AFRICA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


AFRICA

Nov 20 22:33

MOU: Angola, U.S. Navy, offshore OIL

Angola, U.S. to sign MOU in military sector
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20:19, November 18, 2008

Angola and the United States are analyzing the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding in the military sector, Angola's official news agency ANGOP reported on Tuesday.

Visiting Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces for Europe and Africa Adm. Mark Fitzgerald was quoted as saying that a military accord will be reached some time in 2009.

After meeting with Angolan Foreign Minister Assuncao dos Anjos on Monday, the U.S. naval officer said both sides are discussing the date for signing the accord.

Nov 19 18:43

Hungry in Zimbabwe: 'If you rest, you starve'

Officials from Mugabe's party toured the Doma district recently and told the new farm owners that the government could not supply their needs. They were advised to make do with what seed they had left, and with animal manure for fertilizer.

Ordinarily, after harvest the cotton fields are burned to protect the next year's crop from disease. Not this year. People couldn't afford to buy new seeds, and were hoping to get another season out of last year's crop. Instead, the crops came up diseased.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Zimbabwe's natural resources include:

* coal
* chromium ore
* asbestos
* gold
* nickel
* copper
* iron ore
* vanadium
* lithium
* tin
* platinum group metals

And which country has been in the forefront of wanting to develop these resources?

China.

As reported in

http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-09/Look-East-Policy-of-Zim...

on 30 Sept 2008 by Darren Taylor:

"An international human rights organization based in the United States is warning that relations between Zimbabwe and China are in the future likely to be increasingly strained. The Enough Project – an alliance of scores of advocacy organizations from all over the world – says Zimbabwe’s recent power-sharing agreement could result in a realignment of Beijing’s relationship with Harare. China has in recent years given President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF government significant political and economic support. Humanitarian groups say this has exacerbated Zimbabweans’ suffering."

“The fact that China throughout this (political and economic chaos in Zimbabwe) simply stood by and said, ‘this is an internal matter,’ I think sends a pretty clear message to Zimbabweans that the Chinese really don’t care about Zimbabwean’s human rights concerns, about their desire for democracy and about the overwhelming expression that it’s time for Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF to go.”

One has to wonder just how much more of this the Zimbabwean people will suffer through before they take matters into their own hands, with a blowback that Mugabe and all his henchmen cannot begin to comprehend.

Nov 19 15:34

Indian warship destroys pirate ship

An Indian warship destroyed a pirate "mother vessel" in the Gulf of Aden, the navy said Wednesday, as bandits demanded a ransom for a Saudi super-tanker seized in the most daring sea raid yet.

The Indian frigate INS Tabar, one of dozens of warships from several countries protecting shipping lanes in the area, attacked the Somali pirate ship late Tuesday after coming under fire, navy spokesman Nirad Sinha said.

Nov 19 13:51

Pirates anchor hijacked supertanker off Somalia coast

The Saudi Arabia-owned supertanker hijacked by Somali pirates in a raid several hundred miles out to sea is understood to have anchored off the coast of Somalia.

The Sirius Star, which is fully loaded with crude oil, is understood to be at anchor close to a headland called Raas Cusbad, near Hobyo.

The owner of the ship, Vela International Marine, said the 25 crew members on board were safe.

The company said response teams had been established and were working to ensure the release of the crew and the vessel, which was seized by pirates on Saturday.

Nov 18 18:33

Islamists poised to seize Somalia again in setback to U.S.

The rise of al Shabaab — from the Arabic word for "youth" — in many ways represents the very scenario that the Bush administration sought to avoid two years ago, when it quietly backed an invasion by Somalia's neighbor, Ethiopia, to drive a federation of hard-line Islamic courts out of Mogadishu.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This must be true Bush foreign policy: the US's intervention had the absolutely opposite outcome from what it was supposed to have achieved!

Nov 16 10:09

U.N. envoy says Congo crisis talks going well

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Saturday his efforts to end fighting in Congo were going fairly well and that President Joseph Kabila had not given conditions for talks with the rebels.

The United Nations says weeks of fighting have caused a humanitarian catastrophe. On Friday, aid workers began feeding tens of thousands of refugees in rebel-held areas.

After seizing swathes of territory in battles last month, Nkunda threatened to take his rebellion all the way to the distant capital Kinshasa unless Kabila negotiated with him.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For former Nigerian President Obasanjo to characterise these talks as "...going fairly well", given the realities on the ground here, you have to wonder how he would describe these talks as "going rather poorly"!

Nov 16 10:06

Congo's Poor Lose Last Possessions

As panicked thousands have abandoned villages across eastern Congo in recent months, the scale of looting that has followed has been massive, a crime reflecting the predatory culture pervading Congo since the Belgian colonizers perfected it decades ago.

Nov 13 08:06

Officials flee as rebels seize port

"They are regrouping," Richard Barno, an analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said of the militants. "Is this part of a bigger plan to take over Mogadishu? I think so. They are preparing themselves."

The Bush Administration has backed the presence of Ethiopian troops to shore up the Somali Government, fearing that the rebels could seize control of the Horn of Africa nation and provide a refuge for Islamic militants from other nations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It looks as though yet another of this administration's covert military misadventures is about to backfire yet again.

One has to wonder if the criteria for joining Bush's administration included an absolute absence of any understanding of history or culture, coupled with a strong penchant for magical thinking.

Nothing else can quite seem to explain the never-ending string of international and domestic disasters which have marked these last eight years.

Nov 09 11:36

My Photos of empty shops In Johannesburg's shopping malls...

My Photos of empty shops In Johannesburg's shopping malls...

Nov 03 07:56

Russia, Libya sign civil nuclear deal as Kadhafi visits: Tripoli

Libya and Russia signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal Saturday, Tripoli's foreign minister said, as Moamer Kadhafi visited Moscow for talks he said could help restore "geopolitical equilibrium".

Nov 01 09:36

Congolese rebels torch refugee camps

More than 150,000 people could be hiding in the Congolese jungle without food, water or shelter after rebels destroyed camps for refugees near the town of Rutshuru. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said camps holding more than 50,000 people had been forcibly emptied, before being torn down and burnt. Sources in Rutshuru said more than 150,000 people from the town and the camps had fled north into the jungle.

Oct 31 09:32

Diplomatic scramble to avert Congo disaster

Oct 29 10:35

Regional war fear as 50,000 homeless in Congo in two days

Congolese government forces are fleeing the eastern capital of Goma as Rwandan-backed rebels press towards the town, threatening a lethal confrontation with United Nations peacekeepers and the prospect of all out regional war.

Western aid workers in Goma, with a population of 600,000, described scenes of mayhem in the streets as columns of government tanks and military vehicles streamed out of the city and panicking civilians fled for cover, fearing an imminent rebel onslaught.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is about to get very ugly very quickly.

Oct 29 08:35

Deaths reported after explosion hits UN compound in northern Somalia

The United Nations has confirmed that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) compound in northern Somalia was attacked this morning, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries.

“At approximately at 10 o’clock this morning the UNDP compound in Hargeysa, Somaliland, was hit by an explosion, caused by a vehicle which forced entry into the compound,” according to a statement issued by the Office of the UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, which is based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Oct 18 07:53

Bleak scenes as Ethiopia puts war before famine

The restrictive Ethiopian security regime hiding the worsening crisis in the country's southern Somali region has infuriated important donors. Western officials privately warn that a damaging stand-off with the country is unfolding.

Addis Ababa this week conceded that 6.4 million people were on the brink of death and agreed to open up the worst hit parts of the country to shipments of outside assistance.

Oct 16 08:58

Ethiopian Troops Leave Somalia

Why is a Scot newspaper the only one to report this from Somalia?

"Troop pull-out leaves government on brink - Ethiopian withdrawal marks end of disastrous intervention that sparked new violence and suffering."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The "why" there has been almost no mention in the US press about this is it is simply that this campaign has been yet another US-backed and supported military misadventure, horrendously ill-conceived, which is blowing up in the faces of its creators like a very bad trick cigar.

Oct 15 08:00

Millions face starvation in Zimbabwe

Aid agencies say that half the population, about five million people, face starvation, two-thirds of children are out of school and water shortages have led to deadly cholera outbreaks.

Emaciated children are dying in hospitals, many more are being turned away to die at home. At one Manicaland hospital a doctor said that they were getting more cases of hunger-related diseases than ever before. “Half of the admissions end up in the mortuary,” the doctor said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This country used to be known as "the breadbasket of Africa".

The governmental management of agriculture and economy can only be described a complete, unmitigated disaster.

Oct 12 08:30

Troop pull-out leaves government on brink

SOMALIA'S FRAGILE government appears to be on the brink of collapse. Islamist insurgents now controls large parts of southern and central Somalia - and are continuing to launch attacks inside the capital, Mogadishu.

Ethiopia, which launched a US-backed military intervention in Somalia in December 2006 in an effort to drive out an Islamist authority in Mogadishu, is now pulling out its troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yet another proxy war and attempted occupation for resources bites the dust.

And the outcome? Death, starvation, civil war. But hey, for this administration, that's all in a day's work; particularly when it's other people's kids doing the fighting, getting maimed, starving, and dying.

Oct 11 08:53

With Spotlight on Pirates, Somalis on Land Waste Away in the Shadows

The causes are unemployment, drought, inflation, a squeeze on global food supplies and a war that will not end. Fighting between Somalia’s weak transitional government and a determined Islamist insurgency has been heating up in the past few weeks, driving thousands from their homes and cutting people off from food. The hospital wards here are one indicator of the conflict’s intensity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What the article labels "Somalia’s weak transitional government" is a US-supported proxy government The US appears to be absolutely willing to keep this war going, with all the more starvation and death that will cause, in order to secure Somalia's natural assets for the West.

On Oct 1 2008, as reported here:
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/10/01/africa_renditions/

"In late 2006, the Bush administration backed a full-scale Ethiopian military offensive that ousted the Islamist authorities from Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The fighting caused thousands of Somalis, including some who were suspected of terrorist links, to flee across the Kenya border."

"The U.S. is funding the Ethiopian military, supporting its activities in Somalia and training Kenyan security forces in counterterrorism — so as U.S.-backed military and police forces in the region brutalize their domestic opponents in the name of fighting terrorism, the United States is often blamed."

Take a good look at the picture of the kid at the top of the article, and imagine - just for one second - that this was your kid, starving, dying, and there isn't one thing you can do about it, except hope that some tiny morsel of formula will revive them - if they can just get fed quickly enough.

This situation is the ultimate outcome of what is being done with your tax dollars and in your name in Somalia.

Oct 05 13:35

Command for Africa Is Established by Pentagon

Last week, in a small Pentagon conference hall, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, inaugurated the newest regional headquarters, Africa Command, which is responsible for coordinating American military affairs on the continent.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why?

We have two disastrous wars we are losing, and they are dragging our economically-crippled nation closer to bankruptcy with each passing day. What lunatic is planning yet another war in Africa on a scale requiring its own command structure? How do they plan to pay for it, and more to the point, who do they intend to fight it?

Oct 05 09:49

Zimbabwe on the brink of new crisis as food runs out

Six months after the elections, Zimbabwe still lacks a functioning government and is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Following the worst wheat harvest since the independence war, bread has run out and sugar supplies are set to follow. USAid, the American government humanitarian agency, is warning that the country could run out of the maize, the staple food, by next month. Farming officials say the government's stated aim of producing maize on 500,000 hectares this season is unattainable.

Oct 04 10:38

What Nobody Wants To Know About Somalia And Why; And What That Means

A huge war crime -- a massive crime against humanity -- is going on right now in Somalia, courtesy of (but only indirectly traceable to) the Bush administration and Washington's bipartisan power elite.

What's happening? And why doesn't anybody want to know? These are troubling questions for anyone who cares about the soul of America, and even more troubling for anyone who's beginning to suspect that America has no soul at all.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We need to care greatly about what is being done in our names and with our tax dollars overseas. This is part of a global resource war, and the US government has morphed into a "by any means necessary" machine to obtain those resources.

Wars of occupation, torture, murder; these have become the legacies of the American government.

Oct 03 10:43

Update On Renditions in U.S. Terror War in Somalia

Here is a follow-up to yesterday's post about Somalia. The BBC has a report from inside "Africa's Guantanamo," the Ethiopian prison where refugees fleeing the American-backed invasion of Somalia were "renditioned," often with help of U.S. agents.

Oct 03 09:12

Somalian Violence Rages, UN Says 80 Civilians Have Died In Past Two Weeks

Byrs says thousands have been driven from their homes in the last two weeks. She told reporters Friday that nearly half of Somalia's 8.3 million people need food and other assistance.

Recent droughts and high food prices have added to the country's problems. Somalia has been without a stable government for more than 17 years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Somalia's largely unexploited natural resources include iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt,natural gas, and likely oil reserves" (http://indexmundi.com/somalia/natural_resources.html)

As reported by Steve Bloomfield in Nairobi on 7 May, 2008:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/call-for-inquiry-into...

"Amnesty International has called for the role of the United States in Somalia to be investigated, following publication of a report accusing its allies of committing war crimes."

"According to the report, based on the testimonies of refugees who have fled Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, in recent weeks, Ethiopian troops have killed civilians by slitting their throats. Ethiopian and Somali forces were also accused of gang-raping women and attacking children."

"US troops trained Ethiopian forces involved in military operations in Somalia, and the US government supplied military equipment to the Ethiopian military"

The resource war in Africa, propped up with your tax dollars , continues unabated, even though the corporate media rarely covers it.

One has to wonder if the "training" of Ethiopian soldiers for these operations resulting in these atrocities is ultimately not all that different from some of the "training" received by those US troops deployed here in the US, beginning this last Wednesday, October first.

Sep 30 09:46

The Pentagon's new Africa command raises suspicions about U.S. motives

U.S. officials have billed the new command, known as Africom, as a sign of Africa's strategic importance, but many in Africa see it as an unwelcome expansion of the U.S.-led war on terrorism and a bid to secure greater access to the continent's vast oil resources. Several countries have refused to host the command, and officials say Africom will be based in Stuttgart, Germany, for the foreseeable future.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is not surprising that the estimation of the nature of this mission by African leadership is so suspicious that not one African country will allow US to build its headquarters there!

Sep 22 17:19

Uganda may pass miniskirt ban

Uganda's ethics and integrity minister Nsaba Buturo is seeking a ban of miniskirts because of the distraction it causes, equating it with nudity:

"What's wrong with a miniskirt? You can cause an accident because some of our people are weak mentally. . . If you find a naked person you begin to concentrate on the make-up of that person and yet you are driving . . . These days you hardly know who is a mother from a daughter, they are all naked."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Okay, Uganda is off the "places to visit" list!

Sep 20 09:30

Battles rock Mogadishu, Islamists show strength

Somalia's warring parties pounded each other with artillery in Mogadishu on Friday after an African Union military aircraft defied a rebel ban on planes using the capital's international airport.

The bombed-out city's airport had been abandoned since Tuesday after Islamist insurgents from the hardline al Shabaab group vowed to shoot down any aircraft trying to land there.

In another demonstration of their increasing strength, the Islamists also chased away pro-government militia manning roadblocks in the south of the lawless Horn of Africa nation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like Washington is losing yet another military misadventure over natural resources, this time in Africa.

And note how quickly local militants who want their country back, and out of the control of foreign nations, are simply lumped in with "Al Qaeda".

Sep 18 09:20

In Nigeria 'oil war,' militants step up attacks

A rare military raid on a militant camp in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta last week points to a new, tough approach by the Nigerian military that could force the region into a deeper state of anarchy.

Militants have responded to the pre-dawn raid with a series of deadly counter attacks on oil facilities and military positions. The delta's most prominent rebel group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) issued a statement Sunday via e-mail declaring an "oil war."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could be the beginning of a civil war in Nigeria, and the Nigerian government's attacks appear to be unifying the militants in a way not really seen before.

Sep 14 17:30

Nigeria militants warn of oil war

Militants in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region say they have "declared war" on the government after battling security forces guarding facilities.

In an email released by Mend, the group said it had launched an "oil war" on the government in response to what it described as unprovoked aerial attacks on its bases in the Niger Delta.

"The operation will continue until the government of Nigeria appreciates that the solution to peace in the Niger Delta is justice, respect and dialogue," the group said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We may well be seeing the beginnings of a real civil war in Nigeria.

One has to wonder what foreign nation will "race to the rescue" (neutralizing the opponents) of the current government, given Nigeria's oil riches.

Sep 08 08:42

Threat of all-out war in Congo

Clashes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo last week between government forces and a rebel militia threatened to plunge the region back into all-out war. The violence also threatened vulnerable wildlife including the rare mountain gorilla.

The attacks displaced more of the war-fatigued Congolese people, who have endured a decade of armed conflict. More than 100,000 have fled their homes already this year and are living in huts in squalid camps. At least 5.4 million people have died in the 10-year war making it the deadliest conflict since the Second World War.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is about who will control the country's vast natural resources, and who will actually reap the reward from that control.

Sep 05 10:36

Work of Evil: Beyond the Worst-Case Scenario in Somalia

American forces have bombed fleeing refugees, slaughtered innocent herdsmen and destroyed villages in attempts to assassinate a handful of individual alleged, on shaky and specious evidence, to be "part of" or "associated with" or "linked to" al Qaeda. American agents have seized refugees from the Somali war, including U.S. citizens, and had them "renditioned" to the notorious prisons of the Ethiopian dictatorship. And as we have noted here many times, the Bush Administration has sent in death squads to "kill anyone left alive" after American strikes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your tax dollars at work, folks. Doesn't it make you feel proud to be an American?!?

Aug 24 10:47

Thousands flee as Islamists seize city

MOGADISHU: Islamic militants said they have seized control of Kismayo, Somalia's third largest city, after three days of fighting that left about 70 people dead and led thousands to flee.

Ethiopian troops have helped Somalia's shaky transitional government push the Islamists from power in Mogadishu and the south, but failed to establish security or improve living standards.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What the second paragraph should have stated, clearly:

"The US-backed Ethiopian troops have helped Somalia's shaky transitional government push the Islamists from power in Mogadishu and the south, but failed to establish security or improve living standards."

This proxy war has nothing to do with the welfare of the lives of the Somalian people, and everything to do with its vast resources, which the West is hoping to exploit by controlling its government.

Aug 19 09:38

Fire breaks out in Egypt's parliament

Fire has erupted in Egypt's parliament but there is no word on casualties or the cause.

Aug 06 09:13

Beijing sends Mugabe packing

ZIMBABWE'S President, Robert Mugabe, has been forced to return home following intense political pressure from the Chinese Communist Party not to attend Friday night's opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.

Jul 25 08:58

Playstation 2 component incites African war

At the center of the conflict is the unrefined metallic ore, coltan. After processing, coltan turns into a powder called tantalum, which is used extensively in a wealth of western electronic devices including cell phones, computers and, of course, game consoles.

Allegedly, the demand for coltan prompted Rwandan military groups and western mining companies to plunder hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the rare metal, often by forcing prisoners-of-war and even children to work in the country's coltan mines.

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