Egypt, UK hold military talks

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

img2Army chief of staff Mahmoud Hegazy met on Tuesday with British deputy chief of the defence staff, Mark Carleton-Smith, who was heading a delegation visiting Egypt.

The meeting discussed a joint cooperation in the military field between the two countries, in light of the terrorism challenging the region, a statement by the army spokesperson read. Read the rest of this entry »

French PM visits Algeria

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgFrench Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve started Wednesday, a two-day working visit to Algeria, which is part of the regular consultations between the two countries.

Upon his arrival at Houari Boumediene International Airport, Cazeneuve was welcomed by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and members of the government. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump says US will forge a ‘great bond’ with Egypt

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

President Donald Trump signaled a new era in US-Egypt relations on Monday, assuring his Egyptian counterpart that years of tepid relations will now give way to a “great bond” between their two nations.

Trump reunited with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi for talks ranging from collaboration against the Islamic State group to bolstering Egypt’s flailing economy. Read the rest of this entry »

European Union trains ‘credible army’ in CAR

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

With EU help, the Central African Republic is seeking to turn the page on years of bloodshed by retraining its army and by month’s end a first battalion is to present arms.

The European Union last year unveiled the launch of a two-year military training mission for CAR troops in the capital Bangui, along the lines of similar assistance in conflict-hit Somalia and Mali. Read the rest of this entry »

Fighting sends 3 000 South Sudanese into Uganda this week

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe United Nations says roughly 3 000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Uganda after fighting in the eastern town of Pajok.

The UN refugee agency spokesperson Katherine Weinright says that represents a “significant increase” in the number of refugees in the Lamwo area of Uganda. The influx is expected to continue in the coming days. Read the rest of this entry »

UN finds more mass graves in DRC’s Kasai region

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The UN investigators said on Monday they had found more mass graves in the central Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where tribal militias are battling security forces.

“We have shared with the authorities the discovery of new mass graves in Grand Kasai. The number has risen from 10 to 23 mass graves in Kasai, Kasai-Central and Kasai-Oriental,” senior UN human rights official Jose Maria Aranaz told AFP. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisia, Sudan sign agreements to enhance cooperation

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Sudan and Tunisia on Thursday signed 22 agreements, executive programs and Memoranda of Understanding to enhance cooperation between the two sides.

The operation agreements, signed during meetings of the joint Sudanese-Tunisian Higher Committee, include areas of health, tourism, occupational training and operation, technical education and agriculture. Read the rest of this entry »

Kobler meets Libyan military commanders in Cairo

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United Nations Envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, gathered in Cairo, on Monday, with Libyan military commanders and diplomats to talk about the ways of activating the Libyan political operation.

Kobler said, on his Twitter account, that a great exchange of ideas in Egypt with diplomatic and military leaders on revitalising the Libyan political process. Read the rest of this entry »

US pledges support for Egypt in fight against terrorism

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

US President Donald Trump told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday that he strongly backs Sisi’s leadership and that they would work together to fight militants.

“I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President Sisi. Read the rest of this entry »

Armed men killed at least 50 in CAR

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

At least 50 people have been killed and dozens more injured since Tuesday after armed men attacked three villages in the central Bambari region of the Central African Republic, local residents who fled their homes said.

Prosper Tchoulekrayo, who escaped from Yasseneme village, said the attackers had “fired indiscriminately on the inhabitants”. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria: 15 terrorists arrested or killed by Army in March

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Eleven (11) terrorists were eliminated, four others were arrested and one surrendered in March during various counterterrorism and border security-related operations carried out by the People’s National Army (ANP).

Following these operations, the Army discovered a body of one terrorist, arrested 22 individuals supporting terrorist groups and destroyed 42 shelters for terrorists. Read the rest of this entry »

UN urges new efforts to defeat Boko Haram

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The UN Security Council called for stepped up efforts on Friday to defeat Boko Haram insurgents and Islamic State extremists in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region and tackle the humanitarian crisis that has left millions facing hunger and possible famine.

A resolution adopted unanimously by the UN’s most powerful body strongly condemned attacks by the militant groups and encouraged greater support to strengthen the capabilities of the multinational force trying to rout them. Read the rest of this entry »

New jihadist alliance claims border attack in Mali

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

A new jihadist alliance claimed responsibility on Saturday for an attack that killed three members of Mali’s security forces on March 29, according to a statement released by jihadist monitoring group SITE.

Three Malian jihadist groups with previous Al-Qaeda links recently joined forces to create the “Group to Support Islam and Muslims” (GSIM), led by Iyad Ag Ghaly of Islamist organisation Ansar Dine. Read the rest of this entry »

Mali opposition close to joining key peace summit

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Mali’s opposition on Saturday took tentative steps towards ending its boycott of a political summit enshrined in the country’s 2015 peace deal after the government extended a deadline to facilitate extra talks.

Opposition parties were the last holdout after former rebels who had led several uprisings against the state in Mali’s north ended their own boycott on Tuesday to attend a conference designed to ensure the shaky peace accord remains on course. Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt military says top Islamist killed in Sinai

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, April 3, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgEgypt’s military said on Sunday a founder of a militant faction in North Sinai that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group was killed in an air strike.

A total of 18 “extremely dangerous” insurgents were killed and others wounded in raids carried out on March 18, it said. Read the rest of this entry »

French FM talks Arab nations over Libya tensions

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has undertaken multiple contacts this week with a number of Arab nations concerning the rising tensions in Libya, Ayrault’s press office said on Thursday.

In a statement, France said that it continues to work for “a political compromise between the different Libyan parties” but that the volatile situation currently warranted a new call for all parties to work towards stability, a political solution and national reconciliation. Read the rest of this entry »

CAR leader wants training for troops

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The president of Central Africa Republic called Thursday for additional training and equipment for the country’s armed forces so they can be deployed to deal with the conflict among armed groups that is leading to loss of lives “and massive destruction.” Read the rest of this entry »

Libya PM welcomes all efforts to solve Libyan crisis

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Libya’s Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj on Wednesday hailed “all efforts, especially of Arab countries, for the resolution of Libyan crisis,” including the initiatives of Algeria and Egypt, which culminated in the signing of the Declaration of Tunis. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria: dangerous terrorist killed near Tipasa

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgA dangerous terrorist was eliminated Wednesday near Tipasa (50-km west of Algiers) by a detachment of the People’s National Army, said Thursday the Ministry of National Defence in a statement.

“As part of the fight against terrorism and following tips, a detachment of the People’s National Army of Tipasa (1st Military Region) killed, yesterday 29 March 2017 at 8 pm, the dangerous Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt President to visit US on April 3

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The White House announced Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make an “official visit” to Washington on April 3, ending years in which the Egyptian president had been kept at arm’s length amid rights concerns.

“President Trump and President Al-Sisi will use the visit to build on the positive momentum they have built for the United States-Egypt relationship,” the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.

Over 60 000 S Sudanese enter Sudan in three months: UN

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

More than 60 000 South Sudanese have entered Sudan in the first three months of 2017, the UN refugee agency said on Wednesday, fleeing famine and war in the world’s youngest nation.

South Sudan, formed after splitting from the north in 2011, has declared a famine in parts of the country where 100 000 people are said to be facing starvation. Read the rest of this entry »

Libyan premier calls for dialogue between rivals

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The head of Libya’s UN-backed government has called for a dialogue between all political rivals in the North African country to reach a political settlement to the country’s crisis.

Fayez Serraj told an Arab summit in Jordan on Wednesday that “everyone knows that no party can achieve a military solution.” Read the rest of this entry »

Thousands flee Boko Haram attacks around Nigeria’s Chibok

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Some 7 000 people have fled from villages around the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok because of Boko Haram attacks, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday.

The IOM said an estimated 4 449 people or 740 households have fled to Chibok itself since February 25, “seeking safety following attacks or threats of attacks in some neighbouring villages”. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle East events and news

Author : Admin | Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Posted in category Special Analysis

Hamas Official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: The Quran Tells Us To Drive the Jews Out Of Palestine In Its Entirety And To ‘Kill Them Wherever You May Find Them’
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, one of Hamas’s leaders in Gaza, said that “removing the Jews from the land they occupied in 1948 is an immutable principle” appearing in the Quran, and said: “Our position is: Palestine in its entirety, and not a grain of soil less.” Speaking on Al-Aqsa TV on March 8, Al-Zahhar advised Hamas and the Islamic Jihad never to mention the 1967 borders, as “this becomes like part of a joint plan.”
Saudi Columnist: The Future of Arabs and Muslims Will Remain Dark Unless They Subject Their Values And Heritage To A Critical Assessment
In an article titled “A Critical Look at the Past Is an Absolute Must,” posted on Alarabiya’s English-language website, Saudi columnist Mohammed Al-Shaikh wrote that the current rise of the radical right in the West is a reaction to violent Islamic extremism that espouses the values and culture of the past. He argued that the West discarded such backward ideas by subjecting them to logical critical thinking, and that the Arabs and Muslims will never move forward unless they do the same – namely renew their cultural beliefs using tools of logical criticism and confront the reasons that produced the culture of hate.
Fatah Official: We should launch popular resistance against Israel because what unites us is the struggle against it, not dialogue with itIn a March 21, 2017 article in the Palestinian daily Al-Quds, Fatah Central Committee member ‘Abbas Zaki wrote that nothing has changed since the 1967 defeat. Therefore, he said, Fatah must mobilize its tens of thousands of members and launch a popular resistance campaign against Israel, which all the other Palestinian factions will then join.
ISIS Claimed Responsibility For Attack In London
On March 23, 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS) news agency A’maq claimed responsibility on behalf of the organization for the attack that took place the day before outside the Parliament building in London. The notice, distributed on ISIS Telegram channels, read: “A security source to the A’maq agency: the perpetrator of yesterday’s attack in front of the British Parliament in London is a soldier of the Islamic State. He carried out the attack in response to [ISIS's] calls to target the citizens of the states [participating] in the coalition [against ISIS].”
Palestinian-Jordanian Terrorist Ahlam Al-Tamimi To Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Mouthpiece: ‘As Long As They [The Zionists] Remain On Our Land, The Jihad Must Continue’
Following a March 20, 2017 decision by the Amman Court of Cassation to reject a U.S. request for her extradition, Palestinian-Jordanian Hamas terrorist Ahlam Al-Tamimi gave an interview, on March 22, 2017, to the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) mouthpiece Al-Sabil.
Boko Haram’s First Message In French Threatens Christians In West Africa
On March 17, 2017, the jihadi group Boko Haram, also known as the West Africa province of the Islamic State (ISIS), released a new video message by its leader Abu Bakr Shekau. The message also included an unprecedented message in French by a French-speaking African fighter, in which he threatens the Christians in the area.
Saudi Shura Council Member Ibrahim Al-Buleihi Criticizes Arab Society: All We Want Today Is To Regress Further
Saudi Shura Council Member Ibrahim Al-Buleihi said that Arab society has become “even more backward than it used to be.” Speaking on Rotana Khalijiyya TV on November 3, 2016, he said: “In the past, we did not create organizations like Al-Qaeda and Taliban. At least we had aspirations and dreams of change.”
by memri.org – march, 2017

THE HORN OF AFRICA: INCREASING INTEREST OF SIGNIFICANT GEOPOLITICAL ACTORS

Author : Admin | Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Special Analysis

Several recent developments but mostly the increasing military presence of some powerful international actors are attracting the analysts’ attention towards the Horn of Africa, one of the most complex and conflicted regions of the world.

For the last 150 years, the Horn has been a theater for strategic power struggles: the British Empire’s demand to control the Red Sea, Egypt’s attempt to control the Nile Waters, the Cold War confrontation in which each of the principal countries of the Horn switched sides, and most recently the U.S. Administration’s “Global War on Terror.” The civil war in Yemen added Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to the interested actors. Also, China became interested to add a military presence to its economic expansion in the region.

Each of the countries of the Horn Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan suffers from protracted political strife, arising from local and national grievance, identity politics and regional inter-state rivalries.

The most recent example is the civil war in the newly-created state of South Sudan, which became independent in July 2011 and where civil war erupted in 2013. Although a fragile peace agreement was signed in 2015, violence started up again in July 2016, between forces of the South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir (who are mostly Dinka), and rebels loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar (who are mainly Nuer). Also, a famine was declared in the country (as well as several others in the region) on February 20th. In the first week of March as many as 3,000 people were crossing the border to Uganda each day to escape fighting. In 2016, Uganda accepted more people from South Sudan (489,000) than crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe (362,000).

In this context, observers noted the March 2017 East African tour (including Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya) of British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, in preparation of a ‘London Conference on Somalia’, which Britain will host next May following a similar summit held in 2013.

The London summit is taking place in the context of the recent announcement of the EU that it plans to roll back its support to AMISOM (the UN and EU-funded force in Somalia that battles against the Somali militant group al-Shabaab) and cut the soldiers’ pay by 20 percent.

However, for Europe, alongside maritime security, the Horn of Africa is important for its main problems. One is the violent extremism represented by al-Shabaab, against which the EU funding of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is the single biggest European security expenditure on the continent. The second issue is migration, since Eritreans fleeing their despotic government are the third largest group of refugees arriving in Europe, behind Syrians and Afghans. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisia’s PM arrives in Sudan

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Wednesday arrived in Khartoum for an official two-day visit to Sudan during which he is to hold talks with his Sudanese counterpart Bakri Hassan Saleh.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said that the two countries’ prime ministers would hold joint talks which “would review a number of files, while a number of agreements would be signed on Thursday.” Read the rest of this entry »

US to keep some special forces troops in Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgUS Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, head of the US Africa Command, told reporters that the US needs to retain a small special operations force in Libya indefinitely.

Even though he estimated that less than 200 Islamic State fighters remain in Libya, the general still maintained that they were enough of a threat to retain the special operations force there. Read the rest of this entry »

US General: Russia is trying to expand its influence in Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Russia is trying to expand its influence in Libya through a combination of military means and oil and weapons sales, a top US general said Friday.

General Thomas Tom Waldhauser, who heads the US military’s Africa Command, said Russia is “on the ground” in the border region between Egypt and Libya.

“They are trying to influence the action, we watch what they do with great concern,” Waldhauser told Pentagon reporters. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria condemns terrorist attack in London

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Algeria “strongly” condemned the terrorist attack perpetrated Wednesday, in Westminster, in the British capital.

“The attack that struck, this afternoon, the British capital is a coward terrorist attack that we condemn in the strongest terms, underlined the spokesperson of the ministry of Foreign Affairs Abdelaziz Benali Cherif in a statement to APS. Read the rest of this entry »

Burkina Faso forces kill key jihadist, arrest others

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Burkina Faso’s government says its military forces have killed a key jihadist and arrested 18 others in the country’s north, close to the West African nation’s border with Mali.

Security Minister Simon Compaore said on Friday that forces also seized weapons and ammunition in Wednesday’s operation. Read the rest of this entry »

Somalia: Al-Shabaab claims to kill 17 soldiers in attack

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgAn organisation that monitors extremist groups says al-Shabab has claimed to kill 17 soldiers and wound 22 in an attack in southwestern Somalia.

The SITE Intelligence Group says in a statement Thursday that the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab’s news agency posted a claim on Facebook about attacking the coastal city of Barawe. Read the rest of this entry »

Mubarak freed from detention

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgEgypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak left a military hospital on Friday where he had spent much of his six-year detention, his lawyer said.

Mubarak had been cleared for release earlier this month after a top court finally acquitted him of involvement in protester deaths during the 2011 revolt that ousted him.

“Yes,” his lawyer Farid al-Deeb told AFP when asked if Mubarak had left the hospital on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

At least 50 killed by armed men in CAR

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, March 25, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

At least 50 people have been killed and dozens more injured since Tuesday after armed men attacked three villages in the central Bambari region of the Central African Republic, local residents who fled their homes told AFP.

Prosper Tchoulekrayo, who escaped from Yasseneme village, said the attackers had “fired indiscriminately on the inhabitants”. Read the rest of this entry »

UN peacekeeping chief visits Mali, South Sudan

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Herve Ladsous, on Friday kicked off his visit to Mali and South Sudan with his successor, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who was appointed to replace Ladsous next month, a UN spokesman told reporters here. Read the rest of this entry »

Libya’s major ports get ready to resume crude shipments after clashes

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Libya’s major oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are resuming operations and preparing to export crude after a two-week halt in shipments due to armed clashes in the holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves.

Libya’s total production rose on Monday to 646,000 barrels a day from 621,000, mostly due to an increase from Waha Oil Co, Jadalla Alaokali, a National Oil Corp board member, said by phone the Read the rest of this entry »