Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
US, UK "public school" diaspora to World: More british than the British and Jamaicans. Combined.

trtworld | Nigeria's opposition urges president to reconsider intervention in Niger, 5 Aug

"The consequences will be casualties among the innocent citizens who go about their daily business," Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, spokesperson for the Northern Senators Forum, said just after the ECOWAS ultimatum. The northern regions have deep social and trade links with southern Niger, where local populations share many cultural, religious, and linguistic heritages.
species UPDATE: Ghosts in Africa (21.05.23)
...For the last decade, most reconstructions of African population history have been seeing ghosts. This got started as early as 2007, when Vincent Plagnol and Jeffrey Wall looked at West African and European population samples to consider how much of their genomes might have come from divergent ancestral groups....
Sumaila also warned of insecurity risks if Niger is destabilised as the Sahel region battles long-running militant insurgencies.

Those concerns were shared by the country's largest opposition grouping, which denounced the potential military operation in Niger as "absolutely thoughtless".

oilprice | Nigeria Blows Up Illicit Oil Vessels In Airstrike Operation (07.08.23)
"The Nigerian military have been overstretched over the years battling terrorism and all manners of insurgency that are still very active," the Coalition of United Political Parties said Saturday. Besides insurgency groups in the northeast, Nigeria's security forces are battling organised crime gangs in the centre and northwest, and separatist groups in the southeast.

archive ELECTION 2023 Nigeria, AU55 reality check, "massive EU investments announced", Guinea junta freezes state assets
The country has also plunged deeper into economic hardship with [Bola] Tinubu's decision to end fuel subsidies last May. His goal was to free up funds for investment, in agriculture and social programmes in particular. The immediate result, however, was a quadrupling of fuel prices for a country where nearly half the population is estimated to live in extreme poverty.

"Nigeria, in its current socioeconomic state, cannot afford such a costly intervention," the coalition argued.

by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 01:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Niger rejects rules-based order, 8 Aug RBO-R2P
France and the US coordinate their actions with the Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS]. The ECOWAS initially did some sabre-rattling but has piped down. Its deadline for intervention has passed. The ECOWAS simply does not have a mechanism for the rapid gathering of troops and the coordination of hostilities, and its powerhouse Nigeria has its hands full tackling internal security. The Nigerian public opinion feels wary about a blowback—Niger is a large country and has a 1500-kilometre long porous border with Nigeria. An unspoken truth is, Nigeria is hardly interested in increasing the French military presence in Niger or on being on the same side with France, which is extremely unpopular throughout the Sahel.
The only regional state that can afford effective military intervention in Niger is Algeria ["traditional ally" of France?]. But Algeria has neither any experience in conducting such operations on a regional scale nor has any intention to depart from its consistent policy of non-interference in the internal politics of a sovereign country. Algeria has warned against any external military intervention in Niger. "Flaunting military intervention in Niger is a direct threat to Algeria, and we completely and categorically reject it... Problems should be solved peacefully," said Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

At its core, without doubt, the coup in Niger Republic narrows down to a struggle between Nigeriens and the colonial powers. To be sure, the growing trend of multipolarity in the world order emboldens African nations to shake off neo-colonialism. This is one thing. On the other hand, the big powers are being compelled to negotiate rather than dictate.

Thanks, no. G7 are waving 2021 joint-force "outpost" agreements stamped by Bazoum. I'll take the under. archive Fri Sep 9th 2022

Walter Rodney, "Aspects of the International Class Struggle in Africa, the Caribbean and America"

...The first Pan-Africanists to engage in the political mobilization of the African masses on African soil had a continental outlook. The African National Congress which was formed in the Union of South Africa in 1912, aimed at being 'African' and not merely 'South African' and it was renamed in 1923 to emphasize this fact. Significantly, organizations of the same name extended into what is now Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania. It is also significant that dynamic African spokesmen of the 1930s like Nnamdi Azikiwe and Wallace Johnson were African rather than Nigerian or Sierra Leonean. But the lawyers and place-seekers who eventually took the independence movement in hand were incapable of transcending the territorial boundaries of the colonial administrations. Imperialism defined the context in which constitutional power was to be handed over, so as to guard against the transfer of economic power or genuine political power. The African petty bourgeoisie accepted this, with only a small amount of dissent and disquiet being manifested by the progressive elements such as Nkrumah, Nyerere, and Sekou Toure.[2] Areas of West and Central Africa which experienced French colonial rule witnessed the shameless dismantling of those colonial politics which had a large territorial base. Whereas the French had maintained unity for exploitation, the African petty bourgeoisie lacked the capacity to demand both unity and freedom. So they accepted the ["]Balkanization["] which led to fragments called Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, and so on. Since independence, little or no progress has been registered with respect to reversing this Balkanization....

by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2023 at 02:24:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eeas.europa.eu | Election Follow-up Mission [EFM] to Zimbabwe - Final Report Publication, 15 July 2022
The Final Report of the EFM notes slow and limited progress in the implementation of the recommendations offered by the EU [Election Observation Mission] EOM in 2018. It highlights a number of challenges that, if left unaddressed, might affect the organisation of inclusive, transparent and peaceful elections in 2023. For example, key recommendations designed to improve the campaign environment by promoting a level playing field, accountability and transparency have not yet been tackled.
Positively, the EFM report highlights that several actions to undertake a comprehensive electoral reform were initiated following the 2018 elections, both from the government side and from civil society. Whilst [UK-Eng. ALERT] the Covid-19 lock-down delayed the process, an Inter-Ministerial Task Force considered recommendations from the election observers, including the EU EOM, and developed a draft bill to amend the Electoral Act. Should the bill be advanced in its current form, it would bring noteworthy improvements to the election process. In a press conference organised by the EFM on 20 May, Chief of Mission Mr. Elmar Brok underlined the need for the reform process to move forward in a timely and inclusive fashion to promote credible elections next year.
IRI | Zimbabwe 2023 Elections: A Risk Assessment of the Online Space, 26 July 2023, 20pp META promo
WhatsApp is the leading online media platform in Zimbabwe, used by 3.7 million people--almost half of Zimbabweans with access to the internet.10 Its low data use has made the platform a leading communication tool for social and political discourse. Although the platform has restrictions on its political use, both the ruling party and the opposition are actively utilizing WhatsApp to spread their message. Facebook is next with 1.3 million users.11 The platform is actively used for political campaigning and information exchange.12 Although Twitter does not enjoy the same popularity, with only 232,200 users, it is still an active space for social discussions and political campaigning.13

Information Integrity, which refers to the accuracy, consistency, and reliability of information, is of concern in Zimbabwe, especially during the pre-election period.14 Main narratives spread through social media have two dimensions: issues concentrated on transparency, accountability, and corruption, and targeted attacks toward opposing figures, including hate speech, name calling, and discrediting of individuals.

The ruling party and the government are known to spread propaganda aimed at Western ideals (equality, freedom of expression, human rights, etc.) labeling sides as "patriots" and "sell-outs." Online hate speech is primarily targeted at journalists, human-rights defenders, women, the LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex) community, and tribal communities.15

Although < wipes tears > the Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees freedom of expression and media, Zimbabwe has implemented laws that target online expression.16 Journalists and activists have faced criminal charges for exposing corruption and abuse of power.17 Internet access, especially in rural areas of the country, is significantly low, which makes a large percentage of the population dependent on state-controlled media. Internet shutdowns have occurred around political events such as protests and post-election periods.18

Zimbabwe's political landscape has a troubling history of offline violence, especially around elections. The country's security forces, backed by ZANU-PF, have consistently engaged in acts of unlawful violence, exhibiting a sense of impunity. These acts often result in police brutality and further victimization of vulnerable groups.19

hrw | Zimbabwe: Repression, Violence Loom over August Election, 3 Aug
Zimbabwe authorities have failed to take necessary steps to ensure that the general election slated for August 23, 2023, meets international standards for free and fair elections, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 44-page report, "'Crush Them Like Lice': Repression of Civil and Political Rights Ahead of Zimbabwe's August 2023 Election," finds that the seriously flawed electoral process threatens the fundamental rights of Zimbabweans to freely choose their representatives.

...Human Rights Watch spent two weeks in Zimbabwe in April and May 2023. Twenty-eight (28) people were interviewed, including representatives from the main opposition party, election observer groups, lawyers, human rights activists, and ordinary citizens. These people provided first-hand accounts on electoral conditions in the country ahead of the August 23, 2023, elections....
The electoral process has been undermined by the authorities' adoption and use of repressive laws, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's (ZEC) lack of impartiality, the Zimbabwe Republic Police's partisan conduct and use of intimidation and violence against the opposition, the opposition's lack of access to voter rolls, and impunity for individuals responsible for election-related abuses.
herald.co.zw | Biased observers: History repeating itself, 19 Aug guilt by association
For instance, Chris Maroleng, who has been described by some as a commissar journalist for opposition parties and his accomplices, would want to masquerade as an unbiased observer when history is littered with his anti-Zimbabwe sentiments, which, upon deportation on Thursday he demonstrated without restraint or shame, baring his true colours as an off colour political activist.
herald.co.zw | Govt warns errant poll observers (19.08.23)
...In a statement yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said the Government had noted with disappointment, reports carried yesterday by a local daily on alleged gross interference in Zimbabwe's electoral processes by a named foreign observer mission.

"Allegations that the foreign observer mission is giving grocery vouchers, fuel coupons and other freebies to local journalists so that they write negative reports on the elections have been met with the utmost disgust.

"The reports, if true, go against the spirit of non-interference and mutual respect that the invitation to observe our elections was extended under....

Why would Zanu PF, or any government for that matter acquiesce to have the company of biased observers Good Governance Africa when they are known agents provocateurs? As we speak, more than 60 so-called observers of Maroleng ilk are in the country disguised as observers when they have devious intentions behind the façade of observing elections. They are from the American Government-funded Carter Centre and pose a threat to the country's elections as they have no intention to be partial and to keep to the tenets of unbiased elections observers.

Some of the members include individuals who have been involved in, or accused of, subverting constitutionally elected governments on the continent. Among the observers there is Mr Bornface Chibwana who runs an NGO in Malawi called Multiparty Democracy and was instrumental in the downfall of former Malawi President Professor Peter WaMutharika, also on the list is Mr Arthur Nanthuru who is a political activist in Malawi. Also there is Sekonyela Mapetja Director of Lesotho Council of NGOs as part of the Short Term Observers contingent.

Regionally, most of the groups are under the Southern Defenders headed by Mr Katema Katema, a group that has caused mayhem in Lesotho and Swaziland as well. These groups interview voters, and collect so-called electoral malpractices that they then use to mount court challenges in the event of disputed polls. The individuals leading Western-sponsored nongovernmental organisations have been active in Lesotho and they caused serious demonstrations that resulted in the loss of the ruling party where a six-month-old opposition eventually won after a series of demonstrations.

conscience whips asses
trtafrika | EU vote observers reject claims of bribing Zimbabwe journalists, 19 Aug
... Citing unnamed sources, The Herald daily newspaper on Friday reported that an EU media team had met 18 journalists and handed out whiskey and grocery vouchers to "influence journalists to make outlandish claims that seek to sully the whole election process". The EU election observation mission (EOM) "is astounded by the defamatory and malicious accusations made in an article, published in local Zimbabwean media," said head of the delegation Fabio Massimo Castaldo.

'Unsubstantiated rumours'

"These allegations are based on unsubstantiated rumours and entirely fabricated," his statement said. He described previous attempts to discredit his mission and concluded that such stories were "blatant disinformation of the Zimbabwean public".
Twelve candidates are running for the presidency, but the competition is essentially a race between President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 80, and Nelson Chamisa, 45, in a country beset by corruption, inflation, poverty and unemployment.

euractiv | EU vote observers to Zimbabwe reject bribe report, 20 Aug ditto
A European Union team observing upcoming elections Zimbabwe on Saturday (19 August) denied a state-owned newspaper story alleging they were involved in a bribery scandal....
archived IRI | Moldova, IRI-USAID
by Cat on Mon Aug 21st, 2023 at 03:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
linkedin | Chris Maroleng, Good Governance Africa international CEO

gga.org | Chris Maroleng abstract résumé

is Global Advisor and the SADC Executive Director of Good Governance Arica. He is an accomplished public and corporate affairs practioner with close to 20 years working experience specialising in strategy, research, media, communication, security, corporate governance and public affairs. Prior to his GGA appointment, Chhris was the Chief Operation Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), where he was responsible for the organisation's turnaround strategy, improving the DAABC's cash balance, enforcing governance and driving efficiencies in operations cluster as well as promoting a performanc culture for optimal outcomes.
Prior to joining eNews, Chris worked at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in the African Security Programm (ASAP), as a senior researcher in peace and security issues in Africa, and where he published extensive reports related to African affairs. Chis holds a MA in International and Comparative Politics from the University of Cape Town. Hew was also a Menell Media Fellow,at Duke University's Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy.
ewn.co.za | Chris Maroleng, 2018-2020
• Marleng takes SAABC to court for demation, reputation damage
• Maroleng: SABC dismissal hurt my reputation
• Axed COO Chris Maroleng demanding R16m from SABC
• SABC acting COO Craig van Rooyen resigns
• SABC set to facce-off with Marleng after finding him gulity of gross negligence
• SABC briefs media on its financial situation (Albert Dunlap School of Business Management)
news24 | Chris Maroleng booted out of Zimbabwe, Daily Maverick photographer's accreditation denied, 18 Aug "free press"
Former SABC chief operating officer Chris Maroleng has spoken of his dismay after he and his team were deported from Zimbabwe ahead of Wednesday's general election.

Maroleng, who now works for Good Governance Africa, said he and three colleagues were in the country to carry out "vital field research on election conditions and challenges in Zimbabwe".
Maroleng took to social media to post about their "disturbing" experience with the country's immigration officials: "My colleagues and I have been abruptly deported by the Zimbabwean government from Harare today (Thursday) at [16:15]. Our stay, a mere two days long since our arrival on Tuesday, has been cut short in a manner that highlights the grave implications of bad governance.
On Thursday, after Maroleng's deportation, the Zimbabwe information ministry's permanent secretary, Ndabaningi Mangwana wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the state noted that people have had an interest in visiting the country ahead of the elections. However, he said they need to follow the right processes.

"If you are an election observer, say so, we accredit such. If you are a journalist say so, we accredit such. If you make misrepresentations to the immigration officer, you may find yourself on the next plane home.

odysee.com interview, Elections are very important, as they're first for this new republic - Zanu-PF representative, (EN) run time 00:05:04
.ZM Second Republic: "Zimbabwean politician and ZANU-PF administration secretary, Obert Mpofu, spoke with RT on the country's political agenda and upcoming general election."
by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 03:41:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cartercenter.org | Carter Center Preliminary Statement on Zimbabwe's 2023 Harmonized Elections , 25 Aug 4pp
The key findings of this preliminary statement are as follows:
Election Day: On election day, Carter Center observers reported that the voting process ran smoothly at most polling stations; however, in some areas, particularly in Harare, Bulawayo, and Manicaland, polling stations opened late—in some cases more than 11 hours late.
Voting process followed international standards: Palestinian observers (25.08.23)
"By the same token, national observers and parties' agents seem to uderstand their rights and duties and they were satisfied with the process so far,' [Central Elections Commission of Palestine chief Hishum Kuhail] said. "It is worth mentioning here of the gender mix of local observers and parties' agents. In all centres visited, long queues, peaceful environment, order, presence of local observers were evident. The voting process followed international standards. Voters were checked agaist the voters list, then given three ballot papers (Presidential, National Assembly, and local authority). The voter finger is then marked by indelible ink and cast his/her vote [with]in a secure voting screen, and final[ly] cast the votes in their designated ballot boxes."
Although the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission extended voting hours, and the government officially proclaimed Aug. 24 as an additional election day, many stakeholders expressed concerns that logistical delays may have depressed voter turnout in those areas. Closing and counting procedures were assessed as largely positive in the limited number of polling stations the Center observed....
voa | US Embassy Joins Others Voicing Concern About Zimbabwe Election, 26 Aug
"While the election days were predominantly peaceful, the electoral process thus far did not meet many regional and international standards," [US Embassy spokesperson Rebecca] Archer-Knepper said. "We share the deep concerns expressed by ["normally gutless"] SADC and other international electoral observation missions," she said, referring to the Southern African Development Community.
'Joining BRICS Bank widens country's sources of credit' (26.08.23)
[Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube] said this in an interview on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS summit where President Mnangagwa was represented by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga. Zimbabwe is already a member to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Afreximbank among other development financiers.  However, it has increasingly been overlooked for development funding by the IMF and the World Bank owing to political differences with the United States and a few western countries which wield havy influence over the multi-lateral agencies...."Hopefully, beyond joining the bank we can then move on as a country and join the entire BRICS which ag augers well for Zimbabwe and positioning among the nations that are growing and growing pretty fast."
On Wednesday, police took 35 election monitors from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and Election Resource Centre into custody and charged them with plotting to announce unofficial results. They were released on $200 bail each on Friday.
Newly appointed CCC spokesperson, Mkwananazi wanted by police (26.08.23)
"The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that Promise Dalubuhle Mkwananzi is being sought in connction with a warrant of arrest issued by Harare Magistrate Court on 22nd April 2020 for defaulting court proceedings ["jumping bail"?]. Promise Dalubuhle Mkwananzi is facing incitement to commit public violence ["insurrection"?] charges under Harare Central CR 2627/07.19 and Harare Public Prosecutor reference 11394/2019."
The Zambian national [SADC dir Nevers Mumba] said a $20,000 registration fee for presidential candidates was restrictive. He also noted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's reluctance to release voter rolls to the opposition on time and criticized the disruption of opposition rallies by police.
reuters | Zimbabwe's re-elected president fends off election fraud claims, 27 Aug
It was unclear whether the opposition would use the courts to dispute the election results, as Zimbabwe's judges have historically sided with the governing party. Political analyst Munjodzi Mutandiri, from the Southern Africa Liaison Office, said the opposition had more to gain by taking to the streets than to the courts.

"The questions around judicial independence won't cure the legitimacy challenge (of the results) just as (the electoral commission's) impartiality and perceived lack of independence have created" the disputed results, he said. CCC spokesman Promise Mkwananzi said in a statement that the official results differed from those tallied by the opposition.

"The CCC has initiated a comprehensive citizen's review of the vote count," he said.

economist | Zimbabwe's flawed election will ensure its pariah status endures, 27 Aug
The opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) decried the official tallies—53% for Mr Mnangagwa versus 44% for its leader, Nelson Chamisa—as "fake". It says it will challenge the results in the courts and perhaps on the streets, too. History suggests its efforts will be futile. Either way, Zimbabwe's abject failure to hold credible elections means that its pariah status will endure for the foreseeable future.
"few, if any, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe since white rule ended in 1980"
Before voting there was a "climate of fear", according to observers from the EU. On election day, August 23rd, ballots did not arrive until dusk in some urban areas, where ZANU-PF is weak, yet were ready in remote rural areas, where it dominates. Independent NGOs collating a parallel vote had their offices raided and computers seized. Even observers from the normally gutless regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said the election belied Zimbabwe's constitution&mdsh;and criticised efforts to intimidate its delegation.
election meddling
The CCC says it will soon announce the results of its own parallel vote count. It argues that it is absurd that, though polls show that more Zimbabweans feel the country is going in the wrong direction than five years ago, Mr Chamisa supposedly won fewer votes (1.96m to 2.15m) and a lower share than at the last election in 2018 (when he took 45%). It has lawyers ready to take its case to the constitutional court. Yet Zimbabwe's judges are widely seen as biased towards the ruling party. The CCC will probably try to organise mass protests in an effort to influence the court of international public opinion.
AP | Zimbabwe's opposition alleges 'gigantic fraud' in vote that extends the ZANU-PF party's 43-year rule, 27 Aug
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa's Citizens Coalition for Change [CCC] party said it would challenge the results as "hastily assembled without proper verification."

"They stole your voice and vote but never your hope," Chamisa wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, in his first public reaction to the election's announced outcome. "It's a blatant and gigantic fraud."

archive conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election
by Cat on Sun Aug 27th, 2023 at 08:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China behind 'largest ever' digital influence operation
"spouting lies about the United States' alleged role in creating the COVID-19 pandemic and criticizing Washington's support of Taiwan"
China should come clean on vanishing minister, top EU official says
"Qin's absence led to the delay of a planned visit to China by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell"
Prigozhin's lesson for Trump & Co: Don't trust Putin's promises
"Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Macron should all be thinking twice after Prigozhin's death about pinning hopes on deals with Putin."
by Cat on Tue Aug 29th, 2023 at 04:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Estonia's pro-Ukrainian PM faces pressure to quit over husband's indirect Russian business links | AP News |

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 29th, 2023 at 07:26:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
under the radar RT relays,
Algeria rejects French request to use airspace for Niger operation - media
..."Faced with Algerian refusal, France turned to Morocco, asking for authorization to pass its military planes through its airspace," state radio said, according to the Nova News Agency....
I haven't verified. Here is aps.dz, Radio Algier. STATE-OWNED media has moved on. To BRICS XV. Business Forum and PLUS beauty pageant.

BRICS (2009 FTA): CN, RU, BR, IN, ZA; AR*, DZ*, IR*, EG*, ET*, BO*, SA*, AE*, ID*, BD*, CM*, ML*, SN*, TH*, UZ*, FJ*, KZ*, TN*, TR*

by Cat on Tue Aug 22nd, 2023 at 09:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yahoo! CNN | ECOWAS orders `immediate activation' of standby force in Niger, 10 Aug
according to a statement read by Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission.

It was not immediately clear what the "deployment" and "activation" of the force would entail. The statement also emphasized a "determination to keep all options on the table for the peaceful resolution of the crisis."

Final Communique - Second Extraordinary Summit Of The ECOWAS Authority Of Heads Of State And Government On The Political Situation In Niger
¶10. j-k (in particular)
Confusion and concern

Several analysts told CNN that a military intervention in Niger would probably not be imminent, as it takes time to assemble the ECOWAS troops.

The communique is "about mobilizing the required resources should an intervention be needed, but it's also a signal to the junta in Niger that ECOWAS is prepared to take necessary actions including force should talks fail," Abuja-based defense and security analyst Murtala Abdullahi told CNN.

by Cat on Fri Aug 11th, 2023 at 12:38:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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