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Middle East – Africa - page 35

Yemen under attack: 137 killed and 345 wounded

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137 killed and 345 wounded after that suicide bomber have attacked four mosque to Sanaa and Sadaa in Yemen on 20th March. 4 kamikaze have attempt during the friday of prayer when Shiites were gathered. Isis said it was behind this terrorist action,

Neverthless Al Qaeda found his feet in Yemen, Islamic State propaganda is penetrating in this country, separated in two parts. The South, controlled by ex president Hadi. The North, took by Shiite Houtii, the attack’s targets.

This’s the second terrorist action in Yemen since beginning of 2015. But, for the first time, is against a place of worship frequented by opposite faction.

Tunis: 25 several nationality tourists killed. But Un and Eu keep quiet

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25 killed and about 50 wounded. This is the official count of attack on Bardo Museum in Tunis on 18th March unofficially claimed by Is propaganda on Twitter. Meanwhile, 10 people have been arrested on Thursday: “Security forces were able to arrest four people directly linked to the terrorist operation and five suspected of having ties to the cell”, said Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi.

18 victims are several nationality tourists 5 Japaneses, 4 Italians, 2 Colombians, 2 Spaniards, 1 from Uk, Australia, France and Poland, more 3 . They journed with two cruise companies, Msc and Costa, which have suspended stopmovers in Tunis.

Secretary General Nato Jens Stoltenberg, like many Prime Ministers, “condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Tunisia. I offer my profound condolences to President Essebsi and to the Tunisian people. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones and with those who have been wounded”. But the real match is about African and Middle East destiny.

The jihadist action is an attack not only to youth Tunisian democracy, but also to tourism industry. Infact, tourists who visited this country in 2014 are more 6 million. And this brought 15% of total Gdp.

In the same day of jihadist attempt, the parliament was discussing about anti-terrorism law. So the problematic scenario of North Africa complicated Tunisian recostitution after Arab Spring in 2011, where Muslim Brotherood and secular factions is trying to give a democratic way to their country. At the same time a large part of young people left his nation to fight in Syria or Iraq, or to learn military education in Libya, like two Is militants who killed in Bardo Museum.

Not only. Terrorism and immigration problems need a strong answer from European countries. “Today all the levels of mobilization alert for the security forces are at the maximum and concentrated on the terrorism threat”, said Italian Foreing Minister Paolo Gentiloni. But Un and Eu silence noise neverthless the enemy is nearby or “lives at home”, like the foreign fighters.

Conquest of Derna and Sirte in Libya should have called International Community to a strategic solution from at least three months. The wrong military action in 2011 has suggested carefullness. However, a reconcialiation between Tobruk and Tripoli governments could be the first step to defeat the Islamic State threat.

Libya and Mali: Jihadism challenges European and International paralysis

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Jihadist threat is coming from even the south, not only the east. Libya and Mali have been protagonist two raid by Isis and Al Qaeda.

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An attack on the Al Ghani oil field, south of Sirte, now controlled by the Islamic State, has resulted in the killing of 11 guards, including 8 beheaded, in early March. The action took place near the site where the execution of the 21 Egyptian Copts happened. At least five oil deposits from Tripoli to the borders with Cyrenaica are targeted by rebels. But the institutional and political chaos are going on Libya because of contrast between Tobruk (recognize by majority of International Community) and Tripoli (protected by Turkey and Qatar) governments.

An instability which reigned in the neighbour Mali. About 40 rockets have hit the Un camp of ‘Minusma’ in the Kidal region (north-east) on Saturday 7th March. They’ve originated at least 3 killed, including a soldier of the International mission. The raid is due to revolutionary groups influenced by Al Qaeda.

The political and institutional situation is very critical in this country since two years. United Nations and France are helping the government to stop jihadist movements in the north-east of the country. Cruel actions happen every week. Like 5 people killed in a resturant of capital city Bamako.

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi applied on help to international community and to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the last week. This because of Un must find a fast solution to solve Libyan chaos. After the mistake made in 2011, it wishes for a diplomatic solution. However the peace talks between Tobruk and Tripoli governments are basic, despite the pressures of Egypt on one side, and Turkey and Qatar on the other hand.

Giacomo Pratali

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South Sudan: failure of peace talks after 14 months’ civil war

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President Kiir and rebels commander Machar haven’t found an agreement. Regular army and insurgents are carrying on fight to oil control. Meanwhile the Ethiopian government has lost his patience.

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South Sudan army and fighters have collided in South Sudan on Saturday a day after warring factions missing and failure of peace talks. Ethiopia agreement, between Presidente Salva Kiir and rebels commander (ex Vice President) Riek Machar, should have ended the civil war on late January. Nevertheless they’re carrying on struggle since 14 months

Regular troops and insurgents have fighted in Bahr al-Ghazal and Upper Nile States on 7th March, said Wsj. While they’ve crashed in Unity State on 11st February. All these regions are crucial cause are oil-rich.

Ethiopian government, the peace arbitrator between two factions, has called “unacceptable” failure of the parties to reach agreement by the moral and political points of views. And charged with Kiir and Machar for South Sudan population’s treason. It is not still known when tranquility talks will reclaim.

Giacomo Pratali

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Central Africa Republic : At Bangui the Italian Alpini help the city to start again

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Sappers Alpini EUFOR RCA continue their work supporting completing two major infrastructure projects essential to the restoration of normalcy in the city.

In a week the Italian operators have restored the road surface of the road leading to the bridge of the Unit, the structure built by the Italian military in collaboration with other European nations opened a month ago – thus completing the project, which has met three quarters divided by the conflict .

The second project carried out by the engineers was the restructuring of the 5th district of Bangui, placing the access routes, the roof and the fence of the health care facility that serves one of the most populous city. The project was conducted in collaboration with the quotas of France and Finland of the European mission in Central Africa.

These activities are carried out with the aim to restore normality and legality in increasingly large areas of the capital, returning citizens streets and neighborhoods that the conflict between the Christian militias extraction and those filoislamiche had stolen them.

In the Central African Republic the conflict in 2013 resulting from a severe political crisis that led to the civil war has caused thousands of deaths and a total of one million displaced people, a quarter of the population.

In this context the mission EURFOR to French command is attempting to maintain peace between the parties to a political solution to the crisis.

Libya, Islamic Caliphate at Italy’s door

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“An Islamic Caliphate at our door is more than a possibility. We need Onu’s help to bring in Libya. So Interior Italian Minister Angelino Alfano has spoken about of Islamist infiltration’s risk in Italy. But these words, which has followed Foreign Italian Minister Paolo Gentiloni, are late as Libyan context is collapsing during the last year.

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Meanwhile, on the 16th Febraury night, Egyptian aviation, in cooperation with Libyan air force, has bombed Isis targets in Derna as a consequence of beheadings of 21compatriot Christians. “The plan is to target all Is locations in the country wherever they are”, has announced Egyptian President al Sisi.

Sirte conquered from Isis on 13rd Febraury, which also controls all Cyrenaica. Italians’ rempatriation on 16th February. Libyan institutional situation out of control, with legal al Thani government against al Hassi government. Therefore, the Sunni risk is just knocking to the Europe door.

Probably, Italy and all Western partners realize Isis’ advance through Libya too late. And only today, Rome “has discovered” that terrorists, hidden by immigrants, could put to sea to reach Southern Italy coasts.

But today the reaction must be different compared with 2011, when France decided to bomb Libyan troops to strike out Gaddafi’s regime. From that moment, a social and instituional chaos started. The Hollande’s request of immediate convocation of Un Security Council mustn’t propose again the same situation. For this reason, US and European Union will have to put a comprehensive solution for Libya.

Giacomo Pratali

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Nigeria, Boko Haram: Msf report

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Boko Haram attacks caused a serious humanitarian situation in Borno State e other Nigerian regions on the last year. Women and children get involved in diseases, sexual assault, poor nutrition. European Affairs asked Isabelle Mouniaman-Nara, Msf Program Manager in Nigeria, what the social and psychological conditions are in this country.

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Where does Msf work in Nigeria? How long have you been there?

“MSF has been in Nigeria since 1996. We are operating in different parts of the country: Jigawa state with an emergency obstetric and fistula care project, in Sokoto on a lead poisoning project and Noma (reconstructive surgery after facial gangrenous infection) and in Rivers state (Port Harcourt) a project on taking care of sexual violence victims. Aside from these regular projects, MSF is also responding regularly to emergencies (measles and cholera outbreaks, natural disasters such as flood). This year, teams have treated more than 150.000 cholera case respectively in Bauchi and Borno states. MSF restarted to work in Borno in April 2013 after the first Baga attack, but, due to security reason, the team withdrew from the region. Now there has been a permanent team since May 2014. Activities are focusing on medical care for around 30.000 IDP’s settled in the 3 main camps of Maiduguri town (around 10 to 15 000 people in each camp)”.

After Boko Haram settlement, what’s social condition in Borno State?

“Since the major attacks of Boko Haram at the beginning of last year, the living conditions of Borno population have been increasingly becoming miserable. People started to fled to Maiduguri leaving their homes and belongings in their villages. Some of them tried from time to time to go back in their fields but today those times have passed because of the insecurity and the presence of the insurgency”.

How many displaced persons are there?
“According to the national assistance agency (Nema), at least 400.000 people have sought refuge in Maiduguri. Maybe more but we should be cautious about these figures. There are about 10 camps in town but the vast majority of the displaced are in host community”.

Traumatic events, poor nutrition, diseases: what are childhood and women conditions?
“In MSF medical clinic team are seeing mainly women and children. Pregnant women and malnourished children are followed with special care. Malaria and respiratory infections remain the main diseases today. Severe conditions are referred to Maiduguri tertiary hospitals. Many of the displaced are settled in public buildings like schools. These temporary shelters are reaching their limits in term of water and sanitation. The risk is still present for a new cholera outbreak given the overcrowding and hygiene conditions”.

Are the imminent elections increasing brutality in the country?
“The elections, the new attacks from Boko Haran and the engagement of international military forces on the border are potentially worrisome for the future. Therefore MSF has prepared a contingency plan for other states. In Rivers State and Southern Nigeria, MSF is setting up a trauma unit in collaboration with the local authorities. In the Borno, Nasarawa and Taraba states plans are to install some advanced medical posts if needed and support, through medical donations, operating theaters of the main hospitals. In all these areas, enhanced patients referral system to hospitals will be set up. In the meantime, MSF trained doctors from Borno State the Ministry of Health, as well as our teams, on mass casualties management”.

Giacomo Pratali

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Nigeria, 200 Boko Haram soldiers killed. But country remains in a maze

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Chad army have entered in Nigeria to fight Boko Haram troops, after the beginning of the mission in Camerun on January. The outgoing president Goodluck could win presidential election on 14th February

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200 Boko Haram militants were died on 3rd February in Northern Nigeria by Chadian troops. The previous blitz was in Camerun on 31st January, when N’Djamena armed force killed 123 Islamist guerrilla fighters. Actions which have received the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s approval, who quite agree with the composition of a military force of 7,500 units, under the auspices of the African Union, to fight the advance of the Caliphate of Abubakar Shekau.

Looting and destruction of villages, mass murders: are a costant course, which aims to become stable in the Borno State (Northern Nigeria), despite the failure to conquer the capital Maiduguri, and expanding borders of the Caliphate in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The Shekau’s strategy from August till today recalls the scheme of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria declared by al Baghdadi. The affiliation of Califfate to Isis, the creation of a semistatal being, the use of the same flag, the reading the Koran in a mosque by the leader, the prisoners dressed in orange clothes. These are some of the most recognizable signs of a rapprochement with the funding allocated by Sunni organizaton, which wants to enlist new Islamic fundamentalists to expand its brand across the Arab world.

Boko Haram chose the Borno State because is the poorest and most underdeveloped in Nigeria. Instead, the Southern is growner than Northern due of oil field, but also the most corrupt. And before 2014, Sharia was in effect in the Northern, where Nigerian army’s not working as Chadian troops.

Conversely, outgoing president Jonathan Goodluck and all political elite keep quite. But the terror tactics of Boko Haram is promoting the chief of state’s re-election next on 14th February. In this instance, a new precedent would open for Lagos: a Christian church second consecutive term clashing with Muslim faction.

Giacomo Pratali

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Lebanon, Hezbollah attack: three killed in “Blue Line”

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Three killed in “Blue Line”, where the borders of Lebanon, Israeli and Syria meet, on 28th January 2015. Two Israeli soldiers was slayed and seven was injured during the Hezbollah attack in Shebaa Farms area, where an Israeli convoy was hit by anti-tank missiles . And close to the disputed  between two armies, one Unifil peacekeeper was accidentally assassinated.

“Our country’s prepared to act powerfully on all fronts”, commented Israeli’s Premier Netanyahu. While a Tel Aviv government spokesman revealed that “we fight every Hezbollah assault with our air force and artillery” Instead, for a mouthpiece Un for Unifil “Blue Line” area needs “maximum restraint to prevent an escalation”, but defined an “accident” without detailing the source of the fire the peacekeeper’s killed. In Al Jazeera opinion, the guilty could be Israeli’s army.

Afghanistan, Isaf ending: high rating from Stoltenberg

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Nato Secretary General talks about “challenging mission” which made “Afghanistan stronger”. Soldiers dead are 3482. Usa will totally retire his armed forces in 2016. And Putin promises his support to Kabul after North Atlantic retirement

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During the meeting between Nato and Isaf on 17th December, Jens Stoltenberg spoke about the ending of mission in Afghanistan: “”For well over a decade, our nations stood shoulder to shoulder in the largest coalition for peace and stability in history. This has been a challenging mission, in many respects. Militarily. Politically. Economically. But we have met these challenges. Together – added -, we have done what we set out to do. With a clear United Nations mandate, we have denied safe haven to international terrorists. We have made Afghanistan stronger. And we have made our own nations safer. Challenges still remain. But today, Afghanistan is more stable and prosperous than ever”, finished.

Started with intention to defeat Taliban warriors on 11st August 2003 after World Trade Center attacks, Isaf implicated about 58000 soldiers in Afghanistan, at his height with 140000 in 2011. All dead were 3482, of which 2354 Americans. Italian contingent installed in Herat Region from 2004 and 48 of them died. During his closing address (‘Casing of Colors’) at Kabul airport on 8th December, Commander-in-Chief and General John F. Campbell proclaimed that “at the beginning of 2015 Us soldiers will be about 10000 and they’ll withdrow in the last part of 2016”. Furthermore, Nato will start mission called “Resolute Support”. It will not involve combat, but it’ll primarily support Afghan ministries and institutions until 2025.

Nevertheless, Vladimir Putin, during the Csto meeting on 6th November 2014, promised support to Afghanistan (Csto holding observer in 2011) after Isaf withdrawal: “We understand that the withdrawal of the international military contingent will not make the situation easier. But in case of necessity we will be ready to lend our friends in Afghanistan a shoulder to lean on in order to keep the situation in this country stable and with perspectives of development”. Russian leader’s speech could warn Nato and Usa about new Cold War battleground in Asia, after Ukraine in the last year.

Giacomo Pratali

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Giacomo Pratali
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