Over five and a half years after Boko Haram launched its insurrection, many questions concerning the Salafi-jihadi movement persist. Boko Haram’s center of activity, northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State, continues to be largely inaccessible to outsiders, making it difficult for researchers to gather detailed data. It still remains unclear exactly how many fighters Boko Haram possesses or the degree of autonomy individual militant commanders enjoy. Nevertheless, available information does provide an understanding of Boko Haram’s ethnic composition, which appears to consist primarily of Kanuri and Kanurized groups. That an ethnicity that makes up approximately just 8 percent of Nigeria’s Muslim population dominates Boko Haram’s membership is noteworthy and helps to explain the uprising’s geographical distribution, as well as highlighting local drivers behind the violence. Yet to suggest, as some observers have, that Boko Haram represents a “tribal insurgency” articulating Kanuri grievances toward the Nigerian state and a northern establishment supposedly controlled by ethno-cultural Hausa-Fulani exaggerates the importance of the Kanuri factor. Indeed, such an argument ignores key facets of Boko Haram’s millenarian ideology and its incompatibility with large segments of Kanuri society. The prominence of Kanuri within Boko Haram dates to the movement’s founding in the early 2000s. Based in Kanuri-majority Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital and largest city, Boko Haram’s demographics reflected its surroundings. The rapid growth Boko Haram experienced during its first years of existence seems to have stemmed from multiple factors, in particular support it allegedly received from then Borno governor (2003-2011) Ali Modu Sheriff, the relative weakness of local traditional institutions, and the charisma of early Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf. The use of existing adherents’ social networks to facilitate recruitment efforts predictably reinforced Boko Haram’s Kanuri character. When Nigerian security forces reportedly killed hundreds of Boko Haram members, including Yusuf, in July 2009, those most adversely affected by the deaths (e.g. family and friends of the slain) were Kanuri. This embittered population served as a pool of new fighters for Boko Haram as it reconstituted itself under Abubakar Shekau. Despite the prevalence of Kanuri among its ranks, Boko Haram exhibits little evidence of being ethnocentric, let alone chauvinistic. The often-cited 2012 claim by reputed Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa that Shekua, a Kanuri, favored selecting non-Kanuri members to carry out suicide bombings lacks sufficient corroborating evidence and could have been fabricated by Abuja’s State Security Service to sow internal discord within Boko Haram. Given that the majority of Boko Haram’s victims to date have probably been Kanuri, it does not appear Shekau and his inner circle regard Kanuri lives as sacrosanct. Nor do they seem opposed to promoting supporters from non-Kanuri ethnicities; following the seizure of the town Dikwa, Boko Haram appointed one such individual as the new shehu, a position of traditional authority previously held by a Kanuri. In reality, Boko Haram seems intent on constructing a pan-ethnic Islamist movement. Its heavy use of Hausa – a language widely spoken in the Sahel and the lingua franca of northern Nigeria – in communiqués indicates that Shekau desires an audience far beyond his Kanuri kinsmen. Further, the Boko Haram chieftain has lavished praise on historical figures revered in Hausa-Fulani territories, most notably Usman dan Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate (1804-1903). While Boko Haram’s failure thus far to develop a more diverse coalition might stem, at least in part, from ethnolinguistic tensions in Nigeria’s north, a more prosaic explanation could be that the Salafi-jihadi group simply lacks the social networks to successfully recruit large numbers of non-Kanuri. The assertion that Boko Haram seeks to recreate the historical Kanuri kingdom of Borno (c. 1380-1893) also conflicts with reports coming out of northeastern Nigeria. Boko Haram fighters have relentlessly targeted for assassination traditional authority figures descended from the defunct Borno kingdom’s aristocracy, including members of the royal al-Kanemi dynasty. By reportedly declaring the territory under its possession a “caliphate,” Boko Haram has made a sharp break with the past. The previous Muslim polities that controlled modern-day northeastern Nigeria never used the term; Boko Haram’s core leadership clearly has aspirations to extend its rule well outside of Borno’s old boundaries. Far from being reactionary, Boko Haram’s leaders appear to aspire to forge a new political and socioeconomic reality. Their ideology is, after all, partly a violent offshoot of the sharia movement that swept northern Nigeria following the return of civilian rule in 1999. Many northerners hoped the application of sharia law would usher in a more equitable society through a partial redistribution of wealth and the vigorous prosecution of corrupt political elites. Boko Haram’s relentless attacks against individuals tied to the Kanuri establishment demonstrate its antipathy toward the northeast’s existing hierarchy. In areas it has captured, Boko Haram has allegedly seized the property of local notables and allocated it among its followers. The contours of a vicious class struggle within Kanuri society are readily evident. In addition to the northeastern elites, Boko Haram’s worldview is at odds with rural Kanuri communities. Salafism – both its peaceful and violent varieties – remains primarily an urban phenomenon in Nigeria’s northeast. Cities tend to have a higher concentration of youths bereft of established kinship networks and therefore attracted to the universalist message espoused by Islamic revivalists. Conversely, the countryside serves as a bastion of traditionalism, with many Muslims practicing syncretic forms of Islam that incorporate elements of indigenous religions. Boko Haram’s transition to a largely rural-based insurgency has placed the Salafi-jihadi movement in an operational environment where the majority of inhabitants regard it as an alien interloper. Rather than adjust its messaging to appeal toward the wary peasantry, Boko Haram appears to have elected to pursue a strategy of armed coercion in order to secure local compliance. This approach helps account for the surge in civilian fatalities as well as Boko Haram’s seemingly growing reliance on conscription and monetary compensation to replenish its ranks. Local tensions and vendettas animate much of the violence engulfing Borno State and its environs. Furthermore, Boko Haram’s emergence from Maiduguri’s Kanuri underclass still shapes the composition of its membership. However, neither Shekau nor his lieutenants regard themselves as Kanuri nationalists tasked with championing the parochial interests of their ethnicity. Instead, they likely seek to spearhead a multi-ethnic revolution that will transform Nigerian society. To realize this goal, Boko Haram will continue to wage a bloody campaign against those who oppose its agenda, including the overwhelming majority of Kanuri. Those interested in vanquishing Boko Haram should regard the Kanuri as potential allies, rather than jihadi collaborators. Michael W. Baca, Africa analyst.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has admitted failures in the country's controversial land reform programme. "I think the farms we gave to people are too large. They can't manage them," the 91-year-old leader said in unusually candid comments. In the past he has tended to blame poor agricultural productivity on the weather and Western sanctions. The seizure of land from white farmers is seen as a key factor in Zimbabwe's economic meltdown since 2000. The BBC's Brian Hungwe in the capital, Harare, says it is not the first time President Mugabe has criticised new black farmers - but his comments are surprisingly frank. They point to continuous problems in accounting for low production levels and the under-utilisation of farms, which reflect badly thought-out land policies, he says. The president denied that Grace Mugabe was the "power behind my throne" Mr Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was interviewed on the state broadcaster ZBC to mark his 91st birthday, which he celebrated last weekend. He said he wanted to encourage farmers to go into wheat farming, and blamed low productivity on the new commercial farmers for failing to utilise all their land. "You find that most of them are just using one third of the land," Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper quotes him as saying. During the colonial era, the best farmland was reserved for the white population and in 2000, Mr Mugabe spearheaded the seizure the land from some 4,000 white farmers. His critics say the land was handed out to his political allies and many of the beneficiaries were not given the equipment or training to farm productively, leading to the collapse of the agriculture-based economy. In the interview, he also denied pushing his wife Grace to enter politics. Last year, she became head of the women's league and in the ruling Zanu-PF party, and embarked on a nationwide tour, in which she denounced party rivals. This led to speculation that she was being readied to succeed her husband as president. "She is not the power behind my throne. She has come into politics in her own right," Mr Mugabe said. The headline of The Herald, widely seen as a government mouthpiece, is: "I'm still in charge, says President". BBC
US Secretary of State John Kerry has questioned the judgement of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over his stance on Iran's nuclear programme. Mr Netanyahu has criticised the US and others for "giving up" on trying to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The Israeli PM "may not be correct", Mr Kerry said after attending the latest Iran nuclear talks in Geneva. Mr Netanyahu will address Congress next week, after an invitation by Republican leaders criticised by the White House. Mr Kerry was reacting to a speech in which Mr Netanyahu had said the US and others were "accepting that Iran will gradually, within a few years, develop capabilities to produce material for many nuclear weapons". "I respect the White House and the president of the United States but on such a fateful matter, that can determine whether or not we survive, I must do everything to prevent such a great danger for Israel," he said in a speech in Israel. Having just concluded the latest round of nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva, Mr Kerry told senators President Obama had made it clear the policy was not to let Iran get nuclear weapons and Mr Netanyahu's might therefore not be correct. US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, listens to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as they walk in the city of Geneva, Switzerland 14 January 2015 Mr John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart have been negotiating Iran's nuclear future The invitation for Mr Netanyahu to speak before Congress has angered Democrats. A spokesman for the White House warned against reducing US-Israeli relations to a party-political issue. Earlier, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice had gone further and said Mr Netanyahu's visit was "destructive to the fabric of the relationship". Analysis - Barbara Plett Usher, BBC News, Washington Administration officials have been hitting back at Mr Netanyahu's aggressive opposition to the nuclear deal they're negotiating with Iran - they're unhappy his speech to Congress will give him a platform to make his case as talks reach a critical juncture. Susan Rice's comments highlight that strain and are the most direct reference by a senior official to the damage caused by the controversy over the visit. It was arranged by Republican congressional leaders without consulting the Democrats or the White House, just two weeks before Mr Netanyahu faces an election. That has angered Democrats, some of whom feel they'll be forced to choose between President Obama and their desire not to upset Israel. More than a dozen have said they plan to skip the speech, opening an unprecedented breach in the usual show of bipartisan support for Israel. line Mr Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner in what is seen as a rebuke to US President Barack Obama's Iran policy. Mr Netanyahu is expected to discuss Iran, as well as Islamist militant groups, in his address. The current tensions took root over a decade ago when Iran's nuclear programme first came to light. In 2005, Iran was referred to the UN Security Council, leading to a series of sanctions and UN resolutions requiring Tehran to stop enriching uranium. The US and other powers - the so-called P5+1 - are negotiating with Iran on its nuclear programme. They want to agree a deal by March this year, but Mr Netanyahu is opposed to any agreement which might allow Tehran to retain the future capacity to build a nuclear weapon. Tough election The Israeli leader has turned down an invitation to meet Senate Democrats privately, saying this "could compound the misperception of partisanship" surrounding his trip. Several Democratic members of Congress including Vice-President Joe Biden have said they will not attend the speech. Republican leaders did not consult the Obama administration before inviting Mr Netanyahu, which the White House has called a breach of protocol. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Wednesday: "The president has said the relationship between the US and Israel can't just be reduced to a relationship between the Republican party and the Likud party." Mr Obama does not plan to meet Mr Netanyahu next week. The White House cited the "long-standing practice" of not meeting government leaders close to elections, which Israel will hold in mid-March. Mr Netanyahu is fighting a tough election against the Labour Party's Yitzhak Herzog, who has focused on the prime minister's cooler relations with Mr Obama. BBC
Le chef de l'État nigérian, Goodluck Jonathan, a reconnu dimanche avoir sous-estimé la capacité de nuisance de Boko Haram. Ce même jour, une fillette a tué cinq personnes en se faisant exploser dans le nord-est du pays. L'aveu de faiblesse de Goodluck Dans un entretien à l'influent journal privé This Day, diffusé dimanche 22 février, le président nigérian Goodluck Jonathan a reconnu avoir "sous-estimé" le groupe terroriste. "Probablement, au début (de l'insurrection), nous - je veux dire mon équipe et moi-même - avons sous-estimé les capacités de nuisance de Boko Haram", a-t-il déclaré, ajoutant que de "nombreux responsables sécuritaires" ont fait dans le passé des déclarations minimisant la portée du groupe. De fait, depuis 2009, les forces nigérianes ont échoué à endiguer l'expansion des insurgés, même si elles ont annoncé récemment avoir repris plusieurs villes à Boko Haram et tué des centaines de ses membres, comme dans les villes stratégiques de Monguno et Baga. Selon Goodluck Jonathan, l'armée nigériane s'est dotée récemment de nouvelles armes et munitions. "Si Dieu le veut, nous arrêterons Shekau avant les élections", a dit le président, candidat à sa réélection. Le Nigeria devait organiser le 14 février une présidentielle couplée à des législatives et sénatoriales, qui ont été reportées de six semaines, au 28 mars, pour permettre à l'armée de se concentrer sur son offensive contre les islamistes. La tournée de Fabius Le ministre français des Affaires étrangères, Laurent Fabius, a effectué ce week-end une tournée africaine de 48 heures au Tchad, au Cameroun et au Niger. Tandis que les pays voisins du Nigeria organisent la riposte militaire, le ministre français des Affaires étrangères Laurent Fabius a précisément invité Abuja à s'engager "pleinement" contre le groupe islamiste, dimanche à Niamey. "On n'est pas partis pour une guerre de 10 ans. Nous avons les forces qui sont déjà en place. Si ces forces peuvent être financées et équipées, je pense qu'on viendra à bout de Boko Haram assez rapidement", a pour sa part estimé le président nigérien, Mahamadou Issoufou. Le Nigeria, le Niger, le Tchad, le Cameroun et le Bénin ont annoncé le 7 février qu'ils allaient mobiliser 8 700 hommes dans une force multinationale. Ils comptent déposer d'ici "fin février" un projet de résolution devant le Conseil de sécurité, selon le gouvernement camerounais Stratégie de la terreur Sur le terrain, la stratégie de la terreur utilisée par Boko Haram se poursuit. Une fillette âgée d'environ 7 ans a tué cinq personnes en se faisant exploser dimanche dans le nord-est du Nigeria. D'après des témoins joints depuis Kano (Nord), celle-ci a actionné vers 13h30 locales (12h30 GMT) une ceinture d'explosifs qu'elle portait à la taille à Kasuwar Jagwal, un lieu dédié à la vente et la réparation de téléphones à Potiskum, très fréquenté à cette heure de la journée. Cinq personnes ont été tuées et 19 blessées. Selon les témoins, elle avait été renvoyée quatre fois à l'entrée du site par des gardiens et membres de milices d'auto-défense qui l'avaient jugée suspecte, en raison de son âge. Les contrôles se sont faits plus stricts depuis un précédent attentat-suicide commis en janvier par deux filles d'environ 15 et 20 ans aux abords du même site, ayant fait six morts et 37 blessés. Finalement, la fillette est revenue par un autre côté, "elle s'est baissée pour franchir le cordage de sécurité, à une certaine distance de nous. Et c'est là qu'elle s'est fait exploser", a expliqué Buba Lawan, chef d'une milice locale d'autodéfense. L'attaque-suicide n'avait pas été revendiquée mais, selon plusieurs observateurs, elle porte la signature de Boko Haram, qui a déjà eu recours à plusieurs reprises à des femmes et des fillettes pour ce type d'opérations. Lire l'article sur Jeuneafrique.com : Terrorisme | Nigeria : Goodluck Jonathan reconnaît avoir sous-estimé Boko Haram | Jeuneafrique.com - le premier site d'information et d'actualité sur l'Afrique Follow us: @jeune_afrique on Twitter | jeuneafrique1 on Facebook
Vidéos de mauvaise qualité, plans grossiers et son à peine audible: ces images-là semblent désormais appartenir aux archives de la communication du groupe islamiste nigérian Boko Haram, dont la propagande, qui est récemment montée d'un cran, s'apparente de plus en plus à celle des jihadistes du groupe État islamique (EI). Boko Haram, qui essuie actuellement de lourdes pertes humaines selon l'armée nigériane, a publié cette semaine deux vidéos contrastant totalement avec les précédentes, en utilisant notamment des symboles visuels et des styles semblables à ceux utilisés par l'EI pour recruter des candidats au jihad dans ses rangs en Syrie ou en Irak. Le groupe islamiste, qui multiplie les attaques sanglantes dans le nord-est du Nigeria depuis six ans, et qui n'hésite pas à étendre ses raids meurtriers aux Tchad, Niger et Cameroun voisins, pourrait avoir développé ses compétences techniques, selon Aaron Zelin, du Winep (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), think-tank américain consacré au Moyen-Orient. "Le plus frappant", selon ce spécialiste, "c'est la grande différence entre les vidéos des quatre à cinq dernières semaines et ce qu'il (Boko Haram) faisait auparavant. Il me semble qu'il y a un certain niveau d'influence extérieure ou une tentative de le relier à quelque chose". Le net changement à la fois dans la forme et le contenu de la propagande de Boko Haram pousse certains experts à spéculer sur d'éventuels liens tissés avec des jihadistes au Moyen-Orient ou une possible alliance entre ces différents groupes. Mais selon d'autres spécialistes, il n'y a pour l'heure aucune preuve concrète de liens directs, même si des jihadistes opérant dans le Sahel ont sans doute été en contact avec des membres de l'EI. "Les noyaux dirigeants de Boko Haram et de l'EI n'ont pas vraiment de contacts mais beaucoup des groupes qui leur sont affiliés en ont, pour faire du business", explique Yan St-Pierre du groupe Mosecon (Modern Security Consulting Group), spécialisé dans le contre-terrorisme. Le fait que Boko Haram, selon ce spécialiste, contrôle des zones de la région du lac Tchad - route notoire de contrebande et de trafics d'armes - a poussé des miliciens étrangers à prendre langue avec lui. Conséquence: ce groupe, essentiellement composé de Nigérians avec des revendications locales à l'origine, s'est de plus en plus ouvert à une influence internationale, ajoute M. St-Pierre. - Du CD-Rom à YouTube et Twitter - Les premières vidéos de Boko Haram, de qualité médiocre, étaient fabriquées de manière quasiment artisanale puis distribuées par des intermédiaires sur CD-Rom ou clés USB à des correspondants d'organes de presse - dont l'AFP - dans le nord du Nigeria. Elles montraient la plupart du temps son chef, Abubakar Shekau, gesticulant dans de longs monologues. A partir de décembre 2013, ces vidéos incluent des plans variés et surtout, des images d'exécutions et d'exactions. Puis le groupe a commencé à poster ses vidéos sur YouTube, et, pour la première fois le 17 février, sur Twitter via un compte en arabe, montrant des images nettes d'un Shekau plus posé. YouTube et Twitter, deux moyens de contourner le filtre des médias traditionnels, permettant à Boko Haram de mieux "contrôler" ses messages, d'après des experts. Boko Haram a aussi diffusé jeudi une bande-annonce illustrée de combattants sur le terrain, avec un graphisme et des images au ralenti rappelant la propagande d'EI. Depuis un compte de plus en plus populaire, il a par ailleurs posté des photos présentées comme celles d'une attaque de la ville de Gombe (nord-est du Nigeria) ainsi que des communiqués. Yan St-Pierre voit dans l'utilisation de symboles jihadistes étrangers dans les vidéos du groupe nigérian comme une "demande ouverte" d'alliance plus formelle avec l'EI et Al-Qaïda par des factions utilisant le nom de Boko Haram. Mais selon Max Abrahms, spécialiste des groupes terroristes à l'université américaine Northeastern à Boston (Massachusetts), l'évolution technologique des islamistes s'inscrit en fait dans l'air du temps: "Les groupes terroristes agissent simplement de pair avec l'époque actuelle. On ne devrait pas en être surpris". M. Abrahms considère cependant que les tirades répétées d'Abubakar Shekau contre les États-Unis et Israël, cibles récurrentes des jihadistes, visent à ratisser large, en quête de soutiens, voire de nouveaux recrutements. "Boko Haram a gagné du terrain, même avec une propagande d'amateurs. Ce que les médias sociaux semblent faire, c'est lui apporter des adeptes de coins les plus reculés du monde, dont la plupart demeureront de lointains sympathisants", estime-t-il. Phil HAZLEWOOD - See more at: http://fr.africatime.com/cameroun/articles/boko-haram-une-nouvelle-strategie-de-communication-pour-ratisser-large#sthash.DDmgIXuI.dpuf
Os 38 membros do VI governo constitucional de Timor-Leste tomaram posse esta segunda-feira com um juramento perante o Presidente da República, Taur Matan Ruak, numa cerimónia no palácio de Lahane, nos arredores de Díli. O novo primeiro-ministro, Rui Araújo, e cada um dos seus colegas juraram em português antes de assinarem o termo de posse e serem saudados pelo chefe de Estado. Os únicos momentos de aplausos ocorreram quando foi a vez do juramento do último ministro, Xanana
Bissau – O Supremo Tribunal de Justiça (STJ) anunciou a legalização de mais uma formação política na Guiné-Bissau. Em comunicado que a PNN consultou, o STJ anunciou a legalização de mais um partido político no país. Trata-se da Assembleia do Povo Unido – Partido Democrático da Guiné-Bissau (APU-PDGB), liderado pelo candidato Presidencial derrotado nas últimas eleições, Nuno Nabiam. «Para o conhecimento público comunica-se que, tendo o partido da Assembleia do Povo Unido – Partido Democrático da Guiné-Bissau cumprido integralmente as formalidades previstas na Lei-quadro das formações políticas, o Presidente do Supremo Tribunal de Justiça ordenou, ao abrigo das leis existentes no país e com as suas alterações introduzidas, a inscrição nos registos competentes desta formação política conhecida pela sigla APU-PDGB», lê-se no comunicado. Com o reconhecimento desta nova formação política, somam-se mais de três dezenas de partidos na Guiné-Bissau, na sua maioria sem sedes próprias, sendo outras ainda os seus órgãos sociais caducos. (c) PNN Portuguese News Network
Le leader de Boko Haram a promis d'empêcher la tenue des élections prévues le 28 mars au Nigeria dans une nouvelle vidéo diffusée mardi 17 février. "Cette élection n'aura pas lieu même si nous sommes morts. Même si nous ne sommes pas vivants, Allah ne va jamais vous permettre de faire cela", déclare Abubakar Shekau dans ce qui semble être la première vidéo diffusée par le groupe islamiste sur le réseau Twitter, signe d'un changement de tactique dans sa communication. Dans cette vidéo, Shekau évoque aussi l'attaque du week-end dernier contre Gombe, capitale régionale dans le nord-est, que les militaires affirment avoir repoussée. Le chef jihadiste revendique au contraire la victoire, affirmant que ses combattants ont pris le dessus sur l'armée régulière et qu'ils ont libéré des rebelles emprisonnés. Malgré les menaces du leader de Boko Haram, les experts doutent que la secte islamiste puisse perturber les élections dans tout le pays. En revanche, le vote pourrait bien être rendu impossible dans une partie du Nord-Est, fief de l'organisation terroriste. Les élections présidentielle et parlementaires avaient été reportées de six semaines, du 14 février au 28 mars, en raison des attaques de Boko Haram dans le Nord-Est et des difficultés logistiques. L'insécurité du Nord au Sud Plus d'une quarantaine de personnes ont été tuées mardi au Nigeria dans de violents combats et plusieurs attentats, essentiellement dans le Nord-Est, région sous la menace de Boko Haram, mais aussi dans le Sud, jusqu'alors relativement épargné par les violences pré-électorales. En fin d'après-midi, sur la route de Maiduguri (Nord-Est), de violents combats ont opposé armée tchadienne et combattants de Boko Haram. Deux soldats tchadiens et "plusieurs" islamistes ont été tués à 90 km de la capitale de l'État de Borno, ancien fief de Boko Haram. Un peu plus tôt dans la journée, une attaque perpétrée par trois kamikazes a fait trente-six morts dans le village de Yamarkumi, à 4 km de Biu. Moins de trois heures plus tard, un kamikaze s'est fait exploser à Potiskum, capitale économique de l'État de Yobe. L'homme a fait irruption dans un restaurant et y a déclenché sa bombe, tuant le directeur, un serveur et faisant 13 blessés graves. D'autres violences n'ont pas épargné la campagne électorale dans le sud du Nigeria, à quelques semaines d'un scrutin qui s'annonce très disputé. En fin d'après-midi, une explosion et des coups de feu ont retenti au cours d'un meeting du principal parti de l'opposition dans un lycée d'Okrika, une ville de l'État pétrolier de Rivers (sud). Un policier a été tué par balles et un journaliste blessé après avoir été poignardé. Quatre autres policiers ont été grièvement blessés. Aucune indication n'était disponible dans l'immédiat sur l'origine de ces violences survenues dans ce lycée pendant le rassemblement de l'opposition. Où en est la mobilisation régionale ? Cameroun, Niger et Tchad ont engagé des troupes qui combattent Boko Haram aux frontières du Nigeria. Le 7 février, ils ont convenu, avec le Bénin, de mobiliser 8 700 hommes dans une force régionale contre le groupe terroriste. L'armée tchadienne, puissance militaire régionale, est la seule à être intervenu militairement contre les islamistes sur le sol nigérian. Lundi, les pays d'Afrique centrale se sont réunis à Yaoundé pour élaborer une stratégie de lutte contre Boko Haram. Ils ont promis d'apporter une "aide d'urgence" de près de 75 millions d'euros aux pays engagés dans cette guerre, ainsi que des soutiens en "troupes", en "équipements militaires" et des "appuis aériens" aux pays qui combattent Boko Haram - principalement le Cameroun et le Tchad. Le Cameroun, qui a affirmé détenir à Maroua (Nord) plus de 1 000 personnes suspectées de liens avec les islamistes, utilise des drones pour recueillir des renseignements sur les position nigérianes de Boko Haram. (Avec AFP) Lire l'article sur Jeuneafrique.com : Sécurité | Nigeria : Boko Haram promet que la présidentielle n'aura pas lieu | Jeuneafrique.com - le premier site d'information et d'actualité sur l'Afrique Follow us: @jeune_afrique on Twitter | jeuneafrique1 on Facebook
Egypt reported that its war planes had struck Isis targets in Libya, shortly after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi vowed revenge for the release by Isis-affiliated militants of a video of a mass killing of Christians. A spokesman for the Armed Forces General Command announced the strikes on state radio Monday, marking the first time Cairo had publicly acknowledged taking military action in neighbouring Libya. The statement said the warplanes targeted weapons caches and training camps before returning safely. It said the strikes were “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers”. “Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them,” it said. Libya’s air force meanwhile announced it had launched strikes in the eastern city of Darna, which was taken over by an Isis affiliate last year. The announcement, on the Facebook page of the air force chief of staff, did not provide further details. The video, released on Sunday evening, claimed to show the mass beheading of 21 Christians – believed to be mostly Egyptians – kidnapped in Libya. The US said the video showed the “wanton killing of innocents” and the UK foreign minister condemned the “barbaric” act. The five-minute video was filmed in a style similar to that of previous videos depicting the murders of western prisoners by Isis, an armed group that overran large parts of Iraq and Syria last year. Analysis/ Isis claim of beheading Egyptian Copts in Libya shows group's spread At least 21 Egyptians were kidnapped in two separate incidents in the city of Sirte, Libya in December and January. Relatives of the hostages had previously identified the captured men in media released by Isis, including an online magazine published days ago. The video depicts several men in orange jumpsuits being led along a beach, each accompanied by a masked militant. The men are made to kneel and one militant, dressed differently to the others, addresses the camera in North American-accented English. “All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes, especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore we will fight you all together,” he says. “The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.” The men are then made to lie face down and all are simultaneously beheaded. The militant speaker then points northward and says: “We will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.” Mina Thabet, a researcher at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, who has been communicating regularly with the families of the hostages, said he believed that all but one of the victims in the video were Egyptians. Thabet blamed the Egyptian government for what he asserted was a delayed response to the hostage crisis. “There is blood on the hands of the authorities who could have saved them but failed to.” In the weeks between the abduction and the release of the video, the families of the kidnapped Egyptians criticised what they saw as an inadequate response to the kidnapping. The men’s families complained that Egypt’s ministry of foreign affairs did not immediately respond to their inquiries. One relative said the ministry had advised the families not to speak to the media. The Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, called an urgent meeting of the national defence council and declared a seven-day mourning period, according to a statement from the president’s office. “It is with deep sorrow that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi mourns the Egyptian victims of an abhorrent act of terrorism in Libya and offers his deepest condolences to the Egyptian people for their grave loss,” the statement said. He later said on national television that Egypt reserved the right to respond to the murders in a way it sees fit. Sisi warned that Cairo would choose the “necessary means and timing to avenge the criminal killings”. The Coptic church in a statement called on its followers to have “confidence that their great nation won’t rest without retribution for the evil criminals”. In el-Aour, an impoverished village 125 miles south of Cairo that was home to 13 of the hostages, friends and family assumed the worst when the photo was published on Thursday. On Saturday, the community showed its sorrow. Men covered their heads with dirt in a sign of both grief and shame. Women slapped their own faces or let out shrieks of pain. Samuel Walham’s family said they immediately recognised him from the picture showing him kneeling on the beach alongside four other hostages each flanked by a knife-wielding militant. “Look at my love. Look how beautiful he is,” Walham’s mother, Ibtassal Lami, said through tears as she cradled a photo of her son and women wailed in the family’s ramshackle, two-storey home. “He only went there to earn his living.” Egypt announced on Friday an offer to facilitate the exit of Egyptians living in Libya. Tens of thousands of Egyptians live and work in the country. The hostages had previously been identified as workers living in the city of Sirte. Several of the men were captured from a car leaving the city in late December. Others were seized from a house in Sirte in January, where survivors said the attackers separated Christians from Muslims, taking only the Christians as hostages. Fourteen of the men came from the village of Al-Our, in the province of Minya in central Egypt. Militants have frequently attacked Egyptian citizens and installations in Libya over recent months of turmoil. In January 2014 five Egyptian embassy staff were kidnapped and later released. The Guardian
Les terroristes de Boko Haram ont mené dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi leur première offensive connue en territoire tchadien. Ils ont attaqué Ngouboua, un village situé sur la rive du lac Tchad, faisant au moins cinq morts et plusieurs blessés. Après le Niger le week-end dernier, le Tchad a connu dans la nuit du jeudi 12 au vendredi 13 février la première attaque de Boko Haram sur son territoire. Venus de la localité nigériane de Baga, une trentaine d'islamistes armés ont fait irruption à bord de grandes pirogues à moteur vers 3h du matin à Ngouboua, sur la rive du lac Tchad. Ils ont attaqué le village et un camp militaire, tuant au moins quatre civils - dont le chef de canton de Ngouboua - et un militaire. L'aviation tchadienne est ensuite entrée en action et a détruit toutes les embarcations des assaillants. Les deux tiers du village de Ngouboua, situé sur une presqu'île à 18 km de la frontière, en face de Baga, ont été incendiés. Cette localité tchadienne accueille plus de 7 000 réfugiés nigérians qui avaient pour la plupart fui les attaques de Boko Haram au Nigeria depuis début janvier, notamment l'attaque très meurtrière contre Baga. Traversant le lac en pirogue, des milliers de civils se sont ainsi éparpillés sur des dizaines d'îlots tchadiens. L'armée tchadienne en première ligne Il s'agit de la première attaque du groupe islamiste nigérian sur le sol tchadien, depuis que le Tchad a commencé à déployer le 16 janvier des troupes au Cameroun et au Niger, aux frontières avec le Nigeria. Le 3 février, l'armée tchadienne a lancé une grande offensive terrestre au Nigeria à partir de Fotokol au Cameroun voisin, reprenant la localité nigériane de Gamboru aux islamistes après de durs combats. Dès le lendemain, Boko Haram menait une contre-attaque meurtrière à Fotokol, tuant treize militaires tchadiens, six soldats camerounais et 81 civils. >> Lire aussi Nigeria, Tchad, Niger, Cameroun : la bataille contre Boko Haram fait rage Les islamistes ont également lancé la semaine dernière de premières attaques meurtrières au Niger, où 109 combattants de Boko Haram, quatre militaires et un civil ont été tués dans le sud, près de la frontière avec le Nigeria. Les pays du bassin du lac Tchad (Tchad, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun et Bénin) se sont mis d'accord pour mobiliser 8 700 hommes dans la force multinationale de lutte contre le groupe islamiste. Lire l'article sur Jeuneafrique.com : Terrorisme | Le premier raid de Boko Haram au Tchad fait au moins cinq morts | Jeuneafrique.com - le premier site d'information et d'actualité sur l'Afrique Follow us: @jeune_afrique on Twitter | jeuneafrique1 on Facebook
Les islamistes de Boko Haram ont mené une nouvelle attaque dimanche matin à Diffa, ville du sud-est du Niger frontalière avec le Nigeria, où l'explosion d'une bombe a fait au moins un mort et 10 blessés, ont indiqué témoins et travailleurs humanitaires. Aucun bilan humain n'a été communiqué sur l'attaque des islamistes nigérians, qui s'est tenue de 05H30 à 08H00 (04H30-07H00 GMT) en périphérie de Diffa, selon des témoins et des sources humanitaires. "Il y a eu des tirs d'armes lourdes, les assaillants venaient du Nigeria", ont indiqué deux sources humanitaires. Les combats ont opposé les islamistes aux forces armées nigériennes, sans précision sur une éventuelle implication des troupes tchadiennes basées dans la région. Une personne est morte et 10 autres ont par ailleurs été blessées dans une explosion survenue dans le centre de Diffa, capitale provinciale pour la première fois confrontée à ce genre de violences, selon une source hospitalière. L'origine de l'explosion restait floue dimanche après-midi. "Il semble que c'est une femme qui s'est fait exploser dans un marché", a affirmé un responsable de la mairie de Diffa, ce qu'a confirmé une source humanitaire. Un journaliste d'une radio locale a quant à lui évoqué une "bombe", "enveloppée dans un sachet plastique", qui a été "jetée par un homme à moto et elle a explosé près d'une vendeuse de nourriture" vers 10H30-11H00 (9H30-10H00 GMT). Il a dit avoir compté "un mort et 18 blessés" à l'hôpital où il s'est rendu. "C'est la panique partout", a-t-il affirmé. Une autre source humanitaire a mentionné l'explosion d'un obus. Boko Haram avait mené pour la première fois vendredi des attaques meurtrières dans deux villes du Niger, dont une près de Diffa. Le bilan communiqué par le ministre nigérien de la Défense Mahamadou Karidjo avait fait état de 109 islamistes, quatre militaires et un civil tués. Les forces de sécurité nigériennes déploraient en outre 17 blessés et deux disparus. Ces offensives islamistes ont lieu alors que le Parlement du Niger devrait approuver lundi un engagement de ses troupes au Nigeria pour combattre Boko Haram, aux côtés des armées tchadienne et camerounaise. Lire l'article sur Jeuneafrique.com : Terrorisme | Niger : nouvelle attaque de Boko Haram et explosion d'une bombe dans le sud-est | Jeuneafrique.com - le premier site d'information et d'actualité sur l'Afrique Follow us: @jeune_afrique on Twitter | jeuneafrique1 on Facebook
Faced with extraordinary pressure from the Nigerian military, Nigeria’s election commission has announced a six-week delay in the presidential election, revealing that the army was refusing to provide security for the election unless it was delayed. The crucial election, in which President Goodluck Jonathan was locked in a tight race with opposition rival Muhammadu Buhari, was scheduled for Feb. 14. But at a late-night press conference in Abuja on Saturday night, just a week before the vote, the commission said the election will be postponed to March 28. Mr. Buhari and his opposition party, convinced they will win the election, have been strongly resisting the idea of a delay. Civil society groups and human rights activists were also opposed to a postponement. But they were trumped by the Nigerian military, which refused to provide security for the election if it was held on Feb. 14 as scheduled. The delay is a major boost for Mr. Jonathan, who has far more financial resources than Mr. Buhari and can use the extra six weeks to further outspend his opponent on campaign advertisements and to forge deals with key regional power-brokers who could swing the election to him. The official reason for the delay seemed odd and difficult to understand. The Nigerian military and other security forces, which have been fighting the Boko Haram insurgency for the past six years with little success, announced bluntly that they cannot provide security for the Feb. 14 election because they will be “concentrating” on a military operation against Boko Haram. This operation will take “at least six weeks,” according to Mr. Jega’s summary of what he was told by the security chiefs. “The security agencies reiterated that they will be concentrating their attention to the insurgency and may not be able to play its traditional role in providing security during the elections,” said Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, in his late-night announcement. “The advice by the security chiefs is that it will be impossible to secure elections while a military operation is going on,” he said. “The security agencies have told us that they can restore normalcy within six weeks. I hope that we should keep hope alive.” With the military refusing to provide security for the voting process on Feb. 14, it would have been “unconscionable” to send election personnel and voters to the voting stations, Mr. Jega said. Reaction from ordinary Nigerians was skeptical. On social media, Nigerians questioned why the military would suddenly announce a military operation against Boko Haram to coincide with the scheduled election date. And they expressed doubt that the military could suddenly defeat Boko Haram in six weeks, after failing to defeat the Islamist radical militia for the past six years. Mr. Jega insisted that his electoral commission was “substantially ready” for a Feb. 14 election, but he admitted that some factors such as security were beyond his control. For weeks, the election commission has been insisting that it is prepared for a Feb. 14 election and there are no grounds for a delay. But shadowy forces have been financing a campaign for a delay. Anonymous brochures, accompanied by T-shirts and caps, have appeared in the streets of Abuja, demanding a 60-day delay in the vote. The national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has also been calling for a delay. The main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, said the election delay was “clearly a major setback for Nigerian democracy.” It said the party was meeting in an emergency session to study the implications of the delay. The delay was “highly provocative” but Nigerians should “remain calm and desist from violence” since this would be an “obvious trap” to further delay the election, the party said on Saturday night. The United States has also strongly opposed a delay in the election. On Jan. 25, during a visit to Nigeria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that the election should be held on Feb. 14 as scheduled. But Mr. Jonathan refused to endorse the Feb. 14 date, saying instead that the “sacrosanct” day was May 29, when the new president is supposed to take office. BBC
Life took a nasty turn, personally, well before the global economic crisis of 2008 and Greece’s implosion in 2009. The year was 2005. In that August my extremely young daughter, Xenia, was taken away by… Australia. For reasons that I now recognise as legitimate, her mother decided to take Xenia to Sydney and make a home for her there, permanently. Xenia’s loss left me in a state of shock (she has been living since then in Sydney, thus guaranteeing the longevity of my relationship with Sydney). As luck would have it, a few months later, I was saved from near oblivion by Danae Stratou with whom, ever since, we have been sharing life, work and a myriad of projects. An artistic-cum-political project called CUT- 7 dividing lines brought us together. That project evolved into another one called The Globalising Wall. The latest project to come out of this fortunate (for us) union is called www.vitalspace.org. Above all else, we are having fun doing the things that matter (to us). Moreover, as the years go by, and Xenia grows into an autonomous person, the pieces of my life that were so violently separated in 2005 are coming together.
Today, the people of Greece gave a vote of confidence to hope. They used the ballot box, in this splendid celebration of democracy, to put an end to a self-reinforcing crisis that produces indignity in Greece and feeds Europe’s darkest forces. The people of Greece today sent a message of solidarity to the North, to the South, to the East and to the West of our continent. The simple message is that the time for crisis-denial, retribution and finger-pointing is over. That the time for the reinvigoration of the ideals of freedom, rationality, democratic process and justice has come in the continent that invented them. Greek democracy today chose to stop going gently into the night. Greek democracy resolved to rage against the dying of the light. Fresh from receiving our democratic mandate, we call upon the people of Europe and, indeed, the world over, to join us in a realm of shared, sustainable prosperity. Yanis Varoufakis
DILI: Timor Leste resistance hero Xanana Gusmao has submitted his resignation as prime minister, the government said Friday (Feb 6), after more than a decade leading the half-island nation during the fraught early years of its independence. The president must now decide whether to accept the resignation of the 68-year-old, who has served as either president or prime minister since Timor Leste became independent in 2002 following a long struggle against Indonesian occupation. The departure of the former guerrilla fighter would deprive Timor Leste of a unifying figure who has helped resolve numerous crises, but analysts say it is time for Gusmao to step aside to enable a transition to a new generation of leaders. Speculation had been mounting that Gusmao would step aside soon after he began talks with the president earlier this week about a major government overhaul, which is expected to be announced in the coming days. In a statement Friday, the government said that Gusmao "has sent his letter of resignation from the post of prime minister to the president", Taur Matan Ruak. "It is now for the president of the republic to consider and respond to the letter of resignation." If it is accepted, then Gusmao will remain premier until a replacement is sworn in. Gusmao has "encouraged all members of government to work calmly in this time of transition until the new government is sworn in," the statement added. It is not clear what role, if any, Gusmao would play in a new government, or who would succeed him. Observers say he may keep some sort of role to ensure a smooth transition. GOVERNMENT RESTRUCTURE In an earlier statement, authorities said talks were under way on a "major restructure of the government". Authorities want to "reduce the size of the executive to create a more efficient and functional body focused on results, and allow opportunities for a younger generation of leaders to make a contribution to the nation", said the government statement. Analysts said that the reshuffle could be aimed at getting rid of ministers from Gusmao's coalition who had been accused of corruption, before he steps down. Gusmao has repeatedly repeatedly delayed his resignation, with observers saying he was likely trying to ensure the graft scandals were dealt with before he stepped aside. He led the military wing of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), which fought against Indonesian occupation. Before Indonesia invaded in 1975, Portugal had ruled then-East Timor for centuries. He spent years hiding out in the jungle before being captured and imprisoned in Jakarta towards the end of Indonesian occupation. However, he continued to lead the struggle for independence from behind bars. After the Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence in a UN-backed referendum in 1999, he returned to his homeland a hero and was elected the country's first president in 2002. He has been prime minister since 2007. He is credited with resolving numerous crises in the chaotic early years of the country's independence. After returning to Timor Leste following the referendum, Gusmao urged reconciliation, persuading pro-Indonesian militiamen who had gone on a murderous rampage following the vote to return home. Gusmao also helped to keep a lid on communal tensions after a crisis in 2006, when soldiers sacked from the army launched a mutiny that sparked factional violence that left dozens dead and forced 150,000 into makeshift camps. - AFP/rw
NIAMEY (Reuters) - Niger troops and Chadian war planes fought off an attack on Friday on the Niger town of Bosso by Boko Haram militants whose insurgency is spreading from Nigeria to neighbouring states, military officials in Niger said. The fighting took place in the southeastern region of Diffa, part of the border area where Chad has sent hundreds of troops to help Niger take on Boko Haram, the sources said. "The Boko Haram attack from Malam Fatori (in Nigeria) against the town of Bosso and the bridge at Doutchi in the Diffa region has been repulsed. We have Chadian planes bombarding the locality," said a Niger military source. A second source said: "There is heavy weapons fire from both sides .... We have at least five injured in our ranks." Later a military source said the attack had failed, calm had returned and there was no hot pursuit operation into Nigeria. Boko Haram has seized territory in northeastern Nigeria as part of a five-year insurgency for an Islamist state. Around 10,000 people were killed last year and the militants increasingly stage cross border attacks. The insurgency is the worst threat to Nigeria's security as the nation, Africa's top oil producer and biggest economy, heads to a presidential election on Feb. 14. The militants are also increasingly threatening neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, prompting regional leaders to come up with a joint plan to defeat them. Chad has deployed some 2,500 soldiers to neighbouring Cameroon and Niger as part of this effort. Niger's parliament is due to vote on Monday on a proposal by the government to send its troops into Nigeria to fight Boko Haram.
O Presidente da República de Timor-Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, anunciou esta sexta-feira ter convocado o Conselho de Estado para uma reunião na segunda-feira, depois de ter recebido, na quinta-feira, a carta de demissão de Xanana Gusmão, informou a presidência. «Sua excelência o Presidente da República recebeu ontem, dia 5 de fevereiro, ao final do dia, a carta de demissão de sua excelência o primeiro-ministro, Xanana Gusmão. O chefe de Estado deu por isso início ao processo constitucional de consulta», refere o comunicado de três parágrafos. O primeiro-ministro timorense, demissionário no cargo, Xanana Gusmão, disse esta sexta-feira à agência Lusa que a sua saída se tornou «uma obrigação moral e política» e que a decisão de se demitir pretende abrir caminho à nova geração. «Eu não falaria de (momento) histórico, em termos de referir-se a mim, mas em termos de uma decisão que se tornou como uma obrigação moral e política.» Num debate público, em Díli, Xanana afirmou que nenhuma instituição em Timor-Leste é «intocável». «Esta é uma mensagem para todas as instituições. Estamos no processo de criação do Estado e todas as instituições ainda são fracas. E nenhuma instituição deve sentir-se intocável.» O primeiro-ministro sublinhou ainda que os líderes políticos do país devem procurar trabalhar com compromisso e unindo esforços. «Precisamos de um sentido de compromisso, de coordenar todos os esforços para garantir que se há dificuldades as podemos resolver, se há necessidades podemos fazer algo em conjunto para lhes dar resposta.»
In this remarkable and provocative book, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis explodes the myth that financialisation, ineffectual regulation of banks, greed and globalisation were the root causes of both the Eurozone crisis and the global economic crisis. Rather, they are symptoms of a much deeper malaise which can be traced all the way back to the Great Crash of 1929, then on through to the 1970s: the time when a 'Global Minotaur' was born. Just as the Athenians maintained a steady flow of tributes to the Cretan beast, so Europe and the rest of the world began sending incredible amounts of capital to America and Wall Street. Thus, the Global Minotaur became the 'engine' that pulled the world economy from the early 1980s through to the financial collapse of 2008. Today's deepening crisis in Europe is just one of the inevitable symptoms of the weakening Minotaur; of a global 'system' which is now as unsustainable as it is imbalanced. Going beyond this, Varoufakis lays out the options available to us for reintroducing a modicum of reason into a highly irrational global economic order. An essential account of the socio-economic events and hidden histories that have shaped the world as we now know it. Reviews 'The book is one of those exceedingly rare publications of which one can say they are urgent, timely and absolutely necessary.' - Terry Eagleton 'Yanis Varoufakis is a rare economist: skilled at explaining ideas, happy to join in public debates and able to put his discipline in a broader context.' - Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian lead economics writer 'Yanis is one of the best, brightest and most innovative economists on the planet' - Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics 'Clearly and strongly written, with logical organization building towards simple conclusions, the book is an easy yet rewarding read ... perhaps should become the standard way we think about the nature of our increasingly dysfunctional world economy.' - Joel Campbell, International Affairs 'In the most comprehensive guide to the contemporary economic crisis yet written, Yanis Varoufakis traces out the path from post-war US economic supremacy to the current predicament. This book's provocative thesis, written in lively and impassioned prose, is that which neither the US nor the EU nor any other nation can now restore robust global growth. Whether you agree or disagree, this book's lively and impassioned prose will engage you both heart and mind, and hold you in thrall to the last word. The Global Minotaur is a masterwork that registers for all time the challenge of our time.' - Prof. Gary Dymski, University of California, Riverside 'If you want to know how serious the current crisis is, you should read his book. With much eloquence, Yanis Varoufakis argues that the current financial problems are connected to the emerging fault lines of the international monetary system. The US (the Minotaur) used to govern the international monetary system, but no more; and this crucially means that there is no surplus recycling mechanism that can reliably stabilise the world economy. The elephant in the room, so to speak, is a stumbling Minotaur.' - Prof. Shaun Hargreaves-Heap, University of East Anglia
António Veríssimo, Lisboa Quem tem medo das eleições antecipadas? A novela da demissão de Xanana Gusmão, PM timorense, manteve-se no “ar” durante todo o ano de 2014. Tudo indica que finalmente hoje encontrou o seu epílogo consubstanciado em carta de demissão entregue na Presidência da República de Timor-Leste. Finalmente Taur Matan Ruak, o PR, está de posse de documento oficial da demissão apresentada pelo primeiro-ministro, dependendo dele garantir a defesa da democracia e da interpretação correta da Constituição, ou conduzir Timor-Leste para uma ditadura das oligarquias que com toda a promiscuidade se nomeiam para garantirem o monopólio do poder governativo e demais poderes que lhes convier apoderarem-se, fazendo-os reféns de políticas dúbias e opacas. Foi caso de apontamento aqui no Página Global que o PR Taur demonstrou preferência por realizar eleições antecipadas se o PM Xanana apresentasse a sua demissão e consequente queda do governo que chefiava. Essa foi a informação que obtivemos de fonte geralmente bem informada e de análises políticas que têm correspondido à realidade. Contudo, neste processo de demissão do PM timorense e governo, as pressões a que Taur Matan Ruak tem estado sujeito permitem perceber que as regras democráticas podem vir a não ser respeitadas. A própria oposição timorense, a Fretilin, está do lado do querer de Xanana Gusmão e já anunciou que vai aceitar a escolha de Xanana para que Rui Araújo, da Fretilin, seja o PM substituto. Assim, sem eleições e por escolha de um PM demissionário que ainda há poucas semanas reconheceu as suas limitações e incompetências como primeiro-ministro. Limitações que se alargam às suas tendências antidemocráticas, até ditatoriais, conforme tem demonstrado – opinião de muitos analistas. E é este homem, Xanana Gusmão, acusado de corrupção, praticante comprovado de nepotismo em alta escala. Absolutamente descredibilizado interna e externamente. E é este homem, que nomeia o seu sucessor? E a oposição aceita e congratula-se? E o presidente da República corrobora esta pretensão antidemocrática? Não está em causa a credibilidade do nomeado substituto de Xanana, Rui Araújo. Está em causa a Fretilin regozijar-se por mais esta ação antidemocrática e pusilânime de Xanana Gusmão e de todos aqueles que com ele têm ferido a democracia timorense. Mais ainda quando a Fretilin considera por bem que Xanana se mantenha no governo sob o primado de Rui Araújo, como declarou Mari Alkatiri. É de pasmar esta posição se a Fretilin a aprovar. A desilusão causada por Mari Alkatiri ao promover esta operação antidemocrática é inclassificável. Pelo menos para quem ainda quer acreditar na possibilidade de Timor-Leste ser diferente de muitos países do mundo e reger-se sob uma verdadeira democracia, onde as carências das populações sejam atendidas, assim como termine a corrupção e as negociatas de muitos das elites. É suposto que a Fretlin pugne pela democracia na total acessão da palavra e não numa democracia que não o seja por faltar justiça, habitação, saúde, alimentação, emprego, educação, etc., para todos. Uma democracia de facto e não uma mascarada que permite às elites roubarem aquilo que pertence a todos os timorenses e é distribuído só por alguns. As dúvidas são imensas. E os temores também. Aguarda-se que pelo resto desta semana tudo seja clarificado. Está nas mãos de Taur Matan Ruak ser de facto o presidente da República Democrática de Timor-Leste ou, no pior das suas decisões, ser presidente de um Timor-Leste na posse de uma oligarquia que fere os princípios da democracia. Digam aquilo que disserem, PR e os partidos políticos, vão agora mostrar ao mundo e aos timorenses por que regime optam: a democracia de facto ou uma mascarada que tem vitimado o povo timorense e a que importa dizer basta e agir para que baste. Quem tem medo das eleições antecipadas? PÁGINA GLOBAL 5 de Fevereiro de 2015
Timor-Leste after Xanana Gusmão Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict 16 July 2014 This report looks at the highly personalistic system of post-independence governance in which a tiny elite of ageing resistance leaders has dominated political life. Overview When Xanana Gusmão steps down as Timor-Leste’s prime minister, it will mark the beginning of a long-deferred transition of power from the closed circle of ageing leaders that has dominated the country’s politics since the nationalist movement began. The timing remains unclear. Many are now sceptical he will resign in September as he said he would in late 2013, but it seems clear that he will leave office before the next election in 2017. His departure could signal a healthy move away from highly personalised governance to greater institutional development, particularly in the security sector. His successor will face the challenge of how to address potential sources of social and political unrest without Gusmão’s unparalleled authority. In the twelve years since the country’s independence, all the threats to stability have been internal. Many have emerged from bitter feuds among members of Falintil, the guerrilla army that fought for independence, as well as jockeying by members of the former diaspora elite for influence after independence. Both have obstructed institutional development of the country’s security forces; together, they have sometimes led to violence. Both were important factors in a violent upheaval in 2006 that saw the state’s command of its security forces briefly collapse. Gusmão’s announced plan to step down was triggered by the return from self-imposed exile of a former guerrilla named Mauk Moruk, who in 1984 became the last man to directly challenge Gusmão’s authority (then as chief commander of Falintil). He immediately attempted something similar when he came back, gathering a few hundred followers, launching a “revolutionary council”, attacking Gusmão’s “authoritarian” leadership style and calling for the dissolution of parliament. While government leaders were concerned by his potential ability to spark broader unrest, they appeared to be even more rattled by his version of history, and it was in the course of a nationally televised five-hour lecture to refute it that Gusmão announced his retirement. Mauk Moruk’s charges against Gusmão drew attention to the latter’s critical role in managing the security forces. To deal with residual tensions from the 2006 crisis, Gusmão in 2007 merged the defence and interior ministries into a single Ministry of Defence and Security and put himself in charge. In doing so he succeeded in tempering inter-service rivalries and restoring stability but at the cost of reinforcing the old Falintil chain of command rather than allowing the development of independent civilian control. His successor will have to guard against re-emergence of police-army rivalry, handle demands of veterans for more benefits and confront the politically sensitive issue of how to retire still-serving Falintil fighters. Gusmão had the personal authority to keep these issues under control; his successor may have a harder time. The political path to Gusmão’s resignation has been opened by his rapprochement with his old rival, Mari Alkatiri, the country’s first prime minister, and greater cooperation between their respective parties, Timorese National Congress for Reconstruction (Congresso Nacional da Reconstrução Timorense, CNRT) and Fretilin. It is not clear whether the new warmth will last, but Alkatiri’s assurance that he will not seek to head the next government is probably a prerequisite of Gusmão’s stepping down. The question is how the succession will serve the cause of transition from the old guard of the resistance, the so-called 1975 Generation, to a younger leadership less mired in the past. A resignation later this year would yield little real change in the short term: Gusmão’s replacement would almost certainly come from within his own party, and none of the potential successors has the charisma or independent political base required to win a future election. More lasting change will have to wait until the 2017 election, when many believe that Taur Matan Ruak, current president and former army chief (and the last to serve as Gusmão’s deputy in Falintil), is the most likely contender to become prime minister. The Falintil-government link would thus continue, but Ruak is a decade younger than Gusmão or Alkatiri and he has shown more interest in grooming a new generation to take over. Gusmão’s successors will face major challenges. The first is dealing with potential troublemakers, including dissident veterans, gangs and martial arts groups and unemployed youth. The second is reducing the capture of resources by the elite that is producing corruption and growing income inequality that itself could become a source of unrest. The third is addressing old social and political cleavages that continue to fester. Finally, there is what to do about Gusmão himself. He could move quietly into retirement, or he could be given some form of institutionalised role, either as a Minister Mentor, following the Singaporean model created for Lee Kuan Yew, or as part of a Council of Elders in which others like Alkatiri could also be included. That would only postpone the real transition of power than Timor so badly needs.
Timor Leste’s despot ruler - time to go Xanana! November 09, 2014 By Ted McDonnell XANANA Gusmao was once considered a great freedom fighter. Today, in Timor Leste he is considered a despot despised by political opponents, favoured by the corrupt political elite, and joked about by the man in the street. Gusmao, now half way through his second term as Prime Minister either needs to step down, before he has his Berlusconi moment, or be removed by his own party. Two senior members of CNRT believe the reason Gusmao has survived so long is that “the people are afraid of him”. “This is a man who threatens people on the street, in parliament, everywhere. People are afraid of him,” the senior Minister said. “The sacking of the judges and anti-corruption investigators is because he could not get his way. We lost the oil tax cases, the corruption trial of boina Pires was about to begin and the only way for Xanana to stop losing face locally was to get rid of anyone who disagreed with him.” It is believed KAK (corruption investigators) are investigating as many as eight of Gusmao’s closest allies in government. Another high profile CNRT Minister contacted said: “He should go, we know that. He is destroying this country and protecting the dodo (corrupt).” Ask why he is protecting the corrupt he said: “He knows if they are charged with corruption, he might also be implicated. The oil deals he has done with his nephew have always been questionable and the first contract with Nilton (Nilton Gusmao) was signed off my Ms Pires.” “The sacking of the Portuguese judges over the oil taxes was just a plot to take the attention away from what maun Xanana’s real worry the corruption of his friends." Fretilin leaders are sitting back watching Gusmao implode believing he is damaging his own legacy, or what’s left of it, and Timor Leste’s reputation internationally. “We are just sitting back and watching and waiting,” one Fretilin leader said. “Never interrupt your opponent whilst he is making a mistake.” However, many believe Fretilin are just as weak as those in the CNRT Party who want Xanana gone. Sources say senior ministers within the Australian and Portuguese governments are bemused by Gusmao’s recent irrational behaviour, but refuse to comment officially on Timor Leste’s internal politics believing Gusmao’s time as PM is coming to a close. Many observers believe Gusmao's time as PM has been a disaster for his tiny nation. Poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, non-existent health care remain at third world standards, and very little has been done over the two terms of CNRT's reign in government to stem the plight of the Timorese people. Despite its rapidly depleting Petroleum Fund tens of millions of dollars have been spent on monuments to Gusmao. Many millions have also been stolen from the public purse. There is little doubt new media laws, soon to be promulgated by Timor Leste President, Taur Matan Ruak have been designed by Gusmao to stop media criticism of his government's financial mismanagement, the corruption investigations into the political elite and further scrutiny into oil contracts given to Gusmao's favoured nephew Nilton Gusmao, who has had hundreds of million dollars worth of petroleum contracts handed to him by Uncle Xanana. No one can deny Xanana Gusmao was a great freedom fighter for his people, but as a politician he has been an abject failure and has let the Timorese down badly, in fact, many believe he has betrayed them by protecting the corrupt in his government, and at the same time has been handing his family members millions, and millions of dollars in contracts. One former Anti-Corruption (KAK) investigator expelled from Timor Leste by the Gusmao government says he has evidence, which he has taken with him, proving Gusmao has allegedly been involved in many corrupt acts. In an exclusive in Expresso, a leading subscription based Portuguese publication, the former KAK investigator made the startling claim that he has evidence with him that proves PM Gusmao has also committed alleged corruption. Jose Brito said he was also threatened by "Xanana's thugs". Brito went to Timor-Leste in 2009 and was integrated into the United Nations mission. A year later he moved to the Anti-Corruption Commission created by the Timorese government. He says he is confident from his experience and evidence before him to say that "corruption is endemic in Timor-Leste". "From the various state services, such as police to construction, to the top of the Government", he said in Expresso, adding that Xanana Gusmão is included in a long list of corrupt activities. "Xanana? I have no doubt that he is involved in corruption. And I have proof. I sent them in a container to Portugal," he adds. Brito alleged that "there are several cases involving Xanana. Such as rice contracts involving daughter and the fuel business involving his nephew." "The system is so corrupt that it all ends up in disasters. Works do not have quality, the designs are bad and use and abuse of emergencies to make direct single source contract awards," he concludes. Gusmao's latest actions of sacking the judiciary and threatening anyone who speaks out against him, are as those of a despot ruler struggling to hang on to power. He knows many of his "loyal" CNRT members are plotting behind the scenes. Currently, Gusmao has everyone in Timor Leste scared of him, but also scared of what he might do next, but there are movements within his own party lobbying for him to be removed as Prime Minister before he causes any further local or international disasters. Most believe it is better for him to retire at his own hand, rather than the people of Timor Leste to rise up against another dictatorial regime. The people of Timor Leste deserve better than that!
"A polémica em torno das acusações das autoridades angolanas segundo as quais Mário Soares e seu filho João Soares seriam dos principais beneficiários do tráfico de diamantes e de marfim levadas a cabo pela UNITA de Jonas Savimbi, tem sido conduzida na base de mistificações grosseiras sobre o comportamento daquelas figuras políticas nos últimos anos. Enquanto desde logo a intervenção pública da generalidade das figuras políticas do País, que vão desde o Presidente da República até ao Deputado do Bloco de Esquerda, Francisco Louçã, passando pelo PP de Paulo Portas e Basílio Horta, pelo PSD de Durão Barroso e por toda a sorte de fazedores de opinião, jornalistas (ligados ou não à Fundação Mário Soares), pensadores profissionais, autarcas, «comentadores» e comentadores de serviço, etc. Tudo como se Mário Soares fosse uma virgem perdida no meio de um imenso bordel. Sei que Mário Soares não é nenhuma virgem, e que o País (apesar de tudo) não é nenhum bordel. Sei também que não gosto nada de Mário Soares e do filho João Soares, os quais se têm vindo a comportar politicamente como uma espécie de versão portuguesa da antiga dupla haitiana «Papa Doc» e «Baby Doc». Vejamos então porque é que não gosto deles. A primeira ideia que se agigante sobre Mário Soares é que é um homem que não tem princípios, mas sim fins. É-lhe atribuida a frase "Em política, feio, feio, é perder". São conhecidos também os seus zigue-zagues políticos desde antes do 25 de Abril. Tentou negociar com Marcelo Caetano uma legalização do seu (e dos seus amigos) agrupamento político, num gesto que mais não significava do que uma imensa traição a toda a oposição, mormente àquela que mais se empenhava na luta contra o fascismo. Já depois do 25 de Abril, assumiu-se como o homem dos Americanos e da CIA em Portugal e na própria Internacional Socialista. Dos mesmos Americanos que acabavam de conceber, financiar e executar o golpe contra Salvador Allende no Chile, e que colocara no poder Augusto Pinochet. Mário Soares combateu o comunismo e os comunistas portugueses como nenhuma outra pessoa o fizera durante a Revolução, e foi amigo de Nicolae Ceausescu, figura que chegou a apresentar como modelo a ser seguido pelos comunistas portugueses. Durante a Revolução Portuguesa, andou a gritar nas ruas do País a palavra de ordem "Partido Socialista, Partido Marxista", mas mal se apanhou no poder meteu o socialismo na gaveta e nunca mais o tirou de lá. Os seis Governos notabilizaram-se por 3 coisas: políticas abertamente de direita, a facilidade com que certos empresários ganhavam dinheiro e essa inovação da austeridade soarista (versão bloco central), que foram os salários em atraso. Insultos a um Juiz. Em Coimbra, onde veio uma vez como Primeiro-Ministro, foi confrontado com uma manifestação de trabalhadores com salários em atraso. Soares não gostou do que ouviu (chamaram-lhe o que Soares tem chamado aos governantes angolanos), e alguns trabalhadores foram presos por polícias zelosos. Mas, como não apresentou queixa (o tipo de crime em causa exigia a apresentação de queixa), o Juiz não teve outro remédio se não libertar os detidos no próprio dia. Soares não gostou e insultou publicamente esse Magistrado, o qual ainda apresentou queixa ao Conselho Superior da Magistratura contra Mário Soares, mas sua excelência não foi incomodado. Na sequência, foi modificado o Código Penal, o que constituiu a primeira alteração de que foi alvo por exigências dos interesses pessoais de figuras públicas. Soares é arrogante, pesporrante e malcriado. É conhecidíssima a frase que dirigiu, perante as câmaras de TV, a um agente da GNR em serviço que cumpria a missão de lhe fazer escolta enquanto Presidente da República durante a presidência aberta em Lisboa: «Oh Sr. Guarda! Desapareça!». Nunca em Portugal um agente da autoridade terá sido tão humilhado publicamente por um responsável político, como aquele pobre soldado da GNR. Em minha opinião, Mário Soares nunca foi um verdadeiro democrata. Ou melhor, é muito democrata se for ele a mandar. Quando não, acaba-se imediatamente a democracia. À sua volta não tem amigos, e ele sabe-o: tem pessoas que não pensam pela própria cabeça e que apenas fazem o que ele manda e quando ele manda. Só é amigo de quem lhe obedece. Quem ousar ter ideias próprias é triturado sem quaisquer contemplações. Algumas das suas mais sólidas e antigas amizades ficaram pelo caminho quando ousaram pôr em causa os seus interesses e as suas ambições pessoais. Soares é um homem de ódios pessoais sem limites, os quais sempre colocou acima dos interesses políticos do partido e do próprio País. Em 1980, não hesitou em apoiar objectivamente o General Soares Carneiro contra Eanes, não por razões políticas, mas devido ao ódio pessoal que nutria pelo General Ramalho Eanes. E como o PS não alinhou nessa aventura que iria entregar a Presidência da República a um General do antigo regime, Soares, em vez de acatar a decisão maioritária do seu partido, optou por demitir-se e passou a intrigar, a conspirar e a manipular as consciências dos militantes socialistas e de toda a sorte de oportunidades, não hesitando mesmo em espezinhar amigos de sempre como Francisco Salgado Zenha. Confesso que não sei porque é que o séquito de prosélitos do soarismo, onde, lamentavelmente, parece ter-se incluído o actual Presidente da República, apareçam agora tão indignados com as declarações de governantes angolanos e estiveram tão calados quando da publicação do livro de Rui Mateus sobre Mário. Soares. Na altura todos meteram a cabeça na areia, incluindo o próprio clã dos Soares, e nem tugiram nem mugiram, apesar de as acusações serem então bem mais graves do que as de agora. Porque razão é que Jorge Sampaio se calou contra as «calúnias» de Rui Mateus? Dinheiro de Macau. Anos mais tarde, um senhor que fora Ministro de um Governo chefiado por Mário Soares, Rosado Correia, vinha de Macau para Portugal com uma mala com dezenas de milhares de contos. A "proveniência" do dinheiro era tão pouco limpa, que um membro do Governo de Macau, António Vitorino, foi a correr ao aeroporto tirar-lhe a mala à última hora. Parece que se tratava de dinheiro que tinha sido obtido de empresários chineses com a promessa de benefícios indevidos por parte do Governo de Macau. Para quem era esse dinheiro foi coisa que nunca ficou devidamente esclarecida. O caso Emaudio (e o célebre fax de Macau) é um episódio que envolve destacadíssimos soaristas, amigos intímos de Mário Soares e altos dirigentes do PS da época soarista. Menano do Amaral chegou a ser responsável pelas finanças do PS, e Rui Mateus foi durante anos responsável pelas relações internacionais do partido, ou seja, pela angariação de fundos no estrangeiro. Não havia seguramente no PS ninguém em quem Soares depositasse mais confiança. Ainda hoje subsistem muitas dúvidas (e não só as lançadas no livro de Rui Mateus) sobre o verdadeiro destino dos financiamentos vindos de Macau. No entanto, em Tribunal os pretensos corruptores foram processualmente separados dos alegados corrompidos, com esta peculiaridade (que não é inédita) judicial: os pretensos corruptores foram condenados, enquanto os alegados corrompidos foram absolvidos. Aliás, no que respeita a Macau só um Pais sem dignidade e um povo sem brio nem vergonha é que toleravam o que se passou nos últimos anos (e nos últimos dias) de administração portuguesa naquele Território, com os chineses pura e simplesmente a chamarem ladrões aos portugueses. E isso não foi só dirigido a alguns colaboradores de cartazes do MASP que a dada altura enxamearam aquele território. Esse epíteto chegou a ser dirigido aos mais altos representantes do Estado Português. Tudo por causa das fundações criadas para tirar dinheiro de Macau. Mas isso é outra história cujos verdadeiros contornos hão-de ser um dia conhecidos. Não foi só em Portugal que Mário Soares conviveu com pessoas pouco recomendáveis. Veja-se o caso de Betino Craxi, o líder do PS italiano, condenado a vários anos de prisão pelas autoridades judiciais do seu país, devido a graves crimes como corrupção. Soares fez questão de lhe manifestar publicamente solidariedade quando ele se refugiou na Tunísia. Veja-se também a amizade com Felipe Gonzáles, líder do Partido Socialista de Espanha que não encontrou melhor maneira para resolver o problema político do País Basco senão recorrer ao terrorismo, contratando os piores mercenários do Lumpen e da extrema-direita da Europa para assassinar militantes e simpatizantes da ETA. Mário Soares utilizou o cargo de Presidente da República para passear pelo estrangeiro como nunca ninguém fizera em Portugal. Ele, que com tanta austeridade impôs aos trabalhadores portugueses enquanto Primeiro-Ministro, gastou, como Presidente da República, milhões de contos dos contribuintes portugueses em passeatas pelo Mundo, com verdadeiros exércitos de amigos e prosélitos do soarismo, com destaque para jornalistas. São muitos desses «viajantes» que hoje sem põem em bicos de pés a indignar-se pelas declarações dos governantes angolanos. Enquanto Presidente da República, Soares abusou como ninguém das distinções honoríficas do Estado Português. Não há praticamente nenhum amigo que não tenha recebido uma condecoração, enquanto outros cidadãos, que tanto mereceram, não obtiveram qualquer distinção durante o seu «reinado». Um dos maiores vultos da resistência antifascista no meio universitário, e um dos mais notáveis académicos portugueses, perseguido pelo antigo regime, o Prof. Orlando de Carvalho, não foi merecedor, segundo Mário Soares, da Ordem da Liberdade. Mas alguns que até colaboraram com o antigo regime receberam as mais altas distinções. Orlando de Carvalho só veio a receber a Ordem da Liberdade depois de Soares deixar a Presidência da República, ou seja, logo que Sampaio tomou posse. A razão foi só uma: Orlando de carvalho nunca prestou vassalagem a Soares, e Jorge Sampaio não fazia depender disso a atribuição de condecorações. Fundação com dinheiros públicos. A pretexto de uns papeis pessoais cujo valor histórico ou cultural nunca ninguém sindicou, Soares decidiu fazer uma Fundação com o seu nome. Nada de mal se o fizesse com dinheiro seu, como seria normal. Mas não: acabou por fazê-lo com dinheiros públicos. Só o Governo, de uma só vez, deu-lhe 500 mil contos, e a Câmara de Lisboa, presidida pelo seu filho, deu-lhe um prédio no valor de centenas de milhares de contos, Nos Estados Unidos, na Inglaterra, na Alemanha ou em qualquer país em que as regras democráticas fossem minimamente respeitadas muita gente estaria, por isso, a contas com a justiça, incluindo os próprios Mário e João Soares, e as respectivas carreiras políticas teriam aí terminado. Tais práticas são absolutamente inadmissíveis num país que respeitasse o dinheiro estorquido aos contribuintes pelo fisco. Se os seus documentos pessoais tivessem valor histórico Mário Soares deveria entregá-los a uma instituição pública, como a Torre do Tombo, ou o Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril, por exemplo. Mas para isso era preciso que Soares fosse uma pessoa com humildade democrática e verdadeiro amor pela cultura. Mas não. Não eram preocupações culturais que motivavam Soares. O que ele pretendia era outra coisa. Porque as suas ambições não têm limites ele precisava de um instrumento de pressão sobre as instituições democráticas e dos órgãos de poder e de intromissão directa na vida do País. A Fundação Mário Soares está a transformar-se num verdadeiro cancro da democracia portuguesa.
As tropas chadianas mobilizadas na fronteira com a Nigéria entraram nesta terça-feira (3) na cidade nigeriana de Gamboru, depois de violentos combates com os islamitas do Boko Haram, segundo um jornalista da AFP no local. Os blindados e os soldados chadianos passaram pela ponte que separa a cidade camaronesa de Fotokol de Gamboru depois de bombardeios aéreos e de artilharia e trocaram disparos com os islamitas, que tomaram a cidade ha vários meses. O exército do Chade começou a bombardear de novo na segunda-feira posições do grupo Boko Haram na cidade de Gamboru, a base do Boko Haram na fronteira com o Camarões, onde islamitas nigerianos. Gamboru está separada por uma ponte de 500 metros de comprimento da cidade camaronesa de Fotokol, onde foram registrados combates na sexta-feira entre a guerrilha e os soldados do Chade, que mobilizaram um importante contingente para ajudar o vizinho Camarões a enfrentar o Boko Haram. O grupo extremista deixou mais de 13.000 mortos desde seu levante, em 2009, em uma ofensiva na qual conquistou vários territórios no nordeste da Nigéria e chegou a entrar no Camarões. Depois que a ascensão do Boko Haram derivou em uma crise regional, o Conselho de Paz e Segurança da União Africana (UA) acordou a criação de uma força conjunta de 7.500 homens para combater os jihadistas.
As a citizen of both Australia and Timor-Leste, I feel saddened and disgusted by the recent actions of the Australian government and their national intelligence agency. I see the raid on the home and office of a Timor-Leste Canberra-based lawyer as an act of hostility towards the people of my adopted homeland. This is not the way I expect the country, land of my birth, to behave towards a poor and fragile neighbour. The Australia I hope my children will be proud to call their second home is a caring, open-minded and tolerant country, conscious of its wealth and privilege and keen to share its vast resources with other less fortunate Peoples. It would seem that it’s okay to use the aid dollar to back espionage against your neighbours if you are a rich, white nation. It is not the mean, self-serving and inward-looking place that the government seems to be intent on making it. How can Australia look Timor-Leste in the face and offer advice and technical assistance on good governance, democracy and the rule of law when, within Australia itself, commercial interests are allowed to ride roughshod over international and national laws? Is the reasoning that “everyone else does it, why shouldn’t we?” sufficient to explain why Australia would bug the offices of a friendly, fledgling government? The fact that the alleged wiring by ASIS of the cabinet office was carried out under the guise of aid to the new government and that, in order to be successful, it relied on the inexperience and institutional weaknesses of the Timor-Leste authorities, makes it all the more a cynical and reprehensible an act. These sorts of actions make me wonder what sense of its responsibility to the community of nations, particularly its neighbours in our region, the Australian government thinks it has. Education initiatives in this country, including our Ministry of Education’s mother tongue pilot program, which has been strongly supported by Australia's wonderful AusAID project has been left high and dry now that this part of the aid budget has been cut. Health programs addressing the needs of Timor-Leste’s women and children and other vulnerable people are also in line to be defunded. Ausaid has now ceased to be an independent agency and as of this year , was rolled into DFAT. This is the department where spies, trade and aid came together as one to commercially and economically disadavantage a poor nation with more questions then answers emerging of late in response to Timor-Leste’s good faith request for clarity, rectification and reasonable attempts for friendly resolution. The Australian Government, however, is now avoiding justifying its appalling actions by invoking national security arguments – a final blow to a People who have been steadfast allies to Australia. It is worth recalling that Australia’s invasion of Timor-Leste in December 1941, provoked the landing of Japanese troops less than an hour from the shores of Australia and began a subsequent period of brutal occupation between 1942-1945. As a result of the shelter and care offered by ordinary Timorese to the Australian diggers, Australia suffered only 40 casualties in Timor , in contrast the loss of life by East Timorese civilians was between 40,000 and 60,000. Is the Australian government’s conduct any way to repay this “debt of honour”? The many thousands of Australians who enjoy deep and abiding friendships with the people of Timor-Leste know well that what our nation needs just as desperately as oil and gas revenues. What Timor-Leste needs is understanding, patience and respect for our dignity. Ironically, as this ghastly business unfolded in Canberra, my husband was in the midst of a visit to the Republic of South Sudan, extending the hand of friendship and support to another young and poor nation, struggling to get on its feet and rebuild. In spite of its painful recent history, Timor-Leste and its People have moved forward with dignity to rebuild the nation, taking their place on the international stage as a good global citizen. In light of recent activity, I feel compelled to tell a story of my own experience. In February 2002, an episode of “Australian Story” featuring my work for the East Timorese liberation struggle was broadcast on ABC TV. The documentary revealed how I assisted the East Timorese leader, now my husband, to communicate with the world about the atrocities being committed against his people and about their aspirations for freedom. Since for much of the time that I was carrying out this work I was resident in Jakarta and working part-time for Australian Volunteers International (AVI) as a Liaison Officer, the story led to much public comment and much to my surprise, some suggestions that I had acted as a “spy” or “under-cover agent” for the East Timorese. Some commentators went so far as to accuse me of having endangered the lives of other aid workers by supporting the independence cause whilst in the employ of an Australian aid agency. In fact, the unpaid work I did out of office hours consisted of compiling human rights reports, smuggling medicine and funds to prisoners and helping students persecuted by the Indonesian military regime to get their tales of torture, arbitrary detention and disappearances out to the world. I was merely one member of a vast global network of friends of Timor-Leste’s legitimate quest for self-determination. At the time of the “Australian Story” documentary going to air in early 2002, I was working as an Administrative Assistant in the offices of the National Council of Timorese Resistance, the umbrella body headed by my husband, representing the people of Timor-Leste in negotiations with the United Nations as to the establishment of a transitional administration. Within days of the broadcast on Australian TV of the Australian Story documentary, I received a phone call from the then Executive Director of AVI, Bill Armstrong. With great sadness in his voice, Bill informed me that he had received a phone call from a senior Government official acting in concert with what was believed to be the wishes of the Foreign Minister’s Office. The Foreign Minister was Alexander Downer. In light of the information on my activities contained in the documentary film, it was made clear that AVI cease support for my volunteer assignment. Mindful that the lion’s share of funding for the AVI program came from the Australian government and, not wanting to jeopardise the vital contribution of Australian volunteers to Timor-Leste’s nation-building efforts into the future, I reassured Bill that I respected the decision that he needed to take. At the time I decided to stay silent on the matter as I was keenly aware of our new nation’s dependence on Australian aid and the importance of constructive diplomatic relations. If today I am divulging details of this affair it is only to lay open to public scrutiny the hypocrisy and double standards of previous and present government leaders. It would seem that it’s okay to use the aid dollar to back espionage against your neighbours if you are a rich, white nation. It never occurred to me to invoke national security interests at the time of having my human rights advocacy on behalf of Timor-Leste branded as “spying”. Perhaps I should have done so, particularly since two decades of Australian collusion with the Indonesian military regime could be seen as a very plausible threat indeed to the security of the people of both Australia and Timor-Leste, resulting as it did in unimaginable suffering and loss of life. In the interests of fostering constructive and forward-looking relations with its neighbours, Timor-Leste has opted to let bygones be bygones in its dealings with former foes. Timor-Leste has successfully rebuilt its relationship with Indonesia on a foundation of mutual respect, trust and transparency. It is unfortunate that the Australian government’s own actions have caused many East Timorese and Australians alike to question this policy of appeasement and to reopen the Pandora’s Box of past grievances and pain. The conduct of the Australian authorities in the course of the past week or so is also hugely out of step with public sentiment, the goodwill, friendship and solidarity that exists in abundance within the Australian community. So many friends have written to me over the past week or so to say how ashamed they feel to be Australians and to express their dismay at their government’s conduct. I thank all those who continue to express their solidarity and support and especially those who fearlessly seek to expose the truth for the good of both Nations. Viva Timor-Leste and long live the bonds of solidarity and true friendship that unite the peoples of our two great nations! These comments are of a personal nature and do not reflect the views or positions of the government of Timor-Leste. Kirsty Sword-Gusmao (foto)is a Goodwill Ambassador for education of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and Chair of the Alola Foundation. Além disso, a autora deste comentário é mulher de Xanana Gusmão
Estudo da organização timorense La'o Hamutuk considera que resoluções do Governo e Parlamento que expulsaram magistrados estrangeiros, sobretudo portugueses, vão contra a Constituição nacional. Um estudo divulgado pela organização timorense La'o Hamutuk considera inconstitucionais as resoluções do Governo e do Parlamento Nacional que levaram à expulsão dos magistrados internacionais, maioritariamente portugueses, que estavam no sistema judicial timorense. "As resoluções são contrárias à Constituição, pois contrariam os princípios da separação de poderes e da independência do poder judicial. Como resultado, são inválidas e inaplicáveis", refere uma das conclusões do estudo. "As resoluções pretendem promulgar a lei sobre um assunto sobre o qual nem o Parlamento Nacional nem o Governo têm competência nos termos da Constituição e, portanto, são inválidas e inaplicáveis", sublinha. As conclusões são de uma análise em detalhe sobre as três polémicas resoluções aprovadas pelo Governo e pelo Parlamento Nacional de Timor-Leste que levaram à expulsão dos magistrados internacionais. Fonte da La'o Hamutuk explicou à Lusa que a organização que solicitou a análise - que terá sido concluída em novembro do ano passado mas que só agora é conhecida - pediu para não ser identificada "por motivos políticos". A análise de 11 páginas foi preparada por uma equipa de juristas, também não identificados, que decidiu só a divulgar publicamente agora e apenas através da La'o Hamutuk. Criada em 2000 a La'o Hamutuk (Trabalhar Juntos) é uma das principais organizações de Timor-Leste que monitoriza, analisa e relata sobre os temas mais dominantes da agenda de desenvolvimento social, económico e físico do país, advogando o papel central dos timorenses no processo de decisão. O objeto da análise agora conhecida são duas resoluções de 24 de outubro, uma do Parlamento Nacional (a 11/2014) e outra do Governo (29/2014), e uma terceira, do Governo, aprovada a 31 de outubro. Alegando "motivos de força maior e de interesse nacional", as primeiras resoluções suspenderam os contratos com funcionários judiciais internacionais, a maior parte portugueses, que estava a trabalhar no país. "Transitoriamente, e sem prejuízo de uma decisão em sentido inverso no futuro, deverão cessar de imediato, por motivos de força maior e de interesse nacional, todas as contratações existentes e renovações contratuais dos funcionários judiciais internacionais, incluindo as respetivas assessorias internacionais", refere a resolução. Dias depois o Governo timorense dava mais um passo, com uma resolução em que ordenava aos serviços de migração a expulsão dos funcionários judiciais internacionais, incluindo cinco juízes, um procurador e um oficial da PSP de nacionalidade portuguesa, num prazo de 48 horas. Nas suas conclusões os autores consideram que as resolução são "inconsistentes com as leis superiores" e que as notificações de anulação dos contratos de trabalho por não ter qualquer efeito legal devido à formulação do próprio acordo contratual. "Por causa da nulidade da resolução parlamentar e da Primeira Resolução do Governo, e as dúvidas em torno da validade do suposto cancelamento dos contratos de trabalho dos juízes internacionais, a segunda resolução do Governo também é inválida", considera. "Assim, qualquer ação tomada pelo Serviço de Imigração ou a Polícia para fazer cumprir a segunda resolução do Governo também pode estar sujeita a um desafio legal", explica.