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Creating Failed States | Next up: Burundi

Public Good Project

November 24, 2015

by Jay Taber

 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

November 23, 2015

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“President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Burundi.”

Power and Kagame

Left: U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. Right: “Butcher of the Great Lakes”, Paul Kagame | “The US based Kagame lobbyists, including the US Ambassador to the UN – Samantha Power – are responsible for the crisis we see in Burundi.” – Dr. Charles Kambanda, Great Lakes Post

The African Great Lakes region (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) is rich in mineral wealth. East/West superpower competition for these minerals — used in consumer electronics — has prompted the United States military to arm rebels and dictators alike, as well as to increase the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) presence in the region.

Burundi tweet 3

On July 6, 2015, the U.S. State Department announced that Tom Perriello will serve as President Obama’s special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa. On November 6, 2015, the State Department announced that Perriello was alarmed by Burundi government violence.  On November 8, 2015, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, in response to the Burundi government offer of amnesty to insurrectionists, warned of Rwanda-like government massacres.

Samantha-Power-John-Kerry-68th-Session-UN-0OZG7CMnM5Ol

Above: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power during the United Nations Security Council meeting (photo: (Sept. 18, 2014 – Source: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images North America)

As noted by Charles Kambanda, a former professor at the University of Rwanda, what really is happening in Burundi is that multinational corporations are seeking to create a failed state — as they did previously in the Congo — in order to plunder the resources of the region. Avaaz*, an NGO co-founded by Perriello, has called on the UN, US and EU to send in the troops–much like it did in Libya and Syria.

*Avaaz was initially funded in 2006 by George Soros (a currency speculator convicted of insider-trading) through his Open Society Institute.

 

Further reading: Avaaz Hones In On Burundi as Next U.S. Fait Accompli:

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2015/11/18/avaaz-hones-in-on-burundi-as-next-u-s-fait-accompli/

avaazkilllhashtag

WWF Scandal (Part 3): Embezzlement and Evictions in Tanzania

Source: REDD-Monitor

By Chris Lang, 9th May 2012

WWF scandal (part 3): Embezzlement and evictions in Tanzania

WWF is embroiled in a two-part scandal over its work in Tanzania. In October 2011, thousands of villagers were evicted from a WWF project area in the Rufiji Delta. This year WWF Tanzania staff were caught embezzling funds.

On 28 October 2011, forestry officials protected by armed police burned down hundreds of farm huts and cut down villagers’ palm trees. The huts were used to plant and harvest rice. The government had announced the planned evictions in January 2011. One of the people affected, was Bakari Wanga, chairman of Kiomboni village, one of three villages in the Rufiji Delta. “What is happening here is absolute madness, our huts are being torched and coconut trees felled by a group of natural resources officials escorted by the police,” Wanga told the Daily News.

WWF denies any involvement in the evictions. WWF’s Country Director, Stephen Mariki, told the Daily News, that “WWF has never advocated the eviction of communities from the delta. The recent evictions were carried out by government agencies.”

WWF’s project in the Rufiji Delta is a mangrove restoration project. According to Jonathan Cook of WWF-US, WWF is “working with the Forestry Division to replant and restore mangrove habitats degraded by illegal rice farming”.

In November 2011, Betsy Beymer-Farris and Thomas Bassett published a paper titled, “The REDD menace: Resurgent protectionism in Tanzania’s mangrove forests”, in Global Environmental Change. The paper is critical of WWF’s Rufiji Delta project and of REDD:

“Within the context of the Tanzanian state and WWF’s climate change ‘adaptation strategy’, mangrove reforestation reduces the ability of Rufiji farmers to cultivate rice for subsistence needs and thus poses a direct threat to their livelihoods.”

Beymer-Farris and Bassett argue that the evictions of the Warufiji, the people living in the Rufiji Delta, is part of a process of creating a REDD project in the Rufiji Delta, where carbon is more important than people:

“The removal of the Warufiji ‘simplifies’ the mangrove forests in order to make levels of carbon sequestration ‘legible’ for carbon markets.”

WWF’s response to the paper is fascinating. After an article based on the paper appeared in Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper, the head of WWF Norway, Rasmus Hansson, wrote a response in which he attacked the research and wrote that it would “make serious researchers blush”. Beymer-Farris and Bassett replied by explaining that there was nothing wrong with their research and that they stood by their findings.

On 3 February 2012, WWF lodged a formal complaint with the journal that published the paper. WWF requested that the article be removed from the journal’s website.