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LAMU The New Get way

Mandera the war for Somalian repartition between Ethiopia and Kenya

The recent armed clash between Ethiopian, Kenyan and Somali resistance fighters in the regional strategically city of Mandera has rekindled the long waited regional war of the horn Africa. It is a Somali city located at the cross road between the three countries:  Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Mandera was a central meeting point for all   Ogadeans before the Scramble for Africa in 1880’s that divide them with artificial boarders. This the time bomb set by colonial powers that  divided  people of the region by artificial imaginary lines, thus separating  families of the same clan.


When we talk about the Ogaden region of Ethiopia we have tenancy to forget the name Ogaden given to the region is a tribal name inside Somali populated region of Ethiopia. Today the whole region is named Somali region by the Ethiopian dictator Melese Zenawie since 1991.  This is conspiracy against the Somalis by creating a condition similar to Balkans, where there is a country Macedonia and a region with the same name inside Greek. While there is already country called Somalia there is need to create another Somalia. The main purpose to name such ethnical region is to accelerate the dismemberment of Somalia itself.  Another point to be raised it is not only in Ethiopia that Ogaden exists, but also in Kenya- the western Somali populated region of Kenya is also inhabited with same tribes of Ogadeni.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the 24th of February the Ethiopian mechanized forces supporting the newly trained Somali mercenaries are fighting the Somali insurgents not far from the border town of Mandera supported with heavy weapons.  Melese Zenawie government has been involvement in Somali internal affairs since his accession to power in Ethiopia. He had officially started in its invasion of Somali in 2006 which he left after shameful defeat replacing himself with Burundi and Ugandan troops with the umbrella of the African Unity peace keepers. Both countries running UN resolved eternal ethnic rivalry and armed insurgency in their own land.   The Melese Zenawie mercenary troops have just been caught in Tripoli and Bengasi supporting the falling killer of Libya and Cyrenaica, Mohammed Gaddafi.

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The Ethiopian troops are firing missiles to ensure the newly trained Somali mercenary troops are successfully deployed in Somalia to destabilize the already fragile   country in the name of fighting “Islam extremism.” It is just a pretext to keep himself in power like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia. Melese Zenawie is trying to divert the world attention to the newly open conflict on the cross road city of Mandera.

The Ethiopian dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie has been training 2,000 Somali mercenaries since late 2009 to accomplish the unfinished job of Balkanizing Somalia to different factions. Melese has agreed to let Juba land to pass in the hands of Kenya, while unsuccessfully attempted to control Mogadishu. Since the fall of the central state of Somalia in 1989, Somaliland and Putland have already defacto declared their independence.

The border fighting for the reparation of Somalia between Kenya and Ethiopia has spilled over to the Kenyan town of Mender last Thursday. The tension was high in Mandera County since Wednesday morning as fears of spill-over of the fighting grip residents of Mandera town.

The fist bomb exploded at the Mandera District hospital on Thursday as heavy fighting continued between the different faction to control the border key town between Somalia rebels fighting against Ethiopian troops and their mercenaries with the support of Kenya fighting to control her Ogadeni region of Western territories. Local reporters have seen wounded Kenyans are rushed to be treated for bullet wounds while the authorities are denying their involvement in the conflict to control Somalia.

Kenya has increased its contingent by moving an army battalion around Mandera Town.

The conflict has reached the Kenyan border towns stretching to Kilima Fisi up to Hulugo Somalia Juba land crossing point near Lamu. These are the intersectional crossing to between the three borderline countries.

Beside the regular army Kenya just deployed security team comprising Kenya Army’s Rangers and Special Forces detachments, as well as the General Service Unit and Administration Police.

Two severely and four other Kenyan soldiers were also wounded.  While Kenya like Ethiopia has trained its Somalis mercenaries, it won’t be long before the conflict spill over to Kenyan Somali region like Ogaden of Ethiopia.

 

According to the Kenyan minimizing news media:-

“One woman has been reported dead at Border Point One and 10 casualties are being treated at Mandera District Hospital,” Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet said in a statement.

He said the fighting that started at about 10am on Friday did not spare the Red Cross offices where several gun shots were fired, but no casualty was reported.

“Several gunshots flying in the air across the border have hit the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) offices in Mandera, where six members of staff are holed up, like many other residents of Mandera town,” Mr Gullet said.

“The gunshots have rocked the town, keeping residents and refugees indoors,” he said.

The Society’s Spokesman Titus Mung’ou said the situation had put the lives of humanitarian workers and other residents of Mandera town in grave danger.

“We have reported this latest incident to the Government and hope the KRCS offices, which have a Red Cross emblem flag hoisted on the rooftop, will be protected,” he said.

The Red Cross emblem is a protected symbol, under the Geneva Conventions, and all warring parties are required to respect it, he added.

“Hundreds of refugees are now scattered on the Kenyan side of the border, as it is risky to gather in camps until fighting ceases,” he said.

Hundreds of families began fleeing Mandera town Friday following the intense fighting that has been going on at the Kenya-Somalia border since Wednesday.

Reports from Mandera indicate that schools, government offices and hospitals had been shut for stray ammunition that has been hammering the border town.

A councilor who spoke to Capital News from Mandera said although no physical attacks had occurred in the town, residents were worried of the bullets that “are being fired from various directions whenever the troops are fighting the militiamen.”

On Thursday morning, eight people were struck by bullets fired by militia men who have been fighting AU troops on the Somalia side.

“It is scaring, you cannot know when a bullet will land near you and that is why people are running for safety,” the councilor who only identified himself as Ahmed said.

“Some houses have gone up in flames since morning and we don’t know who are burning them but we highly suspect it has something to do with what is going on at the border,” Ahmed added.

He said Mandera town remained deserted for the better part of Friday and only military and police trucks were seen parked strategically with heavily armed officers.

“People are running towards remote areas far away from Mandera, we don’t want to become victims,” he added “This place now is inhabitable, there are heavy gunfire renting the air every after a couple of hours.

The situation was made worse when a bomb was hurled at the Mandera district hospital but no one was hurt because it landed on an open field.

North Eastern Provincial Commissioner Joseph ole Serian told Capital News that the bomb could have caused a major disaster “were it not that it landed on an open field.”

“The hospital covers a large area, we are lucky it landed on an open ground, it could have been disastrous,” ole Serian said on telephone from where he was coordinating security.

Some 14 African Union soldiers flown from Mogadishu were still admitted to hospitals in Mombasa where they have been receiving treatment for bullet wounds since Thursday.

Military Spokesman Bogita Ongeri told Capital News they had enhanced security at the border towns to stop  Al-Shabaab fighters from liberating from controlling western Kenya.

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The Kenyan soldiers fought the Somali resistance fighters who had tried to stop them from controlling the Somali region of Kenya seven were injured.

The best and the lasting solution for the region is  non ignorance in the internal affair of Somalis by the different  neighboring counties  like Ethiopia and Kenya in order not further  radicalize the situation.

The strategic city of Mandera would be the Waterloo of Melese Zenawie and the Kenyan election killers who are trying to divert the internal situation to this undue conflict by calling for   intervention the  embattled western  forces  in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Related Post

Melese’s plan for Kenya and Ethiopia ought to annex and divide Somalia …

LAMU Archipelago the New Eastern Africa gate way for land locked Ethiopia & Southern Sudan Muse Tegegne, Prof.

The new Kenyan Lamu port is the futuristic  Eastern African gate way  for the  land  locked countries like Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Uganda  and central African Republic. While ports like Mobassa and Dar es Salaam are over stretched  due to their increasing Great Lake markets. The Eastern African ports like Djibouti Barbara Asseb seem stranded by the belligerent conflict, increasing piracy and  Somalian conflict engulfing Yemen. The futur of Red Sea has been endagnered due to geopolitical change in the region.

Geo-strategy

The extraction of  natural gas from the  Indian Ocean region stretching to  Ethiopia, Egypt, and other countries of the Red Sea region will  be  precipitating a collapse in price for gas and petroleum, will further create un expected increase in the conflict  the passage through the Red Sea.

China and Japan Financing

Concerning  the budget of  construction for this big project, China here is particularly interesting in the context of the political economy of the regions  and her increasing  role on the continent. The Japan is   planning to build a pipeline from South Sudan to share from the source of the region seeing the conflict in the Gulf and Red Sea costs to assure her energy supply.  Lamu  will enable China far easier access to Africa’s East coast as inn the historical past with this port.

China’s  environmentally reckless attitude in its Africa policy has increased  her critics due to  the social and environmental impacts of a new port will off course a have lasting effect on the  traditional Swahili   fisherman unless the necessary measures are taken to enhance them too cope with the coming inevitable destruction to their traditional habitat.

The United States, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, India are  financial supporters of various aspects associated with this project.

Egypt Further Menaced

Egypt since the recent Nile accord which was singed against its wishes by the countries of the Nile Basin has forced her to  covertly support radicals in the Horn to  weaken Ethiopia and  to be able to revive its dominance of the Red Sea and the sea lane which links to Egypt’s Suez Canal. Estimated Ethiopian gas reserves, were reported at 12.46 TCF, will  be expanded as it has descovred great gass reserve in Ogadean. Malaysian State-owned oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional  is working  in its reserves in the Ogaden basin region of Ethiopia. Petronas is one of about 85 companies which have oil and gas exploration licenses in Ethiopia, but the Malaysia must soon pump gas  though  safer pipe to Kenya than the ever conflicting  Red Sea through Djibouti.  This surely will  thus diminishing the importance of the Sues Canal , Dijibuti and Asseb, Berebara as  a door way to world energy  when  natural gas bust out and repalce  petroleum in the world market  very very soon.

Egypt sooner than later  must enter in an open conflict in the horn of Africa supporting one or more of the  faction in order to survive by assuring the Red Sea as a dominance passage to the new geopolitical gas. Egypt further must stop Ethiopia and Kenya from repartitioning Somalia as recently incited  .

Ethiopia in search  a gate way

Governments  in    a land  landlocked countries  like Ethiopia, Uganda, Central African Republic and  Southern Sudan  Must use Lamu  port  than any other port  in the region  for  secure their  exportation.  The Ethiopian regime’s plan to build a recent pipeline to the Somaliland port of Barbara will not be viable since the opposite   Islamic Unity party took power in July 2010 and more  instability will follow if it join Mogadishu.   Any sensible government in Ethiopia must back Lamu project as the only viable   and safe sea port for future gas or any exportation to the fast growing  Asia,  South Africa and even as well as  to  Europe.

The estimates for the construction cover 1,000 acres in the region of Manda Bay in Lamu District   including plans for an oil refinery and terminal, international airport and railway track to Juba in Southern Sudan.

Prof. MT

Multi-billion-shilling Lamu project now taking shape

By DAVID OKWEMBAH dokwemba@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Saturday, September 4 2010 at 22:12

Construction of Kenya’s second seaport in Lamu is taking shape with sketches already drawn and aerial photomapping being done in towns along the route.

The government’s lead consultant on the multi-billion-shilling project revealed that detailed designs for the first three berths are ready while hydraulic surveys have been completed.

Dr Mutule Kilonzo and the minister for Transport Amos Kimunya separately said the Japanese consultants hired by the government last April would submit the financial implications of constructing the port in a report next month.

Lamu Port and Manda Bay

•Standard gauge railway line to Juba
•Road network
•Oil pipelines (Southern Sudan and Ethiopia)
Oil refinery at Lamu Three
•Airports
Three resort cities (Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana shores)

The transport corridor is expected to serve an estimated population of 85 million Ethiopians and another 15 million from Southern Sudan. Once completed, LAPSSET is intended to increase business opportunities in tourism, agriculture and manufacturing.

Japan Port Consultant was given 10 months last May to carry out a feasibility study on the port as well as give an estimated cost for the project. During the last financial year, the government allocated Sh500 million for the studies. “In one-and-a-half months the port will have taken shape,” Dr Kilonzo said in an interview.

The government’s lead consultant said aerial photomapping was ongoing in Isiolo and Garissa that are among towns to be served by a standard gauge railway line that will run in to Southern Sudan. A transcontinental highway is to run parallel to the railway line, giving landlocked countries like Ethiopia and Southern Sudan access to the Indian Ocean coast.

Dr Kilonzo noted that a final report on the various surveys, including hydraulic, bathymetric (study of underwater depth) and geophysical would be ready at the end of next month. He said the consultants from Japan had also visited Southern Sudan and Ethiopia to gather information for the projected port.

Officials in Juba and Addis Ababa are reported to have expressed high expectations on the port. Mr Kimunya said the consultants were conducting studies on the speed of water and wind as well as carrying out surveys in the Indian Ocean and Manda Bay. “They need to establish the depth of the sea and whether dredging is necessary,” he said.

The ministry of Lands has set aside 1,000 acres for the port’s quay in what many see as Kenya’s new coastal town that may link Africa’s northeastern coast to the West. Mr Kimunya confirmed that the proceeds of the sale of Nairobi’s Grand Regency hotel to a Libyan company amounting to Sh2.5 billion were still being held by the Treasury for the project.

“The money is held in trust by Treasury for the project,” the minister said of the project, reported to be close to President Kibaki’s heart. The minister cautioned land speculators who have swarmed Lamu hoping to make a killing when the government eventually embarks on the construction of the port. “They (speculators) should know that land in Lamu will not be acquired by government,” he said.

China and Japan are among the countries that have shown an interest in funding the Lamu Port project.

LAMU PORT MAYBE THE WHITEST OF ALL WHITE ELEPHANTS – JAINDI KIS

According to theory, grandly designed infrastructure projects tend to pose high corruption risks. Corrupt influence may be brought to bear especially at the design stage on projects, their scope and components made unnecessarily complex just to increase the potential for corrupt earnings especially during procurement.

These days, anti-corruption watchdogs advise that all large and complex infrastructure projects be subjected to thorough corruption-risk assessment right from their feasibility studies stage to the very end. I make the remarks as an entry to point to a discussion on the multi-billion shilling Lamu Port project.

By all accounts, this is a grandly-designed project with multiple components. Is it not just astonishing that we are going to pay the consultant a massive Sh3.2 billion for a nine-month feasibility study?

Already, the consultant, Japan Port Consultants of Tokyo, has been paid Sh500 million hardly three months after being contracted.

The thinking behind the conception of this project is the following:

First, the government recognises that it will not be able to raise the money to finance the actual building of this mammoth project. In the circumstances, it is convinced that the best option is to invite private sector operators to finance and build the port, and then operate it for a given length of time under a concession before it is eventually returned to the government’s ownership. The arrangement is what is known as a “build operate and transfer” project, commonly referred to as BOT.

The billions of shillings we are spending on the studies and “detailed designs” are meant to generate information the government will use to lure interested investors. Indeed, part of the reason why we are paying the colossal amount for the studies is because the Japanese have been asked to go to the extent of producing “detailed designs” for several components of the project.

Several questions arise. Why are we spending billions of shillings of taxpayers’ money to do detailed designs for projects we intend to sell to third parties who will have their own ideas of how to build the port? Does this make economic sense?

Why can’t we just do inexpensive basic studies and leave actual detail-designing to be handled by prospective BOT investors, depending on their financial and technical capacities? As it is, we risk ending up with piles of expensively produced designs for projects which might not see the light of day.

We have several cases where public institutions have had to pay millions of shillings for designs of projects, which did not take off.

Last year, the National Hospital Insurance Fund paid Sh390 million to consultants who did detailed designs for a training centre the fund had planned for in 2001 in the Karen area. The project did not materialise.

Then there is the case where the State-controlled Kenya Re-insurance Corporation in 1997 spent hundreds of millions of shillings for designs for a multi-million shilling airport transit hotel, which was never built.

Clearly, the scope of feasibility studies job for the Lamu Port project has been made unnecessarily complex. In all, it has a total of seven components. It encompasses a master-plan, including detailed designs for the first three berths.

Then there will be studies for a standard gauge railway line between Lamu and Juba, an oil pipeline from Lamu to Lokichoggio and Moyale, an oil refinery, new road networks, a new airport and a free port, and fibre-optic cables. In addition, three resort cities are to be built at Manda Bay, Isiolo and on the shores of Lake Turkana.

Without doubt, the Lamu project is a good one. The whole idea of creating an alternative transport corridor makes a great deal of sense. If we don’t do a good job of the cost and scope of the feasibility study, we may end up with corruption and several white elephants.