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  • Report says Eritrea, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia are in a military alliance to curb Ethiopian regime's belligerence




    EDITOR'S NOTE: Contrary to what this report says, It was Ethiopia that invaded Eritrea on June 12th. Satellite imagery, which most developed countries have access to, showed Ethiopian troops invading Eritrea using tanks and heavy artillery. Eritrean Defense Forces fought back in self-defense, forcing TPLF troops to hastily retreat in complete disarray. As a result of their unprovoked attack, over 200 TPLF troops were killed and 300 more were injured, while Eritrea suffered 18 deaths.

    While this report is definitely wrong on who the aggressor was on June 12th, it doesn't negate the fact that Eritrea is part of a Saudi-led coalition to curb terrorism in all shapes and forms (including wayward regimes who invade their neighbor). So within this context, it becomes plausible that Eritrea, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which the later has a military base in Eritrea, are working together to establish peace and security in the region.


    US-Arab cold war in the Horn of Africa

    By AfricanIntelligence

    Ethiopia, a staunch ally of the United States, will have its work cut out to contain the hostility of its Eritrean and Egyptian neighbors, who in turn have support from certain Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, it has to contend with the mainly Oromo internal revolts ( ION 1422). We publish here our exclusive disclosures about the underlying factors of a war that is as much diplomatic as it is military.


    UAE and Egypt are behind the latest Eritrean push - On 12 June, the brother-enemies of the Horn of Africa accused each other of starting the recent deadly fighting with over 300 dead on their border in the Tsorona region. After saying nothing for two days, Addis Ababa finally gave the green light to its government spokesman, Getachew Reda, to warn the Eritrean regime of Issayas Afewroki that Ethiopia could go so far as to wage all-out war. Eritrea was emboldened by its support from the Gulf States and the security and military partnership contract it signed in April with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud ( ION 1403). So it did not stop at merely making noises against Addis Ababa and has even inflicted heavy casualties on the Ethiopian army. But Egypt is in reality behind the Eritrean assault, with support from Abu Dhabi.


    The Indian Ocean Newsletter has learnt that on 12 June, Mohamed Dahlan, the PLO former head of Preventive Security in Gaza and current advisor to Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed, was at a meeting in Cairo with the Egyptian Minister for Irrigation, Hossam Moughazi, and also attended by representatives of Mukhabarat (Egyptian general intelligence directorate).


    On the agenda was the Egypt-Ethiopia tension over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). This was when Mohamed Dahlan decided to play the Eritrea card to apply pressure on Ethiopia, by urging Issayas Afeworki to instigate hostilities against Ethiopia on its border. He then went to Asmara on 16 June.


    His visit to Eritrea was prepared by a member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) who lives in Cairo and Asmara, Omgita Sharo. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia and UAE, fearing that the conflict could escalate, sent a memo to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, asking him to recall the 2,000 or so soldiers posted at Dankalie, a stone’s throw from the Eritrean port of Assab which is the home of a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) base and which Saudi Arabia and UAE have refurbished to the tune of $50 million. But Ethiopia immediately replied to these recommendations firmly in the negative.


    Washington behind Addis Ababa - Ethiopia is far from isolated in this crisis. Its US and Israeli allies ensured it was elected a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2017-2018 on 28 June. Furthermore, on 8 June, Ethiopia was guest of honour at the White House. At a unique meeting, held at the behest of Reuben Brigety, the US Ambassador to the African Union with the agreement of the State Department, Ethiopian-American businessman, US ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and former CEO of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Daniel W. Yohannes was invited to talk about Ethiopian fears of threats from its neighbours. Since then, the United States has largely closed its eyes over Addis Ababa’s military manoeuvres in Djibouti, where a large number of soldiers are stationed on the Eritrean border, North West of the Tadjourah district.

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  • Brexit: David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU






    Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

    Mr Cameron made the announcement in a statement outside Downing Street after the final result was announced.

    He said he would attempt to "steady the ship" over the coming weeks and months but that "fresh leadership" was needed.

    The PM had urged the country to vote Remain, warning of economic and security consequences of an exit, but the UK voted to Leave by 52% to 48%.

    England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed staying in.

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed it as the UK's "independence day" but the Remain camp called it a "catastrophe".

    The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results.

    Flanked by wife Samantha, Mr Cameron said he had informed the Queen of his decision to remain in place for the short term and to then hand over to a new prime minister by the time of the Conservative conference in October.

    It would be for the new prime minister to carry out negotiations with the EU and invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal, he said.

    "The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected," said Mr Cameron. "The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered."

    'Independence day'

    The referendum turnout was 71.8% - with more than 30 million people voting - the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.

    Labour's Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Bank of England may have to intervene to shore up the pound, which lost 3% within moments of the first result showing a strong result for Leave in Sunderland and fell as much as 6.5% against the euro.

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage - who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU - told cheering supporters "this will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people".

    Mr Farage - who predicted a Remain win at the start of the night after polls suggested that would happen - said it would "go down in history as our independence day".

    He called on Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the referendum but campaigned passionately for a Remain vote, to quit "immediately".

    Media captionNigel Farage: "Dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom"A teller counts ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, BelfastImage copyrightPA

    Labour sources also said David Cameron "should seriously consider his position".

    But pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to Mr Cameron urging him to stay on whatever the result.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who called for the UK to remain in the EU but was accused of a lukewarm campaign, said poorer communities were "fed up" with cuts and felt "marginalised by successive governments".

    "Clearly there are some very difficult days ahead," he said, adding that "there will be job consequences as a result of this decision".

    He said the point he had made during the campaign was that "there were good things" about the EU but also "other things that had not been addressed properly".

    Former Labour Europe Minister Keith Vaz told the BBC the British people had voted with their "emotions" and rejected the advice of experts who had warned about the economic impact of leaving the EU.


    Area-by-area in maps: See how people voted

    He said the EU should call an emergency summit to deal with the aftermath of the vote, which he described as "catastrophic for our country, for the rest of Europe and for the rest of the world".

    Germany's foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier described the referendum result as as "a sad day for Europe and Great Britain".

    But Leave supporting Tory MP Liam Fox said voters had shown great "courage" by deciding to "change the course of history" for the UK and, he hoped, the rest of Europe.

    And he called for a "period of calm, a period of reflection, to let it all sink in and to work through what the actual technicalities are," insisting that Mr Cameron must stay on as PM.

    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the EU vote "makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union" after all 32 local authority areas returned majorities for Remain.

    Analysis by Prof John Curtice

    Remain campaignersImage copyrightPA

    London has voted to stay in the EU by around 60% to 40%.

    However, no other region of England has voted in favour of remaining.

    The referendum has underlined the social and cultural gap between London and provincial England.

    Remain's defeat seems to have been primarily the product of the decisions made by voters living north of the M4.

    Throughout the Midlands and the North of England the level of support for Remain was well below what was required for it to win at least 50% of the vote across the UK as a whole.

    Britain is set to be the first country to leave the EU since its formation - but the Leave vote does not immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member of the 28-nation bloc.

    That process could take a minimum of two years, with Leave campaigners suggesting during the referendum campaign that it should not be completed until 2020 - the date of the next scheduled general election.

    Foreign exchange in TokyoImage copyrightAPImage captionTraders in Tokyo monitor exchange rates

    The prime minister will have to decide when to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal.

    Once Article 50 has been triggered a country can not rejoin without the consent of all member states.

    Mr Cameron has previously said he would trigger Article 50 as soon as possible after a Leave vote but Boris Johnson and Michael Gove who led the campaign to get Britain out of the EU have said he should not rush into it.

    But they also said they want to make immediate changes before the UK actually leaves the EU, such as curbing the power of EU judges and limiting the free movement of workers, potentially in breach the UK's treaty obligations.

    The government will also have to negotiate its future trading relationship with the EU and fix trade deals with non-EU countries.

    In Whitehall and Westminster, there will now begin the massive task of unstitching the UK from more than 40 years of EU law, deciding which directives and regulations to keep, amend or ditch.

    The Leave campaign argued during a bitter four-month referendum campaign that the only way Britain could "take back control" of its own affairs would be to leave the EU.

    Leave dismissed warnings from economists and international bodies about the economic impact of Brexit as "scaremongering" by a self-serving elite.


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  • List of African countries banned from flying into the EU Skies


    Airlines from at least 12 African states have been banned from the European Union Skies due to lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities in their states. The African states are among the list of 19 states from across the world with at least 214 certified airlines in their countries.


    The twelve African countries include Benin, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with an exception of two airlines which operate under restrictions and conditions), Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Sudan


    It is good news for Zambia though, as the EU lifted its aviation ban allowing all aircrafts registered to the country to enter its airspace after almost eight years. Air Madagascar was also granted permission to enter the European skies.


    “I am happy to say that after seven years of work and extensive European technical assistance, we were able to clear all Zambian air carriers from the list,” The EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said in a statement


    EU Air Safety List aims to ensure the highest levels of air safety for the European citizens, a top priority of the Aviation Strategy adopted in December 2015.


    This evaluation will assess the most efficient ways to further improve the protection of passengers against unsafe air carriers. One such way is to work with aviation authorities worldwide to raise global safety standards, according to the EU statement.



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  • Al-Shabab says 43 Ethiopian soldiers killed in attack



    Somali rebel group al-Shabab says it has killed 43 soldiers in an attack on a base of Ethiopian troops serving with the African Union's AMISOM force Somalia.

    The town of Halgan, where Thursday's attack occurred, lies in the Hiran region of central Somalia, about 300km north of the capital Mogadishu.

    "Our fighters stormed the Halgan base of AMISOM ... We killed 43 AU soldiers from Ethiopia in the fighting," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's military operations spokesperson, told Reuters news agency.

    He said "several" al-Shabab fighters had died in the raid but he did not give a figure.

    "It was a huge blast. It destroyed the gate and parts of the base," he said.

    Residents said they heard a huge explosion at the base and a heavy exchange of gunfire shortly before dawn.

    "Al-Shabab says they drove a car equipped with a suicide bomb into the base followed by armed men storming the base and killing the soldiers,” said Mohamed Adow, reporting from Kenya's capital Nairobi.

    An AMISOM spokesman said that there was "an attempted attack" at the base in Halgan.

    He said AMISOM forces were still in charge of the base, according to Adow.

    Al-Shabab often launches gun and bomb attacks on officials, Somali security forces and AMISOM in an effort to topple the government and impose its own brand of government on Somalia.

    In January, Kenyan troops serving with AMISOM suffered heavy losses when al-Shabab made a dawn raid on their camp in El Adde, near the Kenyan border.

    Al-Shabab said it killed more than 100 soldiers but Kenya gave no exact casualty figure.



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  • End in sight for HIV?


    South African scientists have been testing the newly modified vaccine for two years in this country: first to ensure its safety and then to see if it activated the immune system.

    Yesterday, at the HIV Vaccine Trial Network conference in Washington DC, it was announced that the tests had been successful and a three-year trial involving 5700 people aged 18 to 35 will kick off in November. Results are expected by 2020.



    The vaccine is so far advanced in testing that it is likely to be the first marketed. Glenda Gray, head of the Medical Research Council, who will lead the trial, said it was "great news". Current prevention regimens require strict daily adherence to treatment, which tends to lessen compliance .

    "We need new tools or we won't have an Aids-free generation," Gray said.

    The vaccine has been tested in Thailand and was shown to reduce the likelihood of contracting HIV by 60% in the first year, but its effectiveness fell to 31% after three years. The results were announced in 2009. Scientists involved in HIV research reportedly sobbed on hearing that 30 years of work on developing a vaccine had finally achieved some success.

    The vaccine used in Thailand has been modified to fight the South African strain of the virus, and seven years has been devoted to strengthening its efficacy.

    HIV researcher Linda Gail Bekker, who was involved in testing the efficacy of the vaccine in South Africa on 100 people, said the results suggested that the modified vaccine might be "more potent and longer lasting" than the vaccine tested in Thailand.

    Anthony Fauci, director at the US National Institutes of Health, a co-funder of the trial, said the vaccine was "the product of years of study and experimentation".

    "A safe and effective HIV vaccine could help bring about a durable end to the HIV/Aids pandemic and is particularly needed in Southern Africa, where HIV is more pervasive than anywhere else in the world."

    The Medicines Control Council and scientists have discussed the level of protection that the vaccine must give if it is to be approved by regulators.

    The vaccine is not expected to be 100% effective. Scientists want to use it in conjunction with male circumcision and other HIV-prevention methods, such as treating infected people, in an attempt to lower the rate of new infections. About 1000 South Africans are infected with HIV every day.

    Mitchell Warren, director of NGO AVAC, said even a partially effective vaccine could significantly decrease the infection rate over decades.

    Warren said that a vaccine that would reduce the risk of contracting HIV by 70% and lasted for five years "would reduce annual new infections by 44% over the first decade, by 65% in the first 25 years and by 78% to 122000 in 2070".

    "We don't know if the vaccine being trialled in South Africa will be as effective as this but the modelling does confirm that a partially protective vaccine would have significant impact."

    South Africa has about 6.4million people with HIV - the highest incidence in the world - and it has the world's biggest treatment programme with 3.2million people on antiretrovirals and there are plans to expand this by 300000 a year.

    An extra R1-billion has been set aside to increase access to treatment.

    Deputy director of Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute Francois Venter said: "Having something that doesn't have to be carried in your pocket or used during sex, and which is permanent, would be a huge benefit."



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