Hezbollah ha promesso di “bloccare” quelli che ha definito gli attacchi Takfiri-sionisti contro il partito di resistenza e l’esercito libanese. “Assicuriamo la nostra gente … che continueremo a rispondere contro questi brutali attacchi e la loro aggressione; la loro strategia sarà distrutta attraverso il pilastro della strategia nazionale “, ha detto il deputato Hezbollah Hussein Musawi in un comunicato. Musawi ha confermato che Hezbollah e l’esercito libanese sono il bersaglio di gruppi Takfiri e israeliani anche se in fondo Hezbollah non crede – ma non lo dichiara – che Israele sia il “regista” di questi attacchi.
“The ‘Army, People, Resistance’ is now the target of Takfiri-Zionists,” he said.
“What happened in recent days, from the assassination of [Hezbollah] commander Hassan Lakkis to suicide bombings on Army checkpoints in Sidon all the way to the bloody bombing in Labweh in the northern Bekaa, confirm that the Zionists and Takfiris are two sides of the same coin,” he added.
Musawi said Hezbollah deems those attacks an “aggressive decision and an extension of the war imposed on Syria and its environs.”
“This war,” he continued “has been approved by the Zionist and Takfiris together.”
“We are facing sectarian, suicide terrorist operations carried out by dark forces targeting the Lebanese Army institution – the guarantor of unity, security and stability of the Lebanese people – as well as the resistance [Hezbollah] given it is Lebanon’s deterrent and defense system in an effort to eliminate the strength factors.”
Musawi said the rising sectarian rhetoric has created an atmosphere for such assaults.
Il presidente Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi ha accettato le richieste delle tribù dell’Hadramout: rimozione dei campi militari nella zona tribale e che i responsabili per l’uccisione di uno sceicco vengano perseguiti. Il presidente ha anche promesso che i lavori con le compagnie petrolifere che operano nella regione saranno assegnati ai residenti delle tribù dell’Hadramout.
La minaccia terroristica nello Yemen “è molto diffusa” e informazioni recenti, ritenute attendibili, riportano un rischio particolarmente alto di sequestri per i cittadini stranieri. Secondo Washington, lo Yemen è diventato uno dei Paesi dove la minaccia di al Qaeda è tra le più forti, e la vasta regione desertica dell’Hadramout sembra sia diventata una sorta di “santuario”. A dimostrazione di ciò le comunicazioni intercettate dall’intelligence americana fra leader di al Qaeda e i responsabili dell’organizzazione che opera nella penisola arabica. Le autorità yemenite stanno facendo di tutto per accogliere le richieste delle tribù locali, cercando la loro collaborazione e appoggio contro i terroristi di al Qaeda
Last week a coalition of powerful tribes in Hadramout threatened to occupy military camps and government compounds in the governorate if the state did not respond to their demands. The tribes gave the government a Dec. 20 deadline. Hadramout has been tense since the killing of a tribal sheikh, Sa’ad Bin Hamad Harbish, at a security checkpoint on Dec. 2 at the entrance to the city of Seyoun.
The sheikh refused to stop at the checkpoint when soldiers asked to inspect his convoy’s cars. Col. Hussein Hashim, Seyoun city’s security manager, said forces are on high alert for an expected mass rally on Friday hosted by the tribes. He said troops are equipped with batons, tear gas and water hoses in anticipation of riots. Hadi reportedly phoned Harbish’s family this week and sent a presidential committee to negotiate with tribal sheikhs. The committee was comprised of senior government officials including Ali Nasser Al-Akhsha, the deputy interior minister, and Khalid Al-Daini, the governor of Hadramout.
Al-Daini said the committee met with the Hadramout Tribal Federation, informing them that President Hadi has accepted their demands. “These demands will be met gradually. For example, military camps will be evacuated based on a withdrawal schedule. Local residents will receive vocational training in order to be recruited for work in the oil companies, and investigations are currently underway to identify those responsible for the death of the sheikh in order to hand them over for prosecution,” Al-Daini said. While peace between the tribes and the government appears to being going ahead, Abdulrahman Anees, a journalist based in Hadramout, said people are preparing for the worst. “People rushed to purchase and store food and other supplies because they fear an eruption of military clashes and mass chaos as a result of the planned demonstration,” he said. Saleh Molla Al-Dwilah, spokesperson for the Hadramout Tribal Federation, confirmed that President Hadi had agreed to all their demands, but said they will go ahead with the planned mass rally in case action does not materialize.
“All political entities and civil society organizations in Hadramout’s cities should prepare for the mass rally and form local committees to maintain security and protect public and private property,” read a statement from the Tribal Federation released on Tuesday.
Source Yemen Times
Il Libano è entrato in una nuova fase di instabilità, con i recenti attacchi contro Hezbollah e l’esercito libanese verificatisi in rapida successione nei giorni scorsi. Capire cosa sta accadendo può aiutarci a capire meglio cosa aspettarci in futuro in Libano… L’esercito è stato preso di mira nei giorni scorsi presso il checkpoint Awali e a Majdalyoun, nei pressi di Sidone, mentre un’autobomba è stata fatta esplodere nei pressi di una base di Hezbollah nella valle della Bekaa.
Those behind the bombings targeting Hezbollah were probably not the same ones who attacked the Army, despite the media’s tendency to see them as part of the same package. Officials have suggested the Sidon attacks were carried out by followers of Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir. Given their amateurishness, that may well be true.
But the car bomb in the Bekaa, near the village of Sbouba, was a different matter. The large quantity of explosives used and the fact that the blast occurred near a Hezbollah base, which must have been under observation for some time, indicated a level of professionalism similar to the one evident in the bombings at the Iranian Embassy in October. It also implied that those behind the attacks sought to hit high-value military sites of the party, not just provoke carnage among Shiite civilians.
If so, we can identify three categories of actions in recent months: small-scale attacks against the Army, indiscriminate bomb attacks against civilians, and more professionally prepared attacks against Hezbollah and Iranian objectives.
The first could possibly be a sign of greater militancy by Lebanese Sunni Salafist groups, in Sidon and probably Tripoli. They are angry at the Army’s assault against Assir’s mosque in Abra last June and feel that its repeated arrest of Salafists reflects an implicit alliance with Hezbollah and animus toward the Sunni community.
The attacks against civilians have been a straightforward terror weapon against (until now) Shiites, to show that there is a price to be paid for Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.
The third type of attack, against political and military targets, may point to an effort to shape the political and military environment in specific ways. The Sbouba attack could have been linked to the party’s ongoing campaign in the Qalamoun area of Syria; the blast at the Iranian Embassy was an obvious political message that the Iranians, despite the presence of Hezbollah, are vulnerable in Lebanon.
One thing is increasingly clear: Such operations are taking place in a wider context of Al-Qaeda’s reaffirming itself regionally, especially in a swathe of territory stretching from Iraq to Syria and now extending increasingly to Lebanon. This has been characterized by the effort of Al-Qaeda franchises to seize territory and systematically eliminate all those, including Sunnis, who might stand in their way.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, which is active in Syria, is an extension of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, so their actions in Syria and Iraq must be viewed as part of a coordinated strategy. In Syria, ISIS and the Nusra Front have, from the start, been concerned less with fighting the regime of Bashar Assad than with carving out spaces in areas under the control of the Syrian rebels and the Kurdish community. This territory, particularly Syrian oil fields, has provided them with a steady source of income, therefore leverage over other rebel groups.
In an effort to consolidate an alternative Islamist alliance to Al-Qaeda, the Saudis formed the so-called Islamic Front in November, made up of seven Salafist rebel groups. Its ambition of creating an Islamic state in Syria worries Western states, which believe no transitional political project is feasible if it ignores the fears of Syria’s minorities. However, in a sign of the confusion permeating American and British policy on Syria, the Obama administration and the Cameron government have just suspended aid to Syrian groups they had been supporting, guaranteeing their further marginalization.
President Bashar Assad must be delighted. Reports this week indicate that the Syrian National Coalition has been told by Western governments that the Montreux conference in January should not lead to the removal of the Syrian president, for fear that jihadists would exploit the ensuing vacuum. The SNC had said that it would not attend the conference unless it led to a transition away from Assad, so what this will mean for its participation remains unclear.
Ultimately the political mess in Syria benefits both Assad and Al-Qaeda in the medium term. The paradox is that Hezbollah, the Assad regime and the United States are all, implicitly, on the same side – which is precisely the conclusion the Assad regime wanted everyone to reach when it allowed the jihadists to thrive.
The only problem is that Hezbollah now finds itself transformed into cannon fodder in a battle against Al-Qaeda, when its initial goal was merely to defend Assad rule. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has claimed that his party’s aim is to fight the “takfiris.” However, far more effective forces than his have failed to triumph over Al-Qaeda. The only success came when the United States collaborated with the Sunni Awakening movement in Iraq to push the jihadists onto the defensive.
Hezbollah doesn’t have that capacity. The party has imported the Syrian war to Lebanon, even if it is not the only one to do so. Its hubris has been a curse to the country, and will remain so for some time.
Le autorità libiche oggi hanno bloccato le richieste formulate dal Consiglio di sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite per il dispiegamento di 235 “guardie” per la protezione del personale delle Nazioni Unite. Il rifiuto è stato motivato sulla base del fatto che la forza “potrebbe” interferire con la fragile situazione della sicurezza nel paese.
Speaking to a press conference the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Tarek Mitri, told reporters that the UN had reiterated that the task of the guard unit was of limited scope and that its establishment was an ordinary measure that is taken by diplomatic missions. He added that the Libyan government’s refusal to allow the formation of a UN guard brigade was based on a misunderstanding.
The government had previously agreed to the formation of the unit after blocking the request the first time it was submitted. Speaking to the UN Security Council last week, Mitri said that some groups had gone so far as “suspecting the proposed arrangement to be a prelude to international intervention.” He went on the say that UNSMIL had “issued clarifications and had to state the obvious”.
The UNSMIL head told journalists yesterday that “the format and size of the guard unit is currently under review, so as to calm some worries and avoid any tendency towards unfounded explanations and assumptions, as well as avoid overstating the significance of an ordinary measure”.
As to whether the UN mission in Libya might have to rein back some of its programmes in light of the decision, Mitri said that UNSMIL’s activities would carry on as usual. The UN had asked for the brigade to protect its mission in “a context of insecurity which had prevailed for many months”, but the organisation’s Libya chief told reporters that his staff could not expect to stop working in a security situation that the people they hoped to help also had to endure.
Source Libya Herald
Il responsabile della missione di supporto delle Nazioni Unite in Libia (UNSMIL), Tarek Mitri, ha dichiarato in una conferenza stampa organizzata ieri che il Consiglio di sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite é profondamente turbato dalla diffusione di armi nel paese e ha invitato al dialogo nazionale per risolvere i problemi attuali legati alla sicurezza. Mitri ha detto ai giornalisti che, mentre l’Onu é preoccupata per il deterioramento della sicurezza nel paese e per la proliferazione delle armi, il Consiglio di Sicurezza anche riconosciuto la speranza che la stabilità venga al più presto ripristinata.
The UNSMIL head stressed the UN’s desire to see “a transformation of the current political crisis and security instability into an opportunity that would allow Libya to proceed with its transition towards state building, establishing the rule of law, ensuring stability, promoting human rights and addressing livelihood issues”.
In a statement made by the French President of the Security Council, also yesterday, the Security Council expressed its concern at the use of violence by armed groups against Libyan state institutions, including the illegal seizure of energy facilities and smuggling of natural resources, urging the the transfer of such facilities back to proper authorities.
Oil exports have been crippled in the country since July when a number of minority groups with different vested interests began blockading oil and gas facilities and infrastructure. While the UN has said that dialogue is necessary between all different forces in Libya, without exception, Mitri told the press conference yesterday that the UN refused to enter into discussions with groups illegally occupying oil fields or oil terminals.
Mitri added that the work of the UN in Libya was limited to helping bring disparate groups together and its role did not exceed providing assistance and advice to Libyans.
Source Libya Herald
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L’Esercito del Sud Sudan (SPLA) ha riconosciuto che “non controlla la cittadina di Bor” dopo che le forze fedeli al Generale Peter Gatdet Yak hanno invaso le basi militari il martedì e conquistato la città mercoledì sera (ieri). Il portavoce del SPLA, il colonnello Philip Aguer, ha dichiarato che l’esercito nazionale si riunisce per impostare la prossima mossa, alla luce della crescente preoccupazione internazionale per la situazione umanitaria nella capitale dello stato di Jongeli.
Earlier today, South Sudan army said that Gen. Gadet, who was a commander in charge of the SPLA’s 8th Division in Jonglei state, has defected from its ranks.
He reportedly broke off from the national army ranks on allegations that his tribe, the Nuer, have been targeted in the current tension.
Over the weekend clashes erupted in Juba between among units of the presidential guards from competing tribes of Dinka and Nuer. The fighting spread throughout the city which lead to the death of at least 500 people with hundreds more injured.
On Monday, Kiir appeared on TV to declare that his former deputy Riek Machar, who hails from the Nuer tribe, staged a coup attempt along with other prominent South Sudanese officials who were part of the government and are leading figures in the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Observers and independent analysts have expressed fears that Gadet’s defection could complicate the security situation in Jonglei where government forces have been battling to exert full control in areas where rebel David Yau has remained active since 2012.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a news release today that the “security conditions in the Jonglei State capital of Bor have deteriorated significantly during the course of the day”.
“UNMISS has received reports that heavy fighting erupted in the city in the wee hours of this morning and continued for four hours. The violence triggered an exodus of civilians out of Bor, and thousands have sought shelter at the Mission’s compound on the southeastern outskirts of the city” the statement said.
“As is the case in Juba, UNMISS is providing water, sanitation facilities and medical care to civilians who have taken refuge in its Bor compound. A limited number of tents have been erected to house some of these civilians. Late this afternoon, UNMISS staff members reported that heavy weapons fire erupted in a neighborhood of Bor about a kilometer away from the Mission’s compound”.
In Bor, residents fled to nearby bushes and swampy areas across the Nile River.
One resident, still hiding within the town, told Sudan Tribune by phone on Thursday that “a huge building is burning in the market” raising possibility of looting and destruction in Bor trader center of Maror.
Jonglei acting governor John Kong Nyuon, who arrived to Bor Wednesday evening from Juba, is said to be taking refuge in UNMISS camp while a number of senior state officials have reportedly fled the town with civilians.
South Sudan Red Cross said at least 19 bodies were found on Wednesday bringing the death toll to 22 when three children who perished in a boat capsizing in Nile River are included.
Source Sudan Tribune