Warnings from Africa that were delivered in Washington
When the Group of Eight leading Industrialized Democracies (G-8) have their annual meetings the phrase that generally comes to mind is “photo-op”. After all African issues and crises tend to be a second thought and certain countries are invited to the event to give the impression of listening to and dealing with African Issues. This year the host nation for the meeting was the United States.
The first was delivered at the meeting itself. One of the invited guests was the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi. A large contingent of Diaspora who do not approve of the current internal situation with Ethiopia protested his being there. The current regime in Addis Ababa has had close ties with the United States since seizing power and has in the past been accused of manipulating elections. Having this occur has to raise some concerns about the perception of leadership in Ethiopia.
The second warning that was delivered was regarding the current situation in West Africa and in particular Mali. The harbinger of these remarks happened to be the Foreign Minister of neighboring Niger. The remarks that he gave were to put it bluntly on the pessimistic side of events that are currently affecting Niger. In his remarks he stated that AQIM were running events in Northern Mali, overall the situation in the region is being coordinated from Afganistan and ECOWAS is handling the situation so poorly that it is making the crisis worse.
There was one aspect in his statement that should drive Counter Terror specialists in the West Crazy. The minister stated that he had intelligence that there is a Pakistani presence in Northern Mali. If this can be confirmed like the presence of Boko Haram this means that in this area the Islamsits are feeling emboldened, the current approach is not working for whatever reason although capability of the Military does come to mind. Niger is currently having to divert money from Development Projects to meet with this new found problem. Poverty is having a huge impact in the region.
The last remarks were made by the Vice-President of Kenya. The initial remarks regarding the internal situation in Kenya were glowing. They mentioned that the country has moved forward from the dark days of 2008, there was light at the end of the tunnel etc.. But there were some deftly delivered shots delivered at the Obama Administration. First the Kenyans commended the efforts of AMISOM and mentioned the Nations that have sent peacekeepers there. There was even an expression of hope that Nigerian Peacekeepers will soon be arriving in Somalia. After hearing this statement the current actions by Boko Haram become clearer. Keeping the Nigerians from sending troops to Somalia is a creative solution for assisting Al-shabaab. However there was shock at the lack of support from the State Department regarding the Kenyan Military intervention in Somalia.
The Big Surprise may come from the crisis between Sudan and South Sudan. Kenya has been seeking to have a Diplomatic Resolution to the current crisis between Khartoum and Juba. During one of those meetings President Bashir mentioned that Kenya should not fear the actions of Sudan because the Nile doesn't flow their way. So the notion of War breaking out over Oil may be misguided to some extent but access to the Nile could lead to conflict.
It was also revealed that the US should not fear the Arms Race between Kampala and Nairobi. Uganda is a friend of Kenya the audience was told. But there is something regarding South Sudan and its relationship with Kenya that both parties are not willing to discuss around the Americans. What is sad is that no one is picking up on it yet in the USA. Something is going to happen in Africa and the questions are where and when…. And we have been warned.
The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet it can be found at confusedeagle.livejournal.com