However, globalization not only allows people from yesterday’s global hinterland to move to developed countries as soon as possible, but also means that their customs, tribal strife and habitual behavioral mechanisms for them come along with them. The same applies to interstate disputes, which participants in Africa themselves, as a rule, try to deal exclusively with military means. Fortunately, there are enough external forces in the world that are ready to help them in this. Consider what is happening in Sudan and the Horn of Africa on the basis of materials from experts of the Institute of the Middle East, S. V. Aleinikov and A. A. Bystrov, prepared for the IBV.
Sudan: the intrigues of the Renaissance
A decades-long civil war, which resulted in the country in 2011 for the first time in stories postcolonial Africa was in full compliance with international law is divided into two states: Sudan and South Sudan, to date, in both of these countries it is proceeding with sufficient intensity, illustrating the “world community’s” helplessness in ending conflicts in traditional societies, despite illusions about effectiveness of the UN, existing sponsors of this organization. Khartoum and Juba actively support separatist movements against each other, leading an undeclared war for the division of the general Sudanese heritage (primarily the oil one). Tribal (tribal) conflicts are no less destructive. Military operations are taking place against the background of intrigue, reminiscent of the sophistication of the Renaissance.
Thus, the head of one of the main opposition parties in Sudan, Al-Ummah, Sadiq al-Mahdi, told 5 July that opposition parties are more likely to sign a roadmap for an inter-Sudan settlement. Negotiations on this are being held in Addis Ababa with the mediation of former South African President T. Mbeki and the African Union (AU). They managed to reach an agreement with the main forces opposing Khartoum. This, in addition to the Al-Ummah Party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA-North), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SOD-M. Minawi).
Prior to this, the “road map” was initiated only by representatives of Khartoum. In June 2015, the opposition union Sudan all forces, which includes the aforementioned political parties, agreed to sign a roadmap, subject to additions. At the end of Ramadan, Mbeki presented the opposition with a new version of the amendments to the final document, which the Sudanese authorities agreed. At the same time, the signing of a “road map” means only the beginning of a new negotiation process between Khartoum and Sudan all forces. The base for negotiations, according to the leader of Al-Ummah, should be the fulfillment of conditions by the authorities: the announcement of a truce, the beginning of humanitarian interventions in the affected areas, the exchange of prisoners, the release of political prisoners and the approval of the agenda of future negotiations.
Sadiq al-Mahdi requires negotiations abroad. Khartoum - inside Sudan. The leader of Al-Ummah puts forward clearly unrealizable conditions in an effort to put the negotiations under international control, the very possibility of which is denied by Khartoum. The opposition is boycotting elections in Sudan and the idea of a national dialogue from October 2015, hoping for a fall in the regime due to deteriorating water supplies, electricity shortages, armed confrontation in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The West supported these expectations. The situation has changed the transformation of Sudan-Saudi relations. Saudi financial aid allowed the reserves of the Sudanese Central Bank to be increased and the pound stabilized.
The hopes of the opposition on the “all-Sudanese revolution” did not materialize. From its demands today remains only the humanitarian aspect. At the negotiations on the “road map”, the leader of Al-Ummah seeks to reach an agreement with Khartoum on the main issue for him - the multi-party system. Before 2015, only the Union Democratic Party (DUP), Al-Umma and the Communists could legally participate in political life. The Darfur rebels did not participate in it. Khartoum is required to incorporate SPLM-north, SOD-M into political life. Minawi and JEM, which is likely to be rejected.
For the authorities, the signing of the “roadmap” is important to split the opposition. National Consensus forces (NCF) has already distanced itself from Sudan with all forces. The NCF includes the Communist Party, the Sudanese Congress, dissenters from the UDP and a number of nationalist groups. This coalition believes that the only way out of the situation in the country is a “popular uprising”, but the leadership of the largest party of this “irreconcilable” union, the communist party, is on the salary of President O. al-Bashir. If the “road map” is signed, one should expect further fragmentation of the opposition: each of the parties will begin to fight for ministerial posts.
Ethiopia and Eritrea: in anticipation of war
As for the Horn of Africa, there is close armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The leaders of these countries, who fought together against Mengistu Haile Mariam, fell out after the victory. And now the conflict is fueling the cold war between their main sponsors: the United States, which supports Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, which are on the side of Eritrea. At the heart of the conflict is the construction of the Great Dam on the Blue Nile, initiated by Addis Ababa, and its position on Saudi policy in Ethiopia. The authorities of the latter were deported from the country of Saudi preachers for inciting anti-government sentiment among Oromo Muslims, who make up to half of its population. Oromo separatism stimulates the UAE.
12 Jun Asmara and Addis Ababa accused each other of escalating tensions at the border, which led to the death of more 300 military and members of the rebel formations on both sides in the region of Tsoron. Ethiopia has declared its readiness, if necessary, to begin total hostilities. The actions of Eritrea and its president I. Afervoki are due to the support of KSA and the United Arab Emirates. In April, KSA Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman signed a strategic partnership pact on security and defense with Asmara in April, and the UAE received the infrastructure of a former military base in Eritrea, which is used as part of the actions of the Arabian coalition forces in Yemen. The same base is a node for the entry of the ships of the Navy of the United Arab Emirates, carrying out the material and technical supply of troops in Aden. The rapprochement of Eritrea with the monarchies of the Persian Gulf is supported by their investments (at least 50 million dollars) in the reconstruction of its port and road infrastructure.
Cairo is seeking, through Eritrea, to create a center of destabilization and pressure on Addis Ababa to prevent the construction of the Great Dam, which radically changes the volume of the Nile drain. In the context of the food crisis, which is predicted already in 2017 – 2018, the topic of irrigation becomes the number one problem for Egypt's authorities. The transition of the Egyptian security officials to the active phase of the subversive war against Ethiopia demonstrates the failure of diplomatic attempts to minimize this threat. About two years ago, the Egyptians turned to Asmara with similar proposals, but were refused. Now behind them are KSA and the UAE. From Abu Dhabi, the former head of the PNA Preventive Security Service and personal advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed M. Dahlan are in charge of the situation. The preparation was carried out by the emissary of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Omgita Sharo. These steps followed as a reaction to the refusal of Ethiopia to redeploy two thousand of its military from a bridgehead on the border with Eritrea in the area of Khankala above the port of Assab, where the military base of the United Arab Emirates and KSA is located.
In addition, Ethiopian troops, under the pretext of military maneuvers in Djibouti, concentrated a large contingent on the border with Eritrea in the Tadjurah region. The Arabian monarchies and Asmara calculate the likelihood of a Ethiopian military strike from two directions to the port of Assab, which, in addition, solves Addis Ababa’s task of “breaking through the corridor” to the sea, which she lost after the separation of Eritrea. Ethiopia’s confidence comes from Washington’s support provided by the US ambassador to AU R. Brigheti and the US-Ethiopian businessman D. Johannes, who was the United States representative in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). According to some experts, Washington promised to support Addis Ababa during possible debates in the UN Security Council.
Somalia: at the crossroads of interests
Since the early days of Ramadan (which began at sunset on June 5), the activity of combat and sabotage groups of the Salafi organization Al-Shabab, which is fighting against the government and the AMISOM peacekeeping forces, has sharply increased in Somalia. On the night of 6 on 7, June, the AMISOM Buffou (Merka district, Lower Shabelle Prov.) And Bussar (El-Wak District, Gedo Prov.) Suffered massive attacks by Islamists, and the morning of 9 June was the basing point of the Ethiopian contingent of AMISOM. - Khalgan (40 kilometers south of Beledwein, Hiran province). The day before, AMISOM headquarters was fired from mortars in the specially protected quarter of Jalane (Mogadishu). Positions of the Somali National Army (SNA) in the provinces of Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle, as well as AMISOM convoys in the provinces of Lower Juba, Bai, Bacol and in the border areas of Kenya, were subjected to armed attacks. In the first week of Ramadan, the troops of AMISOM and SNA lost more than 100 people killed.
In recent months, a strategic initiative in southern Somalia has shifted to Al-Shabab. They carry out well-planned operations involving up to 300 militants. The SNA and AMISOM forces actually abandoned large-scale offensive operations and are busy guarding key facilities and clearing the controlled area. One can hardly expect anything else from them if the Somali military personnel and African peacekeepers do not receive a monetary allowance for half a year.
25 June a major terrorist attack carried out by Islamists in the center of Mogadishu. As a result of a series of explosions and shootings at the Nasa-Hablod-1 hotel, at least 15 people were killed, including the Minister of State and Fed member of parliament Bourji Mahamed Hamza. And this is the second attack on the hotel, in which live members of parliament and members of the Somali government. The previous terrorist attack was 1 June. Then, as a result of an explosion and a shootout at the Ambassador Hotel, which lasted almost 15 hours, at least 20 people, including two members of parliament, were killed.
Inter-tribal clashes and attempts to organize rebellions against local authorities cause additional tension. Thus, in mid-June, the former governor of the province of Bari, Abdisamad Gallal (of the Ali-Saleban / Majerten family), with the financial support of Dam-ul-Jadid, revolted against the Puntland government. In the ranks of the rebels - up to 200 militants, mainly the tribesmen of Gallal and former pirates. The province also has extremists who have declared their adherence to the ideas of the Islamic State banned in Russia.
All this does not fit with the statements of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, representatives of the African Union, the State Department and the US Department of Defense that Al-Shabab days are numbered, the situation in Somalia is stabilizing and the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for August-September this year will be held on time. At the same time, the electoral commissions are not fully formed, the controversial issues of creating a federal region in the provinces of Hiran and Middle Shabelle, the status and representation of the capital Benadir province in the future Federal Assembly (upper house of parliament), the place and procedure for electing deputies from Somaliland are not settled. participation in the elections of the Ahfu Sunnah wal-Jamaa Sufi group, which controls part of the Galmudug region, and the Khatumo autonomy, which is seeking recognition in northern Somalia. Ignoring these forces can seriously complicate the holding of elections in Galmudug and Puntland.
At a meeting of the National Consultative Forum (NKF) held in Baidabo on June 22 – 25, the heads of central and regional authorities agreed on a list of 135 leaders and tribal elders who should form electoral colleges. The list did not include a number of leaders critical of the President of Somalia. They were replaced by loyal elders. However, the NKF could not find a compromise solution on controversial issues. The procedure for holding elections determined by him has not yet received the approval of the parliament, which casts doubt on their legitimacy.
Deputies in the last days of the final session adopted several laws, including on political parties, and amended the interim temporary constitution of Somalia, allowing to continue work after the term of office until a new parliamentary body is elected. Deputies from the opposition demanded the report of the Minister of Finance, putting forward charges of concealing revenues to the budget and of wasting or misuse of funds. As for the parliamentary elections, we can assume that if they are held, they will be of a formal nature and will be reduced to the approval of candidates selected by the authorities.
Important for Somalia news It was that on July 8 the UN Security Council extended the peacekeeping mission until 31 in May of 2017, leaving its maximum allowable number unchanged - 22 100 troops. Earlier, the AU Peace and Security Council announced that it plans to withdraw its troops from the country by the end of 2020 (AMISOM forces were deployed in Somalia on 2007 to protect the interim government from Islamists). The AMISOM mission experienced difficult times because of the failure of the EU to fund its former contingent from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and Burundi.
During its activities, AMISOM has achieved control over the main cities and seaports of Somalia, reducing the influence of Al-Shabab. The group was divided into three parts, which were integrated into the charcoal and fuel smuggling schemes. Islamist counterparties are often the military of AMISOM, who control the situation through the checkpoint on the roads and monitor the situation in the port of Kismayo. Mostly Kenyans are noticed in this, but the military personnel of the other contingents have their own areas “for additional feeding”. This suits everyone, so the recent bombings in Mogadishu are more likely the outcome of the struggle of the ruling clans on the eve of the August 2016 presidential election than the manifestation of Islamist terror.
The president and parliament of Somalia, which has become a concentration of clan competition (deputies will elect the president), control only the capital and are unlikely to hold out for more than a week without the support of AMISOM. Brussels announced the decision to reduce the allocation for the operation by 20 percent, which caused a storm of indignation in the capitals of the countries participating in AMISOM. Kenyan President U. Kenyat said: African states will not compensate for their lack of funding, which will affect the situation in Somalia in the most negative way. AMISOM military contingents have not been paid for several months, and most likely this situation will continue until autumn. In September, the EU promised to resume funding. If the issue is not resolved by the end of the year, a significant portion of the AMISOM contingent will leave Somalia.
This process has already begun. Kampala announced that by the end of 2017, 6700 Ugandan soldiers would bring XNUMX out of Somalia. Kenya has the same plans, which is ready to leave its troops only in the strategic port of Kismayo and in a number of sectors of the joint border. The position of Brussels is dictated by the erroneous conviction that even without EU sponsorship, AMISOM will continue to be present in Somalia. Instead of financing AMISOM in Brussels, they suggest focusing on building border cordons and creating a system for monitoring migration flows from Africa to Italy and Spain, as well as strengthening similar structures in the Mediterranean.
Doubt it. Uganda does not border with Somalia. Kampala’s participation is linked to the ambitions of President J. Museveni, who, in the absence of funding, are not without limits. Kenya and Ethiopia have their own interests, but they are limited. Last, it is important to keep under control the loyal enclave of Somaliland and the Ogaden zone. It is not profitable for them to control the trade routes from the coast to the countries of Central Africa. Control of Somali ports and transport arteries is important for Kenya in terms of monitoring the infrastructure competing with its ports in the Horn of Africa. But this does not mean the need to support Mogadishu. With the president of the country Kenyat speaks in a dismissive manner. Preserving the visibility of the central government in Somalia is not included in the list of strategic interests of these players. Nairobi, apparently, is preparing to limit participation in the Somali conflict.
Another crisis point is Kenya’s decision to eliminate all camps for Somali refugees (hundreds of thousands of people) on their territory, which have become hotbeds of criminality and terrorism, with subsequent repatriation of refugees to their homeland. This threatens Somalia with a humanitarian crisis and increased migration flows to Europe. A number of experts find analogies in the actions of Ankara and Nairobi, who went to blackmail the EU and the AU with the topic of a humanitarian catastrophe and migrants.
It is known that Brussels is lobbying in the UN for the transformation of AMISOM into a UN peacekeeping mission. This will allow him to get rid of funding and attract to the ranks of peacekeepers military forces neutral in terms of intra-African realities. This may be the way out of the situation that leads to the renaissance of the Islamists in Somalia. But it all comes down to finances. The budget for UN peacekeeping operations has been exhausted in view of the reinforcement of the mission in Mali. So the solution to the problem may be delayed at least until the new fiscal year.