- Saudi Arabia’s missile interceptors may have “failed catastrophically” in their attempt to shoot down several missiles headed towards the its capital, Riyadh.
- Saudi Arabia’s missile interceptors may have “failed catastrophically” in their attempt to shoot down several missiles headed towards the its capital, Riyadh.
- Their failure may have resulted in three casualties in the city.
- The recent missiles follow dozens of launches by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group in recent months.
- The missile strikes may have deliberately coincided with the the Crown Prince’s visit to the US.
Saudi Arabia’s missile interceptors may have “failed catastrophically” in their attempt to shoot down several Yemeni missiles headed towards the capital of Riyadh.
Seven ballistic missiles launched from Yemeni rebel group Houthis were intercepted on Sunday, according to Saudi Press Agency. One person died and two others were injured from shrapnel over Riyadh, according to UAE-based English daily
Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn sent shock waves through the region when he abruptly tendered his resignation.
Desalegn said that he had made the decision to facilitate efforts towards political reforms which started with the release of political prisoners. But rather than pursue a reform agenda, the Ethiopian government followed his announcement by declaring a state of emergency. This not only jeopardises the regime’s apparent intent to institute democratic reforms, it also pits citizens against the security forces. And it’s already led to more violence, not stability.
The state of emergency is being defied in a number of regions. Citizens have protested in Gondar, which is in the opposition Amhara region, as well as the opposition stronghold of Nekemte which is in Oromia. Much of the Oromia region is also defying the emergency measures.
As a result, the regime has targeted the Oromia region, and its protesting youths who are collectively known as Qeerro in the Oromo language.
Despite the release of thousands of political prisoners and talk of reforms, the political climate remains more uncertain than ever. It’s now feared that any government measures to suppress ensuing chaos could result in more violence, and deaths.
Instability in Ethiopia could have repercussions across the region. Unrest in the country could have a domino effect in what is an already volatile part of the continent. It could also affect regional peace efforts because instability in one corner of the Horn of Africa could spread and destabilise the entire region. This is especially the case because Ethiopia is home to so many cross border communities.
Implications for the region
Ethiopia is influential in the region and across the continent. It is the second most populous country in Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It also hosts the African Union’s headquarters in its capital, Addis Ababa.
But its standing has been diminished by the political turmoil of the last few years when two of its largest ethnic groups, the Oromo and Amhara both started demanding political and economic equality. The ruling coalition’s responses to these demands has highlighted the fact that it isn’t committed to democratisation.
The risks for the region are significant. Unless the regime acts on political reforms to entrench democracy, equal distribution of resources and freedom of the press, Ethiopia – with more than 100 million citizens – could emerge as the largest politically unstable nation in an already volatile region.
An unstable Ethiopia could also affect peace efforts in neighbouring countries. For example, it’s role as a long standing mediator in the South Sudanese peace talks could suffer a setback.
And its army is also the only peacekeeping force in Abiye, an oil rich region that has been at the centre of the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan since 2011.
In addition, Ethiopia is second only to Bangladesh in the number of its troops involved in international peacekeeping. Across its South Eastern borders, it also maintains thousands of troops inside Somalia.
And although its role in Somalia has drawn criticism Ethiopia remains a critical ally to the US’s counter terrorism strategy in the region. Instability could also create a power vacuum that could affect the US-led anti-terror strategy.
Ultimately, an internal crisis in Ethiopia will affect the power balance with its arch rival Eritrea. After the Ethiopia-Eritrea war which ended in 2000, the two countries have remained engaged in a proxy war by supporting each others’ political opposition groups.
Most African states share cross-border societies. The Horn of Africa is no different. The Oromo for instance are a majority ethnic group in Ethiopia and also a minority in Kenya. The Nuer are South Sudan’s second largest ethnic group and also a minority in Ethiopia’s western Gambella region.
There are also Somalis in Ethiopia. They m
Three men charged with plotting to bomb an apartment complex in western Kansas, where Muslim immigrants from Somalia lived and had a mosque, wanted to kill as many as possible and send a message they were not welcome in the United States, a prosecutor said on Thursday.
Genel Energy may drill OIL in Somaliland ,
Meanwhile, miner prepares $4bn mining venture in Zimbabwe and South Africa’s Naspers plans to sell $10.6bn worth of shares in Tencent
A drilling rig in the Miran block in Iraqi Kurdistan co-owned by Genel Energy and Heritage Oil. Genel may start drilling in Somaliland next year, it said. Sebastian Meye/Corbis
Kurdistan-focused Genel Energy might start drilling in Somaliland next year, chief executive Murat Ozgul said on Thursday, as the group reported 2017 results broadly in line with expectations.
“For the long term, I really like [our] Somaliland exploration assets. It’s giving me a sense of Kurdistan 15 years ago,” Mr Ozgul said. “In 2019 we may be [starting] the drilling activities,” Reuters reported.
Chief financial officer Esa Ikaheimonen said Genel will focus spending money from its $162 million cash pile on its existing assets in Kurdistan but added: “You might see us finding opportunities … somewhere outside Kurdistan.”
The news comes as Karo Resources, a company linked to mining entrepreneur Loucas Pouroulis, said it will spend $4.2 billion on a Zimbabwean platinum project in the first big investment since President Robert Mugabe’s ousting in November, according to Bloomberg.
The deal is the largest to date in Zimbabwe’s mining industry, Mines Minister Winston Chitando said. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared the “country open for business” as he seeks to revive the economy and attract investment.
“It is not business as usual anymore,” the president said on Thursday. “Things have to change.
Karo’s platinum project will start up in 2020 and produce 1.4 million ounces a year of platinum-group metals at full output, potentially making it the country’s top producer by 2023, Chitando said. Zimbabwe has the second-biggest reserves of the metals after South Africa.
The project will also include a 600 megawatt power plant and coal-mining operations to feed it.
Mr Pouroulis has a long history in southern African mining. He set up South African platinum-mining ventures Lefkochrysos, which means “white gold” in Greek, and Eland Platinum. Eland was sold to Xstrata in 2007 for the equivalent of $1.1bn. His son Phoevos met Mnangagwa in the president’s office in January.
Meanwhile South Africa’s Naspers plans to sell $10.6bn worth of shares in Tencent, equivalent to 2 per cent of the technology giant’s issued stock, to fund investments in other parts of its business.
The sale of 190 million shares will cut the stake held by Naspers to 31.2 per cent, the Cape Town-based company said on Thursday. It’s the first time Naspers has reduced its holdings in Tencent since investing in the company in 2011.
“The funds will be used to reinforce Naspers’ balance sheet and will be invested over time to accelerate the growth of our classifieds, online food delivery and fintech businesses globally and to pursue other exciting growth opportunities when they arise,” Naspers said.
Naspers chief executive Bob Van Dijk has been trying to reduce the gap between its stake in Tencent and the value of Africa’s largest company.
Naspers gained 1.7 per cent by 11:04am in Johannesburg, while Tencent declined 5 per cent in Hong Kong.
Here are ten important things you need to know about the agreement.
The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has leased an undisclosed amount of land to the UAE in the northern part of Berbera city – close to the shores of the Gulf of Aden. The UAE will build their own port for the military base. All military equipment to arrive through the their port will be exempt from taxes.
The UAE’s military will have full access to Berbera International Airport.
The lease agreement between both countries is valid for 25 years – and will come into full effect when both governments officially sign the agreement. After 25 years, the military base and all investments made by the UAE will be taken over by the Government of the Republic of Somaliland.
The military base can not be used by any other country except the UAE and can not be sub-leased by either the Government of the Republic of Somaliland or the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The agreement also states that the military base can not be used for any other purpose outside of the agreement.
The UAE will implement the following projects in Somaliland: a modern highway between Berbera and the border town of Wajaale, a modern renovation of Berbera International Airport for civillian and cargo flights, and numerous social development projects (Education, Health, Energy & Water) for the citizens of Somaliland.
The UAE will provide job opportunities for Somaliland’s citizens during the 25-year stay. The UAE will also ease travel barriers for Somaliland’s citizens.
The UAE will provide full cooperation with the Republic Somaliland on matters relating to Somaliland’s national security. This includes: cooperation on protecting Somaliland’s waters from illegal activities at sea (piracy, waste dumping etc).
The UAE pledges to the respect the rights and independence of Somaliland’s citizens and promises to not conduct any activities that will put Somaliland’s national security at risk. The UAE also will also be fully responsible for preserving and protecting the current equipment and construction of Berbera International Airport.
The Government of the Republic of Somaliland is not responsible for any natural disaster that might affect the implementation and/or activities of the military base. In the event of a natural disaster, both governments will jointly provide necessary relief efforts.
In the event of a dispute, both governments will be given 30 days to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved within 30 days, the dispute will be arbitrated by the London Court International Arbitration (LCIA). Both Governments also have the absolute right seek a dissolution agreement. If one side does not want to dissolve the agreement, the case will be heard by the London Court of International Arbitration.
ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will train Somaliland security forces as part of a deal to establish a military base in the semi-autonomous region, Somaliland’s president said on Thursday.
UAE government officials could not immediately be reached for comment – but the UAE has committed to invest hundreds of million dollars in recent years in the territory on a strategically important stretch of coastline on the Gulf of Aden.
The UAE began construction last year of a base on a site at the airport of the Somaliland port city Berbera, and will be allowed to maintain a presence for 30 years. Berbera is less than 300 km (190 miles) south of war-torn Yemen, where UAE troops are fighting rebels as part of a Saudi-backed coalition.
President Muse Bihi Abdi said the UAE would train police and military in Somaliland, which wants independence from war-torn Somalia but is not recognized internationally. He said he expected the agreement to be finalised within two months
“They have the resources and the knowledge,” Abdi told Reuters in an interview in Abu Dhabi.
UAE has become more assertive in its foreign policy in recent years. The UAE Armed Forces have been fighting in the Yemen conflict since 2015 and in the past deployed in international operations including Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Abdi said the military base, which he expects will be completed this year, will guarantee economic development and security for Somaliland and act as a deterrent to extremist groups in the region.
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Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Saad Ali Shire, who was present during the interview, declined to disclose how many UAE soldiers would be stationed at the base.
Several regional powers have set up military bases along the Horn of Africa coastline, including Turkey in Somalia’s capital. The United States, China, Japan and France all have bases in neighboring Djibouti.
“It’s safer to have a lot of military in the area,” Abdi said.
Abdi said he hoped UAE investments, including a new civilian airport and a road connecting Berbera to landlocked Ethiopia, will lead to a “huge creation of employment” in Somaliland where unemployment is rampant.
“The biggest threat to Somaliland is poverty,” he said.
Dubai’s DP World is also developing Berbera port and building a free trade zone nearby.
This week, Somalia’s parliament voted to ban DP World from the country, an act that it said had nullified the agreement.
Abdi said the vote was a “joke” and a “political mistake” that would have no impact on the DP World agreement that includes the government of Ethiopia
Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has acted as a de-facto state since then..
Abdi also said he expected the UAE would make a hard currency deposit into Somaliland’s central bank but added that there had been no agreement between the two sides.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Maggie Fick and Andrew Heaven
I’ve taken ‘
unrecognised’ to mean any country that is not recognised by every other country (which expands the list a bit).
- , recognised by no other state. Originally British Somaliland, it become independent and merged with Italian Somaliland in 1960. Later it declared independence in 1991 and withdrew from being part of Somalia.
- , recognised by three non-UN member states. Declared independence from in 1992. It is wholly within Azerbaijan, but is not controlled by it.
- , recognised by three non-UN member states. Declared independence from Moldova in 1990. It is separated from Moldova by a large river.
- , recognised by 6 UN members. De facto independent of Georgia since 1999, but still claimed as part of Georgia.
- and (sometimes together called ) – two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine, recognised only by South Ossetia.
- ( ), recognised by 22 UN members and the Vatican. Claims to be the de jure government of China.
- , recognised by 99 UN members. Claimed by Serbia but has been administered by the EU and the UN since the 1990s. Now has a government but it is poorly recognised internationally.
- Northern , recognised by Turkey. Illegally declared independence and is claimed by Cyprus.
- , recognised by 132 UN members and Somaliland. Israel does not recognise Palestine and controls some of Palestine’s claimed territory.
- Sahrawi, recognised by 84 countries and is a member of the African Union. It claims most of Western Sahara, which is controlled by Morocco. Currently governs in exile in Algeria.
- , recognised by 5 UN members. De facto independent of Georgia since 1991, but continues to be claimed as Georgian territory.
- , not recognised by Pakistan. Pakistan does not recognise Armenia because Armenia supports Nagorno-Karabakh and Pakistan did not because of Pakistan’s support for Azerbaijan.
- , unrecognised by any country but controls large swathes of territory in northern Iraq and Syria.
- , not recognised by the 22 countries that recognise Taiwan. The United Nations only accepts the People’s Republic of China as the government of China.
- , not recognised by Turkey or Northern Cyprus.
- , 32 countries do not recognise Israel. Israeli territory is also claimed by Palestine, which does recognise Israel.
- , not recognised by North Korea, claims to be the sole government of Korea.
- , not recognised by South Korea, claims to be the sole government of Korea.
These are former de jure or de facto countries that still ‘exist’ to an extent. This includes governments in exile and other organisations.
- , does not claim statehood or independence, but has diplomatic relations with 104 other countries.
- , government is in exile and claims some territory, but has no control over it nor is it recognised by any other nation.
- , Taliban government that claims Afghanistan, currently in exile since 2001.
- , claims part of Indonesia since the 1950s, currently in exile in the Netherlands.
- , claims to be resurrecting the nation of Biafra, which is currently part of Nigeria. In exile in Washington.
- , currently in exile in Belgrade, claims part of Croatia which it controlled for a short period of time before Croatian independence.
- Federated Shan States, in exile, wants to create an independent state for the Shan ethnic group in Burma.
- Western Kurdistan, wants to create a Kurdish state in Syria, in exile in London.
- East Turkistan, claims independence from Xinjiang in western China, in exile in Washington.
- , claimed to be independent by Chechens government in exile in London.
- , declared independence on 31st December 1999 from Cameroon, currently in exile.
- , aims to create an independent Kurdish state in Turkey.
- , claims independence from Angola Currently in exile in the Congo.
- , claims an independent West Papua, which is currently controlled by Indonesia. In exile in the Netherlands.
- , seeks Tamil independence from Sri Lanka, in exile.