Sunday, October 15, 2017

Keep Off Kenyan Affairs, Uhuru Tells Foreign Powers
MONDAY OCTOBER 16 2017
Kenya Daily Nation
   
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto arrive at Karatina Stadium in Nyeri on October 15, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
The Head of State said the country will not allow dialogue between him and Mr Odinga spearheaded by the foreign countries.

He also blamed Mr Odinga for demonstrations and destruction of property in various parts of the country, saying any person involved in protests must be dealt with accordingly.

Mr Ruto accused Mr Odinga of begging the international community to force mediation talks to form a coalition government.

By NATION TEAM

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have fired a warning shot to foreign countries, accusing them of trying to interfere with Kenya’s affairs.

Speaking  during political rallies in Nyahururu and Karatina, the two said the country was not in a crisis to deserve interference by the foreign countries.

“I want to tell the international community that there is no problem in Kenya. The only problem we have is one man called Raila Odinga (Nasa leader),” said President Kenyatta.

The Head of State said the country will not allow dialogue between him and Mr Odinga spearheaded by the foreign countries.

While maintaining that Kenya was a sovereign state, he said: “We will not allow wazungu (whites) to come and tell us what to do. If they come to Kenya, let them come as tourists. Let them go to Maasai Mara, come to Laikipia and other places, but they should not come here and tell us what to do,” said President Kenyatta.

DEMONSTRATION

He also blamed Mr Odinga for demonstrations and destruction of property in various parts of the country, saying any person involved in protests must be dealt with accordingly. The President appealed to voters in the county to turn up in large numbers for the October 26 repeat election and cast their votes.

Mr Ruto accused Mr Odinga of begging the international community to force mediation talks to form a coalition government.

“He is crying before the foreign countries so that they can sympathise with him and set up a team that will oversee mediation. But even if he goes to Europe, Washington, pass through Mexico or go to Casablanca, there will be no nusu mkate,” said Mr Ruto.

 The DP told Mr Odinga to call off demonstrations, stop intimidations and threats against IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba, and instead prepare for the elections.

SWEAR IN

 “If as Jubilee we wanted to swear in Mr Kenyatta as President, we could have done so, but we never wanted to plunge the country into chaos because we are peace lovers. So we decided to go back to the ballot. Let him also call off demos, stop side shows and prepare for the election,” added the DP.

Speaking earlier in Karatina, President Kenyatta ruled out sharing power with the opposition.

The Head of State and his deputy said Mr Odinga was a protégé of western countries.

The President condemned a trip to the UK by Mr Odinga, saying the era of being ruled by Western countries is over.

He also defended police from claims of using excessive force on demonstrators who were holding anti-IEBC protests.

DEMOS

“The Constitution allows for peaceful demonstrations but you cannot call them peaceful demos when you send your men to stone police stations. What do you expect to find when you storm a police station?” asked the President.

Mr Ruto told Mr Odinga to respect the Constitution and the people of Kenya, saying he was the one who called for a repeat of the presidential election, and he should not dictate to  Kenyans not to participate in the polls.

Responding to Mr Odinga’s statement that he brokered the 2008 coalition government, the DP said he would not allow it again because the Nasa leader “misbehaved and gave former President Mwai Kibaki a hard time”.

“I helped him get the coalition deal but he misbehaved, always complaining about issues like half a carpet. This time there will be no power-sharing deal,” Mr Ruto said. During the rally, one person was injured after a building collapsed.

 Reported by Stephen Munyiri, Steve Njuguna and Nicholas Komu 
Raila: Why I Took London Trip After Election Pullout
MONDAY OCTOBER 16 2017
Kenya Daily Nation
   
Nasa leader Raila Odinga addresses a rally at Mama Ngina Drive in Mombasa, yesterday. He denied claims that he is pushing for a power-sharing deal. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
Mr Odinga rejected claims that he was fighting for a power-sharing deal with Jubilee and vowed to continue with his “No reforms; No elections” campaign.
Mr Odinga, who arrived in the country from the UK on Sunday morning, denied allegations that his mission in London was to beg the international community to help him ascend to power.
Mr Mudavadi said Kenyans had no confidence in IEBC as currently constituted, while Mr Wetang’ula said justice is the foundation of peace and success.
The President said Mr Odinga was portraying the country’s democracy as rotten to attract the attention of the international community.

By LUCAS BARASA

By MOHAMED AHMED

Nasa leader Raila Odinga on Sunday dismissed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s claims that the opposition was seeking the intervention of foreign countries in the election stalemate, reiterating that he was not interested in sharing power.

Mr Odinga rejected claims that he was fighting for a power-sharing deal with Jubilee and vowed to continue with his “No reforms; No elections” campaign which will be intensified from Monday, with daily street demonstrations.

The former Prime Minister took a swipe at Deputy President William Ruto, saying he pushed for a coalition government in the aftermath of the December 2007 post election violence.

Mr Odinga, who arrived in the country from the UK on Sunday morning, denied allegations that his mission in London was to beg the international community to help him ascend to power. He had toured London for a break after hectic campaigns and to tell the world the truth about Kenya.

While the Jubilee administration was using ambassadors to spread “propaganda,”’ about the country, Mr Odinga said he had to go and set the record straight in front of an international audience.

KNEEL DOWN

“I arrived today (Sunday) morning from UK. Others are saying I had gone to kneel down to the international community so that they can come to mediate on the political crisis in the country. That is not true,” he said at the Neno Evangelical Church in Tudor, Mombasa, before addressing a rally at Mama Ngina Grounds.

He charged that President Kenyatta was directing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) whose chairman Wafula Chebukati was sympathetic to Jubilee to protect his job.  He likened the President to Shylock in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and Mr Chebukati to the merchant.

Mr Odinga was with co-principals Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and 26 MPs. He said Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka was in Germany.

He urged his supporters to continue with protests to push for electoral reform changes from Monday to Friday.

“I am not interested in nusu mkate,  we need full boflo (bread), (I’m not interested in sharing power. I want to be fully in charge),” said Mr Odinga.

RIGGING

With the crowd chanting: “Uhuru Must Go,” Mr Odinga said his votes were altered in Nairobi to show that President Kenyatta had received more votes in Mombasa than he did in 2013.

“Shame on him,” Mr Odinga said in reference to the alleged rigging.

The Nasa leader said the Supreme Court unearthed irregularities in the August election and that all Nasa was interested in was seeing the illegalities sorted out.

He said before President Kenyatta  makes good his threat to punish the Supreme Court judges for nullifying his victory, Kenyans would teach him a lesson.

If IEBC had opened its servers as ordered by the court, he would have been declared the election winner, he said, adding: “That is why we came out with irreducible minimum conditions for IEBC, ” he said.

Dismissing the defection of former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar to Jubilee as inconsequential, Mr Odinga thanked Mombasa residents for voting overwhelmingly for Nasa in the August vote.

POWER

Mr Mudavadi said Kenyans had no confidence in IEBC as currently constituted, while Mr Wetang’ula said justice is the foundation of peace and success. “Even a one-year-old baby will cry if denied justice,” he said.

Mr Wetang’ula also denied Nasa was begging the international community to help the opposition ascend to power.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho dismissed the defections of some Nasa leaders to Jubilee  as inconsequential, saying a majority of ordinary Kenyans were firmly behind the opposition.

Mr Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi led the crowd in chanting: “No reforms. No elections”.

Coast Parliamentary Group chairman Suleiman Dori asked coast residents not to pay taxes to the national government just as President Kenyatta had asked Kongowea traders not to pay to the county.
He said Coast leaders would push for secession of the region if Mr Odinga does not become president.

STATE HOUSE

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said President Kenyatta should be kicked out of State House if he doesn’t leave by November and that Nasa will hold major demonstrations on October 26.

Earlier at the church, Bishop Robert Wafula was cheered when he prayed for Mr Odinga to succeed in his quest for presidency.

Mr Odinga also “accepted Jesus Christ as his personal saviour,” by repeating a prayer after the bishop.

While campaigning in Kenol town in Murang’a town on Saturday, President Kenyatta said the country does not need mediators since it is not in a crisis.

ROTTEN

The President said Mr Odinga was portraying the country’s democracy as rotten to attract the attention of the international community but he insisted that the county will not be ruled by foreigners.

“We told you before that he never wanted an election and he still does not want one that’s why he is busy kneeling before the white man claiming that the country is at war,” said the President. Mr Odinga was in London to speak about democracy and justice at Chatham House.

Among prominent opposition leaders who ditched Nasa after losing the August 8 elections are Mr Omar, former Taita-Taveta Governor John Mruttu and former Likoni MP Suleiman Shakombo.
Why Group Wants ICC to Probe Raila and Kalonzo
MONDAY OCTOBER 16 2017
Kenya Daily Nation

Nasa leader Raila Odinga addresses the press at his office in Nairobi on June 19, 2017. A lobby group wants Mr Odinga investigated by the ICC following comments he made about land in Kajiado County during his campaigns in June PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
The NGO has compiled the instances its says the two committed the crimes.
Among the incidents is the statement made in Kajiado in June during the campaigns before the General Election whose video recording would later go viral and become the subject of heated political debate.
Arguing that Nasa wanted to get the votes of the Maasai during the General Election, the petitioners argue that the plan was to incite an attack against non-Maasais in Kajiado on the basis that they have invaded land.

By JOHN NGIRACHU

Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s controversial remarks over land ownership in Kajiado in June is one of the reasons a lobby has petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute him.

The petition, filed by the International Policy Group through Canadian lawyer David Jacobs and signed by the NGO’s chairman Dr Kenneth Otieno Orengo and the secretary Martin Nkari seeks to have the ICC to investigate Mr Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka for incitement to commit 12 crimes against humanity.

The NGO has compiled the instances its says the two committed the crimes.

Among the incidents is the statement made in Kajiado in June during the campaigns before the General Election whose video recording would later go viral and become the subject of heated political debate.

VIOLENCE

The petitioners say: “We have strong grounds to assert that Raila Amolo Odinga, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka and their cohorts in Nasa are planning to plunge Kenya into violence in pursuit of political power.”

They argue that given their political status as former Prime Minister and former Vice-President, it is unlikely the former presidential candidate and running mate would be brought to book in Kenya.

“Their global networks as well as political clout in Kenya mean that any cases against them would likely lead to violence from their now radicalised Nasa supporters,” they add.

This, they say, leaves the ICC as the only credible available means of dealing with the two.

“There is reasonable basis to believe that Raila Amolo Odinga and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, as principal conspirators and part of a criminal organisation and enterprise referred to as Nasa, have intended to incite and instigate the crimes of murder, torture, persecution, forceful evictions, rape and damage to public and private property of innocent Kenyan citizens and residents who do not belong to the Maasai tribe in Kajiado County,” the petitioners say.

VOTES

Arguing that Nasa wanted to get the votes of the Maasai during the General Election, the petitioners argue that the plan was to incite an attack against non-Maasais in Kajiado on the basis that they have invaded land.

“As a result of these inflammatory statements by Mr Odinga, leaflets asking the non-indigenous communities to leave the county or be forcibly evicted were spread across the county,” Dr Orengo and Mr Nkari say.

The petition to the ICC mirrors events in 2008 when in the thick of the violence that followed the election, the Opposition, ODM, and the ruling party, PNU, both sought the intervention of the Hague-based court.

Last week, the International Policy Group took out full page advertisement in the top dailies to explain its support for the controversial bill to change the law on elections.

It has also published several pro-government reports in the past and generally leans towards the government.
Somalia Holds National Day of Mourning
SUNDAY OCTOBER 15 2017
   
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed donates blood at Mogadishu’s Erdogan Hospital on October 15, 2017 to help victims of an explosion. PHOTO | ABDULKADIR KHALIF | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
President Mohamed visited scene at Zoppe then went to various medical facilities to check on the injured.

By ABDULKAIDR KHALIF
Kenya Daily Nation

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared three days of mourning, following a deadly explosion in Mogadishu on Saturday.

President Mohamed ordered the national flag to be flown at half-mast in honour of those killed after a truck bomb exploded at a busy junction.

The five kilometre junction is in Hodan District, a commercial part in the city.

CASUALTIES

The number of casualties has not yet been established.

President Mohamed visited scene at Zoppe then went to various medical facilities to check on the injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Al-Shabaab terrorists carry out frequent bombings in the country.
'Casualties' as Huge Truck Bomb Rocks Mogadishu
SATURDAY OCTOBER 14 2017
   
Mogadishu
Thick smoke rises above the Somali's capital Mogadishu, following an explosion at Zoppe on October 14, 2017. PHOTO | ABDULKADIR KHALIF | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
Witnesses said the blast badly damaged a nearby hotel and left scenes of devastation on the busy road.

By AFP

MOGADISHU

A car bomb exploded outside a hotel at a busy junction in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday, with officials and witnesses fearing many casualties from the unusually large blast.

"There was a huge blast caused by a truck loaded with explosives. It went off at the entrance of a hotel alongside the K5 intersection," security official Mohamed Adan said.

"There are casualties, both death and injuries, but we don't have details yet."

SHABAAB

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Al-Qaeda aligned Al-Shabaab carries out frequent suicide bombings in the capital and elsewhere as it fights to overthrow the internationally-backed government.

Witnesses said the blast, which threw a thick cloud of smoke into the sky that could be seen across the city, badly damaged a nearby hotel and left scenes of devastation on the busy road.

"This was very horrible, the bomb went off alongside the busy road and left many people dead.

"I saw several dead bodies strewn about but could not count them," witness Ismail Yusuf said.

"It was horrible."

Muhidin Ali, a Mogadishu resident who was close by at the time, said it was "the biggest blast I have ever witnessed, it destroyed the whole area".
Thousands Face Acute Food Shortage in Arid Counties
MONDAY OCTOBER 16 2017
Kenya Daily Nation
   
Narok County governor Samuel Tunai (right) handing over drought pellets, french cubes and other livestock feeds worth Sh15 million in Mosiro to assist avert drought effects in the pastoralist community. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

In Summary
A survey by the Kenya Red Cross Society indicates many families in Turkana and West Pokot counties are faced with malnutrition and are in urgent need of food supplements.
An estimated 3.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation due to prolonged drought and erratic rains with residents in semi-arid and arid counties bearing the brunt.
The Ministry of Health has embarked on provision of vitamin A supplements, de-worming of children and promotion of appropriate infant and child feeding practices.

By BARNABAS BII
OSCAR KAKAI

Thousands of families faced with starvation in parts of the North Rift region are in urgent need of relief supplies and health care.

About 100,000 people in West Pokot County are faced with acute food shortage due to crop failure caused by prolonged drought.

A majority of those affected have migrated to Uganda in search of food and pasture for their animals

Some of the areas affected are Ombolion, Kasei, Turkwel, Kiwawa, Kodich, Alale, Kasei, Takaiwa and Kodich in Pokot North sub-county.

SITUATION

Kacheliba Member of Parliament Mark Lomunokol on Sunday said the situation was worsening and appealed for urgent assistance from the government and humanitarian agencies.

Turkana drought

A twelve year old Turkana girl and her younger brother are weighed at a World Food Programme screening in northern Turkana and found to be severely underweight and malnourished.

“Most children and the elderly are malnourished and the government should act before the situation gets out of hand,” said Mr Lomunokol.


An estimated 3.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation due to prolonged drought and erratic rains with residents in semi-arid and arid counties bearing the brunt.

A survey by the Kenya Red Cross Society indicates many families in Turkana and West Pokot counties are faced with malnutrition and are in urgent need of food supplements.

DIRE NEED

“Most households are in dire need of food and the situation might worsen as a result of delayed rainfall,” said Michael Ayabei, the Kenya Red Cross Society programmes manager in charge of the North Rift region.

He named parts of Elgeyo Marakwet County as some of the areas experiencing inadequate food supply.

A report by the National Drought Management Authority indicates that families in 23 arid and semi-arid counties are faced with food shortage and inadequate pasture and water for animals caused by dry spell.

Isiolo drought

“The food and pasture situation has improved slightly from alarm to alert although it might take some time before it stabilises,” said Abdulkadir Hassan Jillo, Turkana County drought coordinator.

MALNUTRITION

A report released by the Ministry of Health, Kenya Food Security Steering Group and Early Warning Systems Network in May indicates that families in Samburu, Marsabit, Isiolo, Garissa, Mandera and Wajir counties are in urgent need of assistance to fight malnutrition.

The report indicates that 8,000 children and 5,365 mothers in Turkana County are facing severe malnutrition.

The Ministry of Health has embarked on provision of vitamin A supplements, de-worming of children and promotion of appropriate infant and child feeding practices.

The food shortage has partly been attributed to the decline in maize production in Rift Valley, the country’s grain basket, last season due to poor rains and disease attacks.
Looming Crisis as Kenya’s Grain Production Set to Fall by 6 Percent
Poor cereal harvest expected this year due to failed rains, says food agency

BY VINCENT NG'ETHE
Daily Nation

Kenya’s grain production is set to fall by six per cent as effects of a prolonged drought become more apparent, data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reviewed by Nation Newsplex shows.

This year, Kenya is expected to produce 3.8 million tonnes of cereals, which are made up of 500,000 tonnes of wheat, and 3.3 million tonnes of coarse cereals — maize, millet, sorghum and barley. That will be a drop from the four million tonnes of cereals produced in 2016.

However, global production is set to increase by one per cent to reach 2.6 billion tonnes, a world record and an increase of 6.8 million tonnes (0.3 per cent) over 2016 levels.

While overall production in Africa is projected to jump by 11 per cent, the harvest is predicted to decrease in East Africa by 0.2 per cent and West Africa by 0.1 per cent.

Harvests of cereals are expected to drop by eight per cent in Madagascar, six per cent in Sudan and Kenya, three per cent in Tanzania, one per cent in Chad, and less than one per cent in Mali, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Niger.

This data is contained in the third quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report that FAO published in September.

Of the 24 main cereal growing countries in Africa under review, FAO predicts that nine, of them, including Kenya, will reap a smaller harvest than they did in the previous season.

According to FAO, Kenya’s harvest is expected to drop mainly because of unfavourable weather characterised by consecutive poor rainy seasons.

WORM INVASION

According to the 2017 Economic Survey, Kenya produced 37.1 million 90kg bags of maize in 2016, 117,000 tonnes of sorghum and 54,000 tonnes of millet. It also produced 101,500 tonnes of rice paddy.

The Ministry of Agriculture projects that the country will produce 37.9 million bags of maize by the end of this year (3.4 million tonnes less than the 40 million bags predicted at the beginning of this year). Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said last week that the fall armyworm invasion, late onset of rains and dry spells, and the reduction of the area under maize by 5.1 per cent, contributed to the reduced harvest.

According to FAO, production in Southern Africa is forecast to increase by about 51.2 per cent over the previous year, while in North Africa, production is forecast to increase by 22.4 per cent over.

Cereals are important for food security because they constitute staple foods in most diets around the world. According to FAO, there were 815 million people chronically malnourished people worldwide last year, a five per cent increase from 777 million in 2015.

In Africa, cereal production is dominated by four countries. Nigeria is expected to produce 24.3 million tonnes, while Ethiopia, Egypt and South Africa, are forecast to produce 23.3 million, 23.1 million and 19.3 million tonnes respectively. The next biggest producer in East Africa is Tanzania, which is expected to produce 10 million tonnes of cereals this year.

Nearly four fifths (78 per cent) of Nigeria’s forecast production is coarse grain (largely maize), while rice caters for the other 22 per cent. In Ethiopia, maize accounts for 81 per cent of all the forecast cereal production, while wheat accounts for 18 per cent of all the cereals grown.

In South Africa, maize, or coarse grains constitute 92 per cent of cereal production while the other eight per cent consists of wheat. In Kenya, 87 per cent of expected production is coarse grain, while 13 per cent is wheat.

Egypt has a more even distribution in the production of cereals, with wheat, coarse grains and rice accounting for 38 per cent, 35 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

The top cereal producers in Africa have comparatively high production per unit area of land, which is known as yield, relative to Kenya.

FOOD AID

For example in 2014, Egypt, which depends entirely on irrigation, had a yield of 77,556 tonnes per hectare of maize, which is nearly five times Kenya’s yield of 16,602 tonnes per hectare of maize the same year. Kenya’s yield ranked 23rd for all the African countries that FAO compared in 2014, the most recent year of data available.

The yield has remained between 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes per hectare from 2002 to 2014.

According to FAO, 29 countries in Africa require external assistance for food, which means food aid must be imported to avert starvation. FAO has placed the countries into three broad categories that are not mutually exclusive: exceptional shortfall in food supplies, widespread lack of access and severe localised food insecurity.

Only the Central African Republic has an exceptional shortfall in food supplies. There are 600,000 internally displaced people and 1.1 million people (30 per cent of the population) in the country which has been in a state of civil war since 2012.

Another nine countries have widespread lack of access to food supplies: Burundi, Chad, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria and South Sudan. Civil insecurity contributed to the shortage in five countries (Burundi, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and South Sudan), followed by population displacement in four (Chad, DRC, Niger, Nigeria).

Another 19 countries have severe localised food insecurity. This means that while specific parts of the country are food insecure, most of the country has access to food.

They include Kenya, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

LACK OF ACCESS

Oxfam’s latest report dated October 5 says 3.4 million Kenyans are in need of urgent assistance. The Kenyan Government declared the drought a national disaster in February, following reduced rainfall.

Unlike countries with widespread lack of access, localised food insecurity is associated with a difference test of factors.

For example, refugees putting strain on host communities contributed in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Liberia and Mauritania, while unfavourable weather conditions were a factor in Kenya, Madagascar, Somalia, Malawi, Swaziland, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.
Southern Yemen Leader Sees Independence Referendum, Parliament Body
Oct. 14, 2017 at 3:55 a.m.       

Dismissed governor of the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, Aidaroos al-Zubaidi (R), waves to supporters of the separatist Southern Movement as they demonstrated against recent decisions by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi that sacked senior officials supported by the United Arab Emirates, including al-Zubaidi in Aden, Yemen May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman Reuters

ADEN (Reuters) - A rebel former governor of Aden who is leading a movement for southern Yemen's secession has said an independence referendum would be announced soon and a parliamentary body set up to administer the territory.

Aidaroos al-Zubaidi, who was sacked as Aden governor by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, set out his secessionist plans to thousands of supporters gathered on Saturday in Yemen's main southern city to mark 54 years since the October 1963 uprising against the British.

Zubaidi, who has previously declared a council that seeks secession for southern Yemen, said in a television interview late on Friday that an independence referendum would be held soon.

Speaking to supporters on Saturday, Zubaidi said a new 303-member parliamentary body, the National Association, would act like a small parliament to represent Yemenis from all areas of the south.

Zubaidi announced in May a new council formed by senior tribal, military and political figures. The council seeks the secession of southern Yemen and is looking to establish a political leadership under his presidency that would administer the south.

The move threatens more turmoil in the impoverished Arabian Peninsular country where the internationally-recognized government is forced to sit in Aden because Houthi rebels control the capital Sanaa.

The council was born out of a power struggle between the southerners and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi that has undermined regional power Saudi Arabia's efforts to coordinate a military campaign against the Tehran-supported Houthis.

Hadi's government has rejected the formation of the council, saying it would deepen divisions and play into the hands of the Houthi rebels.

Many southerners feel that officials in the north have exploited their resources and cut them off from jobs and influence.

(Reporting by Muhammed Mukhashaf; Writing By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
Southern Yemeni Leader Forms New Parliamentary Body
2017-10-15 03:56:19
Editor: yan

ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The leader of the southern transitional council announced on Saturday to establish a new parliamentary body to administer the southern part of the country.

Major General Aidarous Zubaidi, a former governor of Aden and a strong ally of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), delivered a speech in Aden to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the revolution against the British occupation of southern Yemen on Oct. 14, 1963.

Zubaidi vowed during his speech to confront the Saudi-backed Yemeni government with ground escalation.

He also announced the formation of the "National General Assembly" made up of 303 members, which he claimed would represent all southern provinces.

The new parliament would also prepare for an upcoming independence referendum in the region, he added.

Describing the Saudi-backed Yemeni government as "corrupt," the UAE-backed leader ruled out any possibility of partnership with the Aden-based government.

Zubaidi also accused Qatar of supporting extremism and terrorism through financing the Muslim Brotherhood group in Aden and elsewhere in southern Yemen.

Meanwhile, military leaders in the southern Yemen reiterated their commitment to continuing to support the Saudi-led Arab coalition in the war against Houthis and the extremist groups.

Political leaders allied the Yemeni government criticized Zubaidi's announcement, calling the move a "new coup" against the Saudi-led coalition.

According to local observers, the announcement will create more chaos and turmoil in the impoverished Arab country that would hinder the pursuit of a permanent solution to the current political crisis.

Earlier in the day, southern troops opened fire towards the motorcade of the Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Bin-Daghr while he was on his way to attend a military parade at an army base in Aden's district of Salahdeen.

The bodyguards of the Yemeni prime minister responded to the shooting that resulted in no casualties, according to local military sources.

In May, Zubaidi declared in a speech that the council consisted of 26 southern senior tribal, military and political leaders including former cabinet minister Hani Bin Brurik.

However, the Yemeni government at that time rejected the formation of new "transitional political council" that seeks the independence of southern Yemen.

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose government is internationally recognized, has been based in Riyadh since March 2015, when the Shiite Houthis forced him out after seizing the capital Sanaa.

Hadi sacked Zubaidi on April 27 along with Brurik, which provoked thousands of southern Yemenis to demonstrate in Aden to urge for the establishment of a new leadership body to represent the south in the upcoming peace talks facilitated by the United Nations.

Yemen has been suffering from a civil war for around two years. The civil war began after the Houthi militants with the support of forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh ousted the UN-backed transitional government and occupied the capital Sanaa militarily in September 2014.

The legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts, while the Houthi-Saleh alliance controls the remaining northern areas including Sanaa.

UN statistics show more than 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the coalition intervened in the Yemeni civil war that also displaced around 3 million.

The impoverished Arab country is also suffering the world's largest cholera epidemic since April, with about 5,000 cases reported every day.
Yemeni PM Warns Against Using Force to Seize Aden
Written by NY Staff

Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr on Saturday warned against seizing power by force in Aden, the government’s temporary seat in southern Yemen.

“Beware of the Republic’s fall or thinking about taking power by force in Aden like what the Houthis did in Sanaa,” Bin Dagher said during a military parade in Aden.

He urged all sides to put aside their differences and unite against Houthi rebels, who overran much of the country in 2014 and forced the government to flee to Eden.

The warning comes ahead of a planned rally on Saturday by the so-called “Southern Transition Council” that demands the separation of southern Yemen from the north.

The rally coincides with the 54th anniversary of the revolution against the British occupation of southern Yemen on October 14, 1963.

Aden has seen rising tension in recent weeks with the Southern Transitional Council accusing the Yemeni government of failing to assume its duties.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi military gains in Yemen.

According to UN figures, more than 10,000 people — including numerous civilians — have been killed as a direct result of the conflict.

Reporting by Shukri Hussein:Writing by Mahmoud Barakat
Yemen Missiles Prove Actions Speak Louder Retaliation
October 14, 2017 - 8:51 PM

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The army and popular forces Manufacturing Division, has overcome the imposed air, land and sea blockade and siege. In the contrary, such an act of aggression has accelerated great achievements in producing and developing a weapon of retaliatory deterrent power against US-Saudi Zionist aggression.

The Manufacturing Division has played a key role in providing the army and popular forces various types of weapons. Tactical ballistic missiles Such as Al-Najm Al-Thakeb, Al-Sarkha, Qaher, long-and medium range Burkan (1 and 2), were developed Drones and modern sniper guns were made as well as air-defense system was developed to counter aggression warplanes and Apaches helicopters that were targeting armless civilians, including children and women.

The army and the Popular Committees have been of unequal and exceptional performance in the combating arts with skill used such weapons blowing hard blows on the Saudi aggression troops and military machinery incurring heavy loss.

Today, Mohamed Al-Houthi, head of the Revolutionary Committee, disclosed a number of surprises that only battlefronts and actions speak louder words and astounding for the arrogant aggression.

“The Yemeni missile force will soon announce producing ballistic missiles that the Saudi-led coalition imposed blockade can not hinder rather than fueled and strengthened,” Mohammed Al-Houthi wrote on his Facebook wall.

The information reveals that prolonging the war of aggression any further undermines the Saudi regime damaging their credibility with US and Western masters. Besides, the war of attrition on the cross-borders incurring heavy loss on both Saudi army and the mercenaries of the aggression coalition. In contrast, the Yemeni army and the popular forces are made stronger and military and combating experience furthered to confront the aggression and preserve sovereignty and independence of Yemen.

The Saudi regime by imposing a siege and waging a brutal war of aggression on Yemen, it only encouraged harder work. As the need is the mother of invention. Many military experts wonder whether such ballistic missiles will find its way on retaliating against UAE share of aggression and hence will UAE nationals be the first target of such new missile?
Syria Demands Immediate and Unconditional Withdrawal of Turkish Troops From Its Territory
14 October، 2017

Damascus, SANA – “Syria condemns in the strongest possible terms the incursion of Turkish army units into Idleb province, stressing that it constitutes a blatant aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and a flagrant violation of international law, a source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

The source added that the Turkish aggression has nothing to do with what has been agreed upon by the guarantor states during the latest round of talks in Astana, emphasizing that Turkey should abide by provisions of Astana statement.

It noted that the Turkish troops dashed into Idleb province accompanied by Jabhat a-Nusra terrorists which shows clearly the close relationship between Turkish regime and terrorist groups, a matter that the international community should pay more attention to and take firm stance in order to oblige Turkey to end its support to terrorism which managed to shed the blood of Syrian people and destabilize the region and the entire world.

The Syrian Arab Republic demands an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the Syrian territories, stressing that the Turkish flagrant aggression cannot be justified in any way.

R.Raslan/Ghossoun
Syrian Air Force Destroys ISIS Vehicles, Kills Scores of Terrorists in Deir Ezzor Countryside
15 October، 2017

Deir Ezzor, SANA-The Syrian Air Force carried out intensive strikes against ISIS fortifications and supply routes in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor province.

A military source told SANA that the airstrikes targeted positions and gatherings of ISIS in the city of al-Muhassan and the villages of Boqrous Fouqani and to the east of Boqrous al-Tahtani and al-Boulail.

Scores of terrorists were killed in the airstrikes, in addition to destroying one of their armored vehicles and a number of machinegun-equipped cars.

R.Jazaeri/ Ghossoun


Army restores control over new areas in Deir Ezzor

13 October، 2017

Provinces, SANA-Units of the Syrian Arab Army achieved new advance in their operations against the gatherings of ISIS terrorist organization through restoring security over Hatla village and two neighborhoods in the city of al-Mayadeen in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor province.

SANA reporter said that army units, during the past few hours, carried out operations against ISIS’ fortifications and spreading points, resulting in the eliminating of last ISIS gatherings in Hatla village on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

The reporter added that army units restored al-Halbia roundabout in al-Sahlyhia area on the northern entrance of Deir Ezzor city and continued their operations in the direction of al-Siasya Bridge, noting that all ISIS supply routes deployed in neighborhoods of the city had been cut off due to the army’s advance.

To the southeast of Deir Ezzor city, the reporter affirmed that army units managed during their intensive operations on the fighting axes of in al-Mayadeen city to advance and restore control over al-Balaoum and al-Madihi in addition to eliminating the last gatherings of ISIS in the Industrial School and the Electricity Company of the city.

In the same context, the reporter said that Syrian Air Force launched intensive raids on the movement axes of ISIS in al-Mayadeen, Zeban, Buqrus Tahtani, Buqrus Foqani, Mo Hassan, al-Boleil, al-Husseiniyeh, al-Jneineh, Hawijit Saqar and the neighborhoods of al-Ommal, al-Sinaa, al-Hamidiyeh and al-Hawiqa, which resulted in the killing of a number of terrorists and the destruction of their fortifications and vehicles.

Meanwhile, local sources in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor said that ISIS terrorists executed a person in Abu Hamam village and hanged his body to terrorize the locals who are trying to flee away from the areas where ISIS positioned.

Quneitra

A unit of the Army and Armed Forces downed a booby-trapped radio-controlled plane for terrorist groups over Tal al-Qab’e to the north of Khan Arnaba town in the northern countryside of Quneitra province before it reached to its destination.

SANA reporter said that an army unit has shot down a reconnaissance plane rigged with explosives for terrorist groups positioned in Jubatha al-Khashab before it reached to its destination.

Manar/Ghossoun
Syrian Army Regains Control Over al-Mayadeen, Inflicts Heavy Losses Upon Terrorists in Deir Ezzor
14 October، 2017

Deir Ezzor, SANA_ Army units have regained full control over al-Mayadeen city, after intense fighting with ISIS terrorists and eliminating the last of their gatherings there.

Army units, in cooperation with the supporting and allied forces, regained control over al-Mayadeen city, about 45km southeast of Deir Ezzor city, killing big numbers of ISIS terrorists and destroying their weapons and equipment, a military source said Saturday.

The source told SANA that army units are chasing remnants of ISIS terrorists out of al-Mayadeen while the engineering units are clearing land mines left in the town.

Controlling al-Mayadeen city is an important step towards the eradication of ISIS terrorists completely from the Euphrates valley, where units of the army, covered by Syrian and Russian Air Forces, have been launching wide operations since breaking Deir Ezzor siege on September 5th. These operations resulted in the restoration of dozens of villages and towns in the countryside of the city.

Ghossoun 
Russian MoD: US Carpet-bombings of Raqqa Leave Thousands of Civilian Casualties
15 October، 2017

Moscow, SANA- Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the United States carpet-bombing of residential neighborhoods in Raqqa city left thousands of civilians casualties and damaged infrastructure and water sources in the city.

“Carpet bombing of residential areas accommodated by civilians, which the United States and “the US-led” coalition carry out, along with deliberate destruction of all natural water sources in Raqqa have brought about nothing but several thousand victims among the population and vivid examples of that military operation’s faulty planning,” the Ministry  said in a statement on Saturday.

In the same context, the Ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that such actions show that the US-led international coalition is “in a deadlock” in contrast with the successful operations of the Syrian army in al-Mayadeen city in Deir Ezzor.

Earlier on Saturday, the Syrian Arab Army, in cooperation with the backup and alliance forces, regained control over al-Mayadeen city, 45 km southeast of Deir Ezzor after eliminating the latest ISIS gatherings there.

H.Zain/ Ghossoun
Evacuation Ends as ISIL Defeat in Syria's Raqqa Nears
A group of ISIL fighters has evacuated the Syrian city of Raqqa overnight, taking civilians with them as human shields, a militia spokesperson said, as the battle continued with fighters who stayed behind.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, said foreign fighters were not included under the withdrawal deal.

However, a member of the Raqqa Civil Council said that some ISIL foreigners did manage the leave with the Syrian ISIL group as they left their self-proclaimed capital in the country's north.

The ISIL fighters took about 400 civilians with them as human shields, according to the SDF.

Omar Alloush, a member of the Raqqa Civil Council, would not say how many fighters remained in the city, where the Syrian Democratic Forces have hemmed them into a small enclave.

Talal Silo, another spokesperson for the SDF, said ISIL fighters who remained in the city would have to "surrender or die".

The SDF on Sunday announced the "final phase" of the battle, saying its fighters had begun the operation to capture the last 10 percent of the city under ISIL control.

ISIL's defeat at Raqqa would be a milestone in efforts to roll back the "caliphate" the group declared in 2014 in Syria and Iraq, where earlier this year it was driven from the major northern city of Mosul.

The group captured Raqqa in 2014, the first city to fall under its full control. Raqqa became synonymous with the worst of ISIL's abuses, and infamous as a centre for planning attacks abroad.

Tribal leaders' statement

The latest battle for Raqqa began in June, with heavy street-by-street fighting amid intense US-led coalition air raids and shelling. The battle has dragged on in the face of stiff resistance from ISIL.

The Kurdish YPG militia, which dominates the SDF, said on Saturday that ISIL was on the verge of defeat in Raqqa, and the city may be cleared of the group's fighters latest on Sunday.

Local tribal leaders issued a statement late on Saturday saying they had urged the SDF and US-led coalition to find a way to "settle the status" of Syrian ISIL fighters in the city and "secure their exit".

The SDF agreed and prepared the mechanism to evacuate (them) "to protect the lives of civilians who were taken as human shields," the statement added.

"We as tribal leaders guarantee the lives of those who will be taken out."

The US-led coalition backing the SDF earlier announced a convoy would leave Raqqa on Saturday under a deal negotiated by local officials.

"The arrangement is designed to minimise civilian casualties and purportedly excludes foreign Daesh terrorists as people trapped in the city continue to flee the impending fall of Daesh's so-called capital," the coalition said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.

"People departing Raqqa under the arrangement are subject to search and screening by Syrian Democratic Forces," it added.

ISIL now holds just a sliver of territory in Iraq, and is under attack from two separate campaigns by the SDF and the Syrian army and its allies in Deir Az Zor province.

On Saturday, Syria's army seized the former ISIL stronghold of al-Mayadeen in Deir Az Zor, in a campaign that is backed by President Bashar al-Assad's ally Russia.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
Daesh Militants Quit Raqqah Under US-backed Deal
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:03AM
presstv.ir

A member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands next to the debris of damaged buildings in Raqqah, September 25, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The US-backed alliance of militants Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) says last Daesh elements have been evacuated from their one-time bastion of Raqqah as part of an agreement. 

"Last night, the final batch of fighters (who had agreed to leave) left the city," SDF spokesman Mostafa Bali said on Sunday, not clarifying where the Takfiri terrorists had been transferred.

He also said Daesh elements had refused to release the civilians they had allegedly taken as human shield until they arrived at their destination.

Omar Alloush, a senior official of the Raqqah Civil Council, told AFP that a deal had been reached to allow the militants, including both Syrian and foreign-born terrorists, out of the city.

He said it was "possible" that they had been taken to the neighboring Dayr al-Zawr Province where Syrian government forces are currently in the midst of fierce clashes with Daesh.

The evacuation came at a time when sweeping gains made by Syrian government forces against the foreign-sponsored militants have put them on the brink of total defeat in Dayr al-Zawr.

On Saturday, Syrian government forces liberated the strategic eastern city of Mayadin, more than one month after they broke the three-year-long Daesh siege on the neighboring Dayr al-Zawr city.

Earlier this week, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that the US military had reduced its airstrikes in Iraq to allow militants to stream into Syria and that Washington was only pretending to be battling Daesh.

Observers say the US military plan currently is to take territory from Daesh terrorists and give it to the militants under its support and shepherd the Takfiri terrorists to the battlefields against Syrian government forces and their allies.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in several reports recently that the US had airlifted a number of Daesh commanders near Dayr al-Zawr, where Syrian troops were closing in on the terrorists.

The reports by the London-based Observatory which is a regular source of news from Syria for the mainstream Western media were met with a blackout. 

The assault by US-led Kurdish militants to capture Raqqah began on June 6. Nuri Mahmud, a spokesman for the militants, said Daesh was "on the verge of being finished in Raqqah in the coming days."

The Syrian army soldiers and their allies are also engaged in a battle around Raqqah and the operations by US-led militants who do not coordinate them with the Syrian military have raised the possibility of a confrontation between them.

In recent weeks, SDF has reportedly shelled the positions of government troops on several occasions. Last month, the militants rushed to occupy several fields in the oil-rich Dayr al-Zawr as the Syrian army broke Daesh's defense lines.

Raqqah was the first big Syrian city to fall to Daesh as it declared a "caliphate" and rampaged through Syria and Iraq in 2014, becoming an operations center for attacks abroad and the stage for some of its darkest atrocities.

On Sunday, the Reuters news agency said the SDF's decision to hasten the battle's end by allowing Daesh terrorists to leave Raqqah was at odds with Washington's stated goals and earlier objections to negotiating safe exits for the extremists.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the US coalition, said it was not involved in the evacuation but added: "We may not always fully agree with our partners at times. But we have to respect their solutions."

The US move to allow Kurdish-dominated forces to take control of the Arab-majority Raqqah is seen by many as a prelude to further flare-up of tensions.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

United States Imperialism Continues War in Afghanistan and the Destabilization of Africa
From Central Asia to Chad, Togo and Libya, Western states seek to maintain dominance of the oppressed nations

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Published on Tuesday October 2, 2017

Note: These remarks were delivered at a public meeting entitled “Stop Imperialist War at Home and Abroad!” organized by Workers World Party Detroit branch on Saturday September 30, 2017. Other speakers included Kayla Pauli of Workers World Detroit branch who read a report on Syria by Comrade Joe Mshahwar; Rhandi Nord of Geo-Politics Alert spoke on the role of the United States in facilitating the genocidal war against Yemen being carried out by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Jim Carey, also of Geo-Politics Alert provided background information on the current tensions between Washington and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK); Yvonne Jones of the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA) discussed the war against the people of the city and the initiatives of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition aimed at ending property tax foreclosures and evictions which have reached epidemic levels in the last three years.
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In just one week the United States government will commemorate its 16th anniversary in the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan.

This war did not really begin in 2001 resulting from the attacks on September 11 where planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon headquartered right outside of Washington, D.C.

U.S. involvement in the destabilization of Afghanistan goes back to the late 1970s when the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDP) led a socialist-oriented administration which advanced the cause of working people and farmers as well as providing fundamental civil rights to women. During this period Afghanistan was aligned with the Soviet Union and other progressive and non-capitalist states. Modernization programs were underway aimed at enhancing the standard of living and educational levels of the masses of people.

The PDPA was formed in 1965 by uniting several factions within the Socialist Party of Afghanistan. Later in 1973, the party assisted in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic of Afghanistan.

Factional disputes within the PDPA led to the ascendancy of Barbrak Kamal as head-of-state in Afghanistan in December 1979. This move was supported by the Soviet leadership which deployed military forces into Afghanistan to ensure the stability of the new government.

Taking advantage of the discontent among feudal, monarchist and other counter-revolutionary elements in the country, the U.S. through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon armed rebels with specific aim of derailing the revolutionary process. The formation of al-Qaeda occurred in these years while thousands of fighters were recruited within Afghanistan and abroad to join the campaign against the socialist government.

This war of destabilization was coordinated at the highest levels of the U.S. government under the administrations of both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The anti-communist rebels were promoted in the U.S. as freedom fighters seeking to reclaim the historical traditions of Afghan people. Much was made of the presence of Soviet troops in Afghanistan evoking the notion of the red menace and overtaking of states by Communism.

The war in Afghanistan continued through the 1980s into the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union withdrew its support for the government of Najibullah. By 1992, the Mujahideen had taken over the capital. In later years, the Taliban became dominant soon establishing another regime in Kabul.

From the mid-to-late 1990s, al-Qaeda was considered to be more of an adversary to the U.S. resulting in it being projected through the corporate media as a major threat. The August 1998 bombing of U.S. embassy buildings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania prompted the Bill Clinton administration to bomb Afghanistan and the Republic of Sudan under the guise of both states serving as a base for Osama bin Laden.

Since 2001, the Pentagon under purported NATO command has been bombing and conducting ground operations in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. As of one year ago, the official statistics supplied by the U.S. military says 2,386 U.S. troops have been killed and over 20,000 wounded. Also 1,173 U.S. civilian contractors have been killed in the theater of war.

Troops from other NATO states account for another 1,000 or more deaths. Other casualties such as closed head injuries, psychological disorders, etc. extend into the hundreds of thousands. In regard to the number of Afghans and Pakistanis killed, the numbers are largely incalculable.

In what I consider to be a conservative estimate, the Washington Post reported in 2015 that: “War has directly resulted in the deaths of 149,000 people in Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2001 and 2014, according to estimates in a new report released by the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute. That figure includes U.S. military members, contractors, and opposition fighters – as well as at least 26,270 civilians in Afghanistan, and 21,500 in Pakistan.” (June 3)

This same article carries a quote from the study's author, Boston University professor Neta Crawford which says: "While the U.S. formally ended combat operations in Afghanistan in December 2014, U.S. uniformed troops remain advising the Afghan security forces and engaging in combat. The war has not diminished in intensity. Rather, in several ways, most notably, in the numbers of civilians and Afghan military and police killed, the war has escalated."

Figures included in the report show that civilian deaths in Afghanistan appear to have grown over the past few years. Bombings, drone attacks and ground operations have continued under the administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump.

Another article from the New York Times dated June 11, 2017 indicates that all of the reported U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan this year were related to military engagements with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) local affiliate called the Islamic State of Khorasan. Therefore, the principal enemy of U.S. forces has gone from al-Qaeda to the Taliban and the Haqqani Network to now ISIS.

President Trump recently announced that he is deploying an additional 4,000 Pentagon troops to the country. At his infamous United Nations speech last week he attacked Pakistan as well for being partly responsible for the problems Washington is having in the region. Pakistan has denied the allegations from the U.S. leader.

Consequently, the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue until the U.S. suffers an outright military defeat or is forced to withdraw by the people in this country. The Vietnam War, which is the subject of a controversial documentary by Ken Burns now being shown over PBS, ended as a result of the combined revolutionary military resistance of the Democratic Republic in the North and the National Liberation Front in the occupied South.

Reflections on Imperialist Militarism and the African Crisis: The Cases of Chad, Togo and Libya

In closing I want to make a few remarks on some aspects of the political and security situation in Africa. Although not routinely addressed by the antiwar and peace movements in the U.S., the imperialists are continuing their efforts to halt development and exert total control over African Union (AU) member-states.

Chad, an oil-producing former French colony in western Central Africa, has been placed by Trump on the list of countries whose nationals are banned from entering the U.S. This came as a surprise for some considering the pro-Washington and Paris stance of successive Chadian governments.

An article published by Africa News noted: “The inclusion of Chad is hinged on the failure of Ndjamena to share terrorism-related and other crucial information the U.S. required, the White House confirmed. Trump signed the order on March 6 banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for 90 days and locked out most aspiring refugees for 120 days.” (Sept. 25)

Only Iraq has been removed so far from the list in exchange for the targeting of Chaldean and other nationals from the country in the U.S. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela were added to the latest list issued by Trump.

Newsweek magazine said in a report published on September 25, that: “Given Chad’s long history of cooperation with the United States and other Western powers—such as France—on counterterrorism, it appears strange that Chadian President Idriss Déby would withhold information from his counterpart in Washington. After 9/11, the State Department set up a counterterrorism program to assist Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in monitoring the movement of people and goods. This initiative was succeed in 2005 by the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative, of which Chad remains a member. U.S. troops have also engaged in training their Chadian counterparts, and President Barack Obama sent 80 troops to the region in 2014 to help in the search for the almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The troops operated surveillance flights and drones from Chad.”

The West African state of Togo has been rocked in recent months by mass demonstrations demanding the resignation of longtime President Faure Gnassingbe. The Gnassingbe family has ruled this nation since 1967, when Eyadema Gnassingbe engineered a military coup on behalf of France.

These demonstrations and strikes in Togo have been attacked by the government in Lome. Last month 15 leading members of the Pan-African National Party (PNP) were arrested and quickly prosecuted.

Togo’s parliament dominated by the Gnassingbe-allied party has attempted to pass legislation to liberalize the political system. Moreover, one of the most significant aspects of these developments is that the state of Israel was forced to postpone a planned summit meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and numerous African states. Several of the AU member states have rejected the summit in solidarity with the Palestinians and other peoples of the region.

Finally, the North African state of Libya is being subjected to yet another United Nations plan to bring stability to the oil-rich nation, which prior to the intervention by the Pentagon and NATO in 2011, was the most prosperous nation on the continent. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and wounded in Libya over the last six years.

The country is now a source of instability and human trafficking throughout North and West Africa along with the Mediterranean regions in southern Europe. Dozens have died in recent weeks in failed attempts to flee to the European Union states.

Libya can never know peace until the people unite behind a national program of reconstruction. Pentagon and NATO troops as well as Western advisors should be forced to leave the country since they are the source of the ongoing crises. It will only be under such a movement towards unification and renewal that genuine peace, security and development will be realized in the country and region.
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Oct. 8, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Sun. Oct. 8, 2017 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this episode just click on the following URL:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal/2017/10/09/pan-african-journal-special-worldwide-radio-broadcast

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the Zimbabwe government's announcements about the status of vendors in the cities and the possible cabinet reshuffle in the ZANU-PF administration; Zambia's Central Bank Governor has given an interview on the current situation in the copper mining industry in this Southern African state; the newly-elected president of Angola Joao Lourenco has held talks with Cuban First Vice President Migel Diaz-Canal in Luanda; and a fierce shoot-out in Mozambique has resulted in the deaths of fourteen people.

In the second hour we continue our monthlong tribute to Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara on the 50th anniversary of his martyrdom examining the reflections of Commandante Fidel Castro and the son of Che Guevara. Also we review the role of Cuba in the total liberation of the sub-continent.

Finally, the United Nations General Assembly 72nd Session address by President Hage Geingob of the Republic of Namibia is rebroadcast.
Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sat. Oct. 7, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Sat. Oct. 7, 2017 edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this audio file just go to the website below:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal/2017/10/08/pan-african-journal-worldwide-radio-broadcast

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the South African governmental investigations into possible irregularities in the national pension system, KPMG and Standard Bank; several United States troops were killed this week in the West African state of Niger while on a supposed anti-terrorism mission with the local military; the Communist Party of China is making preparation for its 19th Congress; and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting a rise in economic growth in the coming year.

In the second and third hours we continue our monthlong tribute to the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara. We will review a disucssion held between Che, the-then Minister of Economic Planning in Revolutionary Cuba, and several Left wing journalists in New York City during December 1964.

Finally we listen to an audio documentary on the life, times and contributions of this legendary figure in world history.
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Oct. 1, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Sun. Oct. 1, 2017 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this program just go to the following URL:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal/2017/10/02/pan-african-journal-special-worldwide-radio-broadcast

This program will feature our regular PANW report with dispatches on the call by Togolese opposition forces for renewed mass demonstrations inside this West African state; tensions have escalated in Cameroon where clashes between separatists and security has resulted in several deaths; the Yemeni resistance forces have announced that they shot down a United States fighter plane piloted by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); and disturbances continue in Catalon as the Spanish government shut down an election seeking independence from Madrid.

In the second hour we begin a monthlong tribute to Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara on the 50th anniversary of his martyrdom.

Finally we reexamine the historical underpinning of the Boko Haram war in northeast Nigeria. 
Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sat. Sept. 30, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Sat. Sept. 30, 2017 edition of the Pan-African Journal hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this program just click on the website below:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal/2017/10/01/pan-african-journal-worldwide-radio-broadcast

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the upcoming 50th anniversary commemorations of the martyrdom of Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara; United States President Donald Trump has generated more controversy with his attacks on the mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico; a cabinet secretary in the U.S. administration has been terminated after newspaper articles appeared accusing him of extravagent usage of travel priviliges; and finally the East Africa government of Tanzania is allowing the export of diamonds by the Petras corporation.

In the second hour we continue our examination of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly with an address by the foreign minister of the People's Republic of China.

Finally we present a rebroadcast of a Global Research News Hour program from 2015 examining the historical and political context of the U.S.-backed war against the people of Yemen.. 
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Quoted in Egyptian Streets: 'How Oil Wealth and Terrorism Can Lead to Kurdistan’s Secession'
MIRNA KHALED ABDULAAL
Egyptian Streets
SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

State building is a difficult and expensive task, and in a region currently gripped by perpetual conflict, the possibilities of creating a new state come with stark challenges.

As Iraq’s Kurds are today set to cast their votes in an independence referendum, it is topical to look into the impulses that have pushed Kurdistan to follow this path.

To start with, the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 is certainly a chief factor. It threw the state into years of sectarian warfare and deeply weakened the central government. This, in turn, had a major impact in reinforcing Kurdish nationalism, and it also put talks of creating a federal government on the table.

In 2005, Iraq’s new federal constitution granted regions and provinces a higher degree of autonomy. However, this move backfired as the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) was allowed greater economic independence. It began instituting its own oil laws and even attracting investments from many international oil companies.

What the government in Baghdad failed to observe was that oil wealth could play a major part in increasing secessionism, and by loosening the ties of certain regions to the central government, this could eventually turn economic independence into national independence.

This process significantly escalated with the rise of the so-called Islamic State. Not only did the fight against the extremist group create a sense of solidarity among the Iraqi Kurds, but it also helped them to control more land beyond their administrative borders, including the oil-rich Kirkuk region.

The seizure of Kirkuk is already setting the tone for a coming oil dispute, as Iraq’s parliament on September 4 voted to sack the governor of Kirkuk amid tensions over its participation in the referendum. If negotiations fail to solve the dispute, the risk of an armed conflict breaking out would significantly increase.

The eagerness of KRG to control the oil-rich regions is not surprising. Beyond the purely economic benefit, having access to oil resources has allegedly allowed the KRG to export oil to countries such as Israel, Italy, France, and Greece, which has strengthened the political ties between the countries. Although Kurdish officials deny that Israel imports oil from the KRG, Israel would benefit from strengthening ties with Kurdistan, not least if the region gained political independence, as it could prop up Israel’s international legitimacy by another state officially accepting its existence.

This is not the first time that Israel has supported secession as it has done the same in relation to South Sudan. In 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his great pleasure that the country gained independence, and ensured that Israel would play a main role in its development.

Abayomi Azikiwe, the editor of Pan-African News Wire, has previously stated that oil reserves were the reason why the country was divided. Around 80 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves are located in South Sudan, which received aid and arms from Israel to fight against terrorism.

Yet there is a risk that, if independence is achieved, Kurdistan may follow the same path of South Sudan and its civil war.

Comparing Kurdistan to South Sudan, Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official, has warned that “When a country has oil but a military geared more to personality than the state, the result is civil war. Don’t believe me? Just ask the South Sudanese. Even if Kurdistan were to truly unify the Peshmerga and intelligence services, what about the air force?” Further, Gallia Lindenstrauss and Adrien Cluzet at the Institute for National Security Studies in Zurich doubt the military effectiveness of the Peshmerga.

History of tensions among Kurds themselves also adds to the heat, with the memory of the Iraqi Kurdish civil war in the mid-1990s still alive in the minds of many Kurds. If the oil dispute between the Iraqi central government and the KRG rises, there is a danger that it escalates into another civil war.

To prevent the disastrous consequences of South Sudan’s independence, the KRG must keep in mind that oil wealth and Western support is not enough to build a stable state, and at this critical period, negotiations with the Iraqi government should be the main objective.
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Sept. 24, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Sun. Sept. 24, 2017 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this episode go to the following website:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal/2017/09/25/pan-african-journal-special-worldwide-radio-broadcast

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) which has conducted a training session for security forces in Mogadishu; the leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), President Joseph Kabila, has addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the future of the political situation inside this Central African state; the Zambian National Education Coalition has condemned the proposal to reintroduce corporal punishment to the school system; and the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail has criticized the work of Global Witness in relationship to the diamond industry inside this Southern African state.

In the second and third hours we listen to some of the speeches delivered at the United Nations General Assembly 72nd Session last week.

This segment reviews the addresses from the DPRK, Kenya and Cuba. 
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Fri. Sept. 22, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Fri. Sept. 22, 2017 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this program just click on the website below:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal/2017/09/23/pan-african-journal-special-worldwide-radio-broadcast

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the address by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York City; the African National Congress ruling party in the Republic of South Africa has issued a statement in the aftermath of its victory in a by-election in Cape Town; the Kenya Supreme Court has been criticized again by the dissenting jurists and ruling party Julbilee members for its failure to provide concrete evidence of irregularities in the August 8 annuled presidential race; and finally the Brexit process of separating the United Kingdom from the European Union will not have an impact on the trade involving the Southern African state of Mozambique.

In the second hour we listen to the address of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe before the 72nd United Nations General Assembly sessions held this week in New York City.

In the final hour we also hear the speech delivered by Republic of South Africa President Jacob Zuma at the United Nations.
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Delivers Statement to Press TV: 'Trump Administration Reluctant to End Racism, Hate Crimes': Journalist
Wed Sep 20, 2017 05:30PM
presstv.ir

To hear the audio of this statement just go to the following URL:
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/09/20/535862/The-United-States-was-found-on-racism-Analyst

The rising racism and hate crimes in the United States and President Donald Trump’s reluctance to condemn white supremacy underscore that the American people need to mobilize to eliminate bigotry and discrimination, an African American journalist in Detroit says.

“The United States was founded on racism [and] the forced removal and extermination of the indigenous Native American people, the enslavement of millions and upon millions of Africans,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.

“This has to end. We cannot trust the federal government to bring it to an end and people themselves must rally and organize to defeat racism once and for all,” Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday.

“This rise of racism is coming from the White House, it’s coming from Wall Street, it’s coming from the higher echelons of society in the United States and impacting people all the way down in regards to their social status,” he added.

“This is something that has to be addressed by the federal government inside the United States and in the absence of any effective action by the federal government, the people in the United States themselves must mobilize and organize; to stand against racism and defeat racism once and for all,” Azikiwe said.

“There is definitely a sharp rise in hate crimes throughout the United States. These crimes are not just being committed in smaller towns or rural areas, the highest concentration of crime increase are in larger cities,” he noted.

Hate crimes have spiked by almost 20 percent in major US cities so far in 2017, after increasing by 5 percent nationally last year, fueled by the election of President Donald Trump, according to a new study.

The number of hate crimes in 13 US cities with a population of over 250,000 rose to 827 incidents, up 19.9 percent from 690 reported during the same period last year, according to police data compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino.

Trump’s divisive anti-immigration policies have reinvigorated white nationalist groups across the US.

Trump was widely criticized for equivocating in his condemnation of the Charlottesville incident, placing the blame on the "many sides" rather than specifically criticizing the white supremacists who gathered for the rally and marched through the town at night carrying flaming torches and calling out slogans reminiscent of fascist displays in Nazi Germany.