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South Sudan Needs More Answers On Seized UNMISS Arms

By Joan Walters
South Sudan News

PaulJacob_ssnSouth Sudan Acting Director General of Information Paul Jacob viewing some of the guns
[Photo: Matata Safi]

Rumbek — March 10, 2014 … The rift between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the leadership of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UMNISS) seems to be deepening after authorities in the Lakes state last week seized vehicles contracted by the later to transport ‘building materials’ were found to be carrying military hardware.

Thirteen of the privately owned vehicles belonging to different companies based in Juba are now been held in Lakes State capital Rumbek, and another unspecified number have also been detained beyond Rumbek.

 

Three of the thirteen detained semi-trailer vehicles each carrying two twenty-feet containers were searched and a number of firearms and ammunition were recovered.

 

The samples of the arms as were being ‘identified’ by military personel included; Rocket Propel Grenade (RPF) launchers, AK24, Gim files, Anti Riot guns, Binoculars [Ances-6 Trilium night bino], radio systems, Bayonets’ Anti-Personal Landlines among others.

 

UNMISS in a statement confirmed the incident and said the seized cargo were meant for its Ghanaian peacekeepers on a peace keeping mission in South Sudan.

 

“In connection with the transport of cargo of general goods belonging to the Ghanaian battalion on its way to Bentiu, several containers were wrongly labeled and inadvertently contained weapons and ammunition This is regrettable,” a UNMISS press release issued on Thursday partly read.

 

“It is the policy of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) that during the crisis in South Sudan all arms and ammunition for peacekeeping contingents are flown into respective areas of deployment and not taken by road. This is an important security measure.” However the government says it needs more answers than ‘just’ issuing press releases.

 

“It is not enough that the South Sudan UN representative the other day issued a statement and admitted it was a mistake and called it an error; in security situations like this, we will not say ok, if it was a mistake, it is fine …some people must answer, some people must answer” South Sudan’s Information Minister Hon. Micheal Makuei Lueth who traveled to Rumbek on Saturday said after confirming the UN consignment that was impounded.

 

He wondered why the UN body did not following the correct procedures of handling military hardware, as they have been doing previously. We had earlier on established a system, that when importing arms and amunitions or any other military hardware, UNMISS informs the government before these items could begin to move from where they are been imported. It is there after that we [government] give them approval. Hon. Makuei explained. Adding that even after the equipment are moved to South Sudan, they are inspected before they are moved to their destination.

 

“UNMISS is not working in good faith, in fact our problem is not with UNMISS as a UN entity in South Sudan but with the personnel who are running UNMISS – why are they hiding these arms from the South Sudan government? This is an ill intension and this will not be accepted by the government of South Sudan” the Hon. Makuei who is also the government’s official spokesperson stressed.

 

The government earlier accused UNMISS for what is termed as ‘handing over’ of it vehicles and military tanks to the rebels of Dr. Riek machar who rebelled against the government after a failed coup attempt in mid December last year. UNMISS denied the charges.

 

At least from the offloaded containers, the arms and firearms were found parked at the far end of the container, while towards the entrance were building material as indicated on the way bill.

 

Containers bear varying destinations

Despite all waybills of the thirteen impounded vehicles indicating Bentiu as the last destination of delivery; varying labels could be seen on the containers suggesting that not all the containers were heading to Unity state as indicated in the waybills. Rumbek, Bentiu are some of the labels on the containers.

 

Lakes state Governor Matur Chut Dhuol wondered why the container(s) for Rumbek were not handed over to the UNMISS representatives in Lakes state. Governor Dhoul said it is time the UN brings fresh faces to its mission in South Sudan.  If you keep people in the same positions for very many years, they will get used to the system and begin manipulating it he said.

 

The drivers speaks out

Speaking to all the drivers of the different companies currently in custody, one thing was clear, all the drivers were not present when the containers were loaded.

 

“We are drivers of a company called Taslim, when these containers were filled, we were not there. When we arrived with out trucks, we found the containers had seals on them and were loaded on our truck; We were latter given the waybills indicating that what we had on board are building materials”, one driver of Kenyan origin who identified himself as Ali speaking in Kiswahili said.

 

As drivers we are not hired by UN nor paid by UN. We are here as drivers of our company that pays us; we do not know anything about these guns, he added.

They wanted to hire about twenty trucks, but am sure they did not find all that number, said another driver Abraham Ladu, a South Sudanese National who lives in Malakia, a suburb in the Capital Juba. Indeed we found there were many containers all sealed waiting to be transported at the UN base in Tongping; Laku whose company vehicle was hired on the 14th  of last month said

 

IGP was misled Hon: Makuei

Hon. Makuei said because of the blanket-trust that the government had on UNMISS, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) based on the waybills presented to him, he said issued a letter to all roadblocks and all the police commissioners of the states through which the vehicles would be passing, directing them to facilitate the free movement of the trucks. “It turned out that even the IGP was misled”, Hon. Makuei noted.

 

He congratulated the lake states government particularly the governor and the security operatives. He said if the hired vehicles were able to move thousands of kilometers only to be apprehended in Rumbek, ‘that means these vehicles have been moving everywhere”. Hon. Makuei further said the ‘UNMISS has given the government the licenses” to search any UN vehicle anywhere in South Sudan.

 

The high-level government delegation that was in Rumbek over the weekend to confirm the “illegal” transportation of UN arms included, Hon. Makuei, the Interior Minister Aleu Ayieng Aleu and the deputy minister of General Education Bol Makueng who went as a representative of the Ruling Party Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Paul Jacob Kumbo, the Acting Director General of Information in the Ministry of Information. Reporters from both public and private media houses were flown in to witness.

South Sudan VP James Wani Igga Returns To Juba From Abuja Summit

wani-igggga
Vice President HE James Wani Igga

By South Sudan News Staff

JUBA — March 7, 2014 … South Sudan Vice President HE James Wani Igga arrived in Juba from Abuja, the Capital of Nigeria on Thursday where he led a high level delegation to attend the just-concluded Human Security summit.

Upon arrival at Juba International Airport, His Excellence Igga, was received by the South Sudan Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and other ministers and senior government officials.

“We had a very important visit to Nigeria. We arrived in Abuja on the February 27, it was a very big conference attended by over forty heads of states” the Vice President told reports in Juba. The seven-day conference centered on security, peace and development in Africa.

He said the South Sudan delegation, made fruitful engagements with a good number of heads of states within the sidelines of the conference where they briefed them on the political and economic situation in the country.

HE Igga also met with the Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan and discussed matters of bilateral relations and cooperation.

 

African Union Welcomes Conclusion of Phase Two of South Sudan Peace Process

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

ADDIS ABABA — March 5, 2014 … The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomed the conclusion of Phase II of the South Sudan Peace Process, after two weeks of substantive consultations on a Declaration of Principle and a Framework for Political Dialogue towards National Reconciliation and Healing.

She commended the IGAD Special Envoys, including its Chair, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, for their relentless efforts towards the resumption of the political negotiations and the progress they have achieved thus far.

The Chairperson of the Commission welcomed, in particular, the progress made in finalizing the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles. She expressed the hope that the parties would be able to sign this document at the resumption of the next phase of the talks, on 20 March 2014. The Chairperson reiterated AU’s full support to the envisaged deployment of an African stabilization force led by IGAD, as proposed by the Mediation.

The Chairperson of the Commission also welcomed the signing, on 3 March 2014, by the SPLM/A (in Opposition), of the Implementation Modalities in support of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH), which was signed by the Government of South Sudan on 24 February 2014.

As part of the implementation and consolidation of the CoH, the Chairperson of the Commission expresses AU’s support to the IGAD efforts. She looks forward to the early deployment of the Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs), as well as to the finalization of the work being done towards the deployment of the envisaged African force to protect the MVTs and contribute to the stabilization of the situation.

The Chairperson of the Commission reaffirmed the AU’s commitment to continue to work closely with IGAD and its Special Envoys to assist the South Sudanese parties in finding a consensual and comprehensive solution to the conflict in their country. In this regard, she wishes to remind the South Sudanese parties of the commitment they made to an all-inclusive dialogue and reconciliation process, with the aim of resolving the issues related to the current crisis and laying the foundation for lasting peace, security and stability in their country.

In this connection, the Chairperson of the Commission recalls earlier AU pronouncements, emphasizing the imperative of inclusivity with the participation of all stakeholders, both armed belligerents and those who did not take up arms, including other political actors, civil society, traditional and religious leaders, as well as the youth and women.

South Sudan: Rebels Shoot Patients in Hospital Beds

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By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba — February 27 … Patients in South Sudan have been shot to death in their hospital beds and medical facilities have been looted and burned to the ground by anti-government forces.

Doctors Without Borders announced that they have to re-examine their operations in the country.

Doctors Without Borders states that the extreme violence and lack of respect for health care workers, shown by rebels opposing South Sudan’s government has made Doctors Without Borders’ work almost impossible.

Members of the humanitarian aid group discovered at least 14 dead bodies in a hospital in the contested city of Malakal over the weekend, said the statement. Several of the dead bodies had been shot while lying in their beds, the aid group said. Rebels have been fighting government forces for control of the city, the capital of an oil-producing state.

In addition, Doctors Without Borders’ facilities in the towns of Leer and Bentiu have been looted and completely destroyed, said the group’s leader in South Sudan Raphael Gorgeu. He said Doctors Without Borders does not want to leave South Sudan but must look at the safety of its workers.

Gorgeu told the South Sudan News that his medical aid group does not want to pull out of South Sudan, where 800,000 people are displaced and 3.2 million in immediate need of food due to fighting that broke out in mid-December. Thousands have died in the violence.

At the end of January thousands of residents fled as fighting broke out in Leer, the home town of rebel leader and former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.

Doctors Without Borders has worked in Leer for 25 years, evacuated staff while 240 others fled into the bush. They returned this week to find their hospital — a facility that served 300,000 people — destroyed.

South Sudan: Machar Fails To Control His Rebels

south-sudan-violence_500

Juba — February 25 … Crisis and violence linger in South Sudan more than two months after Riek Machar’s failed coup attempt. Fighting continue at varying levels of intensity and spread. Surges of tribal and clan clashes continue to the detriment of the civilian population caught in the crossfire. On this background the influential African think-tank “Fashoda Institute” has published analysis of the negotiations’ stalemate.

“The destruction is painful particularly to a country still at the beginning of a recovery process from a generation-long bitter and destructive independence war”, stresses Fashoda. “While rebel forces have been responsible for the majority of these clashes, government forces are not blame-free as evident by arrest of officers and soldiers who got carried away. The political process and negotiations are going nowhere. The opposition is irreconcilably divided between Machar’s camp that insists on seizing power and the former prisoners’ bloc that only wants profound reforms in Juba”.

The think-tank points out that “the main problem though is the rebels’ inability to deliver on the most basic issue – a viable cease-fire”. On the one hand, rebel leaders insist that they represent the people of South Sudan. On the other hand, the moment the AU and IGAD mediators demand cessation of hostilities as part of the start of negotiations in Addis Ababa – the same rebel leaders disavow responsibility, insist that they are not in control of the various armed factions and forces, and therefore cannot order them to cease the carnage and fighting. Simply put, if the negotiators in Addis Ababa and their bosses cannot deliver most of the fighting forces – whose leaders are they? In whose name and mandate do they negotiate?”

The Fashoda Institute’s analysis explains that “the situation is further complicated by growing pressure from the US-led West. Western officials now threaten sanctions and the withdrawal of badly needed humanitarian and financial aid. The US-led West demands reforms in governance and human rights that are out of touch with reality on the ground, but clearly endorse and reinforce the rhetoric of the Machar camp.”

“The greatest danger is the growing loss of commitment to the state among the rebels”, asserts the Fashoda Institute. “Despite the repeated claims to patriotism by Machar – there is clear evidence to the contrary. The repeated attacks on, and growing damage to, oil facilities, as well as the cycles of violence and carnage in and around Malakal, testify to this trend. If Machar really cares about his country as he insists – he should have restrained his followers and forces, and prevented damage to strategic infrastructure that serves ALL South Sudanese irrespective of who’s the leader”.

Fashoda comes to the conclusion that “the escalating violence in and around Malakal suggests that either Machar does not care about South Sudan’s vital oil infrastructure, or he is not in control of the fighting forces – which raises questions about his claim to leadership of the opposition”.

Uganda Supports President Museveni on Anti-Gay Legislation

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

February 24, 2014 — The Observer has published a controversial article defending the sovereign right of the Ugandan Parliament to pass legislation curbing gay propaganda and of Ugandan President Museveni to ratify it. It calls on Museveni to resist Obama’s pressure and asserts that the “homosexualism has reached an extent that we, Ugandans, perceive as alien to our culture and ethos as a people”.

Charlotte Ntulumme who teaches Journalism and Communication at Makerere University argues that the “homosexual movement is taking the world by carefully crafted strategy to mobilise nations to support the gay agenda. According to American conservative organisations, it was set in the late 1980s, in a book, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ‘90s, published in 1989 by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. The authors laid out a six-point plan to transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behaviour over a decade. The points include portraying gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers, making the anti-gay movement look bad and getting funds for the gay propaganda from corporate America. The book calls on gay rights groups to adopt professional public relations techniques to convey their message. Apparently, the strategy is working. That is why opposition to any attempt to subject homosexuality to the law is packaged as “an affront and a danger to the gay community”, oppression of a minority and violation of human rights, freedom and justice”.

The author exposes as a fraud “use of scientific research to prove that one can be born homosexual” and points that  “no matter how rational one’s reasoning may be, dissent on this subject is homophobia”.

As American author Alex McFarland states in an essay, ‘Debunking 5 Common Arguments for Homosexuality’ (adapted from his new book, 10 Issues that Divide Christians), “It matters not on what grounds one’s disagreement with homosexuality is based: A person may disagree with the homosexual agenda for moral, religious, philosophical, sociological, academic, or medical reasons; it doesn’t matter. According to most currently holding seats of cultural leadership, any and all disagreement is rooted in homophobia.”

“This is why President Museveni should be lauded for his bold stance in announcing that he will sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law”, proclaims Mrs. Ntulumme. “The bill has raised a furore – not unexpectedly – from various quarters of the world. The Obama government has warned that enacting the “odious” legislation would “complicate [America’s] valued relationship with Uganda”.

The Washington Post, in its February 11 editorial called for a strong response to anti-gay legislation in Nigeria [and Uganda] from the West. The paper suggested that the US and Britain, “should be aggressively using their leverage to protect the vulnerable gay community…”

A more shocking reaction came from the leadership of the Anglican Church, urging leaders in Africa and, particularly, the presidents of Nigeria and Uganda, to criticise new laws criminalising homosexuality. They said “victimisation or diminishment of human beings… is anathema” to the Church of England.

“This is all hogwash”, says Charlotte Ntulumme. “Uganda’s motto is “For God and My Country” and in our national anthem, we petition God to uphold our nation. Every religious denomination in Uganda has failed to find a single scripture in their holy books that condones homosexuality. All agree that the act is abominable, detestable, repugnant and offends God in whose hands “we lay our future”. The bishops of Canterbury and York should, therefore, tell us how we are supposed to reconcile these two opposite positions”.

“As the gay PR machine gets busy, Uganda and her President must snub the lies and withstand the sweeping tide of the gay domino effect”, concludes Charlotte Ntulumme.

South Sudan: UN Silent On Rebels’ Atrocities

southern sudan civilians killedThe body of a man killed in a massacre of civilians by rebels lies on the ground
in the village of Kaldak, in Jonglei state in southern Sudan.

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba — February 17, 2014 … The respected Sudan Tribune newspaper asks in its lead article why the international community is silent about carnage and destruction caused by the rebels lead by Riek Machar in Bentiu, Bor, Malakal, Bailiet, Akobo, Jalle, and Kolnyang.

“Why is the UN and the international community maintaining silence over these unwarranted and disheartening atrocities?” asks the newspaper.

The analytical article suggests three steps to end the crisis.

First, government and people of South Sudan must ensure that “Riek Machar’s conspiracy to destroy the country is nipped in the bud so that people’s aspirations are realized sooner than later”.

To do this, the government should institute coordinated and parallel strategies to address challenges caused by the rebels in South Sudan and their allies; namely, intensification of military offensive and formulation of a robust strategy on future negotiated political settlement. The former should be applied if the rebels continue to violate agreement on “Cessation of Hostilities,” signed on January 23rd, 2014 between the Government of South Sudan and rebels in Addis Ababa. The latter, however, should be a continuous process with support from South Sudanese true and creditable allies worldwide.

Second, the government of South Sudan should make it categorically clear to the international community that the Republic of South Sudan is a sovereign nation and should be treated as such. This means that all laws of the land must be respected. And that any attempt to side step these laws must not be tolerated whatsoever.

A wounded South Sudanese child and a relative at a hospital in Upper Nile state

“A recent concerted campaign by foreign agents on the release of seven former political detainees was a flagrant infringement into South Sudanese legal system”, stresses the Sudan Tribune. “It has to be mentioned here that the former detainees’ released to the custody of Kenyan Government was achieved through undue pressure from supposedly allies of South Sudan, particularly the US, Ethiopia, and Kenya”.

Third, “the next looming conspiracy is relentless effort to secure the release of the remaining principal four coup plotters; namely, Pagan Amum Ukiech, Oyai Deng Ajak, Majak D’Agoot and Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth. If South Sudanese’ false allies succeed to release them, God forbid, then it will be a third bitter victory against the government and people of South Sudan. Should these four coup plotters win their release any time soon, Riek Machar will definitely capitalize on his theory that what happened on December 15, 2013, was not a coup but was “only a political crisis within SPLM Party.” And the majority of uninformed South Sudanese will believe his story since no one has been held accountable of coup attempt”.

“Riek Machar and foreign agents’ misinterpretation of facts surrounding the failed coup on December 15, 2013 is worrisome if not taken seriously by Government and people of South Sudan”, warns the newspaper.

“Otherwise, the government and people of the South will always fall victims in the hands of rebels and foreign allies, a move likely to threaten national security and sovereignty in mid- and long-term”.

South Sudan: A Structural Turning Point

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba — February 11 … The internationally respected African think-tank The Fashoda Institute has released a report analyzing the continuing unrest in Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali and prescribing a change in African governance trends.

The Fashoda Institute comes to conclusion that “African states have to cope with the growing schism between the imperatives of the African modern state and the trends of the African population. Under pressure and in growing destitution, much of the African populace is returning to tribal, national, ethnic, and religious frameworks of self-identity in quest for solace, security, and shelter. This is a mega-trend which also takes place throughout Asia and even parts of Europe. In contrast, to be effective and successful in delivering security, stability, reforms, good governance, development, food and water, modern states must be tribe-blind”.

“There is an urgent imperative to formulate new checks and balances between the sub-state, state, and supra-state (regional) levels of self-identity and quests for self-determination”, asserts the think-tank. “This means the imperative for reassessment of all basic services and infrastructure, particularly security, education, energy, communications, and transportation. To be effective in the vast rural areas, all of these long-term planning and reforms must be undertaken with close attention being paid to sub-state and supra-state, or regional, identities and aspirations.”

“Ultimately, the tangible success of proposed long-term reforms and development programs depends first and foremost on the legitimization, trust, and cooperation between state authorities and the populace; both individuals and groupings”, points the Fashoda Institute.

“To succeed, states and regional bodies must be both tribe-blind in caring for all the people as equally as humanly possible, and also tribe-sensitive and -conscious in order to care and cater for heritage sensitivities and proclivities. This delicate balancing will enable the grassroots to celebrate and preserve their distinctions and self-identities while eradicating the ability of aspirant leaders to exploit real, manufactured and imaginary tribal and sectarian tensions and self-identities as the levers to rebel against the modern state and the government”.

The analysis concludes with the summary: “These challenges must be addressed at an all-African level, given the artificiality of African borders and the importance of cross-border population connections. Unfortunately the African Union has so far failed to rise to the challenge. It brings the conclusion that African states must establish small regional groupings to address these burning issues before it is too late. This is the essence of the most urgent reforms”.

South Sudan: Rebels Stole 1,700 Tons of Food From Poor

south_sudan_looted
Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound
of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba — February 6, 2014 … In its latest analytical report from the respected African think-tank The Fashoda Institute, it is pointed out that “in South Sudan the ceasefire is becoming a political nightmare. Localized fighting continues because coup leader and former Vice-President Riek Machar has no control over the rebel forces, while the administration of President Salva Kiir in Juba is under international pressure to make more and more concessions to rebels”.

The Fashoda Institute points that “liberal West’s traditional approach — that the “rebels” represent the real interests of the people while the government pursues interests of the establishment — is maintained irrespective of emerging evidence to the contrary.

This approach is being applied to Machar, the ostensibly romantic rebel, while in reality Juba has to cope with the destruction and looting of the stockpiles of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Malakal (the capital of the Upper Nile State) when it was under rebel control”.

According to UN officials, thousands of people — mainly rebel soldiers and ordinary civilians — loaded the supplies into donkey carts and trucks and took off for the bush where Machar’s forces were trying to reorganize under SPLA pressure.

The WFP estimates that 1,700 tonnes of food were stolen: long-term supplies for about 100,000 of the poorest people in South Sudan.

Concurrently, rebel forces assaulted and looted the MédecinsSans Frontièreshospital in Leer, Machar’s hometown in the southern parts of Unity State. This hospital treats both the local population and refugees from across the Sudanese border. Consequently, most of the staff and ambulatory patients fled the hospital. Only about 30 staff members remained, trying to care for severely ill patients in the nearby bush. Until the rebel attack, the Leer hospital was the only functioning hospital in Unity State.

On February 2, 2014, SPLA forces returned to Leer and restored order.

Throughout South Sudan food shortages are growing because rebel ambushes and raids make food distribution by international aid organizations impossible.

Will US Clash With China in Africa?

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When will China and US face off in Africa?

By Peter Benjamin
South Sudan News

Juba — January 30 … Influential African think-tank The Fashoda Institute has published an analysis of foreign policy strategies of the United States and China in Africa. The think-tank points at the “evolution in the People’s Republic of China’s attitude toward, and commitment to, Africa.

The rôle of sub-Saharan Africa is evolving from just an economic resource for China into a Chinese strategic lever against the US-led West. The Chinese have long been investing heavily in Africa as the key long-term source for energy, ores, rare earths, and other raw materials for their industrial growth”.

The Fashoda Institute asserts that “recently, the PRC has been expanding its operations into sponsoring the creation of a secondary industrial base in Africa itself in order to better support their economic undertakings. Beijing is now also looking to Africa as a prime instrument for preventing, or at the least controlling, the flow of resources to the West. The PRC is worried because the PRC leadership perceives that the US is desperate to revive its sagging economy and disappearing industrial base while discussing an explicitly anti-Chinese pivot to East Asia”.

“The Chinese are also apprehensive that Europe is embarking on reindustrialization and thus might lessen its dependence on Chinese imports and the trans-Asian venues of transportation — the new Silk Road — and their strategic value”, notes the analysis. “It is in such a grand strategic context that Beijing is studying US-led Western activities in Africa and, not without reason, is becoming increasingly apprehensive about them. That is why Beijing is now determined to capitalize on the PRC’s preeminence in Africa in order to pressure, if not extort, the West. The margin for error under these conditions is extremely narrow”.

The Fashoda Institute warns that “America’s “humanitarian interventionism” in sub-Saharan Africa is markedly increasing tensions and exacerbating conflicts all around. The specter of current and future US- and French-led military interventions and the ensuing toppling of leaders and governments is sending both African leaders and aspirant strongmen to posture for better positions in case the US and France intervened in their states and regions. Desperate to increase their military capabilities, they make Faustian deals with any anti-Western power they can reach out to, be it China or Iran. Hence, there exists a growing possibility that US-Chinese tension will also spark a clash in explosive Africa”.

The analysis ends with a troubling prognosis: “Where the next eruption in Africa will lead is anybody’s guess.

In a recent Brookings Essay entitled “The Rhyme of History: Lessons of the Great War”, Professor Margaret MacMillan warned of the growing and disquieting similarities between the world of Summer 1914 and the world of early 2014. “It is tempting — and sobering — to compare today’s relationship between China and the US with that between Germany and England a century ago,” Professor MacMillan writes. She also points to the prevailing belief — then as now — that a full-scale war between the major powers is unthinkable after such a prolonged period of peace.

“Now, as then, the march of globalization has lulled us into a false sense of safety,” Professor MacMillan writes. “The 100th anniversary of 1914 should make us reflect anew on our vulnerability to human error, sudden catastrophes, and sheer accident.”