Comment les États-Unis entendent-ils exercer leur influence en Afrique?

Notre collaborateur, le politologue et analyste Aziz Fall, se penche sur le sens à donner au sommet sans précédent de chefs d’états africains à Washington.

Comment les États-Unis entendent-ils utiliser leurs cartes géopolitiques et géostratégiques pour exercer leur influence sur l’Afrique?

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Les morts ne sont pas traités de la même façon à Minneapolis et en RDC/ Dead don’t have the same treatment in Minneapolis and in DRC.

Everybody heard about Minneapolis’ bridge disaster but at the same time, a train derailed in the Democratic Republic of Congo causing a hundred deaths. However, this tragedy wasn’t covered that much by the medias. It seems that if you live in a “faraway-poor-country” your death will remain unknown to the eyes of the mainly-western medias. Rue89 gives more details below (in french).

Tout le monde a entendu parlé de l’effondrement du pont de Minneapolis (États-Unis) mais au même moment, un déraillement de train a fait une centaine de morts en République Démocratique du Congo. Pourtant cette tragédie n’a reçue presque aucune couverture médiatique. Rue89 nous fait une remarque plus détaillée:

Tous les journalistes connaissent une des règles fondamentales du métier: le mort-kilomètre… Traduction: un accident dans le métro londonien avec quelques victimes fera un gros titre alors qu’un accident de train en Inde faisant cent morts donnera à peine une brève. Un nouvel exemple nous en a été offert cette semaine avec l’effondrement du pont sur le Mississipi.

Tout le monde a vu -y compris sur Rue89- les images spectaculaires de la catastrophe de Minneapolis, qui a fait quatre morts et un nombre encore indéterminé de disparus. Mais qui a entendu parler d’un accident autrement plus meurtrier annoncé le même jour: le déraillement d’un train en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), faisant cent morts et 128 blessés? J’en ai découvert l’existence vendredi par une brève de 17 lignes dans l’International Herald Tribune, qui consacre par ailleurs une demi-page à l’accident de Minneaopolis – ce qui est légitime pour un journal américain. Peu de choses dans les médias français du jour, à part France24,  la chaîne à vocation internationale, qui lui consacre un vrai sujet.

[lire la suite]

Émission Amandla du 4 juillet 2007/ Amandla show from July 4th 2007

Voici les thèmes qui ont été abordés pendant l’émission Amandla du 4 juillet dernier sur les ondes de CKUT 90.3FM (Montréal). Vous pouvez la télécharger ici (lien valide pour deux mois seulement).

Émission en anglais

Enjeux sociaux liés au SIDA au Botswana. Ces enjeux sont très liés à la situation du droit des femmes qui sont les personnes les plus affectées par le SIDA. Des ONG locales de femmes sont impliquées dans l’éducation et la dissémination de l’information sur le VIH/SIDA au sein de la population.Seun Kuti

Commentaires sur la performance du Seun Kuti (fils de Fela Kuti) au festival International de Jazz de Montréal. Voir photo ci-contre et un extrait vidéo de son spectacle plus bas.

The Ravaging of Africa: Militarizing Africa. Rediffusion d’une émission radio en quatre parties qui traite des impacts destructeurs de l’impérialisme américain en Afrique. “Militarizing Africa” décrit comment les États-Unis ont fomentés la guerre qui a dévasté la République Démocratique du Congo et planifié l’invasion de la Somalie par l’Éthiopie. Avec Mfuni Kazadi, Millicent Okumu, Farah Maalim et Halima Abdi Arush

 

Here are the subjects that were addressed in the July 4th Amandla radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM (Montreal). You can download the show here (link valid for two months only).

Show in english.

Social issues related to HIV/AIDS in Botswana. They are closely linked to women rights since they are the most affected by AIDS. Women oriented NGOs are involved in education and dissemination of information on HIV/AIDS in the population.

Comments on Seun Kuti (Fela Kuti‘s son), performance at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Here is a small piece of Kuti’s performance in Montreal:

The Ravaging of Africa: Militarizing Africa. It is four-part radio documentary series about the destructive impact of U.S. imperialism on Africa. “Militarizing Africa” describes how the United States has fomented the devastating war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as taken part in and engineered the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. With Mfuni Kazadi, Millicent Okumu, Farah Maalim and Halima Abdi Arush.


C’est officiel, la CIA a tenté d’assassiner Patrice Lumumba/ It’s official, the CIA planned to assassinate Patrice Lumumba

Il y a quelques jour, la CIA, l’agence d’espionnage américaine, a déclassifié une série de documents faisant 703 pages. Une de ces pages décrit comment, la CIA était impliquée dans la planification de l’assassinat de Patrice Lumumba ancien président du Congo. Le document complet est disponible ici.

703 pages of CIA « jewels » were declassified a few days ago. One page mentions Patrick Lumumba’s and mentions to his assassination. Here is a copy of the text (the full document is available here):

14th February 1972

MEMORENDUM FOR THE RECORD

In November 1962, Mr. [Name erased] advised Mr. Lyman Kirkpatrick that he had, at one time, been directed by Mr. Richard Bissell to assume responsibility for a project involving the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, then Premier, Republic of Congo.

According to [Name erased] poison was to have been the vehicle as he made reference to having been instructed to see Dr. Sidney Gottlieb in order procure the appropriate vehicle.

Bissell, Kirkpatrick et Gottlieb sont morts aujourd’hui (ils moururent respectivement en 1994, 1995 et 1999). Bissell dirigeait à l’époque un bureau des opérations illégales de la CIA, les Black ops; et Gottlieb était un spécialiste des drogues et poisons.

Bissell, Kirkpatrick and Gottlieb are dead today (they died respectively in 1994, 1995 and 1999). Bissell directed the Black Operations department of the CIA and Gottlieb was the drug and poison specialist of the agency.

L’article suivant, daté de l’an 2000, du Guardian de Londres donne l’impression que tout ce projet a été initié par la présidence des États-Unis.

It gives the following article more clout. This article from 2000 in the London Guardian, could put the presidency as the responsible of the project:

President ‘ordered murder’ of Congo leader

Martin Kettle in Washington
Guardian

Thursday August 10, 2000

Forty years after the murder of the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, evidence has emerged in Washington that President Dwight Eisenhower directly ordered the CIA to “eliminate” him.The evidence comes in a previously unpublished 1975 interview with the minute-taker at an August 1960 White House meeting of Eisenhower and his national security advisers on the Congo crisis.

The minute-taker, Robert Johnson, said in the interview that he vividly recalled the president turning to Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, “in the full hearing of all those in attendance, and saying something to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated”.

Mr Johnson recalled: “There was stunned silence for about 15 seconds and the meeting continued.”

Lumumba, the first prime minister of Congo after its independence from Belgium in June 1960, was forced from office as the country’s civil war deepened and was captured by rivals. He was killed on January 17 1961, becoming one of the key martyrs of the African independence struggle.

No direct quotations were ever recorded at the national security council meetings, and Mr Johnson only revealed the exchanges in 1975, when he was privately interviewed by staff of the Senate intelligence committee’s post-Watergate inquiry into US covert action.

The committee concluded that the US was not involved in the murder, though it confirmed that the CIA had conspired to kill Lumumba, possibly on Eisenhower’s orders. Recent Belgian parliamentary inquiries into the murder implicated Belgium but failed to come up with a direct US link.

The transcript of Mr Johnson’s interview has only come to light because it was included in material sent to the US national archives in connection with the assassination of President John F Kennedy.

Émissions Amandla du 20 et du 27 juin 2007/ Amandla shows from June 20th and 27th 2007

Voici les thèmes qui ont été abordés pendant les émissions Amandla du 20 et 27 juin dernier sur les ondes de CKUT 90.3FM (Montréal). Vous pouvez les télécharger ici (lien valide pour deux mois seulement).

Le 27 juin

Entrevue avec Béatrice Umutesi présentant son livre: “Fuir Umutesiou mourir au Zaïre. Le vécu d’une réfugiée rwandaise” – en français. Mme Umutesi est une ancienne réfugiée originaire du Rwanda qui s’enfuit au Zaïre suite au génocide rwandais. Elle travaillait comme coordonnatrice d’ONG avant de fuir au Zaïre. Elle découvre que le Front Patriotique Rwandais (FPR), mouvement de libération qui est aujourd’hui au pouvoir au Rwanda, aurait aussi perpétré des massacres contre les hutus pendant le génocide. La situation rwandaise a donc été plus confuse que ce qu’a bien voulu présenter la presse internationale. Paradoxalement, c’est le FPR que Mme Umutesi dut fuir. Elle quitte pour le Zaïre. Mais la guerre la rejoint avec des soldats du Rwanda qui traversent la frontière pour attaquer les camps de réfugiés. Mme Umutesi dut encore fuir marchant 2000 km dans la jungle congolaise pour trouver la paix.

Décès de Ousmane Sembène (photo plus bas) – en français et anglais. Icône du cinéma africain, né en Casamance (Sénégal). Revue de sa carrière et de sa vie. Il a écrit 5 romans, 5 recueils nouvelles et 14 films.

Les États-Unis cherchent une base pour l’AFRICOM – en anglais. Tel que présenté dans le blog, les pays d’Afrique du Nord refusent d’héberger l’AFRICOM sur leur territoire.

 

L’Union Européenne négocie une entente de libre-échange avec la CEDEAO (Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest) – en anglais. Une telle entente lierait l’une des plus riches régions du monde avec l’une des plus pauvre. Les négociations ne se font donc surement pas sur une base “d’égal à égal”. L’Europe pourrait avoir un accès total au marché de la CEDEAO.

Comment le monde arabe ignore le Darfour – en anglais. Analyse d’un article paru dans le New Internationalist, intitulé “Salaam Darfur”, et qui critique le silence et même le déni du monde arabe devant les événements du Darfur. Cet article a été écrit par deux activiste arabes: Moataz El Fegiery et Ridwan Ziyada.

 

Le 20 juin

 

Émission entièrement en anglais.

Commentaires sur les discussions entre le Front Polisario et le Maroc sous les auspices des Nations Unies – en anglais. Les discussions se sont faites sous les regards d’observateurs Algériens et Mauritaniens. Elles se sont tenues à la suite d’une résolution de l’ONU datant d’avril 2007. Jusqu’à maintenant, rien n’a bougé, si ce n’est la décision de continuer les discussions en août 2007. Pendant ce temps, une génération de réfugiés vit toujours en Algérie, et beaucoup d’entre eux n’ont jamais vu le Sahara Occidental.

Découverte du pétrole au Ghana – en anglais. Le Ghana espère exploiter son pétrole sans tomber dans le piège de la mauvaise gestion de la ressource.

SIDA et développement en Afrique – en anglais. SIDA et développement ont mauvaise presse en Afrique. Le SIDA n’est pas qu’un enjeu de santé publique, il bloque le développement économique. Même dans un pays riche comme le Botswana, il peut faire des ravages.

Grèves générales en Afrique du Sud – en anglais. L’Afrique Du Sud entre dans sa 18ème-19ème journée de grève générale alors que les syndicats et le gouvernement n’arrivent pas à s’entendre. Des reportages provenant du terrain sont présentés.

Here are the subjects that were addressed in the June 20th and 27th Amandla radio shows on CKUT 90.3 FM (Montreal). You can download the shows here (link valid for two months only).

June 27th

United States try to find an african base for AFRICOM – in english. Countries from Northern Africa don’t want the opening of the base. The subject was addressed in a previous post.

European Union wants to build a free trade deal with ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) – in english. This agreement could link one of the wealthiest zone of the world with the poorest countries of the world. This deal might not be negotiated in equal terms. Europe could have total access to the ECOWAS countries…

Death of Ousmane Sembène (see picture) – in english and french. Born in Casamance Ousmane Sembène(Senegal), he was the first african film director to have an international recognition. Review of his career and his life. He wrote 5 novels, 5 short story book, and 14 films. He died on June 10th 2007.

How the arab world ignores Darfur – in english. Analysis of an article from the New Internationalist (“Salaam darfur”) who criticizes the heavy silence and denial from the Arab world regarding the events occuring in Darfur. It was written by two arabic human rights activists: Moataz El Fegiery and Ridwan Ziyada.

Interview with Béatrice Umutesi author of the book: “Surviving the slaughter. The ordeal of a Rwandan refugee in Zaïre” – in french. Mrs Umutesi is a former Rwandan refugee who fled the genocide and went to Zaïre (today called Democratic Republic of Congo). She worked for an NGO before fleeing to Zaïre. She discovered that the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR), the liberation movement in Rwanda who’s now in power, also perpetrated mass murders against the Hutus during the genocide. The situation in Rwanda was therefore more complex than what the international medias depicted. Oddly enough, it’s the FPR Mrs Umutesi had to run from. She fled to Zaïre. But the war caught on her with Rwandan troops crossing the border and attacking refugee camps. She had to run into the jungle and walk 2000 km to find a safe place!

June 20th

Show entirely in english.

Comments on the talks between the Polisario and Morocco under United Nations’ auspices – in english. Talks were held between Morocco and Polisario front with observers from Algeria and Mauritania. They were held following a resolution from April 2007. So far, they lead to nothing concrete and they will continue in August 2007. Meanwhile, a generation of refugees still live in Algeria and most of them were born there and have never seen Western Sahara.

Oil found in Ghana – in english. Ghana hopes to exploit its oil without falling into mismanagement.

AIDS and development in Africa – in english. AIDS and development are treated negatively in Africa. AIDS isn’t just a health issue; it hinders economic development and social capabilities. Even in a rich african country like Botswana, it can be a really serious problem.

General strikes in South Africa – english. South Africa enters its 18-19th day of general strike as the unions and the government can’t find an agreement. Reports from the field are presented.

Voici un court vidéo d’Ousmane Sembène recevant “l’Akira Kurosawa” award au Festvial de film de SanFrancisco en 1993. Here is a short video of Ousmane Sembène receiving the Akira Kurosawa award at the 1993 San Francisco International Film Festival:

Le Maghreb ne veut pas de l’AFRICOM/ The Maghreb doesn’t want AFRICOM

Selon le Washington Post, l’Algérie et la Libye auraient fermé leurs portes aux États-Unis qui voulaient y installer leur poste de commandement militaire pour le continent africain, l’AFRICOM. Le Maroc, considéré comme un proche un allié par Washington, n’a pas non plus été très invitant lorsqu’on lui a proposé d’installer le poste de commandement sur son territoire.

Qu’est-ce que l’AFRICOM? Vous pouvez aller consulter le résumé de l’émission Amandla du 14 février 2007. Des liens y sont indiqués. Vous pouvez aussi voir ce que le gouvernement américain dit lui-même de ce centre de commandement en cliquant ici. Wikipedia donne aussi une excellente description de ce qu’est l’AFRICOM.

According to the Washington Post, countries from the Maghreb don’t want the opening of the AFRICOM in their territories. If you want to know what the AFRICOM is, read de summary of the Amandla show from February 14th 2007. There are links indicated there. You can also look at what the US governement say about the AFRICOM here. Wikipedia also has an excellent description of the AFRICOM.

Washington Post (By Craig Whitlock; Washington Post Foreign Service):

A U.S. delegation seeking a home for a new military command in Africa got a chilly reception during a tour of the northern half of the continent this month, running into opposition even in countries that enjoy friendly relations with the Pentagon.

Algeria and Libya separately ruled out hosting the Defense Department‘s planned Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, and said they were firmly against any of their neighbors doing so either. U.S. diplomats said they were disappointed by the depth of opposition, given that the Bush administration has bolstered ties with both countries on security matters in recent years.

Morocco, which has been mentioned as a possible site for the new command and is one of the strongest U.S. allies in the region, didn’t roll out the welcome mat, either. After the U.S. delegation visited Rabat, the capital, on June 11, the Moroccan foreign ministry strongly denied a claim by an opposition political party that the kingdom had already offered to host AFRICOM. A ministry statement called the claim “baseless information.”

Rachid Tlemcani, a professor of political science at the University of Algiers, said the stern response from North African governments was a reflection of public opposition to U.S. policies in the predominantly Muslim region.

“People on the street assume their governments have already had too many dealings with the U.S. in the war on terror at the expense of the rule of law,” said Tlemcani, who is also a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The regimes realize the whole idea is very unpopular.”

The Bush administration announced in February that it intends to create a separate military command for Africa this year. Responsibility for U.S. militaryFlorida, and the European Command, based in Stuttgart, Germany. operations on the continent is now divided primarily between the Central Command, based in

As they search for a place to put a headquarters for the new command, U.S. officials have tried to allay concerns in Africa that the Pentagon has warlike designs in the region.

Ryan Henry, leader of the U.S. delegation and principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said the main mission for the command would be to stabilize weak or poor countries by training local security forces and doling out humanitarian aid.

“It’s mostly a headquarters and planning focus,” he said after meeting with Moroccan officials. “AFRICOM doesn’t mean that there would be additional U.S. forces put on the continent.”

Henry said no decision had been made about where to locate the command headquarters, which is expected to have 400 to 1,000 people.

During a stop in Algeria, Henry suggested that the Pentagon might “network” the command from several sites in Africa, rather than have a single headquarters. “If at all possible, that’s the way we’d like to proceed,” he told journalists during a briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers.

Defense officials acknowledge that one reason they are paying more attention to Africa is because the continent provides an increasingly large share of the U.S. supply of imported oil and natural gas.

Bush administration officials have also touted the new command as a key part of their strategy for countering terrorism threats on the continent. Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have experienced a resurgence in North and East Africa in recent years.

A group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb asserted responsibility for simultaneous suicide attacks in Algiers in April that killed 33 people. Suicide bombers have also struck Casablanca, Morocco, on three occasions since March, including an attack on the U.S. Consulate.

Since 2003, the Pentagon has developed a regional counterterrorism partnership with several impoverished countries in North Africa, including Mali, Niger, Senegal and Chad. Defense officials say parts of the vast Sahara and neighboring regions serve as training and recruiting grounds for extremist groups, in part because local forces are unable to patrol their own territory.

Rear Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Forces in Europe and most of Africa, said the counterterrorism training programs are designed to avoid a large U.S. military presence and usually involve units of only 10 to 15 people, who spend a few months in Africa at a time.

“Some nations remain somewhat concerned about too overt of a U.S. presence in the area,” McRaven said in an interview in April. “But the nature of the special operations forces is that we can come in with a very small footprint. We can do that without a lot of visibility.”

The North African counterterrorism partnership is headed by the State Department and also includes economic and humanitarian aid programs delivered by civil affairs units. But Tlemcani, the Algerian political scientist, said the U.S. government needed to do much more on those fronts before taking a more prominent military role in Africa.

“The best way to build a strategic relationship is with socioeconomic programs, which haven’t been funded very well,” he said by telephone from Beirut.

Battue dans le métro et agonie à l’hôpital/ Beaten in the subway and agonizing in the hospital

Une histoire incroyable est relatée par La Presse de Montréal. L’événement se passe dans un hôpital de Los Angeles. Une personnes est malade dans la salle d’attente, on appelle le 911, mais personne dans l’hôpital, ni les employés du 911, ne réagissent.

Cela rappelle étrangement un événement qui s’est produit dans le métro de Montréal où un homme a battu sa femme sous les yeux des agents de sécurité qui n’ont rien fait! Pourquoi? Parce que la journée où cette agression s’est produite était celle ou la police de Montréal devait prendre en charge la sécurité du métro à la place du service de sécurité du métro. Ce blogue en parle.

Les problèmes de l’individualisme mais surtout du syndrome de “ce-n’est-pas-ma-juridiction” de la part des services publics doivent être posés.

La Presse:

L’appel fait au 911 est arrivé peu avant 2h du matin. L’enregistrement n’est pas de la meilleure qualité, mais la conversation est claire.

«Ma femme est par terre en train de mourir et les infirmières l’ignorent!» dit un homme, pris de panique.

Après avoir compris que le couple se trouve dans un hôpital, le préposé du 911 lui répond de contacter un docteur ou une infirmière.

«Je ne peux pas envoyer les ambulanciers pour la chercher. Votre femme est déjà à l’hôpital», dit le préposé.

Au bout d’un moment, l’homme raccroche.

Huit minutes plus tard, une femme non identifiée appelle au 911.

«Il y a une femme qui gémit par terre, les infirmières ne font rien.»

«Madame, vous devez contacter la direction de l’hôpital si vous avez une plainte. Le 911 est réservé aux appels d’urgence.»

«Non, vous ne comprenez pas. C’est une urgence.»

«Non, madame, ce n’est pas une urgence.»

«Oui, c’est une urgence.»

«Non, ce n’est pas une urgence.»

«Que dieu vous condamne pour avoir agi comme vous venez d’agir», dit la femme, avant de raccrocher.

«Non, négatif madame. C’est à vous que ça devrait arriver», lui répond le préposé du 911.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43 ans, est morte 30 minutes plus tard, seule, sur le plancher de la salle d’attente du Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, à Los Angeles. Elle laisse dans le deuil trois enfants, un mari estomaqué, et des millions de concitoyens incrédules, qui se demandent aujourd’hui comment pareille absurdité a pu se produire en 2007, en plein coeur d’une métropole américaine.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez a visité l’hôpital plusieurs fois durant les jours précédant sa mort, dans la nuit du 9 mai.

À chaque visite, elle se plaignait de maux de ventre difficiles à supporter. Le 8 mai, un médecin a diagnostiqué des pierres aux reins, lui prescrivant des antidouleurs et du repos. Elle était rentrée à la maison, mais la douleur est devenue si insupportable que Mme Rodriguez est retournée aux urgences en pleine nuit. Elle s’est effondrée devant l’entrée de l’hôpital.

Ce sont des policiers qui l’ont trouvée là. Ils l’ont assise dans un fauteuil roulant et l’ont amenée à l’intérieur. Selon le rapport des policiers, une infirmière a dit à la patiente: «Vous avez déjà été vue par un médecin. Il n’y a rien d’autre que l’on puisse faire pour vous.»

Dans l’esprit du personnel ce soir-là, Mme Rodriguez était une patiente qui se plaint pour rien. Elle est donc restée dans son fauteuil roulant, ignorée de tous. Au bout de 15 minutes, elle s’est couchée par terre en position foetale, hurlant de douleur, et s’est mise à vomir du sang.

Une caméra de surveillance a filmé Mme Rodriguez au sol. La vidéo montre un concierge en train de passer la serpillière autour d’elle, nettoyant le plancher avant de quitter la salle.

Son conjoint, Jose Prado, est arrivé et l’a vue par terre. Il a tenté d’aller chercher une infirmière et d’alerter le 911. Sans succès.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez est morte quelques minutes plus tard. Une autopsie a révélé qu’elle avait succombé à une perforation de l’intestin. Elle avait passé 45 minutes par terre sans que personne n’intervienne.

Enquête du L.A.Times

Situé dans le quartier Watts, Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital est surtout fréquenté par des Noirs et les latinos. Les rues du secteur ne sont pas sûres, de jour comme de soir. D’innombrables patients arrivent avec des blessures de balles, résultats des fusillades entre gangs, qui sont monnaie courante dans le secteur.

La mort de Mme Rodriguez a péniblement rappelé aux résidants de Los Angeles à quel point leur ville est divisée par des frontières raciales et socio-économiques. Un tel drame n’aurait pu se produire dans un quartier habité par des riches, ou par des gens de la classe moyenne.

«Je suis estomaqué, a dit le superviseur du comté, Zev Yaroslavsky, en conférence de presse. La vidéo montre que personne n’a fait son travail correctement. Cette femme était vraisemblablement en douleur. Pourquoi personne n’a rien fait? C’est scandaleux.»

C’est une enquête du Los Angeles Times qui a permis de rendre publics les détails de l’histoire et les bandes sonores du 911 la semaine dernière. Depuis, l’infirmière responsable du triage qui était de garde ce soir-là a donné sa démission. Le directeur de l’établissement a été «réassigné à d’autres tâches», selon un communiqué émis par l’hôpital.

Le frère de la victime, Eddie Sanchez, est encore sous le choc. «C’est incroyable de faire ça à quelqu’un. C’est inhumain» a-t-il dit à La Presse.

M. Sanchez s’est rendu devant le Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital lundi pour donner des entrevues aux médias. Selon lui, le centre hospitalier a perdu toute crédibilité dans cette affaire. «Ils ont traité ma soeur comme une moins que rien. On ne laisse pas les gens se tordre de douleur par terre comme ça. Il va falloir qu’il y ait des changements dans cet hôpital.»

Pour Najee Ali, organisateur communautaire dans le quartier Watts, l’hôpital devrait être fermé temporairement, le temps d’entraîner le personnel et de changer d’administration. «Quand on voit un degré d’incompétence pareil, c’est la seule chose qui puisse être faite pour regagner la confiance des gens.»

La direction de l’hôpital, qui n’accorde pas d’entrevues aux médias, a 30 jours pour faire des changements, sans quoi les fonds fédéraux seront suprimés et l’établissement devra fermer ses portes.

La Presse de Montral picks up the story of the L.A. Times about a lady who died in a hospital waiting room where nobody helped her. The 911 service was called but nobody helped there either. It bears a ressemblanc with what happened in the Montreal metro recently where a man beat his wife under the eyes of the metro security who did nothing. That’s what happens when jurisdiction problems becomes more important than saving and helping persons in distress (the metro security was supposed to be replaced by the city police that day). See the story on CBC:

Montreal subway security guards had no choice but to stand by and watch a woman being beaten up by her partner at a downtown station because police now oversee the transit system, says the president of the guards’ union.

The incident occurred at the Berri-UQAM metro stop on Monday, the same day Montreal police announced they were taking over patrolling the public system.

Analysis on Somalia/ Analyse sur la Somalie

Le “Power and Interest News Report (PINR)” fait une analyse sur la situation somalienne. À consulter dans la section Analyse (en anglais).

The Power and Interest News Network (PINR) does an analysis on the situation in Somalia. See it in our Analysis section.

Les États-Unis et le Soudan, partenaires dans la lutte contre le terrorisme/ United-States and Sudan, partners in counter-terrorism

(Lien en anglais/ link in english)

Si, vous croyez que les sanctions diverses que les États-Unis ont menacé d’appliquer contre le Soudan à cause de ce qui se passe au Darfour vont, un jour, avoir un effet; dites-vous bien que ces deux pays sont partenaires dans la lutte contre le terrorisme. Il semble bien que, pour Washington, ce partenariat ne doive pas souffrir des menaces de sanctions apparemment proférées pour épater la galerie.

If you think the sanctions threats the USA uttered against Sudan because of what’s happening in Darfur will, one day, take effect; you have to take into account that those two countries are partners in counter-terrorism. It seems that, for Washington, this partnership must not suffer from the Darfur problem. Therfore, the sanctions may be pronounced only for the show…

Los Angeles Time:

By Greg Miller and Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writers
June 11, 2007

WASHINGTON — Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq, an example of how the U.S. has continued to cooperate with the Sudanese regime even while condemning its suspected role in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur.

President Bush has denounced the killings in Sudan’s western region as genocide and has imposed sanctions on the government in Khartoum. But some critics say the administration has soft-pedaled the sanctions to preserve its extensive intelligence collaboration with Sudan.

The relationship underscores the complex realities of the post-Sept. 11 world, in which the United States has relied heavily on intelligence and military cooperation from countries, including Sudan and Uzbekistan, that are considered pariah states for their records on human rights.

“Intelligence cooperation takes place for a whole lot of reasons,” said a U.S. intelligence official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing intelligence assessments. “It’s not always between people who love each other deeply.”

Sudan has become increasingly valuable to the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks because the Sunni Arab nation is a crossroads for Islamic militants making their way to Iraq and Pakistan.

That steady flow of foreign fighters has provided cover for Sudan’s Mukhabarat intelligence service to insert spies into Iraq, officials said.

“If you’ve got jihadists traveling via Sudan to get into Iraq, there’s a pattern there in and of itself that would not raise suspicion,” said a former high-ranking CIA official familiar with Sudan’s cooperation with the agency. “It creates an opportunity to send Sudanese into that pipeline.”

As a result, Sudan’s spies have often been in better position than the CIA to gather information on Al Qaeda’s presence in Iraq, as well as the activities of other insurgent groups.

“There’s not much that blond-haired, blue-eyed case officers from the United States can do in the entire Middle East, and there’s nothing they can do in Iraq,” said a second former CIA official familiar with Sudan’s cooperation. “Sudanese can go places we don’t go. They’re Arabs. They can wander around.”

The officials declined to say whether the Mukhabarat had sent its intelligence officers into the country, citing concern over the protection of sources and methods. They said that Sudan had assembled a network of informants in Iraq providing intelligence on the insurgency. Some may have been recruited as they traveled through Khartoum.

The U.S.-Sudan relationship goes beyond Iraq. Sudan has helped the United States track the turmoil in Somalia, working to cultivate contacts with the Islamic Courts Union and other militias in an effort to locate Al Qaeda suspects hiding there. Sudan also has provided extensive cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, acting on U.S. requests to detain suspects as they pass through Khartoum.

Sudan gets a number of benefits in return. Its relationship with the CIA has given it an important back channel for communications with the U.S. government. Washington has also used this channel to lean on Khartoum over the crisis in Darfur and for other issues.

And at a time when Sudan is being condemned in the international community, its counter-terrorism work has won precious praise. The U.S. State Department recently issued a report calling Sudan a “strong partner in the war on terror.”

Some critics accuse the Bush administration of being soft on Sudan for fear of jeopardizing the counter-terrorism cooperation. John Prendergast, director of African affairs for the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, called the latest sanctions announced by Bush last month “window dressing,” designed to appear tough while putting little real pressure on Sudan to stop the militias it is widely believed to be supporting from killing members of tribal settlements in Darfur.

“One of the main glass ceilings on real significant action in response to the genocide in Darfur has been our growing relationship with authorities in Khartoum on counter-terrorism,” said Prendergast, a senior advisor to the International Crisis Group. “It is the single biggest contributor to why the gap between rhetoric and action is so large.”

In an interview, Sudan’s ambassador to the United States, John Ukec Lueth Ukec, suggested that the sanctions could affect his country’s willingness to cooperate on intelligence matters. The steps announced by Bush include denying 31 businesses owned by the Sudanese government access to the U.S. financial system.

The decision to impose financial penalties “was not a good idea,” Ukec said. “It diminishes our cooperation. And it makes those who are on the extreme side, who do not want cooperation with the United States, stronger.”

But White House and U.S. intelligence officials downplayed the prospect that the intelligence cooperation would suffer, saying that it was in both countries’ interests.

“The No. 1 consideration in imposing stiffer sanctions is that the Sudanese government hasn’t stopped the violence there and the people continue to suffer,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “We certainly expect the Sudanese to continue efforts against terrorism because it’s in their own interests, not just ours.”

Sudan has its own interests in following the insurgency because Sudanese extremists and foreign fighters who pass through the country are likely to return and become a potentially destabilizing presence.

Sudan’s lax controls on travel have made it, according to one official, a “way station” for Islamist militants not only from North Africa, but also from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.

Some former U.S. intelligence officials said that Sudan’s help in Iraq had been of limited value, in part because the country accounts for a small fraction of the foreign fighters, mainly at lower levels of the insurgency.

“There’s not going to be a Sudanese guy near the top of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leadership,” said a former CIA official who operated in Baghdad. “They might have some fighters there, but that’s just cannon fodder. They don’t have the trust and the ability to work their way up. The guys leading Al Qaeda in Iraq are Iraqis, Jordanians and Saudis.”

But others say that Sudan’s contributions have been significant because Sudanese frequently occupy support positions throughout Arab society — including in the Iraq insurgency — giving them access to movements and supply chains.

“Every group needs weapons. Every group needs a meeting place,” said another former high-ranking CIA official who oversaw intelligence gathering in Iraq. “Sudanese could get involved in the support chain or smuggling channels from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.”

A State Department official said Sudan had “provided critical information that has helped our counter-terrorism efforts around the globe,” but noted that there was an inherent conflict in the relationship.

“They have done things that have saved American lives,” the official said. “But the bottom line is that they are bombing their people out the wazoo [in Darfur]. Dealing with Sudan, it seems like they are always playing both ends against the middle.”

The CIA declined to discuss any cooperation with Sudan.

“The agency does not, as a rule, comment on relations with foreign intelligence organizations,” CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said.

Ukec, the Sudanese ambassador, said “the details of what we do in counter-terrorism are not available for discussions.” But he noted that the U.S. State Department “has openly said we are involved in countering terrorism,” and that the assistance his country is providing “is not only in Sudan.”

In the mid-1990s, the CIA’s relationship with Sudan was severed. At the time, Sudan was providing safe harbor for Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders. But ties were reestablished shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, when the CIA reopened its station in Khartoum.

Initially, the collaboration focused on information Sudan could provide about Al Qaeda’s activities before Bin Laden left for Afghanistan in 1996, including Al Qaeda’s pursuit of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and its many business fronts and associates there.

Since then, Sudan has moved beyond sharing historical information on Al Qaeda into taking part in ongoing counter-terrorism operations, focusing on areas where its assistance is likely to be most appreciated.

“Iraq,” a U.S. intelligence official said, “is where the intelligence is going to have the most impact on Americans.”

In 2005, the CIA sent an executive jet to Sudan to fly the country’s intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, to Washington for meetings with officials at agency headquarters.

Gosh has not returned to Washington since, but a former official said that “there are liaison visits every day” between the CIA and the Mukhabarat.

History of the U.S. proxy war in Somalia/ L’histoire d’une guerre américaine par procuration en Somalie

(Liens en anglais/ links in english)

Lorsque l’Éthiopie envoya ses troupes en Somalie en décembre 2006, un diplomate américain leur dit: “Allez-y, mais faites ça vite”. Les Éthiopiens sont toujours en Somalie et les États-Unis ont dû intervenir et mener des attaques conjointes avec l’Éthiopie. Harowo retrace l’histoire de cette coopération.

When Ethiopia sent troops in Somali in 2006, an American diplomat told them “do it, but do it quickly.”The Ethiopian are still in Somalia and the United States had to lead joint attacks with them. Harowo gives us the story of that cooperation:

“Get it done quickly and get out.” That, says a senior U.S. diplomat here, was the goal of the little-noticed war that Ethiopia has been fighting, with American support, against Islamic extremists in Somalia. But this in-and-out strategy encounters the same real-world obstacles that America is facing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Conflict is less the problem than post-conflict. That’s the dilemma that America and its allies are discovering in a world where war-fighting and nation-building have become perversely mixed. It took the Ethiopians just a week to drive a Muslim radical movement known as the Islamic Courts from Mogadishu last December. The hard part wasn’t chasing the enemy from the capital, but putting the country back together.

“The Ethiopians are looking for an opportunity to exit, but not until they are confident that the security environment will prevent a return to chaos,” says a State Department official who helps oversee policy for the region. And in Somalia, a backward country that has seen 14 governments since 1991, that process of stabilization will be anything but easy.

The Somalia war comes up during every stop of a tour of the horn of Africa with Adm. William Fallon, the new head of U.S. Central Command. In 2002, Centcom established a regional outpost in the dusty port city of Djibouti, at the entrance to the Red Sea. It now has about 1,500 U.S. military personnel there. Some of them are out digging wells, building schools, vaccinating goats and otherwise “waging peace,” as a spokesman there explains. That’s the nation-building side.

The Djibouti base also provides logistical support for U.S. Special Forces teams that are hunting down what’s left of the al-Qaida terrorist cells that bombed American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Because Somalia provided a haven for al-Qaida, it was a special target after Sept. 11, 2001. But the Bush administration, remembering the disastrous 1993 humanitarian intervention there, was wary of getting involved directly. Initially, the CIA paid Somali warlords to hunt down al-Qaida operatives. But the warlords didn’t catch many terrorists and, perhaps worse, the payoffs added to an anarchic situation that led many Somalis to turn to the Islamic Courts for protection.

The Somalis were mercenary but unreliable. One official recalls how the CIA distributed matchbooks in Somalia offering a $10 million reward for the capture of Osama bin Laden. The Somalis complained that they were being cheated because a CIA Web site was offering a $25 million reward.

The bounties to the Somali warlords “at the time appeared to be the only viable option given our lack of access,” says an intelligence official back in the U.S. The secret CIA program was terminated in 2006.

Ethiopia, fearing the establishment of a radical Muslim government on its eastern border, began planning its military intervention soon after the Islamic Courts took control in Mogadishu in June 2006. At first, Centcom cautioned the Ethiopians against invading. But after 10,000 Ethiopian troops surged across the border on Dec. 24, they received U.S. overhead reconnaissance and other battlefield intelligence.

Next came an Ethiopian-American pincer strategy: In January, after Muslim fighters had fled Mogadishu, the U.S. launched two devastating air attacks by AC-130 gunships. A senior al-Qaida operative named Abu Talha al-Sudani was probably killed in these coordinated attacks, a U.S. official said. Overall, about 8,000 Muslim fighters were killed in the brief war, while the Ethiopians lost just 225 dead and 500 wounded.

A successful proxy war, from the American standpoint. But then what? The Ethiopians began pulling out their troops almost immediately, and by March, the Muslim radicals were threatening to regain control of Mogadishu. Ethiopian troops stormed back and crushed the Muslim rebels once again. The Ethiopians have now concluded that they can’t withdraw completely anytime soon; they must instead stay and train a friendly Somali army that can support the pro-Ethiopian “Transitional Federal Government.”

The Ethiopians are hopeful they can forge a reconciliation among Somali clan leaders. Meanwhile, the Ethiopians are looking for cover from an African Union force they hope will eventually total at least 5,000 soldiers; so far only about 1,800 soldiers from Uganda have shown up.

It’s like Iraq and Afghanistan, in other words. A decisive military strike has destroyed one threat. But what’s left behind, when the dust clears, is a shattered tribal society that won’t have real stability without a complex process of political reconciliation and economic development.

There’s no turning back now, says a U.S. diplomat, but he cautions: “Anyone working in Somalia has to have developed a certain humility about our ability to pick leaders from clans and sub-clans.”