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Le gouvernement proclame l’état d’urgence dans le département de Filingué (Tillabéri)

26/01/2020 – Le conseil des Ministres a adopté un projet de décret portant proclamation de l’état d’urgence dans le département de Filingué, région de Tillabéri, compte tenu de l’exacerbation de la situation sécuritaire dans la zone du département de Filingué « caractérisée par des attaques ciblées sur des installations militaires et des assassinats d’autorités coutumières ».
L’état d’urgence a été proclamé dans plusieurs départements de la région de Tillabéri en raison de la menace terroriste qui affecte certaines localités, rappelle-t-on.

ANP / Niamey

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

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Morocco to Open Consulate in Toronto, Canada

26/01/2020 – Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita announced Morocco’s decision to open a consulate in Toronto, Canada

The opening of the new consulate is part of a plan to improve consular services for the Moroccan community in the North American city, the FM said on Friday. Continuer à lire … « Morocco to Open Consulate in Toronto, Canada »

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Maroc/Canada – Le Maroc veut établir un partenariat stratégique multidimensionnel avec le Canada (ministre AE)

26/01/2020 – Le ministre marocain des Affaires étrangères Nasser Bourita a affirmé, vendredi à Rabat, que le Maroc veut établir un partenariat stratégique multidimensionnel, basé sur le dialogue politique régulier, une concertation sur les questions bilatérales et régionales, et une coordination dans les enceintes régionales et internationales. Continuer à lire … « Maroc/Canada – Le Maroc veut établir un partenariat stratégique multidimensionnel avec le Canada (ministre AE) »

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Tchad : le gouverneur du Sila met en garde contre « un calme trompeur »

26/01/2020 – Le gouverneur de la province du Sila, Kedallah Younous Hamidi, s’est exprimé samedi à la Place de l’indépendance d’Abéché, lors de la cérémonie marquant la fin de l’état d’urgence dans les provinces du Ouaddaï et du Sila. Il a appelé à la vigilance et au maintien du dispositif sécuritaire pour parer à tout résurgence de violences. Continuer à lire … « Tchad : le gouverneur du Sila met en garde contre « un calme trompeur » »

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Tchad : fin de cinq mois d’état d’urgence dans l’est et le nord du pays

26/01/20202- L’état d’urgence instauré la mi-août 2019 dans les trois provinces de l’est et le nord du Tchad est terminé, a annoncé samedi le ministre de la Défense nationale et de la Sécurité publique, Mahamat Abali Saleh. Continuer à lire … « Tchad : fin de cinq mois d’état d’urgence dans l’est et le nord du pays »

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Chad’s Foreign Minister: The spread of arms and the worsening situation in the Sahel have been caused by the Libyan crisis

26/01/2020 – Chad’s Foreign Minister, ‘Mohamed Sherif El-Zein’, declared that the Libyan crisis is one of the reasons for the worsening situation in the Sahel region, due to the proliferation of weapons, which facilitates the spread of terrorist groups. « In addition to Libya, the neighboring countries of Libya are the first concerned with the Libyan crisis, » the Russian news agency, Sputnik, quoted « Al-Zain » as saying in a speech during the start of the foreign ministers’ conference of the countries neighboring Libya in the Algerian capital, Thursday. Adding « Currently al-Sahel in a fiery situation, for several reasons, on top of which is the Libyan crisis, due to the proliferation of weapons significantly, which facilitated the spread of terrorist groups.  »

LANA / Libya

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

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L’Algérie prend la présidence de la Conférence du Désarmement à Genève (21/01)

23/01/2020 – Conférence du Désarmement a ouvert sa session 2020 mardi au Palais des Nations Unies à Genève, sous la présidence de l’ambassadeur, Représentant permanent de l’Algérie auprès de l’Office des Nations Unies à Genève, Rachid Belbaki et des autres organisations internationales en Suisse. Continuer à lire … « L’Algérie prend la présidence de la Conférence du Désarmement à Genève (21/01) »

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L’Algérie a un rôle clair dans la relance de l’accord de paix au Mali

23/01/2020 – Le Commissaire à la Paix et à la Sécurité de l’Union africaine (UA), Smail Chergui a mis en avant mercredi le rôle clair de l’Algérie dans la dynamisation de l’accord de paix, en sa qualité de pays qui a facilité la conclusion de cet accord, appuyé par toute la Communauté internationale et tous les partenaires internationaux. Continuer à lire … « L’Algérie a un rôle clair dans la relance de l’accord de paix au Mali »

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Greek PM says no EU deal on Libya unless Turkey accord scrapped

23/01/2020 – Libya’s internationally recognized prime minister, Fayez al-Serraj, said this week that his country will face a “catastrophic situation” unless foreign powers put pressure on eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar to lift a blockade of oilfields that has cut output to almost zero. Continuer à lire … « Greek PM says no EU deal on Libya unless Turkey accord scrapped »

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Germany – Intensifying cooperation on Libya – Maas visits Algiers and Tunis

23/01/2020 – Following the Berlin Libya Conference, the priority now is to implement the decisions adopted there. To achieve this, it is important to involve Libya’s neighbouring countries and the region. That is why Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is travelling to Algeria and Tunisia. Continuer à lire … « Germany – Intensifying cooperation on Libya – Maas visits Algiers and Tunis »

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Libya’s NOC Chief: Oil production will collapse to lowest level since toppling Gaddafi

23/01/2020 – Libya’s oil output will collapse within days to the lowest level since 2011, said National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) Chairman Mustafa Sanallah as a blockade of its export terminals has forced a rapid shutdown of production and electricity blackouts in parts of the country. Continuer à lire … « Libya’s NOC Chief: Oil production will collapse to lowest level since toppling Gaddafi »

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Installation of Sea cable linking Kenya and Djibouti starts

23/01/2020 – Installation of a sea cable that will link Kenya and Djibouti has started at La Siesta Beach – Djibouti.

The Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1 (DARE1) submarine cable system will be managed by Djibouti Telecom, Somtel, Telkom Kenya and SubCom.  Continuer à lire … « Installation of Sea cable linking Kenya and Djibouti starts »

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China keeps Kenya, Djibouti guessing on Security Council seat

23/01/2020 – China has kept Kenya and Djibouti guessing on who it will support for a UN Security Council seat.

Beijing diplomats have pledged support for both but failed to guarantee the vote, sticking to the policy of not taking sides publicly in political duels.

Continuer à lire … « China keeps Kenya, Djibouti guessing on Security Council seat »

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Burkina: Deux terroristes abattus et divers matériels saisis au Nord (Armée)

21/01/2020 – Deux terroristes ont été neutralisés et du matériel saisi, suite à une riposte des soldats burkinabè à Salmossi, localité située dans la province de l’Oudalan, à l’extrême Nord du Burkina Faso, a appris l’AIB mardi, auprès de l’armée. Continuer à lire … « Burkina: Deux terroristes abattus et divers matériels saisis au Nord (Armée) »

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Burkina – Attaques de Nagraogo : «Si on avait des armes, il y aurait pas eu autant de morts»

22/01/2020 – -«Si on avait des armes, il y aurait pas eu autant de morts», a réagi mercredi, le représentant des familles des 38 victimes des attaques du lundi à Nagraogo et à Alamou.

Une forte délégation, conduite par le gouverneur de la région du Centre-Nord, Casimir Segueda a présenté le 22 janvier 2020 à Barsalogho, ses condoléances et sa compassion aux familles des victimes des attaques terroristes du village de Nagraogo et de Alamou, survenues dans la soirée du 20 janvier dernier, dans la commune de Dablo. Continuer à lire … « Burkina – Attaques de Nagraogo : «Si on avait des armes, il y aurait pas eu autant de morts» »

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Burkina Faso : le Parlement autorise l’armée à recruter des volontaires dans le cadre de la lutte contre le terrorisme

22/01/2020 – Le Parlement burkinabè a adopté mardi, à l’unanimité, le projet de loi sur le recrutement de volontaires pour la défense de la patrie dans un contexte marqué par une lutte accrue contre le terrorisme, qui endeuille quotidiennement le Burkina Faso. »L’ensemble des députés, tout parti politique confondu, permet ainsi la mise en œuvre de l’appel de Roch Marc Christian Kaboré pour une prise en charge endogène et burkinabè de la défense de la Patrie », s’est réjouis le porte-parole du gouvernement Rémis Dandjinou. Continuer à lire … « Burkina Faso : le Parlement autorise l’armée à recruter des volontaires dans le cadre de la lutte contre le terrorisme »

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EU: Adjustment of Sofia Operation to Involve Arms Embargo on Libya Agreed.

22/01/2020 – EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has said that EU members have agreed to adjust Sofia Operation concerned with combating trafficking in the Mediterranean to involve forcing of the arms embargo imposed by the UN on Libya. In statements following talks by EU Foreign Ministers here on Monday, Borrell said EU ambassadors and experts were authorized to provide proposals of tangible results on how to impose a ceasefire and execute an arms embargo by the time of the next meeting in Brussels on Feb 17.

LANA / Libya

Sahelk-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

 

 

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Britain is investigating how Albanian guns were sent to Africa

21/01/2020 – Great Britain has involved the Albanian Prosecution into a series of investigative actions regarding a drug traffic case started by the Office of Customs and Revenues in the UK. Continuer à lire … « Britain is investigating how Albanian guns were sent to Africa »

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India/Niger – Visit of External Affairs Minister to Republic of Niger

22/01/2020 – External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar visited Niamey, Republic of Niger from 20-21 January 2020. During the visit, EAM called on President of Niger, H. E. Mahamadou Issoufou on 21 January and both the leaders jointly inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC). MGICC is the first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary was observed in 2019. Continuer à lire … « India/Niger – Visit of External Affairs Minister to Republic of Niger »

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Burkina Faso’s security disaster

22/01/2020 – Europe discusses a stronger military engagement in the Sahel. But the example of Burkina Faso shows the need for more.

In a highly symbolic ceremony on 13 January 2020, prior to the G5 Sahel summit in Pau, French President Emmanuel Macron and the presidents of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, laid a wreath for the 13 French soldiers who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Mali last November. 4,500 of their comrades are currently stationed in these countries as part of Operation Barkhane in the face of loud protests from large parts of the population and the resistance of a growing number of intellectuals. They are accusing the French foreign intervention of imperialist motives on the one hand, and ineffectiveness on the other — and even of fuelling the conflicts. Continuer à lire … « Burkina Faso’s security disaster »

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Sudan regrets that Libya’s neighbours were not invited to Berlin conference

21/01/2020 – Sudan expressed regret that neighbouring countries were not invited to participate in a conference organized by Germany to discuss a negotiated solution for the Libyan crisis.Berlin hosted on Sunday a meeting for the leaders of Algeria, Britain, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the U.S. to discuss ways to end fighting between the north African nation’s warring factions Continuer à lire … « Sudan regrets that Libya’s neighbours were not invited to Berlin conference »

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Canada and Sudan elevate diplomatic representation to the Ambassadorial level

21/01/2020 – Canada and Sudan have agreed to upgrade diplomatic relations and boost bilateral cooperation after the popular uprising that toppled down the former regime of Omer al-Bashir.The announcement was made in Ottawa and Khartoum as Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rob Oliphant, was in the Sudanese capital to meet with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Continuer à lire … « Canada and Sudan elevate diplomatic representation to the Ambassadorial level »

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Mercenaries Turkey sent to Libya are seeking refuge in Europe

21/01/2020 – On Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s orders, the Turkish state has been deploying its mercenaries from Syria to Libya. The Syrian mercenaries used primarily in the occupation of Afrin in Rojava have been sent to Libya in order to support the Tripoli-based government under the prime ministry of Fayez al-Sarraj. Continuer à lire … « Mercenaries Turkey sent to Libya are seeking refuge in Europe »

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Chad plans military deployment to Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border area

21/01/2020 – Chad’s defense minister discussed plans to deploy a battalion of military personnel to the Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border area with his French and Swedish counterparts on Monday, January 20, according to reports.

France’s Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly arrived in Chad’s capital N’Djamena on Sunday to begin a two-day visit to the Sahel region accompanied by Sweden’s Minister for Defence, Peter Hultqvist, the French ministry said in a statement. Continuer à lire … « Chad plans military deployment to Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border area »

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Crew kidnappings increase in the Gulf of Guinea

21/01/2020 – Despite overall piracy incidents declining in 2019, there was “an alarming increase” in crew kidnappings across the Gulf of Guinea, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report. Continuer à lire … « Crew kidnappings increase in the Gulf of Guinea »

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Nigerian Air Force receives second batch of AW109 helicopters

21/01/2020 – The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is about to take into service two more AW109 Power helicopters after they were delivered by air from Italy last week.

The two partially disassembled rotorcraft, along with equipment and spares, arrived at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on board a Boeing 737-400 Cargolux Airline aircraft from Malpensa International Airport in Italy on 15 January 2020. Continuer à lire … « Nigerian Air Force receives second batch of AW109 helicopters »

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Suicide bomber kills nine civilians in western Chad

20/20/2020 – In August, a suicide bomber killed five civilians and a soldier in the same village.

Militants also killed four Chadian villagers and kidnapped four women near Lake Chad earlier this month.

Boko Haram began in Nigeria but its attacks have spread to neighbouring countries. A faction affiliated with the Islamic State group, ISWAP, is particularly active around Lake Chad. Continuer à lire … « Suicide bomber kills nine civilians in western Chad »

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Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership praises jihadists in Mali and Somalia

20/01/2020 – Al-Qaeda’s senior management, or general command, has released a two-page statement praising the jihadists in Mali and Somalia. Al-Qaeda has strong branches in both East and West Africa, and the international organization’s leaders signal their approval for the jihadists’ ongoing wars in the new missive.

“Salutations for the Defenders of Islam in Mali” was released online on Jan. 18, with al-Qaeda’s propagandists making both Arabic and English versions available on various websites and social media channels. Continuer à lire … « Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership praises jihadists in Mali and Somalia »

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Burkina – Terrorisme: Quel avenir pour la coalition pour le Sahel? (Opinion)

20/01/2020 – Au Sahel, les initiatives de la communauté internationale pour contrer le terrorisme se multiplient. La crise sécuritaire, elle, s’amplifie. De Serval au partenariat pour la stabilité et la sécurité au Sahel (P3S) en passant par Barkhane, le G5 Sahel, Takouba, du chemin a été parcouru mais les résultats sont mitigés ; sinon décevants. Annoncée dans le sillage du sommet de Pau du 13 janvier dernier, la « coalition pour le Sahel » connaitra-t-elle un meilleur destin ? Continuer à lire … « Burkina – Terrorisme: Quel avenir pour la coalition pour le Sahel? (Opinion) »

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Niger – Le président Issoufou nomme de nouveaux généraux

20/01/2020 – Les nominations au sein de l’armée se poursuivent. Le président de la République a nommé par décret des officiers des forces armées nigériennes et de la gendarmerie nationale, après avis du Conseil supérieur de la défense nationale, réuni le 13 janvier 2020, a-t-on appris dans un communiqué du secrétaire général du gouvernement. Continuer à lire … « Niger – Le président Issoufou nomme de nouveaux généraux »

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WAPCo reçoit une autorisation de transport intérieur pour la réalisation du pipeline Niger-Bénin

20/01/2020 – Le gouvernement nigérien a signé un projet de décret portant attribution de l’Autorisation de transport intérieur et déclarant d’utilité publique le projet de construction du système de transport des hydrocarbures par canalisation Niger-Bénin. Continuer à lire … « WAPCo reçoit une autorisation de transport intérieur pour la réalisation du pipeline Niger-Bénin »

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Près de 200 terroristes neutralisés et des centaines de suspects interpelés en 2019 au Mali (président)

20/01/2020 – Près de 200 terroristes ont été neutralisés et des centaines de suspects interpelés en 2019 au Mali, a déclaré dimanche soir le président malien Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta dans son discours à la Nation à l’occasion de la Fête de l’Armée du 20 janvier. »Nos forces de défense et de sécurité payent certes un lourd tribut à l’insécurité. Mais il n’y a aucun doute qu’elles montent en capacité », a poursuivi le chef de l’Etat malien, ajoutant que c’était la « preuve que nos soldats s’habituent de plus en plus à la guerre asymétrique et qu’ils en maîtriseront l’art très bientôt ». Continuer à lire … « Près de 200 terroristes neutralisés et des centaines de suspects interpelés en 2019 au Mali (président) »

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Sudan: Norwegian Company to Invest in Block 17 in West Kordofan

20/01/2020 – The Minister of Energy and Mining Eng. Adel Ali Ibrahim has welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Norwegian NOROIL Company regarding the work in the block (17) in the West Kordofan State, reviewing the priorities of the oil sector that are concerned with increasing production, developing fields and increasing exploration, praising Norway and its role in developing the oil sector. Continuer à lire … « Sudan: Norwegian Company to Invest in Block 17 in West Kordofan »

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War against Boko Haram has failed —EU

20/01/2020 – The European Parliament which is the legislative branch of the European Union (EU), recently suggested that the Nigerian Army and the government had not been telling citizens the whole truth about the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

This followed the EU parliament’s claim that progress in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria has been stalled. Continuer à lire … « War against Boko Haram has failed —EU »

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Nigeria -Army warns foreign agencies against backing B’Haram

20/01/2020 – The Nigerian Army on Monday warned foreign countries and agencies against meddling into issues pertaining to national security, especially the fight against Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).

Although the Army did not give the names of the agencies, it advised both local and foreign interests to tailor their actions and utterances towards supporting the national cause with a view to restoring peace and tranquillity in the country. Continuer à lire … « Nigeria -Army warns foreign agencies against backing B’Haram »
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How the Battle for Libya Has Become a Proxy Conflict

20/01/2020 – Since the 2011 NATO-backed revolt in Libya that ended 42 years of rule by strongman Muammar Qaddafi, the oil-rich North African country has been in perpetual turmoil. The latest phase began in April, when military commander Khalifa Haftar and his forces marched on the capital Tripoli determined to unseat the internationally backed government located there. The battle for the city accelerated interventions in Libya by Russia and neighboring countries as they maneuver to shape the future of the OPEC member state. More than 2,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced by the fighting for Tripoli. In January, Russia and Turkey, which opposing factions, pushed the rival sides to accept a ceasefire. Continuer à lire … « How the Battle for Libya Has Become a Proxy Conflict »

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Communique on the Libya Conference in Berlin (AU)

20/01/2020 – The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat attended a conference on Libya in Berlin, Germany, at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel, alongside President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Chairperson of the AU High-Level Committee on Libya.

The conference, which invited international actors including all the permanent member states of the United Nations Security Council, had for its objective to assist the United Nations to unify the international community in their support for a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis.

The Chairperson reiterated the African position in support of a full and unconditional ceasefire, the respect for the UN arms embargo and the need for violators to face sanctions, and the return to an inclusive Libyan-led and owned political process that includes an effective follow-up monitoring mechanism.

The African Union High Level Committee on Libya, established in 2011, is expected to convene a follow up meeting in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 30 January 2020, to study the evolution of the situation in Libya, ahead of the February 2020 AU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

African Union (AU)

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

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African leaders in Togo to help fight fake drug menace

18/01/2020 -Seven African leaders are in Lome, capital of Togo, as a summit against fake drugs kicked off on Friday (January 17). The two-day summit is under the aegis of the Brazzaville Foundation.

It is the first time African heads of state are gathering on the issue of fake drugs on the continent which continues to plague especially sub-Saharan Africa. Discussions at the political and health level are on the agenda to build a reliable strategy. Continuer à lire … « African leaders in Togo to help fight fake drug menace »

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Sudanese militias play instrumental role in Libya’s conflict

18/01/2020- Ahead of fresh talks in Berlin this weekend to broker a peace deal for Libya, a key issue on the table will be the divisive influence of foreign militias and actors. The fall of Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Sudan has been particularly destabilising, explain Nina Pouls and Umberto Profazio.
Continuer à lire … « Sudanese militias play instrumental role in Libya’s conflict »

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Sudan’s intelligence chief resigns after Khartoum mutiny

18/01/2020 – Sudan’s spy chief Abu Bakr Mustafa has stepped down two days after a revolt in the capital Khartoum.

“The director of intelligence has resigned. He called us by telephone and we asked him to submit a written resignation, so we are now considering it,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s sovereign council, told state television on Wednesday. Continuer à lire … « Sudan’s intelligence chief resigns after Khartoum mutiny »

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Saudi Arabia among largest donors of Sudan with $1.2 billion

18/01/2020 – Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, advisor at the Royal Court and supervisor general of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), said that Saudi Arabia has been, and still is, one of the most significant donor countries of Sudan, and has so far provided Sudan with more than $1.2 billion. Continuer à lire … « Saudi Arabia among largest donors of Sudan with $1.2 billion »

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ANALYSIS – Can Berlin conference solve Libyan crisis?

18/01/2020 – Main goal to solve Libyan crisis is to convince Gen. Khalifa Haftar war is not solution, says expert.

Nebahat Tanriverdi Yasar, Expert on North Africa studies at Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM)

ISTANBUL

Negotiations for a permanent cease-fire in Libya remained inconclusive in Moscow but now Germany is organizing a conference on Sunday to end the fight for Tripoli which has been carried out by Gen. Khalifa Haftar since April.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry announced leaders and heads of states from 12 countries and four multinational organizations, including the UN, were invited to the Berlin conference.

On the other hand, acceleration of troop deployment in Tripoli sent by Haftar, who did not sign a cease-fire agreement in Moscow; resurgence of fulfillment by United Arab Emirates (UAE), an important ally of Haftar; and tough statements from Egypt, raise questions about the success of the conference.

The Berlin conference can only achieve success if a common will to end the external support deepening of the war in the country is ensured.

However, with the ongoing help of the UAE and Egypt, Haftar overturned the negotiation table in Moscow, which was established by Turkey and Russia, aiming for a permanent cease-fire. It proves that a political solution to the Libyan crisis would not be easy under these circumstances.

What is the ultimate goal of the UAE and Egypt?

The reason why the war has been continuing since 2014 and turned into a deadlock is that Libya became a field for the fight of regional and global powers.

Haftar expanded his control on the territories by launching military operations in eastern Libya in 2014. Firstly, he expanded the area under his control to the western Fezzan region in eastern Libya and then to the western parts of the country. The military and financial support of regional allies who invested in Haftar during the process enabled the success for the Libyan commander.

The ultimate goal of the many foreign actors which invested in Haftar, especially Egypt and the UAE, is to ensure forces loyal to Haftar enter the city center of Tripoli and gain the control of the Libyan Oil Ministry — which operates in Tripoli and manages the income earned from Libya’s oil resources — and the Central Bank of Libya.

Haftar’s demands during cease-fire negotiations in Moscow indicated that he sat at the table to achieve this goal. Considering the table as a tool for achieving that, Haftar, who deployed more militias in Tarhunah and a group of his air forces in al-Qardabiya military air base in Sirte, still keeps the war option on the table.

On the other hand, the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) has been isolated in the war since France, Italy and the U.S. remain unresponsive to the Tripoli offensive and support Haftar.

However, the Libyan crisis sit at the top of the global agenda when Turkey, who inked a memorandum of understanding with Libya on Dec. 27, announced it would deploy troops to Libya to support the GNA.

Unlike the GNA, who has military support only of Turkey, Haftar gained backing from Russia, the UAE, Egypt and France. Haftar, who thinks himself powerful with the support of several international actors, has large room to maneuver, which enables him to refuse demands of countries supportive of him.

Although Russia was expected to give a harsh response to the latest move of Haftar, it was obvious that Russia could not easily give up on Haftar, as he has other alliances, and it has limited influence on the Libyan commander.

Haftar, who is preparing to attend the Berlin conference, goes through an intense preparation in fronts close to Tripoli at the same time. He bought new air defense systems from Russia despite unsuccessful negotiations in Moscow. It is also observed that flights between Aleppo and Benghazi have been intensified.

Haftar considers negotiation table as a tool for gain

For Haftar, a negotiation table is a tool for achieving his goals which he could not realize by fighting. The reason that Russia, which has the influence to affect the field as of 2019 thanks to the support it has provided for Libya, failed to convince Haftar, is that the UAE and Egypt also approached the table with the same attitude. The advisors from the UAE accompanied Haftar during negotiations in Moscow. This point to the important role that the UAE played and continues to play in this process.

The relationship between the UAE and Haftar is based on mutual interests. The military operations initiated by Haftar, which target the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Libya, are important for the UAE’s political agenda in the region.

Following the Arab Spring, the UAE launched operations against the al-Islah movement, which is the Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in the UAE, since 2012, citing the threat against the regime’s security. The UAE accused it of “attempting to overthrow the regime,” and carried out several arrests and trials.

In 2014, the UAE, along with the Saudi Arabia, recognized the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization.” Defining the movement as a national and international security threat, a war with an extensive front line against the Muslim Brotherhood has begun.

Egypt undoubtedly was one of the first fronts of this war and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who came into power in Egypt opened the doors of Libya for the UAE. In 2014, the UAE took its part in the Libyan civil war by carrying out a range of air strikes in Tripoli from military bases which Egypt opened to the UAE. Thus, in the post-2014 period, Egypt and the UAE helped Haftar change the balance of power in his favor in the field with the air support they provided. Forces loyal to Haftar have owed their military advance and control of a significant part of the country to the air support provided by Egypt and the UAE.

On the other hand, Egypt and the UAE’s presence in Libya has been ignored by international actors. On July 3, 53 people were killed and 130 were wounded in an air strike at a migrant detention center in Tajoura town, east of the capital Tripoli. A UN commission investigating the attack completed its work in November and submitted the report to the UN Security Council.

According to the report, the attack was carried out by « an unknown number of Mirage 2000-9 ». Those Mirage jets used air bases in al-Jufra and al-Khadim and the air strike was carried out by a fighter plane. The UN report concluded that « it is highly probable the air strike was carried out using precision-guided missiles by a fighter jet operated by a UN member state acting in direct support of Haftar armed forces,” but it did not name the state.

Furthermore, the condemnation statement by the UN Security Council, which gathered after the attack, was prevented by the U.S. Although the name of the country which carried out the air strike was not mentioned in the report, it is widely believed that the aforementioned warplane belongs to the UAE. The UAE has been operating the al-Khadim military base in Libya and has been carrying out its military operations from here since 2016. Strengthening its military presence with a base in Libya, the UAE aims to guarantee its gains in Libya by providing international legitimacy for Haftar and the House of Representatives in Tobruk.

The UAE, which has put great effort so far, has not achieved its goal. Therefore, it does not want to lose the advancement it gained with the fight for Tripoli. Due to the Libya crisis, the UAE’s efforts in this regard came to the fore after UN’s then-special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, who brokered the 2015 Skhirat agreement offered by the UN, started to work for a UAE-financed think tank after his tenure expired. It was revealed that Leon communicated with the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed via e-mail regarding these talks during the political negotiations in Libya in December 2014.

However, the Skhirat agreement also failed to achieve the international legitimacy desired. At the beginning of 2015, the GNA was established under the leadership of Fayez as-Serraj with the support of the UN; but the House of Representatives in Tobruk did not recognize the new government. While the UN-backed GNA was trying to control the groups in Tripoli, Haftar was continuing to expand its operations to the west and south of the country. Thus, the military option was accepted as a fruitful tool by international actors who supported Haftar, especially by the UAE and Haftar himself.

All efforts for negotiation since then were interrupted by military operations of forces loyal to Haftar. There was a solution plan consisting of three phases — UN’s special envoy to Libya Gassam Salameh is to revise the Skhirat agreement between the House of Representatives in Tobruk and the Supreme State Court in Tripoli by the end of 2017, parties are to gather to negotiate in a national dialogue conference, and elections are to be held in the country. However, during the negotiations, Haftar continued his operations in the oil-rich regions of the country in eastern Libya.

Following this development, France and Italy sought to be the party that resolves the Libya crisis through separate summits throughout 2018 in order to be active in Libya’s future. However, France and Italy’s attempts aiming to exclude one another did not solve the crisis but disrupted the UN process as well and resulted in Haftar gaining support. This time, the UN talks in February 2019 were postponed due to the Fezzan Operations in which the important oil facilities and sites were taken under control in southern Libya. Following the Fezzan Operations, the UAE carried out a diplomacy tour, convinced the Libyan National Oil Company to remove the « force majeure » in the southern oil fields, which prevented the oil shipment and legitimized Haftar’s presence in the oil field. In addition, as-Serraj and Haftar started negotiations in Abu Dhabi at the end of February, with the support of the UN and the UAE. The fight for Tripoli took place immediately after these negotiations and just before the Libyan National Congress, which was decided to be held on April 14.

War in Libya seems difficult to end

A brief analysis of the past makes it clear that Haftar’s allies, especially the UAE and Haftar himself, have been using the negotiation table as an extension of the war for a long time. For this reason, it seems difficult for the war in Libya to end as long as this external support continues. It will be possible to talk about a permanent solution in Libya only with the establishment of a political environment with a consensus on issues such as formation of a state, distribution of economic resources, governing the country, constitution, and election law. But the main goal today in the Libyan crisis is to convince Haftar that war is not a solution. It does not seem possible to achieve this goal without persuading allies who support Haftar.

Anadolu Agency

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) |Photo: People gather at the Martyrs’ Square to stage a protest against the attacks of Libya’s renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s troops in Tripoli, Libya on January 17, 2020. ( Hazem Turkia – Anadolu Agency )

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