Category Archives: Middle East

Spread of Wahhabism was done at request of West during Cold War – Saudi crown prince

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Spread of Wahhabism was done at request of West during Cold War – Saudi crown prince
Published time: 28 Mar, 2018 11:58
Edited time: 18 Apr, 2018 15:56
Spread of Wahhabism was done at request of West during Cold War – Saudi crown prince
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. © Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters
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The Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism began as a result of Western countries asking Riyadh to help counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Washington Post.
Speaking to the paper, bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia’s Western allies urged the country to invest in mosques and madrassas overseas during the Cold War, in an effort to prevent encroachment in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union.

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He added that successive Saudi governments had lost track of that effort, saying “we have to get it all back.” Bin Salman also said that funding now comes mostly from Saudi-based “foundations,” rather than from the government.

The crown prince’s 75-minute interview with the Washington Post took place on March 22. Another topic of discussion included a previous claim by US media that bin Salman had said that he had White House senior adviser Jared Kushner “in his pocket.”

Bin Salman denied reports that when he and Kushner – who is also Donald Trump’s son-in-law – met in Riyadh in October, he had sought or received a greenlight from Kushner for the massive crackdown on alleged corruption which led to widespread arrests in the kingdom shortly afterwards. According to bin Salman, the arrests were a domestic issue and had been in the works for years.

He said it would be “really insane” for him to trade classified information with Kushner, or to try to use him to advance Saudi interests within the Trump administration. He stated that their relationship was within a normal governmental context, but did acknowledge that he and Kushner “work together as friends, more than partners.” He stated that he also had good relationships with Vice President Mike Pence and others within the White House.

The crown prince also spoke about the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition continues to launch a bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in an attempt to reinstate ousted Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi as president. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced many more, driven the country to the brink of famine, and led to a major cholera outbreak.

Although the coalition has been accused of a large number of civilian deaths and disregard for civilian lives – an accusation which Riyadh denies – the crown prince said his country has not passed up “any opportunity” to improve the humanitarian situation in the country. “There are not good options and bad options. The options are between bad and worse,” he said.

The interview with the crown prince was initially held off the record. However, the Saudi embassy later agreed to led the Washington Post publish specific portions of the meeting.

Reported by:Shakir Essa

Saudi Arabia with UAE and Turkey with Qatar Are Playing a Dangerous Game in the Horn of Africa

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been expanding its role in the Horn of Africa. Along with other Gulf powers, it is broadening its ties to the region. Strategic rivalries, including those within the Gulf Cooperation Council pitting the UAE and Saudi Arabia against Qatar, often motivate Gulf powers’ increasing influence.

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Why does it matter? The influence of, and competition among, Gulf states could reshape Horn geopolitics. Gulf leaders can nudge their African counterparts toward peace; both the UAE and Saudi Arabia helped along the recent Eritrea-Ethiopia rapprochement. But rivalries among Gulf powers can also sow instability, as their spillover into Somalia has done.

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What should be done? The UAE, whose Horn presence is particularly pronounced, should build on its successful Eritrea-Ethiopia diplomacy. It should continue backing Eritrean-Ethiopian peace, encouraging both parties to fulfil their commitments. Abu Dhabi should heal its rift with the Somali government, and thus help calm tensions between Mogadishu and its peripheries.

I.Overview

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged in recent months as an important protagonist in the Horn of Africa. Through political alliances, aid, investment, military base agreements and port contracts, it is expanding its influence in the region. A recent manifestation came in the summer of 2018, when Eritrea and Ethiopia announced – after a flurry of visits to and from Emirati officials – that they had reached an agreement to end their twenty-year war. Emirati and Saudi diplomacy and aid were pivotal to that deal. Elsewhere, however, Gulf countries have played a less constructive role. Competition between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and Qatar on the other, spilled into Somalia beginning in late 2017, aggravating friction between Mogadishu and Somali regional leaders. Abu Dhabi’s relations with the Somali government have collapsed. As its influence in the Horn grows, the UAE should build on its Eritrea-Ethiopia peace-making by continuing to underwrite and promote that deal, while at the same time looking to reconcile with the Somali government.

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An array of calculations shapes the UAE’s actions in the Horn. The Gulf port cities have a long history of ties with Africa, centred around maritime trade and dating to the era before the Emirates united as a nation-state. From 2011, however, Abu Dhabi began to look at the countries along the Red Sea coast as more than commercial partners. Turmoil in the Middle East, Iran’s growing regional influence, piracy emanating from Somalia and, from 2015, the war in Yemen combined to turn the corridor’s stability into a core strategic interest. The 2017 Gulf crisis, which saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, pushed leaders on both sides of the divide to double down on their alliances, including in the Horn. Since then, the UAE has nailed down diplomatic relationships and extended its reach, particularly along the Red Sea.

 In places, Gulf rivalries have been destabilising. 

In places, Gulf rivalries have been destabilising. In Somalia in particular, the UAE, perceiving the Somali government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” as too close to Qatar and keen to protect years of investment, has deepened its relations with the governments of Somalia’s regions, or federal states. Importing the Gulf crisis into Somalia has contributed to tensions between Mogadishu and the federal states that over recent months have threatened to boil over. Elsewhere, however, Abu Dhabi’s peace-making is evident. The UAE, together with Saudi Arabia, provided critical diplomatic and financial support to help Eritrea and Ethiopia take the first steps toward a rapprochement that could prove enormously beneficial for wider Horn stability. Both Gulf monarchies also appear to have contributed to an easing of tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt.

The UAE, along with its fellow Gulf monarchies, is investing in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa for the long haul. Ideally, its successful Eritrea-Ethiopia diplomacy would provide the basis for that engagement. To that end, it should consider the following:

  • Keep underwriting Eritrean-Ethiopian peace, including by releasing the aid it has promised and pressing Asmara and Addis Ababa to follow through on the September agreement they signed in Jeddah;
  • Seek to end its debilitating spat with Mogadishu, with the understanding that warmer Abu Dhabi-Mogadishu relations are likely a prerequisite for overcoming divisions between President Farmajo’s government and Somali regional leaders. The UAE could encourage allies in the regions to reconcile with Mogadishu and take steps to facilitate their doing so, for example pledging to inform Farmajo’s government of its activities in the federal states, from training security forces to developing ports.

II.The UAE’s Long Involvement in the Horn

When the Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders signed the September agreement, Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s role in brokering it was in full view. The ceremony took place in Jeddah, on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. The two African leaders sat in an opulent room under the gaze of a metres-high portrait of the founding Saudi king, Abdulaziz. The current king, Salman, looked on, flanked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Emirati foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed. The traditional regional powerbrokers – Western countries, the UN and the African Union (AU) – were absent.

The Eritrean-Ethiopian rapprochement, as well as a flurry of other Horn of Africa diplomacy, has greatly boosted Gulf states’ visibility as geopolitical actors along the Red Sea. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are now central to conversations about the future of a region still suffering strife and instability. With Washington seemingly in retreat, the Gulf countries appear intent on playing a major role. As one Gulf official put it: “If you look at the future of Africa, it’s clear – China is in. The Arab countries are in. The U.S. is not”. The larger questions are what each Gulf country aims to gain and how each intends to use its newly acquired leverage.

 The UAE itself has a long track record of engagement across the Red Sea. 

The UAE itself has a long track record of engagement across the Red Sea. It hosts large diasporas from Horn countries, some of which were integral to its founding in 1971. Arabic-speaking Sudanese civil servants helped build nascent ministries, and members of the diaspora still swap stories about how President Omar al-Bashir was once Khartoum’s military attaché in Abu Dhabi. Dubai, meanwhile, is the banking hub for many Somali businesses.

The Emirates’ history as a trading coast also informs its contemporary economic outreach. The UAE’s model of economic diversification is built around its role as a logistics hub and regional headquarters. It is a model premised on freedom of maritime navigation, including through Bab al-Mandab, the narrow passage from the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, and the Strait of Hormuz. Analysts often describe both bodies of water as chokepoints because they are easily closed to oil tankers and other cargo ships. Having cooperative, even like-minded governments along the Red Sea corridor is a strategic priority. Africa is also a natural theatre for trade and logistical ambitions. It comes as no surprise that one of the Dubai-based logistics giant DP World’s first contracts abroad was in Djibouti, where it began to develop Doraleh port in 2006.

III.The Arab Uprisings and a New Emirati Stance Abroad

The 2011 Arab uprisings vested the Red Sea with strategic importance for the UAE beyond core economic interests and led Abu Dhabi to view that corridor, as well as places as seemingly far-flung as Jordan and Libya, as its “neighbourhood”. Those uprisings transformed the Middle East from a zone of entrenched autocracies into a web of conflicts that political Islamists associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the UAE and Saudi Arabia view as enemies, initially seemed to be winning. Abu Dhabi, in particular, views groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which have traction inside the Emirates, as an existential threat. Their ascendancy as far away as North Africa alarmed the Emirates, particularly as conflicts across the Arab world increasingly appeared interlinked, with events in one place shaping those elsewhere.

A growing sense of danger bred a more interventionist foreign policy. The UAE, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, funnelled support to allies in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere. To explain these actions to citizens at home – used to an economically focused UAE – Emirati leaders invoked an argument still oft-repeated in policymaking hallways in Abu Dhabi: you can’t be safe if your neighbourhood is at war.

Egypt’s future took on particular importance after its first democratic election in modern history brought a Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, to the presidency. After Morsi’s ouster in a coup that the UAE and Saudi Arabia lauded and may have actively encouraged, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, together with Kuwait, poured billions into the new government’s coffers. Abu Dhabi also kept a keen eye on the security of the Suez Canal, including when the scale of piracy in the Red Sea, the canal’s southern gateway, jumped in the mid-2010s. Seeing a risk to its oil shipments and cargo containers, the UAE took an active role in counter-piracy initiatives. In Somalia, it trained a marine police force in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and began experimenting with counter-terrorism operations against the Islamist Al Shabaab insurgency. The country became a Petri dish of learning for UAE special forces, which Western defence officials describe as the most capable in the Gulf today.

IV.The Yemen Catalyst

By 2015, the tumult in the Middle East – the Islamic State’s rise, Libya’s collapse, the Syria inferno, instability in post-coup Egypt and fear at what some Gulf leaders saw as Iran’s increasing influence across the region – created a siege mentality in some Gulf monarchies. In that context, Saudi Arabia and its primary partner the UAE led a military intervention in Yemen to roll back Huthi rebels loosely allied with Tehran. The Huthis had ousted the president and taken control of the capital and much of the country in late 2014 and early 2015.

In its anti-Iran drive, Riyadh sought assistance from past allies Sudan and Eritrea, both of which had strengthened ties with Tehran while all three countries were under international sanctions. Beginning in the 1990s, Sudan had built its defence industry with Iranian assistance and know-how; Eritrea had offered use of its port, Assab, to the Iranian navy. In 2014, however, both countries ejected Iranian diplomats. A year later, both agreed to contribute troops and resources for the Yemen war.

At the outset of the Yemen conflict, the UAE and Saudi Arabia were alarmed by Huthi rebels’ gains around Bab al-Mandab, raising the possibility that an Iranian-allied group would control such a chokepoint. They prioritised retaking Yemen’s western and southern coastlines. The UAE took de facto responsibility for operations in Yemen’s south and quickly found itself in need of a naval and air base along the Red Sea. The natural candidate was Djibouti, where DP World had built the port. By then, however, Abu Dhabi’s relationship with Djibouti was souring over allegations of corruption related to DP World’s contract (DP World disputes the allegations). Officials from the two countries had a falling-out in April 2015, when the UAE, with DP World’s infrastructure, sought to use Djibouti as a military launching pad into Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition turned to another port, Eritrea’s Assab. Riyadh signed a security agreement also that April to use Assab, leaving Abu Dhabi to carry out the deal’s terms. By September, the Emirati military was flying fighter-bombers from the Eritrean coastline.

The dispute with Djibouti left the UAE uneasy about its reach along the Red Sea corridor. Abu Dhabi worried that it could not rely on allies in the Horn – even in cases where it felt existential questions were at stake. As UAE-backed Yemeni forces pushed northward along the Red Sea coast, Abu Dhabi sought to expand its strategic depth. DP World and the Emirati military each penned an agreement to develop Berbera port in the self-declared republic of Somaliland. A subsidiary of DP World later signed a contract with local authorities in the Somali federal state of Puntland to develop Bosaso port. The attitude, as one Emirati official put it, became “fill space, before others do”.

V.The Intra-Gulf Crisis

The June 2017 Gulf crisis brought yet more urgency to the scramble along the Red Sea corridor. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with and imposed an embargo on Qatar.

Among the reasons the UAE in particular cited for breaking ties with Qatar was Doha’s alleged betrayal of the Saudi-led coalition efforts in Yemen. The Qataris had sent few personnel to the war theatre, but Abu Dhabi accused them of having revealed the location of a UAE-led operation to al-Qaeda, resulting in Emirati casualties, though they provided no evidence to support that allegation. (Qatar at the time declined to respond to this specific claim, and urged the UAE to provide evidence. ) After they imposed an air and naval blockade on Yemen, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi continued to claim that Doha was working actively against Saudi-led efforts, particularly through the media.

Also at the outset of the Gulf crisis, both sides began a frantic diplomatic push to secure allies, including among countries in Africa. In the Horn, competition was particularly fraught, given this subregion’s strategic value and proximity to Yemen. Djibouti and Eritrea both issued statements of support for the Saudi alliance, prompting Qatar to withdraw 400 observers it had stationed to monitor a border dispute between the two.

In Somalia, Farmajo, who had assumed office only months before the Gulf crisis, reportedly faced intense Saudi and Emirati pressure to cut ties with Doha. Although the president insisted that he wanted to remain neutral, for Abu Dhabi, widespread reports that he had received Qatari funds before his election belied that claim, as did his post-election appointment as chief aide of a former Al Jazeera correspondent with links to Doha. In April 2018, Somali authorities seized from a UAE plane almost $10 million in cash that Abu Dhabi said was intended to fund training of security forces that had long been underway but which Mogadishu alleged would be used to fund its political rivals.

In the aftermath of the spat, Abu Dhabi withdrew some officials from Mogadishu, evacuated a military training camp and shuttered a hospital. The UAE also shored up its alliances with leaders in Somalia’s federal states and the breakaway republic of Somaliland. It stuck to previous port agreements in Berbera and Bosaso, as well as a military base agreement for Berbera, and reportedly is discussing the development of Kismayo, in Jubbaland federal state, over the Somali federal government’s objections. The Gulf powers’ backing of rival factions – notably Emirati support for the governments of Somalia’s federal states and Qatari support for Farmajo – has exacerbated existing tensions between Mogadishu and the regions to the point of near-conflict.

The dust-up in Mogadishu is often described by officials in Abu Dhabi as a “wake-up call” – the most blaring signal that the UAE’s interests were imperilled along the African side of the Red Sea. For Abu Dhabi, the timing was inauspicious as well. Emirati-backed Yemeni forces had been gearing up for an offensive to move toward the Huthi-controlled port of Hodeida – an operation that was to rely heavily on assets parked across the sea in Assab. If past alliances with Djibouti and Somalia could turn on a dime, perhaps other seemingly assured relationships – such as with Eritrea – could do so, too.

VI.The Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Deal

As the UAE’s relations with the Somali federal government soured, a new prime minister emerged in Ethiopia whose reformist economic views appealed to Abu Dhabi. Both countries had already begun laying the groundwork for closer ties some years ago. In March 2013, the two agreed to form a joint commission to discuss economic, political and other cooperation. In April 2018, the selection by Ethiopia’s ruling coalition of a new and charismatic prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, paired with Abu Dhabi’s desire for a new partner in the Horn, catalysed a quicker alignment. As Abiy spoke of privatisation and development to unleash the potential of the Horn’s most populous country, the UAE saw a strategic and investment opportunity. Among the many constraints on Ethiopia’s growth has been its lack of sea access and consequent reliance on Djibouti as the sole outlet for its exports. The UAE’s newly signed port contracts could help. In March 2018, DP World announced that Addis Ababa would take a 19 per cent stake in the Berbera port’s development.

Now, with an energetic partner and a cornucopia of potential commercial opportunities lying in wait in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, Abu Dhabi launched a series of meetings and mutual delegations in a bid to forge strong ties with Abiy. Abu Dhabi’s and Riyadh’s relationships with Eritrea positioned them well to help facilitate rapprochement between Asmara and Addis Ababa, once leaders in those capitals were ready. Abu Dhabi pledged $3 billion to Ethiopia, an amount that puts the country on par with Egypt as a recipient of UAE assistance. The two Gulf countries assured Eritrea, meanwhile, that they would help lobby for the lifting of international sanctions in the coming months. If sanctions go, Assab – which has been modernised for military sorties but not for container ships – will almost certainly be the next port to go to market for commercial development.

 As seen from the Gulf, the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace deal has both economic and strategic layers. 

As seen from the Gulf, the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace deal has both economic and strategic layers. Amid the UAE’s strategic setbacks in Djibouti and Somalia, the Ethiopia-Eritrea deal in many ways cements Abu Dhabi’s role as a player in Horn politics. In the weeks since the agreement was announced, Ethiopia’s prime minister also has helped spearhead efforts to improve relations with Somalia, which may in turn help smooth the rough patch between Mogadishu and Abu Dhabi – though for now little suggests rapprochement will come any time soon.

Both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh also appear to have helped behind the scenes Prime Minister Abiy’s efforts to improve relations with Egypt, another old foe. Abiy visited Cairo in June and publicly reassured Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that Ethiopian development projects – notably the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Egypt fears could severely curtail its supply of Nile water – would not harm Egypt. Sisi has also taken a conciliatory approach, saying he recognises that there is no military solution to the dispute. At the same time, Saudi Arabia has helped start a dialogue between Eritrea and Djibouti over a decade-long border conflict. Though that dialogue is still in its early days, after an initial meeting between the two countries’ leaders in Jeddah in September 2018, Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh told Saudi media that relations had “entered the normalisation phase”. In a sense, both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are creating facts on the ground in the Horn. In the process, they are becoming forces that cannot easily be ignored.

The payoff could be enormous for regional integration, infrastructure development and connectivity across the Red Sea. Just with regard to ports, the Horn remains one of the most underserved areas of the world relative to population, with a single modern multi-use deep-water port at Doraleh, in Djibouti.

Yet because competition with adversaries also drives the push into the Horn, risks are at least as prominent as opportunities. The contrast between the roles played by the Gulf powers in Ethiopia and Somalia is instructive. At one moment, Gulf involvement in the Horn, even if motivated in part by rivalry between two Middle East axes, can move things in the right direction, as it has with Abiy’s push for peace with Eritrea. At another, those same rivalries can destabilise and divide.

VII.Conclusion

The UAE signals repeatedly that its engagement with Africa is here to stay. In 2018, it is opening an additional six embassies on the continent, adding to the more than a dozen already there. As one Emirati official put it: “We need to diversify and strengthen our relationships outside our own region. If we only pay attention to the Middle East and North Africa, we will be bogged down in crisis. We could miss a lot of opportunities around the globe”.

While credit for the Ethiopia-Eritrea deal lies primarily with the leaders of those two countries, clearly Gulf powers, especially the UAE, played an important role in helping push forward the initial steps of a rapprochement that could be significant across the Horn. The deal demonstrated that the UAE and Saudi Arabia can play important peace-making roles. Abu Dhabi and its peers can encourage regional economic integration and help give leaders in the Horn the extra boost, including both political and financial support, they might need to make peace. Such was the story of Eritrea and Ethiopia – two countries that saw domestic interests in making peace but needed the right economic and diplomatic assurances from abroad.

The months ahead will be crucial for the success of that deal. Abiy faces enormous hurdles in his quest to reform the economy and consolidate political support. Eritrea’s reopening to the world will undoubtedly encounter unexpected challenges. For the Jeddah deal to succeed, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will need to work proactively to keep the parties on track. They can begin by promptly following through on their aid commitments.

 Despite the bright spot of Eritrea-Ethiopia peace-making, intra-Gulf competition colours Emirati involvement across the Horn. 

Yet despite the bright spot of Eritrea-Ethiopia peace-making, intra-Gulf competition colours Emirati involvement across the Horn. Whether the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate will lead to some form of rapprochement within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as some reports suggest might happen, remains unclear. But even if so, the Saudi-UAE alliance is still likely to view actors such as Qatar and Turkey as competitors in strategic theatres like the Horn. Moreover, while for now Tehran’s influence is largely limited to the Yemeni side of the Red Sea, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s engagement in the Horn is likely to remain informed by their determination to ensure Iran does not regain a foothold, including by winning back its former allies Sudan and Eritrea.

The damage that external rivalries can inflict on the Horn was made clear in Somalia, where friction among Gulf powers, and in turn between the UAE and Farmajo’s government, has exacerbated pre-existing tension over how power and resources are divvied up between the capital and the regions. Abu Dhabi says that it wants a stable Somalia, but the country is likely to remain volatile unless strong Emirati ties to Somali regional leaders are paired with a reconciled UAE relationship with Mogadishu. Abu Dhabi could pledge to inform Farmajo’s government of its activities in the federal states – whether training security forces or developing ports – and ensure that its investment and aid benefit the country and not only its regions. The UAE also might encourage its allies in the federal states to repair their own ties to Mogadishu.

Abu Dhabi faces a choice in how much its Middle Eastern rivalries shape its Horn engagement. If competition remains a primary driver, results will almost certainly be mixed. In some places the UAE may still help bridge divides, even if partly motivated by shoring up its own influence at the expense of rivals. Elsewhere, however, competition could put Horn governments in a difficult spot, forcing them to choose between the two Gulf axes or exacerbating local conflicts in new ways. Ultimately, zero-sum competition in the Horn risks upsetting both the internal politics of the region’s diverse states and the balance of power among those states. Outside powers may win short-term gains, but over time everyone stands to lose from greater Horn instability.

Updated list of Unrecognized countries of 🌎

400px-Limited_recognition
UN member states which at least one other UN member state does not recognise Non-UN member states and observer states recognised by at least one UN member state Non-UN member states recognised by other non-UN member states only Non-UN member state not recognised by any state

A number of polities have declared independence and sought diplomatic recognition from the international communityas de jure sovereign states, but have not been universally recognised as such. These entities often have de facto control of their territory. A number of such entities have existed in the past.

There are two traditional doctrines that provide indicia of how a de jure sovereign state comes into being. The declarative theorydefines a state as a person in international law if it meets the following criteria:

  1. a defined territory
  2. a permanent population
  3. a government, and
  4. a capacity to enter into relations with other states.

According to the declarative theory, an entity’s statehood is independent of its recognition by other states. By contrast, the constitutive theory defines a state as a person of international law only if it is recognised as such by other states that are already a member of the international community.[1]

Proto-states often reference either or both doctrines in order to legitimise their claims to statehood. There are, for example, entities which meet the declarative criteria (with de facto partial or complete control over their claimed territory, a government and a permanent population), but whose statehood is not recognised by any other states. Non-recognition is often a result of conflicts with other countries that claim those entities as integral parts of their territory. In other cases, two or more partially recognised states may claim the same territorial area, with each of them de facto in control of a portion of it (as have been the cases of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and North and South Korea). Entities that are recognised by only a minority of the world’s states usually reference the declarative doctrine to legitimise their claims.

In many situations, international non-recognition is influenced by the presence of a foreign military force in the territory of the contested entity, making the description of the country’s de facto status problematic. The international community can judge this military presence too intrusive, reducing the entity to a puppet state where effective sovereignty is retained by the foreign power. Historical cases in this sense can be seen in Japanese-led Manchukuo or the German-created Slovak Republic and Independent State of Croatia before and during World War II. In the 1996 case Loizidou v. Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights judged Turkey for having exercised authority in the territory of Northern Cyprus.

There are also entities which do not have control over any territory or do not unequivocally meet the declarative criteria for statehood but have been recognised to exist de jure as sovereign entities by at least one other state. Historically this has happened in the case of the Holy See (1870–1929), EstoniaLatvia and Lithuania (during Soviet annexation), and more recently the State of Palestine at the time of its declaration of independence in 1988. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is currently in this position. See list of governments in exile for unrecognised governments without control over the territory claimed.

122b4c557d581d557c102444a62224f5

There are 193 United Nations (UN) member states, while both the Holy See and the State of Palestine have observer state status in the United Nations.[2] However, some countries fulfill the declarative criteria, are recognised by the large majority of other states and are members of the United Nations, but are still included in the list here because one or more other states do not recognise their statehood, due to territorial claims or other conflicts.

Some states maintain informal (officially non-diplomatic) relations with states that do not officially recognise them. The Republic of China (Taiwan) is one such state, as it maintains unofficial relations with many other states through its Economic and Cultural Offices, which allow regular consular services. This allows the ROC to have economic relations even with states that do not formally recognise it. A total of 56 states, including Germany,[3] Italy,[4] the United States,[5] and the United Kingdom,[6] maintain some form of unofficial mission in the ROC. Kosovo,[7] the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh),[8]the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,[9]Abkhazia,[10] Transnistria,[10] the Sahrawi Republic,[11] Somaliland,[12] and Palestine[13]also host informal diplomatic missions, and/or maintain special delegations or other informal missions abroad.

Present geopolitical entities by level of recognition

UN member states not recognised by at least one UN member state

Name Declared Status Other claimants Further information References
 South Korea 1948 South Korea, independent since 1948, is not recognised by one UN member, North Korea.  North Koreaclaims to be the sole legitimate government of Korea. Foreign relations, missions (ofto) [14][15]
 Republic of Armenia 1991 Armenia, independent since 1991, is not recognised by one UN member, Pakistan, as Pakistan has a position of supporting Azerbaijansince the Nagorno-Karabakh War. None Foreign relations, missions (ofto) [16][17]
 Republic of Cyprus 1960 The Republic of Cyprus, independent since 1960, is not recognised by one UN member (Turkey) and one UN non-member (Northern Cyprus), due to the ongoing civil dispute over the island.  Northern Cyprusclaims part of the island of Cyprus. Foreign relations, missions (ofto) [18][19][20][21]
 North Korea 1948 North Korea, independent since 1948, is not recognised by three UN members: FranceJapanSouth Korea; and one non-UN member: Taiwan.[22][23][24][original research?][25][26]  South Koreaclaims to be the sole legitimate government of Korea. Foreign relations, missions (ofto) [24][27][28][25][26]
 People’s Republic of China 1949 The People’s Republic of China (PRC), proclaimed in 1949, is the more widely recognised of the two claimant governments of “China”, the other being the Republic of China (ROC, also known as Taiwan). The PRC does not accept diplomatic relations with states that recognise the ROC (16 UN members and the Holy See as of 21 August 2018). Most of these states do not officially recognise the PRC as a state, though some states have established relations with the ROC while stating they do not intend to stop recognising the PRC (Kiribati, Nauru).[29][30] Some states which currently recognise only the PRC have attempted simultaneous recognition and relations with the ROC and the PRC in the past (Liberia, Vanuatu).[31][32][33] According to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, the PRC is the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations.[a]  Republic of Chinaclaims to be the sole legitimate government over all of China under the Constitution of the Republic of China.

Foreign relations, missions (ofto)


PRC’s diplomatic relations dates of establishment

[34]
 State of Israel 1948 Israel, founded in 1948, is not recognised by 31 UN members.  Syriaclaims the Golan Heights.
 Lebanonclaims Shebaa Farms.
 Palestineclaims areas controlled by Israel. Subject to the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian peace process and broader Arab-Israeli peace process.
Foreign relations, missions (ofto)


International recognition

[35][36][37][38]
[39]

UN observer states not recognised by at least one UN member state

Name Declared Status Other claimants Further information References
 State of Palestine 1988 The Palestinian Liberation Organization(PLO) declaredthe State of Palestine in 1988. At the time the Israeli Armed Forces had control of most of the proclaimed territory.[40] It is recognised by 137 UN member states, the Holy See,[41]and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.[42]Today the PLC (Palestinian Legislative Council) executes the government functions in all Palestinian territories outside of Israeli military-controlled zones. Prior to the Council’s administration, the Palestinian National Authority(PNA) was established in 1994 according to the Oslo Accords and the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement.[b]Palestine participates in the United Nations as an observer state,[43] and has membership in the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperationand UNESCO.[44] It was accorded non-member observer state status at the United Nations by United Nations General Assembly resolution 67/19.  Israeldoes not recognise the state of Palestine and controls areas claimed by Palestine.[b]Subject to the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian peace process+

Ethiopia bloodshed at least 88 were killed

Africa Times: At least 88 people were killed during a weekend of ethnic violence in Ethiopia’s capital, an Amnesty International researcher told AFP on Wednesday, citing a figure more than double the government estimate of 23 dead.

Another source involved in the investigation, who saw and counted the corpses, told AFP a total of 88 people had been killed, mostly in the city’s western suburbs.

“The 65 cases are from Burayu, Ashewa Meda, Kolfe and Kirkos,” said the source on condition of anonymity, referring to three western areas and one in the centre.

The victims were either stabbed or died after being beaten with sticks and rocks. None had been shot and the toll does not include five alleged looters killed by police on Monday.

Fisseha Tekle, a Nairobi-based researcher with Amnesty International, said he had compiled a similar tally of 58 dead.

Residents told Amnesty International they saw “eight dead bodies on Friday, 21 on Saturday, on Sunday they saw about 11 people and on Monday the number of dead bodies they’ve seen were 18,” Fisseha said.

Government spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

The violence began last week in the run-up to Saturday’s return of the once-banned Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel group that returned to Ethiopia following political reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Qatari Tribes writes to Human Rights Commissioner on Violation of Human Rights

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Qatar comes under scrutiny when the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights received a letter on Monday regarding discrimination from the Qatari Regime. The tribe is not just a small group but rather a well known, powerful and large tribe residing in Qatar.

The Al Ghurfan tribe filed an official complaint to the Arab Federation For Human Rights and requested the federation to refer the complaint to UN Human Rights council about the violations committed by the Qatar regime against its very own members.

The tribe then approached the UN to charge the Qatari Authorities with Human Rights violation because they have been subject to torture, racial discrimination, treated as prisoners, put to death and even denied of their rights to Qatari citizenship and denied to return their homeland when they travelled outside.

The tribe ( Al Ghurfan clan ) have substantial proof of such arbitrary acts to more than 54 members of their tribes. The members of the clan claimed they started facing such treatment ever since they opposed the Qatari regime’s destabilising policies and in relation to the dispute between Qatar’s neighbouring states. They estimate this behaviour from the Qatari authorities to

Qatari authorities had revoked citizenship of another tribe called the Al Murrah tribe, while 6000 members of Al Ghurfan were forcibly displaced, confiscated properties, called for systematic persecution against all clans that belonged to larger tribes such as senior members of the Shaml al-Hawajer tribe and famous poet Mohammed al-Marri belonging to the al-Murrah tribe, majority of the members were deprived of national rights.

The delegation that is representing the tribe has said “Through your unique mandate to promote and protect human rights, we ask your esteemed commission to see and stand up to the suffering of our citizens who have been deprived of their citizenship in Qatar and to the crimes committed against them and to alleviate the conditions and suffering of our displaced people in the villages and deserts of border areas in neighboring countries”

Support from neighbours

Hearing the case of the Al Ghorfan Clan, EOHR also known as the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights announced solidarity in regards to their case and said that the Al Ghorfan tribe makes up about 40 percent of the people of Qatar and are indigenous to the country.

EOHR stated that they believe in universality of human rights principles and need to establish and maintain those rights in the Arab region. With the country’s support they addressed the letter to United Nations High Commissioner the President of the Arab Federation informed the commission to protect the members of the tribes and pursued to restore their lost rights and punish the Qatari regime for the misconduct with their own citizens.

The Tribe received support from the World Aid Organization in New York when they adopted their case and declared their solidarity with the tribe;s case.

The World Aid Organization collectively sought to raise the awareness of the international community and shoulder the tribe with humanitarian support and that it will follow up with them on the status .

The Head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Hafez Abu Seada “The Egyptian Organization calls upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights, her excellency Mrs. Michel Bachelet, to open an extensive investigation into this tragedy. EOHR also calls upon Mrs. Bachelet to assist it in its efforts to restore the rights of the clan of Al Ghofran as indigenous inhabitants who have been robbed of their nationalities and forcefully displaced enmasse for political reasons, in violation of all international human rights instruments. Finally EOHR expresses its readiness to provide any documents or evidence that the honorable Commission may need in any of the efforts we hope it will take to stop the suffering of the people of forgiveness.”

Dating back to 2017…

The matter on deprivation of unfair detention and unscrupulous behaviours towards tribes was the agenda of the conference held by Qataris that were exiled in London, September. At that time the tribe called on the United Nations Commissioner’s Office and tried to regain their rights.

The tribe described their ordeals to the High Commission and requested them to stand up against the suffering of the citizens who were denied the right to their own homeland and that they would alleviate the conditions of suffering and help them regain their displaced villages.

The requested the council to not only resolve the matter at hand but also create a path where people of the clan did not fear the government and tolerate oppression in silence to protect their parents, relatives back home in Qatar.

The tribe at that time also said the National Human Rights Commission of Qatar was doing more harm then good and becoming an obstacle in receiving justice as the commission of Qatar mostly covers up evidence and spreads false information

Djibouti ‘Shocked’ By Somalia’s Position on Eritrea Sanctions

Djibouti ‘Shocked’ By Somalia’s Position on Eritrea Sanctions
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africatimes| August 1, 2018

Djibouti has formally responded to a recent call by Somalia that United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on Eritrea be lifted. According to Djibouti it was ‘deeply shocked’ by that position.

Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on a three-day official visit to Asmara said the sanctions imposed since 2009 had to be lifted given the current political and diplomatic developments in the Horn of Africa region.

But in a statement in reaction to the Somali president’s view, the Djiboutian Embassy in Somalia wrote in an August 1, 2018 statement:

… it is unacceptable to see our brotherly Somalia supporting Eritrea which is occupying part of our territory and still denying having Djiboutian prisonsers.

“As a sovereign state, there is no doubt that Somalia has the right to establish diplomatic relations with the countries of the region, however, it is unacceptable to see our brotherly Somalia supporting Eritrea which is occupying part of our territory and still denying having Djiboutian prisonsers.”

It continued that the wiser line of action would have been for President Mohamed to call for peaceful resolution of the border crisis that has strained relations between the two neighbours.

The statement accused Somalia of historic less support of Djibouti which it said had led to blinded supported for Eritrea plus an advocacy that Eritrea be free despite its stubborn nature.

“We will not tolerate with ruthless talks while our young men and women are yet here defending Somalia’s peace and stability,” the statement concluded.

Eritrea’s 2009 UN sanctions, Gulf crisis and Doumeira impasse

An arms embargo imposed on Eritrea since 2009 was chiefly to do with its alleged support for Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab but also because of its agression against Djibouti and refusal to enter any form of mediation over the disputed regions.

The disputed land in question is the Dumeira mountain and Dumeira island which Djibouti claims is being illegally occupied by Eritrea. The issue of Eritrea’s continued holding of Djiboutian prisoners has also been central to the dispute.

The last time tensions between the two came to the fore was in June 2017 when Qatar withdrew its peacekeeping force in the area at the height of the Gulf Crisis. Djibouti at the time accused Asmara of deploying soldiers to the disputed areas.

Djibouti ‘shocked’ by Somalia’s position on Eritrea sanctions

Eritrea has been in the news recently over the peace deal it entered into with neighbouring Ethiopia after two decades of severed ties and hostility over a border ruling. Addis Ababa through PM Abiy accepted to respect the 2002 border ruling and by that agreed to restore all ties with Eritrea.

Abiy signed a five-point end of war agreement with Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki during a historic visit to Asmara. Afwerki reciprocated the gesture with a three-day visit to Addis Ababa.

Source: http://www.africanews.com/2018/08/01/djibouti-shocked-by-somalia-s-position-on-eritrea-sanctions/

Ethiopia’s state of emergency could destabilise the Horn of Africa

Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn sent shock waves through the region when he abruptly tendered his resignation.

Desalegn said that he had made the decision to facilitate efforts towards political reforms which started with the release of political prisoners. But rather than pursue a reform agenda, the Ethiopian government followed his announcement by declaring a state of emergency. This not only jeopardises the regime’s apparent intent to institute democratic reforms, it also pits citizens against the security forces. And it’s already led to more violence, not stability.

The state of emergency is being defied in a number of regions. Citizens have protested in Gondar, which is in the opposition Amhara region, as well as the opposition stronghold of Nekemte which is in Oromia. Much of the Oromia region is also defying the emergency measures.

As a result, the regime has targeted the Oromia region, and its protesting youths who are collectively known as Qeerro in the Oromo language.

Despite the release of thousands of political prisoners and talk of reforms, the political climate remains more uncertain than ever. It’s now feared that any government measures to suppress ensuing chaos could result in more violence, and deaths.

Instability in Ethiopia could have repercussions across the region. Unrest in the country could have a domino effect in what is an already volatile part of the continent. It could also affect regional peace efforts because instability in one corner of the Horn of Africa could spread and destabilise the entire region. This is especially the case because Ethiopia is home to so many cross border communities.

Implications for the region
Ethiopia is influential in the region and across the continent. It is the second most populous country in Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It also hosts the African Union’s headquarters in its capital, Addis Ababa.

But its standing has been diminished by the political turmoil of the last few years when two of its largest ethnic groups, the Oromo and Amhara both started demanding political and economic equality. The ruling coalition’s responses to these demands has highlighted the fact that it isn’t committed to democratisation.

The risks for the region are significant. Unless the regime acts on political reforms to entrench democracy, equal distribution of resources and freedom of the press, Ethiopia – with more than 100 million citizens – could emerge as the largest politically unstable nation in an already volatile region.

An unstable Ethiopia could also affect peace efforts in neighbouring countries. For example, it’s role as a long standing mediator in the South Sudanese peace talks could suffer a setback.

And its army is also the only peacekeeping force in Abiye, an oil rich region that has been at the centre of the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan since 2011.

In addition, Ethiopia is second only to Bangladesh in the number of its troops involved in international peacekeeping. Across its South Eastern borders, it also maintains thousands of troops inside Somalia.

And although its role in Somalia has drawn criticism Ethiopia remains a critical ally to the US’s counter terrorism strategy in the region. Instability could also create a power vacuum that could affect the US-led anti-terror strategy.

Ultimately, an internal crisis in Ethiopia will affect the power balance with its arch rival Eritrea. After the Ethiopia-Eritrea war which ended in 2000, the two countries have remained engaged in a proxy war by supporting each others’ political opposition groups.

Cross-border communities
Most African states share cross-border societies. The Horn of Africa is no different. The Oromo for instance are a majority ethnic group in Ethiopia and also a minority in Kenya. The Nuer are South Sudan’s second largest ethnic group and also a minority in Ethiopia’s western Gambella region.

There are also Somalis in Ethiopia. They m

10 important thing you need to know about the agreement between UAE and somaliland

Here are ten important things you need to know about the agreement.

The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has leased an undisclosed amount of land to the UAE in the northern part of Berbera city – close to the shores of the Gulf of Aden. The UAE will build their own port for the military base. All military equipment to arrive through the their port will be exempt from taxes.
The UAE’s military will have full access to Berbera International Airport.
The lease agreement between both countries is valid for 25 years – and will come into full effect when both governments officially sign the agreement. After 25 years, the military base and all investments made by the UAE will be taken over by the Government of the Republic of Somaliland.
The military base can not be used by any other country except the UAE and can not be sub-leased by either the Government of the Republic of Somaliland or the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The agreement also states that the military base can not be used for any other purpose outside of the agreement.
The UAE will implement the following projects in Somaliland: a modern highway between Berbera and the border town of Wajaale, a modern renovation of Berbera International Airport for civillian and cargo flights, and numerous social development projects (Education, Health, Energy & Water) for the citizens of Somaliland.
The UAE will provide job opportunities for Somaliland’s citizens during the 25-year stay. The UAE will also ease travel barriers for Somaliland’s citizens.
The UAE will provide full cooperation with the Republic Somaliland on matters relating to Somaliland’s national security. This includes: cooperation on protecting Somaliland’s waters from illegal activities at sea (piracy, waste dumping etc).
The UAE pledges to the respect the rights and independence of Somaliland’s citizens and promises to not conduct any activities that will put Somaliland’s national security at risk. The UAE also will also be fully responsible for preserving and protecting the current equipment and construction of Berbera International Airport.
The Government of the Republic of Somaliland is not responsible for any natural disaster that might affect the implementation and/or activities of the military base. In the event of a natural disaster, both governments will jointly provide necessary relief efforts.
In the event of a dispute, both governments will be given 30 days to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved within 30 days, the dispute will be arbitrated by the London Court International Arbitration (LCIA). Both Governments also have the absolute right seek a dissolution agreement. If one side does not want to dissolve the agreement, the case will be heard by the London Court of International Arbitration.

Emirates to train Somaliland Air forces, army Forces

UAE to Train Somaliland Forces Under Military Base Deal:
Somaliland President

ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will train Somaliland security forces as part of a deal to establish a military base in the semi-autonomous region, Somaliland’s president said on Thursday.

UAE government officials could not immediately be reached for comment – but the UAE has committed to invest hundreds of million dollars in recent years in the territory on a strategically important stretch of coastline on the Gulf of Aden.

The UAE began construction last year of a base on a site at the airport of the Somaliland port city Berbera, and will be allowed to maintain a presence for 30 years. Berbera is less than 300 km (190 miles) south of war-torn Yemen, where UAE troops are fighting rebels as part of a Saudi-backed coalition.

President Muse Bihi Abdi said the UAE would train police and military in Somaliland, which wants independence from war-torn Somalia but is not recognized internationally. He said he expected the agreement to be finalised within two months

“They have the resources and the knowledge,” Abdi told Reuters in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

UAE has become more assertive in its foreign policy in recent years. The UAE Armed Forces have been fighting in the Yemen conflict since 2015 and in the past deployed in international operations including Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Abdi said the military base, which he expects will be completed this year, will guarantee economic development and security for Somaliland and act as a deterrent to extremist groups in the region.

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Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Saad Ali Shire, who was present during the interview, declined to disclose how many UAE soldiers would be stationed at the base.

“POLITICAL MISTAKE”

Several regional powers have set up military bases along the Horn of Africa coastline, including Turkey in Somalia’s capital. The United States, China, Japan and France all have bases in neighboring Djibouti.

“It’s safer to have a lot of military in the area,” Abdi said.

Abdi said he hoped UAE investments, including a new civilian airport and a road connecting Berbera to landlocked Ethiopia, will lead to a “huge creation of employment” in Somaliland where unemployment is rampant.

“The biggest threat to Somaliland is poverty,” he said.

Dubai’s DP World is also developing Berbera port and building a free trade zone nearby.

This week, Somalia’s parliament voted to ban DP World from the country, an act that it said had nullified the agreement.

Abdi said the vote was a “joke” and a “political mistake” that would have no impact on the DP World agreement that includes the government of Ethiopia

Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has acted as a de-facto state since then..

Abdi also said he expected the UAE would make a hard currency deposit into Somaliland’s central bank but added that there had been no agreement between the two sides.

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(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Maggie Fick and Andrew Heaven

Shakir Essa