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Egypt: Sinai Attack Kills Senior Military Officer

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A senior Egyptian military officer, Col. Rami Hassanein, and one soldier were killed Oct. 29 in a targeted roadside bomb attack outside Sheikh Zuweid in the northern Sinai peninsula, Reuters reported. Two soldiers were also injured. The remote region is home to numerous militant factions, some with ties to the Islamic State. Meanwhile, Egypt’s government is embroiled in controversy over austerity measures, ratcheting up political instability in core areas.

Nigeria: Boko Haram is alive and kicking

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s optimism after a few victories against Boko Haram rebels is not realistic. Atrocities in the village of Dalori, where jihadists set fire causing about 90 killed, including children, and the recent attack on a hamlet in Borno State, where three people died, report that the war in the North-East of the country is not over yet.

Since his assignment in 2015, Buhari, in collaboration with Cameroon and Chad, defeated several times Boko Haram troops. Indeed, unlike his predecessor, the Christian Jonathan Goodluck, he’s Muslim and comes from northern Nigeria: so, it’s a crucial factor in the fight against Islamist organization.

However, there are many negative causes. These victories did not go with an improvement of Nigeria as State. Because of lack of funds, the homes, schools and churches restoration didn’t happen. Consequently, the reconstruction of social fabric failed.

All this in a context of permanent opposition between the South, Christian, richer and more developed; and the North, Muslim, poorer and with less infrastructure. A contrast worsened in the last year by the charges of human rights abuses against civilians to Nigerian army, while it was hunting down Boko Haram in Borno State.

A discontent used by Boko Haram, as Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, to recruit people.

Buhari’s optimism discloses an underestimation of the opponent. An opponent which took a specify military tactic in recent months. It disappears when it has difficulties and reappears when conditions allow. And it resorts more to raids than suicide attacks.

The tactics of Boko Haram combined with now long-standing war against the Nigerian state tell us about a real war. For this reason, as written by Financial Times, a few victories do not mean the end of this war.

As evidence of this, in an interview Vicenews on HBO, a Boko Haram commander told about more than 200 Chibok girls abducted on April 15, 2014: “I know where they are. You want to know where they are? They are not with us. If we can get what we want, we know where they are, we will get them.” Challenging words which explain how Boko Haram is alive and kicking.
Giacomo Pratali


Indonesia considering new anti-terrorism legislation. Fears of repercussions on the human-rights

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 After the attacks that hit Jakarta last week, concluded with the death of four civilians and four attackers, Indonesian President Joko Widodo asked yesterday the review of anti-terrorism laws in force in the archipelago.

The proposed amendment would clearly go in the direction of a tightening of security controls, and allows security forces to immediately arrest any person suspected of planning terrorist attacks. The police fear that Indonesian jihadists engaged in Middle – East and North Africa may return home to prepare new attacks.

The proposal has generated concerns because many feel that a new more restrictive anti-terrorism law could lead to an excessive increase of the controls and be used as a tool of repression in a country that has already suffered from the weakness of its rule of law.

The new legislation would also allow the police to detain suspects for more than a week (current limit), without charge, and would make illegal any military activity with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. According to local authorities estimates, some 500 Indonesians have already left to fight as foreign fighters alongside jihadists of Daesh. 100 of these have already returned without having gained ,however, in most cases, combat experience.

The reform advocated by President Widodo should be approved quickly enough, given the cross support expressed by the majority of political forces represented in Parliament. Only some opposition parties have expressed their fears for a change that could result in suppression of dissent and freedom of expression. Along the same lines were, concerns were expressed by human rights organizations and radical Islamic groups.

It is feared that, in the wake of the attacks, the country can take a step back on the path of democracy, giving the police powers similar to those exercised during the 32 years of bloody dictatorship of General Suharto, when hundreds of thousands of dissidents accused of communism were persecuted and brutally murdered by militia supported by the regime.

Central African Republic – inaugurated the bridge built by Italian engineers

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Bangui January 29 – E ‘was inaugurated today the metal bridge of 24 meters built by the Italian military genius of the European mission EUFOR RCA to bring together three areas of the Central African capital divided by the collapse – in 2010 – the structure that exceeded a large water channel, never restored because of the civil conflict.

The bridge ‘Sewa’ – ‘units’ in the local language – is a European initiative to support security, economic development and reconciliation among the various interfaith community of Bangui. The project took part in several European Union countries: the Czech Republic provided the modular metal structure fabrication Polish, then transported to the care of Sweden and finally assembled by the military of the Italian Army, under the supervision of technicians German and Czech.

6--UNITY-BRIDGE-MOUNTING-2Consisting of more than 1,000 items, over two days the bridge was built modular and pushed by hand between the two sides of the channel from the men of the 2nd regiment of the brigade genius Julia stationed in Trento.
The initiative carried out by EUFOR RCA is part of European projects in support of the population made in cooperation with the Central African authorities. In particular, the metal bridge built by Italian engineers anticipated temporarily permanent bridge under construction in the same area with funding from the European Union, which is the first development partners of the Central African Republic.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the hands of General Philippe Pontiès – operational commander of EUFOR RCA – and the President of the Central African Republic Catherine Samba Panza, in the presence of the highest authorities of the Central African and the representatives of the international community, including the Ambassador at the head of EU Delegation Jean-Pierre Reymondet and the honorary Consul of Italy in Bangui Stefano Giuliani.
In his speech before the inauguration, the top French official, after evoking the spirit of the European operation, based on “openness, dialogue, mutual respect in order to facilitate the return of stability and security for all in the context neighborhoods strongly marked by clashes of December 2013 “, stressed the exemplary cooperation between European nations, citing among other things the fundamental role of the Italian genius in the assembly of the structure.

There are 13 European countries that make up the European Union military force in the Central African Republic, consisting of approximately 700 units operating in the capital Bangui, but the financial and logistical support of the mission involves all 28 countries of the Europe.
Italy contributes to the EUFOR mission since last August with a unit of genius currently consists of the Alpine sappers of the 2nd Regiment of Trento who alternated in December colleagues 8th genius of the Thunderbolt paratroopers stationed in Legnago (Verona).

Isis the conquest of Libya

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When speaking of the Caliphate immediately think to Syria and Iraq while the advanze of  ISIS’s Kalashnikov and black flags is much closer to the Italian and European coasts.

From Davos Finance Minister of Finance and Petroleum’s weak  transitional government of Libya, Ali Tarhouni, warns, formations Islamist Isis are advancing on the coast of the country.

Now without control of the territory and no army Libya falls prey to militias who claim to belong to the caliphate and after conquering Derna and Benghazi region are expanding to Tunisia occupying Sirte, Misurata and finally Sabrata.

Just from the beaches between Sabrata , Zuara and the border with Tunisia depart migrants who then arrive on Italian shores thanks to the total lack of law enforcement and control.

Most of the boats that depart from these places then asks help via telephone to the Italian coast guard, thousands of migrants rescued in recent months in the narrow strait that separates Sicily from the Libyan coast.

In this context, the danger of infiltration of fighters ISIS among migrants are very high and in this sense the new bills that will be presented to the Italian government by Senator Marco Minniti should try to reduce the phenomenon.

The minister Tarhouni in  his speech says that both Europe and Italy are underestimating what happens in Libya, the advance of terrorists aiming to conquer the oil resources of the region as it did in Syria and Iraq jeopardizing the ‘regional and international economy.

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Alessandro Conte
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