Qatar donates 68 armored vehicles to Somalia as UAE’s role becomes strained

Qatar donates 68 armored vehicles to Somalia as UAE’s role becomes strained Source: RT, Thursday January 17, 2019 Qatar donated 68 armored vehicles to Somalia on Thursday, Qatar’s Defense Ministry said. The armored vehicles, delivered in Mogadishu, will strengthen the Somali state, which is battling an Islamist insurgency, according to Qatar’s military. The move is also seen as a sign that Doha is pushing for influence in the country with the role of its Gulf rival, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), under strain, Reuters reports. Somalia, a Horn of Africa country located on key shipping routes, has refused to take sides in the rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, a UAE ally. However, relations with the UAE have become strained over the UAE’s investments in the breakaway region of Somaliland. In April, Somalia disbanded a UAE program to train some of its...

Kenya received warnings of imminent al-Shabaab terror attack

Kenya received warnings of imminent al-Shabaab terror attack Source: The Guardian, Friday January 18, 2019 Intelligence services in Kenya were warned that al-Shabaab was planning terrorist attacks on high-profile targets in the east African country around Christmas and the new year, western and regional security officials have said. Officials and other sources told the Guardian the warnings had been passed on several times in recent months, adding that they had been frustrated not to see a greater response from Kenyan authorities. Security forces cleared the hotel, restaurant and office complex in Nairobi on Wednesday morning after it was attacked the previous day by four gunmen from al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist organisation based in neighbouring Somalia. The Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, said 14 civilians were confirmed dead. Al-Shabaab, which has said its mujahideen were responsible for the assault, has launched a series of terrorist operations in Kenya in recent years. In 2013, the al-Qaida affiliate took over a luxury mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people. The news of the warnings will embarrass authorities in Kenya, which is seen as a key local counter-terrorist player by the US, UK and other western powers. One Kenyan intelligence official said information passed on by security partners about planned attacks lacked detail but that the country had been on high alert since November. Another security source told Associated Press the extremists had confused security officials by changing target locations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to reporters. Al-Shabaab has waged a decade-long insurgency to impose its rigorous version of Islamic law on Somalia and, though it...

A Peaceful Transition in Sudan?

A Peaceful Transition in Sudan? Source: The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 14 January 2019 The International Crisis Group (ICG) published on 14 January 2019 an analysis titled “Improving Prospects for a Peaceful Transition in Sudan.” The ICG concludes that President Omar al-Bashir is running out of time. Unable to reverse the economic deterioration, he must rely on repression to contain a population increasingly enraged at worsening living conditions. But the harsher his repression, the more probable his relations with the West deteriorate again and the farther the funds necessary to turn around the economy slip from his reach. Bashir may well survive this round of protests. But if he does, it will almost certainly be at the cost of further economic decline, greater popular anger, more protests and even tougher crackdowns. At some point, his departure appears inevitable. Outside powers should do everything possible to prevent violence in the meantime, work for as smooth a transition as possible and find him an exit. 0 comments  Labels: economy, NCP, NISS, Norway, Omar al-Bashir, protests, Qatar, SAF,Saudi...

Don’t Let Ethiopia Become the Next Yugoslavia

Don’t Let Ethiopia Become the Next Yugoslavia Source: Foreign Policy posted on 15 January 2019 Foreign Policy posted on 15 January 2019 a commentary titled “Don’t Let Ethiopia Become the Next Yugoslavia” by Florian Bieber, University of Graz in Austria, and Wondemagegn Tadesse Goshu, Addis Ababa University. Similar to the former Yugoslavia, Ethiopia is a federal state with nine units organized along ethnic lines. Empowering ethnic groups through territorial autonomy has been a double-edged sword. While allowing self-government has reduced tensions stemming from the dominance of a particular group, it places ethnic belonging at the center of politics, links it to territory, and therefore risks an eventual increase in ethnic tensions. The Yugoslav scenario offers a cautionary tale. 0 comments  Labels: Abiy Ahmed, Amhara Democratic Party, EPRDF, Ethiopia, ethnic conflict,federalism, OLF, Oromo Democratic...

Red Sea Rivalries

Red Sea Rivalries Source: Foreign Affairs posted on 15 January 2019 Foreign Affairs posted on 15 January 2019 an analysis titled “Red Sea Rivalries: The Gulf States Are Playing a Dangerous Game in the Horn of Africa” by Zach Vertin, Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. As the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey seek to expand their influence in the Horn of Africa, they are exporting Middle Eastern rivalries to a region that has plenty of its own. The increasingly militarized Red Sea region is likely to remain a dangerous battleground. Brookings published in January 2019 a linked piece by Zach Vertin titled “Red Sea Rivalries: The Gulf, the Horn & the New Geopolitics of the Red...