Friday, November 1st, 2019
Publié le 02.11.2019 à 01h50 par AFP
Deux semaines après le déclenchement d’une crise sociale sans précédent au Chili, les manifestants sont une nouvelle fois descendus dans la rue vendredi pour réclamer des réformes au gouvernement du président Sebastian Pinera.
Le week-end prolongé dans le pays, où le 1er novembre est un jour férié, n’a pas fait faiblir la mobilisation. Plusieurs dizaines de milliers de manifestants ont une nouvelle fois afflué au centre de Santiago, sur la plaza Italia, lieu de rassemblement emblématique de la contestation, a constaté l’AFP.
La manifestation, majoritairement pacifique, a rassemblé 20.000 personnes, selon les autorités locales. Des incidents isolés entre manifestants et forces de l’ordre, déployées en nombre, ont éclaté lorsque ces dernières ont tenté de disperser les protestataires à coup de lacrymogènes et de lances à eau.
Brandissant des drapeaux chiliens et des bannières de la nation mapuche, principale ethnie amérindienne du pays, de très nombreux jeunes, ainsi que des familles, ont participé au rassemblement.
La mobilisation restait également forte dans le reste du pays. Ainsi des protestataires ont-ils marché entre Valparaiso (centre) et la ville voisine de Vina del Mar, distante d’environ 8 km. Un cortège de voitures pavoisées de drapeaux chiliens a défilé à Punta Arenas, dans l’extrême sud.
Les manifestants réclament notamment une réforme du système de retraites et une révision de la Constitution, tous deux hérités de la période de la dictature d’Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), ainsi que de profondes réformes du modèle économique ultra-libéral chilien.
Certains exigent également la démission du président conservateur Sebastian Pinera, impuissant jusqu’à présent à juguler la crise malgré l’annonce d’une batterie de mesures sociales et un important remaniement gouvernemental.
« Nous n’allons pas baisser les bras jusqu’à ce que le gouvernement réponde pour les morts. Nous nous sentons trahi par ce gouvernement », a confié à l’AFP Marco, un étudiant de 22 ans, se dirigeant vers la plaza Italia.
Le bilan de cette crise sociale inédite dans ce pays de 18 millions d’habitants considéré comme un des plus stables d’Amérique latine est de 20 morts, dont cinq après l’intervention des forces de sécurité, selon des chiffres officiels.
– « Justice, vérité ! » –
A la mi-journée, plus d’un millier de Chiliennes, vêtues de noir, avaient donné le coup d’envoi de la mobilisation en défilant en silence en hommage aux personnes décédées dans la vague de contestation. Elles ont rompu leur silence devant le palais présidentiel de La Moneda pour scander « Justice, vérité, non à l’impunité ».
La fronde sociale a été déclenchée le 18 octobre par une hausse du prix du ticket de métro à Santiago.
Malgré la suspension de la mesure, le colère n’est pas retombée, nourrie par un ressentiment face aux inégalités sociales et à une élite politique jugée totalement déconnectée du quotidien de la grande majorité des Chiliens.
La Russie a réfuté vendredi les accusations des Etats-Unis qui ont affirmé avoir relevé des « activités russes » visant à « exacerber les divisions » au Chili.
« L’administration américaine se sert de la situation difficile au Chili pour poursuivre ses tentatives de ternir la politique étrangère de notre pays », a déclaré un vice-ministre russe des Affaires étrangères, Sergueï Riabkov.
Le président américain Donald Trump, qui s’est entretenu mercredi par téléphone avec son homologue chilien, avait « dénoncé les efforts étrangers pour saper les institutions » chiliennes.
Outre les 20 morts confirmés par le gouvernement, 1.305 personnes ont été blessées, selon l’Institut national des droits humains (INDH), un organisme public indépendant.
L’INDH a annoncé plusieurs plaintes pour actes de torture et violences sexuelles de la part des forces de l’ordre pendant l’état d’urgence décrété par le président Pinera.
Face à ces allégations, plusieurs enquêteurs de l’ONU ont commencé une mission décidée par la Haut-Commissaire de l’ONU aux droits de l’homme, Michelle Bachelet, présidente du Chili à deux reprises.
La pire crise sociale vécue par le Chili depuis le retour de la démocratie en 1990 a contraint le gouvernement à renoncer à organiser la conférence sur le climat COP25 prévue en décembre et le sommet du Forum économique de coopération Asie-Pacifique (Apec) les 16 et 17 novembre.
La COP25 aura finalement lieu à Madrid début décembre.
L’Agence Marocaine de Coopération internationale (AMCI) et Singapore Cooperation programme » (SCP) ont décidé de joindre leurs efforts pour une coopération sud-sud porteuse et fructueuse.Dans ce sens, l’Ambassadeur directeur général de l’AMCI, Mohamed Methqal, s’est entretenu, mercredi à Singapour, avec le Directeur général chargé du SCP, William Tan, notamment des modalités de développer un partenariat entre les deux structures en matière de renforcement des capacités, à travers des programmes d’échange d’expériences et d’expertises entre le Maroc et Singapour au profit des professionnels originaires des pays d’Afrique, de l’Association des nations de l’Asie du Sud-Est (ASEAN) ou du Pacifique.
Les deux responsables ont convenu de multiplier les échanges de visites entre l’AMCI et le SCP et de travailler ensemble pour mettre en place des actions et des initiatives visant à élargir la coopération entre les deux pays dans le cadre bilatéral et triangulaire, à travers une logique de complémentarité au service du développement durable de certaines régions telles que l’Afrique ou l’ASEAN.
Lors de cette rencontre, Mohamed Methqal a mis en relief le rôle et les principales réalisations du Maroc dans le cadre de la vision du Roi Mohammed VI prônant la promotion de la coopération Sud-Sud en faveur du continent africain.
Pour sa part, le Directeur général du SCP a réitéré la volonté de son pays d’approfondir ses liens économiques avec le Maroc et a salué les efforts fournis par le Royaume pour promouvoir la coopération Sud-Sud.
The post L’AMCI et Singapore Cooperation programme se joignent pour une coopération sud-sud fructueuse appeared first on Journal de Bangui.
Publié le 02.11.2019 à 00h18 par APA
D’ici 2050, plusieurs villes côtières marocaines du littoral méditerranéen et atlantique pourraient complètement disparaître à venir en raison de la montée du niveau de la mer conséquente au réchauffement climatique, selon une étude américaine sur le climat publiée par la revue «Nature Communications».D’après cette étude réalisée par une organisation basée à New Jersey, aux Etats-Unis, et citée par le journal +Al Massae+ dans son numéro à paraitre samedi, la zone située entre Saïdia et Nador (Est), à l’embouchure de l’Oued Moulouya, sera très touchée, se retrouvant en dessous du niveau de la mer.
Les côtes de Oued Laou et Marti, toujours sur la Méditerranée, seront également inondées. Sur l’Atlantique, plusieurs zones seront submergées, à commencer par le littoral allant de Larache jusqu’à Kénitra, en passant par Moulay Bousselham.
Un peu plus au sud, la rive nord de l’Oued Bouregreg sera touchée au même titre que la côte allant de Mohammedia à Casablanca, le port de la ville et la mosquée Hassan II également situés sous le niveau de la mer.
Globalement, la montée du niveau de mer, conséquence directe du phénomène de réchauffement climatique, risque d’engloutir des dizaines de villes à travers le monde, si les émissions de carbone ne sont pas contenues, relève le quotidien se référant à cette étude américaine.
Selon l’évolution des cartes climatiques, ce sont pas moins de 110 millions de personnes qui vivent dans des zones à haut risque à travers le monde.
Autre conséquence, note la publication citant la même étude, les migrations massives des habitants des zones touchées vers des régions ne présentant pas de risque pourraient être à l’origine de conflits régionaux. L’étude, précise le journal, se limite toutefois à l’aspect climatique sans vraiment s’attarder sur l’évolution démographique dans ces zones et les pertes exactes de terres submergées par les eaux.
De toute façon, et pour éviter un scénario catastrophe, l’étude en question incite les pays concernés à prendre au sérieux ce risque et à commencer par s’y préparer en construisant par exemple des digues.
Last week, 39 Asian migrants hoping for a better life in the UK suffocated to death in a refrigerated truck.
If you were to hazard a guess, what would you say was the reason behind these 39 leaving their countries? Poverty? Job prospects? Economic progress? In the same week, the United Nations Development Programme released a study, ‘Scaling Fences: Voices of Irregular African Migrants to Europe’. Although this study focused on Africans, we can and should draw vital lessons on both issues.
The study has quashed a common misconception that African migrants leave their countries to escape poverty. It turns out, most of them are well-educated and with jobs in their home countries.
Their chief factors for migrating are closely tied to self-actualisation and a sense that their aspirations can only be fulfilled if they leave home.
This speaks to the feelings of most Kenyan youths. We are constantly disappointed by the quality of governance and services; we cannot help but dream of better days elsewhere.
The government also doesn’t offer adequate opportunities for socio-economic growth to motivate the youth to work hard for their country and grow the economy.
Instead, we look to ourselves to fulfil our aspirations. Where the government had promised to fund our goals, the money has been siphoned by leaders, leaving us depleted and wondering, why even bother? For those who get their aspirations off the ground, ahead is constant red tape, delayed payments and poor government support.
I will make this plea to the government: The study has recommended you create better incentives for the youth to stay at home. You cannot take for granted their innovation and ambition.
If our talents are going to remain and be used to grow this economy, recognise and reward them effectively with proper functioning systems.
It is ironic that our teachers are constantly gaining recognition abroad, yet the state of our education infrastructure is appalling in some areas.
How many more teachers would gain recognition if all systems were present and functional?
Trite as it may sound, we also cannot keep excluding the youth from national discussions that shape our future.
If we are not being heard and our opinion doesn’t count, we are not being personally fulfilled because the ongoing development is not catering to our needs.
Where, then, is the motivation for us to engage in transformative development in a country where we are not seen, let alone heard? Given the opportunity, many of us would leave to earn the recognition we deserve.
As the study recommended, build an inclusive economy that takes into account our highest demographic, and grant us quality economic opportunities that have the prospect of wealth creation.
It is good to offer economic opportunities, but if they are not of quality to sustain entrepreneurship or job creation for our fellow young people, migration and irregular migration will keep occurring. Let the ease of doing business be inclusive for our growth and that of the country.
Kenyans are beginning to raise concerns about the frequency and value addition of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s travels outside the country.
This comes after it emerged that State House hired a private jet for the President’s trips to Japan and Russia this past week, at Sh1.5 million per hour, at a time the government announced that they are broke and were scaling down operations.
These two consecutive trips would not have been a big deal had they cost less.
Every Kenyan wants to see their country prosper, and wouldn’t have an issue with the President calling on our international friends asking for help to alleviate the pain and suffering we are currently going through.
It would take a mad person to pick a bone with a President doing all he can to marshal support from wherever he can find it, if that is what it takes to lessen our economic burden and set us on a path of sustainable prosperity.
However, there is a general feeling that these trips have not been undertaken in good faith, and we’re not seeing a return on investment.
We are asking why these trips are shrouded in secrecy – we only get to know about them after the President has reached his destination, sometimes after sustained pressure from the public on the whereabouts of their Head of State.
There is no longer the pomp and glamour that surrounded the departure of the President every time he went overseas. It is now beginning to look like he is running away from his people.
If you’re using taxpayers’ money to travel around the world, it is only fair your office be transparent with your itinerary and accountable for every penny spent while you are away.
It is a mark of good governance for the number one public officer to set the pace for the whole country to emulate. Kenyans are not asking for the moon, only the bare necessities of his oath of office.
Gobbling insane amounts of taxpayers’ money on private jets at a time when government services are suffering a lack of funds is insensitive to the plight of suffering Kenyans, and goes to show how out of touch he is to the daily realities of his people.
The Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Amb Ukur Yatani, has been gracious enough to make public some bitter truths about the nature of our public debt and the gaping hole in our revenue targets.
He told a Parliamentary committee that the government has been pushing the revenue collection target to unrealistic levels. Because we cannot continue borrowing to plug the deficit, the only way out of this mire is to cut government expenditure, as a drastic measure, to save us from going down.
The government cannot say they did not see this coming. For years on end, those who went to school to study money matters have been issuing red alerts against uncontrolled borrowing.
Three things cannot be long hidden; the sun, the moon and this government’s contempt for taking up expert advice.
Kenyans are now suffering the consequences of bad decisions made by a few people high up the government food chain, who neither consulted us nor listened to the advice of economic experts.
This past week, the Judiciary sent a worrying circular indicating their intention to cut their budgets for crucial functions after receiving the bad news from Treasury that money was in short supply.
Court sessions are currently frozen, taking Kenyans back to the painful era of case backlogs. When you knowingly tamper with the speed at which justice is served, you become an accomplice in the denial of justice to users of the court.
When you go to the polls to elect a government, you do so believing that the promises made during the campaign period were made in sincerity and commitment to public good.
No politician promised to make life unbearable for the suffering Kenyan, neither did we come across any pre-election manifesto promising to make it difficult for small and medium enterprises to thrive.
Basic commodities were to be affordable, secondary education free and graduates were to be connected to paid internships.
Two years since the Jubilee government started their second term, the situation on the ground is dire. Companies are closing down, workers are being retrenched, unemployment is soaring, and depression is becoming a national concern.
This is not the Kenya we were promised when the Jubilee government was asking for votes. They painted us a picture of a country high on the global happiness index and low on the corruption scale. The reverse is now true, and we are being forced to tighten belts we do not have – and cannot even afford.
Maryam Sheikh Abdi was only six when she was “led to the slaughterhouse for the cut”. This is how she describes her Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) ordeal in her heart-wrenching poem, ‘The Cut’.
In the second stanza, she lays bare the conflict of emotions she went through: ‘Deep within me was the desire to be cut / as pain was my destiny: it is the burden of femininity / so I was told. These painful thoughts and the desire to fit in – even if it meant undergoing unimaginable pain – is shared by girls and women across the world.
Now in her 40s, Ms Abdi told the Daily Nation in a past interview that her community (she’s a devout Muslim from Somalia but grew up in Garissa) practices infibulation, which she explained is cutting out the clitoris and labia of a girl or woman and stitching together the edges of the vulva to prevent sexual intercourse.
According to the World Health Organisation, infibulation is the most severe form of FGM. The mother of two said she hoped to see the day the world would be free of FGM but if Dr Tatu Kamau has anything to do with it, people like Ms Abdi and 200 million girls and women who have undergone the cut across the globe will not see that day.
In what will go down in history as one of the most outrageous and despicable acts against women, Dr Kamau, a physician, filed a bizarre petition to overturn Kenya’s Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act in 2017.
She suggested that “adult women should be left to enjoy their rights to culture and to be allowed to conduct female genital mutilation” because it’s part of our heritage.
Maybe she forgot that our heritage is not about complications during childbirth, anaemia, cysts and abscesses, urinary incontinence and painful sexual intercourse, among a host of other complications that FGM brings.
Calling the term FGM a Western misnomer and with no scientific backing to prove her wild claims, she testified during the court case in October 2019 that cut women “are more fertile and don’t bother their husbands for sex”.
One need not be any kind of activist to smell the stench of misogyny and patriarchy packed neatly in those few words, which sufficiently label women who, for one reason or the other are infertile, or who have a healthy, normal sexual appetite as “others”, social pariahs, rebels, undeserving to be called women. In short? Women who need to be cut so they could toe the line to meet backward cultural demands.
MAKE A CHOICE
One might argue that Dr Kamau is not talking about children like Ms Abdi but about adults who can make a choice.
But the idea of choice here is ludicrous because research has shown that even adult women who “choose” to undergo the cut do so in response to a culture that stigmatises them and finds them revolting if they don’t, leaving them between a humongous rock and a very, very sharp razor blade.
And even if Dr Kamau is not championing infibulation, the dreadful effects of FGM remain the same.
If it worries you in any way that what the doctor is advocating is the epitome of delusion, you’re not alone. She’s found herself on the wrong side of public opinion and is fighting a lonely battle. But maybe there’s something else beneath the rough exterior of delusion.
Perhaps Dr Kamau is screaming for help through this attention-seeking stunt. She might be a victim of a culture that delights in oppressing women because in its true form, FGM is less about clitoridectomy, excision or infibulation and more the pernicious effects of a culture of violence and discrimination against women. FGM tells women that they don’t own their bodies, and this is dangerous.
Rubber-stamping FGM as an act that’s good for women makes the doctor blatantly complicit in perpetuating a culture of patriarchy. Legalising FGM would open the floodgates of other forms of violence and discrimination against women. It’s akin to punching women and kicking them, then watching them fall face-first into a deep, dark hole of oppression.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia was elected on April 2, 2018. Barely a year and a half later, he was declared the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a rare honour for a politician who has not been tried and tested in the turbulent politics of the Horn.
The main reason for this recognition is that he ended the state of hostility between his country and Eritrea, which had lasted 20 years since a border war broke out between them.
He also did what his predecessors failed to do: opened up the democratic space, freed political prisoners and even appointed his opponents to high office, thus ensuring his country’s unity.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Whether Dr Abiy deserves the Nobel Peace Prize this early in his career is contestable, but things may not be so clean-cut on another issue that has been festering for an even longer period — the dispute with Egypt, and to a lesser extent, Sudan, over the use of the River Nile waters for development.
At 6,650 kilometres, the Nile is the longest river in Africa and one of the longest in the world. It traverses 10 African countries, but its clearest impact is felt in only three — Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The reason there has been a dispute over the use of the Nile waters for well over 60 years is that it is an existential lifeline for Egypt.
A vast desert country, Egypt depends on the river for most of its domestic food production, electricity, commerce and industry, as well as its tourism earnings.
The country’s importance in history is well illustrated by the fact that it is a cradle of scholarship and civilisation, having given birth to modern-day writing systems, mathematics, modern irrigation systems, and many forms of art, literature and architecture — the pyramids, the sphinx, the pharaonic tombs and their mummies.
Ethiopia, for its part, is one of the oldest countries in the world, having come into existence 3,000 years ago. It is also, besides Liberia, the only African country that was never colonised.
The other distinction is that it supplies 86 percent of the water in the Nile through the Blue Nile, which originates in Lake Tana. The White Nile, whose source is Lake Victoria, supplies the rest.
That is probably why Ethiopia and Egypt have never seen eye to eye on the subject of the Nile; both have consistently displayed proprietary rights and both may one day have to go to war to settle the issue once and for all.
Indeed, that is the subject of our write-up today — the age-old dispute over how the Nile waters can be used for development by the Nile Basin states without affecting Egypt. Recently, Dr Abiy was quoted as saying that Ethiopia could prepare millions of people to defend the dam.
In 2003, former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s staff were overheard discussing how to destroy the dam. Although Egypt apologised, the mood was later reinforced by Morsi saying he would never allow Egypt’s water supply to be endangered.
Such warlike talk did not come out of the blue. The two countries have been feuding over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is expected to be the biggest hydropower source in Africa.
The dam started in 2011 will be the largest in Africa when it is filled up. Egypt has a right to feel threatened, but Ethiopia is not budging in its determination to make it operational in the next 15 years.
This stalemate has persisted for years, mainly because Egypt insists that three agreements signed between it and Great Britain, on behalf of its colonies in Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and the then Tanganyika (in 1902, 1929, and 1959) recognising its exclusive use of the Nile waters are still in force, as they have never been abrogated.
On the other hand, neither the East African countries nor Ethiopia recognise these agreements as binding. They rightfully claim that they were “not consulted” when the agreements were signed and they cannot continue to allow Egypt’s veto power on the use of the Nile.
Indeed, some of the conditions do not make sense today. For instance, though the agreements gave Egypt 90 percent of the water for its exclusive use, it wants them recognised as a precondition for negotiations.
This impasse may not have a happy ending unless a meeting slated for the United States on Wednesday comes up with a solution.
After all, the Renaissance Dam is a fait accompli and any attempt at sabotaging it at this late hour won’t be countenanced by the rest of the world.
It is not for nothing that Egypt is rumoured to have a contingent in its military that has been training in jungle warfare, though there are no jungles in Egypt.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Abiy will be walking a tightrope. He has just been honoured by the world for his peacemaking efforts and he can neither be intransigent in his demands nor ignore the wishes of his people. That Nobel may turn out to be the only safeguard that the Horn of Africa will not plunge into a war that cannot be easily won.
The inauguration of the second phase of the rail line connecting Nairobi and Naivasha is the latest in a series of large-scale infrastructure development projects. Despite delays, the line was completed in just over two years, exceptionally quick given its scale.
As a freight line not intended for passenger use, its importance lies in the fact that it will encourage trade with our African neighbours.
Leading to the Naivasha Inland Container Cargo Depot, the line will facilitate the distribution of goods to Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan, further enabling President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to the development of intra-African trade.
According to the President, it will also be instrumental in, “revolutionising the development of the surrounding areas”, much of which has not been adequately developed.
Significantly, the line is self-funding. Despite its price-tag of Sh150 billion, it is expected to bring in close to Sh8 billion a year, meaning that the initial loan for this segment of the line will repay itself in under 20 years.
The decision of Chinese banks to invest in our country should by no means be taken for granted. With a host of financial investment opportunities available across our continent, these banks have chosen to invest in the development of our country. It is clear that they believe in the current leadership and its commitment to the future of Kenya.
This project is not standalone. Rather, it is a core part of Uhuru’s vision to turn Kenya into the trade hub for East Africa, and one of the biggest in the continent as a whole.
This vision also encompasses the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Expressway, which is due to be completed in 2021 and will link the airport with Rironi in Kiambu County. Any country that wants to become a trade hub must ensure the accessibility of the roads surrounding its capital.
This is exactly what this expressway does, allowing drivers to avoid Nairobi’s hectic traffic jams. Given that this is a toll road, it allows users to each partake in the funding of the road, easing our country’s potential debt burden for vast infrastructure projects such as these.
An additional project, which is also connected to the newly opened railway line, is the Naivasha Inland Container Depot, which will become an integral part of a special economic zone incorporating dry ports for Uganda and South Sudan.
The eventual plan is of course to connect the railway to neighbouring countries, something that will be enabled through further partnerships with international actors, who will be inclined to help fund these because they believe in the country’s vision.
The role of external partners in developing our country and continent more generally is indispensable. Recent figures published by the African Development Bank (AfDB) put our continent’s minimum infrastructure needs at over Sh17 trillion per annum, at least half of which remains unfunded.
Similarly, statistics by the World Bank indicate that the GDP of African countries could grow by almost 2 per cent a year, if provided with adequate infrastructure. In terms of concrete potential contribution to Kenya alone, such investment could contribute to a rise in our GDP of Sh132 billion per year!
How can one even begin to imagine the good that this would do for our country, allowing us to improve healthcare, education and guarantee food security, to name but a few.
The importance of rail connectivity in a country seeking to develop economically cannot be over-emphasised. The United States could not have become the superpower that it is today without the laying of 1776 miles of track that made up the Transcontinental Railroad in the 19th century.
This allowed not only for the efficient movement of products, but also for new settlements to thrive along the rail network.
Communities that previously has no economic prospects, suddenly found themselves thriving. The government seems to have followed that vision with the Nairobi-Naivasha segment of the rail project.
Although mainly focused on the movement of cargo, this segment of the line, with its 12 stops, will allow for the easy movement of people previously disconnected from efficient public transport.
It will allow local businesses to move their products to market and local children to pursue opportunities in the capital while maintaining access to their homes. What could possibly be more beneficial than this for the development of our great nation?
The ministry has got its priorities wrong.
Recovery and restoration of the Mau Forest is an urgent imperative.