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IPIS Briefing May 2021 – Reducing the carbon footprint at the expense of a mineral footprint?

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: Reducing the carbon footprint at the expense of a mineral footprint?

In the news: Ethiopia Tigray crisis – Warnings of genocide and famine; ICC – First Major Hearings on Darfur Crimes; RDC – à l’est, le Sud-Kivu peut-il basculer dans une violence incontrôlable ?

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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: REDUCING THE CARBON FOOTPRINT AT THE EXPENSE OF A MINERAL FOOTPRINT?

 

The energy sector is switching from a reliance on fossil-fuels to being fueled by clean energy technologies, in order to reduce carbon emissions and meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. These technologies, which include wind turbines and solar panels, and are largely made of minerals, will replace coal and oil as the key resources generating energy.

The energy from the sun and wind is nearly infinite, however, the resources needed to capture this energy are not. The EU will need almost 60 times more lithium and 15 times more cobalt in 2050 than it consumes today. This reality has led to a scramble for critical minerals and a geopolitical struggle around the access to the so-called minerals of the clean energy transition. However, the road from critical minerals to clean energy is more complex and less clean than its name might suggest.

EU Critical minerals and its supply chain

The EU defines the minerals that are essential for the EU economy and at the same time include a high supply risk, as critical minerals. These minerals are listed in the EU Critical Raw Material List, which is updated every 3 years and currently includes 30 minerals. It is worth noting that the EU critical raw material list does not project future dependencies, but merely notes the current deficiencies. Copper, for example, is not included while 90% of geological resources will have been exhausted by 2050 (Emmanuel Hache).

The industrial “green”-energy sector is dependent on a mixture of multiple mineral supply chains which are critical to produce end products. In geopolitical terms, this dependence of Europe on strategic minerals is even more important than it is for oil. The EU is largely dependent on China for the access to these minerals, as China currently dominates the critical mineral supply chains. This is a result of, on the one hand, the large rare-earth deposits in China, and on the other hand the large investments China has made in mining projects abroad. For example, China has secured its position in the DRC, where 60% of cobalt ores are extracted, and China now accounts for 72% of the global cobalt refining capacity. For lithium, the monopoly is not in the hands of states but of private industries. Only five companies control 90% of the lithium market.

The EU is currently importing all of its refined lithium, platinum and silicon and gets 98% of its rare earths from China. The EU is increasingly becoming aware of dependency risks and is taking action to secure its supply. This is exemplified by the recently proposed EU Battery Regulation, which aims to decrease the EU’s dependency on China, in order to become more self-reliant. The proposed Regulation aims to create a circular and sustainable battery supply chain and includes provisions on environmental and human rights due diligence.

For the EU to achieve this self-reliant supply chain, there is an increased interest in re-localizing the extraction of minerals and sourcing more materials from EU countries. There is indeed a significant amount of resources located in Europe, amongst which lithium reserves in France. Furthermore, a recent study from the British Geological Survey demonstrates that EU’s dependency on other countries for cobalt is not merely explained by a lack of geological availability in the EU. These reserves are not further explored within the EU due to technological, environmental, economic and social challenges. Indeed, the new plans for mining projects in Europe come with many challenges, as has been expressed by environmental organizations and Green parties. In May 2021, EU civil society members signed a common statement denouncing the EU raw materials plans in the European Green Deal. They argue that an EU mining boom leads to a vicious circle in which the mining projects reinforce the issues of human and ecological damages they aim to solve. The statement reasons that in order to break this circle, it is necessary to reduce resource consumption, to slow down the need for a constantly growing economy, and to invest more in the circular economy.

Paradox

There is an undeniable paradox in the clean energy solution as the extraction and processing of critical minerals, necessary for a sustainable environment, comes with high environmental and human costs. The chemical refining processes that extract rare metals from ore are extremely polluting. Moreover, in countries such as Russia, Chile, or Australia, mining, which requires an enormous consumption of water, takes place in water-scarce areas. Additionally, 15 to 17% of the worldwide energy consumption is used solely for mineral extraction. According to a report in 2016 by Blacksmith Institute on the world’s worst pollution problems, the mining and ore processing industries are the second most polluting industries.

The pollution resulting from the energy we use is not reduced through clean energy, it is instead displacedfrom the countries where end products are used to the countries where the necessary resources are mined. Moreover, mining critical minerals is often done in difficult and hazardous circumstances where human rights violations are not uncommon. For example, the cobalt mining sector in the DRC has frequently been linked to issues of child labor and corruption. Furthermore, Congolese doctors and academics have demonstrated linkages between cobalt mining activities and cases of malformations and birth defects in the DRC. These environmental and human costs are often neglected in the clean energy narrative. In the dominant narrative the sole solution to climate change seems to be an increased supply of critical minerals.

Alternatives: Deep-sea mining and the circular economy

Strikingly, a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) demonstrates that the supply of critical minerals will not meet the growing demand necessary for the energy transition. Without more ambitious plans in line with the climate goals, existing mines will only count for 50% of the required cobalt and lithium and 80% of the required copper in 2030. As primary mining will not likely meet these increased demands, additional alternatives will have to be sought through recycling and in exploring the possibilities of deep-sea mining, or perhaps asteroid mining.

However, these alternatives are not free of challenges either. Although recycling is an appealing solution, the processes that are being used to recycle metals are in themselves polluting. Moreover, recycling is expensive. Green technologies often consist of combinations of different rare earth metals, which require complex and costly processes to separate. The high costs of recycling currently hampers incentives to explore this possibility further. The IEA estimates that recycling metals can lead to a 10% reduction of primary supply requirements. Although primary mining will remain necessary, more effective recycling policies could increasingly contribute to meeting future critical mineral demand.

Concurrently, the interest of companies to explore the potential for sourcing critical minerals from the deep-sea is on the increase. Supporters argue that deep-sea mining is the solution to meet the ever increasing demand for critical minerals. The Belgian dredging company DEME has recently started exploring the Clarion-Clipperton zone, located between Mexico and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. At almost 5000 meters below sea level, ferromanganese nodules can be found that contain copper, cobalt and nickel concentrations. However, environmental organizations like Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have raised attention to the devastating consequences for deep-sea ecosystems that can result from deep-sea mining activities. BMW Group, Samsung SDI, Google and Volvo Group have recently gathered behind the deep-sea mining opposition and have publicly announced not to use mineral resources from the deep sea in their products.

In conclusion, proposed solutions to combat climate change focus on the carbon footprint. The mineral footprint has been largely ignored at the risk of depleting mineral resources by 2050. The above developments and challenges underline the importance of looking at the entire supply chain of minerals if we want to achieve a sustainable future, rather than merely looking at green carbon-free end-products. Humanity’s dependence on energy and our enthusiasm about new technologies risk obscuring the dirty road of critical minerals necessary for clean energy.

Hadassah Arian, Guillaume de Brier, Lotte Hoex

Credit Photo:  https://www.agro-chemistry.com/

FURTHER READING

As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries | 29 May 2021 | National Geographic

Electric car batteries contain critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. We’ll need to recycle them unless we want to keep mining the earth for new ones.

The human bottleneck in critical minerals supply chains | 28 May 2021 | Reuters

The road to decarbonisation will be paved with copper. As well as lithium, nickel, cobalt and a host of other minerals, all critical for electric vehicles (EVs), solar panels and wind farms. Securing enough of these metals has become an overriding concern for many Western countries now looking to invest in green technology industries as a driver of broader pandemic recovery.

Mining a Path to Rare-Earth Supply Chains | 27 May 2021 | US News

Prompted by a worldwide chip shortage already impacting automobile production, President Joe Biden in February signed an executive order directing a 100-day broad review of supply chains for critical materials, including for semiconductors, large-capacity batteries, and rare-earth elements.

The Dark Side of Congo’s Cobalt Rush | 24 May 2021 | The New Yorker

Cell phones and electric cars rely on the mineral, causing a boom in demand. Locals are hunting for this buried treasure—but are getting almost none of the profit.

Artisanal cobalt mining in the DRC: steps already in play | 24 May 2021 | Mining Review

Never before in the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the country’s cobalt resources been as attractive as they are right now. The metal is required to feed the electric vehicle (EV) boom, and the ‘fight’ to secure resources – transparently, sustainably and responsibly – to feed this growing demand is gaining momentum.

Lithium, Cobalt, and Rare Earths: the Post-Petroleum Resource Race | 21 May 2021 | CounterPunch

Thanks to its very name — renewable energy — we can picture a time in the not-too-distant future when our need for non-renewable fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal will vanish. Indeed, the Biden administration has announced a breakthrough target of 2035 for fully eliminating U.S. reliance on those non-renewable fuels for the generation of electricity. That would be accomplished by “deploying carbon-pollution-free electricity-generating resources,” primarily the everlasting power of the wind and sun.

Michael Klare, Will There Be Resource Wars in a Renewable Future? | 20 May 2021 | TomDispatch

These days in Washington, it’s competition with and hostility to China all the way to the bank. The political class in Congress and the Biden White House, as well as the punditariat that goes with them, seem increasingly swept up in a new-cold-war mentality. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about the latest bipartisan Senate bill to support technological development in this country — that, by the way, House conservatives are already critiquing as not faintly anti-Chinese enough — or the CEO of Lockheed Martin fanning the anti-China flames in order to acquire rocket-engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne without running into antitrust problems.

Companies launch solution for end-to-end cobalt traceability | 20 May 2021 | Metal Miner

Several companies have collaborated to launch a pilot solution, dubbed ReISource, that will allow for “end-to-end cobalt traceability.”

How to clean up artisanal mining? | 18 May 2021 | Mining Magazine

As the attention of the world turns away from oil and gas towards greener sources of energy, the spotlight on mining the minerals needed to support that transition is set to intensify.

Expanding the Supply Chain for Rare Earth Materials | 17 May 2021 | Global Trade

From cars and construction equipment to cell phones and military weapons, rare earth materials are critical to manufacturing many important things businesses and consumers use on a daily basis. While people around the world rely on these minerals in their everyday lives, China produces 80% of the U.S. rare earths and has been doing so for quite some time.

Cobalt, Congo and a mass artisanal mining experiment | 14 May 2021 | Reuters

Cobalt epitomises the minerals conundrum at the heart of the green technology revolution. It’s a key ingredient in the chemistry that powers electric vehicles and, along with other battery materials such as lithium, is facing a sustained demand surge as the world decarbonises.

A Sustainable Way To Mine Rare Earth Elements From Old Tech Devices: Agromining Explained | 4 May 2021 | Forbes

President Biden signed an executive order (EO 14017) in February 2021 to review U.S. supply chains’ reliance on foreign suppliers to set the U.S. on the path of rare earth elements (REEs) independence. REEs have become essential components to healthcare, clean energy, and communication technologies like electric vehicles, wind turbines, microchips, and batteries due to their unique physical and chemical properties. The process of mining REEs from natural deposits is costly and harmful to the environment. Luckily, scientific advances in the field of agromining are offering a more sustainable alternative.

A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea: Does the UNCLOS Part XI Regulatory Framework for Deep Seabed Mining Provide Adequate Protection against Strip-Mining the Ocean Floor? | 19 April 2021 | Virginia Environmental Law Journal | SSRN

The abyssal plain — the deepest part of the ocean — is littered with polymetallic nodules: lumps of minerals deposited through accretion over the course of millions of years. The existence of these mineral deposits, although not their exact nature, has been known since at least the mid-nineteenth century; Jules Verne wrote about them in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. For a century and a half, though, the engineering challenges of collecting these nodules made them nearly as economically unfeasible as asteroid mining. Nonetheless international law took into account the possibility that technological change and increasing prices for the metals contained in the nodules would make such mining practical in the future.

Space mining enthusiasts to discuss legal framework, funding | 13 April 2021 | Mining.com

Scientists, economists and space mining enthusiasts are set to gather next week in Luxembourg to discuss and analyze the latest discoveries on the subject, as well as new concrete use cases for extra-terrestrial resources.

We’re never going to mine the asteroid belt | 22 December 2020 | Bloomberg

Where would science fiction be without space mining? From Ellen Ripley in Alien and Dave Lister in Red Dwarf, to Sam Bell in Moon and The Expanse’s Naomi Nagata, the grittier end of interstellar drama would be bereft if it weren’t for overalled engineers and their mineral-processing operations. It’s such an alluring vision that real money has been put toward its realization.

The global race to mine outer space | 22 May 2020 | Mining.com

Both interest in and financial commitments to space activities, in particular around the moon, by governments, space agencies and the private sector have surged in recent years. The asteroid mining market is already valued at up to trillions of dollars, but a single drill from earth has yet to make it to space.

Asteroid Resource Utilization: Ethical Concerns and Progress | 6 November 2019 | arXiv:2011.03369v1

As asteroid mining moves toward reality, the high bar to entering the business may limit participation and increase inequality, reducing or eliminating any benefit gained by marginalized people or developing nations. Consideration of ethical issues is urgently needed, as well as participation in international, not merely multilateral, solutions.

Asteroid mining with small spacecraft and its economic feasibility | 24 June 2019 | arXiv:1808.05099v2 [astro-ph.IM]

Asteroid mining offers the possibility to revolutionize supply of resources vital for human civilization. Preliminary analysis suggests that Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA) contain enough volatile and high value minerals to make the mining process economically feasible. Considering possible applications, specifically the mining of water in space has become a major focus for near-term options. Most proposed projects for asteroid mining involve spacecraft based on traditional designs resulting in large, monolithic and expensive systems.

Exploring Potential Environmental Benefits of Asteroid Mining | 10 October 2018 | arXiv:1808.05099 [astro-ph.IM]

Asteroid mining has been proposed as an approach to complement Earth-based supplies of rare earth metals and supplying resources in space, such as water. Existing research on asteroid mining has mainly looked into its economic viability, technological feasibility, cartography of asteroids, and legal aspects. More recently, potential environmental benefits for asteroid mining have been considered. However, no quantitative estimate of these benefits has been given. This paper attempts to determine if and under which conditions asteroid mining would have environmental benefits, compared to either Earth-based mining or launching equipment and resources into space.

Environmental Issues of Deep-Sea Mining | 2015 | Procedia Earth and Planetary Science | ScienceDirect

As terrestrial mineral deposits are either depleting or of low grade, minerals from the deep-sea like the polymetallic nodules, cobalt rich crusts and polymetallicsulfides are considered as alternative sources for metals such as Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, Fe, that could be exploited in future by developing suitable technologies for mining as well as extracting metals from them. As most of these deposits occur in the international waters, several ‘contractors’ have staked claims over large tracts of the seafloor in the international waters under the UN Law of the Sea. Simulated seafloor mining experiments have revealed significant information on the potential impacts that may occur as also several measures for conserving the environment have been suggested.

Issues Brief: Deep-sea mining | International Union for Conservation of Nature

Deep-sea mining is the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the deep sea. Depleting terrestrial deposits and rising demand for metals are stimulating interest in the deep sea, with commercial mining imminent. The scraping of the sea floor and pollution from mining processes can wipe out entire species. Environmental impact assessments, effective regulation and mitigation strategies are needed to limit the impacts of deep-sea mining.

IN THE NEWS

BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS

Why is a company accused of looting diamonds back in Zimbabwe’s mines? | 28 May 2021 | OpenDemocracy

A Chinese-Zimbabwean military venture has been handed one of the country’s most lucrative diamond-producing blocks, despite past problems.

Processus de Kimberley, quand les mercenaires russes mettent la pression sur les points focaux zonaux | 26 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Le processus de Kimberley (PK) rassemble les administration, les sociétés civiles et les industrielles dans le but de réduire l’existence des diamants de conflits (diamants bruts utilisés pour financer les guerres livrées par des rebelles visant à déstabiliser les gouvernements). En RCA, le Secrétariat permanent du processus de Kimberley (SPPK) a pour mission de veiller sur les activités nationales de contrôles internes et de certification du diamant brut en conformité avec les exigences du PK. Après la libération de certaines villes minières du pays jusque là contrôlées par les rebelles, des points focaux ont été mis en place par le gouvernement. Mais les mercenaires russes et syriens de la société Wagner, qui participent au côté de l’armée nationale dans son offensive contre les rebelles, ne cessent de mettre la pression sur les points focaux, notamment à Bria, dans la Haute-Kotto.

Hundreds protest against TOTAL across Africa | 25 May 2021 | African Press Organization | EIN Presswire

Today, climate activists marked Africa Day by staging protests at Total’s petrol stations. The protests took place in Benin, Togo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria. The protests highlighted Total’s human rights violations, greenwashing strategies and climate inaction.

Share gains from extracting precious raw materials more equitably, guard against pitfalls: UN chief | 25 May 2021 | UN News

Extracting minerals, metals and other valuable raw materials from the earth, represents a “crucial juncture” between resources, ecosystems and people, all of which have an essential role to play in advancing sustainability and equity, the UN chief said on Tuesday.

Legal due diligence and human rights: The role of companies and M&A lawyers | 21 May 2021 | PLMJ

Legal due diligence processes are widely known in the context of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and corporate reorganisation projects. Their aim is to analyse the operations and organisation of companies to identify their degree of compliance with applicable legal and contractual regulations, the level of risk of non-compliance, and the potential sources of legal and contractual liability.

UK Introduces New Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime | 21 May 2021 | Morrison & Foerster LLP | JD Supra

On 26 April 2021, the UK’s first sanctions under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/488) (“the Regulations”) came into force. The Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 and combine with UK Global Human Rights regime introduced in July 2020. The sanctions are designed to capture individuals or entities profiting from bribery and misappropriation of state funds from any country outside the UK, as well as colluding with terrorists and drug trafficking.

Diamants naturels ou synthétiques : le duel éthique | 21 May 2021 | Les Echos

Diamant naturel ou de synthèse, lequel est le plus éthique ? Entre l’extraction de l’un et la production de l’autre, les deux camps s’affrontent sur le terrain de la durabilité.

Shell Green Plans Under Scrutiny as Holders Seek More Action | 18 May 2021 | Bloomberg

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has been under increasing pressure from investors to slash emissions and pivot toward cleaner energy, and the tension was on show at its shareholder meeting on Tuesday.

German supply chain draft legislation expected to have far-reaching effect | 18 May 2021 | Compliance Week

Companies of a certain size with ties to Germany must soon establish robust due diligence procedures to prevent human rights and environmental abuses both within the course of their own business activities and within their global supply chains.

Human rights and environmental due diligence legislation in Europe – Implications for global supply chains| 17 May 2021 | DLA Piper

After World War II, there have been increasing calls for the universal application of human rights. To achieve this goal, demands have also been voiced for several decades that not only states but also multinational corporations should strive to increase the positive impacts of their operations and minimize the negative impacts of their activities on human rights and environmental standards. International corporations that do not voluntarily adhere to human rights and environmental standards along their supply chain are criticized for taking advantage of weak and poorly enforced domestic regulations in emerging and developing countries, particularly in the Global South.

Democratic Republic of the Congo aims to assume control of artisanal mining sector | 17 May 2021 | MetalMiner

The Democratic Republic of Congo is undertaking a huge, and potentially significant, experiment, Reuters reported recently. The effort aims to clean up the DRC’s appalling reputational image as a supplier tainted with all manner of human rights abuses and lack of supply chain transparency. Reuters reports the state, in the guise of a new enterprise called the Enterprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC), aims to assume total control of the artisanal cobalt mining sector. That includes monopoly rights to buy all production.

Mordor at the gates (Part Two): The men behind the ploy to strip-mine Selati Game Reserve | 16 May 2021 | Daily Maverick

In early April, Daily Maverick published a report that left many conservationists appalled – one of South Africa’s most successful private game reserves, set in a part of the country with irreplaceable fauna and flora, was under attack by a company called Tiara Mining. Although there were major issues with the mining rights application, we noted, it seemed that the project had legs. Now, thanks to anonymous reader feedback, we can reveal the backgrounds of the two primary individuals involved.

Diamond Dealer Jared Holstein on the Limits of Ethical Sourcing | 12 May 2021 | JCK

Don’t come to Jared Amadeo Holstein expecting to find answers about ethical diamond sourcing. The San Francisco–based diamond, colored stone, and estate jewelry dealer, aka D’Amadeo, specializes in post-consumer recycled diamonds and colored stones, historical cuts, and known-source gemstones, but he makes no claims about his diamonds’ ethics.

Petra Diamonds: Settlement reached in Williamson mine human rights case | 12 May 2021 | Mining Review

Petra Diamonds : Findings of the independent Board Sub-Committee | 12 May 2021 | Petra Diamonds | MarketScreener

Petra Diamonds pays £4.3m to Tanzanians ‘abused’ by its contractors | 18 May 2021 | The Guardian

LSE-listed Petra Diamonds has reached a settlement in relation to alleged human rights breaches at its Williamson mine in Tanzania. The case was heard in London by Leigh Day, a UK based law firm, on behalf of 71 anonymous claimants, in relation to alleged breaches of human rights associated with third-party security operations at the mine. The mine is operated by Williamson Diamonds Limited (WDL), which is 25% owned by the government of Tanzania and 75% owned by Petra.

Settlement agreed with Petra Diamonds Limited following claims of serious human rights abuses | 12 May 2021 | Leigh Day

A settlement has been agreed with Petra Diamonds Limited following claims of serious human rights abuses at its majority-owned Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania… The work of the NGOs RAID (Rights & Accountability in Development) and IPIS (The International Peace Information Service) was also vital in drawing attention to and raising the profile of the allegations of human rights violations at the Mine and in helping to secure remedy for the victims.

New sex abuse claims against Ebola aid workers exposed in Congo | 12 May 2021 | The New Humanitarian

More than 20 Congolese women have accused aid workers of sexual abuse in new claims that include rape and unwanted pregnancies, with UN investigators uncovering similar allegations of workers exploiting vulnerable women.

Pandora’s Bollocks: How a Charm Company Manipulated the Media | 12 May 2021 | JCK Online

Just about everyone in the jewelry trade—as opposed to just about everyone in the consumer media—agrees that Pandora’s decision to stop carrying natural diamonds and launch a lab-grown line was no big deal.

Companies Coming Out in Public Support of ‘Failure to Prevent’ Law on Human Rights Obligations | 11 May 2021 | Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP | JD Supra

As previous client alerts have set out, momentum is building across a range of jurisdictions toward legalizing companies’ obligations to respect human rights and promote ESG issues generally. While in Europe, this has centered on mandatory human rights due diligence proposals (as set out in our previous update, available here), in the UK attention has focused on adapting the ‘failure to prevent’ structure as set out in the UK Bribery Act 2010.

US Conflict Minerals Management: Is Your Supply Chain at Risk? | 7 May 2021 | Navex Global | JD Supra

As economies start to reemerge from COVID crisis mode, environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors are rising in importance. A global survey conducted by NAVEX Global shows that 67 percent of respondents in the US said their companies would increase focus on ESG factors in 2021.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Is Guinea the next frontier to be hit by the West African gold rush? | 28 May 2021 | SmallCaps

As the spotlight shines on West Africa as a gold exploration destination, one country in the region is becoming increasingly popular with explorers and investors alike – Guinea-Conakry.

Sierra Leone discovers new deposits of diamond, bauxite, iron ore, gold, rutile and nickel | 27 May 2021 | Sierra Leone Telegraph

Sierra Leone, one of the poorest nations in the World despite an abundance of mineral resources valued at Trillions of Dollars, has announced new discovery of massive deposits of kimberlite diamond, iron ore, gold, bauxite, rutile and nickel.

Maersk Calls Bolster Kenya’s Ambitions of Becoming Maritime Hub | 20 May 2021 | Bloomberg

Two A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S vessels made maiden calls at Kenya’s new Indian Ocean port which began operating on Thursday, edging the nation closer to fulfilling its ambition of becoming the main shipping hub on East African’s coast.

China-Zimbabwe joint venture plans to ramp up diamond production in Zimbabwe | 19 May 2021 | Xinhua

Anjin diamond mining company plans to ramp up production to 10 millon carats in 2023 and 12 million carats in 2025 after it resumed operations in February last year, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said Wednesday.

Botswana Rhino Poaching Worsens As Government Dithers | 16 May 2021 | New Zimbabwe

Rhino poaching in Botswana is getting worse, and the government is not helping matters in any way due to its split attitude on the crisis.

Okavango, Oil Drilling, and the Tragedy of Africa | 12 May 2021 | Common Dreams

It is not too late for the governments of Namibia and Botswana to halt the race for an asset that is bound to get stranded as the world shifts away from fossil fuels.

Price of gold: DRC’s rich soil bears few riches for its miners – photo essay | 12 May 2021 | The Guardian

As the value of gold reached new heights last year, those mining it continued to face crippling deprivation and dangerous conditions.

The Oil Pipeline That Will Expand China’s Influence In Africa | 12 May 2021 | OilPrice

Central to the expansion of Chinese and Russian influence via Iran into the space in the Middle East vacated by the U.S. since former U.S. President Donald Trump initiated a pullback from the region is the ongoing rollout of a pan-regional power network.

Kenya and Tanzania revive ‘$1.1bn’ gas export pipeline plan | 12 May 2021 | Upstream

Kenya and Tanzania have signed a deal in Nairobi that could revive plans to export gas to Mombasa from Dar es Salaam via a new pipeline.

DR Congo Stands to Lose $3.71 billion in Mining Deals with Dan Gertler | 12 May 2021 | RAID

A new financial investigation released today by anti-corruption coalition, Congo is Not for Sale, reveals that the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing losses of at least $3.71 billion USD from suspect mining and oil deals with notorious businessman Dan Gertler.

Artisanal and small-scale mining workforce has tripled from 2001 | 7 May 2021 | Mining Weekly

Mineworkers in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) industry make up the world’s largest mining workforce, with the number of such workers more than tripling from the 13-million estimate of 2001 by the International Labour Organisation, reveals the yearly report on the state of the ASM industry by online ASM data platform Delve.

Mines : la RD-Congo pour des contrats « gagnant-gagnant » | 7 May 2021 | Zoom-Eco

Dans la foulée des aveux du Président du Conseil d’Administration de la Gécamines, Albert Yuma, qui a distillé dernièrement dans l’opinion tant nationale qu’internationale, des informations relatives au pillage planifié des gisements miniers congolais voici plus de dix ans, les autorités congolaises se sentent interpellées par l’impératif de renégocier les différents contrats miniers passés, dans le noble et unique objectif de préserver les intérêts du peuple.

Deforestation in Africa: Water filters save trees in Uganda | 5 May 2021 | DW

Clean water is a human right. But in Uganda, children die every year from diarrhea caused by diseases contracted through polluted water. Worldwide, acute gastroenteritis is the second leading cause of death in young children up to the age of five.

Kenya and Tanzania plan to build Dar es Salaam-Mombasa gas pipeline | 5 May 2021 | Construction Review Online

Kenya and Tanzania have signed an agreement to start working on a Dar es Salaam-Mombasa gas pipeline. At a joint Press conference in Nairobi, the visiting Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta said they had agreed to build more interconnecting infrastructure, starting with a gas pipeline and roads. This is part of a long-term project to share energy resources.

How illicit Trade destabilises the Swahili Coast | 4 May 2021 | CNBC Africa

The ancient trade routes of East Africa’s Swahili Coast – a 3,000 kilometre littoral stretching from Somalia in the north to Northern Mozambique in the south – is riddled with illegal trading. These networks are connected to political instability in the wider region as well as the emergence of extremist movements which threaten to undermine and corrode the region’s fragile institutions.

Mapping Kenya’s mineral deposits to end in June | 3 May 2021 | The Star

A survey to map Kenya’s mineral deposits is ongoing with phase one of the project expected to conclude in about a month’s time.

Greenpeace, Energy Groups Take Wrong Approach to Tanzania, Uganda Crude Oil Pipeline | 3 May 2021 | Executive President, African Energy Chamber | AllAfrica

If someone were to put me on the spot and ask me to name an environmentalist group, I’d probably blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, Greenpeace. There are obvious reasons for this: Greenpeace has been around for more than 50 years, and it has done a masterful job of bringing environmental concerns to the world’s attention and keeping them there. The group has a strong track record when it comes to advocacy and awareness, and it has a global reach. It’s truly one of the most visible non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world.

Conflit d’exploitation minière en République centrafricaine, les Chinois accusent les Russes | 1 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Décidément, rien ne va plus entre les différents partenaires du gouvernement centrafricain. Tous se bousculent pour l’exploitation minière dans le pays. Pour les investisseurs chinois, c’est inadmissible ce qui s’est passé le mois dernier sur le site minier de Ndassima, dans la préfecture d’Ouaka.

RCA :arrivée à Bangui des gros engins d’extraction minière russe | 30 April 2021 | CorbeauNews

Il vient de faire son entrée dans la capitale ce vendredi 30 avril 2021 sous le regard stupéfait de la population. Des gros engins d’extraction minière, des véhicules et bien d’autres matériels russes sont arrivés sous bonne escorte à Bangui. Soudain, ils se prépare à répartir dans les villes de province.

Angola And Zambia Sign $5 Billion Oil Pipelines Deal | 30 April 2021 | OilPrice

African OPEC member Angola signed this week a $5-billion memorandum of understanding with its neighbor to the east, Zambia, to study the construction of oil products and gas pipelines between the two countries.

ARMS TRADE

Russia Has Big Plans to Sell Its Weapons in Africa | 23 May 2021 | National Interest

Russia’s defense industry is preparing to unveil the new Strela amphibious armored vehicle at ShieldAfrica 2021 exposition, the latest in its ongoing attempts to expand its presence in the lucrative and rapidly growing African arms market.

Partenariat militaire : les dessous du contrat entre le Cameroun et OMP Solutions | 22 May 2021 | EcoMatin

Deux décrets du Président de la République autorisent le ministre de l’économie, de la planification et de l’aménagement du territoire à signer une convention de financement de 30,5 milliards et 33,8 milliard de FCFA auprès d’une banque allemande pour le financement des troupes camerounaises en RCA. Conformément aux principes régissant ces opérations de maintien de la paix, le Cameroun devra se faire rembourser par l’ONU, si le fournisseur OMP Solutions, respecte ses engagements en termes de qualité de la logistique et de délai de livraison. Le Cameroun a réceptionné ce 11 mai 2021, un nouveau lot de matériels, portant à 70% le taux de livraison d’OMP Solutions.

Zuma digs up the political past in bid for arms deal acquittal | 21 May 2021 | Mail & Guardian

Former president Jacob Zuma’s application to have prosecutor Billy Downer removed from his fraud and corruption trial relies, in his own admission, on submissions he advanced during his unsuccessful application for a permanent stay of prosecution on charges stemming from South Africa’s 1990s arms deal.

La circulation des armes légères de petit calibre en recul en Côte d’Ivoire | 21 May 2021 | Abidjan.net

Le rapport d’enquête nationale 2020 sur les armes de petit calibre et la violence armée en Côte d’Ivoire réalisée par l’ong Coginta en collaboration avec la Commission Nationale de Lutte contre la prolifération et la circulation illicite des armes légères et de petit calibre (ComNat-ALPC) et l’appui financier de l’Union Européenne, a été restitué ce mercredi 19 Mai 2021 au cours d’un atelier à Abidjan.

Joseph Dion Ngute procède à la destruction des armes illicites à Buea | 20 May 2021 | Cameroon Info

C’est la localité de Muea, située dans l’arrondissement de Buea, chef-lieu de la région du Sud-Ouest qui a servi de cadre, ce mercredi 19 mai 2021, à la cérémonie de destruction des armes illicites.

ECOWAS-EU, LITE-AFRICA call for action on illegal weapons | 15 May 2021 | The Nation (Nigeria)

The European Union and Economic Communities of West Africa and the Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa) have called for support for youths who renounce violence.

Arms, Arms Everywhere, but None to Protect Us | 14 May 2021 | This Day (Nigeria) | AllAfrica

So much has been said about the insecurity in Nigeria. Everybody, including those in the hitherto strong-walled Aso Rock Villa, are all now on the edge. As they say, if fire can burn the tortoise with the iron coat, how much more the hen with a feathery gown. These dare devil criminals, be they bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, or terrorists, would be jelly-fished fellows without the arms they wield.

Military neutralises 64 bandits, arrests gunrunners in Kaduna | 12 May 2021 | Vanguard (Nigeria)

Within the past 3 months in Kaduna state, military troops have neutralised 64 bandits and arrested several gunrunners disturbing peace in communities.

Seriti Commission judges could face misconduct charges | 12 May 2021 | DefenceWeb

Judicial Conduct Committee to probe Zuma-era arms deal commission whitewash by judges | 12 May 2021 | Daily Maverick

Complaint submitted to the Chairperson of the Judicial Conduct Committee (of the Judicial Service Commission) in terms of Section 14 of the Judicial Services Act 9 of 1994 regarding the conduct of Judge Willie Seriti and Judge Hendrick Mmolli Thekiso Musi (pdf) | 11 August 2020 | Shadow World Investigations & Open Secrets

The outcome of the Seriti Commission appointed by former President Jacob Zuma in 2011 to investigate possible fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the strategic defence procurement package (SDPP) for two national defence force services could see criminal misconduct charges brought against judges Willie Seriti and Hendrik Musi.

Boko Haram’s growing arms stockpile: A great concern for Lake Chad Basin region | 11 May 2021 | DefenceWeb

In the early 2010s, when Boko Haram started its hit and run attacks on military bases and personnel, it was hard to imagine that the daredevil group would one day become emboldened enough to start taking the battle to the Nigerian Army’s gate, as it is being currently witnessed.

Insecurity: How Nigeria can curb inflow of illicit arms | 8 May 2021 | The Guardian (Nigeria)

As Nigeria contends with escalating insecurity, it has become obvious that unless the country mops up illicit arms circulating in its territory, citizens’ hope of sleeping with their two eyes closed might remain elusive. Last Sunday, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) disclosed that its officials in Ebonyi State intercepted about 753 live ammunition meant for General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).

Inquiry gets under way into deadly munitions blast at Rheinmetall Denel | 4 May 2021 | IOL

Denel explosion: Health and safety procedures at plant in spotlight | 4 May 2021 | News24

Nearly three years after a deadly blast at the Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) factory killed eight people, the public inquiry got under way in Macassar on Monday, with the panel hearing that “a series of events that led to the most probable cause of the explosion can be reconstructed”.

Nigeria establishes center for arms control | 4 May 2021 | CGTN

Nigeria on Monday established an arms control center to combat security problems in the country. “President @MBuhari [Muhammadu Buhari] has approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) to be domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser,” the Nigerian Presidency said on Twitter.

CONFLICT

DR Congo: At least 50 killed in Ituri village attacks | 31 May 2021 | AfricaNews

At least 50 people were killed on Sunday night in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. A new provisional toll in an attack on two villages — Boga and Tchabi in the Irumu territory in Ituri, as an initial report by this source stated that at least 39 civilians had been killed.

RCA : violent accrochage ce dimanche entre l’armée tchadienne et les mercenaires de Wagner à la frontière | 30 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Un violent accrochage militaire s’est opposé dimanche les éléments des forces armées tchadiennes et les mercenaires russes de la société Wagner au village tchadien de Sourou, à une dizaine de kilomètres de la frontière centrafricaine, dans la commune de Baïbokoum, a-t-on appris des sources sécuritaires tchadiennes.

Sudan govt, SPLM-N delegations adjourn to consider draft agreement | 30 May 2021 | Dabanga

The mediation in the South Sudan capital of Juba, has adjourned the negotiations between the Sudanese transitional government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) until Monday to provide an opportunity to study and discuss the draft framework agreement submitted by the SPLM, which was handed over by the mediation.

Ituri : des habitants se plaignent de tracasseries des forces de l’ordre pendant l’état de siège | 30 May 2021 | Radio Okapi

Des habitants de Bunia et d’autres entités de l’Ituri dénoncent les tracasseries et les comportements inhumains qu’ils affirment subir ces derniers temps de la part des hommes en uniformes. Certains sont fouettés par des soldats des FARDC, quand d’autres voient leurs biens extorqués certaines nuits au motif de l’état de siège. La police a, pour sa part, appelé samedi 29 mai les victimes à dénoncer les auteurs de ces actes aux numéros verts mis en place pour recueillir ce genre de plaintes.

ICC Prosecutor Urges Sudan to Hand Over Darfur Suspects | 30 May 2021 | VoA

The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor on Sunday urged Sudan’s transitional government to hand over suspects wanted for war crimes and genocide in the Darfur conflict, the Sudanese official news agency reported.

The Dark Side of Rwanda’s Rebirth | 29 May 2021 | Foreign Policy

A new book explores the historical roots and contemporary fallout of Paul Kagame’s aggressive foreign policy. “The dead are only dead when the living forget them,” Jacquemain Shabani, a Congolese political figure close to President Félix Tshisekedi, recently said. “The victims of a massacre, of a genocide, are once again slaughtered whenever this evidence is denied.” Shabani was reacting to the words of Rwandan President Paul Kagame who, during an interview with France 24, had denied that foreign troops—including Rwandans—had ever committed massacres of civilian populations on Congolese territory in the years following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Russian Wagner mercenaries’ African exploits immortalized on big screen | 28 May 2021 | CNN

It had all the hallmarks of a Hollywood premiere: Excited crowds, a giant screen, even a red carpet. But the high-octane, big budget film making its debut at the Barthélemy Boganda stadium in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), recently wasn’t the latest episode in a star-studded action movie franchise.

Conflict-related violence and mental health among self-settled Democratic Republic of Congo female refugees in Kampala, Uganda – a respondent driven sampling survey | 28 May 2021 | BioMed Central | ReliefWeb

Since the first and second Congo Wars in 1996–1997 and 1998–2003, respectively, political instability and armed conflict has forced an estimated 4.5 million people to flee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that as of February 2019, over 826,000 DRC refugees were being hosted in African countries, with as many as 60% of them currently living in Uganda.

ACLED Regional Overview – Africa (8-21 May 2021) | 27 May 2021 | ACLED | ReliefWeb

During the past two weeks in Africa, dozens of civilians were killed in militant attacks within the central Sahel; pro-Palestinian demonstrations were reported across multiple countries; and Al Shabaab launched numerous explosive attacks on state forces in both Kenya and Somalia.

A botched ransom attempt? Ambassador’s death in Congo may not be what it seemed | 26 May 2021 | Reuters

At around 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 22, seven men, some armed, stepped onto a road in eastern Congo and forced two cars belonging to the United Nations World Food Programme to stop.

A Decade of Explosive Violence Harm (2011-2020) | 25 May 2021 | Action on Armed Violence | ReliefWeb

In this report, Action on Armed Violence presents the findings from ten years’ worth of its data (2011 – 2020) collected as part of AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitoring Project (EVMP). For the last decade, the EVMP has tracked the impact of explosive weapon use worldwide as reported in global English- language media.

Mali : le président de la transition et le premier ministre arrêtés | 24 May 2021 | Alwihda Info

Mali: Paris “condamne le coup de force”, “exige” la libération des autorités (video) | 25 May 2021 | AFP | Youtube

Le président de la transition malienne Bah N’Daw et le Premier ministre Moctar Ouane ont été arrêtés lundi soir par des hommes en treillis pour des raisons inconnues.

Gambia: Commission Uncovered Ex-President’s Alleged Crimes | 24 May 2021 | HRW

Testimony before a Gambian truth commission linking former president Yahya Jammeh to numerous grave crimes during his 22 years in office should be followed by criminal accountability, Human Rights Watch said today with the release of a video, “Truth and Justice in Gambia.” On May 27, 2021, the Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is scheduled to conclude over two years of publicly televised sessions.

Suspect faces murder, rape charges in first Darfur war crimes case | 24 May 2021 | Reuters

Prosecutors on Monday accused a man of being a “feared and revered” militia leader behind a campaign of deadly raids in Sudan’s Darfur conflict, in the build up to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) first trial linked to the violence.

The young are key to avoiding old mistakes in Central African Republic | 24 May 2021 | The New Humanitarian

When the government of Central African Republic signed a peace deal with the leaders of 14 armed groups in 2019, there was hope the country might turn a corner after years of conflict that have forced one in four people from their homes. But the agreement contained at least one major flaw: It failed to include the voices of CAR’s youth.

The Ntaganda Reparations Order: a marked step towards a victim-centred reparations legal framework at the ICC | 24 May 2021 | EJIL:Talk!

On 8 July 2019, Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (ICC) sentenced Bosco Ntaganda to 30 years of imprisonment after finding him guilty of five counts of crimes against humanity and thirteen counts of war crimes committed between 2002-2003 in Ituri (DRC). The Appeals Chamber confirmed both the sentence and verdict on 30 March 2021.

RDC : point de situation des Forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) | 24 May 2021 | Sahel Intelligence

Les Forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), ont récupéré après d’intenses combats plusieurs localités autrefois sous contrôle de l’ennemi et de nombreux cas de reddition ont été enregistrés dans les provinces de l’Ituri et du Sud-Kivu, selon l’agence presse congolaise.

Cattle keepers, farmers commit to peaceful co-existence in W. Bahr el-Ghazal | 23 May 2021 | Radio Tamazuj

Local farmers in Kuajina Payam, Jur River County in Western Bahr el-Ghazal State, and pastoralists from Pagol Payam of Tonj North County in Warrap State have recommitted to peacefully living and sharing natural resources during seasonal cattle migration in the area.

Mali : le rapport de l’ONU sur Bounti est « une attaque contre Barkhane », selon la France | 22 May 2021 | Jeune Afrique

Le chef d’état-major des armées françaises, le général François Lecointre, a dénoncé samedi une « manipulation » contre la force française Barkhane après une enquête de l’ONU l’accusant d’avoir tué 19 civils réunis pour un mariage au Mali.

Uganda pledges military assistance to DRC | 21 May 2021 | Ecofin Agency

The end of the two Congo Wars has seen an emergence of armed groups in the eastern part of the country, creating a climate of insecurity that hampers development in the region. Faced with growing violence, DR Congo entered negotiation with allies, including Uganda.

ICC: First Major Hearings on Darfur Crimes | 21 May 2021 | HRW

The International Criminal Court’s first major hearings in the case of Ali Kosheib on May 24, 2021, are an important step toward justice for grave crimes committed in Darfur, Sudan, Human Rights Watch said today. But the absence of four other top suspects, including former president Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, spotlights the need for Sudanese authorities to transfer them to the ICC without further delay.

Terrorist threat moves to North and Central Africa | 21 May 2021 | New Europe

The current situation in North and Central Africa is highly explosive and poses certain risks not only to regional security but to Western Europe as well.

Spanish court rejects arrest of Polisario Front leader | 21 May 2021 | DefenceWeb

Spain’s High Court rejected on Thursday a request to arrest Western Sahara’s independence leader, whose admittance to a Spanish hospital last month angered Morocco, and comes after migrants crossed into Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta.

RDC : à l’est, le Sud-Kivu peut-il basculer dans une violence incontrôlable ? | 20 May 2021 | TV5 Monde

Entretien. A l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, les provinces du Nord-Kivu et de l’Ituri sont en état de siège à la demande du président Félix Tshisekedi à cause de la montée des violences armées. Exclu de ce dispositif, le Sud-Kivu est pourtant lui aussi meurtri par des conflits armés en recrudescence depuis quelques jours. Spécialiste du Congo, le chercheur Christoph Vogel donne les clés pour comprendre les tensions permanentes au Sud-Kivu qui s’inscrivent dans une dynamique régionale impliquant le Congo et ses voisins.

RCA : La Division des Droits de l’Homme de la MINUSCA a observé une forte augmentation du nombre des abus et de violations des droits de l’homme | 20 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Durant la période du 11 au 17 mai, la MINUSCA a documenté 40 incidents d’abus et de violations des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire ayant affecté au moins 61 victimes (46 hommes, trois femmes, une fille, six victimes inconnues et cinq victimes collectives). La Division des Droits de l’Homme de la MINUSCA (DDH) a observé une forte augmentation du nombre d’incidents et de victimes comparativement à la semaine précédente (23 incidents et 33 victimes).

Groundbreaking War Crimes Trial Ends Hearings in West Africa; Witness Inconsistencies Hurt Defense Case | 20 May 2021 | Front Page Africa

After nearly three months the West African portion of the groundbreaking war crimes trial of Gibril Massaquoi by a Finnish court has come to an end. The four judge panel, prosecution and defense lawyers wrapped up their work in Freetown on Tuesday after hearing from 19 defense witnesses here.

To counter Russia in Africa, America should rethink its own role | 20 May 2021 | War on the Rocks

Retired Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks and Gen. Sembé Bobo don’t have a lot in common. Hicks led U.S. Special Operations Command, Africa, from 2017 to 2019. Bobo, on the other hand, commands 3R, an armed militia in the Central African Republic. Nevertheless, the two men are on record raising similar concerns about one thing — Russian influence in Africa.

Russian Mercenaries Are Raping and Murdering Civilians They’ve Been Hired to Protect | 19 May 2021 | VICE

VICE World News uncovers evidence of Kremlin-backed gunmen gang-raping civilians in the Central African Republic and hiring hit squads to take out torture victims so their crimes are not exposed.

Sexual violence survivors in DR Congo caught in crisis of ‘catastrophic magnitude’ | 19 May 2021 | UN News

On a recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Dr. Natalie Kanem, the head of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, bore witness to the horrific legacy of sexual violence in the country, which is undergoing one of the world’s longest-running humanitarian crises.

Chadian security forces clash with protesters denouncing military takeover | 19 May 2021 | Reuters

Chadian security forces used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters who took to the streets of the capital N’Djamena on Wednesday to denounce a military takeover following the battlefield death of President Idriss Deby.

Opération Barkhane : sur le front avec les soldats français au Sahel | 18 May 2021 | Les Echos

Voilà plus de sept ans que l’armée française est engagée au Sahel dans le cadre de l’opération Barkhane. Alors que 51 soldats y sont « morts pour la France », le décès du président tchadien Idriss Déby en avril puis l’enlèvement d’un journaliste français, confirmé en mai, reposent la question de la pertinence de cette présence massive. Nous avons accompagné le groupement Chimère dans la dangereuse zone des trois frontières, entre Mali, Niger et Burkina Faso.

Sahel Force Vital in Fight against Extremist Armed Groups, Peace Operations Chief Tells Security Council | 18 May 2021 | UN Security Council | ReliefWeb

Amid a worsening security situation marked by mounting terrorist attacks, troops deployed to stem the tide of violent extremism in Africa’s Sahel region require more predictable funding and broader international support, the United Nations senior peace operations official told the Security Council during a videoconference meeting today.

Niger: plus de 10.000 déplacés dans la région «des trois frontières» | 18 May 2021 | Sahel Intelligence

Les Nations unies ont indiqué que plus de 10.000 personnes ont fui leurs villages dans l’Ouest du Niger après la recrudescence des attaques jihadistes.

Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants: Six reasons they have not been defeated | 17 May 2021 | BBC

The phrase that Nigerian militant group Boko Haram had been “technically defeated” is ringing increasingly hollow. Seven months into his first term in 2015 President Muhammadu Buhari coined the term, but the group and its offshoots have never gone away.

Uganda to share intelligence with Congo on Islamist rebels | 17 May 2021 | Reuters

Uganda said on Monday it had agreed with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to share intelligence and coordinate a new push by Kinshasa to combat Islamist rebels blamed for worsening violence in Congo’s east.

RCA : violent combat entre les mercenaires russes et les rebelles de l’UPC au village Boyo, une vingtaine des morts | 17 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Le village Boyo, situé à environ 40 kilomètres de Bambari sur l’axe Ndassima, dans la Ouaka, est secoué depuis samedi par un violent affrontement entre les mercenaires russes et syriens de la société Wagner et les rebelles de l’unité pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC). Le bilan provisoire fait état d’une vingtaine des morts, principalement des civils. Le village est totalement rasé, et les habitants sont actuellement en fuite dans la brousse.

Dyck Advisory Group denounces claims of racial discrimination in Palma evacuation | 17 May 2021 | DefenceWeb

Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) has responded to a report by Amnesty International alleging racial discrimination in recent helicopter rescue efforts by the South African private military contract group in Mozambique.

The Islamic State Is in Congo. What Now? | 16 May 2021 | Lawfare

On March 10, the U.S. State Department designated the Islamic State’s affiliate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ISIS-DRC) a foreign terrorist organization and the group’s leader, Musa Baluku, a specially designated global terrorist. It is the latest and most prominent acknowledgment that the Baluku-led faction of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is part of the Islamic State’s global enterprise. Yet the ADF’s links to the Islamic State are highly contentious among Congo watchers.

Armed Conflict In Northern Mozambique And Geopolitics Of Gas | 16 May 2021 | Eurasia Review

Cabo Delgado, once heartland of the Mozambican national liberation struggle, is turning into an epicenter of conflict and instability, which threatens neighboring countries and regional stability. Armed conflict with Jihadist extremists is exacerbated by privatized security forces and a lack of tangible regional solidarity and security coordination.

Centrafrique : installation d’une commission d’enquête sur les présumées violations des droits de l’homme par l’armée | 15 May 2021 | Xinhua

Une commission d’enquête spéciale sur des violations des droits de l’homme qui auraient été commises par des militaires en Centrafrique a été installée vendredi à Bangui.

RCA : le Dyck advisory group, rival de Wagner, est prêt à envoyer ses démineurs à l’appui des nations unis | 15 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

La société paramilitaire privée Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) a soumis une offre pour participer à un projet de déminage en République centrafricaine géré par le Service de l’action antimines des Nations Unies (UNMAS).

Mercenary group denies charge of racism in north Mozambique | 14 May 2021 | The Associated Press

In the wake of the days-long attack by Islamic extremist rebels on the northern Mozambican city of Palma at the end of March, a private military group contracted by the Mozambican military denies charges that it gave preference to whites when rescuing people trapped in a hotel.

RCA : installation des membres de la commission d’enquête spéciale à Bangui | 14 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Cette commission a été créée suite à la dénonciation faite par un groupe d’expert des Nations unies sur de présumées violations de droit de l’homme et de droit humanitaire qui auraient été commises les soldats FACA et leurs alliés russes lors de la contre-offensive menée contre la rébellion de la coalition des patriotes pour le changement (CPC).

ACLED Regional Overview – Africa (1-7 May 2021) | 12 May 2021 | ACLED | ReliefWeb

In Africa last week, Islamist militants launched large-scale attacks in the Central Sahel and Lake Chad Basin; state forces continued to gain territory from rebel groups in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and intercommunal violence broke out in Somalia and South Sudan.

Insécurité à l’Est de la RDC : des multinationales derrière les groupes armés | 12 May 2021 | MediaCongo

Cela fait exactement 27 ans que la partie orientale de la République Démocratique du Congo est en proie à l’insécurité. Causée par l’arrivée massive et sans contrôle des réfugiés rwandais en avril 1994 à la demande de la communauté internationale, au lendemain de l’assassinat du président Juvenal Habyarimana, l’insécurité qui a élu domicile dans l’Est du pays avec notamment la multiplication des groupes armés, est en train de livrer ses secrets.

Uganda army to join Congo in offensive against Islamist rebels | 12 May 2021 | Reuters

The Ugandan and Congo armies are setting up an operations centre in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo for a joint offensive against Islamist rebels who have killed hundreds of people in the last year, Congo’s government said.

Rebels with a business cause: Part I | 11 May 2021 | The World

Rebels with a business cause: Part II | 18 May 2021 | The World

Critical State, our foreign policy newsletter, takes a deep dive into new research on how rebels negotiate the international business world, with a focus on Democratic Republic of Congo.

West Africa: Understanding the Nature and Threats of Drug Trafficking to National and Regional Security in West Africa | 11 May 2021 | The Point | AllAfrica

Since the 1990s, West Africa has become a major transit and repackaging hub for cocaine and heroin originating from the Latin American and Asian producing areas to European markets.

Boko Haram: Religious Based Violence and Portrayal of Radical Islam | 11 May 2021 | Modern Diplomacy

Modern-day global and domestic politics have set forth the trend that has legitimized and rationalized the use of religion as a tool to attain political gravity and interests. Similarly, many religion-oriented groups use religion to shape their political agenda and objectives, often using religion as a justification for their violent activities. Most of these mobilized groups are aligned with Islam. These groups have promoted religion-based violence and have also introduced new waves and patterns in global terrorism.

Djibouti: What Guelleh Missed in Trying to Turn Djibouti Into the “Singapore of Africa” | 11 May 2021 | African Arguments | AllAfrica

With only a few exceptions, states have needed a minimum level of freedom and commitment to rule of law for sustained economic success. On 9 April, Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh won a fifth term in office with 97% of the vote. He effectively ran uncontested after the opposition decided to boycott the election, but the result had never been in doubt.

Uganda’s Museveni tightens grip on power | 10 May 2021 | DW

Yoweri Museveni’s less-than-stellar democratic and human rights record has caused increasing anger abroad. But allies in the West seem loath to upset a regime which has contributed toward stabilization in the region.

Oil, Cocoa, AFRICOM and a Dictator: Requiem for a Dream of Democracy | 10 May 2021 | TowardFreedom

It should have been a democratic success story. The presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa in October 2020 was expected to put an end to three decades of political unrest with the first peaceful transfer of power. Instead, though the constitution says the president can only stay in power for two terms, Alassane Ouattara ran for and won a third presidential term amid ethnic violence, extreme police brutality and the jailing of his opponent, thus barging his way to a presidency for life. Ouattara (79) turned his back to a constitutional tradition that has been growing strong roots since the 1990s, limiting the number of presidential terms to two in most of West Africa’s countries.

Uganda Army Prepares To Deploy In DRC | 10 May 2021 | Taarifa

A delegation of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) flew to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo to discuss a comprehensive military strategy aimed at uprooting the notorious Allied Democratic Front rebels.

Chad army claims victory against northern rebels after lengthy battle | 10 May 2021 | RFI

Chad’s military claimed victory on Sunday in its weeks-long battle with northern rebels that led to the death of President Idriss Déby on the battlefield.

Moving US Africa Command to Africa will not solve the continent’s security issues | 10 May 2021 | The Conversation

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has asked the United States to move its military headquarters overseeing Africa to the continent, from Germany. This is to better tackle growing armed violence in the region. The Conversation Africa’s Wale Fatade asked peace and security expert Kester Onor about the implications of this request.

Etat de siège : pour Thomas Lubanga « un suivi-bilan permanent » des actions va permettre la reddition complète des groupes armés | 7 May 2021 | Actualite.cd

Le président de l’Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC), Thomas Lubanga salue la décision de Félix Tshisekedi de décréter l’état de siège établissant une administration militaire dans les provinces de l’Ituri et du Nord Kivu.

Historique des relations diplomatiques entre l’URSS et la RCA | 7 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Pour les pays d’Afrique francophone et en particulier en République Centrafricaine, les indépendances vont s’opérer sous l’étroite supervision de la France avec l’intervention en coulisses de Jacques Foccart, Secrétaire Général de l’Élysée aux affaires africaines et malgaches.

RCA : affaire des mines antipersonnel, les mercenaires russes et le 3R se rejettent la responsabilité | 6 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Dans un communiqué de presse publié sur les réseaux sociaux, l’ambassadeur russe Vladimir Titorenko avait annoncé que les rebelles de 3R auraient posé des mines antipersonnel de fabrication belge dans la région de Nana-Mambéré contre l’avancée des forces loyalistes. Cette allégation a été reprise mardi sur Tweeter par Valery Zakharov, conseiller russe du chef de l’État. Mais pour le 3R, les propos de l’ambassadeur et du conseiller russes du chef de l’État ne sont que des diversions pour éventuellement cacher les crimes qui auraient été commis par les mercenaires russes révélées par les Nations unies et les médias internationaux.

RCA : quelle commission d’enquête faut-il mettre en place pour enquêter sur les allégations de crimes commis par les mercenaires russes | 6 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

La mission des Nations unies en République centrafricaine (Minusca) a remis au chef de l’État, le 30 avril 2021, une liste d’allégations de crimes qui auraient été commis par les soldats FACA, mais aussi par les mercenaires russes sur les populations civiles lors de leur offensive contre les groupes armés depuis mi-janvier. Le gouvernement a annoncé la mise en place d’une commission d’enquête spéciale pour mettre la lumière sur ces allégations, mais nombreux sont ceux qui mettent en doute la crédibilité de cette commission.

ICC sentences Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army leader to 25 years | 6 May 2021 | The Guardian

The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen – Sentence | 6 May 2021 | ICC

The international criminal court has sentenced a former militia leader and child soldier from Uganda to 25 years in prison after he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in a landmark judgment.

French journalist kidnapped in Mali appeals for help in jihadist video | 5 May 2021 | RFI

Reporters Without Borders has confirmed that another Western journalist has been kidnapped in Mali, after French journalist Olivier Dubois appeared in a video saying he was being held by the jihadist group Al-Qaeda.

ACLED Regional Overview – Africa (24-30 April 2021) | 5 May 2021 | ACLED | ReliefWeb

Last week in Africa, ongoing insecurity prompted the enactment of a state of siege in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and a parliamentary proposal for similar emergency powers in Nigeria; opposition claims of government illegitimacy prompted violent clashes in Chad and Somalia; and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) launched deadly assaults on military bases across multiple countries in the Lake Chad basin.

RCA : incursion des combattants rebelles de 3R dans la localité de « Abba », la population en fuite | 4 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Lundi 3 mai 2021, les rebelles du mouvement 3R (Retour, réconciliation et réhabilitation ), munis de leurs armes de guerre, ont fait leur incursion violente dans le village Berra, dans la sous-préfecture de « Abba », au nord-ouest de la République centrafricaine.

500,000 Refugees, ‘Slavery-like’ Compulsory Service, No National Elections, Border Conflicts & Secret Prisons: 5 Human Rights Crises in Eritrea | 4 May 2021 | PBS

Isolated from the world by President Isaias Afwerki’s 30-year authoritarian rule, the east African nation of Eritrea remains intentionally unknown. “It’s impossible, or very difficult, to get an accurate picture, because the government has closed the country so effectively that even those who have successfully fled the country are afraid to speak publicly, out of fear for what could happen to their families,” said Adotei Akwei, an Amnesty International deputy director who specializes in sub-Saharan Africa.

RCA : septième bataillon d’infanterie du territoire, plusieurs miliciens du KM5 incorporés ont dû abandonner | 4 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

On ignore encore les raisons de leur désertion, mais plus de la moitié de ceux qui sont déployés dans les villes de province ont dû abandonner leur unité dans les forces armées centrafricaines et s’éclipsent dans la nature.

RCA : les mercenaires russes ont quitté précipitamment les bâtiments publics et des particuliers après la déclaration du porte-parole du gouvernement annonçant l’ouverture d’une enquête | 4 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Notre équipe a pu constater la scène dans la ville de Bossangoa, dans la préfecture de l’Ouham, et à Alindao, dans la préfecture de la Basse-Kotto, ou les mercenaires russes ont quitté les maisons des particuliers et les bâtiments publics quelques heures après la déclaration du porte-parole du gouvernement Ange-Maxime Kazagui, mais aussi du procureur général de la cour d’appel annonçant l’ouverture d’une enquête sur les allégations de crimes portées par la Minusca contre les mercenaires russes de la société Wagner.

Sudan appoints former rebel leader as Darfur governor | 3 May 2021 | Radio Tamazuj

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday appointed former rebel leader Mini Arko Minawi as the governor of the western Darfur region, according to a cabinet statement.

RDC : l’Ituri compte environ 12 groupes armés actifs | 3 May 2021 | Radio Okapi

Une douzaine de groupes armés sont actifs en Ituri, une des provinces concernées par l’état de siège décrété par le chef de l’Etat. Ils volent, violent, pillent et tuent principalement dans les territoires d’Irumu, Djugu, Mahagi et Mambasa. Leurs exactions entrainent le déplacement massif des habitants.

Children will bear consequences of war in Great Lakes region | 3 May 2021 | The East African

Children born today in the Great Lakes Region will suffer the consequences of persistent violence even if fighting stopped now. This signals a long-term impact on communities battered by fighting.

Discharged ex-SSPDF Gen. Stephen Buay joins Gen. Malong’s SSUF | 3 May 2021 | Radio Tamazuj

General Stephen Buay Rolnyang, who was in August 2019 stripped of his rank and discharged from the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), on Monday declared that he had joined Gen. Paul Malong’s South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A).

Burundi president sacks Commerce Minister amid corruption allegations | 3 May 2021 | CGTN

Burundian president Evariste Ndayishimiye sacked the country’s Commerce Minister Immaculée Ndabaneze, according to a statement from the presidency, with sources within the administration claiming she embezzled funds of an airline.

En Centrafrique, des victimes des exactions russes brisent la loi du silence | 3 May 2021 | RFI

En Centrafrique, les méthodes brutales des « instructeurs » russes qui combattent aux côtés de l’armée centrafricaine suscitent de plus en plus de peur et d’inquiétude. Le 31 mars dernier, le Groupe de travail des Nations unies sur les mercenaires alertait sur une longue série de violations graves des droits de l’homme qui leur sont attribuées. RFI a eu à accès à de nombreux documents confidentiels et recueilli des paroles de victimes.

War And Peace, Privatized: Outsourcing The Future Of Conflict | 3 May 2021 | OWP

A few weeks ago, Biden made the announcement that all American and NATO troops were being pulled out of Afghanistan by September 11th. It was clear that 2,300 U.S. troops and around 7,500 NATO troops would exit, but what remained unclear was the role that private military contractors (PMCs) would play in a de-Americanized Afghanistan.

RCA : le mouvement 3R dénonce dans un communiqué les « graves crimes » perpétrés par les mercenaires russes | 2 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Après l’offensive des mercenaires russes et syriens contre les positions du mouvement 3R dans les localités de Niem et de Yéléwa le jeudi 29 avril, c’est maintenant le tour de la bataille des communiqués entre le gouvernement et le mouvement 3R. Le Premier ministre a annoncé de son côté la reprise de la ville de Yéléwa par les soldats FACA et leurs alliés russes et rwandais, tandis que le mouvement 3R, en perte de vitesse, dénoncent ce qu’il appelle le « crime contre l’humanité » perpétré par les mercenaires russes et les soldats FACA dans des localités qu’ils contrôlent. Il prend à témoin la communauté nationale et internationale.

Chad’s Ruling Junta Retains Deby Allies in Transition Government | 2 May 2021 | Bloomberg

Chad’s recently reinstated Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke retained several of slain President Idriss Deby’s allies in his new cabinet, which is expected to be in power for a transition period.

RCA : arrestation d’un général d’autodéfense du KM5 par la police | 2 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Il s’appelle Saddam Hissen, l’un des influents chefs miliciens d’autodéfense du quartier Ramandji, dans le troisième arrondissement de Bangui. Auteur de fusillade au quartier PK5 entre les miliciens d’autodéfense et les éléments de la garde présidentielle le 2 mars dernier, il a été interpellé dans la nuit du samedi à dimanche 2 mai au PK5 par les éléments de l’OCRB appuyés par les mercenaires russes de la garde présidentielle.

Niger: 24 terroristes tués lors d’une tentative d’évasion | 2 May 2021 | Sahel Intelligence

Vingt-quatre terroristes pris mercredi par l’armée dans l’ouest du Niger proche du Mali, ont été tués alors qu’ils tentaient de s’évader, selon un communiqué du gouvernement.

Mozambique In Search of Political and Economic Security | 2 May 2021 | IDN

While speaking during a signing ceremony of an agreement formalising World Bank support of US$100 million assistance to the affected districts, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi unreservedly reiterated his detailed plan to enforce nation-wide security by cracking down on the militant groups who have been staging attacks in parts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017.

RDC : proclamation de l’état de siège au Nord-Kivu et en Ituri, ce qu’il faut savoir ! | 2 May 2021 | ZoomEco

Congo declares emergency near Uganda’s oil region | 4 May 2021 | Argus

Deux provinces de la Rd Congo seront bientôt placées en état de siège. Le Gouvernement de la République a pris acte de cette décision du Commandant suprême des Forces armées et de la police après concertation avec les présidents de deux chambres du Parlement, Conseil supérieur de la défense entendu.

Ituri : les FARDC récupèrent Nyakunde occupé par les miliciens de FPIC depuis 3 semaines | 2 May 2021 | Radio Okapi

Les Forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), ont récupéré ce dimanche 2 mai le centre de Nyakunde, chef-lieu de la chefferie de Andisoma à 45 Km au Sud de Bunia dans le territoire d’Irumu. Des miliciens de la Force patriotique et intégrationniste du Congo (FPIC), avaient investi cette entité depuis trois semaines après avoir chassé les forces loyalistes.

RCA : présence des combattants rebelles de l’UPC signalée dans la localité d’Alindao, plusieurs personnes assassinées | 1 May 2021 | CorbeauNews

Jeudi 29 avril 2021, une incursion de plusieurs dizaines des rebelles de l’unité pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC) a été signalée au village Pavika, situé à 20 kilomètres d’Alindao, sur l’axe Kongbo, dans la préfecture de Basse-Kotto. Plusieurs personnes ont été assassinées, des maisons incendiées.

Uganda’s President Museveni’s Reign of Terror is Aided By US War on Terror in East Africa | 1 May 2021 | TowardFreedom

Three months after Yoweri Museveni was re-elected president of Uganda for a sixth term, citizens of this strategic East African state are trying to come to terms with the dismal likelihood that he will never be unseated in free and fair elections. Ever since 1986, when he came to power in the country’s first plural elections, this African strongman has enjoyed the continued and tacit support of successive US administrations. The fact that Uganda discovered oil in 2006 has also enhanced his value as a close ally to the West in a turbulent neighborhood. Today, Uganda is described as having the fourth largest onshore oil reserves in sub-Sahara Africa.

Africom, Nigeria’s Leadership and American Hegemony | 30 April 2021 | Premium Times Nigeria

Those of us of a certain age, ALL, recollect with pride, the moment we heard our Head of State, Murtala Mohammed declare to the world that: “Africa has come of age. It is no longer under the orbit of any extra continental power. It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful.”

RCA : 25 hommes de nationalité tchadienne présentés à la presse comme de présumés mercenaires | 30 April 2021 | CorbeauNews

Les 25 suspects ont été interpellés le 24 avril dans la localité de Paoua, dans la préfecture de Lim-Pendé, au Nord-ouest de la Centrafrique. Les autorités centrafricaines les présentent devant la presse comme des mercenaires tchadiens de la CPC, mais les suspects eux-mêmes se disent être des artisans miniers.

Chad: UN rights office profoundly disturbed over violence against protesters | 30 April 2021 | UN News

The UN rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday that it is deeply disturbed by security forces in Chad’s use of live ammunition during recent protests after the death of former President Idriss Déby, on 19 April.

France, the Military, and Strongman Politics in Chad | 30 April 2021 | African Arguments

On April 19th, Idriss Déby, President of Chad, died on the battlefield. Since his death, this “brave friend” of France has been praised for his military qualities. He liked to cast himself as a warrior. In 2008, threatened by a rebellion, he had already announced that he was ready to die in battle. In August 2020, he was awarded the title of Marshal. This engineering of his own warrior persona was aimed at Chadians and at his brothers (and his enemies) in arms – but also at those international actors who had viewed him as an ally in the “war on terror”.

Rwanda: les angles morts du rapport Duclert | 28 April 2021 | Causeur

Le rapport ne regarde que d’un seul côté, estimant qu’une fois révélés et dénoncés les anomalies et aveuglements inhérents au mitterrandisme, nous avons apporté notre part de clarté et que cela suffit. Or, de cette manière nous renonçons, par moralisme et par conformisme à comprendre dans son ensemble l’histoire telle qu’elle s’est réellement déroulée.

ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CONFLICT

Ethiopia Tigray crisis: Warnings of genocide and famine | 29 May 2021 | BBC

His Holiness Abune Matthias – an ethnic Tigrayan himself – explained that since the outbreak of conflict in November between the Ethiopian military and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), his “mouth had been sealed, unable to speak from fear”.

Ethiopia-Tigray: Call for Referring Conflict-Related Sexual Violence To ICC | 29 May 2021 | Eurasia Review

The scale and brutality of crimes of conflict-related sexual violence against women committed in Tigray have drawn widespread condemnation from around the world. It was no surprise that the Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA) focussed on that theme in the Webinar organised on May 25.

‘Our season’: Eritrean troops kill, rape, loot in Tigray | 28 May 2021 | The Associated Press

Women who make it to the clinic for sex abuse survivors in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray usually struggle to describe their injuries. But when they can’t take a seat and quietly touch their bottoms, the nurses know it’s an unspeakable kind of suffering.

Tigray Schools Occupied, Looted | 28 May 2021 | HRW

All warring parties in Tigray have been implicated in the attacking, pillaging, and occupying of schools since the conflict started, Human Rights Watch said today.

U.S. warns of further action against Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray | 27 May 2021 | Reuters

A senior U.S. State Department official warned on Thursday that Ethiopia and Eritrea should anticipate further actions from the United States if those stoking the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region fail to reverse course.

Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers detain hundreds in Tigray | 25 May 2021 | SwissInfo

Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers forcibly detained more than 500 young men and women from four camps for displaced people in the town of Shire in the northern region of Tigray on Monday night, three aid workers and a doctor told Reuters.

Ethiopia accuses United States of meddling over Tigray | 24 May 2021 | Reuters

Ethiopia accused the United States on Monday of meddling in its affairs after Washington announced restrictions on economic and security assistance over alleged human rights abuses during the conflict in the northern Tigray region.

US imposes Ethiopia, Eritrea restrictions over Tigray crisis | 24 May 2021 | al Jazeera

The United States has announced visa restrictions on Ethiopian and Eritrean officials accused of increasing the six-month-old war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, saying those involved had “taken no meaningful steps to end hostilities”.

Propaganda Machine: Voice of America Is Accused of Ignoring Government Atrocities in Ethiopia | 21 May 2021 | The Intercept

As Patinkin watched a brutal civil war unfold in Ethiopia this winter and spring, the coverage by his most recent employer, the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Voice of America, shocked and unnerved him. Troops and paramilitaries loyal to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed were accused of killing and expelling civilians and committing gang rape, but VOA’s coverage largely favored the government, in Patinkin’s view, while ignoring its potential war crimes.

US Senate passes unanimous resolution calling for withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia | 21 May 2021 | CNN

The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia’s war-torn northern Tigray region, after a CNN investigation revealed that the soldiers were cutting off critical aid routes.

Four Ethiopian soldiers convicted of crimes against civilians in Tigray | 21 May 2021 | Reuters

Three Ethiopian soldiers have been convicted of rape and one of killing a civilian in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the government said on Friday, the first public statement that soldiers had been found guilty of crimes against civilians in the conflict.

Ethiopian soldiers armed with guns and grenades raid hospital featured in CNN report | 19 May 2021 | CNN

Ethiopian soldiers armed with machine guns, sniper rifles and grenades raided a hospital in Ethiopia’s war-torn northern Tigray region earlier this week in retribution, doctors say, for a CNN investigation that revealed Ethiopian and Eritrean troops were blocking humanitarian aid to patients there.

Pandemic of Hunger Symposium: The Ethio-Eritrean Hunger Plan for Tigray and the Failure of Resolution 2417 | 18 May 2021 | Opinio Juris

Tigray, Ethiopia, is a test case for United Nations Security Council resolution 2417 (2417). The United Nations has failed that test. Today, between 4.5 million and 5.2 million people of Tigray’s total population of 5.7 million are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. Famine is probably occurring already, and without doubt in the coming months Tigrayans will be starving on a scale rarely witnessed in the modern world.

Photostory: Reaching the forgotten communities of the Tigray crisis | 18 May 2021 | MSF

As the conflict in Tigray continues, emergency teams have been deployed to cities across northern Ethiopia to help the six million people hit hard by the crisis. At the same time, the huge numbers of people living in the region’s remote and mountainous rural areas have been cut off from essential healthcare for six months – almost invisible to the outside world. Now, MSF’s mobile clinics are delivering aid to people still living in fear.

UN, Ethiopia Rights Groups to Launch Joint Probe Into Tigray Abuses | 17 May 2021 | Daily Nation | AllAfrica

An Ethiopian agency and a UN team is, in the coming few weeks, set to start a joint investigation into serious human rights violations committed in the Tigray region.

US concerned about increasing political, ethnic polarization in Ethiopia | 17 May 2021 | DefenceWeb

The United States is deeply concerned about increasing political and ethnic polarization throughout Ethiopia, the US State Department said on Friday, adding that Washington will work with allies to secure a ceasefire in the Tigray region, provide assistance and hold human rights abusers accountable.

ENDF claim quashing armed groups set for Tigray | 15 May 2021 | The Reporter (Ethiopia)

The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) announced that the army has destroyed three armed groups that attempted to enter the country from Sudan with the mission of salvaging the leadership of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

US condemns ‘atrocities’ in Tigray and calls for those responsible to be ‘held to account’ after CNN investigation | 15 May 2021 | CNN

The US has condemned Eritrea and Ethiopia for coordinating their troops to close off a key aid route to Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region, following an exclusive CNN investigation published earlier this week that found that Eritrean soldiers were blocking critical humanitarian aid to starving and wounded civilians.

Ethiopia revokes press credentials of New York Times reporter | 14 May 2021 | Reuters

Ethiopia has revoked the press credentials of a foreign journalist working for the New York Times, according to the newspaper and an Ethiopian official. The Times said in an article on Thursday that Simon Marks, an Irish national who reports for it and other publications, had his credentials revoked by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority in early March, after returning to Addis Ababa from the Tigray region, where he had interviewed civilian war survivors.

Hunger Threatens Ethiopia’s Tigray Region | 14 May 2021 | VoA

Six months into the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, the specter of widespread hunger and starvation looms, as continued military operations and violence stall aid delivery and threaten the approaching planting season, according to the United Nations and several other observers.

Ethiopian former UN peacekeepers seek asylum in Sudan | 10 May 2021 | BBC

More than 100 former United Nations peacekeepers from Ethiopia have sought asylum in Sudan. The group was part of a recently closed UN mission in Sudan’s Darfur region, and had been due to return home.

The alleged atrocities in Tigray risk tearing Ethiopia apart | 9 May 2021 | The Guardian

When Ethiopia’s government under prime minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive to dislodge the Tigray region’s dissident leadership, he promised a rapid surgical operation.

Ethiopia’s crackdown on ethnic Tigrayans snares thousands | 7 May 2021 | Reuters

Police arrested Tigrayan street trader Nigusu Mahari last year as he strolled along the traffic-clogged streets of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. He says he was speaking on the phone in the language of his homeland, a distant region in the north.

Tepid international response to Tigray conflict fuels horrific violations over past six months | 4 May 2021 | Amnesty International

African and other world leaders must urgently speak out and do more to stem the ferocious tide of human rights and international humanitarian law violations in the armed conflict that has now raged for six months in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Amnesty International said today.

Fears of exploitation grow for children stranded in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict | 4 May 2021 | Reuters

Hundreds of children separated from their parents are at risk of abuse, exploitation and child labour after fleeing conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, aid agencies said on Tuesday.

Why Eritrea Won’t Leave Ethiopia | 4 May 2021 | Foreign Policy

When U.S. Sen. Chris Coons visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and met Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in March, the top American demand was that Abiy should order the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from the Tigray region. After four months of denials that the Eritreans were inside Ethiopia, Abiy belatedly acknowledged their presence and promised to request their withdrawal.

Gender Analysis Key Findings: Women’s Exploitation & Gender-based Violence Across Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis | 3 May 2021 | IRC | ReliefWeb

Between late February and early-April 2021, as the crisis continued in Tigray, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) conducted a Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) with 186 clients and stakeholders across 6 refugee camps and sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs). The RGA is a critical step in the IRC’s efforts to ensure that emergency programming in Tigray is responsive to the needs of women and girls, who have been impacted differently by the crisis than men and boys. This document focuses primarily on the findings around gender-based violence, and the sexual exploitation of women and girls in exchange for cash to buy food.

Rape and Ethnic Cleansing in Tigray | 3 May 2021 | CounterPunch

Victims have told investigators that when Ethiopian federal regular soldiers and militia inflict infertility on Tigrayan women with burning metal rods, after gang-raping them, they tell the women that this is to stop them having ‘Woyene’ children (the Amharans’ derogatory term for ‘Tigrayans’).

In serious escalation, Ethiopian cabinet designates Tigray People Liberation Front terrorist organization | 2 May 2021 | Egypt Today

The Ethiopian Cabinet approved on Saturday a proposal to designate the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and Oromo Liberation Front-Shene (OLF-Shene) terrorist organizations.

House of Commons International Development Committee: The humanitarian situation in Tigray (Tenth Report of Session 2019–21) | 30 April 2021 | UK Government | ReliefWeb

UK can lead international response to addressing horrors in Tigray using its combined development and diplomatic prowess within the FCDO. The International Development Committee (IDC) has today said that the UK’s response to the deeply concerning humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region will be an early test of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, where it’s combined development and diplomatic strengths can be utilised to end the violence and suffering.

Tigray crisis dents Ethiopia’s emerging image | 27 April 2021 | DW

Fighting continues in Ethiopia, despite Ethiopia’s premier Abiy Ahmed declaring victory over Tigrayan rebels in November 2020. With elections on the horizon, has the war in Tigray done more damage to Ethiopia’s unity?

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