Author Archives: Abdelkader Abderrahmane

Que se cache-t-il sous la poudrière malienne ?

Le 22 mars dernier, l’armée malienne déposait à travers un coup d’Etat l’ancien président Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT). Selon la junte militaire, ce coup était motivé par la rébellion du MNLA (Mouvement National pour la Libération de l’Azawad) qui appelait à l’autonomie du nord du Mali.

Depuis, un nouveau gouvernement civil intérimaire a été mis en place mais il demeure cependant difficile de savoir qui gouverne vraiment le Mali. En attendant, la situation à travers le pays s’est détériorée et AQMI et Ansar dine ont renforcé leur présence dans la partie nord du Mali. Par ailleurs, selon certains rapports d’Intelligence, un lien de plus en plus étroit se tisse entre AQMI et le groupe terroriste nigérian de Boko Haram, ce qui ne ferait qu’aggraver la situation déjà alarmante. En outre, le MNLA qui était favorable à une solution à travers des discussions sereines avec Bamako est de plus en plus pris entre le marteau et l’enclume d’Ansar Dine et d’AQMI et aucune solution politique ne semble apparaitre dans l’immédiat. Dans l’intervalle, la situation humanitaire ne fait que s’aggraver alors que l’UNESCO à souligné son inquiétude au sujet du futur de la ville de Tombouctou, classé patrimoine mondial et dont plusieurs mausolées ont été détruits par les hommes d’Ansar Dine et d’AQMI. Enfin, dans ce conflit malien, un nombre de voix s’interrogent sur la position de l’Algérie, état pivot de la région, qui insiste sur une approche de non-intervention militaire, privilégiant l’option du dialogue afin de trouver une solution et mettre un terme à ce conflit.

En étudiant cette crise malienne, il est cependant nécessaire d’élargir le champ d’analyse et de prendre une approche globale et holistique afin d’avoir une meilleure compréhension des enjeux au sein du Sahel. En effet, certaines pièces du puzzle sahélien restent encore à assembler et une analyse binaire n’incluant que Bamako et Alger comme les seuls et premiers protagonistes risque de ne pas présenter une image complète nécessaire à la compréhension des ramifications de cette crise malienne.

En effet, le Sahel a été historiquement le théâtre de multiples flux religieux, démographique, militaires et financiers. Ceux-ci ont résulté en une insécurité générale et confrontations géopolitique et stratégique entre différent protagonistes externes. Plusieurs des états du Sahel ont non seulement été colonisés par la France mais leur politique est encore hautement influencée, sinon contrôlée, par le Quai D’Orsay. De plus, certains de ces pays sont riches en ressources naturelles et minéraux tel que l’uranium et l’or. Le Niger est par exemple, le deuxième producteur d’uranium mondial et le Mali est le troisième producteur d’or en Afrique. A ce sujet, en exploitant deux mines et une troisième à partir de 2013, le géant français AREVA, détient le quasi monopole d’uranium au Niger. Pareillement, le groupe pétrolier français TOTAL s’apprête à forer deux puits de pétrole au Mali.

De plus, des zones d’ombres subsistent au sujet de l’obscur et énigmatique groupe terroriste du MUJAO. Basé au Sahel, il a fait la une des journaux en s’attaquant à l’Algérie à quatre différentes occasions au cours de ces derniers mois. En effet, le MUJAO à kidnappé trois humanitaires dans les camps de refugiés sahrawis de Tindouf ; il a ensuite attaqué un baraquement de gendarmerie à Tamanrasset; kidnappé en avril, sept diplomates algériens, dont le vice-consul, dans la ville malienne de Gao et la semaine dernière a attaqué un autre baraquement de gendarmerie à Ouargla. Cependant, selon les services français secrets de la DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure) ainsi que la DRM (Direction du Renseignement Militaire), le Qatar aurait financé ces derniers mois AQMI, MUJAO et Ansar Dine. De plus, selon des sources maliennes concordantes, des membres du Croissant Rouge qatari escortés par le MUJAO, ont récemment été aperçu dans le nord du Mali.

Il est important ici de rappeler que Al Qaddafi était une réelle épine pour Paris vis à vis de ses anciennes colonies africaines. En versant ses pétrodollars au sein de la CEN-SAD créée par lui-même en 19981 , l’ancien leader libyen avait essayé de diminuer l’influence de Paris sur ces états. Cependant, suite à la chute de Al Qaddafi, la CEN-SAD se retrouve aujourd’hui sans support ni financement. Depuis, Tripoli est aussi devenu un allié de Paris qui peut poursuivre sa politique au Sahel -sa chasse gardée pour ses entreprises- avec l’assistance active du Maroc et du Qatar. En effet, Rabat essaie depuis plusieurs mois maintenant de prendre la direction de la CEN-SAD. Le mois dernier, une réunion des ministres des affaires étrangères de ce groupe des états sahéliens eut lieu à Rabat. Ce fût l’occasion pour le Maroc de réitérer son ambition de piloter la CEN-SAD qui pourrait éventuellement lui procurer un plus grand support dans son ambition de prendre le leadership de l’Afrique du nord. Last but not least, depuis l’élection de François Hollande, il semblerait qu’un rapprochement rapide entre Paris et Nouakchott ait été engagé.

Avec le Maroc -allié par excellence de la France dans la région- à la tête de la CEN-SAD, Paris aurait encore plus d’influence sur le groupe sahélien. Cette stratégie pourrait par ailleurs être facilitée grâce à la participation financière du Qatar, et peut être même des états du Golfe. En retour de cette aide financière, Doha, qui rêve d’une aura diplomatique sur la scène internationale, peut espérer de Paris un fort lobbying en sa faveur au sein des chancelleries européennes et d’ailleurs. Il est important de rappeler ici que le Qatar entretient des liens étroits avec la France et que cet état du Golfe est aussi actionnaire à hauteur de 5% de la compagnie pétrolière française TOTAL et à hauteur de 12.80% du joyau français qui se spécialise dans l’aéronautique civil et militaire, EADS2 . Le Qatar est aussi le propriétaire du club de football français du PSG (Paris Saint-Germain), du club de handball de cette même ville et à aussi investi ses dernières années, dans un très grand nombre de projets immobiliers et hôtels de luxes en France. Doha a aussi des parts dans différents groupes français tels que LVMH, Vinci, Veolia Environnement et Vivendi. Une succursale du musée du Louvre existe aussi à Doha ainsi qu’une école de la très prestigieuse HEC (École des Hautes Études Commerciales). Il y a même un projet de reproduire le quartier historique du Vieux Lyon en plein désert qatari.

En outre, en augmentant sa présence dans la région, le Qatar qui est gouverné par des musulmans sunnites, pourrait contrecarrer l’influence grandissante de l’Iran en Afrique. En effet, ce dernier s’est depuis plusieurs années embarqué dans une politique subtile afin de non seulement tisser des liens commerciaux avec les états de l’Afrique de l’ouest tel que le Sénégal mais a aussi l’ambition d’encourager l’islam shiite en Afrique. Il est ici important de rappeler qu’il y a une importante communauté libanaise en Afrique de l’ouest qui pourrait servir de relais et prêcher la parole de Téhéran.

Une telle stratégie iranienne est donc un danger pour les pays du Golfe où une minorité shiite vit -et même une majorité dans le cas du Bahreïn- qui pourrait un jour se retourner contrer leurs dirigeants sunnites. De plus, l’Iran, ennemi des Occidentaux par excellence, est aussi intéressé par l’uranium présent en Afrique qui lui permettrait de poursuivre son supposé programme nucléaire. En sus des inquiétudes des états du Golfe, une présence shiite en Afrique serait donc un réel challenge stratégique, politique et économique pour les intérêts de pays tels que la France et les Etats-Unis.

Aussi, ce qui pourrait se tramer aujourd’hui est la création d’un axe politico-économique et stratégique à travers le Sahel incluant le Qatar, le Maroc, la France et les Etats-Unis. Le Maroc a déjà ouvert en 2011 sa base militaire de Guelmim aux forces militaires américaines. Ces dernières sont à ajouter à leur présence massive en Afrique sub-saharienne ainsi qu’aux troupes françaises, et plus précisément au Sénégal, en Côte d’Ivoire, au Tchad, au Gabon et à Djibouti. Avec une telle stratégie, ce trio serait en mesure de renforcer leur position dans cet océan sahélien3 .

En analysant de plus près une carte de l’Afrique et de la région de la CEN-SAD, il est possible d’avoir une perspective différente de ce qui se trame au Mali mais aussi à travers cette vaste région du Sahel qui s’étend de l’Océan Atlantique aux côtes somaliennes et la Mer Rouge. Mais ce qui est extrêmement important, c’est qu’une analyse claire nécessite d’avoir une vision de long terme tenant compte de l’histoire complexe de la région.

C’est le père Foucauld, qui était plus qu’un homme d’église, qui dès 1910 avait compris et informé le gouvernement français de la localisation géostratégique du Sahel et conseilla les militaires de son pays d’opposer les Touaregs [blancs] plus assimilables aux valeurs et à la civilisation occidentales aux noirs [de Bamako] afin de permettre à la France de contrôler le Sahel. Cette région a depuis des décennies indéniablement été le champ de batailles de différents acteurs régionaux et internationaux qui sans forcément avoir des intérêts communs ont néanmoins une stratégie convergente. Le Sahel, qui est au carrefour de tous les dangers, demeurera donc et pour longtemps encore une zone géographique sensible où une grande part du futur du monde pourrait être décidée.

En attendant, les militaires et les civils à Bamako doivent urgemment mettre un terme à leur querelle intestine afin de trouver une solution durable à la crise qui perdure au nord du pays, au risque de créer très bientôt, un maliland. Et penser qu’Alger détient seul la clé de la solution est sûrement erroné car la crise du Sahel est un nœud où trop de protagonistes sont partis prenantes.

Cela dit, la crise au Mali et plus généralement au Sahel, se dirige dramatiquement vers une lutte de pouvoir stratégico- économique et religieux international dans lequel les populations autochtones seront les premières victimes.

* Chercheur au sein de la division des conflis et Analyses des Risques’, (CPRA) Institut d’études de sécurité (ISS)

Note :

1 La CEN-SAD est composé de 28 états membres, nommément le Bénin, le Burkina Faso, l’Afrique Centrale, le Tchad, les Comores, la Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, l’Egypte, l’Eritrée, la Gambie, le Ghana, la Guinée, Guinée-Bissau, le Kenya, la Libye, le Libéria, le Mali, la Mauritanie, le Maroc, le Niger, le Nigéria, Sao Tomé et Principe, le Sénégal, la Sierra Léone, la Somalie, le Soudan, le Togo et la Tunisie. Par ailleurs, plus de la moitié de ces pays sont francophones.

2 Il est de notoriété publique que le Qatar souhaite aussi devenir actionnaire d’Areva, afin de sécuriser sa provision d’uranium. L’Emirat à cependant jusqu’à présent essuyé un refus catégorique de la part des autorités françaises.

3 L’expression est de Mehdi Taje.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane, analyste géo-politique au sein de l’Institut d’études de sécurité (ISS), Addis-Abéba, Ethiopie

Source: Le Quotidien d’Oran

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Unclear Strategy in Mali Leads Western Powers Toward Same Mistakes

When France’s President François Hollande flew to Timbuktu and Bamako on February 2 to supervise the ongoing Serval military operation, the crowds welcomed him as their savior, chanting his name and waving the French flags that had been widely distributed (some had even painted themselves blue, white, and red). The scene was reminiscent of Benghazi in September 2011 when Libyans cheered the arrival of then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy and UK Prime Minister David Cameron with signs that read, “Vive la France.” (Of course, Benghazi and Libya have now plunged into a security-political turmoil, and no one knows where it will lead.)

At the start of the engagement, French authorities were quick to announce that their troops would withdraw gradually from Mali in early March. However, unsurprisingly, the French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian has since revised France’s position, indicating that the military mission will take longer than expected. Now, it has been decided that French troops will remain in Mali alongside the deployment of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), due to start on July 1. And a number of issues and security problems related to Mali and the Sahel region still remain.

Key Conclusions

  • Conventional military operations cannot defeat terrorism and guerrilla warfare, and, on the contrary, may exacerbate the threat by providing more impetus to the terrorists who can in turn rally more support from the local populations. Indeed, civilian casualties often trigger anger among the populations who see no good in a foreign military intervention, as is the case in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Mali’s allies and partners such as France have for a long time turned a blind eye to the internal problems of the country, and the economic aid pledged last week should only be part of a larger assistance plan involving political advice and training.
  • Mali is the weakest link in a highly vulnerable Sahel region, which means that any lasting and concrete solution must have a regional and holistic approach.
  • Military interventions can only be seen as a small part of a global political solution in Mali and the Sahel region in general. Mali and the Tuareg population suffer from decades-long socio-political and economic inefficiency, corruption, and a lack of willingness from Bamako to adequately respond to the legitimate demands of the Tuareg living in the north.

Analysis

The French military intervention may have helped to win back the cities of Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu, and the north of Mali, but, despite killing a large number of terrorists, most members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) have fled Mali and are now hiding in the grey zones of the vast Sahel region stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Red Sea. There are even growing indications that many have found safe haven in southern Libya as well as elsewhere in the contiguous southern areas.

Furthermore, the deaths of AQIM’s leader Abou Zeid and other terrorists, along with the presumed killing of Mokhtar Belmokhtar—the mastermind behind the dramatic attack on the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria in January—will not change the regional landscape instability. Indeed, AQIM’s tentacle body remains well alive, and terrorists who are fighting a typical asymmetrical guerrilla war will continue to hit-and-run either in Mali or in neighboring countries, just as they did in In Amenas. In fact, the recent coup attempt in N’Djamena could well be a response to Chad’s military involvement in Mali.

It is now three months since Hollande’s visit and his call for a dialogue to resolve the Malian crisis, and there remains legitimate doubts about Bamako’s willingness to find a genuine and durable socio-political solution to this ongoing deep-rooted crisis and engage into an open and sincere dialogue, even with the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). Further complicating this equation is that many believe that even if a political dialogue began, it could be a biased political disequilibrium favoring Bamako due to the French military involvement and influence.

Furthermore, it has been reported numerous times by human rights NGOs that the Malian army is taking revenge against the population in the north, especially against the Maures, Tuareg and Songhai. Similarly, the angry Malian population in the south perceives the Tuareg as those responsible for the current crisis in Mali, as well as behind the presence of the terrorists in the country. This can only widen the already dangerous divide between the north and south populations, and it is a serious issue the authorities must deal with quickly to prevent civilian chaos which would greatly undermine any possibility for stability and the unity of Mali.

Moreover, this ongoing Malian crisis also shows that terrorist zones such as the ones in Mali, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia have a tendency to expand and overlap, providing extended refuge for terrorist groups. In January, an al-Shabaab terrorist cell was dismantled in Ethiopia, which may also indicate a transnational terrorist network.

What external military interventions such as the Serval operation largely do is nurture hatred and enlarge the number of people joining terrorist groups. Past examples indicate that such a strategy has counter-results. One reason then-US President George W. Bush failed in Afghanistan is that he never understood that defeating al-Qaeda and controlling a territory requires time and heavy logistics. The same mistake is being repeated in Mali. To control a vast desert territory requires deploying thousands of men who, once in place, realize that the terrorists they have come to neutralize have had ample time to disappear.

Both France and ECOWAS protagonists have failed to understand this basic rule. Moreover, national as well as foreign soldiers may engage in harassment, torture, and even murder of the local population, as the recent example of Afghanistan indicates, which led President Hamid Karzai to demand US Special Forces leave the strategic Wardak province.

Before a Malian cheering crowd, a French soldier responded to a France 24 journalist by saying: “On ne sait pas où l’on va mais ça nous donne de la force” (We do not know where we’re going, but it gives us strength”). This statement says it all. Indeed, it is difficult to perceive any tangible long-term vision and strategy from both Bamako and Paris. And yet, that is precisely what Mali and the wider Sahel region need. A crisis response requires a clear strategy and must be planned before the launch of a military operation. It is, however, difficult to believe that any serious military strategy was conceived before the Serval operation was launched.

This is why Washington (despite Joe Biden’s official posture in Paris in February) and Berlin have not been enthusiastic about the French military intervention. After their experience with Iraq and Afghanistan, they better understand the risks taken with operations that never resolve the internal problems. As the German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière accurately stressed, “Today, military superiority in the classic sense of the term does not guarantee that conflicts will be resolved in a sustainable manner. Just because you have a hammer, does not mean every problem is a nail.” Moreover, as the French researcher Marc-Antoine Pérouse reminds us, a war is likely won with a mixture of 10%-20% military force and 80% political will and propaganda. In other words, it is a strategy of winning hearts and minds, which the Americans learned through their failure in Vietnam.

In order to defeat AQIM in the Sahel, the central authorities of Bamako, Niamey, and elsewhere have to understand that they must ally with their local respective populations who can in turn make their communities inhospitable for terrorists to operate in. Any other forcibly option is bound to fail. Today, there is an urgency to engage in an inclusive national dialogue comprising all components of the Malian society. It is important to remember that the Tuareg issue is based on ethno-nationalistic tensions, and therefore can only be resolved through socio-political and economic negotiations for an equitable share of power.

Likewise, the central authorities of Bamako need to resolve the internal quarrels lurking behind the façade of unity between the army and the interim Malian president Dioncounda Traoré, including the question of elections. The most optimistic in Bamako believe that these could be organized by July 28, 2013. However, it would be extremely difficult to have fair elections given the current situation, as there are an estimated 230,000 displaced people inside Mali and over 150,000 Malian refugees who have fled to neighboring Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Algeria. With ten weeks to go before the proposed election day, it would be impossible for those refugees to return to their respective homes and cast their vote.

“The return of many young Malians trained in Libya to manipulate arms appears directly linked to the ongoing confrontations. And the situation is worsening.” This quote, from the cabinet of the African and Malagasy Affairs of the Quai d’Orsay, was written in 1991, twenty-one years before the coup against Amadou Toumani Touré in March 2012. In the same writing, the author also found a deep feeling of marginalization by the Tuareg, the absence of constructive political dialogue from Bamako and even racism against the same Tuareg population. History is repeating itself. It is, however, important to understand that Tuareg are a large component of the Malian population whose socio-political and economic claims have too often been neglected by the central government of Bamako since Mali’s independence.

A fleet of French jets and tanks may temporarily defeat AQIM and terrorism in northern Mali, but such a military strategy is highly unlikely to bring a lasting solution to the socio-political and economic problems of the Tuareg population. Surely, France and many Western countries have had it all wrong in Mali (and the Sahel in general) for more than thirty years, and today are seeing the result. And the recent hostage-taking in Cameroon is a further indication that the scourge of terrorism in the Sahel is slowly expanding across the African continent.

European countries have recently pledged US$4bn to help rebuild Mali. While financial aid and assistance is deeply needed, this will not be the panacea to resolve Malians’ problems. It is a long-term political and socio-economic strategy as well as wise advisers that can bring some progress to Mali. But most important, a genuine willingness from the prime protagonists in Mali in general and Bamako in particular is essential to find a lasting solution.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division (CPRA), Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Source; IPI Global Observatory

Why Military Intervention in Mali Would be a Mistake

On 29 September, MaliÂ’s interim Prime Minister, Modibo Diarra, conveyed a message from his president officially requesting the United Nations General Assembly in New-York to approve a foreign military intervention in northern Mali.  This demand was followed on 13 October by the United Nations Security Council 2071 Resolution requesting a detailed plan for such an operation from ECOWAS within 45 days.

Such a military intervention could have dramatic consequences and create a spillover that will affect not only Mali but also the entire Sahel and the African continent.

Firstly, it would be a huge mistake to think that 3 300 ECOWAS troops – or even 3700 – could defeat the terrorists of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). Indeed, there is a strong probability that the latter could simply flee to the different neighbouring Sahelian countries with notoriously porous frontiers which facilitates such movements. Furthermore, fighting asymmetrical forces such as guerrillas amid the dunes and heat of the Sahel, with which the terrorists have had plenty of the time to get familiar, would be hell for the ECOWAS forces.

Traoré and his advisers believe that under military constraint, the Tuareg-led Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Ansar Dine (and even the MUJAO!) would be willing to enter into a dialogue with Bamako and sign a peace agreement. It is important to note that the MNLA has on numerous occasions in the past shown its willingness to enter into dialogue in order to find a peaceful solution to this conflict. The MNLAÂ’s various calls were, however, received with disdain by the authorities in Bamako. Moreover, the gamble of a ‘forced dialogueÂ’ is potentially hazardous and could produce the opposite effect. Indeed, under threat there is a risk that many members of the MNLA and Ansar Dine could join the terrorists of AQIM and MUJAO, who are only interested in violent acts and terror. This equation is likely to drag the ECOWAS forces into a trap of unpredictable quicksand.

Additionally, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that even if a minority of the Malian population is in favour of foreign military intervention, as they demonstrated on 11 October in the streets of Bamako, another important part of the population is on the other hand, opposed to such an eventual military interference. They fear that military intervention would pose the risk of a politico-military stalemate. Even more so, they perceive the presence of military troops from neighbouring African countries as a loss of national sovereignty, a humiliation and an insult to their honour. After having freed themselves from white colonialism fifty years ago, they would then live under the protective guardianship of black   African forces. This would be a serious blow to MaliansÂ’ pride..

Similarly, numerous Malian officers are against the idea of a foreign military intervention on their soil, which would only worsen the tensions already existing among the different groups and factions within the demoralised and psychologically affected Malian army.

These two last points are crucial. In the increasingly probable eventuality of a foreign military intervention, initially planned for six months, there is a very real risk of an implosion of Malian society and its army. Such a collapse could seriously backfire against ECOWAS forces and lead to a civil war. Such a scenario  would result in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees dispersed across the region, fleeing from Mali to the neighbouring countries. Some might also try to flee to Europe and elsewhere while famine will be another real threat. This potential civil war will in turn only exacerbate tensions and widen the gap within Malian society. As a consequence, the creation of an independent state in the north  would then become inevitable.

Having said that, a durable solution to the Malian crisis remains and will remain in Bamako, within the army and the Malian government. Indeed, the roots of the current Malian problem are deep and largely situated within weak and corrupt governmental institutions, as well as the blatant absence of  responses to the legitimate socio-economic demands of the Malian Tuaregs for the past fifty years. Also, Malians must understand that they hold the key and the solution to   their problems in general and in northern Mali in particular. The military establishment and the political elite must overcome their differences and divergences in order to resolve this crisis rapidly. It is only by reinforcing the countryÂ’s institutions, working hand in hand with civilians, the military and members of the civil society, that an end to this crisis may emerge. Peace can only be obtained through the return of strong constitutional order to Bamako, the creation of a legitimate government of consensus, representing all components of the Malian society, and the preservation of the national unity and territorial integrity of a sovereign Malian state.

Also, it is urgent that a dialogue with the MNLA and Ansar Dine takes place, taking into account the legitimate claims of the Tuaregs. If this is not done, this political crisis could rapidly become a politico-humanitarian catastrophe in which the losers will be Malians themselves and the winners the different terrorist and drug-trafficking groups such as AQIM and the MUJAO.

MaliÂ’s interim president, Dioncounda TraoréÂ’s decision   for a military intervention clearly indicates a serious lack of political and strategic vision not only for his country and the Malian population, but also for the entire region of the Sahel. This also indicates that Traoré is clearly ill advised both in Bamako and from outside his country. A military intervention in Mali is based on a very short-term strategy ignoring the medium- to long-term consequences for the country  and the Sahel region, which is likely to go up in flames. If Mali were to collapse, those European and African states that have no direct border with this country and are in favour of a military intervention will be the least affected, if at all. No doubt, after Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, our strategists and other expertsÂ’ amateurism could well lead us yet again towards a politico-humanitarian earthquake in the Sahel region .

Last month,  US president Barak ObamaÂ’s former adviser, Parag Khanna wrote in the New-York Times  that in the next few years, the current Mali could well be divided into two distinct territorial entities. We are not far from it.

After having opened the PandoraÂ’s Box with the NATO intervention in Libya last year,  which has in turn triggered the current chaos in Mali, a new foreign military interference in Africa would only worsen the security situation on the African continent. It will need several months for ECOWAS military forces to be operational. Malians and their government must efficiently utilise this period in order to enter into a genuine dialogue to avoid a military intervention which will have tremendous financial costs but more importantly, enormous loss of human lives. Any other alternative is likely to fail and, while it would perhaps serve other interests, it will not be in the interest of the Malian people.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Addis Ababa

Source: Institute for Security Studies

Drug Trafficking and the Crisis in Mali

Mali has until recently been regarded as one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. However, since the fall of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last year and the coup dÂ’état on 22 March against former Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré, the situation in Mali, and especially in the north, has dramatically deteriorated. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith) and the Unity Movement for Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) forces have strengthened their presence in the north and some intelligence reports even indicate a growing link between AQIM and the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram.

The situation in the north of Mali is further complicated by the growing presence of drug traffickers. Until 2008, and due to its landlocked nature, narco-traffickers had largely ignored the Malian route to Europe. However, the country has since then increasingly become a transit hub for the international trafficking of narcotics emanating from Latin American drug cartels. South America’s cartels have in the past years particularly directed their drug ‘exports’ to Europe – the world’s largest drug consumer market – through West Africa.

With these cartels taking advantage of a power vacuum due to a lack of judicial and institutional power, the Sahel in general and Mali in particular has undeniably become the hub for all kinds of illegal trafficking. Already vulnerable due to the porosity of its borders, a catastrophic humanitarian situation and tension between the north and the central government of Bamako, the stability of Mali is becoming increasingly worrisome. According to a recent United Nations mission in the Sahel region, northern Mali has now become a dangerous crossroads of drugs, crime, terrorism and rebellion. Indicatively, in 2008 Malian forces intercepted 750 kg of cocaine, equivalent to 36% of the Malian military budget that year.

In this regard, the 2009 Boeing scandal, dubbed ‘Air Cocaïne’, underlined the enormous shortcomings, if not complicity, of Malian local government officials. In November 2009, a Boeing 727 coming from South America landed in the northern desert of Mali. Once the cocaine was unloaded, the plane, bogged down in the sand, could not take off. Forensic personnel found significant traces of cocaine in the plane. Similarly, in January 2010, another plane arriving from Latin America landed in north-west Mali near the Mauritanian border.

It has also been established that the airport of Bamako has become a transit point for drug traffickers, especially Nigerians, transporting drugs to Europe. The traffickers and terrorists have chosen Mali largely due to the serious lack of surveillance, the porous borders of the country, and the high level of corruption in all strata of the army, police and customs.

Indeed all of this indicates that the trafficking could not occur without the complicity of the locals. There is, for example, ample evidence that local leaders and even mayors were present during the unloading of these illicit goods from the planes and that corruption has become common between traffickers and officials. More, according to some French diplomats, there are serious links between AQMI and some top Malian officials.

Such drug trafficking is moreover made worse by the participation of terrorist groups such as AQMI, Ansar Dine, MUJAO and Boko Haram, who have found roots in northern Mali. These groups are increasingly financing their criminal and terrorist activities through the trafficking of illicit goods and drugs.

To complicate the security situation in Mali, the fall of LibyaÂ’s Gaddafi and the territorial and geo-political instability that followed have enabled these terrorist groups and drug traffickers to reinforce their position in the country. Arms have proliferated and now circulate even more easily across Mali, which has fallen into the hands of these terrorist groups and drug traffickers.

Moreover, the current volatile situation in Mali has had a dramatic and negative impact on the national economy, with, for instance, the tourism industry plummeting. Last but not least, Mali this year also faces a renewed threat in the form of locusts. The early rain across the Sahel has led to the sprouting of vegetation that the insects can feed on, ruining the harvest of the country.

And despite encouraging macro-economic indicators, almost half of the Malian population live on less than a dollar a day, most of them in the northern rural areas, making them easy prey for recruitment by AQMI. Drought, the lack of food security, including famine, and the absence of economic opportunities, are all important factors that can enable and encourage fringes of the Malian population to succumb to the manipulation of drug traffickers and terrorist groups. The socio-political and economic situation in Mali thus remains worrying.

The ongoing conflict in Mali has affected more than 2 million people, causing the internal displacement of an estimated 200 000 people and leading to an estimated 320 000 Malians fleeing the country since the beginning of the year. Additionally, an estimated 1.6 million people are currently facing food insecurity in the north, which is controlled by the rebel groups. To make matters worse, humanitarian assistance to the population in the north is rendered extremely difficult due to the high insecurity there. As a result, malnutrition has increased especially in the regions of Timbuktu, Gao, Koulikoro and Kayes.

The multifaceted crises Mali is currently facing alarmingly increase the vulnerability of both the Malian population and the state. In addition to the harsh conditions facing the local population, the growing trafficking of drugs is also linked to the terrorist groups present in the north. Such a situation can only worsen and put the country at an even greater risk. Furthermore, drug trafficking and corruption are seriously threatening the consolidation of democracy in Mali. The current political power vacuum in Bamako can only weaken the country and ruin the democratic progress made these past years. The interim Malian president, Dioncounda Traoré, who has just returned from Paris where he spent the past two months following an assault against him in his presidential palace, must urgently work hand-in-hand with all progressive forces in the country to prevent Mali from falling into a Somalia-like situation any time soon.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Addis Ababa

Source: institute for Security Studies

 

Morocco recalls its ambassador to Algeria

On 30 October, Morocco recalled its ambassador to Algeria for consultation. This decision followed the call by Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Abuja, Nigeria, during a conference organised in support of the Sahrawi cause, for the United Nations (UN) to monitor human rights violations in Western Sahara. Algiers responded by saying that it regretted Rabat’s decision, but would nonetheless keep its diplomats in Morocco. For Algiers, this was ‘an unjustified decision, amounting to an unfortunate escalation based on spurious motives, and detrimental to the sovereignty of Algeria’.

Morocco’s decision was preceded by a massive demonstration in front of the Algerian embassy in Rabat in which Moroccan protestors held boards saying ‘Stop. Touche pas à mon roi’ (Stop. Do not touch my king) and ‘No to terrorism’. The official Moroccan Press Agency (MAP) had also reported the opposition monarchist Istiqlal party’s calls for a war against Algeria to regain ‘the Moroccan provinces of Tindouf and Bechar’.

The Istiqlal members had made a similar statement earlier this year. Following Istiqlal’s most recent call, Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramtane Lamamra, issued a statement underlining the ‘irresponsibility and inadmissibility’ of such a declaration. On 1 November 2013 – the Algerian national day celebrating the start of its liberation struggle – a Moroccan, allegedly a member of the Jeunnesses Royalistes (Royal Youth) group broke into the Algerian consulate in Casablanca, Morocco, and removed the Algerian flag from its post in front of a cheering and angry crowd.

These events took place against the backdrop of accusations by Morocco and its close allies, such as France, that Algiers is backing the Polisario Front and consequently blocking a solution to the Western Sahara conflict. They also claim that the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) stalemate and the closed border between the two states can be blamed on the impasse over the Western Sahara conflict. Since its foundation in February 1989, the AMU has been criticised for its incapacity to achieve tangible goals despite convening a summit every four years.

However, these accusations are not supported by the facts. Firstly, the Algerian position has always been consistent throughout the Western Sahara conflict. Should a free and fair referendum be held, Algeria would support whatever choice the Sahrawis make, even one that meant Western Sahara’s full integration with Morocco. Significantly, the Polisario Front, on the advice of Algiers, had accepted the Baker II Plan for a referendum in 2003, but it was turned down by Rabat. Moreover, as the American academic and co-author of Western Sahara: War Nationalism & Conflict Irresolution Jacob Mundy emphasises, Algiers is not responsible for this conflict. ‘Algeria’s stake in the Western Sahara conflict has been one of the most contested yet little understood aspects of this [nearly four-decades] old dispute between Morocco and the Sahrawi nationalists.’

It is also important to recall that Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara – the last colonised territory in Africa – is in violation of international law. The notion of self-determination is enshrined in the UN Charter and supported by UN Resolution 1514, which stipulates that ‘all people have the right to self-determination’. Morocco’s violation of international law is further clarified by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling of October 1975, which found that Western Sahara had not been a territory without a master (terra nullius) at the time of its colonisation by Spain.

Secondly, Bouteflika only reiterated the positions of the United States (US) and non-governmental organisations such as Human Rights Watch and the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights, which have been calling for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara for some time now. In April this year, the US drafted a resolution that included a proposition to install UN observers to monitor human rights violations in the occupied Western Sahara. However, the US dropped this proposition in the face of the furious response from Morocco and France. This situation is starting to worry Morocco, as the Makhzen (the Palace) realises that it may well be losing ground on this thorny issue, especially concerning the question of human rights abuses.

In this regard, Morocco had last year declared Christopher Ross, the UN Secretary General’s envoy to Western Sahara, persona non grata following his declaration on Morocco’s abuses in Western Sahara. It cost UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon considerable effort to convince King Mohamed VI to accept Ross’ return. While human rights monitoring, investigation and reporting have become an integral part of UN peacekeeping operations in recent years, the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) does not include human rights observers.

Finally, it appears as though Rabat is also becoming increasingly nervous since the appointment of Lamamra, the former AU Peace and Security Commissioner, as Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs this September. Lamamra is a highly skilled and experienced diplomat whose grasp of the Western Sahara issue worries Rabat.

Concerning the blockage of the AMU and the sealing of the borders between Algeria and Morocco, two important points ought to be remembered. Firstly, despite different bilateral treaties, Rabat regularly tries to lay claim to Algerian territory, which is internationally recognised. Secondly, the border between these two states was open from 1988 until 1994, only to be closed following the bombing of a hotel in Marrakech, when Rabat (wrongly) accused Algiers of being behind the bombing. As for the AMU, the Western Sahara conflict broke out in 1975, while the AMU was only founded in 1989.

These two examples clearly indicate that the Western Sahara conflict is not a barrier for their bilateral relations but rather is being (mis)used by Rabat and its allies. Consider that out of the 37 AMU conventions, Morocco has only ratified 8 of the 25 for Mauritania, 27 for Libya, 28 for Tunisia and 29 for Algeria.

Morocco’s decision to recall its ambassador and its stated ‘regret’ over the removal of the Algerian flag – emanating from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and not the Palace – will not improve relations with its neighbour or boost its economy. After managing to rally support for its cause in the past few years, Morocco realises now that the tide may well be turning, with more pressure coming from the international community and many African states. Thus far, not a single state in the world recognises its sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Moreover, this diplomatic incident occurred only a few weeks after Ross’ shuttle diplomacy in the region and the release of his report on human rights violations, and a few days before US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the region which he eventually had to postponed due to the Geneva conference on Iran and its nuclear capabilities he attended. Kerry is in favour of including human rights monitoring in MINURSO’s mandate.

It is now high time that the African Union becomes involved in this conflict and uses all its diplomatic weight to put pressure on the US, France and the UN to engage in serious talks on this issue. Finally, and as the elders of North Africa used to say, the Maghreb is an eagle whose body is Algeria and the wings are Morocco and Tunisia. Without the body, the wings are useless. And when Algeria catches cold, Tunisia coughs and the entire Maghreb is in pain. In this period when regional integration is extremely important for the affected countries as well as the African continent, it is paramount to work hand in hand for the future of all of the region’s people.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Addis Ababa

Source: Institute for Security Studies

La crise économique en Europe profite au trafic de cannabis

En novembre 2012, près de deux tonnes de cannabis étaient saisies à la frontière du Perthus alors qu’au mois d’avril de cette année, près de 32 tonnes de haschich dissimulées dans une cargaison de melons étaient interceptées en Espagne. D’une toute autre ampleur, Marc Sebaoun, fils du parlementaire socialiste français, Gérard Sebaoun, et son ami Farah Balhas étaient interpellés au mois de juin dernier à leur retour du Maroc en possession de 22 kilos de cannabis.

Sans présumer de quelconques liens politico-économiques, cette dernière arrestation n’est pas sans rappeler la démission au mois d’octobre 2012 de Florence Lamblin, adjointe Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) au maire du XIIIe arrondissement de Paris, suite au démantèlement d’un réseau de trafic de drogue et de blanchiment d’argent dans lequel elle pourrait être impliquée.

Cependant, dans un contexte socio-économique européen morose, la question du trafic de cannabis entre certains états du vieux continent et le Maroc, dont l’économie est étroitement liée à celle de l’Union européenne, mérite d’être posée.

Histoire socio-migratoire

Les premières plantations de cannabis au Maroc sont apparues au XVe voire au VIIe siècle. Avec le temps, la culture du cannabis – ou haschisch – s’est développée, particulièrement dans les régions montagneuses et pauvres du Rif, prenant un réel essor à partir des années 1960. L’exclusion intentionnelle de la région rifaine de tout développement économique par le souverain Hassan II ne fit qu’encourager et accroître sa culture.

Cette sanction délibérée poussa éventuellement les Rifains à un exode massif vers l’Europe au cours des années 1960 et 1970. Cette immigration, qui devait s’installer essentiellement en France, en Belgique, au Pays-Bas, en Allemagne et à partir des années 80, en Espagne, allait par la suite poser les premières bases de ce qui deviendra plus tard le “network marocain” du trafic de cannabis entre le Maroc et l’Europe.

En conséquence, la culture du cannabis devint alors, pour de très nombreux Rifains, un substitut de plus en plus attrayant, devenant même la première source de revenus pour beaucoup de Marocains, d’autant plus que la demande de cannabis émanant des marchés européens augmentait. Aussi, le résultat actuel est qu’avec l’aide de trafiquants européens, les réseaux de commercialisation marocains ont, avec le temps, réussi à se consolider, transformant le royaume chérifien en premier fournisseur des consommateurs européens.

Devant cette alarmante augmentation du trafic de drogue entre le Maroc et l’Europe, et sous la pression de la communauté internationale, en particulier des partenaires européens, la Banque mondiale et le Fond monétaire international (FMI), le roi Hassan II, et ensuite son héritier, Mohamed VI, s’engagèrent, à coups d’opérations spectaculaires ciblées, à éradiquer la culture de cannabis.

Nonobstant une baisse de la culture du haschich et quelques résultats probants, le trafic de drogue demeure cependant à ce jour un sérieux et épineux challenge, non seulement pour les autorités marocaines mais aussi européennes. En effet, selon un rapport de l’Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime (ONUDC), en 2010, le Maroc demeurait le premier producteur de cannabis au monde. Un rapport de l’organisation mondiale des douanes indique aussi que 65% de cannabis saisie à travers le monde en 2011 provenaient du royaume chérifien. En termes de statistiques, cette culture illégale compte pour 3,1% du PNB du secteur agricole du Maroc et est source de revenus pour plus de 800 000 Marocains, soit 2.5% de la population marocaine.

Par ailleurs, du fait du très important trafic de cocaïne entre l’Amérique latine et l’Afrique de l’ouest, de plus en plus de cargaisons de cocaïne accompagnent celles de cannabis, ce qui confirme non seulement la position géostratégique du Maroc, mais aussi la complicité des cartels sud-américains avec les barons de la drogue marocaine.

Blanchiment

Afin de recycler leur argent, les trafiquants de cannabis procèdent à différentes opérations de blanchiment à travers divers investissements dans des projets de constructions, d’opérations immobilières ou de contrats d’assurances. Les trafiquants profitent bien souvent de l’absence de cadastre qui facilite ce genre de transactions illégales, des défaillances de la législation marocaine, de la corruption ainsi que de la constante augmentation de demandes d’immobilier. Beaucoup de courtiers sans scrupules ferment aussi les yeux sur les contrats d’assurances contractés en échange de dessous de table.

Par ailleurs, les nombreux Marocains et leurs descendants sans emploi ni perspective d’avenir vivant dans les banlieues défavorisées de Paris, Londres, ou Amsterdam et, ayant des liens très étroits avec le Maroc, créent aussi beaucoup d’opportunités pour ces types de transactions. Cependant, et comme le souligne Christophe Champin (Afrique noire, poudre blanche, Ed. André Versaille), le Maroc, ainsi que d’autres états africains, profite également et beaucoup de la bienveillance d’états prêteurs ainsi que des bailleurs de fonds internationaux tels que la Banque mondiale ou le FMI, qui ferment souvent les yeux sur le blanchiment d’argent opéré dans des pays amis tel que le royaume chérifien.

Malgré sa relative bonne santé macro-économique, l’économie marocaine n’en demeure pas moins largement ancrée et dépendante de l’Union européenne, sérieusement affectée par la crise économique qui secoue le continent depuis plusieurs années maintenant. En conséquence, nonobstant le fait que le royaume chérifien soit souvent pointé du doigt pour son laxisme sur la culture de haschisch et le blanchiment d’argent, il est à l’heure actuelle cependant peu probable que le Maroc puisse faire d’énormes efforts afin de contenir le trafic de cannabis et les activités illicites liées à ce même business.

En ces temps de crise économique, il est en effet difficile pour le gouvernement marocain d’être très regardant sur la provenance de fonds susceptibles de renflouer les caisses de l’État (7% de déficit budgétaire en 2012). Et la proximité géographique, mais aussi historique et socio-migrante facilitant les échanges entre les rives des deux côtés de la Mare Nostrum ne font qu’aggraver la situation. Renvoyant aux calendes grecques l’éradication totale de la culture du cannabis engagée par Rabat.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane, chercheur à l’Institut d’études de sécurité, Ethiopie

Source: Al Huffington Post Maghreb

 

Africa’s Last Colony: UN Renews MINURSO’s Mandate in the Western Sahara

After a twenty year impasse, it could take a ‘Sahrawi Spring’ for the Western Sahara to finally gain self-determination.

A UN MINURSO officer chats with locals in Western Sahara. Photograph by UN/Martine Perret.

Today, on 30 April, the mandate of MINURSO – the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara – is to be renewed yet again.

The UN body was initially set up in 1991 to facilitate the referendum for self-determination promised to the Sahrawi people living in disputed Western Sahara region occupied by Morocco. The planned referendum of 1992 failed to materialise, however, amidst disputes over which Moroccan settlers would be entitled to vote. Further plans – such as the 1997 Houston Accords, the 2001 Baker I Accords and 2003 Baker II Accords – similarly fell short.

These various plans broke down either due to the refusal of Polisario, the Sahrawi national secessionist group, to countenance any agreement which failed to include the option of Sahrawi independence (as in 2001) or due to the Moroccan leadership’s refusal to even discuss such an outcome (as in 2003).

20 years later therefore, MINURSO is still present in the Western Sahara, a referendum is yet to take place, and diplomatic forces remain locked in a stalemate.

Illegal occupation

It is worth stressing that Morocco’s occupation of the Western Sahara – the last colonised territory in Africa – is in violation of international law. As far back as 1963, the Western Sahara was included in a list of territories compiled by the UN which sought self-determination.

The notion of self-determination was already enshrined in the UN Charter and is supported by UN resolution 1514 which stipulates that “all people have the right to self-determination”. This was further supported by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a ruling on 16 October 1975 when it declared that the Western Sahara was not an unoccupied territory (terra nullius) at the time of its colonisation by Spain. The ICJ judgement – oddly requested by the then ruler of Morocco, King Hassan II – declared that Morocco (as well as Mauritania at that time) had no valid claim on the Sahara based on any historic title and that, even if it did, contemporary international law afforded priority to the Sahrawi right to self-determination.

Today, the Sahrawis have been recognised by no fewer than 80 states globally and are also full members of the African Union. Conversely, no country has formally recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

One of the reasons behind Morocco’s occupation of the Western Sahara is the immense natural wealth found in the region. Western Sahara has some of the world’s largest phosphate reserves, and control of these provides a tremendous income stream for Morocco, together with the revenue generated from the local fishing industry.

This revenue is crucial for Morocco, especially given the large sums the government has expended in tax incentives for Moroccan settlers to move into Western Sahara, as well as the ongoing cost of maintaining an army in the region (some 100,000 soldiers are stationed in Western Sahara, constituting a third of the total Moroccan population living there).

External positions

Morocco’s intransigence has only been possible thanks to the complicity of Western states, principally the US and France, and aided by Saudi Arabia’s large financial handouts. French and American involvement in the dispute has been marked from the outset by a distinctly pro-Moroccan stance. This can be explained by the fact that Morocco has long been considered a stable Western ally, one that maintains strong economic ties with the US and the European Union. Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Morocco has also assumed the role of an important stabilising and anti-al-Qaeda force in the Maghreb.

Morocco, together with its French and American allies, has sought to blame Algeria for the prolonged impasse over the Western Sahara conflict. Algiers has been accused of encouraging Western Saharan independence and of attempting to establish a satellite for itself along its border. However, Algeria has consistently insisted that should a fair and free referendum be held, it would support whatever choice the Sahrawis make. Moreover, as commentators have made clear, even if Algeria were to stop supporting Polisario, it is far from certain that the latter would give up its fight for independence. The same probably cannot be said of Morocco: if the US and France were to withdraw support for Morocco, the kingdom would have little option but to accept a referendum on self-determination.

Meanwhile, Spain – the former colonial overlord of Western Sahara – has maintained an ambiguous position with respect to the conflict. It continues to refuse to recognise the Sahrawi people while also contending that they have not yet had the option of expressing their rights freely. This ‘sitting on the fence’ is explained by the fact that Spain is trying to maintain amicable relations with both Morocco and Algeria in order to preserve its fishing interests and enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta with respect to Morocco, and gas supplies from Algeria.

The winds of change

Given Morocco’s stubbornness over the conflict and the absence of any resolution on the horizon, it is no wonder MINURSO’s mandate has to be renewed once again. In fact, any hope for a referendum may now rest on the political convulsions being experienced across North Africa, a region witnessing the emergence of a boisterous civil society demanding freedom and dignity.

The so-called ‘Internet and Facebook generation’ which has succeeded in ousting despotic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt may well begin to press for a solution on Western Sahara. Moroccans, who are constitutionally bound not to challenge the country’s position on Western Sahara, have also quietly begun questioning the legality and high financial cost of the continuing occupation. Voices such as these would surely proliferate under a more democratic Morocco.

Similarly, a growing number of Moroccan settlers in the occupied territory are beginning to consider the idea of independence. But they are all too aware that if Morocco were to ever cede on the idea of Western Sahara’s independence, the tax and other economic privileges that they currently enjoy would come to an abrupt end.

A few years before his death, King Hassan II questioned whether it was in the long-term interest of Morocco to continue to suppress the rights of Sahrawis and thus to perpetuate an eternal fight for independence. Hassan’s concerns could well become prophetic. Given the current political dynamics of the Middle East and North Africa region, Morocco’s current ruler, Mohamed VI, would do well to realise that even the harshest forms of repression can be overcome by a determined population.

The Sahrawi people are profoundly convinced in the justice of their cause and undoubtedly believe that in the end, their position will prevail. The wind of liberty blowing across a Maghreb as well as the protests against the Moroccan occupation in November 2010 in Al-Ayun and other cities in the Western Sahara underline this hope. As the Tunisian poet Abu Al-Qassam Al-Shabbi wrote nearly a century ago warning unfair rulers of their faith, “when people decide to live, it is for the destiny to respond, darkness has to dissipate, and chains to break”.

Abdelkader Abderrahmane is a Senior Researcher in the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division (CPRA) at Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Source: ThinkAfricaPress