Book: Angola in the African Peace and Security Architecture – Luis Bernardino

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This book is the fruit of a doctoral thesis at Universidade Técnica de Lisboa. It addresses the role of the Angolan armed forces in stabilising and developing the country. Moreover, its contents give us a better understanding of these forces and their relationship with the Portuguese armed forces, facilitating technical and military cooperation (TMC), also within the framework of the CPLP. It is a highly interesting, topical work for anyone regarding TMC and the CPLP as strategic tools for the assertion of Portuguese-speaking countries.”

  • General José Luiz Pinto Ramalho                                                                          Former Portuguese Army Chief of Staff and Editor of “Revista Militar”, Lisboa, 2012

 

“A book about the Angolan armed forces is a book about the history of Angola… our history, the history of a constant struggle for the development and security of a people. As the book cleverly shows, it was a struggle in which the armed forces held fast as the bastion of national identity and the central pillar of the Angolan people and state. This book is the product of a unique doctoral thesis in International Relations in Portugal. This is a historical and analytical examination of the role of the Angolan armed forces as instruments of Angola’s foreign policy. At a time when my country is a member of the United Nations Security Council, this book is also a unique opportunity to get to know Angola and her armed forces and for us to find out more about ourselves as Angolans. My sincere congratulations to the author.”

  • Professor Mário Pinto de Andrade                                                                           Rector of Universidade Lusíada de Angola, Luanda 2015

 

Table of Contents:02-Angola-in-the-African-Peace

 

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Grupos militantes islâmicos em África: update 07/2016 – 06/2017

O Africa Center for Strategic Studies, baseado em Washington, DC, publicou a sua actualização trimestral do mapa que monitoriza os grupos militantes islâmicos no continente africano, entre Julho de 2016 e Junho de 2017.

A actualização denota uma redução de actividade desses grupos na Líbia, bem como do Boko Haram na Nigéria. Uma tendência que pode ser explicada pro esforços regionais e internacionais no sentido de fazer frente a essas ameaças.

Por outro lado, regista um aumento de actividade por parte do Al-Shabaab, na Somália, do Ansar Beit al Maqdis (ABM), no Egipto, e do Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimin, no Magrebe, Sahel e África Ocidental (que resultou da fusão de três grupos em Março/Abril de 2017:  Ansar Dine, al-Mourabitoun – do famoso senhor Marlboro – e a al-Qaida no Magrebe Islâmico).

Africas-militant-islamic-groups-as-of-jun2017

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Angola: the untouchable security and defence apparatus?

On Friday, 21 July, Angola’s parliament approved a bill on the mandates of the heads of the Armed Forces, National Police, and Intelligence Services (Proposta de Lei sobre os Mandatos das Chefias das Forças Armadas, da Polícia Nacional e dos Serviços de Inteligência).

The bill guarantees that heads of the armed forces, national police and intelligence services can rule virtually unchallenged for a maximum of two four-year mandates. Article 2 of the law establishes the circumstances under which they can be removed: criminal and disciplinary reasons, age limit, non-extension of mandates, resignation and dismissal.

An exception to this article can be applied in a context of instability, such as war, imminent agression or disruption of the internal order.

The new law will effectively limit the power of future presidents to dictate affairs in the security and defense apparatus. In fact, President José Eduardo dos Santos will be exempt from observing the legislative measure, whereas future heads of state will have to abide by it.

In short, this law can be interpreted in two different ways:

  1. It is a move aimed at ensuring that José Eduardo dos Santos’ allies stay in those three powerfull offices, there protecting and maintaining influence and private interests of his circle, at least for eight years;
  2. It is a move aimed at limiting overarching power by the president’s office over security and defense institutions, something which has been a key feature in post-independence Angola.
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Porque é que a China está a construir uma base militar em África?

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Google Maps

Na rúbrica War College, da Reuters, um ex- membro das Forças Especiais do Exército dos EUA, Derek Gannon, dá a sua visão sobre os interesses da China na África Oriental e Corno de África, bem como a razão para o facto de várias forças de Operações Especiais norte-americanas lá estarem instaladas.

A China tem investido milhares de milhões de dólares no continente africano ao longo da última década, algo que está longe de ser motivado pelo acesso a novos mercados e a fontes abundantes de recursos naturais.

Ora, é no Djibouti que a China está a construir a sua primeira base militar além-fronteiras, algo que, tendo em conta os objectivos económicos, de política externa e de segurança de Pequim, é de especial relevância não apenas para os interesses de Washington, mas também para África, o Médio Oriente e a Europa.

Na sua opinião (a qual eu defendo), o continente africano será o próximo palco para os “conflitos por procuração” globais, ou Proxy Wars, entre a actual única superpotência do mundo, os EUA, e aquela que gradualmente se procura afirmar como tal: a China.

Tempos interessantes estes.

Podem ouvir o áudio em baixo: 30 minutos bem gastos.

 

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US Department of State: Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 – Chapter 2: Africa

Full report available here.

Overview: ​Africa experienced significant levels of terrorist activity in 2016. In East Africa, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab remained the most potent threat to regional stability, having regained territory in parts of southern and central Somalia. As the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) limited offensive operation to proactively counter al-Shabaab in southern Somalia, the terrorist group gained the time and space needed to regroup and recruit new fighters. Similar to 2015, however, there were no successful attacks attributed to al-Shabaab outside of Somalia and northeastern Kenya. The organization maintained its allegiance to al-Qa’ida and continued its campaign to isolate and defeat the growing faction of ISIS supporters in Somalia. Although ISIS claimed responsibility for small-scale attacks in Somalia and Kenya, the group failed to launch a major attack in East Africa.

Al-Shabaab used safe havens and towns it reclaimed in 2016 to refine its asymmetric tactics. The group continued to focus on targeting AMISOM forces by launching large-scale raids against its forward operating bases. In January, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a raid against Kenyan forces in El Adde, Somalia that was reported to have killed more than 140 soldiers. In its attempt to disrupt the Federal Government of Somalia’s national electoral process, al-Shabaab increased the use of suicide bombings and ambush attacks against Somali government facilities and select hotels popular with government officials and business people. Al-Shabaab also launched vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) against the Mogadishu International Airport that killed UN, AMISOM, and Somali officials.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the targeted assassination of several Somali parliamentarians, security officials, and other government personnel in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia, including Puntland.

The United States continued to support counterterrorism capacity building for its East African partners, including advisory assistance for AMISOM, training and mentoring the staff of Somalia’s security sector, and improving regional law enforcement agencies’ crisis response capabilities. In response to al-Shabaab’s mass-casualty attacks in Kenya’s Northeast that claimed hundreds of lives over the last few years, Kenya increased its law enforcement and military presence along the border to detect, deter, and disrupt terrorist travel and cross-border activity. East African governments leveraged U.S. assistance to improve counterterrorism-focused investigations and prosecutions, particularly in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda.

In the Lake Chad Basin, the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), comprising Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, successfully coordinated defeat-ISIS-West Africa and counter-Boko Haram efforts that increased pressure on the groups. Although degraded, Boko Haram continued an asymmetric campaign of kidnappings, killings, bombings, suicide bombers, and attacks on civilian and military targets throughout northeast Nigeria, resulting in a significant number of deaths, injuries, and destruction of property. ISIS-West Africa consolidated its presence in the Lake Chad area following its August split from Boko Haram and targeted primarily vulnerable regional military and government targets.

France’s Operation Barkhane, a counterterrorism operation focused on countering terrorists operating in the Sahel, continued and was supported by the important contributions of the UN Multinational Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.


Countries:  

  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Djibouti
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
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South Africa’s regional oblivion

South Africa and Pretoria’s foreign policy priorities should focus on its own backyard, argues Peter Fabricius, in an article for the Institute for Security Studies:

Since Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma stepped down as AU Commission chairperson in January this year, South Africa had been retreating from the continent, Louw-Vaudran wrote in an ISS Today article. And as the country retreated, she said, it ceded power to other players on the continent, such as Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and President Alpha Condé of Guinea.

(…)

It would seem South Africa is ready to pursue peace across the globe – but not in its own backyard.

The political violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) draws ever closer to boiling point and new mass graves are being discovered in the Kasais every week. The still-unresolved succession battle in neighbouring Zimbabwe continues to portend chaos if 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe should suddenly prove to be mortal after all. Zambia is sliding down the slippery slope to autocracy. Swaziland’s absolute monarchy remains a regional embarrassment – and Mozambique’s civil war just goes on.

All these thorny problems, the DRC at most, are likely to be on the agenda when SADC holds its annual summit in August, and South Africa takes over chairmanship of the organisation for the next year. But judging by the recent summit in Pretoria between DRC President Joseph Kabila and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, SADC will probably just ask Kabila a few polite questions about when he envisages elections will be held.

(…)

This apparent denial of the urgency of such burning issues within the regional body [SADC] is disappointing and even alarming to some outsiders, who see it as an abdication by South Africa of what they regard as its regional responsibility.

As South Africa turns a blind eye at regional political and security issues, are other regional countries poised, or at least marginally interested, to fill the gap, other than Rwanda?

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Angola-in-the-African-Peace-and-Security-Architecture. The-strategic-role-of-the-Angolan-Armed-Forces.

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