Russia’s Pivoting To The Horn Of Africa Via Eritrea & The UAE

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Eritrea’s Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, August 31, 2018, Sochi, Russia

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lauded his country’s relationship with Eritrea and informed the world about Moscow’s plans to build a logistics center there.

He was speaking alongside his Eritrean counterpart at a press conference in Sochi after their bilateral meeting, which he also noted included discussions about building regional transport corridors, pipelines, and opening up a Russian language department in one of Asmara’s universities. Lavrov also said that the UNSC sanctions against Eritrea that were imposed in 2009 after reports that the country was aiding Somalia’s Al-Shaabab should be lifted, and he praised Eritrea for all that it’s done in the name of regional peace over the past few months in view of its rapidly moving rapprochement with Ethiopia that completely transformed the geopolitical situation in the Horn of Africa. Continue reading

China hacked African Union computer servers for five years, report claims

 

Chinese spies hacked the computer servers of the African Union headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, which the Chinese government funded and built as a gift to the organization, a French newspaper has claimed. Beijing donated $200 million toward the project and hired the state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation to build the tower, which was completed in 2012. Since then, the impressive 330 feet, 19-storey skyscraper, with its reflective glass and brown stone exterior, has become the most recognizable feature of Addis Ababa’s skyline. The majority of the building material used to construct the tower was brought to Ethiopia from China. Beijing even paid for the cost of the furniture used in the impressive-looking building. Continue reading

Chinese-built railway links landlocked Ethiopia, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, to the sea

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A test is carried out on the Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway near Addis Ababa this week. Photo: Xinhua

 

Deal brings reliable transport to Addis Ababa and access to market of 95 million people to tiny but strategic port of Djibouti

With Chinese conductors at the helm, a fleet of shiny new trains on Wednesday began plying a new route from the Ethiopian capital to neighbouring Djibouti, in a major boost to both economies.

The 750km railway, built by two Chinese companies, will link Addis Ababa to Djibouti, a strategic port enclave on the Red Sea, in about 10 hours, a far cry from the current excruciating multi-day trip along a congested, potholed road.

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Ethiopia on the Brink?

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Members of the Oromo, Ogaden and Amhara communities in South Africa demonstrate on August 18 against the ongoing crackdown in the Oromo and Amhara regions of Ethiopia. (GULSHAN KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

Could ongoing protests lead to social breakdown?

Civil unrest is growing in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation. Upset by inequality and systemic corruption, members of Ethiopia’s two largest districts have taken to the streets. Since November last year, the protesters have faced off against strong government crackdowns.

Eighty percent of the country lives in poverty. Famine threatens 15 million residents. Many are ready to take out their frustrations on the government. But instability fosters its own problems, and opportunists in the region are watching closely.

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China launches charm offensive for first overseas naval base

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has launched an unusual charm offensive to explain its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, seeking to assuage global concerns about military expansionism by portraying the move as Beijing’s contribution to regional security and development.

China has repeatedly said it does not seek a U.S.-style “hegemony” by extending its military reach, including through bases abroad.

Now that it appears it may be doing precisely that, the government has been quietly briefing on its rationale for the Djibouti base and using state media to address fears of China’s aims. Continue reading

How China Is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History

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China’s outsized latticework of global infrastructure is said to be rooted in a fierce sense of competitiveness which they claim they learned from 19th century America.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun famously never set on the British empire. A commanding navy enforced its will, yet all would have been lost if it were not for ports, roads, and railroads. The infrastructure that the British built everywhere they went embedded and enabled their power like bones and veins in a body.

Great nations have done this since Rome paved 55,000 miles (89,000 km) of roads and aqueducts in Europe. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Russia and the United States established their own imprint, skewering and taming nearby territories with projects like the Trans-Siberian and the Trans-Continental railways.

Now it’s the turn of the Chinese. Much has been made of Beijing’s “resource grab” in Africa and elsewhere, its construction of militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea and, most recently, its new strategy to project naval power broadly in the open seas. Continue reading

We have six months to save the world, says leading economist

Three key meetings set for July, September and November represent ‘our generation’s best chance to get on track’, says UN special adviser Jeffrey Sachs

Decisions made by the world’s governments at a series of meetings over the next six months will be crucial in safeguarding the future of the planet, one of the world’s most respected economists has said.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the UN special adviser and director of The Earth Institute who is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on international development, told The Independent that three key meetings set for July, September and November represented “our generation’s best chance to get on track”. Continue reading

Ethiopia bets on grand projects in drive for industrial power

Chinese workers mingle with Ethiopians putting the finishing touches to a metro line that cuts through Addis Ababa, one of a series of grand state infrastructure projects that Ethiopia hopes will help it mimic Asia’s industrial rise.

Brought to its knees by “Red Terror” communist purges in the 1970s and famine in the 1980s, Ethiopia has been transformed in the last quarter century, becoming one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

At the heart of the state’s “Growth and Transformation Plan” are railway, road and dam projects to give the landlocked nation cheap power and reliable transport, as well as the metro line – the first urban light railway network in Sub-Saharan Africa. Continue reading

Russia discusses cooperation with African Union

The high-ranking Russian diplomat participated in the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. Russia’s plenipotentiary presidential representative on the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail bogdanov discussed in Addis Ababa development of cooperation between Russia and the African Union, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

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Resource-hungry Chinese lead railroad drive in Africa

MOMBASA, Kenya, Dec. 4 (UPI) — The Chinese, investing heavily in Africa to secure its oil and other raw materials for their expanding economy, are spearheading a new era of railroad building to unlock the continent’s interior.This is an echo of the long-gone colonial empires when a century ago British and French engineers first opened up Africa to plunder its riches.

The railroad frenzy is being accompanied by a massive push to build several major ports along the coast of East Africa to accelerate exports across the Indian Ocean, mostly to China, India and Japan, as well as lay down a network of oil and gas pipelines to these ports. Continue reading

Ethiopia: Ukraine Begins Delivery of 200 Battle Tanks to Ethiopia

This seems to be perfect timing as some of the leadership in Egypt have called for a military strike on Ethiopia over the dam that they’re planning to build, which would restrict flow from the Nile.

Addis Ababa — Ukraine’s state-controlled arms exporter, Ukrspecexport SC, has begun delivering the upgraded T-72 main battle tanks and related parts to the Ethiopian military.

According to local sources gathered by Sudan Tribune, the Ethiopian military has taken delivery of a first group of 16 T-72 Tanks which recently arrived at Djibouti port. Continue reading

South Africa welcomes Chinese military assistance

THE South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would benefit from Chinese military training, discipline and expertise if an exchange programme were initiated, Maj-Gen Ntakaleleni Sigudu of the Department of Defence said on Wednesday.

Addressing diplomats and military representatives on the 86th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Maj-Gen Sigudu said had it not been for China’s contribution to the military training of cadres of the African National Congress and other liberation movements in Africa, the continent’s freedom could have taken much longer.

He said China’s role in South Africa’s liberation should be celebrated as it did not start between 15 and 20 years with the change of China’s expansionist economic policy but dated back to the colonial era. Continue reading

Ethiopia Ignores Egyptian Warnings on Nile

JERUSALEM — Defying threats of war emanating from Egypt, Ethiopia’s parliament has endorsed an agreement with five other African countries refuting Egypt’s claim to near-exclusive rights to the waters of the Nile River.

The vote last Thursday was approved unanimously by the 547-member legislature after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Egypt’s leaders would not go to war unless they “go mad.” Continue reading