Les États-Unis voulaient-ils renverser Mugabe?/Did the United States want to topple Mugabe?

Il semble que les États-Unis auraient bien voulu renverser Mugabe et appuyer Morgan Tsvangirai. Il semble qu’un rapport du Département d’État (“Supporting Human Rights and Democracy report (2006)”, Téléchargeable ici) nous laisse entendre que oui.

Cliquer ici pour voir l’article qui nous indique la nouvelle (en anglais).

Did the USA wanted to topple Mugabe and support Morgan Tsvangirai? It seems that a report from the US State Department (“Supporting Human Rights and Democracy report (2006)”, Download here) makes us believe so.

The following article talks about it:

By Ewen MacAskill, Guardian 6/4/07
Apr 7, 2007, 09:58

The US admitted openly for the first time yesterday that it was actively working to undermine Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe. Although officially Washington does not support regime change, a US state department report published yesterday acknowledged that it was supporting opposition politicians in the country and others critical of Mr Mugabe.

The state department also admitted sponsoring events aimed at “discrediting” statements made by Mr Mugabe’s government.

The report will be seized on by Mr Mugabe, who has repeatedly claimed that the US and Britain are seeking regime change.

The comments are contained in the state department’s fifth annual Supporting Human Rights and Democracy report. It sets out in detail actions the US government is taking worldwide to promote human rights. The report has had a troubled history. Three years ago publication had to be hastily delayed when details emerged about US human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad.

The US, compared with the UK, was initially slow to criticise Mr Mugabe, but has since adopted an increasingly critical stance, most recently at the Human Rights Council in Geneva last month.

In an unusual piece of candour, the state department report says: “To encourage greater public debate on restoring good governance in [Zimbabwe], the United States sponsored public events that presented economic and social analyses discrediting the government’s excuses for its failed policies.

“To further strengthen pro-democracy elements, the US government continued to support the efforts of the political opposition, the media and civil society to create and defend democratic space and to support persons who criticised the government.”

While the US and British governments still insist their aim in Zimbabwe is not regime change, they have been encouraging the main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangarai, who was beaten up last month.

The report says that while Zimbabwe is nominally democratic, the government of Mr Mugabe is “now authoritarian”.

At a press conference to launch the document, the assistant secretary of state, Barry Lowenkren, said the US goal was not necessarily regime change but to create a level playing field for all parties. He added that where there was a country with record levels of inflation, denial of basic human rights and other abuses, the US had a duty to speak out so that people in Zimbabwe knew they had support.

Asked whether US efforts to promote human rights worldwide were being undermined by the hundreds of of people being held at Guantánamo, Mr Lowenkren insisted the issue was not raised by non-governmental groups at conferences he attended and participants were more interested in what the US could do to help them in their own countries.

He also denied the report was softer on authoritarian governments allied to the US, such as Belarus, than to Zimbabwe.

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Des prisons secrètes américaines en Éthiopie/ Secret U.S. jails in Ethiopia

On l’avait supposé dans une nouvelle précédente et c’est maintenant confirmé par l’Associated Press. Les États-Unis ont au moins trois prisons secrètes en Éthiopie qu’ils utilisent pour interroger tout suspect soupçonné d’appartenir à Al-Qaida. La Presse de Montréal nous communique la nouvelle:

Des agents de la CIA et du FBI traquant des militants d’Al-Qaeda dans la Corne de l’Afrique retiennent des personnes soupçonnées de terrorisme et originaires de 19 pays dans des prisons secrètes en Éthiopie, révèle une enquête menée dans la région par l’Associated Press.

D’après les organisations de défense des droits de l’Homme, des avocats et des diplomates occidentaux interrogés par l’AP, plusieurs centaines de prisonniers, dont des femmes et des enfants, ont été transférés secrètement et illégalement ces derniers mois du Kenya et de Somalie vers l’Éthiopie, où ils sont détenus sans inculpation, ni accès à des défenseurs ou à leurs familles.

Parmi les détenus figurerait au moins un citoyen américain, alors que d’autres seraient originaires du Canada, de Suède et de France, selon les données rassemblées par une organisation musulmane kenyane des droits de l’Homme et un listing de vol obtenu par l’AP. Les autorités des pays concernés n’ont pas réagi dans l’immédiat à ces informations.

Certains détenus ont été interpellés par les troupes éthiopiennes qui ont renversé un gouvernement islamiste radical à la fin de l’année dernière à Mogadiscio, en Somalie. D’autres ont été expulsés du Kenya, pays où de nombreux Somaliens se sont réfugiés pour fuir les violences dans leur pays natal.

L’Ethiopie, qui dément détenir secrètement des prisonniers, est un pays d’Afrique de l’Est où les droits de l’Homme sont fréquemment bafoués. Ces dernières années, le régime d’Addis Abeba a aussi été un proche allié des États-Unis dans la lutte contre Al-Qaeda, qui essaye de s’implanter parmi les musulmans de la Corne de l’Afrique.

Des responsables américains, contactés par l’Associated Press, ont reconnu que des prisonniers avaient été interrogés en Éthiopie. Mais il ont assuré que les agents américains respectaient la loi et que leur action était justifiée parce qu’ils enquêtaient sur des attaques passées et sur des menaces terroristes actuelles.

Les prisonniers n’ont jamais été sous la garde des Américains, a affirmé un porte-parole du FBI, Richard Kolko, démentant que son agence soutiendrait ou participerait à des arrestations illégales. À l’en croire, les agents américains ont obtenu l’autorisation des gouvernements des pays de la Corne de l’Afrique d’interroger des prisonniers dans le cadre de la lutte antiterroriste.

Selon des responsables occidentaux, parmi les personnes détenues figurent des suspects connus pour les liens étroits qu’ils entretiendraient avec Al-Qaeda. Mais certains alliés des États-Unis ont fait part de leur consternation concernant les transferts dans ces prisons secrètes.

John Sifton, expert de Human Rights Watch en matière d’antiterrorisme, est allé jusqu’à dire que les États-Unis s’étaient comportés en «meneurs» dans une affaire qu’il a qualifiée de «Guantanamo décentralisé, externalisé».

Un enquêteur d’une ONG internationale de défense des droits de homme a lui précisé que l’Éthiopie avait installé des prisons secrètes sur trois sites: à Addis Abeba, sur une base aérienne éthiopienne à 59km à l’est de la capitale, et dans le désert près de la frontière somalienne.

«C’était un cauchemar du début à la fin», a raconté Kamilya Mohammedi Tuweni, une femme de 42 ans, mère de trois enfants et titulaire d’un passeport des Emirats arabes unis, dans ses premiers commentaires après sa libération à Addis Abeba, le 24 mars. Elle dit avoir passé deux mois et demi en détention sans avoir été inculpée. Elle est la seule détenue libérée à s’être exprimée publiquement.

Elle dit avoir été arrêtée au cours d’un voyage d’affaires au Kenya, le 10 janvier, avoir été battue, puis envoyée en Somalie où elle aurait partagé une chambre avec 22 autres femmes et enfants. Elle affirme avoir été conduite en Ethiopie, où un agent américain l’aurait interrogée et exhortée à coopérer.

We talked about it on a previous post and it is now confirmed by the Associated Press. The United States have at least three secret prisons in Ethiopia they use to interrogate persons suspected to belong to the Al-Qaida network:

CIA and FBI agents hunting for al-Qaida militants in the Horn of Africa have been interrogating terrorism suspects from 19 countries held at secret prisons in Ethiopia, which is notorious for torture and abuse, according to an investigation by The Associated Press.

Human rights groups, lawyers and several Western diplomats assert hundreds of prisoners, who include women and children, have been transferred secretly and illegally in recent months from Kenya and Somalia to Ethiopia, where they are kept without charge or access to lawyers and families.

The detainees include at least one U.S. citizen and some are from Canada, Sweden and France, according to a list compiled by a Kenyan Muslim rights group and flight manifests obtained by AP.

Some were swept up by Ethiopian troops that drove a radical Islamist government out of neighboring Somalia late last year. Others have been deported from Kenya, where many Somalis have fled the continuing violence in their homeland.

Ethiopia, which denies holding secret prisoners, is a country with a long history of human rights abuses. In recent years, it has also been a key U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaida, which has been trying to sink roots among Muslims in the Horn of Africa.

U.S. government officials contacted by AP acknowledged questioning prisoners in Ethiopia. But they said American agents were following the law and were fully justified in their actions because they are investigating past attacks and current threats of terrorism.

The prisoners were never in American custody, said an FBI spokesman, Richard Kolko, who denied the agency would support or be party to illegal arrests. He said U.S. agents were allowed limited access by governments in the Horn of Africa to question prisoners as part of the FBI’s counter-terrorism work.

Western security officials, who insisted on anonymity because the issue related to security matters, told AP that among those held were well-known suspects with strong links to al-Qaida.

But some U.S. allies have expressed consternation at the transfers to the prisons. One Western diplomat in Nairobi, who agreed to speak to AP only if not quoted to avoid angering U.S. officials, said he sees the United States as playing a guiding role in the operation.

John Sifton, a Human Rights Watch expert on counter-terrorism, went further. He said in an e-mail that the United States has acted as “ringleader” in what he labeled a “decentralized, outsourced Guantanamo.”

Details of the arrests, transfers and interrogations slowly emerged as AP and human rights groups investigated the disappearances, diplomats tracked their missing citizens and the first detainees to be released told their stories.

One investigator from an international human rights group, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak to the media, said Ethiopia had secret jails at three locations: Addis Ababa, the capital; an Ethiopian air base 37 miles east of the capital; and the far eastern desert close to the Somali border.

More than 100 of the detainees were originally arrested in Kenya in January, after almost all of them fled Somalia because of the intervention by Ethiopian troops accompanied by U.S. special forces advisers, according to Kenyan police reports and U.S. military officials.

Those people were then deported in clandestine pre-dawn flights to Somalia, according to the Kenya Muslim Human Rights Forum and airline documents. At least 19 were women and 15 were children.

In Somalia, they were handed over to Ethiopian intelligence officers and secretly flown to Ethiopia, where they are now in detention, the New York-based Human Rights Watch says.

A further 200 people, also captured in Somalia, were mainly Ethiopian rebels who backed the Somali Islamist movement, according to one rights group and a Somali government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his job. Those prisoners also were taken to Ethiopia, human rights groups say.

Kenya continues to arrest hundreds of people for illegally crossing over from Somalia. But it is not clear if deportations continue.

The Pentagon announced last week that one Kenyan al-Qaida suspect who fled Somalia, Mohamed Abul Malik, was arrested and flown to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

When contacted by AP, Ethiopian officials denied that they held secret prisoners or that any detainees were questioned by U.S. officials.

“No such kind of secret prisons exist in Ethiopia,” said Bereket Simon, special adviser to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. He declined to comment further.

A former prisoner and the families of current and former captives tell a different story.

“It was a nightmare from start to finish,” Kamilya Mohammedi Tuweni, a 42-year-old mother of three who has a passport from the United Arab Emirates, told AP in her first comments after her release in Addis Ababa on March 24 from what she said was 2 1/2 months in detention without charge.

She is the only released prisoner who has spoken publicly. She was freed a month after being interviewed, fingerprinted and photographed by a U.S. agent, she said. Tuweni, an Arabic-Swahili translator, said she was arrested while on a business trip to Kenya and had never been to Somalia or had any links to that country.

She said she was arrested Jan. 10. Tuweni said she was beaten in Kenya, then forced to sleep on a stone floor while held in Somalia in a single room with 22 other women and children for 10 days before being flown to Ethiopia on a military plane.

Finally, she said, she was taken blindfolded from prison to a private villa in the Ethiopian capital. There, she said, she was interrogated with other women by a male U.S. intelligence agent. He assured her that she would not be harmed but urged her to cooperate, she said.

In a telephone conversation with AP, Tuweni said the man identified himself as a U.S. official, but not from the FBI. A CIA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday that the agency had no contact with Tuweni.

“We cried the whole time because we did not know what would happen. The whole thing was very scary,” said Tuweni, who flew back to her family in Dubai a day after her release.

Tuweni’s version of her transfer out of Kenya is corroborated by the manifest of the African Express Airways flight 5Y AXF. It shows she was taken to Mogadishu, Somalia, with 31 other people on an unscheduled flight chartered by the Kenyan government.

The family of a Swedish detainee, 17-year-old Safia Benaouda, said she was freed from Ethiopia on March 27 and arrived home the following day. Benaouda had traveled to Somalia with her fiance but fled to Kenya during the Ethiopian military intervention, her mother said.

“She is exhausted, her face is yellow and she’s lost about 10 kilograms (22 pounds),” her mother, Helena Benaouda, a 47-year-old Muslim convert who heads the Swedish Muslim Council, wrote on a Web site she set up to help secure her daughter’s release. “She was beaten with a stick when she demanded to go to the toilet.”

The mother spoke briefly by telephone with AP, saying any information she had was being posted on the Web site. She declined to make her daughter available for an interview.

According to the Web site, an American specialist visited the location where Benaouda was being held and took DNA samples and fingerprints of detainees. It said the teenager was never charged or allowed access to lawyers. The teen was also concerned about a 7-month-old baby that was in detention with her, the Web site said.

The transfer from Kenya to Somalia, and eventually to Ethiopia, of a 24-year-old U.S. citizen, Amir Mohamed Meshal, raised disquiet among FBI officers and the State Department. He is the only American known to be among the detainees in Ethiopia.

U.S. diplomats on Feb. 27 formally protested to Kenyan authorities about Meshal’s transfer and then spent three weeks trying to gain access to him in Ethiopia, said Tom Casey, deputy spokesman for the State Department.

He confirmed Meshal was still in Ethiopian custody pending a hearing on his status.

An FBI memo read to AP by a U.S. official in Washington, who insisted on anonymity, quoted an agent who interrogated Meshal as saying the agent was “disgusted” by Meshal’s deportation to Somalia by Kenya. The unidentified agent said he was told by U.S. consular staff that the deportation was illegal.

“My personal opinion was that he may have been a jihadi a-hole, but the precedent of ‘deporting’ U.S. citizens to dangerous situations when there is no reason to do so was a bad one,” the official quoted the memo as saying.

Like Benaouda, Meshal was arrested fleeing Somalia. A Kenyan police report of Meshal’s arrest obtained by AP says he was carrying an assault rifle and had crossed into Kenyan with armed Arab men who were trying to avoid capture.

Meshal’s parents insist he is innocent and called on the U.S. government to win his release.

“My son’s only crime is that he’s a Muslim, an American Muslim,” his father, Mohamed Meshal, said from the family’s two-story home on a cul-de-sac in Tinton Falls, N.J., where he lives with his wife, Fifi.

“Clearly the U.S. government interrogated him, and threatened him with torture according to the accounts that we’ve seen,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law who has been assisting the family.

Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday to demand Meshal’s immediate release. “Our government cannot allow an American citizen to continue to be held by the Ethiopian government in violation of international law and our own due process,” he said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, the guardian of the Geneva Conventions that protect victims of war, is seeking access to the Ethiopian detainees, said a diplomat from a country whose citizens are being held. He insisted on speaking anonymously because he is working for their release.

U.S. officials, who agreed to discuss the detentions only if not quoted by name because of the information’s sensitivity, said Ethiopia had allowed access to U.S. agencies, including the CIA and FBI, but the agencies played no role in arrests, transport or deportation.

One official said it would have been irresponsible to pass up an opportunity to learn more about terrorist operations.

Kolko, the FBI spokesman, also said the detainees were never in FBI or U.S. government custody.

“While in custody of the foreign government, the FBI was granted limited access to interview certain individuals of interest,” he told AP. “We do not support or participate in any system that illegally detains foreign fighters or terror suspects, including women and children.”

Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman, declined to discuss details of any such interviews. He said, however: “To fight terror, CIA acts boldly and lawfully, alone and with partners, just as the American people expect us to.”

One of the U.S. officials said the FBI has had access in Ethiopia to several dozen individuals – fewer than 100 – as part of its investigations.

The official said the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed hundreds are a major focus of the agents’ work. Law enforcement officials have long believed the bombings were carried out by members of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network who were later given safe haven in Somalia.

The official said FBI agents would not be witness or party to any questioning that involved abuse.

It wasn’t clear how many people the CIA interviewed or whether the agency’s officers were working jointly with the FBI.

The CIA began an aggressive program in 2002 to interrogate suspected terrorists at an unknown number of secret locations from Southeast Asia to Europe. Prisoners were frequently picked up in one country and transferred to a prison in another, where they were held incommunicado by a cooperative intelligence service. But President Bush announced in September that all the detainees had been moved to military custody at Guantanamo Bay.

One Western diplomat, who refused to be quoted by name for fear of hurting relations with the countries involved, would not rule out that additional suspects in Ethiopia could be sent to Guantanamo.

Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua insisted no laws were broken and said his government was not aware that anyone would be transferred from Somalia to Ethiopia.

Lawyers and human rights groups argue the covert transfers to Ethiopia violated international law.

“Each of these governments has played a shameful role in mistreating people fleeing a war zone,” said Georgette Gagnon, deputy Africa director of Human Rights Watch. “Kenya has secretly expelled people, the Ethiopians have caused dozens to disappear, and U.S. security agents have routinely interrogated people held incommunicado.”

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee and Katherine Shrader in Washington, Karl Ritter in Stockholm, Sweden, and Rebecca Santana in Tinton Falls, N.J., contributed to this report.

Génocide, droite religieuse et Darfour/ Genocide, Religious Right and Darfur

Selon un article de Mahmood Mamdani dans la London Review of Books, les conflits au Darfour et en Iraq ont des similarités: même nombre estimé de victimes au cours des trois dernières années, même agresseurs (groupes paramilitaires), victimes identifiables en tant que membres de groupes ethnico-religieux plutôt que comme individus.

Mais, la différence entre les deux conflits vient dans les désignations qu’on leurs attribue. L’Iraq est un conflit avec des cycles d’insurretion et de contre-insurrection alors que le Darfour vit un génocide. Pourquoi?

Mamdani indique que la raison vient de l’effet qu’a la présence américaine en Iraq. Elle montre au public américain la complexité politique de cet État et le dilemme du retrait des troupes auquel est confronté l’administration Bush. Pas de cela au Soudan. Le conflit du Darfour est purgé de tout élément politique: il est un “conflit apolitique”. Il ne marque donc pas les psychés des américains (ou canadiens). Le conflit du Darfour consiste donc en un acte simplifié impliquant des “Arabes” éliminant des “Africains”. Cette simplification excessive masque la réalité soudanaise et facilite sa désignation en tant que génocide. Ce terme facilite à son tour la formation de regroupements divers qui militeront pour une intervention américaine au Soudan. Mais pourquoi le terme génocide et pourquoi forcer une intervention au Soudan?

La réponse vient de Conn Hallinan de l’IRC. Ce sont les néo-conservateurs et la droite religieuse qui demandent une telle intervention américaine au Darfour. En voulant rendre la politique étrangère américaine plus morale, ce groupe ce sent concerné par le “génocide” du Darfour. Les agresseurs doivent payer de leurs actes. Hallinan dresse une liste des personnes influentes de ces milieux de droite qui demandent une telle intervention (voir la section anglaise pour les noms). En réduisant la complexité du problème du Darfour à sa plus simple expression, la tâche de faire entendre sa cause est rendue plus facile. De plus, cette réthorique aidera les États-Unis a assoir une présence plus accrue dans le continent africain. Un phénomène en branle depuis un moment déjà, notamment avec la création de l’AFRICOM.

According to Mahmood Mamdani, writing an interesting paper in the London Review of Books, the conflicts in Iraq and Sudan have similarities:

The estimate of the number of civilians killed over the past three years is roughly similar. The killers are mostly paramilitaries, closely linked to the official military, which is said to be their main source of arms. The victims too are by and large identified as members of groups, rather than targeted as individuals.

But the big difference is in the naming. The conflict in Iraq is called a “cycle of insurgency and counter-insurgency” and in Darfur, a genocide. Why?

The most powerful mobilisation in New York City is in relation to Darfur, not Iraq. One would expect the reverse, for no other reason than that most New Yorkers are American citizens and so should feel directly responsible for the violence in occupied Iraq. But Iraq is a messy place in the American imagination, a place with messy politics. Americans worry about what their government should do in Iraq. Should it withdraw? What would happen if it did? In contrast, there is nothing messy about Darfur. It is a place without history and without politics; simply a site where perpetrators clearly identifiable as ‘Arabs’ confront victims clearly identifiable as ‘Africans’.

Since Sudan and Darfur don’t have a direct impact in the american (or canadian) psyche, it is an “apolitical conflict”. That kind of conflict helps oversimplifying what’s really happening there. That’s why the reports we have from Darfur are always twisted and imply an “Arab” side exterminating an “African” side. For Mamdani, hiding the political complexity of Sudan makes it easier to tag the conflict as a genocide. In turn, the term genocide will make the gathering of a support for an american intervention in Darfur easier. But why calling it a genocide and why pushing for an intervention in Sudan?

The answer is found by Conn Hallinan from IRC:

[…] a seasoned cadre of neoconservatives and right-wingers have latched on to the issue, pushing an agenda that favors military over political solutions.

They include Elliott Abrams and Nina Shea (both of whom played key roles in the Reagan administration’s wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua), leading conservative evangelical Christians, and two of the country’s most right-wing legislators, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO).

Typical of the rhetoric of this group was a commentary from Brownback published in the Orlando Sentinel last month. Brownback wrote that while he supports a diplomatic solution to Darfur, “We must be prepared to take strong action against the Khartoum government if diplomacy continues not to yield positive results.” He added: “The parties responsible for the genocide in Darfur must pay a price for their role in the continuing attacks on civilians and their refusal to accept international peace keeping forces” (Orlando Sentinel, February 27, 2007).

Behind the rhetoric of the “war on terrorism,” the Bush administration has a long-term strategy for Africa that turns butter into guns. The White House recently established a separate U.S. military command for Africa—AFRICOM—and this past December directly intervened in Somalia’s civil war. Washington is also spreading a network of military clients throughout North Africa and the Sahara and is even considering military action against anti-government insurgents in Nigeria. (See, for example, transcript of Associated Press interview with U.S. Gen. James L. Jones, supreme commander of the NATO, August 31, 2006.).

So, there we have it… Oversimplification at work to permit the push for an intervention in Sudan advocated by the Right (religious and neocons) . It will enable the USA to establish their presence in Africa.

DynCorp International fournira les équipements de la force de maintien de la paix en Somalie/ DynCorp International will provide logistic to the peacekeeping force in Somalia

Puisque nous parlons de Somalie, une nouvelle (aussi reprise ici) indique que l’entreprise américaine DynCorp International fournira équipements et logistique aux peacekeepers présents en Somalie. Cela inclut les 1500 ougandais qui viennent récemment de subir une attaque à Mogadiscio. (Cliquer ici pour voir le site, en anglais de la compagnie).

DynCorp Voici un petit historique de l’entreprise (un autre site en parle en anglais):

Au moins cinq employés de DynCorp sont morts au cours des dernières années en Amérique latine, sans faire trop de bruit. Ils ne portaient pas d’uniforme. DynCorp s’est vu confier depuis deux décennies le “plan Colombie”, qui consiste à pulvériser par avion des défoliants au-dessus des champs de coca ; ces appareils se sont fait tirer dessus plus d’une centaine de fois sans faire les gros titres des journaux.

L’histoire de DynCorp, rachetée le 13 décembre 2002 pour 1 milliard de dollars par CSC (Computer Sciences Corp.), est exemplaire. L’entreprise a vu le jour en 1946 sous le nom de California Eastern Airways. Elle embauchait alors des pilotes démobilisés pour transporter du fret aérien. Son activité s’est développée en Asie pendant les guerres de Corée et du Vietnam. Puis DynCorp a envoyé ses avions et ses pilotes en Amérique latine. La baisse des budgets de la défense au début des années 1990 l’a poussée à s’orienter avec succès vers la technologie à vocation militaire et de sécurité. Elle emploie aujourd’hui 23 000 personnes et réalise un chiffre d’affaires de 2,3 milliards de dollars – dont 98 % de contrats publics –, la moitié dans la sécurité et l’autre dans les technologies de l’information.

POLICE ET PROSTITUTION

DynCorp a remporté une part substantielle du budget de 379 millions de dollars de modernisation du système informatique du FBI, dont les enquêtes parlementaires après les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 avaient prouvé l’obsolescence. Elle a installé cet été 20 000 ordinateurs dans les bureaux de la police fédérale dans tous les Etats-Unis. La société met en place un réseau baptisé “Trilogy”. Elle travaille aussi, entre autres, pour le centre de commandement des opérations sous-marines et aériennes de la marine américaine, a installé le système de communications d’urgence des ambassades américaines et posé ses appareils de détection le long de la frontière mexicaine.

En Bosnie, des salariés de DynCorp formaient la police et dirigeaient aussi un réseau de prostitution. Quand le scandale a éclaté, ils ont été seulement licenciés. Ils ne dépendent pas de la justice militaire. Ils n’ont pas à répondre de leurs actes à une autorité judiciaire et politique. Ils travaillent pour une entreprise dont la motivation est de faire du profit.

Avec un telle réputation… Bonne Chance à la force d’intervention!

Since we talk about Somalia, a news came out (shown here) which says that DynCorp International will take care of the equipement and logistic of the african peacekeeping force in Somalia:

It’s a potentially dangerous assignment. When the first 1,500 Ugandans peacekeepers arrived in Somalia’s capital Tuesday, they were greeted with a mortar attack and a major firefight. And on Wednesday, attackers ambushed the peacekeepers in Mogadishu, setting off another gunfight.

The support for the Ugandans is part of a larger goal to improve African forces across the continent and promote peace and stability in a region that’s often lawless and a haven for terrorists, including some tied to al-Qaida. The U.S. has also begun to depend more on African nations for oil and minerals, and wants to expand its influence.

The State Department has committed $14 million for the African Union peacekeeping mission to Somalia and has asked Congress for $40 million more. DynCorp’s work force includes many former U.S. troops who frequently work in hostile areas.

Click here to go to the company’s website. Here is a little history on the company (another one in french here):

The world’s premier rent-a-cop business runs the security show in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the US-Mexico border. They also run the coca crop-dusting business in Colombia, and occasional sex trafficking sorties in Bosnia. But what can you expect from a bunch of mercenaries?

Already armed DynCorp employees make up the core of the police force in Bosnia. DynCorp troops protect Afghan president Hamid Karzai, while DynCorp planes and pilots fly the defoliation missions over the coca crops in Colombia. Back home in the United States Dyncorp is in charge of the border posts between the US and Mexico, many of the Pentagon’s weapons-testing ranges and the entire Air Force One fleet of presidential planes and helicopters. The company also reviews security clearance applications of military and civilian personnel for the Navy.DynCorp

DynCorp began in 1946 as a project of a small group of returning World War II pilots seeking to use their military contacts to make a living in the air cargo business. Named California Eastern Airways the original company was soon airlifting supplies to Asia used in the Korean War. By 2002 Dyncorp, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, was the nation’s 13th largest military contractor with $2.3 billion in revenue until it merged with Computer Sciences Corporation, an El Segundo, California-based technology services company, in an acquisition worth nearly $1 billion.

The company is not short on controversy. Under the Plan Colombia contract, the company has 88 aircraft and 307 employees – 139 of them American – flying missions to eradicate coca fields in Colombia. Soldier of Fortune magazine once ran a cover story on DynCorp, proclaiming it “Colombia’s Coke-Bustin’ Broncos.”

US Rep. Janice Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, told Wired magazine that hiring a private company to fly what amounts to combat missions is asking for trouble. DynCorp’s employees have a history of behaving like cowboys,” Schakowsky noted. “Is the US military privatizing its missions to avoid public controversy or to avoid embarrassment – to hide body bags from the media and shield the military from public opinion?” she asked.

With such a reputation… Good Luck to the peacekeeping force.

Les troupes ougandaises entrent en Somalie/ Ugandan troops enter Somalia

Selon le journal le Monitor (lien anglais), les troupes ougandaises entrent en Somalie aujourd’hui. Elles devraient comprendre 1400 soldats qui arriveront à Baidoa, “l’autre capitale” de Somalie, dans le cadre de la mission de paix de l’Union Africaine dans ce pays. La situation somalienne est complexe, mais on peut dire que le gouvernement officiel a eu l’appui de l’Éthiopie et des États-Unis pour anéantir l’influence du Tribunal islamique qui contrôlait de facto la grande région de Mogadiscio et la Somalie (exceptions faites du Puntland et du Somaliland). Une mission de paix a été organisé par l’ONU et implique la présence de troupes des pays africains voisins dont l’Ouganda.

Or, on a remarqué des mouvements de troupes rebelles de la LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) en RDC et en République Centrafricaine mais le président Museveni a tenu a souligner qu’il ne lancera pas d’attaque contre eux tant que les efforts seront concentrés en Somalie. Il avertit toutefois que l’UPDF (armée nationale) reste sur ses gardes. Il faut savoir que l’armée de terre ougandaise compte environ 45000 hommes. Un envoi de 1400/1500 hommes en Somalie est donc supportable.

Les milices somaliennes qui luttent contre la présence éthiopienne ont menacé de s’en prendre aussi aux troupes ougandaises. Museveni tente de les apaiser, mais c’est difficile quand on sait que le financement de la mission est américain, et que la présence du général américain William E. ‘Kip’ Ward en Ouganda laisse croire à une opération téléguidée de Washington. (Il faut rappeler que les États-Unis ont procédé à plusieurs bombardement des milicies islamiste ces derniers mois).

Selon Jeune Afrique, la totalité des forces africaines attendues en Somalie

sera composée de 8.500 hommes de l’Ouganda, du Burundi, du Malawi, du Ghana et du Nigeria, tandis que l’Algérie et l’Egypte apporteront un soutien logistique.

According to the Ugandan newspaper, the Monitor, Ugandan troops will enter Somalia today. They should include 1400 soldiers (link in french) which will arrive in the “other capital city” of Somalia, Baidoa, under an African Union mission in this country.

The Monitor:

Sources said President Yoweri Museveni yesterday held two separate State House meetings with Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga and Chief of Defence Forces Aronda Nyakairima to finalise details of the deployment.

It emerged that military hardware was being secretly transported from Jinja, where the Somalia-destined troops are currently residing, to the airbase in Entebbe. A source said construction materials, water tanks and heavy armament were already at the airport, as “the final word” is awaited.

The situation in Somalia is complex but we can briefly say that the offical government received the support of Ethiopia and the United States to crush the Islamic Courts’ influence which controlled most part of Mogadishu and Somalia (with the exceptions of Puntland and Somaliland). A peace mission was organized by the United Nations and involved the presence of troops from neighboring african countries.

But Uganda Watch has noticed the movement of LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in DRC and Central African Republic. Museveni said he wouldn’t launch an attack against them since his efforts are concentrated in Somalia. He warned that the UPDF (the national army) is still paying attention to the LRA. We can say that the land forces of Uganda comprises about 45000 soldiers. The dispatch of 1400/1500 soldiers in Somalia is endurable.

The Somali milicias that are fighting against the Ethiopian presence threatened to fight the Ugandans too. Museveni tries to appease them, but it’s hard when everybody knows the financing of the mission comes from the United States. Also, the presence of the american general William E.’Kip’ Ward in Uganda lets us believe the operation might be controlled by Washington (Needless to remind that the USA proceeded in the bombing of islamists milicias in Somalia during the last monthes) .