Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
Next month's Beijing summer games have been dubbed the 'genocide Olympics' by Hollywood campaigners who accuse China of supplying the Sudanese government with arms to enable it to wage a campaign of violence in Darfur. Steven Spielberg recently cut his ties with the Olympics over the issue.
Now, after months investigating China's covert arms trade, Hilary Andersson provides the first evidence of how China is arming Sudan's killers, all for the sake of oil. A Panorama team follows a trail through Chad and Darfur, tracking down Chinese military trucks which, with mounted Chinese guns, had recently been used against civilians. Panorama also establishes that China is currently training fighter pilots who fly Chinese built and maintained fighter jets that have been used in recent attacks in a conflict which has now cost an estimated 300,000 lives.
On How the Chinese Communist Party Destroyed Traditional Culture
This is the sixth of Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
Culture is the soul of a nation. This spiritual factor is as important to mankind as physical factors such as race and land.
Cultural developments define the history of a nation』s civilization. The complete destruction of a national culture leads to the end of the nation. Ancient nations who had created glorious civilizations were considered to have vanished when their cultures disappeared, even though people of their races may have survived. China is the only country in the world whose ancient civilization has been passed down continuously for over 5,000 years. Destruction of its traditional culture is an unforgivable crime..........
I. Why Did the CCP Want to Sabotage Traditional Culture?
II. How the Communist Party Sabotages Traditional Culture
III. The Party Culture
rare earth mineral production base.
Although it is a precious mineral resource,
rare earth imposes great dangers of pollution.
Recently, French media reported from Baotou.
Entitled "In China, rare earths are killing villages",
the report highlighted massive environmental pollution.
It revealed the impact of the production of rare earth
minerals on local residents, animals and land.
The following is our report.
French media 'Le Monde' reported from Baotou, stating
that by aerial viewpoint, it looks like a large lake,
fed by numerous tributaries. On site, it is actually
an opaque discharge covering an area of 10 km2.
Surrounding the industrial plants producing 17 minerals
are reject waste waters loaded with chemicals.
There are no fish or algae
The Le Monde article introduced that rock from Bayan obo
rare earth ore mine, located 120 kilometers away, are sent here for treatment.
The concentration of rare earth in the rocks is very low and
must be separated and purified by hydrometallurgical processes and acid baths.
In the effluent basin are exist all sorts of toxic chemicals
and radioactive elements such as thorium.
Ingestion of these toxins causes cancer
of the pancreas, lung and blood.
A pungent odor exudes within radius of 10 miles.
Local villagers have been suffering from cancer.
Rows of brown houses in the village
have been reduced to rubble.
Sichuan environmentalist Chen Yunfei indicates
that rare earth refining process causes great environmental pollution and destruction.
People are unaware of the specific dangers of this project,
and the specialists involved in the decision-making.
Chen Yunfei: "Some officials only work on the image projects
for profit. They relocate once the money has been made.
Some officials collude with the business, caring about
nothing but profit, leaving the mess for the public."
According to local residents, Baotou
used to be a vast grassland.
In 1958 the state enterprise Baotou Iron and Steel
Company began producing rare earth production.
By the end of 1980, locals found that the plant was in trouble.
Last year, China Environment News reported that
Baotou Iron and Steel Group's tailing dam leakage has caused damage to five surrounding villages.
It has affected more than 3000 farmers,
and ruined more than 3,295 Acres of farmland.
Ma Peng, former Director of the Baotou Rare Earth
Research Institute, indicated that
due to the lack of a barrier below the tailing dam, the mining
waste is directly discharging into the Yellow River.
The discharge is at a rate of 300m per year.
The residents also said that further pollution has been
caused by other industries and thermal power plants.
These industries followed rare earth production
by the Baotou Iron and Steel Company.
Local residents have to breathe air saturated with sulfuric
acid and coal dust. Coal dust is airbourne around the houses.
Cows, horses, chickens and goats
are being killed by these poisons.
The locals have fled, and Xinguang Sancun village has now
decreased from 2000 villagers to 300. Every family is hit with illness.
After 20 years of complaints to the local government, the
villagers have finally won promises of financial compensation.
These have only been partially fulfilled.
Miss Hao, a resident of Baotou: "We all know.
The government is too dark.
No one cares about the people, whether
they live or die, not to mention the pollution."
For many years, there have been calls for attention
for the issue of Baotou tailing dam discharging thorium radiation to Baotou and into the Yellow River.
The hazards and pollution caused by the Baotou
tailing dam have never been effectively alleviated.
Environmentalist Chen Yunfei: "This is an investment
that has hurt several generations.
It has polluted the whole environment.
This high cost investment ought to be condemned.
Our future generations are going to suffer for it."
China Environment News indicated that Baotou
is located in the stratum fracture zone.
In the event of a major earthquake or large-scale rainfall,
the rupture of the tailing dam will threaten the surrounding
five villages, as well as tens of thousands of lives
of the Baotou Iron and Steel workers.
If the tailings flow into the Yellow River,
it will cause serious pollution to the river.
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2013 10:54 AM
Subject: [PK] Re: [wanabidii] How Chinese Economy is Rising Pretty fast, Gaining China Power to Control the World Giving room for Decolonization of Africa in 21st Century
How Chinese Economy is Rising Pretty fast, Gaining China Asianic Support and Power to Control and Rule the World Giving room for Decolonization of Africa in the 21st Century
I remain Sincerely,
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
The Independent (Kampala)
East Africa: EAC Fallout Over EU DealsBy Joan Akello, 26 July 2013
A row is brewing between Kenya's new government and her regional counterparts over its readiness to sign the European Union's Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs).
It's really a bit of a quandary because while Kenya is under pressure to sign, thanks to lobby groups that argue that the government's delay was a threat to the country's fish and flower sectors, the other EAC member countries are under pressure not to endorse the deals thanks to lobby groups in their countries that say that the EPAs are a threat to their national economies.
The chief executive officer of Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Jane Ngige, is spearheading the move to urge her government to endorse the deal. She told the press in May that failure to sign the deal could spell doom for the country's horticulture sector. She said the country stands to lose its duty free quota and free access in the European market.
However Jane Nalunga, the Uganda country director of Southern and Eastern Africa Trade and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), says Uganda should not be pressurized into taking the cue from Kenya. She suggests that Kenya could be making a mistake because it can still get other alternatives within the region and Asia for its products.
Dan Kidega, one of Uganda's representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), agrees. "Kenya is engaging in 'panic mode' over the loss of penetration into EU market, yet her worries can be sorted as bloc," he says.
Though he says that while the Joint Trade Negotiations Act that will prohibit individual members from negotiating trade agreements is still pending, Kenya should not succumb to pressure to sign the deal.
It appears Kenya's opposition Members of Parliament are taking the line of lobbyists in the neighborhood and are now urging the Kenyatta government to re-consider the country's interests before signing the deal. The negotiations have now been put to a halt.
But one negotiator, Emmanuel Mutahunga, the senior principal commercial officer at Uganda's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, is more positive. He says Kenya could be right to sign on the dotted line. "Kenya should not wait for the slowest member of the convoy to determine the speed of the rest hence should move on and sign the deal," he says.
Mutahunga is also the programme manager for EPA- related Trade and Private Sector Support (EPA TAPSS), an EU-funded project under the ministry. Speaking to participants at a recent agricultural dialogue organized by Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM), a CSO, he outlined the progress of the EPA negotiations in the region and the reason for Kenya's apparent panic.
Mutahunga said Kenya is in more desperate situation as it is not among the Least Developed Countries (LDC) like all the other four EAC members - Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda - which trade with the EU under Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement under which all products except arms enjoy tariff free access to the EU market.
Without EPA, Kenya's exports may be subjected to punitive taxes under the third country or the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). GSP is a trade arrangement through which the EU provides developing countries and territories with preferential access to the EU market in form of reduced tariffs for their goods when entering the EU market.
"Signing the deal is not good for regional integration," he said, "But if Kenya sees that it's going to lose, then let her neighbours address her concern."
Nalunga, however, insists that because Kenya has a strong private sector, rather than look at EU only, it should focus on the regional market because "EU is demanding much more." "Kenya, just like Uganda, cannot compete with EU that gives a subsidy of about $2 per cow to promote milk production," she says.
Secondly, Nalunga argues, "we pay per carbon foot print for exports flown to the EU, which just pushes us out of their market."
She cited trade barriers in the deal as rules of origin, sanitary and phyto sanitary measures, tariff peaks and tariff escalations, most favoured Nation (MFN) treatment, where if European Commission gives better treatment to a 3rd country, they have to give it to the EAC as well and if EAC gives better treatment to a developed country or any country accounting for more than 1% of world merchandise trade, EAC has to extend the same treatment to EU.
"Members of the ACP group and other African countries are not covered by the MFN provision with respect to the EAC," Nalunga argues, adding, "This is tying our hands on who to trade with."
In a recent interview, the EU Delegation in Uganda said they are aware of CSO's concerns and "are already taking them into account." "EU is not pushing for the EPAs," it said. "The ACP countries are asked to make a decision about their future trading relationship with the EU.
Indeed, recently, EU officials in Kenya waived the clause and now EAC can trade with other ACP countries but not with other countries especially China.
The EAC countries committed themselves to allow EU goods into the market over a period of 25 years in three phases. For 2008-2020, they will open up to 64%, up to 16% between 2015 to 2023 and up to 2% in the last phases 2020 -2033, making a total of 82% for imports from the EU. Extensive liberalisation with EU with developed agricultural sector while subsidies remains a contentious issue.
Sarah Kirabo, the board chairman of PELUM, said "this wide spread opening up of markets will expose Uganda's agricultural and industrial producers to unfair and harsh competition from EU subsidized and more competitively produced goods," hence , "without adequate protection, Uganda's farmers and manufacturers will not survive; resulting into adverse impact on livelihoods, employment, and on efforts to industrialize."
But Mutahunga says the text on 'Trade in Goods' addresses issues of non-tariff barriers and trade defense instruments. "This allows EAC to raise tariffs to protect against imports of either goods that are being dumped or where an increase in imports is hurting local industry or are subsidized; otherwise no Party is to raise its tariffs."
Nalunga warns that the reduction of tariffs affects efforts to industrialise and eventually affects production.
Mutahunga though, says the agreement preserves EAC's right to continue to levy existing export-related taxes such as on hides and skins and allows the introduction of new export-related taxes in order to foster the development of domestic industry to facilitate value addition or to maintain currency value stability.
Uganda's exports to the EU are mainly composed of primary agricultural products such as coffee, cotton, tea, fish and cut flowers. EU imports to Uganda are mainly manufactured products with a higher value.
Kenya is the biggest flower exporter to the EU and its foreign exchange earnings have steadily risen to 293 million Euros in 2012 up from 276 million Euros in 2010. However, if Kenya does not sign the deal, its flowers will be subjected to an 8.5% duty, which will make the flowers less competitive.
Without the EPA, buyers in the EU market may resort to cheaper flowers from other suppliers, which would make Kenya lose in price competition; something Mutahunga says is one of the problems Ugandan flowers also face.
The first phase of the EPA negotiations started in 2002 in Brussels, Belgium at the all ACP level but was launched on February 7, 2003 at the regional level. Uganda belonged to the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) that opted to negotiate in six phases that is development issues, market access, agriculture, fisheries, trade in services and trade related issues.
As a result of the complexity of the negotiations , a comprehensive EPA was not concluded by December 2007 as envisaged, instead Uganda and the other four East African Countries -Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi broke away from the ESA group and initiated an interim Frame work EPA(FEPA) on November 27 2007 with the EU.
It is against this background that the civil society in Uganda including SEATINI and PELUM are saying Kenya should rethink the EPA deal and its consequences on regional integration and regional trade.
The EPA negotiations have focused on economic and development cooperation; agriculture; rules of origin; export taxes; MFN treatment; dispute settlement, institutional arrangements and final provisions.
But to date, EU has not registered much success with Kenya and her East African counterparts plus the other ACP countries. For the EAC, the negotiations are expected to end by October 2014. EU officials in Kampala told The Independent that the deal would spur regional integration regardless of the CSOs' concerns.
Mutahunga suggests that there has been a form of compromise. For instance, both Parties have agreed that the following will be negotiated at a later stage: trade in services; trade-related issues including competition policy; investment and private sector development; trade, environment and sustainable development; intellectual property rights; and transparency in public procurement.
Now that ACP countries have delayed to sign the deal, some participants are concerned that the European Commission (EC) has resorted to using strong arm tactics such as setting deadlines. On Sept.30, the EC adopted a proposal amending Regulation 1528/2007 governing the market access of 36 ACP countries to the EU.
The proposal for amendment provides that unless the 36 countries listed in the Annex ratify and implement EPAs by January 2014, they will be taken off the list and thus lose the duty/quota free access of their goods to the European market, which Ngige fears could happen in Kenya's case.
There is also a proposal for reform of GSP. Secondly, it is only the EU that can determine whether a country qualifies - subjected to good governance, democracy, corruption and human rights to qualify for GSP. It has already excluded Myanmar.
An analyst told The Independent that Kenya may not be granted GSP because of the controversy surrounding their President Kenyatta's and VP Ruto's cases at the ICC plus the latest criticism the institution has received from the African Union leaders. "It is wiser if Kenya signs the deal before EU blacklists it on human rights grounds," the analyst said.
It is also claimed that the EU Commission could also reduce the number of beneficiary countries to make GSPs less attractive.
Even with GSP, this represents an increase in tariffs for ACP countries, which hitherto have benefited from duty free access to the EU market. The current GSP will end this December, which means that the new system will be put in place in January 2014, at exactly the same time the EC intends to remove ACP countries from the annex of the market access regulation.
Though the European Parliament rejected EC's 2014 deadline last September, Mutahunga says it made a U-turn this year and stayed the deadline. This means that the ball now rests in the hands of Kenya - to either sign or face the consequences Ngige and other private sector lobby groups are afraid of.
When The Independent contacted the Kenya High Commission in Kampala, Boniface Muhia, the deputy commissioner declined to comment saying the matter was still under discussion in the Kenyan Parliament.
East African Business Week (Kampala)
Kenya: EU Wants Kenya to Lead22 July 2013
None of the East African Community countries to date has signed the EPA that is supposed to define trade between the EAC and European Union for decades to come. Recently the EAC Secretariat disclosed that negotiations were coming to a close.
The EU has also reportedly backed down on some provisions. Influential regional business leaders felt it would hurt their interests when trade between the two blocs is fully liberalised.
Before flying out to Nairobi, De Gucht stressed there is no time to waste on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement negotiations between the EU and the EAC. While in Nairobi, he said Kenya's good export figures are largely result of free access to the EU's market.
This is guaranteed by a temporary instrument pending Kenya's ratification of the 2007 framework Economic Partnership Agreement.
"But if we want this success story to continue; we need to go further. The full Economic Partnership Agreement we are currently negotiating would not only make Kenya's existing free access to the EU market permanent. It would also deepen our trade relations in a host of areas, by reducing trade barriers, simplifying customs procedures, and by improving trade-related cooperation." he said.
De Gucht expressed his disappointment by the decision of the EAC members not to sign this framework Economic Partnership Agreement in 2010.
8 hours ago
Bashir was heading to Iran, said the spokesman, Imad Sayed Ahmed. Iran and Saudi Arabia have an uneasy relationship.
"Saudi authorities today barred the airplane of President Bashir which was headed to Iran from crossing into its airspace," he said.
Saudi officials were not immediately available for comment.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said Iran was gathering more details about the incident. He did not specifically name Saudi Arabia as the country that had turned away Bashir's plane.
"We were informed by the Sudanese embassy in Tehran that one of the countries in the flight path of Mr. Omar al-Bashir's plane did not give his plane permission to fly in its airspace," Araqchi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
"If it is true that this country took this step, it is extremely unfortunate."
Araqchi was quoted as saying that flight permissions for Bashir's plane had been obtained in advance but that the plane was still refused entry and eventually forced to return to Khartoum.
It was not clear whether Bashir was on his way to the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, nor how his plane was prevented from entering Saudi airspace.
Tony Blair visits AGI Partner Countries, Ethiopia and TanzaniaWednesday, Jul 24, 2013 in Africa Governance Initiative
In his latest visit to Africa Tony Blair visited five countries AGI is working in – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Malawi – and also Ethiopia and Tanzania at the invitation of their respective governments. He took part in discussions on economic reforms with each country’s President while also meeting with the AGI programme teams.
Throughout the trip the issue of energy was a central part of the discussions, as a number of governments seek to bring sustainable and affordable power to their people. In Liberia, Tony Blair visited the country’s National Electricity Corporation where he met with the organisation’s management and discussed the country’s challenges around energy infrastructure and access. By 2016 Liberia hopes to have reconstructed its hydroelectric dam, which will generate power both for the country and potentially for its neighbours as well.
In Sierra Leone, Tony Blair also focussed on the issue of electricity; discussing the country’s plans for the Bumbuna Two hydroelectric plant. Under President Ernest Bai Koroma the country’s first hydroelectric plant, Bumbuna One, was completed in 2010. It provides 50MW of power to the country. Bumbuna Two would more than double this output and provide a huge boost to Sierra Leone’s aim of providing sustainable energy for all its citizens.
While in Nigeria, Guinea and Malawi Mr Blair discussed the on-going support that the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) provides to the respective governments and the ambitious development reforms they are implementing.
Finally, Tony Blair also briefly visited Ethiopia and Tanzania. Both countries are currently undertaking significant reform programmes and Mr Blair and AGI’s CEO Nick Thompson were invited to meet with both governments to discuss their experiences of similar projects in AGI partner countries.
Reflecting on the trip Tony Blair said: "It is clear today that Africa is on the move. The sense of optimism is palpable. Effective governance remains central however to each country fulfilling its potential, especially to see through the necessary investment in infrastructure - in power, roads and ports. This will need the involvement of the private sector as well as the donor community, and above all leadership on the part of government."
To learn more about AGI’s projects click here.
Bill Clinton Tweets Hillary
Saturday, August 3, 2013
12:45 PM EAT
President Clinton visits Barclays Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment site, “Banking on Change”
Dar Urban PU
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
MEDIA ADVISORY: President and Chelsea Clinton Travel to Africa to Visit Clinton Foundation ProjectsJul 26, 2013 | Clinton Foundation | New York, NY | Press Release
Fifteen years ago, in 1998, President Clinton first traveled to Africa as President. This was the longest and most extensive trip to the continent made by a sitting American president, and was the first time a sitting president traveled to each of his six destinations. President Clinton’s trip followed a seminal visit that Chelsea and then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made the year before. Since their initial trips, President and Chelsea Clinton have continued to build upon their longstanding commitment to Africa through the work of the Clinton Foundation, providing investment, opportunity, and health access to underserved communities. In July 2012, both President and Chelsea Clinton traveled to Africa to visit Clinton Foundation sites in South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Uganda, and in October 2012, Chelsea visited Nigeria for the launch of the Nigerian government’s Save One Million Lives Initiative to reduce child mortality.
For more information about the events and media accreditation please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For updates on the trip, visit the Clinton Foundation’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages: Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, @ClintonFdn, Instagram.com/ClintonFoundation.
Tony Blair, who also came to Malawi in August 2012, is in the country for a two day visit.
He arrives in Malawi today, having successfully shoehorned a couple of staffers from his “Africa Governance Initiative” into high-level advisery roles with Joyce Banda’s government.
It’s anyone’s guess why Blair still believes are worth listening to. Presumably for the same reason he saw fit to rack up bills of £1m a year at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem while working as a “peace envoy”. (He’s obviously and no doubt the Middle East will be ). Egyptians know him as an astute analyst of international affairs remember how that Mubarak was “an immensely courageous and a force for good” in, ahem, ?
One thing Blair is very good at is getting large amounts of cash out of governments (just ask ) by riding the global gravy train for all it’s worth. He’s also good at setting up so nobody knows where he’s channeling his money.
It will certainly be a boost for him to be photographed with Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, who despite facing a vigorous opposition at home nonetheless has far greater credibility on the international scene than he does (just last year at the Hague).
Malawians should protest against Blair’s visit and show Banda that she shouldn’t welcome such a person to Malawi, still less take any advice from him. The man who led the in the UK, as well as waging two catastrophic wars, can have nothing useful to tell Banda. Malawian readers will understand what I mean when I say that Tony Blair is a stupid man. He will have plenty to say about things like “ ” but it seems that the only thing Blair has shown a consistent commitment to is exploiting his former office in order to accrue vast personal wealth.
It should be noted that anybody who attempts to during his Malawian safari can receive approximately 1.1 million Kwacha (£2,150), thanks to the campaign established by British journalist . Here’s a , and the .
Malawians like to reflect on their history by observing that they are a peace-loving people. As Blair arrives in the country, they should tell him only one thing: Choka!
Tony Blair's Malawi adventure
He arrives in Malawi today, having successfully shoe-horned a couple of staffers from his "Africa Governance Initiative" into high-level advisory roles with Joyce Banda's government.
It's anyone's guess why Blair still believes he and his cronies are worth listening to. Presumably for the same reason he saw fit to rack up bills of £1m a year at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem while working as a "peace envoy". (He's obviously doing a terrific job and no doubt the Middle East will be at peace any time now). Egyptians know him as an astute analyst of international affairs — remember how he pointed out that Mubarak was "an immensely courageous and a force for good" in, ahem, February 2011?
One thing Blair is very good at is getting large amounts of cash out of governments (just ask Kazakhstan) by riding the global gravy train for all it's worth. He's also good at setting up mystifying financial structures so nobody knows where he's channeling his money.
It will certainly be a boost for him to be photographed with Malawi's president, Joyce Banda, who despite facing a vigorous opposition at home nonetheless has far greater credibility on the international scene than he does (just last year Desmond Tutu called for Blair to be tried for his crimes at the Hague).
Malawians should protest against Blair's visit and show Banda that she shouldn't welcome such a person to Malawi, still less take any advice from him. The man who led the disastrous New Labour project in the UK, as well as waging two catastrophic wars, can have nothing useful to tell Banda. Malawian readers will understand what I mean when I say that Tony Blair is a stupid man. He will have plenty to say about things like "strengthening capacity" but it seems that the only thing Blair has shown a consistent commitment to is exploiting his former office in order to accrue vast personal wealth.
It should be noted that anybody who attempts to arrest Tony Blair during his Malawian safari can receive approximately 1.1 million Kwacha (£2,150), thanks to the Arrest Blair campaign established by British journalist George Monbiot. Here's a helpful guide to making a citizen's arrest, and the rules about how to make sure you get the cash.
Malawians like to reflect on their history by observing that they are a peace-loving people. As Blair arrives in the country, they should tell him only one thing: Choka!
He arrives in Malawi today, having successfully shoehorned a couple of staffers from his “Africa Governance Initiative” into high level advisory roles with Joyce Banda’s government.
It’s anyone’s guess why Blair still believes he and his cronies are worth listening to. Presumably for the same reason this inveterate warmonger saw fit to rack up bills of £1 million per year at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem while working as a “peace envoy”. (He’s obviously doing a terrific job and no doubt the Middle East will be at peace any time now). Egyptians know him as an astute analyst of international affairs — remember how he pointed out that Mubarak was “immensely courageous and a force for good” in, ahem, February 2011?
One thing Blair is very good at is getting large amounts of cash out of governments (just ask Kazakhstan) by riding the global gravy train for all it’s worth. He’s also good at setting up mystifying financial structures so nobody knows where he’s channeling his money.
It will certainly be a boost for him to be photographed with Joyce Banda, who despite facing a vigorous opposition at home nonetheless has far greater credibility on the international scene than Blair (just last year Desmond Tutu called for Blair to be tried for his crimes at the Hague).
Malawians should protest Blair’s visit and show Joyce Banda that she shouldn’t welcome such a person to Malawi, still less take any advice from him. The man who led the disastrous New Labour project in the UK, as well as waging two catastrophic wars, can have nothing useful to tell Joyce Banda. Malawian readers will understand what I mean when I say that Tony Blair is a stupid man. He will have plenty to say about things like “strengthening capacity” but the only thing Blair has shown a consistent commitment to is exploiting his former office in order to accrue vast personal wealth.
It should be noted that anybody who attempts to arrest Tony Blair during his Malawian safari can receive approximately 1.1 million Kwacha (£2,150), thanks to the Arrest Blair campaign established by British journalist George Monbiot. Here’s a helpful guide to making a citizen’s arrest, and the rules about how to make sure you get the cash.
Malawians like to reflect on their history by observing that they are a peace-loving people. As Tony Blair arrives in the country Malawians should tell him only one thing: Choka!
* Here are a couple of postcards Blair sent home to Cherie of himself offering valuable advice to good-governance-loving African leaders in recent years. How would they ever have managed without him?
Tony Blair helped Colonel Gaddafi in £1bn legal row
Tony Blair promised to help Col Muammar Gaddafi in a billion-pound legal dispute with victims of a Libyan terrorist attack, according to official correspondence obtained by The Sunday Telegraph.
The email written by Sir Vincent outlines points for Mr Blair to raise in his meeting with Gaddafi. It also shows that a key aide to Mr Blair had met with a senior US diplomat to discuss the Flight 772 case.
Sir Vincent wrote: “On USA/Libya, TB should explain what he said to President Bush (and what Banner [a Blair aide] said to Welch [a US diplomat]) to keep his promise to Col Q [Gaddafi] to intervene after the President allowed US courts to attach Libyan assets.”
The memo went on: “He [Blair] could express satisfaction at the progress made in talks between the US and Libya to reach a Govt to Govt solution to all the legal/compensation issues outstanding from the 1980s. It would be good to get these issues resolved, and move on. The right framework is being created. HMG is not involved in the talks, although some British citizens might be affected by them (Lockerbie, plus some UK Northern Irish litigants going to US courts seeking compensation from Libya for IRA terrorist acts funded/fuelled by Libya).”
The memo reveals that Nick Banner, Mr Blair’s chief of staff in his role as Middle East peace envoy, had spoken to David Welch, the US official who was negotiating with the Libyans over compensation for victims of terrorism.
The American lawyer who had won the court order in January 2008 only to have it made invalid by the act signed by Mr Bush said his clients had “got screwed”.
Stuart Newberger, a senior partner at the international law firm Crowell & Moring, said: “This case was thwarted by President Bush, who directed the State Department to negotiate a package deal that ended all Libyan-related terrorism cases, including my judgment. I had heard rumours about Blair’s involvement but this is the first time that role was confirmed.”
He added: “I never considered this an honourable way to carry out diplomacy. It sent the wrong message to terrorist states – don’t worry about these lawsuits and judgments as the politicians will eventually fix it.”
Under the terms of the Libyan Claims Resolution Act, Libya made a one-off payment to victims of all Libyan state-sponsored terrorism including the bombings of Pan Am Flight 103, UTA Flight 772 and a Berlin discotheque. The payment, totalling $1.5billion, gave Libya immunity from all terrorism-related lawsuits.
The relatives of victims of UTA 772 received about $ 100million, rather than the court award of $1.5billion. Relatives of victims of Pan Am 103 welcomed the agreement which saw them get the final instalment of compensation already agreed. The deal meant all victims of Libyan terrorism received the same award.
The Sunday Telegraph has also obtained a separate letter, sent on June 2 from Gavin Mackay – a Foreign Office official seconded to Mr Blair in his role as Middle East peace envoy at the Office of the Quarter Representative (OQR) – to Libya’s ambassador in London.
The letter, on OQR-headed notepaper details Mr Blair’s gratitude that Libya is providing him with a private jet to fly him from Sierra Leone to Tripoli for a four-hour stopover and then on to the UK.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Foreign Secretary, expressed concern that the trip appeared to be arranged through Mr Blair’s public role as Middle East envoy.
He said: “Unless Mr Blair can come up with a convincing explanation as to why the Quartet secretariat should have been involved in this visit, it would indeed be a reason for legitimate and serious criticism.”
A spokesman for Tony Blair said: “The only conversation he ever had with regard to this matter was to give a general view that it was in the interests of both Libya and the USA to resolve those issues in a fair manner and move on.”