Military Review

Wandering control

The explosion of contradictions between Qatar and Turkey - on the one hand, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and their satellites - on the other, affected the military-political situation not only in the Arabian Peninsula, in Syria and Libya, but also in all of East Africa related to the participants crisis complex relationship system.

Despite their significance, they, like what is happening in sub-Saharan Africa, are almost unknown outside of a narrow circle of specialists. This article is based on the materials of the IBI experts A. Bystrov and Yu. Shcheglovina.

Meat battle

Armed clashes in the Afar region (Uganda) between the Acholi and Madi tribes put the AER on the brink of food disaster. In the battles, the Ugandan army occupied the logistics corridors in the region, used by nomads to distill thousands of cattle from Southern Sudan (and from the Sudanese state of South Kordofan) to Uganda. The cattle went to meat packing houses owned by Egypt-Uganda Food Security (EUFS), then the meat mainly went to Egypt (trade volume up to 11 million dollars a month). The enterprises were founded and equipped with the support of Egypt, the Egyptians managed them, their creation in the Afar zone is part of the country's food security strategy, taking into account UN forecasts of the food crisis expected here in the next two years.

Exports of livestock from Sudan to Egypt through a common border are now difficult due to strained relations after Cairo’s accusations of Khartoum in supporting the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, providing them with territory to house training camps in the near border area. Therefore, the territorial dispute over the Halaib zone is heated. Uganda for Egypt acquires, in addition to participating in the discussion on the construction by Ethiopia of the Renaissance dam on the Blue Nile and the resulting risks for the Egyptian irrigation system, of great importance for maintaining food security.

The passage of 85 thousands of livestock from the Nimul region to Afar has now been blocked, which negatively affected the work of the meat and cooling rooms. The report of the Egyptian chief representative Sh. Kalin, who was sent to Cairo at the end of May, receives 150 cattle heads per day instead of the planned 1000. Holding incurs losses. Cairo is proposed to transfer production to Tanzania, otherwise interruptions in meat supplies in Egypt will become critical. The importance of this moment for Cairo is such that A.F. as-Sisi planned to meet on June 10 in Berlin with Ugandan President Y. Museveni to discuss this topic, but he declined.

He understands the importance of the situation, including for his clan, whose interests in the EUFS holding are represented by two trustees: the head of the largest agricultural cooperative Ankole Long-Horned Cattle Breeders Cooperative E. Kamihigo and cousin S. Saleh. He sent to the region the Minister of Agriculture V. Sempilidzhi, so that he would find a reserve site for moving meat and cooling slabs, taking into account safe logistics. The Minister instructed his authorized representative, General M. Ali, to create groups of Madi, which were legendary for tribal units, who expel representatives of the Acholi tribe from the lands, which complicates the situation even more.

Egyptian-Ugandan relations are experiencing hard times. A year ago, Cairo and Kampala were almost strategic allies. Egyptians at the headquarters of the Ugandan security and intelligence services participated in planning joint operations against the opposition, the Egyptian military together with Eritrean hired mercenaries fought with LRA militants in the jungle in the north of the country. Ugandan military and police went to Egypt for training and internships in Egyptian schools. All this changed the May visit of Museveni to Qatar, a meeting with Emir Tamim and the signing of an agreement on the deployment of his military base by Doha in Uganda under the promises of investment. This position of Kampala against the background of the GCC crisis demonstrates Cairo that alliances in Africa are momentary in nature.

Hot Sudan

In June, Museveni publicly confirmed that his country would not take any hostile actions against the current regime in Khartoum. This statement was made after the meeting of the Ugandan leader with the Vice-President of Sudan H. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, who took part in a conference of solidarity with refugees in Kampala under the auspices of the UN. The parties agreed to abide by the terms of the agreement reached in 2016 year during the summit in Khartoum. The point is this: Uganda is completing the South Sudanese epic, withdrawing a military contingent from there with the exception of a few battalions, which should restrain the activity of the LRA. Khartoum, however, ceases to support this group and liquidates its rear camps in Darfur. The LRA theme for Kampala is important. To contain the offensive potential of this group, D. Koni, Ugandans had to resort to the assistance of Egypt and the mercenaries from Eritrea.

Wandering controlKampala pledged to end support for opposition groups in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile (nubu and SPLA-North rebels) and Darfur (Justice and Equality Movement - JEM). JEM troops, which play an important role as part of the military stabilizing force of the South Sudanese President S. Kiir, are allowed to continue to be deployed in the territory of Southern Sudan. At the meeting, it was decided that Kampala would make efforts to establish a dialogue between Kiir and former Vice President R. Mashar. Khartoum, in turn, pledged to adhere to the former line of conduct in the South Sudanese direction, implying a refusal to support Masharu and his structures, including the provision of territory for rear bases and training camps.

As for the intra-Sudanese national dialogue, this topic was touched on in passing. The leader of the influential opposition secular party "Al-Ummah" S. al-Mahdi described him completely dead. At the same time, for Museveni, it is more important not the ideas of Sudanese oppositionists who are encouraged and funded by the Egyptian secret services, but their own political survival under the pressure of the opposition and the retention of their influence in South Sudan by strengthening Kiir’s positions and reducing the influence of Mashar. The shortest and least costly path to this is the conclusion of a non-aggression pact with Khartoum and leadership in mediation in the South Sudanese peace settlement. This allows him to protect himself from provocations by Khartoum and end the crisis in South Sudan.

At the talks, an agreement was reached on the establishment of joint committees for the development of cooperation in the field of security, economy and culture. Ugandans are officially making efforts to end the civil war in South Sudan by creating the conditions for direct negotiations between Kiir and Mashar. The latter said he was ready for consultations, which should be a prelude to the resuscitation of the peace process. However, there is reason to believe that there is no question of reconciliation of South Sudanese politicians. By order of the Ugandan president, Kiir’s detachments were sent several convoys with weapons and ammunition for replenishment of stocks before the decisive attack on the rebel Nuer Mashara.

Somali voyage of Erdogan

Against the backdrop of the crisis around Qatar, Doha and Ankara are stepping up efforts in the most sensitive areas of Africa for competitors. President R.T. Erdogan ordered to send in August the first 300 Turkish troops to the base in Somalia. Construction began in March, 2015, and cost Ankara 50 million dollars. It was assumed that about three thousand Turkish soldiers would be deployed at the base, who would begin to train personnel of the national armed forces of Somalia. While ready to operate the place of residence for the 1500 military. There will be three military schools, dormitories and warehouses on 400 hectares. Experts are convinced that the main objective of creating a base is the presence of the Turkish military in the region as a counterweight to the building up of the UAE and Egypt's capabilities in the Horn of Africa and East Africa as a whole. The agreement of Qatar on the organization of a military base in Uganda is part of this strategy. In March, Erdogan and Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces H. Acar inspected the construction of this military facility in Somalia.

In the UAE, this set a course for strengthening the presence (the main role will be played by the Egyptian military and personnel from the private military company Blackwaters) in the Horn of Africa. We are talking not only about the Berbera base in Somaliland, but also about the military infrastructure in Baidoa and Kismayo. That is, Abu Dhabi is developing the coast, forming a chain of strongholds in the largest ports in the region. Not only the main logistics routes (outside the theme of piracy or the war in Yemen), but also the main regional ports are taken under control. At the same time, the UAE authorities are trying to participate in internal affairs in the territory of the former Somalia. So, they gave financial guarantees to Mogadishu for the resettlement and resettlement of Somali refugees, who are being resettled by the Kenyan authorities from the Dabab camp. At the same time, the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, M. Bin Zayed, is trying to enlist the support of his actions in Somalia from Washington, in connection with which he proposed the head of the Pentagon, J. Mattis, to place American special forces troops at one of the military installations of the United Arab Emirates.

All this creates opposition to Qatar and Turkey. Somali and Ugandan military bases are only part of their response. Economic levers of influence on the situation, which have managed to reverse the negative attitude of President M. Formaggio to their activity in Somalia, are also being used. It is assumed that in August the Turkish and Somali presidents will open the facility together. This topic is becoming one of the main issues for Formaggio, given that London disavowed the guarantees of financing the Somali army issued by British Foreign Secretary B. Johnson. The cadets of the first set of training are only people from the native clan of the president. It seems that he plans to create not a national army, but a personal guard. Against this background, the problem of licensing Turkish company Turkiye Petroleri AO (TPAO) for drilling on the shelf, which was first blocked by the Somali president, found a solution.

The authorities of Qatar are trying their best to draw him into the orbit of their influence, including pedaling the illegality of the deal between the United Arab Emirates and Somaliland to buy a military base in Berbera without official approval of Mogadishu. On May 25, President Formaggio visited Doha and Emir T. Bin Hamad Al-Thani guaranteed the allocation of six million dollars for "urgent economic needs." At the same time, an agreement was reached that in the near future Mogadishu will prepare a list of business projects for Qatari funding. The foreign ministers of Qatar and Somalia, M. Bin Abdurahman Al Tani and Y. Garad Omar, in a joint statement noted the “fundamentally increasing role of Qatar in the stabilization of the situation in the Horn of Africa”.

Anxiety and Mirages

The crisis over the conflict between KSA, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar and Turkey affects the entire Middle East, North and East Africa. Most countries in the region are trying to stay above the fray, limiting themselves to general statements. As for the parties to the conflict, they act nonlinearly. So, Doha in some places ceases its military presence, provoking armed conflicts, as in relations with Djibouti. In particular, in response to President’s anti-Cathar statements by President I. Gelle, he withdraws his peacekeeping contingent that separated the Djiboutian and Eritrean troops in the disputed zone, causing panic in Djibouti and its allied Ethiopia, which declared that the Qatari-liberated areas were about to take.

June 18 Ethiopia initiated a request at the UN Security Council to introduce a joint monitoring mission of the African Union and the UN to prevent the conflict from escalating. This happened after Djibouti 14 Jun announced the entry of Eritrean troops into the demilitarized zone, which led to the buildup of Ethiopian forces on the border with Eritrea and Djibouti. Addis Ababa’s concern is understandable: in addition to hostility with Asmara, it is important for her to operate the railway line, which recently connected the efforts of the PRC to Ethiopia and Djiboutian seaports. In addition, in Addis Ababa, discussions are taking place between various factions in the government about actions in this situation. The head of the General Staff of the Ethiopian Army M. Nur Yunus (Zamora), belonging to the conservative wing of the Mekele in the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) led by A. Wuld, requires a military operation against the Eritreans. He is opposed by supporters of the Minister of Telecommunications D. Gebremishel, who was joined by the former head of the country's army headquarters S. Mekonen and head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) G. Assef. They are against a forceful solution of the problem, which guarantees: there will be no armed conflict in the near future. This is also because all the Ethiopian armed forces are involved in the country in connection with the Oromo Muslim uprising, which is actively heated by the UAE and Egypt through Eritreans. The situation is so alarming that Addis Ababa is forced to delay the troops from Somalia to the internal front.

The Djiboutians at the same time bombarded the UN Security Council with alarming messages. For example, that "the Eritrean flag is already flying over the disputed region of Mount Gabia." Their calculation is simple. According to the Franco-Djibouti Treaty of 1977, France must intervene if Eritrea violates the terms of the agreement on demilitarized zones or open facts of aggression. That is, Djiboutians want to draw Paris into the conflict. The "mirages" of the French Air Force conducted a monitoring of the terrain and movements of the Eritrean troops were not noticed. The question of the disputed territories was recognized by Asmara because of the verdict of the international court not in favor of Eritrea. She withdrew her troops from the disputed areas recognized by the territory of Djibouti.

I. Gelle artificially injects hysteria in order to divert attention from his position due to the growing pressure on him and his clan from the opposition, whose leaders are in the UAE and enjoy the support of Abu Dhabi. The anti-Cathar attack of the Djibouti authorities was caused primarily by an attempt to confirm loyalty to the development of partnership with KSA due to the multi-billion investments promised by Riyadh and the Saudi organization of a military base in Djibouti. The Djibouti leadership’s relations with the UAE are bad, and in Riyadh they are provoked by its anti-Emirates steps. Djiboutians, from their point of view, insure against anti-Cathar behavior and hysteria at international sites against the situation in which the United Arab Emirates, through the Eritreans under their control, organize military provocations against Djibouti. In fact, neither KSA nor the UAE are not yet ready for such a development. Qatar will not be able to organize a local conflict in East Africa with the participation of KSA and the United Arab Emirates, but the situation there will complicate them.

Gun River

The UN Security Council should be documented in Qatar’s actions, which provides support to terrorist groups operating in Libya. This is stated in the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ARE to the meeting of the UN Security Council Committee on Counter Terrorism. Cairo called for the lifting of the arms embargo of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which no one will do. Qatar supplies weapons to the Tripolitan and Misurato clans Islamists who associate themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is what Sudan and Turkey do. Moreover, according to the intelligence agency of Egypt, Sudan has logistics bases not only in Qatar, but also in Iran. Tehran supplies weapons through Sinai to Gaza. Doha specializes in deliveries to Libya and Sinai.

Khartoum, despite the public rupture with Tehran and the alliance with Riyadh, continues to use ties with Qatar and Iran for the logistical support of Islamists and Hamas supporters. Riyadh must control the actions of Khartoum in this direction and, if necessary, correct them, but this does not happen. The attack of KSA, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt against Qatar does not mean that their alliance is strong. The interests of KSA and the UAE-APE tandem are different in all key regional points from Yemen and the coast of the Horn of Africa to Libya. In it, Riyadh puts on the head of the government of national consensus (PNS) F. Saraj, and Abu Dhabi and Cairo on the commander in chief of the armed forces Tobruk (LNA), General H. Haftar. Saudi Arabia has the benefit of weakening Haftar, hence Riyadh’s conciliatory stance on the presence in Sudan of the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist training bases in the Egyptian border area and on the transfer of weapons to Libyan Islamists through Sudanese logistic routes in Darfur. In the south, “Chadian oppositionists” are fighting against the forces of Haftar from the orbit of the influence of Sudanese special services. Riyadh uses Sudanese trump to deter the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The conclusions are simple. The alliance of Sunni countries in the format of "Middle Eastern NATO", which was discussed in the United States, is unreal. Soon the anti-Cathar heat will subside and the traditional contradictions of Riyadh with Abu Dhabi and Cairo will manifest themselves, which are deep-seated and no temporary alliances for solving tactical tasks are able to smooth them out. At the same time, Qatar will not take a defensive position for long - he has enough allies in the region to go on the offensive. This makes the attack against Doha pointless. Judging by the latest statements by the US Department of State, in Washington they understand this quite clearly, without interfering with the events to develop in their own way ...

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  1. marmalade
    marmalade 8 July 2017 06: 47
    excuse me, the fate of my country and not theirs is more worrying ... and these will even survive the nuclear war and will also not be technologically developed from words never and in any way ..... nobody needs them
  2. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 8 July 2017 06: 52
    Probably only E. Satanovsky can figure out this tangle. How is everything intertwined and twisted.
  3. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 8 July 2017 07: 55
    And why "understand"? I can not disagree with the words of one African leader who, with one sentence, formulated the entire world policy towards African countries: "Africa does not feel sorry for anyone ..."
    1. Moryarty
      Moryarty 8 July 2017 11: 03
      In the near future, Africa will become a center of confrontation between world powers ... The Chinese have already begun its development. There are a lot of resources, and the Middle East will soon recede into the background.
  4. Bootlegger
    Bootlegger 8 July 2017 18: 10
    let them thank the Almighty that the beef is in question and not the pork, otherwise they would have known the power of the great ukrov; the holy struggle for a piece of bacon is a terrible thing
  5. Simple
    Simple 8 July 2017 22: 17
    Quote: from article
    .Now 85 thousand cattle from Nimul to Afar are blocked ...

    Chef, after Syria and Qatar, at least a couple of days for brain acclimatization.

    By the way, ankole-watusi in all its glory: