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Statistics, damn lies and the truth about Rwanda genocide

The real Rwanda genocide story has no Canadian heroes.

Canadian commentators often claim more Tutsi were killed in the genocide than lived in Rwanda. Since it aligns with Washington, London and Kigali’s interests, as well as liberal nationalist Canadian ideology, the statistical inflation passes with little comment.

A Tyee story last month described the “slaughter of over 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda” between April and July 1994. An earlier Globe and Mail profile of Roméo Dallaire cited a higher number. It noted, “over the next few months, Hutu activists and militias, supplemented by police officers and military commanders, killed an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis.”

Even self-declared experts on the subject cite these outlandish statistics. In the Globe and Mail and rabble last year Gerald Caplan wrote that, “despite his [Dallaire] best efforts, perhaps a million people of the Tutsi minority were slaughtered in 100 days.” With ties to the regime in Kigali, Caplan pulled this number out of thin air. It’s improbable there were a million Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 and no one believes every single Tutsi was killed.

While the exact figure is unknown and somewhat contested, Rwanda’s 1991 Census calculated 596,387 Tutsi. Initially sponsored by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the GenoDynamics project by the Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia Allan Stam and University of Michigan political science professor Christian Davenport put the number slightly lower at 500,000. Others claim the Hutu-government of the time sought to suppress Tutsi population statistics and estimate a few hundred thousand more Rwandan Tutsi.

But, a significant number of Tutsi survived the hundred days of killing. Tutsi survivors’ umbrella group IBUKA (“Remember”) initially concluded that 300,000 survived the genocidal killings, which they later increased to “nearer to 400,000.”

For 800,000 to 1 million Tutsi to have perished there would have had to been at least 1.1 million and probably closer to 1.4 million Tutsi. That’s twice the official calculation.

Notwithstanding the three examples mentioned at the top, the most commonly cited formulation of the number of deaths in 1994 is the more vague “800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu.” A 1999 UN report concluded, “approximately 800,000 persons were killed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.” As time passes, however, the regime in Kigali increases the death toll. In 2004 the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Social Affairs claimed 1,074,017 died and in 2008 the government-backed Genocide Survivors Students Association of Rwanda put the number at 1,952,087.

But, the higher the death toll one cites for the genocidal violence the greater the number and percentage of Hutu victims. In the 2014 BBC documentary Rwanda’s Untold Story Stam explains, “if a million people died in Rwanda in 1994 — and that’s certainly possible — there is no way that the majority of them could be Tutsi… Because there weren’t enough Tutsi in the country.”

The idea there were as many, or even more, Hutu killed complicates the “long planned genocide” narrative pushed by the regime in Kigali and its Anglo-Saxon backers. So does the fact that overwhelming evidence and logic points to the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) as culprits for blowing up the plane of the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, as well as much of the Hutu-led Rwandan military command, which sparked the mass killings.

Washington and London’s support for the RPF, as well as Paul Kagame’s more than two-decade long control of Kigali, explains the dominance of a highly simplistic account of Rwanda’s genocide. But, a tertiary reason for the strength of the fairy tale is it aligns with the nationalist mythology of another G7 state. A wealthy, educated, population speaking the world’s two main colonial languages, Canadians have pumped out innumerable articles, books, songs, plays, poems, movies, etc. about our noble General’s effort to save Rwandans. Yet the Romeo Dallaire saviour story largely promoted by Left/liberals is based on a one-sided account of Rwanda’s tragedy.

Two of the articles mentioned at the top celebrate Dallaire. One of the stories that inflates the Tutsi death toll was a Globe and Mail profile upon the former general’s retirement from the Senate and in the other Caplan writes, “the personal relationship so many Canadians feel with Rwanda can be explained in two words: Roméo Dallaire… [who] did all in his limited power to stop the killings.”

A Monthly Review article I discovered recently provides a stark example of how Left Canadian nationalists have warped understanding of Rwanda’s tragedy to fit their ideology. The third paragraph of the venerable New York-based Marxist journal’s 2003 review of When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda and A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide begins: “A Canadian, General Roméo Dallaire, is the hero of the Rwandan tragedy.”

Canadian reviewer Hugh Lukin Robinson’s main criticism of Ugandan scholar Mahmood Mamdani’s When Victims Become Killers is that he downplays the importance of the Canadian commander of the UN military force. Robinson writes, “[Mamdani’s] disinterest in the international betrayal of Rwanda is illustrated by his single reference to General Dallaire, whose name he misspells and whom he refers to as ‘the Belgian commander in charge of UN forces in Rwanda.’ In contrast, Linda Melvern marshals the evidence which amply justifies the title of her book.”

But, Melvern is a leading advocate of the Kigali sponsored fairy tale about the genocide. Drawing on Dallaire’s purported “genocide fax,” she promotes the “long planned genocide” narrative. Simultaneously, Melvern ignores (or downplays) the role Uganda’s 1990 invasion, structural adjustment policies and the October 1993 assassination of the first ever Hutu president in Burundi played in the mass killing of Spring 1994. Melvern also diminishes RPF killings and their responsibility for shooting down the plane carrying Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana and the Rwandan military high command.

Robinson was impressed with Melvern’s praise for Canada’s military man. “Dallaire had trained and risen through the ranks of an army proud of its tradition of peacekeeping,” Robinson quotes from Melvern’s writing. “He was a committed internationalist and had first hand experience of UN missions. He was a hard worker. And he was obstinate.” But, the “committed internationalist” admits he didn’t know where Rwanda was before his appointment to that country. Nor did Dallaire have much experience with the UN. “Dallaire was what military people call a NATO man,” explained CBC journalist Carole Off in a biography of the General. “His defence knowledge was predicated almost exclusively on the needs of the NATO alliance.”

More significantly, a number of the UN officials involved in Rwanda — head of UNAMIR troops in Kigali Luc Marchal, intelligence officer Amadou Deme, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, etc. — have challenged Dallaire’s interpretation of events, contradicted his claims or criticized his actions. Dallaire’s civilian commander on UNAMIR published a book accusing the Canadian General of bias towards the Uganda/US/Britain backed RPF. In his 2005 book Le Patron de Dallaire Parle (The Boss of Dallaire Speaks), Jacques-Roger Booh Booh, a former Cameroon foreign minister and overall head of UNAMIR, criticizes Dallaire’s actions in Rwanda and challenges his interpretation of events.

In one of two footnotes Robinson ended his Monthly Review article on a Canadian nationalist note. The former labour researcher writes: “There is another account of the Rwanda tragedy for which two Canadians can take a great deal of credit. In 1997, the Organization for African Unity (OAU) appointed an International Panel of Eminent Persons to report on what had happened. Stephen Lewis was a member of the Panel and Gerald Caplan was its principal writer and author of the report, Rwanda –The Preventable Genocide. It confirms all the main facts and conclusions of Linda Melvern’s book.”

While paying lip service to the complex interplay of ethnic, class and regional politics, as well as international pressures, that spurred the “Rwandan Genocide,” the 300-page report is premised on the unsubstantiated claim there was a high level plan by the Hutu government to kill all Tutsi. It ignores the overwhelming evidence (and logic) pointing to Paul Kagame’s RPF as the culprit in shooting down the presidential plane, which sparked the genocidal killings. It also emphasizes Dallaire’s perspective. A word search of the report finds 100 mentions of “Dallaire,” five times more than “Booh-Booh,” the overall commander of the UN mission.

Rather than a compelling overview of the Rwandan tragedy, the OAU report highlights Canada’s power within international bodies. In a Walrus story Caplan described, “waiting for the flight back to Toronto, where I would do all my reading and writing” on a report “I called…’ The Preventable Genocide.’” Partly funded by Canada, the entire initiative was instigated by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Caplan is a staunch advocate of the noble Canadian general story. In 2017 Caplan, who started an organization with Kagame’s long-standing foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, called Dallaire “surely among Canada’s most admired citizens, if not the most admired.”

Praise for Dallaire’s role in Rwanda is based on a highly simplistic account of what transpired in 1994. In their haste to promote a Canadian saviour in Africa, left/liberals have confused international understanding of the Rwandan tragedy, which has propped up Kagame’s dictatorship and enabled his violence in the Congo.

When commentators are claiming more Tutsi were killed than lived in the country it’s time to reevaluate popular discussion of Rwanda’s tragedy.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

The real reasons behind the cancellation of Israel – Africa Summit

By Thembisa Fakude | MEMO | September 13, 2017

It is another bad September for Israel in Africa. Sixteen years ago in Durban, Israel suffered a political blow at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances. The conference ended up with a walk out by Israel and the US after the draft declaration equated Zionism to racism.

Similarly, the NGO Forum of the conference was equally critical of Israel. The conference was regarded as a serious drawback against the pro-Israeli forces at the conference.

On 11 September 2017, the organisers of the first Israeli – Africa Summit which was scheduled to take place in Togo in October announced that the conference had been “postponed indefinitely”.

The controversial conference has been very divisive since its announcement, many criticised it for undermining the African Union (AU). Those critical of the conference argue that any pan African political gathering should involve and take queue from the AU not a particular country.

Secondly, African countries reject the idea of legitimizing Israel, hosting a conference of such nature would have certainly legitimised the Israel. Israel has been engaged in an aggressive charm offensive in Africa under the slogans “Israel is returning to Africa”.

It is all about numbers, the 54 African countries matter when it comes to voting at various global political platforms. Israel has already a significant presence outside the government in many countries particularly in East and West Africa. These organisation are tasked with facilitating people-to-people interactions. Moreover, Israel – like many countries – is queuing up to exploit the African economic opportunities. However, the continued atrocities Israel commits in Palestine remain an obstacle to expand in Africa.

The hosting of a pan African summit in a small country, with a long track record of dictatorship and sociopolitical instability, then call it “ Israeli – Africa Summit” is nothing short of arrogance by Israel. Indeed Africa often embraces a bloc position on difficult foreign policy issues; understandably most African countries are too small and weak to tackle big global political issues on their own. Israel is clearly trying to destroy that position.

It wants to exploit that weakness in Africa by courting smaller countries and forcing them to go against the political trend. The summit would have undermined the unity and seriousness of the African Union (AU). The AU is the only platform that can organise a summit of such a nature and magnitude with that kind of a title.

The Africa- Israeli conference in Togo has exposed a certain number of very important factors in the development of African politics. First, the rejection of this summit by most African nations had little to do with the influence of Arab – African relationship, it had a lot to do with a strong solidarity with Palestine. This is important to mention because the rejection of the Israeli – Africa Summit could easily be misinterpreted or credited to wrong political phenomenon.

Morocco’s efforts in discrediting the summit where by and large self-serving. It used the opportunity as a “public relations fanfare as it reenters the AU”. Many African countries remain committed to the struggle of the Palestinians, and it is that which made them assume a position against the summit.

It is common knowledge that the people-to-people relationships between Arabs and Africans have deteriorated over the years due to racism and the treatment of Africans, particularly African refugees and workers. The number of African leaders who were willing to attend the Israeli- Africa Summit also suggests a change even at the government level.

The conference’s postponement is certainly a diplomatic setback for Israel. However what has been surprising is the number of African countries who were willing to travel to Togo for the summit. Besides Nigeria, whose position was muted by the absence of its president, almost all members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had endorsed and were willing to attend the summit. Furthermore, there is already evidence that the disagreements that have occurred during the discussions leading up to the summit have created cracks and mistrust in Africa.

The biggest question is whether this is the last charm offensive attempt by Israel in Africa? If not, how is Africa going to react next time a big country like Israel makes similar attempts? Will the postponement strengthen the AU or are African countries going to begin overtly embracing standalone foreign policies? What will this mean to the AU’s ambition in maintaining a united position on African foreign policy?

The choice of Togo as the host country without consulting the AU was a serious miscalculation by Israel. Togo is going through political challenges of its own. It was political opportunism by Israel, taking advantage of a weak government hoping to be rescued from its own internal political challenge. The Togolese government was hoping to use Israel’s sociopolitical and economic pledges through the summit to stretch its political tenure, pacify political rumblings in the country and weaken the political opposition.

Read: Togo’s summit cancellation is “victory to African struggle,” says Hamas leader

September 13, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Sweden: Giving Up Neutrality Against People’s Will

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.09.2017

Sweden, a non-NATO nation, has launched its largest military exercise in over 20 years. The drills are being conducted at Russia’s doorstep amid rising military activity in the Baltic Sea region. The timing (Sept. 11-29) is outright provocative as Aurora 2017 is taking place at about the same time (Sept. 14-20) as Zapad 2017, a major Russian exercise in Belarus.

The three-week Aurora 17 is held across Sweden, including the strategic Baltic Sea island of Gotland, not far from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, and the areas around Stockholm and Goteborg. It is conducted in the air, on land and at sea. About 20,000 servicemen, and over 40 Swedish civil authorities, will take part in the drills across the country, including around 1435 troops from the US, Denmark, Norway, France, Estonia, Lithuania and non-NATO Finland. It strikes the eye that Finland, a non-NATO state, has significantly larger participation (270 servicemen) than other European NATO members. For instance, France sent 120 soldiers Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and Estonia sent between 40-60 each.

«They haven’t done something like this in 25, 30 years», said Ben Hodges, commanding general, United States Army, Europe. The United States has sent a Patriot missile battery, helicopters and a National Guard tank company. This is the first time ever American armored vehicles and air defenses were deployed on Swedish soil. In June, the Swedish military also announced its intention to replace all of its aging air defense systems and potentially buy US-made Patriot missiles, citing an alleged threat from Russian Iskander-M missile systems stationed in Kaliningrad.

The war games have also raised the possibility of Sweden joining NATO to formally end its traditional neutrality that kept it out of military conflicts since 1814. The issue will be debated in the country’s 2018 election – if the three centre-right allies get their way, the country will join the alliance.

Sweden has been a member of the NATO program «Partnership for Peace» since 1994. It has taken part in NATO missions in Afghanistan, Balkans and Libya.

Since 2009, Sweden has been committed to the defense of EU members – another breach of neutrality. Mainly EU members are also parties to NATO, it’s impossible to separate them in war. In fact, Stockholm has committed itself to comply with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty regarding European members of the North Atlantic Alliance. Swedish troops and equipment have been used in the EU operation in Mali.

In May 2016 the Swedish parliament ratified the Host Nation Support Agreement with NATO, allowing the pact to store equipment in Sweden and be able to use the country for transport and transit of forces if a crisis should occur in the region. The agreement does not mention nuclear weapons. With the document in force, there is no guarantee that nuclear weapons will not be deployed on Swedish soil. Aurora 2017 is the first time the Host Country Agreement has been used.

In June 2016, Sweden signed a treaty with the US that aims to increase military capability and interoperability between the parties. Specifically, the two nations will conduct training and exercises with an eye to the «distinct political signal» that combined operations will send. Armament cooperation and research and development of future technologies will focus on undersea warfare and air defense, the document notes.

In late 2016, Sweden’s civil protection agency organized under the Ministry of Defense issued an official letter to country’s local authorities to prepare for a possible war with Russia. Sweden is increasing defence spending, and plans to reintroduce conscription from January 2018. Four thousand men and women will be drafted into the defense forces.

Though not formally a member, Sweden is also a part of NATO Rapid Reaction Force. It participates in the joint NATO air transport fleet to be used in conflicts anywhere in the world.

Two top defense officials – Micael Bydén, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, and Chief of Defence Staff Dennis Gyllensporre, have recently supported the idea of changing the military stance to ‘treaty-bound’ defense commitments, in effect meaning full-fledged membership in NATO. They were backed by Allan Widman, Chairman of the Swedish parliament’s defense committee. Visiting Washington in May, Prime Minister Peter Hultqvist said: «We are building a security network of defence cooperation». No doubt that Aurora 2017 is part of this effort.

Seven out of eight Swedish parliamentary parties believe that Aurora 17 will strengthen the country’s capacity to deal with a potential attack and will deepen its military cooperation with other countries, while the Left Party and peace organizations have warned of a spiraling arms race.

Despite media efforts and statements by politicians and officials, the Swedish people oppose the idea of NATO membership. According to a June survey published by Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, public support for the idea of Sweden becoming a NATO member has dropped from 41 to 33 percent in less than a year. Forty-nine percent of Swedes, who took part in the survey published by the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, said they don’t want their country to join the US-led military bloc. Thirty-three percent supported the possible NATO bid, while 18 percent said that they were undecided. In 2015, 41 percent said that they were in favor of Sweden applying for NATO membership, with 39 percent rejecting the move and 20 percent undecided. Social Democrats, the Greens and Left Party voters showed the strongest opposition to NATO accession.

Politicians may say one thing and do another but one cannot change reality. In practice, Sweden has become a full-fledged NATO member and it has been done against the people’s will. With the defense commitment within the framework of EU and the bilateral agreement with the United States mentioned above in the article, Sweden is no different from other states of the alliance. Moreover, it’s one of the most active participants in the bloc’s military activities with a contribution exceeding by far some founding members. It is Sweden, a non-NATO, country who organized Aurora 2017, openly challenging Russia, which will conduct Zapad exercise under surveillance of Western observers according to the provisions of Vienna Document. Despite the obvious facts, Sweden is saying it’s not a NATO event once it was organized by a non-member nation.

It’s easy to predict that the US air defense systems will be stationed in Gotland to be guarded by American personnel. Instructors will also be there. Then reasons will be found to justify the presence of US military in other areas on Swedish soil under the pretext of «rotation» to hold exercises like it is done in Norway where American Marines are stationed permanently in breach of tried-and-true foreign policy principle excluding the stationing of foreign military on Norwegian soil.

No doubt, the policy does not make Sweden safer as Russia will deliberate an appropriate response. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that «If Sweden joins NATO; it will negatively affect our relations because it will mean that NATO facilities will be set up in Sweden so we will have to think about the best ways to respond to this additional threat».

This neutrality policy was, and still is, hugely popular in Sweden. But to call a spade a spade, Sweden is no longer neutral in practice. It has become a leading NATO nation, whose official non-alignment does not reflect reality. One should believe deeds not words. Aurora 2017 is a good example of the fact that the Swedish neutral status has become a thing of the past.

September 13, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Al-Shabaab is Not Mining Uranium in Somalia to Sell to Iran

By Cindy Vestergaard | The Fact of the Matter* | September 8, 2017

The Common Misconception

Militants are strip mining uranium deposits in Somalia to sell to Iran.

Fox News: “Al Qaeda affiliate mining uranium to send to Iran, Somali official warns US ambassador.”
VOA: “Somalia Seeks US Help, Says Militants Plot to Supply Uranium to Iran… the letter might be intended to draw additional military support from Washington more than anything else.”

The Fact of the Matter

A letter sent by Somalia’s Foreign Minister Yusuf Garaad to the U.S. Ambassador of Somalia, Stephen Schwartz, on August 11 overstates the risk of nuclear proliferation as an attempt to bring the United States into what is a decades-long protracted, factional conflict further complicated by high food insecurity, terrorism and no functioning central government.

Additional Background

There are no operating uranium mines in Somalia, nor any plans to construct one. The country’s known reserves are small and highly expensive to extract[1] with data largely based on geological mapping efforts done in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, mining activities in Somalia are described as small-scale and artisanal, mainly gemstones and salt production in Somaliland,[2] a self-declared independent (but not internationally recognized) region of Somalia.

Any development of the minerals sector is complicated by Somalia’s grim security environment. Twenty-six years of war, famine, foreign intervention, and terrorism have left Somalia’s 12 million inhabitants hungry, acutely malnourished, and displaced with most of the population (73%) living on less than US$2 per day. Mogadishu and other towns are now under government control, but the situation is far too divided and violent for democratic elections — the last were held in 1969. Somalia is Africa’s most failed state[3] and has been called “the worst place in the world.”[4]

The letter’s claim that Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group allied to al-Qaeda, is “strip mining triuranium octoxide” from “captured critical surface exposed uranium deposits in the Galmudug region” would suppose first that Al-Shabaab has an interest in excavating the land for uranium and secondly has the large industrial equipment, dump trucks, solvents and know-how to break and crush ore then extract and separate out uranium, and process it into a concentrate form for transport. No extremist group is known to have the resources for a mining operation, even if taking over an-already operational mine, nor would such an operation go unnoticed by intelligence agencies.

Lastly, the letter’s claim that Iran is the destination is a gross distortion even if al-Shabaab had the ability to mine uranium. The United Nations Security Council would know if uranium concentrates were being transferred to Iran. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached by Iran and six other powers (the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) plus the European Union in July 2015 monitors all transfers, trade and/or domestic production of uranium ore concentrates. Moreover, if Iran wanted to buy uranium it can do so openly through a ‘procurement channel’ established by the JCPOA and endorsed by United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) for States wanting to transfer nuclear or dual-use goods, technology or related services to Iran. All such activities are to be approved by the Security Council, including any acquisitions by Iran of an interest in a commercial activity in another State involving uranium mining or production of nuclear materials.

If the argument has an oddly familiar ring, it is because uranium — or rather the fear of it — was a key part of the justification by the George W. Bush Administration (and by U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair) for invading Iraq in 2003. The claim was discredited and eventually retracted by the White House four months after the United States had begun military operations in Baghdad.

[1] Uranium recoverable at a cost less than USD 260/kgU. See: OECD-IAEA Red Book, : http://www.oecd-nea.org/ndd/pubs/2016/7301-uranium-2016.pdf

[2] https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2011/myb3-2011-so.pdf

[3] Somalia is Africa’s “most failed state” The Economist, (https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21706522-twenty-five-years-chaos-horn-africa-most-failed-state)

[4] “The Worst Place in the World: See What Life is Like in Somalia,” Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/somalia-is-the-most-failed-state-on-earth-2013-7?r=US&IR=T&IR=T


Cindy Vestergaard is a Senior Associate with the Nuclear Safeguards program at the Stimson Center.

*The Fact of the Matter is an ongoing series that highlights — and corrects — common misconceptions in conventional wisdom. Contributions to this series are from experts at the nonpartisan Stimson Center.

September 12, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Trudeau’s pal in Rwanda a ruthless dictator

By Yves Engler · August 25, 2017

Why is the Trudeau government supporting Africa’s most ruthless dictator?

After amending the constitution to be able to run indefinitely Paul Kagame recently won 98.63 per cent of votes in Rwanda’s presidential election. In response, Canada’s High Commissioner Sara Hradecky tweeted “Congratulations to Rwandans for voting in peaceful presidential election” and “Canada congratulates Paul Kagame on his inauguration today as President of Rwanda.” The latter tweet was picked up by the state propaganda organ New Times in a story titled “Heads of State, diplomats laud Kagame’s ‘visionary leadership’.”

If garnering 99 per cent of the vote wasn’t a clue that Kagame is a dictator, the High Commissioner could’ve taken a look at Canada’s ‘paper of record,’ whose Africa bureau chief has shined a critical light on Rwanda in recent years. At the start of 2016 The Globe and Mail reported on two new books describing the totalitarian nature of the regime.

“Village informers,” wrote South Africa-based Geoffrey York. “Re-education camps. Networks of spies on the streets. Routine surveillance of the entire population. The crushing of the independent media and all political opposition. A ruler who changes the constitution to extend his power after ruling for two decades. It sounds like North Korea, or the totalitarian days of China under Mao. But this is the African nation of Rwanda — a long-time favourite of Western governments and a major beneficiary of millions of dollars in Canadian government support.”

In 2014 York wrote an investigation headlined “Inside the plots to kill Rwanda’s dissidents,” which provided compelling evidence that the regime had extended its assassination program outside of east Africa, killing (or attempting to) a number of its former top officials who were living in South Africa. Since the initial investigation York has also reported on Rwandan dissidents who’ve had to flee Belgium for their safety while the Toronto Star revealed five individuals in Canada fearful of the regime’s killers.

On top of international assassinations and domestic repression, Kagame has unleashed mayhem in the Congo. In 1996 Rwandan forces marched 1,500 km to topple the regime in Kinshasa and then re-invaded after the Congolese government it installed expelled Rwandan troops. This led to an eight-country war between 1998 and 2003, which left millions dead. Rwandan proxies have repeatedly re-invaded the mineral rich eastern Congo. In 2012 The Globe and Mail described how “Rwandan sponsored” M23 rebels “hold power by terror and violence” there.

The Rwandan government’s domestic repression and violence in the Congo is well documented. Yet I couldn’t find a single tweet or comment by Hradecky critical of Kagame since she became High Commissioner in January. Yet she found time to retweet Kagame’s International Women’s Day message that “Realizing women’s full aspirations is inextricably linked to achieving whole nation’s potential.”

Re-tweeting a tyrant’s message or applauding spurious elections are clear forms of support for the “butcher of Africa’s Great Lakes.” But, Hradecky has offered less obvious backing to the regime.

On July 4 Hradecky tweeted “From the Canadian High Commission, we wish Rwandans a Happy Liberation Day!,” which was picked up by the New Times in a story titled “Messages of solidarity as Rwanda marks Liberation Day.”

The Ugandan-sponsored Rwandan Patriotic Front officially captured Kigali on July 4, 1994. Trained at a US military base in Kansas, Kagame’s forces apparently waited to take the capital so their Liberation Day could coincide with their US backers’ Independence Day, a public relations move that continues to pay dividends as demonstrated by a July NPR story titled “In Rwanda, July 4 Isn’t Independence Day — It’s Liberation Day.”

Four years after 3,000 Ugandan troops “deserted” to invade their smaller neighbour the force of mostly exiled Tutsi took Kigali. Today, Rwanda continues to be ruled by largely English-speaking individuals who often are descended from those who had authority in a monarchy overthrown during the 1959–61 struggle against Belgian rule. The Guardian recently pointed to “the Tutsi elite who dominate politics and business” and the Economist detailed “The Rwandan Patriotic Front’s business empire” in the country.

Underpinning the “liberation” story is a highly simplistic, if not counterfactual, account of the 1994 genocide. Widely hailed as the person who ended the killings, Kagame is probably the individual most responsible for the mass slaughter. His RPF invaded Rwanda from Uganda, engaged in a great deal of killing and blew up the presidential plane, an event that unleashed the genocidal violence.

As Hradecky should know, last year the Globe and Mail described two secret reports documenting Kagame’s “direct involvement in the 1994 missile attack that killed former president Juvénal Habyarimana, leading to the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people died.”

Echoing Kigali’s narrative, Hradecky published a half dozen tweets (or retweets) in April commemorating the Genocide. “Canada stands with Rwanda to commemorate the victims of Genocide,” read one. Hradecky also retweeted a Government of Rwanda statement: “Today marks the beginning of the 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.”

Promoting simplistic commentary on the subject effectively strengthens a regime that derives much of its legitimacy from purportedly stopping the genocide.

From commemorating Liberation Day to applauding questionable elections, Canada’s High Commissioner has provided various forms of ideological support to Africa’s most ruthless dictator. That should embarrass everyone who wants this country to be a force for good in the world.

August 27, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BBC Claim Climate Change Is Cutting Crop Yields In Africa

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | August 23, 2017

image

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b091s7zl

More lies from the BBC Today programme.

At about 44 minutes in, a fairly sensible report from Kenya about improving agriculture methods is introduced with this shameless comment:

Climate change is cutting crop yields [in Africa]

The data from the UN FAOSTAT shows the opposite to be true:

http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#compare

In Kenya itself, the value of agricultural production has been at record high levels for the last two years:

Of course, these drastic increases in agricultural productivity are due to a number of factors, and trying to unravel a climate signal is well nigh impossible. Not that that will stop grant addicted climate scientists making up their own fake evidence.

One is entitled to wonder why the BBC thought it appropriate to even make the comment they did, instead of giving their listeners the actual facts?

August 26, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Ten civilians killed in US-backed raid in Somalia: Official

Press TV – August 25, 2017

Ten civilians have been killed in a US-backed raid on a farm in southern Somalia, according to the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region.

The raid on Barire village early Friday led to the deaths of three children aged 8 to 10 and a woman among others, Ali Nur Mohamed told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu.

“These local farmers were attacked by foreign troops while looking after their crops,” Mohamed said. “The troops could have arrested them because they were unarmed but instead shot them one by one mercilessly.”

Somalia’s information ministry, which initially said members of al-Qaeda-linked extremist group al-Shabab were among the dead, confirmed there were “civilian casualties” too.

The US Africa Command issued a statement Friday, confirming it had supported an operation against al-Shabab militants.

“We are aware of the civilian casualty allegations near Barire, Somalia. We take any allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and per standard, we are conducting an assessment into the situation to determine the facts on the ground,” said the statement.

This is a clear indication of growing US military involvement in the Horn of Africa nation after President Donald Trump ordered that operations against the extremist group be expanded, approving more aggressive airstrikes in the country.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The Takfiri militant group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.

The extremist group is just one of the challenges facing the new Somali government, which is still struggling to expand its authority beyond the capital and other selected areas.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Facing Defeat in Syria, ISIS Inexplicably Expands Globally

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 11.08.2017

Throughout human history, when a military force and its economic center has been defeated, it contracts, then collapses. For the first time in human history, the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), has managed to reverse this fundamental aspect of reality – but not without help.

Facing defeat in Syria as government forces backed by its Russian and Iranian allies close in on the terrorist organization, stripping it of territory it seized, it has managed to spread far beyond Syria’s borders, establishing itself in Libya, Afghanistan, and even as far as Southeast Asia where it has seized an entire city in the Philippines’ south, and carried out attacks and conducting activities everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia to allegedly Thailand’s deep south.

It should be remembered, according to Western governments and their media, the territory ISIS holds in Syria is allegedly providing it with the summation of its financial resources and thus the source of its fighting capacity. According to official statements, the US and its European allies allege that ISIS fuels its fighting capacity with “taxes” and extortion as well as black market oil sales – all of which are derived from territory it holds in Syria.

The Washington Post in a 2015 article titled, “How the Islamic State makes its money,” would note:

Weapons, vehicles, employee salaries, propaganda videos, international travel — all of these things cost money. The recent terrorism attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State has claimed as its own work, suggest the terrorist organization hasn’t been hurting for funding. David Cohen, the Treasury Department’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, described the Islamic State last October as “probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted” — deep pockets that have allowed the group to carry out deadly campaigns in Iraq, Syria and other countries.

To explain where ISIS actually makes its money, the Washington Post claims:

Unlike many terrorist groups, which finance themselves mainly through wealthy donors, the Islamic State has used its control over a territory that is roughly the size of the U.K. and home to millions of people to develop diversified revenue channels that make it more resilient to U.S. offensives.

The Washington Post would also claim:

 Its main methods of generating money appear to be the sale of oil and antiquities, as well as taxation and extortion. And the group’s financial resources have grown quickly as it has captured more territory and resources: According to estimates by the Rand Corporation, the Islamic State’s total revenue rose from a little less than $1 million per month in late 2008 and early 2009 to perhaps $1 million to $3 million per day in 2014.

With this territory quickly shrinking and the intensity of fighting against what remains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq expanding, it is seemingly inexplicable as to how ISIS is expanding globally, instead of contracting and collapsing.

The Washington Post’s already implausible thesis regarding ISIS finances – based on official statements from the US Treasury Department and US corporate-funded policy think tanks like Rand – appears to be the only thing contracting and collapsing.

ISIS Enjoys Global Reach Many Nation-States Lack 

Regarding just how expansive ISIS’ global activities are, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson himself would claim in an August 1, 2017 statement that:

I think our next steps on the global war to defeat ISIS are to recognize ISIS is a global issue. We already see elements of ISIS in the Philippines, as you’re aware, gaining a foothold. Some of these fighters have gone to the Philippines from Syria and Iraq. We are in conversations with the Philippine Government, with Indonesia, with Malaysia, with Singapore, with Australia, as partners to recognize this threat, try to get ahead of this threat, and help them with training – training their own law enforcement capabilities, sharing of intelligence, and provide them wherewithal to anticipate what may be coming their direction.

Tillerson made these remarks after noting ISIS’ shrinking holdings in both Syria and Iraq. He claimed in regards to Iraq:

More than 70 percent of Iraqi territory that was once held by ISIS has been liberated and recovered. ISIS has been unable to retake any territory that it has been – that has been liberated, and almost 2 million Iraqis have returned home. And this is really the measure of success, I think, is when conditions are such that people feel like they can return to their homes.

Regarding Syria, Tillerson would claim:

Similarly, over in Syria, we’re assisting with the liberation of Raqqa, which is moving at a faster pace than we originally anticipated.

The steps outlined by Tillerson to combat ISIS sidestep strategic fundamentals like identifying, isolating, and eliminating the economic and financial source of the organization’s fighting capacity, and instead focus on an indefinite justification for global US military operations – particularly across Southeast Asia at a time when the region is incrementally uprooting American influence and replacing it with Eurasian alliances, networks, as well as military and economic blocs.

For ISIS – fueled by resources found only within the boundaries of its meager and shrinking territorial holdings in Syria and Iraq – to be simultaneously fighting the national armies of Syria and Iraq, backed by Iran, Russia, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and allegedly a US-led coalition including dozens of countries, all while expanding its reach worldwide, including full-scale military operations in Southeast Asia, begs belief.

ISIS doing all of this with multi-billion dollar multinational state sponsorship, not only makes much more sense, it is the only explanation.

ISIS is State Sponsored 

Until recently, ISIS territory butted directly against the borders of NATO-member Turkey. In fact, looking at any map of the Syrian-Iraqi conflict with ISIS revealed what appeared to be logistical trails leading directly out of Turkey and to a lesser extent, Jordan.

A 2014 report from Germany’s public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, revealed a torrent of supplies, men, and weapons flowing daily over the Turkish-Syrian border, headed directly toward ISIS territory, directly under the nose and with the complicity of Turkish officials.

The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” would note:

Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The haulers believe most of the cargo is going to the “Islamic State” militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.

So obvious was the logistical support for ISIS flowing from Turkey, that ISIS flags were clearly visible from the Turkish border throughout DW’s footage.

It was only until Russia’s military intervention in Syria upon Damascus’ request, that these logistical routes were targeted and significant pressure could be placed on ISIS inside Syria, rolling back its fighting capacity.

There is also the fact that ISIS and Al Qaeda along with their various affiliates and allies have swept alleged “moderate rebels” from the battlefield. These are alleged “rebel groups” that have supposedly received hundreds of billions of dollars of support from the US and its allies in the form of weapons, vehicles, training, logistical support, and even covert military support.
ISIS and Al Qaeda’s ability to sweep these forces from the battlefield indicates a fighting capacity driven by even greater financial support. But if ISIS has greater financial support than multi-billion dollar multinational state sponsorship, where is it getting it?
This question, coupled with the obvious fact that ISIS is indeed fueling its fighting capacity from well beyond the borders of territory it occupies, indicates that the US and its allies, including NATO-member Turkey, never were backing “moderate rebels,” and for the entire duration of the Syrian conflict – and even beforehand – were arming and supporting extremists, including Al Qaeda and those affiliates that would later form ISIS itself.

ISIS enjoys a global reach few nation-states could achieve because it is financially, politically, and militarily backed by nations with the resources to obtain that global reach. This includes the US itself, NATO, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which in turn includes nations like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar.

ISIS is America’s Foot in the Door in Southeast Asia 

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments regarding ISIS’ spread into Southeast Asia implied long-term US involvement in the region, including closer involvement with regional police and even military forces. In the Philippines, where US-Philippine relations were spiraling downward, the sudden appearance of ISIS there and the organization’s ability to seize an entire city led directly to justification for not only a continued US military presence in the country, but its expansion.

Other nations across Southeast Asia – including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand – have been incrementally pushing US influence out of the region in favor of stronger and more stable ties with each other and with neighboring China.

Thailand for instance, has begun replacing aging US military hardware with weapon systems from Russia, China, and Europe. Thailand has also begun joint military exercises with China, ending America’s post-Vietnam War monopoly. Thailand and Indonesia have also begun striking a series of economic and infrastructure deals with China, including immense expansions of their respective national railways.

As each nation has taken steps to move the US out of Asia, the US has increased pressure on each respective nation. It has done this through US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and US-backed opposition movements. It also appears to be doing this through the introduction and expansion of ISIS activity in the region.

It should be remembered that it was the US itself that created Al Qaeda in the mountains of Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s.

It was also the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in a leaked 2012 memo, that noted the US and its allies sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in eastern Syria precisely where the Islamic State currently resides. The purpose of creating this terrorist organization was to “isolate the Syrian regime.” Thus, it is all but admitted that ISIS is a tool of US geopolitical manipulation. If it created and used ISIS in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime,” why would it hesitate to likewise use it in Southeast Asia to reverse its waning fortunes?
The 2012 report (.pdf) states (emphasis added):

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

Tillerson’s comments regarding ISIS are in essence, a veiled threat – a threat of long-term chaos sown by ISIS that will continue without expansive capitulation to US interests, including an expanding US military footprint in the region, conveniently in a region the US has long designated as essential toward the geopolitical, military, and economic encirclement and isolation of a rising China.
However, such a ploy cannot unfold if the nations of Southeast Asia both expose this reality, and align themselves with nations truly invested in the defeat of ISIS, including Russia and China – the ultimate targets of America’s geopolitical ambitions and the final destination for America’s global terrorist proxies.

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel to occupy Africa

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets people during his arrival at James Spriggs Payne Airport in Monrovia, Liberia on 4 June 2017 [Prime Ministry of Israel/Anadolu Agency]
By Helmi Al-Asmar | Al-Araby Al-Jadeed* | August 10, 2017

With the exception of the popular efforts made by the Conference for Palestinians Abroad to hinder the rabid Israeli efforts to hold a major conference next October entitled the Israeli-African Summit in Togo, we have barely seen any official or popular Arab efforts in this direction. This is despite the great danger posed by convening such a summit, which Israel has been laying the foundations for for several years, in light of the almost complete absence of the Arabs, which is an unprecedented development in Israel’s tireless efforts to bypass the wide wall of isolation and moral rejection it faces in Africa. It aims to present itself as a trusted partner for the continent’s nations.

The Conference for Palestinians Abroad viewed this summit, rightly so, as an insult to the struggles of the African nations and a disregard for their generations’ fair fight for liberation from colonisation and racism. It is also an attempt on the occupation government’s part to portray itself as a trusted partner for the African countries in order to fabricate its reality. It is not coming to Africa in order to spread love and unity, but instead aims to make Africa a market for the lethal products it produces and a place to export its mercenaries to help the dictators of the continent.

This is despite the fact that the African nations’ true interests and their efforts towards sustainable development, prosperity and growth do not align with the colonial racist occupation government in Palestine, given its record of hostility and terrorism. This is documented by several international and independent reports, including the ESCWA report regarding the escalations of the Israeli apartheid policies issued this year.

In addition to this, Israel, which commits war crimes, mass killings, flagrant violations and intimidation methods, as well as confiscates the Palestinian people’s land and resources and sponsors illegal extremist settler gangs, does not have the right to be a partner to developing nations seeking advancement, prosperity and the combat of terrorism.

The efforts of the Conference for Palestinians Abroad are focused on mobilising governments, official and popular institutions, parties, civil society organisations, public figures, community leaders and the media across Africa and the entire world, in order to rally the efforts against the Israeli government’s actions. These actions are an attempt on Israel’s part to promote itself in the continent in a misleading manner, ignoring the principles of justice, the peoples’ rights and international laws and conventions. The conference summoned its efforts and began taking action, contacting concerned parties, especially the influential forces in the African nations in order to confront Israel’s attempts of exploitation and deception.

These are commendable efforts but of course they are not enough to stop this hateful and racist emergence in Africa. Putting an end to the conference is the duty of all African countries, organisations, committees, and people specifically, and generally the duty of the Arab and Muslim countries. This is because Israel’s presence in the continent will not be in the best interest of the African people, but rather in Israel’s interest as it exports death, mercenaries and tyranny to all the countries of the world. It also supports the totalitarian regimes that commit the ugliest forms of aggression, looting and pillage. Therefore, resisting this conference and sabotaging it by all means available is the duty of all nations on Earth.

It is worth mentioning in this regard that the only Arab action against the convention of this summit was by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, during his visit to Khartoum in July 2016. In his meeting with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, Abbas raised the issue of developing the Arab strategy in the African continent and cooperating in order to stop Israel’s attempts to achieve a breakthrough in Africa.

We do not expect Sudan or the PA to do anything now, as it is too late and their political/diplomatic capabilities are limited. Moreover, their problems and misfortunes are too many to count, according to the former Egyptian Ambassador to Angola, Sao Tome and Niger, Belal Al-Masry, who, in an important article published on the Democratic Arab Centre website, listed five reasons why the Israeli summit in Africa is dangerous. These points should be considered and reflected upon, the most important of which is the fact that the conference’s purpose is to restore and develop the African voting bloc in order to use it to support Israel’s international status.

Israel views the countries of the African continent as a voting bloc consisting of at least 50 votes. This was confirmed by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seven African leaders with whom he met in Rwanda in July 2016. He also reiterated this in his speech to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Monrovia in June 2017. Hence, his statement regarding Israel having a bright future in the UN during his speech before the UN General Assembly at its regular session in September 2016, wasn’t too far from the truth. He also stated that his main diplomatic goal was to stop the African states from automatically voting against Israel at the UN and that the day he would achieve this isn’t too far. Therefore, holding the Israeli summit in Africa will mark the end of the Egyptian and Arab role, in general, in Africa and Israel will join the international forces competing for influence in the African continent. These countries include China, the United States, France, India, Russia, Iran and recently, Turkey.

It is not an overstatement to say that the Israeli conference in Togo will pave the way for Israel to reoccupy Africa, or at least a large part of it, politically, economically and militarily. This will further strengthen Israel’s international and regional standing and increase the suffering of the Palestinian people, who are paying the price for the fragmentation of the Arab system and their preoccupation with resisting the effects of the Arab Spring revolutions.

*Translation by MEMO

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Africans will be biggest losers after letting foreign military into their continent’

RT | August 9, 2017

Africa has become a staging ground where foreign countries can show off their military capabilities against one another away from their country of origin at the expense of Africans, says African affairs expert Ayo Johnson.

Turkey is gearing to open its largest overseas military base in Somalia.

The United Arab Emirates are building a military base at the port of Berbera, in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland.

Africa is an attraction to foreign militaries: China opened its first overseas military base on August,1 in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. Djibouti is also currently housing Americans, Japanese and French troops.

RT discussed why Africa has become so popular with the foreign military with Africa affairs expert Ayo Johnson who believes the world powers are turning the continent into the latest theater of military confrontation.

“Back in colonial days, we saw Africa being cut up and carved up by the Western nations. Now we are seeing Africa again being the center ground for the new verge of a proxy war because all these different countries which are founding military bases on the African continent. It is a huge worry,” Ayo Johnson told RT.

In Johnson’s opinion, “it is showing that Africans can’t protect themselves and it is also showing that Africans can’t control their own affairs and ultimately it is finders keepers.”

“We have China who already has a military base of its own, the excuse is that it ultimately wants to protect its own investment which we know it has on the African continent. Also, it says it wants to prevent piracy and to be able to launch against such events,” Johnson said.

“The Americans have similar bases, not to mention the Europeans. So, on the ground itself, ultimately the African continent is becoming the staging ground for the next possibly violent confrontation between the superpowers of the world in their so-called proxy battles,” he continued.

According to Johnson, such interest in the continent might be explained by its strategic location.

“The Horn of Africa is the gateway for many shipping lanes, the protection of that area because of long term standing piracy issues. But others would say it is about land grab, control; it is about influence.”

“The Americans, the British and other Europeans, not to mention the Chinese most recently, all seem to have a huge stake and might show their muscles and their military capabilities against one another. Africa has now become a staging ground from which they can exploit those opportunities away from their own individual countries, a place where they can prowess their military might at the expense of Africans,” Johnson noted.

Despite the increased foreign military presence, the problem of piracy in the region remains unsettled.

“One thing for sure is that piracy still exists and it will continue and is unlikely to stop or to be slowed down.”

“Again in terms of terrorism, Al-Qaeda and ISIS still have strongholds and control, influence in that part of the world and the military bases that are physically positioned there. If they are there to prevent such attacks, I think in the short term or more long term it could create antagonism, create a problem for locals who may want to join those organizations to attack the military powers that are there. So the protection of Africa becomes the reverse, becomes an area where everyone wants to show each other what they are capable of doing and that is the worry, be it terrorist or be it an American, European or even most recently the Turks are also considering having bases there,” he told RT.

Johnson claimed “that comes at the expense of every single African nation – ultimately the biggest losers will be every single individual on the African continent.”

August 10, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Kenya deports 1 American and 1 Canadian for election meddling

By Ricky Twisdale | The Duran | August 6, 2017

Kenya has decided it doesn’t need western assistance to ensure it has “free and fair” elections.

The African country is holding a national vote for president, deputy president, and parliament on 8 August.

But the election will have to go forward without the help of two foreign advisors.

John Phillips, a US citizen and chief executive of political consultancy Aristotle, and Canadian citizen Andreas Katsouris, a senior executive at the same firm, were arrested on Friday and deported from Kenya on Saturday, according to Reuters.

The two men were providing political consulting services to opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his National Super Alliance party. Polls show Odinga and incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta neck-in-neck in the race for the Kenya State House.

Kenya’s last two presidential elections were marred by violence and charges from the losing side of vote rigging. Unrest following the 2007 vote left hundreds dead.

Here’s more from the Reuters report regarding the arrests of Phillips and Katsouris:

“They handcuffed me and put me in the hatchback of a car,” Phillips said by phone from Frankfurt.

Katsouris said they were manhandled after the police arrived.

“One man had a picture of me on his mobile phone,” he said, speaking by phone from Delft, the Netherlands. “Another guy grabbed me by the arm and grabbed my glasses from my face.”

After being bundled into separate cars they were driven around for several hours, while being questioned, and then taken to holding cells at the airport, they said…

Phillips said one of Aristotle’s jobs was to monitor the transparency of the election. The two had been in Kenya for around two months and were doing polling, data analysis and monitoring the election process…

Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said via a text message on Sunday that Phillips and Katsouris had “contradicted the terms of their visa”. When asked how, he replied “ask them”.

Whatever Kenya’s political problems, it appears Nairobi doesn’t believe US-Canadian meddling in their elections is the way to solve them.

August 6, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

African children pay the price for “clean green” electric car battery technology

Tall Bloke’s Talk Shop | August 6, 2017

Goldman Sachs, the merchant bank, calls cobalt ‘the new gasoline’ but there are no signs of new wealth in the DRC, where the children haul the rocks brought up from tunnels dug by hand.

Adult miners dig up to 600ft below the surface using basic tools, without protective clothing or modern machinery. Sometimes the children are sent down into the narrow makeshift chambers where there is constant danger of collapse.

Cobalt is such a health hazard that it has a respiratory disease named after it – cobalt lung, a form of pneumonia which causes coughing and leads to permanent incapacity and even death.

Even simply eating vegetables grown in local soil can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, thyroid damage and fatal lung diseases, while birds and fish cannot survive in the area.

No one knows quite how many children have died mining cobalt in the Katanga region in the south-east of the country. The UN estimates 80 a year, but many more deaths go unregistered, with the bodies buried in the rubble of collapsed tunnels. Others survive but with chronic diseases which destroy their young lives. Girls as young as ten in the mines are subjected to sexual attacks and many become pregnant.

Dorsen, just eight, is one of 40,000 children working daily in the mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The terrible price they will pay for our clean air is ruined health and a likely early death.

Almost every big motor manufacturer striving to produce millions of electric vehicles buys its cobalt from the impoverished central African state. It is the world’s biggest producer, with 60 per cent of the planet’s reserves.

The cobalt is mined by unregulated labour and transported to Asia where battery manufacturers use it to make their products lighter, longer-lasting and rechargeable.

The planned switch to clean energy vehicles has led to an extraordinary surge in demand. While a smartphone battery uses no more than 10 grams of refined cobalt, an electric car needs 15kg (33lb).

Residents near mines in southern DRC had urinary concentrates of cobalt 43 higher than normal. Lead levels were five times higher, cadmium and uranium four times higher.

The worldwide rush to bring millions of electric vehicles on to our roads has handed a big advantage to those giant car-makers which saw this bonanza coming and invested in developing battery-powered vehicles, among them General Motors, Renault-Nissan, Tesla, BMW and Fiat-Chrysler.

Full story

August 6, 2017 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment