Because our Twittering may involve ordinary souls surrounded by the extraordinary and off-the-hook circumstances of war, I’ve declined to cite the Tweet’s address for months and years to come. Nonetheless, the reader gets the point: the “#Tyrant” refers to Putin who has in General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo a partner in crime equally ruthless and without conscience–and right now, and for Putin’s benefit, he’s ripping off the #SudanesePeople’s gold by the hour.
I’ve no idea whether General Burhan has the internal flexibility and fortitude x muscle x political power to shut down Hemedti’s off-the-books and Wagner-defended mining business, a revenue stream grossly circumventing western sanctions, but the step would seem one helpful to Sudan’s future as well as one certain to heighten his stature as a potential popular and eventually legitimate (elected) head of state.
“During our history, the armed forces have supported dictatorial governments, and we want to put an end to that,” al-Burhan, a career soldier during former President Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade rule, said in a speech to soldiers on Sunday.
Sudan’s General Dagalo Hemeti has had both long-standing family interests in Sudan’s gold trade, and he has had for some time arrangements with Russian President Vladimir Putin involving Wagner Group oversight of smuggled shipments to Russia that bypass western sanctions and help fund Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The west’s hunkering down, bleating about democracy, and pleading for some cessation in violence seems old news as well.
So it goes here for the Sudanese People and others watching the struggles of ordinary good people against thieves taking advantage of their innocence to rob them of their birthright, their dignity, and their humanity. In fact, having displaced the dictator and war criminal Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese have helped into power, in the course of their powerlessness, two dictators in return, both of them former subordinates to al-Bashir. Of the two, Hemeti may have the more powerful relationship with Putin as he flies off-the-books gold to Russia’s dictator and serves as an envoy — for Putin, a diplomatic channel — to Saudi power as well.
Neither Russians nor Sudanese appear to have today a champion whose interests as well as psychology and temperament reside with them. The present three “strongmen”– al-Burhan, Hemeti, and Putin– appear to represent the evil that enriches and aggrandizes itself while lying without conscience to the nation each purports to represent.
Russia’s meddling in Sudan’s gold began in earnest in 2014 after its invasion of Crimea prompted a slew of Western sanctions. Gold shipments proved an effective way of accumulating and transferring wealth, bolstering Russia’s state coffers while sidestepping international financial monitoring systems.
“The downside of gold is that it’s physical and a lot more cumbersome to use than international wire transfers but the flip side is that it’s much harder if not impossible to freeze or seize,” said Daniel McDowell, sanctions specialist and associate professor of Political Science at Syracuse University.
Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council and commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, called on the international community to support the dialogue between Russia and Ukraine. This is the official position of the Sovereignty Council, he said in a statement to the Russian news channel Sputnik yesterday.
Yesterday’s statement followed Hemeti’s statements last week during his Moscow visit, where he declared support for Russia’s invasion by saying that Russia had a right to defend itself and its people.
A July 2022 CNN investigation exposed deepening ties between Moscow and Sudan’s military leadership, who granted Russia access to the east African country’s gold riches in exchange for military and political support. The relationship began in earnest after Moscow’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, when Russia began to eye African gold riches as an avenue to circumvent a slew of Western sanctions.
The 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the wave of sanctions that followed accelerated Russia’s gold plunder in Sudan and further propped up military rule, increasing Wagner activity in the country.
On the day before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Dagalo headed a Sudanese delegation in Moscow to “advance relations” between the two countries.
State capture is a particularly nefarious form of systemic corruption, which has defined certain African countries in recent years. It entails private individuals gaining such a profound influence over senior officials that state institutions prioritise the welfare of those private interests over the public good.
There is a triangular pattern to such arrangements. The external partners and the colluding political actors profit handsomely – while the public foots the bill.
Apart from selling arms and natural resources, Russia may not know how to make money in ways above board and transparent, but it knows how to steal all that it wants. In mafia fashion, even the reference “Wagner Group” has submerged into enshadowed networks.
he Wagner Group is one of the most well-known and prolific PMCs in the world. Nevertheless, exact details about the group are difficult to confirm, with its organizational structure remaining deliberately obscure. The Wagner Group does not officially exist, with the name instead applied to an overlapping network of businesses and private military forces that are believed to enjoy the implicit but unrecognized support of the Russian state (Foreign Policy, 6 July 2021).1
In recent years, the Wagner Group has actively engaged in conflicts across multiple countries in Africa and the Middle East, including Syria, Libya, Mozambique, and CAR. Reports also suggest that they have engaged in activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and Sudan (Africanews, 22 March 2022), with operations in up to 30 countries across the world (Center for Strategic & International Studies, September 2020).
BackChannels scrapes up the outside story, lol, as it sees the world through Windows–but what a world is now online for gathering in the research of extraordinary journalists and institutions and having at hand a broad and thorough impression of challenges to civility, democracy, law, and peace worldwide. Here with this short patch of reference related to Russia’s hybrid aggression in the cause of immense theft–no ethical, human, or moral cost is too high for plundering states and suborning the dictators who had thought they were in charge–comes a display of transnational crime breathtaking in its depravity and scope.
If only Africans knew what was being done to them with Moscow’s endorsement for Moscow’s pleasure.
When, therefore, government proves incapable or unwilling to protect everyone equally, communities must exercise a duty of collective self-defence. The alternative is to suffer voluntary liquidation. In the first six months of 2021, over 6,000 people were reported killed in atrocity violence across Nigeria.
Nigeria’s bandits and gangs, Fulani Land Raiders, and assorted whatnot bear arms (also explosive and petrol) for their barbaric and tawdry businesses. Nigeria’s Christian communities and others lay bare before them while President Buhari’s government works on rising to the challenge of defending Nigerian communities in their totality, and while it seems corruption must arm the evil — how does so much firepower get through to the worst of the worst? — one may wonder about the complicity — the “voluntary liquidation” — of the victims and their communities and relations.
Possibilities for the Good
Alarms and Barriers: advanced separate-system security communications; spotters; tripwires.
Arms, Bombs, and Edges: warn; repulse; surprise.
Community and State Security Co-Location: On-site partnership between state security and community leaders with zero-time response to assault; secondary government-controlled ready-secret community volunteer units.
Internal Intelligence & State Issues
When it comes to arms and most everything else that has to be smuggled to get where it needs to be, someone knows who’s sellin’ — and someone also knows who’s buy’n.
The escapades of bandits, kidnappers, and raiders have not been subtle in the least, nor has their provisioning gone unnoticed.
$$$ & Nigeria’s National Coherence and Cohesion
Although partisan presses emphasize religious aspects of Nigerian conflict, especially involving the Muslim Fulani and Christian villages, one might suggest a more modern world, deeply corrupt and not very religious at all, has come to Nigeria and for bad good reasons ferries (and launders) The Money out to and through “rule-of-law” locations amenable to, well, doing business with not too much of conscience (or law) getting in the way. Whatever the motives may be for moving money offshore and through “shells” developed to hide owner identity, Nigerians would seem shorted as regards both domestic re-capitalization and spending, not that receiving foreign banks, businesses, and states would object to their own good fortune.
One might ask why Nigerians, among others, insist on either fighting archaic medieval wars in 2021 or on experiencing and framing conflicts as such when, in fact, the common denominator from field raids to high office would seem that so-called “root of all evil”, ne, money.
Who is fighting over such an immense thing as the character or nature of God?
While medieval belief sustain absolute power, modern leaders have seen an abyss before them created by demystification and the promotion of reason and by disappointment and the raising of questions that power has never been able to answer or resolve. Before reason and science and now 21st Century technology breakthrough, history’s medieval and primitive inertia would seem to decay and leadership lose its luster especially where it preys on the populations looking to it for improved Qualities and Living, financial and personal security foremost and equally distributed and distributed by merit.
Absence of governance, impoverishment, the presence of interests gaming for the control and plundering of resources in the name of self, clan, family, and tribe may better account for violence welling up from the base between ambition and desperation.
Nigerian National Identity
My own nation, the United States of America, has been riven by agitprop, foreign (e.g., Russian “Active Measures”) and domestic (Partisan drum beaters Far Out Left and Far Strident Right), the unworkable politics of ethnic, gender, and racial identity as cause, and breathtaking disparities in national lifestyle–the gutter (say, Kensington Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) looks awfully low while the priciest of mansions and penthouses sail off in the clouds fully immune, so it seems, to more earthy surrounds. However, should one ask a moderately educated American adult, “What is an American?” most, so one might hope, would define an American as dedicated to upholding the principles and values laid out in the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the full body of compiled – and compiling – national law. Cognizance of and devotion, and respect for essential American ethics, law, principles, and values remain in the heart. Most often, America’s domestic fighting revolves around injustices perceived in light of the country’s essential humanist and secular legal and social ideals and practical political and social ends.
Americans will not fight en masse over religion (which and whose? For all are here) at this time.
Americans will fight — and prove so every day — for their interests, private and public, in light of founding principles and rights.
Who is Nigerian?
What is a Nigerian?
Who aspiring to power or in power is building a just and modern Nigeria far above parochial business, clan, and tribal interests?
Is there an ideal Nigeria waiting for Nigerians to achieve and secure it?
Last year at about this time (October 20, 2020), Nigerian forces turned their guns on protesters at Lekki Toll Gate. For whom did they kill a dozen Nigerian youth? And for what? Feudal honor? Their jobs? Money?
I believe Nigerians decent but it appears some in business and in power at high levels abuse ideals, their own privileges, and, ultimately, trust of a nation.
While it is not a crime for private individuals to set up offshore companies, Nigeria’s law forbids public officials from doing so. According to Transparency International, the failure of the President, Major General Buhari (retd.), to act over past disclosures like the Panama Papers has deepened the culture of impunity. Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Nigeria’s TI chapter, says the regime needs to investigate the Pandora Papers revelations irrespective of the political affiliation of the individuals. He adds that the government should equip the Code of Conduct Bureau with staff and resources to adequately scrutinise officials’ asset declarations.
TI’s observation of Buhari’s inaction is not surprising as his avowed anti-corruption war is gradually becoming a charade. \
It is not against the law to secretly buy British properties using anonymous offshore companies. Finance Uncovered has seen no evidence in the Pandora Papers that money used to buy houses or apartments in the UK represents the proceeds of corruption or other criminality.
Indeed, many specialist advisers have routinely recommended clients invest in this manner to legally avoid tax.
The gap between any nation’s stability and the onset of substantial instability might be, oh, three seconds: “You are under arrest”; “We are detaining you”; “Please come with us.”
Add the boots, troops, and guns.
What is power in a weak state?
Evidently, power is the power to cut communications, detain officials, including the head of state, and kill protesters with impunity.
In Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman, security forces stormed the state radio and television headquarters and detained a number of employees, following which the state TV had been reportedly playing patriotic songs and showing images of the Nile. Internet connectivity has been suspended.
For its part, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement that “the insurgents (had) spread fear” in Conakry before taking the direction of the presidential palace, but that “the presidential guard, supported by the defense and security forces, loyalists and republicans, have contained the threat and pushed back the group of attackers.
In Nigeria, Fulani raids Christian villages have been taking place for years with at least implied complicity on the part of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari. The Fulani’s violence has been brutal and, if reports are to be believed, rising to a stage beyond atrocity in the recent burning of a family alive in its own house.
Ranchers v Farmers?
That’s a familiar framing, but in the press, Fulani barbarism — no other word comes close to describing the inhumanity of it — plays as it has elsewhere, i.e., as Islamic terrorism against civil society. The underlying purposes may be economic and ethnic, but the horror created and relayed through Nigeria’s press would seem the same as that unbridled violence delivered by ISIS.
The attackers had reportedly destroyed the bridge leading to the community thereby preventing possible access before launching the attacks.
An entire family was burnt alive in their homes while others that attempted to run into nearby bush were shot. Several persons sustained gunshot wounds and are being treated in the hospitals.
Yelwa-zangam community is dominated by Christian Anagutta natives.
Unknown assailants attacked the Yelwa Zangam community in Jos North Local Government Area (LGA), Plateau State overnight Aug 24-25. Initial accounts report that up to 36 residents died. Locals have attributed the attack to Fulani bandits who reportedly set bodies and homes on fire. Reports also indicate the attackers set fire to a bridge leading to the impacted area to prevent security personnel from responding. Authorities did confirm the incident without providing the casualty toll and announced that 10 individuals have already been arrested.
The incident underscores the deteriorating security situation in Plateau. Following a similar fatal incident Aug. 14, authorities imposed curfews in Jos North, Jos South, and Bassa LGAs. The curfews remain in effect 18:00-06:00 as of Aug. 25.
One might wish that others posting in the world’s open and socially networked web environment would be responsible about it and take the additional 30-seconds it may take using Google search (or Bing, whatever) to check out claims. This particularly vicious sterilization-by-vaccine rumor has been in circulation for decades.
BC’s immediate response to the post follows.
The story may be a good example of Soviet Era “Active Measures” carried forward into the post-Cold War period. It appears this claim has been in circulation for decades, and not only in Kenya but several other developing nations.
I cannot prove my thesis, such has been the nature of manipulation from “behind the curtains” down through the ages, but often enough, it would seem those who most claim to be interested in Justice turn out also to be the most obsessed with acquiring Absolute Power — and that “by any means necessary”.
Whatever the fine points of history may be — and the devils are always in the details — “framing” a medical miracle, whether vaccination for polio or vaccination for tetanus as an evil thing, would seem itself a deed most evil and intended to sow discord and fear. Why? Those who promote malicious perception may then portray themselves as the bearers of hope and order.
Related online and associated with similar partisan religious motivations: