Speculative works of art are no stranger to the African fictional canon. Before the groundbreaking Rafiki, another Kenyan
Speculative works of art are no stranger to the African fictional canon. Before the groundbreaking Rafiki, another Kenyan
#ZimbabweShutdown and ZANU(PF)’s neo-liberal turn (… again)
‘Internet/social media remains shut down. Shops closed, schools closed, no public transport, petrol stations closed. Food
Albert Luthuli, Martin Luther King Jr. and global human rights
Albert Luthuli was the president of South Africa’s current ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), from 1952 to 1967. One of
Législatives au Royaume-Uni : conséquences dans les relations avec l’Union européenne
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The Congo finally witnesses political change, but how meaningful will it be?
At 3am on January 10th after yet another “glissement” (a polemical term deployed in Congo to describe the many
Social media, repression and the crisis in Cameroon
In 2008, anti-government riots sparked by anger over exorbitant fuel costs, President Paul Biya’s bid to extent his 25-year
John Bolton’s African power play
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The role of indigenous activism on climate change in Africa
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“Rwanda has turned out to be an incredible partner,” the philanthropist Howard Buffett said at a World Economic
The politics of reforming traditional land in South Africa
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The slave holders on the border
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The creation of black criminality in South Africa
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When I was growing up in rural Kenya, my father, a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) imposed Adventism
The set of essays initially entitled “South Africa: What Next?” that is accessible here over a number of weeks consists of five essays that, together with my introduction posted below, focus on various areas of political creativity currently being acted upon by various peoples, groups and fledgling movements in South Africa. It is complementary to an earlier set of essays on the wider southern Africa region entitled “Southern Africa – the liberation struggle continues” the title of which is self-explanatory and that included case-studies, by various writers, of Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa itself. This was a series first edited for the AfricaFiles “At Issue Ezine”, and then had been reproduced in ROAPE in March, 2011 as vol. 38, #127.
Amongst the most studied and celebrated aspects of the anti-apartheid struggle during the 1980s in South Africa was the breadth and impact of community resistance (Ballard et al 2006; Buhlungu 2010).
The origins of that resistance came during the late 1970s and early 1980s when the working class, broadly conceived, was hit with a double blow. Emerging clusters of neoliberal capitalism privileged the opening up of global markets, increasing capital mobility and reorganising states to guarantee and catalyze ‘free market principles’ (Harvey 2005), while pushing for a flexible, insecure and informal labour regime (Chun 2009).
The Marikana massacre of 16 August 2012 triggered a wave of strikes across South Africa, culminating in an unprecedented uprising in the rural areas of the Western Cape. It also began a process of political realignment. The dramatic entry of the Economic Freedom Front (EEF) into parliament was to become the most spectacular. But could the historic decision of Numsa in December 2013 to withdraw its logistical support for the ANC and its mandate to the union’s leadership to form a United Front and Movement for Socialism, be of more long term significance? It certainly was the popular view on the left at the time (Satgar, 2014). The “Numsa moment”, one support group boldly proclaimed, “constitutes the beginning of the end for the ANC and its ambivalence towards neo-liberalism” (Democracy from Below, December 2013).
Recently, the University of Cape Town (UCT) student organization #RhodesMustFall, displayed a banner proclaiming: “Dear History: This revolution has women, gays, queers, and trans. Remember that.” It was a profound declaration that the old politics of the left can no longer hold, and that the masculinist, male-dominated forms of oppositional politics that centred the male subject as the defining agent of transformation must be confronted.
To understand where this statement – which went viral on social media – comes from, we need to consider both the failures of the state-led democratic project and the modes of analysis and organisation on the left. An honest examination is especially timely as progressive politics is re-grouping around new formations ranging from political parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters, to student movements, to broad front civil society arrangements such as the United Front. The women’s movement itself, to the extent that it ever existed in coherent form, has also seen several changes in the past two decades with the collapse of the Women’s National Coalition, the ever-increasing distance between the ANC Women’s League and feminists, and the emergence of a much wider range of organisations dealing with issues of violence and sexuality. Importantly, through initiatives such as the Feminist Table, connections are being forged between women’s organisations working at the brutal edge of the economic crisis in families, households and communities, and feminist thinkers.
n ecological transformation is required as part of a ‘new liberation struggle’ in South Africa. This involves a ‘just transition’ from the present fossil fuel regime that is moving us towards ecological collapse and catastrophe. The article suggests that the impetus to this ecological transformation is coming strongly from two aspects of the ecological crisis: accelerating climate change and the spread of toxic pollution of water, air, land and food that is experienced as ‘environmental racism’. The implication is that what Von Holdt and Webster (2005) conceptualised as a triple transition from democracy (economic liberalisation, political democracy and post-colonial transformation), requires a fourth dimension: an ecological transition to a society marked by a very different relation with nature, a relation combining social justice with ecological sustainability.
“new coalitions and forms of co-operation between both labour and environmental activists contains the promise of a new kind of socialism that is ethical, ecological and democratic.”
n October 2015, South Africa was rocked by over two weeks (commencing 14th October) of student protests. These protests shut down most universities, led to violent confrontations between police and students (most notably at parliament and with a march of thousands of students on the Union Buildings), and vocalized demands that President ZUMA address the call for free higher education, “insourcing” and a moratorium on fee increases for 2016. Twenty-one years into post-apartheid democracy a new generation of university student activists openly rebelled against the ANC government’s neoliberal fiscal cutbacks of public universities and reclaimed the importance of “public goods.” The use of mass mobilisation and social media, such as #FeesMustFall, led some commentators to suggest the “Arab Spring Moment” had arrived in South Africa. Students themselves in their assemblies and messaging also discoursed in the language of revolution. This manifestation of resistance is far from over and cannot be isolated. It has to be located in the crisis of national liberation politics and renewal of a new South African left.
By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe
At Sudan’s eastern border, Lt. Samih Omar led two patrol cars slowly over the rutted desert, past a cow’s carcass, before halting on the unmarked 2,000-mile route that thousands of East Africans follow each year in trying to reach the Mediterranean, and then onward to Europe.
His patrols along this border with Eritrea are helping Sudan crack down on one of the busiest passages on the European migration trail. Yet Lieutenant Omar is no simple border agent. He works for Sudan’s feared secret police, whose leaders are accused of war crimes — and, more recently, whose officers have been accused of torturing migrants.
Indirectly, he is also working for the interests of the European Union.
“Sometimes,” Lieutenant Omar said, “I feel this is Europe’s southern border.”
Three years ago, when a historic tide of migrants poured into Europe, many leaders there reacted with open arms and high-minded idealism. But with the migration crisis having fueled angry populism and political upheaval across the Continent, the European Union is quietly getting its hands dirty, stanching the human flow, in part, by outsourcing border management to countries with dubious human rights records.
In practical terms, the approach is working: The number of migrants arriving in Europe has more than halved since 2016. But many migration advocates say the moral cost is high.
To shut off the sea route to Greece, the European Union is paying billions of euros to a Turkish government that is dismantling its democracy. In Libya, Italy is accused of bribing some of the same militiamen who have long profited from the European smuggling trade — many of whom are also accused of war crimes.
In Sudan, crossed by migrants trying to reach Libya, the relationship is more opaque but rooted in mutual need: The Europeans want closed borders and the Sudanese want to end years of isolation from the West. Europe continues to enforce an arms embargo against Sudan, and many Sudanese leaders are international pariahs, accused of committing war crimes during a civil war in Darfur, a region in western Sudan.
But the relationship is unmistakably deepening. A recent dialogue, named the Khartoum Process (in honor of Sudan’s capital) has become a platform for at least 20 international migration conferences between European Union officials and their counterparts from several African countries, including Sudan. The European Union has also agreed that Khartoum will act as a nerve center for countersmuggling collaboration.
While no European money has been given directly to any Sudanese government body, the bloc has funneled 106 million euros — or about $131 million — into the country through independent charities and aid agencies, mainly for food, health and sanitation programs for migrants, and for training programs for local officials.
“While we engage on some areas for the sake of the Sudanese people, we still have a sanction regime in place,” said Catherine Ray, a spokeswoman for the European Union, referring to an embargo on arms and related material.
“We are not encouraging Sudan to curb migration, but to manage migration in a safe and dignified way,” Ms. Ray added.
Ahmed Salim, the director of one of the nongovernmental groups that receives European funding, said the bloc was motivated by both self-interest and a desire to improve the situation in Sudan.
“They don’t want migrants to cross the Mediterranean to Europe,” said Mr. Salim, who heads the European and African Center for Research, Training and Development.
But, he said, the money his organization receives means better services for asylum seekers in Sudan. “You have to admit that the European countries want to do something to protect migrants here,” he said.
Critics argue the evolving relationship means that European leaders are implicitly reliant on — and complicit in the reputational rehabilitation of — a Sudanese security apparatus whose leaders have been accused by the United Nations of committing war crimes in Darfur.
“There is no direct money exchanging hands,” said Suliman Baldo, the author of a research paper about Europe’s migration partnership with Sudan. “But the E.U. basically legitimizes an abusive force.”
On the border near Abu Jamal, Lieutenant Omar and several members of his patrol are from the wing of the Sudanese security forces headed by Salah Abdallah Gosh, one of several Sudanese officials accused of orchestrating attacks on civilians in Darfur.
Elsewhere, the border is protected by the Rapid Support Forces, a division of the Sudanese military that was formed from the janjaweed militias who led attacks on civilians in the Darfur conflict. The focus of the group, known as R.S.F., is not counter-smuggling — but roughly a quarter of the people-smugglers caught in January and February this year on the Eritrean border were apprehended by the R.S.F., Lieutenant Omar said.
European officials have direct contact only with the Sudanese immigration police, and not with the R.S.F., or the security forces that Lieutenant Omar works for, known as N.I.S.S. But their operations are not that far removed.
The planned countertrafficking coordination center in Khartoum — staffed jointly by police officers from Sudan and several European countries, including Britain, France and Italy — will partly rely on information sourced by N.I.S.S., according to the head of the immigration police department, Gen. Awad Elneil Dhia. The regular police also get occasional support from the R.S.F. on countertrafficking operations in border areas, General Dhia said.
“They have their presence there and they can help,” General Dhia said. “The police is not everywhere, and we cannot cover everywhere.”
Yet the Sudanese police are operating in one unexpected place: Europe.
In a bid to deter future migrants, at least three European countries — Belgium, France and Italy — have allowed in Sudanese police officers to hasten the deportation of Sudanese asylum seekers, General Dhia said.
Nominally, their official role is simply to identify their citizens. But the officers have been allowed to interrogate some deportation candidates without being monitored by European officials with the language skills to understand what was being said.
More than 50 Sudanese seeking asylum in Europe have been deported in the past 18 months from Belgium, France and Italy; The New York Times interviewed seven of them on a recent visit to Sudan.
Four said they had been tortured on their return to Sudan — allegations denied by General Dhia. One man was a Darfuri political dissident deported in late 2017 from France to Khartoum, where he said he was detained on arrival by N.I.S.S. agents.
Over the next 10 days, he said he was given electric shocks, punched and beaten with metal pipes. At one point the dissident, who asked that his name be withheld for his safety, lost consciousness and had to be taken to the hospital. He was later released on a form of parole.
The dissident said that, before his deportation from France, Sudanese police officers had threatened him as French officers stood nearby. “I said to the French police: ‘They are going to kill us,’” he said. “But they didn’t understand.”
European officials argue that establishing Khartoum as a base for collaboration on fighting human smuggling can only improve the Sudanese security forces. The Regional Operational Center in Khartoum, set to open this year, will enable delegates from several European and African countries to share intelligence and coordinate operations against smugglers across North Africa.
But potential pitfalls are evident from past collaborations. In 2016, the British and Italian police, crediting a joint operation with their Sudanese counterparts, announced the arrest of “one of the world’s most wanted people smugglers.” They said he was an Eritrean called Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who had been captured in Sudan and extradited to Italy.
The case is now privately acknowledged by Western diplomats to have been one of mistaken identity. The prisoner turned out to be Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, an Eritrean refugee with the same first name as the actual smuggler. Mr. Mered remains at large.
Even General Dhia now admits that Sudan extradited the wrong man — albeit one who, he says, admitted while in Sudanese custody to involvement in smuggling.
“There were two people, actually — two people with the same name,” General Dhia said.
Mr. Berhe nevertheless remains on trial in Italy, accused of being Mr. Mered — and of being a smuggler.
Beyond that, the Sudanese security services have long been accused of profiting from the smuggling trade. Following European pressure, the Sudanese Parliament adopted a raft of anti-smuggling legislation in 2014, and the rules have since led to the prosecution of some officials over alleged involvement in the smuggling business.
But according to four smugglers whom I interviewed clandestinely during my trip to Sudan, the security services remain closely involved in the trade, with both N.I.S.S and R.S.F. officials receiving part of the smuggling profits on most trips to southern Libya.
The head of the R.S.F., Brig. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, has claimed in the past that his forces play a major role in impeding the route to Libya. But each smuggler — interviewed separately — said that the R.S.F. was often the main organizer of the trips, often supplying camouflaged vehicles to ferry migrants through the desert.
After being handed over to Libyan militias in Kufra and Sabha, in southern Libya, many migrants are then systematically tortured and held for ransom — money that is later shared with the R.S.F., each smuggler said.
Rights activists have previously accused Sudanese officials of complicity in trafficking. In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch said that senior Sudanese police officials had colluded in the smuggling of Eritreans.
A British journalist captured by the R.S.F. in Darfur in 2016 said that he had been told by his captors that they were involved in smuggling people to Libya. “I asked specifically about how it works,” said the journalist, Phil Cox, a freelance filmmaker for Channel 4. “And they said we make sure the routes are open, and we talk with whoever’s commanding the next area.”
General Dhia said that the problem did not extend beyond a few bad apples. Sudan, he said, remains an effective partner for Europe in the battle against irregular migration.
“We are not,” he said, “very far from your standards.”
#Soudan #externalisation #asile #migrations #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #réfugiés #police_secrète #Europe #UE #EU #processus_de_Khartoum
signalé par @isskein
Sudan : The E.U.’s Partner in Migration Crime
The first part of our new investigation finds key individuals in the Khartoum regime complicit in #smuggling and trafficking. Reporting from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and the Netherlands reveals security services involved in a trade they are meant to police.
Inside the EU’s deeply flawed $200 million migration deal with Sudan
The EU has allocated over $200 million to help Sudan stem migration since 2015
Asylum seekers allege Sudanese officials are complicit in abuse, extortion
Traffickers said to hold people for weeks, beat and torture them for money
Arrivals in Italy from Horn of Africa fell to a fraction in 2017, but new routes are opening up
Crackdown has seen asylum seekers rountinely rounded up, taken to Khartoum to pay fines or be deported
The EU insists strict conditions govern the use of its money and it is monitoring for abuses
Enquête sur les dérives de l’aide européenne au Soudan
En l’absence d’une prise en compte des causes profondes des migrations, seuls les officiels corrompus et les trafiquants tirent bénéfice de la criminalisation des migrants. Alors que des millions de dollars de fonds de l’Union européenne affluent au Soudan pour endiguer la migration africaine, les demandeurs d’asile témoignent : ils sont pris au piège, et vivent dans un état perpétuel de peur et d’exploitation dans ce pays de transit.
Traduction française de cet article :
L’Europe collabore avec un dictateur pour mieux expulser vers le Soudan
Migreurop demande l’arrêt immédiat de toutes les collaborations initiées par l’Union européenne et ses Etats membres avec la dictature d’Omar El-Béchir et avec tout Etat qui bafoue les droits fondamentaux.
Lorsqu’il s’agit d’expulser des étrangers jugés indésirables, rien ne semble devoir arrêter l’Union européenne (UE) et ses États membres qui n’hésitent pas à se compromettre avec Omar el-Béchir, le chef d’État du Soudan qui fait l’objet de deux mandats d’arrêt internationaux pour génocide, crimes contre l’Humanité et crimes de guerre.
Il y a longtemps que l’UE a fait le choix de sous-traiter à des pays tiers, sous couvert d’un partenariat inéquitable et avec des fonds issus du développement, la lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière et même la gestion de la demande d’asile. Ce processus d’externalisation, qui s’accompagne de la délocalisation de la surveillance des frontières européennes très en amont de leur matérialisation physique, a été encore renforcé à la suite de la si mal nommée « crise des réfugiés » .
Ainsi, dans le cadre du Processus de Khartoum, initié par l’UE en 2014 et consolidé suite au Sommet de La Valette de fin 2015, les régimes les plus répressifs, tels que le Soudan et l’Erythrée – que des dizaines de milliers de demandeurs d’asile cherchent à fuir – bénéficient de subsides pour retenir leur population et « sécuriser » leurs frontières… sans que l’UE ne se préoccupe des atteintes dramatiques portées aux droits humains dans ces pays.
Dans ce domaine, l’UE et les États membres agissent de concert. Ainsi, de nombreux pays européens n’hésitent pas à renvoyer vers Khartoum des ressortissants soudanais - peu importe qu’il puisse s’agir de demandeurs d’asile - et à collaborer avec les autorités locales pour faciliter ces expulsions.
Dernièrement, c’est dans un parc bruxellois que des émissaires soudanais procédaient à l’identification de leurs nationaux en vue de leur retour forcé, semant la terreur parmi les personnes exilées qui y campaient .
Si l’affaire a suscité de vives réactions, le gouvernement belge s’est retranché, pour se justifier, derrière l’exemple donné par ses voisins et continue de programmer des expulsions de ressortissants soudanais .
En France, une coopération similaire existe ainsi depuis 2014 : des représentants de Khartoum auraient visité plusieurs centres de rétention pour identifier des ressortissants soudanais et faciliter leur renvoi . Selon les chiffres dont disposent les associations qui interviennent dans les CRA français, 9 personnes auraient été renvoyées vers le Soudan depuis 2015 et environ 150 remises à l’Italie et exposées au risque d’un renvoi vers Khartoum depuis le territoire italien.
Par ailleurs, des retours forcés vers le Soudan ont eu lieu depuis l’Allemagne, l’Italie et la Suède, grâce notamment à des accords de police bilatéraux, souvent publiés uniquement à la suite des pressions exercées par la société civile  . L’Italie, à l’avant-garde de la vision sécuritaire en matière de collaboration dans le domaine des migrations, a ainsi conclu en août 2016 un accord de coopération policière avec le Soudan, dans le cadre duquel 48 personnes, originaires du Darfour, ont été refoulées à Khartoum. Celles qui ont pu résister à leur renvoi depuis l’Italie ont demandé et obtenu une protection, tandis que cinq des personnes refoulées ont porté plainte auprès de la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme .
Ces accords et pratiques bafouent en effet toutes les obligations des pays européens en matière de respect des droits humains (droit d’asile, principe de non-refoulement, interdiction des expulsions collectives et des traitements inhumains et dégradants, droit à la vie, etc…) et révèlent le cynisme qui anime l’Union et les États-membres, prêts à tout pour refuser aux exilés l’accès au territoire européen.
Il faut le dire et le répéter : toute forme de coopération avec les autorités soudanaises bafoue les obligations résultant du droit international et met en danger les personnes livrées par les autorités européennes au dictateur Omar el-Béchir.
Le réseau Migreurop et ses membres demandent en conséquence l’arrêt immédiat des expulsions vers le Soudan et de toute démarche de coopération avec ce pays.
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