In den letzten Monaten verfolgen wir in Bezug auf Mali, wie die Schaffung von Gewalträumen und die Vertreibung der Bevölkerungen in eine Inwertsetzung des Territoriums münden. Solche Vorgänge sind nicht ungewöhnlich; Berichte aus dem Tschad und Darfur bestätigen einen solchen Zusammenhang. Wir wissen noch nicht einmal, ob es sich um eine Forcierung der Inwertsetzung, unter dem Druck internationaler Akteure, oder um eine Zunahme entsprechender Berichte handelt – zum Teil finanziert von der Gates-Stiftung, ohne dass wir die Ernsthaftigkeit und den Wahrheitsgehalt dieser Berichte dadurch in Frage gestellt sehen würden.

In Mali wie in Mosambik ist der djihadistische Terror Teil dieses „Cocktail of Violence“ – Teil einer Modernisierung, die letztlich in eine Kapitalisierung des Bodens mündet, selbst wenn das von den beteiligten Akteuren nicht von vornherein beabsichtigt ist. Nicht alle sind Wallensteins wie Hemeti in Darfur oder der neue Marschall im Tschad. Wir wittern keine Verschwörungen, sondern wir versuchen zu verstehen – und wir können die Bilder der Great Transformation und des dreißigjährigen Kriegs in Europa nicht verdrängen.

Der Zusammenhang ist offenkundig: Djihadistische Milizen rekrutieren jugendliche Kämpfer, die Armee greift ein, es gibt Massaker an den autochthonen Bevölkerungen, es bilden sich lokale Milizen. Bestenfalls kontrolliert das Militär die Kriegszonen oder es arrangiert sich mit den Milizen – auf Dauer gestellte Unsicherheit und Vertreibungen sind das Ergebnis. Die Interventionen von Europa oder vom AFRICOM aus helfen, die Konflikte direkt oder indirekt zu finanzieren und in Gang zu halten. Die Vertriebenen werden in Auffanglagern notdürftig verpflegt – aber es gibt kein Zurück. Wo sie einst gewohnt haben, werden Rinder gezüchtet, wird Öl gebohrt oder Gold geschürft, und bald bauen Agrokonzerne Jatropha an.

Es fällt nicht leicht, die Affiliation der lokalen Jugendlichen zu den Milizen als soziale Bewegung, als Verschiebung eines sozialen Aufbegehrens zu interpretieren. Indes sind wir uns sicher, dass die lokalen Einschließungen, die Errichtung von Grenzen, das Stay-Put in Gewalträumen zur Eskalation von Gewalt wesentlich beiträgt.

For decades a forgotten corner of Mozambique, Cabo Delgado has now become the country’s El Dorado, promising billions in natural gas and gemstones but delivering its population only violence and displacement.

An insurgency in the province now threatens to become further entrenched – 50,000 people have fled their homes since March and Mozambique’s neighbours are currently debating sending in regional forces to help defeat militants who seized a strategic port in the town of Mocímboa da Praia last month.

The fear is that such an action could alienate a population with serious grievances, despite the chaos caused by Isis-linked militant group Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamaa, known locally as al-Shabaab (though it has no links with the better-known Somalia-based Islamist militant group of the same name).

Cabo Delgado has spent decades underdeveloped. Even past decade’s dual discoveries of $50bn (£38bn) worth of natural gas and rubies that sell for hun
reds of millions of dollars brought only displacement and misery for local people.

“So much is happening around them. One side of them is the al-Shabaab [militants], one side is the government forces also using violence towards them, and on the other side you have the land issue. There’s nowhere to get food, clothes, shelter,” said Estacio Valoi, a Mozambican investigative journalist.

“The issue of violence did not start today or with this conflict. It’s a cocktail.”

The latest attacks have added to an already desperate situation for residents, still trying to recover from the destruction caused by last year’s Cyclone Kenneth. More than a fifth of people do not have enough food. Many are forced to seek shelter with relatives and stretch shared resources. Prices for fuel and staple foods such as rice and maize have increased.

The fighting this year has seen many humanitarian groups withdraw from the region. Agencies say they can only access some of the worst areas by air, river or sea, and that rural areas have been all but abandoned because of Covid-19.

Over the past 10 years, local people say the government has forcibly removed whole communities from state-owned land after granting ruby, mining and gas exploration concessions to private companies.

Human rights campaigner David Matsinhe said that in the absence of government services, people have lost access to the land they relied on for food, shelter and income, due to the expansion of mining and gas extraction, while being deemed unqualified for jobs in these new industries.

“They are not only unemployed, they are also unemployable. They are complaining, they have protested against their expulsion [from the land],” he said.

“They are saying … it’s only outsiders who come here to benefit and we’re sitting here watching them.”

These grievances had fuelled the conflict more than any influence from international terror groups, Matsinhe said.

“When they speak about the radical preacher coming to radicalise young people, they are forgetting that the government has done for the radical preacher about 80% of the job. He just comes to harvest,” he said. […]

The existing military intervention has been led by Mozambican forces, with mercenary groups providing air support, and is accused of inflaming tension through repeated alleged human rights abuses.

Amnesty International last week demanded an investigation into videos appearing to show soldiers torturing and beheading detainees.

Jasmine Opperman, Africa analyst at the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED), said that while regional forces could be required in the military fight against the militants, they could only deliver short-term victories to the Mozambican government.

“The insurgency is reliant on youth dissatisfaction and discontent with the government,” said Opperman. “The SADC cannot and must not think that a military intervention, in isolation from a … project to deal with the root causes, will solve the problem.

“It will create a false sense that the insurgency has been dealt with.”

The Guardian | 18.09.2020


In a letter leaked to the Guardian, Chad’s tourism and culture minister wrote to Unesco, the body which awards the world heritage designation, asking to “postpone the process of registering Lake Chad on the world heritage list”.

The letter says the government “has signed production-sharing agreements with certain oil companies whose allocated blocks affect the area of the nominated property”. […]

Lake Chad, is the setting for one of the world’s most complex humanitarian crises, triggered by factors including the climate crisis, religious extremism, population displacement and military operations. Boko Haram has used the lake as a hideout.

About 45 million people live off the lake’s resources and call its 942 islands and its shores home. “It’s a vibrant cultural environment, with unique diversity and political, social and economic systems that are not well known,” says Sébastien Moriset from the International Centre for Earth Construction in Grenoble, who worked on putting together the nomination proposal documents.

“For example, tens of thousands of people live with no jail, no police … there is so much we can learn. Yet it is also very fragile. They have no one to represent them,” he said. […]

Before the threat of oil, local communities’ only experience with mining had been digging for natron, a mineral akin to salt and used in camel feed. Experts say drilling for oil in such an unstable environment could lead to the lake becoming the new Niger Delta, where insurgents have attacked pipelines and oil spills have polluted waters beyond repair.

The Guardian | 24.09.2020

Cocktail of Violence