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IPIS Briefing August 2021 – Cameroon’s diamond sector: small player, big challenges

The IPIS briefing offers a selection of articles, news and updates on natural resources, armed conflict, Business & Human Rights and arms trade.  Every month, an editorial and related publications shed a light on a specific topic in IPIS’ areas of research.

In focus: Cameroon’s diamond sector: small player, big challenges.

In the news: Conflict diamonds may be virtually extinct in 2021, but your sparkler could still be a blood diamond financing rogue regimes; How Allies of South Africa’s Infamous Gupta Family Gamed the Country’s Diamond Trade; Sahel: Amnesty identifies Serbian weapons in stockpiles of brutal armed groups.

New subscribers can register here to receive the briefing and updates on IPIS’ new maps and reports.

This briefing is produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of IPIS and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.


IN FOCUS

CAMEROON’S DIAMOND SECTOR:

SMALL PLAYER, BIG CHALLENGES

Jaff Bamenjo and Christian Anangue (RELUFA)

Hans Merket (IPIS)

In the multi-billion diamond industry, Cameroon is a tiny player. It reports an average annual production of about 2,000 carats, with a value of ca. USD 260,000. This constitutes a fraction (0,00002%) of the average global production of 135 million carats, worth USD 12,7 billion, per year. Nonetheless, Cameroon is confronted with one of the biggest challenges facing the diamond industry in recent years, namely the illegal trade in conflict diamonds from the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR).

Conflict-ridden neighbour

After a coup, in 2013, plunged the CAR into a protracted civil war, and reports of rebel groups financing their activities through control over diamond mining and trade, the country was subjected to an embargo on rough diamond exports by the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme (KPCS). This is the last and since then only embargo of this scheme, which was launched in 2003, to bar conflict diamonds – defined(notoriously narrow) as “rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to undermine legitimate governments” – from entering the mainstream rough diamond trade. The embargo on the CAR did however not stop the country’s diamond production, which provides a livelihood to an estimated 100-150,000 workers and their families.

In fact, the embargo created the enabling conditions for smuggling activities, with increased involvement of armed and international criminal groups, to become the norm in CAR’s diamond trade. This development could not be stopped by the partial lifting of the embargo in 2015. Half of the CAR’s diamond production originates from eight compliant zones in the West of the country, but it is estimated that circa 300,000 carats annually, or 90% of all rough diamonds continue to be smuggled out of the country. According to reports by the UN Panel of Experts on CAR and NGOs, the main transit hub for diamonds smuggled from this conflict-ridden country is Cameroon.

Kimberley Process controls

Following the adoption of Decree No. 2011/3666/PM of November 2, 2011 on the Creation, Organisation and Functioning of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, Cameroon was accepted as Kimberley Process participant in June 2012. This was shortly before the outbreak of civil war in the CAR. Cameroon shares a porous 729-km long border as well as its only diamond deposit with CAR. This deposit is artisanally mined on both sides of the Bombe river that separates the two countries. In light of this particularly challenging context, the imposition of the 2013 KPCS embargo on CAR, immediately put Cameroon’s internal controls to the test.

These controls are one of the minimum requirements of the KPCS, by means of which KP participants should ensure that no conflict diamonds enter shipments of rough diamonds imported into or exported from their territory. Even though the efficacy of the KPCS relies on the combined effectiveness of internal controls implemented by its 56 participants, representing 82 countries (with the EU and its 27 Member States counting as a single participant), these measures are not clearly defined or enforced by the KP.

Cameroon is unfortunately a case in point. Recent research by the Cameroonian NGO RELUFA has shown that controls fall short in monitoring production and trade from the small artisanal mines scattered across the country’s Eastern region. These controls are even less up to the daunting task to avoid infiltration by the illicit flows from CAR that dwarf Cameroon’s domestic production. One of the most important shortcomings is the limited presence of and oversight by governmental actors in diamond mining areas. In Boumba-et-Ngoko, for instance, which is one of the main diamond mining departments in Cameroon, the National Permanent Secretariat for the Kimberley Process has only 3 field agents to cover an area of over 30,000 km2. These are supposed to perform basic duties such as gathering production statistics and checking the provenance of diamonds in all artisanal diamond mines.

This reality has led to a poor enforcement of laws and regulations, leaving the sector in disordered informality.  Miners and middlemen, a number of them being refugees from CAR, despite this profession being legally reserved for Cameroonians, work clandestinely without the required licenses. Miners have not filled out production registers since 2016, the year of the last and so far only KP review visit. Such registers are the first link of the paper trail that should guarantee the Cameroonian mining origin of exports under the country’s KP system.

The substandard registration of production is a common challenge for countries with an artisanal diamond mining sector. Yet, typically, oversight improves further down the chain, where the centralization of the trade by a limited number of registered buying houses and their provincial antennae allows more effective regulation. This is not the case in Cameroon where numerous investors, who reside in Yaoundé and Douala, far away from the mining areas, are able to buy and sell diamonds partly or entirely off-books.

This underregulation forms a fertile ground for corruption of all kinds and is what renders Cameroon’s diamond trade prone to abuse by smuggling networks.

(Photo source: RELUFA)


IN THE NEWS

BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS

Diamond Dealers on Doing the Right Thing | 30 August 2021 | Rapaport

Trust, reputation, integrity — these words are central to the diamond trade. “Our business is like no other in that we’ve always conducted it on a handshake,” says Maximo Quinones, president and CEO of wholesaler DVG Diamonds in Miami, Florida.

De Beers Plans To Include Code of Origin on Its Diamonds | 26 August 2021 | JCK

As part of a new plan to increase the value and visibility of its name, De Beers hopes to eventually sell most of its diamonds with a code of origin that indicates the company mined them.

Atrocities Haunt Zimbabwe’s Marange Fields | 25 August 2021 | Rapaport

Despite its claims of progress, the Kimberley Process continues to greenwash Zimbabwe’s conflict diamonds.

Castel of France to Probe Claims of African Militia Support | 22 August 2021 | Bloomberg

Centrafrique: une entreprise française aurait conclu un « accord tacite » avec des groupes armés (ONG) | 18 August 2021 | Anadolu Agency

Le Groupe Castel, géant français du sucre et des boissons, lié au financement de milices armées en République centrafricaine | August 2021 | The Sentry

Une ONG américaine spécialisée dans l’investigation sur l’argent sale, « The Sentry » a révélé, mercredi, l’existence de ce qu’elle a qualifié d’ « Accord tacite » entre le groupe français Castel et des groupes armés centrafricains.

Diamond Sector Says ‘Thank You’ to Consumers | 19 August 2021 | Rapaport

A new consumer campaign by the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is emphasizing the positive impact of mined stones.

The truth about sustainable jewelry and ethical practice | 13 August 2021 | The CEO Magazine

It seems that sustainability and ethics are at the heart of just about every jewelry brand you Google these days and yet this industry, like fashion, requires a discerning pair of eyes to differentiate how clean a company’s products are. In the ‘Conscious Jewelry Trend Report 2020’ conducted by ExJewel, data suggests that the demand for sustainable jewelry is, in fact, being driven by consumers, as searches for ‘ethical diamond’ have increased by 75 per cent, ‘lab-grown diamond’ by 83 per cent and ‘ethical gold’ by 73 per cent year on year.

RDC : 205 ONG militent pour l’expulsion de Kimia Mining de la réserve à Okapis | 11 August 2021 | Afrik21

Deux cent cinq organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) de protection de l’environnement, demandent aux autorités RD congolaises de mettre un terme à l’exploitation minière, par la société Kimia Mining, dans la Réserve de faune à Okapis, située au nord-est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC). L’entreprise chinoise est accusée de déforestation et destruction de la faune sauvage dans l’une des quatre aires protégées du Congo, qui demeurent sur la liste du patrimoine mondiale en péril.

Conflict diamonds may be virtually extinct in 2021, but your sparkler could still be a blood diamond financing rogue regimes | 2 August 2021 | RT

Many consumers don’t know that their supposedly ethical lab-grown and mined stones could be part of a shady, toxic and unethical industry which only looks to be getting worse.

DR Congo: Video of miners beaten for trespassing shows stranglehold of foreign mining interests | 28 July 2021 | France24

In southern DR Congo, soldiers beat and whipped two miners who were trespassing on a site managed by the Chinese-owned Commus company in Kolwezi, as site managers looked on. The incident shocked many after it was captured in a video that has been circulating on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp since July 21. However, several NGOs say that the incident is nothing new, the video highlighting the stranglehold foreign mining companies have on local communities.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Le Burundi rebat les cartes de son exploitation minière | 31 August 2021 | DW

Les gisements en terres rares du Burundi attirent des entreprises étrangères pour la fabrication des aimants des éoliennes. Le gouvernement, lui, espère renégocier les accords.

We need to do more than recognise that water is a human right | 31 August 2021 | Mail & Guardian

The great statesman Kofi Annan declared in 2001 that “access to safe water is a fundamental human need, and therefore a basic human right”. In the 17 years between that declaration and his death in 2018, Annan established the millennium development goals, the precursor to today’s sustainable development goals, which included a target to halve the portion of the global population without access to water.

West African coastal nations including Sierra Leone to join region’s top league oil producers | 30 August 2021 | The Sierra Leone Telegraph

Hot on the heels of oil majors either exiting or cutting back their activities in West Africa, comes news of other players moving to fill the gap – in the coastal countries of Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Ghana, for instance.

Angola links mining region to the world with Lobito Corridor | 27 August 2021 | RailFreight.com

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia have 34 per cent of the world’s cobalt reserves and over 10 per cent of global copper reserves. Soon, these raw materials will find a shorter route to the world, through the Angolan port of Lobito. How? Through the Lobito Corridor.

Congo reviewing $6 billion mining deal with Chinese investors | 27 August 2021 | Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo’s government is reviewing its $6 billion “infrastructure-for-minerals” deal with Chinese investors as part of a broader examination of mining contracts, Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi told Reuters.

Angola : la mise en concession du chemin de fer de Benguela, qui traverse le pays d’ouest en est, se profile | 26 August 2021 | Agence Ecofin

L’Angola veut jouer un rôle essentiel dans l’exportation des minerais de cuivre et de cobalt en provenance de ses voisins, la Zambie et la RDC, dont les volumes de production ne sont pas des moindres. Et en termes de revenus, les espoirs du pays lusophone sont énormes.

La Gécamines réalise un chiffre d’affaires de 324 millions USD au cours de l’exercice comptable 2020 contre 246 millions en 2019 | 26 August 2021 | Politico.cd

La Générale des carrières et des mines (Gécamines) vient de publier ses états financiers pour l’exercice comptable 2020, avec un chiffre d’affaires établi à 324,4 (trois cent vingt-quatre millions, quatre cent mille) USD contre 246,3 (deux cent quarante-six millions, trois cent mille) USD en 2019, indique un document de cette entreprise étatique contenant le rapport comptable dont l’ACP a reçu une copie mercredi.

All-Female Vegan Rangers Leading Anti-Poaching in Zimbabwe | 24 August 2021 | VoA

The impact of the pandemic has increased wildlife poaching around Zimbabwe’s national parks, as people who lost their jobs hunt the animals for food. To help protect the animals, anti-poaching organizations have been formed, including a squad of vegan, women rangers.

How Allies of South Africa’s Infamous Gupta Family Gamed the Country’s Diamond Trade | 23 August 2021 | OCCRP

South Africa’s Gupta family is the subject of a sprawling commission that’s probing years of theft of state resources. An OCCRP investigation uncovers new details about how the family’s close allies systemically undervalued and sold off tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds.

Burundi wants new Rainbow Rare Earths mining convention | 23 August 2021 | The Africa Report

Burundi has halted the Rainbow Rare Earths mining operation at Gakara because it wants to renegotiate its mining convention with the company, CEO George Bennett tells The Africa Report.

Angola mine leak causes ‘unprecedented’ pollution in Congo rivers, researchers say | 21 August 2021 | Reuters

A suspected leak of heavy metals from a mine in northern Angola is causing an « unprecedented environmental catastrophe », affecting some 2 million people in Democratic Republic of Congo, researchers at Kinshasa University said on Friday.

Est de la RDC: les autorités suspendent les activités d’entreprises minières chinoises | 21 August 2021 | Actualite.cd

Les activités d’une demi-douzaine d’entreprises minières ont été suspendues par les autorités du Sud-Kivu, dans l’est de la RDC, soucieuses de « remettre de l’ordre » dans un territoire théâtre de tensions récurrentes entre populations locales et chercheurs d’or chinois, a-t-on appris samedi de source provinciale.

Congo Initiates Probe Into China Moly’s TFM Copper-Cobalt Mine | 20 August 2021 | Bloomberg

The Democratic Republic of Congo established a commission to ensure China Molybdenum Co. is complying with its contractual obligations regarding the giant Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt project.

With free education, DR Congo child miners swap tools for books | 18 August 2021 | The East African

Squeezed on to benches and on the floor, the Congolese students of Kipushi Primary School did not complain that they only had a few, battered textbooks to share — just down the road, hundreds of less fortunate children were working in open-pit mines.

Uganda: How Middlemen Fleece Gold Miners in Busia, Karamoja | 17 August 2021 | The Monitor | AllAfrica

Deep down in the rural village of Tiira in Busia District, Mr Robert Wafula, pours ore onto a sluice. « When this ore, which is mixed with water, is poured on this sluice, the gold sediment sticks on the blanket, » Mr Wafula says as other miners look on. After that, he gathers the gold sediment, which he then sieves in a plastic basin using mercury.

Petra Diamonds to restart mining operations in northern Tanzania | 11 August 2021 | The East African

Petra Diamonds is looking to restart operations of the Williamson mine at Mwadui in Shinyaga region, northern Tanzania, in the first quarter of 2022.

The illegal gold mines killing rivers and livelihoods in Ghana (video) | 11 August 2021 | BBC

Sixty percent of Ghana’s water bodies are now polluted, largely due to illegal mining activities. Ghana is the leading producer of gold in Africa and about 35% of it is extracted by small-scale miners, most of them operating illegally.

Canada’s ReconAfrica oil and gas exploration in Namibia and Botswana worries World Heritage Committee | 2 August 2021 | Mail & Guardian

Unesco’s World Heritage Committee is concerned about oil exploration licences being granted in environmentally sensitive areas in the Okavango river basin in northwestern Botswana and northeastern Namibia, because spills and pollution will harm the Okavango Delta and the Tsodilo Hills.

ARMS TRADE

Sahel: Amnesty identifies Serbian weapons in stockpiles of brutal armed groups | 24 August 2021 | Amnesty International

Amnesty International’s arms experts have identified Serbian-manufactured weapons in videos posted by armed groups operating in the Sahel, including an Islamic State affiliate which has claimed responsibility for hundreds of civilian deaths. The new rifles, some the latest available models, match trade records of Serbia’s sales to Burkina Faso, suggesting the weapons were recently sold to the government before falling into the hands of armed groups.

Mali : Raison du blocage sur l’exportation d’un avion militaire américain | 23 August 2021 | Afrique-sur-7

Mali : Bamako demande à Washington de lever le blocage de l’exportation d’un avion militaire | 23 August 2021 | el Watan

Les autorités de la transition au Mali s’activent pour acquérir un avion militaire de transport américain. Sauf qu’un blocage sur la licence d’exportation empêche jusque-là l’acquisition de l’aéronef par l’armée malienne.

Vente d’armes et munitions aux djihadistes : un réseau de ravitaillement démantelé à Bamako | 20 August 2021 | Mali24.info

Le Commissariat du 16è Arrondissement de police, sous la houlette du Commissaire Yaya Niambelé, a démantelé, le dimanche 8 août dernier, un vaste réseau de trafic d’armes destinées aux terroristes, et groupes d’autodéfense au Mali, avec la complicité des éléments des forces armées maliennes.

Chadian military parade reveals new equipment deliveries | 19 August 2021 | Jane’s

Several new vehicle types featured in Chad’s annual military parade on 11 August, including a large number of Terrier LT-79 light armoured personnel carriers (APCs) operated by the elite Directorate General of Security Services of the State Institutions (DGSSIE).

Gun control in South Africa: tightening the law, and more | 19 August 2021 | The Conversation

Statistics produced by the police and mortuary surveillance systems in South Africa have consistently shown that firearms are the most commonly used weapons to commit murder and other violent crimes, such as carjacking and house robberies.

US military providing additional training to Mozambican Armed Forces | 16 August 2021 | DefenceWeb

The United States and Mozambique have launched a second military Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) programme, which will see US Special Operations Forces train with more than 100 Mozambican commandos and rangers to improve capabilities on the battlefield.

Security Firms Protest KSh 3.1 Billion Tender to Supply Bullet Manufacturing Materials | 14 August 2021 | Tuko

Local security firms are up in arms after the Kenya Ordnance Factories Corporation (KOFC) awarded a Chinese company a KSh 3.1 billion tender to supply bullet manufacturing materials.

How Boko Haram mastered the art of ‘self-sustaining’ warfare | 8 August 2021 | The National News

Boko Haram militants do not buy guns and ammunition on the black market to fuel their decade-long insurgency in West Africa – they simply nab weapons from the armies sent to fight against them, a study has revealed.

Ghana lines up L-39NG jet acquisition | 5 August 2021 | Jane’s

Ghana’s defence minster sought parliamentary approval for the procurement of six L-39NG aircraft from the Czech company Aero Vodochody on 2 August.

Kogi Govt Laments Over Proliferation Of Arms In The Country | 4 August 2021 | Nigerian Tribune

The Kogi State government has said that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons have caused plenty of pains and wreaked havoc which were being experienced currently across the length and breadth of the country.

Nigerian Federal Government to establish arms control centres across geopolitical zones | 3 August 2021 | The Cable

The federal government says offices for the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) will be established across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

RCA : prolongation de l’embargo sur les armes jusqu’au 31 juillet 2022 | 2 August 2021 | UN News

Le Conseil de sécurité a adopté la semaine dernière (29 juillet) une résolution visant à prolonger l’embargo sur les armes destiné à la République centrafricaine jusqu’au 31 juillet 2022, ainsi que le mandat du Groupe d’experts assistant le Comité des sanctions contre la RCA jusqu’au 31 août 2022.

Arms Agency (NCCSALW) Seeks Ties With Military, Police | 2 August 2021 | The Will (Nigeria)

The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) has solicited the collaboration of the Armed Forces and the Police to combat illicit arms flow in Nigeria.

CONFLICT

Mali: forte augmentation des violences contre les civils selon un rapport onusien | 30 August 2021 | RFI

Note sur les tendances des violations et atteintes aux droits de l’homme et au droit international humanitaire au Mali, 1er avril – 30 juin 2021 (pdf) | 30 August 2021 | MINUSMA

Au Mali, la Minusma publie ce lundi 30 août 2021 sa note trimestrielle sur les violations des droits de l’homme. La mission des Nations unies a comptabilisé les agressions contre les civils entre le 1er avril et le 30 juin, et constaté une importante augmentation de 25% entre le premier et le deuxième trimestre de l’année 2021.

Beni : au moins 16 morts lors d’une nouvelle incursion des ADF à Kasanzi | 30 August 2021 | Politico.cd

Une nouvelle attaque attribuée aux rebelles du groupe armé d’origine ougandaise Forces démocratiques alliées (ADF) a fait seize morts. C’était dans la nuit de vendredi 27 à samedi 28 août 2021 au village Kasanzi en territoire de Beni (Nord-Kivu).

Mafia dans l’armée : L’inspection générale des FARDC a transmis au Ministre de la Défense son rapport détaillé | 30 August 2021 | Politico.cd

L’inspection générale des Forces Armées de République Démocratique du Congo a transmis au Ministre de la Défense Nationale et Anciens Combattants avec copie au Chef de l’Etat son rapport détaillé sur le contrôle des fonds alloués aux opérations militaires au Nord-Kivu et en Ituri, deux provinces en état de siège.

African human rights organisations call on Uganda to end repression of civil society | 30 August 2021 | Daily Maverick

In many African countries, governments have enacted or are considering onerous new laws to restrict independent activism of civil society, often led by NGOs and social movements. Uganda is one of them.

Cabo Delgado deployments pits SADC solidarity against Rwandan unilateral interests | 30 August 2021 |Global Risk Insights

Throughout July, both Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) deployed troops to Mozambique to combat the long-running Islamist insurgency. While the Rwandan troops were first to deploy, their secretive arrival has been dogged by controversy surrounding Rwanda’s intentions.

Le Cameroun et le Nigeria s’engagent dans une coopération active contre les terroristes djihadistes et séparatistes | 29 August 2021 | Agence Ecofin

Les deux pays qui partagent 2000 km de frontières font face aux exactions de Boko Haram, de l’État islamique en Afrique de l’Ouest et à celles des séparatistes du Biafra nigérian et des régions anglophones camerounaises. La collaboration transfrontalière portera sur le volet sécuritaire et sur le développement économique des populations vulnérables.

Suspected islamic militants kill 19 in eastern Congo village | 29 August 2021 | Reuters

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 19 people in a raid on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local authorities said.

Chad Rebel Group FACT Says It’s Willing to Join National Dialogue | 28 August 2021 | VoA

A Chadian military-political rebel group behind this year’s deadly insurgency said on Friday it was prepared to take part in a national dialogue proposed by transitional president Mahamat Idriss Deby.

France’s drawdown in West Africa fuels local extremists’ hope for a Taliban-style victory | 27 August 2021 | The Washington Post

As Afghanistan fell to the Taliban this month, one of the most notorious extremists in West Africa praised his “brothers” and what he cast as their successful strategy.

Peacebuilding in Mozambique – When Talking is the Surest Path to Peace (Transcript) | 26 August 2021 | AllAfrica

Welcome to AllAfrica’s Silencing The Guns series where we focus on peacebuilding on the continent. I’m Juanita Williams for allAfrica and we’re talking about the situation in Mozambique, where terror engulfs the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Centrafrique : l’offensive russe dans le Nord-ouest tourne au massacre de la minorité peule | 26 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Après le massacre de Bambari, dans l’Ouaka, et de Bossangoa, dans l’Ouham, les mercenaires russes de la société Wagner sont en train d’exterminer la population peule du Nord-ouest. On parle d’au moins 40 morts, dont une famille complète, une dizaine arrêtés et transférés à Bangui, puis une centaine portée disparue dans un total anonymat. Un véritable génocide avec la complicité des autorités actuelles.

Tchad : la création d’une force mixte aux frontières libyennes | 25 August 2021 | Sahel Intelligence

Le président du Conseil militaire de transition au Tchad (CMT), Mahamat Idriss Déby, a proposé mercredi “de relancer l’accord sécuritaire quadripartite entre la Libye, le Soudan, le Niger et le Tchad” en créant une force mixte aux frontières libyennes, pour prévenir notamment l’incursion de groupes armés.

Corruption en RDC: un gouverneur accusé du détournement de huit millions de dollars | 25 August 2021 | Actualite.cd

Le gouverneur Atou Matubuana du Kongo central, dans le sud-ouest de la République démocratique du Congo, a été accusé de détournement de plus de huit millions de dollars en 2020, considérés comme « des avantages légaux », a-t-on appris mercredi l’AFP de l’Inspection générale des finances (IGF).

Mali’s roadmap for lasting peace has laudable goals: but it doesn’t go far enough | 24 August 2021 | The Conversation

Prior to the military coup in 2012, Mali was praised for its transition to democracy in West Africa. That is no longer the case.

RCA : l’offensive des mercenaires russes contre les rebelles de 3R se poursuit dans le Nord-ouest, il y’a des morts | 24 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

L’offensive des mercenaires russes de la société Wagner contre les rebelles de 3R, membres de la coalition des patriotes pour le changement (CPC) se poursuit dans le Nord-ouest. L’affrontement se concentre désormais dans les localités proches de la frontière avec le Cameroun avec une forte violence, selon des sources militaires jointes au téléphone.

Death by a thousand cuts: Cameroon struggles in fight against separatists | 24 August 2021 | African Arguments

The Anglophone regions’ relatively quiet start to 2021 was shattered in March by an intense series of IED attacks. Marking a new development in the Cameroonian conflict that has simmered for four years, at least one harrowing new video emerged every day. Each showcased the same pattern: the lumbering roll of a military convoy down a muddy forested road; the explosion underneath a lightly armoured Toyota; the immediate covering fire laid down in anticipation of an ambush; and, eventually, a silence punctuated by the cries of the wounded.

Don’t Call It Ethnic. Ituri Conflict Is a Mystery” | 24 August 2021 | Inter Press Service

It is a metallic sound, harmless. It lasts just over a second, but it can become as sharp as a machete blade or as devastating as the burst from an assault rifle. It is a beep, just the beep of a phone notification. A woman is on the ground, her belly open, her intestines exposed and her severed head resting on her arm. A pagne of colorful fabric still girds her hips. Where? Why? Then, a video. Do you hear those voices? It happened there, in that village. It was them who did it, it was them.

Limiting presidential eligibility could drive deep divides in the DRC | 24 August 2021 | ISS

Early in July, Noel Tshiani, a 2018 presidential candidate with the support of some Members of Parliament, proposed amending the legislation governing who is eligible to hold high office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Tshiani suggests that candidates for presidential elections or leaders of state institutions such as the National Assembly and the Senate should be DRC citizens born of Congolese parents.

Rwanda’s military intervention in Mozambique raises eyebrows | 24 August 2021 | DW

Rwandan forces have driven out Islamist militants in Mozambique’s gas-rich Cabo Delgado province. Their success underlines the failure of Mozambique’s army, but some observers want Rwanda to say when they will leave.

Uganda Suspends NGOs Opposing Oil Projects | 23 August 2021 | OilPrice

The government of Uganda has suspended 54 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for non-compliance with local regulations, including organizations fighting to protect people’s rights from planned oil projects in the African country.

RDC: un deuxième militant de la Lucha, faisant l’objet d’un mandat d’arrêt, interpellé | 22 August 2021 | RFI

Deux militants de Lucha risquent la peine de mort | 26 August 2021 | La Libre Afrique

En République démocratique du Congo (RDC), une deuxième interpellation dans les rangs de la Lucha, l’un des mouvements citoyens congolais. Ghislain Muhiwa a été interpellé dimanche à Goma, chef-lieu de la province du Nord-Kivu, sous état de siège.

RCA : un collectif des officiers et des soldats FACA expriment leur colère, l’État major Appelle au calme et menace | 22 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Un collectif des soldats, des officiers et sous-officiers de forces armées centrafricaines ( FACA) ont exprimé leur mécontentement dans un document de 20 pages envoyé au chef de l’État Faustin Archange Touadera. Dans cette pièce écrite, les auteurs ont non seulement exprimé leur rage, mais fait savoir que « Les Forces armées ne sont plus républicaines et non plus au service du peuple comme écrit dans la constitution de la RCA, mais au service de l’exécutif, des gouvernants et leurs alliés les riches expatriés ». Mais l’état-major, de son côté, préfère appeler au calme et tient également à mettre en garde les militaires récalcitrants.

RCA : à Boali, un soldat FACA violenté sexuellement par les mercenaires russes | 22 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Décidément, les mercenaires russes de la société Wagner déployés à Boali, à 95 kilomètres de Bangui ne sont pas près de s’arrêter. Ils multiplient des exactions sur les populations, sur les forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI) et les forces de défense nationale. Un mois après avoir violenté sexuellement l’un de leur, ces mercenaires de Wagner ont violemment pris à partie un soldat FACA de l’unité des forces spéciales détachées dans la ville. Ce dernier a été agressé sexuellement par plusieurs mercenaires, et il a été transféré dans un hôpital à Bangui.

RCA : violente attaque des positions de 3R par les mercenaires russes dans le nord-ouest, 3 personnes tuées | 22 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Après plusieurs embuscade mortelles tendues par les rebelles de 3R aux mercenaires russes de la société Wagner dont plusieurs ont été tués, ces derniers se sont renforcés depuis plusieurs semaines à koui. Après l’arrivée des huit véhicules remplis des autres Wagner lourdement armés à koui le vendredi 13 août dernier, plus de 14 autres véhicules, 40 motos et quatre hélicoptères sont arrivés à nouveau dans la ville de koui le vendredi dernier. Ils ont mené des ratissages dans la région, et des affrontements ont été signalés.

Africa’s jihadists: What Taliban takeover of Afghanistan means | 21 August 2021 | BBC

As Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, Islamist groups waging insurgencies in Africa were quick to celebrate. « God is great, » a media outlet linked to Somalia’s al-Shabab wrote in response to the takeover. Elsewhere, the leader of al-Qaeda affiliate Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) used his first public message since 2019 to congratulate the Taliban.

In Central Africa, Russia Won the War—but It’s Losing the Peace | 21 August 2021 | Foreign Policy

In the lawless provinces of the Central African Republic, a deep hole has been dug into the bare earth of a military base. Measuring some 20 feet deep by 12 feet wide, this grim pit is used by Russian mercenaries and federal troops as a black site to detain anyone suspected of rebel sympathies, two sources familiar with its existence told Foreign Policy.

Violences intercommunautaires au Cameroun : 11.000 personnes se réfugient au Tchad | 20 August 2021 | Journal du Tchad

Cameroon Says 40 Villages Razed, Thousands Displaced Fear Returning | 24 August 2021 | VoA

Les affrontements entre les éleveurs Choa et les agriculteurs Mousgoum, ayant débuté le 10 août dernier à l’Extrême-Nord du pays, ont fait 32 morts et 74 blessés.Dans de nombreux pays africains, ces deux groupes cohabitent difficilement. Au Cameroun, les récents heurts sont causés par des tensions autour des ressources agricole, halieutique et pastorale.

Ntaganda and the ‘Conduct of Hostilities Crimes’ | 20 August 2021 | EJIL: Talk!

The ICC’s appeals judgement in the Ntaganda case, although covering a diverse array of legal issues, will likely be remembered as the focus for a confused and chaotic debate on the meaning of ‘attack’ within IHL and ICL.

Burkina Faso: UN chief condemns deadly attack on northern town, 80 reported dead | 20 August 2021 | UN News

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned an armed attack on a convoy near the town of Arbinda, in the north of Burkina Faso, on Wednesday, which has reportedly led to the death of some 80 people.

Ituri : les FARDC récupèrent sept villages des mains des miliciens de la CODECO à Djugu | 20 August 2021 | Radio Okapi

Les Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) annoncent avoir récupéré sept villages des mains des miliciens de la CODECO dans le secteur de Banyali-Kilo en territoire de Djugu. Les villages passés sous le contrôle des FARDC sont Itendey, Gbado, Mayolo, Lisey, Libéria, Sakoko et Samangoli.

Mozambique: Vigil Insight Situation Report (pdf) | 19 August 2021 | Insecurity Insight

The retaking of Mocimboa da Praia will stall the spread of the Islamist militant insurgency for now, though the civilian death toll from the conflict is likely to increase along with human rights abuses.

Tanzania: SADC Anti-Terror Crusade – Dar es Salaam to Host Regional Centre | 19 August 2021 | Tanzania Daily News | AllAfrica

Tanzania will host the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Counter Terrorism Centre, as the region seeks to heighten efforts to thwart terrorism threats and cybercrime.

Exactions des mercenaires russes en Centrafrique, la société Wagner se prépare à manipuler l’opinion | 17 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Le massacre de Bossangoa, dont le gouvernement avait précipitamment attribué la responsabilité aux rebelles de la coalition des patriotes pour le changement (CPC), constitue désormais la preuve irréfutable des exactions commises par les mercenaires de la société russe Wagner en Centrafrique. Afin de préparer l’opinion publique nationale à la conclusion du rapport final de la commission d’enquête spéciale, plusieurs dizaines des journalistes des médias proches des intérêts russes ont été déployés dans les villes de province par Wagner afin de mener leur propre « enquête ». C’est ce qu’on appelle la manipulation psychologique de l’opinion publique par un travail sur les techniques de la communication.

DR Congo accepts US military help against ADF militia | 16 August 2021 | al Jazeera

DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has authorised US special forces to help the Congolese army battle the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group linked to ISIL (ISIS).

Ituri : l’équipe humanitaire pays s’inquiète de la recrudescence des tueries | 16 August 2021 | ADIAC

Pour le coordonnateur humanitaire en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), David McLachlan-Karr, « les conditions pour la paix et la construction de ponts entre les communautés belligérantes doivent être promues dans la province et accompagnées de plateformes pour promouvoir le dialogue, la justice et la lutte contre l’impunité pour les crimes commis dans le conflit. Les Nations unies et nos partenaires sont prêts à soutenir les activités visant à faciliter la réconciliation communautaire et la consolidation de la paix ».

RCA : les mercenaires russes de la société Wagner se renforcent à koui, dans le Nord-ouest | 15 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Huit véhicules remplis des éléments russes de la société Wagner sont arrivés vendredi dans la sous-préfecture de koui, dans le nord-ouest de la Centrafrique. Occupant tous les coins stratégiques de la ville, les hommes de Wagner commencent à multiplier des patrouilles.

RCA : le mouvement 3R dénonce “la persistance des affirmations mensongères véhiculées par les officines du gouvernement du Président Touadera” | 14 August 2021 | Mouvement 3R | CorbeauNews

Le Mouvement 3R, à l’instar de tous les observateurs de la situation politique et sécuritaire en République centrafricaine, note la persistance des affirmations mensongères véhiculées par les officines du gouvernement du Président Faustin Archange Touadera.

Djugu: des combats ont opposé l’armée à des miliciens de Codeco à Liseyi | 14 August 2021 | MediaCongo.net

Entre 6 et 13 heures locales de ce vendredi 13 août 2021, les FARDC se sont affrontés à des hommes armés identifiés aux miliciens de Codeco à Liseyi, entité située à plus ou moins 13 km au Sud-Est de Kilo-Centre en secteur des Banyali-Kilo, territoire de Djugu (Ituri).

UN peacekeepers and DR Congo troops kill 45 ADF rebels | 14 August 2021 | CGTN

The army and the UN peacekeeping force in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said Friday that they have killed 45 Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.

DR Congo: ‘Widespread and systematic’ violence linked to clashes over gold | 13 August 2021 | UN News

UN ‘gravely concerned’ by reports of mass rape in DRC | 13 August 2021 | The Guardian

Rival armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are carrying out horrific sexual attacks against women and girls, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned on Friday.

RDC : combats entre l’armée et les miliciens de Twigwaneo-Gumino signalés ce jeudi dans les haut-plateaux de Fizi, Mwenga et Uvira | 12 August 2021 | Actualite.cd

Les affrontements ont opposé ce jeudi 12 août, les Forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) aux miliciens de Twigwaneo-Gumino dans plueiurs localités et villages des hauts plateaux de Fizi, Mwenga et Uvira (Sud-Kivu). Ces combats ont été signalés notamment à Bijombo, Muravya, Mikenge, Ngoma et Mikarati.

Wagner: Gaddafi’s son faces arrest over Russian mercenaries | 12 August 2021 | BBC

Wagner: Scale of Russian mercenary mission in Libya exposed | 11 August 2021 | BBC

Prosecutors in Libya have issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, over suspected ties to Russian mercenaries.

Beni : le CEPADHO espère que la présence des troupes kenyanes va redynamiser la lutte contre les ADF | 11 August 2021 | Radio Okapi

Le Centre d’étude pour la promotion de la paix, la démocratie et les droits de l’homme (CEPADHO) espère que l’arrivée et le déploiement des troupes kenyanes dans la région de Beni au Nord-Kivu, va redynamiser la brigade d’intervention aux côtés des Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC) dans la lutte contre les terroristes ADF/MTN qui sont traqués par l’armée congolaise. Cette organisation de défense des droits de l’homme l’a fait savoir dans un communiqué rendu public mardi 10 août.

Ituri/Djugu : barrières et taxes illicites pèsent sur les commerçants dans des zones d’insécurité – Enquête | 10 August 2021 | Actualite.cd

Plus de trois mois après le démarrage de l’état de siège dans la province de l’Ituri, au Nord-Est de la République démocratique du Congo, la situation sécuritaire est toujours volatile dans plusieurs contrées où sévissent des groupes armés. Les plus célèbres sont les Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), la Force Patriotique et Intégrationniste du Congo (FPIC/Chini ya kilima), la Force de Résistance et Patriotique du Congo (FRPI), le ZAIRE, et la Coopérative pour le Développement du Congo (CODECO) qui écument les territoires de Djugu, Irumu, Mahagi et Mambasa.

Sudan, the International Criminal Court and Omar Al Bashir | 6 August 2021 | Opinio Juris

In 2019, as a result of mass mobilization and popular protest against Omar Al Bashir and his administration, Sudan embarked on a process of transition. Currently, there is a transitional administration in place – a civilian and military administration – with a new cabinet announced early this year, as a result of the Juba Peace Agreement of 3 October 2020, relating to Darfur and other conflict areas.

The disturbing rise of the corporate mercenaries | 6 August 2021 | Open Democracy

When the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government in 2018, it caused an international scandal. Now, it turns out that his killers were trained in the US. In June, The New York Times reported that four Saudis involved in the killing had received paramilitary training from Tier 1 Group, a private security company based in Arkansas.

Mali violence threatens country’s survival, warns UN human rights expert | 6 August 2021 | UN News

Rapidly spreading violence in Mali is threatening the State’s very survival, the UN independent expert on the human rights situation in the country said on Friday.

RDC: Baisse de 14% des violations et atteintes aux droits de l’homme au premier semestre 2021 (Rapport BCNUDH) | 6 August 2021 | Politico.cd

La République Démocratique du Congo a enregistré, au cours du premier semestre de 2021 soit de janvier à juin, une baisse de 14% des violations et atteintes des droits de l’homme soit 3276 sur l’ensemble du territoire national par rapport au semestre précédent (juillet-décembre 2020) et 20% par rapport à la même période de janvier-juin 2020.

Terrorisme au Lac Tchad : le Niger envisage l’installation d’une base aérienne à Diffa | 6 August 2021 | Alwihda Info

Le gouvernement nigérien envisage l’installation d’une base aérienne dénommée « BA 501 de Diffa » pour augmenter la capacité de riposte des forces armées nigériennes, au vu de l’insécurité actuelle qui règne dans la région du Sahel, plus particulièrement dans la zone du bassin du Lac Tchad.

Rebels, Doctors and Merchants of Violence: How the fight against Ebola became part of the conflict in eastern DRC | 5 August 2021 | Congo Research Group | ReliefWeb

The outbreak of the Ebola virus in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2018, the 10th outbreak in the DRC, was the first time that the disease emerged in a conflict zone. This report, the second in a series on the Ebola epidemic, attempts to explain how the epidemic and the transnational effort launched to contain it (the Riposte) was affected by this violence, and how they in turn influenced the armed conflict.

Plusieurs partisans de l’opposant tanzanien Freeman Mbowe arrêtés | 5 August 2021 | VoA

Tanzania opposition leader Mbowe in court on ‘terror’ charges | 6 August 2021 | al Jazeera

Tanzania opposition leader Freeman Mbowe in court to face charges | 31 August 2021 | al Jazeera

La police anti-émeute tanzanienne a arrêté jeudi plusieurs partisans du leader de l’opposition Freeman Mbowe, récemment arrêté, devant un tribunal de Dar es Salaam où une audience pour « terrorisme » contre lui a été reportée.

Is Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual self-imposed SPLM-IO leadership a solution to the Conflict in South Sudan? | 5 August 2021 | Radio Tamazuj

My answer is no, let me remind you of earlier defections from the start of the conflict in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. A good number of disgruntled Generals have switched sides from SPLA-IO to the government, but their main goal in doing so is merely getting lumpsum bites of Brazilian chicken meals and sleeping in comfortable hotels in Juba—with their pockets full, they forget the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

RDC : des officiers des FARDC arrêtés pour détournements de fonds | 5 August 2021 | AfricaNews

A Goma, dans l’Est de la RDC, l’armée a annoncé l’arrestation des 9 officiers supérieurs, soupçonnés de détournement des fonds alloués aux opérations militaires du Nord-Kivu. Les auteurs présumés de ce délit ont été appréhendés et mis à la disposition de la justice.

Rwanda Troops in Mozambique Claim Progress Against Jihadists | 5 August 2021 | VoA

Mozambique insurgency: Rwanda leads the fightback | 6 August 2021 | VoA

Rwandan forces in Mozambique, deployed less than a month ago to help battle jihadists, said Thursday they have scored successes in driving out the militants wreaking havoc in the country’s gas-rich north.

Tanzanian military transport spotted in Mozambique | 5 August 2021 | DefenceWeb

The Tanzanian Air Force has been transporting troops and equipment to Mozambique, presumably as a contribution to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) intervention force.

L’armée rwandaise commence le déploiement de 750 militaires en République centrafricaine | 4 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Environ 300 soldats de l’armée rwandaise étaient arrivés mardi à Bangui, capitale de la République centrafricaine. Ils ont été accueillis à leur descente d’avion par le chef d’État major des forces armées centrafricaines (FACA) et le Commandant de la Force de la Minusca.

Ituri : plus de 30 000 déplacés à la suite des opérations militaires et exactions de la CODECO à Djugu | 4 August 2021 | Radio Okapi

Environ trente mille personnes déplacées internes ont fui, en l’espace de deux semaines, les opérations militaires et les exactions de miliciens de la CODECO dans la région de Kobu, Bambou, Beliba, Tolo et Nyapala dans le territoire de Djugu, en Ituri. Selon la société civile locale, ces déplacés vivent dans des conditions difficiles. Cette structure citoyenne redoute des cas de mortalité dans les différents sites où sont hébergés ces sinistrés. L’armée déclare qu’elle est en train de sécuriser la zone en vue du retour de la population.

Un rapport de la Minusca confirme l’assassinat du sultan maire de koui par les hommes de Wagner | 4 August 2021 | CorbeauNews

Un rapport de la division des droits de l’homme de la Minusca confirme l’assassinat du sultan maire de koui, Monsieur Lamido Souleymane Daouda et son adjoint ainsi que son garde du corps par les mercenaires de la société russe Wagner. Ce qui confirme les allégations de la famille et des multiples sources indépendantes alors que le gouvernement et ses alliés russes donnent une autre version des faits.

Rapport public sur les violations des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire en republique centrafricaine durant la periode electorale juillet 2020 – juin 2021 | 4 August 2021 | MINUSCA/OHCHR | ReliefWeb

Le présent rapport de la Division des Droits de l’Homme (DDH) de la Mission Multidimensionnelle Intégrée des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en République Centrafricaine (MINUSCA) est publié conjointement avec le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux Droits de l’Homme (HCDH). Il présente une analyse et un résumé des violations et abus du droit international humanitaire et du droit international des droits de l’homme commis pendant la période électorale en République centrafricaine, du 1er juillet 2020, date de lancement de la dernière phase de préparation des élections, au 30 juin 2021.

RCA : violation de l’embargo, les experts de l’ONU s’alarment | 4 August 2021 | Journal de Bangui

Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic extended pursuant to Security Council resolution 2536 (2020) (S/2021/569) | 4 August 2021 | UN Security Council | ReliefWeb

Le dernier rapport des experts de l’ONU, sorti le 29 juin, le comité d’experts dénonce des livraisons de matériel effectuées à “un rythme jamais vu depuis l’imposition de l’embargo sur les armes en 2013”, et documente longuement les violations de l’embargo via le Soudan, le Congo, la RDC ou encore les Emirats arabes unis.

115 Killed in Military Crackdown in Nigeria: Amnesty | 4 August 2021 | VoA

Amnesty International on Thursday accused Nigerian security forces of using excessive force and killing at least 115 people in a crackdown on separatist agitators in the country’s restive southeast.

Rwanda, Mozambican forces take control of strategic city in insurgency-hit region | 4 August 2021 | The New Times

Reports from Mozambique indicate that Rwandan and Mozambican forces are now in full control of the key base of Awasse after repulsing the retreating Islamic State-linked insurgency in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of Mozambique.

Médecins Sans Frontières forced to withdraw teams from Cameroon’s North-West region | 3 August 2021 | MSF

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières has been forced to withdraw its teams from the North-West region of Cameroon, an area severely impacted by years of armed violence between security forces and separatist groups. MSF has not been able to operate in the area since its programs were suspended by Cameroonian authorities almost eight months ago.

RDC: En 6 mois, les agents de l’État responsables des exécutions extrajudiciaires d’au moins 199 personnes dont 24 enfants | 3 August 2021 | Actualite.cd

Le Bureau conjoint des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme (BCNUDH) a publié mardi son rapport semestriel. 3276 violations et atteintes aux droits de l’homme sur l’ensemble du territoire national, soit une moyenne de 546 par mois.

Traque des groupes armés en Ituri : une ONG locale salue le professionnalisme de l’armée | 2 August 2021 | Radio Okapi

L’ONG « Justice et dignité pour tous » salue le professionnalisme des forces armées congolaises lors des opérations militaires lancées depuis le weekend dernier à Bambou et Kobu dans le secteur de Djatsi dans le territoire de Djugu contre les groupes armés.

Madagascar arrests generals over plot to kill President Rajoelina | 1 August 2021 | BBC

More arrests in Madagascar in connection with plot to kill president | 2 August 2021 | France24

High-ranking army and police officials have been arrested in Madagascar in connection with a failed attempt to kill the country’s president. The arrested include five generals and several active police officers, meaning 21 people are now being investigated over last month’s foiled assassination.

US Military Targets Al-Shabab in Somalia With More Airstrikes | 1 August 2021 | VoA

The United States military has confirmed that it carried out another airstrike against al-Shabab militants, its third in less than two weeks. Sunday’s strike was in support of Somali government forces in the vicinity of Qeycad, in the central Galmudug state, according to the U.S. military.

Ituri : offensive contre les miliciens à Kobu, l’armée appelle la population à chercher des zones sécurisées | 31 July 2021 | Radio Okapi

Quatrième jour ce samedi 31 juillet de l’offensive lancée par les FARDC contre les miliciens de la CODECO (Coopérative pour le Développement du Congo) au centre commercial de Kobu et sa périphérie en territoire de Djugu, dans la province de l’Ituri.

U.N. arms embargo on CAR extended for year, China abstains | 30 July 2021 | Reuters

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday extended a Central African Republic (CAR) arms embargo and targeted sanctions regime for another year, however China abstained in the vote because it believes the measures should be removed.

Disturbing wave of extrajudicial executions on the rise in South Sudan’s Warrap State – UN experts note | 29 July 2021 | OHCHR

The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan expressed its grave concern today at the wave of extrajudicial executions being carried out by Government forces across Warrap State. Beginning in March this year and coinciding with the appointment of a new governor in Warrap, dozens of individuals including young boys have been extrajudicially killed. In almost all reported cases, the Commission found that members of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, the National Police Service, or the National Security Service either carried out or were present within the vicinity of the executions.

La Turquie au Sahel | 27 July 2021 | International Crisis Group

Ankara renforce ses liens avec les capitales du Sahel ; elle construit des mosquées et des hôpitaux et ouvre des marchés d’exportation. Le pacte de défense qu’elle a conclu avec Niamey a poussé ses rivaux à s’inquiéter de ses intentions. Ankara, à l’instar d’autres puissances extérieures, devrait tout mettre en œuvre pour éviter d’intensifier la compétition au sein de la région.

Defending Our Sovereignty: US Military Bases in Africa and the Future of African Unity | 5 July 2021 | Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research

On 30 May 2016, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) held its 601st meeting. Though the agenda was broad, members of the PSC came to the meeting concerned about a range of conflicts: the collapse of the Libyan state and the impact that this had across the Sahel, the ongoing struggles in the Lake Chad region with the persistence of Boko Haram, and the wars that marked the Great Lakes region (with the loss of sovereignty by the Democratic Republic of the Congo on its eastern flank). The ‘primary responsibility for ensuring effective conflict prevention’, the PSC noted, ‘lies with the Member States’, namely the fifty-five countries on the African continent from Algeria to Zimbabwe.

ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CONFLICT

U.S. Response To The Human Rights Crisis In Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict | 30 August 2021 | The Organization for World Peace

When Ethiopia elected Abiy Ahmed to be the prime minister in 2018, the international community looked optimistically on the country’s future. In 2019, the new prime minister disintegrated the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which was led by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in Ethiopia since 1991. Abiy successfully negotiated for peace over border disputes with the neighbouring nation Eritrea, winning him a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, and instituted a number of promising reforms.

Ethiopia on diplomatic campaign in East Africa as int’l pressure mounts | 30 August 2021 | Borkena

In what appears to be a move to deepen diplomatic ties with countries in the region, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with leaders from three countries in a span of less than a week.

Women in Tigray Face Increased Risk of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Amid Humanitarian Crisis | 26 August 2021 | Refugees International | ReliefWeb

The world has watched as long-standing political and ethnic rivalries in Ethiopia have turned into active conflict and horrific mass atrocities in the northern region of Tigray.

Ethiopia Risks U.S. Trade Access on Tigray Rights Violations | 26 August 2021 | Bloomberg

The humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s northern region could affect Ethiopia’s eligibility to export goods to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, according to the U.S. Trade Representative.

U.S., EU warn of influx of Eritrean troops in Ethiopia’s Tigray | 24 August 2021 | Reuters

The United States and European Union are raising alarm over the recent deployment of troops from Eritrea to Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where nine months of war have killed thousands of people and sparked a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Ethiopia acquires Iranian UAVs for Tigray War | 23 August 2021 | DefenceWeb

In the latest effort to halt the advancing Tigray Defence Force (TDF) and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), it appears Ethiopia has purchased several Iranian-made Mohajer-6 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Ethiopia grateful to Russia for its position on Tigray crisis, Ambassador to Moscow says | 23 August 2021 | TASS

Ethiopia is discussing the crisis in the Tigray region with the Russian side at various levels and is grateful to Russia for its position on this issue, Ethiopian Ambassador to Moscow Alemayehu Tegenu Aargau said in an interview with TASS.

Sanctioning Eritrean Military Leader in Connection with Human Rights Abuse in Ethiopia | 23 August 2021 | U.S. Department of State

The United States is designating the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) Chief of Staff General Filipos Woldeyohannes (Filipos) for his connection with serious human rights abuse committed during the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia. Filipos is designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. Filipos commands all of the EDF forces that have committed serious human rights abuses in Ethiopia throughout the conflict.

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: US accuses Abiy’s government of blocking aid | 21 August 2021 | BBC

The US international development agency has blamed the Ethiopian government for a shortage of humanitarian aid in the country’s conflict-torn Tigray region.

UN chief gravely concerned over ‘unspeakable violence’ in Tigray | 19 August 2021 | UN News

Speaking outside the Security Council chamber on Thursday, UN chief António Guterres told journalists that he is gravely concerned about the situation in Ethiopia, particularly the “unspeakable violence” against women and others in Tigray.

Violence in Tigray Threatens Ethiopia’s Already Fragile Stability | 18 August 2021 | Foreign Policy Research Institute

The ongoing violence between the Ethiopian central government and the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF), which began in 2020, has Ethiopia at a crossroads. An ancient kingdom that stood as a powerful state between the Roman Empire and Persia and home of the earliest hominids on Earth, Ethiopia’s written history dates from the time of King Solomon. The country was ruled by emperors from the Zagwe dynasty in the 9th century until 1974 when Haile Selassie, the last emperor of the Solomonic dynasty, was overthrown and the communist Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia took control of the country.

Ethnic Tigrayans Forcibly Disappeared | 18 August 2021 | Human Rights Watch

Ethiopian authorities since late June 2021 have arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, and committed other abuses against ethnic Tigrayans in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The authorities should immediately account for Tigrayans’ forcibly disappeared, release those being held without credible evidence of a crime, and end all discriminatory treatment.

TDF accuses UN of lying as Tigray conflict escalates | 15 August 2021 | Garowe

The Tigray Defense Forces [TDF] has accused a top UN body of misleading the public over alleged deaths at Galicoma in the Afar region, where the separatist group was blamed for opening fire, killing children, and innocent women.

Ethiopia: “I don’t know if they realized I was a person”: Rape and sexual violence in the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia (AFR 25/4569/2021) | 11 August 2021 | Amnesty International

During the conflict that began on 4 November 2020 in Tigray – Ethiopia’s northernmost region – troops fighting in support of the federal government have committed widespread rape against ethnic Tigrayan women and girls. The perpetrators include members of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Amhara Regional Police Special Forces (ASF), and Fano, an informal Amhara militia group. Given the context, scale, and gravity of the sexual violence committed against women and girls in Tigray, the violations amount to war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.

Tigray forces seek new military alliance | 11 August 2021 | Reuters

Ethiopia armed group says it has alliance with Tigray forces | 11 August 2021 | The Associated Press

Is the new Tigray-Oromo pact more political than military? | 14 August 2021 | The East African

Forces from Ethiopia’s rebellious Tigray region said on Wednesday they were in talks to forge a military alliance with insurgents from Ethiopia’s most populous region, Oromiya, heaping pressure on the central government in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia’s prime minister calls for mass enlistment amid battlefield losses to Tigray rebels | 10 August 2021 | The Washington Post

Amid a string of battlefield losses that have allowed rebels from Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region to move into neighboring areas and down a key highway leading to the capital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s prime minister called Tuesday for a national war effort, including mass enlistment.

Tigray rebels seize UNESCO site of Lalibela in Ethiopia’s Amhara region | 5 August 2021 | France24

Rebels from Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray region on Thursday seized Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the neighbouring Amhara region famed for its 12th-century rock-hewn churches, residents told AFP.

Heartbreaking’ devastation in Tigray, says UN humanitarian chief | 4 August 2021 | UN News

The new UN Emergency Relief Coordinator ended a six-day mission to Ethiopia with a fresh push to get badly needed food and other supplies into the embattled Tigray region.

US warns Ethiopia of ‘dehumanizing rhetoric’ on Tigray | 3 August 2021 | The Washington Post

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development expressed concern Wednesday about the “dehumanizing rhetoric” used by Ethiopia’s leaders amid the nine-month conflict in the Tigray region, whose forces last month were described as “weeds” and “cancer” by the country’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister, Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopia: Growing concerns for unity as Tigray conflict spreads | 3 August 2021 | BBC

There are increasing concerns about Ethiopian unity as the conflict in the northern Tigray region escalates. The nine-month-long war between Tigrayan rebel forces and the Ethiopian army and its allies has been mostly contained in Tigray itself.

Bodies found in river between Ethiopia’s Tigray and Sudan | 2 August 2021 | The Associated Press

A Sudanese official says local authorities in Kassala province have found around 50 bodies, apparently people fleeing the war in neighboring Ethiopia’s Tigray region, floating in the river between the countries over the past week, some with gunshot wounds or their hands bound.

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Rebels vow to fight on until blockade ends | 2 August 2021 | BBC

The commander of the rebel group in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray has told the BBC they will continue fighting until their terms for a ceasefire are met. Gen Tsadkan Gebretensae said the group aims to force the federal government to lift a blockade in the region and agree to a political solution to the crisis.

Africa can prevent Ethiopia from going down Rwanda’s path: here’s how | 2 August 2021 | The Conversation

When Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2019, I congratulated him in a public US and Africa dialogue forum. I thought he deserved the prize, given what he had done. In particular he showed a calm and responsible interest in listening to all community grievances to avoid outbursts of war.

Ethiopian Airlines denies shipping arms, soldiers to Tigray | 1 August 2021 | France24

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest carrier in Africa, on Sunday denied it was transporting weapons and soldiers to the war-torn Tigray region. Calls to boycott the state-owned airline appeared on social media over allegations it was involved in the nine-month-old conflict.

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