Five days after 9/11, early on a Sunday evening, a small group of senior CIA officers drove from their headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to the British embassy at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington DC, in order to brief MI6 on the agency’s planned response to the attacks.
Category Archives: Africa
The coup that led to the ouster of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe was supposed to be executed in December, ahead of the Zanu-PF special congress, but had to be brought forward when vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa was axed.
City Press has learnt that the military, political players and diplomats had been hatching the plan for some time in order to prevent the ascendancy at the congress of the G40 faction of Zanu-PF. Its figurehead is First Lady Grace Mugabe. Several governments in the region and abroad had been made aware of the plan and had no objection. They insisted that there be no bloodshed and that the overthrow should not be characterised as a coup.
Egypt’s restive northern Sinai province, where at least 235 people were killed and scores more injured in a bomb and gun assault on a mosque on Friday, has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, when Islamist militants killed more than 30 soldiers in one operation.
More than three years of fighting has failed to crush an insurgency waged by the local Islamic State affiliate, Wilayat al-Sinai (the Governorate of Sinai), which is also blamed for bombing attacks on churches in Cairo and other cities, killing dozens of Christians. It had also carried out the previous deadliest attack in Sinai when it downed a Russian passenger jet carrying tourists back from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2015, killing 224 people.
Egypt’s President al-Sisi facing serious questions about strategy to bring Isis hotspot Sinai province under control
All’inizio del 1980, a Kutama, una modesta periferia di quella che si chiamava ancora Rhodesia e sarebbe divenuta tre mesi più tardi lo Zimbabwe indipendente, un missionario gesuita europeo mi disse con un ampio sorriso: “Abbiamo fatto un buon lavoro, no?”. Parlava di uno dei suoi ex allievi della scuola della sua missione, nella fertile campagna dell’Africa australe: Robert Mugabe.
Per tutti gli osservatori della fine della guerra d’indipendenza della ex Rhodesia – un conflitto brutale, costellato di massacri e di odio a lungo covato – Robert Mugabe, il più radicale dei capi della guerriglia, appariva paradossalmente come la persona più adeguata per far uscire il paese dalla spirale della violenza.
Invece è diventato l’implacabile dittatore di questo stesso paese per 37 anni, l’uomo che ha affossato tutte le speranza riposte in lui, attaccato al potere fino a quasi cento anni, nonostante sia stato disconosciuto dal suo esercito, dal suo partito e dal suo popolo. Questa trasformazione da eroe in diavolo rimane uno dei grandi misteri dei rapporti tra gli esseri umani e il potere.
Thirty-seven years after he brought independence to the last outpost of the British Empire in Africa, Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is no more. Mugabe’s resignation, announced in Harare on Tuesday, ushers in a new era for his country, and his continent. At ninety-three, Mugabe was the last of Africa’s generation of modern founding Presidents. His resignation came after a tumultuous eight days in which the Zimbabwean Army intervened in the political process for the first time in the country’s history, thousands of Zimbabweans marched and danced in delirium in the streets, and Mugabe addressed the nation to resign, only to pull back in a final act of spectacular brinkmanship, before resigning when Parliament threatened him with the ignominy of impeachment.
For the many Zimbabweans under the age of thirty-seven, the end of the brutal Mugabe era is a vista-shifting, imagination-opening opportunity. More cautious voices from civil society and opposition parties caution against both euphoria and complacency: Mugabe, they warn, may be gone, but his ZANU-P.F. party, so closely associated with both his failures and cruel excesses, remains in power.
A week ago, Zimbabwe’s superannuated tyrant, Robert Mugabe, addressed the Youth League of his Party, zanu-P.F., at its national assembly, in Harare. “To us, the sun is setting,” the ninety-three-year-old said in his opening remarks, “but to youths, it is just rising.” If that made it sound as if he were preparing, after his thirty-seven-year dominion, to go gently into the night, he moved swiftly to correct the impression. Those for whom the sun is rising, he said, “have a long way to go,” and they had better not think that there is a shortcut. “We do not tolerate that,” Mugabe said. He has never seemed to relish anything as much as threatening his challengers with violent destruction, and he did not disappoint. “Shortcuts have lions,” he warned. “There is sickness and death. You need to use proper routes.” Lest there be any confusion about the meaning of his extended metaphor, he told his audience plainly what he was talking about: the path to power.
The Indonesian military killed as many as 1 million suspected communists in the mid-1960s, paving the path for a dictator, Suharto, who ruled the country for more than three decades. Newly declassified documents from the U.S. embassy in Jakarta reveal an extraordinary degree of American complicity in what remains one of the Cold War’s biggest crimes. The U.S. not only ignored information that could have prevented the atrocity; it facilitated the killings by providing the Indonesian military with money, equipment and lists of communist officials.
Trecento morti e centinaia di feriti a Mogadiscio. Credevo di essermi abituata agli attentati nel mio paese di origine, visto che da ventisei anni la guerra somala fa parte della mia vita. Ma la verità è che non ci si abitua mai.
Il 14 ottobre, quando due esplosioni hanno colpito la capitale della Somalia, sono rimasta incollata a Twitter nella speranza di essere d’aiuto. Insieme a tanti somali della diaspora, tra cui la scrittrice anglosomala Nadifa Mohamed, abbiamo cercato di fare informazione soprattutto nella nostra Europa, l’Europa di cui siamo cittadini, e che ha reagito con indifferenza a questo attentato.
Abbiamo anche provato, in qualche modo, a renderci utili, postando liste dei feriti, volti degli scomparsi, appelli per donazioni. Due settimane dopo sono esplose altre bombe, questa volta rivendicate dal gruppo terroristico Al Shabaab, e altre 23 persone sono morte. Questi attentati ci hanno riportato all’anno zero del conflitto in Somalia.
The woman smiles as she looks out the window, happy to be returning home. She is about to arrive in the Eritrean capital Asmara, a city in a valley surrounded by verdant mountains, having flown in from Frankfurt, with a stopover in Dubai. She is a middle-aged Eritrean woman who was granted political asylum in Germany, a woman who fled her country but is now returning voluntarily. She chooses to remain anonymous, because in Eritrea, illegally leaving the country is a jailable offense.