Morocco, Israel set to establish direct flights: Report

Ismaeel Naar, Al Arabiya English

14/09/2020 – Israel and Morocco are set to announce direct flights as part of the next step in US efforts to facilitate normalization efforts between Israel and Arab states, according to Israeli Channel 12.

The Channel 12 report also said Israel is currently in talks with Sudan regarding plans to send a humanitarian aid plane carrying much-needed assistance amid major flash floods.

The report comes a day after Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.

Israel has so far normalized ties with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain. The country still does not have formal ties with either Morocco or Sudan.

Bahrain and the UAE will formally sign their peace agreements with Israel at a signing ceremony on September 15 at the White House.

Al-Arabiya

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

 

Traffic of Phosphate, Derivatives Increases by 13.1% in Moroccan Ports

29/08/2020 – The traffic of phosphate and its derivatives in Moroccan ports reached a volume of 21.1 million tons at the end of July 2020. The figure represents an increase of 13.1% compared to the same period in 2019.

The National Agency for Ports (ANP) announced the results in a statement earlier this week.

The increase is mainly due to a rise in fertilizers exports, by 39.8%, as well as a growth in sulfur (15.1%) and ammonia (29%) imports. Continuer à lire … « Traffic of Phosphate, Derivatives Increases by 13.1% in Moroccan Ports »

Canada should rethink aid to Mali after two coups, analysts say

The Globe and Mail

20/08/2020 – After two military coups in Mali in the past eight years, Canada and other key donors are being urged to reconsider their massive financial and security support for Mali’s dysfunctional government.

Soldiers seized power in the West African country on Tuesday for the second time since 2012, capitalizing on mass protests and rising discontent with a government that has failed to end years of violent insurgencies and corruption. The mutinying soldiers were greeted with jubilation in the streets of Mali’s capital, Bamako, in a clear sign that the government had lost the support of the population, despite the huge flows of international aid.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced his resignation within hours of his arrest by the rebel soldiers. The military announced plans to set up a civilian transitional government and hold elections, but the African Union decided on Wednesday to suspend Mali, while West African countries closed their land and air borders with Mali and threatened to impose sanctions on it.

Canada is one of Mali’s biggest foreign supporters, providing a total of about $1.6-billion in development aid over the past 20 years, along with hundreds of military peacekeepers and police trainers. Other countries, including France, have sent thousands of soldiers and military vehicles to fight Islamist radicals.

The aid, however, has failed to end the violent conflict that has devastated the country. A report this month by United Nations’ experts found that senior army and intelligence officials in Mali are deliberately obstructing a 2015 peace agreement, allowing the violence to continue.

Over the past year alone, Canada provided about $140-million in development aid to Mali, deployed troops and police officers to the country, spent millions of dollars on peace and stabilization programs and wrapped up a 12-month peacekeeping mission in northern Mali that included helicopters and hundreds of military personnel. Canadian mining companies have also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Mali.

About 10 Canadian military officers are currently stationed at the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission in Bamako, and there are no plans to evacuate them, according to Captain Gregory Cutten, a public-affairs officer for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The international aid has been criticized as excessively focused on military security, neglecting the crucial issues of governance that determine whether Mali’s political leaders can maintain public support.

“If you can’t get the governance right, you are really frittering away the money you are sending there,” said Fen Hampson, professor of international affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Inside the Canadian government, there are signs that Ottawa agrees with the criticism. A Canadian official said the international community – including Canada – needs to spend more on governance in Mali rather than just counterinsurgency. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the official because they were not authorized to speak publicly on Mali.

The official agreed that the massive aid has helped Mali’s government to avoid demands for reform. The UN mission in Mali must do a better job of helping the government address popular grievances on issues such as policing, electricity, water and schools, the official said.

Prof. Hampson said the immediate challenge for countries such as Canada will be to hold the coup leaders to their pledge to provide free and fair elections. But in the longer term, he said, countries including Canada should be prepared to spend more on boosting Mali’s capacity to govern and meet the needs of its citizens.

“If you’re going to be engaged, you better be prepared to stay there for the long haul and not simply be doing a quick one-off because you are running for a seat on the United Nations Security Council,” Prof. Hampson told The Globe.

“If you can’t get the governance right, you are really frittering away the money you are sending there,” said Fen Hampson, professor of international affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Inside the Canadian government, there are signs that Ottawa agrees with the criticism. A Canadian official said the international community – including Canada – needs to spend more on governance in Mali rather than just counterinsurgency. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the official because they were not authorized to speak publicly on Mali.

The official agreed that the massive aid has helped Mali’s government to avoid demands for reform. The UN mission in Mali must do a better job of helping the government address popular grievances on issues such as policing, electricity, water and schools, the official said.

Prof. Hampson said the immediate challenge for countries such as Canada will be to hold the coup leaders to their pledge to provide free and fair elections. But in the longer term, he said, countries including Canada should be prepared to spend more on boosting Mali’s capacity to govern and meet the needs of its citizens.

“If you’re going to be engaged, you better be prepared to stay there for the long haul and not simply be doing a quick one-off because you are running for a seat on the United Nations Security Council,” Prof. Hampson told The Globe.

“It does require perhaps a more serious international effort and not just by the French who have been doing a lot of the heavy lifting.”

He said there is a tendency to see Mali “as a bit of a sinkhole” because of the billions already spent by Western countries. “It’s a long-term problem and you’re going to have lots of failure but at the end of the day you have to ask the question: ‘What is the alternative?‘ ” he said.

“The alternative – to pull back and walk away – would not just mean destabilization in Mali and continuation of problems in the north, where you have both separatist elements and Islamic jihadists. It’s the contagion that is already spreading to other parts of West Africa.”

Chris Roberts, a political scientist at the University of Calgary who specializes in Africa and peacekeeping issues, said the heavy flow of foreign aid has allowed Mali’s government to stall the political reforms and accountability measures that it badly needs.

“As most Malians on the street know, the international community is part of Mali’s fundamental political crisis: It seems to support an entrenched political class,” Mr. Roberts told The Globe.

In the years before the 2012 coup, and again in the years before the latest coup, Canada significantly expanded its aid for Mali, he said.

“Canada ramped up its bilateral aid to Mali as political malaise, corruption and security dynamics got worse,” he said.

“We ignored the direct and indirect effects of development and security assistance. Mali’s political elites face no incentives to change, to improve institutions, elections and accountability, when they know the international community will keep the financial flows coming. Until we try harder to understand how high levels of aid foster an unaccountable political system, we are part of the problem.”

Judd Devermont, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the international community has been ignoring the political realities in Mali.

The country’s elite have reverted to patronage politics, neglecting the peace process and losing the trust of the public, he said in a commentary on Wednesday. “They have chosen to simply go through the motions,” he said.

AUTHOR : THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Photo: Colonel-Major Ismael Wague, centre, spokesman for the soldiers identifying themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, speaks during a news conference at Camp Soudiata in Kati, Mali, on Aug. 19, 2020, one day after President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was forced to resign in a military coup. // Arouna Sissoko/The Associated Press

Loss of revenues due to Libyan oil closure exceed $7.8 billion

08/08/2020 – The National Oil Corporation (NOC) reported on Tuesday the total loss of sales opportunities as a direct result of oil installation closures amounts to 7.841 billion dollars, during the 200 days of force majeure.

The NOC, on its official Facebook page, called for an end to the forced closure of its installations in order for international partners to be able to provide extra support in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

It is worthy to note that warlord Haftar’s forces closed the oil fields and ports in the country since January last for economic and political gains.

The Libya Observer

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

Bolloré Transport & Logistics provides logistics support to the mango industry in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali

07/08/2020 – For the 2020 crop year, the operational teams of Bolloré Transport & Logistics have processed 10,575 tons, or 940 TEU, of mangos via air and maritime transport.

A partner of the mango industry, Bolloré Transport & Logistics guarantees the cold chain, right from the packing phase in hard-to-access production zones, through its logistics platforms located in Côte d’Ivoire (Bouaké, Ferké and Korhogo), Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso) and Mali (Sikasso and Bamako). Controls are carried out regularly to ensure that the temperature is maintained throughout the transport. Continuer à lire … « Bolloré Transport & Logistics provides logistics support to the mango industry in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali »

Sudan’s economy is controlled by mafia group: Hemetti

28/07/2020 – The chairman of the Sudan Emergency Economic Committee and member of the Sovereign Council Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemetti) severely criticized some institutions and officials before to accuse them of cooperating with a « mafia » that controls Sudan’s economy. Continuer à lire … « Sudan’s economy is controlled by mafia group: Hemetti »

Iran, Senegal review oil, energy, agriculture coop.

18/07/2020 – During the meeting, the two sides discussed the expansion of cooperation in the field of oil, gas, and energy.

The holding of the fifth meeting of the Iran-Senegal Joint Commission as well as the program of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of official relations between the two countries were among the topics discussed during the meeting of Dehshiri and Makhtar Cisse on Friday.

Dehshiri also met and held talks with Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment Moussa Balde on Thursday.

The two sides reviewed the development of agricultural cooperation between Iran and Senegal.

Mehr News / Teheran

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

 

Gas investors in Mozambique choose appeasement in face of Islamist violence

13/07/2020 – The number of attacks in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province is on the rise. Among the latest victims were eight employees of a local gas sector contractor. But foreign investors are resolved to counter these threats.

Inocência Mapisse is shocked over the loss of lives in northern Mozambique. But as an expert on large-scale energy projects, she knows that such violent attacks not only affect the families of the deceased but are also a major disruption for the entire Mozambican economy. Continuer à lire … « Gas investors in Mozambique choose appeasement in face of Islamist violence »

Russia to continue working on free trade zone with Egypt, says Presidential Envoy

13/07/2020 – The proactive work on implementation of projects of free trade zones between Russia and Egypt and between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Jordan will continue, special envoy of the Russian President and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday in an open interview with First Deputy Director-General of TASS Mikhail Gusman. Continuer à lire … « Russia to continue working on free trade zone with Egypt, says Presidential Envoy »

Russia offered technical assistance in situation around Renaissance Dam

08/07/2020 – The dam is supposed to become the largest in Africa, consisting of 15 radial-axis hydraulic units.

Russia has offered its technical assistance to the countries involved in the dispute over Ethiopia’s construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday. He was speaking after talks with the foreign ministers of the troika of the African Union (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, South Africa) that were held in a video format. »We offered the participants of the conflict our assistance, in particular technical assistance. There are things that can be useful. They know about it, » Lavrov said. Continuer à lire … « Russia offered technical assistance in situation around Renaissance Dam »