardize the survival of what is likely to be a very fragile and
fractious leadership.
After three months of chanting “bandits out,” Ukraine’s protesters appear to have
finally achieved their goal. But whoever now comes in will inherit a country bereft
of money, political consensus, a unifying culture and even rudimentary agreement
among citizens on what their nation is.
http://www.nytimes.com/
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USA
What Might Terrorists Do Next?
February 24, 2014
The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks created an atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty. No one knew how many more large-scale attacks were in the pipeline. Might
more Mohammad Attas already be in the country making the final preparations for
new 9/11s? Were armies of terrorist “sleepers” awaiting their wakeup call?
Over the last dozen years, would-be terrorists plotted to strike the American homeland with bombs, bullets, poisons and fire, targeting transportation venues, sporting events, financial institutions, any place that offered the potential for a high
body count. For all their plotting, though, only a few domestic terrorists have succeeded in striking on U.S. soil since 2001. America’s counterterrorism defense was
crafted with attention to past terrorist behavior and critical thinking about what
might be ahead.
America’s evolving counterterrorism regimen included a fundamental shift in law
enforcement. Instead of investigating attacks after they took place – a dissatisfying
response to terrorists trying to kill thousands – investigators were pushed to uncover and thwart terrorist attacks before they occurred.
Post-9/11
If there is one lesson America learned about counterterrorism on 9/11, it’s that the
coming attack may look nothing like those that preceded it.
Post-9/11, the focus of analysis shifted from threat-based to vulnerability-based
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assessments. Instead of starting with what we knew about terrorists’ intentions
and capabilities, the traditional starting point for assessing risk, analysts started
with hypothetical vulnerabilities. Attacks on the power grid, transportation, food
processing, nuclear reactors, were among the worst-case hypotheticals considered.
There were alarming alerts, but no more 9/11s, no army of sleepers. Domestic intelligence efforts, while still not optimal, have thus far proved largely successful. Of
43 jihadist terrorist plots in the U.S. since 9/11, the FBI and local police have uncovered and thwarted all but four of them – two attacks by lone gunmen, a failed attempt to detonate a bomb in New York’s Times Square and the 2013 bombing at
the Boston Marathon.
Al Qaeda’s intense online campaign to inspire homegrown terrorists to action mustered a tiny turnout. Its message of armed jihad against the West gained little traction among America’s Muslims. Since 9/11, fewer than 300 persons have been arrested for providing material support to jihadist groups, attempting to join jihadist
fronts, or more seriously, plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States.
Few resembled the “lone wolves” portrayed in the news media. Most were barely
competent although still dangerous.
Still a Threat
But terrorism will continue to be a threat. Unrelenting pursuit of al Qaeda’s leaders
has degraded its operational capabilities but not dented its determination. The
spread of its ideology and its establishment of new footholds in Africa and the Middle East demonstrate al Qaeda’s resiliency and guarantee new generations of terrorists to continue its global terrorist campaign. And al Qaeda is not the only terrorist threat.
Since 9/11, would-be terrorists contemplated crashing a hijacked airliner into an
urban area at least seven times. New security measures make that more difficult,
but terrorists continue to be obsessed with sabotaging commercial airliners. Authorities also worry about commercial airliners being shot down with missiles –
there have been a few attempts. Meanwhile, terrorists have bombed or plotted to
bomb airports. They have targeted subways, trains, and stations and have attempted to derail speeding passenger trains. For terrorists seeking high body
counts, surface transportation targets are easily accessible and offer crowds of
people in confined environments.
Most planned attacks involved bombings, though suicide bombings have rarely
been contemplated. Most focused on “soft” targets that offered easy access. New
security measures hopefully have made it more difficult for local terrorists to assemble the large vehicle bombs seen in conflict zones abroad, but terrorists can
fabricate smaller devices.
Online extremist publications urge terrorists to exploit the more accessible weapon
of fire. Terrorists also have thought about releasing poison gas or dispersing home-
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made ricin in crowded public places.
Conventional explosives may cause more casualties, but chemical, biological, or
radiological attacks would cause more alarm and create costly cleanups.
Terrorists have plotted the assassination of government officials, but security officials worry most about terrorists killing and seizing hostages at shopping malls,
hotels or other public places as we saw in Mumbai and recently in Nairobi.
But many of the terrorist plots that come to light today are nothing more than
ambitious fantasies.
No one can predict with any certainty what terrorists might do next. However,
looking back at their recent attacks, attempts, and interrupted plots gives us an
idea of what they are thinking about.
This is useful, though it should not get in the way of creative thinking. If there is
one lesson America learned about counterterrorism on 9/11, it’s that the coming
attack may look nothing like those that preceded it.
Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/
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Yemen
Yemeni ‘global terrorist’ says he has counterterrorism advice for
Washington
Feb 17,2014
SANAA, Yemen — Abd alWahhab al-Humayqani has
some advice for Washington.
The United States is doing
more to stoke terrorism, here
in the heartland of al-Qaeda’s
most active franchise, than to
defeat it, he says. What the
United States ought to do, he
argues, is strengthen Yemen’s
state institutions — rather
than create enemies by carrying out drone strikes.
“The U.S. can protect itself by
cooperating directly with local
authorities,” he said in an interview in Yemen’s capital.
Take it from a man who might
know.
In December, the U.S. Treasury Department branded Humayqani, 42, a specially
designated global terrorist, freezing his assets and sanctioning anyone who does
business with him.
The Treasury accused Humayqani of using his network of Yemen-based charities to
funnel money to al-Qaeda, placing him “at the center of global support networks
that fund and facilitate terrorism.” The Treasury said that as of 2012, Humayqani
was “an important figure” within one of the terrorist group’s most dangerous
wings, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and that he had helped to orchestrate
violent attacks on government targets and to recruit fighters.
Humayqani denies all of it. He said his charities benefit “orphans, mosques and
poor families,” not al-Qaeda. “My personal stance is against al-Qaeda operations,
because they kill outside the law,” he said.
It may be no surprise that a person who is the subject of sanctions dismisses the
charges against him.
But what makes Humayqani’s case slightly more puzzling, and potentially awkward
for the United States, is that he says he is willing to meet with U.S. officials — he
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claims to have requested a meeting at the U.S. embassy; the embassy declined to
comment — and even face a court of law.
“I don’t have any objections to going on trial here in Yemen to defend myself
against any charges — even if it’s from the American Treasury,” he said, speaking in
the lobby of a five- star hotel that is frequented by politicians and diplomats.
His life is hardly that of a terrorist, he said.
“I’m the secretary general of a political party, and I live here in Sanaa,” he said, as
two politicians from another party stopped to greet him with kisses. “I’m a member
of the National Dialogue,” he added, referring to a partially U.S.-sponsored effort to
bridge divides among Yemeni political parties, tribes and activists.
An uncomfortable disconnect
Humayqani’s open challenge to the U.S. government highlights an uncomfortable
disconnect between Washington and a government that it depends on for local intelligence and cooperation in its global war on terrorism.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has deep roots in this impoverished corner of the Arab world. AQAP has carried out at least two failed attacks on U.S. soil
in recent years, and U.S. intelligence officials say they have thwarted others, including a plot in August that shut down embassies across the region. The CIA and the
Pentagon have collectively carried out dozens of covert airstrikes against terrorism
suspects here over the past five years, according to the Long War Journal and other
monitoring groups that track the strikes.
But Yemen’s government has long been a fickle partner, pledging allegiance to
Washington in its war on terrorism while simultaneously appeasing local anger over
drone strikes by paying compensation to some victims. Critics here also accuse
some powerful politicians, including former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, of cultivating the country’s homegrown jihadists.
In December, the Yemeni government openly took issue with its American allies
over Humayqani.
“Yemenis were surprised . . . that a national religious, academic and political figure .
. .was, without any basis, placed on a list of terror supporters,” Yemen’s Ministry of
Human Rights said in a statement.
Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference also condemned the charges.
Humayqani, who said he has met with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi multiple times since the Treasury imposed its sanctions, was an active participant in the
National Dialogue, which concluded in January. But the Treasury says Humayqani’s
Rashad Union political party is a front for al-Qaeda recruitment.
Humayqani counters that if the United States knows anything about terrorists, it
knows that al-Qaeda doesn’t believe in participatory politics. Al-Qaeda, he said,
“believes in jihad as a means to establishing an Islamic state, and it believes that
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joining the political arena is a form of infidelity, or a non-Muslim goal.”
Humayqani, who wore a string of pearl prayer beads around his traditional Yemeni
dagger, is a smooth operator who knows he has powerful local allies. He smiled
during the interview and expounded on what sounded like well-honed talking
points — discussion, national reconciliation, peace and justice.
“One of our party’s goals is to cooperate with the United States within the framework of justice and forgiveness, mutual interests, benefits, mercy and peace,” he
said, beaming.
Whether Humayqani is grandstanding or telling the truth, his words — and very
public presence in the Yemeni capital — may leave Washington on awkward footing.
Legal scholars say the Obama administration has not provided a specific definition
for a direct and “imminent” threat to U.S. citizens — a label that would qualify a
person to become a target for death or capture in Yemen, Pakistan or Somalia.
Legal experts say the category of specially designated global terrorist, as Humayqani is described, is strictly a financial classification. But the Treasury’s depiction of
Humayqani’s activities in al-Qaeda — as more than simply a financier — also raise
the possibility that he could find himself on a U.S. kill list, said Ashley Deeks, a University of Virginia law professor and former legal adviser to the State Department.
Humayqani, who appeared relaxed, confident — even a little smug, said he is not
too worried.
Surely the U.S. Treasury will reverse its decision, he said. In the meantime, he suggested that the U.S. government consider an alternative counterterrorism policy.
“Support the Yemeni government through a national project that would face alQaeda,” he said. Cease drone strikes and develop a reconciliation plan whereby
militants would turn in their weapons. But he acknowledged it would not be so simple.
“Not all of them will give up their weapons. But this way you give those who are
willing to leave al-Qaeda a chance to become a citizen again and live a normal life.
Those who don’t will lose the public’s sympathy,” he said.
Separately, he said, he would be “very grateful” if the United States would drop its
charges. “It has affected me financially and psychologically.”
He smiled.
Washington Post
http://yemenonline.info/news-3889.html
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In Yemen, a woman's life entangled with Al Qaeda
SANAA: Abeer al-Hassani's ex-husband was famed for his beautiful voice.
He used it, she says, singing poetic hymns to martyrdom and jihad to try to draw
youth from their neighbourhood of the Yemeni capital into joining Al Qaeda.
He sang at weddings of fellow members of the terror group, and held discussions
with young men at local mosques.
''One woman complained to me that her son wanted to go fight in Iraq after speaking with him,'' the 25-year-old Al Hassani recalled in an interview with the Associated Press.
For most of her young life, Al Hassani has been entangled with Al Qaeda through
family bonds she has tried to shake off.
Three of her brothers became fighters for the group, and all three are now dead,
two of them killed by US drone strikes on consecutive days in January 2013.
Her story provides a rare look into one of the most dangerous branches of the terror network, which has withstood successive blows and yet continues to thrive.
It has moved to fueling conflict elsewhere in the region, sending fighters and expertise to Syria and to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Her ex-husband, Omar Al Hebishi, backed up his recruiting with cash.
During their four-year marriage, she says, he received large bank transfers or cash
delivered overland from Saudi Arabia — money, he told her, that was to support
the families of ''martyrs.''
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She and Al Hebishi divorced in 2010.
A month ago, he left for Syria to fight alongside Al Qaeda — inspired extremists —
but not before trying to recruit the older of their two sons, 8-year-old Aws, to come
with him by showing the boy videos of Al Qaeda fighters jogging and swimming.
''Mom, I want to go because they have a swimming pool,'' Aws told her, Al Hassani
said.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemen branch is known, has been hit
hard in the past few years.
A US — backed government offensive in 2012 drove it out of southern cities that it
seized a year earlier.
Relentless US drone strikes have killed several senior figures and dozens of lowerlevel fighters, keeping the group on the run.
Still, several Yemeni security officials say Al Qaeda has spread to operate in every
province of the country of more than 25 million.
Al Qaeda's branch demonstrated its capabilities with a sophisticated and brutal attack in December on the Defense Ministry in the capital, Sanaa, that killed more
than 50 people.
The group benefits from Yemen's political instability since the ouster of longtime
President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
While his replacement Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is battling the group, Saleh's loyalists still infusing security and intelligence agencies have quietly backed Al Qaeda
fighters to keep the government unstable, the officials told the AP.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to
the press.
''The former regime forged a close relationship with Al Qaeda,'' said Fares alSaggaf, an adviser to Hadi.
In the southern province of Abyan ''entire army camps have been handed over to
Al Qaeda.''
Al Saggaf said Al Qaeda is on the ropes, in large part due to the drone strikes.
He said sympathy for the group has fallen, particularly after the December attack,
during which fighters broke into a hospital inside the Defense Ministry complex
and killed patients, doctors and nurses.
Hadi ordered security camera footage of the bloodshed released to the public, a
move Al Saggaf said ''dealt the image of Al Qaeda a serious blow.''
But Al Hassani's tale illustrates the pull that Al Qaeda has in a society where poverty is rife, the population is deeply conservative and many resent a corrupt government and abuses by security forces.
''I can guarantee you that my two sons, Aws and Hamza, will follow in the footsteps
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of their father if we stay in Yemen,'' Al Hassani said.
''We need to get out of Yemen.''
Diminutive and soft-spoken, wearing an enveloping black niqab veil and robes that
leave only her large dark eyes visible, Al Hassani has lived under the full weight of
Yemen's patriarchal society.
She was first married off at the age of 15, but she kept running away from her husband, so they divorced after only a month.
Soon after, her older brother Bandar brought home a new husband for her — AlHebishi, a man 20 years her senior.
Al-Hebishi, known by his is the renowned in extremist circles as a ''munshid,'' or
singer of Islamic hymns and anthems.
His voice is often heard singing in Al Qaeda propaganda videos showing footage
from their attacks and of martyrs.
The Yemeni security officials confirmed to AP that he works in the media branch of
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
A veteran jihadi who fought in Bosnia in the 1990s, he was a secretive man who
didn't like having his picture taken, Al Hassani said.
She showed one of the few photos she has of him — their wedding picture, where
he stands grim-faced.
''He was unhappy my mother was photographing him,'' she said.
''He was so courteous and convincing when he spoke to the teenagers he wanted
to recruit," said Al Hassani.
In one case, she said, he used the money he received to buy a car and house for a
Yemeni who lost both his legs while fighting alongside miltiants in Iraq, she said.
At home, she said, he was abusive, striking her and the children.
After their divorce, her brothers forced her at one point to hand custody of their
sons to Al Hebishi.
During the time they were with him, Al Hebishi told her he burned matches on
their younger son, Hamza, as part of his toilet training, Al Hassani said, showing
photos of her son with the burns.
She said she received word two weeks ago that her ex-husband was now in Syria.
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