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2 février, 2008

Manifesto da Nação Cabindesa provoca a ira de Luanda

Classé dans : Non classé — cabinda @ 13:47
Manifesto da Nação Cabindesa provoca a ira de Luanda
2008-02-02 01
 Manifesto da Nação Cabindesa provoca a ira de Luanda pixel

Cabinda – Sem surpresa, a publicação do Manifesto da Nação Cabindesa (na foto) não deixou indiferente o poder político angolano. Entretanto a pedido das autoridades eclesiásticas está a ser delineada uma acção contra a Comunidade Lubundunu, apontada como a nova Igreja (eventualmente Católica) de Cabinda».

No domingo, 27 Janeiro, padre Jorge Congo, Belchior Tati e Capita, no regresso das exéquias de uma familiar, no Congo Brazzaville, foram interpelados, às portas de Lândana, «num controlo que se tornou famoso pelos excessos da polícia e do Sinfo» afirmou testemunha à PNN. A viatura em que viajavam foi capilarmente revistada e foram, até padre Congo que mora em Lândana, intimados a identificarem-se.Entretanto, uma quantidade de viaturas acumulava-se no local e, como sempre, as especulações espalharam-se até Cabinda e Massabi, «onde, calmamente, saboreava a sua informação um mussorongo chamado Alfredo que está na Emigração, mas que é membro do Sinfo» avança a mesma testemunha. Padre Jorge Congo, Belchior e Capita ficaram retidos durante 50 minutos para desespero dos familiares que não compreendiam tal atitude da DISA e da polícia que foram chamados de Cabinda. Os de Lândana desconheciam tal operação «coup de point».

Facilidades e diálogo ninguém esperava, afirmam observadores do modo de agir do MPLA-Estado em Cabinda. No entanto, ninguém aguardava medidas tão intimidadoras, orientadas por um esquema tão elaborado de DISA.

O Governo recuperou todas as velhas estruturas e métodos da DISA e do partido-único, afirmam os mesmos observadores. Lede é o responsável da contra-espionagem. Este perdeu, contudo, relevância com a vinda do novo chefe do Sinfo, que retirou confiança aos cabindas. Neste momento quem manda e determina é um denominado «Zinho», que controla a exploração do ouro, e Macongo de Almeida da velha guarda da DISA que controla as empresas madeireiras e construção civil. «A ilharga dos seus inimigos de predilecção têm um «anjo da guarda», usando até as domésticas e membros dos grupos corais, sobretudo, protestantes e de algumas seitas» afirmam.

Estudantes do Pólo de Cabinda da Universidade Lusíada de Angola foram recrutados, com «chorudas compensações financeiras, para gravarem, com aparelhos sofisticadíssimos, as aulas do Padres Congo, Raul Tati, Pambo, Martinho Nombo e Luemba».

«A isto se acresce outras medidas inconcebíveis. Lândana, por exemplo, um dos lugares mais calmos de Cabinda, vai contar agora com uma segunda esquadra da polícia». Esta vai ser construída logo à entrada da vila, curiosamente junto à residencia do padre Jorge Congo, «em face de um bairro paupérrimo de deslocados e da praça municipal miserável, com produtos expostos no chão. Isto não é prioridade. Todos têm a plena consciência que esta esquadra da polícia não se justifica em Lândana e que é simplesmente mais um instrumento de pressão sobre padre Congo».

Os cabindas do MPLA-Cabinda convocaram todas as estruturas de segurança (SINFO, polícia, chefia militar). «Desataram em acusações contra estas por não terem tido a capacidade de evitar a publicação do Manifesto. Tiveram saudades do Miala. Recorda-se que esta magna reunião foi presidida por Mangovo, um Cabinda» relata testemunha.

Estrategicamente, Aníbal Rocha retirou-se para Angola «não participando numa reunião em que se projectou até matar as figuras mais representativas da Sociedade Civil». Segundo a testemunha da PNN «são sempre os mesmos cabindas, repletos de privilégios contra outros cabindas. Almeida, do Malembo, era o cabinda mais ponderado». Procurou chamar à razão os seus colegas do partido para, antes de tudo, estudarem o documento, mas estes endureceram ainda mais as posições. O comandante da polícia manteve uma atitude serena, procurando acalmar os ânimos e chamando atenção que «eram simplesmente homens desarmados». No fim da reunião, Mangovo e Afonso Maria Vaba foram à televisão e à rádio que «monopolizaram e lançaram toda a espécie de impropérios, ameaças e ofensas contra os signatários do Manifesto».

Entretanto a pedido das autoridades eclesiásticas está a ser delineada uma acção contra a Comunidade Lubundunu, apontada como a nova Igreja (eventualmente Católica) de Cabinda. Membros da Comunidade «já foram pura e simplesmente despedidos dos seus empregos.

Os observadores interrogam-se da incapacidade política do MPLA em lidar com os cabindas e que, desde 1974, «apenas usou a deportação, assassinatos, a mentira, a incitação tribal, o corroer de alguns cabindas e prisões arbitrárias como aquela de Fernando Lelo. Toda a agente parece ter-se apercebido que a presença de Angola é apenas suportada por um aparato bélico e que politicamente anda já cadavérico. Tem argumentos contra a FLEC armada, mas vê-se de mãos atadas para se confrontar com uma sociedade civil repleta de estrelas, de ideias e de força moral» concluiu a mesma testemunha.

Entretanto, Bento Bembe passou pelos Congos, acompanhado de Macário Lembe, José Gualter, Chicote, para vender a sua imagem de Cabinda ao presidente Sassou Nguesso.

Fonte : PNN Portuguese News Network

1 février, 2008

Why We Protest Gulf Oil in Angola

Classé dans : Non classé — cabinda @ 23:56

Why We Protest Gulf Oil in Angola acoa000387_01

 

Cabinda: The « Forgotten Conflict » America Can’t Afford to Forget

Classé dans : Non classé — cabinda @ 23:45

J. Peter Pham  

by J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.
World Defense Review columnist

Cabinda: The « Forgotten Conflict » America Can’t Afford to Forget

Because of the sense of urgency repeatedly communicated by this column as well as the parallel efforts of other « Africa hands, » the precarious situation of Nigeria – which I have described as that a « flailing state » which « would not require much to slide into the category of a failed state » – has received at least some attention in Washington policy circles. And the United States should be concerned since, as I have previously noted, « security of the oil infrastructure of Nigeria – from whose 36 billion barrels of proven petroleum reserves, the largest in Africa and the fifth largest worldwide, flowed an average of 1,139,000 barrels a day to America last year – is of vital concern to U.S. national interests. »

As I reported last month, the West African country is especially important in America’s effort to wean itself from dependency on hydrocarbons originating in the volatile Persian Gulf: this past March, Nigeria edged past Saudi Arabia to become our third largest supplier, delivering 41,717,000 barrels of oil that month compared to the desert kingdom’s 38,557,000.

While Nigeria is the most important African source for America’s petroleum imports, running a respectable second is Angola. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, the southwest African nation exported some 68,527,000 barrels of oil to America during the first four months of this year, making it our sixth largest supplier, accounting for a little less than 5 percent of our imports. And, like Nigeria farther up the Gulf of Guinea, Angola has its own smoldering local conflict, which could easily compromise its stability – and, thus, America’s energy security.

Few, even among those vaguely aware of Angola’s significance to American interests, however, have ever heard of Cabinda, the 7,283 square kilometer enclave some sixty kilometers north of the Congo River and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where more than half of Angola’s oil is produced and from which the country earns nearly all of its foreign exchange. Even fewer are cognizant of the protracted conflict that has been going on in that pocket of territory since Angola achieved its independence in 1975.

Cabinda is not only physically separated from the Angola by the DRC, but by a distinct culture and history. Unlike Angola, which has a Portuguese colonial history dating back to 1483, the three Kikongo-speaking kingdoms of N’Goyo, Kakongo, and Loango maintained their independence from European empire-builders until the Treaty of Simulambuco in 1885 turned their realms into a Portuguese protectorate with its own governor. The 1933 Constitution of António de Oliveira Salazar’s « Estado Novo » reaffirmed that Cabinda and Angola were distinct parts of the Portuguese empire. The population of the enclave, presently estimated at between 250,000 and 300,000, largely belong to ethnic groups who traditionally straddle the enclave’s political frontiers with Congo-Brazzaville and the DRC. One consequence of this ethno-geographic reality is that nowadays while over 90 percent of Cabindans with education speak French, less than 10 percent speak Portuguese. The overwhelming majority of the population is Christian, most of whom are Roman Catholic (in the rest of Angola, it is estimated that the religious affiliation of the population can be broken up into 48 percent adherents of traditional African religions, 38 percent Roman Catholic, and 15 percent Protestant). Perhaps most importantly, the pervasive view among most Cabindans is that they are ethnically distinct from other Angolans. For example, the final report of a 2003 conference on « A Common Vision for Cabinda » sponsored by the Open Society Foundation’s Initiative for Southern Africa which brought together 1,500 Cabindans of different political and social backgrounds found that « the identity of Cabindans as being unique from that of Angolans was…a common theme. »

With this background, it was not surprising that at the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, Cabinda was given a separate numerical designation among the territories to be decolonized and joined to the OAU as a sovereign member (39) from that assigned to Angola (35). That same year, the Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda (« Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave, » FLEC) was formed out the three main independence movements in Cabinda. However, after the collapse of the conservative government in Portugal led to the erstwhile colonial power rapidly abandoning its possessions, the Soviet-backed Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (« Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, » MPLA) entered the enclave in 1975. While FLEC announced the established of a provisional government (in exile) for a « Republic of Cabinda » in 1977, internal leadership splits within the Cabindan nationalist movement prevented it from fully exploiting the long civil war which the MPLA regime, with Soviet bloc support including Cuban combat troops, had to fight against Holden Roberto’s Chinese-backed Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (« National Front for the Liberation of Angola, » FNLA) and Jonas Savimbi’s União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, UNITA), backed by the United States and apartheid-era South Africa. Nonetheless, while troops from the MPLA regime control the local capital of Cabinda, most of the interior was long in the hands of the FLEC forces.

Over the years of low-intensity conflict, sentiment became increasingly embittered, especially over widespread human rights abuses which, although committed by both sides, were overwhelmingly a feature of Angolan counterinsurgency efforts. Anti-Angola feeling ran so high that two years ago, when the dying Pope John Paul II appointed a priest from Luanda, the Angolan capital, Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias, as the new bishop for the three-quarters of the Cabindan population who belong to the Roman Catholic Church, the nomination was met with massive protests on the part of clergy and laity. (While the dispute was regional and ethnic, didn’t help matters that Dom Filomeno also happened to be the cousin of Hélder « Kopelpipa » Vieira Dias, chief of the military staff of the Angolan presidency.) When the papal nuncio in Angola, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, came to try to calm the situation down and install the new diocesan ordinary, his car was stoned by angry Cabindan congregants.

After the failure of the offensives that it has repeatedly launched against separatists in Cabinda since winning the civil war in mainland Angola in 2002, the MPLA government of President José Eduardo dos Santos last year offered a peace deal to Cabindan leaders which promised « special administrative status » for the enclave within « a complete and indivisible state » of Angola. The Cabindan leader who signed the July 15, 2006, « memorandum of understanding » in Brazzaville was António Bento Bembe, a longtime FLEC leader who was arrested in June 2005 by Dutch authorities on an Interpol warrant issued by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation which wants him in connection with the kidnapping of a contractor for Cabinda Gulf Oil, a subsidiary of Chevron. Evidently deciding that he preferred peacemaking to facing terrorism charges in post-9/11 America, Bembe made bail and disappeared before reemerging at the negotiations last summer. In any event, the deal was quickly disavowed by other members of the umbrella Fórum Cabindês para o Diálogo (« Cabindan Forum for Dialogue, » FCD), including N’Zita Henriques Tiago, the Paris-based septuagenarian leader of FLEC; Father Raúl Tati, the former vicar-general of the Cabinda diocese and a leading advocate for Cabindan self-determination; and Raúl Danda, a leading figure in Mpalabanda (« Civic Association of Cabinda »), the enclave’s leading human rights group. For its trouble, Mpalabanda found itself banned by the Angolan government soon after the « peace accord » took effect August 1, 2006, while for his, Father Tati was canonically suspended by the bishop-cousin of the military chief (the ecclesiastical censure was lifted two months ago).

What the future holds for Angola and Cabinda cannot, of course, be charted with precision: conflicts in that subregion have very long lives, during which their lines meander with extraordinary complexity. However, two points might be borne in mind:

– First, in addition the somewhat abstract identity question, there is the very concrete economic one. Two months ago, I observed with respect to Nigeria that « economically, the south’s hydrocarbon sector accounts for 95 percent of the Nigeria’s exports and 70 percent of the total national economy. At some point – whether it is this year, next year, or a decade from now – southern Nigerians of Yoruba, Igbo, and Ijaw extraction will be asking themselves what they gain from being in a united country with their relatively unproductive northern Hausa and Fulani neighbors with whom they share few bonds of kinship, religion, or culture, but whose demographic heft will guarantee them a certain predominance in the country’s politics. » The same might be said, with even greater emphasis, about Cabinda, where income from the enclave’s oil production brings more than $4 billion a year in taxes and royalties to the government in Luanda, which can hardly do without it. Yet, if the Cabindans had this sum for themselves, their nominal GDP per capita would put them on par with the Czechs while the purchasing power parity GDP per capita would peg them just behind the Taiwanese.

– Second, while the conflict in Cabinda has, on the surface, nothing to do with the West’s war against Islamist terrorism, at another level it has everything to do with that monumental struggle. In a column last year, I wrote that « if Osama bin Laden is serious about waging economic war against the United States – and, from his record, there is no reason to dismiss his pronouncements out of hand – and if his minions heed his advice about hitting one of America’s vital arteries, then we can expect at some point a maritime threat, most likely to West African production facilities. » In the past FLEC has staged kidnappings of foreigners, generally oil workers, to raise money for its fight against the Angolan government. There is very little preventing it from adopting the large-scale kidnappings so successfully used by Nigeria’s Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) or, for that matter, precluding an outside terrorist group with a different agenda to operationally assist FLEC just to disrupt the flow of petroleum from Cabinda.

A year ago, when I first raised the specter of the low-intensity conflict in the Niger Delta impacting U.S. security interests, my call was precautionary: « Even if there no evidence has yet emerged of international terrorist involvement, certainly the architects of international terror have already assessed the potential of exploiting MEND’s potential. The problem is very real and growing and could well spread to other parts of the subregion and across the continent. » One year later, attacks by relatively small number of active MEND militants – with, as I subsequently suggested in analyses later supported by the research of Dr. Moshe Terdman of the Project for the Research of Islamist Movements (PRISM) at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center of Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, with financial and other help from outside forces – have nonetheless had the cumulative affect of cutting Nigeria’s total oil production by almost one-third and helped pushed the London spot price for a barrel of Brent crude to a close of $71.82 last Friday.

The same potential risk that has haunted the Niger Delta today also exists in Cabinda, especially when one considers the threat from within the enclave and without, the vulnerability of Angola’s oil infrastructure, and the cost that attacks would exact on those countries like the United States which depend on oil extracted there. It is yet another reminder that in today’s global economy, especially in the midst of the war on terrorism, we can ill afford to ignore any « forgotten conflicts. »

J. Peter Pham is Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs and a Research Fellow of the Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is also an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C. In addition to the study of terrorism and political violence, his research interests lie at the intersection of international relations, international law, political theory, and ethics, with particular concentrations on the implications for United States foreign policy and African states as well as religion and global politics.

Dr. Pham is the author of over one hundred essays and reviews on a wide variety of subjects in scholarly and opinion journals on both sides of the Atlantic and the author, editor, or translator of over a dozen books. Among his recent publications are Liberia: Portrait of a Failed State (Reed Press, 2004), which has been critically acclaimed by Foreign Affairs, Worldview, Wilson Quarterly, American Foreign Policy Interests, and other scholarly publications, and Child Soldiers, Adult Interests: The Global Dimensions of the Sierra Leonean Tragedy (Nova Science Publishers, 2005).

In addition to serving on the boards of several international and national think tanks and journals, Dr. Pham has testified before the U.S. Congress and conducted briefings or consulted for both Congressional and Executive agencies. He is also a frequent contributor to National Review Online’s military blog, The Tank.

© J. Peter Pham

Sarkozy prévoit un changement de la relation de la France avec l’Afrique

Classé dans : Non classé — cabinda @ 13:38

Actualité France : 

Le président français Nicolas Sarkozy a déclaré vendredi que la relation de la France avec l’Afrique devrait changer, car « l’Afrique a changé ».
« La France restera l’avocat le plus déterminé de l’Afrique, en Europe et dans les grandes institutions internationales, pour que les progrès de la paix, des droits de l’homme et de la croissance économique soient durable », a affirmé le président Sarkozy dans son allocution lors des traditionnels voeux au corps diplomatique, souhaitant néanmoins une action « plus proche de la société civile, délibérément tournée vers la jeunesse » sur le terrain.

Le président a ajouté qu’il mettrait en oeuvre une diplomatie de la « réconciliation », notamment en direction de l’Angola, du Rwanda, du Soudan, du Tchad, et de la Côte d’Ivoire.
Il a annoncé qu’il effectuerait le mois prochain une visite en Angola pour « sceller avec le président Dos Santos les retrouvailles franco-angolaises », émis l’espoir pour le rétablissement des relations avec le Rwanda en 2008, et promis de travailler « sans relâche » à un « règlement durable » de la crise au Soudan et au Tchad.
Concernant la Côte d’Ivoire, le président Sarkozy a souhaité que la tenue des élections « libres et garanties par l’ONU » ouvrirait la voie à une normalisation de la situation.

La détermination de Bockel sera-t-elle soluble dans l’or noir ?

Classé dans : Non classé — cabinda @ 13:24

La détermination de Bockel sera-t-elle soluble dans l’or noir ?

31 Janvier 2008 00:18:36:

par Grégoire Eyadema,

La détermination de Bockel sera-t-elle soluble dans l’or noir ?

Après les grandes envolées contre la Françafrique du Secrétaire d’Etat à la Coopération en janvier, la raison commerciale d’Etat reprendra-t-elle le pas lors de la visite présidentielle en Angola ?

Les grands patrons amis du président, comme Bolloré ou les dirigeants de Total, ont probablement fait valoir que les belles intentions de Bockel n’étaient pas forcément bienvenues alors que des perspectives commerciales et pétrolières importantes sont en vue au Congo Brazzaville, en Centrafrique et en Angola.

L’organisateur privilégié des voyages de Sarkozy ne bénéficie peut-être pas de contrats avec l’Etat français, mais il sait que la France peut bien l’aider lorsque des contrats importants sont en jeu dans des pays amis de la France. A Pointe-Noire, Bolloré est bien placé pour reprendre la gestion du port après avoir été recalé à Dakar en 2007 en raison notamment d’un faible soutien élyséen. Lors de la venue de Sassou Nguesso à Paris en décembre 2007, ce dossier était au menu des discussions. Cela a-t-il fait l’objet de contreparties : invité d’honneur au Sénat pour disserter sur le développement durable, Sassou a obtenu que l’engagement d’aide de la France sur 3 ans soit porté à 185 millions d’euros contre les 80 millions préconisés par les services du Trésor français [1] . Les visées bolloriennes sur le projet de « port sec » de Bangui en Centrafrique ne se feront probablement pas sans un recours à l’arsenal français de coopération en Afrique. Il y a quelques temps, l’Agence Française de Développement avait conditionné un financement de constructions de routes dans la zone d’exploitation forestière à la privatisation de la Société Nationale de Transport. Cette privatisation a eu lieu au profit de … Bolloré himself qui est également soit dit en passant le propriétaire de plusieurs sociétés d’exploitation forestière en Centrafrique comme dans de nombreux autres pays.

Côté pétrole, Total a également sur le feu quelques gisements en vue qu’une mise en Bockel de la Françafrique pourrait contrarier. A Brazzaville, la mise en service du gisement de Moho-Bilondo prévu courant 2008 devrait permettre de reprendre sérieusement les devants sur les autres compagnies dans ce pays. Avec un rendement prévu de 90.000 barils-jours, cela porterait la production de Total dans ce pays à environ 218.000 barils-jours, soit environ 60 % de la production congolaise [2]et donc une manne de de près de 220 millions de dollars US quotidiens à partager avec le clan Sassou et quelques initiés. Les dirigeants de Total confirment cette augmentation future notamment dans le documentaire édifiant diffusé le 29 janvier en soirée sur France Culture [3]. Pour le clan Sassou, cela pourra permettre de reprendre pied sur le marché immobilier parisien. Même s’il est particulièrement difficile de mesurer le surplus financier qui retombera dans son escarcelle, celui-ci ne devrait pas être inférieur à plusieurs centaines de millions de USD en période de croisière [4].

En Angola, où Sarkozy se rendra en février après avoir liquidé l’héritage de l’Angolagate en octobre dernier, Total est en passe de devenir le premier opérateur pétrolier dans ce pays [5]au régime si autiste que les mots ‘gouvernance’ et ‘démocratie’ doivent se traduire par ‘opacité’, ‘répression’ ou ‘corruption’. Mais notre Sarko national saura sûrement trouver les mots qui touchent la sensibilité de Dos Santos sans heurter le portefeuille des actionnaires de Total… Et Bockel pourra disserter longuement sur le gaspillage des budgets de coopération par les pays pétroliers… Quand on est du Bas-Rhin et pas du Bahrein, pas sûr qu’on puisse causer Baril à tout bout de champs…
Notes :
[1] Comme quoi, même si les caisses sont vides, nos amis dictateurs ont plus d’arguments que nos fonctionnaires… voir http://www.camer.be/index1.php ?art=1155

[2] encore faudrait-il disposer de chiffres fiables, la transparence et la cohérence n’étant pas les premières caractéristiques des opérateurs du secteur. Voir X. Harel, Afrique, pillage à huis clos. Fayard, 2006.

[3] L’émission sera en écoute ensuite pendant 30 jours sur le site de France Culture : http://www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/france-culture2/emissions/surpris/archives.php

[4] sans compter les bonus et autres mais sans compter non plus les déductions pour amortissements…

[5] en 2006, Total exploitait 112.000 bepj (barils équivalents pétrole jour)

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