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Military Interventions Are Failing To Counter Extremist Insurgency

Sapien Sapien

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Military interventions have manifestly failed, time and time again, to be effective as regards counter insurgency. These interventions are adopted under the guise of some multilateral arrangements or with the disguised blessing or direct of the UNSC.

For context purposes, let’s start the discussion with the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia, held under the blessings of an entire UNSC resolutions, Res 2472 that authorized AU member states to use military force to intervene and counter the Al Shebaab insurgency in 2007.

This military centric approach was to last, ostensibly for six months but has been renewed time and time again whilst the level of violence in Somalia and troop contributing countries has only but increased.

The recent Global Terrorism Index (2020) shows that Somalia is beset by instances of terrorism whilst numerous forays by Al Shebaab into Kenya (Westgate Shopping Mall and Garisa University Asymmetric terror attacks) proves that retributive violent incursions into troop contributing countries is a menace that can be seen to be a direct by-product of military centric approaches to regional crisis.

The events in the Niger Delta where France, probably per the doctrine of R2P has been militarily entangled highlights that this one size fits all approach to COIN is not effective as it is parroted to be

The Comminique released by SADC in Botswana also sought to address issues of troop contribution to Mozambique.

Therein lies the challenge. The triumvirate trio of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola, under the auspices of regional integration and national sovereignty intervened, militarily, in the DRC (Operation Sovereign Legitimacy) in 1998.

The intervention was directly responsible for the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy (Black Friday Market Crash), descent into anarchy and chaos of the hybrid post-colonial state, escalation of violence in the Great Lakes region and a rise in fragile states within the greater equator zone.

The proliferated increase in arms of war resulted in the emergence of warlord (e.g. Bosco Ndagana, Wamba dia Wamba) and subsequent assassination of LD Kabila.

The SADC led intervention did not manage to bring peace and stability into the war ravaged country yet 18 years after Zimbabwe pulled out of the Congo at the behest of SADC, the country is part of an agenda and international conspiracy to intervene again. No lessons learnt.

Any involvement of foreign troops in a COIN initiative is guaranteed to be a cataclysmic failure. The rapture and related chaos to follow gives traction to this analogy.

Hyper nationalism is clear. People generally despise foreign military presence.

The Sunni Insurgency of 2003-2013 in Iraq gave us good lessons. Despite being told and made to believe that foreign troops under the guise of the Bush Doctrine are going to be seeking to restore democracy which was alleged to have been masterbated upon by Saddam Hussein, the people of Iraq said no to foreign occupation, rose up, took up arms and the resultant anarchy led to the emergency of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, founder of modern day IS.

The by-product of military intervention is clear:

  1. More gangs
  2. More anarchy
  3. Less stability
  4. More chaos
  5. More deaths
  6. Regional escalation

I will not even mention Libya and that NATO led intervention.

For context, the insurgency in Cabo Delgado is clearly LOCALIZED with the direct risk of escalating into a Boko Haram kind of scenario once foreign troops are involved.

Definitely Mozambique needs help but that help must be in the form of capacity building and enhancement programs aimed at ensuring that the country has got institutions and systems capable of muting in the bud the escalating violence.

There are many ways of engaging in COIN. Clearly, there is a need to mix COIN approaches by the Mozambicans themselves, the thrust being to put more emphasis on civilian centric approaches and gelling it with law enforcement thrust.

Cost of cooperation must be made high meaning that decapitation measures of attrition ought to be successfully implemented whilst respecting human rights. This has been done before.

We saw this in Sri Lanka. The 26 year old Tamil Insurgency wad muted by a home grown COIN thrust as directed by the Rajakpaksa Model.

No foreign troops were involved. The death of Prabakaran signaled the end of the insurgency. This is what SADC ought to appreciate.

Reprisal attacks in many of these porous bordered SADC states will make economies collapse. Imagine the negative ramifications say to tourism of one tourist resort center is attacked.

A more pragmatic way of doing it outside of the usage of guns and tanks is the institutional/law enforcement thrust

Definitely, the SADC Communique represents a dedicated belief in the efficacy of multilateralism to resolve domestic challenges but that again, has got its limits.

To understand these limits and thence predict prognosis, the Asymmetric Warfare Equation shall be used:-

The asymmetric warfare equation is thus

AW=Asymmetric Threat (AT) + Asymmetric Operations (AO) + Cultural Asymmetry (CA) + Asymmetric Cost (AC)

Simplified

AW= AT +AO + CA+AC

Are there any asymmetric operations currently underway in Moz? Yes!

  1. Diplomacy (EU etc.)
  2. Military (Wagner Group, Dyke et al)
  3. Economic sabotage (e.g. takeover of Mocimba de Pria port)

The last two aspects of the equation paint a gory picture as to cost of intervention.

Definitely, IPB (intelligence preparation of battlefield) already is making it clear that military centric COIN even per countries with strong defense budgets, shall be extreme.

Use Afghanistan and Boko Haram for there is definite similarities. As regards that, Zimbabwe does not have capacity, e.g. it needed SA engineers to help us rehabilitate broken infrastructure brought about by the asymmetric event, Idai.

What are the cultural issues per cultural asymmetry in the restive region of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique?

  1. Values (Islamic)
  2. Norms
  3. Rules
  4. Target population (demographics and structural issues indicate sympathy to the insurgency cause)

Thrust;

Is there an asymmetric threat in Mozambique? Yes

What form/kind?

  1. Terrorism
  2. Insurgency
  3. Information warfare
  4. Disruptive threats (Idai)
  5. Unknown threats e.g. Climate Change induced

We are alien to Islamic values. It will quickly escalate into a religious conflict. Check Armenia vs Azerbaijan and related alliances that are emerging.

What are the likely costs to be incurred by any intervention (AC)

  1. Cost of action (Indonesian incursion into East Timor costed an equivalent of 50% of its GDP. Forced to quit. Same as the Rhodesians and also operation sovereign legitimacy by Zim in DRC)
  2. Cost of defense

Prognosis of intervention:

POOR

Our border with Mozambique (+/-1000) is too long and porous for guerilla warfare to be defeated.

Our capacity ravaged due to sanctions and amplified vices such as corruption. Per doctrine we are ok but anything post that dololo (nothing).

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Africa

Dr Bohloko, a Pharmacist Who Is Healing the African Continent beyond the Use of Medicine

Brian Kazungu

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Dr Ntseliseng Bohloko

Brian Kazungu, 25/05/2021

As people grow up, what they choose as a profession has a serious impact on how they experience life and how they can make an impact to the world that they live in.

One good example is that in a world where people are troubled by various diseases which affects their ability to be productive and to enjoy life, there those sharp minded boys and girls in our midst who choose to pursue a career in the medical field in order to help take away the pain in others.

As if such a noble pursuit is noble enough for them, you may find the same people engaging in other areas of human life which have got a positive transformative effect in the society that they live in and even beyond.

It is therefore expedient that on this 25th of May, a day that we celebrate and commemorate Africa, a story has to be told of one of her daughters, Dr Ntseliseng Bohloko.

The Lesotho born pharmacist whose humane, and charitable push for a better and inclusive Africa is beyond inspirational continues to inspire and touch many souls through her medical profession and through various Pan African and charitable activities that she engages in.

Despite having a demanding career that comes from having a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutics and Drug Design from Potchefstroom University, a Master of Pharmacy from University of Durban plus a Post Graduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management from the University of Stellenbosch, she still finds to pursue good social causes in various communities.

She also holds a Licentiate in Pharmacy from Havana in Cuba.

Dr. Bohloko was recently nominated and inducted as a Point of Light under the 1873 Network’s Banking On Africa’s Future 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame.

The 1873 Network is a member-based non-profit organization established in South Africa for the purpose  of provoking, inspiring and igniting new and innovative ways of problem solving in Africa based on connected, equipped and forward leaning voluntary actors.

In accepting her induction into the Banking on Africa’s Future initiative, the Pan African minded Dr Bohloko said “We as Africans need to take hold of what we have in our own countries. Africa is rich but all the resources are being moved from Africa to the so-as developed countries for improvement and they come back to us as finished products.

Africa has resources, Africa has educated its own children in the developed countries. It is time for us the present generation to make use of the knowledge that we acquired in the developed countries and use it to develop and improve on the natural resources that we have as Africans.

I suggest and I am very happy to say that we need to guard Africa and incubate Africa so that we can export the finished products to developed countries and bring back the GDP that was God given to Africa.” She said.

Despite being a Pharmacist, she is also heavily invested in charity with various organizations including the Mercy Foundation as its Ambassador in Lesotho.

Mercy Foundation is a faith based initiative which is involved in addressing food security/community development among other charitable engagements coupled with preaching of the gospel irrespective of denomination.

In Lesotho, Mercy Foundation’s milestones includes partnering with LECSA and the Chamber of Commerce to kick start charitable activities. http://www.mercyfoundation.online

Dr Bohloko who describes South Africa as a conglomerate of nations recently decried the existence of divisive mind-sets that seek to bring the continent apart instead of bringing it together in solving Africa’s perennial problems.

Such Ubuntu-ism is what motivated her to join a pro-immigrants’ rights organisation, MIWUSA (Migrant Workers Union in South Africa), previously ZIWUSA (meant solely for Zimbabweans) which fought/ negotiated for the issuing of the four (4)  year Zimbabwean Special Permits (ZSP) which enabled unqualified personnel to enter/work in RSA,  during Minister Gigaba’s tenure.

The success story of such an initiative then inspired her to lobby for the same types of permits for the people from Lesotho, a facility which was also being already enjoyed by fellow Africans from Mozambique by virtue of Mrs Graca Machel being the wife to President Nelson Mandela.

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Africa

Celebrating Work Excellence and The Essence of Life among Africans in Their Diversity through Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF), at The Royal India Restaurant, In Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

Brian Kazungu

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Brian Kazungu, 24/05/2021

The Banking on Africa Africa’s Future (BOAF), an initiative by the 1873 Network in partnership with Africa Heritage Society is redefining the idea of an African identity by bringing together Africans in the diversity through the 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame project.

BOAF’s focus is on identifying and celebrating what a human being is doing to inspire others by being a point of light and a source of hope to many others regardless of a person’s skin colour, race and ethnicity as a way to simply celebrate good works and the essence of life.

Its 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame project seeks to identify Africans who are pursuing their passions in a way that makes them to stand out and shine as points if light in their communities in order to inspire unity and development in a way that restores the continent’s long lost glory.

The 1873 Network is a non-profit organisation comprised of individuals and corporates who share a common passion and desire to build a new African identity focussing on returning Africa to its 1873 pre-colonial state.

Of lately, a number of the induction ceremonies has coincided with birthday celebrations of some of the inductees thus creating priceless and memorable times where the beauty of human excellence in a given profession is celebrated together with an appreciation of the essence of life.

Up to this day, different people from different backgrounds, races and professions in the African continent has been honoured by the 1873 Network at The Royal India Restaurant in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Royal India Restaurant is a prime hospitality establishment situated in Africa’s richest square mile.

It is well known for its royal touch of excellence in both its cuisine, wines, music, customer service and the refreshing serenity that it gives to its patrons.

Recently, during the 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame inductions, family and friends also gathered to spend a special birthday moment with one of the inductees, Ms Janice Greaver, a business management consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropist who turned 30.

Africa Heritage Society Chairperson, Mr Mutumwa Mawere says that it important to celebrate recognise and celebrate people for their outstanding work not because the same people seek to be honoured but simply because they passionately do what they do in a way which inspires others.

Mutumwa Mawere is a businessman and an author of an eye-opening book titled ‘When Minds Meet’ which gives the world a glimpse on the causes of Africa’s myriad of problems and it also offers solutions on how such challenges can be solved.

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Africa

BOAF 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame Inductees Unapologetic About Their Resolve to Make Africa Shine Again

Brian Kazungu

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Makhotso Michelle Maiko

Brian Kazungu, 19/05/2021

Banking on Africa’s Future – 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame inductees who were honoured at The Royal India Restaurant yesterday for their contribution in re-igniting the flame of Africa’s glory expressed their unapologetic resolve to make the African continent a global economic giant.

One of the youngest inductees, a South African neuro-psychologist and entrepreneur Makhotso Michelle Maiko, who studied in Europe, including in countries such as Turkey and the United Kingdom said that it is now important for Africans to become unapologetic about their development.

Her conviction about Africa’s potential is anchored on her vast experiences in the realities of life across the continent and her exposure to other economies which are comparatively performing better across the world.

“I am proudly South African, Turkey speaking, lived in Lagos, and grew up in the dust streets of Cameroon and Ivory Coast as well. I really-really epitomise the African diaspora.” She said

Makhotso who revealed that she lives and breathes Pan Africanism also highlighted that the African continent already has all the social capital that it needs for it to rise as long as there is a systemised and integrated ecosystem to help in the pursuit of such an objective.

“What is important is really creating a systemised and integrated ecosystem for Africa. I like calling it the capital triad which is a combination of social, economic and intellectual capital. I think we have got all the resources which but they are very fragmented, and so, I think, Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) is an incredible initiative.” Makhotso added.

Her fellow inductee, the Cuban trained Lesotho born Pharmacist, Dr Ntseliseng Bohloko, who is also a member of a charity organisation, Mercy Foundation, said that this is the time for Africans to utilise the knowledge that they have towards adding value to God’s given natural resources.

“We as Africans need to take hold of what we have in our own countries. Africa is rich but all the resources are being moved from Africa to the so-as developed countries for improvement and they come back to us as finished products.

Africa has resources, Africa has educated its own children in the developed countries. It is time for us the present generation to make use of the knowledge that we acquired in the developed countries and use it to develop and improve on the natural resources that we have as Africans.

I suggest and I am very happy to say that we need to guard Africa and incubate Africa so that we can export the finished products to developed countries and bring back the GDP that was God given to Africa. Dr Bohloko recommended

Mr. Fakir Hassen, a veteran retired media practitioner and a renowned author who under the Mandela administration was part of the South African team to be commissioned to UNESCO in the United States of America said that Africa is his home.

The 68 year old Hassen of Indian ancestry, expressed that even though he is proud of his rich Indian cultural heritage, he is a South African and an African because since father and himself were all born in and bred in South Africa following the arrival of his grandparents into the country in the early 1900s as endangered labourers.

In describing the Africa he wants to see, he heighted that as inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, he dreams for an Africa which is not stereotypical and where there is education for all and an Africa where poverty, hunger and corruption is eliminated.

He encouraged the sharing of knowledge especially through literature citing that information which is not shared has less value.

Kenyan born Corporate Executive, Mr.  Shayless Panchmatia who was also inducted expressed his willingness to help people in the mining industry especially the diamond sector to fully benefit from their engagement when it comes to this precious mineral rather than to be exploited in their own continent.

While speaking at the same event during his induction, wine specialist, Ronald Mkize, from the world renowned South African wine company, Graham Beck, expressed his excitement on the fact people were drinking the locally produced Graham Beck wine at the event.

“What makes me happy is that everyone here tonight understands the idea of Banking on Africa’s Future because I have seen people drinking a locally produced product here.” Ronald said

In expressing the power and potential of Africa as a giant, Ronald who has vast experience in the wine business, highlighted that Graham Beck is a South African brand which is locally and internationally recognised since it was selected for both the Mandela and Obama’s inauguration.

The 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame induction ceremony coincided with another inductee, management consultant, media personality, philanthropist and business woman, Janice Greaver’s birthday, where she turned 30.

Fellow inductee, South African musician of Indian descent, Mr Bushan Dass who sang Janice a birthday song in the Indian language as a show of inclusivity in the rainbow nation was described by BOAF’s Director of Programs, Mr Jagjit Singh as an ornament in the music industry which must be honored.

Mr. Singh who said that now is the right time to remember all the beacons of hope in Africa also added that the Banking on Africa’s Future initiative is premised on the need to ignite the fire of hope and positive action which can inspire others.

The Guest of Honor at the event, Dr Ladislas Agbesi, the President of the Pan Africa Business Forum expressed his excitement over the identification and celebration of people who are recognized as shining stars in the African continent.

Dr Agbesi described the African continent as the most beautiful lady in the world at the moment and encouraged African governments to concentrate on their role of providing state security as well as managing policies and leave the rest to the private sector.

Africa Heritage Society Chairman, Mr Mutumwa Mawere who is spearheading the initiative through the 1873 Network, a non-profit organization established in South Africa for creating innovative ways of problem solving in Africa said that Africa belongs to all those who live in it.

He also expressed gratitude to all the people who are making the 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame initiative a huge success.

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