Reader’s Links, Nov. 2, 2018

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

158 Replies to “Reader’s Links, Nov. 2, 2018”

  1. France pledges weapons and financial aid for Central African Republic (thedefensepost, Nov 2, 2018)
    https://thedefensepost.com/2018/11/02/france-soon-deliver-weapons-central-african-republic-aid/

    “France will give its former colony Central African Republic weapons and €24 million ($27.4 million) in aid, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced on Friday, November 2.

    “France wishes to continue its historical partnership with the Central African Republic,” the minister told journalists in Bangui after meeting President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

    Le Drian, who was on a two-day visit to the country, signed aid agreements worth €24 million in 2018 for the payment of salaries and pension arrears, to develop regions near neighbour Cameroon affected by massive population displacements, and build bridges to open access to parts of the country.

    He also announced that France would “soon deliver arms” – specifically 1,400 assault rifles – for the Central African Armed Forces (FACA), AFP reported.

    “We are doing this within the strict, respectful, and transparent framework of the United Nations, in total transparency concerning the origin, the routing, and the delivery” of the arms, Le Drian said.

    “It would be absurd to train soldiers and not to give them the means to perform their duties,” he added.

    “We are working to ensure that the Central African Republic regains its sovereign rights,” CAR’s foreign minister Charles-Armel Doubane said, RFI reported.

    Doubane said it is “time for France to make available to FACA, within the strict framework of international commitments … these assault rifles, and we are delighted,” TV5 Monde reported.

    CAR arms imports and geo-political squabbles
    Thousands of people have died in CAR, 700,000 have been internally displaced and another 570,000 have fled abroad in fighting since 2013, when the Seleka coalition of mainly Muslim rebel groups toppled longtime leader Francois Bozize, a Christian, who himself seized power in a coup.

    Seleka was officially disbanded within months, but many fighters refused to disarm, becoming known as ex-Seleka. Many others joined the mainly Christian anti-Balaka militia to fight the Seleka, leading to a spiral of violence between groups along both religious and ethnic lines.

    Touadera’s weak government controls around a fifth of the country and relies heavily on the United Nations peacekeeping mission Minusca for support. The rest is controlled by at least 14 different militia groups who often fight each other for control of revenue from extortion, roadblocks or mineral resources.

    The U.N. Security Council imposed an arms embargo in 2013 and in January unanimously extended its sanctions against CAR until January 31, 2019, but weapons shipments for the security forces can be approved with special pre-approval by a sanctions committee.

    The embargo was last year lifted by the Security Council to allow delivery of Russian weapons for CAR’s armed forces. The United Nations has verified, with the defense ministry and Russia, weapons deliveries from Russia.

    Russian advisors work with the CAR’s military and provide security and advice to Touadera. Moscow also recently signed a military cooperation agreement with CAR offering the possibility for Central African officers and NCOs to be trained in Russian military schools.

    The European Union also has a training mission in the CAR, and in July the bloc the extended EUTM-RCA until 2020, pledging €25 million ($29 million) to help reform the country’s defense sector. The scope of the mission has also been modified to give strategic advice to the president’s cabinet, interior ministry and police, as well as the military.

    Russia’s Ambassador to CAR Sergey Lebanov said on September 17 that a second shipment of Russian arms and ammunition “is in preparation,” and will be delivered once it has been approved by the U.N. Security Council.

    In June, France, the United States and the United Kingdom put a hold on a request from Central African Republic for U.N. Security Council approval of weapons shipments from China.

    Also in June, the E.U.’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini proposed a new €10.5 billion ($12.4 billion) “peace facility” that could pay for military equipment, including lethal weaponry, for partner countries in crisis zones such as the Central African Republic and Africa’s Sahel region.

    In September, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the U.N. special envoy to the CAR, said that the need for weapons was “undeniable” as the Central African Republic government builds its armed forces, but urged transparency in the flow of arms.

    “China, but also the United States, have proposed new quantities of weapons,” Onanga-Anyanga said. “It’s for a good reason.”

    Onanga-Anyanga’s came after Touadera reiterated a call for “the total lifting of the arms embargo that still weighs on our national army” in an address to the annual U.N. General Assembly.

    France, Belgium, China and the U.S. have recently supplied equipment for CAR’s military, but that equipment is understood not to include weaponry.”

  2. Egypt arrests daughter of Muslim Brotherhood leader (memo, Nov 2, 2018)
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181102-egypt-arrests-daughter-of-muslim-brotherhood-leader/

    “Egyptian authorities have arrested the daughter of the deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Khairat Al-Shater, who has been in detention since July 2013, well-informed legal sources reported yesterday.

    Aisha Al-Shater was not the only arrested, as the local security forces also arrested her husband the rights attorney, Mohammed Abu Huraira, as well as the rights defence, Huda Abd Al-Moneim.

    The sources added the Egyptian authorities have not provided any details about the reasons for the arrest.

    “No arrest warrant was presented and no reason was given for her arrest,” Abd Al-Moneim’s daughter, Gihad Badawy told Reuters…”

    • Richard, please always make sure to post a note of when a video clip is from The Epoch Times. I’ve been reading their print version for years and find their reporting on Communist China particularly enlightening.

      For those who may be unaware, The Epoch Times has won prestigious awards for their fearless coverage of Red China’s involuntary organ harvesting scandal. To date, only China Uncensored’s author and frontman, Chris Chappell, really digs up the dirt on Beijing anything like The Epoch Times. Again, thank you, Richard, for riding herd on these various high-value news sources.

  3. Marry-off doctor daughters to illiterate men, panchayat orders parents (tribune, Nov 2, 2018)
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1839242/1-marry-off-doctor-daughters-illiterate-men-panchayat-orders-parents/

    “In a rather bizarre occurrence, a panchayat in Rajanpur district on Friday ordered parents in the vicinity to marry-off their ‘doctor daughters’ with illiterate men, warning violators they will lose over hundred acres of land.

    The directives were issued in Rojhan, native city of the federal minister for human rights Shireen Mazari, where the consultative body ruled that violators will have to surrender 123 acres of land, Express News reported.

    The decree was issued after Jagan Mazari, father of two MBB degree-holder girls, Reema and Reshma Mazari, refused to marry-off his daughters to illiterate men in the neighbourhood as part of watta satta* marriages.

    Jagan had married-off his son with a girl in the village 10 years ago. Upon his refusal, the refusing father was barred from farming his own land and was held captive in his house.

    On the other hand, the police remained indifferent on the issue as usual with the deputy superintendent saying they didn’t receive any complaint in order to initiate action.

    Watta satta is a type of marriage involving the simultaneous marriage of a brother-sister pair from two families.”

  4. Oman, UK ink mutual defense agreement (AA, Nov 2, 2018)
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/oman-uk-ink-mutual-defense-agreement/1301321

    “The Sultanate of Oman and the U.K. on Friday signed a mutual defense agreement, the Omani News Agency (ONA) reported.

    According to ONA, the agreement was signed during talks in Muscat between Omani Defense Minister Badr al-Busaidi and British counterpart Gavin Williamson.

    Williamson and an accompanying delegation are currently visiting Oman to attend the final phases of the Al-Shomoukh 2 and Swift Sword 3 military maneuvers.

    In early October, Mark Lancaster, U.K. minister of state for the armed forces, paid a days-long visit to Muscat during which he held a closed-door meeting with al-Busaidi.

    At the time, ONA reported that the two men had discussed means of stepping up bilateral military cooperation and “issues of common concern”.”

  5. Police respond to BRUTAL London stabbing of teen in Southwark (express, Nov 3, 2018)
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1040213/london-stabbing-southwark-new-kent-road-met-police-uk-crime

    “POLICE responded to a call about a brutal stabbing of a 16-year-old boy on New Kent Road in Southwark on Friday.

    A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called to New Kent Road, Southwark at 17.28hrs to reports of a stabbing.

    “Officers attended and a 16-year-old boy was found with a stab injury.

    “The boy was taken to a south London hospital.

    “The injury has been assessed as non-life threatening.

    “No arrests. Enquiries continue.”

    This is the second stabbing in less than a week to occur in Southwark.

    On Halloween, one man was stabbed to death in Southwark Park.

    Rocky Djelal was walking near a playground in South London when a man wearing a high-vis, dark clothes and a hoodie stabbed him.

    Emergency services were called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Mr Djelal had just been released from a six-year sentence for conspiring to commit GBH.

    Someone who knew Mr Djelal told the Evening Standard that this could have been a response to an altercation that occurred last week.

    Another person said: “I know he was banged up for a while because you never saw him around here until recently…”

  6. Yemen’s Houthis Say Attacked Saudi Air Base in Response to Airstrikes – Reports (sputniknews, Nov 3, 2018)
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201811031069471110-yemen-houthis-saudi-arabia-airstrikes/

    “DOHA (Sputnik) – The Yemeni Ansar Allah rebel movement, known as the Houthis, said that it had conducted drone strikes on the Royal Saudi Air Force air base, located near the Yemeni border, in response to the recent airstrikes of the Saudi-led coalition on the Sanaa airport, local media reported on Saturday…”

  7. Morocco warns Europe about ‘fortress’ mentality on migration (arabnews, Nov 3, 2018)
    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1398331/middle-east

    “PARIS: Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita has warned Europe against developing a “fortress” mentality to immigration from Africa, while promising his country is doing everything possible to control its borders.

    Morocco, which nationals of many African states can visit without visas, has become a major gateway for sub-Saharan migrants into Europe, with 47,000 entering Spain from the north African coast in 2018, four times the number for the whole of last year.

    The main reason is changes to smuggling routes favored by human traffickers, who have switched their operations progressively from Turkey or Libya to Morocco over the last three years.

    In an interview with AFP, Bourita urged European politicians not to stoke fears about immigration and understand the problems of the poor countries where many migrants originate, as well as transit nations like Morocco.

    “For as long as Europe chooses a security approach, that will favor illegal migration. If Europe turns itself into a fortress, there will be new ways of getting round the controls,” he said.

    The EU has put forward a migration strategy that includes increased development aid to tackle poverty in Africa, but anti-immigration, far-right politicians promising to seal borders are gaining ground continent-wide.

    Italy’s new populist government, which includes figures from the far-right League party, has taken the lead in promising mass expulsions and a new hard line on arrivals.

    “There’s no longer a cool-headed discussion to find solutions. People try to exploit the issue for gains elsewhere,” Bourita said in a telephone interview.

    Morocco has found itself under increasing pressure from its European partners, particularly Spain, to help stem the number of migrants crossing into Spanish enclaves in north Africa or crossing the Mediterranean. It has also faced criticism for either doing too little to crack down on human traffickers, or for the methods used to move sub-Saharan Africans away from its northern coast.

    “All the pressure shouldn’t be on transit countries, that European countries say from their own comfortable positions ‘you are mistreating migrants’ or ‘you are too slack, it’s a problem’,” Bourita said.

    “Everyone has a responsibility.”

    The European Union agreed to an extra $62 million in funding for Moroccan and Tunisia border controls in August, while further aid is reportedly under discussion.

    Some analysts believe the kingdom is using its leverage with Europe behind closed doors.

    This could see it demand more money for security and economic development, or by using the issue in other diplomatic negotiations such as over the status of the disputed Western Sahara region, or fishing and agricultural deals with the EU.

    Increased arrivals from Morocco “may have been part of a Moroccan strategy to heighten the EU’s awareness of its importance as a migration partner, with a similar aim of potentially increasing financial aid,” analyst Chloe Teevan at the European Council on Foreign Relations wrote last month.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has openly used this strategy, warning Europe repeatedly that he would open the gates and allow millions of refugees and migrants to start crossing the Mediterranean again.

    The EU signed a controversial — but effective — deal with Turkey in 2016 tied to aid of €3 billion to stop the flow of migrants. It has also negotiated with Libya and Egypt, other countries with poor human rights records, with the same goal.

    Bourita denied that Morocco was asking for anything in return for its cooperation with the EU, saying it was acting in its own national interest and to show goodwill toward its European partners.

    “There is an offer from Europe to help us in our efforts and Morocco has taken note of this, but Morocco is not there to negotiate anything,” he said, declining to talk about the amount of additional aid being discussed.

    Moroccan authorities say 54,000 attempts by migrants to cross to Europe were foiled between January and the end of August.

    “Things are going in the right direction,” he said. “There are real results.””

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