US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

2.7. Subsahara-Afrika

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Guardian vom 26.02.2020

"Uganda's 'locust commander' leads the battle against a new enemy"

Sally Hayden berichtet in ihrer Reportage über den Kampf des ugandischen Militärs gegen die verheerende Heuschreckenplage in Ostafrika. "Swarms of locusts – billions in total – have spread to eight countries in east Africa, after they crossed the Red Sea from Yemen at the end of last year. The insects can travel roughly 90 miles a day and eat their own body weight in crops. The UN has warned the locust swarms could increase 500 times by June, posing a major threat to the region. In response, Uganda has deployed its army. Kavuma, 59, doesn’t know why he was put in charge, but he sees the locusts as a formidable enemy. 'When we started two weeks ago we did not know much about these creatures,' Kavuma says. 'Now I am a professor. I know how they behave, the pattern of their movements.'"

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Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik vom 25.02.2020

"Kampffeld Sahelzone: Wie der Dschihadismus von der Klimakrise profitiert"

Olaf Bernau beschreibt in den Blättern für deutsche und internationale Politik das "Kampffeld Sahelzone" im Kontext des Klimawandels. "Begonnen hat dies mit den beiden großen Saheldürren Anfang der 1970er und Mitte der 1980er Jahre – beide Katastrophen waren, wie die Klimaforschung heute weiß, erste Effekte des menschengemachten Klimawandels. So ist die Temperatur im Sahel zwischen 1970 und 2010 mit 0,6 bis 0,8 Grad schneller als im weltweiten Durchschnitt angestiegen; derzeit wird in der Region ein Anstieg um mindestens 4 Grad bis zum Ende des Jahrhunderts erwartet. Zugleich haben die Niederschläge zwischen 2000 und 2009 um 8 bis 15 Prozent abgenommen, ganz zu schweigen davon, dass sich die Niederschlagsmuster verändern: Die Regenzeit wird kürzer, es regnet unregelmäßiger; zudem kommt es immer öfter zu sintflutartigen Regenfällen mit anschließenden Überschwemmungen. In der Folge hat sich die Ackerbaugrenze im Sahel seit 1970 um hundert Kilometer nach Süden verschoben."

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The Independent vom 23.02.2020

"Isis and al-Qaeda join forces in West Africa"

In Westafrika haben sich Berichten zufolge extremistische Gruppen, die der Al-Qaida bzw. dem Islamischen Staat nahestehen, zusammengeschlossen, um die Kontrolle über weite Teile der Region zu übernehmen. "Fighters appear to be coordinating attacks and carving out mutually agreed-upon areas of influence in the Sahel, a strip of land south of the Sahara desert. The rural territory at risk is so large it could 'fit multiple Afghanistans and Iraqs,' said brigade general Dagvin Anderson, head of the US military’s Special Operations arm in Africa. 'What we’ve seen is not just random acts of violence under a terrorist banner but a deliberate campaign that is trying to bring these various groups under a common cause,' he said. 'That larger effort then poses a threat to the United States.' (…) The groups are not declaring 'caliphates,' so as to avoid scrutiny from the West, officials said, buying time to train, gather force and plot attacks that could ultimately reach major international targets. (…) While al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are enemies in Syria and Yemen, allegiances in West Africa tend to be more fluid, bolstered by tribal ties and practical concerns rather than ideology. The affiliates have common foes – the West and local governments from which they’re trying to wrest control, the military leaders said."

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The Conversation vom 20.02.2020

"Should Nigeria have released Boko Haram suspects?"

Die Regierung in Nigeria hat vor kurzem etwa 1.400 mutmaßliche Mitglieder der radikalislamischen Terrorgruppe Boko Haram freigelassen und dies mit dem Erfolg ihres Deradikalisierungsprogramms "Operation Safe Corridor" begründet. Die Entscheidung ist in Nigeria auf massive Kritik gestoßen. Jideofor Adibe, Politikwissenschaftler an der Nasarawa State University in Keffi, kann die Kritik verstehen, sieht jedoch keine Alternative. "These reactions mask a fundamental challenge facing governments in conflict situations: how does it deal with defectors? Simply executing combatants, or detaining them indefinitely, aren’t viable options. De-radicalisation and re-integration programmes therefore become unavoidable. (…) Most countries faced with violent extremism and terrorism have adopted one form or another of de-radicalisation programmes. Whether they have worked or not is hard to judge because assessments are very often made by people responsible for the programmes. But one thing is clear: governments don’t have many viable alternatives."

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RealClearWorld vom 18.02.2020

"How to Blunt the Looming Crisis in West Africa"

Michael Shurkin von der RAND Corporation hält es für möglich, dass die aktuelle Sicherheitskrise in Burkina Faso, Mali und Niger auf die anderen Länder in Westafrika übergreifen könnte. Die USA wären in der Lage, dieses Szenario mit relativ überschaubaren Mitteln zu verhindern, so seine Überzeugung. "It most notably concerns the future security of Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin - Cameroon and Nigeria are already affected. Happily, there is reason to believe that the United States has options that might stave off the worst-case scenarios, if policymakers choose them. Early action including security-sector support could be the key. Many programs already exist, though they are threatened by possible cuts. (…) With relatively small but well-placed investments, the U.S. government could help littoral governments make their populations less vulnerable and their institutions more capable of stemming insecurity and dealing with emerging threats. Economic development always helps, but so would efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and shore up existing justice mechanisms. This would help these countries better address inadequacies, and it would prepare them to counter extremism and terrorism. Police forces are a logical target for assistance. So, of course, are militaries, which even if professional might not be prepared for the kind of fight they could soon face. The United States is already doing many of these things. Extant efforts could be stepped up, supplemented or retooled as the nature of the threat becomes clear."

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The Guardian vom 15.02.2020

"More than 6,000 bodies found in six mass grave sites in Burundi"

In Burundi sind sechs Massengräber mit mehr als 6.000 Leichen entdeckt worden. "Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, the chairman of the Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said the remains of 6,032 victims, as well as thousands of bullets, had been recovered. Clothes, glasses and rosaries were used to identify some of the victims. The east African country is struggling to come to terms with a violent past, characterised by colonial occupation, civil war and decades of intermittent massacres. (…) The government-run commission was set up in 2014 to investigate atrocities from 1885, when foreigners arrived in Burundi, to 2008, when a stalled peace deal to end the civil war was fully implemented. So far, it has mapped more than 4,000 mass graves across the country and identified more than 142,000 victims of violence."

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Deutschlandfunk vom 14.02.2020

"Russische Söldner in Afrika"

Gesine Dornblüth und Bettina Rühl berichten über eine in Afrika agierende russische Schattenarmee in Abstimmung mit dem direkten Umfeld von Präsident Wladimir Putin. "Vor knapp einem halben Jahr informierte der russische Außenminister Sergej Lawrow den UN-Sicherheitsrat über den Umfang der Mission: 'In der Zentralafrikanischen Republik haben russische Ausbilder in den letzten anderthalb Jahren mehr als 3.000 Soldaten der Armee dieses souveränen Landes geschult.' Zu diesem Zweck habe Russland, so Lawrow in New York weiter, 170 zivile und fünf militärische Ausbilder in die Zentralafrikanische Republik entsandt. Was Lawrow nicht sagte: Bei den Ausbildern handelt es sich vermutlich um Söldner – ein heikles Thema. 2018 wurden drei russische Journalisten in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik getötet, sie hatten zum geheimen Einsatz von Söldnern der so genannten 'Wagner'-Gruppe in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik recherchiert. Es gibt viele Indizien dafür, dass deren Kämpfer Waffenlieferungen in das Bürgerkriegsland koordinieren und Soldaten ausbilden. Auch wenn Walerij Sacharow, russischer Sicherheitsberater des Präsidenten der Zentralafrikanischen Republik, das zurückweist. Im Interview mit Al Jazeera bestreitet er am Rande des Übungsgeländes den Einsatz von Söldnern."

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Guardian vom 12.02.2020

"African countries braced for 'inevitable' arrival of coronavirus"

Nach Ansicht vieler Experten ist es allerdings nur eine Frage der Zeit, bis der Coronavirus auch in Afrika ankommt, schreiben Karen McVeigh und Sarah Boseley im Guardian. "African health authorities are stepping up preparedness for coronavirus after the head of the World Health Organzation described the outbreak as a 'very grave threat for the rest of the world'. The number of African countries that can test for the virus tripled to 15 this week, with more expected to have testing labs up and running in the coming days. The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said health centres were on 'high alert' for new cases. (…) Asked about the ability of health systems in African nations to cope with the intensive care needs of a coronavirus outbreak, Yao said it would present 'quite a challenge'. 'I can tell you straight away the capacity to manage a large number of patients is not there in many African countries. We remain concerned. That’s why we are ensuring heath systems are on high alert,' he said. 'With the exception of large countries like Kenya and South Africa, most African hospitals have very limited intensive care facilities. A hospital may have only 10 beds capable of intensive care. Imagine having a cluster of cases that requires intensive care. That could be quite a challenge.'"

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Council on Foreign Relations vom 12.02.2020

"The Potential for the Coronavirus in Africa"

John Campbell weist darauf hin, dass es in Afrika bisher keine gemeldeten Coronavirus-Fälle gebe. "With more than a billion people undergoing rapid urbanization, stuck with weak healthcare systems, and with growing economic ties to China (it is estimated that there are more than a million Chinese immigrants on the continent) Africa would appear to be highly vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus. Ethiopian Airlines continues its China service, and some 1,500 passengers arrive in Addis from China every day, many of whom transit to other African destinations. Yet, as of February 12, there have been no reported cased of the disease in Africa. Nor have there been any cases in South America. It may be that the virus is present but thus far has been undetected. Africa’s weak medical infrastructure makes detection of mild forms of the disease especially difficult. There may be other factors at play specific to the virus. For example, there has been media speculation that the continent’s hot and humid climate is inhospitable to the disease. On the other hand, there are many parts of Africa where the climate is temperate, and two major international Airports — Johannesburg and Addis — which both serve cities of about 8 million each, including a significant slum population, enjoy cool, dry climates. Still, neither city has reported any cases of corona virus."

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The Guardian vom 10.02.2020

"Food fears grow as swarms of locusts reach Uganda and Tanzania"

Die verheerende Heuschreckenplage in Ostafrika hat sich Berichten zufolge von Kenia und Somalia nach Uganda und Tansania ausgebreitet. "Tanzania has detected swarms in its northern border areas close to Mount Kilimanjaro and hired three planes to spray pesticide, a tactic seen as the most effective means of countering the spread of the insects. Ugandan authorities have rushed pesticides to affected areas and has mobilised thousands of troops. (…) The outbreak in east Africa is the most serious in decades and has already devastated crops across a swath of Kenya and Somalia. Climate experts have pointed to unusually heavy rains, aided by a powerful cyclone off Somalia in December, as a major factor in the crisis. The locusts arrived from the Arabian peninsula after cyclones dumped vast amounts of rain in the deserts of Oman – creating perfect breeding conditions. (…) The infestation from the Arabian peninsula has also affected India and Pakistan. With further rains expected in the region in the coming weeks, experts fear the number of locusts if unchecked could grow by up to 500 times by June, when drier weather is expected."

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Al Jazeera English vom 09.02.2020

"France in Africa: Is it all about the oil?"

Im Al-Jazeera-Programm Counting the Cost wird darauf hingewiesen, dass Frankreich keine Probleme damit habe, bei der Umsetzung seiner Afrika-Strategie autoritäre Regierungen und Warlords zu unterstützen. Dabei werden Paris auch handfeste wirtschaftliche Interessen unterstellt. "In Libya, Macron has thrown his lot behind the renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, secretly supplying arms and training despite the UN and Libya’s former colonial power, Italy, backing the government in Tripoli. (…) And while fighting so-called 'Islamist' militants, France deployed warplanes to attack a rebel convoy in northern Chad, helping to keep President Idriss Deby in power. Deby has faced several coup attempts since gaining power in 1990. But is it all about the oil? 'Really what Macron has presented is the case for a changed relationship with Africa, not so much a reducing or a retreat from the continent, but much more for putting the relationship on to a new footing,' Paul Melly, consulting fellow at Chatham House, tells Al Jazeera. 'And you can see that most strongly in the relationship with the West African countries, and particularly the very troubled Sahel region on the margins of the Sahara where Macron has argued the case for much more of a partnership approach but also economic reforms.' Melly adds that France has 'long-standing traditional economic and security interests' in a range of countries, from Chad right down through Central Africa, that do not have a good governance record."

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RAND Corporation vom 07.02.2020

"Little Has Changed in Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe"

Der erzwungene Rücktritt des langjährigen Präsidenten Mugabe weckte 2017 die kurzzeitige Hoffnung auf eine Verbesserung der politischen und wirtschaftlichen Umstände in Simbabwe. Mugabe-Nachfolger Mnangagwa hat diese Hoffnung Alexander H. Noyes zufolge mittlerweile gründlich enttäuscht. "After two years in power, to what extent has Mnangagwa delivered on his promises? In short, it's bleak. In a RAND study published this week — based on interviews I conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe, with politicians across the political spectrum — I systematically assess Zimbabwe's political and economic reform efforts that Mnangagwa has been touting over the past two years. I found very little genuine progress, along with an uptick in repression and a rapidly declining economy that is near collapse. On the political front, reform promises are severely lagging. The report assesses five main reform areas, including elections, legislation, the security sector, judiciary, and repression. The research revealed very few tangible steps toward reconfiguring Zimbabwe's autocratic system. Repression has increased and the military is ascendant. Despite some progress in certain areas, Mnangagwa's economic reform efforts are either incomplete or falling short across a variety of sectors."

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VoxEurop vom 06.02.2020

"European military presence in the Sahel: In search for purpose"

Frankreichs Präsident Macron hat beim Antiterror-Gipfel in Pau vor wenigen Wochen eine "Sahel-Koalition" zur Bekämpfung der sicherheits- und entwicklungspolitischen Probleme der Region angekündigt. In den europäischen Ländern, die Interesse an dieser Initiative bekundet haben, gebe es bisher allerdings keine öffentliche Debatte über Ursachen und Ziele der Mission, stellen Delina Goxho, Megan Karlshøj-Pedersen und Abigail Watson fest. "France’s unwillingness to discuss its strategy for the Sahel has led a number of critics to claim that it lacks one and risks becoming bogged down in a fight it cannot win without significant new investments in soldiers and material. Some have even referred to Mali as 'France’s Afghanistan' because they 'no longer know what to do.' However, despite growing concern over its approach, there seems to be a continued unwillingness to engage with French and international public and civil society over its aims, strategy and the dangers of the current approach. The same appears true of the UK. Many British soldiers, officials and commentators worried that the UK’s 'Pivot to the Sahel' lacked sufficient consideration and was based more on political signalling, primarily for the benefit of France, than a belief that the UK could positively contribute to peace and stability in the region."

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European Council on Foreign Relations vom 05.02.2020

"Insecurity in the Sahel: Europe’s next fight against jihadism"

Andrew Lebovich kritisiert, dass die Antiterror-Strategie der G5-Sahel-Gruppe, Frankreichs und anderer europäischer Länder die politischen und Governance-Probleme in der Region vernachlässige. "To be sure, as only the outline of a plan, the road map needs a lot of work before implementation. Nonetheless, the fact that recent discussions in Pau and elsewhere heavily focused on security – while failing to grapple with core political issues of governance and the security forces’ sometimes abusive treatment of communities they are meant to protect – is a cause for concern. Ultimately, these provisions focus on the return of the state to troubled areas. But there remain questions about what kind of state should return, and how to avoid repeating the errors and oversights that helped destabilise the Sahel in the first place."

Mehr lesen vom 05.02.2020

"The Terrifying Science Behind the Locust Plagues of Africa"

Ostafrika wird derzeit von einer massiven Heuschreckenplage heimgesucht, die die Ernte und damit Lebensgrundlagen bedroht. Matt Simon erläutert den wissenschaftlichen Hintergrund des Ausbruchs, der u.a. auch mit dem Krieg in Jemen zusammenhängt. "Yemen, ravaged by war, no longer had the means to deploy the specially trained crews that spray common pesticides that kill the insects in a matter of hours. (It’s too dangerous for farmers and other regular folks to spray the pesticides themselves.) Then, catastrophically, heavy rains hit the country, providing yet more breeding opportunities for the invading locusts. Early last summer, the plague jumped the gulf and landed in Somalia, then continued its march into Ethiopia and Kenya. (…) It’s a menace that may only grow stronger, because locusts will likely be winners on a warming planet. (…) 'If climate change does accelerate aridification and temperature — as it's predicted to do in many areas — it would be very easy to imagine that some locust species could expand their range,' says Overson, of the Global Locust Initiative. 'For the desert locust, this would increase the already daunting geographic area that needs to be monitored.' If these are the end times, Planet Earth certainly isn’t being subtle about it."

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