Main Menu

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

 

Autriche: cyberattaque contre le ministère des Affaires étrangères

Publié le 05.01.2020 à 01h50 par AFP

Les systèmes informatiques du ministère autrichien des Affaires étrangères ont été la cible d’une « grave cyberattaque », ont indiqué samedi soir ce ministère et celui de l’Intérieur dans un communiqué.

« En raison de la gravité et de la nature de l’attaque, il ne peut être exclu qu’il s’agisse d’une attaque ciblée d’un acteur étatique », ajoute le communiqué précisant, peu avant 23h00 locales (22h00 GMT), que l’attaque était « en cours ».

« Dans le passé, certains pays européens ont été la cible d’attaques similaires », selon la même source.

Face à l’opération « repérée très rapidement », des « mesures ont été prises immédiatement » et un « comité de coordination » a été mis en place, indiquent les deux ministères sans autre détail.

Qu’il s’agisse de vol de données personnelles, de rançongiciels – « ransomware », forme d’extorsion numérique de fond – ou d’ingérences d’un Etat étranger, le phénomène des cyberattaques est devenu massif et protéiforme ces dernières années dans le monde économique, politique ou contre les particuliers.


Libye: au moins 28 morts dans un raid contre une école militaire à Tripoli (ministère)

Publié le 05.01.2020 à 01h50 par AFP

Au moins 28 personnes ont été tuées et des dizaines d’autres blessées dans un raid aérien samedi contre une école militaire à Tripoli, a indiqué à l’AFP un porte-parole du ministère de la Santé du Gouvernement d’union nationale (GNA).

« Un raid aérien contre l’école militaire de Tripoli a tué 28 cadets et blessé des dizaines d’autres », a déclaré Amin al-Hachemi.

Cette école militaire se trouve à al-Hadba al-Khadra, un secteur résidentiel peuplé dans la capitale libyenne, sous le contrôle du GNA.

Au moment de la frappe, les cadets effectuaient le dernier de la journée dans la cour principale avant de regagner leurs dortoirs, a précisé ce porte-parole.

Le ministère de la Santé du GNA a par ailleurs appelé à des dons de sang, invitant les donneurs à se diriger vers les hôpitaux et la banque du sang.

La banlieue sud de Tripoli est le théâtre de violents combats depuis le 4 avril, début de l’offensive du maréchal Khalifa Haftar, l’homme fort de l’Est libyen, pour s’emparer de la capitale libyenne, siège du GNA reconnu par l’ONU.

Les forces du GNA ont accusé sur leur page Facebook les forces pro-Haftar d’avoir mené cette frappe, publiant des photos des blessés et des victimes .

Les forces proHaftar n’ont jusqu’à présent pas revendiqué la frappe contre l’école militaire d’al-Hadba al-Khadra.

Depuis la chute du régime de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011, la Libye est déchirée par des conflits fratricides.

A plusieurs reprises, la mission de l’ONU en Libye(Manul) a demandé à ce que les secteurs civils soient épargnés par les frappes qui « pourraient constituer des crimes de guerre ».

Depuis le début de l’offensive contre Tripoli, plus de 280 civils ont été tués, selon l’ONU. Plus de 2.000 combattants ont en outre péri et 146.000 Libyens ont été déplacés, selon la même source.


Assessing shelter damages in Donetsk

With the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine having entered its sixth year, millions of civilians in Donbas continue to bear the brunt of a protracted and complex crisis.

Since the conflict began in 2014, over 50,000 residential buildings on both sides of the contact line have been damaged, leaving a large number of families struggling in desperate conditions with their resilience stretched to the limits. Despite the decreased scale of clashes between the parties to the conflict, violations of the ceasefire happen regularly, resulting in newly damaged or destroyed housing.

In 2019, in a partnership with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) conducted an assessment of the damage caused by the armed conflict to civilian housing in districts along the contact line in the government-controlled area of Donetsk Oblast. Following this assessment, NRC prepared a consolidated report with key findings which will serve as a useful tool to allow authorities, humanitarian actors and donors to adapt responses to the evolving humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population in eastern Ukraine.


Retailer's death grim lesson

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
More by this Author

Tuesday will mark the end of the existence of a business entity that was for many years one of the best examples of Kenyan enterprise and one of the largest and most successful private companies in the East African region.

Creditors will vote to dissolve the former giant regional retailer.

This is the culmination of the failed efforts to revive the firm. Once a major brand that was a source of regional pride, it will, unfortunately, now just remain an example in the study of the history of the development of commercial ventures.

The January 7 meeting will, rather sadly, close the chapter of a brand name that once enjoyed recognition and pride of place in the capitals of the East African Community member states and beyond.

Creditors, including banks, are owed a whopping Sh38 billion and yet the six branches that have been sold to another retail chain have yielded only a miserly Sh422 million.

TOTALLY FAILED

Advertisement

An effort by a court-appointed administrator to help the retailer to correct its mistakes go back to the drawing board for a recovery strategy has totally failed.

Since early 2018, when the retail chain sought protection from its creditors to try and get a new lease of life, nothing much has happened.

Its branches in the other EAC member states have been shut and goods seized, as have the majority of its Kenyan outlets.

In 2017, it had 60 branches, dropping to just six in September 2018.

A combination of factors, including gross mismanagement, poor strategic decisions, tax issues and massive internal losses perpetrated by wayward employees and suppliers, have been cited as the main reasons behind the death of giant supermarket chain.

Its rapid expansion compounded its management challenges, thus intensifying internal thefts and collusion with crooked suppliers to force the retailer to its deathbed. Nakumatt’s woes mirror those of another major retailer, Uchumi, which has for years struggled to stay afloat.

The lesson from Nakumatt’s collapse is the need for prudent management and monitoring to safeguard investments.

A forensic audit must now be carried out to establish who did what in the wake of claims of possible culpability by management in the collapse.


Politicians must not derail Constitution

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
More by this Author

Hardly a week into the new year and the political landscape is awash with debate on presidential transition that is due in 2022.

Distinct camps have emerged and the environment is bound to get toxic.

Paradoxically, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that was crafted as a vehicle to end rancour and violence that attend to every electoral cycle and secure national unity is increasingly becoming divisive.

First, there is a narrative being weaved around the supposed real objective of the BBI.

That it is a deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to create positions and entrench themselves in power.

Advertisement

In that scheme, Mr Odinga would be supported to become President and Mr Kenyatta Prime Minister.

Concomitant to that, Deputy President William Ruto is to be banished and derailed from ascending to the presidency.

Whereas there is no evidence of that plot, the account is alive and, arising from it, political players are forming camps and seeking to rally their supporters around that. Matters have been made worse by the fact that neither President Kenyatta nor Mr Odinga has categorically repudiated the storyline.

Political formations and realignments is not our business.

Indeed, political players have their unfettered right to organise in the best way they deem fit.

However, our concern is that nobody is giving attention to what matters.

In the first place, what do those politicians seek to do with power?

Is it acquiring power for own sake? Second, the debate about BBI is getting derailed. No substantive discussion obtains, and therein lies the danger.

Voters risk being railroaded and made to support what they do not understand.

Which is what politicians are adept at. Yet when things go wrong, the voters complain.

TRANSITION

Second, the transition debate is being obscured and perverted.

When in the 1990s and even before the current Constitution Kenyans determined they wanted a presidential two-term limit, the goal was to institutionalise good governance.

That wisdom obtains to date. So when we hear some political players and other leaders hankering for change of presidential term limit to allow President Kenyatta to continue in power ridiculously because of age; or purporting to have him contend for the yet-to-be established premiership, they are missing the point.

That is back-pedalling and seeking to return the country to the dark old days.

Put together, the prevailing debate is the beginning of descent to tyranny and dictatorship.

Unfortunately, alternative voices like the faiths, private sector, professionals and civil society are muted.

The public must come out to ask questions and demand credible answers.

Politicians must be stopped in their tracks as they make designs and seek to define a path that does not serve our collective interest.


Jubilee to form new coalitions after party polls, says Tuju

JUSTUS OCHIENG'By JUSTUS OCHIENG’
More by this Author

The ruling Jubilee has assured its members of free and fair elections in the upcoming party polls, even as it announced that it will seek new partners with similar ideologies to cement President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy.

Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju moved to allay fears that the election could be used to settle scores against two formations — Kieleweke and Tangatanga.

The Kieleweke team consists of leaders allied to President Kenyatta while the Tangatanga brigade are allied to Deputy President William Ruto.

In an interview with Sunday Nation Saturday, Mr Tuju, who last year declared that the party will lock out “corrupt” leaders from its polls, stated that they are committed to instilling fresh blood into the party.

NO RIGGING

“No single politician will have the capacity to rig because the party is a publicly funded body and has to operate in accordance with the laws of Kenya,” said Mr Tuju.

Advertisement

He said the party will reach out to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure the polls are conducted above board.

“We learnt some lessons in 2017 when we had our nominations because of some weaknesses in the system and we are not going to repeat those mistakes.”

“At this particular moment and time, if we don’t follow due process, we will end up in court and so it is in the interest of all of us to ensure we do it faithfully and there is no way by which any one of us can play around,” Mr Tuju said.

He pointed out that there is “too much at stake for anybody to play around with the elections”, saying it could attract several litigations that the party is not prepared for.

TRANSITION

“It is in the best interest of all of us to just sit together and manage this transition in the party leadership. That is the spirit we hope we will be able to cultivate in the new year as we bring everybody on board,” the secretary-general said.

He told off a section of leaders who have been pushing for his ouster, saying he does not have a hand in the polls.

“I don’t conduct elections. They will be done by the National Elections Board and IEBC, depending on what the party leadership agrees on, and so I have absolutely no role in the electoral process except to provide secretarial support where it is necessary,” added Mr Tuju.

He noted that once the elections are concluded, the party will have an opportunity, in accordance to its constitution, to reach out to other like-minded parties and Kenyans to work with in a bid to secure the President’s legacy.

EXPLAIN RELATIONSHIP

Meanwhile, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, an ally of the DP, has told the President to explain his relationship with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga has been enjoying good rapport with the President at the expense of DP Ruto.

The DP has, however, denied the existence of a strained relationship with the President despite it being evident.

“I expect the President to come clear on his political relationship with Raila, whether they have a political merger or alliance with ODM,” Mr Barasa told Sunday Nation.

He said President Kenyatta should explain that relationship “so that most of us in Jubilee can also craft our political path … because in 2019, the party leader was not keen on JP matters and rumours had it that he wanted the party killed.”

But Mr Tuju Saturday said inasmuch as Jubilee “is very important for us, the country is even more important than the party.”

He said leaders across the political divide must appreciate the President’s move to work with other leaders, including the unity borne of the March 9, 2018 handshake between him and Mr Odinga. In the same breadth, Mr Tuju reiterated that nothing will stop the Head of State from working with other leaders to enhance unity and inclusivity ahead of the next election.

“The Jubilee constitution provides for reaching out to other parties as well as other Kenyans for the good of the country.”

“So there is nothing new about that as it is provided for in our constitution,” Mr Tuju said.

On the party’s upcoming polls, Mr Tuju said: “As the ruling party, we owe it to Kenyans to lead by example by conducting credible elections for office bearers of the party.”

“There is a checklist that we are embarking on with immediate effect so that we do not end up with a shambolic process. We have to learn from the lessons of 2017, when we were operating in a stampede to comply with the IEBC election calendar,” the former Rarieda MP said.

He said some of the issues they want adhered to are presentation of the members register for public scrutiny, noting that they will work together with their IT team and the Registrar of Political Parties.

CLEAN REGISTER

“We also want to start cleaning the register if any inconsistencies are found. As a publicly funded entity, we have to pass the test of scrutiny lest we end up in court.”

This, he said, may need the services of IEBC because “our elections board as currently constituted may not have all the essential capacity. Besides, a good number of them have been rendered disqualified after they took over government jobs.”

“We will be convening a leadership meeting so that issues about these elections are understood as per our constitution and the laws of Kenya as opposed to the trend of noises in the political market place, rallies and funerals,” said Mr Tuju.

Meanwhile, a section of Jubilee leaders have expressed optimism ahead of the polls.

“I look forward to the revamping of Jubilee so that it can be ready to take advantage of the changes that will be brought by the BBI proposals,” said Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

“I pray that all of us leaders would use the opportunities citizens gave us to grow the economy and open opportunities for increased empowerment,” she added.

PEACEFUL POLLS

Senate Deputy Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata said he is confident that the Jubilee elections will be held without any acrimony.

“I see all major protagonists in our party seeing the larger picture of putting the country first and realising their interests lie in holding off any fights for now,” said Mr Kang’ata.

The party’s Deputy Secretary-General Caleb Kositany said: “Party elections will be held in a free and transparent way and the wishes of members should be respected.”

But Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri, who leads the Kieleweke team, was categorical that only leaders who are committed to secure President Kenyatta’s legacy should be elected into office.

“I expect that the people who will get into office as party officials will be 100 per cent aligned to President Kenyatta’s policies on fighting corruption, uniting the country and economically empowering Kenyans,” said Mr Ngunjiri.

He went on: “Anyone who is not aligned to this will have a bad year as far as Jubilee is concerned. And this is something we can be certain of.”

He said he expects the party will get more disciplined “mainly because the President will be more politically involved as he has promised.”

“I also expect a reorganisation of political formations at national level based on ideology. Those of us who want to unite Kenyans across the political divide will be more active, determined and aggressive in pushing our message of unity, while those dividing Kenyans for individual 2022 political advantage will get pushed back, so much harder than in 2019.”


Condamné en Côte d’Ivoire, Blé Goudé décide de saisir la Cour africaine, la Cour européenne et la CPI

Publié le 04.01.2020 à 22h18 par APA

Condamné par contumace, à 20 ans d’emprisonnement, par le tribunal criminel d’Abidjan-Plateau, Charles Blé Goudé, a décidé de saisir la Cour africaine des droits de l’Homme et des peuples, la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme et la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), dans une adresse aux Ivoiriens via Facebook samedi, à l’occasion du nouvel an.« Après concertation avec mes avocats, j’ai décidé de saisir les institutions suivantes : la Cour africaine des droits de l’Homme et des peuples, la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme et la Cour pénale internationale afin que force revienne au droit », a déclaré Blé Goudé.  

Il a fait remarque qu’il « ne veut braver personne, mais engage cette initiative afin qu’ il ne soit plus permis, jamais, que le régime d’Abidjan piétine permanemment (les) droits et (les) libertés comme bon lui semble ».  

Les autorités ivoiriennes « savent bien que je suis ici à La Haye, au Pays-Bas, depuis plus de six ans, par leur volonté de me voir répondre des faits postélectoraux devant la Cour pénale internationale », a ajouté l’ex-chef des « Jeunes patriotes » ivoiriens.

Concernant les faits de meurtres et de viols qui lui sont reprochés par la justice ivoirienne, M. Blé Goudé a insisté avoir été « condamné de manière expéditive en moins d’une journée de procès » sans qu’il ait de témoins à la barre. 

« Est-il besoin pour moi de rappeler que ces mêmes faits relatifs à la période post-électorale (ivoirienne de 2010-2011), j’ai déjà été jugé et acquitté par la CPI à l’issue de cinq années de procédure, encore pendante et qui me maintient encore à La Haye », a-t-il poursuivi. 

Les débats au niveau de la Cour pénale internationale, soulignera-t-il, ont été publics, le monde entier en est témoin, les autorités de son pays aussi, « à moins de faire preuve d’un aveuglement volontaire » vis-à-vis de ce procès.

M. Blé Goudé s’est interrogé de savoir si c’est cela donc « le sens de l’expression tout est bouclé, tout est géré, tout est calé  (en allusion à la présidentielle de 2020), devenue aujourd’hui le slogan du Rhdp (Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la démocratie et la paix), le parti au pouvoir ». 

« Face à cet harcèlement judiciaire dont je suis l’objet, face à cette instrumentalisation de la justice, dans le seul but de m’écarter en tant qu’adversaire politique du débat dans mon pays, je n’ai pour seul recours que le droit », a-t-il dit.  

Le président du Congrès panafricain pour la justice et l’égalité des peuples (Cojep), Blé Goudé, a été condamné lundi par le tribunal criminel d’Abidjan-Plateau à 20 ans de prison ferme, avec 10 ans de privation de ses droits civiques et un mandat d’arrêt émis contre lui, dans le cadre de la crise postélectorale ivoirienne de 2010-2011.


Family finds hidden money, but some are old Sh1,000 notes

JOHN NJOROGEBy JOHN NJOROGE
More by this Author

In 2006, a church in Elburgon held a fund drive to raise money to buy a plot.

One of the church members at the Seventh Day Adventist Assemblies of Yahweh was given the money to keep safely because he was trust worthy.

With no bank account, Mukuria Ndegwa dug a hole in his house, wrapped the Sh36,400 raised from the event and buried it.

The church was to get the money from him once the process of acquiring the plot was finalised.

 PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

But as weeks turned into month, and months into years, Ndegwa says he forgot where he had buried the money.

Advertisement

When the church came asking for the cash, Ndegwa could not locate it. A church member, who is now deceased, stepped in and paid the Sh36,000 that Ndegwa had lost.

 PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

On January 2, 2020 Ndegwa’s children discovered the hidden treasure as the family was moving to a new house.

But Sh26,000 of the money was in the old 1,000 currency notes that are no longer in circulation.

 PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ndegwa tried to exchange the money, but bank officials could not do it as the deadline for exchanging the old notes with new ones passed in October 2019.

The bank however allowed him to deposit Sh10,400 in his account.


Hey, don’t ignore online agribusiness

What agribusiness opportunity did you see before starting Mkulima Young?

I noticed that most farmers were complaining of being exploited by brokers because they were not selling directly to consumers. I knew that digital technologies provide farmers with better marketing opportunities and decided to offer a solution for this problem. I created Mkulima Young, a social enterprise, to help transform market access and information.

How has the experience of running a farmers’ online site been for the past five years?

It has been an interesting learning experience as I have interacted online with thousands of young farmers, most of them the so-called telephone farmers, who have improved my understanding of their marketing needs. One thing that I have learnt is that innovation in digital technologies often causes new pain points, which continuously need to be addressed. For example, creating trust in online market relationships takes time.

So many online sites have sprouted up targeting farmers with information and offering marketing activities. Some are genuine, others are not. How does one tell the difference?

Certainly, it is tricky to verify the genuineness of online farming platforms. I try to understand the drive for the creation of the platform by looking at things like who is the creator of the platform and is the knowledge offered credible?

Advertisement

One should also look at the kind of interactions and reviews on the platform and check whether it is responsive to users’ needs.

Digital technology is currently at the centre of every human activity, but not many farmers have embraced it. What are those who are yet to ‘sign up’ missing?

My PhD research in Management at Queensland University of Technology, Business School in Australia focuses on medium-scale farmers who use digital technologies, a group that has been largely overlooked by both the government and agricultural organisations. This group of farmers is currently driving the agricultural transformation across Africa, therefore, the laggards may miss the revolution or join when it is too late. Digital technologies are helping farmers keep better records, irrigate their farms, identify and eliminate pests and diseases and sell their produce to a wider market.

What is your advice to young people seeking to reap from agribusiness without soiling their hands by offering mobile or online services?

Farming, like any other business venture, needs to benefit from entrepreneurial activity across the value chain. To run such platforms, collaboration with the right people is important and one should develop mentor relationships with those who have the experience of founding start-ups. Running an online platform for farmers requires passion for farming, a willingness to self-fund online platform development and an understanding of how social media works and how to engage farmers online.

For farmers to cut off brokers and earn more from produce, they should embrace digital marketing. Is this assertion correct?

To some extent this is correct, but farmers should be smart and use multiple opportunities to market their produce. Most online platforms, including Mkulima Young, do not charge farmers to market their produce, so there is very little risk for farmers when using such sites to reach a wider market. Farmers should adopt a hybrid marketing approach in which they use both traditional and virtual platforms to sell. By gaining experience in digital marketing and selling, farmers will increase their knowledge of market demands and also improve their understanding of what buyers as opposed to brokers are willing to pay for certain farm commodities.

Many farmers are going online to sell, but are buyers also shifting online to buy?

A shift to online requires a change in practice and must be underpinned by trust in the transaction. Just like farmers who are embracing the digital world, buyers are also taking the same route, thanks to ease in payment through mobile platforms and availability of courier services.


« Pas de guerre contre l’Iran »: des manifestants défilent aux Etats-Unis

Publié le 04.01.2020 à 21h50 par AFP

En scandant « pas de guerre contre l’Iran » et « les USA hors du Proche-Orient », des manifestants se sont rassemblés samedi à Washington, New York et à travers les Etats-Unis après la frappe américaine qui a tué le puissant général iranien Qassem Soleimani.

Devant la Maison Blanche, ils étaient environ 200 à se rassembler à l’appel d’organisations de gauche. Derrière le mot d’ordre « Retrait des USA d’Irak maintenant! Et pas de guerre et de sanctions contre l’Iran! », elles avaient convoqué ces manifestations dans quelque 70 villes.

« Nous ne permettrons pas que notre pays soit entraîné dans une autre guerre inconsciente », a lancé l’un des organisateurs à la petite foule, qui s’est ensuite dirigée vers l’hôtel Trump, non loin de la Maison Blanche.

« Besoin de détourner l’attention? Déclenchez une guerre », pouvait-on lire sur la pancarte brandie par Sam Crook, âgé de 66 ans, qui se disait « inquiet ».

« Ce pays est entre les mains de quelqu’un qui n’est pas stable mentalement, Donald Trump », a-t-il déclaré à l’AFP. « J’ai peur qu’il déclenche par inadvertance — je pense qu’il ne le veut pas vraiment — une véritable déflagration au Proche-Orient ».

Shirin, une Irano-Américaine âgée de 31 ans qui a préféré ne pas donner son nom de famille, s’est aussi dite « inquiète de la possibilité d’une guerre avec l’Iran ».

« On a déjà dépensé des trillions de dollars pour mener des guerres injustes en Irak (…) et en Afghanistan, et à quoi cela a-t-il mené? », a-t-elle expliqué, en ajoutant que l’Iran en était notamment sorti renforcé, devenant une « force politique, sociale et culturelle majeure en Irak ».

Sur Times Square, à New York, les manifestants ont défilé en brandissant aussi des panneaux appelant à ne pas entrer en « guerre contre l’Iran » et à retirer les troupes américaines d’Irak.

« La guerre n’est pas une stratégie de réélection », pouvait-on lire sur un panneau.

Des rassemblements étaient également organisés samedi à Chicago devant l’immeuble Trump Tower ou encore à Los Angeles.

C’est une frappe ordonnée par Donald Trump qui a tué vendredi à Bagdad le puissant général iranien Qassem Soleimani et l’homme de l’Iran en Irak, Abou Mehdi al-Mouhandis.

La communauté internationale redoute désormais une déflagration, après une escalade verbale et des appels à la vengeance. Washington a annoncé le déploiement de 3.000 à 3.500 soldats supplémentaires dans la région.