Accompanying Partners during Military Operations – Early Expectations for Task Force Takuba, foi.se

Elin Hellquist and Emma Sjökvist, FOI

[…] As for Takuba, official declarations signal that accompanying is part and parcel of the mission.
Although it cannot be ruled out that some contingents will be limited by national caveats, there is reason to expect Takuba to generally be present on operations alongside its partners in FAMa (Malian Armed Forces). […]

Together with their partners from FAMa  Takuba will be entering into an extremely complex asymmetric conflict where antagonists sometimes intentionally hide among the local population. There have been credible reports of atrocities committed by FAMa during counterterrorism operations. In a best-case scenario, Takuba’s presence can help to reduce these crimes. In the worst case, Takuba’s counterparts will include perpetrators of gross human rights violations. Establishing vetting procedures that consider this risk is one concrete step to avoid the misuse of capacity. […]

By answering France’s call to participate in a SOF (special operations forces) mission in an extreme security environment, contributors demonstrate that they are both able and willing partners of France in the fight against terrorism. The Swedish government bill, for instance, refers to strengthened ties to France as a goal for participating in Takuba. Presenting its commitment to Takuba as part of a solidarity-based security policy, the Swedish government acknowledges that its reasons for joining the mission stem not only from circumstances in Mali.  Läs rapporten

Läs även kommentar här på sajten till Sveriges deltagande i Takuba.

Europeans’ trust in US as world leader collapses during pandemic, theguardian.com

The coronavirus crisis has caused a dramatic deterioration in the European public perception of the US, extensive new polling reveals.

More than 60% of respondents in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal said they had lost trust in the United States as a global leader.

A report based on the survey’s findings argues that the shock of the pandemic has “traumatised” European citizens, leaving them feeling “alone and vulnerable”. In almost every country surveyed, a majority of people said their perception of the US had deteriorated since the outbreak. Negative attitudes of the US were most marked in Denmark (71%) Portugal (70%), France (68%), Germany (65%) and Spain (64%). In France, 46% and in Germany 42% said their view of the US had worsened “a lot” during the pandemic. […]

So low is confidence in the future of the transatlantic partnership that only 2% of respondents in Germany and 3% in France said they would expect US support as Europe rebuilds its damaged economy.

“Europeans have digested the fact that the US is no longer necessarily a friend for Europe in times of need,” Dennison said. Läs artikel

Mordet på Lumumba

Lars-Gunnar Liljestrand

Sommarrepris.

Den 30 juni var det 60 år sedan Kongo blev självständigt. Vi återpublicerar den här artikeln om mordet på Patrice Lumumba.

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Ludo De Wittes bok om mordet på Lumumba kan sägas vara startpunkten för undersökningarna om Hammarskjölds död och ger en bakgrund till händelserna i Kongo. Presentationen är författad av Lars-Gunnar Liljestrand och publicerades i Tidskrift för Folkets Rättigheter 2001.

Patrice Lumumba räknas som en av de stora nationella ledarna i den koloniala frigörelsen efter andra världskriget tillsammans personer som Nasser, Nehru, Nkrumah och Sukarno.

Lumumba var det fria Kongos förste valde premiärminister. Han mördades under oklara omständigheter bara ett halvår efter att han tillträtt. I Afrika och på många håll inom Tredje världen sågs mordet som en del i västmakternas komplott att söndra Kongo och behålla kontrollen i landet.

Med boken The Assassination of Lumumba  (Verso, London, 2001) har den holländske författaren Ludo De Witte gjort en grundlig genomgång av händelserna kring mordet. Han har grävt i FN-arkiven, tagit fram nya fakta och visat hur väst – i synnerhet Belgien, Storbritannien och USA – var ansvariga för mordet. Boken har väckt stor uppståndelse i väst och tvingat den belgiska regeringen att erkänna sitt ”moraliska ansvar” för dådet.

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Attempt to prosecute Assad at ICC is aimed at undermining Syrian peace process, rt.com

John Laughland, has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford

The announcement that “a group of Syrian refugees and their London lawyers” have found “a neat legal trick” to press for an indictment against Syrian President Bashar Assad by the International Criminal Court demonstrates, yet again, the dangerous corruption of international justice, against which I have been warning for over a decade.

The Syrian war is nearly over, thanks to the military successes of the Syrian army and its Russian and Iranian allies. Exhaustion on both sides has probably helped. Diplomatic overtures have started to re-integrate Syria into the international system, starting at the regional level: the United Arab Emirates have re-opened their embassy in Damascus; the Sudanese president, Assad’s near namesake, Omar Al-Bashir, has visited Syria, as have senior Egyptian officials; Syrian officials have attended pan-Arab summits; even Israel is maintaining its dialogue with Russia over Syria. In short, the situation is being slowly normalised as Syria herself embarks on the painful search for internal peace.

The attempt to get Assad prosecuted is an attempt to stamp out these seedlings of peace before they take root. Any prosecution against Assad would scupper, or at least severely damage, this slow acceptance that the Syrian president is part of the solution. When even the British government has accepted that Assad is here to stay, and that peace must be made with him, his implacable enemies fear that their prize is about to slip out of their grasp. They do not want peace, if that means keeping Assad.[…]

By seeking to extend its lamentable rule to Syria, and thereby to disrupt a barely embryonic peace there, the ICC risks destroying its reputation even further. For the rules limiting the jurisdiction of international organisations to states which have consented to accept them are not some arcane technicality of international law. Instead, they reflect the most basic principle of politics, which is that those who wield power need to be constitutionally linked to those over whom they wield it. International organisations which are not based on such consent violate that very basic principle flagrantly, and therefore start to resemble the very dictatorships they pretend to combat. Läs artikel

FN beholder de fredsbevarende styrkene i Mali i minst ett år til, forsvaretsforum.no

FNs sikkerhetsråd har enstemmig gått inn for en resolusjon som forlenger nærværet av de fredsbevarende styrkene i Mali med ett år.

Resolusjonen ber også om en langsiktig, detaljert plan som vil ende med at sikkerhetsansvaret overføres til Mali, og at styrkene forlater det vestafrikanske landet.

De fredsbevarende styrkene, som er en del av FN-operasjonen MINUSMA, er i Mali for å støtte gjennomføringen av fredsavtalen som ble signert i 2015.

Norge har i dag 15 personer i FN-operasjonen, som er knyttet til driften av den norske FN-leiren samt stabsfunksjoner i FN-styrkens hovedkvarter.

Mali har vært herjet av uro siden et opprør i 2012 banet vei mot et maktvakuum som islamistgrupper utnyttet. En franskledet intervensjon i 2013 skjøv islamistene vekk fra makten, men sikkerhetssituasjonen har fortsatt vært svært ustabil.

Regjeringen, en koalisjonen som består av blant annet etniske grupper som tuareger og arabere, og en regjeringsvennlig militsgruppe sto bak fredsavtalen fra 2015. Läs artikel

U.S. Calls for Indefinite Arms Embargo of Iran, but Finds No Takers, nytimes.com

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for an arms embargo on Iran to be extended indefinitely, but his appeal fell flat at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China rejected it outright and close allies of the United States were ambivalent.

The embargo, which is set to expire on Oct. 18, stems from the 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. President Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, and Iran has exceeded the accord’s limits on uranium enrichment since then, part of a steady escalation of tensions that have at times pushed the two countries dangerously close to war. […]

Representatives of Britain, France and Germany voiced unease at both the expiration of the embargo and the American approach, particularly the snapback, which they flatly opposed. Läs artikel