Connect with us

Africa

Rift between Gulf states threatens stability in Somalia

Published

on

Somalia is among several Muslim nations that have adopted a neutral stance in the GCC crisis. Mogadishu heavily relies on financial support and trade from Gulf countries but experts says that its decision to remain neutral might have serious economic consequences in the future.

Africa

YAMAMOTO: There is greater stability on the African continent

Published

on

The US has been talking tough about South Sudan President Salva Kiir, threatening to cut aid to the country. Does Washington plan any other action beyond sanctions?

That was on the minds of the officials of the African Union and regional leaders, and also the subject of discussions in London with our donor community.

When we were at the UN General Assembly in September, we talked to Taban Deng Gai, the first vice president of South Sudan, and laid down clear markers about what we expect. President Salva Kiir has responded to the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in a letter outlining what he is doing to address those issues.

We really want to see concrete examples, not words. We support [Ethiopia] Prime Minister Hailemariam and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development [Igad] as well as the AU to push South Sudan to stop the violence, look at the high rates of refugee flows, now 1.3 million into Uganda, and also the large numbers of internally displaced people.

We would like to see concrete measures, and progress towards ending the violence, which jeopardises the stability and security of the countries around South Sudan.

What is the US position on the Igad revitalisation process on South Sudan, and what was your point of discussion with the Ethiopian Prime Minister?

Ethiopia is a critical partner and is the current chair of Igad, leading high-level discussions on South Sudan. Ethiopia contributes troops to peacekeeping operations in South Sudan as well as Sudan.

We discussed the efforts of Ethiopian troops to stabilise Somalia, prevent terrorism and elements from Al Shabaab and ISIS coming into their country. We also talked about internal domestic challenges that face Ethiopia and Somalia, based on ethnic divides, land tenure problems, government procedures and local practices.

There is concern about Ethiopia’s internal stability. What was your impression on the state of the leadership within the ruling EPRDF?

I deferred to Prime Minister Hailemariam and his government on the details of what our discussions were. We talked about domestic issues like challenges in Somalia.

Ethiopia has a high population growth, with 70 per cent of the population under the age of 30, which means increasing unemployment among the youth. We discussed how we could partner to create jobs, support healthcare, education and investment.

You talked with Rwanda President Paul Kagame about reforms at the Africa Union. What role is the US likely to play?

President Kagame is coming in as chair at a time when big changes are taking places in the African Union. President Kagame is well situated to address those issues, considering his leadership in Rwanda.

Over the past 20 years, the number of democratic or democratic-leaning countries with free open elections in Africa has increased. There is greater stability on the continent, and we want to build on that to strengthen democracies in fragile states.

The US suspended military aid to Somalia. What is the way forward considering that a security threat still remains and Somalia needs to build its army?

It is only a temporary suspension that affects about 10,000 troops, and is meant to enhance better accounting. We continue to provide assistance to specialised groups within Somalia.

This is part of our efforts to review how we can form a coherent and effective Somali national army that integrates all groups, military and militia in the regional states.

We have discussed this issue with the Somali government as we establish how to work with the AU, Amisom, the UN, and countries that provide troops like Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and Burundi.

The national army needs to be trained, and fully coherent under a unified command.

At the Somalia conference in London last May, we agreed that transparent, open accounting practices and financial institutions are critical. These are the same issues we face in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under Monusco.

There has been an increase in terrorist activities on the continent since 2001, and it concurred with the rise in US military presence in Africa. Does it suggest a problem with the American strategy?

It is true that terrorist activities have increased. The leaders and the people we spoke with during this trip were concerned about ISIS fighters leaving Iraq and the Middle East. We’re looking at ISIS formations in Somalia and West Africa. We’re looking at Boko Haram. We’re even looking at the militias in eastern Congo, which are transforming.

We’re working with partner countries, so the US State Department has trained about 300,000 troops from 26 African countries this year, with peacekeeping operations as the main focus.

Our use of military, unlike in other areas, does not take the lead in operations but works with partner countries. Currently, 63 per cent of the UN operations are in Africa. That means you’re taking 87 per cent of the UN troops from Africa, that’s over 70,000.

Could you comment on reports that donors have suspended financial aid to the Kenyan security sector due to recent reports of police brutality?

Our investments in Kenya include security sector reform. Kenya is important, not only in fighting and resisting Al Shabaab, but also ISIS and terrorist groups coming into the country.

As far as detracting or cutting or limiting or setting restrictions, I’ll have to get back to you on that because Kenya is one of our most important countries, just as Ethiopia is, and to my knowledge we have not cut or diminished assistance or investment.

–Compiled by Fred Oluoch.

Continue Reading

Africa

Trump criticised over ‘shithole countries’ remark

Published

on

AL JAZEERA — A small group of US senators say they reached a compromise on immigration reform, but it has yet to win the support of President Donald Trump.

According to several reports, Trump made vulgar remarks about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries during the discussions, calling them “shithole countries” and objecting to immigrants coming from there.

He suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway.

Continue Reading

Africa

Uganda;Museveni calls religious leaders traitors in New Year’s message

Published

on

In a message that Ugandan media houses were compelled to broadcast, President Museveni blasted religious leaders who criticised the age limit constitutional amendment.

The Ugandan parliament recently amended the constitution removing age limits for presidential candidates, extending the term of elected officers of government from 5 to 7 years and restoring presidential term limits.

The amendment was very controversial, sparking off numerous physical fights in parliament, protests on the street and condemnation from religious leaders.

Instead of working for the independence of Africa, they are always in cahoots with foreigners – encouraging the latter to meddle in our affairs.

In his end of year message to the country, President Museveni accused religious leaders of pushing the agenda of foreign forces striving to meddle into the affairs of Uganda.

According to the president, these church leaders ought to have talked more about what he calls the “the strategic goals of our dear Africa.”

The five strategic goals set by past African leaders, he says, included regaining independence; attaining democracy; working for the prosperity; guaranteeing our strategic security through the political integration of as much of Africa as possible in the form of political federations like the East African Federation; and guaranteeing the survival of our identity as Black People without losing our languages, culture, customs, foods etc., to avoid becoming Black Europeans.

“To some of those elements, the five strategic goals do not exist. What, apparently, matters to them is political power for the political groups they fancy,” charged the president.

‘‘Instead of working for the independence of Africa, they are always in cahoots with foreigners – encouraging the latter to meddle in our affairs.’‘

The president went ahead to call religious leaders out on what he called ‘arrogance’ bordering on ‘betrayal’.

“This is assuming they do not have evil intentions which would be worse. That would make them into the Kayaffas, the Chief Priest that betrayed Jesus.”

His inspiration from the bible was also extended to the 317 members of parliament who voted in favor of lifting the age limit. .

“Remember what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 5 Verses 11-12. It says: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets that were before you”.

“Therefore, NRM cadres and all patriots; false accusations are nothing for we transcended the firing squads of Idi Amin, the extra-judicial killings, the imprisonments, the losing of comrades in battles, etc.”

The message was derided on social media by Ugandans who had already expressed shock that all media houses in the country had to broadcast the president’s address;

Continue Reading
Advertisement

TRENDING